I will be taking a break from Ragnarok Online (iRO specifically).
I still really enjoy Ragnarok Online. Despite the common opinions on renewal, I enjoy what it brings to the game, and would like to stick around and see where the game goes from here. Anyone who's followed the blog will know how I play the game. I level, I hunt for rare gears, I get better stuff, I hunt bosses, and I do really stupid things. The pvp content and balance isn't really that big of a concern to me, I participated mostly because my friends did. RO has a lot of problems, but what doesn't, and as far as how I played the game, renewal worked for me and I had gotten a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from playing.
However, I find it difficult to enjoy playing the game with what iRO is doing. This isn't even really the issues with server stability (which has been poor as of late), or the bots (which are everywhere). Actually I lied, the bots are part of it. But mostly, it comes down to the active effort iRO is putting into deconstructing the game I enjoy and one by one breaking those pieces. The complete lack of oversight and understanding that International Gravity goes about it's work is quite startling.
Let me talk briefly about balance and the cash shop. Take a look at how Japan does it. They're not exactly a shining example, but that's another story. They don't offer bubblegum from their item shop, an item that doubles drop rates, even though it would be a very popular item. They talked about why at one point. They said that adding the item would create a rift between players. When a party was fighting an MVP for example, players that did not have the item would be excluded by the other players from participating in a battle role. In a party situation, they could be excluded because there would be less money to be made. Alienating players is a way to lose trust from your players, and that could cost you a lot.
iRO is the exact opposite really. Everything it does is setting players appart from each other. There's not only bubblegum, there's High Efficiency Bubblegum, which tripples drop rate! Woe is the player who wants to hunt for rares without it.
It might not be immediately obvious, but there are times where I have spent in excess of $100-$200 dollars in a month. That's a big chunk of change to be throwing at a game, and not something I want to talk about much. But you know, I don't mind spending that kind of money on the game if I thought I was paying for something good. I like options, and I am happy to pay money if it makes my life easier. The trouble is when it stops being a convenience and starts being a requirement.
I don't like being told I have to pay. Everytime an event comes around where you have to be wearing your +7 kafra shop headgear of choice to participate and if I don't I'm out of luck, it bothers me. You can't even buy it from another player. If you want to be strong in PVP then you need some pvp gears, and the only way to get your pvp gear now is to buy lucky boxes, get KVM points, and use the kafra shop upgrader to make high upgrade items. It's absurd, and I'm sick of it.
iRO seems almost intent to get players to STOP playing their game. They throw around exp events like it was nothing, hoping players will be satisfied in getting to max level as soon as possible. But all it does is get them to run out of things to do earlier. Players work towards extremely rare and valuable items. Let's just sell the absolute top gear to players through the lucky boxes. Even if it's not in a lucky box, hunting rare gear doesn't take time, just use some HE gum and you'll have whatever item or card you want in no time flat. What do you do once you have all the items, characters, levels you want? That's just it, there's nothing left to do.
The final straw though is the HD ore. It is a kafra shop item that you can use instead of elu/ori while upgrading that makes it so if an upgrade fails, it doesn't break, it simply goes down an upgrade level. In Korea it can only be used on +7 and higher gear, but on iRO, it can be used for items of all refine levels. Suddenly there's no risk, if you're willing to spend enough money on the HD ore, you can make any upgrade you want on any piece of gear. Risk is gone. The game revolves around that risk factor. There is a limitless supply of items entering the market, and the risk of breaking them provides a way for those gears to leave. Having a +10 weapon represents the hundreds of pieces of equipment that broke so that you could use the strongest possible gear, expending a lot of time and a lot of effort in the process. Now it represents about $100 and 2-3 hours sitting in front of the upgrade NPC.
So what's a guy to do? The difference between my current character and top upgraded gears is really just a whole bunch of kafra points. MVP cards are possible, but unless I find it myself, I can't compete against the players selling kafra points to buy such an item. So I'm done for now.
I don't know how iRO will revitalize the game. They're giving players Ragnarok Easy mode with the hopes it will bring players back into the game. But they'll never bring people back if they can't combat the bots, the spammers, and fix their stupid page so it doesn't lock players out from paying when they sign up for the game.
The worst part of it is that when I talk to Heimdallr, he is very sincere about his desire to improve the game. The man works very hard to try to make Ragnarok a better game, and he probably gets very little respect for it. It's unfortunate that I just don't think he understands the player base. Maybe he's honest when he thinks that the no-risk upgrading was a valid response to the complaint that upgrading past +10 was impossible. Maybe he thinks players will just be happy if he gives them everything they want from lucky boxes. I feel sorry for him, but I wish he would understand what players are looking for. Or maybe it's his responsibility to make the game financially viable. Either way, what they're doing is turning away players. I'd be willing to put up with a lot of crap if I thought the game was moving in a favorable direction, but I have a hard time seeing it that way right now.
