User blog:Talvis/Ragnarok Online 2 Thoughts
I started playing Ragnarok Online II while I was on hiatus from RO1. Even though I wasn't playing I still frequented the Warpportal forums. When Warpportal announced that they were launching a international RO2 server I got interested and joined in on the beta. It should be noted that the only MMORPG I have any significant play time on is RO1 with an occasional hop into ROSE Online. I was excited at the idea of playing a RO game that had a heavier quest emphasis and easier mechanics. I admit, I'm a casual player. The extra complex element/race/size tables in RO1 are overly complex requiring multiple different gear pieces just to survive one dungeon.
A lot of gripes and complaints here are from my own personal play style and thought process, so I'm curious to see if anyone else thinks the way I do.
Starting out, you go with your first class right off instead of starting as the neutral Novice class. But, it's not like people stay a Novice for very long in RO1 anyway, but it was still fun and allowed you more time for a newer person to think about what they want to be. I chose Swordsman as my class since it's what I'm use to. Starting out you have useful quests from the start and a uniform quest system throughout (Something RO1 needs to fix because right now the new stuff has uniform use of the quest system while old quests sometimes don't even have a usuable journal entry much less quest icons.)
One thing I quickly learned though is that as you follow the main quest, the game is very linear, which for me coming from the very open ended RO1, is kind of boring. The quest line basically leads you from one area to the next. "Here, take this and go 100meters that way where monsters are 1 level higher." The world itself is a clockwise line from Mjolnir Mountains to Prontera to Izlude, etc. etc. until you get to Morroc. Once there you're level 50 and can go on to the Master Level System where it sounds like you mainly grind on a couple maps with a few quests. I stopped playing after reaching Master Level 1.
That linear system gives no incentive to explore and there's no variety where to level. Even in RO1 with the Renewal update which made the leveling on monsters level based, you still have multiple areas to level and you're not funneled to one area. However, once you get around level 120 or so it seems that things get a little more linear once you get into the Ash Vacuum, Jotunheim, and Alfheim areas, but that's a topic for another blog. In RO1 Prontera is the center of the game world and it's a crossroads for everyone. In RO2 it's mostly just a side stop as you move on. I wouldn't mind seeing some sort of pathway or travel method that goes from Morroc over to the Prontera area.
That problem in RO2 could have been fixed by making other maps with similar monster ranges that don't tie directly into the main story. However, the AoV update actually made this aspect worse by removing most of the side quests and giving even less reason to explore.
It's not that I don't like a quest heavy experience, it's just that I don't necessarily like being herded. I would have rather liked to see something like what RO1 is trying to do by having different areas with story lines related to them instead of one linear story.
Another issue I have is that in many areas monsters feel all the same. All level "X" monsters are the same. It's really obvious in the Divided Plain with the various different Savage types. They're all the same level and have the same hp. The only noticable difference is that some are passive and some area aggro. Why do Savage Bebes have the same hp and level as their parents? After that you go up one level and go after different types of Wild Savages. The same can be said for Seal type monsters in Berta Delta. It feels like you're fighting the same monster over and over. Hopefully this sort of thing isn't the norm in modern mmos. The one thing you had for variety was the mini boss monsters that usually went along with the monsters which usually had slaves and 3X the hp. But sadly the AoV update even ruined that by cutting the hp of the mini bosses to being slightly more than their underlings.
There is a monster AI thing that bothers me. I noticed this while fighting Seals near the shore. I would occasionally be attacking right on the shore and step too far out causing the monster to stop attacking me, but one thing I noticed, the moment that happened its hp went right back to full. The same seems to happen with bosses, the moment they lose aggro from everything their hp goes back to full.
The instance dungeons were good though and the boss encounters seemed appropriate. I didn't reach level 50 before the AoV update, so I never had a chance to try the level 50 raids, but now with the master levels there seems to be no real need to even do them.
Gear progression seems too often. Coming from RO1 where you can get armor at level 60 that lasts you until over level 100, getting new armor every 5 levels seems excessive to me. Maybe having a new armor set every 15 or so levels seems better. At least you're given incentive to actually upgrade them since you have them longer. Right now, there seems to really only be a reason to do much gear customization once you've reached the level cap.
Crafting skills seem to have gone too far in the opposite direction from RO1. In RO1 crafting skills have a high failure rate and improving that depends on you battle stats requiring you to build a character that sucks at battle. But even with good crafting stats you still have low success on some items. RO2 probably goes too far the other way by making forging 100% success. I wouldn't mind having a system with a failure that you can improve by improving your crafting skills, but making it dependent on battle stats is too weird.
That's all I can think of at the moment. I may add more if I come up with some others. As of right now I don't see myself coming back to RO2, but who knows. Feel free to comment or ask questions.
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