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Ragnarok Online II

Ragnarok Online II 

General Discussion  » A little warning about iRO2 (a review)

11 posts found
  Kurush

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/17/04
Posts: 1307

Bob the Cat says,
"Keep your password secret, you filthy communist."

 
OP  4/20/13 5:31:38 AM#1
To start with, let me say a few things.  I've been around a while.  I've played dozens (literally) of F2P's and enjoyed them.  And I'm not adverse to paying in a F2P if the game is worth.  I've probably dumped hundreds in the F2P titles I really enjoyed during the last year.  I've probably also been subbed to over two dozen different Western sub-based games over the years as well.  Of my favorite two MMO's right now, one is Planetside 2, and the other is a high-profile Eastern game scheduled for launch this year (closed beta).

So I'm not biased for or against either Eastern or Western titles, and I don't mind F2P or cash shops at all.   That said, let me tell you about RO2.  I'll try to touch a little on everything.

Production Values:

Music: I won't go into detail, but I'd say I'm a mild audiophile, so I tend to pay close attention to this stuff.  The OST of this game is very nice.  The score is very diverse, some of the tracks are very high quality, and the rest are pleasant enough to the ear.  In fact, some of the main songs were composed by well-known artists like Yoko Kanno (anime-lovers might recognize her, she had done a lot of score work for very popular titles).  In this respect, this game stands apart from the average imported F2P Western players are used to.

Sound Effects: I found that the game's sound effects eventually got on my nerves, mostly because of extreme repetition.  To give one example, in most Western games, you will hear different hit sounds based on the damage you're taking.  That's fine, as they're wise enough to play them only periodically.  In this game, however, any hard-hitting monster will trigger your heavy hit sound on almost every strike.  You can see how that can get annoying.  But this isn't a major black mark against the game, as you can simply turn sound effects off entirely if you have an issue.

Graphics:  The art quality is pretty good, but don't expect technically-amazing visuals.  In addition, some features are half-baked.  They use an extremely poorly-optimized ambient occlusion effect which severely degrades performance.  However, those reading this review are likely fans of anime-styled MMO's, and I think those of you who fit that bill will be satisfied.  If you have a genuine interest in RO2, I don't think you'll have a problem here.

World Design: Once you get a few hours into the game, I think you'll notice that, compared to RO1, zones in this game feel cramped, and world design feels far more linear.  You go into a zone, do the quests there, and walk through the door to the next zone to repeat the process.  That's what you'll be doing for most of the game.

Progression:

Character Customization: You pick one of four classes to begin with, and each of these branches into two different specializations (both of which have very different roles).  For example, acolytes can become either Priests (a healer/support class with a touch of spell DPS) or a Monk (a tanky melee character).  You also pick one of four professions at chargen, which is locked to you from there.  These professions produce gear that is useful (though never best-in-slot, as that's reserved for high-end raid gear) even at endgame.  You also allocate "stat points" as you level up.  If you want an acolyte who deals slightly more damage, int.  Or if you want to crit more, agi.  It does offer a little more customization, but if you break your character, though, reset items are fairly expensive.

Experience Gain: A very typical quest grind.  Think along the lines of WoW at launch, with a whole lot of Kill X and Deliver Y with very little in the way of flavor quests to break up the monotony.  The lack of the latter makes this game feel a little bit dated and perhaps too bland for some.  However, to those seeking escape from the monster-killing grind of  RO1, you have it here.  You also have the usual repeatable/daily quests used to pad F2P quest grinds.  One interesting addition is something called the Khara.  It's a "grid" of side objectives, with more of them opening up as you level.  These range from crafting-based goals to killing special monsters to acquiring specific items.  When you complete a line in the grid, you get special rewards.  If you plan on seriously playing this game, you will probably be supplementing your quest XP with some work on this thing.

Gameplay:

Outside of dungeons, this is a typical quest grind, as I mentioned, though you have some diversions in the form of crafting or chasing down Khara objectives.

Inside dungeons, this is very much a holy-trinity-based game, for better or worse.  You have healers.  You have tanks.  People need to be specialized into these roles and actively doing these jobs, or things will go wrong very fast.  Like most such games, you can play fast and loose a little bit during the early levels, but you really need to have properly-optimized characters for endgame.  In fact, this game leans a little bit too far in this direction.  I'll get to that in the next section.

