Top 10 Reasons Why Ragnarok Online Mobile (ROM) is an Addictive MMORPG

| Read more...

Ragnarok Online Mobile (ROM) is the only mobile game that has ever made me so addicted for a span of two (2) years.  Perhaps, addiction doesn’t even cut it.  Aside from this game being part of my daily routine, this has caused me to buy a gaming computer set (complete with a gaming chair) and a gaming phone and has even made me stay up late or  miss work.  

ragnarok mobile client 
Ragnarok Eternal Love SEA EL Server Client

After two (2) years, I can finally sum up the top ten (10) reasons why I think ROM is/was addictive.

1.  Large-Scale MMORPG

When a game is classified as a "Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)", it aims to amass a large population of players.  ROM is not one of the top Mobile MMORPG in terms of population or download count but it has a enough population for a regular cross-cultural social interaction. 

ROM has a Guild system with 100 members, Team system composed of two (2) parties and a Party system composed of six (6) players.    

To be specific, the author plays in South East Asia (SEA) Eternal Love (EL) server and this server has multiple channels which allows players to interact (chat, join a party, gift and more) whichever channel you are in. 

Players can hop into any of the 389 channels: (EN 1-30, TH 1-180, PH 1-90, ID 1-71, CN 1-9, VN 1-9) anytime.  

Perhaps the peak of player log-in is during ROM's main Guild vs. Guild (GVG) event called "War of Emperium" (WOE).  Each channel has 4 main maps: (1) Valkyrie, (2) Britoniah, (3) Greenwood and (4) Luina with 2-3 castles.  Each guild aims to capture one (1) castle.  Sometimes a certain channel gains more concentration of players, especially when a popular top guild is occupying the channel.  While it may be a fun clash among players, such phenomenon also causes lag and delays within the channel.  The worst we’ve encountered is a mass disconnection for everyone inside a certain castle.

2. Third Party Community and Services

The cross-platform availability of ROM in mobile (Android and IOS) and desktop through emulators made it easy to do AFK grinding and farming.  There are also subscription-based Android Cloud Emulators like Red Finger which makes it possible to grind or farm remotely without actively using your phone. 

As soon as ROM EL server was launched, there were already so many guides and tutorials available on Youtube, websites, forums, Reddit, Discord and Facebook groups.  Most contributions were made by players from CN server.  

There were also websites and discord bots that provide updated price index, updates on items with enchant and information on weekly quests.

Soon paid services for ROM’s dungeons: (1) Eternal Tower (ET (2) Oracle normal (Ora Normal) to nightmare (Ora NM) (3) Thanatos Tower Brave (TTB) to Legend (TTL) began to be offered.  There were also piloting services available for all types of quests and boss (MVP) hunts.

All these allowed the players to continuously be engaged in the game despite allocating less time for it (for a price).

3. Real Money Gains 

The game items, in-game currency called “zennies” and even the player account itself had a price equivalent in real money.   

Ragnarok BCC conversion rate
Ragnarok Mobile BCC Conversion Rate

Though unofficial, players gained knowledge in order sell and transfer game items and zennies to another player.  Game items were sold through a technique called “ghost trade or buy-out”.  On the other hand, zennies were sold through price control schemes called "zeny train". 

Ragnarok Mobile Auction System
MambaaElChap Breaks ROM's Auction History  spending 360,000 BCC or 3M php/58,000 USD for this in-game item and soon disappears

ROM also had an official in-game auction that allowed players to auction off their rare items in exchange of Big Cat Coin (BCC) - the official game currency used for its BCC item shop.

4. The Thrill of Getting Luckier than Other Players

ROM makes you feel that in many aspects, you can somehow be luckier than other players.  Some also find it fun to tease or lure others to gamble and watch them lose more.

In terms of weapons, you can get lucky by (1) refining an item successfully (2) getting a rare enchant and (3) boosting it with special attributes through oracle mirror.  All of this can make your item more powerful and/or more expensive.  You can also just loot a rare item or boss card.  I have had the chance to loot a boss card and that made me feel lucky for quite some time.  

By finishing the oracle dungeon or event quests, you can gain card albums that offers random cards.  ROM also has a card gambling scheme which lets you re-roll three (3) cards into one (1) random one.  Moreover, you can also gain a random boss card in exchange of 7,500 Nolan Cards and 2,500 gram dusts which you gain from Oracle dungeon or decompose other cards.  

