Ragnarok Online is definitely one of the most popular gaming titles in the Philippines, especially if you grew up in the 2000s at the rise of the internet revolution. It was a craze that established the MMORPG genre in the country that introduced gamers to creating bonds with other players through friendship, rivalry, and even love. Fast forward to twenty years and with a new generation of gamers, a new batch of Ragnarok games launched on the mobile platform, and one of them is Ragnarok X: Next Generation. It made its debut around June of last year and fans of both new and old have gathered to experience the world of Midgard once again.
Now with Ragnarok X reaching its major milestone, it’s a good time to celebrate it with the community. The game is hosting a ton of in-game events ranging from special commemoration items to player milestones and even new game updates that feature new job classes along with a special collaboration with the hit anime Attack on Titan. But they aren’t limited to just in-game, they also had plans for on-site activities for their communities around Asia, with the Philippines being part of it.
The 1st Anniversary Pop-up Carnival happened last June 18 at the Almusal Café in The Pop Up Katipunan, it features a pop-up café setup that offers a themed food menu based on the game along with some collectible freebies, it seems to be a hit with the community as themed cafes adds some flair to it and fleshes out some of the lore that is known the game that any fans will surely appreciate, and it’s something you don’t get to see every day in any gaming gatherings and even large-scale events.
But of course, the themed café wasn’t the only highlight of the event, the outdoor area is decorated along with a carnival-like vibe with matching stage and side attractions like a claw machine and cotton candy machine. And then there is the guild gathering or the old millennial term “Player EB” where different guilds in Ragnarok X have gathered to meet up with their fellow members, which is a fantastic opportunity for them to meet for the first time as the majority of the member-only interacted in-game. FreakyLuck, guild leader of Sui Juris in the Chaos Ghostring server shared his story on how they formed their guild “We’re a small guild back then and we were introduced to a popular guild that helped/mentored us to become one of the top guilds in the game.”
He also shared some insights on what made them stick with Ragnarok X and how they see the game as the next generation of gamers that are experiencing the world of Ragnarok, “the community is one big part why we decided to stay in ROX, and I guess we have the same vibe with each other, where we sort of give each other happiness, and at the end of the day that’s what we really looking for in a game. As the new-gen of Ragnarok players, what they like about ROX as with the original is the refined visuals along with the improved mechanics (and quality of life), it was better than the older version.” Seeing players like FreakyLuck and his crew finally meeting in person is a good sign that they have a strong bond of friendship and comradery that will last for a long time, and that’s how great communities become in games.
And it’s not just the guilds that were present at the event, several content creators and cosplayers have joined the fray that are avid fans of the game and newcomers that wanted to experience the fun of being part of the community. Cosplayer couple Prince and Awie De Guzman shared their experience playing ROX as new players that haven’t played the original Ragnarok Online and what they think about it as one of the new generations of Ragnarok players, “Prince: we haven’t tried the original game, but we really want to catch up, because Ragnarok (as a game franchise) is very interesting for us especially an MMORPG, unlike with some other games that you can play alone, with the idea of MMORPGs, you really need to have guilds, meet new friends, and you really need to build your characters very well and you have to find other groups, and that’s really exciting with Ragnarok to us as the new generation of gamers.”
Both Prince and Awie are new to roleplaying games which makes it more exciting for them “Prince: Since this is our first MMORPG, We’re more kind of introverts here, Awie: It’s actually overwhelming as there are so many things to do and I heard that you’ll go to level up forever *laughs*, Prince: That’s why I actually brought her here (in the game) since you just can’t play this game alone, you really need to have a team, so for the new generation like us who are used to open-world games, so this is really interesting and exciting for us. Since as a kid, I wanted to play games before, but at that time I don’t have any computers or consoles, so this time I wanted to catch up *laughs*.”
With my curiosity, I asked both what was the very first thing that they fell in love with the game, of course, like with any adventurers in roleplaying games, they both answered fishing “Awie: That was the first thing that we’re eyeing on *laughs* Prince: When we finally got work and all then we finally bought games, and then when we see things like mining and fishing in a game, we were super excited on farming for materials for upgrading weapons…”
Even if they just started playing ROX, they already love the lore, “Prince: We love the characters and their designs since we are really into dressing up (cosplaying), and even the mounts. Actually, any game that we played, we are really after the costumes and it’s also fun to collect (the costumes/cosmetics) Awie: So we are completing all of the costumes and items (in ROX)”
It’s fun to see how new players like Awie and Prince have their own reasons for trying out the game as it also reflects on what they really love. You can also see how the game caters to several types of interests, whether they are into competitive battles, becoming the fashion icon with the most costumes, or just relaxing and having fun with other friends online.
To close the event, the organizers prepared a special Poring cake as everyone sang a happy birthday song to their beloved game, with a group photo of everyone that attended for them to cherish the moments.
Ragnarok X: Next Generation continues its 1st Anniversary celebration with an array of in-game activities and the Ragnarok X-themed food selection in Almusal Café is still available until July 2.