Spotlight On - Runes of Magic Progress Report

We catch up with this free-to-play, fantasy-themed online role-playing game at GDC 2010.

We won't lie to you. It's GDC 2010. There are games like Runes of Magic, a free-to-play, fantasy-themed game with a mysterious resemblance to a world where war is crafted. Currently, Runes of Magic is entering its next phase of content, known as "chapter three," after concluding its long-running second chapter, which is currently culminating with a high-level dungeon housing the ultimate villain of that chapter: a demon lord. Chapter three will introduce a new kind of variable-instance player-versus-player battle called Guild Siege, which is currently being beta tested and will be migrated to the live game soon.

Have fun stormin' the castle!

Guild Siege lets guilds do battle with each other to see who really is the best of the best. This new PVP mode allows for up to 300 players at once (150 on either side) in and around the game's guild keeps, which have also been revamped. Expanding your guild housing now has a more strategic element to it because different improvements your guild decides to build within its walls may contribute directly to guild sieges. You'll be faced with choices, such as whether to use your limited space to build farms (which produce resources and make your guild wealthier); stables, which increase the speed of your guildmates and their riding mounts; or a library to research siege-related improvements. You can also make use of the guild throne, which was previously a vanity item but now acts as a vending machine of sorts that will not only produce global bonuses for your guildmates, but will also sell siege-related abilities and spells.

Once a siege begins, it becomes the defending guild's job to repel the attackers, which will be easier said than done. Sieging guilds can commission multi-person mounts for fast travel in chapter three, and more importantly, they can commission multi-person siege vehicles, such as catapults and ballistae, which can be aimed at guild walls (which can't be destroyed, but when sufficiently damaged, can't be fortified with defensive siege catapults of their own). Or the vehicles can be aimed at the front gates, which must be smashed to allow for front entry. (Then again, the attacking guild may also commission sky platforms that can quietly sneak you up and over the fortress walls as well.)

Once a guild keep is sieged, siege structures become activated, such as resource nodes. When these are fully captured by one team, they will fortify themselves with computer-controlled minions to help defend it. Likewise, keep defenders can purchase magical turrets from their guild throne to emplace at key areas to attack any nearby invaders. However, the most crucial part of a guild keep is its guild crystal, which is a giant glowing orb on a pedestal located deep within the keep. Once the crystal is destroyed, that's it--the siege is over. The attackers win and receive various rewards for their successful assault.

In addition, developer Frogster is working with Mothership Interactive, a social networking game company to launch a Facebook version of its game, which will have various crossover functionality with the online game and is scheduled to launch in May.

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Discussion

5 comments
bboyart
bboyart

Been playin RoM a whole year now. Yes its free to play and yes to experience game in full (modify and gear up yourself) u have to buy items from CS. Also if you have time to spend you can farm items and sell to other players for gold / cs items. There are many end-game players which really play for free. If u are ready for a change of pace from WOW then you should try RoM.

TobyWestern
TobyWestern

Great news if you care about either Facebook or PvP. I don't. Next, please.

Rubinare
Rubinare

Unfortunately, "Free-to-Play" is only a gimmick. "Runes of Magic" is dependent on a Cash Shop to fully experience the game, as one would a "Pay-to-Play" MMORPG. If it needs a Cash Shop to survive as a game, how can it be "free" or "optional"? That's because it isn't. GameSpot also will not officially review most, if not all, "F2P" MMORPGs, unlike P2P. This is because these are not serious games. Of course, Andrew Park is always free to write an official review for this March 19, 2009 game, if he's really serious.

McGuirex3
McGuirex3

Wow facebook mmo, I'll have to try it.

galerian86
galerian86

If you hate to subscribe to the money black hole that is WoW, play this game. It is one of the best of the so-called WoW rip-off in my opinion.