Category: Runes of Magic

The First Ten Hours is a multi-part editorial column by iTZKooPA.  During his journey he will spend a solid ten hours tackling the opening of today’s hottest MMORPGs that he hasn’t played to death.  Be it new game, old game, new faction, or new class, it’ll all be new to him.  All titles are judged on the same basic points as described below.

As the premiere WoW-a-like free-to-play title, it’s only fair that we tackle Runewaker’s MMORPG, and Frogster’s localization of it. The title has been out for months now, allowing me to jump in and take in all that is Taborea on a few different characters – the highest being a level 18/15 Rogue/Scout. It’s also allowed the tandem of Frogster and Runewaker ample time to ferret out any glaring bugs.

Character Creation:  There are many games out there with crazy amounts of character customization.  However, Runes of Magic is not one of them.  The game is severely limiting for your basic choice of race, Humans being the only candidate at launch.  Thankfully the latest Chapter has added a second race, the love-em or hate-em pointy eared Elves.  Although gamers are limited to only two races, and obviously two sexes (look to sci-fi MMOGs to change that one day), to start, once we select our poison the creation opens up.  From hairstyle to bust size to foot size, the game is loaded with thirteen additional multi-position sliders.  The mix of combinations gives Runes of Magic one of the more in-depth character creation systems in the fantasy genre.  But that’s assuming you can look past the extremely limiting number of races at the surface.

Opening & Lore: Diving into this title is incredibly bland. There’s no opening cinematic to speak of, and no opening quest lines to get you started. You just pop into existence and are hit with a minimap full of icons demanding your attention. If one wants to find out what’s going on, then your best bet is to spend time on the title’s official website (perhaps while downloading the beastly package). Played any other MMORPG in your life?  Then expect to be bored to tears with the opening of Runes of Magic. “Kill 10 foozles” and then “Kill 10 foozles” some more.

User Interface: Runes of Magic’s interface is something that MMORPGers will be very comfortable with. The control scheme is essentially a clone of so many other titles and the keybindings match World of Warcraft’s more often than not. RoM has a myriad of buttons surrounding the very busy minimap, most of which take you to useful places like the Item Shop. For better, or for worse, everything is in your face and readily accessible.

Quests & Grinding: Get ready to be bored. Considering that the opening of the game is very uneventful it’s unlikely that the later levels get anywhere near epic. After leveling my Rogue/Scout for a healthy amount of time I have yet to find an interesting quest. Making matters more tedious is the fact that the company employs the idea of daily quests from the early going. And all of them have you grinding a collection of foozles. For those of you who leveled a WoW character back in Stranglethorn Vale, you’re probably familiar with the The Green Hills of Stranglethorn quest. The original designer of the quest has admitted that it’s the worst quest in WoW for numerous reasons. Yet the creators of Runes of Maker copied it, right down to the required page numbers. How’s that for a synopsis of quest design?

Dungeons: Dungeons are everywhere in Runes of Magic. They present themselves through kill quests early on in the game and offer appropriately awesome rewards. They aren’t exactly original or expertly designed, but they offer a good distraction to the monotonous grindfest of the quests proper. It’s worth mentioning that RoM has a ton of outdoor bosses, or named mobs if you prefer. I call them bosses because you have absolutely no business attacking these suckers if you’re around their level and alone. They hit like trucks and possess a healthy amount of hitpoints. Another worthwhile distraction to the awful quest design.

Polish: Polish is one of those things that isn’t often categorized. It’s an ongoing process in every MMORPG, and title’s always get more polished the longer they are around. Therefore many titles are launched in what is labeled as an unpolished state. Runes of Magic is one of the titles where its obvious that the idea of polish is not at the forefront of the developer’s mind. Actually it’s a mixed bag, some of the issues can be squarely placed on the localizing agent, Frogster America. Poor graphics, mixed framerate performance, jerky animations and balance issues lie squarely on Runewaker. Frogster is at fault mainly for the incredibly shoddy job of localization. The company seems to have taken on too much by trying to localize multiple languages at the same time. In all of the languages there are glaring errors including spelling and grammar mistakes and buffs who’s tooltips don’t specify what they do. Instead a player is shown a placeholder message. Annoying gamers further is that both companies seem to ignore the issue, releasing new content without fixing the glaring problems before them. Some problems can be fixed in just few minutes time.

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Uniqueness: Runes of Magic is an admitted WoW-a-Like. It was designed specifically to cater to a crowd that enjoys World of Warcraft, but doesn’t have the time to invest in that title to make them a hero. Or doesn’t want to pay a static fee. At the surface it’s a simple clone, but RoM does offer plenty of uniqueness including the dual class feature (hence why I am a Rogue/Scout), a deeper crafting system, guild and personal housing and a quick content development cycle.

