During the Q&A Session at the Marco Polo Hotel for the Press Conference of Ragnarok Online Philippines, one of members of media asked the Managing Director of Electronics Extreme, Kamphee “Ken” Piromward, how will Free-to-Play (F2P) business model survive (in this age of mobile gaming and heavy-graphics online games)?
Ken Piromward simply asked “Why are you (still) here?” (at the press conference). He said that at the end of the day, we would “want to come back home”. I totally agree. Ragnarok is home. We’re at home with Ragnarok. That’s the reason why Electronics Extreme is very confident that Ragnarok Online Philippines would (again) be a hit in the Philippines because we love the game so far. They already proved it in Thailand and other countries like Taiwan and Indonesia. Here in the Philippines, it still has a large followers.
When Ragnarok Online Philippines held the Ragna Festival 2017 at SM City Annex, it was jam-packed with people. Philippine Ragnarok Online (pRO) never died when it closed the server in March 2015. It just took a break from the dissatisfaction that we experienced with the old publisher.
It was again proven by members of the media, bloggers, Guild Masters, and RO enthusiasts present to cover the announcement at the Marco Polo Hotel. You can also visit the Facebook page of Ragnarok Online Philippines to know how many old-time RO players are excited to come back home.
For those who were too young to play Ragnarok Online during it’s heyday, and for those elementary and high school kids these days who are hook up to DotA2, LOL, Clash of Clans, Mobile Legends, and Pokemon, what will make them try Ragnarok Online? I can think of 13 reasons why they should play RO:
- Quests – Ragnarok Online has a lot of quest that are worth doing. Some would even make you /sob (somewhat cry and sad) once you learned what happens at the end of these Quests. These are well-written quests, from Friendship Quest, to Eye of Hellion’s Quest to Rachel Sanctuary Quest. Even job changes are quests and adventure. What can you expect – Ragnarok Online is based on Norse mythology and Asian Culture. With the release of recent RO Episodes, even the characters in the manga are incorporated into the game – like Loki, Fenrir, etc.
- War of Emperium (WoE) – it’s what we’re leveling up for. The War of Emperium (WoE) is a huge battlefield. One guild can accommodate up to 56 members and can have a maximum of 3 Ally Guilds. There’s the original WoE for smaller agits (castles) located in Aldebaran, Prontera, Payon and Geffen. Then there’s WoE 2.0 – larger agits with a single entrance. It’s located in Juno and Rachel. There’s even a WoE Training Edition (TE) which is available only for Transcendent Class.
The ultimate goal of defending and conquering these different agits is for the ingredients to make the ultimate weapons and gears in the game – the Godly Items (Mjolnir, Sleipnir, etc).
- Headgears – makes Ragnarok Online unique among online games. They’ve invested so much on creating various headgears from the simple Fancy Flower to the extreme Solar God Helm, Dark Bacilium among others. Plus, there’s the costume headgears which are mostly cosmetic/aesthetic headgears that let you hide your true headgear. With Headgear Contests being done often in-real-life and in-game, more and more headgears are being developed.
The avatar (costumes) of each job classes may be the same, but the headgears you’re wearing could be your signature online.
- Skills and Builds – There’s the basic First Jobs which levels up to the 2nd Jobs. There are the 2-1 jobs (Priest, Hunters, Knights, Wizards, Assassins and Blacksmiths) and the 2-2 jobs (Monks, Bard & Dancer, Crusaders, Sage, Rogue, and Alchemists.
Then there’s the Transcended Jobs – High Priest, Sniper, Lord Knight, High Wizard, Assassin Cross, Whitesmith, Champ, Minstrel (Clown) and Gypsy, Paladin, Scholar, Stalker and Biochemist. After that, they will evolve into the 3rd Jobs – Archbishops, Ranger, Rune Knight, Warlock, Guillotine Cross, Mechanic, Sura, Maestro & Wanderer, Royal Guard, Sorcerer, Shadow Chaser and Genetic.
There’s also the Expanded Class – Super Novices, Rebellion (from Gunslinger), Kagerou and Oboro (from Ninja) and the Doram Race. Each job probably has 2 or more builds, based on stats and weapons being used. A priest can be full-support (INT-VIT), battle (STR-AGi) or ME (Magnus Exorcismus, a skill) based on INT-DEX. A Hunter can be a Double-Strafer (skill) based on DEX or a Falconer (AGI-LUK).
