While Ragnarok M: Eternal Love just launched in Southeast Asia, another mobile MMORPG based on the same popular Ragnarok Online IP has started its 2nd Alpha Test in China. Developed by Shanghai-based studio 欢乐互娱 (Joy Entertainment), also the team behind Dragon Nest Mobile, Ragnarok M: Love At First Sight is published by Tencent Games. Just a quick fact, the game doesn’t even have an official logo yet! I will be giving a quick look at Ragnarok M: Love At First Sight, bearing in mind many features are yet to be available.
Starting from a novice, players can advance to any of these 1-1 jobs: Swordman, Acolyte, Magician, Thief, Merchant, and Archer. 2-1 jobs are also available, but only 1 is available for each 1-1 job. As I played a Magician, my only job advancement choice was the Wizard.
Right at the start, 2 types of game controls schemes are presented. One is touted to be more mobile friendly, while the other being more suited for PC gamers. Either way, this can be changed in the settings. There are also automated attacks and skill casting, as well as auto potion for HP and MP at the set percentage. Similar to Eternal Love, players can also choose which mob to attack on the map and stay away from hitting the un-selected ones.
Leveling as a Magician/Wizard
Despite not have as many skills as the PC version of Ragnarok Online, the skills of Wizard are still classified into 3 main elements: Fire, Ice, Lightning. There are only enough skill points to focus on one element at first, so leveling spots tend to be quite limited due to elemental resistance of mobs. The higher level skills, especially when advanced into a Wizard, are most AOE skills, which is a problem as mobs hit hard without a tank. For auto attacks, players must also remove the normal attack button from the skill slot, as some how the Magician/Wizard will perform normal attacks randomly, which is really annoying.
Overall leveling process
While there is no stamina system in Ragnarok M: Love At First Sight, both level EXP and job EXP start to decrease after 2 hours of gameplay for open world grinding. Eventually, it will drop to just 1 level EXP and 1 job EXP, which I think is a potential system to deter excessive gaming? Of course, this might still change, but for now, most of the EXP comes from quests, events, and the various gameplay modes. Even for the gameplay modes, there is a fixed number of chances to get EXP. This might present an issue to low level players, as the high level players head to low level mobs to AFK and grind out the 1 EXP.
As mentioned, most of the EXP comes from quests, and most of them are really cookie-cutter with unnecessary cut-scenes, though some do have mini-games involved. I used to be a huge grind farmer in Ragnarok Online, so I am not really pleased with the overall leveling experience, even though the quests do give good EXP. I would prefer to have the open world EXP drop after 4 or 6 hours, rather than just 2 now. Do you agree with me?
The current world map of Ragnarok M: Love At First Sight is pretty limited, though not small by any means for a mobile MMORPG. Other than the main towns and some open maps, the different dungeons are also readily shown via the several arrows displayed on the world map. Really convenient! Mob levels and what items they drop are also made public as well, which is very useful to all players. No particular complains for this feature.
Various iconic towns, such as Prontera, Geffen, and Payon are all in the game, each serving as a main hub for the playable 1-1 jobs. I would say most of the feel and aesthetics stayed true to the original PC version, although there are some slight changes such as the scale. There are still many empty spots in each town, and I think the size is just right for now.
There is currently no trace of the cash shop in Ragnarok M: Love At First Sight, and even the skill and stats reset items are bought from NPC using zenny, the in-game currency. I am not sure what play Tencent Games is doing, but I expect things to change when Closed and Open Beta swings by… possibly early next year. For now, everything seems too fair…
While most costumes, such as MVP gears, are dropped from mobs in the PC version Ragnarok Online, things are a little different here in Ragnarok M: Love At First Sight. While some costumes still drop from normal mobs, most are obtained by farming a list of items and exchange them at a NPC. This is certainly the case for all current MVP costumes. Other costumes are from a gacha system, quests, PVP, and more. But from what I saw, at least 90% are from the exchange NPC located in all towns. What do you think of this system?
This is my brief experience in Ragnarok M: Love At First Sight for now, though I am not sure if I will continue playing since there will be a data wipe once this alpha test phase ends in early November. I am certainly not a fan of the 2 hours limitation, though I understand China is having a huge issue with excessive gaming right now. I do look forward to what changes will be made for future builds, so stay tuned for more updates!