|Release date:||August 31, 2002|
|System requirements:||Intel Pentium 500MHz equiv. CPU, 128MB RAM, Internet access, DirectX 8, 8MB graphics card, sound card, 700MB hard drive space|
Ragnarok Online (RO) is an MMORPG created by Gravity Corporation of South Korea. Much of the background of the game is based on the manhwa Ragnarok by Lee Myung-Jin. An anime was created called Ragnarok The Animation which is based on the game. A sequel is currently in development, Ragnarok Online 2.
Currently, there are official versions of the game in Korean (often known as kRO), Japanese (jRO), English (International RO, or iRO) Thai (tRO), Chinese (cRO), Indonesian (idRO), Filipino (pRO), Brazilian Portuguese (bRO) and Bahasa Melayu(mRO). There is also a version for players in India (RO India)(July 2004), Germany, Italy, Austria, Turkey and Switzerland (better known as European RO or EuRO)(2004). An Oceanic version known as Oceania Ragnarok Online (oRO) is now fully released and went pay-to-play at the start of December 2004, finishing the beta stage.
Most of the other versions of Ragnarok are operated by a different online entertainment company which obtained a license from Gravity Corporation in South Korea. Below are some of the different companies running licensed and official Ragnarok Online servers:
- Gravity Corporation - Gravity Corporation serves Korea only with kRO.
- Gravity Interactive, LLC. - Gravity Interactive operates iRO and serves North America and any other area not covered by the other companies with iRO.
- GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc. - GungHo serves Japan with jRO.
- Asiasoft International Co. Ltd. - Asiasoft serves Thailand with tRO.
- Game Flier International Corporation - Game Flier serves Hong Kong, Taiwan (Republic of China), People's Republic of China, Singapore, and Malaysia with cRO (Chinese Ragnarok Online).
- LevelUp! Games - Serves Philippines, Brazil, and India.
- OngameNet.Pty. Limited - OngameNet serves Australia and New Zealand.
- Burda Holding International - BHI serves Europe with euRO (Italy, Turkey, De/At/Ch).
- PT. Lyto Datarindo Fortuna - Lyto serves Indonesian with idRO.
Ragnarok is continually being revised and revamped, having new features added periodically. Most official licensed versions are now pay-to-play. There are many free private servers all over the world; these servers are illegal, but nevertheless highly popular.
An offline spinoff, Ragnarok Battle Offline (known by some as RBO), was created for Windows by French-Bread and Syumpu-Tei-Ko-Bo. Both "Ragnarok" and "Ragnarök" forms are used by the game's creators and its licensors, with no real consensus.
The MMORPG is loosely based upon the Manhwa, set in the world of Rune-Midgard. For the most part, the game lacks a plotline, but there are small side-quests or events set up by the administrators of the game sporadically to add depth and maintain interest.
The game's tutorial does mention that there is a war between man and monsters, an accurate observation given the fact that experience is given to the player when they kill monsters. However, warring is not limited to man v. monster combat, as ingame guilds can fight against each other in the War of Emperium, a battle between several guilds for castles in town, which give them access to dungeons and treasures that are not accessible to people who are not in the residing guild.
The currency of the game is Zeny, which may be obtained by the selling of items recovered from defeating monsters. The economy in Ragnarok Online is driven heavily by rare items that are not sold in stores and there is a very large difference in wealth between players, for the most part. The Merchant class offers vending of items to other playes, overcharging of items, and even discounts.
There are eight equipment slots - three for headgear (top, middle and bottom), two for accessories, and one of each for shields, weapons, body armor, cloaks and footgear. Currently, only the 3 head pieces show significant external graphic variety. Weapon and shield are the only other items that can be seen externally, but are significantly less limited in variety.
Each character has an HP bar and an SP bar. The HP (Hit Points) bar tells you how healthy you are. When HP is reduced to 0, the character "dies" and is returned to the city that the character had set their save point to. This also results in a penalty of 1% to the character's experience bar, though this does not apply for the Novice class. Skill Points (SP) are needed to use many job-related skills. If you have 0 SP remaining, you cannot use any skills that require SP. Both HP and SP regenerate on their own when the character is at rest (not moving), and at twice the speed if the character is sitting down. The regeneration speed of HP and SP depends on the Vitality and Intelligence attributes, respectively.
The game is very open-ended; after completing novice training, players are free to roam the map at their leisure, with the only restriction being the ferocity of the monsters in a given area. Low levelled players generally have to stay close to towns lest the enemies become too powerful for them to handle.
