Ragnarok Online 2 Review

Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second

After over a decade of anticipation, the sequel of our beloved Ragnarok Online 2 was finally out. Not caring much about being able to understand much less read anything from the game, I didn’t hesitate trying it out when Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second was finally released on Korea on the 26th of March 2012. Of course hoping for an English server was definitely something the rest of the world prayed for and soon! I will cover all my experiences in this Ragnarok Online Review!

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The History

Gravity did make an earlier attempt to release the second version of the game, Ragnarok Online 2: Gate of the New World entered closed beta in 2006. But regardless how many times the game was adjusted, unfortunately, it was unable to produce as much enthusiasm as its developers had imagined and decided to rebuild the whole thing. Gravity made an announcement postponing the release of the game, ending the services of Ragnarok Online 2: Gate of the New World. I tried it myself and I could honestly say that the game wasn’t all that bad but I think the developers made the correct choice to not rush its release since it definitely a lot to live up to.

The first ever closed beta was held 31st of August 2010 and followed almost immediately for a second testing in January of 2011. The reception from the beta testers was probably quite satisfactory as Gravity entertained their thoughts and suggestion to better improve the game before opening it to the world. February of the same year, barely a month after the last closed beta, the date for the first ever Open Beta of the official Ragnarok Online II finally arrived.

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First English Server

Asiasoft opened its closed beta for the first English server in the middle of 2012. There were bound to be a few bugs, errors in text translations but it was alright. I was more than happy to be there to see for myself and it was worth the wait. When it ended, I was left with a very satisfying impression. Yes, there may have been a few misses here and there but knowing Gravity will continue to tinker with the game and improve it, RO2 was definitely something to look forward to.

Sadly, Asiasoft’s first open beta for RO2 didn’t go so well although they did try as hard as they could to stabilize the servers. The overwhelming number of gamers trying to gain access was already something to expect, add the weight that the namesake of the game carries. Even Gravity understood that they absolutely can’t possibly just “wing it” and had to rebuild the whole game simply because they had a very good idea how their audience will react and receive the game. On a business point of view, it would have been a great opportunity had things gone as it should. Release the game ahead of everyone else and before Christmas would have proven to be quite rewarding as many wouldn’t mind at all spending on the game since it is that time of the year where everyone has more than a handful of lose change to spare on perks. But unfortunately, trying to nab the spot as the “First Ever English Server” for the successor of Ragnarok Online was a little too much weight to carry for Asiasoft.

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As huge RO fan, I couldn’t help but be disappointed (not with the game but the host) and a bit traumatized; there were so many other miscalculations aside from the capacity of their servers leaving so many people from around the world with a number of lasting bad impressions. It dulled out the hype and anticipation for the game where many just decided to wait for a different server to open that will also allow them to be reunited with their friends from other countries that were “suddenly” banned from access. In the end, after pushing back the dates more than a few times. Asiasoft’s RO2 was rescheduled to the 6th of January 2013. They did release a formal explanation and an apology and it was understandable but had they taken the time to explain everything earlier and not tried to insist on something that was impossible to accomplish at that moment, things would have turned out a little less chaotic than it did. But still, mistakes happen and I am sure Asiasoft strives to better their services.

Just a few months in difference, WarpPortal opened the North American servers for Ragnarok Online II: Legend of the Second 18th of April 2013. There’s this narration at the very beginning after you you’ve just created your character, it sounded a bit funny because it was really in English compared to SEA (Asiasoft). Even the npc’s, all their lines were fixed and dubbed into English. I guess you could say that it was actually the first purely English server for RO2. Other servers will open soon enough; I believe Thailand and Philippines are yet to have their official announcement made for the game.

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Inside the New RO

After hopping into the NA server and playing for a few months, I found myself satisfied with the game although from time to time, I guess its human nature, to compare it to the original one. One thing I definitely miss having in this current version of RO was the Merchant class. Although it does have a Blacksmith but only by profession, I do miss seeing that little merchant in the beginning in baggy clothes and dragging his little flowery cart all over town and through dungeons.

They did however introduce a changes and additions like the Sorcerer, one of the second job options for Mage class along side its Wizard alternative, class which became sort of controversial at first as to how it was too powerful. It could be described as a Hybrid of a Priest and a Wizard. I have to agree on that since I tried it myself too, it is formidable in both capacity and quite a force to recon with if the player holding on to this class is quite the gamer. Another addition is the Beastmaster an alternate for the Ranger that both start out from Archer class. A Beastmaster is more melee type, it can transform into different animal types to increase its damage and defense. There isn’t really that much of a difference between a Ranger and a Hunter from the old RO. Except maybe the part where Hunters gets to have that really cool falcon that does crazy damage and Rangers don’t? For the Swordsman class, they included Warrior, a heavy damager type, as an alternate option to Knight which more of the defense/tanker type.

Another class was added quite recently, they are called the Noel. They are these creatures that were once Elves. They helped the Normans fight against the goddess Freyja and won. But because of the dark magic that they absorbed during that battle, they changed into these small demon-like creatures. As a Noel, you start off as an Alter. You could stay they specialize in crit attacks and debuff so they can be pretty annoying and painful if you let them get too close. At level 25, you can choose between a Crescentia or a Soul Maker as a second job. A Crescentia is a wielder of a crescent shaped blade better known as a Scythe, more of the curse melee type. While a Soul Maker is also a damage type with buffing skills. I am yet to master these two but I can already say that these two new classes are pretty strong. I am eager to see how well they will do once they are set up with the proper gear and build.

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They also made crafting a little more detailed and each character can only choose one Profession to master. The easiest one is probably Alchemist; farming for the main materials doesn’t take too much effort. What I noticed was how the herbs are conveniently lined up just waiting to be picked. If you’re starting as a Mage or Acolyte class, this profession is much more suitable since caster type classes don’t have that much physical defense. HP, MP and buff pots crafted are much more effective than the ones bought from npc shops. The other one is the Blacksmith, just like the Alchemist, ore deposits on each map aren’t really that hard to find and some spawn rather close to together. It’s a no-brainer when I say that this profession is more suitable for swordsman class since both their weapon and armor sets depend on metals. Tailors could be a tad bit complicated; you’ll have to deal with two kinds of fabric. If you have to guess, this causes a huge problem with bag space especially if this is what you chose for your first character.

The most problematic one is the Chef. It doesn’t only hog most of your bag space; it also is quite tricky to hunt for ingredients unless you have a guide as to which mob you need. Also, the ingredients that you need from mobs are based on drop rate so you’ll have to stay in one spot and farm them not to mention drop rate is affected by level, so patience and a lot of extra effort is required. But if you do choose to master being a Chef, it most definitely is rewarding. Aside from regenerating HP and MP, it also provides for much better buffs compared to potions. Using them in tandem is a must.

Looking Forward

This game is VERY new. It is yet to make a proper mark into the world of MMOs so it is too early to pass a verdict since we can all expect more updates and hopefully more content in the future. So until then, I suggest we keep an eye out for Ragnarok Online II: Legend of the Second.

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