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RetRO a server that I considered the best but can't recommend anymore (review)

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lungo:
I will start saying that I am grateful to the staff for making the server possible and for a time this truly IMO was the best classic server, it actually felt like playing classic, the main reason I choose to play here than Travels was because the owner of Travels banned multiple people for telling him that firewall didn't worked correctly something that later he admitted and ninja corrected himself, and that to me showed someone that was basically a tyrant also Travels even emulates "fake lag" meaning if you get hit even once you get stun locked to death, that is execive IMO so I decided to play RetRO.

It was a good desicion because the staff actually listened, they were helpful and honestly I just liked the guys because they even tolerate a lot of stuff that other people wouldn't, it is not easy for them to lash onto their users, they are not vindictive and they are honestly good people, with good intentions.

What changed?

Well nothing really, the staff is the same as they were but it is more the accumulation of many things that as a whole have ruined the experience for me and I have to touch them individually and explain them:


* Bad economy-The economy has always been bad and it is actually a nightmare to sell something, we are playing on x1 rates, so zenny and items are too valuable, people want to sell expensive and buy cheap on a 100 REAL population (it says 200 but half those are merchants) it is impossible, to the point that people started using ellunium as a currency instead of zenny, this situation makes the whole market really hostile with everyone selling super expensive, people get mad about it, nothing sells, people get mad about it, it is just a bad economy and this is because we lack people, x1 rates were never meant for 100 players so it honestly feels like we are playing a glorified single player game, you farm what you need and barely engage in the economy
* Inconsistent desicions-They staff is really inconsistent in the changes they implement, they say they want to be classic but then they make changes to the game that are NOT classic whenever they see fit and then people suggest something that is not classic but could be a great change and they outright refuse it because "it´s not classic", "what?! but a moment ago you just made this non classic addition to the game like male husbands being able to give SP" is just really inconsistent and arbitrary, for example they just don't want to add color to clothing because "it hurts class identity" they say and honestly I have never heard a more silly excuse and this does hurts immersion with everyone looking the damn same
Now to the really bad stuff


