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Spent the 3 weeks playing a couple of characters up to level 61 (Tyrant/Bishop) to see how things were on the new f2P Lineage 2 release, and decided that at least for now I was going to put the game on the shelf for future consideration.
The grind in the early going is non-existent, you can get from 1-42 in a matter of hours, however it starts to slow down after that and by time you get into the upper 50's you know for sure that you're grinding levels. (still not too bad, only 2-3 hours per level depending on what class you are). I'm told once you get to level 76 and your final class expansion it really slows down to the more traditional L2 grind but that's to be expected. There is a mechanic in place called mentoring which I'm told really improves on your leveling experience but I never got to try it.
Money and gear were never an issue, they give you free gear for each tier right up through level 76+, although the 30 day time limit on each tier sort of stinks since you can't play casually. Reason I stopped my characters at level 61 was so they would be able to unlock the A level of free gear when/if I decide to return.
As far as money (Adena), I accumulated over 20M Adena of wealth but did spend a little cash in the shop (10 bucks) to help buy souls shots which you will burn through like water, but I didn't have to, just would have invested more of my in game cash instead.
Speaking of the cash shop, the hook I see is that around the time of your class change all the 200% exp boosts run out, so you have to buy potions/items from the cash shop to maintain a more rapid leveling pace. Not mandatory of course, but then Lineage 2 is all about the end game sieges and if you're not at the top (including your gear) I'm told you can expect to rolled so your incentive to buy exp potions likely will be strong.
Now, the one real issue for me is that I decided to roll on the new Bartz Server thinking a fresh start would be a good thing, but I'm not sure I made the right decision.
First of all, on a new server, there's few people looking for mentee's since they're all busy trying to get to the top, (I saw some folks adverstising to pay people to mentor them) but I suppose in a month or so that situation will resolve itself.
Second, there's no real economy outside of the selling of soul shots and a few other items. With all the free gear up to level 76 there's little need for crafters though of course this will change as more players need the upper tier gear however I suspect it will be in rather short supply at first as few people play Dwarves which are the only race that can craft.
Third, I guess with the launch of SWTOR and other factors L2 still doesn't appeal to people in the United States, so while there are clans advertising for people who speak English, most are full of folks from Eastern Europe, Brazil, and elsewhere so I never found a clan to group with during my time slot, and L2 is a very lonely game if you try to go it solo.
Also, another issue with Clans is they are limited to how many members they can have based on their level, so they tend to be very selective and I always seemed to be 5 levels behind the minimum requirement in most cases.
So, overall, not a bad game as far as F2P's go, all the content is available to all players and if you can get in with the right clan I think it could be an amazing experience.
There is a 2 character per account (per server?) limit, so in the end I decided to delete one of my characters (Tyrant) as there is a 7 day time frame to complete the deletion.
If/when I go back I may pick up on my Bishop, or try re-rolling a buffer class instead as they seemed like they might be more entertaining in the upper levels of the games. (No real shortage of Bishops it seems)
Or I might seek out a clan first on any of the active servers, and then level up new because it really doesn't take much time at all to get back to where I was.
Oh yeah, one final note, atm the Bartz server is mad busy, there are a ton of people all crammed into the key hunting places and at times it can be a real challenge to find things to kill, but again, once the frenzy dies down I'm sure that will get a bit easier.
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