Runes of Magic
|Runes of Magic|
|Release date(s)|| March 19, 2009
|Distribution||Direct download, DVD|
Not to be confused with RuneScape.
Runes of Magic (RoM) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by the Taiwanese developer Runewaker Entertainment and adapted for the English and German-speaking market by German company Frogster Interactive. Frogster has also opened servers for France, Spain, Poland, Netherlands, and Australia as well as servers dedicated to the European Union. After going through an open beta phase, the game was launched on March 19, 2009 and Chapter II – The Elven Prophecy was launched on September 15, 2009. The next chapter, Chapter III – The Elder Kingdoms, started April 22, 2010, however all of Chapter III did not become available until August 11, 2010. Chapter IV - Lands of Despair, was released June 16, 2011. The latest Chapter, Chapter V - Fires of Shadowforge, was released on June 12, 2012. The game client is free to download, and no monthly subscription fee is required because the service is funded by real money transactions (RMT) in the Runes of Magic Item Shop.
The game has very few differences from World of Warcraft, one of the differences being the "multi-class" feature, which allows the player to choose up to three classes. At Level 10, the player may choose a second class. At Level 20, the player may choose a third class. Each 66 combinations of classes has sets of Elite Skills, which make each class combination unique, such that a Warrior/Priest has completely different skills from a Priest/Warrior. As of the current version of the game, there are 10 Elite Skills for each class combination, with the first given when two classes are Level 15. The subsequent Elite Skills would be give when both classes gained an additional 5 levels up to 50/50, then every 10 levels after that another Elite Skill is given, up to 70/70.
The game features Player versus Player combat in the form of dueling and battlefields. Players may obtain their own houses, and guilds can buy castles that grant benefits to members of the guild. Siege combat is available between guilds called Siege War, which is under open beta-testing, available to all guilds.
Another feature of the game are the collectible "Monster Cards", which slain foes leave behind, which provide specific attribute points alongside the usual monster information. These cards act as trophies for players but also provide attribute bonuses. Each type of monster has a card that provides bonuses to character stats, but not every monster drops the cards.
Players can also obtain magical pets, who accompany the player and may participate in combat under certain conditions regarding the pet statistics, i.e. loyalty. Pets are obtained by using traps to catch a Magic Cavy which are sometimes dropped after defeating an enemy monster. After catching the Magic Cavy, the player will be randomly given a Pet Egg, from which the player can summon a pet to assist in the player's adventures.
Through the use of real-money transactions, a player is able to exchange cash for in-game currency referred to as Diamonds. Players are able to buy in-game items using Diamonds through the Cash Shop interface in the game client. Buying items in the Cash Shop using Diamonds also awards Rubies, which can also be used to buy items in the Cash Shop. Diamonds can also be used to gift other players items for cash or fun.
A new marriage system feature was added in early July 2010. The marriage system is relationship system that allows two players to commit into a partnership. Depending on the relationship, players will then be rewarded with special in-game bonuses. Special Items have been added too such as Love and Friendship letters.
For each character, they will be provided a residence and a basic housekeeper. The residence may be decorated with furniture items bought from the Cash Shop or created with some recipes. Furniture may provide storage for items, bonus experience and talent points. They may also buy additional housekeepers, who unlike the basic housekeeper, can also provide free buffs, food, and potions after the initial purchase. To buy a housekeeper, the player requires only in-game gold, the primary currency of the game.
Players may collect Item Sets, gear sets from all over the game, from which Item-Set Skills can be extracted to provide additional versatility to the player. Pieces of each Item-Sets are typically dropped from instances in various parts of the game.
