First Looks: Runes of Magic is a fun, free game that combines certain aspects from other games into a fast paced and inviting MMORPG. The moment I made a new character, I got sucked into a whole new world, with great looking fighting, spell casting, and killing animations. I couldn’t stop playing. The leveling is never boring because of so much variety. Even though it has the usual gathering, talking, and killing quests, I can easily skip out on a tedious one and still level up at a good pace. The double class system is really appealing because it adds variety; usually I would have to create a new character to mix up the game play among MMOs, but in RoM, switching to and from diverse play styles can be done on the fly. The best part of it all is that everyone is helpful, especially when it’s easy to communicate with zone chat.
Character Customization: There are two races (human and elf) and eight classes to choose from: Warrior, Knight, Druid, Warden, Mage, Rogue, Scout, and Priest. They all have their own fighting style and unique moves to use in combat. What really shines about the character creation is the degree of customization. There are many different combinations of hair, facial features, and body part sizes (weather your character have huge arms and look like a beast or look scrawny noob) that all make your character as unique as ever.
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Interface: The game runs pretty smooth and the interface is easy to customize, all those clustered buttons around the mini-map can be moved elsewhere. The action bars can be extended, flipped, and repositioned – all from the options menu. The game has a typical interface; top left corner is your health and mana/energy bar and when an enemy is selected, their info is displayed next to it. It supports many screen resolutions and has great graphics. All the animations are different and stand out. When you use a finishing move to kill an enemy, everyone will know you did it.
AI and Party System: There are many things to kill in the land of Taborea and it is even more fun with friends. The AI is often slow turning and can be backstabbed by a rogue without the help of stuns. There are certain bosses which are much harder to kill than other enemies. Those tougher guys of the bunch will always reward you with better equipment and more experience. There is a zone chat which is ideal for finding nearby allies who are willing to help out in questing; nothing beats killing the same thing over and over than killing it with a buddy. It is also a fast way to make sales and get rich, finding a guild, and party members for an instance. The combat system is full of variety; from all the abilities you upgraded to use in battle to all your pets which you trained to be your loyal steed in battle. It is very expensive to up keep a pet and very rewarding when it helps out in battle. To ensure your pet’s assistance it needs the loyalty bar to reach 100/100, which can be gained by buying specific pet feed that increases it. Many players want to have this advantage in battle; therefore pet egg sales are profitable.
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Combat System: With each level you get a new set of Talent Points used for upgrading abilities. There are many to choose from, and having all of them to maximum is hard due to a lack of Talent Points, and they all work together to help players take down hard to kill foes. The secondary class system is also great because it allows for two classes to be put together in one character, and both of them can be used in battle. The skills leak over amongst classes, so warrior can cast magic spells if their secondary class is a mage. The most rewarding aspect of this is the elite skills. When you level both classes to 15, you get an elite skill which is unique with every combination of classes. For example, a rogue and mage character gets traps with a variety of poisonous and explosive characteristics.
Item Shop: Runes of Magic gifts you with a house, which is primarily used as a personal bank in the low levels. You can buy furniture and decorate but it costs money, or in game diamonds which cost real money, and so far I haven’t visited anyone’s. The game is funded by the item shop which consists of many different purchases, from permanent mounts to increase experience potions to weapon upgrades. Thankfully there is a way for those who don’t want to spend any money and still get items from the shop, boring daily quest grinding for Phirius Token Coins. Slowly, but freely, players can exchange them for various necessities from the shop.
Crafting System: Runes of magic has a great crafting system, which allows a player to make almost anything they need for battle, from potions to weapons, from armor to food. You can learn basic recipes from the trainers and find rare ones from loot, which offer better buffs and are harder and take more materials to make. In order to craft anything players first have to gather necessary materials. Luckily, they can be found almost anywhere and are cheap to buy at the auction house.
Overall: This game is constantly giving you new things to do, plants to gather, monsters to kill, and places to explore. It is a complete game with a lot of welcoming players. Getting into a clan or a party, and making new friends online is easy and makes the boring grinding quests that much more fun. Runes of Magic is a lot like World of Warcraft, but it is unique enough to stand out and offer a diverse experience. It is a game where I learn something new every time I log on, all the more reason I would stay and play it. It is an excellent free MMORPG. I recommend this game to anyone interested in fantasy games and is interested in the free-to-play with a cash shop model.