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

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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?