Surprise! One (actually more than one) of the people here have volunteered to help me get back onto kRO Baphomet server, so the kRO free server feature will continue!
Just in time for the new RO episode 13.1... though I won't have much to do with many of the 13.1 features since they're mostly end game content. This here is the new login screen! I'm not sure what I think of the new art style, but its certainly not too bad.
The nProtect window that comes up when you launch RO. I lol'd.
While iRO has a brief rating splash screen and an obscenely long terms of services that no one has ever actually bothered reading yet it still prompts you every single time when you launch the client, kRO has this! Basically a screen that provides its rating. I somehow think kRO's solution is better~.
Since I lost access to my old characters on Bapho, I have to start over... again. I somehow thought that leveling a mage would be a good idea. I didn't realize at the time however how much that would suck. Half exp is not a good time, and let me say that when you can't kill spores (walking balls of job exp), the time you spend as a novice is not very enjoyable. I spent over an hour hitting job 10.
On the plus side, when I finished the novice training ground, I was given both a novice staff (+16% matk) and a novice cutter (50 atk dagger), both of which are usable as a mage. This certainly makes things easier.
At least the mage test is easy when people are vending Payon water. Saves me the trip.
Here's how the skill tree looks for mage on the new tree view. Skills you don't have are grey'd out as you can see.
When you have skill points you can apply, the skills that you can currently allocate points into are shown in a pinkish color.
Mousing over a skill not only lists the prerequisites now, but also highlights them.
Of course you don't have to keep the window expanded in tree view. You can go back to the existing default view. All the skills you have access to, not just the ones you unlocked now show up on this list.
Not shown here is that the Use and Close buttons are gone, now replaced are a new 'Apply' and 'Cancel' buttons. When you click to level up a skill, the level becomes shown in blue. You don't actually lose the skill points until you click apply, which brings up a confirmation box asking if you're sure you want to apply your skill points. If you hit cancel (or just close the skill window) all your changes are reverted and you keep your skill points. While the Use button is gone, you can still activate a skill by double-clicking on the icon in the skill list.
Overall I like the new system. Its a bit clunkier than I kind of expected, but overall its quite nice. Particularly nice is the fact that I can see skill prerequisites and can plan out a skill build without having to tab out or close the game client, something I think is really annoying.
My life as a mage.
After gaining some levels I decided to try out some more dangerous things.
Here's the entrance to the new Orc Dungeon Instance "Orc Recollection". Its a mid level instance, restricted to players level 30 ~ 80, designed for a party (or one really strong 70-80 character). Of course curiosity got the best of me, seeing how I had not previously used the Memorial Dungeon system.
This is what greeted me inside. Anopheles, the bane of all that is good. These are worse than normal anopheles too, because when you mouse over them they show no name, so the only way to really see them is to spot their shadow on the ground, which is hard in such a dark dungeon.
Anyways the way the memorial dungeon works is this. You talk to the stone, which gives you the option to create the dungeon for your party (you have to be party leader). When you do so, the memorial dungeon window comes up (you can view it later with alt-b), that gives you an estimate (in minutes) on how long it should take to create the instance. Almost every time I did it it took under a minute to create, though once when there were several people there ahead of me it took 2 minutes.
When the instance is ready, the window will say the dungeon is created, and give you a time/date that it is valid until (2 hours for the orc instance). While you are outside of the dungeon you can also elect to abandon the instance (you can't invite/leave or change party while inside an instance). Once its created, you talk to the entrance NPC and you'll be warped into the dungeon. When entering you'll have a quest added to the quest window pertaining to the instance you enter. While this isn't really important for the orc dungeon instance, this quest entry lists a date/time that pertains to when you can re-create a new instance. Dungeon like the Endless Tower have a delay time where you are unable to create or enter a new version of that instance for 1 week after you've done it once. This is what prevents re-entry, so you can look up how long you have until you can try it again.
If everyone has left the instance, the window will automatically change to give you a 5 minute timer. If your entire party remains outside of the instance for 5 minutes, the instance automatically closes.
So thats everything I found out about the Memorial Dungeon system.
