So it was possibly the biggest project that I had involved my self in – Saga, a Ragnarok Online 2 Emulator. How long has it been? I do believe that it has been approximately 8 months or so since that day I signed into the unknown, yet strangely mysterious world of Ragnarok Online 2. The day where I fell in love with the intricate 3D environment, the day when I experienced the Saga RO2 Emulation project.
Never having been a serious gamer, it was my first experience with a 3D MMORPG. The adorable character emotes were such a change for me from the “bubble” emotes in Ragnarok Online, which I had been playing for quite some time. (I remember being entranced by the dancing emote, and being disappointed upon finding out that I could no longer dance after changing job; A bug in the game back then!) I quickly made friends in game, the first of mine being someone I knew in the original EuphRO, Kisa. The daily frolicking of finding mysterious RO2 drops/equips and gathering the courage to face “hard” level 6 enemies was always an adventure. At one point, we gathered the server (Approximately 8-9 people on average at the time) to search for the fabled “Prontera.” Of course, we couldn’t do so in a party; Parties crashed the server back then! Since Ragnarok Online 2 was new and uncharted, we had no idea where to look for Prontera, and chose to search the entire server. Imagine our astonishment upon finding out that Prontera had not been implemented on the server yet!
Eventually, I ended up meeting my soon-to-be best buddy, Lolly. The exact way in which we met escapes me right now, but I do believe that it was because she was helping me somehow. At the time when the player population was about 15~ish players and even fewer talking in channel chat, Lolly acted as a sort of “helpdesk” for players due to her helpful nature. Whether it was the
fact that I did not bug her much, or simply talked
to her aside from “help” questions, we became inseparable during that time. It was she who taught me how to report bugs on the bug tracker, it was she who helped me learn the game; I still believe that she would have been the best choice as a GM, and even sort of expected her to become one, inside.
Fast forward a few weeks later. The Saga project was losing players as a result of lack of promotion of the project. Lolly and I were growing a tad tired of the game, and the time between our logins lengthened. I recalled seeing somewhere that a site dedicated to the Saga open beta server, now dubbed EuphRO2, was getting ready to launch in order to generate interest for the project. On a whim, I visited the website to find a forum with about 3 registered users; Maybe 2 of which were developers. What caught my eye was a recruitment thread for forum moderators. I had time on my hands, had experience moderating, liked the project… why not? I remember specifically noting that I had a charismatic, easy to get along with, personality and strove to never disappoint my superiors. Upon logging in next time, I was greeted by a congratulations email by Nibelungen, my boss, and bore the green color of a forum moderator.
From there, things went pretty quickly. Before I knew it, I was the head forum moderator, and later the forum Administrator with a shiny new orange color. Nibelungen said that it was because he detected trustworthiness and charisma in how I acted; I was honored to have been recognized as such. Then came that fateful day. Getting messages from Nibelungen was always a thrill, as I enjoyed interacting with the staff, but I wasn’t prepared for the contents of this PM. I was awestruck as I read his words, “How would you like to be the first Ragnarok Online 2 GM?” Not to say there hadn’t been any GMs for testing purposes, but I would be the first public GM with GM duties, paving the road and setting the standards for generations of staff members to come. I graciously accepted, and was awestruck as my character, whom I had played with alongside my friends was promoted to a level 99 GM.
At first I was a little introverted, and without [GM] tags and GM outfits at the time, I blended in pretty well with the rest of the players, with the exception of equipment created by the !item command that did not drop yet. A few times I even got accused of being a hacker after being spotted teleporting or running fast using !speed 3000. Gradually, I gained the players’ confidence and became a cheerful support GM, with occasional “spawn” events of course. Events weren’t easy at the time; GMs had extremely limited powers and we had to think creatively. As the server population steadily increased, Nibelungen and I organized a server-wide picture when we reached the astonishing milestone of 40 players online! Of course it was a tad hard for the players to see or listen to us; We simply didn’t stand out. At the time the notorious “clothing bug” prevented the shoes and lower equips from showing up, resulting in generic novice clothes instead. The day was a huge success however, and that was the day that I came up with the idea to append “[GM]” before the GMs‘ names.