Overall: If you love World of Warcraft, but can no longer afford the time or monetary investment then Runes of Magic might be a good fit for you. It kept me, a staunch WoW lover, mildly interested much further than the intended ten hours of play time. I’ll likely keep it installed as I work my way up to the level cap of 50/50. And why not, it’s free.

This is from mmocrunch view origin  click here

Name: Daniel Schmelzer
Position: QA Manager
Company: Frogster Online Gaming GmbH

The last couple of weeks before a Content Update are always the most exciting ones for a Quality Assurance Team working on a big MMO like Runes of Magic. New zones get added to the game with more opportunities to get involved with a new race like the Elves and their beautiful island. Two new classes, the Druid and the Warden add a new range of quests and epic adventures, which will only give great reward to those who manage to survive the biggest challenges our enemies throw our way. New areas like the Savage Lands open their gates and taunt us with new rewards for our Heroes of Taboera.

At first glace it is very surprising how much we take from a virtual world like Runes of Magic into our daily office lives. We also have daily quests like meetings or other tasks that we need to prepare for each day. Every morning we start with the same routine. With the early sunrise, we check our supply of coffee and supplies, and countless documents about old legends, great rewards and new enemies need to be studied. After a short group discussion, we start our daily work and enter into a new adventure. The outcome is always surprising and challenging.

Other fellow office companions ask us for guidance to understand the full spectrum of new features or are in need of descriptions and documented material to understand some of the biggest mysteries in the world of Runes of Magic. Countless numbers of new areas need to be explored, accurately mapped and documented so that even the most inexperienced member of our fellowship can easily understand the goal behind these adventures.

As you can already see to work in a Quality Assurance Department is definitely a huge adventure. But we would not like to trade with anyone else. To see parts of a virtual world grow from a basic idea on a piece of paper to the actual zone you can visit in the game and wander around in, is something very special and rewarding for all of the countless hours of work we put into it. We can’t wait to hear your feedback when you have a chance to experience these adventures at home for yourself.

Stay tuned for this weekend when we’ll be doing some fun things for the labor day holiday.

In a little under a month Runes of Magic will have its first challenge.  It’s not a new game from Nexon, or Webzen, but a mutated pay-to-play title.  Perhaps you have heard of the company Turbine Entertainment?  Yes folks, Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited will be the first major challenger to Runes of Magic, and the hold the WoW-a-like has over the WoW-a-like market.  And Frogster should be scared, very scared.

Despite the recent delay to early September, DDO:EU has been drumming up swaths of media.  Some of it focuses on the negatives, such as the poorly timed delay, or the titles “fall” into the F2P market, but most of it remains positive.  The positive coverage covers numerous topics including the steps Turbine is taking to convert the title from one business model to another, the upcoming content patch that will be launched alongside the revised title, the renewed interest in a forgotten game, and the title’s deep connection with instancing and grouping.  Don’t believe me?  Peruse any blog or site dedicated toMMO titles and I gurantee that you will find numerous mentions of DDO : EU in the last few weeks.  Turbine’s other project, Lord of the Rings Online, would die for this kind of excitement when it reaches the troublesome three year mark.

Considering DDO’s full head of steam, and its roots as a pay-to-play title, Frogster better be preparing some distractions to keep RoM’s members from wondering what Eberron may offer.  As evidenced in my recent microtransactions post, Western gamers continue to pair F2P titles with negative connotations.  However, DDO’s model change will put the added credibility, whether perceived or actual, of pay-to-play titles against Runes of Magic.

Some of these assumptions include:

  • A extremely high level of polish.  This mainly describes the gameplay, but also includes graphics, optimization and stability issues.
  • Deeper and more unique classes.
  • Larger amount of content in-game, and in the works.
  • More fulfilling story lines.
  • Playing the title is what gets one ahead in the game.
  • A tighter, more dedicated community.

Sadly Frogster/Runewaker (the developer) hasn’t done much to change the perceptions players have about F2P titles.  As of this writing little has been detailed as to the improvements thatRoM’s upcoming content patch, Chapter II – The Elven Prophecy, will deliver.  Don’t get me wrong, new content is fantastic, but with server issues, connection stability problems, poor localization and bland quest design being rampant inRoM, one would hope for a long list of bug fixes to accommodate the introductions of Elves.

It remains to be seen how much of an impact DDO will have on RoM’s recent success, especially with the recent delay.  I can tell you that it’s kept this dedicated gamer, and player of RoM, from dropping additional money on Diamonds until I can give DDO a full test drive.  Appears that Frogster has given Turbine a chance that the company would be stupid to pass up.

Frogster America announced the company’s latest addition to the free-to-play MMORPG Runes of Magic, Secret of the Goblin Mine.  The Goblin Mind proper, which is labeled as a “minigame” by Frogster, will be a solo dungeon that is restricted to one play through a day.  Should you die in your quest you will not be able to attempt the adventure till the morrow.

