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Rebalancing the Monster Database


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Rebalancing the Monster Database

As a personal note, I have been playing Ragnarok Online off and on since 2004. The game has had many iterations in the past 15 years and unfortunately, the game has suffered from balancing issues when considering monsters and how rewarding they are for players. Both official and private servers suffer from balancing issues when it comes to monsters. This results in a large library of monsters in which only a select few are viable leveling options.

The Current Situation

Ragnarok Online has evolved into a system where less than 10% of the mobs in the database are considered when players are leveling. However, to demonstrate the correlation between risk and reward, I reviewed the experience granted by killing each monster and its difficulty. The difficulty rating was generated by reviewing the following stats and applying weightings to those stats. While I will not dive into the specific weightings as I feel that is a proprietary component of OathRO, I will outline which monster stats were considered when calculating difficulty. Namely:

  • Hit Points
  • Average Attack (Average of the Lower and Upper Bounds)
  • Defense and Magic Defense
  • Flee Rating of the Monster
  • Hit Rating of the Monster
  • Aggresiveness
  • Special and Damaging Skills
  • Attack Speed
  • Movement Speed

The culmination of these factors resulted in a scatter plot showing a comparison between experience (reward) and difficulty rating (risk). The following chart is the output of the analysis performed.


As shown in the chart above, the variance of some mobs in terms of difficulty is vastly different from the general trendline of where one might expect them to be given the amount of experience they give. For instance, Mimics have a difficulty rating of about 17.5k, but originally only gave 165 experience per kill. Other mobs such as Hunter Flies and Ridewords are egregious offenders of this difficulty versus experience mismatch.

There are also offenders that provide substantial experience yet are trivial compared to other mobs with similar experience rewards. For instance, Kahos give about 4,000 experience per kill and have a difficulty rating of about 15,000. Comparatively, Stings give about the same experience, yet have a difficulty rating of 43,400. While there are other factors to consider such as the fact that Stings are regularly killed by hunters given that hunter's ability to trap them, other classes would be completely outmatched given the high hit and attack of Stings. At the very least, the experience should be correlated with that level of difficulty.

The OathRO Rebalance

One goal at OathRO is to provide a sense of balance that is not seen in any other server. In order to do this, each mob has been adjusted, when necessary, to bring their difficulty in line with their experience granted or to adjust the experience granted to match their difficulty. There were two processes used in making these adjustments:

  1. Relative to the monster's level, stats such as HP, Attack, Hit, Flee, Defense, Attack Speed, and movement speed were adjusted to bring difficulty more in-line with other mobs of similar levels.
  2. To provide enough mobs at various experience ranges, some mobs have had a boost to their experience in combination with changes to stats to give players a large array of options when leveling. Mobs are now more competitive with one another and players can choose to kill monsters based on their preference instead of being pigeonholed by a few mobs.

Players with skillful play, such as mages using firewall and fire bolt to kill Clocks, will find similar experience rewards as before, but now there will be many more options for players to pursue to add variety to their game experience. The culmination of the work done to rebalance the game has resulted in the following new graph.


This rebalancing effort truly makes OathRO unique within the Ragnarok Online private server community. We will continue to strive to give the players more options going forward that use 100% of the game's potential. As with any task, our work is never finished and additional tuning will be required from time to time based on other factors that cannot be easily quantified by the variables considered in this process.

We hope these changes improve the overall enjoyment factor of OathRO!


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