In addition, players have complete control over their Stats (Strength, Agility, Vitality, Intelligence, Dexterity, and Luck) and Skills (class-based) to create the type of character they want to play.
There are several major cities in Rune-Midgard, the world of Ragnarok Online. Players are allowed to visit any of them at any time, or any of the many places in between.
- The capital city of Rune-Midgard, located right in the centre of the map. It's the centre of commerce for most servers, as well as the home to the acolyte classes. Prontera also houses the only official church in the game, and is the place to go to get married and is the easiest place for many novices to start, due to the abundance of low-level creatures.
- Satellite of Prontera. Izlude is the official home of the swordsmen. Izlude's port is also the only place by which one can reach Byalan Island.
- Located northwest of Prontera. Home of the Magician Academy, where novices may become magicians. Geffen is also home to the Guild of Wizards and the Blacksmith Association. Geffen Tower, located in the center of the city, has a small dungeon which comprise its lower levels. The Wizard and Blacksmith guilds can also be found here. The superdungeon Glast Heim is located nearby and is generally considered a satellite dungeon due to its relatively close proximity and easy accessability from Geffen.
- A city nestled within the forest of the same name. This city is reminiscent of ancient Korean culture, and is where one can become an archer. It is located southeast of Prontera, and also has a dungeon full of medium -high level creatures located to its north.
- A port city to the south of Payon, and home of the merchants. Alberta's port is the only means of accessing the sunken ship, Turtle Island, Amatsu, Kunlun, and Louyang excluding teleport. The city also plays host to numerous low-level creatures.
- An Arabic-themed desert city south of Prontera. Novices can become thieves in the pyramid just northwest of Morroc and assassins in the desert to the east of Morroc. This city is surrounded by a large number of medium level creatures.
- Al de Baran
- Due north of Prontera, with its large clock tower, which serves as a dungeon. Al de Baran is also the only way to reach Lutie (via Santa Claus). The Alchemist guild can be found here.
- Gambling capital of the Southwest, is a cross between Hawaii and Las Vegas. Night is eternal in the city, and fireworks can be seen in the sky at all times. Comodo's main attraction is its (non-playable) casino, and good leveling spots nearby. The Bard and Dancer guild can be found here. Added to iRO in August 2003. This city has two high levels and one medium level dungeon.
- A large city north of Al de Baran, and the capital of the Scwartzveld Republic, a kingdom separate from Rune-Midgard. The Sage guild can be found here. The pathway to Transcendent Classes may also be found in here, in the Northwest corner of the city. Added to iRO in May 2004.
- Styled after Ancient Japan. Here the pink-white blossoms of the cherry (sakura) trees are always in bloom. One of the city's major draws is the Tatami Maze. Amatsu was the first product of the "Global Project", in which new cities with themes based on countries with licensed RO servers were (and still are) added in rapid succession. Amatsu was added to iRO in September 2004.
- Designed in Ancient Taiwanese style. Outside of iRO, it is known as Gonryun. In October 2004, Kunlun became the second city in the Global Project to be added to iRO.
- A lost village, located to the north of Comodo. Home of the self-denominated Utan tribe. It was added to iRO in November 2004.
- Not completely a village or city, more of an Island. Commonly nicknamed the "Honeymoon Island." Most married couples go here to celebrate their marriage(and only married players are allowed to go there. Unmarried players can only reach Jawaii's pub for a drink and can not go out of the pub). It was added to iRO in March 2005.
- A city of the dead. There are many kinds of undead and demon monsters here, and the city may only be reached through Umbala's Yggdrassil Tree. It was added to iRO in December 2004
- Designed in Ancient Chinese style. It was added to iRO in March 2005. Is the third city of Global Project.
- Designed after ancient Thailand. Featuring the atmosphere of the former Thai capital in Ayutthaya period, it was added to iRO on 19th April, is the fourth and actually the last city of Global Project.
- A city made from steel, supposedly being one of the first cities in the Schwartzveld Republic to go through the real-life equivalent of the Industrial Revolution. It was added to iRO October 2005.
Level and class
Unlike most other RPGs, each character within Ragnarok has two different levels: Base Level (blvl) and Job Level (jlvl). This is denoted as "Base/Job". So, a character who is 5/1 would be Base Level 5, and Job Level 1.
Base Level indicates personal growth. Through base levels, your Stats grow — you become stronger, faster, or smarter, for example.
Job Level indicates your progression within your chosen profession. For example, you become a better Archer or Blacksmith. In game terms, that means you get more Skills and bonus stat points.
The maximum level for first and second classes in most versions of RO is 99/50. Advanced classes can reach 99/70 and the Super Novice class can reach 99/99.