 Author's 3rd Nolan Roll

ROM also adopts a gacha system (virtual capsule vending machine mechanic) and mystery box system where you can use either BCC or free in-game vouchers in order to roll or open.  Each gacha item has a different probability of getting rolled.  There are some gacha items like costumes and special headgears that give you a significant boost in-game as they offer 1% physical attack and magic attack attributes.  Though for some, aesthetics is more important than attributes and that merely getting their desired costume or headgear color can already make them feel so lucky.  

M记 All Girls Christmas Costume Themed Official Calendar Photo
Author's Chinese Guild M记 All Girls Christmas Costume Themed Official Calendar Photo

Even the skills itself can be boosted by luck.  ROM has a Rune System where each Rune you open offers a random percentage in boosting a certain skill.  You can gain runes from the BCC item shop, event quests or finishing dungeons.  Similar to the cards, opening it is not thrilling enough, you’ll find that there are several ways more you can gamble to get better rune attributes.

5.  Flexible Gameplay (Sandbox Style)

All aspects of the game are optional. 

 M记 Guild Gets Surprise Attack By Exodiac Guild (Oct 15, 2020)

On a player’s perspective,  a player can be as casual as someone who just trolls or chat with friends every time he logs in or as serious someone who is very competitive and wants to see his name on all sorts of leader board.   

ROM EL server Arcane Master Top List

You can gain more zennies by boss hunting, farming and grinding or you can opt not too.  You can also do quests or participate in events or opt not to.  In my current guild, many log-in only when there are new gacha items or during GVG.  Surprisingly, our guild is still considered competitive.  

 
 M记 Guild War of Crystals vs. Elysium, Almighty and Titan (November 1, 2020)

On a guild’s perspective, ROM classifies guilds in terms of Team Sun (Rank 1-10), Team Moon (Rank 11-90) and Team Star (Remaining Guilds) based on the average member score in "War of Crystals (WOC)"(ROM's Ranked GVG Mode).  

ROM EL server Top Sun Guilds List
Credits to the Anonymous Person/s Who Updates This Regularly
 
There are many guilds who do not aim to be a Team Sun guild or participate in WOC although they have strong members.  To sum, the competitiveness and culture of each guild varies. 
ragnarok mobile pvp
6 v 6 Finals Exodiac Tournament Season 1 (Author's Team: Team 8 Wins)

Such similarities and differences creates the Player-to-Player Friendships and Rivalries which can be magnified into Guild-to-Guild Rivalries, Alliances and issues that adds some kind of kick within and even beyond the game.  

Mi5 Penrill Memes
Check Out These Funny and Creative Memes 😂

Moreover, players themselves are creative enough to create their own in-game events.  One of the biggest event so far is the "Ragnarok Mobile Championship Season 1" organized by Philippine Players.  Many guilds like Exodiac also has its own internal Player v. Player (PVP) competition.  There are also PVP competitions held by independent groups of players or game streamers. 

exodiac internal pvp
6 v 6 Finals Exodiac Tournament Season 2 (Author's Team: Team 8 Jukebox Wins)
 
Some players also create their own leadership board interpretation of official game modes.

ragnarok mobile 6v6 leaderboard
Credits to Seaport Guild

6. Progressive and Complex Character Building 

Like the Classic Ragnarok Online (PC version), you can choose various job classes and allocate stats (Str, Agi, Vit, Int, Dex and Luk) as freely as you want.  Thus, you can make unorthodox builds if you want too.  It also adopted the elemental, size and racial multipliers. 

In addition, ROM also has different kinds of attack multipliers such as: (1) physical attack, (2) magic attack, (3) refine physical attack, (4) refine magic attack, (5) physical penetration, (6) magic penetration, (7) physical damage, (8) magic damage, (9) skill damage, (10) auto attack damage, (11) critical damage and more.  These attack multipliers and elemental damage boosts have counter attributes too in the form of reduction and resistance.   It goes even further with an attribute collection system in the form of headgears, pets and mounts and furniture.  And, as previously mentioned, weapons are not only affected by weapon size but also by refine level, enchants and oracle mirror boosts.  

