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The Official Runes of Magic Blog

The goal of this blog is to present a behind the scenes look at what's being developed, what's been implemented, and who the team is, behind Runes of Magic. If you haven't played it yet, you're missing out!

Author: RoMblog

A View from QA - Runes of Magic In the Office

Posted by RoMblog Monday August 31 2009 at 5:46PM
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Name: Daniel Schmelzer
Position: QA Manager
Company: Frogster Online Gaming GmbH

The last couple of weeks before a Content Update are always the most exciting ones for a Quality Assurance Team working on a big MMO like Runes of Magic. New zones get added to the game with more opportunities to get involved with a new race like the Elves and their beautiful island. Two new classes, the Druid and the Warden add a new range of quests and epic adventures, which will only give great reward to those who manage to survive the biggest challenges our enemies throw our way. New areas like the Savage Lands open their gates and taunt us with new rewards for our Heroes of Taboera.

At first glace it is very surprising how much we take from a virtual world like Runes of Magic into our daily office lives. We also have daily quests like meetings or other tasks that we need to prepare for each day. Every morning we start with the same routine. With the early sunrise, we check our supply of coffee and supplies, and countless documents about old legends, great rewards and new enemies need to be studied. After a short group discussion, we start our daily work and enter into a new adventure. The outcome is always surprising and challenging.

Other fellow office companions ask us for guidance to understand the full spectrum of new features or are in need of descriptions and documented material to understand some of the biggest mysteries in the world of Runes of Magic. Countless numbers of new areas need to be explored, accurately mapped and documented so that even the most inexperienced member of our fellowship can easily understand the goal behind these adventures.

As you can already see to work in a Quality Assurance Department is definitely a huge adventure. But we would not like to trade with anyone else. To see parts of a virtual world grow from a basic idea on a piece of paper to the actual zone you can visit in the game and wander around in, is something very special and rewarding for all of the countless hours of work we put into it. We can't wait to hear your feedback when you have a chance to experience these adventures at home for yourself.

Stay tuned for this weekend when we'll be doing some fun things for the labor day holiday.

Albos writes:

They act like they are running a AAA mmorpg lol, its a cheap copy of 2003-2004 games and came out 2009, for f2p it's ok but after awhile you'll start to dislike the fighting animations they are very weak. Try copy better next time dont just copy the looks copy movement too.

Mon Aug 31 2009 9:26PM Report
sutalja writes:

hmmmm. 3 years in development...and an item shop that rivals any subscription-based play payment system. subscription=limited income. item shop=unlimited. i've spent well over 500.00 already and don't feel bad about it at all. f2p does NOT mean low quality. This game rocks. and for future developments, with players like myself (which are many) it will only get BETTER. I ove this game. Keep up the grea work, and keep all that extra stuff comin! :) thanks ROM!

Tue Sep 01 2009 2:28AM Report
sneef writes:

The game is most definitely not a cut and copy which is easy to see if you know anything about games. It is, however, if all you're looking at are the animations haha (although the hud still cracks me up being an exact identicle of wow) but yes if thats what matters to you it is somewhat lacking there.

In all honesty though this blog wasnt even close to making me think the game was AAA lol

Tue Sep 01 2009 2:49AM Report
fatenabu1 writes:

Awesome game, In some ways it is like WoW other ways it is not like WoW. I personally did not and still don't see all the hype that surrounds WoW. I don't see why I should pay a monthly fee to play WoW when I can play RoM for free only buying what I want. The dual class actually allows me to make my own class to speak that I can role play such as a scout/rogue to be a ranger like class, or a rogue/warrior to be a pirate like calss. I also role play my characters most of the time, so its all good fun

Tue Sep 01 2009 2:51AM Report
Wazzar writes:

I started playing at open Beta and still do.

It is not too hard to level up and stay entertained but the crafting, SPAM and crappy personal emotes bite big time.

They really need to look at OTHER games like EQ2 for tips on improving the crafting and this NEW "Planting" deal which both tend to use RANDOM rolls over skill levels (why have SKILL raises when they DON'T contribute to the chance of a better item or success?).

Combat skills are good and some combinations of characters can be awsome DPS with minimal gear :)

it is a half decent game making a Killing judging from the number of new players showing up every day. (Although plagued with the usual GOLD FARMING/PL companies spamming the game into submission ;p)

Tue Sep 01 2009 3:05AM Report
trancejeremy writes:

Heh, look at LOTRO, while the graphics are otherwise stunning, the animations of the characters is pretty pathetic.  Fights look like they are doing 80s break dancing, it's so jerky.  (Come to think of it, the hair in LOTRO doesn't move, so it's like 80s style hair, too, all that hairspray)

So I wouldn't knock RoM too much.

