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Ragnarok Online: Developer Journal #3

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Minsoo Lee, the Lead Developer at Gravity on Ragnarok Online, has penned a third developer journal for us where he discusses upcoming changes to the game. These include a possibly touchy issue of introducing the "homunculus system"; a Gravity-produced and sanctioned botting services into the title.

image Some people might lament seeing the homunculus system implemented in game. These folks (read: botters) are those that use unauthorized third party programs to play. We adapted the concept of a bot program for the homunculus system.

Using bot programs may sound wrong, but when you think about it, botters are also our users, those who love Ragnarok Online as much as normal users. So we thought it would be good if we could provide them a better auto-play program that was officially made by Ragnarok Online developers so they can come out of the shadows and play legitimately.

You can read the full article here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios


  • BlueCoyoteBlueCoyote Granby, CTPosts: 244Member

    Auto-play... that sounds extremely sketchy. I would have liked it best if Lee had out and out denounced botters, but there they go with "botters are players too." No, they're not. They're people who either don't want any kind of challenge, thus making playing the game at all pointless, or they're just exploiting the game's lax security (soon to be none at all, apparently) to make money off less scrupulous players.

    They aren't playing the game for the game, and rewarding them by making botting legitimate, in any form, seems very wrong to me.

  • XariovXariov BrisbanePosts: 5Member

    Wow....happy I got out when I did...I mean, sure, it could have SOME merit MAYBE but as per the previous poster, saying that botters are players too just makes me cringe and except the worse.

    Anyone have any further details on how the system will function (completely out of the loop these days ;d)?

  • mruppertmruppert los angeles, CAPosts: 39Member

    Wow, this is the first game I've seen that OUTRIGHT supports botting so fully, that they integrated it in the game! So basically they don't want you to really play the game, just have a program play it for you? Sounds like a blast.. not. It sounds like their game sucks so much that they know people will bot anyways cause its so boring that they built one to make the game less painful!!::::06::::::06::::::06::::::06::

    shocking announcement, I'll be looking forward to seeing if the game does well after this update.

  • BlueCoyoteBlueCoyote Granby, CTPosts: 244Member

    They'll have to change their name to more accurately describe their population: Ragnacheat Online Part II: Sleazeball Valhalla.

  • tigris67tigris67 New York, NYPosts: 1,783Member Uncommon

    That is just absolutely horrible...Promoting Botting..dear lord. Sounds like the game is failing so they are gonna sell homun(crappy legal bots)whatever to existing players to milk money before it shuts down. Odd thing is is that I thought RO was doing well with their sales...

    Hi! My name is paper. Nerf scissors, rock is fine.
    MMORPG = Mostly Men Online Roleplaying Girls

  • Menchi_koMenchi_ko Ellicott City, MDPosts: 24Member

    Originally posted by tigris67
    That is just absolutely horrible...Promoting Botting..dear lord. Sounds like the game is failing so they are gonna sell homun(crappy legal bots)whatever to existing players to milk money before it shuts down. Odd thing is is that I thought RO was doing well with their sales...
    ...People who know nothing about RO really should not talk about this at all.
    Let's clear up about this "auto-play system."
    It's nothing like auto-play. Imagine the Summoner from FFXI or Everquest or any other game, yeah the Homunculous is very similar to that. Only one job can use it, Alchemist(and its advanced form, Creator/Biochemist of course) and the reason is because currently Alchemists are not very good at soloing and dealing damage in general (w/o using a lot of money that is) so it is a perfect balance to give a slightly underpowered class as well as introducing an interesting new addition to the game.
    Those who want to know how it exactly works should look more on RO-specific forums. Basically, it is a skill that summons a creature (using some items, like in Lineage II you gotta cough up some stuff to summon) and the creature will fight for you. You tell it what to attack and use what skill, so it's FAR from "auto-play." From what kRO Sakray has responded, it's not even that powerful. You cannot, in fact, rely on the homunculous to kill everything alone, so the player character still must contribute to the fight.

