Safety in the Runes

As mentioned in the last installment of “As the Instance Turns,” the group is about to level themselves out of classic Azeroth and into the… Outland…

gah…

Sorry, I don’t care if it is correct, Outland sounds lame to my ear.

And he word itself (again, maybe just to me) implies a unity of environment that is clearly not present in the Burning Crusade expansion.  The place looks like it was assembled from several different jigsaw puzzles that happen to have been cut out using the same template, allowing a lush forest, a prairie, a hellish desert, and the land of the giant mushrooms to exit in close proximity.

Not that that is any different from the rest of the game.  But the word “land” that is so prominent there at the end of “Outland” says (at least to me) that there ought to be a single, unified place.  Whereas “Outlands” seems to at least be an admission that you might, in fact, be facing a hodgepodge of environments mashed together in one seemingly randomly assembled package.

I’ll soon start an internet petition to force Blizzard to change the location of the Burning Crusade to the “Outlands.”  Until that comes to pass, I’ll be using the term as though it was the right one and will thank you not to rain on my little self-induced psychosis of a parade.  Or something.

Anyway, after all of that, we’re not going to the Outlands.  Enthusiasm does not seem to be there for that venture.  I’m sorry I even brought it up.

Neither does there seem to be much enthusiasm for another proposal, which is to pretend no expansions have occurred, turn off our experience at level 60, and just run around pretending we’re at the end game, circa 2006.

And there still is no positive response to the call of heroics back with our original set of characters.

Which leaves bugger all when it comes to options in Azeroth.

Time, perhaps, to look elsewhere?

Yes, time to look for some new place, some new game, some new world.

On a whim, Potshot and I both plunged into Vanguard to see if it retained more vitality than its launch day companion, Windows Vista.

The answer, for us, was no.  After a couple of hours in the starting area, I logged off and felt no urge ever to return again.

And so the search went on.

Potshot then suggested Runes of Magic.  Through the portal into yet another world!

Virtual Wolrd on the Edge of Forever?

I had dabbled in the game a bit around the time it launched, just a little over a year ago.  However, with too much other stuff on my plate, never found much time to attend to it.  There wasn’t much wrong with the game, it was just 4th on my list of things to play, and most days I rarely get past the first item.  Now, though, might be the time to give the game another look.

I still had the game installed, I just had to patch.  I mentioned a year ago that I hated the patcher.  I still do, for the very same reasons, but patch I did.  Fortunately, the patcher will run unattended for the most part.  I left it to run over night and it only got caught up at a point where I had to choose my language.  After that, it ran on to the end without any input needed from me.

We rolled up characters on the Osha server, which gets us to the feeble joke in the title.  OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Safety Administration is part of the US Department of Labor, and rarely appears in the context of video games, aside from a having a role in Hard Hat Mack back in the early 80s.  Anyway, “safety” is our byword in Runes of Magic because Potshot and I find OSHA references amusing, even if nobody else does.

The character creation was a bit spotty for me.  I am not big on the Asian MMO character models.  Well, not the male models anyway.  On my first attempt with a scout named Wlad, I ended up with something like Conan O’Brien.

I'm with Coco?

Then, after we had been in game for a while and decided we ought to start thinking about group roles, I went back to character creation and made a priest named Rathelar.

It is pronounced "Wrath-El-Argh," not "Rat-Healer"

He’s got more the Anime “elder” look to him, the lord or fleet admiral who sends the young warrior off on a suicide mission.

I decided I could be the healer since a quick run through Curse.com’s list of Addons for RoM showed that somebody created a version of HealBot for the game.


It is a little busier than the WoW version, but it is effective.  No need to target people to heal, which is the biggest pain for me in the job.

We were short two people on Saturday night, so I even got a chance to test it out.  We ran a low level instance with a knight, a scout, and a priest and it looks good so far.

Now we have to start figuring out the dynamics of the game.  There isn’t anything in Runes of Magic that we haven’t seen in some other game, but the way it is all mixed together will make things interesting.  Dual classing, talent points, trade skills, housing, quests, and so are all familiar but all have their own RoM spin to them.

