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Author Topic: Ragnarok Roleplay Online - Come play, my lord.  (Read 2397 times)

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Offline Tenuguu

Ragnarok Roleplay Online - Come play, my lord.
« on: Mar 08, 2021, 01:40 pm »
Server listing:
https://ratemyserver.net/index.php?page=detailedlistserver&serid=21498&itv=6&url_sname=Ragnarok%20Roleplay%20Online

I'm making this post because, quite frankly, there is no way I can fit everything I need to in the short little box a server review gives me. 

First thing's first - this is not RO as you've experienced it before. Yeah, yeah, I know everyone says that... but really.  This is a highly ambitious project that attempts to completely overhaul both the game and your expectations of RO. The admin seems to be an experienced DM that is bringing a professional roleplay experience to RO. It has its own world, its own lore, its own factions. The best way to think of it is like a homebrew D&D campaign simply using RO as the method of delivery. You need to forget everything you know about RO before you start. And speaking of starting,the best place to do so is the wiki and forums- strap in and grab a cup of coffee, because you're in for a long read.
https://www.ragnarok-rp.com/wiki/index.php?title=Lore
https://www.ragnarok-rp.com/forums/index.php

Does that look good to you? Well, read on.

Before I start, I'm going to summarise the quick pros and cons.

Pros:
+ Completely new take on RO. Reprogram your expectations and experience something totally different!
+ Amazing community - it's the nature of an RP server. People are here to socialise and play together.
+ Custom content is invited - shape the world yourself! Wish there was a certain feature to enhance your RP experience? Go ahead, make it yourself - it's encouraged.
+ Large paid dev team - there's real manpower behind it.

Cons:
- An ambitious project in its teething stages - there are frequent bugs and oversights due to the highly custom nature. You'll run into invisible walls. You'll run into missing NPCs and continuity errors. Bugs are fairly swiftly addressed, however.
- One DM for 20+ players - it can be hard to get that one-to-one contact. (The DM has mentioned appointing faction leaders as mini-DMs in the future, so this might alleviate that)
- Slow, monitored progress might be jarring for some - don't expect to class-change for a looong time
- Poor advertising. There is no clear point of information for what the server offers and what to expect. Honestly, it took me over an hour of reading various sections of the wiki/website/forum to quite understand what was going on, and that's simply because I was curious. (Hopefully this review gives any other curious minds a bit more insight).

So, first thing's first.  This isn't RO. There is no Rune-Midgard. There is no Prontera. It isn't just an RO server where you're encouraged to RP on the side - it's a total redesign where RO is second to the RP.  You really do need to forget everything you know about RO, which is damn hard.  The core gameplay loop is entirely different - the goal isn't to gain EXP and gear, to MVP or WOE. The goal is to grow your character personally, develop your story, which is enforced by certain restrictions on class changing and levelling. Bored of being an Asura monk decked out in MVP cards and want to be a simple fishmonger instead? Why the f*** not!

All new players must be approved - that is, to register, you must include a backstory as part of your registration. This is then read and reviewed by the admin - the DM, if you think of this in TTRPG terms. Don't be put off - there is no snobbery or elitism, you won't be rejected for not having a good enough backstory. Just a paragraph on who your character is is fine enough, the whitelisting is mostly as a filter for people that do not wish to roleplay. Once you're approved, welcome to the community!

Metagaming is strictly forbidden, to the extent that PMing people and party/guild chat is disabled.  There are features instead to "shout" - give yourself an increased chat range so people can hear you the screen over, and "whisper" - only people a few cells of you will be able to hear what you say. But be careful  - keen ears might still hear from further away, if the eavesdropper passes a skill check.

On that note, skill checks - if you've played a TTRPG before, you'll be familiar with dice rolls and skill checks here.  It employs a similar system - for every 20 total stat points, you are given a "+1" to your proficiency in that stat. The admin encourages placing your stats in a way to benefit roleplay - to detach yourself from thinking "I need agi to increase my flee and aspd", but to think, "I need agi because my character is swift."  A quick-witted, smart Assassin might want INT to reflect "Intelligence" - something you'd probably not do in the normal course of the game.

