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Some of you probably picking up stones to throw at me right now… or maybe not. I have a long story related to this game. I remember when Lineage II was going to be released, everyone i knew were crazy about it, we would cut its concept-art pictures for avatars, but i couldn’t get it to play – i had a dial-up back then and would spend a month downloading 200mb file so i had to wait several years until i could try it. A friend of mine burned it on several CDs and shipped to me over 1000+km, i still had dial-up and had no credit card so i went to play on some free Russian shard. I thought it was broken, because it was extremely buggy and had almost no quests, so i dropped it. Five years had passed and many Lineage II chronicles had been released since then, and i came back to official Lineage 2 servers to see what this game was really about. I really shouldn’t have done that, because this game, no matter for how long it stays alive, is pure FAIL.
Let’s see, where should i begin? This game had been released a long time ago, so it’s graphical part is obviously pretty much outdated. I suppose, at some point NC Soft gave it a facelift by adding shader effects and sharpening the textures, but it really didn’t helped. Also, the view distance is as far as a man with shortsightedness would see without his glasses – just a few meters away from your character. Everything besides that look blurred or doesn’t exist at all. The only thing that you can clearly see, it’s your character.
Oh, the character! I know Lineage2 has RvR with castle sieges, and some people may be playing because of that, but my opinion is that 90% of male audience were always playing Lineage II just because of its characters. It’s the only part of this game that actually looks really good… you know… for a male. Being a female, i usually play female characters, but in Lineage2 i clearly chose the wrong gender… I had a strong feeling afterwards that the beginning of Lineage 2 was designed with young males in mind, to keep their attention with the game for as along, as possible – and female character were made for males only. Here’s why i think so…
First, female characters are very, err, feminine, especially Dark Elves - their armor for very first 25 levels look like they’re going to rape everyone, not cut their guts open. At some point my character was wearing armored greaves that actually looked like a g-string with stockings – there weren’t any other armor available for that level. So practically it looked like someone had kicked her out of her bedroom with naked ass and sent her to kill monsters until she can come back.
Also, every character model has a lot of good animations, which is rare these days. And what is Lineage 2 famous for, is animated boobs. Every time a female character moves her boobs are jumping. Kinda even hypnotizing. Then, the camera. If you’re zooming out, it’s okay, but if you want to take a closer look at your character, well… how do i put it… it would be hard to look her in the face. When my character moved and i was zooming in, she bended over and ran, and the camera zoomed right into some… parts of her. And this screenshot isn’t the full zoom yet, can you guess, where the camera goes then? I suppose it must be very amusing and worth playing for 14 years old boys covered with pimples, but i had to stop zooming at all.
This screenshot illustrates why i stopped zooming - just in case if you're wondering why i inserted a picture like that.
Next thing i learned about this game, is that the old free Russian shard i was playing five years ago wasn’t actually to blame for bugs and lack of quests. It’s the Lineage 2 Itself i have to blame! This game is about nothing. The only thing you’re going there, is a constant grinding. It doesn’t looks so bad for first few levels, because there are several quests to do, but after you have done 5 or 6 of them you’re left with nothing beside grinding. There are these simple repeatable quests like “i give you a reward for every 10 mobs, go and kill as many as you like”. And there are also complex grinding chains, quests like “go and bring me these 10 items” and you have to find NPCs that may supply you with the items, and they want you do bring them other stuff first – and when you bring it, they may give you a random award from some list, so if this item is of lower quality than you expected, you have to repeat the quest (if you turn in the lower quality item you get less reward).
Like, you need to set up a feast in a quest – an epic grinding feast, i assure you! - and it requires some food, some wine and music. You can get the wine from another NPC, in exchange for items that you may get by killing 250 mobs. But he may give you different kinds of wine, the older the better, but if he gives you a cheap wine you may want to repeat the whole killing thing and hope he’ll give you a better wine this time. I had to repeat all the killing just because i found that NPC before the feast quest-giver and sold off the wine before i learnt it was a quest item! And in Lineage 2, if you sold something, you can’t get it back unless you earn it again. And for the food part you have to kill an uncounted number of mobs – maybe a thousand – because in some places the drop rate for the best quest item is like 1 item for each 20 mobs.
