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I have been playing ROM now for a while (after playing WoW for years), and i start to wonder why ROM was so high rated on several mmorpg sites. It's beinig sold as an "free to play" morpg, but is it really?
Let me give my opinion and compare to WoW, which isn't ftp. I played both games so i think i can make a fair comparision.
I started to play ROM because of its FTP . But soon i found out that in ROM, you need diamonds, which you have to buy with real money. One of the things that i dislike most after a few months is the fact that there is a huge advantage for paying players over free players which, in my opinion, makes it no longer free to play.
Sure, you can play for free and level and play around a bit, but if you want to do more like going to instances, you need high level gear and stats which you can not get the normal way, unless you want to spends months of grinding over and over again to make some gold. Actually you can compare it to a "free to register" datingsite, where you indeed are free to register, but have to pay for anything else.
Basicly (and correct me if i'm wrong) i dont think that you can play the game and have a normal toon level up and do instances, without being forced to buy diamonds
And those diamonds are the things that in the end, can make the game even more expensive than WoW.
WoW too has items you can buy for real money, but none of these items gives you an advantage in battle or pvp.
Also, i think that in the end it is cheaper to pay a fixed monthlee fee to play a game, than to keep buying diamonds, and ending up paying much more than you ever paid for a non ftp game.
And to be honest, ROM is a nice game to play and has nice graphics, but it also has more bugs than features. Random crashes, not only ingame but also in the Siegewars, making it sometimes close to impossible to even log on, let alone play the SW.
And if the bugs aren't enough, there are also lots of hacks. Speedhacks, flyhacks, wallhacks and so on. According to a few other sites, the chance of being caught hacking are less than 4%, as fixing hacks and tracing hackers are on e very low priority on Frogsters list . (So far i have reported many hackers and i never seen any of them even suspended. They even openly laugh at you and dare you to report them as they know they won't be caught). Looking at the Isiltir server, that is no surprise because (as far as i heard) there is only one GM on that server and he isn't online much. (Havent seen him online in de past 6 weeks). So the game also could be called "Anarchy Online", but that game already exist.
The only thing that has high priority at Frogster, is to sell diamonds.
That is probably the reason why frogster is not actively hunting down goldsellers (as they buy diamonds to spam worldchat). They do however, hunt down people who buy gold. A good thing, sure. But they often go too far. Not just people who buy gold get suspended (just for a month and then they can play again), but also the people who sell things to those people. (and i have seen several examples)
So don't be surprised if you put a 20 mil gold gear on AH and sell it, and the next day youre account has been suspended because the guy who bought your gear, has bought his gold from a goldseller.
So that gives a real weird picture of the game and the company behind it. Because goldselling seems to be (unofficially) allowed, hacking and using exploits is not punished, fixing bugs is not on their prioritylist, but everything involved the use of "bought" gold, even if you don't even know, is severely punished.
So that could mean you lose your account which contains diamonds you had to buy with real money.
All the above makes me wonder how much Frogster paid to several companies to even get a positive rating.
Finally, lets list the differences. (And for those who might think so, im not a ROM hater. I like the game but dislike the company and their policy). Also i use WoW because i played that game. I might as wel have ROM compared to any other MMORPG
Below some pro's and cons of both games and the amount of money i spend in 4 months.
Not free to play. Cost around 14 Euro/month.
No extra or hidden costs
Stable server; hacking and abusing exploits is actively investigated and taken action against
No advantage for payd services (like extra pets or special mount) over people who do not pay for the extra's
A fair chance for everyone to get the same gear and stuff without spending money.
Both goldsellers and buyers actively tracked and banned.
Enough GM's online to help with problems. They are paid and fulltime.
In case of accountproblems you receive an email with info. Tickets most of the time answered in 2-3 days.
After 4 months i spend € 60
Runes of Magic
"Free to play"
To reach higher levels on both classes, you either grind for months or years or buy diamonds.
Unstable and buggy server and client crashes a lot of times
Hacking and using exploits not stopped, so more and more people starting to use the hacks.
extreme policy on the use of bought gold can get your account suspended even if another guy buys your stuff with bought gold.
Hardly any GM online. It's a volunteer job you can do from home, which increase the chance of fraude.
Accounts get banned or suspended without any form of communication. It can take weeks before a ticket is answered.
After 4 months i spend € 115 and got the account suspended because another player apparently used bought gold to buy my AH items.
So my advice is not to spend any Dollar/Euro to play a crappy and unstable game with a bad support. I am sure there are more and better free MMORPG's out there who do have a decent staff to fix problems or answer supportquestions.
If Runwes of Magic was more stable and had better support, i would have rated it a 6.5 out of 10 (for being a decent WoW clone). But because of the bugs, hacks, and lack of support, i can not rate it higher than a 3.
Feel free to respond