Runes of Magic
Runes of Magic, or RoM for short, is a 3D fantasy MMORPG set in the mystical world of Taborea. The game's visuals and gameplay are inspired by WoW, but the game's unique dual classing system sets it apart from other games.
Release Date: March 19, 2009 (NA/EU)
PvP: Duels / Open World / Arenas / Guild v Guild
Pros: +Great multi-classing system. +Player housing. +Fluid gameplay. +Tons of content.
Cons: -Minor cash shop balance issues.
Runes of Magic Overview
Explore the magical world of Taborea where a god’s words have the power to create and destroy worlds. Seek out the power of these divine runes and master their use as you journey through a world inhabited by strange and dangerous creatures. Play as one of three races and ten unique character classes. Experience a flexible class system that lets you combine classes and create unique characters tailor-fit to your particular playing style. Build your own house or even a castle where you can rest and store all the loot you've acquired from your travels around the world. Runes of Magic's unique dual-classing system makes gameplay feel fresh and unique.
Runes of Magic Key Features:
- Wide Variety of Races and Classes – choose from three unique races and ten different classes, along with the great system of multi-classing in the later stages of the game.
- Home, Sweet Home – build your very own home, where you can rest and store loot. Receive bonuses for doing activities in your own house, such as crafting.
- Details Everywhere – the world of RoM sets itself apart through the minute details in cities, dungeons, and more.
- Good Customization System – for a game of its time, RoM offers solid character customization options.
- Bring It On – fight other players to test your skills in arenas, guild wars, and many other fun scenarios.
Runes of Magic Screenshots
Runes of Magic Featured Video
Runes of Magic Classes
- Humans – the oldest race in Taborea, filled with the thirst for knowledge and power. Humans can’t choose the Warden, Druid, Champion, or Warlock classes.
- Elves – elegant hunters and masters of battle. The Knight, Priest, Champion, and Warlock classes are unavailable to players who choose this race.
- Dwarves – short of stature, but possess incredible spiritual strength and ingenuity. Dwarves can’t play as Knights, Wardens, Druids, or Scouts.
- Knight – heavily-armored and the only class that can wear plate armor. They fill the role of tanks and use shields and light-based attacks/abilities to keep enemies preoccupied.
- Warrior – masters of melee combat. Can equip any type of armor except plate armors. They can channel their rage to increase their strength during combat. Their ability to wear chain mail make them the perfect off-tanks.
- Rogue – stealth, poison, and agility are a rogue’s tools of the trade. They use lightning-fast attacks that can cause heavy bleeding in opponents.
- Scout – uses bows and crossbows to take out targets from long-range. They use a variety of skills to keep enemies from closing the distance.
- Priest – specializes in healing and supporting allies with buffs. Priests can also resurrect allies if things turn ugly.
- Druid – a versatile class that can hold their own in battle using the power of Nature. They can also support priests with their rapid healing spells.
- Mage – calls on the power of fire and lightning to deal massive magical damage to multiple enemies at once. They can also use their arcane knowledge to protect allies with magical barriers or to support them with strength buffs.
- Warden – can use more variety of weapons compared to the other classes and specializes in buffs and debuffs. Wardens can wear chain armor for added protection. They can also summon powerful pets to fight by their side.
- Champion – uses brute strength and ancient Dwarven blacksmithing skills to subdue opponents. They can change form to increase their defense and accuracy.
- Warlock – specializes in inflicting curses on the enemy to weaken them before delivering the final blow. They can also support party members with spells that negate damage and provide buffs.
Runes of Magic Review
By Marc Marasigan
Runes of Magic, or RoM, is a free-to-play fantasy-themed 3D MMORPG developed by Taiwanese game developer Runewaker Entertainment. The English version of the game was initially published by Frogster Interactive before being taken over by Gameforge. The game went into the open-beta phase on December 15, 2008 and was officially launched on March 19, 2009.
RoM is set in the fantasy world of Taborea, a world created and formed by the written words of the god, Ayvenas. The game will have players travelling through the game world in search of the lost pieces of Ayvenas’ divine book, called runes. The game is undboubtedly similar to the widely popular World of Warcraft, or WoW, by Blizzard. Aside from the fact that RoM is free-to-play, the game is so similar to WoW that it has frequently been labeled as a WoW clone. It has, however, received numerous updates over time and new features have been added that have made the game immensely popular in its own right. Runes of Magic was also one of the first free-to-play games to flawlessly implement a dual-class system as well as an instanced player housing system. Woulda been way cooler to have player housing in the persistent world, but instanced housing is still better than no housing.
