Daily Archives: March 19, 2009

Runes of Magic – Let Me Start Complaining

Today is the launch day for Runes of Magic, a free to play fantasy MMORPG.  The open beta, which has been going on for some time, is over and the game is officially live.  Time to gripe about it!

I first really took note of the game Runes of Magic when Darren complained that it was a complete rip-off of World of Warcraft.

Like Tobold, I found that to be a hearty endorsement of the game rather than a negative.  If you are going to remake WoW you have to have some competitive advantage, and what bigger edge is there than free to play?

However, Darren was simplifying things a bit when writing about the game.  His observation was based on the basic look and feel of the user interface.  It bothered him that everything was very WoW-like in that regard.  For me, UI that works is fine. The fact that the elements have been used before isn’t such a big deal.

So I was a bit disappointed after I downloaded the game and found that it was not, in fact, just like WoW.  It is its own game, with its own flavor and more than a few rough edges. (Those rough edges are, oddly enough, often things they probably should have copied from WoW, but did not.)

After a couple of hours of play I let it go dormant on my desktop.  It wasn’t that I did not like the game, but that I really did not have time to start a new game.

Still, I have been reading Saylah’s coverage of the game over on Mystic Worlds, and there are things about the game that look interesting.  I will no doubt find some time to give it a more thorough try at some point.

In furtherance of that, I have run the game’s patcher every so often to keep it up to date.  I don’t want to spend five hours waiting for the  game to update when the time comes when I actually want to play.

I find the patcher quite annoying.  There is something they might have copied from WoW!

But no, it is actually annoying in its own way.

The downloading is fine, and the client reflects progress of the current download, if not the total downloads, in an accurate manner. (Total progress seems to be either 10% or 100%, but nothing in between.)  When it actually patches the client, the updater puts up a progress bar with the “on top” flag set so it is always on top of whatever you are doing.

It will jump in front of whatever you are doing, including looking at the task manager.

How much more on top?

Patcher set to “Annoy!”

I feel the need to paraphrase the Nigel Tunfel quote I used the other day.

How much more on top could it be?  None more on top!

So I run the download in the background and find myself interrupted when it actually begins to patch.  I was trying to take a screen shot in EVE the other night and managed to get the patcher progress bar right in the middle of a picture.

So Frogster, fix that would you?  Look into something like LOTRO does and maybe put up a little alert in the system tray on the task bar or some such.  I don’t think I am alone in doing other things while I wait for a game to patch.

Other than that… well… I really don’t have much in the way of complaints.

I don’t like the way they mapped the movement keys in the WASD grid, with A and D being strafe and Q and E being turn.  But I can at least remap that.  In fact, that was one of the first things I did.

Also, regardless of how much I loved Diablo/Diablo II, I’m not fond of click-to-move.  But I don’t have to use that.

And that is about it really.

I just don’t like the patcher.

It is still better than WoW’s patcher.

But not as good as some others.

I guess I’ll just have to play the game some more.