Friday, March 09, 2007

Thank you & see you at WAUKSTER.COM! :D

Hmm, I find it weird. It's been a day or two already since I announced I'm moving to another site but I still get insane hits at this blog. Guys, please start going to -

I won't be updating this one anymore XD I've already put up some new articles on PERFECT WORLD and LU YOSI SESSION at the new blog so better check it out!

Thank you to everyone and I hope to see you at my new blog!


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Hi guys,

I promised myself that in the event I get 10,000 hits for this blog, I'd buy a domain and web host.



Please change your bookmarks and RSS subscriptions to the said URL above. Expect more controversial (lol) and informative insights in the online gaming industry as the days go by. I'll also be posting more on PERFECT WORLD, RAGNAROK, and of course... RAGNAROK 2. :)

See you guys at the new site!


Ragnarok Hugel Site NOW UP!

Yay! The official pRO Hugel website is now UP! Check it out HERE. I took us more than a month to put that thing together, mostly because the Creative department here at Level-up is constantly swamped with project requests from all the brands.

You guys can also view the pRO HUGEL MOVIE HERE.

Btw, please take note that the HUGEL CDs will only arrive at Mini-stop sometime May 12. However, the Neopia branches are already giving/burning copies for everyone as we speak. Check out the website for the list of branches that have CDs. :)
7 days until Hugel! wOOt!
Lastly, I'm doing the finishing touches to my new blog. You guys can check it out now if you want but it's not yet 100% complete.

Ragnarok 2 CBT Videos

Ragnarok 2 is one of the most anticipated games in the world, especially here in the Philippines. I've been going around the country lately for the Level-up Trade Launch and the Ragna Rally Series and people keep asking me when we will have the closed or open beta here in the Philippines. Sadly I can't give a date yet - simply because the game is still under development. However, it's good to know that Gravity is trying to have OBT in mid or late 2007.

A fellow RO player, Sir David, showed me some Youtube videos earlier about the latest videos from Closed Beta 2. FYI, RO2 will have 4 Closed Beta sessions before they go full blast. From what I know, they just concluded the second one and they are now gearing up for the final two tests.

RO2 Swordsman Video

RO2 Recruit/Gunslinger Video

The Korean Ragnarok 2 Site is also now up. Go ahead and visit it if you can read Korean. If ever anyone here can, please let me know and kindly give me an english translation (hehe).

By the way, I bought a domain name and web hosting yesterday. That's the main reason why this blog is getting so weird in terms of layout. I've been playing around with images and buttons for the past few days. That explains the weird section on top - yeah I know I need two more buttons to balance it out (lol). Hopefully I can set it up so I can move out of blogger. Thanks to FlyFF Brand Manager Sherevar for letting me use his uber credit card.
'Till next time peeps! I'll post more about RO when I get to the office. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

LU WTF Moment 02: Tale of the Suicidal Forumer

LU WTF MOMENT 02: Tale of the Suicidal Forumer

I just got home from a very tiring day at work. Thor, the latest server of Ragnarok Online, was plagued with technical bugs. That's the problem when the developer and game publisher are different entities. You can't really expect speedy resolution to stuff like this, which is very difficult. Anyway, because of the error on the side of Gravity, Thor will have to undergo a major rollback. I can't help but be saddened because I know how it feels like to be a player and suddenly get hit by something like this. This is not the fault of the player - this is also not just the fault of Gravity. To all my Thor readers, I humbly offer my apologies. We promised you the best game play experience in Thor and we let you down on several occassions. Believe me guys, I know how you feel! I've been there before. Hopefully the compensation package will be enough to give you reason to stick it out with us. FYI, that will be announced Wednesday, probably around noon time.

