MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Mischelle
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Mischelle » September 30th, 2014, 2:03 am

I have my own RagnarokOnline story, as everyone does. But ThisFeeling asked what does RO do right that WoW does wrong.

That is a hard question because with relation to games, "right" and "wrong" are subjective. WoW arguably did more things "right" because the proof is in the pudding. WoW continues to thrive while RO limps along.

What did WoW do right, then, and what did RO do wrong? I think the answer is in that WoW has never betrayed it's core tenets. What made WoW the game it was is still the same thing that makes WoW the game it is. However, what made RO the game it was, no exists.

On the other hand, people who quit WoW eventually get over it and move on, you can be finished with the game. Anyone who quit RO, you know this, you never get over it, and in your heart, you know that if certain conditions are met, you would go back and play it.

I explained this to someone and it was hard to express in words, I will try to keep it shorter in text, but there are many elements to it.

The core tenet of what RO did right was Keep it simple, stupid.

RO had(s) some of the most complex game mechanics to date. The gameplay itself is quite simple. There were no separate skill cooldowns to manage. Despite the graphics, the game played much like Diablo as a hack and slash dungeon crawler. You want levels? Kill things. You want lore, do a quest (the lore is your reward, and not much else). You want to socialize? Sit in town and talk.

Compare the UI of RO to most other mmos. How much info does the UI in WoW, GW2, Tera, or anything present you with? It is a flood! You can't pay attention to any of it because you are trying to pay attention to all of it, because it is all potentially relevant.

RO's UI presents, in it's simplest form:
  • The terrain.
    The characters on it (you, your allies, npc, enemies)
    Your Hp/Mp bar
    The Hp bars of your allies
    The chat window
    The minimap
    Your Stat miniwindow (hp/sp/wt/lvl+%/z)
Most of that area is taken up with the screen and the characters on it.

Socialization was better in RO because it lacked global chat. If you wanted to talk to someone, there was global party, private, and guild chat. The lack of global LFG means you only communicate with people you know. Yes, this creates the disadvantage of more "cliques" but it also more closely resembles human social interaction. In LFG enabled mmos, it can be like everyone on the street is yelling at you. In RO, talking to someone usually meant actually sitting next to them and talking.

The simpler UI and game that RO was made you feel like you were your character. There was not a flood of information in the window between you and your character. In a way, the character you played was... you. Like, if your body had a part of itself that reached through the internet and existed online. Just the UI in many other games makes you realize that you are yourself, and the thing on the screen is your puppet which you are operating and playing. Maybe that is just the effect of the first mmo you play (though RO was not the first MMO I played, and I feel that way).

RO's simplicity led it to have many problems, but it also granted it the charm that cannot be forgotten.
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Arec » September 30th, 2014, 9:26 am

I think the reason why companies is using WoW as a base is because it "because successful and popular" when I PERSONALLY feel that people who play it just spend alot of time in it and afraid to abandon that work in fear it being a waste. Which is completely innocent.

Alot of games have good qualities, wow did do stuff right, and alot of time to get established with alot of different mentalities play it.

Thing is that, its hard to stray away from the base when people already have another MMO already established with their own personal progress. Specially if you have to pay a subscription for it. If you do something to different, it can be a bit confusing?

Like with Dragon Nest, some people dont get the whole aiming your cross hair with the use of your mouse. As well as Tera. It takes about an hour or 2 to get used to that.

And some of the deeper stuff like FFXIVs class system, where you can be all classes on one character is pretty amazing, they even make the subscription cheaper if you only activate one character during a subscription rather make it open to make as many characters as you want. Though, its really confusing at first when you describe it.

The whole Dungeon Queue, PVP Queue stuff can be a hassle though. Waiting 5-30 minutes maybe even longer just to get into a PVP match or Dungeon. Even if its a cross server based thing like WoW, and FFXIV. I know on FFXIV queues take 30m - 1hour to get into a match. And its so tedious just waiting.

The thing I think companies dont realize is the option of variety. With newer concepts as well as classic options enabled. Like monster grinding is becoming out dates. but some people actually do like that. Then In RO they had huge, maxed out party grinds, where everyone had some diverse roll to support the party, as a DD, AOE, Tanks, Lures, Healers, Buffers, Debuffers. And you could be social at the same time. I loved that, Even FFXIV 1.0 had that... and i really liked it.

Then GW2 Dynamic Event thing became popular. And Fates on FFXIV.

The thing is that MMORPGs take alot of time and money to make, then they take alot of times and patches to get established. Cant really say an MMO is bad because its not bad its just you didnt have interest. And thats probably what you mean. Because like people say RO2 was boring. Which it was, but some people actually really enjoyed the way it plays and how it looks.