F2P/Cash Shop features (READ THIS IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE):

And here's my warning.

Until now, I've described a decent, serviceable F2P game, and I think RO2 is.  In fact, if this were the real RO2, I'd give it a thumbs up and tell you RO1 fans to go have fun in the game.  However, you need to realize something.  This isn't simply the English language-version of kRO2 (the original Korean version made by Gravity).  No, based on everything we've seen so far, iRO2 (the NA/EU version you'd get to play) game is mostly the same as seaRO2, with slightly better localization (less Engrish) but the same set of custom changes.  And seaRO2 isn't necessarily a game you want to play.

For the sake of fairness, I want to emphasize that this is an early open beta.  We don't know if it will stay this way.  They may change their minds.  But what we're seeing in the game at present indicates that this is the direction they're taking, at least for now.

Let me explain what they did in seaRO2.  To start with, they increased the cooldown on the priest res skills.  By increase, I mean they upped it, literally, by a factor of 10.  It used to be 5/4/3 minutes based on how many points you put into it.  Now it's 50/40/30 minutes.  They also arbitrarily buffed dungeon monsters.  By buffed, I mean they increased the HP of these monsters by a factor of 5-10x.  Also, many of the harder bosses will throw out random one-shots during dungeons.  In some cases, this can be avoided by stacking a sufficient amount of HP or playing smart, which is fine.  In other cases, it cannot be effectively avoided, and deaths must simply be planned for during the fight.  On top of this, they lowered quality of life by removing certain items.  As an example, in seaRO2, you can't get 16 slot bags from random drops, only 12 slots.

Those of you who have played a lot of F2P titles understand why changes like this are made.  This is done by publishers who aren't satisfied with cash shop items being for convenience and cosmetics.  They want players to be forced to buy them.  Remember how I mentioned the res changes, and the changes to dungeon difficulty?  Yeah.  They happened to sell res items in the cash shop.  Remember how I mentioned them taking away the 16 slot bags from drops?  Yeah, the 20 slots are a cash shop item.

And make no mistake.  P2W really was the case at the upper echelons of play in seaRO2.  In seaRO2, many groups doing the hardest raids simply would not take you if you didn't have certain cash shop items with you.
  rojoArcueid

Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5786

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

4/20/13 5:47:24 AM#2

thanks for pointing all that out.

 

I am OK purchasing extra bags in the cash shop only if its EXTRA space. For example, If my inventory has 50 slots by default i can purchase 20 more losts to have a total of 70. However, if they lock 20 slots out of my 50 default so i have to pay cash shop for 20 in order to have the total 50 that were supossed to the default, then no.... i wont buy that. ITs not about locking existing things, its about selling more to expand what you already have.

  Kurush

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/17/04
Posts: 1307

Bob the Cat says,
"Keep your password secret, you filthy communist."

 
OP  4/20/13 5:53:55 AM#3

My perspective is that every game needs a way to make money.  I can live with that.  Every F2P will, in some way or another, piss you off a little, but they're usually still fun.

Like LoL.  I wish skins were a little cheaper.  Champs too.  But y'know, those are their only money-makers.  I don't feel ripped off when I buy RP in LoL, and I don't feel ripped off if I buy a champ on sale, which is all I really drop my RP on.

What pisses me off is when they rebalance a game around money grabs.  It's cynical, and it causes serious problems.

Think about it.  When they mess with dungeon difficulty and start screwing up res timers, imagine what it does to vulnerable melee DPS like thieves.

You guessed it.  In seaRO2, many people simply don't want to take them along for harder content.  If they do, they don't want melee DPS as more than 1 of their 3 DPS slots.

  Cleffy

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/09/04
Posts: 5530

4/20/13 11:50:13 PM#4

I don't think there is any illusion this will be a pay to win game.  Gravity LLC has been headed down that route and they have no plans on turning back until every player in their community quits.  What is pretty true about the US subsidary is they have very little say in how the game is updated.  Even if the US publisher knows this will be disasterous if its a money grab, the main branch will still go through with it.  What they see is foriegn versions as money pits to line their pockets for a short time before they pull the plug in two years.  They have absolutely no respect for anyone outside Korea.

For a game with only a 2 year development cycle, this is still a pretty good game for release.  What they do with it is up to the developers.  Considering Gravity's history, the prospects of improving the game look poor.

