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Future Direction of Ragnarok


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#1 Heimdallr

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 12:54 PM

This may end up being a long wall of text that will be part rant and part insight as to what is happening and what we hope to do about it. Any feedback you have is welcome, especially if there are points here that are not clear.

Ragnarok Online has been Gravity's Baby since 2002 when it went pay 2 play in Korea. Since that time tons of partner versions have opened up around the world. iRO was one of the first non kRO versions around, and we had a great time in open Beta period when there weren't even 2nd classes in existance. Since 2002 the game has greatly expanded and changed. New classes, new systems, new ways of competing, all have been introduced, and along the way the community outlook has changed. Looking back at materials such as loading screens, fansites and even our own little collection of screenshots it is easy to see that the feelings in the game are different. The reasons for that are probably as diverse as the people having them but I know competition, long time of playing, real life, getting older and even how we service Ragnarok probably factor highly into the joy in the community.

I can speak for most of the team here that has been around since before 2005, when I say we came to work here and stayed here because we love RO, we played it since the olden times, and have played it with friends and had many smiles along the way, but things don't quite feel the same now as they did then.. The play styles over the years has certainly gotten more aggressive and abuse of players/systems etc have certainly risen. Those behaviors used to be from the deviants of the community, but now it seems to a prevailing attitude that definitely lowers overall joy and positive feelings in Ragnarok. I know that Renewal certainly didn't help, although its intentions were certainly good and the premise was solid just not the implementation. Right now Ragnarok is doing "ok" but ok is not where I want to be, I want to see new players enter, I want to see old vets return and have fun, I want to see WoE actually have a point rather than feeling like it is a necessary chore.

In the past I would pass much of the changes to the dev team to fix correctly, but at this stage the issues are numerous enough and the ideas plentiful enough that I believe we can make great strides towards these goals with just our own team here. One thing that I know we can't do, is not to try, we must get things moving in the right direction, if we can gain momentum from you we can keep it going and get more support to make the changes even faster with the Development teams support. Stagnation is the greatest enemy a game and community can have and frankly I love this game too much to let that happen. I hate my job when I have to say NO to good ideas, so for now we are going to try the "if we can make it happen then we will make it happen" idea and skipping some of the long approval and dev creation steps.

So with that out of the way I want to actually talk about what crazy ideas we are going to start pushing in May.

  • Seal quest Revamps Early May: This will improve the seal quest rewards. Make parties better able to do the quests together (so bottlenecks are eliminated) already the Divorce Devi can reset your Seal quest status with a Reset stone.
  • God item creation revamp late May: Brining actual competition back in the item making. This will be controversial but I do believe it will be fun. After seals close the dwarfs take 10 minutes or so to open a portal to a new guild dungeon that is only open when making god items. A tougher set of monsters will be in there, and a long kill count that only the item creator can undertake WITH THEIR GUILD IN THAT DUNGEON. After the count is complete the dwarf will let you in to make the item. Those pushing the seals with each turnin get to vote on which of the 4 realms they want to open. The winningest vote gets in early to the special dungeon. If no creation happens in 6 hours seals open up at 10 away from releasing, kill counts reset on subsequent entries so you can't prestock the kill count.
  • Safe way to "lend" god items.
  • Monsters in the guild dungeons will be reviewed at this time as well to make them more gooder.
  • New Player game play update Mid May: New players have a heck of a time knowing what is going on, the tutorial system need love, website needs updating, eden group needs more "notice" from new players.
  • Level penalty being hacked out.. (late May Early June) : We will have to review all the monsters current level and exp and the exp that characters need to level. Both will get updated so we have a "kills per level" system that players can go faster than by taking on bigger challenges. I already expect oversights with this as it is a HUGE potential update, so your patience is appreciated when we screw up with it.
  • 13.3 is going to start internal testing in Late May. We expect it to get onto Sakray shortly after USRC is done, and hopefully we can have a neat game update in the middle of summer for once for players to enjoy.
  • The skill updates that HQ has done over the last year, we are Indian Leg Wrestling currently to get those ASAP. Even though they are not perfect they are better than now, and I would rather us try to make changes on something that has a better base than the shaky one we currently have for skills.
  • Kafra shop stuff: There is a GUI for the kafra shop that we are working on so that the NPCs are no longer necessary. We also are working with getting new Dyes, the cool mounts and hopefully by end of summer the "Costume System". These are all things that we have wanted every bit as long as you all have, so those are definitely on our asap list.
  • We are also going to be making more VIP content like special hard dungeons (will be level restricted to make sure it stays a challenge) that can give gear as rewards as well as fast leveling. Those without VIP can get in for 30 days by using a Reset Stone. Those Reset Stones will likely get a name change to be something like "Wonder Stone" or something spiffy like that, but those are the things we use to keep VIP great but those that still want to do so, able to do so.
And outside the game we are going to be changing how the community team here works. Right now we spend much of our time just coping with the forums and not actually reaching out to our community to draw them in or to build new communities. This is important on so many levels that we need to break out of our "doldrum" and get moving. What this means is we want to involve you the community more in being ambassadors for the game you love. Our Forum Moderators are all volunteers who put great efforts into helping; none of this is possible without our Community mods we currently have and new ones we want to bring in. We will try to recruite some more Moderators from our titles to be sure we have a big enough team, and then allow them Moderation ability on the entire Forum. We don't expect our Game specialist to be authorities on games they don't normally play, but handling basics like ill-mannered reports is not game specific, and with them helping that is a lot less time consumption our Community team will need to spend doing day to day tasks in the forums. But with that we also need to be better at supplying our Mods with information and guidance so that they can answer questions and know what is going on. And yes our bigger forum duty will be handling the mods rather than the individual posts. We will still be around to make posts and what not but it needs to be less of our time spent here, as more of it needs to be out there in the outside WarPPortal world getting more play Friends.