Im really anticipating Tree of Savior because it just seems like its gettin better and better. From Barracks to the mass amount of diverse classes. To the way skills look. I just am pretty stocked to see it start, and how the future of its gunna go. And im gunna be pretty loyal to that game.
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Arec » September 30th, 2014, 9:27 am

Oh ya, additionally, i actually really like MMOs with extremely simple or minimal UI. So you can actually see scenery, backgrounds and such. I love that.
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Rosenakahara » September 30th, 2014, 10:16 am

Arec wrote:And some of the deeper stuff like FFXIVs class system
Implying FFXIVs class system is in any way deep :heh:
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Arec » September 30th, 2014, 10:56 am

Rosenakahara wrote:
Arec wrote:And some of the deeper stuff like FFXIVs class system
Implying FFXIVs class system is in any way deep :heh:
The reason why I say its deepish is because of the fact i feel it maybe indepths. Like, after traditionally going through MMOs where youre only allowed to be one class per character, in FFXIV or even Eden Eternal, you can just go to the classes guild or equip a different weapon, and all of a sudden youre a new class on the same character. Like understanding that youre back at level 1 without losing your previous class progress can be pretty indepth for a newer class system.
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Rosenakahara » September 30th, 2014, 2:16 pm

Arec wrote:
Rosenakahara wrote:
Arec wrote:And some of the deeper stuff like FFXIVs class system
Implying FFXIVs class system is in any way deep :heh:
The reason why I say its deepish is because of the fact i feel it maybe indepths. Like, after traditionally going through MMOs where youre only allowed to be one class per character, in FFXIV or even Eden Eternal, you can just go to the classes guild or equip a different weapon, and all of a sudden youre a new class on the same character. Like understanding that youre back at level 1 without losing your previous class progress can be pretty indepth for a newer class system.
i suppose...but the classes don't really feel different enough to warrant them being called deep, and SE refuses to change that because it would be "too stressful for players"......and im ranting about that game again so im going to stop now
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Silk » October 29th, 2014, 5:31 pm

It's nice to be able to change things up and to have a little bit less stress in how you build your character, but classes are always so balanced and close to eachother anyway. I prefer the option to sacrifice literally all damage dealing capability for great healing, or all health and speed for incredible damage. That option doesn't exist in any games I've played, and I really like it.

People say "But you customize with armor." Is that really customization though? The point is to know what skills and actions are modified by what stats, and it takes lots of knowledge and creativity (or a guide) to get a unique and powerful character. You have more affect on your character than the presets you're stuck with. But if devs are trickling out pre-balanced sets of armor. Becoming the best or strongest or fastest just doesn't feel the same when it's only because of an armor set designed to be OP.

Course, RO had those armor sets as well, but they were supplemented by the stats and the card system."

(Also: Hi, I'm back, went away for a couple months with the news stall.)
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Tarot » November 5th, 2014, 9:04 pm

I miss the game(s) with similar graphics and well "camera" to RO and Tree of Savior: Top-down with sprites. Too bad there aren't a lot of those still around and active, but all the more reason to hold on for ToS! :ok:
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Nyxiology » November 10th, 2014, 8:04 pm

Lot of RO vs WoW comparison going on, which I suppose is fair. Mainly they differ in that the terms sandbox and theme park apply to them, respectively. To explain for those who aren't aware of what it means, a sandbox game is open to player interaction. You set the tone, the pace, and the story alongside the rest of the community. There are objectives and things to do and resources to compete for, but what is the endgame? That's mostly up to you.

For a theme park game, the endgame is made for you. It is content to be seen and experienced, at the developer's pace. You are much more likely to follow a set path, usually with the ability to delineate at your own discretion, but likely to miss some content along the way.

RO is a classic example of a sandbox MMO; if you want it to happen, use your imagination and make it so. As an earlier poster stated, your heroes were actual players, your conquests were against other guilds, your rivals were people you couldn't stand. Gama was mine, but not because he and I had any beef with each other directly. It was because his little cousin Yoko would bring his really poorly built Sin into PvP and start fights, lose, and call his older cousin in. Shit happened, feelings got hurt, rivalry was born and lasted for months. That's a sandbox interaction.

WoW on the other hand had a different, not entirely bad approach. Their theme park was already there for you, the lights were bright and the sounds were loud and the dungeons were long. You made friends along the way because hey, they can get through UBRS without falling off all the wrong ledges or forgetting to dismiss a pet. Battlegrounds were queued up for, and you rarely saw the same people more than a few times, ever. There was no PvP room social etiquette, just HK farming, which still managed to be oddly cathartic. Even so, while playing a 49 twink before the days of EXP in BGs or heirlooms or any of that nonsense, I had a weeklong rivalry with a male spacegoat Mage wearing a purple dress and an Epic monocle. I and the other 40-49 bracket twinks started to recognize him and his buds, and our little groups would end up fighting in roads for an entire BG. It lasted a week, and then forgotten in a tide of content. That's a theme park interaction.

