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Ragnarok PH goes F2P.. almost

Ragnarok.PH finally jumps on the free to play bandwagon in an effort to take on several of the current popular MMOs that offer the same “Free for Life” tagline. Will it work to attract gamers who have migrated to other games? Or is it already too late?

Here’s the official statement from GM Tristan

Valkyrie will be a FREE-TO-PLAY server. We will launch this commercial server on October 10! Yey! The other commercial worlds (Baldur, Tyr and the rest) will still retain their old business model (subscription + item mall). I?ll have to see first how the Valkyrie server does.

At any rate, the pRO team will be announcing the teasers and put up the marketing materials about Valkyrie (you may have seen the loading screen inside the game na) this week.

Here are some more teasers and bullets about Valkyrie:

* Boss and MVP monsters DO NOT drop boss cards
* Slotted items, weapons and gear are also NOT dropped
* Some maps are PVP enabled
* Ori and Elu are almost NOT dropped, quested or found
* You can buy these and other items at the ITEM MALL
* We will release a CD for this patch (3 CDs)
* Valkyire already has Rachel (whatever the commercial worlds have, Valkyrie has)
* If you already have RO installed, you just need to download a 5MB fix.
* Characters CANNOT be migrated

Before the violent reactions, let me inform you that we have tested this thoroughly and gathered feedback from key players – both current players and those who already quit Ragnarok.

The item prices are fairly reasonable. For example, slotted mufflers cost P10 and various slotted weapons cost from P10 to P50. Even PVP cards such as Tharas, Raydric, and Hydras are anywhere from P20 to P100. And don?t worry about the boss cards, we?ll REGULATE it and will sell a limited supply only. And no, they won?t be released all in one blow – we have an item and card release schedule: think ?Magic: The Gathering? boxed sets and you?ll know what I mean.

I also want this server to be dupe and bot-free. So constant testing and confirmation is being done now. We want those items to have value so duping, cheats will be absolutely be unacceptable.

So boss and MVPs cards, and even slotted items are ONLY available thru the item mall which I’m guess will be located in the town of Izlude like in many private servers. No more farming aside for potions then.

What hasn’t been mentioned with the statement was that the Warp skill and the item butterfly wing will be disabled/not available for the said server. How will it affect players? I say big time. Not only will players find themselves without a way to escape from mobs without class-specific skills but they will also have longer travel times from 1 dungeon to another.

Although LUG states that the new server is a move to combat the ever persistent problem of botting, I think they found the wrong solution to an easily solve-able problem. Packet encryption is one way to do it but they have to modify part of the client and the server or use a third party software to do it but it’s well worth the effort if you can ensure for all your players that no mindless bot is wandering in your game world.

So, will Ragnarok’s free to play Valkyrie Server succeed? I feel most of the odds are against it. If LUG sticks with all of the posted changes then it’s bound to turn into a flop with the worst of players (scammers, free-loaders, etc.) roaming the new server but that’s just my 2 cents.

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