It's no secret that free-to-play MMOs have gained a permanent foothold in the MMO landscape. With some titles garnering millions of players and others reporting record profits, it's clear that this business model is here to stay. Like most free-to-play games, Runes of Magic is supported by a micro-transaction system. Players spend cash on "diamonds", which can be used to dye equipment, unlock extra backpack space or buy items in the cash shop. Available items for purchase include tools for upgrading equipment, skill reset stones, XP gain potions, cosmetic pets and costumes.
In addition to the usual conveniences and cosmetic options, the Runes of Magic cash shop contains some items that could be considered essential. Yet of the few free-to-play titles I've tried that are supported by a cash shop, I find it the most supportive to players who don't want to spend any money. The method Frogster uses to keep Runes of Magic open to free players is highly effective. While cash can be used as a short-cut or convenience, free players are still able to acquire essential items and make full use of the game. In fact, there's very little a cash-wielding player can do that a free player can't.
In this article, I look at how Runes of Magic can be played without spending any cash.