Level Up Games goes back into the MMORPG playing field with Ragnarok Online (RO), back in its former glory. We remember the good old days of playing RO with friends back in the 2000’s, and now that 2017 has come, it comes back to us in full nostalgia.
Let’s recap: Level Up Games bought the rights to Ragnarok Online from Korean game developers bearing the Ragnarok title. Music was composed and played by the artists at SoundTemp, creating original sound tracks such as Theme of Prontera, Be Nice N’ Easy, Rag All Night Long, and the like. The game is loosely based on the Ragnarok manga by Lee Myung Jin, which stars prominent characters such as Chaos, Iris Irene, Loki, and Fenris Fenrir. The game revolutionized the MMO market in the Philippines, and later spawned competitors in the likes of MU Online, RAN Online, and Flyff, among others, and competition continues up to this day.
Around after 2010, the same Korean game developers went on to create Ragnarok Online 2. Though not as successful, it still continued to create a fanbase for gamers who eagerly wanted to go back to the classic RO. As people badly wanted to revert to the classic game, private servers grew in popularity all over the web. RO fans simply don’t die off that easily.
The life of RO PH has been rather tumultuous, albeit very interesting. Having started as a breath of fresh air after the rise of the console wars, Ragnarok was a massive hit. It was pay-to-play, and despite the fees, people played it, and indeed enjoyed it. Time passed, patches were made, and more content was added, such as more character classes, skill rebalancing, and at some point, even cosmetic upgrades for additional game subscription. The market for gamers improved, and Level Up Games decided it was time to create the Valkyrie server — a largely free-to-play server, if not for the game subscriptions which would improve the character’s abilities, looks, and training speeds.
Like any other good MMO, there is always the bad. Bots were a controversial issue in RO, and even though using automated bots still meant having to stay in the pay-to-play territory, gamers nonetheless felt some alienation towards the spirit of the game. Of course, what is a game without gamers?
This is even more exacerbated after the release of the Valkyrie server, which meant that automated bots could be played even without having to pay for game time.
After a while, Level Up Games had given up RO altogether, and went on to other ventures. But this 2017, they decided RO must come back, and the MMORPG competition is about to get nasty…