That, is the gist of what I’m about to say, and what this post will be about. If this game wasn’t called “RO2”, no-one in hell would play this game at all (exceptions do apply). Why? Continue reading to find out. Keep in mind that this is still technically an “open beta”, so issues such as lag and bugs are bound to crop up (and they happen quite often too).
PS: This was also the reason why there wasn’t any updates for the past few days.
Before the game even begins – As with every popular game that is newly released, the first boss battle isn’t too far off. That’s right, the login boss showed up and the battle was exceptionally tougher during the weekends, where it took me roughly 15-20 minutes just to get in. At one point it wasn’t just the channels that were full, the login servers themselves were full because everyone was stuck while trying to get into a channel. The upside to it is that Asiasoft (the publisher for the SEA version), has since then added 1 new world, 4 new channels to the existing 2 worlds with another 10 channels to go online tomorrow, to ease the lag and login issues.
Gameplay – So, the gameplay is as generic as it can get. Kill X mobs Y number of times, rinse repeat. Occasionally a gather X item type of quest, and dungeon quests. That’s a step up from the old school MMORPGs where grinding monsters nonstop is the norm, right? Well that’s true, and it does reduce the repetitiveness quite a bit, but all in all, the quest system employed here is one that has been tried and true. It’s essentially grinding mobs, albeit different ones, and for a lesser period of time. I won’t even go into the game designing flaws, because if I were to do that, the length of this post would easily be twice as long.
Graphics – Great for my soon-to-be 4 years PC, bad for the game and its fans. This game looks like it was created in 2005 and what year are we in again? 2013. I’m not expecting high end graphics but the game just looks so..backdated. Part of me suspects that the graphics were done like this on purpose, either that or the game engine was conceived many years back and no-one bothered to revamp it.
Music/Sound – The biggest disappointment of them all, the BGM of this game is nearly non-existent, which really comes as a surprise for me. Players of RO will remember that the original had some nostalgic music and in comparison, RO2 just can’t hold a candle to its predecessor. Here’s some of the music that I’ve had fond memories of:
Other notable features / points worth mentioning:
- Vendor/Auction house – Older games used to have personal vendors for players to merchant their loot, but slowly as time and technology progressed, MMORPGs now favour having an in-game auction house, simply because it is so much more convenient. In RO2, why not have both? Except for one thing, the UI for the auction is absolutely terrible, not only does the search function not work properly, users are also unable to sort the results because there isn’t such a function in the first place. Craptastic.
- Khara/Profession system – Outside of leveling, there’s other “optional” things to do. The Khara system, is like an achievement system where you can choose to complete bonus objectives, the rewards varies, from titles to experience to money. A time sink in other words. The profession system, dubbed the job system, basically allows a character to have a “secondary job”, independent from their choice of class. Nothing new here.
- Dungeons/Raids – The only remotely “fun” aspect about RO2 thus far, lies within the dungeon/raids which is just about the same every other game’s endgame content. Don’t get me wrong, the dungeons that I’ve done so far are are actually fairly challenging, especially for newer players.
- Class advancement – One of the key features of the original RO, is the diversity that the game has when it comes to the amount of classes available. Come RO2, that number has shrunk down to 10 2nd class jobs and 5 1st class jobs. It sounds like a bad thing but in reality it does simplify the game a lot. Think of it this way, the whole point of the 3rd job/transcendent/reborn novice crap was to get people to replay the game over and over again – times have changed. Having a shorter route to reaching max level and a proper endgame content is the way to “design” MMORPGs these days.
Conclusion – I won’t sugarcoat my words, this game is terrible. Dated graphics, BGM that makes me sad, most importantly gameplay that feels extremely repetitive and uninspiring. While I can tolerate the combination of the above, the constant lag issues and perhaps bugs are the worst. Nothing beats having a lag spike and then finding yourself facing the ground just because you couldn’t do anything about it but to do so obediently.
Yet why am I still playing this game, even though I should have called it quits after Day 1? Well, the only real reason is because I have friends to play with, and it really makes all the difference in the world. The fake reason is for me to get a taste of my 2nd class which comes at level 25, oh and dungeons – they drop shiny loots. Who can say no to shiny loots after all?