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runesofmagicLet’s be honest. There are a ton of free internet multiplayer games out there, a lot of them coming from the MMORPG genre, and far from all of them are able to match their retail competitors. A lot of these games are great fun, but they still feel like a free product.

But then something else comes along — a magical experience presents itself and defies almost anything you’ve seen before.

Runes of Magic – Rise of the Demon Lord

Frogster’s Runes of Magic is a free-to-play MMORPG, and to be quite frank, it’s one of the best free MMORPGs around. It even beats a lot of the retail ones.

Since its launch a few months ago, it has been criticized numerous times for being a World of Warcraft lookalike, or even clone. Although they might produce various similarities – which, in my opinion, is a positive thing – the game also manages to throw new elements in the ring and goes way beyond a simple copycat.

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Runes of Magic had been in the beta phase for a while, and it finally went live mid-March, with its first installment of the series, Rise of the Demon Lord.

Earlier this month, they also released a teaser for The Elven Prophecy chapter sequel, introducing an additional race, new classes, and a ton of upcoming features. Although crossing fingers is about as much as we can do at the moment, it’s certain that Runes of Magic is here to stay.

The Game

Runes of Magic further pursues the main characteristics of this genre. In the game, you play a character from one of six character classes, including Warrior, Scout, Rogue, Mage, Priest and Knight, each with their own characteristics. Besides the upcoming elven character, Runes of Magic has already hinted on a mysterious eighth class.

You can choose to play the game non-violently, by focusing on crafting additional skills, but you’d be missing out on a serious part of the game. Upon launch, it was accompanied by over a thousand attainable quests, a phenomenal number for a free-to-play game, and one that will continue to grow.


Once you’ve reached level 10, be it by monster-fighting (or PvP), quest-solving, or craftmanship, you can choose a secondary class to further develop their character abilities and give a new edge to the way you experience the game.

This is, without any doubt, one of the most professional and most ‘complete’ free Internet multiplayer games I’ve come around. A definite must-try for the fans of the game genre.

So what do you think? Which MMORPG do you prefer, and why? Tell us and your fellow MakeUseOf readers all about it in the comments.

  1. iz
    January 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I'm presently downloading this game and the download is loonggggg (sigh) but I hear it's worth the long download, but as this game is being offered as a free game, how do they make money ? Just curious to know. Many games like this one charge at least $15 a month.

    • Simon Slangen
      January 17, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      I guess they get their money from advertisement and micro-transactions.

  2. Required
    August 18, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    This game is 100% garbage. There is a bug in it that causes the character you play the most to crash out of the game and the unattendant gamemasters and support staff (Icarii told us there are only 3 people working for the US side) will take over 2 weeks to fix the character, if they fix it at all.

    • Req
      January 2, 2010 at 7:25 am

      It sounds to me as if you just don't like the game because someone owned you in pk,lol. I know tons of people who have played the game since it came out of Beta and they said they never heard of anything like that happening AND the GM's are very quick on things. They update the game every week and if you send them an email they respond within hours. So I'm not to sure what your talking about. If it happened in the Beta then no duh it's a Beta crap will happen since it's still getting cleaned up.

  3. John
    July 12, 2009 at 2:33 am

    that dual class system is hella clean got me playing for days

    • Required
      August 18, 2009 at 6:09 pm

      The dual class system got mega nerfed. You can no longer buff yourself with one class, change to the other, and buff & play the game.

  4. charles williams
    July 6, 2009 at 5:29 am

    are you planning to make another game like this? will i stay free?

    • Simon Slangen
      July 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks for the credit, but we didn't make the game. It should remain free, though.

  5. charles williams
    July 6, 2009 at 5:26 am

    is this game better than runescape and why?

    • Required
      August 18, 2009 at 6:11 pm

      I can't believe someone even had to ask that question.

      Have you compared the graphics on the two games?

  6. Droogie
    June 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    My buddy was showing me Runes of Magic so I installed it. It's actually really really fun. I like the battle system because it's much more interactive, but when you lag, it really sucks.

    It's worth checking out.

    • Required
      August 18, 2009 at 6:11 pm

      If you really want to have fun with it, play 1 Priest and 5 mages all by yourself. That's some hilarious stuff!

      (You're going to need a really killer computer to do it though, and do your homework to find out how it's done.)

  7. Sean
    June 22, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Jeez, "Rise of the Demon Lord" doesn't sound cliche at all... Not to be a jerk, but I mean can't you pick a better name? I'm still going to try this out though, Knight OnLine was a blast, before it was smothered by cheaters.

    • Nick
      July 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm

      Knight OnLine was THE laggiest and easiest game every.

      All of the people and servers were in Turkey, causing mass lag here. Notice how you'd always get hit while running away?

      Yeah. I mean, I played it, I loved it. Looking back now it was not that fun for English player.

      +7 Dual Meat Cleavers ftw. >_>

  8. Beej
    June 21, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    How does Runes of Magic's mini-transaction system work? Are there game-breaking items for sale, or is there a chance that players who spend no money at all on the game will be competitive?

    • Smeltn
      June 22, 2009 at 5:40 am

      They did the item shop extremely well, nothing from the item shop is gamebreaking, as the most important thing from the item shop is the mounts, which you can also "rent" in game using tokens you get from completing daily quests. Also you can purchase Diamonds(the item shop currency) with gold in game. Its a high currency conversion but it can be done, which leaves the door open to you never having to use real cash in Runes of Magic if you see fit.

      Its a great game that has a ton of things that make you have to remind yourself alot of times, "Wait, I am playing this for free?"

      • Required
        August 18, 2009 at 6:08 pm

        You're full of crap. The most important item in the item shop is not a mount, it's a clean power stone, with which people make super godlike items.

    • Required
      August 18, 2009 at 6:07 pm

      You can sort of compete if you're not spending real life money on the game, but you have to make TONS and TONS of characters, get them to level 10, make Tier 6+ mana stones for your other character, and delete the characters, repeat.

  9. JBu92
    June 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    You'll still have to pry RuneScape from my cold dead hands. IMO, it's the best MMORPG out there, even the free version.

    • Simon Slangen
      June 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm

      Played it for a while, and I must admit - for a game with those graphics it's actually a lot of fun.

      It gets boring quickly though, once you're on a decent level and done with the quests, all that remains then is repititive training.

  10. Simon Slangen
    June 21, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Minimum system requirements
    CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz or equivalent
    RAM: 512MB
    Required Harddisk space: 3.8GB
    Graphics card: DirectX 9.0c compatible with 128MB RAM
    Broadband Internet connection
    Keyboard and Mouse

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