This shot shows the delay time on the orc dungeon instance. If the instance is closed though, you can talk to the entrance NPC and it will be removed from your list.
Anyways I began getting the feeling that maybe mage wasn't the best starting choice, so I changed gears and went Thief.
A quick glance at the thief skill window in tree view.
Aaaand the regular skill list view.
I decided to do the Thief job quests for the heck of it. An interesting thing is that quest experience isn't affected by server rate. Like on Sakray how you still got just normal experience from quests, on Baphomet you also get normal experience from quests... that makes quests pretty nice things to do actually. Also the Trace of Battle quest gives you 5k zeny reward, which is pretty nice for a character of my level.
...Getting a red gemstone and green potion were harder than I anticipated though. Red gemstone I eventually found from a thiefbug egg, but green potion was a bit of a shock. To my surprise, none of the shops in prontera, payon, or morroc actually sold green potions. I imagine they may be sold somewhere in the game world because I eventually I found a player selling a whole bunch for 500z.
A surprising chance encounter with Dragon Fly. Expensive as all hell, I had to run back to town, restock on the cheapest HP item I could find (funny enough, I ended up bying bananas), and running back to kill it.
I couldn't find it after the hour had passed. My belief is that kRO may still have spawn variance on minibosses, even though iRO had removed it. I'll have to research this one more later.
A not so lucky chance encounter.
A brief visit to the battlegrounds prep room. It seems like its a pretty popular feature. The question that remains is if it is popular because its fun, or if its popular because it has good rewards. I mean people do monster races, but definately not because they're fun. This is one of the main questions I want to answer durring my play time on kRO... I'm just way too low level to find out right now.
All kinds of crazy gears for sale that aren't even available on iRO yet.
This is a bit of a confusing thing. There's like a billion of these boxes for sale, but I can't for the life of me figure out what the heck they actually are.
Back for some orc dungeon instance time, on thief now!
Again the anopheles prove annoying as all hell. You can't even see them in this picture! Luckly I planned for this, and I can take them down with envenom.
And then I hit a new obstacle. A bit too much for me now.
The way the orc dungeon instance starts, is that when you enter, there'll be an orc there that starts things going. You can try exploring but there's a barricade (and anopheles) that prevent you from going anywhere, so you have to talk to this orc. After a whole bunch of dialog (map wide broadcast), you'll encounter an orc patrol. This seems to include 4 orc warriors, 2 desert wolves, and 2 orc archers. I think, there could be more. I've yet to clear this initial stage of the dungeon unfortunately.
Money making is good!
The cost of refining a level 2 weapon. Thats actually pretty decent I think, it could be worse. For those that don't remember, a level 1 weapon costs 1000z to refine.
Ice Dungeon 1F: Home of the kafra shop users and leechers. I've mentioned before about the Mimic mercenary that you can purchase from the kafra shop. Usable at any level, this mercenary has the ability to take down siromas and mid level monsters without much difficulty... It allows players to insanely speed past low levels regardless of their class. According to an article on the free server, the Mimic mercenary is the second most purchased kRO shop item, behind battle manual box. Considering it costs just under $2 for a box of 5 - 30 minute scrolls or $3 for a box of 10, I can see why they're flying off the shelves. I'm actually jealous that I can't use the shop on kRO, because I would probably use them, even if they are cheap. Not using them puts you at such a disadvantage for low levels, though it won't do anything for you at higher levels.
More mimic users in Ice Caves.
Welcome to hill winds, or as I like to call it, Louyang Mk.II. On kRO baphomet, hill winds are considerably more popular than louyang is, by a pretty hefty sum. Its quite possibly the most crowed map in the whole server, with the number of players easily outnumbering the number of hill winds... and the number of leechers easily outnumbering both. Hill winds are a bit too much for mimic users unless they can support the mimic with heals, so most of the people here are hunters, and some high flee characters such as sins and rogues. A surprising number of the players party here with a priest because they're not high enough level (or rich enough for pots) to survive the insane spawn rate.
