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Rubies of Eventide (RoE or Rubies) was a free to play (donation-funded) massively multiplayer online role-playing game previously published by Mnemosyne, LLC.[1] Powered by the Lithtech Jupiter engine, Rubies of Eventide is set in the medieval fantasy world of Vormis represented by a 3D world. The game launched in June 2003 and after 6 years, ceased operation in August 2009.

History

CyberWarrior, Inc. launched Rubies of Eventide on 2 June 2003 as a paid service.[2][3] Citing low subscription rates, CyberWarrior announced that the game would cease operations in December, 2003[4][5] but later managed to secure additional funding for some months.[6] Later, two former CyberWarrior developers, together with the founder of the game, set up a private server to play the game with close friends and relatives, but found that some hardcore fans managed to hook themselves to their connection.[7] After leasing the game to Mnemosyne, LLC. in 2004, the mmorpg continued to operate today on a donation-based model.[8] Players were able to start and play accounts for free (with limited server space), while patrons gain priority in game access during peak usage, and certain in-game benefits.

Mnemosyne, LLC., was founded by Julia Hiroko Howe in 2004 to manage and maintain the massively-multiplayer game "Rubies of Eventide." Mnemosyne also develops products for fans of genre entertainment including Tentacle Grape soda.[citation needed]

In April 2009 a forum announcement was made stating that Mnemosyne, LLC no longer expressed their interests in the game and that they would no longer present the game, ownership was handed back to Founder Marc E. Howe who then shut down the Nemesis PVP Server, a decision which sparked a lot of controversy in the forums the move then resulted in characters being moved from Nemesis to the Phoenix server.

In late July 2009, Rubies of Eventide was put "offline until further notice". Several reasons were listed on the game's homepage.[9] In early August 2009, an announcement was later made that the plug was pulled on Rubies of Eventide.[10]

Gameplay

The game is currently hosted on two servers, each devoted to a particular play style: Phoenix, aimed at casual and newer players; and Fire Opals, dedicated to serious role-players. As of Spring 2009, the PvP and beta server Nemesis was taken off-line.

Rubies of Eventide can be downloaded played for free although users are given the option to donate. A "patron account" gives some metagame benefits such as bypassing server caps and viewing player profiles. A "gentry account" also gives extra character slots, access to the "Founder's Isle" and the player's character receives three magic items: a ceremonial sword, teleport ring, and a Gentry Cloak, which all offer small boosts to your skills.

Races

The player is given the option of customizing a character from one of seven races: Human, Elf, Gnome, Dwarf, Orc, Ogre, and Leshy. Hair, skin tone, gender, and facial features are all customizable as well.[11]

File:Orc plate.jpg
  • Humans are the most versatile race of Vormis as they have no particular advantage or disadvantage. They are of average strength, dexterity, constitution, and intelligence. Humans are not adept at any one type of skill and can learn most any skill for an average amount of effort and time. They are most suited for character classes that do not require multiple attributes to be well above average.
  • Dwarves are short and stout folk, known for their hearty constitution and their prowess in melee combat. Dwarves tend to have high strength and excel at classes that require a high constitution. Many dwarves are skilled crafters, but often lack the Dexterity required for ranged combat. Dwarves are of average intelligence, so their good strength and constitution often lead them into more physical pursuits.
  • Elves are slightly smaller than the average human, with delicate pointed ears and almond shaped eyes. Elves tend to excel in Dexterity based skills, but tend to have less constitution than many other races of Vormis. They are inclined more toward spellcasting and ranged combat than an average human, and often learn a combination of magical and martial skills.
  • Orcs are large muscular humanoids with protruding teeth and a slight snarl. Orcs were recently accepted as a civilised race, though there are still Orcs in the wilds of Vormis with no love of civilization. Orcs tend to have a high dexterity, fairly high strength and constitution, but often lack intelligence. While they can become spellcasters, Orcs are best suited for character classes that are based on physical traits.
  • Gnomes are short, gray skinned humanoids of child-like stature. Gnomes have a natural talent for spellcasting, though they are not as specialized as the Leshy. Gnomes have a low constitution, but tend to have high dexterity and high intelligence. They are stronger than Leshy, and are best suited for character classes that are based on intelligence or dexterity.
  • Ogres are tall, broad-shouldered, hulking humanoids with tusks. Known for their immense strength and lack of intelligence, ogres are surprisingly good natured. Though ogres were recently accepted as a civilised race of Vormis they often work well with others, and excel at physical skills. Ogres are best suited for skills and classes that rely on strength or constitution, and they tend to be poor spellcasters.
  • Leshy are tall, generally pale skinned humanoids, slight of build, but strong of mind. Leshy tend to be highly intelligent and are naturally adept at spellcasting. They are physically weak, especially in strength, though they are of average dexterity. Leshy are best suited for character classes that do not rely directly on Strength or Constitution.

