Tags: MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic
I played Runes of Magic for over 10 months. It was a buggy game, with middling graphics, and unimaginative story. There was something to it though. Perhaps the way it allowed a secondary class, or the way you could work on multiple quests at the same time, or maybe it was how it mixed easy gameplay with difficult challenges. I don’t know.
I ended up quitting because the endgame burns through money like wildfires through California. They just kept releasing more and more difficult endgame instances propelling you to spend more and more money.
Couple that with the ways they kept cornering people into spending even more money, the fascist-like forums, and often immature community team, I had had enough and quit.
Some people have taken the opposite approach. Scott Jennings summarizes things rather nicely.
Not only does it seem someone hacked Runes of Magic’s webpage, but he claims to have their billing information. He’s holding that information hostage with several demands.
His first demand? Stop abusing the forums. And honestly, that is not as big a surprise as it should be. RoMs forums are incredibly restricted in what you can say. Any negative criticism or acknowledgment that RoM isn’t perfect is at risk of being targeted. Post deletions, thread closings, thread deletions, bans, are all common place.
What really scares me is this threat.
We will release the high quality accounts (including billing access) later if frogster ignores my requests.
About half the demands he makes I semi-sympathize with. The forums are a joke, Frogster never struck me as the most honest business, updates to exploits are slow in coming, and nobody should be spied on while they’re working.
You know what I did to fix my problems with Frogster though? I stopped playing. I stopped sending them my money. I played other games with companies that do appreciate my business, and treat me with respect.
I didn’t compromise the financial security of my fellow players like some pathetic, juvenile, immature, idiot.
Frogster is not without blame either. I’ve never seen a company so willfully ruin their relationship with their own customers. It was like a time bomb ready to explode.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic
Runes of Magic has a very extensive armour customization system. Not only can you take stats from a drop and graft them on to your current armour and increase those stats with Power Stones, you could Aggregate the look of any similar armour piece on to another.
To do all of these things you had to buy cash shop items.
You could buy the cheaper Agreggator, which could only work on armour of the same type (chain, leather, or cloth) or you could buy the Advanced Aggregator which didn’t have that restriction. Of course there was the obvious restriction of leggings only being aggregated to other leggings.
With the Advanced Aggregator any pair of boots in the game could be worn by you. Any gloves, any helmet. To date its the best choice in customization options I’ve seen.
They weren’t very expensive either, a standard Aggregator only cost around 10 diamonds IIRC. The Advanced about twice that.
100 diamonds cost 5 bucks, so essentially you were looking at 50 cents or a dollar to aggregate something. Where Runes of Magic really stuck the knife in though was that you had boots, leggings, gloves, shoulder pads, helmet, chest, oh and weapons, you could aggregate weapons. So you could be looking at between $4 to $8 to aggregate everything. And then what happens if you get bored with your look?
Don’t even get me started on colour.
Guild Wars 2’s latest blog post about the Loot in Guild Wars 2 mentioned something that I whole-heartedly underestimated the reaction to. Transmuting one armour piece to look like another will cost money.
With the transmutation system, you’ll be able to acquire new items known as Transmutation Stones through our in-game store that allow you to customize your appearance.
They’ve said there will be a cash shop in Guild Wars 2. They have a cash shop in Guild Wars 1. They’ve said that their cash shop won’t allow people to have an advantage over others.
When they roll out the first cash shop item for Guild Wars 2, a cosmetic item, what happens? Anarchy on the forums, of course.
Part of this is because of the incredibly negative reactions some gamers have to cash shop transactions. Having spent some $100 or so dollars on a free-to-play game I’m not averse to the idea.
In the course of playing Guild Wars for so many years, I’ve come to the conclusion that many players feel entitled to free stuff just because there isn’t a subscription.
Now we don’t know how much the Guild Wars Transmutation Stones will cost, but we may have some idea of how it will work.
Essentially in Runes of Magic, you have a UI interface that is very simplified. A box to drop your “Appearance” armour in, another for “properties”, a preview window for the end result, a warning that it can’t be reversed, and the ok/cancel buttons. I can’t recall but I think there was also a preview of how it would look on your character.