Kinda random, kRO woe1 castle holds. Not much different from iRO, except it lists the castle name. Such as "[Valkyrie Realms] castle 'Skogul' is held by the [something] guild.". You'll note that on kRO, everything is organized by the castle names... there are no castle numbers. Of course the iRO names for the castles are absolutely ridiculous for some of the forts (Luina in particular), so I don't think we could do that unless they changed it, but it is a rather interesting difference. Personally I think it gives it more personality when each castle has its own name and its used commonly by players, rather than just referring to things by number or direction.
Castle names for Greenwood Lake are all listed in both Korean and in Chinese/Japanese characters. Its pretty odd. This castle name means "Crimson Palace".
Number of useless cards on kRO Bapho to date: 2.
What I find actually kind of odd is the English text on the card. The monster name is called Snake... the card name is called Snake Card... but in English it reads Boa. Wierd isn't it?
The freaky poring npcs in the poring war arena. I haven't gotten into a match yet so I'm not sure how it goes though.
The poring war entrance NPC, just outside of south Prontera. It jumps erratically too.
Leveling leveling leveling! Its pretty damn slow on Bapho, I wonder how most players cope with the reduced exp. I guess most players skip these levels with kafra shop items... *sigh*
Being down on cash, I decided I needed to be able to sell stuff. Merchant, here we come.
Merchant skill tree.
My particular plan was to sell novice reds for cheap, and see if anyone would by them from me. At 8 zeny, they sold almost instantly. Sounds like a good market.
Attempt #2 and #3, 11z novice reds. The average market price is 12z, but the proxy I use to play is a bit finicky with staying connected so its better if I can offload my items quick.
All gone in under 5 minutes each time. Wow. I decided I would farm them more~.
Random video because I can. I think this is the fastest I can get the novice grounds done on my latency, but if anyone has any extra tips or tricks, let me know!
I do think its a bad state of affairs though that players have to rely on farming novice reds to recover HP. I mean, my mage takes a full 13 minutes roughly to get to full HP... at level 30, with 280 HP. Natural regen isn't just low in RO, its not worth it at all. Everything comes down to potions for solo play. If you can't pot, you'll never get your HP back unless you beg for heals or walk away from your computer. They really need to boost natural regen, or maybe go the route like other MMOs, and offer heal over time recovery. Like a cheap item that you can only use while sitting that gives you 10x HP regen rate until you stand up. That kind of thing. kRO has a cash shop item that recovers 7% of your max HP every 4-5 seconds, but that's cash shop only (still handy though). As it stands, I don't think any person in RO seriously uses natural regen for HP for... anything. Its just pure crap.
Anyways, having a new-found source of income, I bought myself a Damascus, and a pantie/undershirt combo. This is the upgrade fee for upgrading level 3 weapons, 10000z.
This kind of confused me... I keep seeing wizards with the bio3 ghost effect.
Three wizards here seem to have it. Maybe its the soul link effect? They all look linked ot me. I have no clue though.
Being obsessed with new content, I keep coming back to this orc instance even though I don't have a chance to clear it.
This picture is designed to show you the horror of anopheles. Lets play a game here... can you count all the anopheles on screen?
The correct answer is too many.
Thats it for today! Stay tuned for more kRO Bapho action.
So unfortunately it turns out that I lost my access to the kRO Server. The original owner returned to play on the free server and has changed the password. So that means I'm out of luck! I plan on writing a full review on my playtime of Baphomet shortly, a long with a complete overview of its mechanics, changes, and even Kafra Shop inventory and pricing.
I didn't get to do all the things I wanted to do, but I enjoyed the time I had to play on the server. I hope perhaps that my writings would have inspired some people, and in the event that iRO opens a free game server, I'll see you all there.
And for the record, Moscovia looks really nice. I had a big post planned but I guess it doesn't matter much anymore if I can't continue playing.
Its back to 'Masochist' RO, for more half rate leveling and exploring new game content.
Continuing to level the Taekwon, I found some areas were more dangerous when you can't use flywings (or more to the point, can't afford to). Orcs was pretty good, but Choco was not so good.