Sounds silly right? Gimping your stats just for roleplay? How are you going to level up if you can't kill mobs? Again, you have to detach yourself from that way of thinking, that the only goal is to grind, that your success is measured by your level. You gain passive EXP by roleplaying - talking, exploring, interacting with the world. You could be an entirely non-combat focused character and still be able to grow. As of writing the monster EXP rate is set to 0.75x, but it is constantly being tweaked as the admin monitors the situation.

Speaking of growth - another thing different to base RO is that you don't just treadmill your way to job 50 and change jobs. Instead, progression is done by accumulating a certain amount of "DM Tokens" in order to be permitted to job change. The DM will frequently drop in to monitor and "guide" your sessions - and if you exhibit good roleplay, you're rewarded with a DM token. So sure, you can go and grind mobs to level 99 - but you'll still be a first class, and unless you can demonstrate your character's personal growth, you aren't going anywhere further.  Tokens can also be awarded via forum RP or other player nomination, for events that happen when the DM is not around.

I've probably missed a lot here, but it is really hard to describe the experience - so, I think the best way to demonstrate what the server is like is by showing it. In the coming days I'll be posting recaps of what I've encountered as a new player, and what sort of things you might look forward to.

In summary - if you've read this far and are still interested - give it a go! Whether you are an experienced RPer or a curious bystander looking to try something new, the community is more than happy to help and guide you.
If you're sat there thinking "what a bunch of nerds..." well, fair enough. Good job for reading all of that crap though /heh
« Last Edit: Mar 19, 2021, 05:09 pm by Tenuguu »
Current Server(s):
RetRO - 1x/1x/1x
Ragnarok Roleplay Online - 0.75x/0.75x/1x

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Offline distilled1

Re: Ragnarok Roleplay Online - Come play, my lord.
« Reply #1 on: Mar 08, 2021, 03:57 pm »
Yeah as much as I don't get along with you, Tenuguu, I have to completely agree with you here. Such a good server idea.
I'm very happy to see its existence after enjoying similar roleplay on other platforms such as the Neverwinter Night's persistent worlds like "Prisoners of the Mist" which is very similar to how this RO server is set up. Limits put on exp grinding from battle while rewarding exp for talking(roleplaying), questing and interacting with the world.
Only this is done with Ragnarok Online as the game engine instead of Neverwinter Nights.

Is the Ragnarok game engine a good engine to use for a D&D style campaign/game? I can't answer that, but with the right amount of tweaks, and rules in place, I don't see why not.

Of course it will likely always be a niche server as are Neverwinter Nights persistent worlds, or GTA5 roleplay servers, but that's to be expected. It seems to take a certain type of person to enjoy storytelling and roleplay more than min-maxing, rushing to max level/stats/gear and then showing off.

I hope it does well, and tells many adventures.
DOWN WITH MULTI-CLIENTING!

Offline Tenuguu

Re: Ragnarok Roleplay Online - Come play, my lord.
« Reply #2 on: Mar 08, 2021, 04:08 pm »
Yeah as much as I don't get along with you, Tenuguu, I have to completely agree with you here. Such a good server idea.
I'm very happy to see its existence after enjoying similar roleplay on other platforms such as the Neverwinter Night's persistent worlds like "Prisoners of the Mist" which is very similar to how this RO server is set up. Limits put on exp grinding from battle while rewarding exp for talking(roleplaying), questing and interacting with the world.
Only this is done with Ragnarok Online as the game engine instead of Neverwinter Nights.

Is the Ragnarok game engine a good engine to use for a D&D style campaign/game? I can't answer that, but with the right amount of tweaks, and rules in place, I don't see why not.

Of course it will likely always be a niche server as are Neverwinter Nights persistent worlds, or GTA5 roleplay servers, but that's to be expected. It seems to take a certain type of person to enjoy storytelling and roleplay more than min-maxing, rushing to max level/stats/gear and then showing off.

I hope it does well, and tells many adventures.

Ha, no hard feelings.

