The life of a free-to-play game columnist sometimes feels like driving a super-charger across a post-apocalyptic planet's surface: pock-marked with jagged smoking craters, littered with crumbling cities and dotted with shanty towns full of biker gangs. No matter how hard I try to avoid anything dangerous on my way to a coveted twinkie factory, it's only a matter of time before I run into some. I usually try to avoid anything that I think will immediately ignite a box of old, wet dynamite when talking about Runes of Magic, but I think I'm going to go out on a limb this time by saying you most certainly can play RoM for free.
I had spent two years browsing many other MMOs' cash shops before I saw RoM's, and back then a lot of what they sold were time-restricted items. You could buy any assortment of outfits, mounts, or even some attribute boosters, but you lost most items after a short amount of time. I know a lot of F2Ps operate differently now and have started experimenting with many ways of selling items, beyond any perceived notion that the game was built with simple roadblocks. Still, I think those games feel very separated from their cash shops and that's why RoM's shop stands out to me.