PokemonRO

Started by RoseTea, Feb 03, 2013, 11:34 PM

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RoseTea

A PROPER STORY

"Our reviews quickly stop being reviews and start being comedy skits."
"But who is grump and who is not so grump?"

I, RoseTea, did the editing for this particular post, which is why it's significantly uglier than FruitPie's work.  In the screenshots, I play Mancer the Alchemist, and Fruit Pie's Brusher the Knight.  But I'm getting ahead of myself, a proper story's supposed to start at the beginning...


Warning: This review is basically nothing but an endless stream of Bastion references.


After the incredible success failure success happening of the TalonRO review, we foolishly spun THE WHEEL OF SERVER NAMES and thus now Fruit Pie and I are now looking at an interesting little server called PokemonRO.

PokemonRO is a 100/100/100 server with the primary gimmick being there are Pokemon in it.  Not knowing much more before diving right in, we prepared ourselves for the best or the worst, and might have found both.


IN CASE OF TROUBLE

The site looks neat! I like the animated menu thingy in the trees. Everything is well-organized and all the information I could want was presented right there in the top part of the front page. Unfortunately, this marks the return of the bars. It's not as noticeably bad as the last server, but it's still there.
This site really does look quite impressive.  It seems like it runs a bit slow on my computer (then again I use a wood-and-cardboard piece of butt) so there's that.  They really went above and beyond when making their front page look presentable.


Actual screenshot of the community.  Population never hit double-digits every time I checked.


The trailer-ish video shows an ice pokémon (you'll have to excuse me, I'm a first-gen grognard) using Storm Gust with no delay and killing Eddga in ten seconds flat. Have I joined a high rate server by accident? Well, no, there it is - regular levels and stats, mid-rate. Well, that's certainly different from what I expect out of those, but we'll see how it works.
FruitPie apparently doesn't know what a freaking Suicune is (That's only GSC era you dope).  My initial impression of the video was my ears getting blasted out, since my headphones love bass a little too much and that is one dubsteppy pokemon remix.  As for the actual content, I'm willing to assume that's just a legendary and max power or something, and the majority of pokemon work like Homunculi Lite.  I hope.

The "support" link unexpectedly took me to the Wiki. Could at least label it "Wiki". Account creation was painless as it should be - punch in name, password, e-mail, gender and you have your account. It even logs in to it automatically! You can also check your stats, characters and storage items in the site, which is a nice touch, even if I can't see myself ever using it.
Wikis are a kind of a support.  No problems registering here.  Pleasant enough.

Seems you can get donation Pokémon in this server, rather than the usual donation gear. There seems to be no in-game way to acquire the most expensive ones, so there might be an advantage to donors here. Convex Mirrors are sold in packs of a THOUSAND for one dollar, which I can only assume would break lesser servers. The low price of MCAs also probably devalues miniboss cards.
As I understand it the Legendary Pokemon are actually around maps somewhere, I think Arceus is in Juperos Core for instance according to the Wiki, but I don't know about all of them.  100 HE bubble Gum for 1 dollar is a hell of a bargain.  I'm... really not sure what the aim is for these donation quantities.



TERMINAL MARCH

Oh god the patcher has music!  Why!?  I was already enjoying my music!


I didn't notice at all I got 3 cash points, I was more fascinated with these PVM headgears. Slotted, gave a variety of incredible bonuses, and three for the top, middle, and lower.



I was fairly excited for the Pokémon pets at first!


What stuns me is the sheer amount of EFFORT put into all of this.  There's Pokemon music as you start, you talk to Professor Oak and get a starter.  There's a custom PokeTown for a home base, complete with a gigantic statue of Red.  This is above and beyond the expected experience for "Pokemon in Ragnarok Online".  There's even gym leaders with badges (but the first four we fought really aren't difficult at all - a first class and their starter would have no trouble).
There's Pikachu dolls complete with Endow Wind effects everywhere. It looks more like a virtual amusement park than an RO town.  Saying the first Gym Leaders are weak is an understatement - Brock's weird new-fangled pokémon dies in one Bowling Bash with NPC gear. But I understand the idea that we were supposed to fight them when we started out, rather than two hours into the game.


Full of optimism and joy, we set off from the main town.