The NWN / GTA comparison is a really good one actually.  I had that sort of "oldschool" feeling playing but couldn't put my finger on it. It's niche for sure, but let's hope it attracts that sort of people that are into that.
Current Server(s):
RetRO - 1x/1x/1x
Ragnarok Roleplay Online - 0.75x/0.75x/1x

Offline distilled1

Re: Ragnarok Roleplay Online - Come play, my lord.
« Reply #3 on: Mar 08, 2021, 05:34 pm »
You did a great job describing the server and its features.
I'm particularly happy to read that they've implemented shouting and whispering while disabling PMs and Guild/Party chat.
Overall, excellent ideas and setup for a good role-playing environment!
Certainly beats the pants off of any other Ragnarok Role-Play servers which mostly just declare it a "roleplay server" and call it a day.
Thanks for the review!
DOWN WITH MULTI-CLIENTING!

Offline Tenuguu

Re: Ragnarok Roleplay Online - Come play, my lord.
« Reply #4 on: Mar 21, 2021, 12:13 pm »
I meant to update this review with the encounters I've had in game so far but I keep having them faster than I can write.

I'll save the roleplay fluff, but if anyone is interested in seeing in-character notes where people post "logs" of their activities, and more detailed accounts of the RPs that have been going on, head by the character journals on the forum. https://www.ragnarok-rp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=4

On the first day I joined, I met a novice who wanted to become a swordsman. He was looking for a Red Herb for a quest. Having not seen one myself either, we both headed out to hunt monsters until we eventually found one. I, as a merchant, was not able to do much in the way of combat... but my character is interested in collecting and researching monster materials. And his character is an aspiring Swordsman who wanted to make money to send back to his family at home. I had the money, and he had the strength, so we made a partnership - I would join him, he would go out and fight monsters, and I would pay well for any materials he finds.



Next day we went on a "field expedition". We killed some spores, and ran into a drunken pirate.  The swordsman challenged him to a duel, but lost immediately. We all made friends though, and went off to Payon Hirogani Cave to fight some more monsters. Found some Opals and other valuable goodies - I paid the swordsman his salary and took my wares.



On Saturday there was news that an important announcement was happening in Juno Emeritas - a DM-run "story" event. Players turned up to listen to a speech from the Lord-Chancellor, story things happened, and it was set up that there would be a duel to decide whether the Prince or Princess was crowned leader. Players volunteered for each side - it later transpired that a weaker player joined to "throw" the fight for one side, while a stronger player quickly offered himself to the other because he wanted to secure victory for that certain Royal. The duel was won for the Princess, and the Prince was to be executed instead.



The DM made it clear that the execution would happen next week - if players wanted to try and save him, they must do it in character. If nobody acted, nothing would happen.  Agroup of players were actively engaged in this but I didn't witness it myself.

The day after, I came across another new player, with the Swordsman I had met before. She also need a Red Herb for her quest. But the problem was that she wanted to become an Acolyte and was a strict pacifist... she did not want to harm any monster in order to get the herbs like we had. I offered her a herb of my own but she wanted to make her success by herself.  There was only one place I had seen where we could get Red Herbs from the plant... all the way back to the caves. We walked from Izlude Porta Flourette to Payon Hirogani Cave, protected her from the monsters inside, where she was able to pick her herb and finish the quest herself.

Later I met a fellow merchant-aspiring-alchemist, where we discussed research and investigation into alchemical-related things that would progress our characters stories.
I went out on an expedition with the Swordsman and Acolyte, and met another Acolyte who was friends with the two of them. We went out to kill Poison Spores, I discovered my proficiency in mobbing even though I wasn't able to do any damage myself, and the swordsman killed them all. Something great to note is there is no level range cap on EXP sharing... so even though i'm level 20, and the swordsman was... 60? I could still get a little bit of EXP. We found some Karvo for fluff for my alchemist aspirations.

Saturday came with another GM event. Wow, it was fantastic. There was an announcement for the Prince's execution to continue the storyline that had been developing in the background. Between last week and this, players had been operating behind the scenes trying to find and save the prince from his fate. A rebellion against the empire was growing.  There was a magic show before the event where a GM disguised as a clown interacted with players, calling them on stage and performing tricks with them to lighten the mood in-character. 



Then came a bombshell where everyone present was under arrest for suspicion of treason, due to the aforementioned rebel activity. All the players were rounded up and had to protest their innocent to the guard, one by one. My character had a reason - she was just a merchant travelling on business, and everyone else had one too - all except for a child, who was a street urchin, with no reason to be there, and no alibi. By a stroke of luck she was the same race as my character, so I pretended to be her parent, passed a CHA check by the skin of my teeth (8, vs the guard's 7!) and got us both off the hook. The rebel characters among us threw smoke bombs and escaped before they were caught.


