Thank you all for participating in our latest survey, we really appreciate your feedback!
We're glad to hear, that the majority of our player base liked or even loved the recent changes that went through our patcher, forum and news systems.
Also our cloud infrastructure changes reflected in great website speeds and patching download speed improvements all over the globe, based on your feedback!
We couldn't be more happy about the positive words we've recieved!
But now, let's talk about the most important thing, that is the game.
We hear you loud and clear, you want changes to the game, the meta, content and events.
GatheringRO has come a long way, 15 years in its original creation that started off with basically no balancing that evolved into full fleshed rebalancings of classes and skills over the years.
New classes have been introduced, and the big Renewal patch shifted the meta and gameplay mechanics on a whole new level.
The core issues of GatheringRO have always been our vast amount of customizations, that forced us to rebalance every single content we've ever released, simply to match our customizations. Rather than being able to push out new content when they became available, it took us months to get things ready to a somewhat balanced state. Players then had to struggle with handing us lots of feedback, to re-balance our balancing patch and so on.
It has always been like this, so we simply moved on with what we've had.
But all this struggle shall come to an end, and we're here to tell you how, and why.
You've heard it in our latest survey, the big word "Normalization". What what is all about?
We were shocked, by how many players were ready with a "Yes, i'm all in", both PvP and PvE players, and we couldn't be more happy about your reactions.
But we feel like these major core gameplay changes require a more detailed summary, to show you in advance what you're willing to sign up for.
So let's get you up to speed, as we look into the upcoming patch, that brings major core gameplay changes to GatheringRO.
Ragnarok Online has been keeping up with base level increasements over the years. With the planned 4th classes that will become available on official servers in the future, they have planned to get up to Base level 250, which we've always had!
Since the base plan of the Normalization will be to be on par with the official balancing, we're planning to lower the base and job level to the current official one, which is 200 for the base, and 70 for the job level for 3rd classes. This is required so you don't have access to extra attribute points or extra skills, that create untested, maybe badly scaled power peaks under certain circumstances.
With a max job level of 70, it will affect you heavily on your skill builds.
You will have to put much more thought into what skills you're going to unlock, and what fits your playstyle best.
Having access to all skills at any given time will no longer be possible, thus creating your personal builds will become more rewarding and exciting.
Although this change will make you directly weaker, please note that all players and the rest of the game is scaling down with you, as you will notice further down below. At some point in time, we will then follow up with official 4th class release that brings the base level cap of 250 back to the game. But that's a long road ahead from now.
For a complete rebalancing act, we will have to reset your lovely character attributes, so you can re-assign them with the official limitations.
Our maximum attribute points will change from a total of 200, down to 130 per attribute.
As part of the complete normalization (aka Official Balance), these changes are required to get the official skill and characters strength to a harmonized level.
The importance of your gear and card selection will increase, as you will strive for best possible cooldown and cast time reductions. This change plays a major role to bring the character overall abilities on part with the official PvP and PvE balancings.
Max ASPD will stay the same, although it will be harder to reach the cap due to the new attribute limitations and base level cap. But yet again, everything else in the world scales down with you.
Health & Spell Points
We've reduced your max HP/SP in the past, but these changes shall be our final destination.
Our current increased health and spell multiplier (x5) and much higher max HP/SP stats have been messing with our balancing ever since.
Health and Spell Power affects:
- Every single skill that involves HP and SP within their algorithm. For both, skill and effect power.
- Every single gear that involves HP and SP within their effect. Also gear that affects direct skill power.
- Every single Monster attack power, since their strength no longer matches your health.
- Overall character survivability for all game content. (PvP and PvE)
These very core changes, affected the entire game, and forced us to rebalance, monsters, gears, skills, buffs, consumables, every single instance on every arrival of new content! In reality, we never managed to re-balance it all nor completly, so we've been in a constantly unbalanced environment, especialy when it comes to older content.