That isn’t any guarantee that nobody will accidentally transmute their items the wrong way, but for the most part I found when I was using cash shop items I was damn careful.
To address Ravious specifically for a moment, the announcement of a cash shop item is ‘underhanded’ how? I completely disagree with that characterization. Were they being sneaky by mentioning in plain text the nature of the item? I don’t think so.
Nor do I agree that it undermines flexibility, I never felt hamstrung in Runes of Magic while aggregating some otherwise worthless but gorgeous skin on to my items.
I can agree that a costume slot + actual armour slot is preferred. That making people hang on to armour pieces for long periods of time for the purposes of Transmutation is really just a way of making people buy storage slots that are sure to be the next micro-transaction announced. I can’t agree with your other points.
I don’t understand the reaction of fans to this completely cosmetic cash shop item. Sure it sucks having to pay for stuff, and, am I happy that this particularly great feature is a micro-transaction? No. Am I glad that it exists? Hell yeah.
Tags: MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic
I probably would’ve jumped in the first day too, except when I went to download it, it took about 3 hours and by the time it was done, I didn’t really want to play. One new zone, 3 hours of downloading. It just seems wrong.
On the second day of the Thunderhoof Hills release, I logged in to check it out. I had last logged out in Boulderwind, and the town was jumping, I thought that was a good sign. I warped over to Dimarka, and stumbled across the NPC that takes you to the continent of Zandorya. Fantasy settings: Putting random consonants and vowels together to form place names since 1954.
Thunderhoof looks pretty good. High grey cliffs, rivers, peppered with small villages and castles throughout the relatively small zone. There are new daily quests all over the zone, but actual quests are laid out in succession. You basically do 2 long chains of quests that take you through the zone.
I barely fought anything. All of the quests (so far) were talking quests, or Fed-ex quests, I had two maybe 3 quests where I was asked to kill something. I got 2 million experience from about 20 or so quests this way. I’m still 15 million xp from leveling.
Dalanis, the capital, is similar to Varanas (and Obsidian Stronghold), the capital of Candara. They’re both very large cities filled with NPC’s, they give a very grand sense of size, and majesty. Sometimes these cities are so large they seem practically empty because of how spread out everything is. Dalanis is cluttered though, and narrow, parts are abandoned and filled with vagrants. Completely unlike the clean, white, sort of elven feel of Varanas.
Unfortunately at one point, I ran into a fairly normal problem in any MMO, and a common one in RoM, one of the quests was bugged. Since all quests in the zone are basically chained, this means I couldn’t continue that chain. Great right? Kind of makes the whole idea of chaining all your quests together a bad idea. You’d think they would have learned that in Weeping Coast when it happened there.
It’s also pretty painful for people who want to level up immediately. 17 million xp is a lot to just get one more level. Not having access to the normal quests is a big barrier.
When I finally made it to Dalanis, after questing around for a while, I realized I’d missed something important. Particularly on my first day there. Although I spent some hour or so moving around TH, I had only seen 3 people. On the second day of release. A Friday no less.
When Weeping Coast, or Savage Lands, or Aotulia Volcano had been released (all in the same parceled out, delayed fashion) people had rushed in there. You couldn’t go anywhere without bumping into people. People tripped over each other to complete quests. There was bustling activity.
Not so with Thunderhoof Hills. It was about a half hour before I saw my first person. I won’t deny on my second day, it was a lot busier. I only went several minutes without seeing anyone a couple times. Okay it wasn’t that bad, but it still wasn’t anything I would call busy.
I started wondering if it had anything to do with the Diamond trade being removed. I went to the forums to check it out. After looking around for a few minutes, I got a little confused for a moment. I couldn’t find any threads on the subject. On an internet gaming forum. About a major change to the game. On the internet. Emphasis via short sentences.
They deleted any and all complaints about the removal of diamonds on the Auction House. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I had forgotten that RoM forums are particularly… deficient. Check it out, I was polite there. You should see the two sentences I deleted.
The forums being a completely uninformative waste, I checked in with some friends. Yes, players are pissed, yes my old guild is 90% people who buy all their diamonds via the AH, yes, it’s a big deal. I’m not predicting a collapse though, as this game seems to have survived any major screw ups previously.
