MMORPG | Genre:Real Life | Status:Final (rel 07/27/06) | Pub:Min Communications Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:Free System Req: | Out of date info? Let us know!
Similar to the other old games, some of the contents in Ran Online are not up-to-date and it may cause the game play to be a bit boring and confusing.But I must say that don’t judge by the looks.
Low system requirement Players party up and induce and hunt many monsters all at once Free to play Anime themed New update plan
Old style Confusing user interface Rough Graphics Hard to find a guide Asian friendly
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Well, there are so many MMOs played in the world right now. However, not many are played for a long time. A considerable amount of services fail to satisfy and maintain their players and would disappear without gamers noticing them. Honestly, I thought Ran Online would be one of them.
I found out that Ran was published domestic in 2004 by a Korean developer called Min Communications. Seems like, the responses from Korean gamers were not so remarkable back then. The “World of Warcraft” was swiping Korea same year and I believe any other games could stand against WOW.
However, Mincoms figured another way out. They went for South East Asia region when it was still not easy to download a game client in gigabytes size and started to promote their game.
And now, Ran Online has become one of the most popular MMO games in South East Asia, especially in Philippines. Local publishers’ efforts to promote the game must have been a great reason for its success but the game itself must have certain aspect that charmed most gamers in such region to play it until now.
As you have already noticed, the graphics of Ran Online cannot really be considered to be good when it was published in 2004. It has been upgraded here and there but it cannot be compared to any other games that are using latest game engines but over 8 years of its service, there are still millions of users who play Ran in the world. So I must say that don’t judge by the looks.
Game Play that well suits Asian gamers.
Ran Online is a typical Asian style MMO game. It is free-to-play and has many enjoyable items that bring in convenience to the game play, as well as purchasable costumes in cash shop for the uniqueness of a character.
The game play system is similar with other Asian famous games. Although, there are many quests, gamers mostly hunt monsters. But there is a little difference. Ran players enjoy inducing many numbers of monsters and hunt them all at once with skills that attack certain size of area. This type of play is commonly seen in RAN online.
It’s because each class Swordsman, Brawler, Archer, Shaman, Gunner and Extreme has skills that targets area. As such type of skill level gets higher, it’s attacking area coverage and the range gets larger and longer and therefore, players party up and induce and hunt many monsters all at once. And this has become the default playing type in high level maps of Ran. This type of play is continuously repeated but very addictive. For example, it is very similar to the party play of “Dark Age of Camelot”, using Cabalist or Ice Wizard. But, Ran offers easier team play between the party members and there is no cool time for recovery potions so it is quite easy to play.
This method of gathering and hunting many monsters at once provides fantastic playing experience with gorgeous skill effects to the users and I believe this is one of the factors that made this game so popular in Asia in the first place.
PvP based on Clubs
Ran Online was not just developed as any other games which were developed in early 2000, in which players would just level up their characters and buy good items to be better and different from other players. As the 8 years of service proves, those were not the only things about this game and so many changes have been made to the game over the years.
Ran’s background is Campus. Everyone who likes to watch anime must have been familiar with such atmosphere. As in the anime, students from three campuses created clubs and they competed with other clubs in various ways. The most representative ways of club battle would be ‘Lead Club Battle’ and ‘Club Death match’.
Lead Club Battle is held every once a week with 1 hour duration. Each club selects an authenticator of their team and start the fight. Each club’s authenticator must authenticate opponent’s ‘Authentication Terminal’ to win and other members have to guard their terminal.
Club Death Match is a group slugfest between the clubs. A party of eight players representing the each club, battle against each other and a club with more ‘Kill’ wins the battle.
However, with above factors, ‘Club’ was the main focus of the PvP contents regardless of the 3 campuses which meaning has gotten blur. Students from different schools could gather at the market place all together and they could form a club no matter which campus they came from. So the players did not care about their school selections. No matter which school they choose they could pick the class which they wanted.
In the recent updates, Ran patched new battle system called ‘Tyranny’. Not like any other previous contents, Tyranny was a battle between the schools instead of clubs. Winning Tyranny became a big thing in the Ran because it gives random buff to entire school students. However, such random buff and tyranny itself do not give any big influence to the game because only the player from level 197 or higher (max. level is 230) can participate. So it shall not be considered as Realm vs Realm. Also, the game story itself does not show any conflict between the schools so I am guessing this is just another fun battle system that has different purpose to fight but this isn’t something that will changed the battle focus from Club vs Club to Campus vs Campus.
Low Barrier to Play
Relatively low system requirements can be the other reason why Ran Online is so popular among gamers in Southeast Asian countries. Ran can be played using a computer that uses Pentium 3 1.2 GHz CPU and 256 MB memory. In the early stage (2004) of its launching, the size of Ran Online client was only 400MB, so people with a low internet speed could download it easily. But now such size has increased up to 1 GB because of the continued update.
Of course, there are many inconveniences when a user tries to enter a map (Ex. Market place) with a lot of people in it, if they use computer with the low specifications but this problem can be solved if the user changes the graphic settings to the lowest or make the other characters to be invisible. In addition, Ran online seems to be optimized for low packet telecommunications, so the people with a slow internet connections could play it smoothly.
As a developer of Ran Online, Min communications has established many ways for the user with low computer and internet connection specifications. MMO games are known to have high entry barrier which is difficult to break but with above method Min communications has crushed such rule and obtained larger user groups from the early stage of its opening.
Never ending transformation
8 years has passed since Ran Online started their service but they are still popular among gamers now. From the fact that there are only a handful of popular old games in the world, Ran Online has put up a good show for the past eight years.
However, Ran Online is facing their crucial period due to the endless rival appearance and game infrastructure improvement. In order to solve this problem Min communications has announced “Ran-Rebirth” project where they are going to change the quality of the game in general. And already many changes are applied to the game.
Ran Online recently has reincarnated NPCs and MOBs with a new look. Not to forget that they also changed the User Interface of Item, Skill and Etc. The newest and most exciting game content is called “Tyranny” where students can have a battle with the other campus students.
The developer seems to have many more new updates ready for the near future. Such updates will include graphics quality improvement and reconstruction of each school buildings.
Ran Online is very market friendly! Ran has many advantages such as low requirements of computer specifications and services and various language services. Also, Ran provides very unique game play experience. Players can induce and hunt many mobs at once, using the skills with a gorgeous skill effects. And this is the uniqueness of Ran Online.
Similar to the other old games, some of the contents in Ran Online are not up-to-date and it may cause the game play to be a bit boring and confusing. But still, it would not be fair to compare Ran to the newest games because of their old user interfaces, gloomy atmosphere and rough modeling.
Several changes made to Ran via Ran-rebirth project made me reconsider about the future of Ran. Developer’s capability will become really important in extending the lifespan of an old game like Ran. Indeed, I wonder how Ran Online will continue their popularity among the MMO gamers. I would love to see them go and I hope I will be still there and play along.