The hardcore addition to Runes of Magic does not stop there though.  The mine also needs to have its three tasks completed in under 30 minutes for the treasure chest, full of “rare armor recipes and handcrafted objects”, to appear at the end of the dungeon.  To top it off, only the bravest and most dedicated of warriors will obtain the ‘Goblin Hero’ title.

The July 28th patch isn’t just for the hardcore though.  More casual players will be able to take part in an epic weapon quest series that promises to be “the toughest quest series that Runes of Magic has to offer”.

In addition to uncommon recipes and epic weapons, players will, for the first time, be able to cultivate their own plants inside their homes.  Plants will reach maturity in three to seven days, but their yields are dependent upon the attention they receive.

Secret of the Goblin Mine launches Tuesday, July 28.  Check out Frogster’s trailer.

While new features and balancing changes always get noticed in MMORPGs, there is also a lot of time invested in polishing and improving current adventures, which mostly go unnoticed – which is a good thing in general, because we want constant evolution rather than revolutions in the game.

I’d like to give you a little peek inside the polishing process. I’m Wilfried Henseler, Co-Producer for Runes of Magic at Frogster.

Back in Closed Beta, we saw a lot of changes when the lands of Taborea opened to the public for the first time. We changed pretty much every zone based on the experience of the testers; we doubled the number of quests, adjusted the level of difficulty, loot and reward tables many times, and added a huge amount of content to achieve the gaming experience we have today. One of these improvements was the dungeon under the ice of Ystra, called the Ystra Labyrinth. It was introduced around the end of Closed Beta to add more content to the experience for the levels 35-40.

With the current patch we revisited this dungeon and you can see many improvements in the dangerous darkness of the three levels under the surface.

Usually, when revisiting an area, it starts out with numbers and statistics – what I used to call the broadsword of the design analysis process, because it gives an external view of the full picture, with just a few details:

This map shows the path of the adventurers within the first level of the Ystra Labyrinth. The dark red blurs show where monsters were killed, the crosses show where heroes met their master and the yellow dots point to where quests started and ended. We use similar maps in many different versions, separated by classes, monster types, loot, quests, bosses, etc., but for now, this one will do the trick.

At first glance you can see that there aren’t many quests and the rooms of the dungeon are pretty empty. The dungeon also starts out quite challenging looking at the crosses. This is how it started before:

Treasure Hunter Corpses of level 35 players are right in the beginning. We changed this into a friendlier – if one can say that about bloodthirsty skeletons – beginning, and lowered the level of difficulty for the start. This is the same place in the revisited version of the dungeon:

The corpses are now level 31 players, which should give a nice start to the Labyrinth and players of levels slightly above 30 should be able to adventure here in groups. Zooming in to the lower right part of the map shows some more spots to notice:

There are just a few crosses in the lower left part, which indicates that the dungeon is getting too easy after starting out too difficult. This may be because adventurers learn the strategies to survive and adjust their play style, but in visiting the dungeon in person, one will notice that the monsters do actually get easier in this part than they were in the beginning – or actually they are exactly the same:

In addition there aren’t any quests anymore (no yellow dots) and the rooms are unused and empty:

It’s all just about slashing some fairly easy mobs (compared to the beginning of the dungeon) to dungeon crawl – which is not the quality we want in the dungeons. A good Crawl-type dungeon design keeps the heroes on alert and presents them with increasing dangers and, of course, increasing rewards for taking risks.

The details are fleshed out over many visits and discussions. We study the maps, run through the dungeon and have volunteer players report their experience. The community managers gather together all of the information from the forums regarding the area and all together, we map out how it can be improved.

So what we did in this case is we populated the spare rooms and added in a lot of quests to the ride:

Also, notice the teleport at the left. The dungeon becomes much more accessible as groups can port to all areas right away instead of having to fight their way back and forth all the time, giving the dungeon less feel of a crawl and introducing more strategy and less downtime.

The level of difficulty was streamlined in all parts, and the doorway from above is now guarded with more fitting Shadows (remember the starting level is now level 31, at this point level 35 fits quite well in the progression of difficulty):

The same improvements have been made to the other levels of the Ystra Labyrinth and the experience is a lot more fun now, and advances the heroes many levels on their adventure through questing and grouping in the Labyrinth.

On top of the graphical analysis of the waypoints and visits, we run statistics about the time required to finish a quest and on loot drops. Even though the process isn’t always perfect, it’s a fast and objective way to find glitches in quests and loot probability. We adjusted the loot tables in the dungeon quite a bit.
Polishing is always a mix of many sources, the numbers we have, the feedback we get in the forums, experiences from playing in the teams and external helpers. The process is constantly ongoing and doesn’t stop here, we watch the forums and statistics closely after we polish an area and we come back every once in a while to make adjustments and further improvements.