That’s phase one of the expansion and it just leaves me wondering if I should even go back. I probably will, I’m a wimp like that, but they don’t make it easy.
Tags: MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic
When I first started playing Runes of Magic I quickly realized getting around would be a lot easier with a mount. If I wanted to buy a mount, I’d have to get about 10 dollars worth of diamonds, the cash shop currency.
There were 3 ways to do this at the time. Get my credit card out, sell things on the auction house for diamonds, or sell gold for diamonds slash buy diamonds with my gold.
I mostly farmed crafting material and sold it for diamonds, at first. It was a lot of work but in some cases I could charge whatever I wanted as I had little competition. Once I had lots of gold, I bought the remainder of the diamonds.
About a month after RoM left beta they removed the option to sell things for diamonds. It was a big disappointment. It was my preferred method of getting diamonds because it meant I still had gold to throw around.
I’m not sure if it was at the same time or shortly after, but they also restricted the gifting of diamonds to others with a 30 day wait. Didn’t really effect me, kind of pissed off a lot of others.
In January they restricted those who buy diamonds with credit cards from selling them on the auction house. This left only people who buy game cards from Target, Amazon, and other sources as the only people who sold diamonds for gold.
Now despite my chicken little approach at the time, prices for diamonds continued to drop. When I began playing in March they were cheap, around 5-6k gold per diamond. By around August I think they had gone way up to 22k per diamond. In January they had dropped to around 11k. After I stopped playing (facepalm) they dropped even further (facepalm) to half that (facepalm).
I can’t remember if Frogster ever specified that their changes were temporary or permanent, I do remember them saying they would consider letting players sell items for diamonds if things changed.
Things did not change.
Then comes this announcement, sprung on the populace with no warning. Runes of Magic is “temporarily” taking away the ability to trade diamonds for gold, send gold in the mail, or send items in the mail.
They say this is due to the large amount of gold sellers/spammers that have recently hit the game and “As soon as we’re certain that the trading of Diamonds and gold between players can safely resume, we’ll lift the temporary block.”
Crock of shit.
Gold sellers have always been around and aren’t going to go anywhere, so we all know this is never being activated again.
I know for a fact that every person I played with supplemented their actual purchases from frogster with diamond/gold trading. Even with supplementing my own diamonds this way I still found the game too expensive to play. For an end game player anyway.
This doesn’t even begin to comment on the sending of gold and items in the mail. I have 3 mules in RoM, and according to this, they’re useless.
They’re just putting the nail in their own coffin I think.
Tags: MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic
I left for various reasons. To play end game in RoM you need to spend, around 20 bucks a month at least, or spend all your time on farming gold to buy stuff instead of with cash. I ended up spending on average $15 a month and all my time on farming to make up that extra $5 to $10 to keep up with my end game guild. I didn’t really appreciate the attitudes of one or two people, and the whole guild had this tendency to over-react, cause drama, and generally annoy the crap out of me. I liked most of the people, but, it just became this cool club in vent and the game itself was boring me as well, so I said goodbye to all of that after 10 months.
When I left Runes, I didn’t exactly hold a ceremony. I logged out one night and didn’t really let anyone know that I wouldn’t be returning. I didn’t expect to be kept on the guild after a long absence, nor did I expect fanfare when I returned.
I was not expecting what I did return to either.
Going back months before I left, our guild (Deep) merged with a guild (who we’ll call Obbie) who had lost it’s leadership to Aeon. Some months later we merged again with another guild (who we’ll call athens) when *our* leadership left for Aeon. We had a lot of trouble with the athens merger, and they left. It was cool though, we were fine. Shortly after this I left for the above reasons. Then, the guild pulled up roots and moved every member back to Obbie.
It didn’t make sense for numerous reasons. They said it was because of infighting, but they ended up with all the same members, except one person. Deep itself probably had the best guild hall on the server, not to mention crap tons of stuff for the guild in the vault and on 2 alt accounts. Looking at it from the outside, it appears as if they moved house just to get away from one person. Instead of talking to a person, reasoning it out with them, and if they were still a problem kicking them, they moved the entire guild. All to avoid an awkward conversation.
