Ran Online is an older MMORPG that mixes traditional fantasy gameplay and mechanics with a modern, urban setting. Players take the role of students at one of three schools, and complete quests to clean up the area, and compete with the other schools through PvP.
|Publisher: GameSamba / Min
Release Date: April 20, 2004 (NA/EU)
PvP: World PvP
Pros: +Unique modern setting. +Multiple skill trees for each class. +Good class variety. +Fun PvP.
Cons: -Poor English translations. -Dated graphics. -Grind heavy gameplay.
Ran Online Overview
In Ran Online, players assume the role of students who fight to clean up their schools, and compete with other schools for dominance. Enemies take the form of junkies or gangsters, while character classes are explained mostly as areas of study. While the bones of the game are identical to many other MMORPGs, these details help Ran Online to stand out from the crowd. While the graphics are dated, the stark contrast of the modern urban environment makes Ran Online particularly interesting for players that are tired of the same fantasy aesthetic.
Ran Online Key Features:
- Unique Environment - Ran Online is set inside a modern urban environment - at a university campus.
- Train to reach the top - Reach the game's incredibly high level cap of 260+
- Choose your path - Choose from three skill trees for each of the game's 8 classes (Archers, Assassins, Brawlers, Extremes, Magicians, Scientists, Shamans, and Swordsman).
- Show school spirit - Choose from the Sacred Gate, Phoenix, and Mystic Peak schools.
- Bring your clan to the top - Clubs allow schools to conquer areas, decide the tax rate, and collect the profits.
Ran Online Screenshots
Ran Online Featured Video
Ran Online Classes
Archers attack from long range, using short bows and long bows to fill enemies like pin cushions. Archers typically invest in Dexterity to achieve high evasion rates, making them particularly useful in parties.
Assassins use shuriken, scythes, and dual spears to quickly take down enemies. Their skills allow them to hide, disappear, or quickly strike out at foes. Their strength is performing many quick attacks to expertly chip enemy health down.
Brawlers specialize in hand-to-hand combat, using powerful punches and kicks to cause devastating damage. They equip gauntlets to add power to their strikes, and are masters of close-range combat.
Extremes are special students, able to use a variety of skills and weapons from other classes. They are particularly strong, and can specialize to meet a number of needs. They are only available to those who have leveled a different character to 100.
Magicians have a variety of weapons and skills at their disposal. Using wands, they create illusions to distract and attack their enemies. Using whips, they can summon animals to protect them in combat. And using cubes, they can summon mystery boxes to attack enemies with powerful area-of-effect spells.
Scientists use their knowledge of biology, physics, and chemistry to bring down enemies. And if their skills aren’t enough, Scientists use a variety of hand guns, rail guns, and portal guns to blow their foes to pieces.
Shamans channel primal energies to cast spells, as well as use spears for close-range combat. They are also able to use healing spells, making them a popular choice for parties.
Swordsman use blades, swords, and energy swords to cut their foes down. They are strong melee fighters, and each weapon type differs in style. Swords require high Dexterity, while blades require high Power. Energy swords rely on high Intelligence, meaning three swordsmen could have very different strengths and skills.
Ran Online Review
By, Dimitri Jordan
Ran Online is an MMORPG developed by Min Communications, Inc. and published by GameSamba. It was released on April 20th, 2004, and its age is one of the biggest flaws for Ran Online. Because it’s over a decade old, the playerbase has waned greatly, and the graphics and gameplay are dated, with low resolution textures and grind-heavy gameplay. However, the low requirements for the game make Ran Online accessible to most low-end computers and laptops. The urban setting for the game also helps it to stand out from more traditional fantasy themed MMORPGs. The game is also available globally through the developer on the "Ran Worlds" server which has a higher playerbase than the North American service.
When first starting the game, players will create their character by choosing their school (Mystic Peak, Phoenix, or Sacred Gate), their gender, one of the eight classes, and a basic hair style and face. There are few options for the hair and face, which will be disappointing for those hoping to make a unique looking character. After naming their character, players are sent to their campus, where their tutorial takes the form of an orientation.
Players will run around their campus, talking to different NPCs and learning the basics of Ran Online. Movement is done by right-clicking the ground, and players can continuously move by holding down the mouse button and moving the cursor around. For convenient traveling over longer distances, players can also click a spot on their map to automatically move toward that location. Clicking an enemy targets them, and holding A initiates the auto-attack. This can alternatively be assigned to the left-click, and is similar to combat in Diablo. The A button, or left-click, must be held down over the enemy to continue auto-attacking them. Skills can be assigned to keys 1-5, as well as Q-T. Keys 6-0 are assigned as item hotkeys.
The First Few Levels
The first few levels of Ran Online go quickly. Because the level cap is 260, early levels require very little experience, and the grinding nature of Ran Online means players will earn this experience very quickly. Players can reach level 10 within a few minutes of grinding enemies, and reaching levels in the 40s or 50s will take only a few hours.