You begin the game as a 1/1 novice. Upon reaching Job 10, a novice can change into a different job class, and become stronger. There are six basic classes, also known as 1-1 classes:
- Swordsmen deal with swords, spears, and excel in direct combat. Suggested stats: VIT or AGI, STR and DEX
- Thieves hide and use sneaky tactics to defeat enemies. Suggested stats: AGI, STR and DEX
- Mages use their magic to destroy foes. Suggested stats: AGI or VIT, INT and DEX
- Archers excel in long-range bow attacks. Suggested stats: DEX, AGI and INT
- Merchants initially have poor battle skills, but instead deal with the NPCs and other players. Suggested stats: STR, DEX, VIT, (and LUK for Blacksmiths-to-be who plan to forge, and INT for Alchemists-to-be)
- Acolytes harness the power of God to aid themselves and others. Suggested stats: VIT, INT and DEX
Note that the stats listed above are only loose guidelines. For example, an Acolyte planning to be a Monk (see below) would be better off with STR, AGI, and DEX than with INT. Also note that no class has a stat requirement; the stats you build are entirely up to you, though some choices are better than others.
Each class branches off into two different "Second classes", to make an effective selection of 12 different classes. There is one additional special class, the Super Novice (Which uses 1-1 Class skills), bringing the total to 13, not counting the advanced versions of each second class.
- Knight – The primary 2nd class of the Swordsman has mastery of the two-hand sword and one-hand spear. Has a skill which enables ability to rent and ride the Pecopeco.
- Assassin – The primary 2nd class of the Thief uses katars or daggers in both hands. Can apply poison to attacks.
- Wizard – The primary 2nd class of the Mage uses powerful magic of the elements: Fire, Ice, Lightning and Earth.
- Hunter – The primary 2nd class of the Archer has mastery of the bow. Can use traps to kill or give enemies status ailments. Has a falcon to assist in battle.
- Blacksmith – The primary 2nd class of the Merchant can make weapons. Has axe mastery and combat abilities relating to hammers and axes.
- Priest – The primary 2nd class of the Acolyte has powerful healing magic and exorcises the undead. Usually the foundation of a party.
- Crusader – The alternate 2nd class of the Swordsman has skills with the two-hand spear and shield as well as healing and holy magic. Has a skill which enables ability to rent and ride the Grand Pecopeco.
- Rogue – The alternate 2nd class of the Thief uses bow and arrows or dagger and shield while sneaking around and/or stripping the enemies armor and weapons.
- Sage – The alternate 2nd class of the Mage can give temporary elemental enchantments to weapons or small areas. Also has a unique skill allowing the Sage to cast spells while walking.
- Bard and Dancer – The alternate 2nd classes of the Archer can sing and dance to support party members with various boosts. Male Archers can become Bards, while female Archers can become Dancers.
- Alchemist – The alternate 2nd class of the Merchant can make and throw healing and offensive potions.
- Monk – The alternate 2nd class of the Acolyte uses fists, attack combinations and a powerful one-shot kill ability.
Recently, new additions have been added in the form of Advanced Second Class jobs were released in kRO (and private server), and were released in iRO [July 2005] under the name of Transcendent Classes. These are NOT the 3rd class jobs. To achieve these classes you must reach 99/50 in your current second class form, then become reborn-that is turned once again into a Novice (actually, Novice High) with a level of 1/1. You level the same as before, except that you must choose the exact same class as before- Knights must become Swordsmen again- or else suffer major penalties. Your skills will have to be re-learned (which leaves room to correct previous errors), but any quest-based skills you earned will be returned to you immediately upon reaching the appropriate level. You will then find yourself going through the "High" first class jobs (Swordsman High, Archer High, etc.) and when you change into second class, you will be in the new advanced form. All advanced jobs can level up to 99/70, and have access to all the skills from the normal version of the class, as well as new, Advanced-only skills.
- Lord Knight – The primary Advanced 2nd Class of High Swordsman, with all the abilities of knights plus a few new abilities pertaining to swords and spears.
- Assassin Cross – The primary Advanced 2nd Class of High Thief, with all former abilities of assassin, in addition to more poisoning skills, advanced katar mastery, and additional attack skills.
- High Wizard – The primary Advanced 2nd class of the High Mage that uses even more powerful magic.
- Sniper – The primary Advanced 2nd class of the High Archer has further mastery of the bow. Traps become more effective, and the bond with the Falcon is much stronger.