They try quite hard to fix stuff related to exploits and such, and sometimes they succeed, but more often than not they end up making things worse. I'm happy they try, and in some cases, like them disabling exploit skills on MVP maps, they do a good job, but it's always hit or miss if their changes will be good or if they break everything.
Anyways, while I don't plan on logging in for a while, I will still continue to do patch notice translations on iROwiki, and I will probably be on the forums from time to time. The RO resources I have available will continue to remain online for as long as I can maintain them, so no worries there. Hopefully, this isn't a permenant thing.
Yes, the journal is back. I'm finally playing enough that there's stuff to write about!
So iRO opened the Yggdrasil server about 2 weeks ago, with Renewal from the very start. It's not a very populated server (to say the least), but you know me, I like starting fresh. I haven't played valk much lately because there's not much to accomplish there. I enjoy playing Ragnarok to improve my character and achieve new things. It's about the journey, you know? For this reason, a fresh start is the best thing for this play style, and renewal is a good excuse to start over.
After completing the new training grounds, I of course changed to Swordsman. What else would you expect? I'm too attached to the class. :)
Both before and after renewal, its all about rockers and spores for low levels.
At about level 40 I went down to coal mines. Haven't seen it bot free for some time. Didn't get anything too interesting, but Light Granule will be useful later!
Stats and equipment at level 42.
People discount party leveling in renewal for some reason, but I think they're mistaken. It's still pretty good, even at low levels!
Orc dungeon is surprisingly good. High monster spawns means faster experience, if you can keep up. This was day 1 and we were ahead of the curve, so we had the dungeon to ourselves to mob up.
Job change to Knight!
I had to laugh. I don't really understand why I'm so famous, I haven't done much to deserve such attention.
Memo1: Mobbing is only effective if you don't die doing it.
Memo2: It still isn't any better if you kill your friends.
Some alternate leveling. I thought the venomous eyes when frozen were pretty amusing!
Yay, first card. :)
Followed shortly by card #2.
While lots of the quests are nerfed, some of them still give decent experience, and the Nile Rose quest still gives the accessory, which is really handy on the new server.
Noggroad, the last word in leveling to 99 in Renewal. The spawn rate is absurdly high, and if you can keep up with it, you will level up before you know it.
I haven't mentioned it yet but in order to keep up supplies on the new server I've been using the WoE Supply Boxes from the Kafra Shop. It's kind of bad yeah, but 50 high efficiency whites and 20 high efficiency blues for 5 points (~$0.04) means you can level fairly on a new server with a few bucks. It feels bad to shell out for fast leveling, but at the same time, I enjoy my time more doing crazier things and I have a steady job that can afford a few extra dollars.
Level 99! The timestamp on this image is Monday October 11th, 4 days after server launch. Not bad for 1x rates! It might seem like leveling is much faster, and it is to a degree, but I know that there's a pretty lengthy road ahead.
Getting ready to transcend.
Is using a mercenary just before transing cheating? Well maybe it is, but it certainly speeds things up.
Or it would speed things up if it didn't die to orc lord. :D
Back to skel workers. Check out that l33t damage.
The real reason for going down there is of course the card, I'd kill for one of those.
Leveling in Bailand. Keeping to one leveling zone is boring, mixing it up makes things interesting, which is good since renewal rewards shifting around to the higher efficiency zones.
Woot! Makes up for that Mist card for sure.
Pasana's are good experience, but Anubis kind of ruin the show. Even with that, there's not enough Anubis to hunt at high level, so it's not good no matter what level you are. Hopefully at some point they'll consider adjusting the spawns down there.
I'm on a roll! :D
Pushing my luck looking for a Bathory card. Didn't find one though.
Duo leveling in the mid 90's is really good for a Knight. Potion costs are really prohibitive on a new server, so working with a priest helps a lot.
Back to Magma! Of course, it's the best place to be post 92.
Clashing in renewal is strong. Really strong. This is with an aspersio'd +5 Claymore. :o
Level 99 Trans!
Here's 99'ing in progress. To give you an idea of time frame, this was on Saturday October 16th, so 8 days after server open. The 15th and 16th a 2x exp event was active however.
I can't rest yet though, because I still need job levels before I change.
There we go, 99/70.
I've talked to some people, who consider going 3rd job without reaching job 70 or worse, skipping trans. It's such a bad idea. Skipping trans doesn't really get you anywhere. It will take you less time to go from 99 to 99 trans than it will for you to get job 10 after changing to 3rd job (or reach 105).
