I've played MMORPGs before such as Lineage and World of Warcraft. Since I wasn't in the mood for spending money, Runes of Magic is a free alternative. It's been called a WoW clone or rip-off and in some ways, it is.
The usual PvP and PvE servers are there. Mostly they are Dutch, French, German, Polish etc servers. There are several EU servers where English is the main language.
You have the choice between two races: human or elves. As far as stats or bonuses go, there are none. You simply start out at a different location and that's it.
You can customize your character very easily. There are premade faces and hair styles. You can also choose how tall you are, how buff and for the ladies you can choose... ahem chest and breast size. I kid you not. So if you want, you can go all out and do a Lola Ferrari.
You have several classes you can choose from:
And besides these classes you can choose from as an elf or human, there are some race specific classes:
To make sure they are a bit different from other MMOs, they made sure you can (and basically have to) dual class your character. So basically this means you choose one class, and when you reach level 10, you can choose a different secondary class.
The advantage: you get benefits from both the classes.
The disadvantage: you have to level up the class separately. AND you need two sets of armor, weapons, etc.
What does this mean? Suppose you have a Warrior (lvl 10), you choose to be a Mage (lvl 1). Now you have to switch classes so that you're a Mage/Warrior and level up your mage. Your warrior class remains the same. You want to level up your warrior? You have to make the switch again. So basically you're leveling up twice, so that's a real drag.
The basic crafting skills are there: blacksmithing, armoursmithing, mining, etc. Now in WoW you can only choose TWO professions. Here you can do ALL of them. So basically you can be a blacksmith, armorsmith, etc.
Every player can get a house. You start out with a basic house, and can upgrade it. You can place furniture there, and has many benefits. I still need to figure those out
As always, there are guilds. The fun thing here is that guilds can build a real guild castle. So a guild is not simply a bunch of people together, there is an 'instance' basically where you can hang out. So that's fun.
Runes? Monster cards?
Runes are basically meant to upgrade your armour. You find them everywhere. And you can get them out of your armour and weapons by disenchanting the item.
Monster cards are cards that monsters drop. they will boost certain stats.
Since this IS a free game, money will come into play. You can buy certain things like mounts, pets, clothes, ... But those are not necessary to play the game. The REAL LIFE money is called diamonds. The currency you make ingame is called gold.
Chapter III is currently up, and the patch should be complete THIS month. Apparently a marriage system is coming. The level is raised to 60, and some new zones have been revealed.
I'll be adding some screenshots later today or tomorrow. If you're interested in playing as well:
My character there is a Warden/Rogue called Varani.