Realms Online Overview
Anyone familiar with Mythic’s Dark Age of Camelot will notice how similar Realms Online is to the veteran pay-to-play MMORPG. Both games have three warring ‘realms’ and a similar graphic style. The quality of the game’s graphics and content don’t match its P2P cousin’s, but the fact it is available for free with optional micro payments has led to its international success. While there are three classes per realm, many are just humans with a different name. Additionally, there are only three classes (with two specializations each) which limits the level of variation. The game’s three realms and their races are:
Alsuis - The cold, snowy mountainous homeland of the Dwarves, Nordos, and Utgghars.
Ignis - A barren wasteland full of volcanos and molten lava, Ignis is the home of the exiled Dark Elves and the Esquelios.
Syrtis - The lush, green forested home of the Elves, Alturians, and Half-Elves.
All three realms share the same three base classes, each of which has two specializations upon reaching a certain level. They are:
Warrior - The melee fighters of Regnum, warriors rely on high physical defense and health. The strength attribute determines their damage output. Warriors can specialize into defenseive Knights or offensive Barbarians.
Archer - Archers rely on speed and cunning. They have high evasion and attack from a distance but have lower defense than warriors. They can specialize into Marksmen, who are experts with the bow, or Hunters who control beasts as pets.
Mage - The primary casting class. Mages have the highest damage potential, but are also the weakest in direct combat. They can specialize into either offensive Warlocks or a supportive healing/buffing class known as the Conjuerer.
Realms Online Screenshots
Realms Online Featured Video
Realms Online Review
By Erhan Altay
Realms Online was developed and published by the Argentinian NGN Studios, making it the first major MMORPG to come out of that country (as far as I can tell). Officially released back in 2007, the game has found international success and today boasts four servers: two International (English) and two German. Anyone with mass experience in the MMORPG scene will immediately notice striking similarities between Realms Online and Dark Age of Camelot (released by Mythic Entertainment in 2001). Not only do both games employ a three-way, Realm vs Realm PvP element, but even the races and environments have a striking resemblance. While not as apparent as the similarities between Runes of Magic/World of Warcraft, Realms can safely be labeled as ‘DAoC Lite.’
Pick a Side
Three warring nations, or realms, compose the game world of Regnum: Alsuis, Ignis, and Syrtis. Each has a unique setting, ranging from lush forests, frigid mountains, to volcanic wastelands. Players can only really explore and play through 1/3 of the game, unless they decide to have multiple accounts or play on multiple servers. Each realm has three races, though humans make an appearance three times under different names. There are only three universal starting classes (Mage, Warrior, and Archer), and not every race has the option to pick between all three classes. As for appearance customization, it is rather limited for a 3D game. Players choose a gender, a height (small, medium, tall), and a hair & face style along with hair & facial hair colors. The number of choices are limited, but mixing and matching hair and beard colors can yield some interesting looks.
New players start their journey in a small, secluded section of their realm that acts as a sort of tutorial island. Here small menus appear with game instructions, and NPCs are nearby to greet you with beginner quests. Realms employs a sort of on-the-fly downloading mechanic that downloads parts of the game as you play. While this makes the initiation game download & install process short, it can hinder gameplay a bit for the first half hour or so. When I first started playing, the game was still in the process of downloading key parts, such as the attack animation and the world map. If you have a broadband connection, this process shouldn’t take long, but I can only image how frustrating it could be on dial-up.
A Big World
The environments in Realms are very large, with plenty of open space (and thus lots of walking), but are for the most part empty. Even in the starter area, I had to walk around quite a bit to complete a quest asking me to kill five wolf cubs. There are plenty of quests available to keep the game’s pacing, but for some reason players can only hold five quests at a time in their log. As I mentioned earlier, many areas in Realms have a striking resemblance to regions first found in DAoC. While playing my Elf in the realm of Syrtis I almost felt like I was back in Hibernia. I don’t view this borrowing of concepts and ideas as a negative; DAoC was one of my favorite games in the early days of MMORPG gaming, so if anything Realms Online’s resemblance was a plus. Realm vs Realm warfare isn’t quite as in-depth, and neither are the graphic details, but that’s the price we pay for free-to-play games.
The Standard Fare
As far as controls go, Realms takes the Western approach with a strictly W,A,S,D movement scheme. No click-to-move here – instead the mouse is used to target and initiate combat as well as open interface menus. Players can hit ‘Q’ to activate auto-run, which is a vital feature since there’s quite a lot of walking back and forth in Regnum. Players cannot jump, though I found myself constantly hitting the space bar in vain to pass the time whiling running from one location to another. While the game was only released a few years ago (2007) the graphics have a late 1990s 3D style; both character models and the general geography lack a detailed touch. The music, on the other hand, had me captivated from the start. The soundtrack’s soothing melodies fit the medieval theme, but I wish there were more tracks available.
Rally the Base
The game’s population can be considered moderate, but most players (even on the English servers) seem to be foreigners, which can be a problem since so much of the late game relies on cooperative Realm vs. Realm combat. Clans (guilds) unite under the banner of their realms to battle for control over contested zones, which yield rewards to the controlling side. Like other free-to-play games, Realms Online is supported with a premium shop. This ship includes things like mounts, different hair styles, dyes for armor and cloths, potions and so on. The only items I found objectionable were the bonus exp scrolls that give a boost of up to 200% experience for a period of time. Overall, Realms Online feels more like a Western P2P MMORPG than the usual anime-inspired fare – that alone may make it worth a look.
Final Verdict: Good
Realms Online is an original free MMORPG with enough variety to keep players interested, though the large open game world poses a daunting challenge. Those looking for something similar older Western RPGs may find what they’re looking for in Realms Online.
Realm Online Videos
Realms Online Character Creation
Realms Online Beginner Video
Realms Online PvP Trailer
Realms Online Combat Footage
Realms Online Links
Realms Online System Requirements
OS: Windows XP
CPU: Pentium 3 800 Mhz
RAM: 256 MB
HDD: 1.0 GB
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 7500 or nVIDIA Geforce 2
OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: PPentium 4 2.4Ghz / AMD Athlon XP 2400 or better
RAM: 512 MB or more
HDD: 1.5 GB
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 9600 / nVIDIA Geforce FX5700 or better