Why did Gravity have to do this?

One of the biggest appeals of the alchemist class in Gravity’s MMO Ragnarok Online was the homunculus, genetically altered pets of varying types that assisted you in battle. Through AI that Gravity allowed you to use, you could set the homunculus up to attack on its own without you having to manually tell it to attack whenever you wanted it to attack. This essentially gave alchemists a leveling partner, and at that, one that they could choose from — if they didn’t like the homunculus that came forth from their embryo, they could easily make another one. Until, of course, Gravity essentially nerfed the entire homunculus system by making it so that homunculus could no longer automatically attack on their own with AI, forcing those who still wanted to use homunculus to attack to manually make their homunculus attack on their own (or use skills on their own, for the purpose of this blog post being noted as “attacking on their own”) every single time. Returning to Ragnarok Online with Bub having been a proficient alchemist player in my own right, I find this problematic for no shortage of reasons. Not only does it weaken the alchemist class by far, effectively reducing them to “a swordsman without the skills” — as this has actually been said, and I believe it — but this handicaps disabled gamers who then have to input considerably more keystrokes if they wish to continue using their alchemist’s homunculus. Gravity’s alleged rationale behind this was that “too many alchemists” (which I don’t believe) were “using their alchemist’s homunculus to level while not actually being at the computer,” something that a lot of players will call AFKmisting… which can and will get you banned.

Anyone foolish enough to try to level up long-term AFKmisting needs to cop a well-deserved ban for that, quite frankly. First of all, prior to this (as when Gravity made it to where your homunculus could not auto-attack, they could not do this), homunculus needed to be fed at regular intervals. If they starved, they ran away. So anyone foolish enough to “set up camp”, even on a faraway map where they thought they could not (or “would not”) get caught, might run the risk of their homunculus starving to the point where they ran away, rendering this entire “bright idea” of theirs both pointless and fruitless. And secondly, homunculus only net their alchemist base experience, not job experience, which is generally more coveted. Thirdly… the whole ban thing. If you are well and truly caught AFKmisting, you will get banned. No questions there. It’s pointless.

For Gravity to stand up on a soapbox about this one thing and take away something that made having an alchemist character particularly great, I find perplexing if not mind-boggling. Not only is it not smart, but it will get you banned. Why handicap the alchemist character to such great severity? I still don’t understand it.

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