I stopped by the upgrade NPC. As you can see, its different. Instead of just listing all the item slots and what items are in it, the NPC will actually only list the pieces of gear you currently have equipped. This is really handy for upgrading lots of items quickly... kRO has had this for a very long time so its odd that iRO doesn't have it yet.
Here's a screenshot showing the cost of upgrading a level 1 weapon and an armor. 1000z for Lv 1 and 20000z for armor. I'll hopefully get more info on the upgrading costs later.
Because of my bad case of leveling ADD, its hard to keep in just one place. I found yoyo's were pretty decent though.
Out at St. Capitolina Abbey, I decided I'd look around for the Sealed Shrine NPC. Apparently this is the guy, he's in one of the buildings in the center of the map in a room with one of the Monk job change NPCs (the one with the huge blinding light around him). I'm going to guess by my amazing deductive abilities that he's telling me I need to be level 75 to enter. Good to know.
Here's an interesting leveling method, something I actually saw fairly frequently. A character (best if its a ranged character but it doesn't matter) hits a non aggressive monster, and then a mercenary/second player/homunculus/etc follows behind and deals damage to it while the first guy runs around avoiding getting hit. It works surprisingly well at metalings and wolves and I saw a good number of duo teams doing them at very low level.
Bored, I decided to set up a random chat in Payon to see if anyone playing on the server spoke English. I got a lot more people than I actually expected, though usually we didn't talk about anything particularly interesting. The most common question was 'Where are you from'. Some of them liked to discuss things about the game. It was a good time!
In the end I ended up partying a random swordsman. Taekwon and Swordsman don't make a very good combination, but we still had a good time.
Our party lasted roughly until we realized that wolves was insanely boring and not really worth partying for.
Before he left, and with a few people in the chat before, I asked what people thought about the free RO server. By far the biggest complaint is the reduced experience rate, but most people still appeared to be happy with the free server. Interesting stuff.
Being in a party I can show you some cool things with the world map. Here you can see that it shows where different people in your party are in the world.
If you mouse over a location, it shows you who's there too. Not overly useful, but its a pretty cool feature none the less. At least the world map looks cool!
I tried leveling in all kinds of alternate zones, with varying degrees of success. PSpores was good money, but dragon tail was hard to get away from (in retrospect I should have tried the Geffen field). Golems was actually nice because I could dodge them most of the time, and even if they stunned me they couldn't kill me. I don't think any of them matched the experience I would have gotten at wolves, but again change is good.
Crappy card at 1/2 drop rate!! Nooooooooooooooo!!
I quickly realized that non consumable etc items sold for less. I suppose from the looks of things, the value of the items is down by 25%. I guess that helps explain why I'm having problems getting zeny.
Servers are filling up fast!
A random shot of the party request zone in prontera. People are leveling up pretty fast even for the rough leveling rates.
Just a quick comparison to show the differences between the two display modes for text. I like the bold to be honest...
So I decided I wanted to make a different character, one that might level faster and cheaper. I headed to Morroc to collect items I (thought I would) need for the quest.
Apparently the game wants to make things hard on me.
Can you guess what I'm making?
In case you're wondering about dex vs vit, I find that if I don't get vit off the start its 1000x harder to get past the novice training grounds because you take too much damage from monsters, so I like to get vit initially.
Apparently its still pretty hard with 1 str.
Lucky for me, I got an invite into a novice party, which sped up my leveling considerably.
Off to Amatsu~
I should have known something was up when this happened. I entered the ninja guild room only to be ambushed by the guild leader. After talking to him and agreeing to what he had to say, he warped me directly (!!) to einbroch.
At this point I knew there was something different. Even though I got Cyfar (had to buy it) and pracon, the quest wouldn't continue. Not to mention the NPC looks completely different!
Quest window to the rescue? According to the quest description, he wants me to go south of einbroch, and across the bridge to the west there'll be a red tree that I have to find.
Well lo and behold, a red tree.
After going back to the Einbroch tower, I was warped directly back to Amatsu without needing any items up to now. The Ninja guild leader did still tell me to bring him items, but he told me to bring him 5 Iron Ore and 1 Pracon. Much easier than how it is currently on iRO. Annoyingly I had bought Cyfar and didn't have iron ore, but that was pretty quickly resolved.
