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|Genre(s)||Massively multiplayer online role-playing|
Ragnarok Online (spelled Ragnarök in the logo; 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 Ragnarok by Lee Myung-jin. It was first released in South Korea on 31 August 2002 for Microsoft Windows and has since been released in many other locales around the world. The game has spawned an animated series, Ragnarok the Animation, and a sequel game, Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second. Player characters exist in a world with a player environment that gradually changes with the passage of time. Major changes in the features and history of the world take place as episodes in the RO timeline. 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 in a specific hall of fame listing.
Ragnarok Online is divided into a series of maps on two major continents, each of which has its own terrain and native monsters, though many monsters are present in multiple regions. Transportation between maps requires loading the new map and monsters are unable to travel from one map to another unless directly associated with the player such as a pet, mount, or hireling.
There are three major nations in Ragnarok Online, the first of which and where all players start is the kingdom of Rune Midgard. The Schwaltzvalt Republic, an industrialized neighbor to the North, was added in Episode 10 and Arunafeltz, a religious nation is the subject of Episode 11.
Areas from Norse mythology are included, such as Niflheim, the land of the dead, and Valhalla, where players can become Transcendent Classes. New map content is constantly being added to game in the form of Episode updates.
The official Ragnarok Online servers underwent massive game system changes in 2010, which has been titled "Renewal". Renewal revamped game mechanics, changed the behavior and interaction of stats, gears, and modifiers in the stat system, changed the way and amount of character experience, and introduced the 3rd Job Classes. There are various other changes that come with Renewal, including interface and hotkey alterations, as well as skill changes.
Renewal has different versions, according to the server it is being implemented in. The 2 major versions are called the kRO (Korean Raagnarok Online) and jRO (Japanese Ragnarok Online), titled after the server in which the version was created. The differences between each version were made by the corresponding branch of Gravity in order to please their players, rather than having an overall brand of Renewal, which might only please a minority.
Within the many cities and towns, there are many activities that players can participate in. Usually, there will an Eden Teleport Officer and several Kafra Employees throughout the city. Eden Teleport Officers work for an organization called the Eden Group that allows players to sign up for quests and submit them for rewards. Kafra Employees help players by providing storage and teleport services for a small fee. These two NPCs are very important to the development of characters in the game.
In addition, every town will have the usual stores and shops where players can purchase and sell their items. The stores differ from city to city because each city is affiliated with a different job that players can choose from; therefore, the goods each sell are relatively for that particular job that the city is affiliated with. Furthermore, there usually will be dozens of other players sitting around selling and purchasing goods. It is good to take advantage of this because often, they will purchase goods for high prices while also selling very rare items.
There are also many side quests that players can choose to take on after speaking to certain NPCs. These side quests usually provide a unique reward that cannot be earned in any other way such as learning a new skill or receiving an extremely rare item. There are lots of things players can do inside every city so it's best to spend some time walking around and talking to all the NPCs.
"Jobs" are one of the most important aspects of Ragnarok Online. A player choice of job will determine his or her strengths and weaknesses both in a party and outside of one. The job system initially consisted of 13 classes, which has increased to over 50 via several updates. Each class specializes in certain skills corresponding to archetypes in a role-playing game. Additionally, numerous equipment are exclusive to particular classes.The greatness of the equipment depends on the character attribute status.
After increasing their 'player level' and 'job level' to a specific amount, first class characters can advance into their 'second class'. It should be noted that each separate class allows two options for the second class change. For example, the 'Swordsman' class can become either a 'Knight' or a 'Crusader'. Once a player reaches player level 99 and job level 50, they can 'rebirth' their character (not applicable to expansion classes and Super Novices). Rebirthing brings a character back to level 1 for both player level and job level. Reborn characters generally work the same as regular characters up until the second class. Instead of a second class, characters that are born can transcend to a new second job, different from those of a character that hasn't been reborn. These transcended job types have more skills and a larger number of 'stat points' to allocate to characters compared to second classes. The experience curve for transcendent jobs is significantly higher. As of the "Renewal" update in 2010, players are given the option to advance onto their third classes which provide an additional set of skills as well as allowing with player to break through the traditional level cap of 99.