    As for the whole "botters are users too" message, well RO players already know that the RO development team has the communication skills of a cabbage. They ban bots nevertheless, and also ban users for minor offense (sometimes, it could even be minor-non-existent offenses...) I have little faith in this "Minsoo Lee"'s words. (Is english even his native language? that could be a translated message for all we know)

    On the otherhand, any RO player can tell you that the homunculous system won't help botters play at all. they can just bot Alchemists w/ homun's...I think botting is not really because the person doesn't think it's worth playing(a lot of botters probably do enjoy playing the game), but simply because he doesn't want to spend TIME on it. Unless Gravity reduces the TIME needed to obtain things/gain levels (and of course in turn screw the economy/population in general) botters will continue to bot...

    "So we thought it would be good if we could provide them a better auto-play program that was officially made by Ragnarok Online developers so they can come out of the shadows and play legitimately."
    --- in the end his final message is still that the company wants to change botters to legit players (corporate greed comes in here of course in a rather retarded attempt to retain "players"). But they've gotta be braindead to think that botters would even consider the homunculous system as an alternative to, well, botting...

  • DarqDarq Clifton Park, NYPosts: 31Member Uncommon

    I think this is being misinterpreted. As stated the homunculus system is RO's version of a pet system. The AI they speak of is the pet's AI, not a bot. The whole botters are players too and should be able to play thing means people who like bots can play as an alchemist using the pet as a "bot" not that they are going to promote actual bots.

    They think botters are going to stop using third party bots and make an alchemist to have their pets kill things while they are AFK. It wont work, and I highly doubt they will change their stance on third party programs (perma ban).

  • SimplyMichaeSimplyMichae Somewhere in, CAPosts: 86Member

    Yeouch. That is one tough line to swallow.

    I'm willing to trust previous word on the homunculus-using class not being a true 'bot', however, that "These people are our users too" line is kind of a slap in the face to folks who have followed the rules for years.

    I can't imagine this did much to improve anything, be it relieveing the botting issue or improving 'honest' customers' opinions of the game's management.

    It's a shame too. RO is a cool little game, for what it's worth.

    ~ Michael

  • ArcanantArcanant VolosPosts: 1Member
    They have the wrong idea about botters. They don't love the game, they love to ruin the others game by not apriciating the hard work of others trying to raise their avatar. I would never support an idea that supports those kind of players.
  • mruppertmruppert los angeles, CAPosts: 39Member

    Do the RO GM's not realize that one of the main purposes of botting is to sell the stuff that you get on websites like,,, etc? and also 99.9999% of botters (this is a scientific fact ::::02::) are greifers, exploiters, and general "A" Holes, if you know what I mean::::28:: anyways, this is a very bad publicity move, and they should STOP before they get even more flak! ::::39::::::24::

  • KorvenKorven utah, TXPosts: 22Member

    When I read this, I didn't really understood how they were thinking. I mean, they are going to reduce the number of players dramatically if they open the doors to bots. A very bad move I think.

    I'm the cutest.

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 5,400Member Rare

    It was just worded badly. Trust me they hate bots/ pServer users /zenny farmers more then any other company. Here is the ends of my research pertaining to this matter.

    Zenny Farmers: Only 1 rescent site/person in all the world I have found selling zenny, and I just reported the site, so it won't be around much longer.

    pServer Users: This group has robbed over 25k potential users, probably more from Ragnarok Online; pServer not even offering more updates or better service anymore.

    Bots: Gravity's brand new cheat detection system has worked flawlessly on kRO and jRO in its rescent implementation. Both those servers are currently botless. They developed part of the bot detection part of the program by looking at revemu and kore code since they legally could. So if you want to bot on RO you pretty much have to create your own program from scratch and not share it or else it will be put in detection, and have to go about it differently then Kore and Revemu.

    For the Humunculus system, I am pretty sure the wording is bad, but from how it sounds; they stole the coding from bots as the basis behind Humunculus AI system. It could be potentially used for pets later on.

  • wogheadwoghead Liverpool, ALPosts: 11Member

    Really though:

    1. He wasnt saying "Yeah we are making a legal bot system", he was just refering to how the AI structure is similar for the alcemist pet.