I’d like to thank every player who is contributing in the forums and helping us to make Taborea a great place of history and adventure, heroes and enemies.

In the end I also have a warning for you. There is a rumor that some strange new inhabitants are in the dungeon. While we were working on the polishing process, some of the deeper foes escaped out of the boxes where we were storing them for further study, and we fear they might have escaped into the Ystra Labyrinth.

If you encounter a bunch of ghosts carrying corpses around, please do not feed them!

The rumor is that they have found a way to turn corpses into soldiers and they are struggling to control the darkness in the labyrinth now. There is word of a strange silver powder and a mighty being, hidden in the dark. We are not yet sure how this all connects and how to handle the situation, but if the rumors are true, we must stop them before it gets out of hand.

Please inform the local authorities in the Ystra Dungeon if you have any new information, and don’t try to handle the situation alone. This must be handled with extreme care and with the help of friends to repel the waves of enemies and stop the imminent danger…

Thank you :)

You’ve raided and raided, spent months in PvP, farmed and sold drops, poured hour upon monotonous hour into reaching level cap collecting and hunting down the best of the best gear for your class. Whether weeks, months, or even years later, this is what you’ve been working so hard for. The time is near, just one more raid; one more piece of equipment to completion and you will be hailed alongside the others to be crowned one of the best. You will be elite.

The time has come; you have the gear, decked out from massive head to massive toe. It’s time to make your entrance into the hallowed halls. You are tingling with excitement and anticipation of showing off your giant glowing weapons and shiny armor. You’ve even cleaned the crumbs from your desk, loaded up your favorite heart-pumping music and put on a clean pair. As you start strutting around your favorite MMORPG’s gathering spot, you notice something. No one really cares, but more disturbingly, as you prepare to snap that screenshot alongside the others, you realize it doesn’t really make a great screenshot. Why are you not more excited? Deep down the answer slowly surfaces like a kraken out of the cold unfriendly depths of the ocean.

Everyone is a clone of everyone else. As your elation deflates like a balloon, reality starts to set in and you start asking yourself those questions. What fun is looking the same? PvP will just be complicated by mistaking people for each other because they’re all identical. No one can brag about anything to each other. Sure, PvP arenas are still an option to show your skill, if you want to participate. Regardless of whether you fight in PvP battles or not they’ll still all have the same gear and look. So how can you find a way to separate yourself, what if you just don’t like the way the best gear looks? How do you get the look you want, give your character more individuality and bragging rights for your unparalleled sense of fashion?

The answer lies in the Aggregator. A new tool found in Runes of Magic. With this item, you can have the look you want and the item stats as well. Pretty nice feature eh? You can finally keep that awesome mid-level 1-H giant green glowing demon sword without sacrificing power. Simply collect a similar item with stats you do want, in this case a 1-H sword. Take the high level uber-sword and your favorite sword; throw them into the Aggregator and BAM! Out pops what looks like your treasured mid-level 1-H giant green glowing demon sword but with the stats of the more powerful sword.

There are two Aggregators: the Aggregator and the Advanced Aggregator. They both require similar items. You need a same slot piece of equipment. So transferring stats between chest and helmet is a no-no. Additionally the regular version only lets you transfer similar items between same slot and type. You can’t take a cloth item to plate, or vice-versa. That’s where the Advanced Aggregator comes in. You still are restricted to same slot, but now you can take stats from leather to plate, or any other combo. Sets and binding restrictions don’t affect the transfer. If you transfer only one item from a set or all, they will still retain set bonuses.

Both versions of the Aggregator can be obtained in the Item Mall. The regular is 6 diamonds and advanced is a bit more at 15. The Aggregator is a disposable item so once you use it, it’s gone. If you make plans to transfer a set of 7 equipment pieces, be prepared to shell out 35 diamonds for the regular, and 99 for Advanced. This doesn’t sound so bad considering it could be high end gear that you’ll be keeping for a long time or a Twink that you’re finished building. Did you already spend all your hard earned money on donuts and energy drinks? Do you not have any spare income to spend on diamonds? It’s not the end of the world for you. Runes of Magic offers diamond trading in their Auction House. It may take you longer to obtain enough diamonds in-game to buy one but it’s nice to know that you aren’t excluded from getting Aggregators at all.

This feature is even more customizable when you use the character customization which lets you change your avatars appearance and even color your armor and mounts. If that wasn’t enough, you can also choose from blank armor sets in the Item Mall which have pieces that you can mix and match. Now your character can be as individual as you are. You’ll have to start being a little more careful too in deciding whether to attack someone or not. No longer can you memorize equipment’s stats by how it looks.

