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.

15 thoughts on “Runes of Magic – Let Me Start Complaining

  1. darren

    You simplified my simplification sir.


    “Everything from the character creation to the graphics (…kinda…) to the UI….all of it completely ripped off of WoW.”

    UI? Yes. But also graphics, character creation and everything inbetween. Again, I must have been grumpy but the entire experience threw me off.

    I don’t know, if I wanted to write a Dickens-like novel, one would think I wouldn’t open up the whole story by writing, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”…is all I’m saying ;) Flattering? Yes…but hardly endorsing of my novel.


  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I’m sorry Darren.

    I know that was a rough five minutes of your life.

    I did not link you just to bring up old wounds, but your statement of it being a complete rip-off of WoW did, in fact, get me to download the game.


  3. Hudson

    There is a lot more than just 5 minutes in the game, and many features that WoW doesnt have.

    I ripped it at first but it isn’t THAT bad. I just don’t have time to deal with it since I have other MMO’s. I would however say that if I threw in the towel on subscription based games because they were coming out incomplete and unpolished then this is where I would go. Oh wait… maybe it is time after my WAR experience.


  4. Graktar

    It really isn’t that much like WoW, other than the similar interface and cartoony graphics (which, other than being cartoony, follow a different art style than WoW). Character development is completely different, gear works differently, you can dual class your characters, the setting is completely different, etc.

    Is it a fantasy MMO? Yes.
    Does it have a WoW-like interface? Yes.
    Does it have cartoony graphics? Yes.
    Is it like WoW in any other way? Not really.

    I noticed the patcher thing too the other day when I decided to take another look at it. I had a lot of patching to do, so decided to do some shopping in EVE while I waited . . . constantly getting bumped back to the desktop to see the patch bar was infuriating. I still hate it less than WoW’s bitorrent patcher though.


  5. mbp

    Having spent a few hours in RoM, I can agree that the game is not as polished as WoW or Lotro or other A-list subscription titles. It is however a very impressive game with a huge world and a huge list of features. Far more features in fact than I expected to find in a free to play game.

    Being free to play is not enough though, I think most of us realise that in the long run you can spend more money in the item shop in a free to play game than a monthly sub to an A-list game. Runes does have a few things going for it however. The dual class system is appealing and player housing seems to be well implemented.

    In my case I was looking for a game I could play in ultra casual mode with my wife. Based on past experience she is likely to tire of the game long before reaching level 10 so I don’t see the point of spending money on a couple of copies of an a-list game.


  6. heartless_

    I’ll say it again. WoW does so many fundamental things correctly that it is SUICIDE not to follow their lead.

    I am going to give RoM a try simply because it did follow WoW’s lead for a lot of things, but offers some variance on features that I find intriguing. Features such as housing, guild castles, and dual classing.

    Oh, and its free. I am going to break my fear of free-to-play MMOs and give RoM a try.


  7. Random "Troll" Person

    Yargh, looking more like Guild Wars than WoW to me. Two classes? Calling the armour upgrady thingys runes? Personal guild space (okay thats a stretch)? Bout the only thing that they havent ripped is the thing that limits no. of skills used. /end rant


  8. Saylah

    I’m with _Heartless doing things different just for the sake of just doesn’t work anymore. Stick with what works and focus on adding things on top of it. It’s not trying to compete with WOW, EQ, LOTRO etc. I think it will stand fine on it’s own for players that for whatever reason have decided not to play those other games but want something similar. That is the niche it’s filling. Whether those players got tired of WOW, didn’t like LOTRO’s uninspired questing, EQ2’s rather dull questing – all of my reasons, they can have something like those games minus the things they happened not to like and get a few new things too. Mark my words, this game is going to do well.


  9. saylah

    Oops, forgot to agree that the patcher needs work. If there are multiple patches it does one then just shuts down. The first time I installed the game I thought something was wrong and kept downloading it. then I remembered the original WOW patcher had similar behavior and kept restarting the game. It completed patching in that fashion and then finally launched. That is WAY too confusing.

    As for it jumping in front yeah. I guess I don’t notice that so much because stupid programs from work to the same thing to me. I work on my own PC sometimes. I’ve been conditioned not to notice. *bleh*


  10. Sören

    More patcher rants: it opens the RoM news site using some embedded IE. In IEs default security setup I then had to confirm two script warnings on every start. Ok, I’m using Firefox, so I didn’t bother to set all active content in IE to “disabled”.


  11. LOLwutPEAR?

    It definitely has some features that make it very unique in the MMO genre. Arcane transmuter is one of them. Very difficult to understand how it works but it is basically pure armor manipulation. Think that white piece of armor is crap? Rip stats from gear to create it into a new piece of armor and if done right can yield great rewards.

    The dungeons especially later in the game are very cruel. Anyone who isn’t knight/warrior is basically paper to the point of one/two shotted. Some fights make WoW’s dungeons pale in comparison (a lot more to look out for).

    The only real downfall is the bugs that happen and the unfinished feel to the game. They even have armor dropping that has a req of 51+ while the cap is 50. Also whats up with no sound….ANYWHERE in this game. It would be nice to break up the silence once in awhile. The music can be really nice for the typical MMO, but it plays and then unjustly quits on you. The graphics engine itself isn’t that great. It is VERY resource hoggy for the quality of game. Not saying the graphics suck, but man they require more than needed.

    With the duel class forcing to literally lvl up both sides the amount of lvls are equal to 100 (50 on both sides). You can PL your 2nd though if you spend the time/cash on dailies and turn in with alt side.

    overall: 7/10 – Fix Sound/graphics and up to 8/10

    Good thing their next X-Pansion they are revamping Graphics engine and sound ta boot.


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