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Runes of Magic

MMORPG.com Runes of Magic Correspondent Pamela Blalock writes this look at the first few dungeons players will encounter in the upcoming game.

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As you're levelling in Runes of Magic, you're bound to come across a few dungeons. RoM offers a varying number of dungeons. You'll encounter your normal instanced dungeons and raids. But you might also see camp dungeons, PVP dungeons, and dungeon gates according to the RoM website. During your early levels you'll visit the normal instanced dungeon for you and your party to conquer.

Two such instances are the Moongorge and the Barrens Cave. These are both in Howling Mountains and are probably the first actual dungeons you'll enter. There is a Fungus Habitat that you might enter before these. It is near Pioneer's Colony at the Myconid Farm. This is a separated area from the rest of Howling Mountains, but it is not instanced since multiple people and groups enter at once. This is literally a grove full of fungus men with an accompanying quest outside its entrance.

The actual instances are near Logar. The Moongorge is located east of Logar and is a very short run away. The Barrens Cave is northwest of Logar and is about a minute away. It won't be until you come through with your second class that you will obtain a quest for the Moongorge and the Barrens Cave.

After getting your second class, you'll obtain a quest from Daisy in Logar to go into the Moongorge. This quest is called "Things that go Bump in the Night." This quest is particularly popular due to its rewards. The quest rewards are the title of Full-Stomach Warrior and a piece of blue armor that's a part of set. The armor is offered in cloth, leather, and chain. In this quest you're directed to stop the source of strange noises in the Moongorge.

The Moongorge is a brightly colored cave that glows with blues and purples. According to Runes of Magic lore, the Moongorge was carved out of water flow. There are newt creatures throughout the cave but are of no concern since they are only level 5. The instance portal is actually close to the initial entrance of the cave and looks like blue swirls on the cave wall. Just keep left and you'll hit the portal quickly. If you cross a wooden bridge within the cave you've gone too far.

The instanced part of the dungeon is pretty tough. It's actually just one room with waves of non-elite level 9 creatures called Hungry Plunderers. The source of the mysterious noise is at the back of the room and is named Hungry Greyce. He is a fungal-looking boss and is a level 12 elite. This can be done solo if you've got priest as a secondary class and if you avoid the common mobs before the boss. That can be done if you hug the left side of the cave and jump over the crystals on the ground. The boss hits very hard though, so it's good to get a full group or at least a tank, a DPS, and a healer. If you're eager to get this quest completed, groups are always looking for more since this quest offers a title.

Barrens Cave, although still a cave, is actually different from the Moongorge. Where the Moongorge is bright and filled with water, the Barrens Cave is well...barren. This cave is full of kobolds and their little firelight makeshift lamps. Outside the instance there are many other quests to complete here, but the instance portal is actually deep within the cave.

The quest for Barrens Cave is called "Final Clue" and the reward is either a Source of Life talisman or a Source of Magic talisman. These act as jewelry that will activate once your hit points or mana drop below 50 percent it will either regenerate health or mana respectively. To get one of these items you mush kill Anglie or Anglo as his nameplate will show. He is a humanoid type creature that can stun when his health drops too low.

This instance is much longer than the Moongorge and all the mobs in the instance are elite, levels 9-12. The cave twists and turns before finally finding Anglie at the end of the instance. However, the kobolds are spread out and can be killed alone or with a few people quiet easily of the appropriate level. During one of my encounters I took a Knight 15/Mage 15 and a Rogue 14/Scout 13 into the instance. The two completed the dungeon, albeit a little slow and with the help of potions since there was no healer.

Unfortunately, after many runs through both dungeons I found control to be unresponsive and, at times, lag-ridden. This is to be expected in a game that's still in open beta, and there are many determining factors. In fairness, the weather is icy and my internet connection could be at fault as well.

All in all, RoM's dungeons are probably something familiar, but they're challenging and entertaining. These two lower level dungeons were different from each other and offered special encounters. Since RoM is still in open beta things might change. That also means things might improve, especially the responsiveness of spells and abilities.

Pamela Blalock / I write about MMOs at [link=www.examiner.com/mmo-in-national/pamela-blalock] Examiner.com[/link]. games, writing, cats equals happiness.

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