Cherubs, flowers and floating hearts aren’t a common theme in most MMOs. But once a year, many games hold Valentine’s Day events celebrating the sappy holiday. Of course, all these games do something a little different. Since Runes of Magic went online, the game has actually held multiple events. RoM celebrated Halloween, Christmas, the New Years and, recently, Valentines Day made the MMO event list.
Most of your time in the MMO world is probably spent killing mobs, dungeon running, completing quests and producing items. Events are usually a nice diversion from everyday tasks. Of course, these events typically offer something a player can normally obtain in the game. For RoM, the Valentine’s Day event offered the Flower God Blessing, chocolates that recover 30 percent of your health, a 7-day; 30-day; or permanent unicorn mount and different pieces of themed armor sets.
To receive these gifts there were a series of activities to complete in Taborea. The first reward was bought with in-game gold. For 999 gold you could purchase a one hour buff called the Flower God Blessing. This blessing increased your HP and MP recovery rate by 20 and raised your maximum HP and MP by 5 percent.
Next, chocolate was something made with the right materials. The materials were cocoa beans, milk and lover passion. Cocoa beans and lover passion were world drops while milk was acquired from a cow in Logar. All you had to do was feed the cow to receive milk. However, it might take a lot of mountain poplar, an apprentice level herb, to satisfy the bovine. Once you had these materials you could take them to Adam in the Varanas central square and he whip up the chocolate for you.
Eventually, if you made five pieces of chocolate, you could turn them into Owen Harkins, the cherub floating in between Adam and Eve. By turning this chocolate in you could send a love message. This message would appear throughout the world of Taborea to all of its inhabitants.
Daily, you could visit Eve to get a seed to grow magical roses. Soil and water were right next to Adam and Eve. All you had to do was plant the seed and water it periodically. However, low level snails would attack the growing flowers trying to uproot them. The rose bush would eventually produce a number of roses; around 1-4. The roses produced from that seed were all you could get from that day planting. There were ways to get more roses, but we l explain that later. These roses were the ticket to the event larger gifts.
In order to receive a gift, a loot bag containing a random item, you needed to grow 10 roses in a single day. This gift had the chance to be one of the three unicorn mounts. But it could also contain a number of items including Adam armor set pieces, Eve armor set pieces, Couples armor set pieces, Singles armor set pieces, or a Rose shaped shield. Additionally, if you collected a total of 30 roses over the course of the event you earned the title he Rose Represents My Heart.
To make more roses in one day, you had to exchange either 8 roses or a portal rune (aka gate rune) to get more seeds and create more roses in one day. The 8 roses could be saved up from multiple other days and exchanged. However, to meet the 10-day quota you needed to save many roses. The free seed you received each day usually produced 1-4 roses. After saving 72 roses, something accomplished over many days depending on how many roses were yielded each day, you could turn those 72 into 9 new seeds. With the 9 new seeds and the one free from that day, you would definitely produce 10 roses. That means it would take 18 days to accumulate 72 roses at 4 roses per day.
The alternative, the portal rune, costs real life money. The portal rune is a cash shop item that costs 9 diamonds. For RoM that about 50 cents. Although these are approximately 50 cents apiece, you would need 9 of them to complete one set of 10 roses if you included the free seed planting you received each day. That would be about $4.50 for one gift.
Clearly, the cash shop portal rune was the easier way to participate in the event, and with multiple items as a possible gift you would have to spend real money to get different gifts. The event only lasted around a month and the numbers just don’t crunch to get more than one without spending real money. The game is free-to-play, so one would assume they need to make money somehow. If players want something bad enough, I guess spending a little cash doesn’t hurt anyone.
As far as Valentine’s Day events go, this wasn’t a bad one. There was something to do daily and the mount, although rare, provided something that everyone might want. However, knowing what to do for the event was not explained. Adam, Eve and Owen Harkins did help, but knowing where to get cocoa beans, milk, and lover passion was a mystery to most. This was also an issue during the winter event when most people did not understand what to do with pig oil. This might be a localization issue, but it might also exist so players have to investigate in order to complete events.
Even if Valentine’s Day events aren‘t your favorite thing in the MMO world, these events say a lot for the state of RoM. The game is in open beta and providing a fun distraction from the normal day-to-day MMO grind. The point of an MMO is to keep the gamer playing and events are a big part of that. For a game to be hosting events in closed and open beta makes that game look promising for its release future. RoM has officially announced its release for March 19, 2009. It is currently boasting over 450,000 registered users.