Thursday, November 22, 2018

Ragnarok Mobile and Ragnarok PC

It’s been 22 days since Ragnarok Online Mobile (aka Ragnarok M Eternal Love) was launched and so far, I find it as the best game on an Android smartphone.

I’ve been a fan of Ragnarok Online (PC version) since I first played it in 2003 under Level Up Games (LUG). I’ve played non-stop from 2003 up to the closure of the pRO server in 2015. Good thing all the pRO accounts were migrated to the International Ragnarok Online (iRO) server and my characters are still intact.

In 2017, Ragnarok Online (PC version) was re-introduced and re-launched in the Philippines by Thailand-based company Electronics Extreme. I’ve started a new character named Zach_Roerig (currently a 92 priest) and I’ve been playing ever since (with some long breaks from the game). Currently, all the previous servers launched in 2017 were merged into a single server named Valkyrie.

Tomorrow, the 1st anniversary of Ragnarok Online Philippines (ROPH) will be celebrated at SM City North EDSA Annex and I’m excited to attend. The event will be highlighted by the Ragnarok Philippines Championship (RPC). Unfortunately, my current guilds in Valkyrie – Majesty and Alliance – are not part of the final guilds. Anyway, I’m sure it will still be a day worth spending at SM Skydome, a favorite venue for Ragnarok-related events.

Going back to Ragnarok Online Mobile (ROM), at first, I was worried that the current players of Valkyrie will be lessen. Currently it’s around 1,900 during normal, non-siege, hours. So far, the population of Valkyrie remained intact. Probably because ROM is on a different platform and most Valkyrie players probably have PCs at home. Or it could be the other way around – probably players remained in the PC version because they currently don’t have a mobile phone compatible with the high storage space required by ROM (around 5 GB).

I myself remained a PC gamer of Ragnarok but I also play ROM when I’m not at home (where the PC resides). I guess it’s one of the advantage of ROM – being able to play RO anywhere (if there is internet data access). Another thing I see about ROM is that it’s catered for the players of today… those who doesn’t have so much time grinding.

One of the major difference I see between the PC and the mobile version of Ragnarok Online is the bot feature. ROM integrated the age-old problem of bots and made it a legit feature of the game called Auto (or auto-attack). You can leave your character in a certain map. Select the monster/s you want your character to attack, and it will do it until you changed the setup again. Pretty convenient if you’re farming for certain items or just leveling your character.

Other major advantages of ROM over the PC version are the following:

Camera feature – ROM is designed for the selfie enthusiasts. The game has several camera features integrated into the game that makes it very easy to take picture and share it across social media.

Achievements list – ROM is similar to smartphone games like Clash of Clans or Pokemon Go when it comes to documenting all the accomplishments of your character. It seems that there is a reward for everything that your character is doing in-game, like doing quests, killing monsters, feeding your pet, taking pictures of places in-game, etc.

Pet System – In ROM, the pet system is really implemented, and the pets are very effective in-game. Pets cast spells and levels together with your character. Pets are not just accessories in game, but it really helps the character kill monsters just like the mercenaries.

Auto-loot – Your character automatically receives the loots (items dropped by monsters). No need to manually pick it up. This solves the problems of looters in game. Aside from items, your character also receives certain amount of zenny (currency in-game) whenever a monster is killed. Less time for selling.

Exchange / Auction System – There are no more merchant vendors in ROM. You don’t need to create a merchant to sell your rare or to buy items from other players. There is an Exchange NPC (non-playable character) that does it for you. You can simply search for an item that you wish to buy, and it will show you the players that is selling it, even from another channel (server). It’s convenient but I have to learn how to auction my item to the Exchange NPC though.

Complete Monster Info – In Ragnarok Online, every monster has a race (Brute, Formless, Demi-Human, etc) or Size (Small, Medium, Large). Certain weapons are more efficient to a certain race or size. In the PC version, this information can be seen by the mage skill Sense. If you have a mage in your party, you’ll also gain access to the information if your mage party mate uses Sense.

In ROM, monster information is available to everyone.

