After having a couple of conversations on the topic over the last month, I decided to make a list of more reasons I am so attracted to Runes of Magic. Runewaker may not have created the next evolutionary step in MMOs, but it did do some new and innovative things. It created what I consider to be the first hybrid traditional free-to-play MMO. RoM predominantly uses western game mechanics and a quest-driven leveling system with a cash shop. As far as actual gameplay is concerned, RoM features many standards -- very nice improvements on those standards.

In this article, I list six refinements that I think add to the increasing uniqueness of an MMO that constantly shows it's more than a generic clone. Jump past the break to see if you agree with me or share your favorite MMO standards that you think RoM improves upon.

Doubling up

Daily quest drops don't work on a trigger. You don't have to accept the quest first for the mobs to drop the necessary items. It sounds like an annoyance that could quickly fill your backpack with items you don't want, but it actually gives you freedom to double-up on quests and saves time. Seeing as how most quests are centered in or around hubs and daily quest bulletin boards are located in the same places, you save having to travel to the boards each time you want to collect the necessary items. Are you out in Aslan killing boar, goblins and anteaters? You can collect all the dailies for them and then just make one trip back to town to accept and turn in the quests, instead of needing to accept them and return to the area where the mobs are each time.

Multiple looting

I have seen that RIFT is going to allow players to automatically loot multiple dead mobs at the same time. If you've killed some in the same small area and loot one, you loot them all. That sounds like a neat idea, and I'm curious about how it will pan out. RoM has something similar by way of having your pet loot bodies -- there's a cash-shop item that will temporarily allow your pet to auto-loot bodies around you. I'm not sure about the radius of lootable bodies in RIFT, but RoM pets can stray a fair distance from the player.

Inventory space

It can really suck big time to run out of inventory space. RoM gives an ample amount for free from the get-go, but players can also purchase tons more. You can rent hundreds of extra slots' worth of bank and backpack space along with buying permanent space in the form of furniture for your house. Chests offer the most spaces by far (the wooden one gives you the most at 20 extra slots), but a lot of furniture actually throws one or two extra storage slots your way. Even the individual slotted furniture can add up to a big difference if you planned on decorating your house with 10 or more pieces of furniture. I personally think buying permanent space is the better option, but I also think that the rent on extra backpack and bank pages is very reasonable with many options to fit your budget and time.

Loot overflow

This one might be taken for granted more than many others in my list, but it's very handy to have. When your bag is full, you aren't suddenly cut off from all loot. Ever notice that when you loot a mob or open a package, the drops actually appear on-screen next to your backpack button? The items quickly appear and bounce into your backpack icon. If your backpack is full, the item gets stuck outside, stays on your screen, and turns red. I've never fully tested the limits of how many items can be bottlenecked outside of the backpack, but at one time I had close to a dozen items. This is really handy for finishing quest requirements without having to make an extra trip to town and back. Once you clear space, the items outside your backpack in holding will finish bouncing into your backpack.

No trash loot

My MMO career isn't long enough to have experienced why games like World of Warcraft have trash loot. You know those drops that have dim gray names? Those may offer a small amount of money for players just starting out, but you will constantly be avoiding or clearing out your bag because the items quickly become useless. Hence the name trash loot. RoM doesn't have trash loot. While there will certainly be items that players consider trash during different activities, all drops in the game serve consistent purposes. Trash loot -- found in other MMOs -- tends to quickly become useless to everyone, all the time.

No corpse run

Maybe this one is less universal, but the corpse run in WoW really annoys me. The more often I die, the higher the annoyance too. I was on a PvP server being shown around by a friend and suffered a horrible experience with this. One time we entered a high-level zone I'd never been in. Long story short, I spent maybe 10 minutes running around trying to figure out how to get around a mountain to my body while blathering about how stupid a corpse run was and being aggravated with my friend. That's 10 minutes I didn't get to have fun actually playing. On PvP servers, you can get into these impromptu multiplayer matches and you will die a lot. Players are very likely to spend more total time during a little faction-war doing corpse runs than actually playing and fighting. RoM has instant respawns at selected points in every zone. The closest thing it has to an annoyance is a short sickness buff.

Conclusion

RoM has always been a unique MMO to me. Many discount it for being a generic clone or get the wrong impression when they hear the word clone. Runewaker has actually put a lot of its own ideas and refinements into the game, tweaks that I think other companies like Blizzard would do well to pay attention to. There may be other features that could fit into this list, but I was a little hazy on how new or unique they were. The world search feature comes to mind, but I didn't want to jump the gun. If you know of more, feel free to put them in a comment below.

Each Monday, Jeremy Stratton delivers Lost Pages of Taborea, a column filled with guides, news, and opinions for Runes of Magic. Whether it's a community roundup for new players or an in-depth look at the Rogue/Priest combo, you'll find it all here. Send your questions to jeremy@massively.com.

This article was originally published on Massively.