I can’t imagine how that made them feel.
Not the first time I’ve noticed that some people have conflict issues.
When I logged into Deep it was just me, some alts, people who hadn’t logged in for months, and that was it. I went to one of the most populated towns out of curiosity, to see if there was anyone online I knew. I saw Awesome Content Conquering Rogue and immediately said “Hey, what’s Up?” No response.
I messaged someone I knew, and maybe they were busy, but the conversation did not last long. I sent them 3 or 4 messages, they responded once.
The one friendly person who ended up talking to me? Also the same person who was not invited to Obbie after the switch.
Is it me, or are online games filled with nothing but the most anti-social people who’ve had their inner child molested? Does that not fly in the face of playing an online game at all? Is it not common to leave a game with little notice, and then pop back in whenever you want? I thought it was.
I know I’m anti-social, but online gamers make me look like an amateur.
Tags: MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic
I ducked into Runes of Magic the other day when Aika’s servers were undergoing maintenance. Not much had really changed.
The developers of this game seriously confound me. They announce hosts of new features, especially considering there’s an expansion coming up, and yet all the same old basic problems still exist.
Does that effect it’s popularity? It doesn’t look like it. They’ve announced they have 3 million players. While I don’t think that’s anywhere near true, it probably signifies that people do continue to try out the game. I really hate MMO companies tendency to tout numbers, but that’s a whole other rant.
The first problem I noticed when logging in was how long it took to update. I just wanted to pop in for a few minutes, I hadn’t played since January. It took over an hour to patch. I know from experience this doesn’t mean the long standing malfunctions (I’m not using the word b-ugs, because a certain long eared rodent is my #1 search term, and it annoys the living crap out of me because he was only in one post) have been fixed, what it usually means is that new malfunctions came up and had to be hot fixed.
To top that off, it got corrupted and I had to download the patch a second time, but I’m fortunate. There are tons of people out there who have to manually download each patch and apply it themselves. The client has always been buggy and they’ve never quite fixed it.
I could write volumes about the difficulty in actually downloading and playing RoM. I ran into a crash bug with my client about 6 months into playing, and unfortunately had to redownload the whole thing. It took 14 hours. Why so long? They don’t update the client to include the patches, so you have to download every single patch the game has ever had. I’m on DSL, so admittedly, it could have gone faster, but it’s still crazy. I can’t imagine how many new players are discouraged from playing on this basis alone.
I’m absolutely terrified to uninstall Runes of Magic.
When I got in, there were a few new features of course. A dungeon I can’t run (because nobody can) and a few minor features weren’t much to hold my attention for more than a few minutes though.
At the beginning of March, Runes turned one year old. They’ve actually added more content than most games in that year, but considering all they’re doing is translating and adjusting the game from the original Asian version, I’m not impressed.
Tags: MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic, World of Warcraft
Poor Suzina. She bought gold for World of Warcraft and then blogged about it. Many people had something to say about her post. It collected over 100 comments and a ton of people blogging about her. I’m sure I’m only adding to the mess.
She made a poor decision and then the blogging community dog piled on her. Oh no, I don’t mean buying the gold was a poor decision, I mean blogging about it. Overall her decision to buy gold is meaningless. She’s a drop in the bucket compared to the numbers of people who actually buy gold, and buy lots of gold.
Having played Runes of Magic, I know exactly how much money people are willing to spend on a game, and it frightens me to think there are people in WoW spending those amounts of money. One highly geared member of my RoM guild spent $2000 in one year. He is far from the only big spender in that game. Those are the types of people who keep RMT companies going, not $10 nickel and dimers.
Playing in a micro-transaction game has really changed my opinion on people who buy gold, legally or not. I don’t agree with anyone buying gold outside the system, but I also acknowledge that some people don’t have the time or will to farm gold. However easy it may be. I no longer think it’s a big deal, or at least I don’t think the people buying gold are a big deal.
The actual RMT people? They’re scum. Hackers, scammers, dishonest scum. I would never trust them with my money one way or another. That, I think, is Suzina’s only failure here, she should not have risked her security for in game gold.