- Whitesmith/MasterSmith – The primary Advanced 2nd class of the High Merchant can make weapons better than ever before. Has axe mastery and combat abilities relating to hammers and axes, and now can utilize these abilities better than ever. The name Mastersmith is used in the International version of Ragnarok Online.
- High Priest – The primary Advanced 2nd class of the High Acolyte has powerful healing magic and exorcises the undead. Their new skills are powerful, and the extra skill points allows more variation for this skill-oriented class.
- Paladin – The alternate advanced 2nd class of the High Swordsman has skills with the spear and shield as well as healing and holy magic. Has a skill which enables ability to rent and ride the Grand Pecopeco, and is now a super tank.
- Stalker – The alternate advanced 2nd class of the High Thief uses bow and arrows or dagger and shield while sneaking around and stripping the enemies armor and weapons, and now can strip everything at once.
- Professor/Scholar – The alternate advanced 2nd class of the High Mage can give temporary elemental enchantments to weapons or small areas. Also has a unique skill allowing the Professor to cast spells while walking, as well as take over the soul of its enemy. The name Scholar is used in the International version of Ragnarok Online.
- Clown/Minstrel and Gypsy – The alternate advanced 2nd classes of the Archer High can sing and dance to support party members. Male High Archers can become Clowns/Minstrels, while female High Archers can become Gypsies. To the delight of many players, the name Minstrel is to be used in the International version of Ragnarok Online.
- Creator/Biochemist – The alternate advanced 2nd class of the High Merchant can make and throw more powerful types of healing and offensive potions, and now also has a created ally in the Homonculus. The name Biochemist is used in the internationale version of Ragnarok Online.
- Champion – The alternate advanced 2nd class of the High Acolyte uses fists and builds on the Monk's powerful combo attacks.
Special Alternate Class (not 2-1-2 or 2-2-2... just a new option after novice)
- Tae Kwon Boy/Girl – A martial arts themed character specializing in various kicks is currently in beta testing on kRO. Little is yet known about it and the two 2nd classes, Star Knight and Soul Linker. However, it is scheduled for release for kRO on October 2005.
In RO, there are six attributes that determine your stats:
- Strength (STR)
- Increases physical attack damage and carrying capacity.
- Agility (AGI)
- Increases flee (dodge) rate and attack speed. Reduces skill delay.
- Vitality (VIT)
- Decreases damage taken, increases maximum HP and the rate at which HP is regenerated while at rest, increases healing ability of items, decreases chance of being afflicted by negative status affects.
- Intelligence (INT)
- Increases magic damage, magic defense, max SP, and SP regeneration rate, decreases chance of being afflicted by negative status affects.
- Dexterity (DEX)
- Increases hit rate, cast speed and increases minimum damage. It also increases damage dealt with bow and arrows.
- Luck (LUK)
- Increases critical hit and perfect dodge probability, slightly decreases chance of being afflicted by negative status affects. Increases chances of successfully refining or forging a weapon.
Due to the open-ended nature of the game, one can "build" their character any way they choose. However, due to the low number of overall stat points (and the cost increases that arise with higher stats), it is generally advised to excel in a few stats rather than indulge in them all. The maximum stat is 99 without item or job bonuses, and only two stats can be raised to 99 (as well as nine other stat points which one can gain during character creation) before the stat points are exhausted.
Most classes pick one or two "main" stats, and raise those two above all else. An offensive stat and a defensive stat often create a potent combination that allows the character to succeed.
Each class have a unique set of skills. Skills often have several levels, which normally range from either 1 to 10 or 1 to 5. Like learning a new skill, improving a known skill also takes a skill point.
After a first-level class player changes to a second-level class, the learned skills are maintained.
Other ways of learning a skill include taking a quest (apart from "First Aid", all skill quests are class-specific) or applying a card to equipment. Quest skills are permanent; card skills are only available as long as you're equipped with the item. However, skills learned with either method can't be improved, and are always at level 1 (or in the case of a card, set at a certain level described on the card, e.g.: Magnum Break level 3).
There is a rare chance that certain enemies will drop cards, or items that provide some sort of positive effect on the player, including stat boosts, abilities, and damage reduction. Cards may be placed in "slotted" equipment (example: if a sword has three slots, three cards can be compounded with it). Cards may only be placed on certain equipment, which is usually determined by the effect that the card has (the Pecopeco card provides HP bonus, hence it is compounded with armor). Merchants often vend these valuable items, as well.
Parties, Guilds and Guild Warfare
Players in the game may form parties which in most cases, help by providing the party with added experience, as there is a bonus to the experience received by a player in a party that can share it. They can also benefit from it by having the ability to benefit from some skills normally usable by only one character. Partying is crucial for those who want to reach 99lv.
