Free-to-play MMO Runes of Magic is doing very well for a game that was branded a World of Warcraft knock-off on its release. With players now past the 3 million mark and the Chapter 3 expansion being delivered to gamers, we caught up with Julien Crevits, Community Manager Runes of Magic, to find out what's currently happening with development.
Q: How is Runes of Magic doing for you guys? How many people are currently active players and what do you hope to reach?
Julien Crevits: First of all, Runes of Magic is doing extremely well as we hit the 3.5 million players mark more than a month ago. Let me put this figure in perspective by reminding you that Runes of Magic was officially launched back in May 2009, just over a year ago.
Of course, the more players Runes of Magic has, the better it will be for everyone but we’re not aiming for any "goal" in particular. We are just trying to make the Runes of Magic experience as enjoyable as possible for our community.
Q: Could you explain a bit about the story for Chapter 3 and how it relates to the previous Chapters?
JC: Chapter I and II of Runes of Magic told the story of an arch-villain, the "Demon Lord", which ended at the end of last year. With Chapter 3, we are introducing a completely new story arc which takes place on the continent of Zandorya.
On this new continent, a young king, Callaway, is facing internal struggles among the six factions he rules, such as Kalos, Lechif and Shador. Players have to help the king rally his allies under the royal banner. This background story opens up many opportunities for hundreds of new quests, monsters as well as new NPC races, while letting the players discover huge new zones, each containing varied landscapes and settings.
Q: Runes of Magic is obviously influenced by WoW, but are you interested in making the game distinct from that MMO as you introduce more Chapters?
JC: Runes of Magic is an MMO, therefore it shares basic similarities with other games from the same genre, defined long before WoW - just like First-Person-Shooter games play similarly to other FPS games as well.
Runes of Magic features many gameplay differences and functionalities, such as the dual-class system, allowing players to combine two classes and have access to special skills after having reached level 10 and choosing a second class. Every player in the game also has free access to a house, freely customisable with furniture and housekeepers. Our guild system is extremely advanced, too and features guild levels with special guild quests, mini-games, guild castles and more.
Just a few weeks ago, one of our latest additions was the pet system, allowing everyone to have one (or more) pets out of hundreds of possibilities, which can be levelled up, fed and will join you in battle.