Had some fairly standard inter-character interactions in the meantime, the server population has been growing, so it's been easy to run into people.  One encounter was particularly fun, where one of the other players found me and asked me some questions about my "daughter". I kept up the act, and then he revealed he knew that I was lying... because he had overheard me talking to the child at the time, telling her to pretend we were family, and exchanging names. I had done this all in whispers so it was a shock to hear I'd been rumbled. This was possible due to an in-game feature where the game rolls a dice for a skill check to determine whether you pick up another player's whispers! Makes for some really really fun stuff.



Next Saturday was again another GM event. The Princess was making her first announcement as leader. Some story gumf, one of the swordsmen players was knighted, as the last of their order had passed away leaving the burden on him. Job changes are done based on a character's story and progression, not just "hit job 40 and go talk to an NPC", where a DM will perform the job-change  in character.



Then there was an Orc invasion. We killed what we could and were eventually saved by a DM-character, a faction leader, who gave more story exposition and hooks for people to pursue (where were the town guards? who instigated the orcs to attack?).


That about covers it for my first few weeks. As I'm sure you can tell I'm having a great time. If anyone here is interested in roleplay, I really really recommend giving this server a go. If you're on the fence just take the plunge and see if you like it!
Current Server(s):
RetRO - 1x/1x/1x
Ragnarok Roleplay Online - 0.75x/0.75x/1x

Offline Ringo

Re: Ragnarok Roleplay Online - Come play, my lord.
« Reply #5 on: Mar 22, 2021, 08:13 am »
As someone who has been playing D&D for the past 5 years in both one-shots and homebrew/official campaign settings, I always wonder if this kind of server exist because the original Ragnarok manwha actually had D&D stats for each characters of the comic in the first pages. I would love to give this one a try! Thanks for sharing the screenshots and the session's events that occured in Rune Midgard, Tenuguu !
not ringo

Discord: Ringo#1053

Offline Tenuguu

Re: Ragnarok Roleplay Online - Come play, my lord.
« Reply #6 on: Mar 25, 2021, 03:32 pm »
As someone who has been playing D&D for the past 5 years in both one-shots and homebrew/official campaign settings, I always wonder if this kind of server exist because the original Ragnarok manwha actually had D&D stats for each characters of the comic in the first pages. I would love to give this one a try! Thanks for sharing the screenshots and the session's events that occured in Rune Midgard, Tenuguu !
That's awesome. I didn't know that, I'll have to check it out!
Hope I see you there.
Current Server(s):
RetRO - 1x/1x/1x
Ragnarok Roleplay Online - 0.75x/0.75x/1x

Offline Rookie-Raccoon

Re: Ragnarok Roleplay Online - Come play, my lord.
« Reply #7 on: Apr 07, 2021, 07:05 pm »
At the time I found this listing, the server wiki was a little bare as far as OOC information went; I ended up checking the RMS forums and joining entirely on the strength of this review.

It's been about two and a half weeks since then and already my character feels like part of the game world. While the rules as written give the impression of a heavy focus on PVP, the small playerbase has proven to be very friendly and more interested in cooperating to produce interesting character development and facilitate fun stories than they are in going out of their way to PK for their own OOC gratification. This might change as the server grows and IC faction conflicts arise, but right now is the perfect time to join in if you're enticed by character-driven RP with a welcoming crew of all skill levels.

Currently the biggest stumbling block for the server is simply a matter of logins. During the regularly scheduled weekend events run by GMs the population jumps, but on weekdays you'll have to keep an eye on /who and check in at the Silver Swords' lobby frequently if you want the best chance of encountering other players. Consequently, there isn't an economy to speak of, either. That hasn't dampened anyone's enthusiasm for RP and public scenes take place daily, but I want to make sure I've given full disclosure and set expectations for a small cast of characters and narrow bands of active hours.

Overall, I highly recommend this server if you're at all interested in banter, drama, and making terrible IC (In Character) decisions because you know that it'll have the most OOCly (Out of Character...ly) entertaining outcomes. It's a refreshingly collaborative experience with a low barrier of entry and a dedicated group of players eager to take new characters under their wing and help them develop social connections right away.