    2. How do botters ruin the game really? (Cept those annoying KS bots).

    Lots of my friends on ragnarok bot, and who am i to judge them, they have been playing since beta and love the game to bits. They are not some person who sees the game as a way of making RL money, or some sleaze that wishes to ruin it. They are just normal people who love the game but dont have the time to play it for 10+ hours a day toget on in it.

    Plus alot of stuff in RO is much cheaper then it would be if you didnt have botters. Suppose you could say that it would balance itsself out, if someone colllected the certain item it would sell for more, but alot of people for instance who buy the item 'Elunium' to upgrade armours know they are buying from a bot character, as the person has 150++ for sale. Dont see them complaining, arent they as bad as the botting people?

  • max001max001 Kuala LumpurPosts: 95Member Uncommon


    i wonder which game will implement it later


  • HitomiChanHitomiChan Coq, BCPosts: 1Member Uncommon

    ok I'm a complet nebie so go easy on me plez ^^;;;


    so if I read the artical right, every one that plays is gon'a have there own AI person that fallows them and that user can change things about this AI pet thing? Plus there makeing a Bot like one for the people that play the other free tipe of RO? (I'm I right so far?)

    well if I am right... I think it's grate idea ^^ it souldn's promising..but I would wonder why would they make one for the other unofical RO like I know that they play and love RO but still "why feed the thef" is it in hopes of geting them to play the reall one... and what about the people that love to play and would play the real one but can't becuase of $$$ ?


  • moongdssmoongdss Laurel, MDPosts: 37Member

    image  I think the whole 'bot' part was horribly worded and not very clear at all.  Having seen the Plant Bottles at work I don't think Homonculus will be anything like a 'bot' i.e., set and go afk for hours.  That said, you'll still get ppl illegally botting up to lvl 40/50 so they can even get to alchemist.  I have to say, pot merchants are not a fast-leveling or solo build by any means. 

    I've played iRO for a little over a year now... much less in the last 4 months, but I have enjoyed it for the most part.  I killed myself trying to get my first character to the second class level, only to find out all her skills were badly picked and with no hope (at that time) of a skill reset, I deleted her.

    I was frustrated because for 6 months, I grinded up to level 40 (gods if I never see lutie again!) only to have all my hardwork for nothing.  I was considering botting at this point.  I wanted to play a fun character with awesome skills, but the thought of another 6 months' grind was too much. 

    Ultimately, I realized how much I hated the KS/looting bots and the seeming lack of enforcement on the GMs part (I mean can't you just GO to the creamy map?!?!) so I decided not to add to the problem.  instead I decided to play on Sakray (test) which offered 2x XP and drops.  In half the time, I had taken my new character up to level 50 and made an awesome monk.  All without botting.

    I agree that the devs need to add more content/quests so we can ditch the low-level grind to get to a point where the game is fun.  I found hours of collecting mushrooms for the monk test a chore and I think pot merchants and other non-battle builds should have better opportunities for XP than pot/heal slaving a tank all day.

    The Devs fail to see that this game is fun at mainly a higher level, and that's why the botters are there.  IMO, more low-level content to involve players is needed.  Yes, the items that botters sell are lower priced than if live players picked up the rare drops, but does that tell you that the economy in iRO needs some help?  And maybe that there is NOTHING TO DO as a lowbie other than to hope for better drops/more zeny to buy decent junk to wear?

    Basically, botters are paying customers too.  I get that, but if you made your game more lowbie friendly, you wouldn't have to even acknowledge that to cheat gets you to a playable point in your game Mr. Lee

    A Rod of Silence means never having to say sorry. -- Dork Tower

  • BoneClinkzBoneClinkz VillasisPosts: 1Member

    I think RO game will not lose RO players. If the RO developers are planning to add new features they should focus on PVP and GUILDWAR part. Features like 5v5, 10v10... PVP rooms and a NPC that can handle BET or a mini WOE wherin GM,s and der 5-10 or even 20.. chosen members can partcpate the seige. Spending our time in leveling up our characters is boring. Showing our skills and strategies r far more exciting and fun.

    Nice Forum BTW!!!

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