An Ode to Ragnarok Online 2, the Game That Was
Ragnarok Online 2 (ROII) was one of those games that left an imprint on everyone that played it. From young to old, it may not have been your first role playing game but it might have been your most loved one.
The massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) phenomenon took the world by storm; in fact it’s been taking the world by storm for years now. These games are the original grand-daddies of the online gaming world.
Starting with Meridian 59 in 1996, when the idea of playing games with friends on the other side of the world was still just an idea. Ultima Online soon followed that in 97 and the genre got a giant boost of speed in 2004 when the most popular MMORPG got released, World of Warcraft.
The popularity of these games and new technologies meant that many other games were released, Fiesta Online, Guild Wars 1 & 2, Aura Kingdom and several others that are still being played by thousands across the world. However, there have also been several that have died, some fast and seemingly overnight, others, well, they’re still dying.
One of the slow dying games in the genre is called ROII, it was released in March 2012 and it created fun memories for this author.
What the game was about.
This is one of those parts of the game where I’ve never been entirely caught up, I have played thousands of hours and I still only have a vague idea of what the story is about. It was something about dimensional rifts, gods fighting and needing our help.
No, what ROII was about is the fun you can have with friends while playing an MMORPG. With a good job system, several ways to customize your character and a surprising variety of monsters you can keep yourself busy for hours on end.
I created my first character in 2013, a dual wielding thief that would later become a full assassin. Within the first few hours of playing I had joined a guild, built a party and gone on my first dungeon raid. This is something that I remember doing now, almost six years later with a shocking amount of accuracy.
That’s what ROII was ultimately about, how much fun you can have with new and old friends in a game.
The experiences you had
There were many things to experience in the game, from actual dance parties to raids that numbered well over 20. I had conversations with friends for hours before, during and after these raids and there was never a dull moment.
If you played the game during its hay-day then you will be able to say that the experience of playing was fun. The world never felt too empty and there was always someone ready to answer any questions that you may have.
However, you also felt the challenge of the game rise. ROII is one of the few MMORPGs that almost escaped the age old problem; each enemy is a re-skin with more health. This game didn’t do that, it had a curve that made you feel stronger as you mastered each part of the game.
This meant that you, your guilds and friends got to enjoy the game more and more with each new area unlocked. To further help the amount of fun you could have on the game, the community was lively and open.
There were times where I joined dance parties in the middle of squares, had random PvP matches in the middle of towns and raced other players from one end to another. However, this is not what the game is today.
The fall of Ragnarok Online 2
After playing the game for two years, having so much fun that I spent days with smiles on my face and meeting new people from around the world I stopped playing the game. The guild that I was a part of closed and merged with another. Unwilling to abandon what I knew, I just stopped playing the game.
In 2019 the game has changed drastically, there are fewer than 20 people logging onto the server each day. If you pick the wrong channel on the server this means that you can literally play for hours without ever seeing someone else.
To say that it has become a ghost town is an understatement. The rapid decline in players can be attributed to unbalanced gameplay, unresolved bugs and infrequent updates. This meant that the game slowly dropped down the recommended list on Steam and people are unlikely to start playing it again.
To further sink the ship, the developers have started working on other games on the mobile platform that seem eerily similar to ROII. Combining all of these together and trying to play the game now shows clearly that there is little time left for this once great game.
This is especially obvious when you take a look at the hundreds of thousands of players still on World of Warcraft or the thousands still going on Aura Kingdom. Ultimately, ROII is a great MMORPG that released to some fanfare, stayed alive for a few years and has been sinking ever since.
If it is to leave the gaming world soon, despite the current updates from some of the developers, I hope that this short blog pays tribute to the great times that were had and the memories that will always live on.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Victor Moolman