Credits to the Anonymous Person Who Made This

The complexity of all these, coupled with role selection, creates the balance that could make a diligent but less spender match in terms of competitiveness with a less diligent heavy spender.  There are support and utility roles which you can chose and use in different competitive modes such as the Magic Prison/6v6 (ROM's 6 player vs. 6 player mode) and WOE where gacha attributes of attack and magic attack % is not significant.

Ragnarok mobile costume
Author's Feast Gacha Costume Collection As of November 5, 2020 (Mostly from Free Rolls and Frey Coins)

In fact, the author is a minimal spender (spending less than 200 USD with absolutely no costume from the feast gacha machine for the entire 2 years) but has successfully made it to Top Sun Guilds in SEA EL Server (Exodiac and M记) as a Crowd Control (CC) / Utility-Type Rune Master (typically a DPS or Burst-type class). 

7. Real time strategy 

Most of ROM’s activities requires team play and real time strategy making each experience unique. There are even times when dungeon’s are bugged and players have to conquer them strategically as an added obstacle to the game. 

8. Nostalgia and Familiarity

Since this franchise from Gravity follows the successful Classic Ragnarok launch in 2003, the players who have enjoyed the game from Official and private servers since 2003 until present are happy to play ROM for its nostalgia and familiarity. 

Though the graphics and complexity are further developed, ROM is filled with familiar elements from the  Classic Ragnarok such card and equipment switching and the background music made by SoundTeMP.

9. Continuous Updates

Since ROM was launched in CN server in 2017, it is continuously being updated through major patches (referred to as “Episodes”).  ROM SEA server which follows the CN server began in Oct 31, 2018 with Episode 4 and as of November 2, 2020, it is now in Episode 7.  It will soon even introduce a 12 player vs. 12 player (12v12) Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)-style game play.

Aside from game events, it also introduces collaborative game items and job classes.

10. The game is getting easier and less competitive. 

As the game is reaching stagnation perhaps due to:

(1) Players getting tired of doing routinary quests.

(2) The cumulative expense you have to spend to complete all the gachas.

(3) The introduction of new and more interesting games (some of which are also Gravity and Ragnarok franchise)

ROM is losing its heavy spending competitive players.

Thus, ROM seems to be going on the direction where it wishes to make the game simpler and convenient for players to play casually so (1) existing players can play it simultaneously with other games or play it less often and  (2) new players can dive in and catch up with existing players.  New competitive players can also catch up easily by simply buying the accounts of quitting players that is already equipped with expensive game items and gachas

So ROM makes it easy and less demanding enough not to drop it as one of the games we can casually maintain.  And, that gives us a reason to continue playing it even if we just log in selectively for whichever modes or events we want to enjoy, be it 6v6, GvG or perhaps the soon-to-be-implemented 12v12.  

There... that sums up the Top 10 reasons why ROM can be considered as an addictive MMORPG.  

Do you agree?

Oreo: Farewell Miracle Runt of the Litter (Pet Obituaries)

| Read more...
There are only a handful of moments in my life that I was truly proud of.    One of it was helping you to live and raising Oreo...

I would I can still recall November 28, 2009, it was a long labor for Kiwi just for you... the last one... the litter of the runt.  You were so different from your older brothers.  Toffee, the eldest one came out easily and was already crawling confidently from the moment he was born.  Mochi, the second one was so huge and fat that you'd mistake him for a month-old instead of a newborn puppy.

But, you... lifting you off the ground scared me... You were so tiny and almost weightless... It was as if I was holding a bag full of fur. 

Worse, you were breathing faintly and thinly.  Worst, you would suddenly stop breathing.  For a week, Kurt and I took turns to watch over you and resuscitate you through chest compression or suction through bulb syringe every time you stopped breathing.

You were Kiwi's favorite.  Whenever you were being pushed around by your brothers, she would reposition herself.  She was also extra attentive inducing you digestive system.  

For weeks, you didn't grow much in weight or size. Yet, a miracle that somehow you survived weaning stage with your noisy asthmatic breathing.  And, from then on, you were able to compete with your siblings.  You opened your eyes, you stood on your four paws, you ate on your own and you grew in size.  To our surprise, you also had more spots and transformed into a bear coat flower sharpei. 