The Aggregator is a neat feature in Runes of Magic. Having the additional ability to design your characters fashion can add for a lot of additional fun game time (especially Role Players). Is this something that other MMOs will adopt? Given that either subscriber-based or micro-transaction based MMOs could implement this element in different ways, I see it as a plus no matter how you look at it. Runewaker, developers of Runes of Magic, may have stumbled onto a really fun new feature bigger companies may need to look into. I know I’d love to have my Shaman strutting around in a tuxedo with good stats (Hint-hint Blizzard).

 Just three weeks after the launch of Runes of Magic Frogster is expanding the game world with new content. The newly launched update makes fresh features immediately available: The high level zone ‘Ravenfell’ now offers exciting adventures and challenges to level of 45 – 50 players in a Caribbean setting, bringing Runes of Magic’s total quest-count up to over 1,600 quests.

Additionally the ‘Ruins of the Ice Dwarf Kingdom’ dungeon challenges mid-level players, despatching them to the forgotten fortress of the Ice Dwarves. Offering something of a change from levelling and collecting equipment, the ‘Wind-Runner Races’ is already the second mini-game in the fantasy world of Taborea. Heroes from level 35 can look forward to the new Elite skills which will further expand their dual class abilities.

However, new players aren’t being short-changed either. A completely reworked tutorial eases the path for budding heroes in their entry into the online role-play game. In addition, the patch optimises the localisation of areas, items and quest texts. “This content update meets the wishes of our players by further expanding the high level area.” commented Runes of Magic PR Manager, Philipp Senkbeil on the new features being built-in so shortly after the game launch. These seamlessly join up with the content that was already implemented at the launch, such as the difficult instance, the ‘Kalin Shrine’. There is also a new dungeon, ‘Treasure Trove’ which is set to appear in the near future. 

So many choices, so many levels. In Runes of Magic, one of the most important choices you’ll make is that of your second class. Last week in Second Class Citizen, we looked at the Priest, Mage and Knight. This week we’ll finish up with the Rogue, Scout and Warrior; What works, what doesn’t and some theory behind the class interaction.

The Rogue

Normally the PvP class of choice, rogue classes, hold the highest populations among MMOs, and for good reason… Who doesn’t like to stealth-gank their opponents in PvP and be a DPS class of choice in PvE? As a secondary class, the rogue does one thing and one thing only: melee DPS. The first thing to remember when choosing a rogue secondary is that you cannot stealth as a secondary skill. Which is fine by us, frankly, since it would break the game.

Even so, the DPS a Rogue secondary brings to the table is not insignificant by any means, and any class looking to augment its own melee damage would do well to consider one… Within reason, of course. For example, A Priest/Rogue doesn’t receive quite the benefit as a Rogue/Priest, though since Runes effectively allow both to be interchangeable, most players happily overlook the fact. Mages come out with roughly the same deal but in either case, you’re still a squishy character looking to engage melee skills which may cause others to question your sanity. Still, one can easily make the argument that cloth stat’d with dexterity and strength is easily available and can also be socketed such.

The knight probably benefits the most from a Rogue secondary class, whereas the warrior comes up short. No, put the AD&D books and dice away. I know everything good and logical says that a Warrior/Rogue should work seamlessly, but it doesn’t. This is mainly due to the disparity in weapons skills involved and the crux of the matter lies in the fact that warrior skills center around two handed axe weapons whereas Rogues rely on daggers. It’s that simple. Trying to make either work will gimp the DPS of the other since there is little middle ground to work with. Sure, you’ll get a dual wield warrior as part of the package and it can work, but trust me… it’s not as good as you think. If you insist on going that route, you at least get the most range closing abilities available to any class and your rage generation is better hitting with two weapons instead of one.

The Scout

This class is the Mage’s primary competition in the long range combat category. As a secondary class, it is probably best paired with mana users looking to extend their ranged DPS abilities without putting their mana pools into conflict. Of course, there’s no reason a melee class can’t opt for a Scout secondary as well to round out their abilities in and outside of melee.

As we’ve already mentioned, Mage/Scouts are ranged powerhouses while Priest/Scouts benefit in much the same way they would as Priest/Mages. On that note, it’s really a toss up as to using using a Scout or Mage with a Priest. Mages come with caster specific buffs and use the same base stats (and thus equipment) while Scouts don’t share a common mana pool and can detect through stealth. Both have class specific DoTs to augment the Scout’s own, allowing either to kite targets easily. Both are decent choices, in my opinion.

In terms of melee, the Scout’s role is obvious, though the most benefit would go to the Rogue who stands to gain stealth sniping abilities and dexterity/crit bonuses while being able to maintain the same armor sets. Again, one must weight the pros and cons here since- like a melee/mage secondary -the classes you are pairing together merge two distinctly different combat styles, necessitating a tactical mentality that may not fit everybody. In reality, all the melee classes share this disparity as well, so take a moment before rolling up a melee/scout combination. We’ve heard some really satisfied customers and those that wish their combination to the depths of hell.

