Launched waay back in 2003, Ragnarok Online was one of the first MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) brought to the Philippines. For most gamers in the early '00s, it was their gateway into the world of online multiplayer PC gaming. All is not lost though as there are talks of migrating Ragnarok PH accounts to the international servers which means we could possibly still play the game (although inevitably there will be big changes).
We admit, we're getting a bit sentimental here, and we can't help but look back teary-eyed at the stuff that made Ragnarok PH a memorable part of our younger years.
Fellow Ragnarok addicts, do you remember...
THE AVATAR "PORMA"
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Customization in Ragnarok was a practice of suiting up in the most ridiculous and impractical-looking (but very useful) headgear and armor. And it was much fun collecting these weird-ass equips. The rule: The weirder it looks, the rarer it is. Oh, and sticking an "apple" (officially called the Apple of Archer hat) on your head made total sense back then. (Laugh all you want, that gave us +3 Dex!)
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For the #CantRelate, Ragnarok's installer was free (usually given as part of a CD in computer shops), although actually playing the game required a bit of moolah. Enter the prepaid gaming cards. In denominations of P50 (eight hours), P100 (one week), and above, these made the game playable even for dudes on a shoestring budget. And they usually had really cool artwork printed in front to make you feel less sad about spending your baon.
THE RAGNAROK COMMUNITY
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Fellow Ragnarok players will surely agree that you came for the raiding and stayed for the company. Nothing forges friendships quite like defeating a tough enemy like a HO (read: High Orc and not escort service) and coming out unscathed. The PH server eventually became a massive multiplayer chat room, which just so happened to have RPG elements. And you even had EB meet-ups just to meet your digital comrade-in-arms. Almost a decade has passed and you still find the time to hang out with them. Because people may come and go but guildmates are definitely friends for keeps.
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Whether you were from different PH servers (e.g. Iris, Chaos, Loki, Fenrir), you definitely had a designated hangout place with your party and do other Ragna-related stuff like chat or tinker with your inventory. We definitely spent a lot of downtime chillin' at The Town which was one of the most popular places to meet up in the game.
Of course, frequent HOHOLs eventually lead to developing crushes on some of your fellow players. It was the early '00s after all and online flirting was all the rage. Perhaps subconsciously, you were questioning your attraction to a 2D sprite but what the hell, boobs, right? Although—which you’ll probably never admit to yourself—on occasion, you’d make a miscalculation and it turned out that cute female Hunter you were talking to was a dude.
THE OMNI-PRESENT LAG
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While today's PC games still experience bouts of lag from time to time, it was during the early '00s that most of us gamers experienced the first taste of major lag. Imagine being in the zone, kicking ass in Magma Dungeon or Glast Heim, when suddenly the screen freezes. You curse at the screen and check your dial-up modem (and maybe shout at your sibling for picking up the phone). It was like the worst case of blue balls you’ll ever have—save for that time your mom caught you watching porn before you could even finish off.
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Ragnarok had a shitload of seasonal in-game events (e.g. special gathering and quests) usually held during major holidays like Halloween and Christmas. They were one of the chillest parties we ever attended and we didn’t even have to leave the house!
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Because there ain’t no party like a dungeon party with your Ragnarok buddies! And when you’ve got a priest in your group to buff up your abilities, hell yes you felt invincible! #BLESSED
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You collected cards (in-game rewards you get from slaying monsters or via trading to upgrade your character's equipment) with the fury of a thousand suns. Let’s face it: If you were this dedicated in your schoolwork, you’d be a genius with a high-paying job by now.
THE RAGNAROK LINGO
If you're a budding linguist planning on studying the beginning of the Jeje language then look no further than the Ragnarok PH server. We have such gems as “Pa hil pohz,” “Pa buff pohz,” and "Pa warpz pohz" mainly directed at the lone priest hanging around the town or to accommodating players that aren't too busy to help. The influx of such requests would flood the screen, making your eyes bleed and, years later, we still inwardly cringe upon hearing such mangled phrases. But what the heck, Ragna-lingo made the game more memorable!