Classes

RoE offers over 90 different classes from which to choose, including magic-using "casters", (Illusionists, Sorcerers, Bards, and Druids), to classes focused on melee combat (Warriors, Armsmen, Axemen, and Assassins), commonly referred to by players as "tanks." Players can also choose a hybrid class with a combination of both caster and tank abilities (Templars, Paladins, Dark Paladins, etc.). There are even more Classes, meant to focus on Sub-skills. (Smiths for Weapon/Armor Crafting; Tailor for Clothcraft; Even Classes Devoted to Language Skills.)[11]

Each class has a unique set of skills that it is talented with. These skills will be the easiest for your character to become proficient in. This does not mean that they are the only skills that your character can train, but their costs in development points will be much lower to train than skills that are not native to your profession.

Skills

There are over 50 skills to choose from to train a character in Rubies of Eventide. Skills are grouped into six basic categories. These are the Martial, Magic, Craft, Gathering, Worldly, and Language skills.[11]

  • Martial Skills: the martial skills deal with weapons, armor, and shields. These are the main skills for the purely melee character, and also very important to some of the hybrid characters as well. Raising your weapon skills will increase your effectiveness with using your weapon of choice. Each weapon skill is specific to the type of weapon that it is named for, but covers all of the weapons in that class. For example, the sword skill covers one handed and two handed swords, Axe skill covers one handed and two handed axes.
  • Magic Skills: there are eight schools of magic in Rubies of Eventide to train a character in, there are over 175 spells available in the combined schools. Each spell school has its own array of spells and specializations which depend on the focus of that particular school. For example, Shamanic is mostly a healing spell school whereas Sorcery is a raw elemental damage spell school. There are classes that will deal with just one school of magic as their primary skill and others that will have the ability to be skilled in several schools of magic. It is always possible to train any of them, however the training cost in development points will be lower for the schools that are the particular classes specialty.
  • Worldly Skills: the worldly skills deal with the day to day life of the character, such as their skill at haggling a price with a merchant or setting up a camp to rest and heal in. These skills include Bargaining, camping, first aid, and lore, all of which are currently implemented in Rubies of Eventide. The pick locks, scouting, search, stealth, and traps skills are not in yet.
  • Crafting Skills: crafting skills give the character the ability to create superior quality items which can be used or sold to other players. They have a unique use based progression system which is a bit different from the other skills which are only raised through spending development points. It is possible to craft a character to very high levels of crafting ability without ever spending a single development point on them.
  • Gathering Skills: gathering skills are fundamental skills for crafter-type characters to collect needful components from the game world without little to no combat. Like crafting skills, gathering improves with use and provides experience points for those employing these skills.
  • Languages: each of the seven races of Vormis has their own language, and a character will start its life with a bonus in its native language. Some professions like philosopher or muse have bonuses in language, but this does not exclude anyone from learning a racial language. To become more proficient in language skills, it is possible to either invest Development Points into languages or communicate in that language with another player who is more proficient in that language. In this way, language skills have the ability to autoraise with use, similar to crafting or gathering, but without the failures.

Gameplay

File:Fight bow.jpg

Combat

Rubies' unique combat mode is an “asynchronous real-time turn-based hybrid combat.” For players this means planning moves strategically with more attention to tactical planning than split-second decisions. This combat system combines turn-based and real-time elements. Under attack mode, every action has a preparation and recovery time, which varies depending on what action is taken (attack, movement), the weapon being wielded, and the strength of the user's character. This way, the player can cancel its action when in preparation time (e.g. cancel the attack and run away), but after the action is performed he has to wait until the recovery time is over (and for a few seconds he is vulnerable to his opponents).

File:Fight gressil.jpg

Another unique innovation in combat is the combat circle. When a battle begins, all other characters disappear and cannot join the battle, except for any aggressive NPCs nearby that might add up, or if in PvP, other members of the opposite party. This eliminates the problem of kill stealing and allows players to battle their foes without having to worry about outside interference. A red "radius of engagement" circle appears on the player's radar to indicate where the player and his opponent can move. If either combatant chooses to exit this ring, combat will effectively cease.[12]

Mentors

After reaching level 10, players can serve as mentor to other players under level 10. Mentors can train as many as five simultaneous apprentices. An apprentice graduates upon reaching level 10 and the mentor is rewarded with a point.

Advancement

Character advancement is facilitated by gaining XP (experience points) through combat to raise in levels. With every certain amount of XP gained, DP (development points) are earned. Distributing DP in different skills is how the player learns and grows in skills. The current maximum level to train for DP is 51. After that, no DP is currently awarded for leveling up.

