All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Saturday 11 August 2012

Unemployed... To Ragnarok!

So! I'm unemployed! As of today I no longer have a job, my time at Ideaworks 3D has ended... you get the point.
It's kind of sad, I'm gonna miss the people I worked with, but at the same time I'm going to enjoy the freedom to work on my writing that I tend to enjoy while I'm unemployed. If I work at my usual pace I should be done with book 2's editing in about a month, maybe 2.
Still, I'll miss getting paid. I wont miss the journeys to and from work - 6 copies of fifty shades on my last day, yes I'm still harping on about that.
But hey, hopefully I'll have my book finished soon and I'll be able to dye my hair purple with the dye of victory!
Not a huge amount to say today, not really even a lot or a medium amount. You could argue that I'm posting for the sake of posting, but that wouldn't be fair.

So... I've been playing an old favorite of mine lately, now that it's free to play I figured that I'd grab hold of my trusty side kick - who in this particular instance appears to be marginally better than me ¬.¬ - and return to the world of Ragnarok Online.

When I originally played Ragnarok Online (Rag) I was playing on a number of completely legal, totally legit servers that happened to not be run by Gravity and I didn't have to pay, and as such everything was incredibly easy. Players levelled up 100x faster than on the Official servers of the time.
Back then the difference in speed was striking, a player on an official server would take abotu 15 hours of gameplay - maybe more - to get to level ten, the level where they could actually choose their job, while an unofficial server took a mere 30 minutes to an hour.
That was the first and most significant difference i notice when I started up the game again. While they had introduced a starting area with tutorials to teach players what to do, they had also greatly sped up those first ten levels. what once took several game sessions to do took me and Rix perhaps two hours. After that the experience necessary to level up your main level sharply increased, but still, the simple fact that we were already in our first job class was mindblowing - the light breeze kind, not the explosive kind.

Once out of the tutorial area I quickly fell in step with everything that I remembered. the cities, the enemies, the NPCs... the lack of Quests.
But hold on... There are quests now. Sure they're a very sorry excuse for quests, all it is is a room with message boards filled with quests, but still, its infinitely more than there was before.
Originally, in Rag you were dropped in the world and told 'go kill things'. There were dungeons and castles and PVP guild battles, true, but there were no quests, and I think that's where the games beauty lay.
There wasn't a single way to advance through the game. Sure there were ways that were best, there were certainly more sensible ways to go about your levelling than others, but it was a choice.
In most MMOs you start a new character and you progress through on an entirely straight path. You start at A then go to B, then C then D etc... until you reach Z and you're told that you've done everything, go PVP.
The Rag you could go anywhere, do anything right from moment 1. Sure most of the places would kill you, but a lot of them wouldn't. from Pronterra you could go any direction and still be able to kill the things in your way.
Even in TOR, my favorite MMO they give you the option of going to planet A or B next, but you always pick planet A cos planet B is set as too high level for you to use.

Gotta admit, as bad and tedius as the game can be sometimes - I would never play it alone unless I was trying to catch a character up to someone, it is just TOO mind numbingly boring for that - I respect the way it worked. Even now with the crappy quests it works. It focusses you on specific areas, directing you, but they are still quite varied, you get to see a lot of Rune Midgar - Rag's world - while you do it.

It's a fun little distraction while your chatting to someone over skype, especially if you're wanting to avoid video chat - "I can't the game will be up over the screen, just wasting internets!" - but otherwise it's not really worth your time... or mine.

- James

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