And then there is, of course, the cash shop.  Or the diamond shop, since you spend cash to buy an in-game currency called diamonds which you can, in turn, spend on things like a $10 horse.  Or gold.  You can trade your diamonds at the auction house for the other in-game currency, gold.

There you have it.  A legitimate and safe way to buy in-game currency.  That should kill off all the gold farmers, right?  I mean, I keep hearing people say that if only Blizzard created some way to buy gold, the gold farmer problem would go away.

Let me show you something I do WAY more often in Runes of Magic than in WoW.


Gold spammers are all over in RoM.  Back to the drawing board on that issue I guess.

But Runes of Magic might be our filler game, the game that fits in between the end of classic Azeroth and the coming Cataclysm.

6 thoughts on “Safety in the Runes

  1. Bhagpuss

    Shame you still didn’t take to Vanguard, which I think is about the most enjoyable of all MMOs and certainly my favorite of the last five years. Would be interested to know just what turned you off, although given that you like Add-Ons whereas I revile them and given that visually Vanguard and WoW/RoM are chalk and cheese there may not be much of a mystery.

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  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Well, I don’t so much like addons as dislike healing. Since there is an addon that makes healing a tolerable profession for me, I’ll use it. Generally though, I use as few addons as possible. In WoW I use Auctioneer for selling, Recount for measuring party performance, and HealBot for healing.

    As for why Vanguard didn’t stick, it really doesn’t do anything to draw a new player in. And for all the talk of the beauty of the landscape, the UI and character models are still not very appealing relative to any other MMO I’ve played recently besides EverQuest. And if I couldn’t get enthusiastic about the game, I was pretty sure I couldn’t get four other people interested.

    So, for me, Vanguard is the chalk; easily mistaken for a game I might enjoy, but not actually one I’ve found very fun.

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  3. Jeremy S.

    Hey, nice write-up. I unabashedly love RoM and addons. I don’t like playing healer though. Well I may, but I never really tried to like it yet.

    Chapter 3 is just around the corner, the first zone opens this month with the full content coming in May. It’s a lot too. new level cap, new continent(probably 3 zones worth), new systems, reworked systems, etc.. Oh and the massive guild sieges and and upgrade to dun dada da…stone guild castles.

    Enough advertising. I think it’s an awesome game. Yes it’s much smaller and doesn’t have WoW’s polish…yet, but It’s my home and has been for over a year.

    There’s some semi-effective anti-gold spam addons too.

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  4. Scott

    Too funny. I’ve taken up RoM the past few weeks, Troy (from various VW Collective podcasts) just started playing last week, now you and potshot. Figures we’re all on different servers, though…

    AddOns: I’m using a few in RoM like the Auction one and one called Shut Up! that’s great for auto-blocking spammers. In LOTRO I’m actually glad there are no addons because I hate crap like DPS meters and Boss Helpers and other stupidity you find in WoW so I’m taking it fairly easy in RoM and only using a few. I tried HealBot, and HealBot 2 but I pretty much hated their little unit frame things so I quickly uninstalled them. If I make it to high-level play where I’m actually *needing* to heal much maybe I’ll look at them again, but for now I only need to cast a HoT on myself every so often while soloing or throw a quick HoT or heal on the tank if I’m grouping.

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  5. Hunter

    If I may give you some advice, as far as I know, if you get to a point where you pick a secondary, Priest/Knight was one of the most powerful class combinations, overpowered most would say. It has a particularly spiffy elite skill.

    and you can spend gold on diamonds, but good luck farming all that gold.

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  6. Scott

    I’m a Priest/Knight myself, and am liking it. Forums say P/K is the best healer in the game, which is why I chose it. Not the fastest at leveling by a longshot — one of the more difficult to get to end-game — but I’m in no rush anyway. I hear Priest/Mage is also a fun combo, as it has crazy insane mana regeneration along with some good AoE and stuns from the Mage class.

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