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Offline King Klone

TalonRO Review
« on: Nov 08, 2018, 03:11 AM »
Greetings my fellow Ragnarok enthusiasts

It has been over 13 years since I began my Ragnarok Online journey, and 6 years since I first spawned a character on the lands of TalonRO, and quickly fell in platonic love with it, I've been highly involved with the server and its community ever since, so it is due time for me to review the server.

This review will be divided in sections where I will present frequently asked questions every gamer has of the game/server they're going to play, answer said questions, try to provide a conclusion, and lastly, rate each aspect of the server. Now, I will discuss what I consider are the most important subjects to like-minded gamers.

#1 Q. Is TalonRO pay-to-win/How pay-to-win TalonRO is? how stable is TalonRO's economy?
#1 A. As someone who grew up with the concept of "pay to win" meaning "people who pay will acquire advantages that you will never be able to catch up to", such as "Premium account" or microtransaction-exclusive items, no, TalonRO is definitely not pay to win.

However, what TalonRO is, is pay-to-progress, something that most games/servers are today. Now, many would agree that pay to progress isn't much better than pay to win, however, TalonRO, to me, seems much fairer in this respect than any other pay to progress game/server I've played, and I will explain why.
Bluntly put: Donating in TalonRO is hardly ever worth it. TalonRO donations are some of the most expensive I've ever seen for how little progress you can "purchase". It is so much so, that I'd be surprised if anyone who isn't an economically stable, working adult from a first world country donated an amount that would make them progress significantly in TalonRO.

To put this in perspective, you can purchase ONE coin of the server's (tradable)currency that is worth anywhere between 1,100,000 and 1,200,000 zeny for 1 dollar on TalonRO.
Now, how much is 1,200,000(1,2m) worth in TalonRO? Not a lot. Fully equipping a character with the absolute best-in-slot equipment the server has to offer will cost you anywhere between 800,000,000(800m) and 1,000,000,000(1000m / 1b) zeny, and that is just for the basic full equipment. If you want to have everything you'll ever need to, say, PvP in the "Unrestricted" format, which is the most equipment-demanding activity in the server, it might easily cost you anywhere between 1,500,000,000(1000m / 1,5b) and 2,000,000,000(2000m / 2b) zeny.
In TalonRO, assuming you know how Ragnarok Online works and/or are willing to read and follow efficiency-based guides, within your first week of playing, you can make 2,000,000 zeny per hour farming some basic farming spots, with next to no gear. More advanced players can farm anywhere between 4,000,000/6,000,000(very reliably) and 20,000,000(unreliably and ridiculously hardcore) per hour.
This means that in order to achieve full unrestricted equipment in TalonRO, it'll cost you either between 800 USD to 2000 USD, or to efficiently farm for anywhere between 50 and 300 hours, this, to me, seems extremely fair to free to play players, so much so that I would dare to say that unless you're doing it out of kindness and appreciation for the server, or simply have a lot of disposable income, donating for TalonRO is almost never worth it.

Regarding the server's economy stability, thanks to the fact an NPC sells most of the most valuable and sought after items for a set price(and a very fair one, I must add), and bots being virtually non-existent, the economy remains perfectly stable, very few item prices have changed at all in the 6 years I've been around.
Conclusion: Of the pay-to-progress games/servers that I consider worth playing(as in, games/servers that will NOT shut down within a couple months because the developers aren't making any profit at all), TalonRO is easily the most free-to-play friendly server there is, and I am baffled every time I read people claim that TalonRO is pay-to-win or unfair in this regard.

Rating of the Free-to-play players friendliness and economy stability section: 8/10.



#2 Q. How close to the "vanilla/classic" pre-Renewal Ragnarok Online experience TalonRO is?
#2 A. TalonRO is a highly customized, 99/70 low rate pre-Renewal server where access to MVP Cards(most with their classic effects intact, and a few with modified effects), and powerful custom items is relatively easy, pretty much anyone can have some of those things within a week/month of playtime depending on how much and how efficiently they play. However, despite this, it does somehow retain that classic feeling, this could be because of the low rates, the lack of ridiculous high rate server wings, or the great community.

TalonRO is divided in two gamestyles you can pick from, Unrestricted and Vanilla, however, the game world is Unrestricted and it is in your best interest to focus on Unrestricted content in order to progress as efficiently as possible. Only certain event dungeons, one of the PvP rooms, and one of the two WoE modes are Vanilla.
Unrestricted means are allowed to use all of TalonRO's custom items and MVP Cards.
Vanilla means can't use TalonRO's custom items nor MVP Cards, basically the Ragnarok "balance" you would get in a server with no customization.
However, both modes are "balanced", here I place balanced between quotation marks because I'm sure many of you would agree with me when I say Ragnarok has never been a balanced game to begin with.

