I’m going to start with this: I’ve never played Ragnarok all my life. Sure, I’ve seen plenty of folks play the game back in the days, but the game never really appealed to me. Whether it’s the graphics or the game’s mechanics, I just never had the urge to even see what the game’s all about. It’s not that I don’t like the genre either; I’ve played my fair share of MMORPGs.
That changed when Gravity Interactive released the mobile version of the game. Dubbed Ragnarok M: Eternal Love, the mobile game was actually released in China last year – it’s only now that the game is released to a wider audience. Well, only for Southeast Asia at the moment, unfortunately.
Honestly, I wasn’t even going to download the game, but after some coaxing from my colleagues, I caved in. Surprise surprise, I haven’t been able to put down the game ever since. It’s not a perfect MMORPG, but Ragnarok M’s mechanics, graphics, and gameplay just seem to work for a mobile game.
Nonetheless, here are a few reasons why Ragnarok M is worth checking out, and why certain aspects of the game could’ve been better.
For starters, Ragnarok M features a botting system of sorts. Basically, the game’s auto combat system can be set to automatically kill monsters, and it’s a really smart implementation. While the most obvious advantage of this system is the fact that it removes the long and arduous “grinding” aspect of MMORPG, what really impressed me is the limitation set in to prevent exploitation.
Every day, your character only gets 300 minutes of “combat time,” which takes into account the amount of time you spend hitting monsters. So whether you’re manually or automatically killing monsters, your combat time will be reduced accordingly. Once you’ve hit the threshold, the experience and drop rate you get from monsters will dramatically decrease.
I think this is a really smart limitation for two reasons: not only does this limit the amount of time you would spend in the game, it also prevents abuse of the auto combat system. Aside from that, if you didn’t utilise your allotted combat time for the day, it can stack up to 900 minutes. This, in turn, doesn’t punish inactive players.
But just because Ragnarok M has an auto combat system doesn’t mean there’s no joy in playing it “manually.” You can go around the game to hunt for MVP bosses – you can potentially get some high value items too – and if you’re tired of that, the PVP arena is a great place to blow off some steam. As its name suggests, you can kill other players in PVP, and it’s especially fun if you play classes that are great in this mode.
Aside from that, I quite dig the graphics of Ragnarok M. In contrast to the original Ragnarok’s art style, the mobile counterpart’s 3D graphics look a lot more modern and pleasing. This is subjective, of course, but I do think the game’s graphics is a nice modern take on the Ragnarok franchise.
Now for the bad stuff. Unlike conventional MMORPGs, there is no trading in Ragnarok M. Say you got a valuable item that you’d like to pass to your friend in the game; the game simply doesn’t allow this. If you want to sell said item to other players, you’ll have to go through the game’s Exchange system. All you have to do is speak to an NPC to list the item on the Exchange, and…the game will set the price for you.
I can understand why Ragnarok M has this system in place. Obviously, it makes it impossible for players to sell in-game items or Zeny for real money. The fact that Ragnarok M doesn’t allow players to set their own prices for valuable items also gives the developer the ability to control the game’s economy to some extent. It’s a double-edged sword: it can be a nuisance or a blessing, depending on who you ask.
Another aspect of Ragnarok M I don’t quite like is the complicated stats and skill build. Depending on your particular job, it can be difficult to decide which skill or attribute is best for your playstyle. This isn’t a “problem,” per se. Certain players may appreciate the complexity of finding the best build for these different classes. On top of that, some MMORPGs have equally complex systems too.
The thing is, whenever I start a new MMORPG, I’ll make sure that I know exactly what I’m doing. I look for the best class that suits my playstyle, the most ideal equipment, leveling guide, and well, the works. However, Ragnarok M is still relatively new, so there are not that many resources for the game right now.
If you’re like me, and you don’t want to “mess up” your character’s stats and skill build, this can be a frustrating experience. More guides and builds have appeared since Ragnarok M’s release in Southeast Asia, but chances are, there are some aspects of the game that are still not covered. The game’s odd English translation doesn’t help either.
Heck, I’m still figuring out if I need to feed my pet Poring. I haven’t fed it anything at all since I hatched it a couple of weeks ago, but it…seems to be fine up till now.
Despite its shortcomings, I still can’t stop playing Ragnarok M: Eternal Love. Maybe I just need a good MMORPG to fill my time. Maybe I’ll stop playing once I’m bored with the game after a couple of weeks. Why, it’s entirely possible I’ll put the game down once I hit the third job.
But until then, I’m letting Ragnarok M run on my phone, auto attacking monsters, while I go to bed. It feels great to wake up to a character a couple of levels higher, and it’s equally fun to look at what kind of items I managed to pick up while I AFK farm.