Not going to job 70 also doesn't really help. You'll 99 when you're at about 66/67, but remember that you can still technically gain experience once you're 99. When you change to 3rd job, all the exp you've accumulated before changing can be applied to your next level. You need about 13 mil base experience to get the highest carry over possible, which would put you at level 100 and about 85% after you make your first kill. Even if you hit 99, it's pointless to skip the last couple job levels because you aren't really max base yet, you still are technically leveling towards your next level, you just can't use it until after you change.
Entering the Rune Knight hall...
Cutting out all the boring stuff, I change to rune knight!
And there you have it. Stay tuned for more. :)
So I'm a bit late with this post, but I finally hit level 99. It's a bit funny, that it's taken me so long, but I don't log many hours flat out leveling. In fact, I get really tired of grinding so most of my levels are just from doing random stuff.
Leveling in completely random places is what I do. It's surprising how few people wander out of the popular zones to, well... just play the game.
Sometimes, you get cool things!
I got to about 60% on level 98 before the dragons event came. I'm unsure what gravity's intent is with the dragon event, I guess they just want to power level players to 99 for the renewal update.
It's a pretty mobby place!
In a party however, the experience is patently absurd. I didn't stay long at abyss lake... under an hour. I was making 160 million experience an hour. >.>
Abyss lake is pretty busy when I was there. This is just people looking for parties.
There it is, the 98% shot.
In order to 99, I wanted to do something extravagant, something that other people haven't done before. Here it is, in a size that doesn't even fit my own web page.
It's been a while since I've done a full post, so I figured I'd get caught up on what's been up on Valkyrie.
We've been doing lots of endless tower as of late. It doesn't always go as planned though.
We've recently experimented in letting the paladin and champ do the mobbing and bringing along a sniper. I think sniper is an amazing class for endless because of it's mob killing capabilities. Usually the SinX is used for mobs where the wizard is ineffective (using EDP grimtooth), but there are a bunch of situations in the tower where that's not really possible and where sniper performs much better.
On the down side, there is an annoying bug where targeting a monster that is already dead causes you to disconnect from the game. That might sound like a non issue except it can happen quite often depending on your latency, and on a fast attacking character like a sniper, it can be a big problem. Hopefully they fix that.
In this screenshot, I'm hiding for my life! Somehow, Beelzebub can't see me.
Taking out Entweihen is easier now that we know what we're doing.
Even Naght Seiger is easy when you do him right!
This is from our latest ifrit run, haha. Things don't always go smoothly.
This is the answer to the post a few weeks back. Charming Wink can't normally be cast on boss monsters. However, when it's autocast, for example, by using the Carmen Miranda hat or Aliza card, it can in fact work on bosses. It makes them follow you around for about 10 seconds and not attack you, while doing the heart emote.
This is the moment before everything goes wrong. The tank champion does not have 16k HP.
Our guild finally managed to get the Satan Morroc quest completed after the GMs corrected a bug where the summoning of morroc could be broken and unusable for the remainder of the week by teleporting/relogging while talking to the summoning NPC. I'm not sure I need to say WHO was intentionally bugging the quest, but I'm happy we were finally able to do it.
Us fighting against the Wounded Morroc. Pretty standard party configuration and setup. Wounded morroc is pretty weak as far as the endgame bosses are concerned, but it is made harder by his full SP drain and inability to resurrect.
Morroc down! I wish I had made a video to show you.
During a spawn increase event in Ice Dungeon last month, I spent some time to get to level 97. For someone as lazy as me, that's quite an accomplishment.
I've been doing a fair bit of Lady Tanee MVP'ing. Still no card though.
I've been levelling my archer a bit. He's actually still an archer, since I got him to job 50, but he's still fun to play. Using a 99 mercenary is kind of cheating, but at least with the bow mercenary you get the feeling of fighting beside your mercenary than just being a slave to it.
Moscovia is kind of an under appreciated dungeon on iRO. Not many people go there, but it's good experience and the regular drops are worth a good bunch.
Of course, it can be dangerous some times.
War of Emperium has been fairly exciting recently. Although I was unable to participate this last week due to an issue with my internet connection. WoE1 has been really back and forth, trading hits with the other alliance. We've won some good fights, and pretty proud of the guild. WoE2 hasn't really been a strong point for a while though. Our WoE2 attendance is usually rather poor and we end up losing more head on battles with the Illegit alliance than we win. In the unique landscape of WoE2, that means that there's little risk of them losing their own forts, while it's difficult for us to make a hold. Because the fight is more or less just between us two, we have the odds against us. There's a couple independent guilds holding forts in WoE2 but Illegit seems to make it their goal to follow us and stop us from getting a fort wherever we go. And why wouldn't they, if we didn't attack, there would be no war for them. Anyways, it's not a very good situation.
