However, RO was no less fun. In-game towns and cities were jam-packed with players at any given time. In fact, the Chaos server in particular often had literally over 9,000 people from all walks of life and of all ages playing at a given moment. The diversity of the community, as can still be seen on the Ragnaboards, coupled with a simple yet addictive gameplay interface, was what hooked me – the first two months of my stay were spent leveling up my character.
Alas, it was not meant to be. I ended up quitting after getting a first-hand experience of Level Up’s lack of customer care. I logged in one day to find my character stripped bare – all the gear and the loot I had hunted for disappeared. When I filed a complaint to their Customer Service, they refused to compensate my loss – this angered me to the point of quitting. Sadly, Level Up seemed to have deteriorated even further from there. Over time, hacking and scamming alike increasingly fell on deaf ears. Bots – 3rd party programs used by players to gain an unfair advantage – while ostensibly illegal, were no longer being addressed. Next thing I knew, Level Up legalised botting (MPC Forums, 2005). The overwhelming number of other reports such as item duplication made it worse.
It still makes me sad sometimes. I loved the game, but the company’s utter disregard for its customers in the name of money turned me off – the legalisation of botting in order to maximise their income by way of prepaid cards attests to this. Considering how much prosperity RO and its players brought to Level Up, one would think these customers deserved better treatment.