Imagine how many character builds you can make from the combination of the 6 attributes STR (strength), AGI (agility), VIT (vitality), INT (intelligence), DEX (dexterity), and LUK (luck). Not to mention that there are a lot of skills where you can build a character. The possibilities are endless.
- Chibi-style characters – The characters of RO are way too cute. Even some of the monsters are cute (Poring, Lunatic, etc). First job characters are the cutest in-game – Novices, Acolytes, Archers, Swordsmen, Magicians (Mage), Thieves and Merchants. As these characters progress into the 2nd Jobs, Transcendent Jobs and even 3rd Jobs, they still retain the cuteness of the characters.
With the release of the Doram Race (cat-like citizens from Lasagna map), Ragnarok Online is swarming with anime-style, cute characters – including the Expanded Class Soul Linkers, Taekwon Masters, Gunslingers and Ninja.
What makes the characters of Ragnarok Online appear as anime or manga characters is the availability of a wide variety of hair styles and colors. You can have green or violet hair in-game.
- Biolabs 4, Endless Tower (ET) and other Instance Dungeons – Most of these dungeons need a solid party to survive. Biolabs 4 features the mirror-image of the 2-2 jobs in-game and requires a party of different jobs in order to survive.
Endless Tower (ET) is a 100-floor, smaller area dungeon, containing most of the Boss (MVP) monsters in-game as well as the normal monsters. The more players in a party (group), the better chances of survival.
There are also quests and instance dungeons that a player could try like the Nightmare Toy Factory, Old Glast Heim, etc.
- Rodex and game features – like Battlegrounds and Player vs Player (PVP) arena. Rodex is the email system in the game that lets you email your friends in-game as well as send items and zennies (in-game currency).
Battlegrounds are similar to DotA – it could be Tierra Gorge (6 vs 6 players), Flavian (4 vs 4) or KVM (3 vs 3). Before, during the early release of Battlegrounds, it’s 20 vs 20. These battlegrounds could let you earn medals which you can exchange for unique equipment and gears.
Before, we use a 3rd party program to record our sieges and PVPs. Now, recording feature is build in-game. Recently, when Episode 16.1 was released in the International Ragnarok Online (iRO server), Achievement System was incorporated in-game (similar to most mobile games today). Ragnarok is still evolving and developing new features for the game.
- Upgrading Equipment and Gears – There are two basic things you can upgrade in-game – the weapon and the gear (headgear, armor, garment and shoes). Weapons have 4 levels. Upgrading weapons uses 3 stones – Phracon, Emveretarcon and Oridecon (lvl 3-4 weapons). Upgrading any armor uses Elunium stone. The higher upgrade level your weapon and gear have, the better damage (and defense) it will give. Before, +10 is the highest upgrade level. With the introduction of new game Episodes, it now goes beyond +10 and requires other types of stones.
- Card System – Most monsters in the game drop a card that you can put in your weapon or gear. These cards could increase your attributes/stats (like INT, DEX), could cast auto-spells (like fire bolt, Assumptio), and increase your damage or defense. The most sought-after cards in the game are those cards drop by the Boss Monsters (also known as MVPs).
The earliest cards that a new Ragnarok player could get will most likely be a Poring Card, a Lunatic Card or a Fabre Card (VIT+1). One thing I like about these cards is the graphics/illustrations of the monster that drops it.
- Boss Hunts – Boss monsters (called MVP in-game) are hunted for their cards. These MVPs are improved versions (or larger and tougher) of in-game monsters. Golden Thief Bug (GTB) is a yellow version of the male and female thief bugs with skills like Mammonite, Heal and Increase Agility. Boss monsters also come with high Hit Points (HP) than normal monsters.
Mistress is a bigger and tougher version of a Hornet. Maya is the queen of the ants. Most of the time, these Boss (MVPs) comes with minions or summons. Dracula is a boss that comes with a lot of Familiar (bats). Eddga comes with minions of Sasquatch. Dark Lord comes with Dark Illusions. Baphomet comes with Baphomet Juniors. Orc Lord comes with Orc Archers while Orc Hero comes with High Orcs.
Most of these Boss monsters require a party to kill. The player who makes the most damage to a Boss monster becomes the MVP (an MVP pops up on top of the head once the Boss is killed). Boss Hunting gives extra experience but on most cases, it’s death to the players. If you’re super lucky, you could get an MVP Card which is the rarest thing in-game.
