First of all, I'd like to say that while there are certainly those who are more qualified than me to judge this game, I feel I have played it enough (and over a long enough time span) to write an accurate review.
Next, I give this a tentative recommendation, since this game is great for some and hell for others.
Now, for the actual review:
Before you read the rest this, just know that in order to really enjoy this game, you're going to have to fork over some cash. As many wrote before me, the “second” developers (who acquired the game some time ago) have made this a micro-transaction based game, in which “realm gold” (which equates roughly to 100 = $1) can be used to buy many items, as well as things like storage space and the ability to have more characters in your account. Since you start out only able to store 8 items and have one character, (I have ~8x the storage and 5 characters, and still feel I need more) the latter are VERY important, assuming you actually want to become somewhat good at the game.
It didn’t always used to be quite like this. The original developers, Wildshadow, were, to the best of my knowledge, not bad devs. Sure, the pay-to-win aspects were there, but when Kabam bought ROTMG, it became all about squeezing as much money as possible out of this once great tube of toothpaste. In fact, it seems almost as if Kabam thinks our lovely toothpaste tube is near empty, because certain aspects of the game are starting to fall apart (which I’ll cover in a bit). Like another reviewer said, in ROTMG, your greatest weapon is your credit card. And every time someone uses the best weapon in the game, Kabam’s breath is freshened with the minty green toothpaste known as money. If you don’t want to buy into any pay-to-win/micro transaction games, look elsewhere.
Another problem: Everyone hacks. Well, not everyone, but so many do that I’m not even sure people are banned for it. It’s gotten to the point where people can admit it openly and people don’t really seem to care. If you like hacking, I suppose this might be a plus, but for those of you that like to play legitimately, you might be frustrated that others have an unfair advantage.
The game also sometimes likes to disconnect you. While bugs aren’t terribly common, one very annoying one involves kicking an entire realm of people back to the menu with the error “Load error, retrying...”, and not letting them back on for maybe 5-10 mins. It’s not a huge deal, except I’ve seen reports of this bug going back into 2013. Something as irritating as this should have probably been fixed by now, especially since it’s not like many huge releases have been taking up the developers’ time.
One last thing that ROTMG lacks is a compassionate community. In this game, everyone is out for themselves. And if you want to be a successful player, selfishness is a quality you should exemplify, as well. As such, don’t expect to have very many friendly interactions with others.
After all these negatives, you might be wondering why I actually recommended this game. The truth is, it’s still very fun most of the time, and offers something few MMOs do. Namely, permanent death. This isn’t really a positive or a negative, since everyone seems to have their own opinion on the matter. While it does help drive the economy, as new gear/”stat potions” (which increase a character’s statistics, like how fast they move or how much health they have) are always in demand. However, people tend to invest a lot of time in a good character, so losing one is never a fun experience.
Despite these warnings, if a more open MMO is what you’re looking for, I’d recommend at least trying out ROTMG. While it’s less fun if you’re just starting out, the longer you spend, and the better your characters get, the more this game will latch onto your mind, demanding you play it over and over again.