Onwards to the New World! I've spent a lot of time in the new world, getting ready for the new episode and such. Part of that is catching up on the 13.1 quests.
The story of the new episode is actually pretty interesting. Gravity probably could do better on the translation side of things and aren't always the best at creating a natural quest flow, but they're better than they were in the past.
Levelling in the new world has been a bit of a past time for me these days. All kinds of cool things to find!
Balance Whip and Pinguicula Corsage at the same time. Lucky!
Not the smartest thing I've attempted. He can nearly one shot me with his sonic blow, but it seems if you stand diagonal to him, he'll be out of range to use the skill.
While the Tendrilion wasn't overly difficult other than a lot of pots, bowling bashing multiple monsters with reflect 10 up while using dual megs is unhealthy.
Anyone who`s spent any time in those fields would probably think this is crazy. Its incredibly expensive, but its the fastest way to get report pages for the new world report quest, and its somewhat profitable too.
Even with the huge expense of potting through the damage (have to use mastela fruit), it can still be profitable in valk`s current market with some of these items.
You know when I said fighting Tendrillion solo wasn't very smart? Well this is about as far down on the stupid end of the scale as you can go. His regular melee hits strike for about 4k damage, and his skills, they hurt.
I failed to kill him on my first attempt. I thought I had him, but that was until he two hand quickened. I was unable to outpot the massive amount of damage he was dealing.
The solution of course was to bring a helper that could remove two hand quicken. Gee-Gee volunteered to come down and help out.
We finally killed it after like half an hour of fighting. I hear high wizards can firewall him effectively, maybe that would be the better option.
Levelling in the new world has its advantages. There are a series of stat-food items that you can get by trading in monster collectable drops that can be used to increase you attack, crit, or hit/flee. They're not huge boosts, but they're free, and I have hundreds of them now.
I also built up quite a stockpile of expedition reports. The report quest is quite a pain in the ass... so I figured I could hunt the monsters, make a whole bunch of reports, and make a killing off of them. And that I did, I used one full set and sold the other reports at 10m a piece. Crazy.
Dealing fish on the black market. I told people in guild I would buy Marlin for 400k a piece, and apparently Wuzzle decided to take me up on the offer.
The marlin can be used to quickly boost your points with the Cat Hand, the kafra staff of the new world. Unlike the Kafra staff however, you have to earn the services you get through daily quests. One batch of fishing or mining nets you one point, and you're limited to one a day. Marlin is a rare catch from fishing that bypasses this limit and gives you two points.
With 200 Cat Hand points, I can now get everywhere from the new world. I now have warps to all the midgard cities, new world cities, and additionally, Juno. From Juno I can warp to Rachel or any Schwarzwalt city. It goes without saying that I now keep my knight saved in the new world.
Here's an interesting tip though, for those going to the new world. You don't actually have to travel all the way to the far right side of the map in order to take the warp, you can climb up the pillar next to it, which will save you a little bit of walking, and talk to Mukenro over the gap. Fun stuff.
The new quests are a bit easier than the old ones. I still wonder why gravity insists on doing the 'Wait for 1 hour' type requirements in quests. It's always a pain in the ass and doesn't really add anything.
Turns out the new monsters are a little harder than I went in expecting.
The Rata was a lot easier than Duneyrr though, and she happened to drop one of these. It's a pretty darn nice mace I'd have to say.
Our group preparing to do the Nidhoggur's Nest instance. It was some kind of nightmare to get everyone done with the quests to get in, but somehow everyone finished up in short order.
Nidhoggur's Shadow is a bit easier than I was expecting. He hits hard, really hard, but he hits slow. Against the bosses of old where death was quick and instantaneous, against a boss that takes 5-10 seconds to prepare his strongest attacks is almost like a joke. Of course, even a joke can go wrong, because he can one shot your members with his powerful attacks, he's just slow at doing so.
We've actually fought him twice so far. The battle is interesting in that every 3 minutes you are teleported to one of 4 rooms and given some kind of status effect based on where you are warped. Nidhoggur will start casting his full heal while you are trying to escape, so you have to kill the monsters in the room and return to fight him. We never really found this to be a major issue, the first time we were teleported just as he died, and the second time we killed him before 3 minutes. It's odd that the teleport trigger still occurs AFTER he's dead, but maybe they'll fix that later.
The Nidhoggur's Shadow Garb... definitely an awesome piece of gear. Hopefully we'll get more in the future.
To end off, this is a video of our first attempt against Nidhoggur's Shadow. As I mentioned, we get teleported to the side room just as it dies, so you don't actually see it happen. Music is a Touhou remix, Dark Phoenix's Shotshell album.