The Shadowforge Dwarves are not happy. That’s the general message I get from my demo of Fires of Shadowforge, the fifth chapter of Frogster Interactive Pictures’ MMO, Runes of Magic. After all, they were tricked by a dark wizard a few centuries ago into letting him turn them into stone. Now that scientists have discovered and revived them, they must begrudgingly find their place in a society where the other races mistrust them at best and hate them at worst. The player must guide their mystery-shrouded character back to the light.
Dwarves begin the game in a new starting area — the wasteland in which their stone bodies were found. For our demo, we ran around the area casting spells and bashing ‘filthy cave rats’ and ‘blind abyss spiders,’ and of course nabbing loot. There was also a new low-level instance that we didn’t get to see, which will be mandatory when playing as a dwarf and will show how their story connects to the Runes of Magic world at large.
Some of the most important additions to the game are the two new classes available exclusively to dwarves. First, the Champion class wields a gigantic axe or hammer and has the ability to transform into a Rune Robot. A trailer shows him fighting a tiger that is twice his size, and yet he easily fends it off with some mighty swipes and devastating dark magic. Transforming into the giant, crystalline Rune Robot pretty much seals its fate.
The other new class, the Warlock, specializes in ranged magic and sapping strength. He is best used as a support class and a damage dealer. A video shows him fighting a large genie-like thing (cheekily nicknamed ‘ellen’ after one of our hosts), which he quickly dispatches with purple, ghostly magic.
Our demo ends with a quick fly-through of the new instance, which seems to take place in the same wasteland and is dotted with stegosaurus-style monsters covered in green fire. A dark, flying devil-like monster (‘Marco,’ one of our other hosts) looks menacing and ready to kill, beckoning players to dive into the new content.
Runes of Magic Chapter V: Fires of Shadowforge is free-to-play and is available now for European players, with a domestic release to follow soon. If that wasn’t simple enough, you soon won’t even need to install the game in order to play it — it will be playable through a web browser through the Kalydo service.
So the new content is looking like a strong attraction for fans of the game. A new race, new story, new classes, new enemies, and new instances — new, new, new, new, new. Admit it, though: the biggest reason you want to play is so that you can be something as epic-sounding as a ‘Shadowforge Dwarf’.