- Chapter I: Rise of the Demon Lord (Release Date: March 19, 2009)
- Chapter II: The Elven Prophecy (Release Date: September 15, 2009)
- Chapter III: The Elder Kingdoms (Release Date: May 19, 2010)
- Chapter IV: Lands of Despair (Release Date: June 16, 2011)
- Chapter V: Fires of Shadowforge (Release Date: June 12, 2012)
There are a total of 10 different character classes available in Runes of Magic. These are: Warrior, Scout, Rogue, Mage, Priest, Knight, Druid, Warden, Champion, and Warlock. With respect to the below class-restrictions, there are 66 possible class combinations. The character race you choose to play will determine which 10 of those classes you have access to when creating your character, but the classes change depending on your particular race, such that:
- Humans cannot play as a Warden, Druid, Champion, or Warlock
- Elves cannot play as a Knight, Priest, Champion, or Warlock
- Dwarves cannot play as a Scout, Knight, Warden, or Druid
Each class separates two distinct set of skills: General and Primary.
General skills of a particular class can be used when the class equipped is the Main or Secondary Class. Primary skills of a class can only be used when the class is equipped as the Main Class, but is not available when equipped as the Secondary Class.
Knight: Knights are the heaviest armored class in the game; the only one able to wear plate armor. With their special light-based attacks and shield abilities, knights fight their enemies effectively and draw their hatred over themselves.
Warrior: Warriors are masters in the use of arms, and can handle every close combat weapon while also being able to wear all kinds of armors, including chain mail. Driven by their battle rage they attack the enemy with special combinations of strikes and blows, and aim to increase the momentum of their attacks. They can also channel their rage into passive abilities to strengthen themselves or to provoke opponents and to scare them with an impressive display of their fury.
Rogue: Rogues are specialists in inflicting physical damage. In close range they use dagger techniques, and use ranged weapons for long range attacks. In contrast to warriors and scouts, rogues rely on subtle methods, such as stealth attacks, poison, and various techniques which inflict bleeding wounds. Rogues manage to avoid most trouble thanks to their swiftness and agility.
Scout: Scouts are masters in long range combat, and use their abilities to bring their bow and crossbow skills to perfection. In close combat they depend on evasion and delaying tactics to get into range for another shot or to wait for reinforcements who feel more at home in close range combat. Specially boosted long range attacks can defeat opponents in a short amount of time.
Priest: While priests are able to defend, restore hit points and increase stats of their companions, they also have the power to bring their fallen comrades back to life. They can wield shields; and only they have the ability to use the element of water to deal magical damage. However, their most important role remains calling out for godly assistance and mending wounds during battle.
Druid: Due to a close connection with nature, Druids are able to use their powers to fulfill their own wishes. Through them an additional resource has entered into Runes of Magic: Nature's Power. Through special skills, Druids build up more and more of Nature's Power and can release it at a given time to perform especially powerful spells. However, it is their diversity which makes Druids so special. They are powerful healers, who support the group's priests with rapid healing spells.
Mage: Magicians attack with fire and lightning and inflict high magical damage. Some of their spells can enclose wide-ranging areas with fiery walls and keep whole hordes of monsters in check, although utility is phased out endgame. Seasoned magicians are said to be able to harness the power of the Phoenix. With the help of their arcane knowledge, they can protect themselves and their companions from harm, or increase the strength of the entire party.
Warden: The Warden has the most diverse variety of weapons at his disposal and is masterful in their use. The ability to wear chain armour also affords him the necessary protection to emerge victorious from battle. He is also able to draw on an arsenal of varied magical abilities. They serve mainly to weaken an opponent and to strengthen themselves. His true strengths are played out, however, in conjunction with one of his three faithful companions whom he can command in combat. The companion has the ability to go up against several enemies, keeping these occupied while the Warden himself swiftly and effortlessly subjugates his target.
With the addition of Chapter V: The Fires of Shadowforge, two classes was implemented restricted to the new race, Shadowforge Dwarves: Champion and Warlock.
Champion: These runic soldiers attack with brute strength and harness the mystic forge techniques of Dwarven blacksmiths. Champions are also able to transform into the Runic Shield Form for increased durability and accuracy forming an effective damage dealer as well as improved survivability.
Warlock: Arcane masters of Dark Magic specializing in curses weakening their enemies for a subsequent finishing blow. With enough accumulation of Psi during battle, the Warlock can choose one of two stances, Willpower Blade or Willpower Construct. The former for more powerful damage spells, while the latter provides support spells for the caster and party negating damage and improving attack speed and spell casting.