All games I've ever played have had problems or things that aren't quite perfect for me, but even with those things the communities still can be positive and wholesome, we need to get back to that Wholesome as it is more fun for everyone and it is far more likely to attract new players, so very likely the forums will go through a change more towards sugar plums and fairy tales in attitude rather than the gritty war forum talk we currently have. We will ask each player to be nice, even when you have a problem to please be nice in how you state it; it is a measure of higher intellect to get an angry point across without being rude/mean/acerbic about it.

<TL DR>
Changes be a comin', keep a smile on your face and happier days will arrive!
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#2 rickyricky

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:00 PM

Kafra shop stuff: There is a GUI for the kafra shop that we are working on so that the NPCs are no longer necessary. We also are working with getting new Dyes, the cool mounts and hopefully by end of summer the "Costume System". These are all things that we have wanted every bit as long as you all have, so those are definitely on our asap list.

nice
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#3 Xellie

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:01 PM

The GD wars! THE GD WARS!

The realm choice thing seems a bit pointless, that's a current problem isn't it? Lack of competition in single realms.

Edited by Xellie, 28 April 2011 - 01:02 PM.

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#4 Braska

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:04 PM

I like the god item creation system

PS. Any updates for the party system?

Edited by Braska, 28 April 2011 - 01:08 PM.

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#5 Sera

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:04 PM

I must say, I am sort of anticipating the VIP dungeons, and will likely return to check them out. I hope that there is enough content implemented initially (in terms of monster strength, covering everything from low to high) so that all VIP players are able to participate in it, and it isn't just a farm map for well-geared 140+ characters.
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#6 Beata

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:07 PM

Liking the god item creation part + the VIP dungeon. Hopefully we see such updates implemented soon before it gets too late.
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#7 CyFire

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:11 PM

All good changes to look forward to.

I like the idea of not having to go to Payon for all the kafra stuff. Im just woundering if you will have more of the upgraders and stackers in other towns as well.

Any ideas on the party system?
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#8 Heimdallr

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:12 PM

i'll go ahead and write up what our CURRENT thoughts are regarding both the Seal quest updates (for next week) and the later God Item Creation.

I'll write up both tomorrow as my thing to do on my short Friday. The rewards for the seal quest are what I want feedback on, as the actual method of doing the quest isn't going to drastically get changed.
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#9 Psychogenik

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:15 PM

What iRO is shutting down like euRO?
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#10 Sera

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:19 PM

What iRO is shutting down like euRO?


No, they're implementing new stuff to try and prevent that. Heim is just being a little sentimental.

Re: Shane's post below: How about 10 E. Elu and 10 E. Ori? Lol.

Edited by Sera, 28 April 2011 - 01:21 PM.

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#11 Shane

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:19 PM

i'll go ahead and write up what our CURRENT thoughts are regarding both the Seal quest updates (for next week) and the later God Item Creation.

I'll write up both tomorrow as my thing to do on my short Friday. The rewards for the seal quest are what I want feedback on, as the actual method of doing the quest isn't going to drastically get changed.


Consider tweaking the item requirements for some of them. 50 r. ori and r. elu on ymir is going to be hard to field repeatedly with the lower population and no bots.
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#12 Heimdallr

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:20 PM

Party System: We requested a fairly robust party system update, and it seems that kRO has implemented "something" along those lines on kRO. I don't know if it follows our request precisely, but what they have is a 20% bonus rather than a 10% bonus.