The WTF moment for today was actually just a few minutes ago and it is related to the Thor rollback. I opened my lap top and checked the Ragnaboards. The Ragnaboards is the official pRO message boards/forums. I've had my fair share of encounters here with moderators when I was still a player. Actually I think I got banned by Goenitz once or twice. I can't blame him though, he was just doing his job (Hehe). You really can't let an anti-LU person like me (back then) run crazy posting every other minute. Anyway, as soon as I checked the Midgard Congress section, one thread just screamed out so loud I couldn't ignore it:

"TO Waukeen: Reply or I'll Kill Myself"

He was one of the Thor players who got hit pretty bad with the rollback @_@. I'll be writting a very long letter to Gravity tomorrow afternoon. This should never ever happen again.

On a side note, I've been nominated to the Philippine Blog Awards! I think I'm under the Business/Corporate Blog category. It looks like this blog has been dubbed the "Level-up" Blog. Thanks to everyone for reading this post. I'll try to get some much needed material on Ragnarok 2 tomorrow. Cheers!

LU Yosi Break SPECIAL EDITION: Mich Orosa, the GF.

LU Yosi Break SPECIAL EDITION: Michelle Orosa, the GF. :)

I always thought of games as just that, games. And for a while I couldn’t understand why you were so serious about it. But I understand now (biglang bawi heehee).

Mich currently works for ANC as one of their premiere business journalists. She's worked for the very best in the industry, including a 2-year stint as Senior Editorial Assistant to business media giant Tony Lopez (BizNewsAsia Magazine). Mich has also travelled to Germany on several occassions to refine her craft. It's simply amazing and bizarre how such a elegant, classy, and hot girl hooked up with a grizzly gamer like me (haha!). We've been together for 6 years now and we just can't wait for *that* day to come.

Wauks: Okay, let’s get down to business! I’m big, into games, and clumsy. What is it that you found in me that made you say “yes”?

Mich: You were a paradox of sorts. You were uber confident when you were speaking in public (a.k.a giving reports in the classroom) but with me you showed a softer side, kind of shy, and very caring. I felt very flattered you showed me that side of yours, even as I was already infatuated with your "public" side.

Wauks: How hard was it to have a boyfriend for a gamer? I mean - what was it about me being a gamer that pissed you off?

Mich: I knew it was going to be hard the moment my kuya said "He plays counterstrike?! Buti if he'll still pay attention to you!" I guess that while I understood that someone could get lost while playing a game, I never really encountered someone that could get lost while playing a game and after playing that game because he was talking about strategies with his guildmates. I always thought of games as just that, games. And for a while I couldn’t understand why you were so serious about it. But I understand now (biglang bawi heehee).

Wauks: Okay, good thing I didn't get to much flak from your brother. By the way, I've been meaning to ask this for some time...What's your take on it? I mean, about me being serious about games?

Mich: You're serious with anything you're passionate about. It's that simple. It could be a book, or even a monopoly game for crying out loud, and you'd still think beyond the rules and do your best and beat everyone else because they didn't think of it the way you do.

Wauks: Wow, thanks for the ego boost, hehe. Is there anything positive about me being a gamer that has made any impact on our relationship for the past 6 years?

Mich: Like you always say, it's better than drugs or alcohol! It gives you a stress reliever-outlet kind of thing when we have problems heehee.

Wauks: Hey hey hey, it really IS better than drugs or alcohol. Better a gamer than an alcoholic (LOL). Was there an instance na you were happy that I was a gamer?

Mich: I think I was happy when I found out we could get married in Ragnarok. It’s the closest we could get to the real thing. And I thought seeing a blacksmith and a dancer stand together was really cool.

Wauks: Let's talk in general terms - do you think everyone is a gamer? I mean, they just haven't found the game that would hook 'em in yet? Have you found a game that sucked you in like RO did to me?

Mich: I think games exist because everyone wants a chance to get away for a little while. I do believe there's a game for everybody. Could be as simple as Tetris or something as complicated as RO or WOW, it's really just a matter of what distracts you to the point of sheer joy for those few minutes or hours you set aside to play the game. I liked City of Heroes for a while… but I guess I like Diner Dash 2 more. :)

Wauks: Okay last question. Mas masarap ba mag-mahal ang gamer?

Mich: All I can say is for this gamer, yes. :)

Michelle Orosa will be a happily married woman with a dedicated husband in a few years from now.