The Warrior.

The warrior of RoM doesn’t fill the role you’re likely expecting, straddling the middle ground between off-tank and armored DPS. It’s also this indecisive nature that regulates it to second string when it comes to choosing it as a secondary and why you really don’t see it as an ideal candidate in any of the above scenarios. In our findings thus far, there are few roles for a warrior secondary that can’t be filled better by another class, the main competition being Rogues and Knights. Both classes represent the extreme ends of their respective spectrum and when it comes to a secondary class, why choose the middle ground?

The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that so many Warrior skills revolve around axes and to a lesser extent, two handed weapons. Likewise, rage buildup tends to be anemic when combined with the regular 20-25 point rages skills, making a decisive build up of rage a lethargic affair. This is not to say the Warrior is impossible to play, though it is tougher to pair with another class. Knight-Warriors tend to get along well, further hardening both classes and giving the Knight a needed bump in DPS. Being a secondary class to a priest shouldn’t even bare mentioning at this point, though again, you’ll want it Warrior-Priest, not the other way around. Finally, magical attacks do not build up rage so keep that in mind when attempting to pair the warrior up with mana users.

Unfortunately, Warriors share an uneasy place among the class hierarchy because of the middle ground they straddle, and one can’t help but to question their implementation. In our opinion, any decision concerning one as a secondary class (or even primary) should be made with caution; at least until their place is further defined in RoM. This isn’t to say they are unplayable, just that the blend will not likely be what your are expecting given their intermediate role.

Note: A recent patch seems to have bumped up warrior rage, increasing its generation marginally. While the tweak is appreciated, executing your nominal skills still runs 20-25 rage on average, so we feel that the change is a band aid solution at best for the moment.

When it’s all said an done, rolling a successful dual class character in Runes of Magic comes down to these general guidelines and a few simple rules. Sure, we could have gone with a complex table with rankings and color codes, but it’s just not that difficult. Just remember, the basic things to watch out for are classes that use the same energy source, classes that in combination don’t play to their innate strengths and that a priest/anything is golden.

By now you’ve heard all about it and it’s definitely one the most notable feature in Runes of Magic. For those of you who missed the beta boat, you’ve got a tough decision ahead of you: Choosing your character’s primary and secondary classes. If you don’t already know the particulars of the classes, just fall back on every other MMO you’ve ever played, or simply hit the RoM website here for the details. For those of you who already know the difference between a Priest and Knight, this article is less about the classes themselves and more how they work together, specifically some theory behind choosing your second class at level ten.

Before we get started, it’s important to note that once you make this decision, only an act of God or convenient cash shop item can undo it. Don’t be afraid to take a moment, because your choice can make all the difference between rolling a good character versus a great one; and some of the choices aren’t as hot as they would first appear… Such as the Rogue/Warrior combo. Yeah, we’ll get back to that one. So who’s first on the list?

The Priest.
This class as a Primary needs no introduction. Traditionally the most sought after, least played class among MMOs, the Priest is usually relegated to a support role that makes it quite unattractive to those looking to do something more than fill HP bars for hours on end. Here in Runes of Magic, however, the Priest is solid gold. It is hands down the most useful secondary class in that game. Why?

What part of the word “Priest” don’t you understand?

It’s with a priest secondary that the dual class system really shines since it does two very important things for not only the player, but the game itself. First, it allows you to solo without support. Whether it be grinding or PvP, any class with a Priest secondary can heal damage independently and provide spot heal support for allies in need. The implications there should be obvious. Tanks can continue to operate in higher threat environments. DPS can engage in far more aggressive tactics. Imagine your horror when you find out that Rogue you just beat within an inch of his life suddenly pops back to full health. Yeah, it’s like that.
 
Second, and more importantly, it popularizes the class. With the above traits, it becomes a very desirable secondary, which in turn means unlike other games where you can “LF1M heals LBRS g2g” for hours on end, you’re almost always guaranteed a party member with heals and that person can simply pay a visit to their house, swap classes and roll out. That alone is huge and there isn’t a single class that doesn’t benefit from having it as a secondary. Sure, you’ll take a hit in terms of DPS when compared to, say, a DPS/DPS combination, but the flexibility you gain is generally worth the trade off.

Lastly, this class alone changes how Runes of Magic plays. Particularly, it’s probably the single biggest reason that instances are rated much harder than their MMO contemporaries. When anybody, any class can dish out heals and still run as a DPS or tank, things absolutely have to be tougher to accommodate the new dynamic. In any case, you cannot go wrong with a Priest as a secondary.