Each avatar has five statistics: Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Intelligence and Wisdom. The base values are determined by the main class. If a second class is selected, an additional 10% of the base values of the secondary class are added to the main class statistics. The values of the statistic are determined by the level of each respective class.
- Strength – Raises physical attack power, health
- Dexterity – Raises accuracy, dodge and physical attack
- Stamina – Raises defense, health, and health regeneration
- Intelligence – Raises magical attack power and mana
- Wisdom – Raises magical defense, mana, and mana regeneration
In addition to acquiring weapons, armor, and accessories for each avatar, the player may also enchant additional statistics into the equipment improving health, mana, defense, physical attack, magical attack, and other attributes. These enhancing statistics are commonly referred to as a "stat." Stats can have 1 or more attributes. For example, "Frost of Imprisonment VIII" has 2 attributes: Stamina +57 and Wisdom +57, while "Vigor I" has only 1 attribute: Strength +3. The color of the stat determines how many attributes are improved.
Types of Stats
- Green: One enhancing statistic
- Yellow: Two enhancing statistics
- Orange: Two or Three enhancing statistics
In addition to the color of the stat, each stat has a corresponding tier, which determines the value of the stat, such that a tier 1 stat, Strength I, increases Strength by 3, while a tier 2 stat, Strength II, increases Strength by 6.
In higher tier stats, the value of the statistic is determined by name of the stat. For example, a stat with the word, "Imprisonment," in the name increases the value of the specific stat by 57, whereas, the word "Temple" would denote an increase of 76. In addition to the five main statistics, stats may also increase an attribute, such as defense, physical attack, magical attack, and health points directly.
Up to six differently named stats can be added to any piece of equipment.
In addition to stats, each equipment may also hold runes, which also increase attributes of the avatar. Some pieces may have rune slots when found, but to have 4, the maximum possible, the player must purchase a "Driller" to make additional slots for runes.
The game's dungeons are split into three types: large player-versus-player open-world dungeons, small instances for six players, and large instances (or raids) for 12 players. There is also a 120-player dungeon under the first main city, Varanas.
Siege War involves two guilds fighting for strategic points, Crystal Towers, on the battlefield using PvP combat and Siege-exclusive structures placed by players. Each guild, at the start of battle, commands a Guild Castle and three Crystal Towers. The goal for each guild is to have in possession the majority of the Crystal Towers within the time limit, or to take the opponent's Honor Crystal located in opponent's Guild Castle for five minutes to secure a victory.
To obtain structures or vehicles, players in each guild must obtain Merits and Crystals. Merits are obtain through killing enemy players and balloon mobs on the field. Merits can also be obtained by collecting from the Crystal Towers. Crystals are obtain through the collecting from the Crystal Towers and exchanging Merits for a Crystal Extraction Gem. Players in Siege War can obtain static structures capable of attacking players, such as Flame Towers and Electric Towers. They may also obtain structures that inhibit enemy movement, such as the Faces of Treachery. Guilds may also build siege vehicles to assist in battle, such as Ballistae, Battering Rams and Catapults.
Players may learn Professions, which include:
- Blacksmithing: a crafting skill to make Swords, Axes, Hammers, Daggers, and Shields
- Armorcrafting: a crafting skill to make Leather Armor, Chain Armor, and Plate Armor
- Carpentry: a crafting skill to make Furniture, Bows, Wands, Talismans and Staves
- Tailoring: a crafting skill to make Cloth Armor
- Cooking: a crafting skill to make Food providing various buffs
- Alchemy: a crafting skill to make Potions for healing and various buffs
- Mining: a Gathering skill to mine Ore materials for crafting
- Woodcutting: a Gathering skill to mine Wood materials for crafting
- Herbalism: a Gathering skill to mine Herb materials for crafting
- Planting: a Gathering skill to plant for all three types of materials for crafting
With the exception of Planting, the player may increase the level of all their professions up to Level 20. However afterwards, the player is limited to choosing 6 professions up to Level 40, 3 up to Level 60, and 1 up to Level 80. Planting may be increased to Level 80 regardless of player choice. Each crafting profession may be learned by any class or race in the game.
