It’s been a while now since Ragnarok Online 2 was announced by Gravity. Can you still remember the excitement when a sequel to our beloved Ragnarok Online was announced? I mean, it hardly seems possible now doesn’t it? Believe it or not, Ragnarok Online 2 was once quite hyped up. Thoughts of seeing a 3D Prontera or Comodo along with the fact that Gravity hired Yoko Kanno to sing for some of the songs really attracted players… initially that is.
In the months leading up to the time I left EuphRO2, I can recall the lack of updates on Gravity’s end. I believe the last major update that Gravity made was the updated user interface and support for guild chat in the client; the client has remained in this unchanged state for quite a while now. Now, I always anticipated for the game to change… in fact, I counted on it. The only way for a game to evolve is for it to change, thus I would sometimes scamper around Hodemimes Harbor taking pictures of the beautiful landscape, musing that perhaps one day the entire area would look different. (Remember the Payon map change in Ragnarok Online?) Well, it seems like things are going to change alright.
The first letdown was the fact that Ragnarok Online 2 would be set at a different point in time, meaning that players would probably not even be able to see the same towns and monsters that they remembered from Ragnarok Online. Well, this wasn’t so bad… I mean the whole 3 race concept set in an evolved Rune Midgard was pretty neat, as were the new classes that were announced. As people warmed up to the idea of this re-imagined Ragnarok Online, they began to anticipate the possibilities. Thoughts of 3D War of Emperium battles and PvP were enough to keep people interested, despite the unrealistic experience tables in place. The fact that you could customize your appearance by altering your costume was a nice feature too, as in the original game, one could only alter his appearance by equipping different headgears. Many times, I would use my GM commands to just browse through the list of clothing. However, as Gravity became slower and slower in releasing updates for the game, the company basically suffocated the project to death.
When it comes down to the bottom line, it was basically poor marketing that caused the failure of the project. While one might argue that the development team simply could not keep up with the expectations of the public on time, it is technically Gravity’s fault for releasing an unfinished product. It really is a shame, considering how much money Gravity poured into the project, especially by hiring Yoko Kanno for the songs. Unfortunately, the slow update release cycle combined with poor communication from the company wore out the patience of most of the players. Some speculate that Gravity’s staff was more preoccupied with another one of their games, Requiem. If this is the case, some CEO at Gravity must not have been thinking straight. I mean, Gravity has the incredibly popular Ragnarok Online franchise. Why would you put its sequel on the back burner to work on a different game? Is the goal of all of this to tarnish the good name of Ragnarok Online? I think not.
At any rate, Gravity seems to have [finally] realized their neglect and addressed the issue. A Korean news article essentially detailed Gravity admitting its mistake and its plans to correct the issue. It talked about how Gravity even tried to relaunch Ragnarok Online 2 at one point, only to fall back on their crawling update schedule. Now here’s the interesting part: Gravity realizes that the Ragnarok Online 2 name is damaged beyond recovery so they have decided to scrap the project and make a new one, Ragnarok Online 3.
Now, there’s a reason why I didnt include “Ragnarok Online 3″ in the title of my post- I’m a little skeptical. Until Gravity shows signs of development, I’m not going to get anyone’s (including my own) hopes up. However, if this project comes to realization, I believe that it will be a rather enjoyable one indeed. In the article, Gravity explains how they are speeding up production to alleviate the anxiety of the players in regards to the broken Ragnarok Online name. This time, it looks like Gravity is aiming to please.
The project will apparently feature 2.5D to 3D graphics in the background of the original Ragnarok Online. It is to include similar features to the original, making it “easier for players to absorb” and closer to the expectations of the
original Ragnarok Online 2. Perhaps we will finally get to see a 3D Payon or Amatsu? Nonetheless, it seems like a good concept if Gravity hopes to revive interest in the franchise. At this point, id love to speculate, but again I don’t want to jump the gun here. All I can say is that it looks like the Dimago and Ellr races originally slated to be in Ragnarok Online 2 will be disappearing, but perhaps they will come back as another concept in this Ragnarok Online 3?
With that being said, the date that the Korean article published was November 18, 2008… Please don’t repeat the mistakes you did with Ragnarok Online 2, Gravity.