Except for your heavy breathing, you never showed anyone any sign of weakness.   You can easily fend off all six other dogs when they were playing to rough. 

 I will never forget that morning on February 17, 2020... just a day before my birthday...   You followed me intently and looked at me as if you didn't want me to leave for work...  Even though I would be late, I sat down and pat you on the head and told you "see you later" and you just kept looking at me.  I even messaged the family to pay attention to you because you were "clingy".  I should have known it was your way of bidding goodbye and that was the last moment I'd see you alive.

You were truly one of God's greatest gift to me.  For someone who is lazy and selfish like me, you have thought me the how far-reaching ones will-power and heart can be.   Even with all your infirmities and weakness, you always chose to do right thing even when its the harder thing to do. 

During your last days, we knew you had difficulty standing up.  But, you would still muster all your strength to stand up just so you could walk and even climb the stairs to pee or poo outside the house.    

Farewell my miracle runt of the litter... We had a wonderful 11 years together...
 



Sharkoon Elbrus 1 Gaming Chair: Best Budget-Friendly Yet Durable Fabric Gaming Chair

| Read more...
Gaming has become an popular past time for everyone.  With the growing number of game streamers, we are familiarized not only with the latest trends but with the latest gaming gears as well.  Well, eventually we ended with the Sharkoon Elbrus 1 Gaming Chair.

sharkoon elbrus 1 gaming chair box
Elbrus 1 Gaming Chair Complete Package
It wasn''t an easy decision to end up buying the Sharkoon Elbrus 1 Gaming Chair package. This durable gaming chair package weight 7 kilos so yes it was challenging to bring home.
 
Of course, we also dreamed of buying the very cool Secret Lab gaming chairs that is known to be classy and sturdy as it is used by every heavy-looking game streamers.  When I checked the price online, the cheapest one is around 20,000 php (400 USD)!!!

So instead, we started checking for cheaper alternatives.  Here in Manila, many brand new and used gaming chairs are available online.  Seeing 100% of the used gaming chairs being sold having leather cracks convinced us to buy fabric gaming chairs instead. 
 
sharkoon elbrus 1 screw set
Elbrus 1 Screw Set
We settled for the budget price of 7,500 php because at this price you could buy gaming chairs from reputable brands like the:
1. Cougar Fusion Gaming Chair at 7,500 php; or 
2. Raidmax Drakon DK706 Gaming Chair priced at 7,500 php 

However, those are made of synthetic leather.

Based on our research, the most popular fabric gaming chair is the Sharkoon SKILLER SGS2. which was above our budget at 9,500 php. 

Around November 2019, Sharkoon announced a budget-friendly line called Elbrus.  Among the products release was the Elbrus 1 Fabric Gaming Chair which perfectly fits our budget with the price tag of 7,500 php and our fabric gaming chair criteria.  More importantly, it offered the pink color variation.  Having pink gaming gears has become a popular trend now.  In fact, most gaming gears that comes in pink edition is pricier.  Also Sharkoon is a reputable German brand way older than Secretlab.  Its been around since 2003 and its gaming seats have gained awards for its unique designs.

Our nearby supplier "Dynaquest" assured us that the Elbrus 1 Pink Color is available.  But, when we got to the store to purchase, only the Blue and Green where available for order with down payment.  We were disappointed with the color but we were just to excited so we got the Blue one. 

Tip: In case you want to buy the Sharkoon brand, the price is standard so best to buy where convenient. 

sharkoon elbrus 1 assembly
Elbrus 1 Assembly
As you can see from the photos, it comes with a complete screw set.  No need to own a toolbox!   It was also easy to assemble. It can be assembled by someone who has no experience in assembling anything within 30 minutes.

sharkoon elbrus 1 fabric gaming chair
Elbrus 1 Fabric Gaming Chair in Blue
To date, this Sharkoon Elbrus 1 Gaming Chair is being used daiuly for almost 3 months now.  It still looks brand new and the heavy duty wheel  are unaffected by the uneven wooden floors.  It rolls smoothly and unscathed too.  The arm rest tilts well and its synthetic leather is still in perfect condition too.  The user is less than the max weight load so the Polyurethane foam is still as puffy too. 