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The Mage.
Priests are great, but when you need DPS, the Mage is normally right up there with the rogue on the damage short list. Sure they’re squishy, but that’s hardly our primary concern here. As a secondary class, they bring ranged DPS to the table, allowing otherwise short ranged melee classes the option to reach out and touch someone. It’s hard to envision a class that mages don’t benefit since their job is fairly straightforward, though your mileage definitely varies depending on what you match it to.

Priests benefit greatly with a Mage secondary as it provides the class with two crucial abilities: A much need bump in DPS and an effective snare. While there is usually something negative to be said about linking two classes that use the same energy pool- mana/mana as opposed to rage/mana, for example -Priest definitely benefit from the Mage secondaries and when it comes right down to it, you’re probably not going to be healing and DPSing in parties at the same time anyway. Another class that benefits immensely from the mage is the Scout, turning your bow wielding combatant into a ranged DPS powerhouse with the ability to cc for days. Combined with the Scout ability to see through stealth, and you have quite an effective counter to the Rogue in PvP encounters.

Then there’s the not so good, and one class stands out in my mind in particular… The Knight. The main tank of the game plus ranged DPS… What could go wrong? Well, here’s where we go back to that statement about not linking two classes of the same energy type together. This is one of them. The Knight uses its mana pool for everything from aggro retention to DPS. The problem arises when you start lighting off the mage secondaries as well, leaving you with a wall of steel with no ability to create either the aforementioned aggo or DPS. Likewise, while it does give you a limited amount of standoff attack ability, the majority of your killing power is inside melee. For every point of mana you spend at range, that’s less to apply to the target when it gets within your most effective killing envelope. In other words, the high road to fail. As for the other classes, the Mage secondary performs exactly as advertised; though the rogue takes a bit more advantage due to the fact that it can utilize the Mage’s CC as well as launch ranged attacks from stealth. Like many melee/caster pairings, gear and stats will become somewhat of an issue.

The Knight.
Another class usually in short supply for the standard MMO is the Tank, aka the meat shield. Like the Priest, people that truly like to tank are in short supply for the sole reason that killing stuff actually comes secondary to the job of keeping the mob’s attention while other people kill it. Fortunately, dual classing comes to the rescue here as well, if not to the same extent it benefits the Priest.

Knights as a secondary class tend to be fairly straight forward, specifically benefiting melee classes the most with their ability to seal nuke and apply armor buffs to lighter classes. Typically the classes competing in that category are Warriors and Rogues, though if one had to pick a match, the Rogue comes out as the clear winner. The decisive factor comes down to DPS control, something a rage reliant class cannot depend on. While a Warrior/Knight can work, a Rogue/Knight has the ability and its combination strikes, apply seals and pump out sick melee DPS with precise control for as long as energy and mana hold. Oh, did we mention stealth? Ranged combatants also benefit from the Knight secondary though to a lesser extent, gaining additional toughness and DPS at melee ranges, though little else.

Priest/Knights gain a particular bit of synergy since both classes can use shields, introducing not only another stat’d armor slot, but additional stun effects as well. Combined with a maxed out bubble, Priests can operate reasonably well in a melee environment even though the same mana/mana concerns apply. Simply because they can does not make it the best of ideas and care should be exercised making this choice, though the number of armor and HP buffs gained between the two make it a very good support combination.

Frogster announced the information about the new content which is going to be added into Runes of Magic official release version. As an award-winning online role-playing game, Runes of Magic will be launched in a few weeks. This includes the high-level dungeon ‘Kalin Shrine’, a mysterious place where the dark mage Regin has taken possession and where he sets players some huge challenges.

Located in the dusty wastes of the Dust Devil Canyon, the ‘Kalin Shrine’ was built back in the mists of time, even before the blossoming of the of the old kingdoms. Ancient knowledge resides in the heart of the Shrine and there once was a time when Regin kept this knowledge safe for his own followers, but now he is using the power of the shrine for his own dark purposes. Well armed players are now being requested to drive him out of the sanctuary. This is no simple task; it can only be undertaken by warriors who have the maximum Level 50, since the passages and levels of this lost shrine are populated by ghosts, rune guardians and grave robbers.

In addition, boss level opponents also support the powerful magician in his sinister works. They all demand a special tactical approach from the six man group of adventurers. Just one of the obstacles for players to over come in this struggle is a crystal tortoise which can bind players in solid ice for ten minutes. However, the most testing battle lies at the heart of the shrine: In order to defend his power, any means is justifiable to the End Boss Regin. Using black magic, he is able to summon some of the already slain bosses back to life and bring them to his aid. Should adventurers master this quest and free the shrine from the evil influence, their troubles will be rewarded with booty in the form of rare armour.Moreover, many more quests are entwined around the ‘Kalin Shrine’ and so continue to lead the story of the Runes of Magic ever onward. Further information about the new dungeon ‘Kalin Shrine’ is available on the official Runes of Magic website www.runesofmagic.com.