Adventure Skills – In the PC version, there are 9 Basic Skills that is available to Novice Class that they can carry to their Advance Job. These skills are Chat Skills, Trade Skills, Creating Party, etc. In ROM, these are rebranded (and expanded) to Adventure Skills. These extra skills will let you have more storage space in your loot bag, be able to have additional avatar abilities (like Blinking, Holding Hands with your party mate, etc). Adventure Skills were given equal emphasis in ROM together with the regular, more familiar, Job Skills. While you’re fighting that monster in ROM, you might as well take a picture of it.

Build Adviser – is integrated in game. It’s almost spoon-feeding. You will be given advise on the common build types for the job you selected. Example, if you’re an Acolyte, you’ll see an option for Build _ and when you click it, you’ll see the build base on STR, the build base on VIT (common Full Support) or the build base on DEX (Magnus build). The system can even auto-allot the Skill Points based on the build you selected. It’s quite helpful for 1st time players of Ragnarok.

Easier Boss/MVP Hunt – In ROM, you’ll have 2 Adventure skills that is very useful in Boss Hunt – one for mini-bosses and 1 for MVP bosses. You’ll see special icons on the map whenever a mini-boss or an MVP is nearby. ROM also has a feature that list down all the MVP, their respawn time and the last player who killed them. If you subscribe to their Premium Service, you’ll get to see more mini-bosses and MVPs.

Cooking System – is very much improved in ROM. In the PC version, there are only a handful of dishes you can make, and you don’t have option to advance your cooking skills. In ROM, you have a lot of ingredients and cooking equipment that will give me a lot more dishes. These dishes can be consumed by you, your pet, your party or anyone (public).

On the other hand, the best way to compare ROM to the PC version is analogous to comparing Mobile Legend to DotA 2. Mobile Legend is a simplified version of the PC game DotA 2. Ragnarok Online Mobile (ROM) is also a simplified version of the PC game Ragnarok Online. Being a simplified version, there are major contents that are missing in the Android version such as:

Other class/jobs – Such as Sage and the Bard and Dancer (for the original 6 first jobs). I’m confident though that the publisher of the game will eventually release it in the future. Other jobs from the original version that is not yet available in ROM includes the Doram (cat) race, Gunslinger, Ninja, Soul Linkers, Super Novice, and Star Gladiator.

Other maps – like Juno, Hugel, Einbroch, Lighthalzen, Abyss Lake, Thanatos Tower, Niffleheim, etc. ROM also lacks the maps inspired by countries that has Ragnarok Online like Port Malaya (Philippines), Ayothaya (Thailand), Amatsu (Japan), Kunlun (China), Brasilis (Brazil), and Dewata (Indonesia). The map of Ragnarok Online (PC version) is so huge that it’s still expanding, with the addition of Rock Ridge (US Old West).

Other monsters – like the ones spawning in the above-mentioned maps.

Other MVPs and mini-bosses – like Lord of Death, Fallen Bishop, Belzeebub, etc. Although there are some MVPs in ROM that are not on the PC version like _

Mail System – There is a mail system in ROM that is a read-only version. In the PC Ragnarok Online, it’s a regular email system that will even let you send items to other characters.

Trade System – I’m not seeing an option in ROM to exchange items or zennies with other players, which could have made the transfer of items between friends a lot easier.

Other Job Skills – ROM doesn’t have 3rd jobs yet (like Royal Guard, Archbishop, Shadow Chaser, Guillotine Cross, Sura, etc). The maximum level of characters you’ll get are the Transcendent jobs – High Priest, Paladin, Champion, Assassin Cross. The list of skills available are also trimmed down.

Advance Homunculus System – ROM only offers basic Homunculus. In the PC version, it’s already Homunculus S – and it’s evolved into much powerful Homunculus.

Scholar Summons – Aside from the Creators, the Scholars (3rd job of Sage) can summon as well. Summon units can be very helpful in-game.

Overall, I find ROM one of the best Android games so far. I would definitely play ROM whenever I don’t have access to a PC but definitely, it’s the traditional PC version of Ragnarok Online for me. The graphics of ROM may be better than the PC version, but the story and features of RO1 is way deeper.

Good job to the Chinese team/company who made it possible to play our all-time favorite Ragnarok Online on our smartphones.

#RagnarokMobile #RagnarokPC

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