Sunday, June 19, 2011

Earning My ROM Wings

I hit two milestones in Runes of Magic over the weekend - level 45 in my secondary class, unlocking a new 45/45 elite skill for my main, and 6000 Phirius Tokens, allowing me to purchase a pair of wings from the item shop.
Shiny wings have a shiny on-use ability
What are wings?
As a pure non-subscription item shop game that does basically nothing to force players to pay during solo leveling, ROM has to make its money somewhere.  The high end gear system appears to be one of the main money-makers.  There are large numbers of consumable item shop purchases that can be used to enhance players' gear, dramatically increasing its stats to a degree that goes far beyond what other MMO's offer through enchantments/adornments/runes/etc.  Some of these items are available for Phirius tokens - you get 10 per daily quest completed and can complete 10 daily quests per day - but the prices are such that I'd imagine any serious player is going to need to move faster than this system allows. 

Items that can be equipped in players' back slot - typically wings, though some are flowers or floating swords that follow you around - are exclusive to the item store.  These items have no stats by default, but they do represent another gear slot that can be enhanced, including a permanent bonus to exp and drop rates that is almost never found outside of temporary item store consumables. 

An example pair of fully-upgraded wings on the auction house, compared to my brand new statless version.
Pricing the wings
It's somewhat difficult to determine what wings are actually worth, because they are not included in the permanent stock of the diamond shop (the currency that you get directly for spending real money).  Typically you'll see wings go on sale once or twice a month for 3-5 days at a time for prices running around 150-300 diamonds ($7.50-$15 at non-sale exchange rates, price usually includes some items to get started on enhancing the wings as part of a bundle). 

Fortunately, there are a few other options.  There is a cash store item that allows players to unbind soulbound equipment and place it on the auction house, so you can pay gold for someone else's wings (which they hopefully are not getting rid of simply because they made poor choices in building them).  Another option, the route I took, is to plunk down 6000 of the Phirius daily quest tokens - 600 dailies/60 days worth. 

I would not do that many daily quests just to save a few bucks.  Fortunately, I didn't have to, as daily quests are a part of ROM characters regular progression, especially if you have a secondary class that you'd like to level without actively playing it.  The long-term goal of farming up the tokens over the year or so I've been playing the game was a good little nudge towards taking care of daily quests that the game expects me to be doing anyway.

I don't know how far I'm going to get in terms of upgrading the things with Nebula jewels and whatnot (I will be very cautious about putting regular stats on them, since I don't want to get stuck with bad stats), but I suppose that's a medium to long term goal for future Phirius tokens.  There isn't really that much else I need in that section of the item shop right now, other than maybe an additional storage chest for my house, but in the mean time at least I've got a pair of good-looking wings to show for my efforts.  
Fortunately, the shiny ball of energy between the wings doesn't interfere with the massive shadow energy from my shadow attacks - which, incidentally, were buffed significantly in this week's patch.

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