Interviewed by by Joachim_S
We've mananged to get an interview with Christy Kay from Gravity Corp. in Korea regarding their new MMORPG Ragnarok Online. Ragnarok was a massive success internationally during the first open beta, now they have entered the Beta 2 stage. The signup for the closed beta is still running (http://www.ragnarokonline.com), you will have to have a credit card and $10 to help Gravity pay the maintainance fee though, more about this in the interview.
Please introduce yourself, the company you work for, and your part in the development of¬¬†Ragnarok Online.
My name is Christy Kay, and basically I've been working for the International Technical Support Team, as Game Master Team Manager. ¬¬†What I am doing in my team is educating foreign Game Master Team of our partners in abroad, supporting Every Technical Problem they might encounter while they operate Ragnarok of their own. ¬¬†In the meantime, I am working on the International Ragnarok as the General GM. ¬¬†Also I've been involved with the English Game Program and other stuffs with the Dev Team.
Please give us the basic storyline of Ragnarok Online
Ragnarok Online is¬¬†based on the¬¬†well-known Korean comics `Ragnarok'¬¬†written by Myung Jin, Lee.¬¬† In the comics, the world of Ragnarok was described as a¬¬†Chaos involved in Great wars among God, Human being, Semi-human and evil creatures.
And there are some heroes and heroines leading¬¬†various stories as Chaos (main character), Loki, Fenrir and Sarah.
Ragnarok Online borrowed a lot of items and names from the comics and the writer has been supporting RO as well.
On the other hand,¬¬†the main intention of Ragnarok Online is encouraging people to organize their inside-community and enjoy unique environment of RO own.
What made you come up with the idea of this game?¬¬†
After we published `Arcturus' the RPG game in the PC package market, we came to think of expanding our territory into the online market. By coincidence, Myung Jin Lee, one of our close friends wanted to make his work as a kind of game, so we decided to produce Ragnarok Online.
Could you please tell us about the different classes/jobs in Ragnarok online and give a brief explanation of their special abilities.
When you join for the first time, you will meet a Novice which is the basic character for all kinds of professions in Ragnarok.
During Novice period, you can decide your favorable job among 6 kinds of 1st Job, as Swordman/Archer/Thief/Merchant/Acolyte/Mage.
And at job level 40, you can advance your character into its 2nd Job as (Knight for Swordman) / (Hunter, Huntress for Archer) / (Assassin for Thief) / (Priest, Priestess for Acolyte) / (Wizard for Mage). (We have 2 kinds of EXP system, one is Base Level and another one is Job Level. Every monster gives you 2 types of EXP so that you can carry on living up with them. Base Level affects on your characters status. Job Level allows you to learn skills suited your job. When your character becomes one of 2nd Job, Your Base Level won't be reset but Job Level will be reset for the 2nd Skills. But every skills from the 1st job will be handed down as well.)
Mostly RO jobs possess similar characters like the other MMORPG, especially Japanese type ones but I can say articles are very different from other MMORPG.
Also I hope I would explain Job characters even in briefly but there are too many jobs for me.
Please refer to the Official Guidelines in the website (http://enweb.ragnarok.co.kr) for more information about the jobs.
What kind of soundtrack does the game have?
Unlike other MMORPG,
RO has¬¬†extraordinary soundtracks¬¬†varied by each of maps.
Also soundtracks are made like MP3 so that you can enjoy even outside the game or can select your favorite BGM while playing. Some of them could remind you of Dance Club, some of them could reminds you of peaceful countryside.
How long have this game been in development and which part was the hardest to make?
I apologize that I barely have an idea about the development progress.
Because I am the one of people who¬¬†has¬¬†joined later after the¬¬†dev team finished to¬¬†let the RO program running.
But for sure I think our team had a hard time to mix 2D character graphic with 3D environment.
RO is intended to be a kind of cute game, so we needed to make characters¬¬†as 2D animation ones.
That is the priority of RO but the weak point in the meantime. Mixture of 2D and 3D could¬¬†cause more lag¬¬†while playing.
Anyway we made it to be real and¬¬†are satisfied with¬¬†our work.
Which part did you enjoy the most?
Personally I like¬¬†BGM the most, and I believe our users¬¬†will¬¬†feel the same way. ¬¬†And you can enjoy 2D cute characters and monsters as well.
RO is¬¬†obviously distinguished with the western style MMORPGs which have¬¬†little bit strange looking characters and environment (at least I think) in the¬¬†matter of features, that’s why everybody in the world comes to love our product.
In some other MMORPG's the users have the ability to buy homes for themselves and customizing them, will there be a feature like that in Ragnarok?
Apparently we have a plan to provide users housing themselves and it is on the way of consideration. RO is not finished yet, still on the development stage, and it will be getting better and better in future. (But I think RO is already better than any other games.)
The MMORPG market has grown quite large in recent years and should be quite competitive, what does Ragnarok offers that is unique?
Everything as I've been talking above will be our strong point.
How many people have been involved making the game?
On the first place it was 5-6 people who had made Arcturus, our previous package game.
And then people started to join the Gravity, now we have at least 197 regular employees.
You recently opened up the closed Beta for international users, how has the response been so far?
It's been over our expectation and we are satisfied by user's positive reaction.
But we can say there are young people who want to play IRO but don't have Credit Card to pay the server maintenance fee for playing.
Actually at this time, we don't have another solution for the payment and are on the first trial to challenge for International Market.
¬¬†We believe we will be able to provide customers many ways to pay in near future.
Would you have any exclusive pictures from the game to show our readers?
Meet me in the IRO. I will show you everything you want.
Any last words for our readers?
Thank you for loving RO so much so far,
And we hope you will continue to support Ragnarok Online.
See you in IRO.
IRO GM/General Game Master
Foreign Tech Support Team