Daily Archives: August 30, 2018

Runes of Magic Arrives on Steam at Last

The summer’s here! As well as basking in the beautiful weather in Taborea, we’re celebrating the dawn of a new era: Runes of Magic is now available on the world’s most popular gaming platform Steam!

-Runes of Magic news page

When I say “at last” it isn’t as though I was anxious for it to be there, it is just that they have been talking about this for some time and the target was June and then July.  Now, in the final week of August it has arrived on Steam.  Summer is indeed here, but we’re on the far side of it and autumn is on its way.

I’ve written a bit now and then about the game.  It was kind of a big deal back in 2009 when it launched, when it was both a built-from-scratch free to play MMORPG and an attempt for an attempt by an Asian studio to build a western style, quest drive game.

But, as it turns out, this move to Steam is also a moment of opportunity if you have ever wanted to try the game.  As part of the Steam launch they are also putting up a couple of new servers, one in the US and one in the EU, so you can start on a fresh new server rather than joining one where the years have clumped most of the user base at max level and the economy has been distorted by past problems.

Your favorite game is now available on Steam!
In addition, we’re also launching new servers for the USA and Europe to coincide with the game’s Steam debut – the perfect opportunity for newcomers and returning players to discover Taborea afresh.

Runes of Magic, news page

This is probably as close to a retro or progression server as you are going to get for Runes of Magic.  The devs haven’t changed much of the content over the years, so it is mostly still the 2009 experience.  And you can still use your same old account.  In fact, you have to create an account for the game in the same old way, with Steam basically acting like a launcher for the launcher in that way that makes Steam feel a pointless part of the process.

I do wonder what this move to Steam will really do, if anything. The “at last” in the title is also a question about why it has taken so long to get to Steam, why it is happening now, and what they hope to get out of this jump onto the Steam platform.  I hope they aren’t planning on this saving the game.

Steam has gone from a service with a fairly select range of games to a garbage heap over the years.  It is the last refuge for the greedy or incompetent who seem to think they getting on a distribution platform is the main point of the exercise.  And Steam’s premature policy change (we’ll let even more crap in now and give you filtering tools at some point in the distant future) doesn’t promise to make anything better.  It is a mess, with the company still pretty much running by the old guidelines while people debate over what “trolling” really means.

(I’ll tell you what “trolling” means in that context.  It means whatever the person making the decision at the moment wants it to mean, so the games that got rejected before the new policy will probably all still be rejected after the new policy.)

Anyway, there is Runes of Magic hidden in that mess, one of dozens of “new releases” on the Steam store this week (so it is already on page four, in 98th place, on the Windows new releases list in less than two days), with a 2009 launch date in its description, and already being pummeled by a series of negative reviews declaring it old (it is), unstable (it does leak memory), and pay to win (it does sell power), leading it to an overall “mixed” rating, which is as good as a “do not buy” label in big red letters across the page.

And only 31 reviews so far

If the developers were hoping for a bonanza of new players I suspect they may be disappointed.  But it is hard to tell what the real plan is from the outside.  Is this a last gasp effort to keep the ball rolling?

Certainly the new server thing was contrary to my prediction about the game at the start of the year, when I suspected that it would lose at least one of its two remaining servers, with the very quiet US server either disappearing or being merged into the EU.  Instead they have doubled the number of servers they are running.

We shall see if this keeps Runes of Magic alive or if it was just a last, unfortunate roll of the dice.

Two Hundred Million Skill Points

I think it is somewhat fitting that this post lands on my character’s twelfth birthday.

Just past the milestone

Technically I crossed the line earlier than the screen shot above as I still have the 250,000 SP that CCP gave us a while back.  But I haven’t spent that yet, so made it past the mark without it.

The story so far:

So here we are at the 20th milestone and 18th post for this particular run.

Looking at that list of posts above gives a bit of insight as to when I was playing EVE Online and when I was taking a break.

Things started slow at first.  I played for a bit, then stopped, then came back, so it took over a year to get those first ten million done.  And that was back in the per-queue era where you could easily lose training time when training short skills as they would finish up in the middle of the night and you might not get back to put in a new skill before the next evening.

And then there were those skills that sped up skill training.  Those were Satan’s own idea.  I am sure somebody missed them when they were gone… every feature, no matter how bad, has its fans…

Eventually though that 24 hour skill queue showed up and had all the learning skills set and had some implants and started hitting 10 million skill point increments every seven to eight months when I was playing.