We basically had to reverse the x5 multiplier one every content that involved HP in one way or another. Lots of things scaled so badly that one-hit kills would have been your daily business. And as we mostly ignored the SP multiplier for balancing, SP has lost its meaning almost entirely.
With the planned changes, both the HP/SP multiplier (x5) and the maximum HP/SP that you can reach, will be reverted back to official Ragnarok Online stats.
This will not just help us, for the development part of the game, but also you as a player, as we're able to deliver a playtested, official balanced game at a much faster pace!
Since these changes take part along with the overall attribute, skill, item and monster normalization... the actual real impact on your survivability will be much lower than you might expect. "I will die 10 times faster" is absolutely not the case! But yes, the survivability aspect of the game will still change drasticaly.
Class & Skill Balance
The combat system of Ragnarok Online is at its core an extremely complex balancing act, between classes, stats, skills, gear, weapons, modifier items, monsters and players in both PvP and PvE.
Based on our recent survey, the player's perception of balance splits into all directions.
However all, PvP and PvE players, people who think it's well balanced or not, most players agreed on Normalization, and with that an all new meta.
Over the course, we've rebalanced, customized, weakened and strengthened hundreds of skills over and over to match our customizations. As part of this new base-line, all our current customizations, balancings, buffs and nerfs will be entirely removed/reverted!
No nerfs, no buffs, simply the official balance of all skills and class base settings, from bottom to top.
If nerfs or buffs are going to happen in the future, then by official patches/changes that we will follow up as we move on.
Since this patch also includes entire job overhauls, this is the perfect timing to do a full customization/balancing reset and play how the game was always meant to be played.
These changes combined will reduce the skill spamming, but due to the HP/Stats normalization on both Players and Monsters, skills will eventualy hit harder.
Oh boy, we've been busy balancing thousands of items over the years.
The aftermath of our re-balancing policy has truly affected lots of official content.
This isn't just about the fact that, the scope of re-balancing requirement is overshadowing our capacity and resources.
It also destroys the original design of entire gear sets, cards and much more.
We believe that you never realised how much work has went into these aspects of the game, and how strongly they've been delaying brand new content.
But it was a base requirement for us to be in a playable game state. Directly releasing new items without taking a proper look at their effect scaling was basically impossible until now.
This patch will delete our item re-balancing history out of existence, and give official gear sets and cards time to shine in an all new light!
We would love to deliver you the real Ragnarok Online experience, that make it worth to grind a new instance, without us following up with a nerf aftermath. We don't like to do that, and we're sure you hate hard nerfs too.
Although this patch itself may be consireded the "ultimate nerf". Reverting our item re-balancings will mainly conclude in gear and card buffs.
Just like with items, we've been religously buffing thousands of monsters in every single aspect.
More lvl, hp, sp, atk, matk, def, mdef, str, agi, vit, int, dex, luk, range1, range2, range3, race, element, speed, attack delay, motion delay and more, to scale their strength with yours....
So we've not just been touching their drop rates, but instead we had to strengthen up all monsters, simply to match the inferious power players achieved due to our customization choices.
Since every monster had to be balanced individualy, we were relentlesly test-running new instances, dungeons and quests over and over and over again, to create an experience that's worthile playing. Honestly, we don't believe that we've been doing a great job all along, and it only postponed updates further back, just like everything else stated above.
So in this case the Normalization means, that we're also deleting our monster customizations (on official monsters) alltogether, unless we feel that bosses could require additional strength to make content more appealing in the future.
While your character becomes weaker, most monsters scale down with you.
Your PvE experience will shift, but it won't be as drastic as it may sound like.
As the core gameplay turns more into the official direction, we're still delivering you the custom content you know and love.
The unique experience that defines GatheringRO will not vanish, but will reshape to fit the official balance.
Some of our custom gear and content will have to adapt to reach that goal, but we have no plans on deleting any of our fully custom content, unless absolutely necessary! Also none of your gear or leveling progress will vanish!
