This is a post I hadn't planned on making so soon, but after reading this post over at MMOCrunch.com it has been moved up my priority list. iTZKooPA attempts to calcuate the cost of playing and fully equiping a single character in Runes of Magic. He arrives at about the right answer, but for the wrong reasons when it comes to how much Runes of Magic will cost in the end-game.
The bulk of the cost as calculated by him comes from purchasing rune slot drillers. While it would be nice have have each piece of gear maxed out on runes, that definitely isn't going to be the priority upgrade for high level Runes of Magic players. Fitting your armor with runes is nice, but only after you have maximized your armor's stats in every other way you would find yourself turning to runes slots.
What iTZKooPA doesn't know about is that armor (and jewelry and weapons) can be fitted with up to six stats per piece of gear. There are several methods for doing this which I will go into in a later post, but for now it will have to suffice to say that creating the most powerful piece of gear possible is going to basically cost you six Pure Fusion Stones. These can be purchased for 55 diamonds a piece. At $0.033 per diamond that comes to $10.89 per piece of gear. Let's assume you eventually do this to all five jewelry slots, 8 armor slots, and for one weapon. That comes out to $152.46 to fully deck out your character.
How much have I payed for Runes of Magic? Soon after the game first launched I purchased a small amount of diamonds for $25 just to get my feet wet. I immediately wasted these diamonds on foolishly renting bag space and renting mounts. I even think I bought some experience potions and daily quest reset tickets. Any player will now know that these are extravagances that just aren't necessary. I then went four or five months without purchasing anything for diamonds.
I almost felt bad for the developers since I was getting away with playing their game and enjoying it so much, and all it had cost me up to that point was a measly $25. So recently I decided to load up on 3,000 diamonds for $100. About 1000 of those diamonds are now gone. In six months I have paid Frogster $125 which comes out to about $21 a month. But, like I said I still have 2000 diamonds left. So actually I have only "spent" around $60 in six months.
I know there are players who have spent several times this amount and I know there are players with level 50 characters who have not given Frogster a dime. So in the end, the beauty of Runes of Magic is that you can spend however much you want. You can be perfectly competitive by spending as little as $10 a month or you can be that incredible Mage walking around with 11,000 hit points.