And yet, it fell flat in a lot of ways.  Pokemon are really strong!  My Charmander (and later Pichu) were doing far more damage than I ever could.  It would have been interesting to see mobs become much stronger in response, so you relied on your pets to help yourself level and do enough damage.  You can't use them for PvP either, which is understandable.  We were planning on doing a "Rival battle" video which would have been hilarious, though, so there goes that plan for comedy.
But of course, Pokémon assist when you ARE ATTACKED, not when you ACTUALLY HIT, which breaks your mobbing, which made me abandon my Bulbasaur really quickly.  There's also the fact Pokémon don't scale - they start off doing 200~300 damage, which is absolutely amazing against early mobs, but then you move on past Metalings and 200~300 won't cut it anymore.


The statue of the great and powerful Ash/Red. They really did go all-out with the town and such. It's a beautiful home city, honestly.


Also, the wild pokemon: We didn't see any in any fields, which is what I would have truly hoped for.  Instead, catching Pokemon is apparently only done in the Safari Zone or Victory Road for wild roamers, by quests, or by donating for them.  How awesome would it have been to be levelling on Metalings then suddenly see a Geodude or something hanging out for capturing?
This connects with what I said before. To get stronger Pokémon, you NEED to either do the events and go to Safari Zone, get the eight badges for Victory Road or donate.

There's an in-game Pokédex that contains plenty of information - except where to find Pokémon, suspiciously enough. There appears to be a few "balance" changes to the cards, like making Sting an accessory card that gives +4 DEX.


Wait, haven't we...?   It's strange. Feels like I've told this story a thousand times.


Anyway, there's also a "leveling guide" which has come straight out of 2006 other than the very final parts, which are just impossible without a ton of gear or some other kind of advantage. Also noticeably there's no leveling guide for the regular melee classes - you get Priests, Archers, Monks and Mages and that's it.




With the helper Chansey, I was able to tri-wield pets: my Pokemon, the Familiar, and a Chansey you can buy: 50k for 30 minutes. Both of us having our own Chanseys meant we could run through Cursed Abbey as a pair, no problem.


THE MANCER'S DILEMMA

There's a Dojo that leads you to a fight with Puzzle Fighter characters for a gym pass. Ryu has ridiculous AGI - I couldn't hit him at all without using Magnum Break's bonus to stun him with Bash. Ridiculous base stats, in fact, are a server trend I was made painfully aware of later on.
The Gym Leaders were extremely disappointing up until Blane: The six before him were a complete joke to fight (A first job would have minimal trouble).  Blane, however, summons 3 pokemon at once, including a 50k HP, 6k-8k damage Charizard.  This isn't a difficulty curve so much as a solid difficulty wall: I was able to get by pretty alright by tanking them through and letting my Pokemon and Homunculus fight, but this is suddenly no longer viable.
Blaine was a bastard, but nothing compared to Sabrina's Haunter (which I'd be entirely unable to defeat if not for an Elemental Converter) or Giovanni's posse (which is like double Charizards at the end).

Speaking of elemental converters, here's an interesting thing - this server has Scaraba Hole. The stats on those mobs are completely screwed up. How much? The Queen has 97 armor DEF. The other scarabs have negative 106 DEF. Leveling as a Knight took a sudden turn for the better after I found this out.


Sometimes a Brusher's Pike just ain't enough. That's what the Fire Endow is for.


I have no idea how a support class is supposed to do this. None of those are Undead or Demon or anything, so how can a Priest ever win? Alchemists have a pretty powerful pet and can at least Mammonite everything effectively, and it doesn't seem like they do too well.
Of course, I can just grind better equipment (Orc Warrior carded shielded Buckler I guess), but despite the PVM headgears and 100x rates, the mall has unslotted equipment: The joys of killing Kobolds for the shield.  Maybe a better Pokemon would have helped me out, but getting one would only be at the Safari Zone, which takes strange and mysterious Event Tokens to get (The entire day I saw perhaps 3 events, and the daily quest was actually unwinnable).

I kind of gave up way before Fruit Pie did: I couldn't take the Pokemon being just out of my grasp the entire time and aside from that, it was just a boring high rate with SHR qualities.  At this point, I'm done with the server.  FruitPie continued on her own in...



BRUSHER PATROL


Sprite mods can get downright bizarre.


And this just baffled me.



After Rose Tea left the scene and I finished off Giovanni in his absurdly hard-to-get-to gym, I was left trying to battle and capture Pokémon in this Pokémon-based RO server. This proved to be much harder than expected.

First off, there's no Pokémon in the wild whatsoever, as we said. Event Tickets are hell to acquire in any appreciable quantities in a short time, apparently. And there's no way RO Arceus is worth 20 dollars.

