kRO vs iRO
Posted 11 September 2010 - 01:49 PM
Tweaking a game to fit the playerbase in a country can majorly increase its success level, but Gravity seems to have this backwards. They let jRO - and ONLY jRO - get custom changes, because they were already huge when they asked for them. Once they got these changes, jRO exploded in size, and is now much bigger than even kRO. Clearly, modifying a game to match a particular playerbase's tastes works!
Most players I see are fine with the big stuff - the classes, the skills, how combat works, the rules of WoE and BGs, etc. Most of the main complaints of the iRO playerbase are purely mechanics that wouldn't be at all difficult for kRO to customize for us.
Take the lack of quest content. If the iRO GMs were allowed to create permanent, interesting quests (not just REQs and event quests), they could solve this without even involving the kRO guys. They let them do the REQs, but why not take it a step further and just let them fully run with the quest content? Yes, it would take quite a while to really have a ton of quest content, but even if they did say... 1 major story-driven quest per month, with 5-10 more minor quests, it wouldn't be long at all before this game became a lot more quester-friendly and a lot less grindy. Even better, during those huge 6 months waits for kRO to send us new content, it would give us far more new stuff to play with.
Lack of a storyline is another common complaint. Fixing the quest problem already mostly solves this, but why not also use that book system they added for more than 2 lame, poorly translated fanfics? Imagine being able to work into say... the Glast Heim castle, pull a book off the shelf, and learn about the castle and why it's in ruins... or pull up research reports in the biolabs, a journal from the last survivors in Juperos... etc.
Then there's gear - most agree that the best stuff SHOULD be hard to obtain, and that the basic stuff you should just be able to pull off an NPC. The thing is most of think it shouldn't jump from "here, take it", to "ZOMG 1/10k drop". Eden Group DOES go a long way towards addressing this problem, but why not expand it a bit for our version? I get the feeling a well-customized Eden Group is something that would be a considered a major feature in iRO.
What about crafting? Most western MMOs have full crafting systems, RO of course does not for anything but pots. How hard would it really be to add one though? We have the raw materials, NPCs can already store custom variables and such, and crafting usually requires a place to do it anyway (such as a forge), so how hard would to make a few of the empty buildings into the workshops with crafting tools... where the tools are really NPCs and all of your skill levels, etc, are simply stored on the NPCs? As an added bonus, this could even breathe some life into dead towns like Einbroch. If you really want to make it awesome, maybe even have a 1z accessory that grants several skills then when used, simply tell you everything about a particular craft skill.
What about battlegrounds? Our BGs are ruined by farmers. Yes, this is absolutely the fault of our community and not the kRO devs, and that sucks, but nonetheless, our BGs are useless in present form. The thing is, the BGs themselves are actually very well designed. All of the classes can do something useful, they have a nice pace to them, and they're actually even pretty strategic when you get good teams for them. BGs are one of the major attractions in WoW, and the WoW ones SUCK - they're uninspired, they're slow, and they massively favor a few classes. If RO's BGs actually ran properly, that could be a *huge* draw for new players, especially when paired with WoE, which is already hugely popular, but has the obvious problem of only being twice/week. There's been dozens of threads about this, and there's a lot of ways to fix the farmer problem that aren't at all hard to implement.
Last but not least, party play is a lot bigger in the west than it is in the east, but few party in RO, because you get massively penalized in the exp department. You could fix this in 30 seconds:
1. Renewal gives exp bonuses up to +8 levels. This is designed for parties of 3 people, if that. Kick this up a notch, so you can go as high as +15, maybe even +20, and suddenly there's a clear role for bigger groups.
2. Renewal actually did bonus exp for parties of more than 2, but it's tiny, I think +10% per additional member, starting with the 3rd. Make this +25% and start with the 2nd, and partying is suddenly worth it.
I really think iRO could be far, FAR more successful than it is if the kRO guys would just give the iRO team more freedom to build stuff, and maybe give us just a tiny bit of custom coded content too... and since I'm pretty sure kRO receives a percentage of iRO's profits, I don't understand why they wouldn't want to increase those profits.
I remember reading about WoW in Korea, and the players there had a few complaints, such as progression being too easy, and loot outside of boss drops not playing enough of a role in the game, and various other things that weren't complaints about the game itself, but specific mechanics of it. So Blizzard adjusted a ton of gear stats and drop tables, kicked xp gain down a notch, made a bunch of other tweaks along those lines, and a lot more players were happy. Nothing in the core of the game was changed - the characters still play the same way, battles still run the same way, etc. They just heavily altered the easy to edit stuff in ways that better fit that playerbase, and as a result, significantly increased the success level of their Korean servers.
For the record, I think WoW is a terrible game, but what this shows is that Bliz understands that localizing a game does NOT just mean translating the text, and they understand that rather than waiting for their game to take off in a country before they do anything for that version, they should tweak it from the beginning, so it works right away.
Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:15 PM
There are more things that should be changed for the western market, and things that should be changed just because they are quite broken.
First of all, the balance of jobs is screwed up, especially 3rd jobs in renewal. Some like Sura are overpowered, and some like Ranger or Mechanic are almost useless - PvP wise. RO is also missing the whole PK system. It should be enabled at least on maps with MvPs, and tweaked so it is fun and enjoyable. PvP and WoE is not exactly friendly for all players, and some gamers would enjoy more casual form of PvP - PK. What is more, the grind in RO is atrocious, and many new players are discouraged to play RO because of it. They see Ragnarok Online as "another asian grinder". I believe that something can be done about it. Nobody wants to have rates like some -_-ty PSs where you get 99/70 or 150/50 in one day, but the exp rate here can be adjusted so this "asian grind" will be enjoyable. Seeing 0.05% exp per monster is a "No, No". It should be more linear from the beginning, and it is what Gravity tried to do with renewal; however, it is still awfully bad from level 99 ~ 150. The lowest value gained per kill should not be lower than 0.25% or so. People want to play in order to have fun not to grind themselves to death, especially Americans and Europeans. Furthermore, party system should be reworked so it is ACTUALLY WORTH to level up on regular maps. Instead of gaining less and less experience, we should gain more and more as players are joining our team. It could be done in a way that 2 players in a party get 50%exp from each monster and every additional member increases this number by 2.5%. Every player in a party of 12 members would gain 75% of original monster's exp from each creature so it would be almost the same as if they were leveling solo. Party system with such setting would be attractive. "Grind" is definitely the main way of leveling in RO so why not make it party oriented by offering better exp in a team rather than during a solo-play?
Edited by Seraphiel, 11 September 2010 - 03:25 PM.
Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:31 PM
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