* Guild favoritism-Many people believe there is guild favoritism and there was even a time in which a member of a guild was a GM that was later removed because people weren't having it.It is good that they actually listened to the people but it doesn't change the fact that this actually happened and it is just not fair, I feel like big guilds in general are always listened to and they are the ones that are ruining this server IMO (more of this later) and we the players that don't even have a guild and are just minding our own business get shafted
* Bards get to have out of episode skills-I forgot about this one but the staff made a mistake and bards essentially have post trans skill behavior, when they were notified about it the bards that played made a tantrum about it (Trap Lover members) and they decided to not fix it and allow them to have out of episode skill behavior, this is another example of inconsistent application of "classic" and once again the staff bends the knee to the pressure of people that have no scruples.
* Guilds have the privilege to get a shared account to make "guild brewers and guild Blacksmiths" probably even endow Sages- They made the whole guild account to share alchemist and blacksmith defeating the whole purpose of a no multi account server, this guilds demanded a personal brewer and blacksmith, the argument against this was presented that solo players would not have a chance against this guilds in the rankings and they didn't give a damn for them, the argument that it hurts player interaction in a social MMO was presented too about how guilds should hire real players playing this classes (brewer, smith) was also discarded. Imagine you are a company and you needed an engineer for it, would you demand the government to supply one for you or would you start a hiring effort? so much for the "social" aspect being back with "no multi accounts".
* Monk having out of episode buffs - came as a suprise to me because Monk litterally has no room to complain about not having alternatives, they can level as combo, as throw spirit spheres (which is buffed on the episode we are), they can be tanks or be MVP killers... so why buff occult impact? SIMPLE: to make guild WOE Monks easier to level up, once again showing that guilds are pulling the strings.
* Monk Mental strenght 0 damage-There was a bug that involved monks being able to use mental strenght and receive 0 damage, thus essentially being able to "flee" through defense and vit alone and I don't know how many people abused of this bug but there was a particular guild called Trap Lovers that abused this and they didn't communicated to the staff about it, they talked to them about it but they were never clear to the staff and like I said, the staff are good guys they trust their players (they shouldn't) and they just said they were not going to change the behavior BUT THEY DIDN'T ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THIS BUG ABUSERS WERE DOING because this abusers never accuratelly communicated that they managed to achieve 0 damage on a mental strenght bug and when the staff actually found out what this guys were doing they changed it and this guild and his leader started making drama about it, the staff even offered them a reset to their monk so they could adapt to the change and they prefered to act as victims and basically ask for the bug to stay, imagine asking that with a straight face and making a tantrum to the staff because they were fixing this... They should have banned all this people that abused this they were probably afraid of losing players I understand that but their reaction to this abuses is always really weak
* MDEF bug- this hit me hard as a magic class. Turns out mobs had their magic defense not working all this time since the server launch... I just can't fathom how a bug like this gets overlooked, I just don't understand and this to me shows that the staff is really inexperienced with how ragnarok works... I just accepted this fix because I couldn't go like the previous example and pitifully ask the staff to not fix this because it affected me so I took it like a man and accepted that this had to be fixed with no complaints, I liked the server so I was willing to tolerate this situation
* The mobbing problem and Defence stat not being reduced when attacked by multiple mobs-This is actually a pretty big one, Defense is not being reduced while being attacked by multiple mobs, many sources state that BOTH hard and soft defence are reduced the more mobs hit you, I have gathered many sources and I am 100% sure that this is not working correctly on RetRO, you can see a mere swordman gathering the entire anthell dungeon only receiving 1 damage per mob, that is something I never saw when playing ragnarok in my life, this just only gets worse because when that swordman becomes Knight or Crusader they just keep mobbing without any penalties, this means that if you are a FLEE character you are screwed because FLEE does reduce when being attacked by multiple mobs, mobbing has been rampant the entire server life and most mobbers are rude, gather the entire map and barelly leave anything for the other people on the map, I tried explaining to the staff that if it feels that way to a mage class that has Creamy card and thus I can basically infinitely teleport until I find something to kill then it must be HORRIBLE to other people, specially new people that rely on fly wings or can't even aford flywings to find their mobs, they do have a rule about over mobbing but it feels inconsistent in the way they apply it to people and no wonder this is happening, if Defence is not working correctly you see this knights and crusaders not even needing a priest to mob at all, they receive really low damage and can do it constantly. The staff insist this is working as intended no matter ho much sources I brought to them so this really pisses me off.This is going to get fixed according to them, too little too late but it is something I guess.
* The MAJOROUS EXPLOIT- This is the last straw, the last drop. I just can't... for months many BIG GUILDS have abused this exploit to power level multiple characters and get characters to lvl 99, they have an "strat" to basically abuse slave spawning, they kill the slaves and heal the "boss" one so he keeps spawning minions, I don't exactly know how they did it but it was 100% an exploit and the staff said "it was ok" and now they changed their mind when they actually realized how bad it was but they will not punish anyone for doing this and this whole situation feels like a middle finger to players like me that play legit that never try to find ways to exploit the game ot ways to get advantage illegally over others, we are screwed while this people go and search for the next new exploit only for the gms to allow it and not punish anyone. I just can't condone this, I'm sorry but this is way too much for me.
The staff needs to get their act together, they can still save this server if they do the right thing: they need to correct the defence bug and carefully search if any other major bug is still present, they need to ban or at least rollback all the abusers of this Majorous exploit, and they need to STOP TRUSTING THEIR PLAYERS specially the ones that play on big guilds that are always the ones that destroy the servers, the ones that abuse bugs, and exploit the hell out of them and always are on a race to the next new bug or exploit to abuse. If anything I respect the effort of the Ragnarok Travels owner more in the fact that he does fight this big guild monopolization of the server, the staff of RetRO should learn from that, big guilds destroy servers, many of the dramas that have killed even official servers have been related to big guilds.

I can not recommend RetRO if anything of what you have read displeases you, it is a great server and the staff are good people but they need to get their act together and currently I can not recommend the server.

I am sorry I have to leave this review but it is needed, someone needs to raise this criticism becasue criticism makes things better and this review is in the hopes the staff will improve, I don't want the server to die but sadly that is not on my hands. I made this review in the most respectful manner I could to the staff becasue I am still grateful for their efforts to bring this server to us but I can not act in blind faith, I can not just blind myself to this issues.

Edit: Added the Bards get to have out of episode skills point.

