Ragnarok Origin Guide: Should You Play Ragnarok Origin in 2024?

by bunnhop
Published: Last Updated on

The re-release of Ragnarok Origin, the official mobile sequel to the hit South Korean MMORPG Ragnarok Online, is finally here! This brand-new version–which is either called “ROO: Ragnarok Origin” or “Ragnarok Origin: ROO,” depending on whether you’re on an app store or reading the announcements on the official Ragnarok Origin NA website–is available on Google Play, Apple App Store, Huawei AppGallery, Windows, or as an APK for other mobile devices, and can be enjoyed by RO fans residing in North America and Latin America.

But with the Ragnarok Origin NA servers still being supported by their corresponding team as of March 2024, as well as the existence of other regional servers, such as the Global a.k.a. Southeast Asian servers, and the brand-new Latin America and North America a.k.a. LNA servers on the new mobile app, it can be hard for new players to choose where to start their journey. In the same vein, current and returning players may want to try out the re-release and may consider moving to the new LNA servers, but aren’t sure if it’s worth their time.

We’d like to help you decide which regional service to play on, so in our research, we played on Poring on NA, Izlude-1 on Global or SEA, and Prontera-1 on the new Ragnarok Origin: ROO or LNA service. Additionally, we’d like to share our thoughts on the game, including points for improvement as well as a few things we’re not very thrilled with about Ragnarok Origin, to help you decide whether or not it suits your very own gaming lifestyle.

First, we’ll go through the changes on the NA service for the past two years, including features that have been added while we were away from the game. Second, we’ll look into ROO Global’s features that don’t appear to be available on NA and LNA at the moment. This is followed by a very short comparison between Global and LNA. We’ll then proceed to a discussion of the differences in terms of features and level progression among the three servers. Next, we’ll give our personal take as to which regional service you should play on and if the re-release is worth your time. And finally, we’ll share our critique of Ragnarok Origin as a whole to help you decide if this is the game for you.

To help us demonstrate the significant differences across servers, we made two Google Sheets files available to the public. We will continue to update these files until we’ve reached the server levels on each of the three regional servers we’re playing on: 135 for NA, 120 for Global, and 70 for LNA.

The first document, “Level Unlocks Comparison,” shows all the game features and systems and at what level they become available to the player on each of the regional servers. The second, “Differences across Regional Servers,” is currently a work-in-progress, and aims to offer a more detailed look into the changes across servers. It takes an enormous effort to fill out these sheets, so all are welcome to help us out by checking if there are some errors or adding in changes that you’ve noticed by letting us know about them in the comments section.

NA Over the Years

It’s been 2 years and 4 months since the official NA servers have opened their doors to fans of the Ragnarok Online franchise, and over the years, there have been additional contents and features implemented via game updates. Looking at our “Level Unlocks” document, additional Guide Quests have been added to the NA servers while we were away. These include learning how to participate in the Mini Boss and MVP events, learning about elemental attributes with our favorite Combat Instructor Brade (or is it Bled?), and a very nifty feature called the Build Laboratory, now called the Build Academy on Global and LNA, which allows new players to choose job-specific preset builds. This can immensely help them in their first foray into the game, before they gain enough confidence to mix it up and experiment on builds that suit their preferred playstyle. There is also now an Academy or Mentorship system, which allows veteran or high-level players to take on students to teach, and students to find mentors to learn from.

And because it’s been more than two years since server launch, there have been additional contents such as Comodo, Jawaii, Juno, Glast Heim, and even 4th Jobs (considered 3rd Jobs in the Ragnarok Online PC game). Features such as “Refinement Resonance” and other new quests such as “Melody of Dream” and “Ghostfire in Geffen” are some of the contents that we’ve noticed to be NA-specific and are therefore not currently available on Global and the new LNA servers.

It’s exciting to see how the Global and the re-released LNA servers will grow over the years, and if these contents will eventually become available on them as well.

Global-Exclusive Features

Carnival mini-game in ROO Global

As for ROO Global, several content updates from NA such as the aforementioned Comodo, Jawaii, Juno, Glast Heim, and 4th Jobs have all been implemented on the Southeast Asian servers, but they have also just received the Doram Kingdom update!