RoM has more customization options than typical MMORPGs of its time. The game allows players to customize their characters using a variety of sliders that modify various parts of the body, such as height, foot size, chest width, and the all-important breast size. A color wheel also provides nearly unlimited options for hair and skin color. Players can also name their characters as well as pick their race, gender, and class, all from the same character creation screen. They can choose to play as Humans, Dwarves, or Elves. Players also choose from ten available classes. Upon reaching Level 10, players are given the chance to pick a secondary class to combine with their initial class choice.
Once players have finished creating their characters and making *cough* certain parts the right size, they then begin their journey from different starting zones depending on their chosen race. Players are given the option to go through a quick tutorial which rewards players with items, a stat increase buff, and a temporary mount. The tutorial can easily be skipped by veteran players but is highly recommended, even if it’s just for the rewards.
Everything Looks Just… WoW!
Everything about RoM just screams World of Warcraft, from the graphics quality, character models, user interface, skill names, zone names, and even the quest dialog boxes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since they could have done worse than copy from a game with more than 11 million active players. Visually, RoM looks pretty good considering the game’s age. The cartoony models also work well with the game’s colorful environments. The game world is vast, varied, detailed, and is populated by mobs that you would expect to find in most MMORPGs like bears, boars, goblins, orcs, and the occasional dragon. The background music is good and perfectly complements the game’s epic fantasy theme. Runes of Magic isn't the only free to play MMORPG to copy the "look" of WoW either... *coughtAllodsOnlinecough*
Players can move around by using the WASD keys or the traditional point-and-click movement system. Using the WASD keys, however, is highly recommended when in combat. It allows for more fluid movement and allows players to easily kite mobs and spam skills at the same time. For MMORPG newbies, kiting means leading an aggressive mob around while you or your party members attack it to minimize damage to your character.
Travelling Through Taborea
RoM features the same breadcrumb quests found in most MMORPGs and are your typical kill-this-and-collect-that quests. The abundance of quests that players can pick up in every area they visit effectively eliminates mindless grinding, or at least keeps it down to a bare minimum. Leveling is easy enough due to the number of quests available to players and it’s entirely possible to reach the level cap, which is currently at 90, within a few days with the right gear and some real-world cash. Reaching the maximum level is only part of the story though, because, like WoW, RoM’s end-game raiding and high-level PvP is where the fun is at.
Tired of adventuring? Players can rest and relax in the privacy and comfort of their very own virtual homes. Houses can be accessed using the Home Sweet Home Rune and are available as early as Level 1. Unlike most games, where player houses serve purely cosmetic purposes, RoM’s housing system gives owners benefits for doing things inside the house, such as bonuses for crafting and even exp bonuses when they log off while inside the house. Houses also come with chests, where players can store their gear or precious items collected from their travels as well as housemaids that allow players to change classes.
Working Two Jobs
Runes of Magic’s dual-classing system allows players to combine skills from one Primary and one Secondary class to create unique classes, a fairly new concept when it was first released in 2009. The system opens up a range of possibilities that make battle more interesting, such as an axe-wielding priest or knights that can use both mana and rage to launch attacks. The dual class option is unlocked when the player reaches Level 10. At Level 10, players would have acquired Talent Points from doing quests and killing mobs, but mainly from completing daily quests. These talent points can be used to level up skills from the skill tree. A skill requires more talent points to improve as they level up and are limited by the player’s current level. A Level 10 player can only improve his skills up to Level 10. Technically, players can get all their skills to max level since there’s no cap to how much Talent Points they gain - it’ll just take a long time and lots and lots of questing.