And I'm Ninja~.
This actually surprised me, the Ninja spheres are cheaper on kRO than they are on iRO.
Unfortunately I had overlooked this small detail. I had no weapon I could equip at this point... my novice party was fast but it didn't net me any drops, and the new novice ground gears can't be sold.
Well it seems I need a weapon... bare handed with 1 str just doesn't cut it.
After getting enough jellopy to get a dagger, my damage improved... though sadly not by a whole lot.
After approximately two hours (no joke), I made it from level 11 to level 12.
Its off, in search of better leveling lands. Apparently though, I'm not alone...
Imagine my surprise when I found out I was not the only one who wanted to hunt metalings.
At first my leveling wasn't very fast... In fact, with each level I gained, I would level faster than the one before.
Unfortunately competition for metalings was pretty damn fierce...
My most hated nemesis, players using the mimic monster mercenary. It has the same stats as that of a regular mimic, and scrolls to summon them can be purchased from the kafra shop. They have the ability to kill metalings in a single shot, regardless of the level of its owner (and you can get them at level 1). At medium to high level the mimic is useless but at low levels, people using them skyrocket in level past everyone else regardless of their build or stats. At first I thought it was cool, but everyone but me has one.
Like I was mentioning earlier, this alchemist is running in circles while the metalings chase him, giving his homunculus the opportunity to kill them. Its a good deal for them, since neither of them can take hits from metalings.
I wonder about how some players chose their names!
On the left, the black bunny band, and on the right, custom 'loveholic' font item.
It seems that 99% of players don't allow other people to view their equipment. This is the only player I found that let his equipment be inspected... but what the heck is it with 2x  skull rings!?
I decided to make a short video about leveling up there. Note that that I was playing during off hours, there's almost twice as many people during peak time!
A quick look at the Lighthalzen item shop. Expensive ygg berries. Some of the vendors on the field were selling blue gems for approx 1200z, which makes me think that they are increased in price too (1400z-1500z is likely), I haven't checked myself though.
In the end I ended up going to the other metaling map 3 south of Juno. A bit more annoying to get to but it was less crowded than the lighthalzen map.
It can be pretty... dangerous if you don't watch your step though.
At first I thought this emote was supposed to be US flag but I'm unsure because of the odd arrangement in the top left. Edit: It appears I was indeed wrong, its the Flag of Malaysia. I guess the flags all represent teams that participated in the World Cup for Soccer, something Korea was quite into. I guess only nations that were big into it got the flag emotes? It would still be cool if we got some on iRO though.
More alternative leveling locations. Scorpions aren't half bad.
Of course there's a few unfortunate obstacles...
To further test the novice training ground changes of last maintenance, and maybe vend some of the random stuff I found, I decided to quickly make a merchant.
Leveling the merchant was quite a good time. The video I posted of the novice leveling was leveling this merchant.
From the novice training grounds, I got:
All of those (except the red potions) are account bound. The increase in novice provisions certainly make starting a lot easier. Apparently the last NPC gives you a pretty awesome beginner weapon if you accept his choice for your class, but since I chose my own I didn't get it. Maybe need to find a guide on how to get the right choice of class as a suggestion.
The Novice Adventurers Suit is a pretty amazing piece of gear actually. 8 defense, slotted, and 0 weight. It is however character bound (can't store it) and cannot be upgraded. Its still pretty sexy.
I'd tell you just how much the merchant quest sucked when you can't read the destination for your package, but I'll spare you the details.
After pushing to get vending level 1, the moment of truth... No! The price to rent a pushcart is more than I have. I guess I'll have to work on that later.
Prontera market is pretty crazy still...
I'm not sure how you get this hat, I'm fairly sure its a mobile or netcafe reward (you get old red boxes from it which have random special headgears). This is a really amazing mage headgear, since it boosts your MATK by your current job level. Surprised to see it for cheap.
Anyways, thats it for now. Current stats of the ninja!
I had a big post written up but then my computer crashed... I'm tired so I'll write it up tomorrow. For now, enjoy some kRO novice action!