Thank you so much for agreeing to this. To all my readers, hope you guys find your special someone soon. :)


I think I was happy when I found out we could get married in Ragnarok. It’s the closest we could get to the real thing.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cavite & Paranaque Ragna Rally!

Don't you just hate it when political candidates cover the entire city with their faces? Nevermind that they probably had their faces photoshopped and morphed to make them look like celebrities. Anyway, I'm sure some of you will eventually find one of these tarpaulins either at an internet cafe or a street post (LOL). When I said before that we will make Ragna Rally look like an election campaign, I was dead serious! One of the sales personnel here at Level-up also just informed me that they are now sending the sample ballots out to the field. Hopefully you guys can get a copy of the flyer. One more time people... PORING FOR PRESIDENT! Wahahaha.

The Ragna Rally at Paranaque was intense. A lot of good guilds from various servers competed in the BTA Tournament. The most noticeable ones were Team Apocalypse, Team Guildless (Coalescence), and Team Hyksos. These were powerhouse guilds in the Chaos Server and it looks like they had their game faces on. At the end of the evening, Team Guildess prevailed, clocking in at an amazing 1:37! They employed an Assassin Cross - Paladin Combo, and they were able to wipe out the MVPs (Dark Snake Lord, Amon Ra, and Detardeus) in record time.

Cavite was more bloody battle. Out of the 14 teams that entered, only 1 team was able to survive the MVPs. Yes, you read right. 13 other teams were obliterated by the MVP Trio. Most of them fell to the LOV-MS combo of Detardeus. Anyway, the winning team was actually Apocalypse, who came all the way from Paranaque the night before. Talk about dedication, eh? Their trip was well worth it! Not only did they win the Cavite leg, they unseated Team Guildess. They are now the time leader with a record time of 1:27. If no else beats their time, they will win 10,000 PHP and a MJLONIR godly item!

On a side note, Community Manager Wintertsuki also raffled away great in-game prizes and Ragnarok Merchandise allthroughout the event. Other the the BTA Tournament, there were also activities open to everyone like the Upgrade Challenge. Basically you upgrade an item of choice and if you make it to +8 - +10 you get in-game prizes. Players will be using blessed eluniums and generated headgears provided for by the GMs in Sakray Server.

The RO team now has their sights set on the beautiful islands of Visayas. We will be having a major Ragna Rally event at Voyager Internet Cafe at Cebu City. For more details on the event schedule or mechanics, just head on over to the Ragna Rally Website.

By the way, you can check out the latest LU Yosi Break Session here.

Tomorrow I'll post a very special interview. We'll be talking to my girlfriend of 6 years on how hard it is to have a gamer for a boyfriend. Wahahaha!


LU Yosi Break 02: Pet Syling, CTO


I joined Level-up because of the challenge to build an industry and to build a team of talented individuals with a common goal.

Pet Syling currently serves as the Chief Technical Officer of Level-up Games. He's one of the best Pangya players in the company, beating me and even the Pangya Brand Manager on several occassions (without the use of the calculator). Sir Pet is also one of the most reliable and hardworking bosses you will ever come to meet. He was our CTO back then at netGames and he is just as good now, actually, even better.

Wauks: Hi Sir Pet! Thanks for accepting my inviation for this session. Anyway, let's kick this off with a simple question. Are you a gamer? If ever what games have you played? What game are you currently playing and why do you like that particular game?

Pet: Yes of course. TONS of games. MMORPG games, LAN games, strategy games, mini-games, casual games. Im' not currently playing 1 solo game. I like moving around the different games to keep myself from getting jaded on one.

Wauks: Hahaha, that's nice to hear. Anyway, is there any particular reason why you joined netGames, and eventually Level-up?

Pet: An offer I could not refuse, hehe! Just kidding. The challenge of building an industry, of building a talented team of individuals with a common goal. There is also the challenge of solving business needs thru IT. Lastly of course, is to have a good excuse to play games during working hours (again, just a joke, hehe).

Wauks: Wah, hehe. Maybe we can go into detail about your job. What does a Chief Technical Officer do?