Tue Sep 01 2009 6:10AM Report
deathuk writes:

anyone who wants something better build it yourself

Tue Sep 01 2009 6:42AM Report
tfuller writes:

I have gaming ADD and tend to jump from game to game. However, i have stayed with ROM for a few months now and have really enjoyed it. It's pretty deep and graphically looks pretty good. I've spent maybe $20 altogether over 2 months but I chose to do so rather than shelling out $15 a month and feeling an obligation to play because I am paying a monthly fee.

I can't promise I will be playing in December but I haven't lost a thing if I'm not. ROM is one case where F2P doesn't mean quality suffers. I've been pleasantly surprised.

Tue Sep 01 2009 11:20AM Report
giantsquid writes:

It's amazing how much I've seen people say they know, but seem to take for granted or really don't know.  The hud is a basic default hud but no other game comes close to the customization features that RoM offers.  You dream it, you can do it.  Why submit to staying with the default?

The game comes very close to a triple AAA title, and if it were my baby, I'd shoot for the stars.  Being optimistic and ambitious drives advancement and improvement.  If you settled for everything we have in life, we'd never get new touch screens, or thinner TV's or anything.  We'd say

 "This TV is bland, but it is what it is, let's watch it until we're old and die."

RoM is very surprising, they've snuck under all our radars and shocked the industry.  The first to build a triple AAA modeled game using a RMT business.

And the most important things are all the tiny little details.  Unfortunately most don't see them.  They've improved on daily quests-ask longtime Warhammer players.  They've improved on city and town hub designs with player amenities offered in each-ask any MMO player that knows their MMO has tons of ghost towns with only one place that players really gather.  There's a long list of subtle changes they've done.

They've actually been the first, since Blizzard, to do what they are doing.  They took the best of what's out there and made it their own while improving on many standard features.  Nothing is perfect- WoW isn't perfect, and neither is RoM, but RoM is following in great footsteps.

Tue Sep 01 2009 2:03PM Report
VowOfSilence writes:

"The outcome is always surprising and challenging."

Looking at the balance mess that QA allowed to pass, that is exactly how they must feel.

Tue Sep 01 2009 3:42PM Report
LedoDreadlow writes:

I started out playing WoW, then when I ran low on funds, I started searching for your typical f2p games out there. I tried EVERYTHING and still do. RoM is the closest to quality I have seen since WoW. I have recently renewed, after 3 months, my subscription to WoW. Only because I have friends who play. If it wasn't for that, I'd have to say, I would commit myself fully to RoM. I still play RoM and always will.

One of the things that gets me about most f2p MMO's is the item shop. If you bought NOTHING from the item shop, you could never decently get ahead in the game or even come close to the epic gear you could buy from those item shops. So you would ALWAYS be a mediocre character unless you buy stuff. HOWEVER, RoM is different. Most of the items are HELPS for advancing quicker, costumes with no real added power benefits, permanent mounts, and double potions. SOOOOOOOO, I can be just as powerful as anyone else in the game without buying anything from the item shop.

RoM has much to offer in gameplay. I experience about the same amount of lag as I would in WoW. Just like WoW, you can download LOTS of mods to enhance your gaming experience. AND if you know how, you are free to code your own. Graphics are awesome. MANY quests that lead to new areas, so there is never a dead point in the game. I always hated that. I'd finish quests in an area then go "duh, what now?". AND THE PLAYERS are awesome. Good attitudes, helpful guilds, and polite.

So, with that said, I would say that RoM is AAA in my book. download it and see for yourself. IT'S FREE!!!!!!




Tue Sep 01 2009 6:49PM Report
Wizardry writes:

What matters to me is over all quality,this game is ok but needs a lot of polish before moving into expansions

Three items as of now are not used because they are totally useless,Bows/Talisman/1H Staff.There was no thought put into those three items,and where was the beta testing?If the devs actually played the game at all,they would have realized those 3 items are useless.

One dimensional leveling=quests or SUPER grind.This is what yo uget for copying a WOW system and yes this game is a very big copy of wow.