Since then, my career was off and on when it came to duties. I was always busy doing something but it was never really one thing at a time. I learned how to script NPCs and scripted the new town, Cognito and opened it to the server with great pride. All the while, I was just so touched with the love of my players and the support they gave me. Behavioral issues were rare and the players had a general sense of unity. The staff – player relationship was absolutely wonderful, anyone could tell that we were in perfect harmony. Looking back, it was an Era of prosperity, now called by some, The Chii Era.
Around the time Christmas rolled around, both the staff and the players got a present. For the staff, we were finally able to wear our much needed GM Suits, distinguishing from other players. (Unfortunately the male characters
were too distinguishable… their “robes” more closely resembled dresses.) For the players, I prepared what was to by my greatest even yet. Spawn data was altered, Npcs were prepared on a closed off map to the public, christmas trees were put up, and prizes were made available to all. The prizes too, were very generous indeed. They included Auges, headgears, exclusive armor, players had a great time hunting special “Christmas Spawns” to collect items which they would trade in to “Santa’s Elves” (Ellr) npcs to receive their prizes. Of course there were traps too, but all in the name of fun. To top it off, a GM character by the name of “Santa Claus” responded to mail he received using the Mail System and shipped players what they wanted for Christmas. As I said, we had to be creative on how to do events back then! Perhaps what touched me the most at the end of this event was the “thank you” gifts I received in my inbox, mostly forum signatures dedicated to me.
Not soon after, we held a new Server-Wide picture for Saga’s anniversary in January. The picture was radically different. EuphRO2 now boasted 200+ players. The players were organized neatly into Prontera Church under my guidance, still showing the world the degree of respect that staff and players had with each other. Of course, there simply had to be an exception, as one jealous player angrily flamed me on the forums. It was for no valid reason, but he did voice his jealousy of the respect that I had earned from my players. Following procedure, the staff did make clear that if he had a valid reason for disliking my style and wished me to be dismissed from GM duties, he could write a petition. I admit that I was a little frightened at this thought, but I should have known not to be. The complete opposite occurred. I watched as players violently flamed the member, Kobuto Takagawa, and stood up in my defense. It really touched me, and the rest of the staff; I remember as Nibelungen remarked, “Its amazing to see how much the server loves you. It just goes to show how valuable you are to the team.”
Of course, all good things must come to an end. Throughout my time at EuphRO2, it became a sort of trend to draw pictures or other gifts dedicated to me, something that some of the best artists I met did for me. The gift art meant a lot, and at one point was even salvaged from a hard disk crash. But now, my school was demanding an increasingly longer portion of my time. In a painful and difficult decision, I resigned from all duties from EuphRO2 on January 21, 2008. This decision absolutely shattered me, but somehow I couldn’t tear myself away. Nibelungen had chosen to leave all my access to the server’s script directory, my GM account, my forum admin status, and more. However, due to the deep attachment I had with the community, I came back every so often. The next day, I saw that the forum had a record number of members online the day I resigned.
I still came in once in a while, but slower in frequency. On a whim, one day I decided to google my name, “[GM] Chii.” I was surprised, the page was full of ME. Never would I thought that I would see the day. Whats more is that all the gift art and my relationship with players resulted something else. A EuphRO2 meme, called “Everyone loves Chii” had spawned forth. So I had achieved meme status; I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or afraid. But it seemed like I was surviving on the server, despite not being there. Even GMs hired later on knew my name and reputation. I had truly left my mark in RO2, Saga, and EuphRO2 history. However, I am rather uncertain about KRO2’s future. Patches have been delayed and have been neglected to be released. The game was voted worst of the year in Korea. Has the game been canned or is being reworked for a vigorous revival?
But as for my time at Saga/EuphRO2, I couldnt’ve done it any better, nor would I have done it any different. I feel as if I had lived my EuphRO2 life to the utmost fullest and now its time to move on. After achieving meme status and even the ability to google myself and see the page covered with my name, I truly feel that I have done what many dream of doing. To have been what many dream of being. To have created a legacy which many dream of creating.
Finally wishing to put this case to rest, one day I logged in, and via my access to the script directory to EuphRO2, I developed an npc that would change my name to “Etna” and return myself to being a normal player. As I ran the !reloadscripts command, I hesitated a little, then finally talked to my npc.