|Ragnarök Online II|
A game that could've been so much better, but the developers chose not to.
|Developer(s)||GRAVITY Co., Ltd.|
|Publisher(s)||GRAVITY Co., Ltd.|
|Release date(s)||26 March 2012 (South Korea)|
03 January 2013 (Southeast Asia)
01 May 2013 (North America/Europe)
28 August 2013 (Indonesia)
26 June 2014 (Taiwan-Hong Kong)
Ragnarök Online II (Korean: 라그나로크 온라인 2) is the sequel to the popular MMORPG, Ragnarok Online, created by Gravity Corp. of South Korea. It was originally announced in November of 2004 and has gone through two iterations before finally having development handed over to Gravity Interactive in 2016.
Player characters are 3D that interact in a 3D environment. Unlike RO1, RO2 will allow players to have characters of multiple races. So far, the races available in the game are Normans and Noels. Split job classes will also make a return to RO2. There will also be a Khara System that determines how each player character will develop.
The major types of server-supported gameplay are Player vs Environment, Guild vs Guild, Player vs Player. Also supported by the game server are Arena Combat, Player vs Monster, Player vs All, and various other specific scenarios at designated instance locations in the game world.
Cards will make a return in RO2, although in a much different light. Whereas cards in RO are slotted to weapons and armor, in RO2 the cards are slotted to the player's character directly. In addition, RO2 cards can be synthesized to make better cards.
The story of RO2 has gone through many revisions, but generally the story takes place after the Ragnarök cataclysm destroyed the world of RO as we know it.The Gate of the World iteration of RO2 diverted vastly from the story of Ragnarök, making little to no connection to either the manhwa or RO. The intention was to allow the developers to have more creative freedom with the narrative of RO2 without having to worry about adhering to the continuity of Ragnarök or RO. This was eventually abandoned in favor of connecting more with the prequels for the second iteration of RO2.
In the original Ragnarök work, it depicted Chaos as fighting the goddess Freyja. In RO, Chaos won and sealed Freyja away, but Chaos took a lot of damage and disappeared, so you were left with a world without either Chaos or Freyja. The awakening of Freyja is the basis for the scenario of Legend of the Second. While RO2's story takes place well after the scenario of RO, there are points where the scenario will cross paths. Developers have indicated that the story of RO2 will take place hundreds of years after RO. 
The Gate of the World
The year 1000 L.C is approaching. One thousand years prior, a terrible destruction took place, and the world was saved by St. Lif. Roughly twenty years earlier, a destructive war took place between Normans of the east and west, but there has recently been peace. Strange things have begun happening, however; the dark wanderers Dimago have awoken, and the Ellr have left their land of Alfheim to investigate the Mother Tree's silence.
Legend of the Second
Freyja was once a beautiful and kind goddess who loved all life. But because of her beloved Odin's betrayal, she became the goddess of destruction, burning with revenge. To destroy everything that Odin created, she began the great catastrophe, later to be called the "Day of Despair".
When Midgard fell into the brink of extinction, young heroes rose to save the land. Thanks to their endless courage and wisdom, Freyja was sealed and Midgard found peace once again.
A long time passed and the world became as it was before. In the age where the Day of Despair and Freyja both became merely legends, the official successor of the Rune-Midgarts' royal family, Ignatz Gaebolg, constructs a new Rune-Midgarts kingdom.
The peaceful days continued, but one day, at the Almin ridge, near the Kingdom's capital Prontera, a dimensional gap appeared, emitting strange energy that changed the environment.
After great effort, the Kingdom's magicians were able to seal it. The Kingdom decided that there was a deep connection between the incidents all over the land and the dimensional gap, and created a special investigation team to further investigate.
Recruitment notices were announced all over the land. After reading the announcement, adventurers from all over the land began to gather in Prontera with their own dreams and ambitions...
List of Episodes
Major changes in the features and history of the world take place as Episodes in the RO2 timeline.
Opening CinematicUpon starting the game with a new character, players are introduced to a brief synopsis of the game and the origins of their character. It can be skipped by pressing Esc.
Music of Ragnarok Online II
Only a couple of soundtracks for RO2 has been released and they're mostly centered around the old version of the game, The Gate of the World. A soundtrack for the current version of RO2 has yet to be released.
Official Ragnarok Online II Servers
Active Official Servers
To help support the longevity of RO2 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.
- Official Korea (kRO2) - The developers' home server shut down on 2013 December 23rd due to lack of players. In response, iRO2 became open to the Korean region.
- Official Southeast Asia (seaRO2) (Malaysia, Vietnam, & Singapore) - Due to poor management, seaRO2 was announced to shut down on 2014 October 4th. Players of seaRO2 were given the option to transfer over to iRO2.
- Official Taiwan (twRO2) - Excessive botting and overall lack of interest led to the downfall of the Taiwan servers. Shut down 2015 March 30 with players given the option to transfer to iRO2.
- Official Thailand (thRO2) - Shut down 2015 July 28. Players were given the option to transfer to iRO2.
- Official Indonesia (idRO2) - Shut down 2016 May 17. Player data was merged into iRO2.
The Gate of the World
Ragnarok Online II: The Gate of the World (Korean: 라그나로크 온라인 2: 세계의 문) was first announced at KAMEX (Korea Amuse World Expo) in November 2004. The first trailer of the game was shown during the expo, in which a Novice boy and Novice girl were running toward each other in an undisclosed 3D city environment.
