One of the most intriguing aspects of Runes of Magic is the dual class system. With this feature, players are given the option to pick two of the current six classes. These classes include; scout, rogue, knight, warrior, mage and priest. RoM promises to add classes throughout its lifetime with two mystery classes already reserved on the RoM class website.
During character creation, you’ll have the option to pick one of the six classes. You will play this class until level 10. At that level you have the option to learn a second class. You’ll begin at Pioneer Colony in the Howling Mountains and at level five you’ll be led to Logar to visit the mayor and obtain a house. When you level to 10 a message will pop up telling you to visit the mayor again. He will give you a quest to visit your class trainer in Varanas in Silverspring. He will also inform you about a free temporary mount you can ride to Varanas. The trip is quick, just follow the road north out of Howling Mountains and check your map (hotkey “M”) when you’re notified that you’re in Silverspring. Varanas isn’t too far into the zone.
Once you’re standing in front of Varanas you’ll see Snoop the Stubborn, a canine man who transports you from zone to zone. Most likely you will have already seen a Snoop in Logar when you learn how to bind to locations. Be sure to learn this teleportation point so you can quickly come back to Varanas at any time. On the bridge you will see the city teleporter, Lieve, who allows you to travel quickly through the areas of Varanas. Since this is your first time here, there will only be one option when you speak to Lieve which is the class hall.
The class hall has a representative for each class as well Lehman who teaches you about the arcane transmutor, Listi Pursdon who is an Elite Skills Master, and a class administrator. Pick which secondary class you want carefully since you cannot drop a class and pick a new one. Once you pick a second class you are stuck with it. The class administrator will allow you to change your secondary to your primary. Otherwise, you will need to visit your house and talk to your housekeeper to switch between the classes.
There are some restrictions on your abilities while you dual class depending on which class is your primary and secondary. In this example, the two classes are priest and rogue. The priest was levelled from 1-10 and rogue was chosen at the priest’s level 10. If you immediately switch to the rogue now, your level will read as Rouge Lvl 1/Priest Lvl 1. When you go out and quest with this dual class your rouge will be earning experience (EXP) and talent points (TP) and when it levels the priest will automatically level to 2. This will continue until the rogue hits level 10. Since the priest has not levelled past 10 it will remain at 10 until you switch back to it as the primary class. Until then, your class will read at Rouge Lvl 11/Priest Lvl 10 for instance.
In short, both classes will level independently of each other with the primary class being the one actively earning EXP and TP. Note that just as EXP isn’t shared between the classes, neither is TP. When you’re upgrading or ranking your skills both your primary and secondary abilities have their own TP pools. And you can only upgrade the abilities of you primary class meaning you’ll need to switch to level the skills of the other class.
The abilities you can use are dependent on what class is actively your primary and which is your secondary. All classes in RoM have their skills divided into two sections. You can view these sections by pressing “K.” In the rouge/priest example, the character ability sheet would have a tab for General, Rogue, Priest and Rouge Class-Specific. The general tab contains tradeskill abilities and things like recall. Rogue contains the rogue secondary skills, priest contains the priest secondary skills and the rogue class-specific section has skills that only a rogue primary can use.
Here are some paraphrased examples of the secondary abilities of the classes. These skills are all under level 20 and are intended to give you an idea of what a class can do as a secondary class. These are used when the class is the primary and when it is the secondary.
Each of the combinations work well together, although some are more efficient than others based on play styles. A priest/mage would be the ultimate magic user, but it would share a mana pool making mana an issue to manage. Rouge/scouts do not share power pools since rouges use energy and scouts use concentration. The same is true of a knight/warrior combination because knights use mana and warriors depend on fury (rage). Most of the combinations work though, with the exception of the occasional ability dependent on a weapon that the primary cannot use. An instance of that occurs with the mage/knight mixture. As a mage primary you cannot use shields, but there is an available knight secondary skill called Shield of Atonement that requires a shield to use. While a knight/mage this ability is usable, but as a mage/knight it is useless.
Lastly, no skills in armor are secondary. This means that if you’re a mage/knight you can only wear cloth while mage is your primary. When you are a knight/mage you can wear leather, chain and plate. This is something to keep in mind if your classes wear different types of armor of if they require different stats on the same type of armor. You will need to change your armor when you switch classes. This takes a bit of juggling until you can save the Bierdine Tokens to buy a mannequin. This mannequin will wear your alternate armor and is placed in your house. Currently, it takes 3000 tokens to receive this mannequin and it can be obtained from Lehman. Tokens are quest rewards for dailies which are available in most towns at quest boards.
Overall, the dual class system in RoM is something familiar but a little different. Since the game is still in open beta suggestions are flying at the RoM forums. Changes, like the ability to learn all classes or to double the same class, to the system are popular suggestions. However, the class system detailed above is the current model. RoM is now slated to officially launch in March 2009 so check www.runesofmagic.com for updates!