Recently I returned to the awesome universe of Ragnarok Online at a few requests of various people. With this game holding many joyful and precious memories of my youth and schooling days, I figured why not. People may think that this is an old, crappy outdated game, and you may be right, however this game holds a deeper meaning to me.
For starters this game slowly influenced me to discover and immerse myself into the world of anime due to its anime-styled visuals, mainly because of the anime series (Ragnarok The Animation) that was associated with it. I met many and befriend many people through this game who I most likely would have never talked before and after hand. As well as the precious memories of idling in Prontera with my close friends for the several years, to this I still keep in close contact with, sadly I lost contact with some of them and still have not heard from to this day due to unknown reasons.
I consider this post as more of a reflection rather than your standard review so if your not in the mood for walls of text, walls of pictures and mushy stuff then I suggest you stop reading.
On one of my regular trips back to Singapore and then finally heading to Malaysia, I found myself in one of their cyber/internet cafe since I had probably nothing else to do. I picked up one of their CD’s they had and brought the game back to Australia. After being involved for a few days of the international beta testing, I invited my schoolmates to join along knowing that these types of games interested them. Little did I know it created an eternal friendship that exists to this very day.
Recently I did some reorganizing of my external hard drives (cause I’m naturally a neat freak, especially when it comes to folders) and managed to find screen shots of the iRO. Most of them were the final days of the beta test where the GM’s were having in-game events most likely to celebrate. At that point of time, if I remember correctly the second class jobs were released also so you could see a fair few Knights, Assassins and Wizards and what not running around.
You can see the fun (more like chaos and mass lag) screen shots below, rather than show over 300 pics I just filtered out the main ones.
The event started in Prontera eventually ending up in Geffen…
…then to Payon (Old Payon that is)
…next to Morroc…
…and finally to Orc Dungeon where I think it ended.
Pretty fun, for my first event, all I remember is that I died a lot and it was really laggy. God my screen resolution sucked back then.
After the beta had ended, we searched for a new way to continue playing, I was pretty new to the concept of online games, especially to the massively multiplayer online genre and eventually we struck a haven of private servers.
Below is pretty much random screen shots throughout my whole time there and hand-picked by yours truly.
Months passed, War of the Emporium was introduced on to the private servers. Guilds formed, alliances formed and disputes broke out. Almost everyone had picked a side, however I made my own. I have to admit I was a pretty shit guild leader and I probably still am this day. Being the leader of ‘The Legion of Darkness’ was pretty tiring. Since the server was based in USA/Canada, I still remember finding myself waking up around 3-4am just for War of the Emperium whether it was to attacking a castle or assiting others in defending theirs.
Eventually HopeRO was shutdown due to server costs and a corrupted GM incident. Most of the community moved on and found refuge at LunarisRO. Took a few weeks for everyone to settle, and since the server was fair new majority of the server was filled with lowbies. The first person to hit level 99 was a hunter, which was done in 6 days, the rates were really low rates so that was pretty crazy.
Eventually LunarisRO shut down due to the owner not having enough time as well as another GM issue where a certain GM named Koldar took the donation money for his overseas trip or something, pretty wacky stuff.
Ironically one of those people who went her separate way became the owner of the ratemyserver website for the private servers which is still a big hit to this day. Long live the days of HopeRO! Your private server was my first and nothing can ever change that.
Judging from the screenshots the chronological dates of my time on each server is as stated:
iRO Beta (2004) – Beta closed, P2P was enabled
HopeRO (2004 – 2006) – Small tight community we grew close to, made many friends, eventually it was shut down due to server costs and a corrupted GM.
LunarisRO (2006 – 2007) – Most of the HopeRO found refuge here, a slightly bigger community but was also shut down due to the owner not having enough time on her hands.
TrinityRO (2007) – A Malaysian server which I found and played for a month or two before I quit.
…many years later
EssenceRO (2010) – Where I am today, it’s been so long!
I think I was a curse to private servers as I with HopeRO I was close to hitting level 99 but then the server shut down, with LunarisRO I hit level 99 and about a week later it shut down. Maybe it was just my luck.
Anyway, with the release of these new third job classes and not to mention new items, monsters, places I’ll have to spend some time catching up on what I had missed these few years.
Making a hard choice, and with no one else with me I decided to leave the game. Little did I know that I would soon be hooked on World of Warcraft, but that’s a completely different story I’ll leave for another time. During the period I left, the new classes of Gunslingers, Ninjas and Taekwons were just released and I managed to give them a try before I had left.
This is a tribute to a certain person, chances are if you see this, you know who you are, and this proves you can find and meet new friends in the most unusual ways. This is also a tribute to those we knew and have long forgotten and lost contact with who we both hope are safe and sound wherever you are in the world. Although we have parted and gone our separated ways, the memories we shared will be eternal.
Now if you excuse me, I’ll be in-game with the immense rush of nostalgia fueling me as I play.