I had a chance to check out Ragnarok Mobile the other day and I have to say I was pretty impressed. I don’t normally play mobile games that are published outside of the United States (Ragnarok Mobile is available only in China), but given my love for the Ragnarok Online franchise, I absolutely had to check it out. The last big Ragnarok title (Ragnarok Online 2) was a massive disappointment and I didn’t think any of the other spinoff games were great either, so getting a GOOD mobile version of the game felt like a godsend. If you haven’t played it yet, definitely give it a try. Playing Chinese mobile games isn’t particularly difficult on Android, as you can just download them directly from various app stores (I used TapTap) and they work without any fancy registration. Playing client based MMORPGs in China is much more of a hassle.
Most Chinese MMORPGs don’t seem to require a VPN, but you need to register an account which requires a local phone number (usual verizon / sprint numbers won’t work. Something like China mobile is needed). I played Moonlight Blade last week and before I could even get on I needed a QQ account. Making a QQ account is possible for free, but I just ended up buying a Tencent QQ account because it was much easier. Luckily you don’t need to buy any kind of account to play mobile games in China, just the client ones. I think Korean games work the same way because in order to play Closers Online and MapleStory 2 I needed to buy a Nexon Korea account. Nexon KR accounts are impossible to register from the West as far as I know, so buying them is the only option.
But anyway, back to mobile MMORPGs. What makes Ragnarok Online mobile so good is that it plays more like Ragnarok Online 1. It has a persistent world and many of the same jobs from the original game. The only real downside is that the game is entirely in Chinese and I’m pretty sure English patches don’t exist for mobile games. Still, figuring out what menus do what isn’t rocket science. The basics of the game are quite simple to figure out, but upgrading items and understanding some of the more intricate menus (upgrading/crafting) will require a lot of trial and error. The RO mobile version actually reminds me of Tree of Savior Mobile Remake, because they took what worked and just made a mobile version instead of trying to make a mobile version from the ground up (if that makes sense). But yeah, give it a try and let me know what you guys think!