Pet: There are a lot! Manage the daily operations of the IT team, plan and align solutions to meet business needs, lead the company in technology direction, guide the different IT groups in their execution, and help in managing the profitability of the company.

Wauks: That's definitely a lot. Anyway, I was able to get questions from several members of our community that they want to ask you. One of the most popular questions is: GM, BAKIT PO MAY LAG?

Pet: Madaming sources ang lag. aaring sa ISP na gamit ninyo, o pwede rin sa café na pinaglalaruan ninyo na maliit lamang and kanyang network bandwidth para ma accommodate ang lahat ng players. Meron ding lag na caused ng PC, dahil kulang ang memory or mabagal ang CPU. Nangyayari ito kapag madaming players sa isang lugar (i.e. Chipwar ng RF) Minsan naman sa game application may problema o kaya sa network ng game provider or ng Internet Service Provider.

Wauks: Another popular question is: Baket kailangan ng maintenance? Sayang game time!

Pet: Ang maintenance po ay importanante para ma update yung game. Di natin maiwasan na may game bugs na kailangan ayusin. Minsan naman, nag maintenance din tayo para makadagdag ng items or features ng isang game. Minsan din, para ma reboot ang mga servers para fresh sila ulit. Parang pag ikaw ay naligo, fresh ka ulit.

Wauks: Eto pa isang popular question: Baket nag cra-crash ang mga server?

Pet: Kadalasan ang crash ay nangyayari dahil ma problem ang game applications or hindi tama ang pag configure. Maraming pinagmumulan na minsan madali makita, pero minsan naman, ang hirap mahanap.

Wauks: Thanks for taking the time for this boss! I won't disturb you anymore seeing as you have to fix RO technical problems (hehe). Any message for our gaming community?

Pet: LOVE the GAME as the game LOVES you. :)

Pet Syling is happily married with two kids who are following in his footsteps, addicted to computers and games.

Previous LU Yosi Break Sessions:

LU Yosi Break 01: Sheila Paul

Sunday, March 04, 2007

LU WTF Moment 01: The Tale of the Office Door.

Whew - I'm dead tired. I just got back home a few hours ago from Cavite. The traffic was insane. Hopefully I can post about the Cavite/Paranaque Ragna Rally experiences on Monday. I need to get the pictures from our photographer first (hehe). Anyway, I'm making a new section for this blog again since I'm still waiting on the next person for the LU Yosi Session. I'm calling this category the "LU WTF Moments". We all have our own WTF moments and here at Level-up, we kinda get that a lot. Let's start with defining valid a "LU WTF Moment".

WTF Moments are shockingly jarring experiences that really surprise the living hell out of you. It maybe a funny, scary, or downright stupid moment. The emotion changes but the result is the same - your brain screams "WHAT THE F*CK!?". I'll be updating this section regularly from now on.

So on to the first official LU WTF Moment!

I was running late for work and I really needed to send e-mails during the morning because I had to leave for an event around noon. I woke up early and went to work only to find out that someone locked my office. Since HR never gave me a key... well, I was locked out (Wah).

I went to the HR department and asked if they had any keys with them. Our HR officer pulled out like a dozen keys and went with me to my office. She tried them all but to no avail. Almost 1 hour has passed.

Our ever so reliable Sales Director tries to help. He gets a credit card and his ID and tries to slide it down the crack between the door and the frame. This is an old school way of opening doors... but hey, whatever works right? Sadly... it didn't work. Our maintenance guy, Joey, then joins in. He gets a steel wire and tries to unlock the door by randomly moving it inside the keyhole. All that effort in vain! Almost an hour and a half has gone by at this point.

An then there was light. Joey comes back with a ladder - and I'm like: WTF is he going to do with a steel ladder?! Use it like a battering ram and destroy the door? After a few minutes, it turns out that our ceiling was made up of panels that you can just pop open, LOL. Using his amazing spiderman skills, Joey goes up the ceiling, goes down the other side (in my office) and opens the door.

VICTORY! The dungeon doors are now open.

