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Ragnarok Online

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Ragnarök Online
RO Poster14
Info
Developer(s) GRAVITY Co., Ltd.
Publisher(s) GRAVITY Co., Ltd.
Director(s) Kim Hakkyu
Designer(s) Kim Hakkyu
Writer(s) Lee Myung-jin
Artist(s) Lee Myung-jin
Composer(s) SoundTeMP
NEOCYON
Workspace
Take One Media
Sound Dog
StyleM
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) 2002 August 31 (South Korea)
2003 June (USA international)
2003 May 20 (China)
Genre(s) MMORPG

Ragnarok Online (Korean: 라그나로크 온라인, alternatively subtitled The Final Destiny of the Gods), often referred to as RO, is a Korean massive multiplayer online role-playing game or MMORPG created by GRAVITY Co., Ltd. based on the manhwa Ragnarök by Lee Myung-jin. It was first released in South Korea on 2002 August 31 for Microsoft Windows and has since been released in many other locales around the world. It runs on an internally-developed engine known as AEGIS. The game has spawned an animated series, Ragnarök the Animation, and a sequel game, Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second.

Features

Player characters exist in a world with a player environment that gradually changes with the passage of time. Player characters interact in a 3D environment but are represented by 2D character sprites for front, back, side and diagonal facings.

The major types of server-supported gameplay are Player vs Environment, Guild vs Guild, Player vs Player. Also supported by the game server are Group vs Group, Arena Combat, Player vs Monster, Player vs All, and various other specific scenarios at designated instance locations in the game world. NPC-run challenges and contests are also available with prizes, awards, and/or listing in a specific hall of fame listing.

See Unimplemented RO Features

Story

In a time of strife between God, Normans, and demons...

Scarred during the gruesome war and avoiding total destruction altogether, God, Normans, and demons manage to enter into a truce...

But after 1,000 years of fragile and forged peace in Rune-Midgarts...

The lengthy peace eventually led the Normans to forget their memories of the scars and hardship from the war. As they forgot faults of the past, selfishness, corruption, and arrogance slowly spread throughout the land...

Finally, the balance of peace broke and strange occurrences started happening. There came a strange howl from the boundaries that divided God, Normans, and demons. Peaceful creatures became aggressive and attacked innocent villagers. Violent earthquakes ripped whole continents apart. Great hail storms drove some species to the brink of extinction...

The mysterious legend of demons was rediscovered...

As the fragile peace began to fall apart, stories about the parts of Ymir protecting the peace began to spread among the adventurers. Forgetting the true nature of the ancient relics, people set out to seek the pieces out of selfishness and the promise of wealth that would come with it...

List of Episodes

See Episode Updates (RO)

Major changes in the features and history of the world take place as Episodes in the RO timeline.

Cards

Unique to Ragnarok Online is the carding system that allows players to bind cards with special stats to weapons and armor to further enhance their characters. Almost every monster in the game has a corresponding card with its own set of effects.

Opening Cinematic

Ragnarok Online Opening Movie01:34

Ragnarok Online Opening Movie

In the early days of Ragnarok Online, an opening video would start up when a player launches the game. It would appear before the login screen. For some reason, the video was removed from the game later on and it is unknown why, although it could be attributed to players wanting to log in quickly and not have to sit through the opening. That would also mean that there was no option to skip the opening whenever the game launched.

Music of Ragnarok Online

A few soundtracks were released for RO, but they mostly contain the same tracks.

Official Ragnarok Online Servers

In the wake of RO's troubled beginnings, many private (illegal) servers came about. These private servers in no way support the official servers and have caused Gravity developers to lose money from players who financially support private servers over the official servers.

Active Official Servers

To help support the longevity of RO and its developers, here is a list of official servers players should play on:

Inactive Official Servers

This is a list of official servers that have ceased operation. Only oRO and pRO had their player data merged with the iRO server. Players from other servers had to create new accounts on iRO to keep playing the game.

  • Official Oceania (oRO) - These servers shut down in March of 2007. They supported both the New Zealand and Australia regions. Players of oRO were given the option to transfer over to iRO.
  • Official Middle East-North Africa (aeRO/aRO) - Shut down around 2008/2009. It reopened in 2009, but closed for good in February of 2013.
  • Official Vietnam (vRO) - These servers closed down in 2007 because not enough restrictions were placed for RMT (real money trade). It reopened in 2008 and then shut down for good in 2011.
  • Official India (inRO) - Shut down in August of 2008. iRO services expanded to the India region in response.[1]
  • Official Malaysia & Singapore (mRO) - Their contract with Gravity ended and the server did not make enough profit to renew the contract. Shut down 2013 October 31. Player data cannot be transferred to iRO, but iRO will now be open to the mRO region.[2][3]
  • Official Philippines (pRO) - Shut down 2015 March 31 due to lack of measurements against botting and unbalanced Kafra Shop, which made players quit the server more often than not.[4] Players were given the option of transferring over to iRO.[5]
  • Official Russia (ruRO) - Shut down 2015 November 16 for reasons unknown.[6]
  • Official China (cRO) - cRO originally began service on 2003 May 20 and was hosted by Shanda Entertainment.[7] It announced on 2011 November 1 that it would be closing down all RO service as of 2011 December 30.[8] At the time of closing, cRO was updated to Episode 13.3 with Brasilis and Babylan 6F. Player data was not going to be preserved for a future Chinese service or transfer to an existing service. On 2012 March 30, GRAVITY signed a contract with Kunlun Games to reopen cRO and began services on 2013 February 28.[9] About 3 years later, they were unable to renew their contract with GRAVITY and shut down 2016 February 19.[10]

Controversy

Towards the end of the closed beta testing for the original Korean servers of RO (kRO), it was announced that the game will be released as a subscription-based game, much like many other MMORPGs in 2002. Some of the beta testers became upset at the news and their sense of immature entitlement to free gaming led to numerous hacks on the RO servers.[11] The hacks crippled the game so much so that Gravity Co. pretty much went bankrupt. In an effort to save the company, Samsung Electronics offers to buy them out. To watch over their new investment, Samsung appointed a manager to oversee development on RO. Unfortunately this manager began going on a power trip, wanting to reshape the game into his own idea. This caused many of the original developers and the lead designer of the game to quit mid-development in rebellion.[12][13] As such, many of the original concepts for RO were never fully implemented into the game. In addition, the game constantly suffers from terrible lag, bugs, and errors due to the unfinished coding left by the original developers. Instead of rebuilding the code from the ground up with the newer development team, Gravity Co. decides to push forward by building on the unfinished coding, resulting in unpolished and unsatisfactory gameplay for millions of players for more than 10 years.

These problems continue to exist to this day, even after the implementation of the Renewal update.

See Also

References

  1. iRO Wiki 2013 May 1
  2. mRO Site Notice 2013 Oct. 10
  3. iRO Website 2013 Nov.
  4. pRO Site Notice 2015 Feb. 13
  5. WarpPortal Forums 2015 Feb. 13
  6. ruRO Website 2015 Nov. 15
  7. PR Newswire 2016 Feb. 15
  8. 17173 2016 Feb. 25
  9. This Is Game 2016 Feb. 15
  10. cRO Website 2016 Feb. 15
  11. Ragnarok Wisdom Soapbox 2004 Oct.
  12. Neoseeker Forums 2002 Oct.
  13. AEGIS Article 2013 Mar.
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