Could Runes of Magic Be the First Great WoW Alternative, and Free To Play?

I’m only speculating here as a possible outcome.  Many things could change this in the near and distant future.  But I thought it made some good food for thought.

Blizzard is already scaling back WoW and making it more casual-friendly.  It’s 4 years old, and even with updates and graphics patches, it’s just getting old.

On top of that Blizzard has started production on a new MMO that will most probably replace WoW as the top subscriber based MMO on the market.

In the mean time, Runes of Magic has created a great MMORPG that’s more like a P2P than a F2P.  On top of this I heard from someone on the RoM forums that Runewaker discussed(back in Closed Beta) a proposed 80 zones released within 2 years.  That’s also probably not counting instances and dungeons.

For RoM to have a micro-transaction business model, and be roughly as big(in world size) as WoW after 2 years would be pretty revolutionary.

Most F2P games that have already been around 1-2 years are still not a whole lot larger than the day they started.  Those games are very small compared to P2P games like WoW, EQ2, etc….  I’m not saying world size has that much significance in whether the game is good or not.  I enjoy some F2P games, like Shaiya, very much.

But I do think size does matter.  I also think from the perspective of which business model is used matters as well.

If RoM does prove to grow to the size of having 80 zones by the time it turns 2 years old, it will be absolutely massive compared to any current F2P MMO.

Personally it has me salivating to think about that prospect.  For RoM to have a world the size of WoW?….wow!

Currently the game is close to 3 months old with 8 zones and more coming in September.  I’m really not positive how many zones are coming with the addition of Chapter 2: The Elven Prophecy, but I believe it is at least 2.

That will make 10 zones at 6 months old.  A year and a half they’d have to add 70 more zones, or 18 months.

From September of this year, they need to release almost 4 new zones a month to reach 80 zones by the end of 2 years of operation.

This seems highly improbable given the fact that they’ve only relesed 1 zone in the last 3 months.

This is one subject I hope I am wrong on.  I want to be very optimistic and hope for the truth of this, but so far I haven’t been able to verify the truthfulness of what that one poster said.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed.


10 Responses to “Could Runes of Magic Be the First Great WoW Alternative, and Free To Play?”

  1. arthursantana Says:

    I trust in RoM! \o/
    It’s F2P, it’s a MMORPG and it’s nice. 😛

  2. Ooops… I posted with my brother’s account. =X

  3. shadowfix Says:

    I’ll be thoroughly surprised if RoM actually makes it to the end of 2010. In a time of relative drought it is quite easy to attact large numbers of players to a F2P game with the quality RoM seems to have at first sight.
    Unfortunately, when you take a closer look, the game has too many pitfalls to become a major player. The gameplay is cluttered with inconsistencies. There is hardly any balance between the classes, and there is no balance between non-paying and paying players. Of course the latter should receive some advantage, but as a frequent diamond buyer myself RoM management never lived up to their promise that “buying itemshop items is aimed at convinience, not at creating overpowered gear”. Almost a year after CB started, and 3 months after release we can conclude…well… it was a big fat lie.
    The game hardly offers any exiting content in the endgame. It is way too easy, it just takes time. There are no goals to achieve for ‘modded out’ characters, and the PvP is a travesty. By far the worst implementation of a player vs player system I have ever seen in an MMORPG that is to be considered as serious.
    Add to that an opportunistic and short-term focused management and the idea is pretty clear. Some hardcore fanboys will probably remain, but with Aion, Guild Wars II, Diablo III, Star Wars: The Old Republic, FF XIV, Huxley and two (…yes two) MMORPG’s in development by Blizzard, most of them likely to be released within the next one-and-a-half years, RoM will be gone before you can say: releasedate 2010.

    • howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg Says:

      Hmmm, I’ll hold you to that comment, when “resleasedate 2010” rolls around;)

      I take it you don’t think RoM is currently the best F2P on the market. I do. and based off that, there’s dozens of F2P entering their 3rd and 4rth year of production that are, In my opinion, not even close to how fun RoM is.

      There’s a game called Xiah that I tried, and it looks like 1 9 year old built the world. The whole world looks so unfinished with great plots of gray flat “land” with nothing on it but a few mobs. The game is absolutely horrible yet players are still in there and buying items every month for the game.