Once players have locked in their secondary class choice, a whole new set of skills becomes available from their secondary class, along with a 10% attribute bonus. Only non-class-specific skills can be used from the secondary class. They can upgrade these skills using Talent Points up to the character’s current level. This is what’s called a hybrid. Players can also change their secondary class to their primary. This will give them access to class-specific skills but will have them starting over from Level 1. For example, a Level 10 Knight who chooses Priest as his secondary class will have access to general priest skills like heals, buffs, and the ability to cast an offensive spell, along with his Knight skills. He can level up these secondary skills using TP up to Level 10. If he decides to go with the Priest class as his primary, his character starts over from Level 1. Any equipment with level requirements will also be unusable until he reaches the required level. By picking Priest as his primary class he gets access to Resurrection and other Priest-specific skills, but he loses his skills as a Knight (except for general ones which will also be reset to Level 1). If he changes back to the Knight class, he returns to Level 10. Both classes level up independently of each other. TP gained can only be used on the active primary class, including non-specific class skills. The primary class can easily be changed anytime by visiting class trainers or housemaids. Players also gain powerful Elite Skills restricted to their chosen class combination when they reach certain level requirements. A third class is also available to players upon reaching Level 20 with both primary and secondary classes. The third class adds even more variety to the game, but only two classes can ever be active at any given time.
RoM gives players the choice to play on PvE or PvP servers. In PvP servers, all characters at Level 15 are fair game for any player who decides to attack them. Players start out with zero reputation points and gain negative reputation every time they kill someone, eventually making them infamous. On the other hand, players who kill infamous players gain reputation points and eventually become heroes. In PvE servers however, players can only attack other players during duels and only when both players have flagged themselves for PK, or Player Kill. Cross-server PvP gives players a chance to fight it out in a variety of Battlegrounds, such as 1v1 Arenas (or up to 6v6), as well as a variety of scenarios, including the classic Capture the Flag. Runes of Magic also features a guild vs guild PvP system called Siege War, where two competing guilds fight for strategic points, called Crystal Towers. Whichever team controls more of these Crystal Towers at the end of the time limit wins.
Diamonds are a Taborean's Best Friend
RoM’s item mall is packed with items that allow you to customize your game experience even more. Players can buy Diamonds with real money, which they can use to buy costumes, mounts, and even furniture for their virtual homes. Unfortunately, along with the cosmetic items, the item mall also contains items such as end-game runes and enchantments that can give players an advantage over others unwilling to spend real money.
Final Verdict – Great
While Runes of Magic’s reputation for being a World of Warcraft clone may deter a few players, once you’ve gotten over the feeling of déjà vu, the game is actually pretty good AND it’s free. The game’s dual class system and abundance of features also helps it stand out from (or maybe even surpasses) its bitter rivals. The game may be a bit dated, but still has that charm and allure that most classic MMORPGs exude. Overall, a great game that MMORPG veterans and new players alike will definitely enjoy.
Runes of Magic Videos
Runes of Magic Links
Runes of Magic System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2 GHz or AMD equivalent
Video Card: GeForce 7600 GT / ATI x800XT or better
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 15 GB
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GHz of better
Video Card: GeForce 6800 / ATI X800 or better
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 15GB
Official system requirements say 12GB minimum 15GB recommended for hard disk space, but Runes of Magic is an enormous game. Expect the installation to take up ~20GB on your hard disk. The installation filesize alone is ~15GB.
Runes of Magic Music & Soundtrack
Runes of Magic Additional Information
Developer: Runewalker Entertainment
Closed Beta Date: August 28, 2008
Open Beta Date: December 15, 2008
Taiwan: October 22, 2009 as Oracle War (Gamania Digital Entertainment)
China: October, 2009 as Magic Date (Moli Group Ltd)
South Korea: October 30, 2009 (Frogster Asia)
Singapore: July 29, 2009 (Run Up Games)
Turkey: September 24, 2009 (GamersFirst)
Japan: September 9, 2009 (Aeria Inc)
Most localized versions are no longer available. The global version of Runes of Magic is published by GameForge.
The following expansions, called chapters, launched for Runes of Magic:
Chapter II "The Elven Prophecy" launched September 15, 2009
Chapter III "The Elder Kingdoms" launched April 22, 2010
Chapter IV "Lands of Despair" launched June 16, 2011
Chapter V "Fires of Shadowforge launched on June 12, 2012
Development History / Background:
Runes of Magic was developed by Taiwanese Runewaker Entertainment, the same studio behind Dragon's Prophet. The game has been remarkably successful for Runewaker, as it has been licensed in over 16 different languages across numerous publishers. Runes of Magic was originally published by Frogster Interactive in North America and Europe, but German MMO juggernaut GameForge acquired Frogster to take control of the Runes of Magic franchise. The game is currently available through Gameforge globally. Runes of Magic was immensely successful upon launch, but popularity has diminished over the years. Upon launch in 2009, the game won the "Best International PC Game of 2009" award from the German Developers Awards.