RO’s Prequel has finally received both a name and a website. It’s been said that the beta is a few months away. What will this game achieve for the Ragnarok Online franchise?
A couple of months ago, plans for a Ragnarok Online Prequel surfaced, and is now officially announced as Ragnarok Online: Zero. Many who have been disappointed by how far Ragnarok Online 2 has strayed away from Ragnarrok Online’s mechanics and systems that have made it one of the most popular and biggest MMOs in history may find refuge and comfort in this prequel that adopts many of RO’s classic systems and mechanics. Though the website does provide a bit of details about the background and plot of Ragnarok Online: Zero, through a bit of digging I’ve been able to find a few more details than the website currently presents
Is Ragnarok Online: Zero A Honest Tribute To Ragnarok Online?
Having had the opportunity to play the Chinese version of RO’s Prequel, the answer is yes, the game does absolutely embody many of the features that are synonymous with Ragnarok Online. However, there are a few concerns and gripes that I have, and they question just how much of a serious online game Ragnarok Online: Zero is meant to be.
Before I begin, I must state that
my experience is on a first-impression basis, and I have not dug extremely deep into Ragnarok Online: Zero’s layers. Having not played Ragnarok Online in about 3-4 years, to hear Prontera’s music once more brought an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, and the quality was far superior to what I experienced with the classic RO many years ago. Once the nostalgia faded, I then began to tackle the gameplay as much as I could, considering I couldn’t understand the language whatsoever. Surprisingly, it wasn’t at all difficult, considering how every quest has auto-follow and auto-complete — like browser RPGs such as Crystal Saga typically do, and the dungeons, at least in the beginning, are completely straight-forward. The combat system, at first, seemed really similar but extremely easy compared to RO’s. Your character auto attacks (even if you don’t want it to — though, it may just be that I can disable the auto attack, but don’t know how), so much so, my character cleared the last dungeon in the first tier of dungeons on its own, all i did was walk around and it would kill everything in sight.
With this being said, I’m unsure if overall difficulty ramps up gradually as you level, but the content posed no current challenge to the character I played. Another distinct difference that I noticed is that thus far, the game has been a dungeon-based game, rather than an open world in which you teleport to different maps like in RO. I’ve never been a fan of dungeon-runners that the dungeons themselves pose no challenge beyond the monsters they contain, and this is what my experience with Ragnarok Online: Zero has been thus far.
Okay, so what if RO’s Prequel doesn’t have the same exact combat system? What about the classes?
From what I’ve been able to gather, the Ragnarok Online: Zero classes will adopt RO’s classes with the exception of the 3rd Jobs (Rune Knight, Guillotine Cross, etc).. As well, in similar RO tradition, you begin as a Novice and choose your class at level 10. Because the classes follow RO up until the point of the 3rd Tier, your first class choice will be between Mage, Acolyte, Rogue, Swordsman, and Merchant.
Conclusion: I’m a Ragnarok Online fan, should I care about this game?
Simply? Yes, absolutely. If you’re looking for a challenge, or extreme grind, you’ll want to stay with Ragnarok Online. However, if you want to play a product that’s a fun, casual experience, and to be swept away with bliss by the timeless soundtrack of Ragnarok Online, then yes, this is the game for you. Personally, I’m a bit disappointed that RO’s Prequel wasn’t exactly what I expected, nor wanted. What I got however, wasn’t bad, either, by any means of the imagination, and considering this is the Chinese version I played and, since the English version won’t be in beta for at least a few months, anything can change between now and the English beta and release. What I’ve experienced thus far is a game that most Ragnarok Online fans will enjoy, even if only temporarily. Do you have anything you’d like to know about my experience on the Chinese version of Ragnarok Online: Zero? Feel free to drop a question in the comments below!