That left me with the Victory Road, which is located behind Snorlax in a cave. Snorlax, of course, can only be woken up with the PokéFlute, which you can only acquire via quest. Par for the course, you have to fight Snorlax after you wake him up, except here it's absurdly difficult.

Snorlax is an MVP disguising as a regular mob (he's vulnerable to status effects and everything). He's got one million HP, respectable defenses and hits like a truck - I'm guessing 6k DPS with Assumptio and NPC gears. Most damning of all, he actually seems to be able to attack while stunned, which makes SENSE if you think about Snorlax's special abilities in Pokémon but NO SENSE if you think about it in RO mechanics.

Ultimately, I could only take off a bit over a third of Snorlax's health before I ran out of Mastelas. I thought about leaving the server without even getting to capture Pokémon, which would be absolutely disappointing, but then I noticed a yellow dot on the map.


Surprisingly tough given every other Pokémon so far!


Turns out the wiki is wrong! You don't need to defeat Snorlax to go to Victory Road, just run like hell from him. Well, no problem for a Knight! Unfortunately, it wasn't much of a victory, as the map (a modified mosk_dun03) is full of the most absurd mobs in the history of mid-rates.

Every last one has 255 AGI and DEX. They all hit exactly like Snorlax, and they're no slacks in the HP department either (at 200k to 400k). I couldn't hit them with Bash nor Pierce with 125 DEX, and Bowling Bash was right out.

Ultimately I managed to warp around and toss Pokéballs enough to capture a Graveler! And there I was thinking my troubles were over. Graveler's main attack seems to be Envenom. It does less DPS than one of the easy quest Pokémon rewards. It's just slightly above the starters. And that was the last straw for me - one Ice Titan later, PokémonRO was met with a swift ALT-F4.


This is it - this is the one thing that would make or break the server for me.


SETTING SAIL, COMING HOME

I'm baffled. It takes a lot of effort to make a concept like "Pokémon/RO crossover in eAthena" work, and a lot more effort to then screw it up so badly. Other than the very top and the very bottom of the RO character food chain (and PVM, at that), Pokémon don't actually matter, so it's all an admittedly really nice facade over what is essentially a mid rate with some HR/SHR stuff.

There's no community, which is a shame since all this effort certainly deserves at least SOME attention, but then again the gameplay isn't so hot and the customization adds nothing overall.

The Pokémon fights, while cool at the start, suffer from being the same - it's either "weak pokémon that won't threaten a reasonably statted 1st job" or "absurdly powerful and will melt all but the most potted characters". And there's no middle ground, either, so you go from absolute cakewalks to ridiculous challenges literally mid-fight.

Overall, this is so much wasted potential it depresses me. It could've been something grand, it's all in there, but in the end it's the little things that drag the whole experience down.

It's really kind of a shame because Pokemon in RO would work.  It really would!  Imagine them using the Homunculus system and having their own skills and can use the AI and stuff, you probably wouldn't have that many since it'd be a lot of work but holy crap that would rule.  Instead, we basically have sub-accessories that dispense DPS and... that's about it.  Chansey does things but, hilariously enough, she isn't actually a "Pokemon", which is why you can have her and a Pokemon (actually Cute Pets) at the same time.  Why I could triple with my own actual homun I can't actually answer.

There just needed to be something... something more, I don't know.  The battles could have been something that weren't "how many potions do you have today?", the wild pokemon could actually be in fields and not all in the safari zone (just have one spawn and roam around or something, I don't know).

I'm just kind of... down.  This could have been way cool, but somewhere along the line it just didn't work out for us.  There's tons of effort and it's sort of a shame that it's not noticed by people, but... man, I dunno.  I'm outta here.

But before I do, the video.  Yes, the video.  Here is Fruit Pie's fight with Giovanni, to show what the Gym Leader battles actually look like.


Pretty sure this is not how a Pokémon battle is supposed to go.

yC

I kind of read a little at the top, some in the middle and a little at the end xD.  Interesting review not your fault I am just a slow reader ...

Okay, I agree this server deserve more attention for the incredible amount of work put into it compare to other plain HR/SHR servers.  You keep calling it a HR but it's only 100x.  Actually, I heard a couple people feel the same.  That is, this server deserve more attention yet the population never take off.

Lol there's even a "statue of the great and powerful Ash" thanks for the ss i never seen anything like that in RO before. 

