Runes of Magic: First Ten Levels

Outside Varanas

My Mage, pictured above standing outside the city of Varanas in the free to play MMO Runes of Magic, hit level ten last night after questing in the Howling Mountains region.

This game has been a pleasant surprise for me thus far, perhaps due in no small part to the complete lack of expectations I had for it.  The first ten levels have been fairly standard as far as MMOs go.  I’ve killed various creatures for their various parts for whoever wanted them for whatever reason.  No new ground has been broken here, but still, I’m enjoying it.

One of the more unique aspects to Runes of Magic is the dual class system.  When you reach level 10, you can choose a secondary class which will give you access to certain skills and spells from that class in addition to all of your primary class skills.

As it stands right now, that’s about all I know of the dual class system.  Because I jumped into this game blind, not knowing much about it, I need to research the mechanics of it a little more in depth.  I’m not entirely sure which class I’ll choose for my secondary.  I’m leaning towards Priest at this point, but that may very well change after I do some reading.  Aside from the dual class system I’m not sure if I’ve been making good choices with my skill progression upon level up.  With each level increase you receive talent points that can be spent on upgrading your skills.  So far I’ve just been maxing out all of my existing skills, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there are probably skills that don’t need to be maxed.

After ten levels in the game there are a few things that stand out for me.  I really like the graphics and it performs well on my aging computer.  The server population seems quite healthy too, as I was running into people all night.  I’m not going to go crazy and suggest that this game can replace one of the triple-A titles out there, such as WoW, but as far as free to play MMOs go however, Runes of Magic looks like a gem.

Scratching an Itch

Runes of Magic

For the past week or so I’ve been feeling a pull back to MMOs and with all the talk of the random dungeon LFG tool introduced to World of Warcraft, I’m getting dangerously close to re-subscribing.  The problem with that is I don’t want to re-subscribe.  Not yet, not until Cataclysm comes out.

I’ve found it to be quite liberating not having an active subscription to a game.  By “liberating” I don’t mean that I’ve finally freed myself to work on that novel I’ve had brewing in my head, nor am I doing anything else remotely productive.  Rest assured, the “liberating” that I’ve felt simply means I’ve found time to enjoy other video games, so let’s not get crazy and start thinking that I’m actually doing something productive.

I recently finished Fallout 3, which never would have happened were I subscribed to an MMO, and I’ve also cracked open a bunch of other games I had bought and never played.  It’s been nice, although my time wastage is now spread out among all these different things, and sometimes I think I’d prefer to have all my wasted time directed at one focal point, which is just a long and stupid way of saying that I’m feeling a pull back to MMOs.

In an attempt to scratch that itch I decided to check out Runes of Magic.  It’s free, it looks good, and it’s an MMO.  I’m seven levels in right now, playing as a mage.  From what I’ve seen so far it feels very much like WoW, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that it doesn’t hit you over the head with all the stuff you can buy for real money.

I like it.  Let’s see how long it lasts.