Ragnarok Online, or RO for short, is based on the Ragnarok manhwa series by Lee Myung-jin, who also helps develop content for the game. The story centers on Norse mythology, though it has influences from other cultures (mainly Asian). What makes this game unique is the anime styling of characters and the use of 2D sprites on 3D environments. The game utilizes the point-&-click mechanic so having a good working mouse will help you greatly as you adventure through the world of RO and live out your own story. The game is rated T for Teens due to mature content. The background music (BGM) is mainly composed by the Korean group, soundTeMP.
This version of RO is known as USA International RO (iRO). Because the developers, Gravity Co., is based in Korea (kRO), their version gets updated first before any other RO versions. Other versions of RO, including iRO, are able to modify the game to implement events, but are not able (or allowed) to drastically change the game itself (i.e. implement a banking system, create and add new items, change sprites, etc.).
In keeping with the series aspect of Ragnarok, major updates to RO are referred to as episodes. Check out this page to see the most current updates to iRO.
Currently, iRO hosts 3 main servers: two premium servers and a free-to-play server. The premium servers and the free server are different in terms of experience (EXP) and drop rates as well as other contents. The premium servers will always be updated at least two weeks before the free-to-play server.
(Character pictures shown are the covers of the Ragnarok manhwa with numbers denoting the volume of the book it's on.)
The original 3 servers (Chaos, Loki, and Iris) were merged in 2010 into a new server name Ymir (pay-to-play server). In preparation for the merge, all guilds were deleted so current guilds on Ymir are no older than April 2010. The new server has a diverse range of players with a number being veterans from even the beta days. Just watch out for the Merchant flood in Prontera.
Yggdrasil is the newest premium server which opened October 2010. This server is ideal for players looking to start out on a fresh server with an unestablished economy and minimal veteran competition. As it is a premium server, it will have the same EXP and drop rate as Ymir with absolutely no difference in terms of game mechanics.
Sakray was formerly a premium-exclusive test server, which has been re-designated as a cross-server PVP server due to it being too old and unable to handle the Renewal updates. At this time, it is unsure when it'll be available to players again.
Valkyrie is completely free to play for premium subscribers and non-subscribers alike. Veteran players can also be found on this server due to the free-to-play (F2P) aspects and the offering of a more challenging gameplay. Certain items and services that can be found on the premium servers are either unavailable entirely on Valkyrie or cannot be acquired from monster drops. In addition, the server is also prone to a very high frequency of botting activities, mainly that of gold farmers. Real-money trade (RMT) is ILLEGAL and any player caught participating in RMT will be banned, whether the trade involves zeny or items. Newbie players are advised to avoid zeny-sellers in the game and report suspicious activities to the gamemasters (GMs) via WarpPortal Support tickets. Currently, there is no long-lasting effective method of keeping bots off F2P games in general, though GMs are always working hard to find solutions.
Just like any other MMORPG, the hardware supporting the game must be kept in tip-top condition for players to play. As such, iRO servers undergo maintenance every week on Tuesday which usually goes from 10PM - 2AM PST. Be aware that the time is not set in stone as anything can happen and may require maintenance to go on longer than usual.
For a list of rules and in-game policies, see this page. To review the terms of service, click here.
Like many MMORPGs, RO has a job system, except RO's job system is more intuitive than most. Every player starts out as a Novice class job and have the opportunity to change into one of 6 general jobs and 4 expanded jobs. Seven of the 1st class jobs can advance into 2 separate jobs for a total of 14 different 2nd class jobs to choose from. However, only 12 of the 2nd class jobs can advance to transcendent class jobs through a special quest. The latest addition to the job system are 3rd class jobs, which can be advanced from either 2nd class jobs or transcendent class jobs. In terms of character design, the 3rd class jobs are most faithful to the Ragnarok manhwa.
With so many different jobs to choose from, picking one to start with can be tough. The most popular pick for a starting character is Thief because of the job's ability to deal damage quickly, the Steal skill to help increase one's zeny income, and the Hide skill to aid in avoiding stronger monsters. Another good pick is Taekwon since its skills do not require weapons to use (one less thing to worry about). Beware of Archer, Gunslinger, and Ninja as those jobs require purchasing a lot of ammunition, which can quickly drain zeny if you're not careful.
Don't know what you want to do in the game? Check out my ever-growing list of RO Achievements to give yourself a goal to aim for or see what can be done in the game.
The Kafra Shop, RO's equivalent of a F2P game's item shop, can be used by both premium subscribers and non-subscribers. Non-subscribers usually pay more for items in the shop compared to subscribers due to the fact that subscribers are already paying on a monthly basis to access the game.
To utilize the Kafra Shop, players must purchase Kafra Credit Points (not to be confused with Kafra Points you earn in-game for using Kafra services). After the account is credited with the points, players must then log into the game and meet a Kafra Shop Employee where you purchase items just like you would with any shop NPC in the game. Players who wish to dye their characters' clothing must purchase a clothing dye coupon from the Kafra Shop and visit the appropriate NPC to get dyed.
Kafra Shop items are account-bound unless otherwise noted. Certain items can be traded so before purchasing an item, read the item's description carefully and check the FAQ or utilize WarpPortal Support tickets and forums if you have questions.
Well, that's it for this introduction into the world of RO. I hope you enjoy your stay and I'll see you in the game!
Edited by ZeroTigress, 07 February 2012 - 11:20 AM.