Guilds are on the other hand, a way for people who already know each other well to show their uniqueness as a group, or as an expression of power or influence in the game. Each guild has a guild-master who has the initial ability to invite and reject possible members, and guilds also have levels, which members can push higher by contributing some experience to it through taxes on their own experience gain. Guilds with high levels may invite more members, and be officialy recognized. This added attraction of being recognized entitles the guild to participate in massive player vs player / guild vs guild warfare called the War of Emperium.
The War of Emperium is fought in castle maps, located near major cities, and each castle having unique layouts. Guilds who manage to control the castle at a war's end gets access to treasure boxes, which may yield extremely rare pieces of equipment.
There are many things that are frowned upon in Ragnarok Online, as well as many people who do these things.
- Shorthand messages like "heal plz" and requests for rare items, cash, adoptions or "tanks" are common, but are considered very rude by most players.
- Bots are against the rules of most servers. A bot is a computer program that effectively plays the game for you to get levels and items without even being at the computer. Similarly, programs that allow for a rapid succession of item or skill use called 'macros', which are sometimes plugins for bot programs, are illegal but are nevertheless used by many players, especially those looking for a cheap advantage in War of Emperium guild vs. guild battles. Some companies running officially licensed servers seem to ignore the use of bots in order to have more paid accounts. Bots include modKore, OpenKore, VisualKore and Revemu. The main reason that encourages players to use bots, is the low rates to get experience in official servers compared to those of illegal servers. Many players despise the use of bots and will actively try to find bots and report them to the game masters.
- Kill-stealing, or targetting monsters other players have targetted for EXP, is against the rules and may result in account suspension or ban. The same applies to looting, where one player takes all the dropped items from another player's kill. In many places with a high concentration of enemies, such as the Orc Dungeon, kill-stealing is common and usually pardoned.
- Private servers are illegal in most countries. Some use pirated copies of Gravity's server software, AEGIS. Most private servers use reverse engineered server emulators such as eAthena and its many variants. Server software like eAthena is legal by itself, but Gravity's client software and data (maps, sprites, etc.) are also used, which still makes these servers illegal. Regardless of that, many private servers have well over 1000 people playing at the same time - often advertising features such as higher drop rates, level experience, and job experience than pay-to-play servers - and spend a lot of money to maintain them. Private servers are free, but tend to keep a low profile for obvious reasons. Because eAthena works best with the Korean version of RO, Gravity, in an attempt to combat the problem, has blocked non Korean IPs from downloading from their website. They have not, however, blocked IPs from downloading patches from the game clients, leaving private server players free to continue playing. Which means kRO and Sakray clients needed to play on private servers can still be downloaded using Korean proxy servers configured into web browser or download manager software. The clients are also readily available via bittorrent.
- Offline playing: like private servers, the users can emulate the Sakray server on your computer and play alone, controling rates for experiences and weapons upgrades. This is used as a way to test final build's and upgraded weapons power in MVPs.
- Money for Zeny/Items: The phenomenon of selling in-game equipment for real-world money has also afflicted Ragnarok, with more than a few enterpreneurial players using Bots to harvest loot, zeny, or even rare items, only to sell them to other players. Some have even used it to fund their commitment to the game, like Allan...that noob.
- Ragnarok Online tends to be turned down by people who dislike simplistic game play, often citing it as 'boring'.
- Game account hacking. This is easily done by installing stealth key loggers on the player's computer. Beware of playing in Internet Cafés because the risk that the workstations might be infected by these software is high. Remote installation of key loggers can also be easily done by including a Trojan Horse in a package such as a Zip or Rar file disguised as utilities like bots and speed-hacks to enhance playing experience.
- Ragnarok Online global portal
- International Ragnarok Online (iRO) website
- RagnaGuide A Wiki Dedicated to RO only
- RO Datazone – Precise mathematical formulae that describe in perfect detail the mechanics of the game
- RagnaInfo.net – kRO's updates translated to English, showing a glimpse of the future of RO.
- Ro-Guardians.COM – "A Ragnarok Online Informative Site and Community Forum"
- ROempire.com – "an Official Fansite for the game Ragnarok Online"
- Ragnamart.tk – "In depth guide on RO"
- Al De Baran – Online Sprite Comic
- RODatabase.org – "an unofficial database for Ragnarok Online, lists all of the monsters, items, ect. Useful for finding where to level or what drops what."
- iROcalc – Calculator for game stats and character builds.
- RagnarokCS – Character appearance build simulator
- TopRagnarok – Daily updated list of private servers.
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