Ragnarok II Gate of the World

The logo for the first version of RO2.

The Gate of the World iteration of RO2 diverted vastly from the story of Ragnarök, making little to no connection to either the manhwa or RO. The intention was to allow the developers to have more creative freedom with the narrative of RO2 without having to worry about adhering to the continuity of Ragnarök or RO. This was eventually abandoned in favor of connecting more with the prequels for the second iteration of RO2.

The Gate of the World[edit | edit source]

The year 1000 L.C is approaching. One thousand years prior, a terrible destruction took place, and the world was saved by St. Lif. Roughly twenty years earlier, a destructive war took place between Normans of the east and west, but there has recently been peace. Strange things have begun happening, however; the dark wanderers Dimago have awoken, and the Ellr have left their land of Alfheim to investigate the Mother Tree’s silence.

The Gate of the World[edit | edit source]

Ragnarok Online II: The Gate of the World (Korean: 라그나로크 온라인 2: 세계의 문) was first announced at KAMEX (Korea Amuse World Expo) in November 2004.[4] The first trailer of the game was shown during the expo, in which a Novice boy and Novice girl were running toward each other in an undisclosed 3D city environment.

In September 2005, GRAVITY launched a major campaign to promote the game at the annual Tokyo Game Show.[5]Attendees had the opportunity to play the game for the very first time at GRAVITY-hosted booths during the three-day event (September 16 to September 18). GRAVITY released multiple RO2 gameplay videos to the public, as well as an animation video, during this time frame. Famed anime composer Yoko Kanno was also announced to be on the project around this time.

The first version of RO2, Gate of the World, as it looked during beta testing.

In December 2006, GRAVITY finally began accepting applications for the first closed beta test in South Korea. Due to several technical issues and server tweaking, the total testing time was only about 10 hours.[6] According to an interview between the Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo and developer Team Mercury, the main goal for the first closed beta was to test characters. They wanted to see how gamers would react to the overall feel of the game as well as whether character designs were accepted by them.

In 2008, the Korean Open Beta had condensed its number of servers to just two. By this point, the game’s population had seen a dramatic decline since it first opened in May 2007—many areas in the game such as Hode Mines and Prontera were usually found to be empty. Changes in GRAVITY’s leadership along with the game being poorly received in Korea during the open beta slowed development on RO2. GRAVITY since reworked the entire game. Global Business Manager Yunghun Lee said “We launched Ragnarok II in 2007. That version wasn’t really enough for the market, so we tried to revise all the systems, but it takes time. We changed the engine and everything, it’s like a totally new game. The engine changed several times, but now we’re using Gamebryo.”[7] By this time, only the Korea and Japan regions had functioning servers for the original RO2. This version of the game received its last update on 2008 March 26.[8]

The Gate of the World[edit | edit source]

The first iteration of RO2 was only available to players in Korea and Japan. Reactions were mixed as some players liked the fresh look of the game while others felt it digressed too far away from the anime aesthetics established by RO. The weapon system, which allowed players to level up their weapon along with their characters, contributed to a lackluster market since players had little incentive to switch to better weapons. The amount of content in the game was excruciatingly sparse with only three towns and a handful of maps to explore. As a result, activity in the game dropped dramatically in a matter of months, with many maps empty by the time the game was scrapped for the remake.