Risk / Reward

Rubies of Eventide has a unique system for earning bonus experience points called the Risk/Reward system. The player decides how much he is willing to risk, or not risk.[11]

Until level six, a player is not subject to risk / reward, and all of his items will safely remain in his inventory if he happens to die. Anything that he acquires after that, whether from trading, looting from creatures, or purchase from a merchant is automatically risked. If the player finds something that he does not want to lose he should pay a visit to the wardens to protect it. Any items that a player drops after he dies will remain on the ground where he died. The time they remain there for is determined by the player's level. Please note that on Nemesis these items can be picked up by anyone at any time.

The maximum risk bonus that any player can earn is 20%, he must have 100% of his total inventory risked in order to achieve a 20% risk bonus. If any items are placed in the vault, they will not count towards the risk bonus even if they are set as risked. Any items in the vault are safe, it is impossible to lose them if the player dies.

File:Death scene.jpg

Death and Dying

When a player died, there were several methods available to bring his character back to life. Any player could use the '/rtt' or '/temple' command to return to the temple. This would spawn the character in whichever temple he was currently bound to. He could also get resurrected by another player via a spell or they could carry his corpse to a temple to be resurrected by the healer there. If the player logged off the game while dead he would still be dead and in the same location when he or she logged back in.[11]

Guild System

In each server, there were "guilds," groups of players, requiring at least six to begin, that banded together for their common good. Guilds often did such things as hunted together, shared goods and money, and, in the case of the Nemesis server, declared war on one another. Once a party of six has been made, a leader goes into the basement of the Kajblood Keep in the main zone and, with 1 larn worth of money, could purchase a registered guild name.

Loot and Buying

Currency in the world of Vormis was organized into denominations of Imperials, Degnars, Larn, and Prox (from lowest to highest). It could be acquired directly off corpses (loot), selling goods obtained from creatures, or such private ventures as placing bounties on other people. All creatures killed could be looted for whatever they have on them. Players' property was secure on their dead bodies, however, unless the person resurrected (by doing the command "/rtt") and left behind his or her uninsured items.

Players could insure their items by going to local Wardens, non-player characters that make insured items travel with you even if you die. This was especially useful for Armour and Weaponry.

Supplies could be bought in local towns from non-player vendors for money, and goods looted could be sold to any vendor with the "sell" command.

Community

File:Tavern.jpg

This game had a small community. Due to the server cap limitation, there could not be many people playing at the same time. Each server had a different cap. These were a maximum of 250 people for each server (the cap was adjusted by the game administrators depending on the hardware/software capabilities). At the same time, this restriction created a particular environment, making it possible for all players to get to know each other better. It was common to find two or even three members of the same family to be playing at the same time, and there had been reports of real life friendships emerging from the game. Most of the older players were well known inside the game, and some of them were famous for their willingness to help newcomers become acquainted with the game.

Despite the relatively small number of players, Download.com showed more than 460,000 downloads[13] and the official forums had about 4,000 registered users, and many inactive players kept posting to help new players build their characters and to keep in touch. There were separate forums for general discussion and role playing stories, as well as an event board and a separate section for English-speaking guilds and non-English speaking guilds. However, the lack of more players was the main concern for game fans and the main obstacle for new players, as read in most MMORPG sites' comments.

Many fansites had been set up also, most of them with “spoiler” information about classes, items, races, and all other information to help plan builds in advance. Moreover, due to the complexity that advanced character creation can reach a former developer created a “charbuilder” program which included all of the modifiers for each race and class, to know in advance at a lesser detail what your character will be able to do inside the game.

References

  1. Thank you for visiting Mnemosyne, but we are now closed.. Mnemosyne, LLC. Retrieved on 2009-08-17.
  2. Calvert, Justin (2003-06-02). RUBIES OF EVENTIDE GOES LIVE!. Gamespot. Retrieved on 2007-05-21.
  3. Rubies of Eventide goes live. Blue's News (2003-06-01). Retrieved on 2007-05-21.
  4. Rubies of Eventide to Close. RPG Vault (2003-11-25). Retrieved on 2007-05-21.
  5. Rubies of Eventide Woes. About.com (2003-11-25). Retrieved on 2007-06-04.
  6. Rubies of Eventide Lives On. RPG Vault (2003-12-05). Retrieved on 2007-05-21.
  7. Mnemosyne, LLC. Opens for Business and Revives RoE. Rubies of Eventide Knowledge Database (2004-08-05). Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
  8. Rubies not Ruined. MM Hell (2004-08-26). Retrieved on 2007-05-21.
  9. Rubies of Eventide. Eventide.net. Retrieved on 2009-08-17.
  10. RoE More Emails… Last Time. Dekkerdreyer.com. Retrieved on 2009-08-17.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Rubies of Eventide Game Manual. Mnemosyne LLC (2004-09-01). Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
  12. Keeler, John (2001-08-11). Rubies of Eventide Review. ign.com - RPG Vault. Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
  13. Rubies of Eventide 0.95. Download.com (2004-04-11). Retrieved on 2007-05-31.[dead link]

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