Basically I look at 12 person parties as my base, as that is what I want to see more of. Current: 12 person party = monster is worth double exp divided by party size = 1000exp monster = (1000*((12-2)*.1) +1)/12 200/12 = 166/member New system would be 250 per member. My goal is to get it much closer to the 1/3 - 1/2 (333 - 500 exp / member) so the penalty for going more than 2 or 3 players is so miniscule that people will default to 12 if available. There was much more in the party proposal to "enhance" partying, but some of those could be considered trolling you with ideas that didn't happen and I don't want it to seem like a loss that we didn't get it, and take away from what we DID get.

Yes the 20% bonus is something we are requesting along with the skill tweaks that have been done already.
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#13 gravitysucks

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:21 PM

+1 support, especially the nostalgia element.

RO was, and should be, a lot more than an endless and mindless game of grind to attain 'competitiveness'. I'm pretty sure that wasn't the game I was playing when I first joined during closed beta; how we've managed to become one and attract a horde of should-be WoW players puzzles me. I also agree re the forum: most players -ve met ingame don't even read the forums and staff should spend more time directly in game itself or in external forums promoting - I would neither object to greater moderator control over rants/negativity/threats to quit etc. TNo 1st A rights in Rune midgard.

The cash shop IMO is a necessary evil - but losing the RO feeling is not. There will always be more sophisticated gamesor competitive games out there but let RO be RO.

(I know I have an ironic name but for the record, I think the RO team have made significant improvements recently esp re bot banning)
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#14 Sera

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:23 PM

PR mission successful.
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#15 FullSmile

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:24 PM

â?¢Safe way to "lend" god items.


Would love to know how this will work. Really looking forward to this.
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#16 Viri

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:25 PM

For the GD thing... disable res tokens for the love of god.
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#17 Kadnya

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:28 PM

If these changes are implemented as I understand them, it would be super cool. I hope I'm understanding right >.<

However, a thought about party system:

1) Duo parties should get some kind of bonus too. Duo parties are the seed to growing other parties, so I don't see why they shouldn't be encouraged too. More duo parties = more of the other kind of parties.

2) No party will ever be made if the monsters are as thought as tofu bars. Monsters need to be strong again!

Edited by Kadnya, 28 April 2011 - 01:31 PM.

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#18 Psychogenik

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:31 PM

No, they're implementing new stuff to try and prevent that. Heim is just being a little sentimental.

Re: Shane's post below: How about 10 E. Elu and 10 E. Ori? Lol.


Oh I know... just posting that for the lazys that don't read the whole thing so they'll freak out.
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#19 DeltaRay

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:31 PM

For the GD thing... disable res tokens for the love of god.

I recommended that =(
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#20 ash03

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:34 PM

Mounts!! <_< I will ride like the wind!
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#21 Ultimate

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:37 PM

I'm loving everything in your post Heimdallr. I've really felt over the last two years the community, probably by little fault of its own, has become very negative for many of the reasons you've mentioned in your post. It's great that you're looking to your mods for more help and I would love to support RO in game and on forums as much as possible during my limited time to play as, indeed, I do get older too and work gets more involved.

I would like to suggest an idea that I've asked both Corvus and yourself about, and some other warpportal reps through the ticket system, being in-game mini-mods who have quazi GM abilities for the bot/malicious player issue like zeny spammers. Zeny spamming truly ruins the whole other world of fun that is shopping, vending, and dealing in RO. It also represents this dirty underbelly that by osmosis detriments the attitude of the community. I understand the legal obligations and potential threats you see to having 1-2 reps per server, but like you said it's time for action. If there are more mods on forums, maybe that will allow for more GM presence in-game.

More in game events would be exciting too. I've tried my darndest with the Hide&Seek event and will continue to invest as much time and resources into it as possible. In the end, nothing beats a GM Announcement like you had in Pront the other day. A GM castle per woe, or every other woe, just a random GM in game to fight during woe with no goal, or even a GM Support Desk in game would be awesome.

On the same note, your newbie assistance program could include a Veteran's Desk NPC and building where Veterans are granted access to a new building/room in the training grounds. They can do their time there and I bet you wouldn't even need to entice us with mind-exploding rewards - people would just be there when they have the time. I mean, after all, the people starting up in training grounds will be thrown full force into the game and the community afterwards, meeting a Veteran, whether he is good or not, is just as much a part of the game as getting those first few levels.