Runes of Magic started the open beta with an English and a German version in the middle of December 2008. All interested players can now download the online-role playing game and enter into the fantasy world after creating an account for free on www.runesofmagic.com.
 

 

 

 

 

Berlin, Germany (January 8th, 2009): Frogster Interactive today announced that the population of its highly anticipated free-to-play MMORPG Runes of Magic, passed 300,000 players in early January 2009. The steady growth of the population of Taborea will enable Frogster to continuously update and polish the game in the run up to its commercialization in March 2009.

“Frogster would like to thank our dedicated community for their constructive feedback since the beginning of the open beta”, said Daniel Ullrich, Director of Product Management at Frogster Interactive, “With the development of new content being almost complete, we are eager to see whether the community will be as enthusiastic about the new content and features as we are.”

During the festive break, Runes of Magic convinced more critics and won several prestigious awards with the specialized press. After declaring Runes of Magic as the best free-to-play game of Show at the Games Convention 2008 in August, TenTonHammer.com awarded Runes of Magic the “Surprise Hit 2008″. The editors of Mmorpg-planet.com selected Runes of Magic as the “Best Free MMORPG of 2008″ and was the only free-to-play title to be nominated for MMORPG.com’s upcoming “Most anticipated Game of 2009″ Readers Choice award.

Runes of Magic began its open beta in December with an English and German version. All interested players can now set up an account and download the client for free at www.runesofmagic.com.

Runes of Magic - a world full of wizardry and adventure
With an extensive range of features Runes of Magic prepares to redefine the standard of free-to-play MMO games. Right from the launch Runes of Magic will convey its absorbing story through more than 1.000 quests embedded in an atmospheric world. Players can choose between six main classes. Combined with a secondary class they dispose of 36 individual combinations of character classes over all. All characters possess unique skills with impressive combo attacks and can use mounts. A particularly attractive feature for guilds and players is the possibility to arrange their own virtual homes with individual furnishing. Thanks to an extensive crafting and reputation system, thrilling PVP as well as demanding dungeons and boss-monsters, no wishes remain unsatisfied. The Taiwanese developer Runewaker has developed Runes of Magic according to western MMO standards within a time frame of three years. The studio will provide new challenges for players every three to four months with free add-ons and updates. MMO fans can find more information, pictures and videos on the official website www.runesofmagic.com.

 

Runes of Magic features
- Free-to-play: no monthly fees, free download
- Extensive dual class system (six primary and secondary classes)
- Versatile spell and attack combinations
- Engaging background story
- More than 1,000 quests and quest series at launch
- No zone boundaries thanks to a seamless architecture
- A mix of instanced, tile based, and persistent dungeons to explore
- Individually developable skills and spells
- Armor sets with special bonuses
- Dynamic item system with hundreds of upgradeable runes
- Optional PvP system with arena battles and guild wars
- Ranking system with player-ranking lists
- Unique mounts including horses, tigers, striders and more
- Epic crafting system with the ability to improve existing items
- Personalization of player houses through individual furnishing
- Reputation system
- Customizable user interface with the ability to use Add-Ons
- Map and radar system to easily find item dealers, resources and quests
- In-game auction houses for trading items
- Teleport-Runes for instant travel
- Mouse and keyboard controls for movement
- Regular updates with new content
- Cross-server fights through three-server-battles (in development)
- Guild houses in special zones (in development)

About Runewaker Entertainment Ltd.
Runewaker Entertainment was founded in August of 2004, with the headquarters located in Taichung, Taiwan. The founding members are all very experienced in the field and decided to come together to pursue their own dream. Currently Runewaker employs over 40 highly skilled programmers, designers and artists and is constantly expanding. Runewaker specializes in making massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG). The company has built their own engine from scratch that rivals some of the best that is available out on the market. Their first product, Radiant Arcana (Runes of Magic), is already completed and currently in Open Beta Phase in China. Runewaker is currently producing more content for Runes of Magic. Webpage: http://www.runewaker.com/

About Frogster Interactive Pictures AG
As a holding with different shares in the computergames industry, the Frogster Interactive Pictures AG based in Berlin is focusing on the growth sector of massively multiplayer online games. The company licenses, operates und markets different online games in the German speaking market and internationally. Its Korean joint venture Frogster Co. Ltd. based in Seoul develops MMO Games and markets their own as well as licensed virtual worlds in Asia. Frogster America Inc. based in San Francisco, USA, will be taking up the operation and exploitation of MMO Games in North America in 2009. At their offices in Berlin, Seoul and San Francisco, the Frogster group employs more than 80 staff members in the fields of development, marketing, PR, web design, web development, community management, customer support, hosting, billing and administration. Internet: www.frogster-interactive.de