I actually think she’s done a service for the community. She raised the issue in a very visible place. Not only was her post honest and sincere, revealing exactly why she was buying gold and giving us a peek inside the mind of gold buyers, she was very heartfelt. She couldn’t believe someone would treat her so badly over what is essentially a minor issue. She actually feels bad about it, and considering the reaction from the blogging community, I kind of wonder if she’ll retreat from blogging. There are a lot of jerks on the internet.
Okay, yes, the issue is far from minor when we start talking about how RMT affects online gamers. They raise costs, annoy us, steal from us, ruin our enjoyment of a game at times we’re just looking to unwind. Hacking our account is akin to hacking our time, effort, and the soul we’ve put into characters.
What I’m saying is, Suzina is not a villain. Just like people who smoke weed shouldn’t be sent to prison. I suppose I could make a whole analogy out of that, but I’m not going to. It does however confuse me that she didn’t seem to have any foreknowledge of how taboo RMT is in the blogging world or even in game.
Tags: MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic
Not long before I quit playing Runes of Magic, I discovered I had a much more well known reputation than I had previously realized. I only occasionally spoke in world chat and didn’t engage in trade often. I kept to myself in zone chat unless someone was being a total tool. I was nice when I did speak, especially to newbies in lower level zones. Or at least I thought so.
One day after returning from Heart of the Ocean to Boulderwind Village, I happened across a /say conversation between a lot of the more elite crowd. Nobody on the level of the top two guilds on the server, but many amongst the next few good guilds. They seemed to be talking about various people and their attitudes. I thought nothing of it and went to my house.
Some of my guildies were close enough to hear the conversation and quickly got my attention in vent.
“Oh Hunter, somebody doesn’t like you”.
“These guys are talking about you in say chat”
“These guys in Boulderwind”
“What’d they say?”
“They said something like “Some people in this game are awesome at this game and fun to play with, and some people are really good at this game but are terrible people” and then someone else said “Yeah, like Hunter” and a few people agreed with him”
“That is hilarious.”
I have had precious little contact with most of the people who had participated in that conversation, especially the person who mentioned me specifically, lets call him Merchant. I’m definitely a bit of a smartass at times, and if I see someone being a tool, I let them know they’re being a tool, I’m pretty sure that’s where that rep came from, but Merchant is different.
The guy bought his gold from the auction house and spent it all on top of the line gear. He had never been inside an instance as far as anyone could tell, and yet he sure thought he was king ape. Every time someone tried to sell something in world chat, whether it was for his class or not, whether he actually wanted to buy it or not, he would message you and ask how much. Every time. He never once bought anything from me, and he was kind of a dick about the prices I quoted, making fun of me or even swearing at me because my prices were too high (purposefully, for negotiating) and believe me, you get sick of that really quick.
One day I was selling some gear straight off the final boss in HoTo, a boss not everyone could do at the time, and he wanted the mod but not at the price I was quoting. So I said “Go kill Medusa then” because you know, he couldn’t. I was pretty fed up with him. I shouldn’t have to argue over the value of a piece of gear that virtually nobody can get their hands on.
One of the other people in the /say conversation and I had had an incident with as well, lets call him Emodude. During a particularly lame Friday night moderator hosted event, (come find me and I’ll give you stuff!) we were getting spammed with mod world chats. Pretty much the entire server was annoyed by this. There’s multiple problems with the Mod events, they’re boring, only one person can win, the rewards aren’t great, it’s over inside 10 minutes and I suppose I could go on.
But the main problem, at least at the time, was the constant spam that you could not avoid. Quickly, most of the smart ass types on the server started making comments in world chat about the spam. This provoked a none too friendly response from the moderator. I think you can guess what happened from here, even more people responded and complained, zone chat lit up, it was quickly 10x worse.
I had added a few mostly benign comments. I seriously didn’t want to get involved but when someone leaves themselves open for a joke, it’s hard to resist. Unfortunately, the mod made yet another negative comment, threatening to leave and then threatening to no longer have mod events on the server.
Anybody who has ever been on the internet should at least be vaguely aware that trolls exist in great numbers. That statement brought them all out, daring the mod to follow through on his promise. At this point, I made two critical comments on how immature the mod was acting, and a satirical comment on his behaviour. Shortly after this, I’m sure having nothing to do with me, the mod left.