Additionally, there are two other features that seem to be exclusive to Global as of the moment. The first one is the Carnival mini-game, which is essentially a board game where you have to do quests to get dice, which you can then roll to make your Poring move across the board, with the goal of landing on tiles that have gifts such as costumes and Diamonds! The other feature is the Emoji Machine, which is a slot game to earn prizes such as Nyan Berries, Feather and Module Boxes, Purple Card Albums, and other goodies.

I wonder if these will eventually be implemented on the LNA servers as well?

Global vs. LNA

If you’ve come to this video primarily to check what exciting features are available only on the new Ragnarok Origin: ROO or what we like to call “LNA” servers, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but… Unfortunately. there really isn’t any major difference between Global and LNA.

If you’ve played ROO Global, then this section has nothing for you. The only thing worth noting is that bit of dialogue from Sprakki in the very beginning that mentions Loki’s curse and the history of the Novice Academy, which seems to have been left over from NA. This dialogue is not available on LNA.

NA vs. Global and LNA

So let’s now move on to the major differences between the three servers. Or more accurately, NA vs. Global and LNA.

PC Client

ROO Global and Ragnarok Origin: ROO (LNA)'s PC clients are both built-in emulators, not real PC ports.

The first one has been hinted on early in this video: much like the Southeast Asian servers, the new LNA servers are now available on Windows. Unfortunately, unlike Genshin Impact on PC, it doesn’t seem to be a real PC port. In fact, the first thing you see when you create your character are symbols that seem to indicate that we’re only playing on a built-in emulator. And like on BlueStacks, which was what we were using to play on NA back in 2021 on PC, you can change your keyboard controls to make it, kind of, like a PC game, although the directional pad is still always visible when you’re manually moving your character, which can get annoying if you’re using your mouse to move.

Additionally, the Skills interface is also exactly the same as its mobile counterpart. This makes it look and feel a little odd, considering how cramped the screen can get, especially after leaving the tutorial area when you start getting a bunch of interface buttons, along with your quest interface on the left-hand side, and your quick slots on the right-hand side.

What makes it look even more cramped is the chat box that can’t be hidden, resized, or moved around your screen. I hope this is something they’ll change in the future, but after Rose started playing on Global, which has been up for almost a year now, we’ve noticed the same exact cramped UI problems, so I don’t really know if there’s any hope for a cleaner UI or a real PC port. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed, anyway.

Voiced Story Quest NPCs

Second, on both Global and LNA, the NPCs in the Story Quests are now voiced. However, the dialogues of other NPCs outside of these quests are still not voiced. What’s worse is that the attempt to voice Main Story Quest NPCs seems to have ended at Chapter 5, since there are no other voiced NPC dialogues from Chapter 6 and onwards, which I hope they’ll change in the future.

One weird issue we’ve encountered on both Global and LNA is that many of the NPC voice dialogues, especially at the Novice Academy, are rephrased or slightly modified versions of what the text says, which makes things so confusing, I didn’t know whether to listen to the voice actor or read the text box.

Speaking of voiced dialogues, I think the new voice actors did a pretty good job (Yes, the VAs for Global and LNA seem to be different from the ones who originally voiced the characters on NA), although there seems to have been poor direction for some of the lines, which reminds me of Oblivion NPC dialogue.

With regards to the text box, it seems like they’ve decided to revert to the blank, semi-opaque box, which NA used to have immediately post-launch. However, they’ve removed the NPC art that was originally found on the left side of the dialogue box.

One last thing about NPCs and their dialogues: Unlike NA, Global and LNA have ambient dialogues from NPCs, which activate whenever you’re near them or walk past them, which is cool at first, but can eventually get repetitive and annoying, especially since they can sometimes play even during cutscenes. Which can be a little off-putting, if you ask me.

Lunatic Guide

A new feature on Global and LNA servers is the Lunatic Guide.

