Friday, March 1, 2013

Ragnarok Online 2 (Part Three)

If we disregard boost potions, buff potions, buff food and runes, then our character's stat gains will come primarily from these few sources, namely an allocatable stats portion we get from leveling up, a fixed stats portion from our equipment and finally an alterable part that we gain from cards and titles.

  • Allocatable Stats
    As far as these are concerned, they look and work rather similar to the original Ragnarok Online's Stats Allocation System (however, with a few minor changes).
    RO2 - Bonus Stats Distribution 1RO2 - Bonus Stats Distribution 2
    For example, instead of six primary stats to allocate our stat points to, we now have five only (Dex and Luk is removed while Wis is added).
    RO2 - Bonus Stats Distribution 3
    Next, the amount of points needed to improve a particular stat by 1 has been altered in such a way that it now increases faster.

    In the past, we only needed 4 stat points to raise a particular stat from 21 to 22. Now, we would require 5 stat points instead. And although it is a mere difference of 1 from this example, the underlying mechanics changed seems to be more severe since it was a 10 points per step up (in RO) compared to a 5 points per step up now.

    And in addition to all these, it also appears that the way primary stats affect certain secondary stats, like dodge rate, critical rate and block (parry) rate, are somewhat scaled according to our levels. This is because I've observed my character's secondary stats (those showing in percentages) dropping after I gained a level even though no changes were made to my primary stats.
  • Fixed Stats
    RO2 - Green EquipmentRO2 - Blue Equipment
    The reason why I called them "fixed" is because there is no known way to alter the stats provided by them. And since they come with the equipment that you wear, which has class restrictions, this would mean that your character's general stats distribution (primary) is already "set" the moment it was born. With the exception of some tiny wriggling space from the allocatable stats part of course.
    RO2 - Purple Equipment
    Anyway, regarding stats provided by equipment, there are a few things that you would need to know. Firstly, only equipment of green rarity and above would provide such stat bonuses. Secondly, the better the rarity, the better the stat bonuses it will provide. Thirdly, apart from rarity being a factor, higher level equipments would also provide better stat bonuses compared to lower level ones. Finally, just know that the stat bonuses from these equipment form the majority of your character's primary stat increases. Ignoring them or failure to take advantage of them would result in a seriously gimped character in my opinion.
  • Alterable Stats
    RO2 - Stats from CardRO2 - Stats from Titles
    Basically, you can call these as swappable stats since the cards and titles from which these stats come from can be easily switched in and out as you please. Do note however that they do come with certain restrictions.
    RO2 - Inserting Card into Occupied Slot
    Take the cards for example, although there are five of these slots for you to insert cards with, they would only open up one at a time at intervals of 10 levels. Next, unless the cards are of a "rare" grade (or so I've heard), they would be immediately destroyed upon removal from the slots after equipping them.

    As for titles, the only restriction is that there is a cooldown involved when swapping one title for another. After which you would have to wait for it to expire before you can change again.
Overall, I find that the stats system in RO2 is sort of like a static template where the majority of your stats are being controlled by the system via your equipment, leaving only some room for tweaking.

With this sort of system, I feel that freedom of expression can no longer be found (unlike in RO where you can find various types of "builds" for stats and equipment choices that drastically alters your character's role). For example, in RO, I've seen a certain build for archers that allows them to run around the place, with a shield in one hand and a dagger in the other, "stabbing" creatures instead of using the regular bows and firing from range. And sadly, this sort of creativity seems to be quite impossible in RO2.

RO2 - Archer Skill TreeRO2 - Ranger Skill Tree
Each character first starts out with three usable skills already learnt in their skill tree at the lowest level and from then onwards, they will gain one skill point every time their character levels up.

The skill point can be used to either improve upon existing skills or learn new ones so long as their prerequisites are satisfied (which can be identified via the arrows between the skills). Alternatively, if you find that there's nothing much to learn for your current class, you may also choose to keep the skill points until you've changed to your next class rather than wasting them now.

As you can see in the second picture above, I had chosen not to use six of the skill points that were gained prior to my class change. And because of that, I could immediately pick up and use quite a few of my ranger class skills right at level 25. And frankly speaking, the ranger skills really helped me kill monsters at a much faster pace so I can imagine the hell waiting for me had I not chosen to keep those skill points.

If you were to ask me about my impression of the current skill system, I would say that the skills that we are familiar with in RO were either tweaked, changed or totally dropped off in order to fit into the current RO2. Not only are there lesser variety of skills now, but they are also more "guided and restricted" so much so that once you've picked a certain set of skills to learn, you would be better off mastering all those skills down that path rather than attempting to learn new skills from a different path.

Previous: RO2 (Part Two)Next: RO2 (Part Four)