As always, we will be listening to your feedback, but our main goal will be to keep official content as official as possible, more than ever before. Instead we will re-balance all our fully customized content, to fit official content.
So stay with us, tuned, and share your thoughts and ideas to bring GatheringRO to the next level!
We've seen more resistance on this topic than on anything else, which took us by surprise.
But even then, a little less than 50% of the player base is still ok with a reduction of our base expierence gain to x500 and less.
With the current experience settings, it is currently possible to reach finalize a transcended 3rd class level 250 in aprox. 10 minutes, depending on your strategy even faster.
The planned base level reduction to 200, will multiply that process even further, and we believe that newcomers have a really hard time to adapt to that.
Absolute beginner, or someone who hasn't played RO in a long time, simply has a bad time to keep up with the insane fast pace. They reach end-game content, before they even learned the basics of class, gear and other main content that RO has to offer. And we believe that's the worst that you can do to the player experience, and the health of a game.
Instead, we would like to reduce the base experience to x500 or less, and allow players to experience the leveling path as key part of the game.
Even though our final decision has not yet been made.
We're still planning to reduce it to x500 or less. But before the final decision, we will be doing some extensive level up tests to get a better feeling on a good leveling pace that we feel fits our server and drop rates best.
We absolutely understand, that experienced players are against this change, but we're sure that you have enough time to fill up your full character line-up until this patch takes place eventualy. It will increase the worth of your current fully leveled up characters in an instant.
This change will bring more value to all our bonus experience consumables, and hopefuly increase the incentive on leveling up together, rather than alone. It also allows us to run bonus experience events, since with an overall lower base experience rate, this would actualy make sense to do so. (2x bonus experience could become quite exciting)
Always remember: Farming Tome of Experience still allows you to level up your character in an instant.
We hope we were able to give you a deeper insight into what's coming, and what the normalization and experience changes are meant to be. These changes are supposed to help GatheringRO with a better base set of core gameplay, that brings the official meta and balancing to the table.
It will affect all classes, the core gameplay for both PvP and PvE and ultimately re-define the meta from scratch.
We hope that we haven't scared you off, but instead you're looking forward to the new gameplay experience and possibilities these changes have to offer.
Just like with everything else, we're happy to hear your feedback and thoughts.
Job Improvement Projects
The upcoming patch will include more official "Job Improvement" updates for several classes, just like we've had before with Sura!
That means, some skills will entirely vanish, others will get a complete revamp, while some of them recieve smaller changes on their mechanics. This also includes several older skills and thus effects many classes throughout the game.
And we can push these projects out when they're ready, instead of having to rebalance all classes from scratch.
Overall, you can expect big changes to several classes, and those that are missing out, will most likely follow up sooner or later. This will bring great changes to the current meta and turn on your brain chemistry to come up with new builds.
Yes, Star Emperor and Soul Reaper are under development and already included in our development environment!
However we're currently fully focused on the big normalization and class rebalance patch, so the new classes might arrive at a later date this year.
Since new classes are usualy bound to major client patch requirements, they require additional work for a final release.
We will keep you posted, as soon as we've more details to share.
Your Questions & Concerns
We would also like to address a few single questions or concerns that we've recieved through both our latest surveys.
Although it doesn't include everything, we still hope that we're able to answer your main questions and concerns.
Q.) Why do you ignore some of our feedback?
A.) Honestly, that's not our intent. If you're not satisfied with our answer, or you didn't recieve one just yet, just give us a little poke so we take another look at it. We promise that we always take a look at your feedback, especialy through our official feedback channel in our forums. So even if we don't reply to your feedback right away, we've heard you loud and clear and put our thoughts over your ideas. However we try to improve on this aspect, that's why your feedback, bug reports and even your support tickets are now directly posted on their respective Discord channels.
Since we're currently focusing on bigger core gameplay changes, mainly your skill and class balance feedback has not seen any ingame change lately, since they will be meaningless after this patch.