You outlined the problem in the server very well, it seems there is a huge balancing issue with the pokemon.  Well of course, since the pokemons aren't suppose to be in RO making up their role in the game is nothing less than difficult.  I hope the server owner can read into this review and give some thoughts into the problem.  But this server has been around for (maybe?) half a year or so, the attention its getting might have already discouraged the team. 

Your review, shows nearly no one is playing with you guys during the whole time.  I feel that what started out as a fun adventure ended up with disappointment.  That's pretty sad or that could explain why no many stayed on the server after the initial few days of pokemon excitement.
Were there any GM in game that served you two?

Triper

Red isn't Ash :([well, they are similar like they did with Gary Oak and Green but the story isn't exactly the same if you read the manga, play the games and see the anime]
Red is the main character in the first generation games and the manga is based on what you play. He's also one of the 4 main characters in the manga[afaik there is also Green, Blue and Yellow even if the story focus a ton more on Red except at the yellow arc where is pretty much more yellow and friends then red].[/pokemonnerdnote]

RoseTea

Quote from: Triper on Feb 04, 2013, 10:45 PM
Red isn't Ash :([well, they are similar like they did with Gary Oak and Green but the story isn't exactly the same if you read the manga, play the games and see the anime]
Red is the main character in the first generation games and the manga is based on what you play. He's also one of the 4 main characters in the manga[afaik there is also Green, Blue and Yellow even if the story focus a ton more on Red except at the yellow arc where is pretty much more yellow and friends then red].[/pokemonnerdnote]
Right, I always figured Red was supposed to be the name of the game character, but Ash seems more like the name people think of for "The Pokemon Trainer".

Actually, on closer inspection, the statue seems to be based off the Fire Red/Leaf Green male trainer, which I guess would still be Red, wouldn't it?

Thanks, by the way: You got me browsing Bulbapedia for way longer than I'd care to admit.  That time is a few words of foreign language vocabulary I can never learn now.


Quote from: yC on Feb 04, 2013, 03:45 PMYou keep calling it a HR but it's only 100x.

Were there any GM in game that served you two?
I know RMS has its (arbitrary?) ranges for what is and is not a certain rate, but I don't subscribe to it and I don't think you can make a black-and-white definition for servers that simply.  For me, "rates" are more of a measure of how fast progression and power feel.  You could have a low rate that has a very "high rate" style of leveling and items/stats, and vice versa.  For practical examples: TalonRO when you have 1000 TC vs. 0, or absolutely anything at all about MouRO.  PokemonRO felt high-rateish to me.

There was one GM, but he was sitting in town with a chat window about WoE.  You can actually see him in the fifth picture.  He never moved from that spot.

Fruit Pie~

Quote from: yC on Feb 04, 2013, 03:45 PM
I kind of read a little at the top, some in the middle and a little at the end xD.  Interesting review not your fault I am just a slow reader ...

Okay, I agree this server deserve more attention for the incredible amount of work put into it compare to other plain HR/SHR servers.  You keep calling it a HR but it's only 100x.  Actually, I heard a couple people feel the same.  That is, this server deserve more attention yet the population never take off.

Lol there's even a "statue of the great and powerful Ash" thanks for the ss i never seen anything like that in RO before. 

You outlined the problem in the server very well, it seems there is a huge balancing issue with the pokemon.  Well of course, since the pokemons aren't suppose to be in RO making up their role in the game is nothing less than difficult.  I hope the server owner can read into this review and give some thoughts into the problem.  But this server has been around for (maybe?) half a year or so, the attention its getting might have already discouraged the team. 

Your review, shows nearly no one is playing with you guys during the whole time.  I feel that what started out as a fun adventure ended up with disappointment.  That's pretty sad or that could explain why no many stayed on the server after the initial few days of pokemon excitement.
Were there any GM in game that served you two?
There was a GM the entire time we were there, but he was AFK in town from the moment we started until roughly when I was fighting Snorlax (I respawned and saw him without a chat window anymore). I generally don't like to bother GMs unless it's strictly necessary and Rose Tea had left the building, so it's rather hard for me to talk about the GMs. :/

Also agreeing with Tea here about the rates. They're fine when talking about purely vanilla servers, but customization tends to skew the "feel" of the rates. PokémonRO feels high-rate-ish because it's much easier to level up when you're starting off and you can blaze through levels in two or three hours. Admittedly that might have been because I exploited the hell out of El Dicastes, though. Also, hats with +10 all stats.