You're probably thinking Unrestricted is a fiesta since everyone has MVP Cards and very powerful custom items, but surprisingly it is not any more of a fiesta than Vanilla/Classic Ragnarok is, it even feels more balanced if anything thanks to the fact many of those powerful custom items and MVP Cards reduce the effectiveness of most things that are usually overpowered in classic/vanilla Ragnarok and increase the effetiveness of most things that are usually underpowered, basically Unrestricted manages to alleviate a lot of the mistakes Gravity made with Ragnarok's balance, and for those who do not want that, there's always Vanilla.

Conclusion: TalonRO is highly customized, yes, however, a series of key factors do keep the "feel" and experience of the server very close to what classic Ragnarok was.

Rating to the "classic" nostalgic Ragnarok feel and experience we all love section: 7,5-8/10



#3 Q. What's TalonRO's community like?
#3 A. This is of course a very important one, Ragnarok is famous for its nice community, after all. And TalonRO's community is one of the best I've seen, this is probably because of how large their population is and how actively they punish people who go out of their way to grief others.

Like every community everywhere in this world there are good and bad people within TalonRO's community, however, the overwhelming majority of people are very nice and helpful, and those who aren't nice are usually harmless one-time trolls. In my 6 years on TalonRO I've only seen 7 players being overwhelmingly toxic, all instances have been on the global chat of the server, and most of them were clearly in response of a punishment they received, which of course ended in the complete removal of said players from the server.

The global chats on TalonRO have very strict rules, which ensures that you will very rarely see any obscenities or extreme toxicity in there, and whenever that happens, they're punished, also, because of how the in-game accounts are all linked to a master account and you are not allowed to have more than one master account, unpleasant individuals see themselves forced to behave like civilized human beings in order to avoid losing all of their accounts.
There are also many friendly guilds you can join and have fun with.

Conclusion: You thought Utopias weren't possible? think again. TalonRO's community is all rainbows and unicorns, if you want to feel loved and cared for by internet strangers, there is no better place than TalonRO.

Rating of TalonRO's community: 9,9/10



#4 Q. How stable TalonRO is? has it ever wiped? does it lags? will I have a thousand issues no one will help me fix with their client?
#4 A. TalonRO is one of the oldest servers around and one of the most stable private servers of any game I've ever played, it has never wiped and it very rarely actually lags, in my 6 years around I've only witnessed server-wide lags two or three times, and it hasn't lasted long.

However, players mainly from the SEA region do report that they lag/disconnect sometimes, I'd say it happens probably once every month on average to them, at least that is how often some of them complain about it. Of course there are players constantly reporting lag/disconnects, but I'm pretty sure that is the player's unstable network and has nothing to do with the server.

As someone who has lived and played TalonRO from different countries of the American continent, I've never suffered individual lag that wasn't entirely the fault of my connection, with the only exceptions being those two or three server-wide lags within the last 6 years that I previously mentioned.

Regarding the client, there are several client-related(mostly right after the installation) issues players come up with all the time to the server's Discord server, but, unless they ignore the advice and leave, they always receive a solution to whatever issue they're experiencing.

Conclusion: TalonRO has a pristine stability history, which is surprising for its age.

Rating of TalonRO's stability 9,5/10


#5 Q. How's the staff? are they corrupt or abusive? how active are they?
#5 A. The staff are generally very nice and simple people. The only one you might actually have trouble with if you're not respectful enough is Boreas, the server's head Administrator, who, for the most part, is stern but fair.

I don't think corruption is an issue on TalonRO, and if it is, it is so well hidden that you shouldn't worry about it. I've befriended a few GMs/ex-GMs myself, and I've also competed with some of them. I've followed their footprints around(joining their normal character's social circles), carefully studying their public and not-so-public interactions with their friends and rivals, and I've yet to witness any kind of favoritism or injustice.
Regarding activity, there's almost always some online, even though they don't usually show themselves other than for the usual weekly/biweekly events, but they're always around watching.

Conclusion: I like my staff as active yet unintrusive as possible, and that is exactly what I've gotten from TalonRO's staff so far.

Rating of TalonRO's staff: 8/10

I'm sure there are countless important subjects I've left out, so feel free to ask and I'll address them.
« Last Edit: Nov 08, 2018, 01:36 PM by King Klone »

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