Tip: You can also buy a seat cover from online shops like Shoppee or Lazada which cost around 500 php (10 USD) for extra protection.  The stretchable large Office Computer Chair seat covers fits which one perfectly.  That is a good way to prevent dust and pet furs from sticking into it.

Overall, the Sharkoon brand deserved more popularity here in the Philippines.  As the seller shared, the Gamdias and Havit brand are selling better than this.  The only disadvantage we see with this chair is that the chair height might be too high for Asians.  The user is an Asian with a height of 5 feet and 6 inches and her feet can barely touch the ground when seating.  Other than that,  hands down the Sharkoon Elbrus 1 Gaming Chair is one of the best budget-friendly yet durable fabric gaming chairs available. 

Shū Reflexology and Foot Therapy Banawe is Now Open!

| Read more...
There's a continuous growth of Chinese influence in Quezon City.  In 2005, a new China Town emerged in Banawe signified by the installation of a huge Chinese arc.  With the expansion of Chinese business establishments and residential homes in the area, Shū Reflexology and Foot Therapy Banawe sets in to provide its Chinese-style massage.

shu lion dance A few weeks ago, we were invited to the Grand Opening of Shū Reflexology and Foot Therapy Banawe.  The ceremony began with a blessing.  It was shortly followed by a Lion Dance which is believed to drive away bad luck and bring in good fortune, health and prosperity.  

shu banawe grand opening A variation of the Lion Dance is the Drunken Lion dance where bottles of coke and Red Horse are scattered on the ground and the Lion Dancers will finish them one by one leaving the bottle bottoms up.

shu banawe chinese lion  
The Lions danced their way towards the spa and gave out coins and candies.

chinese massage banawechinese lanterns
We also had the opportunity to tour around the place.  Like the pioneer Shu branch which we shared a few years back, it had Chinese interior that gave an overall serene feel.

shu massage theraphy Each room was very spacious and had its own unique interior.

shu couple massage There are also different types of rooms depending on the capacity.

shu couple massage room Various rooms occupy the first and second floor. 


shu couple packages There are couple rooms or rooms good for two...

shu banawe rooms Rooms for three...

shu four massage Rooms for four...


shu sparty and bigger rooms that can even cater to a sparty.

changing room Aside from rest rooms, it also offers a dedicated changing room.

Congratulations Shū Reflexology and Foot Therapy Banawe

Ragnarok Mobile SEA Exodiac Guild EB 5 Feat. Guild Leader Myrtle Sarrosa at Versus Barcade

| Read more...
About this time last year, one of our legal assistants messaged me about the launch of Ragnarok Mobile SEA and it has been a long online journey since then.  

One of the main reasons why I played Ragnarok Mobile SEA is for nostalgia.  When I was in high school, I played the Ragnarok Online (PC Version) for awhile.  It was the first massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that I played.  Unfortunately, I quit that game early because I was hacked so I wasn't able to explore it that much.  So this time, I am determined to familiarize myself with the game mechanics a bit more. 

Since I'm quite philosophical, I play this game with two (2) basic principles:

1. Play f2p like I once did.

Since I play for nostalgia, I play it like it was before.  I had absolutely no in-game purchase except for having a multi-class character and saving its attributes which is around 1,000 php.  I was quite surprised that a lot of gamers would spend as much as half a million pesos for a game. Game accounts are being sold more than tangible things too.  This players support the game development and maintenance and at the same time, they also help in making it viable for f2p players to participate in the collaborative play.

exodiac guild eb 5
2.Play at your comfort level but don't quit until you have optimized your f2p character.

All my long-time friends who I began playing this game has already quit.  My 1st guild who were my playmates from another game has quit within 3 months.  My friend who introduced me to my 2nd guild has quit too.  I credit my in-game efficiency and discipline to my 2nd guild.  I used to think that games are for kids but the game complexity makes it more adequate for players of all ages.  My guild mates from my 2nd guild were composed of successful individuals from 6-digit earning managers to National Athletes who are not only efficient in terms of their profession, family (most have kids) but also in progressing in the game.   Due to conflict on opinions, I had to leave and fortunately, I was qualified for my third guild - Exodiac Guild.

exodiac guild eb 5
Exodiac Guild is one of the top Filipino guild in  Ragnarok Mobile SEA (Eternal Love Server).  What makes it unique is that is led by celebrity / cosplayers Myrtle Sarrosa.

