Game Review Presentation Jeffrey Maxwell CIS 487
Basic Information Title: Ragnarok Online Company: GRAVITY Corporation Manhwa (Korean comics or cartoons) is by Lee Myoungjin Genre: Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game Release Date: August 31 st, 2002 Price: Currently a monthly fee of 12 dollars. Hardware Requirements: Intel Pentium 500 MHz better CPU, 128 MB RAM, internet access, DirectX 8, 8MB graphics card, sound card, and 1GB+ hard drive space
Game Summary There is no overall storyline to Ragnarok Online but rather many miniature stories and quests that contribute to the make-up of the game. Character growth is the major driving factor behind RO (Ragnarok Online). Almost all of the quests and storylines in game are optional. The few exceptions are job change quests.
Game Summary Cont. RO is very open- ended in the fact that a single player can move from chatting, to leveling, to battling other players, simply by moving maps. The player’s role can change at any time depending on the players frame of mind. This character’s job type is a wizard.
Overview Similar to most MMORPGs RO can be summed up as a level-up game. A player levels a character to gain attributes and skills. Attributes have different benefits to different character jobs and skills can range from different areas i.e. offensive, defensive, supportive.
User Interface Both keyboard and mouse are needed to play RO. The main screen always has the chat window, mini-map, and status window visible on start-up. Each display can be disabled if the player wishes. As an extra feature the menu skins can be changed to different designs and colors. (Many fan sites host skins) The status window also has links to other various windows such as skills, stats (attributes), equipment, and other configuration options.
Game Play The game play for RO features a few types. Leveling, questing, sieging, player vs. player, and chatting. Leveling is the same as most other games; moving onto a monster map, then, casting skills or using melee attacks to kill enemies gains a player experience to level-up. All of the controls for this type are generic and only require at most one menu at a time. Equip an armor for a map, hotkey a skill to use, and simple point and click will have an attack on the way. Questing is talking to NPCs (point and click) that give a player tasks to complete; bring me this item or go talk to this NPC. In my opinion RO’s chat system is very advance. A player can either talk with guild members (55 players max), talk with their party (11 member max), or talk in global chat with anyone near them.
Game Play Cont. The best types of game play and the main draw of RO in my opinion are sieging (the game calls it War of Emperium) and player vs. player. Each of these types involves fighting other players. Both require more skill than fighting the average monster and battling to control castles (War of Emperium) is one of the few global goals of the game. Although, if a player wishes they can ignore both siege and player vs. player areas. The emperium is a big yellow rock. Each castle has 1. When it breaks a global game message flashes at the top of the screen saying which castle broke and which guild owns it now.
Job System Every character has to be level-upped to gain a specific job. There are 10 basic job classes; swordsman, merchant, archer, mage, acolyte, thief, gunslinger, ninja, soul linker, taekwon kid and many other advanced jobs. Each has an entire job tree that can be used in different ways. Crusader Assassin Lord Knight Stalker
Skill System The top shows the skill hotkeys currently being used. By dragging an icon from the skill list to this bar allows spells and skills to be easily accessible (pushing F1-F9 activates skills on the hotkey list). In the bottom menu the skill list shows this character has 3 available job points to use in his job tree. Also that skill list (scrollable) shows what skills have already been attained and which can be leveled higher. Skill list for a wizard
Attribute System The status window shows a characters attributes. Players can design their character anyway they want. There are 6 options; strength, agility, vitality, intelligence, dexterity, and luck to decide on. Each base level gives a certain amount of status points and each attribute cost a certain amount. The arrows indicate there are enough points to add more of that attribute. The 6 attributes affect the status’ on the right. More strength increases attack (Atk). More intelligence increases magic attack (Matk) etc.
In-Game Manual The training ground is a map that every new player starts at. Any player starting a new character can choose to skip the “training” and get direct access to the game or go through the training. Basically this map has groups of NPCs that train new players how to play RO. They teach what skill and equipment menus do. They level up the first few levels of new players. They answer in game questions about where to find monsters and towns and how to generally start the game. It is in every sense an in-game manual.
Sound and Music The background music of RO currently has 116 individual BGM tracks, composed, arranged, recorded and mixed by SoundTeMP and Hankook Recording Studio. This game has every type of music genre and musical style. Some examples I found are trance, techno, jazz, rock, and orchestral. Each new update GRAVITY designs includes new tracks for each map as well.
Artwork RO uses a combination of 3 dimensional graphics and isometric sprites. The monsters and character designs are based off the manhwa Ragnarok by Lee Myung-Jin.
Special Features RO is constantly being updated even after being created five years ago! The game automatically updates itself via a patch server that connects every time the game is loaded. Any bugs in game are in a constant state of fix or change. This patch server also has a text notice describing when updates will happen and if there are any special in game events. All are listed on this notice.
Game Review This game has been a favorite of mine for a long time. The fact that the game is still updating after five years says quite a bit about the player base (it is still strong). They have main servers in 13 or more countries around the world. What I consider to be good (fun) about Ro is: 1.War of Emperium 2.The advance chat system 3.The updates
Game Review Cont. RO has quite a bit in common with similar games of this genre. Leveling up, monster similarities, the attribute and skill system. A game can only have so many unique jobs (most games of this genre have the typical swordsman mage archer etc job classes). RO is better in my opinion because of the updates that continually modify the game play to take ideals from other more current top games (RO has many updates planned to resemble World of Warcraft features, such as, instances). This also makes the game worse than other games of this genre since it has to copy some ideals to appear better. Most players of RO are anime fans. I would say the general audience for this game is between 15-25. There have been many design mistakes; NPC dialog mistakes, skill abuses in some areas, and sometimes even programming errors that crash the game if you come on screen. All are constantly updated and fixed.
Summary The game is worth purchasing if you enjoy this genre of level-up play. Constant grinding is required for players to be able to kill advance monsters and to create characters superior to other players to fight them. For 12 dollars a month and free download and installation it is worth the money to me. I would recommend it. The biggest strength of RO is the player battle areas (War of Emperium). The biggest weakness in my opinion is the lack of goals in the game. There is no drive to accomplish anything beyond what you as a player want to do. Little motivation to level grind! To improve the game there should be more corporation sponsored events where players battle (this would motivate level grinding to become better).