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3 Key Lessons Learned Playing Philippine Ragnarok Online

Shadow Circle Guild in Philippine Ragnarok Online
Shadow Circle Guild in Philippine Ragnarok Online

A Short Reflection on pRO Closing Down

After more than a decade of operations, Philippine Ragnarok Online is finally closing down their local servers. The announcement was made no less by Level Up Games, the publisher of the title here in the Philippines. To those who don’t know, I was an avid gamer of Philippine Ragnarok Online. The game pretty much was one of my biggest passions when I was in my early 20’s, and it grew into a full blown career when I joined NetGames and eventually Level Up. I owe a lot of who I am today to that game and most especially to my co-players.

Allow me to just share 3 key lessons I learned while being a pRO gamer, Shadow Circle (Chaos Server) Guildmaster, and as the Brand Manager for the title.

1. There is a lot of Good in Everyone

In Ragnarok, our guild, the Shadow Circle, made a lot of enemies. I was so into the game that the rivalries kinda became personal. However they were only personal in my head (lol). A lot of the opponents we faced in the land of Midgard turned out to be great friends in real life. Actually let me tell you guys a really awesome story.

In 2006 I was shot several times by a group of robbers while my girlfriend (now wife) were in an Internet cafe. To make a long story short, I survived (duh) after an emergency operation in a nearby hospital and intensive care afterwards in Medical City. When I first opened my eyes after my first night in the hospital, the first visitor I had was a guy we all knew in Ragnarok as Makmak641. Makmak641 was the guild master of Alliance and we fought fiercely inside pRO. His genuine and sincere concern for my well-being was so touching and humbling. I remember having an awkward conversation with him back then. Well I was the one who was awkward because I was really surprised and shocked he visited, haha! Anyway, his visit was a big source of encouragement and I hope he gets to read this post because I want him to know that his visit mattered to me a lot. Salamat Kuya Mak!

There are more people who I met in pRO that were in-game adversaries but in real life were superb, talented, and fantastic people. This taught me early on that there is a lot of good in everyone.

2. Value Relationships

At our biggest, Shadow Circle, our guild in-game, had huge membership of around 400-500 people. While I wasn’t able to keep in touch with all of them, I do have some really good friends today from the guild. Friends who gave me the privilege to be a witness of how they grew up in life.

Two really nice examples to illustrate this point:

  • Kelvs, one of my guildmates and co-leaders in SC, getting married. Himala. Kinasal siya. Wassap!!!? Surprise of the century. It was nice that he gave us an “SC table” during the reception too, hehe!
  • Ending up as a ninong to the kasal of Miko who eventually was my colleague in TV5 and DM9-Di9it. I maintain na dapat groomsman lang ako. Di ko talaga gets bakit ninong. Hayup ka Miko. Pinatanda mo ako ng todo!

There are many more that I can list down but that would probably make this post so much longer than it needs to be. My point is this: seeing my guildmates grow and flourish in real life (professionally and personally) has been such an amazing and rewarding voyeuristic experience, hehe. πŸ˜›

3. It’s Just a Game

And this is perhaps my most important lesson. Too much of anything can be bad, and this is definitely true for gaming. The world of Ragnarok for me was an escape. It became the alternate world that I wanted to live in when times became bad in real life. It was my escape from school, my escape from family, and my escape from responsibilities. It numbed the pain of loss and made me feel much more accomplished and important than I really was. Waukeen, the character I made, was no longer just a virtual character inside a game that’s made of just pixels. In my head he was who I wanted to be so that I could escape the realities of the world.

Ragnarok was just a game. But if my girlfriend (now wife), family, and friends didn’t pull me out when they did, my life today would be so much different.

Never let a game rob you of your life. Don’t let it become a false substitute for real relationships and achievements. As cliche as this may sound, play the game and don’t let it play you.


Waukeen, Shadow Circle Guildmaster, Philippine Ragnarok Online, signing off! Cheers! πŸ™‚

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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  1. Naaalala ko tuloy na tuwing may WOE sa pRO teamwork talaga eh para lang makuha yung castle at totoo nga yung mga nakalagay sa topic na to super bait in real life ng mga players kulang nalang tumira sila sa bahay mo (>.<). Tapos kahit may iba jan na makaboblak saming mga tactician sa WOE kaloka nabubuwisit ako pero ika nga nila "It’s Just a Game".

    Off topic:
    Dissapointed ako sa RO 2! Hinihintay ko yung larong "Tree Of Savior" maganda nman sana.

  2. Remembering the factions between guilds makes me think of how the government works today. There are balimbings who will join other factions even though you know them personally

    Kudos to pRO for lasting for more than a decade!

