The long-awaited blockbuster MMORPG of our childhood has finally jumped into the line of top most wanted. On the 7th of December 2012, I got a chance to attend License 2 Play in Singapore sponsored by AsiaSoft to cover for their new launch of the rumoured Blockbuster MMORPG. Packing my bags a day before my flight, I did my research and had a huge hunch though playing with my cards, I never would have guessed if I were just a regular player that just waited in line like a lemming curious of what the huge title would be. Upon my arrival at Changi Airport, Singapore after an hours flight I was greeted warmly by the AsiaSoft staff then joined the rest of the group to head for lunch where we had a short briefing regarding the event.
There were many from several media groups geared with their top-notch gear while I had nothing but a loaned Canon DSLR *chuckles*. Manager of MarComm Ian Purnomo asked if I could guess what their game would be. Smiling, I told him my bets are on Ragnarok Online 2: Legend Of The Second because of AsiaSoft having an old website which was supposed to be the former Ragnarok Online 2: Gate Of The World and that with the recent release of LOTS in Korea early this year, I had no doubt that it was the game. Smiling, Ian and the rest of AsiaSoft’s staff had their lips sealed tight until the actual launch.
Arriving at Marina Bay Sands Expo Convention Hall, we registered ourselves then proceeded to the event hall. The crowd was massive, not to mention the loud noises coming from every angle in the hall itself! As we walked in, we were told to search for the “Tree” … good thing it was right smack in the centre haha! Though.. I think they meant that Castle.. Since we were early, we had a chance to wander for a good few minutes before resuming our post. The Emcee was extremely loud and lively for most of us that had just pulled through some salvaged hours of decent sleep but she definitely woke us up with her energetic voice. Standing on stage with the background of a huge red cloth covering something seemingly like a massive poster, she welcomed us with the cheerful smile of hers.
The crowd started to grow with all media teams, photographers and videographers standing in the front line readying their gears for that very moment. As the RO2 developers walked on stage, eyes were on them when they started the Final Countdown and finally revealing what was behind the red cloth.
There was confetti flying everywhere amidst the huge crowd with raving flashes from one end to the other on the developers of the game. They gave a short introduction of the game and introduced themselves. After their short speech, the crowd then turned to the readied desktops behind and proceeded to logging onto the game with their Playpark ID or Facebook account.
Being a Gamer myself and a huge fan of MMORPG’s, the settings and game was not alien to me since I had a chance to play the Korean version when it was in its Alpha/Beta stages before being released early this year. What excited me more was that this game is finally out and in ENGLISH! There are many good games out there but were never translated to English and either remained Japanese, Chinese and above all.. Korean. Though that never stopped hardcore gamers from trying the game out, having it International is a blessing in disguise and an answered prayer for huge fans like us, especially the Ragnarok Online players.
After playing a few rounds and hitting level 10 within the first couple of hours at the event, in between shooting pictures, talking to the staff and thrashing mobs .. I finally moved from my spot to grab some lunch before returning to the event and straight to the Media Room for an exclusive interview with the RO2 Developers themselves so without further ado, here’s the interview (.. in text haha!)
Q: What are the future plans for the game?
A: We have many new features yet to be revealed. We want to make it as close as possible to the first Ragnarok Online but with better gameplay. There will also be new customizations and we will be introducing a new Race to the game.
Q: What sort of customizations will you be introducing to the game and will there be the signature headgear customizations?
A: Yes. We will soon have an NPC that will allow you to dye your costumes, armour and allow you to customize your character more. There will also be a full fashion system where you will be able to wear different headgear, top piece, back/shoulder piece like cloaks or wings *smiles* Backpacks too and bottom with shoes. We want to fully utilize the customization feature so players can enjoy.
Q: Will there be the classic War Of The Emperium or PVP/PVE/PK features?
A: *widely smile and face me all excited* YES! We are really excited to release that update. There will be castle sieges like the first Ragnarok Online and there will also be PVE and PVP. Players will have a choice to play in a team of 3 or solo. There will be no PK System in this game. We plan to make this a fun and relaxing game.
Q: In the first Ragnarok Online, there was a Marriage System. Will you be introducing that in RO2: LOTS and will it be in a Church as well?
A: Yes, definitely. We are still under development stages for that feature but we will be releasing that update hopefully middle of 2013. The Marriage System will not be held in a Church anymore *cheeky smirk* This time, we wanted to make it different. We will be having a Marriage Quest for the couple and they will still be able to send out their invitations to their friends and guild members but the celebration will work under a booking system following a schedule at the Island of Zawai! *laughter surrounds the room* There will also be a special Dungeon for the wedding and all attendees will be able to partake in the dungeon until the wedding schedule is over.
Q: What made you choose a Cel Shaded game instead of making it more 3D like Blade & Soul or Cabal Online 2?
A: We thought about that but we wanted to make it similar to Ragnarok Online. We wanted players to feel that nostalgia when playing LOTS. Our goal was to make it much more dreamy because the first game was our childhood and we still have that dreamlike imagination of how we’d love to play the new RO2 that feels like an upgraded version of the first version.
After the interview, we walked toward the RO2 booth for a short photo session and a mini demo topped with an explanation from the developers about the game before resuming to our usual selves. There were many exciting mini games held during the event. One (which I sucked at… T_T) was throwing 5 extremely heavy and thin rings into a King Poring and if you score all 5 rings onto his crown, you are entitled to win some goodies. I got a bunch.. muahaha… And then there was Raining Leaves and Trivia’s .. which I didn’t partake because all the questions for for newbies and they were too easy for me and winning 1,000,000 @cash felt like I was cheating lol
Did I mention.. the event was filled with cosplayers and yes, even Kirito from Sword Art Online was playing Raining Leaves to nab some goodies lol! On the 2nd day, the event was even more jam-packed than the first and the crowd over at the booth was way beyond the description of being sandwiched in a Sardine Can…
Open Beta for Ragnarok online is on the 27th of December at 15:00PM +8GMT and there will be more events and a race to Level 50 which my Guild and I are definitely going to take part in! While waiting, there is also a Challenge to hit 100,000 Likes on Facebook by the 26th of December and if we hit that marker, everyone will receive @5000 RO Cash to spend on their Cash Shop this Open Beta!
RAGNAROK ONLINE 2 Website: http://ro2.playpark.net/
RAGNAROK ONLINE 2 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlayRO2/