Can I say I enjoyed one more? Even going beyond RO vs WoW, there are more moments of my life revolving around video games than I can possibly remember, and yet I can clearly remember the first time I stole a Gladiator discipline rune from a R7 Mino Barbarian on Shadowbane. My heart beat so hard as I flew away, praying my stamina wouldn't give out too soon. That R5 Aracoix Scout with extra trains in Running won the day, and I had my first taste of playing an underhanded class.

But what about Rift, when I finally saw Perseverance come together, my guild, the weeks of scheming and plotting put into it. I stole members from half a dozen endgame guilds by as many tactics, such as showing them that me and mine could accomplish goals they couldn't, I even brought them along and opened server first raid rifts just to make the deal sweeter. Then one night, again with a racing pulse, I gave the cue to a dozen friendslisted people and we dropped our old tags together to form a guild that went on to be a world first competitor.

Sandbox vs theme park, in Shadowbane it was a simple act of thievery for its own sake. In Rift it was a goal that we all wanted to accomplish, and we took the steps to do it, leading to a dozen more moments of server firsts and world top 20 kills.

But back to the original two, can I say, honestly, that RO ever even scratched the chest swelling joy of fulfilling the WC3 storyline when I downed Arthas, a grueling month of grinding through the raid for a day or two, only to spend the rest of that week's raidtime wiping on him over and over? Did RO ever touch that joy of completing a lore milestone? No, it didn't.

Similarly, did WoW even think to have a moment of PvP triumph as glorious and emboldening as the bitter feud between Ptarmigans, and the alliance of Winterhearts and Disturbed? Was Wintergrasp or Tol Barad ever a drop in the bucket to being part of a dedicated super-WoE?

To say that one is completely good or bad, or that one is better than the other is a fallacy to me. There is no way to compare two games that have had such a huge investment of my time and my love and my passion. There is not a metric I can use to say "yeah man, WoW was this awful failure of a casual experiment with no redeeming factors." I can't with any honesty proclaim that "RO is a dated relic that never produced any moments of absolute bliss".

What possible scale can I compare the two on? Was losing Heroic Trauma the one time I saw it drop to the other Resto Druid somehow or another, worse than when I realized we had killed 18 Bio3 MVPs without a Sniper spawn when I was next for CK?

Where do I draw this line between two different games? Sure, WoW sold out to the LFWhatever mentality, but then RO fell into the hands of incompetents who saturated the game in Dex and forced the third class transition to alleviate the 149 Dex metagame. Which was worse, which was better before the changes?

So many questions, so few answers. I try not to compare games anymore, although I guess I do still play favorites.
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by exterminator955 » March 23rd, 2015, 11:40 pm

Ragnarok Online is full of nostalgia, The best MMO ever, no one can know that feeling now, they can create any MMO they want... Tera, Wow, ArchAge, It doesn't matter, RO stays the best for me :D And i'm waiting for Tree of savior cuz i feel it will reincarnate RO :)
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Aurora » April 2nd, 2015, 5:39 am

ArcticaWind wrote:My first MMO was Ragnarok Online. I think it was the open beta for NA or International before it went P2P model back in like...wow, something like 1998 was it? Probably off a few years, but it was around that time in general. Feels like it was a long time ago. but anyway.. It was magical. I was having an adventure across beautiful landscapes, along with other players, building a character of my own style, to great music, and having fun while doing it. Sure, it was before I knew what grindfest meant, but every second was worth it because each step you took really was satisfying. Not an easily replicated experience.
Yeah RO was my first MMORPG too although I started quite late.. shortly before it went free I think. It was an amazing experience though and the music was one of my favourite aspects of the game. Sometimes I'd just sit in a city or a field and just let the music play. I was never able to play every day so it was hard to stay in parties and guilds, but at the beginning, before all the quests and trans/3rd classes came out, it was still quite easy to meet people and party for dungeons and bosses and such.. yes nostalgia!
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Re: MMOs and the "spirit" of Ragnarok Online?

Post by Kvothe » April 16th, 2015, 3:00 pm

Ah, RO nostalgia. I'm glad so many people can relate. I might not think about RO for a couple of months, but the nostalgic feeling always comes back eventually.

The music, the people you meet and the gameplay all bring back great memories. Some of the people I thought I'd never talk to again after the RO server I played on died are actually popping back up again, something I never thought would happen.

I'm hoping ToS can provide me with a similar experience. :ok:
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Post by Joshuaron » July 28th, 2016, 12:16 pm

You forgot to clarify that first to post in this here thread wins. Thus Soul is actually the winner I believe.
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