Before there were flying creatures, before the various gang wars, and before the numerous massively multiplayer online games that existed in the boom of computer games, I was exposed and fascinated to the world of Ragnarok - the first-ever online game I played and got addicted to.
It started in around 2004 (I was in 4th year high school then) when a computer shop was established a few blocks away from where I live. Due to curiosity and innate passion with computers, at first I tried peeking what was inside that shop.
Boys my age were the usual customers of the shop. I could recall they used to play Yuri's Revenge, Counter Strike, and Battle Realms at first, but when the owner installed the client patch for Ragnarok Online, we then signed up at the game's official website and purchased some P50 load (good for 8 hours of gameplay) and gotcha, I was able to play the cutest online game of all time.
I could recall that my first character was a mage (short for magician), though I hardly remember my character's name (because I've had lots of character jobs). But before becoming a first-job character, all characters started as novice players. Upon reaching job level 10, then that would be the time you choose which first-job character you want to play.
Being my greatest past time, playing Ragnarok has eaten up most of my time that was supposedly spent studying or doing homeworks. But nevertheless, I still graduated and topped the class. Should I say Ragnarok has become my source of inspiration? Maybe yes - for I worked hard on studying my notes and doing projects because I knew at the end of the day I'm gonna login with my character again; and maybe no - for I spent too much to the point that I could have established my own computer shop with all my expenses then. LOL.
I was still a Ragna "addict" when I entered college. Having studied in FEU is like having encountered a lot of "astig" players with items you've ever dreamed of wanting - mostly rare and precious. There were times I spent my lunchbreak just to play Ragna, but I never skipped class honestly.
My addiction to Ragna led me to discovering other online games. I signed up and played Flyff, Pirate King Online, Perfect World, Krazy Kart, and others, but Ragna still topped my list. For me, it will forever be the best online game I played!
Even though I don't play the game anymore, I could say Ragna made a huge impact in my youth. It gave me the realization that living in a world of fantasies, monsters, and online character friends and guildmates is not a permanent thing. For one day you will wake up and realize that you have to let go of these temporary imaginings and live what is real. I may not cast a fire bolt or thunderstorm to my enemies, but learning all these things make my day happy - because I laugh at myself and remember how I was as a youngster.