Many thanks to Sir Apol for attempting the credit card trick. Of course I'd also like to thank the man of the hour, Joey, for pulling off the spiderman-like maneuver. Thanks also the Char for taking the pics and of course thank you to Janice for locking my door. Without you this wouldn't have been possible *cry*. More LU WTF Moments to be posted in the coming days! Hope you guys enjoyed this one. :)


Friday, March 02, 2007

Ragna Rally Website now UP!

The much awaited Ragna Rally website is now up! I'd like to thank the creative team of Level-up for putting together such a funny flash intro. If you have ever played Ragnarok, please DO NOT miss this chance to view the site.

Visit the RAGNA RALLY website NOW!

Btw, I just got back from the Ragna Rally in Paranaque. I'll post the pictures and list of winners this weekend when I have time. For now I have to rest because we are going to hit the road again tomorrow morning for the Ragna Rally in Cavite.

Rok on people and I hope to see all of you at the event!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

LU Yosi Break 01: Sheila Paul


Soon as Ben was in the middle, Dagul turned his face into Ben’s crotch and said, “Mic test. Mic test.” I thought for sure I was going to lose my job!

For our first edition of the LU Yosi Break segment, we're going to talk to Level-up Chief Operating Officer, Sheila Paul. She's the boss of my boss which makes her like my er... uber boss. Anyway, just check out our conversation below. Enjoy!

Wauks: Why did you join Level-up? As a marketing professional, wasn’t it dangerous to join a start-up company with a rather uncertain product at that time?

Sheila: I had a pretty good career path at the time back in 2002 with an advertising agency but felt the need to take a risk in my career. I was actually handling advertising for internet products and felt that content was going to be the driver to increase access in the country.

Level Up came at a perfect time! Definitely it was a crazy move, but Ben Colayco was such a good talker that he made me believe that we could change the industry in a big way. After Ragnarok was launched in 2003 I gave a big sigh of relief that our gamble paid off. It’s fun to work in a company where everyone is so passionate about their goals and so much relies on you making the call, it’s different from the corporate environment I came from. Plus I love sci-fi! It’s what really gets me into working on our RPG games.

Wauks: It's a good thing the gamble paid off! I agree with you 100% that Ben is a good talker. I still remember his speech during our Christmas Party. Anyway, it’s assumed that majority of the gamers are guys. How did it feel being one of the few women working in a male-dominated industry?

Sheila: Thankfully I’ve always been open-minded and you definitely need that when working with guys who are so used to working just around guys. I just take all the lousy jokes, the bad habits, the girl-watching, the drinking and smoking (oh, man I think I’m giving too much away about the Level Up culture!) in stride. Actually there are certain advantages to being a woman because you ought to know how to push a guy’s buttons, whether they’re our gaming public or the guys I work with. It’s also funny to see how our foreign developer publishers react when they realize “Paul” is a woman. They expect to take me Karaoke-ing when I meet with them, but then they end up taking me to nice dinners.

Wauks: As the marketing manager before, I’m sure you’ve organized tons of events and you’ve met a lot of players! What’s your most memorable experience with a player or a guild?

Sheila: There have been so many great experiences with players! I remember the first time I was asked for an autograph, at an Armed & Loaded EB in Cebu . I kept on telling them I wasn’t even a GM but they asked for it anyway. You also never know where you’ll encounter a player. Whenever I say the name of the company I get surprised. A guy behind the counter of McDonald’s asked me to help him solve his hack problem. A hotel bellboy at the Atrium near the World Trade Center asked me to bring him back some goodies from Level Up! LIVE since he was on shift and couldn’t make it. I almost didn’t make it to a flight to Davao until the guy at the check-in counter at Cebu Pacific learned I was from Level Up and just rushed me right through.

Another memorable experience was my first big Level Up event, the Ragnarok launch in the Samsung WCG Glorietta back in 2003, I got Mahal, Mura, and Dagul to cosplay as Ragnarok characters since they were small enough to mimic the actual sprites. They were supposed to go up on stage and introduce Ben Colayco. I actually picked them up one by one and place them onstage because there were no steps. The audience roared with laughter soon as they came out. Then they called Ben onstage. Soon as Ben was in the middle, Dagul turned his face into Ben’s crotch and said, “Mic test. Mic test.” I thought for sure I was going to lose my job!