Q.) Why aren't bug abusers or people who bully me punished? They keep on playing like nothing ever happened.
A.) Please note that we only punish players based on your player reports. You should never expect players to be punished without creating an official report, that includes according proof that we can investigate upon.
In fact, we haven't recieved a single, properly reported player report in over 6 months. Please visit our Support Page for more details on how to report a player with our new ticketing system.
We've only recieved reports of warp items abuse in WoE lately, which has been adressed on the item effects itself.
Players that have been actively abusing warping items during WoE have never been properly reported to us, thus no one has been punished.
Q.) Does death count affect my Emperium Fragment gain in WoE?
A.) No, it doesn't, and it never did. Death count only affects your ranking, which isn't bound to the rewards system! We've designed the WoE reward system to be newcomer friendly from the start off, so you should never worry about dying. Players who avoided their death using warping items or logging out didn't boost their reward count at all. However you might have missed out on a possible kill, that's the only loss that happened. In fact, you earn more fragments by simply dealing damage! If you're unlucky and never manage to kill anyone, that's just fine. If you've dealt a reasonable amount of damage, you will be rewarded accordingly.
In fact, we've seen lots of rumors rising up since we've never released our algorithms to the public.
It is much more complex that you most likely imagine, and takes lots of things into account. Due to its complexity, we feel that releasing the exact mechanics will only lead players to focus on the wrong aspect of WoE.
Q.) I've heard that you've been permanently banning players lately, why is that?
A.) Recently no, but yes, we do take appropriate actions based on our official rules that everyone agrees to upon registration. We have a 0 tolerance policy to cheating, and we won't hold back in such cases. If we have absolute clear cases of cheating, or any other hard abuse that's stated as "We do not hesitate to permanently ban all accounts related/being involved into such cases." in our rules, then you shouldn't expect anything less than that. As long as you follow our In-Game Rules, there's no need to worry about getting punished ever, or at all.
All permanent bans that ever took place had absolute clear reasons. We do not permanently ban accounts unless absolutely necessary to keep the integrity of our rules. In most other cases we apply temporary bans at max.
There are some cases, were we catch cheaters and abusers ourself, as we run certain anti cheat and abuse detection systems in the background. But we mainly take a closer look at players if they've been reported to us directly. The punishment itself will only take place, if we can proof a case or multiple cases of cheating/abuse of the reported culprit.
Always make sure to fill out a proper Player Report so we can investigate the case you've experienced.
Q.) Why is it that i sometimes experience errors and crashes?
A.) We're currently not aware about any issues on the game client.
Please open a support ticket or create a bug report, so we can take a closer look at it and fix it eventualy.
The only issues that we're aware of is the Replay Client. We're aware that some replays can't be watched properly and they might crash the client. If you recieve a specific sprite error, make sure to report it to us.
Q.) Why aren't there direct links on the news slider objects on the patcher?
A.) Due the technical limitations with the patcher, links that are directly opened through the web-interface will always be forced to open in Internet Explorer. Since Internet Explorer is a dying and very incompatible soul, we wanted to avoid exactly that. Thus, the announcement button at the bottom was our second best bet. Since Internet Explorer is officialy supported until 2025, we can only hope that the official patching system from Ragnarok Online will recieve an update on this sooner or later. Then, we could offer direct links on the slider in the future. Sidenote: We've had the same exact issue with our old patching system.
Q.) Why do you copy iRO wiki content onto the gRO wiki when it's already existant?
A.) Yes, we've mirrored most of iRO wikis content, to be able to deliver a full-fleshed wiki which expands upon that with custom content. Please note that, even though we copy content from the iRO wiki, we also modifiy it accordingly with custom information. That means it's not always a 1:1 copy, but actualy includes custom information on lots of pages. Main idea behind that is, that you can rely on the gRO wiki without the need of iRO at all, since we deliver the same exact content + GatheringRO customized information on most pages.
Edited by Everade