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Kafra Shop

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RO KafraShop

The Kafra Shop button in RO.

The Kafra Shop is Ragnarok Online and Ragnarok Online II's official cash shop. (A cash shop is an online store that sells virtual goods for real-life money. All free-to-play MMORPGs and some subscription MMORPGs have their own cash shop.) The Kafra Shop sells everything from consumables to costumes. It is named the for the trademark Kafra Corporation of the Ragnarok online games.

Items in the Kafra Shop can only be purchased with Kafra Points.

Ragnarok Online

RO KafraShop2

The Kafra Shop menu in RO.

The Kafra Shop was introduced to RO in 2007 when the game began opening free-to-play servers alongside its subscription servers (which then became known as premium servers).

When the Kafra Shop was first implemented, players had to go to a Kafra Shop NPC to purchase items. This meant that if players suddenly wished to purchase something from the shop, they would have to travel to the nearest town that had a Kafra Shop NPC. The Kafra Shop menu, which allows players to access the Kafra Shop anytime and anywhere in the game, was not added in until much later.

The Kafra Shop initially offered a small selection of headgears, consumable items like Battle Manuals, and rental weapons. It later stocked costume gear after the costume system was added to the game's user interface with the Renewal update.

The implementation of the Kafra Shop also introduced Lucky Boxes into the game, which are boxes that give a random item or set of items upon opening.

Ragnarok Online II

RO2 KafraShop

The Kafra Shop button in RO2.

Since RO2 was developed as a free-to-play game, the Kafra Shop was automatically part of it upon launch in order to help the game financially support itself. It mainly offers rental costumes and mounts alongside VIP options. Unique to RO2's Kafra Shop is the Showroom feature, which allows players to see what the costumes will look like on their characters before purchasing them.


RO2 KafraShop2

The Kafra Shop menu in RO2.

During the beta test for the international server of RO2 (iRO2), the Kafra Shop allowed players to buy exactly what costumes and mounts they wanted directly. Core costume pieces (shirt and pants) were sold at 600 Kafra Points each while costume accessories (e.g. wings, hats, etc.) were sold at 400 Kafra Points each. Mounts were sold at 400 Kafra Points each.

After the game launched, players are only able to buy the costumes and mounts via random boxes that work similarly to RO's Lucky Boxes. It is unknown if costumes and mounts will ever be offered directly in the Kafra Shop again.

Very Important Person (VIP)

With the transition from subscription to free-to-play, Gravity wanted players to be able to retain their subscription experience in RO and so implemented the VIP system. VIP subscriptions in RO are account-wide while RO2's VIP subscriptions are character-bound.

Players have responded negatively to RO2's VIP system, which is basically an item package meant to give VIP players an edge over non-VIP players. Compared to RO's VIP system, RO2's VIP is very much pay-to-win.

RO VIP RO2 VIP
Account-wide Character-bound
Default Kafra warps at default Zeny pricing 20% Movement speed increase
More Kafra storage slots at default opening costs Card Album (temporary storage)
Default safe upgrades on weapons and armor Additional 50% dungeon token earnings
+50% EXP gain +5 to all stats (STR,INT,AGI,VIT,WIS)
+50% Drop Rate 10 Spinels
2x Storage Slots (permanent) 10 Pump It Up Hard Pills
Default EXP Death Penalty 10% Max HP increase
10% Max SP increase

Player Reception

Cash shops have existed for as long as free-to-play MMORPGs have. In that time, cash shops eventually began carrying a negative reputation as being pay-to-win, meaning that they often offered items and boosts that allowed paying players to have a significant advantage in the game over non-paying players.

Ragnarok players generally welcome the addition of the Kafra Shop as long as it did not offer pay-to-win items. Much of the negativity towards the Kafra Shop in both games stem from bad decisions from the publishers and the developers. For instance, when the Cooking system was added to Ragnarok Online, packages of cooked food were then added in the Kafra Shop. Not only did it offer the best foods that players can make, the Kafra Shop version of the foods were also of lighter weight. This made it so cooked foods in the Kafra Shop were much more appealing than player-cooked foods and therefore discouraged the use of the cooking system and hindered the injection of cooked foods into the market.

Ludomania

Perhaps the biggest issue with the Kafra Shop is the implementation of gamble boxes that have become very popular with Asian free-to-play MMORPGs (known as Lucky Boxes in RO and Munil boxes in RO2). How it works is that players are given a list of what items can be found in certain gamble boxes. Players then purchase those gamble boxes in hopes of obtaining the item(s) from the list that they seek. Many Asian developers and publishers of Asian MMORPGs depend on players to become ludomaniacs in order to receive income for their games, as this results in players buying large amounts of these gamble boxes for the slim chance of getting the item(s) they want. A few players have admitted to spending thousands of dollars buying these gamble boxes, solid proof of gamble boxes' success in RO and RO2.

Costumes Controversy

Another major issue with the Kafra Shop is the addition of costume items that featured special effects (stats and rune slots in the case of RO2). Costumes, by MMORPG definitions, are supposed to be purely cosmetic clothing that allow players to cover up ugly gear with more appealing gear while still utilizing good stats and effects from the ugly gear. However, the developers at kRO intended for costume effects to be temporary as they designed the costume system to be mainly decorative. At most, costumes can be enchanted, but that was about it. Unfortunately, Gravity Interactive made temporary effects on costumes permanent on iRO, and so exceptions had to be added to iRO's enchantment script so costumes with (now permanent) effects couldn't be enchanted for balance purposes. This has since resulted in the bloating of iRO's enchantment script that is more prone to bugs and exploits.[1]

See Also

References

  1. WarpPortal Forums 2015 Oct. 16

Patches

  • Patch (2016 Mar. 23)
    • Implemented a [Close] button in the Kafra UI.
  • Patch (2011 Dec. 14)
    • Search feature added to the Kafra Shop.

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