If there’s an online game I would never get tired of playing, that would be Ragnarok Online. Maybe that explains why I failed Business Math in my college days and almost lost my job just last year. But guess what, I’m still playing the game. According to a Philippine Daily top-10 TV Show, Ragnarok is NOT the first online game in the country, but it is indeed the very first online game to be so popular, it got so many adaptations and keeps on coming back.
Yes, it keeps on coming back. Because on March 2015, the popular MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) Philippine Ragnarok Online was shut down completely and because not all of its best players can’t just simply move to the international server, they decided to make their own private servers with different rules and set ups for the patrons to keep the burning feeling of Ragnarok gaming alive.
The good news is; the Philippine Server is back again with its Closed Beta Test (CBT) on June 20 and is now fully operational to this date. So many excited players of all ages immediately registered and played that sometimes the server is having difficulties trying to handle all 20,000 players at the same time.
Now what’s in this game that everyone wants to play so bad? Let me start by saying Ragnarok is a virtual simulation of living.
1. Ragnarok is an RPG(Role Playing Game), meaning it offers its players the freedom to choose what class or “Job” they want to be in the game, but in an outdoor adventure style. Unlike other role playing games, Ragnarok has a total of 8 first class jobs with specific roles to contribute in the game (Swordsman, Archer, Acolyte, Mage, Merchant, and Thief, Ninja, Soul Linker, and Gunslinger.) while basic stuff such as cooking and deliveries can be done as quests. Each character must go under training, pretty much like nursery or preparatory for children.
2. Ragnarok will teach you geography. Ragnarok is a world with cities resembling our real world’s countries that you can visit. These places are just perfect enough to make you feel you’re exploring places like Thailand, England, and Hawaii.
3. Ragnarok will teach you how to handle business. Given the fact that you act on behalf of your job is what makes the world of this game go round. But business is also a thing in this game. To earn more, some players makes business in game depending on their job. For example, if your job is the Merchant Class – Blacksmith, who are geniuses in crafting equipment, they can make weapons and sell them.
4. Ragnarok will teach you that every drop of currency(Zeny) is important. Monsters and quests have different levels and therefore, offers different amount of rewards and drops. These rewards and drops could either be useful or not for your specific job and can be sold to NPCs (Non-Player Characters) of the game for fair price. Basically, you earn depending on how you work hard. See those white bars on the photo? That’s all vendors selling something. And that’s just the tip of the ice berg. These vendors can occupy the half of the town if they all go sell something all at the same time.
5. Ragnarok will teach you that teamwork is the key. In the game, players can make a temporary group called “party” where players from different places in the country can play together as one team and each job has their own task. Pretty much the same in the real world where in some point of our lives, we were paired with someone we don’t fully know, and there are times that we get ourselves into a team. To achieve the common goal, we work hard together with these strangers and in the minute one of the members go idle (or in the gaming terms “away from keyboard or AFK”), the team will fail.
6. Ragnarok will teach you how to be a good leader. Being a good leader is no easy task even in the game. In the real world, too much tasks can give you stress. Imagine yourself thinking about the bills, then taking care of your kids, and thinking about your job, then thinking about problems, etc. It’ll make you crazy. But for some people, the more they handle stress of different problems, the more they get used to it. In the game, you invite members, you focus on your job in battle, and at the same time, also you try to manage members that don’t do their job. The more you expose yourself to these problems, the stronger you become in handling them. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
7. Ragnarok will teach you whenever there’s challenge, there’s conflict. It’s common in any way that two persons try to decide who’s the best is. The bigger version of it is war. In most games, Players-Vs-Player or PVP is a common way of proving your strength and skills to a fellow player. Ragnarok also has Guild Wars called War of Emperium. Emperium is a sort of golden crystal that controls an entire castle, which is also a symbol of power and whichever guild’s Emperium is holding the castle, is the best guild.
8. Ragnarok will remind you of your daily errands. Like how we are supposed to take a bath, brush our teeth, eat right, and do our homeworks, Ragnarok has also activities that are meant to be accomplished daily. Like how you earn the feeling of being refreshed when you take a bath daily, these quests will give you a not so rare but a daily necessity reward.
9. Ragnarok will show you the fun of growing up. In real life, some people find growing up as a frustration that if they can only skip it, they would. But growing up has a lot things to offer too like getting a better job, age-restriction passes, or getting married. You can also experience these happy things in the game. But like in real life, you have to work hard to achieve them. For example in the marriage, you have to buy the ring, get the wedding dress, experience the hardship of reaching the church wearing the dress, and pay for the wedding service. All of these will pay off when you and your spouse finally get a baby.
10. Ragnarok will teach you how economy affects everything. When there’s trade, there’s economy. And economy has its own dark days. It’s that time when the price is too low, it doesn’t match your effort of getting the item anymore. And there are also times when a group of players decide to take over an entire map so that they’re the only ones who can acquire the specific rare item and sell it with a really high price. So unfair.
In the end, Ragnarok Online is still just a game, created to escape from the real world for a while. It’s a good thing that the official server of Ragnarok is Pay-2-Play where you have to load (top-up) so you can play for hours but not the whole day.
Ragnarok, for me, is a representation of the real world in 2D where you go out every day in an unexpected adventure to work hard and live, have fun and socialize with others, and to value one’s self.
[credits to the owner of these photos whoever they are.]