REVIEW: Lineage II (Beta)
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: You play one of Elf, Drow, Dwarf, Orc, and Human in the ubiquitous MMORPG themes: leveling, quests, PvP, etc.
PROS: Great 3D anime-like graphics, excellent audio even as a beta, simple and intuitive controls. Interesting concepts like castle siege and owning a dragon. For $5, you’re can enter the “beta” program — how can you beat that?
CONS: Tired-themes that are tried and blew. Same grind to the next level; same uninspired quests of collecting the umpteenth piece of oft-rare but un-unique quest item for that unexciting quest NPC; same rude teenagers arguing about the minutiae of their meaningless little lives (or lack thereof).*yawn* Excuse me, can I come over and watch your fresh coat of paint? At least, if I do that, there is the chance of a contact high….
BOTTOM LINE: I’m glad I only play $5 for this uninspired EQ clone. I can only thank them for allowing me to try this “game” out before I plop down real cash for it. I thank them again for saving me the monthly bill. I can only hope that EQ II and WoW will be better.
As some of you know, Kevin and I have been beta-testing Lineage II for about a couple of weeks now. But as of last week, it has been utterly eradicated from my HDD. Let me hit the, *ahem*, highlights:
At first glance, concepts such as castle siege and owning your own dragon seemed more than appealing; but would you ever see that? Probably not. Why?Because you have to put forth A LOT of TIME for it. Basically, any game that I have to endure the opening in order to reap the benefits of the much later endgame is JUST NOT FUN. To bastardize a popular cliche: “Virtual life is a journey, not a destination…” So, apparently, it didn’t matter if it were created by a completely different company located on a different continent, it still exuded the same tired monotony exemplified by the omnipresent EverQuest1.
Leveling: Same grind, different game. Did I mention “watching paint dry?” Well, I was watching my XP bar (sans the fumes). The only game that had the right idea when it came to leveling was SWG2. I think I actually dozed off running around the newbie area and woke up with more xp than I’d remembered.
Quests: Felt like I was working for UPS except without the prestige or the hot brown uniform that chicks swoon over. Rare drops on any quest (newbie or not) is not just a crime, it’s an abomination. One that needs to be terminated with extreme prejudice! Before I was rudely interrupted (see PvP section), I was killing the hundredth “Blood Fungus” for that 3 of 5 semi-rare sac. At least it picks up the quest items automatically.
PvP: Perhaps, I’m not used to the PvP aspects of this game, but I find it utterly repulsive that any cretin with too much time on their grubby little hands while living in their parents’ basement can become powerful enough to affect the gameplay and enjoyment of others who have lives outside the game. Case in point: I worked for some bit of experience only to have it taken away by some self-righteous idiot who thought that he owned the game area to come along and to properly put me in my place.
You would know that this game is more chore than pleasure when you find that you rather work on your Excel spreadsheet to figure out your taxes for the IRS than to go online. I even went as far as promising myself to get on the very next day make some progress; when you realize that you’re procrastinating, it’s time to reclaim those bits on your disk…
P.S.: I just downloaded the Sacred demo and it looked pretty good (so far). Perhaps its Diablo-like features would present us with a game we can enjoy on our own LAN. I’ll tell you in a few days…
Anyone know how to say “Hasta la Vista, baby” in Korean?
1For those who call it EverCrack, I can only pity you for allowing yourself to be addicted to this mind-numbing boring game. Yes, I was once enthralled too — but I’ve been enlightened. I once proclaimed that a game is meaningless unless I can show off to the world what trinkets I’ve accumulated in my time; but now, I just want to have a game where I can play with my friends without the bickering and the inane chatter.
2SWG made it possible for players to acquire XP for lending that helping hand. Cannont emphasize this enough, how cool is that. Unfortunately, SWG lost me when they implemented the Holocron grind — good ‘ole predictable Sony, put that EQ Juice down!