Players will need to learn how their class handles stats, and specifically what their weapons need. For example, for players in the Swordsman class the main stats necessary are Dexterity for Swords, Power for Blades, and Intelligence for Energy Swords. Adding points into all three stat categories will allow players to use all three weapons; however they will need to outlevel their weapons to earn enough stats to use them. However, investing entirely in Intelligence will allow them to use Energy Swords as they become available, etc. Because of the stat requirements for equipment and some skills, players are better off researching what skill path and weapons they want to use prior to investing their stat points.
Ran Online - The Gameplay
Ran Online is not like many western MMORPGs, which emphasize some level of story or narrative to move players through the game. Ran Online is like many older Asian-market MMORPGs, where the quests are little more than reasons to move between grinding different mobs, and the game satisfaction comes from reaching higher levels through this grind. While some players may be turned off by the relatively “barebones” gameplay, those that are looking for a time-sink to preoccupy them while being easily manageable would do well to give Ran Online a shot.
Again, because of the age of the game, there are relatively few features to draw players to the game. There is a relatively lax PvP environment because of the lower playerbase, but some PvP can be found during the “indiscriminate PvP” periods. The cooperative events are much more manageable, and are fun enough with sociable players.
PvP and Events
The PvP in Ran Online is stifled significantly by the low playerbase. Players are able to PvP between schools anywhere in Ran Online, though it only happens during particular times. A notification saying “Indiscriminate PvP between schools has begun/ended,” that signals these PvP times. However, outside of the school zones there is a lack of other players, due to the game being eleven years old. Luckily though, Ran Online has a vibrant private server community, so those looking for some PvP action can find busier servers outside the official ones. For some reason, some games (think Dekaron and Mu Online) thrive on private servers, and Ran Online is one of them.
In addition to individual PvP, there is the Power Plant Tyranny game mode, where all three schools compete in a king-of-the-hill style game. Each school attempts to attack and capture the three power plants around the map. Captured power plants left unattended can be captured by a different school. The team that has the most points from holding captured power plants wins. In the event that each team captures one power plant, the game will end in a draw. Players must be level 197 or higher to participate in the Power Plant Tyranny.
Finally, there is Club Death Match, where 2-8 players from a club (Guild) from each school will fight in PvP. Players earn points from getting kills, and the club with the most points after 30 minutes is the winner. Players must be over level 195, and the club must have an S or higher grade.
In addition to the PvP, Ran Online has two game modes called Extra Stages and Forbidden Tower.
In Extra Stages, players take the bus to a bonus map, where they clear the stage in order to save an NPC, who will then reward them. There are several stages, separating players by levels. Players level 100 and lower have access to Extra Stage C, players level 101 to 170 have access to Extra Stage B, players 171 to 200 have access to Extra Stage A, and players who have completed Stage A 5 times have access to Extra Stage S.
In the Forbidden Tower, players work in a team of 5 to clear 30 stages and defeat a final boss. Players must be above level 190, and can only participate in the Forbidden Tower twice a day. For completing the tower, players receive a large amount of gold and experience. The final boss also has a chance to drop special tower gear, which is some of the most powerful equipment in the game.
The Cash Shop in Ran Online does not offer very much. There are a handful of pets, mounts, and costumes, as well as customization options to change hair style, color, and costume dyes. Two notable items that grant stat boosts are the Get Luxy S5 and the I-phong 6, plays on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6. These are silly Cash Shop items that surprisingly fit very well with the college campus setting of the game’s schools.
Final Verdict - Fair
Ultimately, Ran Online is a mixed bag. The graphics are dated, the translation to English is at times unreadable, and the playerbase is too small for those looking for a dedicated PvP experience. Further, the context for doing quests is nearly nonexistent, and the grind-heavy gameplay is not for everyone. However, for those willing to look past these faults, Ran Online is a great game to lose a few hours to. The high level cap gives players a goal to grind towards, and the urban aesthetic is particularly interesting. If Ran Online were to be overhauled, it would easily be one of the top MMORPGs out. However, because of the dated graphics and gameplay, it is only a novelty where players can waste some time.
Ran Online Videos
Ran Online Links
Ran Online System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Pentium 3 1.2 GHz or Athlon 1500+
Video Card: GeForce3 Ti / Radeon 9000
RAM: 256 MB
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or better
Video Card: GeForce 6000 series / Radeon X Series or better
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
Ran Online Music & Soundtrack
Ran Online Additional Information
Developer: Min Communications
South Korea: 2004
Taiwan and Hong Kong: 2005
Japan: September 2005
Malaysia: October 2005
Thailand: November 2008
Philippines: January 2006
Global Server: August, 2014
Ran Online was developed by the South Korean game developer Min Communications and published by GameSamba in the U.S. The game is available in other regions as well and also thrives within the private server world. The game originally launched in South Korea, but quickly expanded globally due to its success in Korea. Min Communications opened a "global" server for the game in August, 2014, called Ran World.