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.
I've been unfortunately rather busy with work and life and haven't been given much opportunity to play. With the opening of the Ymir server, several of our players have left, and the future of war on the server is uncertain.
So what I wanted to do was to create a video to celebrate the two or so years of the Valkyrie guild, the people involved, and the fun times that have been had by all (and here's hoping the fun times that will be had in the future). Hopefully, the Valkyrie Guild will continue to be an important factor on the Valk server.
I do want to stress the point that it is a celebration of valkyrie guild, unlike my regular woe videos that I at least try to fairly portray the other guilds and what happened, this video is unabashedly one-sided.
The music is the Theme of Sengoku Rance, an awesome game by Alicesoft (though the game is NSFW!). The video is in part designed to mimic the opening video of that game. I think it turned out pretty well.
This is the most technically complex video I've made to date, with many cuts and effects. I used Sony Vegas to produce the video, it's a pretty powerful program although at least on my computer it runs quite slow. Quality kind of varies from point to point, you might notice, the reason for this is that lots of the footage is taken from my past WoE videos. Sorry if this is distracting. If you're interested, you can see the final timeline here.
Some of the clips aren't that interesting, I apologize to Sakura and Alpha n Omega members for their un-interesting screen time. I only had high quality fraps footage from 4 separate sieges and didn't have any other views of their guilds.
To valk members, I only got to name a limited number of characters from guild, but don't think that because you're not on the list you're not appreciated. Honestly the major deciding factor in who got into the video depended almost entirely on who I was able to see in siege without being blocked by other characters or effects. I only had 4 high quality fraps to work with, I filled my harddrive entirely while working on this project so I wasn't able to really get more footage.
I hope you enjoy the video!