  3. Thanks Carlo for this great post about pRO. I played this game from it’s earliest days where there were only 250 players online with one server til the days it had multiple servers. It was just a game but I also learnt about sustainability and patience. Sustainability, I bought level up cards from wholesalers and sold cards in our compound and other areas, my expense was practically time and gaming hours. Patience…don’t need to elaborate for those who play games….Relationship…. until now my pRO guild people are still my friends, sometimes I forget that they were my friends because of my pRO days.

  4. pRo and being with Shadow Circle Guild will always be a part of my life, Ang dami kong naging kaibigan not just in game but in real life.

  5. Back when I started the game, my brother and I were not in good terms. We literally wielded knives during our fights. Our parents were thinking of separating us for good.

    We share one computer at the house. He would take the morning shift I take the night shift. I didn’t bother to check what he does online, he didn’t bother me too. Until we both found out we play PRo. He was on Chaos, I was on Iris.

    Out of blue he just came up to me one time and said, “Assassin ka pala, lipat ka Chaos bigyan kita full equip.” And from then on we became inseparabale.

    Eventually, we did quit PRo, but we had a hell of a time while we played there.

    Of course I have other PRo stories, some good some bad. I choose to remember the good ones. Yes it is a game, but it meant different things to different people. I was glad I played it, glad I quit when I had to. And glad that I came back from time to time just do a little quest here and there. πŸ™‚

  6. It was just a game, but it became more than a game in the end.

    By this, I mean – through the game, we’ve formed so many friendships, made a lot of memories (good…WOE warcries – ‘sugod mga bading!’ and the white potting SCDragoons and bad…hack/delete) that will last even though we’ve long quit the game.

    pRO was a great, great, great run!

  7. I heard that you are the first person to reach the 2 billion zenny limit is that true?. Too bad i don’t have one of the weapons you created.

  8. I remember i was part of SC before i went to Mors Mortis, i forgot the name of the my partner priest. Tambay kami ng Geffen Dungeon since Waterball build wiz ako. Good times.

  9. wooot! its sad that the game will be closing.. I played the game since its opening! Chaos server pa lang noon hehe
    became big part of my college life.. shout out to my Alliance guildmates!

  10. I was a proud HYBRID BLACKSMITH/WHITESMITH of the Dragoons =)..
    what i will always remember is pag siege days nun tapos maghohoard kami ng White Pots… at maguupgrade ka sa +10 Gears para maging makunat ka coz your going to try and sneak in with Kanon and get an Agit in Geffen…
    tapos mapipierce ka ng perfect pike ni Stevefox, or hahabulin ka ng menyek na si Kaseh, Burn at Mnemocyne
    tapos ang ipangkakatay namin ni SoopahSpoonBaby mo ay Mammonite…
    tapos iheheal ka ni Moujin…habang kasama ko nangkakatay si Zup sa GD..
    THose where the days…pardon the flight of ideas…its just that this was a BIG part of our life then… THANK YOU SHADOW CIRCLE, THANK YOU DRAGOONS, THANK YOU PRO!

  11. Hayyy.. nakaka iyak, di ko man lng nasilip last day kahapon ng pRO New Chaos. Busy kaka Ingress. T__T. Anyway, great post. πŸ˜€ And ikaw yung Chaos WOE commentator diba? Lagi me nagbabasa nun dati. πŸ˜€ Hehe.

    – waldner (pRO Chaos – Baldur – New Chaos)
    DOST Scholars Guild – Beta days 2003 to 2006
    Patay Gutom Guild – 2011 to 2015

  12. Salamat Boss Waukeen… Isa ka tlagang Alamat ksma ang Shadow Circle ng pRO Chaos Server! Apocalypse.. Steel Wolves… Revelations… Are also Legends. Salamat din sa pRO namulat ako sa Online Gaming Industry. πŸ™‚

  13. natatandaan ko idol kita kasi ikaw ang may kauna unahang sakat sa chaos hahaha tambay ka palagi ng payon

  14. what I liked most about SC is the “professionalism” imbibed by the GMs often mistaken as an elitist attitude! loved reading the post WoE battle stories describing how the castles were taken or how a successful defense transpired! hope we can get a reunion in the new pRO servers even as plain casual gamers. (kulugo – SC Qin)

  15. SC will always be SC. SC without Chief Waukeen is not SC.

    Some says the guild is elitist. Mukha lang kasi there are rules to be followed, STRICTLY. Ultimo sa chat, bawal text speak and other rules. But you can see the members’ dedication and love to the guild.

    Glory to the Circle! -ChiefGO, Shadow Circle Silvers

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