I was quickly messaged by several people both in support and criticizing my comments. I responded to some, but took particular notice of Emodude. He was caps locking it. Blaming me entirely for the mess that had just happened, he was furious that I had pointed out the mods unprofessionalism and was deeply worried we wouldn’t have any more events on our server. He called me names, freaked out, and generally gave me some good laughs. We never quite got along after that. Especially when the mod logged in the next Friday night to tell us we were being punished for the previous week.
After my guildie informed me of the conversation, I left my house and noticed the conversation must have taken a quick turn in the 30 seconds since I had run by. I was disappointed, and I won’t deny pretending to leave, going stealth, and returning to see if they would continue to talk about me or anyone else behind their backs.
Nobody ever thinks of themselves as the villain. Hell, maybe I am a jerk, I don’t know. Yet I don’t think I am. I make funny comments, I do nice things. I don’t tolerate dbags being dbags to people. Does that make me a jerk?
Tags: Allods, MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic
Before I started using the Runes of Magic cash shop, I thought being forced into using a cash shop in a free to play game was not ethical. Still do, really. Being forced to pay money, extravagant amounts even, is ridiculous in a free to play game. It’s bait and switch. “hey come play our free game! oh wait, it’s not free!”
Runes is interesting though because, technically, you can buy cash shop items without ever having to pay real money, you just need to accumulate vast sums of gold and buy the diamonds on the Auction House.
Once I started to gear up for end game, with real money, I got rarer and rarer drops, which I could sell for gold that I could use to buy diamonds on the AH and that meant I didn’t have to spend real money.
I’m willing to pay money to a game I enjoy. Whether it’s called free to play, and whether or not that’s true, is beside the point. As long as I’m paying a reasonable amount of money. The problem with Allods is, and RoM to an extent, it’s not reasonable. Keen suggests that if you do the math, it’s $50 a month to enjoy the end game in Allods.
In Runes of Magic, I played for 10 months and spent at most $100, I was our 3rd best rogue, and top 10 on the server. However our tank, Grumpy, who was far and away the best tank on the server, and top 5 in America, has played for a year and spent over $2000. Those are 2 extremes in the same #1 guild on the server.
Honestly the only way I got away with spending as little as I did was constant farming, auctioning, and using all my free time to get the things I didn’t want to pay for. Grumpy didn’t have that option. For me it equaled out to $10 a month, but for Grumpy it was at least $166 a month. Sound like a good deal to anyone?
If you’ve got the money and don’t care how you spend it, go for it. Who am I to tell you how to spend your money. My problem is when you start to comparison shop. If you have to spend more than $15 a month on a game that’s comparable to traditional subscription based games you are getting ripped off. There are more than a few games at $15 a month that offer a really good experience and I don’t think I have to start linking them here to prove that point.
Tags: Allods, MMO, mmorpg, Runes of Magic
A couple of things I forgot to mention about that whole Allods cash shop thing is the mounts.
Apparently gpotato has the balls to sell a mount that only gives you a 15% speed increase unless you purchase food from the cash shop. I haven’t been able to find a source with a cash amount, but I have heard the price described as “ridiculous”.
Now the infamous quote on other blogs, is that the Runes of Magic mount costs 10 dollars. Partially true. You would have to spend at least 10 dollars to get enough diamonds for a mount. If you weren’t getting your diamonds in other ways. The cheapest mount costs 199 diamonds, and you buy 200 diamonds (ooooh thanks for that extra diamond RoM!) for 10 dollars. This mount will get you a 60% speed increase. A bit better than 15%.
Runes of Magic also offers speed potions that allow your mount to go 10% faster, and on the faster (more expensive) mounts you could be going as much as 75% faster. The Lesser Speed Mount potion goes for 29 diamonds or roughly $1.50.
Don’t forget that extra 2% boost you get from your Guild Castle building “The Stable” for 500g. Well worth it. Build that stable. It is not a giant waste of time.
I suppose this post would be a lot better if I knew exactly how much the Allods mount and food cost, but I guess my point is, at least if you’re spending $10 on a mount in RoM, it’s a permanent measurable speed increase.