Ragnarok Online 2 Review – Blinded by Nostalgia
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
Ragnarok Online 2 is the sequel to its previous successor Ragnarok Online. This game is widely known and shouldn’t have an introduction at all, and if you are a big fan and never heard of this game than you seriously missed a great experience over the year. This free-to-play MMORPG is mostly based around the Norse mythology and is a fan favorite among many MMO Fans. This sequel took a very long time to be made since its initial plan was scrapped due to a last minute change of plans at Gravity Corp and the sense that their title wasn’t living up to expectations.
Class selection is always very important when you make your first character; your first life will be the first unique experience that you have in a game and the fear that your first impression is on something you dislike is very real. Thankfully, the classes in Ragnarok Online 2 are generally common and have been seen before in the previous Ragnarok game. I decided to go for the Magician, but the Archer, Swordsman, Thief and Acolyte are also really fun classes to play. When creating your character you can also choose between one of the four jobs. These jobs (commonly more known as professions) add some dynamic changes to your experience. The four jobs that can be taken are the Chef, Alchemist, Blacksmith and Artisan and are exactly what you would imagine. I took the Alchemist job to test out how well it synergized with my magician.
Everything that you can remember from Ragnarok Online… well just forget about that because this game is a lot different in the sense of its graphics and overall controls. Obviously the devs have learned a thing or two over the last decade and incorporated it into gameplay and UI. Moving your character can be done with the WASD keys and your camera is controlled with the mouse as in any MMO from this era. If you want you can still right click to move in this game, but personally I’m not a really big fan of this. Engaging any target is fairly simple but requires a tad bit more thought than most similar MMORPGs in the genre. Obviously as a magician you have to rely on your mana and skills as your auto attacks are nearly worthless and a swift wind can blow you down. The three starting skills were plenty to get me started on my adventure and also indirectly taught the importance of timing and cooldowns to combo foes before they got into range to counter-attack. This obviously changes per class but in general if you’re not spamming skills in this game, you’re being ineffective. Unfortunately, the animations seem to make the combat a bit clunky for a title launched in 2013. I also got slightly irritated at times when I would move unexpectedly when trying to click on interactive environment pieces or NPCs due to the secondary nature of the click as a movement option.
Let’s jump back a bit to those jobs I mentioned earlier. Since one of these jobs can drastically help you out with gearing yourself or giving you extra buffs, you will have to utilize it frequently to keep it relevant as you grow in power. Otherwise you’ll fall behind in job level and not use it to its full potential. The jobs level up by gathering materials and crafting so it’s not a big deal, though a little plain.
Ragnarok Online 2 also has an upgraded version of the original’s card system. For anyone unfamiliar with this feature, this card system might sound like there is some sort of RPG trading card game within Ragnarok Online 2. Instead they act similar to how gems in other MMORPGs work when embedded into armor or attached to skills. These cards are necessary to unleash the full potential of your character. These cards can be found as lucky monster drops or through NPC combination crafting, and you can equip any 5 cards at a time. Thankfully instead of filling your bag up with optional cards to swap in for certain circumstances, you can instead place all your cards into the Card Book for convenient storage as well as an organizational structure to make keeping track of your card roster a breeze!
So what else is there to do besides grinding character and job levels or hunting monster cards? You can dissemble many items and refine equipment for one if you have the spare time to aim to be the strongest you can be. Being a trader and earning plenty of gold is also a must from time to time. Something that is also a nice addition to this new game is the Khara System. As you play through the game you will receive these special Khara challenges that can give you rewards which include special titles. These titles can give your character a special stat boosts which can help you deal out that extra damage or armor. Complete these missions in a special sequence to get even more bonus missions with more additional rewards. There are also hidden missions for players will to put the extra effort in to find them.
The original Ragnarok Online didn’t just make a name for itself for being a solid game. It’s unique manga style graphics and goofy over the top emote boxes remain an icon to this day. I always liked the art style and the graphics the game were presented in and just liked the overall feel of the original because of it. Unfortunately I don’t feel the same with this sequel. In fact the game doesn’t look that unique at all and rather looks dated compared to the current fantasy genre. I found some graphical settings became even uglier when set to high. Honestly the effects are over the top at times and better left turned off. Nonetheless, the animations, visualizations and overall graphics are not that bad overall. I just wish their unique style converted to 3D better than this. To run Ragnarok Online 2 you will need the following computer requirements:
Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
2GB or more RAM
GeForce FX 6800 or later 512 MB of VRAM
At least 5GB of free space
Intel Dual Core 2.0 GHz or above
2GB or more RAM
GeForce FX 6800 or later 512 MB of VRAM
At least 10GB of free space
For a game that went through so many years of development I must say that I am quite disappointed. The basics from their previous game are certainly present and slightly improved but innovative isn’t a word you can attach to this game. Honestly it feels like the devs were trapped in time and afraid to branch too far from the success of the original, even if it meant subpar gameplay. Ragnarok Online 2 is despite this still a lot of fun; all the crafting, dungeons, PvP and other many features are still here and can keep you busy for hours if you don’t feel like questing. But other than that this game fails to match the hype that the sequel of such a signature franchise in MMORPG history should have reached.