Ragnarok Online 2: Sequel of a Legend, Not as Legendary

I’ve finally been able to play Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second (RO2:LoTS) on the Southeast Asia server. At first I wasn’t interested in playing this game because I played the legendary Ragnarok and was quite satisfied with it. Also, that damned Playpark banned Indonesian IPs, so I was trying to find a way to bypass it. What the hell man, we’re practically the largest landmass in Southeast Asia! I’ve been playing for a week now and have already hit level 36, so I guess a review is in order.

So, RO2 gives us the taste of the old RO, but now with a new story, enhanced graphics, and lots of new stuff while maintaining the legend that is RO1. That’s the expectations for the game, but does it actually live up to them?

I’ll start off with graphics, since that’s the reason people are actually bothering to play this game. In my opinion, after a week of playing, the graphics are superb. They never get boring and are very colorful. Every region has its own theme, from the chivalrous aura that is Prontera to the ominous tombs of Payon. Battle graphics are also done well, especially the Sorceror elemental skills. The design team really lived up to the expectations.

Now, for the game mechanics.

Classes

When you start crafting, you magically change clothes and a tool magically appears out of nowhere.
When you start crafting, you magically change clothes and a tool magically appears out of nowhere.

RO2 introduces the separation of classes into two categories: combat and profession. Your combat class is what you’ll be fighting mobs with, while your profession class determines what you’ll be able to craft. Thus comes the two EXP bars: one for combat exp, the other for job exp.

The classic jobs are back. You start out as either a Swordsman, Thief, Archer, Mage, or Acolyte. A job change quest can be undertaken when the character hits combat level 25. Then, you can be a Warrior or Knight; Assassin or Rogue; Ranger or Beastmaster; Sorcerer or Wizard; Monk or Priest. Each class has its own role and characteristics, even though some tend to overlap each other. The Monk is considered to be the main tank as it has the “Iron Body” buff, which should be for Knights. The Beastmaster can change into various animal forms, from Tiger to Grizzly Bear, all with their respective buffs. The legendary Assassin has been nerfed down and so has the Rogue. The Sorcerer is an awesome job, with damaging nuke spells and group healing.

For the profession jobs, there are four choices: Blacksmith, Artisan, Chef, and Alchemist. The jobs are chosen at the beginning and cannot be changed for the rest of your life. These jobs level up through crafting items, and crafting requires that you either mine ores, collect skin from dead monster corpses, or gather herbs. The only reason to level up is to create better items. The Blacksmith can craft weapons and heavy armor, the Artisan can craft light and cloth armor, the Chef cooks buff foods, and the Alchemist concocts potions. Also, each job has its own Guardian, which is unlocked through a quest at level 10. The Guardian can be summoned for 30 seconds once the orange bar above your character’s HP is full and provides a certain buff unique to the Guardian.

Battle

Killing Porings

The game mechanics are pretty simple: click and attack. Simple. But then, the developers decided that normal sword strikes would not be enough to kill the mobs, so they added spammable skills. Yes, EVERY job has their own no-cooldown skill that serves as your basic attack. As a Knight, that skill would be the skill “Bash”. Yup, RO veterans would recognize “Bash” as the strong, one-target, one-hit skill used by Swordsmen that takes up quite some SP, but now, it’s your main attack. Since I’ve only played the melee classes, to use your higher-level attack skills, you’ll need to spam the no-cooldown skills to build up a sort of “counter” (in a Knight’s case, it’s called “Aura”). Once you get like 3 Auras, you can execute your stronger skill, “Aura Strike”. Rinse, lather, and repeat. This is the very basic of combat. So, your mouse hand will be busy handling the camera, while your left hand will be busy raping the quick slot assigned to your spammable skill. Have fun.

To level up, all you need to do is do your quests. Extra grinding is quite unnecessary and a few dungeon runs can easily boost your level. Sidequests are now given in the form of Khara quests, which can be accessed through the menu. New quests are unlocked by either leveling up or spending Khara points. The rewards for completion can either be a new Title, EXP (combat or profession), and sometimes money. Its another Korean quest-grind MMORPG. Once you’re done in an area, move on to the next and finish all the quests there.

Status

The view is awesome!
The view is awesome!

Like RO1, RO2 provides us with a status point-based level up system. That is, you can customize your builds. Every time you level up, you can assign status points to either:

1. STR – increases physical attack and parry rate

2. AGI – increases ASPD, dodge, and critical rates

3. INT – increases magic attack

4. WIS – increases SP pool

5. VIT – increases HP pool

When I saw that VIT didn’t increase defense, I was quite disappointed. That means, as a tank, I’m only going to rely on good armor to keep me alive. And since defense percentage is relative to level (the percentage of damage deflected decreases every time you level up), I’ll need a lot of money to spend on good armor. Luckily, the armors in-game increases statuses by A LOT. A single piece of upper armor can increase STR by 20 points and so.

But still, I find it hard to get around even though I’m wearing blue-grade armor…

Main Overworld

ScreenCapture_2013_04_03_20_08_11
The universal Peco Peco mount

RO2 provides a lot of social emoticons and actions that I can’t get enough of. You can dance, be an idiot, or be depressed. Also, you can actually jump. Yes, you can jump over obstacles. The jump is not just an ornamental jump, you can actually jump over fences. I find this very helpful as it  reduces traveling time significantly. If you’re that lazy, there’s the Khafra Flying Service. Talk to a Khafra in town (the one with a broomstick) and you’ll be sent on a broomstick flight to your destination for a small amount of money. There’s also a large variety of mounts that will increase your prestige and speed. The field bosses are there and they are sometimes massive. The dungeons are tiring due to the large amounts of monsters. There’s also voice acting, but it’s still in Korean, and some NPCs are just plain annoying…

Conclusion

So… should one invest their time in this MMO? I won’t, unless they open up an International server (which I heard will open up soon). Playing RO2 in SEA is not worth anyone’s time. There’s too many bugs and glitches and the server maintenance takes too long. Fans of RO1 WILL be disappointed because this game is just not the old RO; it’s just another 3D MMORPG.

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