Ragnarok Wisdom: Life in an MMORPG
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There's one thing I wanna get out of the way, first and foremost: I'm not bashing the iRO staff here. Heimdallr is more or less the messenger in this kind of situation, and I'm not blaming him for the merging of iRO's pay-to-play servers. Still, he made a convenient "face" for the whole thing given his iRO forums avatar. No, I'm not lazy!I drew this whole comic from scratch!

Nevertheless, when I first heard about this happening, I was pretty shocked. On one hand, I guess I shouldn't have been—people on iRO, or at least a faction of them, have been clamoring for a merging of servers for years. It seemed to be mainly the War of Emperium crowd wanting that, because they wanted to have more competition than the thousand or two players that were around for each back in the day.

On the other, merging servers like that is usually not a good sign about the MMO company's financial status. Case in point, Sega of America had to pair down the amount of "Universes" available to PC/PS2 players, from fifteen to ten, about, oh ... maybe a year prior to closing down the PC/PS2 servers entirely. (Then again, Sega of America launched the PC/PS2 servers with way too many universes to begin with. Even at its peak, they could've gotten by with just five, easily. Assuming that a "Universe" was a full-on server of its own, that is.)

On the third hand, poking out of my forehead, the server merge cut the last real tie Ragnarok Online had to the original manhwa. Well ... It's true that the new merged server is named after Ymir, and he does have an important role in Myung-Jin Lee's manhwa, but all the Ragnarok Online servers—the legit ones anyway—were originally named after the protagonists and antagonists of the manhwa.

It was after I got underway with this comic that I found out the other official servers had also done away with the naming scheme as well, according to iRO Wiki. Wound up having to modify some of the conversation in this pane here with Skurai (or Sakray as most RO players know him).

It's kind of sad in a way, since Ragnarok itself was a pretty awesome series that I wouldn't have known about if it weren't for Ragnarok Online ... but, Ragnarok Online has completely eclipsed that series. If you ever go back and look at some of the earliest concept or promotional artwork from 2001 and 2002, a lot of it focused on the Ragnarok cast and characters. Currently (though I don't know how long it will last), the program icons for Ragnarok Online's client (and options) have some early sprite artwork of Chaos and Iris on them—I used that, by the way, to help make the cast icons for both of them up there. However, now that it's almost been a decade since Myung-Jin Lee released another volume for Ragnarok, I think it's safe to assume he's entrusted the whole thing to Gravity, or whoever's got Gravity's reins at the moment. Might have even sold off all his IP to them, which would really be sad, but I guess his connection to Ragnarok Online has earned him more money than Ragnarok itself.

Ah well, that's just how these things go, I suppose. Though I always wonder, what could have been?

Comic #471

Ragnarok Wisdom is © 2002 Irish Lightning Studios.
This notice does not imply any exclusive right to preexisting material by other authors featured in Ragnarok Wisdom.

Ragnarok Online is © 2001 Gravity Corp. All Rights Reserved.
Ragnarok: Into the Abyss is © 1995 Myung-Jin Lee. All Rights Reserved.

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