What it feels like to be a coming back player.

A Rant on Ragnarok Online 2: Advent of Valkyrie.

I’m not big on MMOs. I tried numerous MMORPGs in the past but I seldom stay in a game for more than 6 months. Sometimes I visit the game to check things out and if I don’t see changes or if I can’t grasp all the changes since I last logged in, I usually move on to a new game. I went back to Ragnarok Online 2 North American server a few weeks ago because they officially opened its doors to PH players in July. I decided to check what I missed for the past 10 months since I left the game. It’s a little disconcerting to see how different it was from the time I was religiously playing it. The community issues, rage, lag, class rebalance problems and bugs every patch eventually led me to quit the game.

I can’t explain why I was hooked with the way RO2 was made when there are a lot of better games out there.  It’s just that as a casual player, I find it bothersome sometimes to learn a new gameplay that is entirely foreign to me. I know its part of the overall gaming experience but sometimes it’s a little hard to go out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why I went back to RO2. I tried several MMOs since last year but I never stayed long to learn the ropes of the game. The last MMO I played for more than 2 months was Aura Kingdom. I also did play Phantom Fantasy Online 2, Onigiri, Tera 2 and recently Aurora World. Just like AK, I didn’t stay long. I created a character, leveled up a few, and then left the game. I normally grind and complete quests alone unless it requires a party but sometimes it’s sad to be a lone ranger for so long until you reach a certain level where you can mingle with the upper echelon of the community.

My characters in the Odin Server. SariaBelle is originally my main. I still play her however, I find TwisterFries easier to play these days since the mage class was nerfed. CoffeeGirl is an Alter that I plan to make a SoulMaker but it’s difficult having 2 active characters so she’s one of my storage characters as of now. xBlueBelle is an Archer that I’ll probably never level, she’s my main storage character.

To players like me who’d been in the RO2 NA server from the time when it started knows the kind of bullshit the community went through. So I don’t blame them for quitting the game before I did and didn’t even look back. Imagine my shock when I came back and find that everything I knew in game, everything I was used to, the regular raids we go through, were all flushed down the toilet. I didn’t know how to wrap my head with the changes. My mind is still set pre-AoV and all around me screams Advent of Valkyrie. I knew I have to back read patches, articles, and whatever it is you can find in the forums to understand what Advent of Valkyrie offers or else I’d be eaten alive of how different it is from Legend of the Second. I feel like a new player when in fact I’m one of the ancient players of this game. I almost, almost dropped the game again. I don’t know what pushed me to continue, maybe finding out that Galajuan [1] is still alive and is now one of the most active guilds in game made me continue, maybe it’s the new players who don’t know anything even the basic things you need to learn before going to AoV maps, who doesn’t even care to read online what they should know (honestly, they make me feel less inadequate/less newbie), or maybe I’m just bored out of my wits or I’m stressed with work I needed a distraction.

If we are to talk about changes, it’s a lot, not just game content but with the community. I’ll try to list everything down but because I’m still leveling two of my characters to max Master Level, I haven’t really experienced the new end game dungeons the game has to offer. These were just the things I experienced and observed for the past three weeks:

  1. As I’ve said, I went back to the forums to find out what was happening and I was saddened to know that the best players of RO2 left the game. Leaders of well known guilds moved on to other games. Some of the top guilds are still there but the leadership was passed down to someone else, some remaining guilds merged with others to create a new guild who’ll reign the place and there are those newly created guilds with fresh players trying to keep up with the demands and competition from established guilds.
  2. There is an influx of new players and I’m sorry to say but they’re babies who want everything spoon fed. The community is one to blame because when you reached ML30, either in the process of completing your end game gears or not, you’ll get bored and would help anyone who shouts out in the Public/Find Party Chat for help. Also WP ran an August EXP Boost event for PH players which made them reach level 50 in 2 days, making them skip most of the game’s main quests when leveling to 50. In turn, never learning what they need to do to adequately progress in game. They ask so many questions that they should have learned when they were leveling. And they also ask for impossible things if you’re in a guild with them (Yes, first hand experience). Goodness people, there is this search engine called Google where you can type search queries, you know. I’m pretty sure you’ll find the answer to what you are asking faster (around 0.00052 milliseconds?) than asking someone to explain it to you in game. Also if you want to gain something in the game, work for it. Ask for assistance if needed but if they can’t help you, it’s either they’re really busy or it’s a simple task that you should be able to do by yourself. You need zeny? Do not beg for it. Farm honey or if you have real money to spend then do so. Not everything will be given to you in a silver platter.

    As Stanley Chi puts it.