And yeah, the server is kind of empty. 2 to 6 people online at any given time, even during WoE. Plenty of MVPing happening, though, so there was a small "cult fan base" to this server, so to say. Highly customized servers tend to attract these (see also the aforementioned MouRO, which hasn't had a new player in years now).

yC

The damage figures and the item mall, sound high-rate-ish enough.  I don't disagree on that don't worry xD. 

Triper

Quote from: RoseTea on Feb 04, 2013, 10:58 PM
Right, I always figured Red was supposed to be the name of the game character, but Ash seems more like the name people think of for "The Pokemon Trainer".

Actually, on closer inspection, the statue seems to be based off the Fire Red/Leaf Green male trainer, which I guess would still be Red, wouldn't it?
Yep, it should be Red and yeah, I bet like 90+% of players only known Ash and don't know the Red/Green/Blue things neither that Ash is Satoshi in the Japanese version and also the name of the creator of Pokémon xD Oh well, it's a catchy name, can't blame them.

Cressy

Quote from: Triper on Feb 04, 2013, 10:45 PM
Red isn't Ash :([well, they are similar like they did with Gary Oak and Green but the story isn't exactly the same if you read the manga, play the games and see the anime]
Red is the main character in the first generation games and the manga is based on what you play. He's also one of the 4 main characters in the manga[afaik there is also Green, Blue and Yellow even if the story focus a ton more on Red except at the yellow arc where is pretty much more yellow and friends then red].[/pokemonnerdnote]

The manga slowly pulls all of the game protagonists into it~ Silver, Gold and Crystal all have their time to shine. Then later Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald come in. There are even Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Black and White; but I kinda lost interest after the Emerald arc... It's worth a read if you really do like Pokemon :3

I'd be interested in looking at this server, nothing like a combination of the only two games I have ever really gotten into...

Triper

Gonna get them all!! =P

Fruit Pie~

Quote from: Cressy on Feb 20, 2013, 08:05 AM
The manga slowly pulls all of the game protagonists into it~ Silver, Gold and Crystal all have their time to shine. Then later Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald come in. There are even Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Black and White; but I kinda lost interest after the Emerald arc... It's worth a read if you really do like Pokemon :3

I'd be interested in looking at this server, nothing like a combination of the only two games I have ever really gotten into...
Unfortunately, this server went the way of the Aerodactyls a week after the review. A shame, it was really unique, just really rough around the edges.

yC

D: that's sad.  They pulled the listing too.  I hope your review isn't the reason or they are taking the words and re-inventing it.

RoseTea

Quote from: Fruit Pie~ on Feb 20, 2013, 12:34 PM
Unfortunately, this server went the way of the Aerodactyls a week after the review. A shame, it was really unique, just really rough around the edges.
It's okay, we just have to find some Old Amber and it'll be back up in a jiffy.

DontShootTheMessenger

Aw. It went belly up already? The population was like 1 or 2 and sometimes even 0 when I was playing because of this review. I guess it was kind of inevitable. I took a break though so I never noticed. It was pretty fun though for what it was and it delivered on the Pokemon. lol

holocauseRO



This is true the population is too low. The server modification is awesome from top to bottom. The whole game was to have a pokemon support your main and fight other pokemon along the way. It was shortlive. We will miss PokemonRO.
http://www.holocaust-ro.com/cp/?module=main [color=red]Holocaust[/color]RO /no1

PokemonRO

It was our run at a unique and customized server that nobody has ever seen before.

The truth is, we wanted to do much more with it, we invested a lot of time and money into it. We lacked a committed developer, a community, but we may come back one day with the right team and the right mindset.  Everything is still there and available, we just didn't generate enough players to get feedback we needed or the funding for further development.

Thanks for the reviews, it was our first urn at it

RoseTea

You know, I can't really fault you for our distaste for the server.  The server was seriously a genius idea and so much heart and effort went into it.  Just somewhere along the execution it didn't turn out so well.

If the staff returns to take a second crack at it, I'll be there to see how it goes.

sheena

Quote from: PokemonRO on Mar 31, 2013, 02:20 PM
It was our run at a unique and customized server that nobody has ever seen before.

The truth is, we wanted to do much more with it, we invested a lot of time and money into it. We lacked a committed developer, a community, but we may come back one day with the right team and the right mindset.  Everything is still there and available, we just didn't generate enough players to get feedback we needed or the funding for further development.

Thanks for the reviews, it was our first urn at it
All respect to you guys. Please do make it playable.
The image in the avatar is from RivalRO and I am open to server(s) that meets my needs without any stupid player package