And when you reach a level where you can specialize your character – it’s just more grinding. In case with my Dark Elf, she was grinding to get her a very own and special coffin – that’s the reward you get for all this grinding! So, practically, Lineage 2 gameplay from the start and till’ the end can be described like this:
Grind, Grind, Grind, Watch the elf’ ass, Grind, Grind, Her ass is kinda huge! Grind, Grind, Grind, Grind, Zzz-zZzZz-z… wha? where? Grind, Grind, Yay, a new G-String! Grind, Grind, New achievement: congratulations, you’ve become a grinding zombie!
And to spice up things while you’re grinding and watching boobs jump, there are assortment of bugs for you to deal with. Lineage 2 is bugged like hell, it looks totally like NC Soft using a hacked client-server they downloaded from some free shard, not made it. Some bugs are so simple and plain, they’re probably been there for many years now and no one at NC Soft even moved a finger to fix it. Like, mobs and items would spawn in spots, where they aren’t even supposed to know these spots existed at all!
And nother inserted screenshot here, not the red arrow pointing to a tree - that's where a goblin shaman tried to hide from my grinding spree.
And the few quests Lineage II has for you, they’re bugged too. There is a newbie quest to get items for an NPC, and these items in other NPCs chests and you’re given a key for each chest. I had to repeat this quest for SEVEN TIMES before it worked! First six times the key was gone after using, and the chest was still locked. With some other quests i had no patience to try so many times that they would FINALLY work – and it’s really annoying to drop a quest in a game, where the number of available quests does not exceeds the number of your fingers! And do you remember that it’s pay to play? You pay to grind and fight bugs, that’s all you’re going to ever get – an infinite bugged grindfest!
Oh, and the famous Lineage 2 pet system. It’s made just to annoy you and trigger even more grinding. First, to get a pet you have to run over half of Lineage 2 map and ask some seemingly random people how to take care about pets. And you have to write down whatever they’re saying. Yes, WRITE it! Because, i forgot to mention, in Lineage 2 important information isn’t saved for you in any way other than if you write it on a piece of paper with your own pen! Then, when you’re finished, you have to go to a pet seller NPC and pass an exam answering with the info you have gathered. After that, you can buy a pet. There are absolutely useless pets, the kind of baby ones. I guess the pet system isn’t even finished, because baby pets never grow up, they also can’t help you – at least, not in any other way than dying every single time they would try to help you. The other pets that are supposed to help you but would just do the same.
I had a wolf, and he would die all the time, so finally, when i spent all my money on his resurrections, i had to put him somewhere out of mob’s aggression range, and he would stay there when i fought. If i tried to bring him into the fight, he would die even when his level matched my own, and even if i made sure to attack mobs first and then call for him, some mobs would still hit him and he died after maybe two hits. Pets use special armor, weapons and food, so the more reason to grind for you, because pets eat a lot and often – practically, they’re eating your money while not giving anything in return.
This is a long rant already, and you may be asking, if i’m coming to PvP now. No, i am not. I was playing at Luna server, and it was a bad choice as i know now, because there aren’t any other players at all. I played for a week and saw maybe 5 or 6 other players there. Half of them were Russians talking in a world chat, and two players i saw “in person”, so there were no chance at all to try PvP, unless i would try my luck and start over on another server. But i would rather bite my own ass than play this game again!
My verdict: if you want to pay for infinite, mindless, boring and bugged grinding, spiced up with naked elven chicks, Lineage 2 is the game of your dreams. Just don’t forget to instruct your relatives what to do with your body if you go totally nuts one day.
Edit: i inserted some screenshots, because someone asked for them.
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