      Maybe I’ll be wrong, but I think RoM is miles ahead of even the second best F2P anywhere right now. I think they have a promising future ahead of them.

      And tons of games also were released around the time these “inferior” F2P came out, like when Shaiya, Last Chaos, Fiesta, and other came out were when Star Wars Galaxy, Warhammer, and Age of Conan(among other) came out. And they are still going with good player bases and no doubt making money. So I don’t think other “supposedly” great p2p games, that are on the horizon will have hardly any affect on RoM, if any. It could be different. You could be right, on the basis that RoM is built to operate much like a P2P, but in any other aspect of the industry, F2P are hardly ever affected by P2P releaes.

      And there’s a lot of feeling coming through your comment. “opportunistic and short-term focused”???

      “way to easy, OP gear, etc…” all of this is your words. I disagree. I’ve never played a game, free or pay, as long as I’ve played RoM:)

      And saying: “Look, look at all the OP players, Item shop has no items to make players OP my foot!” is not logical at all.

      They never said that. They only offer items that speed up progression. And that was and is true today. To say “well he is OP and he used item mall so…” is not logical either. That doesn not mean that the Item Mall sells things to let players become MORE powerfull than others. Everyone who does not pay, can become just as strong and have the exact same gear as anyone else in the game. It just may take you longer to get there.

      • shadowfix Says:

        Actually…RoM was a pleasant experience for an F2P for me. I’ve played it for a considerable amount of time. The endgame content killed the fun for me. Getting to lvl 50 was very entertaining, but once you’re done levelling, modding etc… well.. the game pretty much stops.
        What I meant with opportunistic and short-term focused is the tricks they pulled out of their hats to generate quick income from diamond sales without overthinking the future. Players reporting serious bugs and design flaws were ignored, while they worked on just another relatively insignificant update for the item shop. Take the PvP system for instance. It’s not a matter of liking or disliking…It just doesn’t work, but since the PvE servers generate by far the most amount of cash, there is no focus at all on it by the devs. Another fine example is the Wind Wild Instance tragedy (I’m sure you will find the whole story about that on the forums somewhere), or the 30-day diamond drama.
        You are right about the itemshop comment, I realised I should rephrase it, but there is no way to edit. What they promised was literally this (quote): ‘You can’t buy an übersword’. Unfortunately getbuffed no longer hosts the article anymore ( but the Tang brothers have said that. It is true you can’t buy an OP weapon from the itemshop. But what’s also true is that soon after release they allowed item’s to be traded for diamonds in AH, probably with the idea of spreading the diamonds from buyers to non-buyers, increasing the consumption of diamonds all together. And dont forget how stuff like Purified Fusion Stones (for applying clean mods) and Jewels to plus your gear makes a lot of difference. Like I said, I’m not against this, and actually i made good use of it (My 10k hp Priest, insane MDEF, insande MATT, insande PDEF ended up in the top 5 PvP rankings with no effort at all). But cash makes the difference in this game, and the difference is huge.
        Your statement about everyone can get the same gear it just takes longer is simply not true. Without the diamonds you will never be able to apply mods like this

  4. howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg Says:

    I see what you’re saying. You have more knowledge about it than me. All I know otherwise, is that one of my friends in the game has some “mad sick” gear, and he never uses the Item Mall. blog comments suck for this, but maybe I can grab a ss of one of his pieces, but just knowing him and the chest piece I saw, plus he was working on all his stuff leads me to believe he’s gotta be one of the toughest in the Smacht server. If you have a character in Smacht, his character name is ‘Grover’ maybe he’d let you take a peek at his stuff.

    • howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg Says:

      Duh, just looked at yer gear. His chest piece looks very much like yours. but I have a really bad memory :), so…actually I have to see if he’s still in game.

      • howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg Says:

        Wow, I love that Artful Gusher staff, but I want a 1-H 😦

      • shadowfix Says:

        Grover! He’s one of my buddies I used to play with! If he’s still on there please send him my best regards (shadowfix). I miss him!

  5. An ideal update, and one which avid gamers such as me enjoy
    reading month in & month out!

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