In September 2005, GRAVITY launched a major campaign to promote the game at the annual Tokyo Game Show. Attendees had the opportunity to play the game for the very first time at GRAVITY-hosted booths during the three-day event (September 16 to September 18). GRAVITY released multiple RO2 gameplay videos to the public, as well as an animation video, during this time frame. Famed anime composer Yoko Kanno was also announced to be on the project around this time.In December 2006, GRAVITY finally began accepting applications for the first closed beta test in South Korea. Due to several technical issues and server tweaking, the total testing time was only about 10 hours. According to an interview between the Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo and developer Team Mercury, the main goal for the first closed beta was to test characters. They wanted to see how gamers would react to the overall feel of the game as well as whether character designs were accepted by them.
In 2008, the Korean Open Beta had condensed its number of servers to just two. By this point, the game's population had seen a dramatic decline since it first opened in May 2007—many areas in the game such as Hode Mines and Prontera were usually found to be empty. Changes in GRAVITY's leadership along with the game being poorly received in Korea during the open beta slowed development on RO2. GRAVITY since reworked the entire game. Global Business Manager Yunghun Lee said “We launched Ragnarok II in 2007. That version wasn’t really enough for the market, so we tried to revise all the systems, but it takes time. We changed the engine and everything, it’s like a totally new game. The engine changed several times, but now we’re using Gamebryo.” By this time, only the Korea and Japan regions had functioning servers for the original RO2. This version of the game received its last update on 2008 March 26.
Legend of the SecondIn July 2010 it was announced that the first iteration of the game had been scrapped and a new version, Ragnarok Online II: Legend of the Second (Korean: 라그나로크 온라인 2: 레전드 오브 세컨드), would be developed in its stead. The new iteration of RO2 returns to the systems and mechanics of the original Ragnarok Online while keeping the 3D engine. The game engine was changed several times since its predecessor opened its long running closed beta in 2007. It was mentioned that the new version of RO2 will be using the Gamebryo engine. The previous iteration used Unreal Engine 2.5.
The new art style of RO2 hearkened back to RO's anime look but still had its own individuality from its predecessor. Developers raised expectations with many planned features such as a tailoring system that would allow players to upload textures for their characters' outfits, spirit forging, and an actual alignment system in addition to a return of the the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Classes from RO. Beta testers experienced a wide explorable world that had the potential to rival that of World of Warcraft with mounts and a flight system. Because of the new change in art direction, several tracks that Yoko Kanno composed for the original version of the game was scrapped in the new version.
After 4 years of failure after failure by GRAVITY's development team to improve the game, they decided to hand over developmental rights of Ragnarok Online II to Gravity Interactive in March of 2016.
The Gate of the World
The first iteration of RO2 was only available to players in Korea and Japan. Reactions were mixed as some players liked the fresh look of the game while others felt it digressed too far away from the anime aesthetics established by RO. The weapon system, which allowed players to level up their weapon along with their characters, contributed to a lackluster market since players had little incentive to switch to better weapons. The amount of content in the game was excruciatingly sparse with only three towns and a handful of maps to explore. As a result, activity in the game dropped dramatically in a matter of months, with many maps empty by the time the game was scrapped for the remake.
Legend of the Second
When the game finally launched in 2012, players were dismayed to find many of the features promised by the developers were either half-done or missing from the game. Players expecting a 3D version of the open world experience of RO were disappointed with a linear questing system to take them from town to town. The criticism was so bad that the developers' server in Korea shut down not even 2 years after it opened due to extremely low player populations.
However, in other areas of the world, players were mildly positive towards the game, believing that the developers will eventually implement the features that were promised in beta. Unfortunately, dissatisfaction with the game's management led to a steady decline in population with the seaRO2 publisher AsiaSoft ceasing service to players in the Singapore and Malaysia regions about a year after it opened. They eventually ceased service to Thailand players as well and shut down their RO2 server entirely, having only serviced RO2 in their contracted regions for about 3 years. The Taiwan RO2 server is the shortest-lived of the RO2 servers thus far, having been in service for only 7 months before shutting down in 2015.
After the "Advent of Valkyrie" update was implemented on iRO2, the game went into further decline as many RO2 players rejected the wide range of changes made to the game from the mechanics to the job classes. Upon concluding their evaluation of the game, Kunlun Games terminated their contract to host cRO2 in 2013 and then Level Up! Games followed suit, terminating their contract to host pRO2 in 2014. In January of 2016, GungHo Online Entertainment terminated their contract with GRAVITY to host a jRO2 server. RO2's global performance so far has cost GRAVITY millions in server shut downs and terminated contracts.
- ↑ Exclusive Developer Interview
- ↑ The Old and New in RO2 Developer Interview 2012 Dec.
- ↑ MMO Culture 2013 Nov. 20
- ↑ Ragnarok Online 2 set for TGS debut 2012 Jul. 07
- ↑ Tokyo Game Show 2005 Blog - Day 1 & 2 2012 Jul. 07
- ↑ 라그나로크 온라인2, 첫 비공개 시범 서비스 12월 27일 실시 - GG게임 2012 Jul. 07
- ↑ News - Gravity Reveals Ragnarok Social Details, Ragnarok II for 2010 2012 Jul. 07
- ↑ kRO2 Website
- ↑ RO2 Engine Change
- ↑ Unimplemented RO2 Features
- ↑ YouTube 2011 Jul. 17
- ↑ Ragnarok Wiki Forums 2016 Mar. 23
- ↑ MMO Culture 2013 Nov. 20
- ↑ PlayPark Website 2014 Sept. 11
- ↑ PlayPark Website 2015 Jul. 11
- ↑ WarpPortal Forums 2015 Feb. 27
- ↑ SEC Report 2014 Jun. 04
- ↑ SEC Report 2016 Feb. 22
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