Have you ever felt alone playing Ragnarok Origin? I don’t think any of you said “yes” since, well, it’s an MMO and you’re pretty much surrounded by other players almost all the time. But I guess Gravity thought we could use a little more company, so they’ve provided us with… a Lunatic Guide?

This new fluffy, talkative companion NPC was first introduced on the SEA servers, and who you’ll first meet at the Novice Academy. Initially, you might find it cute, but if you ever get tired of it, like I did, really quick, aside from the ability to change its appearance, it’s good to know that there is also a way to hide your Lunatic Guide.

Novice Academy and Job-Change

Aside from the Lunatic Guide, there are a number of other changes you’ll find in and soon after leaving the Novice Academy, during your first few minutes of playing on Global or on LNA. Let’s quickly go through each:

  1. Professor Anderson no longer gives you a limited-edition Poring Mount on Global and LNA.
  2. The Combat Instructor’s name is now “Bled” instead of “Brade.”
  3. The cutscene involving accidentally summoning a Goblin Leader and his minions using a Dead Branch, which then Brade uses as an opportunity to teach Play Dead and First Aid, are not available on Global and LNA.
  4. There is a new NPC at the Valkyrie shrine called Instructor Gray.
  5. You are now the chosen one, Valkyrie Alvitr’s Messenger, and can therefore graduate early to stop Loki’s curse from destroying Midgard, instead of the Valkyrie’s blessing as something all students need to receive as a prerequisite to graduation.
  6. There is no way to try out the different First Jobs before choosing your Job, unlike on NA.
  7. And finally, upon leaving the Novice Academy, you do not need to go through any job-change quests, and will immediately go through the job-change ceremony.

Missing Scenes from Chapter 1

There are also some scene omissions from the first chapter of the Main Story that are pretty interesting.

First, unlike on NA, during the Cendrawasih flight scenes, you can’t move your camera around on Global and LNA. Second, the hostile interaction between the player and Father Biscus outside  the Prontera Cathedral right before meeting Father Bamph is no longer on Global and LNA. And third, the interaction with the female Foreigner at the Indigo Parrot is also unavailable on Global and LNA.

Removal of the Mercenary System

Finally, we’ve arrived at the most important difference between NA and the Global and LNA servers: the Mercenary system, or rather, the lack thereof. To put it simply, the Mercenary system is not available on both Global and LNA. Instead, the Pet system is now introduced at Level 22 instead of the original Level 40, to make up for this loss.

However, in our experience playing on both the Southeast Asian and the brand new Latin and North American servers, the lack of a Mercenary system has made level progression more challenging upon reaching Level 50, compared to NA where the challenge only starts at around Level 60.

NPC Expressions?

And one last… quirky thing: Global and LNA both have these… new expressions from voiced NPCs: “Poring-poop” and “Asgard.”

Choosing the Right Server

Now that we’ve seen some changes that might help you choose which regional service to join, here are a few other things to keep in mind:

Let’s all address the Baphomet in the room: what will happen to the NA server? It’s not advisable to make assumptions this early, but considering Global has just received the Doram Kingdom update, and there doesn’t seem to be any indication that NA will… if I were a new or returning player, I wouldn’t feel that enthusiastic starting out on NA. This is a really important thing to consider when thinking about which server to play on, which makes Global and LNA seem like more secure options when thinking about server longevity.

A variety of payment options is offered, depending on the regional service you join.

Payment options and customer support are two more things to keep in mind. If you live in Canada, the U.S., Central America, or South America, then LNA will be your safest bet in terms of the wide variety of payment options that are available in your location, while if you’re in Southeast Asia, Global will be the quickest choice. In terms of customer support, this is just an assumption, but I’d think you’re more likely to receive a faster response to your tickets if you chose the regional service that matches your time zone.

This also ties in with in-game events which are based on regional time. NA follows the PDT/PST time, which is basically California or West Coast time, while Global follows the UTC/GMT+7 or the Cambodia, Lao, Vietnam, and Thailand time zone, and LNA follows the EST/EDT or the New York or East Coast time. So it might be a good idea to choose a regional server that is in or very close to your time zone.