There was a slow down when I stopped playing in late 2010 and came back for just a bit in 2011 for the Incarna disaster, which sent me away again until late in the year.  Then I came back and Gaff coaxed me out into null sec just as a war was starting and I have stayed there ever since.  The story of null sec remains interesting enough to keep me playing, though even with that I have had my moments where I have nearly quit.  But something always comes up just as I get there and off I go on another adventure.

The stories of the game are one thing though, skill points another.  Sort of.  Every skill queue tells a story of its own I suppose, even if that story sometimes is, “I have no idea what I am doing.”

Anyway, here is where I stand on skills.

Spaceship Cmd        63,043,028 (63 of 79)*
Gunnery              18,546,396 (36 of 52)*
Drones               17,036,708 (22 of 26)*
Fleet Support        13,343,059 (14 of 15)*
Missiles             11,111,853 (22 of 26)
Navigation            9,660,314 (13 of 13)
Engineering           8,788,752 (15 of 15)*
Electronic Sys        8,119,689 (14 of 15)*
Armor                 6,131,137 (13 of 13)
Shields               6,074,039 (12 of 13)
Scanning              6,011,792(7 of 7)*
Science               5,714,282 (21 of 39)
Resc Processing       4,756,183 (22 of 37)
Subsystems            4,096,000 (16 of 16)
Trade                 3,821,020 (10 of 14)*
Neural Enhance.       3,801,275 (7 of 8)*
Targeting             3,207,765 (8 of 8)
Planet Mgmt           1,612,315 (5 of 5)
Structure Mgmt        1,446,824 (6 of 6)
Rigging               1,312,395 (10 of 10)
Production            1,157,986 (5 of 12)
Social                1,130,040 (5 of 9)
Corp Mgmt                24,000 (2 of 5)

Total              ~200,000,000 (355 of 444)

Skills categories with an asterisk are the ones that have changed since last check in.

Of course Spaceship Command remains at the top.  I don’t think I have ever had an update where some points didn’t go into that category, and nearly one skill point in every three ends up there.  This time around it was for the new Trigalvian ships.  With new ships around there is always a chance that Asher will come up with a doctrine around them and I like to be prepared.

Likewise, Gunnery saw a boost as I trained up the accompanying Triglavian weapon systems.

Drones saw me training up to be able to use tech II fighters.  That would require me to actually use my carrier, but I might do that some day.

Also on the list were some boosting skills under Fleet Support, getting all my Scanning skills up to V, Electronic Systems was likewise honing my ewar skills, Trade saw me training the customs office skill that reduces the taxes on Planetary Management, while Neural Enhancement was all about the neurotoxin skills to help me take drugs more better.

The skill by level work out as:

 Level 1 - 1
 Level 2 - 3
 Level 3 - 38
 Level 4 - 96
 Level 5 - 213

All that and I still cannot fly a titan.

I can, however, fly every subcap aside from the Monitor FC ship, and probably with whatever fit you can come up with.

It is an incredible luxury to be able to face doctrines change or Asher’s latest new fit and not have to worry about whether or not I can fly it.  The odds are very, very good that I can.  I still end up with too many ships sitting in my hangar gathering dust, but at least I can fly them.

My primary alt sits at about 140 million skill points, which seems like a lot, but I have been blindsided trying to stuff him into a ship only to find he doesn’t have something up to level V that Wilhelm trained ages ago.  Even now he is training up a missed skill.  That dreadnought I won has a tech II siege module on it, something I only found out the hard way and had to quickly swap Wilhelm back into the pilot’s seat before we got the orders to drop on that Nyx back at X47.

My next most well trained alt is less than 40 million skill points and using her is like trying to take apart a watch wearing oven mitts some days.  How did I cope when I went to null sec with just past 70 million skill points?

The same way everybody else does I suppose.  I flew the fits in the doctrine I could until I caught up.  There having been many doctrine changes over the years drove me to fill out my subcap dance card.

In the end though I still end up flying logi most of the time.  It is always needed and, unless things go to shit, generally allows me some time to gawk out the window as to what is going on.  Every once in a while I will fly something else, a doctrine ship of the line if I can get away with it, a booster if I can’t help it, or a tackler if we’re short.

This will be the last post in this series.  I think 200 million skill points is a good end point on a nice round number.  Even with a version of EVEMon working again it is is a bit of a pain to piece together all the numbers.  Plus, despite there always being more skills to train I think I am going to actually turn off the queue for Wilhelm at some point and let one of the alts on that account gain some skills.

Addendum: In case it was not obvious, no skill injectors were used in creating this character or post.