The combat system of Runes of Magic relies equally on the advancement of fighting skills and good equipment. The quality of weapons and armor has an impact on attack as well as defense, but the proper use of the characters skill set is just as important. For normal attacks it is important to master the weapon skills like two handed swords, bows, axes or magical staffs, because they are directly responsible for the accuracy of that weapon. You will have difficulties with a weapon you are not accustomed to. While you are inflicting primarily physical damage to your enemies when using a weapon, spells of mages and priests deal magical damage. This is due to the mage having control over the elements fire and wind, while the priest can call upon Narfas, the god of spring water, who gives his followers control over the element water.
Skills and Combos
The core of the combat system in Runes of Magic is build by the many different attack skills, which give each character class its own distinctive strength. Combat is not only about beating down the opponent's vitality with brute force, expert adventurers use special effects to win a fight. Using roots or chains of light, players can tactically gain time to escape from a hopeless fight. Sometimes that’s necessary, because bleeding wounds are not only painful, but can become a dangerous problem. There are sinister professions specializing in blinding, stunning and poisoning weakened enemies like that.
A lot of skills in Runes of Magic depend on each other and demand constant attention and fast reaction. Warriors can use opening attacks to position their enemies in a way, where special follow up attacks are possible. However players have to react quickly which attacking possibility is opening up in combat. Knights can place so-called “Glowing Seals” that can release certain effects depending on which skills are followed up with. Mages can protect themselves by “Electrostatic Charges”, before they hurl these as spell charges against their enemies. Mages as masters of elements should watch out for any resistance an enemy may have against the base element of their magic. A spotted weakness here can be utilized to turn a fight around very quickly.
Within theses combo sequences in Runes of Magic it is important to keep an eye on the interaction of the elements. Every attack is assigned to a hidden element and certain sequences of elements bear magical extra effects. They are quite inconspicuous for short combinations, but the longer players can extend the sequence, the more spectacular the combo effects become. The mixture of elements on the target is essential and groups of adventurers can work together tactically to generate extra damage and special effects ranging from fear to fields of flames. But first they have to find out which combinations have an effect at all.
Building a group
Together with the specialization for certain skills the selection of primary and secondary class determines the role of a character in the combat system of Runes of Magic. A solo player will use a wide range of melee attacks, ranged attacks and healing skills, while in contrast groups work best with strict task-sharing. In a well-built group, warriors, knights and their variations should stand in the front line at best to stop their enemies from breaking through and reaching the mages and priests, who are very vulnerable to physical attacks. While doing that, they need to keep the attention of the enemies by using their attacks and skills and of course have to deal as much damage as possible with their swords and axes. The ranged combatants like mages, priests and scouts who are trying to do damage from the much safer second line with volleys of arrows and fire. Priest can join in combat action from time to time, but most often they are busy healing the front line fighters and keeping them alive. While the scout can help in the front line if the need arises, rogues are mostly on the move. They can deal a lot of damage, but must always be alerted to evade incoming attacks because they can’t bear much damage themselves.
An approved method for defeating many strong enemies is to lure single fighters out of the group by well directed taunts or ranged attacks. If their rush is stopped by the front line of a well organized group, it usually doesn’t take long before they meet their demise. Combat groups can repeat this again and again, but it’s not always so easy to separate leaders from their bodyguards. In this case, the best tactic is to keep the most dangerous enemy busy, until his helpers have met their maker. Character classes like knight or scout are suited for this task in Runes of Magic, because they can root an enemy to a place and delay a fight that way. But they always have to keep the attention of their opponent. That can be arranged by one or two well directed attacks. This game of attack, root and retreat has to be kept up long enough for the group to get their hands free to sort out the situation once and for all.
The fruits of victory
Victory over dangerous monsters not only yields experience and fame for the winning hero, but with some luck he might capture seldom and precious items as well. The loot in Runes of Magic can range from the “bear-skin” and other hunting trophies over rune stones, tools, clothing and up to weapons and armor, which in certain cases might have special properties. From time to time even glowing magical spheres emerge from fallen enemies. These grant special powers for a certain period of time to the victorious adventurers.