myrtle sarrosa
But of course, that is just one of the external aspects of the guild. 

versus barcade
Joining the guild paved way to let me know more about the world of gamers.

versus barcade
Recently, I was able to drop by Exodiac Guild's 5th EB at Versus Barcade at the Uptown Parade Mall BGC. 

versus barcade
The venue was quite cool because you can play 90s arcade games for free!

versus barcade
 I always ran out of coins playing pinball when I was young...

crane machine

You can practice all you want with this crane machine too!  I wonder why I didn't try it though.
 
versus barcade
The celebration was held on the second floor.


exodiac guild ragnarok
As usual I was the shy type and guildmates seem to already know each other... 

exodiac guild myrtle sarrosa
so it was wise for guild leader Myrtle initiate the introductions. 

exodiac guild myrtle sarrosa
It exemplifies that form of governance the guild has which is proactive yet democratic.

exodiac guild myrtle sarrosa
The guild leader and the guild council is open for feedback but at the same time enforces policies for the strengthening and sustenance of the guild and its members.

exodiac guild myrtle sarrosa
I also appreciate the well-researched guides they make.  Making guides like the one I shared before takes time! 

exodiac guild rom sea
But, most of all, I like that there is no discrimination against an f2p player.

exodiac guild rom sea
The guild activities are open to all especially if you can carry your own weight. 


exodiac guild rom sea

Overall, it was a cool EB experience with...

versus barcade
drinks...

versus barcade
food...

versus barcade
and socials...

exodiac star
that brings guildmates together. 

You just can’t miss out on these 6 street food spots in Manila

| Read more...
If you have heard of Manila, you’d know that the place is known for its rich history, culture and street food. Given the fact that many of these dishes are an acquired taste and might gross you out when you hear about them, it is true that each one tastes better than the other. If you have been meaning to visit Manila, book the Busuanga to Manila flight tickets without fail and then make sure to visit these food markets to get a taste of the amazing street food that they have to offer.

Quiapo Market
The authentic Filipino taste is only gotten best from the street food, so if you are there and you want a bite of the best street food in the city, visiting the Quiapo Market is an absolute must. The place is littered with multiple food vendors making everything from scratch and serving hot food on the sides of the street. From the delectable skewers to the mami or the noodle soup, your options are actually quite abundant there and you can choose from a variety of flavors and textures.

Mang Raul’s BBQ Haus
Located in Southern Manila, the Mang Raul’s BBQ Haus has been there since the 1970s and has been serving delectable food since then. The place is known for serving the best isaw in town with four signature dipping sauces which is what makes it stand out of the rest. The former laidback and rusty setting has now been replaced with a much more refined setting but the experience nevertheless is one of the best.

Concepcion Public Market
Next up on the list of the best public markets around in Manila to try out the street food there has to be the Concepcion Public Market. The place is famous for its vendors selling ukoy which is a deep-fried batter made from shrimp as well as beansprouts. The additional vinegar dip is an added bonus to that. Apart from that, you will also have vendors selling Malabon which is a popular sweet and sticky dessert found in Manila. It does come in a number of flavors too which is definitely riveting.

Skinita Street Foodz
The Skinita Street Foodz is yet another spot that you definitely need to visit to get a glimpse and taste of the amazing street food around in Manila. The place is in a very hipster and upbeat environment with graffiti art littering the walls and scattered chairs and tables to enjoy your food on. The place is known for its laidback vibe with its cheap beers and the authentic Filipino food that the place has to offer.


Rapsadoodle
Rapsadoodle is that one spot around in Manila where you can actually enjoy unlimited street food unapologetically. The place is known for its additional bout of iskrambol as well as bibingka waffles which is going to leave behind an amazing aftertaste on your palate. The place is filled with the theme behind the restaurant and people visiting this place have always suggested being satisfied when they leave.

Boni MRT Station
Last but not least is the Boni MRT Station. The public market situated around the metro station is also famous for its wide range of street food options that you can choose from. It is one of the staples for the daily commuters and even for the tourists who want to get a taste of everything that the Manila snacks are famous for.

The next time you are in Manila with the Jetstar promotions, make sure that you experience every last bit of the street food the city has to offer. Try out different locations to get a better diversity in the taste as well.