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Journal Journal: Runes of Magic, WOW clone to the extreme

"I used to play World of Warcraft and I got fairly addicted to it. I have always enjoyed fantasy type games and the MMORPG appeal to me. I've always been a casual gamer/retro gamer until WOW. Well, I bought the Battle Chest and eventually WOTLK expansion pack, I paid my $15/month. But I got fatigued and also had to finish my senior project for college and I was changing jobs so I put my WOW acct on hold. I wanted to start up again but wanted to try something new maybe. Lord of the Rings, Conan, Warhammer...I fretted about if I wanted to go down that road of buying the game plus monthly $15 fees. I worried about if there would be a big community or not. Well, I heard about Runes of Magic and figured I'd give it try. It is a complete clone of WOW down to the character setup screen, backpack, sound of backpack opening, UI. Place names, quests, etc. are different and I like that you can dual class your character, possibly get a mount early on, etc. There are quite a few people online playing and they are nice. Still have the trolls selling gold. I also like that I accumulate gold faster...in WOW, you are a pauper for quite a while. But I guess my point is, how can they clone 99% of the look and feel of the client of WOW? Didn't Lindows get sued away by MS by being too close to the real thing? Why can't Activision Blizzard sue these ROM guys for "cloning" their game just about? Some sites and individuals defend it as just another MMORPG borrowing from previous games that work, making the argument that WOW stole from EQ2. But I just feel icky playing ROM, like I'm doing something wrong. Can anyone give it a serious review/consideration if it is a blatant copy? The graphics aren't bad at all but it is just so much a WOW-clone. Do you guys see a problem with it? I know most ROM players rationalize because they don't want to pay $15/mo. I can understand it but it feels wrong on so many levels. Additionally, do you guys think Blizzard is considering this when they soften WOW with lvl 20 mounts and such as being discussed for patch 3.2? Does AOC, Warhammer or Guild Wars measure up regardless of cost? I like exploring a world and not just entering an instance. I heard that I wouldn't like Warhammer or Guild Wars but I've never tried them. I welcome you guys' input. Thanks. You can see a review and screenshots of ROM here. You can also grab a review over at mmorpg.

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