After so many great MMOs have bit the dust after even a short time, I’m constantly amazed at those titles that survive against the odds. Perhaps I’m partial to Ragnarok Online because it was the first MMO I ever played, and I’ve even been tempted to return to it if not for my current WoW addiction. But still, I’m happy to see it continuing on.
Earlier this year, I was sure the game would come to an end soon when Gravity announced that the remaining servers would be merged to up the in-game population. But such was not the case, at least not so far. Earlier this month, RO rolled out a huge overhaul to the game, apparently two years in the making, akin to a complete expansion. The Renewal includes:
- Level cap raised from 99 to 150, and raised skill caps from 99 to 120
- The introduction of Third Classes — 3-1: Rune Knight, Ranger, Warlock, Mechanic, Guilotine Cross, Arch Bishop; and 3-2: Royal Guard, Sorcerer, Maestro/Wanderer, Geneticist, Shadow Chaser, Sura.
- Updated GUI, including maps, party system, skills and equipment menus, etc.
- Complete overhaul of stats system
- Addition of new monsters and level changes to many existing monsters
Like with any major changes to a game, it seems the RO community is having a mixed reaction so far. Some players feel the changes are unnecessary and aren’t happy about having to re-learn their classes (sound familiar?), while others are happy to see the game refreshed and extended a bit. A lot of comparisons are being drawn to WoW, with players saying they liked the pre-Renewal RO because it was different, and some worry that the systems and mechanics (dungeon finder, anyone?) are getting too similar to the game’s top competition.
Anyhow, bickering aside, Gravity seems to have put a lot of effort into the patch, and time will only tell whether their efforts will extend the life of a game already coming up on a decade of age.
Interested in trying it out and seeing the changes? RO currently is hosting a Halloween event through Nov. 4, along with both an exp boost and drop rate boost. Plus, if you’ve played before but been inactive since December 2009 or earlier, through the same date you can get a free 30-day subscription code for buying a 30-day or longer subscription. So, it’s not totally free, but at least it’s something. Fun times are waiting to be had!