First yes, Ragnarok Online is still running either as an official service, or one of multiple myriads of clones of itself. Ragnarok Online was my first MMORPG (outside of an hour in Mu Online) and it still remains a very memorable experience. While playing through Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment, it reminded me so much of the simple visuals, upbeat music, and colorful palletes of games from back then. Ragnarok Online and Priston Tale and Mu Online and Lineage II and everything along those lines were all beautiful games for 2001~2005. These games all collectively had nearly no content if you took away the intense difficulty of doing anything or going anywhere.

For instance, in Ragnarok Online, you had to walk from anywhere to everywhere, which would take hours and possibly result in death if you went in the wrong direction. Maps were available, but were often large image files you had to either save or print, and then you had to work tirelessly to figure out which direction to go on each map, trying to avoid aggro. Class quests ranged from simple, buy a few items and turn them in, to overly complex resulting in going through a hostile map that, if you were lucky, a high level player was in the area could save you.

If you made characters any stronger, the game would have been over instantly, as the only thing in the game that gave it any difficulty at all was the huge grind. Content in the game involved a few skills you could spam until you ran out of mana, and a constant grind. The only thing of value in the game was pretty hats, as pretty hats were the only way to customize your character. Beyond pretty hats were some novel things like weapons, upgrades, and the such but ultimately most players really only cared about talking to each other and grinding away.

The grind was intense and pointless. There was nothing to help, there were no shortcuts, and a few times there were exploit builds that would let you be invulnerable no matter how many enemies were on you, which would let thieves gather an entire map worth of enemies ontop of themselves and let lowbie mages AoE them down, but that was here or there. Updates didn't add anything interesting, just more of the same, and the content wasn't interesting, it was rather lame, but that didn't change anything about the formula and how fun it was at the time.

There isn't much in the way of a reason to go back to it now - outside of the nostalgia. Playing it now is like turning your nose up to a plethora of other options available that are both more interactive, more polished, and aren't 15+ years old. We no longer have to sit and deal with games where the only content is a numbers fest where the higher you can get your numbers, the further you can go, and the only method of doing this is repeating the same action over and over for an entire day. Games like Skyforge have these mechanics on lockdown, while other MMOs offer a much more interactive experience.

I do miss it though and I really hope we hit some strange technlogical point where we're struggling again to code games properly, so we can enjoy the simple times where human interaction is forced upon us as a means of entertainment within a game, versus being alone in a vast empty world with no one who wants to talk, but plenty of things to do.


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Ragnarok Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.

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