Edit 2: Adding some evidence for context of how bad the Majorous exploit was:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=midl932EYy8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP1a66GMpII





Edit 3: It is not impossible to fix, it is not impossible to act all we need is the GM's will to do this but so far it seems they indeed prefer their exploiter guilds than honest players so I can not recommend a server that bases all the desicions on the benefit of the few big guilds and doesn't take into account all the players feedback and interests.

Edit 4: Added that Monks too have out of episode skills... what do you know?

EDIT 5: THE GM'S JUST KICKED ME FROM THEIR DISCORD AND WILL PROBABLY BAN ME INGAME FOR EXPOSING THIS SITUATION (Mind you I did absolutely nothing on discord or ingame to get this ban, this is 100% lashing out for making this review, I could not write on discord because I had a limited role that I chose to have so I could only write on the market section since at least April and I never did anything ingame to deserve a ban, never even brought this review ingame once to anyone). Now i trully can't recommend this server at all, if the staff is willing to kick a person and ban them like this for exposing their problems and expect them to fix them, they are not worth your time.

Edit 6: Well it's over guys, if you want a server where you can be banned for exposing the problems it has in the hopes it gets fixed and fighting to get a fair play server for everyone then I guess play RetRO but you obviously don't want that, basically you have to be a "yes man" for being able to play there.

Edit 7:

This will be my last post on this topic and if the moderators decide to close it i don't mind, it has been invaded by trolls etc and I will not engage in such low behavior, I could post DM's too and expose people but I am above that, I respect people's right for privacy.

All I'm going to say I know I am not the best person and have a lot to change but I made this review with my heart because I cared for the server, there is objectivity and an emotional part on that review, I invested a lot into the server(me and my Girlfriend actually, and the GM's know this to be correct), months of my life that won't come back and I just wanted things to be better, I wanted the staff to act and do something but ultimatelly they just will going to ban me, I will not insult them or attack them (or expose their personal data), I don't agree with the way they are lashing on me or their resolution and even if this is what I got for my months of loyalty it's ok I'll live.

People get mad at me because I counter argument their disagreements etc. what am I supposed to do? just don't counter them so people don't get offended that I have better arguments than them?, I believe I didn't engaged in personal attacks with anyone here but if somehow you feel offended by something I said I am sorry. I won't though apologize for being good at debating.

I hope the review doesn't get deleted because that is the purpose of all this late spam going on.

The end.

Edit 8:

The ban has been applied to my account:



Any player that wants to play on this server or planned to should remember that demanding a fair game for everyone will get you banned, if you expose the staff of this server mistakes and blatant favoritism toward certain group of players you will get banned

You need to understand that this server from the beginning showed blatand favoritism to guilds and every desicion is made for the benefit of them, I never thought it would be to the level of covering up blatant exp exploits and banning honest players for asking for fair play, we all agreed on x1 rates server, we never agreed that it would be only for certain people and those abusers would get the benefit of exploiting the game with no consequences, in the end this hurts more the server than me, not only do this ban makes them look terrible on the eyes of the people but the exploiters they are protecting WILL destroy the server, mark my words, those people won't stop at this, they will do more damage and ultimately the server will die. It's already hard to make people play on x1 servers and will be more difficult for them to join this one after this post knowing that not only that they ban innocent people but they also protect exploiters.

I did what I had to do, from the beginning of creating this review I knew this was going to end like this, I knew the risks of exposing this situation, I'm no saint but I have certain degree of integrity and moral values that can't compromise for a game (a high seas server), I care for the server and I did what I had to do, it was never in my hands to make the change, I said that from the beginning I regret nothing, I would do this again, I would fight the fight again because just being quiet and compliant serves no purpose. I have nothing more to say or add, I know people will still come to justify this situation, it doesn't matter, the evidence is here, the facts are on my side and this is now truly the end, everyone should just move on but never forget this happened.

I am at peace.

Edit 9:
Just minor addition to add an explanation about the guild shared accounts and what they entail

Mistral:
I've played on the server for half a year actively but haven't touched it for a couple of months due to personal reasons. Still, I felt like interjecting since it feels like you're taking things too far.

I absolutely agree with your first two points. The economy is atrocious because just as you said, x1 drop rates weren't meant for such a small population. Getting basic supplies like elunium is hellish. Likewise the staff is very inconsistent with their decisions and it is something which brought me into conflicts with them.