- Simplified Graphics – The graphics of Ragnarok Online is referred to as 2D (compared to other online games that are rendered in 3D). Ragnarok Online doesn’t need a special video card to be able to play. It runs in native computer graphics. In fact, most PCs released in early 2000s can run Ragnarok Online. In runs on Windows 95!
I believe if you’re a kid these days that are used to heavy graphics, you’ll find comfort in Ragnarok Online. Most games nowadays contain a lot of information (character names, HP and SP on everyone on screen) and uses very vivid colors. In Ragnarok Online, the only HP/SP bar you’ll see is your own (blue for SP, green for HP). The names of the characters in your screen will only be seen if you hover your mouse on the other character. It makes the graphics of RO simpler and less messy/clutter.
- Background Music – Each map (both field and dungeon) in Ragnarok Online comes with its own Background Music (BGM). The most famous of these BGM are the music played in each town. Prontera is the capital city of Rune-Midgard City and it’s where most vendors are located. Thus, the Prontera Theme is probably one of the most popular, along with Theme of Payon, Theme of Morroc, etc. The Bard is a class in Ragnarok than can sing/play musical instrument. Each song gives a unique music, the Song of Bragi (Magical Strings) being the most popular. You’ll hear it a lot during War of Emperium.
The Original Soundtrack (OST) of Ragnarok Online (“Memories of Ragnarok”) is available in the market before. It contains most of the BGM you’ll hear in-game. I actually have it in my iTunes and it’s very good as sound trip music. Ragnarok Background Music have been played by live bands during real-life events and YouTube has a lot of videos of musician’s playing the songs from Ragnarok Online.
- Selling and Buying – The Merchant Class in RO is designed specially to vend (sell) items. It also has a quest skill that lets them buy items from players. In-game, you would see most merchants sitting along the street or near Warp Portals with a pub above their head like S> or B> (selling and buying). Merchants also have a skill called Discount and Overcharge – they can buy items from the Non-Player Character (NPC) at a lower price and they can sell loot items to the same NPC at a higher charge.
Most players create a merchant character to vend or buy items. The Ragnarok Market is vast because of this selling/buying. Stronger characters can hunt stronger monsters that drop rare item (like headgears, cards or armors) while some novices and First Jobs can hunt monsters for beginners that drops decent cards (like Pupa).
If you don’t have a merchant, you can still sell and buy items by using the in-game pub feature. You can create a pub (public or private chat) that let’s up to 20 players enter that pub to talk to you about the item you’re selling and buying.
These 13 things/reasons are the first things that came to my mind when thinking of things to promote the game to newbie players. I’m pretty sure I missed a lot more features of RO but most online games these games have features that we’ve already seen in RO.
Ragnarok Online is actually not in competition with mobile games or those heavy-graphics online games. Ragnarok is simple, unique, old-school and has a deep story. It’s probably these 13 reasons/features that will make a gamer today try Ragnarok Online.
What are your reasons in playing Ragnarok Online?
Damon my new Rebellion doing the quest for the Butcher 
I just got pawned by Dark Lord in GH Churchyard while doing the Bounty Quest for Dark Priests
A rare item I got from opening a Care Package in iRO – Etran’s Undershit which I sold for 200,000,000 zennies (200M z)
My assassin Lightning Thief (the GM of Last Hit) breaking an emperium for the first time in iRO
JonLloyd and my archbishop Zach Roerig doing the Hazy Forest quest
My Stalker Gabranth just passed the Shadow Chaser job change exam
Facing Lord of Death in Niffelheim
Big Bell card from Nightmare Clock Tower (NCT)
The Achievement System came with Episode 16.1 in iRO
The New Prontera redesign came with Episode 16.1 in the International Ragnarok Online (iRO) server
I’m doing the Nightmarish Jitterbug with JonLloyd of Scourge (iRO-Thor server)
Osiris (Boss) and his minions of Isis and Ancient Mummies
Yes… the Pope in Ragnarok Online is a female. This and other things you’ll learn by doing quests
The Christmas Wreath Costume I did last December 2016. A lot of good headgears in-game can only be obtain by doing limited-edition headgear quests
After siege, comes the salary. My soul linker Steven McQueen getting his salary from papski of Kalye Pogi, the WoE TE division of Hobbits. Hobbits is my first guild in iRO
Takoyaki Event – one of the many events in-game that tie-up with real events in-real-life
Wedding System – one of the many features of Ragnarok Online
Wipe Out – at Biolabs 4