  3. The gear progression from LotS is gone. Pre-AoV, after reaching level 50, you have to do RHD to get blue lvl50 gears in order to enter Bapho/PVE N. After you got your Bapho/PVE N gears, moved on to Hard Mode. CoA N follows, CoA H to AoD N to AoD H and lastly your Chaos set. Now, everyone grinds to 50, changes to ML and get ML1 gears. You craft some of the higher better gears but the top gear is still drop based. You still move on somehow but the order we follow before are long gone.
  4. Raids are practically obsolete and because of that new players may never learn how to properly raid, strategize, learn the mechanics of the boss in order to beat them and not just hit everything because you’re strong (or you’re a freaking ML20). How I wish they’d make the dungeons as hard as before and make them a pre-requisite to progress in game or move on to another map. I doubt that would happen though. You’ll be lucky to find one party doing COA/AOD H or Chaos in Find Party and in N in a day. New players are even bitching at how difficult the ML quest is. Some even raged-quit.
  5. Grinding is the new peg of the game. Maybe it should be titled Advent of Grinding just like when we named the game before Legend of Lag. Grind Condor, Muka or Osiris till your wrist bleeds or till you had stiff fingers. Then you’ll have to farm for mats too.
  6. The RNG in this game is a BITCH. Need I say more?
  7. I need zenys. Lots and lots and lots of zenys. That means I have to farm like hell which is my least favorite task in game. But don’t worry, I don’t beg for zenys. I’m too dignified to do that. Chos!
  8. CM Zanbee the Panda is no longer the Community Manager of RO2. She was replaced by a Bunny, CM Maridah. Of course, Njoror, the Assistant Producer of RO2 is still there.
  9. War of Emperium hours is still the same. I see pioneer guilds still doing that, owning castles, and new ones as well.
  10. Colo gears are useless as of now. People enter simply because it’s PVP.
  11. They nerfed the mage class! Grrr. Sorcerers were OPs pre-AoV. Yes, past tense!
  12. Assassins are the new God’s of RO2 AoV. After the last August patch wherein they ahem—rebalanced (is that even called rebalancing?) this class, they’re practically invisible unless you’re a geared BM, Knight, Warrior or Ranger who can go neck and neck with them. If you’re a mage class, forget it. You’ll get knocked down and boom. Dead in a matter of seconds. Pre-Aov I hate them in colo but I can still beat them. Now? Duh. Never mind.

I’m not gonna include my last rant in the list because it had been a long standing issue for me ever since I played MMORPGs. It’s nice to play with kababayans but it’s different when the game wasn’t opened yet in PH. The Pinoy players you find in game before are professionals or immigrants abroad or those who happen to register in RO2 before they blocked PH. I can’t help but compare how mannered they are from new PH players we have now.

Just to make it clear, I am NOT generalizing everyone. Read that again before you react. Write it down if you want to. Print-screen it. Copy and paste it in Word and make the font size 50 then make it your screensaver or desktop background so it would penetrate your thick head and understand what I’m saying.

In the past three weeks I played, I met nice, respectful and friendly new Pinoy players. I’m not saying all of veteran Pinoy players are nice, there are still those who think people should dropped down their knees and worship the path they walked on and those who are the only ones awake when God gave “Kayabangan” [2] when he was creating human beings and got it all. If these people were already getting on my nerves, imagine how I reacted when their number doubled when PH players came in. No matter how diplomatic and understanding I’ll be, someone who’s asshole enough would make my shackles rise. I’m not saying you should give me a leeway since I’m a girl but at least check what “decorum” means in the dictionary. Should I translate that in Filipino? If you want people to respect you and look up to you, you should be that person first. You cannot demand respect if you don’t even know how to give it. It’s a norm for Pinoys nowadays to have dry humor and inexorable sarcasm because of Vice Ganda, I’d be honest I’m prone to that, I’m brutally candid by nature and sarcastic at a fault, but I know when to draw the line. Some people are more sensitive than others. People may take what you said out of context. Remember the general rule online, think before you click. In this case, be mindful of what you type in the chatbox before you hit enter.

RO2 is not the best MMO out there especially knowing how thick headed, deaf and useless Gravity is when it comes to developing game content.  I don’t know if there would come a point where I’ll get bored again and leave the game maybe for real this time but as of now, I’m still playing even though a lot of things frustrate me. I’m patient but like everyone else I also get fed up.

P.S. There is this one comment made by a male player that got me really riled up when we were doing a run. As I said I can tolerate a horrible person as far as I could but push so many of my buttons at once and I’ll detonate. I’m an occasional Kafra Cash user. I know it’s not smart to spend too much in a game. I buy items in the Kafra Shop if I absolutely needed but I haven’t even spent $100 since I played this game last year compared to those who had spent thousand of dollars since its inception. For someone who plays the game 24/7, because he probably does not have better things to do with his life, to throw in my face that he doesn’t want to spend money in useless things is bullshit. It’s my prerogative where I want to spend my money. I earned it. I worked hard for it. I know my limitations in spending but no one has the right to tell me what to do with my money. I sacrifice my budget for books (as you can see in this blog I do book reviews. I love to read and I read a lot) whenever I buy Warpportal points. And Oh, I can’t spend my entire day seven times a week in useless things like forever grinding and farming in a useless game (which is feasible if you are botting) because I have a life outside of MMORPGs which I think you don’t have. I wouldn’t have felt this way and be this spiteful bitch if he apologized but he didn’t. I’ll be the big person here and say I’m sorry for bitching about you. I hope that eventually you’ll realize your comment had hurt someone else’s feelings. Although, I think that’s wishful thinking. I can’t do anything if he is that dense, right?

Let’s all just move on and smile.

Image Source: allthesherlockgifs

P.P.S. As of this writing, AsiaSoft made an announcement that they will officially close the SEA server by October and transfer the reigns to Warpportal. All of the players’ characters, items and zenys will be transferred to the Odin Server. Is this another effing reason for me to finally quit this game? OMG. I thought the current state of the game is bad. I never thought they’d make it this worst. SEA’s players are OPs. Like 4x OPs than the ones we have in Odin.  The economy? Oh. my. freaking. evil. Its hyper-super-over inflated. How the hell can I keep up with that? We’ll see come by October. I’m pretty sure the community is gonna go nuts over this as the final day comes. Whew. Talk about bad timing and worse case scenarios.

[1] Galajuan is a guild formed by 3-4 Pinoy guilds in the Odin server before. To know more about them, click here.
[2] A person who love to boast and brag things just because he can.
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Miss A. Talks
Miss A. Talks (11)
Rave and rants of everything under the sun.

Image Source: Oh Hey, It’s AJ

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