Your other points though, I disagree with. You cannot blame players for making use of the available mechanics when the staff itself condones it.

The principal issue I see is that the staff is too keen on trying to emulate euRO's state from ages ago, but there are simply no clear sources on how exactly things are supposed to be. Many of the design choices come from speculation of unclear sources such as vague waybackmachine pages from 2004, and some of them are plain wrong or just don't work at all. All those complaints about broken/incorrect mechanics simply stem from this dissonance.
Likewise the staff had to compromise on some things which aren't episode-correct such as letting performer songs linger, because otherwise nobody would play those jobs.

I believe it is simply a fool's errand to try and blindly pursue something about which there's no clear information available, and I also don't think that dealing with borderline broken or very clunky mechanics is what players are looking for when they want their nostalgia fix.


Criticism aside, I commend the staff on putting the time and effort into running a server which is absolutely donation-free while trying to follow their own vision.

lungo:

--- Quote from: Mistral on Sep 16, 2021, 12:42 pm ---

Your other points though, I disagree with. You cannot blame players for making use of the available mechanics when the staff itself condones it.



--- End quote ---

I can blame both, people that always try to find ways to get advantage and the staff being afraid to punish players because they are afraid of losing them.

For the record, the person I am replying to is one of the people that benefitted from this Majorous exploit, benefitted from the Monk bug and from the Bard having out of era skills and if I remember correctly this person is the main one that made a tantrum to the staff and said he would quit if they fixed the bard skills. This person is member of the Trap Lovers guild.

So of course this people will always try to gaslight others into believing that they did nothing wrong and they can't be blamed for engaging in bad behavior.

Mistral:
Look, you're just being petty and blinded by indignation now.


--- Quote from: lungo on Sep 16, 2021, 12:47 pm ---For the record, the person I am replying to is one of the people that benefitted from this Majorous exploit, benefitted from the Monk bug
--- End quote ---
I have not benefited from any "bug" knowingly, and my bard has leveled almost exclusively off killing MVPs plus farming gear.


--- Quote from: lungo on Sep 16, 2021, 12:47 pm ---and from the Bard having out of era skills and if I remember correctly this person is the main one that made a tantrum to the staff and said he would quit if they fixed the bard skills.
--- End quote ---
I have spent months leveling and gearing up my character with the assumption that my skills are working as intended, as there was absolutely nothing saying that they aren't, certainly not the server's info page which listed all the changes to skills and mechanics. It isn't my fault for not knowing how things were supposed to work on euRO 17 years ago, it was the staff's responsibility to communicate things properly.
Yes, I was indeed going to stop playing that character or possibly quit if the change went through, because it would have meant that months of my and my companion's hard work have been wasted, and that my character was now borderline worthless outside of being a song slave.

I recommend you to chill for a bit and then look at things objectively.

lungo:

--- Quote from: Mistral on Sep 16, 2021, 01:11 pm ---Look, you're just being petty and blinded by indignation now.
I have not benefited from any "bug" knowingly, and my bard has leveled almost exclusively off killing MVPs plus farming gear.
I have spent months leveling and gearing up my character with the assumption that my skills are working as intended, as there was absolutely nothing saying that they aren't, certainly not the server's info page which listed all the changes to skills and mechanics. It isn't my fault for not knowing how things were supposed to work on euRO 17 years ago, it was the staff's responsibility to communicate things properly.
Yes, I was indeed going to stop playing that character or possibly quit if the change went through, because it would have meant that months of my and my companion's hard work have been wasted, and that my character was now borderline worthless outside of being a song slave.

I recommend you to chill for a bit and then look at things objectively.

--- End quote ---

You are a member of one of the guilds that abused bugs and exploits so how do I know you didn't participated? I don't. it is safe to assume you did.

The magic defense bug affected me and the staff corrected it, was I supposed to make a tantrum to not get it fixed or I would quit? you are receiving a PRIVILEGE that a lot of us are not, why do you get to have a bug enabled just so you don't leave and many like me have to shut up and endure it?, the mature thing was to accept the fix, you can not talk to me with your tone pretending you are better than me when you are not, you engaged in shameful behavior to get away with having your class to stay bugged.

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