Since the announcement of shutting down the Philippine Ragnarok Online (PRO) by Level Up Games on March 31, 2015, gamers had been urged to migrate to the international server. For those who have started the game on its early beginnings were sad. That includesme. I remember when I used to top-up PRO in levelupgames.com just to play. This was my first online Role Playing Game (RPG) ever. Even my password (combination of letters and numbers) is still the same to most of my accounts and that was provided by PRO. Honestly, I am not a straight player of the game. I’ve also tried other RPGs that came after PRO. Still nothing beats the classic. The end of an era of PRO deserves a melancholic exit.
However, other fans of the game were able to prepare from the heartbreaking truth. Like before, PRO also caused an explosion of private servers. To ease against the pain of losing PRO, Ragnarok Sakray Online launched beforehand on March 5, 2015. Surprisingly, Sakray used to be the test server of PRO. But now, it stands independently from PRO. Other servers like Solace are expected to launch at July 4, 2015.
I first heard about the news yesterday which also I started playing. It brought me to a very nostalgic feeling. This is the ultimate throwback; they are using the same program of PRO 15 years ago. This weekend they have a 3x experience bonus. When I started again, I received another 3x experience and drop rate boost as part of their beginner’s package. So, that’s about 6x or 9x depending on the formula they are using. (I have to be a game master to be familiar with the system. Hehehhe) Now, I am a level 76 wizard just for 1 day. Things just keep getting more and more exciting.
Some of the reasons why Level Up Games decided to close PRO is that it cannot cope with the standards of the existing games today. First concern is the graphics. While most of the games now are in 3D format, PRO still remained to be in sprite animation (which is cute on my own opinion). Second and lastly, one of the major concerns, the increasing number of bots caused so much to the declining popularity of the game. Computer driven characters cannot speak in the game and they have caused so much imbalance. Just imagine working so hard leveling up while another player improves more than you while slacking off. Bots defeat the purpose of the game. Online games, like this one, aside from entertaining, is also a vehicle for socializing. Some even gets friends for life online — even go as far as marrying someone they meet online.
The latter point without any doubt is accurate. However, the former reason which the managers of PRO reveals is debatable. The most important thing in PRO is not the graphics but the game play. That is why it remains in the hearts of the gamers until today.