A player will evolve and change jobs multiple times over the course of playing, though the number of changes will be determined by choices made by the player.
While Ragnarok Online is both developed and run by Gravity in South Korea, its various official overseas versions are licensed and run by regional ventures. This has led to a multitude of regional differences in the game, such as localized or translated text, special in-game events, and the payment model.
This is the original payment model pay to play. Depending on the version, users can pay by a monthly subscription or buy pre-paid cards. The iRO (International Ragnarok Online) server has switched completely to the F2P model supported by revenue from the in-game Kafra Shop.
Microtransactions and virtual freemium shops have become an increasingly favored revenue stream over monthly subscriptions for online multiplayer games, especially in the Asian MMO market. As such, the Kafra Shop (an Item Mall) was added to the RO servers. Users are able to purchase Kafra Credit Points with local currency; the points can then be exchanged for items available only in the Kafra Shop. To avoid the negative perception of players buying their way to success, weapons and armors are not sold in the Kafra Shop with the exception of some fashionable or collectible hats which may have a small armor value so that they may continue to be worn as a compromise between normal headgear armor and fashion-statement hat accessories. Also, players can continue playing all the way to level 99, wear gears, train all applicable levels of their job class, and compete in events without ever purchasing from the Kafra Shop.
This service appears on most other localized servers of Ragnarok Online such as jRO (Japanese Ragnarok Online), mRO (Malaysian Ragnarok Online), pRO (Philippine Ragnarok Online), rRO (Russian Ragnarok Online) and kRO (Korean Ragnarok Online), using the currency of the respective countries for points. In addition, upgraded forms of normal equipment can be rented using Kafra Points.
There are official "Free To Play" servers where players can play Ragnarok Online free of charge, with a few differences in game play. Major differences are the limited use of the Kafra Teleport service, upgrading weapons and armor never have a "safe zone" in which the player cannot break the Weapon/Armor, items have had their costs changed or been removed entirely from the game, the Acolyte skill Teleport has been modified, and prices on certain NPC items received a moderate increase. Notably, characters may be any job class, access any map, attain all skills, wear any gear, and progress to all levels without payment of microtransaction fees. Changes vary from server to server. Some free to play servers also provide premium account plans with various ingame benefits.
The use of free servers has resulted in a higher reliance on the Kafra Shop item mall for revenue stream. Many localized versions of Ragnarok Online have implemented free servers during 2007-2008.
Gravity Co. Ltd. released 8 separate games for the mobile phone allowing players to experience the game on the road. Each version focuses on the main aspect of the super novice, acolyte, thief, merchant, mage, archer, gunslinger, taekwon, ninja, and swordsman classes based on the version of the game they have. Players are able to advance their characters using the attributes STR, AGI, VIT, LUK, INT, and DEX. Though not placed in the server, players control their character and complete a series of quests or tasks. As players earn zeny (the in-game currency) they are able to send the zeny to their real accounts. Also, a ranking is present where characters are ranked by the amount of zeny the character has.
- Gravity Corp., the game's developer
- Ragnarok, a manhwa that served as basis for the game
- Tree of Savior, a game developed Kim Hakkyu, creator of Ragnarok Online
- Gamespot. "Technical Info".
- iRO staff. "Schwaltzvalt Republic - Part 2. Einbroch, the City of Steel". Gravity Interactive LLC.
- "Episode 11.1 Rachel". RO Future Wiki.
- iRO staff. "Ragnarok Online Characters". Gravity Interactive LLC.
- iRO staff. "Kafra Shop". Gravity Interactive LLC.
- Gravity Corporation press release. "GRAVITY Reports Fiscal Year 2008 Results". PRN Wire.
- iRO staff. "Ragnarok Mobile Mage". Gravity Interactive LLC.
- Gravity Co., Ltd. "Mobile games development business". Gravity Co., Ltd.