Runes of Magic, as it’s known in the rest of the world, is a Korean developed free to play MMO that was released in early 2009. The game since then has grown to be over 4 million subscribers strong, with 3 expansion packs in tow. While initially RoM was criticized to be a World of Warcraft clone, it certainly held its own with some unique mechanics and a lot of customization. Add to that the lack of monthly fees, and it’s not surprising to see its surge in popularity as one of the best free to play MMOs out there.
Such is its success that it’s already been translated for Taiwan, Indonesia, Russia, and now the Middle East as well. Thanks to Tahadi Games, Runes of Magic finally sees the virtual light of day in this region. Of course, it wasn’t just a simple matter of translating everything and setting up additional servers for the region. The first and most obvious change is in the name of the game itself, now called Runes of Might in the Middle East and North Africa. This was certainly a smart move on Tahadi Games’ part, considering that certain authorities within the region might frown upon the wordings of the title. Still, no harm done as the acronym remains the same.
Going back to the game itself, anybody who’s played WoW will feel right at home with RoM. The visual style, from in-game assets to the UI to the name of spells and abilities is very similar to WoW. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Copying the successor is a common practice in any business, improving and or tweaking it to stand apart is the key to success for newcomers, and RoM certainly has that part covered.
One of the most unique aspects of RoM is the Dual Class System whereby players can have two classes on their character. However, this doesn’t mean you get to have the abilities of both a Mage and a Priest at the same time for example. While leveling up, the primary chosen class at the time gets all the experience, while having access to non-specific class skills of the secondary class on hand. Herein lies the second biggest change between Runes of Magic and Runes of Might. While the former has two races (Humans and Elves) with a total of 8 classes to choose from (6 on each side), the translated version by Tahadi Games only allows for Human characters to be created. A minor change is that “Priests” are now called Shamans, but otherwise operate in the same way.
As cuts are made to the game, none of which detract from the playability of RoM, new stuff is also added in, specifically in-game events corresponding to things relevant to this region. So, for instance during Ramadan there was a month long event of various festivities going on, with new quests and NPCs added to give that additional local flavor. Again, these world events are an extra side dish if you will, nothing that changes the core game, just a bit of fluff that adds to the overall experience.