Runes of Magic has been compared to World of Warcraft and also referred to as a clone, but Eurogamer's Daniel Etherington discounted this and stated the view "misses the point." Wesley Yin-Poole of Videogamer.com stated "The guys at Runewaker have clearly constructed Runes of Magic with World of Warcraft running in the background." He stated that despite being "somewhat of a WoW clone" and free-to-play, Runes of Magic contains elements which World of Warcraft does not, and that the latter's developers "would do well to consider." Online gaming website Massively's Shawn Schuster highlighted the range of crafting abilities in the game, as well as the ability to gain proficiency in them all without penalties. "Runes of Magic has these features we see in a triple-A MMO, yet it's a free-to-play RMT-based game." Jeremy Stratton has also written several weekly articles on Massively, with his "Lost Pages of Taborea" column, between March 23, 2010 and October 10, 2011.
According to Frogster 20,000 players created 100,000 characters on the first day of the game's open beta; December 15, 2008, rising to 450,000 characters by February 2009. On May 14, 2009, Frogster announced that one million users in Europe and North America have registered to play Runes of Magic. On August 16, 2010, after the launch of chapter III, they announced that Runes of Magic had exceeded four million registered users.
Runes of Magic won the German Game Developer Award for Best International PC Game of 2009. It also won nine awards in Massively's Reader's Choice and Staff Choice Awards in that same year, which included the Reader's Choice Awards for:
- Best Crafting in a 2009 MMO
- Best PvP in a 2009 MMO
- Best Capacity for Roleplay in a 2009 MMO
- Best Free-to-Play MMO of 2009
- Best Visuals/Graphics
- Overall Best New MMO of 2009.
Frogster International won the award for Best MMO Studio of 2009 on behalf of the developer of Runes of Magic, Runewaker Entertainment. Runes of Magic also won both the Reader's Choice Award and Staff Choice Award for the Best Launch of 2009.
In 2010, Runes of Magic was awarded for the second year in a row the German Game Developers Award for Best Online Game of 2010.
IP Blocks for Specific Countries
After the scheduled maintenance on July 12, 2010 all players connecting from Turkey got an error message titled as "Unknown Error" when tried to log-in. After receiving numerous complaints about connection issues, Frogster Online announced that the license holder of Runes of Magic in Turkey, GamersFirst, requested from Frogster Online to issue an IP block on Turkey. Later on, GamersFirst closed their Runes of Magic (named as Sonsuz Macera by the Turkish publisher) servers and passed the license to Aeria Games, however, players from Turkey still have no access to European Runes of Magic servers as of today.
On September 7, 2010 the license holder of Runes of Magic in the Middle East, Tahadi Games, requested from Frogster Online to issue an IP block banning all Middle Eastern users from the European servers. Users from the following areas were no longer able to log into the European version of the game and got an error message: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Sudan and Mauritania. The reason behind the IP ban request was that Tahadi Games obtained the rights to market Runes of Magic in both English and Arabic in the Middle East Region.
On 31 June, All servers of Runes of Magic has been shutting down in the Middle East by the license holder of Runes of Magic in the Middle East, Tahadi Games.
- "Runes of Magic – PC – GameSpy". Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- "神諭之戰 – 巴哈姆特" (in Traditional Chinese). Retrieved 2011-06-28.
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- Fahey, Mike (February 3, 2009). "Runes of Magic Really Launches in March". Kotaku. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
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- (English) Official Site of Europe/America
- (traditional Chinese) Official Site of Taiwan
- (simplified Chinese) Official Site of China
- (Japanese) Official Site of Japan
- (Korean) Official Site of Korea
- (Indonesian) Official Site of Indonesia
- (Arabic) (English) Official Site of Middle East and North Africa