Wauks: Hahaha! Well it's a good thing Ben has a good sense of humor. Okay... enough of the boring stuff! Let's go hardcore! Another online gaming company keeps saying they are number one! Do you have anything to say about that?

Sheila: I used to be in advertising and that’s where I learned that all advertising has to be based on the truth. That’s the way we’ve always practiced it in Level Up. What we say about our games and our company is based on the truth. We might say it in different ways, or make it look pretty, but they are based on facts. Level Up delivers the biggest revenue and has the most number of players. I don’t know what other companies are basing their claim on, but I guess it’s on their conscience if they still want to claim the number 1 spot.

Wauks: I agree with you on that a 100%. Next question, I’m sure a lot of players are wondering… are you single, taken, or married?

Sheila: C’mon, are they really wondering that? Ate Sheila is still single…maybe she works too hard. :-P

Wauks: Well at least you didn't break any gamer hearts. What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?

Sheila: There are too many incidents not fit for public consumption... the wildest thing I can mention is singing and dancing my way through Europe to get the trip for free. Maybe working in Level Up could also be one of the wildest things I’ve ever done!

Wauks: Thanks for the great chat boss. Maybe you can give the details of that Europe trip next time we talk (laughs). Any message to all of our gamers?

Sheila: We are working very hard at Level Up to make sure you get the best gaming and online entertainment experience. Keep tuned in to what Level Up! has in store for you, from our current games, our new upcoming ones, and we also have some surprises along the way. See you online!

-End of Conversation-

Again, thank you to Sheila for accepting my invitation for a chat to be posted here at my blog. For the next segment, I'll be talking up close and personal with Level-up's CTO (Chief Technical Officer). Among the questions that I know we are all dying to ask is "Bakit may lag?" Hopefully he can shed light on that issue. Hehe. Cheers!

Level-up Presents... O-zine '07!

Cosplay: contraction of words costume and play. It's a subculture based on japanse anime, manga, and more recently, games, mmorpgs, and movies. It's also a gathering of enthusiasts who showcase their costumes, take photos and join contests. - Pablo Bairan, Cosplay Expert

Attention all anime fans and gamers! Level-up Games is co-presenting O-zine Fest '07! O-zine fest is one of the biggest cosplay events in the Philippines and it will take place at the SM Mega Trade Hall on April 1, 2007. We're hoping to see hundreds of talented anime fans duke it out in the catwalk to determine the top cosplayers in the country. Just to show everyone how talented Pinoys are in cosplaying, check the best female winner of the Level-up LIVE Cosplay competition. She came in dressed as Moonlight Flower!

*Photo courtesy of

But wait... there's more (Lol)! Other than the cosplay competition, there will also be side events. Check out the list below for the tentative contests that you can join:

Anime Trivia
• Art Contest
- 7 to 12
- 13 and above
• Cosplay Competition
- Doujin Cosplay
- Individual Cosplay
- Group Cosplay
• Eating Contest
- Azuma's Bread
- Chouji's Potato Chips
- Gohan's Gohan
- Naruto's Ramen
- Mirmo's Chocolate
- Ryoma's Ponta Drinking
• Karaoke Contest
• SD Gundam Kit Comp.
• Speed Drawing Contest

Level-up will being giving goodie bags as well to cosplayers who dress up as any Level-up character. I'll post more details on this one when I get the final mechanics from GM Lilith. :)

By the way, let me plug for a good friend of mine. Pablo Bairan, also known as Nethermir, is the first level 99 Knight in Chaos Server. That dates back to 2003-2004. After his Ragnarok career, he's been very active promoting local cosplay events and he's also part of the team that made the website. Please feel free to check the website out. It has a photo gallery of cosplay events in the Philippines and you can also get useful tips on how to make your own costume.

Good luck to all the Cosplayers who will join and I hope to see everyone on April 1!