Also for the newbie program, what about a new chat line in game or an NPC for low level characters to broadcast map-wide their need for help, i.e. talk to NPC, NPC broadcasts "Ultimate could use a hand!" Have it in a main town but not Prontera.

Factions for woe was another suggestion. You can look to P-server (they do exist en mass) for how the do pvp in towns, maps, dungeons w/e. That is the main draw to them, that and the higher levels, more monsters, kawaii gears, and unique systems. I once suggested a housing system and later found out some other ROs do this, I'm not saying it's worth investing development into, but unique systems do draw a lot of attention.

Your new god item creation system sounds fantastic - scrap the old system and do whatever you want to it! This thread could as much ask for what old stuff we want out or completely overhauled. A new system for exchanging useless cards or gear, redoing NPC pricing for selling items, and redoing the monster exp/broad turn in quest idea is fantastic.

Finally, all of the old players, negative in mindset by now or not, still love RO as much as the GM Team and are loyal until any conclusion of this game. We have poured so much time and care into RO that we'd rather see sweeping changes and new content as opposed to a slow, painful expiration.

Whatever you could possibly ask of me regarding in-game events, forum help for newbies/tech support, graphic design, whatever responsibilities you feel could be shouldered by me, just ask. I play only for the occasional PVP in woe and devote as many items and as much time as I can to weekly, sometimes bi-weekly events that hopefully are helping many players and also bringing new players and old back to Ymir. My friends say the events are a lot of fun, but these events are for the whole community on Ymir server. I would be happy to do the same on other servers but have no resources there. Plus it's kinda neat to do it on Ymir, the 'original' subscription server.

That being said, you know how to reach me. I love what you're planning, and please take control and make this iRO once again no matter what Gravity International has to say about it!

Finally, changing the scenery could be just as interesting and new content. Wipe prontera off the wipe, change the capital city, displace people, have them literally reform a new area for the main hubbub to happen in. iRO Special! Power of the New World - Satan Morroc and the Dimensional Rift have finally won the battle, and adventurers must relocate to save their lives, their guilds, and most importantly - their lovely kafra ladies!

Edited by Ultimate, 28 April 2011 - 01:47 PM.

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#22 Katreyn

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:39 PM

All of these sound like good ideas for RO. And I hope that Gravity's vision, can keep this game from falling into the darkness. But just two things I want to comment on from the suggested changes:

New Player Changes:
Can't wait to see what you do with this. I've tried multiple times to get friends into this game, and each time hand held them immensely. And still I can't seem to grab their attention enough to keep them to second class or even understand majority of mechanics. :< I've tried this before and after renewal hoping for it to be easier, and well...have yet to succeed. D: Think the biggest thing I've noticed is just the serious need of...research. A lot of games nowadays you don't need to do a full spreadsheet before you start a character (not saying you have to here either - especially with the reset options now - but its there). And I think that overwhelms a lot of people. I have friends that enjoy this game because of the freedom and the stat/skill system (myself included) and the way you can build characters, but trying to get someone that plays the new breeds of MMOs its hard to get that into them. Also, the lack of direction and quests (partly cured with Eden quests -- but whos to say you grab their attention to get to level 12 :/ -- More story quests would be nice. Not super long ones maybe, but something. Kill quests can only go so far, in any game). But I will probably try again after these changes are made. So cheers to this!

Party System:
I'll be patiently waiting these changes. I don't have HUGE gripes about the current system, but I don't have big parties anymore. And I do hate that even in a 2-man party, I am almost crippling my life partner that I am FSing in terms of exp gain.

Finally, all of the old players, negative in mindset by now or not, still love RO as much as the GM Team and are loyal until any conclusion of this game. We have poured so much time and care into RO that we'd rather see sweeping changes and new content as opposed to a slow, painful expiration.


Totally agreeing with Ultimate here, at least for me. <_<

Edited by Katreyn, 28 April 2011 - 01:46 PM.

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#23 Beata

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:40 PM

1) Duo parties should get some kind of bonus too. Duo parties are the seed to growing other parties, so I don't see why they shouldn't be encouraged too. More duo parties = more of the other kind of parties.


Recently changed on kro according to Clogon on iwiki *unless changed*

new party system starts the bonus at 2 players so a duo party gets 60% each.


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#24 Charon

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:40 PM

If you wanna make partying good, change the share to screen range and make those 20% into 80% (which would decrease towards 40% at like 6th member, cotninuing with 40% for more.

Then multiply most monster hp by 5 and their exp by 8.
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#25 Misery

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:41 PM

any updates on the uncarding/decarding npc?
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