The FFXI sub class system is very poorly done almost a complete waste.99% of the so called ELITES you get are garbage most are not even worth getting,so using the term "ELITE" is just wrong.

Way too many Bind items,every aspect of this game is either limited or poorly implemented to force Cash Shop use,not a fair system to those who do support the CS.

I already mentioned the game play as being too spread out.By that i mean you play 99% of the game solo,then when you need a group you need to be over leveled lol or a RAID,there is no in between game play.

You are limited to ONLY one player per class and sub class.This again to force you to make another player to use CS again.This also forces you to toss old gear or use ,you guessed it,Cash Shop to unbind gear.

Combat is superficial because it is designed to be a solo game.No combos or using other players to create chains/combos,so combat is bland.

AI in the game is 100% the same EVERYWHERE,just some mobs move faster than others.There is a LOT of surprise attacks,i guess to force deaths with the extra high debt penalty,worse i have ever seen in a game,witch again forces you into Cash Shop lol.

Yep they really force CS onto players here,more than any other F2P i have experienced.

Crafting is pretty much a complete waste,because the items worth anything are usually Purple drops that are 100+ durability.Crafting for the most part makes ho hum gear,it's not bad but there is better stuff throughout the game from quests or drops.It is not a just reward  when considering the HUGE effort it takes to level crafting.

There is a good side,for those that ONLY like the WOW type of play ...easy quests high rewards for doing little,the game can carry you through to max level with little effort,albeit that is a one dimensional game play.There is no grouping and setting up a nice camp,and developing a strategy,it is pretty much solo play all the way.


Tue Sep 01 2009 8:26PM Report
Wizardry writes:

I forgot to mention,who the heck is this Daniel Smeltzer?ALL the people we see everyday related to the North American version of ROM are Asians.

Lets be straight here,Frogster has NOTHING to do with this game,other than a middle man to launch the business over here.Frogster adds no content,Frogster fixes nothing,Frogster is non exhistant on the forums,Frogster is basically invisible.

The ONLY people who should be interviewed on this game are the Asian reps from Runewalker,they make ALL the decisions.

Wed Sep 02 2009 5:57AM Report
Phall writes:

Frogster is the NA/EU publisher of the game and  so they naturally do have a say in things concerning the game's future. The final word though will be Runewaker's.

However, in such developer-publisher relationship a QA department better exists in both places, and it better cooperates well (wishful thinking?).
The publisher is handling Marketing/PR/Sales/Community Management/Product Management/Customer Support/QA/Live Operations/Localisation/Business Development/...
Most of these tasks might not be visible to everyone at first sight but these are important tasks nonetheless.

With a successful cooperation, and I'd consider RoM a success, I honestly doubt Runewaker won't listen to Frogster's suggestions.


Thu Sep 03 2009 7:31AM Report
Elnator writes:

I find it stunning that anyone would compare ROM to WoW in anything other than 'they're both MMORPG's in a fantasy setting'.

I've played both.  While ROM has many of the same features that WOW does it isn't because it's a 'copy of WOW' it's because:

They are both fantasy MMO's


WOW players need to remember that WOW wasn't the first at *anything* that it does.  There were multiple MMO's before it (many of which were, and still are, better in my opinion) and many after it.  All of which have very similar feature sets simply because they're all fantasy MMORPGs.  Hell, EQ wasn't even first.


ROM is easily the best F2P MMO I have *ever* seen and it's far superior to most P2P MMO's.  I don't post here much anymore, prefer to lurk, but I couldn't help it when I saw the drivvel people were posting here.

Yes, it's got a few balance issues and it's got a few items that need some rework... but so has every "AAA" MMO in the past.  Even the much vaunted "WOW" has balance issues and items that are borked and it's 5 years old now.  


ROM is it's own game with many features from other MMO's that came before it and a few tweaks that make it unique in it's own right.  I have personally dropped all subscription mmo's at this point and only play ROM & Guild Wars now.  None of the Pay-to-Play MMO's are worth the $$$ any longer (With the possible exception of EVE Online, though it's not my cup of tea) now that F2P options have gotten so good.  I certainly won't shell out $15/month for a game that's no better than ROM.  

Thu Sep 03 2009 10:56AM Report
Montana_Mike writes:

You say that you won't shell out $15/month for a game subscription, but you will pay the $100/month for the cash shop upgrades needed to end-play in RoM? I just do not understand your logic.

Tue Oct 06 2009 6:17AM Report writes:
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