  Kurush

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/17/04
Posts: 1307

Bob the Cat says,
"Keep your password secret, you filthy communist."

 
OP  4/21/13 4:49:23 AM#5

I don't know.  They've got a great community on both kRO and iRO (the original Rangarok Online).  In fact, those games are still getting content.  And the CM's for those games do a decent job (not amazing but far better than the average F2P) of keeping in touch with the playerbase.  I don't consider iRO p2w.  You definitely benefit from subscribing or grabbing cash items, but it's far from a must.

That's where most of their cred amongst the community comes from.

Maybe you're right.  They might just have no real international aspirations.  They'll take what money they can get from their international launches, but I guess they're just not creating games for a broad audience.  This seems like a really lackluster effort so far.

I was rooting for them on this one, honestly.  After the disastrous original launch of RO2, I was surprised they went back to the drawing board.  I was expecting something interesting when they finally finished things up.  Instead, the actual gameplay here honestly feels like a worse WoW.  Same holy trinity but with simpler classes using fewer skills, with less interesting dungeon/raid design.

I was hoping this would be a dark horse hit.  Even if they revert the seaRO2 nonsense, which may very well happen, I don't see this achieving anywhere near the fame of the original.

  HansKisaragi

Novice Member

Joined: 4/10/13
Posts: 13

4/21/13 9:16:20 AM#6

This game is a Sugar coated Nostalgia fest for people who used to play RO1.. pure and simple.

Veteran MMO gamer
http://www.mmo-society.com/ ~ http://www.sirensanctuary.com/
[Siren] Adult MMO Gaming Community and Neverwinter Guild (18+)

  Beilis

Novice Member

Joined: 4/13/13
Posts: 6

4/21/13 9:25:02 AM#7
Lol after all the trailers and gameplay i hyped myself to try this cause its action packed.Was sick of TAB targeting mmos wich require 0 skill but only simple mind to cast the right spells in rigth time.Anyways this game sux big time,the world is tiny and i tougth there will be more exploring wich turn out bull.The first big boss i was so hyped:some collosus:was like in corner of some quest npc.Tiny puny world mobs are near each other like litterally.Stupid game,from all games now most popular everywhere is Dragon Nest and i see why devs makes action games with dungeon base cause making world for such is not simple task.Just leave this game to die out.
  HansKisaragi

Novice Member

Joined: 4/10/13
Posts: 13

4/21/13 9:48:08 AM#8
Originally posted by Beilis
Lol after all the trailers and gameplay i hyped myself to try this cause its action packed.Was sick of TAB targeting mmos wich require 0 skill but only simple mind to cast the right spells in rigth time.Anyways this game sux big time,the world is tiny and i tougth there will be more exploring wich turn out bull.The first big boss i was so hyped:some collosus:was like in corner of some quest npc.Tiny puny world mobs are near each other like litterally.Stupid game,from all games now most popular everywhere is Dragon Nest and i see why devs makes action games with dungeon base cause making world for such is not simple task.Just leave this game to die out.

I dunno what game trailer you watched that gave you the idea this would be action based. This is a old school game and only cators to that crowd.

Veteran MMO gamer
http://www.mmo-society.com/ ~ http://www.sirensanctuary.com/
[Siren] Adult MMO Gaming Community and Neverwinter Guild (18+)

  Luckshmi

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/05/12
Posts: 73

4/21/13 7:56:13 PM#9

I dont usually read game reviews especially for MMORPG..

and I didnt read this one either.. I prefer to have my own 'exp' of the game..

instead of depending on others 'thought' of it.

  Daxamar

Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/05
Posts: 559

4/22/13 8:47:05 PM#10

Its FREE to PLAY. I dont understand whats the problem of trying it out for yourself and seeing if YOU like it.

Especially reviews on MMORPG. Here just about every game is hated. I read reviews, but honestly. I try games out to see if I like them. Not what someone else likes.

I tried the last Beta event, the game is not great. Just a fun game. Sure its grindy, but I like it.

I suggest you try this game, to at least level 10 to see if YOU like it. Its old school, but thats not a bad thing..is it?

  Z0RR0

Novice Member

Joined: 11/29/12
Posts: 9

4/24/13 12:39:23 AM#11
It is just the matter on how you enjoyed the game based on your preferrences but as far as i know, RO2 isn't that bad. It just came out a little bit late than expected.