Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Ragnarok Online 2 Review
Now that I've gotten my hands on Ragnarok Online 2, it's time for a review. In a glance, Ragnarok Online 2 seems to be a competent MMO especially for a F2P title. They have of course redesigned the gameplay so that it no longer plays like the old Ragnarok Online and that is definitely great. No more slaughtering thousands of mobs to level up and the combat system is also quite improved. It shouldn't be boring right? we'll see.
As far as gameplay goes, RO2 really really resembles World of Warcraft, but sadly not as good. RO2 uses the same combat mechanics as WoW and opted for a quest-based gameplay but ultimately fails to capture the essence of a quest-based game. It's not enough to have quests but you have to make it interesting as well. Having quests only revolve around killing X amount of monsters or collecting Y amount of items really gets boring fast and even in an hour of gameplay I already felt bored and just wanted to play another game. The areas, although have an interesting aesthetics to it and offers some nostalgia to RO players feels too restrictive. It is not very large and are awfully linear, quickly making it boring at least in my eyes.
The only thing that kept me going are the interesting visual and the pleasant character design which are based on the illustrations you can see all over the loading screen and RO2 website. If you like that kind of anime-esque artstyle than you'll love how the game looks. Some considers the overall graphic to be "aged" but IMO for games with this kind of aesthetics, graphical fidelity aren't really that important. Character customization options are okay, it isn't as limited as some other F2P games but definitely nothing compared to AAA or even Freemium titles. Animation quality is allright, although some do look better than the others. The fact that armor changes the way your character looks is also a plus although as far as armor variety goes I didn't see that many variety.
The skill system uses skill tree system ala the original Ragnarok Online. Sadly the lack of alternative skill trees limits your option a bit. There are however advanced classes which will give access to different advanced skill trees. Overall the skill system is decent, but nothing really special or innovative.
I don't really like how they use a stat distribution system like the first game. For me, stat distribution system is a thing of the past. Some cheap trick the devs use to trick users to create new characters and play their game more. A good game shouldn't have anything that can make a character fail and force him/her to restart a new character all over again. You either skip stat distribution system altogether like in WoW, SWTOR and the like or you give player a way to reset their stat without any hassle like in Guild Wars 2. However, the stat distribution system in RO2 is a bit simpler than the one in the original RO. In RO2 it is clearly stated what each stat would do and which stat will be useless to a particular class. This is much better as it will reduce the chance of creating a failed build but still they should just skip this system entirely.
The crafting system is adequate with easy to access resources and fast-respawning resource nodes. Crafting could've handled better as in Guild Wars 2 or other AAA titles but for a free game it is okay and is definitely better than Warhammer Online's failed crafting system.
Overall, Ragnarok Online 2 is a good F2P title which offers great aesthetic and okay gameplay. It is however quite lacking as a MMORPG title and is really nothing compared to other Freemium or AAA titles out there. If you like the original Ragnarok Online or you want to play free games, Ragnarok Online 2 is a good choice to play. If you want to see something really new or innovative, try other titles as gameplay-wise Ragnarok Online 2 offers nothing new to the MMORPG genre.