Guinea Pig

[Lineage 2] Over the past month, I have tried two MMORPGs in addition to the two I already play. One is old and one is new. The old one is Lineage 2. The new one being Rising Force Online (known as RF Online or RFO). Both are Korean based MMORPGs and, surprisingly (or not), both are very similar in several ways. In fact, they are so similar that I wonder if they are using the same engine. As far as I know, they were not created by the same company so it is a bit peculiar to me. Luckily, the gameplay, while it has its similarities, is the least similar between the two.

I will only be addressing Lineage 2 this time as I have used up my free 30 day trial and have decided not to play it anymore. I only recently bought RFO and have only begun testing it out.

Continue reading Guinea Pig

Jesus or a Gun

[Lineage 2] My interest peeked while reading this article about NC Soft releasing a different version of Lineage 2 in order to acquire a teen rating from the Korea Media Ratings Board and therefore tap a larger market.

What interests me is that the current edition of Lineage 2 has a teen rating in the United States. This combined with the fact that Lineage 2 sports a chat content filter which cannot be disabled, is an interesting demonstration of Korea’s stricter handle on content.

This in itself is not extremely entertaining of a concept, except when you look at the picture with a more broad view than just violence and language. Lineage 2 adorns itself with some of the most sexually abrasive visuals you can find in an MMO. The Dark Elf females carry large and voluptuous breasts which actually bounce while moving. They are also sometimes clad in extremely revealing outfits.

Please do not misunderstand; I enjoy this show as much as any other strait male, but it prompts the question; where do the core principles lie in Korea’s rating system?

Due to the fact that battles in Lineage 2 reveal no blood, dismemberment, or notable sign of injury, yet revel in the female form, it will be interesting to see what is removed from this new edition.

Is it that Korea puts more of a focus on any type of violence and language over sexual content, or that the United States just has easier acceptance of sexual demonstrations?


Is anyone out there…?

[Lineage 2] I am completely enjoying my time in Lineage2, with the exception of one thing. It is impossible to find anyone. There is absolutely no method for locating another player. In fact, there are not even topic centered chat channels. The only communication one has is spatial, private whisper, and clan.

To put this into perspective, I have about 50 hours of game play in L2 right now. I have grouped twice, and once was with my roommate. Never have I been in a group with over three players (including myself). The only way to possibly meet new people is to yell at them while they are running past you and hope they notice, and then have the kindness to actually respond.

The players who do respond are never interested in grouping. L2 is primarily intended as a PvP environment; however the lack of social interaction leaves you with a big hole.

A person I happen to have on my friends list because of a long wait for the ferry to arrive one day, recently told me that he was very lonely in L2. I cannot agree more.

In EQ2 the game would just completely bore me quite often. Then I would get in a full group of good people and would be reminded as to why I enjoyed the game so much. I could easily waste an entire Sunday playing EQ2 with a good group.

My next assumption from the perspective of a designer is that this is designed to push you toward a clan. Makes sense, and is most likely working. The only problem there is that even with the highest level clans there is a member cap of 40 players. That means if you live in the U.S. and play pretty late at night most of the time (like me), your clan is never on, therefore putting you back at the beginning.

I am not as annoyed over this lack of interaction as I am interested in its purpose. Many things exist beyond our understanding, which is why the world is such a colorful place. :)