The Biggest Something

January 24, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Posted in mmorpg, Runes of Magic | Comments Off on The Biggest Something
Tags: , ,

The JerkMaybe I’m a jerk. It’s possible, I tend to disagree with everything just about anyone says. Sometimes just for fun. Mostly because I’m just sort of a contrarian sort of person. This gets me into quite a bit of trouble in Runes of Magic.

Yet when Jeremy S. of howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg (who has since moved house to his new url at Just One Moar) declared that Runes of Magic is the Biggest Rock to be Thrown Into the MMORPG Pond Since World of Warcraft I was compelled to say something.

As much as I agree with some points in your post, many points I disagree with.

It’s a nice way to get people into the game, but you’re also setting people up for disappointment in some areas.

That’s probably the politest I’ve ever been. Truthfully I disagree with vast swathes of his article. Then again I’m not the one getting linked on Bio Break.

Anyway I first began to take issue with his post exactly where he thinks most people will. The title alone I’m guessing is meant to create waves and gain attention, but I can’t even remotely begin to agree with it. As I will make clear why.

He begins by describing the broad evolutionary changes Runes of Magic makes. Mostly he praises their RMT business model, which I agree is a great business model, I’m sure they’re making loads and loads of money. I’m sure this is one of the first games to capitalize quite this much on an MMO in this style. However, Runes of Magic is essentially a World of Warcraft clone. All they’ve done is replace the subscription model with free-to-play and pay options. I’m not sure I’d call a different business model a broad evolutionary change.

Otherwise I’m not sure what he’s talking about. He speaks of activities to do other than leveling, but other games have PvP, other games have crafting, other games have mini-games. Not evolutionary. There is not a lot of content that is available outside leveling. In PvP I’m sure we all strive to level to do better when fighting others. Crafting requires certain amounts of gameplay that doesn’t require leveling, but, I wouldn’t describe crafting (grindy) in Runes of Magic fun, nor would I want to gather materials in a high level zone without being a high level. The mini-games take about 10 minutes each, and can be fun and rewarding, so I’ll give him that.

Perhaps I’m just taking issue with his wording. Evolutionary? Revolutionary? I have to disagree.

RMT done right. That’s debatable. There are things quite right about it. 4 ways to pay, a vast variety of goods, bound goods that can’t be traded, and if you absolutely don’t want to pay, you don’t have to. However, for those who do pay, things are a lot easier. You don’t have to devote vast amounts of time to farming gold. You can far more easily modify your gear. My guild makes money by selling mods to people who never actually go inside instances. They stand around selling diamonds they buy, to buy good gear. The model RoM uses makes it so people who use real money are at a large advantage to those who don’t. I can’t say that’s done right.

Further into the post we start to agree more. The quests as a model, work well. They are plentiful, they are usually not a terrible grind, you can complete several at once. The dailies drop items whether you have the actual quest or not. There are many Kill Ten Rats quests, but there are also unique ones that take you all over the map with unique monsters or unique fights. The storyline quests that have an actual story beyond “please kill ten rats”, can be interesting. Unfortunately many of these storyline quests are terribly translated walls of text. Re-reading the quest several times may help, but often it simply is non-sense. Any immersion or entertainment is ruined by the engrish in almost every quest. I can not underline just how jumbled things can get in your mind if every quest is like this. Another problem with the story quests is the long walls of boring irrelevant text. Overall the quest system is fine, as long as you’re not looking for story time. The lore can be detailed and interesting but is often lacking structure, focus, or proper translation.

Unparalleled customization. Okay yes, I’m with him on this one. There’s not a whole lot more to say than that. Any pair of boots in the game can be yours with the advanced aggregator. You can have any hair style or hair color, a host of body dimensions. Your dagger can be made to look like an axe. Your mount can be dyed bright pink. You can customize what mods go on your gear and which runes. You can customize all aspects of your User Interface, use all manners of add-ons from ones that count how many times you jump, to one that scrutinizes exactly how much damage each member of your group is doing. You can adjust how often you automatically use a buff. Very customizable. There really are no more clones.

Bringing the Fear of Death back. Well if you don’t want to buy cash shop items, you will be terrified. But as there is the option to buy a Big Angel’s sigh, which prevents any death penalty for 24 hours, or a God’s Redemption Ticket, which removes any death penalty, RoM doesn’t’really do anything to make you fear death. However I’ll admit durability loss from death is annoying, but that can be fixed by a visit to any merchant.

He says there are no more ghost towns, and that’s true, except for Lyk, Ayren Caravan, Green Tower, and a few smaller locations like Kadmos, or Reifort. There’s just not enough going on in those towns to keep people there. Otherwise I’d agree, the way the quest hubs are set up inside towns, the Auction House, the bank, all available in those same quest hubs, makes for lively bustling towns. Particularly in early areas where there are always low levels.

I haven’t really covered the things Jeremy S. did not. The staggering number of bugs and exploits. The unavoidable investment of time or money (if you’re interested in the end game anyway) or both. The somewhat regrettable graphics at times. The strange variation from stupifyingly easy content, to insanely hard.

I guess that all just brings up one question. Why do you play Runes of Magic? All you ever do is bitch about it. Well the customization really is that great. That’s one part of it. I enjoy buying and selling in virtually any game I play, and this game lends itself to that quite well. There are also fun festivals and events. Another large part of it is the strategy for boss fights. I mean you actually need strategy, timing, co-ordination, teamwork. Much more so than in other games. We wouldn’t be able to do half the stuff we do without those things and a nice vent server. The camaraderie is great too.

Is Runes of Magic the biggest rock to be thrown into the MMORPG pond since World of Warcraft? It’s not done well enough, there’s not enough polish. The graphics are a little lackluster. The translations are poorly done, at least in English and I expect in most other languages aside from German. The game itself can get repetitive. The RMT aspect is, in my opinion (big shock coming here) greedy.

All that and I play this game every day. What is wrong with me.

Advertisements

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: