This week in Lost Pages of Taborea, I want to look at a handful of ways that you can continue to enjoy RoM until the storm blows over (if it blows over). Even though prices seem out of hand, you can still get equipped well enough from new quests to start running dungeons. The minigames have been rejuvenated into farming grounds, thanks to the introduction of crimson stats. And even though it is often scoffed at, arena gear is an option for those willing to grind honor points or materials.
Some of the stats implemented in RoM that I love are crimson stats. These babies are equivalent to bunker stats, which are currently the best stats in the game. You get bunker stats by running Sardo Castle at the furthest end of endgame, and you get crimson stats from minigames. The only requirement is that you be level 50 or above. You need to collect 200 phirius shells, which you use to buy items from vendors located in Varanas Central. You'll see them lined up outside the bank. Just as with black codex vendors, you'll be paying for a piece of equipment that will have one randomly selected crimson stat attached to it.
You can run goblin mines, both of Malatina's games, and treasure hunt every day, provided you spend the requisite 30 phirius tokens to get into them. You'll be able to snag yourself a crimson stat every two days that way. The shell requirement used to be less, which allowed players to snag one a day, but Runewaker or Frogster must have felt that was a little too easy. Bagging a stat that's equivalent to stats from the highest dungeon in the game every two days is not too shabby. Even if your current equipment won't allow you to survive in goblin mines, you can hold daily guild-runs through it. It's beneficial for everyone, and not just for shells -- the treasure chests reward various phirius potions that are always worth stocking up on. Malatina's survival game scales to your level, but I still find it a bit hard to finish the whole game and win the shells on my Priest/Rogue. If you're a Mage, your area-of-effect spells will be quite helpful.
Coast of Opportunity
The name says exactly what this place offers. You have the opportunity to level fast and get some nice quest rewards. By the time you finish questing through Coast of Opportunity, you'll have equipment suitable for getting you into Cyclops Stronghold and starting your trip through the dungeon circuit.
Since the requirement to get in is having your first two classes at level 20, you can get to CoO quickly. I recommend going there as soon as you can. You might as well take advantage of the zone and get your preferred class leveled so you can start running minigames to upgrade, trade, or sell the crimson stats. You can always move on to the older zones later. Quests in older zones won't level you as quickly, and you won't be getting rewards as nice as those from CoO, but you could stick with leveling and gearing just one class for the foreseeable future. CoO also allows you to bypass any and all previous requirements to obtain elite skills. You can use this shortcut for all your classes at every level.
By this time, you'd really be well on your way with one of your classes, but if you do want to work on other classes, you could try some old-school honor farming to gear them. You're going to have some downtime after you've finished the minigames and between finding groups to run dungeons.
Unorthodox it may be, and you'll likely find many veterans who say it's not worth it, but if you're not getting the drops you need fast enough, you can supplement your lack of gear with PvP rewards. The level 50 gear available from the NPCs in Obsidian Stronghold's mercenary square isn't terrible. It'd be worth throwing dirty and clean stats (which you're gathering from dungeons) on them, while you might be better off selling the crimson stats -- at least, in the beginning -- to build up a nice cache of cash.
The nice thing is that even in this economic slump, there are nice options to choose from -- options available to suit your playtime or mood or to help you circumvent scary-high prices.
Get to CoO ASAP. It will level your first class really fast. You can also stock up on the bags that award you the elite skill tickets, eliminating the need to meet old requirements. After level 50, you'll have a set of armor that should get you into Cyclops Stronghold. While you start dungeon-running, start hitting the minigames for the phirius shells. If you're really wanting to work on your other class' gear, you could start participating in the arena and battlefields to rack up honor points. Honor points will get you some fairly decent purple gear that wouldn't be a waste to upgrade from stats you collect from the dungeons you'd be running during this time.
RoM has a set of rules, just like World of Warcraft and other MMOs, but at the same time, those rules can be bent and broken in different ways. You're not going to find isolated, solid rules governing everything, with no other way around them. RoM's cash shop allows anyone to spend any amount of money she wants, whenever she wants. This makes it hard to dissect a part of the game and say definitively how it needs to be approached. No one can say you need to choose from a selection of specific gear in order to get into a dungeon or continue to the next dungeons. You can supplement many things by buying diamonds. At any point, blue or green armor could be statted enough to get you into many dungeons.
RoM is an MMO that I've found is best described in shades of gray rather than absolutes. For that reason, I'm very curious what you've found to be successful ways of getting geared on the cheap. How have you beaten the economy blues?
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 how to improve versatility in RoM's content, you'll find it all here. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.