Both Global and LNA are a hodgepodge of many different beautiful languages, but it’s good to know that there are English-speaking guilds on both. So if you live outside Southeast Asia or Latin and North America and primarily speak English, don’t fret, there is a guild out there for you on either service.

Another thing to consider is that Global has been up for almost an entire year, which means more features to enjoy, but if you’re new or returning to the game, it might be harder to catch up with the players who have been there since server launch. On the other hand, Ragnarok Origin: ROO or the LNA servers are brand new, and players can watch it grow alongside their characters.

Since the LNA servers are pretty much the same as the Global servers in terms of features and level progression as we’ve mentioned earlier in this video, if you’re currently on Global, it probably isn’t worth your time trying out the re-release a.k.a. LNA, unless it’s something like… you’d like to start fresh on a brand new server and leave your old life on Global behind, or something poetic like that.

Should You Play ROO?

So, should you play Ragnarok Origin? Let’s take a look at some of the things we’d like to see improved in ROO and are currently unhappy with.

Please do note that these are purely coming from our own experience. As such, these are in no way representative of all the experiences of ROO players worldwide, past and present. You are very welcome to share your own thoughts in the comments section below.

A few other things to note: I don’t have much experience with mobile games, especially mobile MMOs. The MMOs I have played and are currently playing are all on PC. Some of the South Korean MMO titles I’ve played are Fly for Fun or Flyff and, of course, Ragnarok Online.

In terms of microtransactions, I am not in any way averse to paying with real money, but within reason. For example, we’ve bought ESO Plus a couple of times in the past for Elder Scrolls Online, and both currently have Premium Pluses on Second Life. We’ve also spent a considerable amount to buy several OCPs for both of our mains on Ragnarok Online’ iRO server. With all that out of the way, let’s get started:

Screen and UI

ROO Global and LNA's PC clients both have messy screens due to too many interface buttons.

The lack of a real PC port might be a hindrance for PC players to fully enjoy the game. I understand that ROO is primarily a mobile game, but I’ve seen Genshin Impact’s PC port, and I just wish we could have something like that.

In relation to this, as mentioned earlier in the video, the screen can get quite crowded, even on the PC client, especially since the chat box cannot be minimized, moved, or hidden. If they were to make an actual PC port, I feel like the UI would be cleaner and would be easier on the eyes.

This is something I hope they can fix very soon: Every time you load in and out of an instance or a building, and in between maps, your Quest panel on the left side of your screen and the interface buttons on the top right of your screen reappear, so it can get a little annoying having to minimize them Every. Single. Time.

Speaking of cramped UI and tons of features, I don’t appreciate how the game just bombards you with so many different things, especially around Levels 30 and 40. The addition of Guide Quests introducing these features may be helpful, but it would be so much better if they were hidden under a different quest category window, instead of popping up on your main Quest window, which gets really crowded very easily as they also list your Story Quests and Adventure Quests. Guides for features such as Mini Boss and MVP events, Mounts, the Battle of Yggdrasil, and so on, SHOULD instead be treated as optional features that help in level progression and powering up, as well as in bringing more fun activities in the game, but might not be the main priority of all players, so I hope they’ll relocate these Guide quests in future updates.

Main Objectives of the Game

The lack of a Mercenary system on the Global and LNA servers is a big thing. I feel like NA has a better progression pace because of the ability to deploy multiple Mercenaries as well as one Pet, which in essence, is your own private party. This helps in level grinding and the more challenging Daily Quests such as Hazy Forest and Anthem, making it easier to increase in level up until your 60s. Not having Mercenaries makes it feel like the game really wants you to team up with others, instead of allowing for both team and solo gameplay. As I’ve said earlier, I don’t have much experience in mobile MMOs, so the next best comparison would be with the Elder Scrolls Online, which is a PC MMO which you can enjoy regardless of whether you prefer playing solo or with your friends.

Another indication that the developers really emphasize the importance of teamplay in ROO, aside from the pop-up box that bugs you to join a guild if you still haven’t, is the Guild Benefits system, which allows you to receive Emperium buffs and level up additional Guild Skills to become even more powerful. Obviously, you’ll miss out on these if you’re not part of a guild. I understand that this is an MMO and traditionally, MMOs are meant to be played with others, hence the name, but I think it’s still best to try to cater to the various ways by which different gamers like to play, so allowing for solo progression without missing out on means of powering up your character is something I’d like to see in ROO.

