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Conversion Project [Renewal to Pre-Renewal]

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The Conversion Project

The project that a friend and I are working on is a conversion of renewal to pre-renewal databases for later episodes. I'd like to start by saying that there's no correct, single, official way to convert them. This is due to the way damage is calculated and how monster difficulty is scaled in renewal.

That being said, there are some similar trends in renewal and pre-renewal that can be followed. This is how we will be making a "close-to-official" monster database. It's not going to be 100% official because there aren't any actual, official databases for the later monsters. So, anything put together by anyone is simply going to be their best interpretation. This project is our interpretation.


Because of the way the conversions are handled, it's not possible to run any script to mass convert content from renewal to pre-renewal. Everything must be done by hand using statistical evaluation of similar monsters, races, and elements and their existing stat, exp, hp, etc. ratios. This made the project a bit larger than we anticipated. However, once you have established some existing ratios and trends, converting becomes easier.



Why are we doing it? The main reason we started on this project was because there's still a large number of players who prefer pre-renewal mechanics and gameplay but are stuck in Episode 13.2. This means there's never anything new to experience and thus, the game becomes stagnant. We believe this is what causes so many people to lose interest in Ragnarok Online pre-renewal so quickly. The nostalgia and excitement of starting over is great, but without any new content like renewal continues to get, you eventually don't have anything else to do.



The Conversions

All areas were/are converted in order of episode starting with Episode 13.1. We started with Episode 13.1 because although these monsters can be found listed in "official" pre-renewal databases, they are extremely out of place and out of tune with the rest of the existing RO world. Below is an example of how Episode 13.1 monsters were converted. These are a bit easier to convert since we have more to compare to. Converting Episode 14+ monsters to pre-renewal works in a similar manner, but is a bit different. I'll get around to posting how these are done at a later time.


Episode 13.1 Another World

The first thing you'll notice is that these monsters have extremely high attack (over 10,000!). You'll also notice that this is the first instance in the entire pre-renewal monster db in which a normal monster is over level 99. It should be obvious that these monsters are severely out of place even if they are included on "official" pre-renewal databases. Let's take a look at a few of a monster's stats, trends, and ratios.


We'll use Tatacho for this area's example discussion.


[PRE-RE] Tatacho

Level: 106

HP: 39,500

ATK: 10,000 ~ 11,000

EXP: 23,700
JEXP: 13,825


[MODIFIED] Tatacho

Level: 78

HP: 39,500
ATK: 1,770~ 2,405
EXP: 19,700
JEXP: 11,825


Now, we already know that the area is intended to be difficult. But let's take a look at some other normal monsters that have higher HP like this. You'll find that Banshee, Acidus, Ice Titan, and Echio all have around the same HP. When comparing Tatacho to these monsters you'll notice how different the ratios between each of the above stats are. I'll spare you the lengthy-bit and tell you what the average ratios are for the monsters I just listed.


Here are the ratios for each of the previous monsters and their compiled averages:

HP:LVL - 522.637

HP:EXP - 2.526
HP:JEXP - 6.2911
HP:ATK - 24.279
ATK:EXP - 0.10643
Compare these to the current ratios for Tatacho:
HP:LVL - 372.64
HP:EXP - 1.6666
HP:JEXP - 2.85714
HP:ATK - 3.7619
ATK:EXP - 0.44303
You'll notice that Tatacho does give more EXP compared to the other monsters but the attack really throws it off. It has about 5x too much attack. It also has a really low amount of HP per level. Now, the tricky part is choosing which stats to adjust to best fit the balance of the rest of the game. In this case, it is easy to see that ATK should be reduced by a factor of around 5. However, Tatacho does give more EXP than other areas so keeping the ATK slightly on the higher side makes the most sense. The EXP given will still be too much compared to the existing monsters, so we reduce that slightly. We also adjust the monster level to best resemble the existing ratios as well. This is how we come to the conclusion of the [MODIFIED] Tatacho mentioned a moment ago. 


This similar process is involved in adjusting the rest of the monsters for Episodes 13.1 and 13.2. The above is just an example. The more monster data you can use to draw trends and ratios, the more "official" you will be able to make renewal monsters. In the end, you are left with a custom monster, but modified to be more in-tune with the current standards of pre-renewal Ragnarok Online. 


Episodes 14+

To be posted later...

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Hm.. this is very interesting @TooEclipse Are you guys using a repo to keep track of this sort of data changes / release purpose?

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There's a private assembla at the moment to keep track of changes to monsters stats and spawns for Episodes 13+. It's being made for a new RO server but I think that it could be made public if so desired. We just assumed that since the work is pretty much entirely custom (there's no true official pre-re stats for these monsters) that it probably wouldn't be used by many.

I decided to post the project here to get some feedback on it and see how people feel about renewal to pre-renewal conversions. It's been discussed a little bit here:

But as mentioned in that thread, there's a few ways to go about converting the monsters, no one way is right, and there's going to have to be some personal interpretation. 

For example, even if you decided to match a monsters EXP to monsters of similar HP and Level, you're still not going to just apply the ratio and be done with it. You're going to have to use your own judgement on what the attack range should be or the EXP should be since it's not going to be as simple as divide by 3. This is what makes the work very custom. Though the intent is to make the monsters as close to what would be expected on an official pre-renewal server.

Think: What if renewal never happened and all this content were originally developed by Gravity for pre-renewal? That's the aim of the project.

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Interesting, I had the same idea a few days ago and already started on it. 


  • Byalan 4
  • LHZ 4
  • Scaraba Dungeon

Next I planned was Old Glast Heim Instance

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Thought I would most more of a snippet to get some more feedback on. These are going to be the modified versions of Episode 13.1 monsters. As I mentioned above, even though these monsters are available in pre-re databases, I believe them to be very out of touch with pre-re. Levels over 100, attack that's 10,000+, and EXP ratios much higher than normal.

Since there's no formatting option for code in post, I've uploaded the txt document showing original and modified versions. The modifications were done based off of existing ratios and averages. However, the area is intended to be harder and the monsters will still be considered strong, but not to the point where players die in 1-2 hits no matter what. This means the monsters will be more rewarding EXP-wise but again, way more in-line with existing EXP ratios of available monsters.

A breakdown of the conversion:

  • Level - Monsters above level 100 were adjusted to be around around 1 level every 500~540 HP. This makes the monsters ranging from level 71~85 instead of 105~110. MVPs were set at level 98 similar to existing high-end MVPs
  • HP - This was left alone in order to retain the difficulty of the area. You'll need at least one stat to base the rest of the stats on. We chose HP because it keeps the feel of the area more (needing to do significant damage to kill the monsters.)
  • EXP - EXP was reduced to closer match existing mob EXP ratios. However, it should be slightly more on the rewarding side. The ratio was found based on monsters of similar HP. EXP of MVPs was actually increased because previous high-end MVPs have roughly 1:1 to 2:1 HP to EXP ratio. For some reason the previous settings were more like 5:1
  • Attack - This was significantly reduced in most cases. Attack was based on existing monsters of similar HP and level, though was left on the higher side to retain difficulty.
  • Everything else - Left alone. The DEF/MDEF and STR/AGI/VIT/etc on these were already in-line with what would be expected of existing higher-difficulty monsters. I will note that Episode 14+ monsters will need changes to their DEF and VIT.

All-in-all this should make the area much more playable.



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