I am still on the Runes of Magic mailing list so still get updates from them about the game every so often. Most of it isn’t of that much interest to me. It is a game I know about and even pay attention to now and then, but not one I ever really got into. I mainly recall it for its significance at its launch, of being purpose designed free to play MMORPG in an era where titles that went free to play had generally just failed at the subscription mode. That and the whole ten dollar horse thing, which was quite the amusing controversy in hindsight.
Anyway, I covered a bunch of that in my post about the game’s tenth anniversary, if that interests you.
Instead, I want to poke into the state of things here at the twelfth anniversary, which was actually last month, but the celebration lasts through until April 22nd, so there is still time to join in.
The big incentive seemed to be a new server, the “largest server ever” according to the promo copy in the email.
This fresh start server offered some bonuses for faster leveling:
- 50% bonus for XP and TP
- 75% bonus for item drops
- Special Bonus Pack of Goodies
I just had to log in and get going.
Logging in went… okay.
On the bright side, I was able to get the new launcher, which found my old files and updated them quickly… the horrible old 2009 patch is finally gone… and I was able to use my email address to recover my account and log in. Sort of.
When I last played you needed a user name to log in. Now it is your email address. However, on getting logged in with that it assigned me a new user name… because user names are still a thing, just not for logging in I guess… so ended up with no old characters. Those I could live without. The diamonds… them RMT currency… that I bought back in 2009 and which were still around the last time I played, those were gone too. That I am kind of pissed about. I couldn’t figure out how to inject my old and support was no help.
I doubt I was going to play seriously anyway, but that is the sort of thing that confirms it.
Anyway, I got logged in and… there were no special servers, just the two US servers.
But I expected that. Fortunately I know somebody who actually plays the game and had already told me about the new servers, which were actually launched back in February. They wanted to have them up and running and solid before the anniversary hit I guess.
My friend told me how to get to the shiny new server, which is hosted in the EU. In the launcher you have to click on the settings button and change your game region from North America to Europe. Then you have to create a new account for that region… so I guess my diamonds wouldn’t have followed me there anyway.
The odd thing is that, once in the game settings you cannot get out. Or I couldn’t see a way out. There was no visible way to close the window and return to the main launcher. This seemed bad… but then there is a little launch button to start the game… the light blue square with the arrowhead in it… so I guess maybe this is a feature. It seems odd… but if that is the price of doing away with their old patcher, then I will gladly pay it. (I was able to close it from the task bar, but it still seems like an odd UI choice.)
Once into the EU server list… and they have a bunch more servers… the two special servers, one international and one German, are highlighted.
Once I created a new character… well, the game is pretty much the same. The UI is still a bit too busy for my liking.
But it still runs. In fact, it runs pretty well. And an addon I applied back in 2017… still up to date. I was even a bit surprised to find that the game scales up to run on the wide screen monitor I got last year. At first, when I got into the settings, it seemed to have me locked down to old HD dimensions. But after I quit and came back, 3440 x 1440 resolution was on the list. Something got updated. And more real estate makes the UI feel a bit less cluttered.
As for the special server, it certainly seems to have the bonuses as advertised. I ran through some quests on one of the US servers, just as a baseline, then did them again on the new server and you are certainly getting more XP and more TP to apply to your skills. And the game hands you a bunch of stuff already, but getting even more on the new server was noticeable. I grabbed the free stuff from the shop, but was starting to worry about bag space.
And then it was a holiday weekend, so there was even more stuff, including a temporary bunny mount.
I did not spend a ton of time playing, but I was there long enough to confirm that Runes of Magic has stayed true to whatever it is trying to be. If you liked it before, it is still there for you… and if you didn’t, well it hasn’t changed, so unless you have you probably won’t change your mind.