In relation to this, I feel like the game has become more in-your-face about what it expects you to do, which is to focus on leveling up and powering up, rather than allowing different players to decide how they personally want to play the game. The Power Up window shows you exactly what you have to do to make your character more powerful, like investing on Cards, enhancing and refining your gears, and leveling up your pets, which is great if your focus is on group PvE contents and PvP. But what about if you’re more into fashion, questing, socialization, or exploration?

As a lore and exploration-focused gamer, the game forces me to power up to access story contents, since many quests require combat and if you’re not strong enough, you can easily get un-alived by monsters, so you don’t really get to enjoy the lore in later Chapters unless you make a constant effort to power up.

Coming from Ragnarok Online, where many of the quests are also level-locked, my issue isn’t in leveling up. It’s quite easy to increase your level by doing Dailies and such, but it’s easy to fall in combat if you don’t have the right gears, pets, and buffs, which isn’t the case in Ragnarok Online. In RO, you simply need to meet the level requirement of a quest, and you’re all set. Many of the interesting lore-rich quests in RO don’t involve combat, unlike in ROO.

Cash Shop and “Pay-to-Win”

Ragnarok Origin's Costumes and Mounts have buffs, but most can only be obtained using Nyan Berries (paid currency).

I’ve noticed that Cash Shop pop-ups are more frequent on Global and LNA than on NA. They sometimes even pop up during the ending scene of quests. And while I am fully aware that this is a free, predominantly-mobile game that relies on microtransactions, I feel like the developers should have a little more trust in their player base. We believe that players who are fully-immersed into the game and are very much enjoying the gameplay are more likely to top-up and make microtransactions with no regret.

Some players will always be big on fashion, so even without buffs, they will surely hop on a new limited-edition Costume Gacha or purchase a Mount the first chance they’ve got. Adding buffs on Costumes and Mounts just makes it feel more “pay-to-win”. So I hope that, at the very least, there will be fewer Cash Shop pop-ups in the future, as well as fewer fashion items that can only be obtained using Nyan Berries.

In summary, at the moment, Ragnarok Origin feels like a game that’s heavy on group PvE contents and microtransactions. Some of the ways to power up require items that you can only get either through group PvE features like Helheim or by spending RL money on Nyan Berries.

Should you play Ragnarok Origin in 2024? That’s entirely up to you! If you’re the kind of person who wants to steer clear of microtransactions, prefer to play solo most of the time, and want a fair chance at PvP without having to pay or grind, then I think you might want to consider other games instead. But if you’re fine purchasing a few Nyan Berries every now and then, are very much into teamplay, and are patient enough to grind and power up at a slow but steady pace, then I think it’s worth a try!

My only advice for lore and exploration-oriented players like me who very much prefer solo play but are also okay with participating in group contents is patience. You can’t play it like a single-player action-adventure game where you can jump from one end of the map to another doing random side quests whenever you feel like it, but you can still enjoy it at your own pace.

You can play it simply for nostalgia, just to listen to ambient sound effects and your favorite RO BGMs. You can also wander around the 3D versions of your town and city hangouts from the old days of RO and have fun taking pictures. You can have a go at trying to find all the Hidden Quests and Poring Spirits, or you can take your time reading interesting facts in your Storyline Glossary. If you ever decide to try Ragnarok Origin for yourself, don’t let the pop-ups and the overwhelming number of features drive you away. If you’re gonna play it, play it your way.

We hope you found this article (and the video) helpful in some way. So… are you going to play Ragnarok Origin or are you going to skip this one out? If you’ve decided to try it out, which server are you gonna choose? If you have been playing for a while, which server are you currently on? What is something you’d like to see in ROO in the future? And what do you like most about the game? Let us know in the comments section below.

We’ve got more Ragnarok Origin videos and articles in the works, so stay tuned! Thank you so much for reading and we hope to see you in the next one.

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