Ragnarok Online by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
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Summary * History * Company Line * Game Play * Plot * Graphics * Animation * Voice Actors * Music Score * Sound Effects * Utilities * Multi-player Features * Cheats, Hints, and Walkthrough * Journalists * References * Letters
Ragnarok Online has been up and running since June 1, 2003. The game is not a new one to the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) scene. Ragnarok online's strength seems to be in its capacity for humor or as the company refered to it in a recent press release: the game's quirkeyness has been expanded.
GRAVITY INTERACTIVE LAUNCHES CULTURALLY-THEMED EXPANSIONS FOR RAGNAROK ONLINE
MARINA DEL REY, Calif. – September 27, 2004 – Gravity Interactive’s launch of Amatsu for Ragnarok Online marks the first in a series of free expansions to the game based on different cultural settings. Amatsu opens up the world of Japanese folklore and legend for Ragnarok players.
Each expansion will include new maps, building designs, clothing and monsters based on actual or mythical elements from major Eastern and Western civilizations. In addition, NPCs will tell players about the history, folklore and traditions of each culture. For instance, in Amatsu, players can wander through fields of cherry blossoms on their way to battle tengu (Japanese mountain and forest goblins). Many of the buildings in Amatsu are derived from actual Japanese palaces and pagodas, complete with gardens and reflection pools.
Ragnarok Online has one of the world’s largest MMORPG communities with millions of people playing in more than 100 countries. Because of that diverse community of players, Gravity is providing content that appeals to people in multiple geographic regions.
Many MMORPGs on the market draw subject matter from a single, or very few cultural contexts. In contrast, the Ragnarok culture-specific expansions will be inspired by multiple world traditions. This will allow local players to see familiar and comfortable subject matter that confirms to the interests, their likes and dislikes, which have been influenced by the society in which they live. This will also provide foreign players with a more diverse game that incorporates novel elements from other cultures. The core Ragnarok game draws its inspiration from Norse mythology.
Gravity plans to continuously supply free expansions and updates to Ragnarok Online. Several culturally themed expansions are already in development. The next expansion in the series is currently in beta testing and will be available in a few months. Amatsu is composed of five new Japanese themed regions/maps to explore. Clothing and buildings are based on historical styles and real world structures from Japan. Several now monsters derived from Japanese folklore such as the karakasa, tengu and kapha populate the expansion.
Two technical updates were also recently added to Ragnarok to coincide with the launch of Amatsu. The total number of characters per server for each account was increased from 3 to 5. A graphical sprite addition was introduced to improve particle effects for weapons. The Amatsu expansion is available for free for Ragnarok Online players at http://iro.ragnarokonline.com/download/download.asp. New players can download the Ragnarok Online and play free for 15 days at http://iro.ragnarokonline.com. Unlimited gameplay is available for $12 a month or 30-hour sessions can be purchased for $7.99.
MMORPG DIVORCE, EXTREME SPORTS AND PLASTIC SURGERY
Ragnarok Online Expands the Quirky Side of Online Life
MARINA DEL REY, Calif., -- Dec. 15, 2004 -- Only a few weeks have passed since players could be married in Ragnarok Online, and they are already clamoring to escape the bonds of matrimony. Gravity Interactive has answered the demands of those longing for the single life by introducing divorce into the massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) world. Players are warned, that just like the real world, breaking marriage vows come at a steep monetary and spiritual cost. Both parties must empty their pockets and file for divorce at a combined cost of 2,500,000 Zeny (Ragnarok money), as well as temporarily reducing their health and spell points in half.
Those feeling unattractive after getting divorced can get an extreme makeover with a new hairstyle and even a new face by visiting the local Nifflheim hairdresser. He/she also moonlights as an unlicensed plastic surgeon. Players willing to risk more than just their tresses can fulfill one of their midlife crisis fantasies by bungee jumping in the jungles of Umbala.
Divorcees who really want to hide from their ex-spouses can start all over with a new identity and play as a Super Novice class character. This class is really a jack-of-all-trades. Players never have to choose a specific class of skills to specialize in. To find out more about Ragnarok Online, Umbala Update, updates and character classes, go to http://iro.ragnarokonline.com.
About Gravity Interactive LLC Headquartered in Marina del Rey, Calif., Gravity Interactive LLC is the U.S. subsidiary of Korea-based, Gravity Corporation, a worldwide leader in the entertainment content and character creation business. Gravity Interactive develops characters and storylines for the online world, mobile technology, traditional animation, merchandising and all other forms of media.
The graphics and the game play may be described as "cute and adorable." There is a low polygon count and a low level of strain on the server but the graphics are professionally drawn and well detailed. Like everquest, the few polygons used are well used and drawn with an eye to making the graphics appear much more detailed than they actually are. The beauty in the graphics shines through.
By picking a cartoon style of graphic, the designers have reaped a harvest in speed and smoothness. The game animation is quite smooth and moves well.
The game installed quickly and easily and automatically launched the patcher. The patcher proceeded to patch the game which took well over an hour. The christmas season expansion for events was extensive and required a lot of code. Every MMOG has holiday events. The Ragnarok Online holiday event seems to be more extensive than those of other games. One of the patches was over 3.6 million files.
After the extensive download and after the install of the disk that I was given, an error message popped up: "In order to play RO you must download the Add-On patch or install new client first. Please go to web site for more details. And this was after I was assured that the product would update automatically.
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