A new week and a new game

This is how gaming butterflies roll, despite all good intentions to the contrary.   That doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped playing Aion, just that I’m peeking at something else.

I did aim to reach 30 in Aion by the end of the weekend but despite many hours of play and throwing back XP potions I only managed to get to 29 1/2.  The quests are becoming more and more group based and crafting is starting to feel a bit grindy.  Those work orders are pretty boring to do hour after hour.   I’m trying to keep all my crafting up so that I can make useful items, but this take a significant (understatement) amount of time.    Money (kinah) is coming in at a nice rapid rate with questing, but kinah can’t buy time I’m afraid.  Maybe I burnt myself out with the effort to level, but by the end of the day my mind was drifting to other (not necessarily greener) pastures.

If I keep playing I’m definitely going to have to find myself an Oceanic Legion to join.  It’s mandatory to finish the story quests and some of them are seriously hard, without fellow travellers it will be very difficult indeed. Plus I always enjoy the background chatter of a guild.

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The dwarf that will have unfulfilled ambitions as an archer

One game that I’ve never looked at, never contemplated, never researched, is Lineage II, despite the fact that it shows up every day on my NCSoft launcher.  I still wouldn’t have contemplated it except for looking at the blog of one of my commenter’s (Shards of Imagination), plus it has the same free-to-play model as Aion (or close).  Having a quick read of forums etc it seems to be very PvP oriented, however some people (like my commenter) are carebears like me, so I’m interested in taking a peak.  After a couple of hours of playing last night however, I don’t know if I’ll last any longer than a week, we’ll see :P.

Very early thoughts in no particular order:

  • Click to move – I researched WASD etc (mouse would be even better), but all posts strongly recommended just getting used to the standard movement, it actually wasn’t so bad once I got used to it.
  • Ding, ding, ding, ding.  It made me laugh, for a lengthy, grindy game, the newbie area is the fastest levelling I’ve seen in anything, ever. Every quest hand-in … ding! I got to level 20 in under 2 hours.
  • No going back.  At level 20 or so, my fighter female dwarf got to choose one of two classes directions, Scavenger or Artisan.  Having done no research and having no idea, I chose Scavenger, thinking it would tell me a bit about my choice and ask me to confirm.  Oh no, none of that in THIS game.  Before I roll my next character (which will likely happen this evening), I’m going to have to do some reading.
  • Classes are race specific, I guess even Wow is / was to a small extent, but this is very strict.  Hence I rolled a dwarf (she was cute), thinking I could end up being a archer, but after some reading, nope (hence the pending re-roll). Unless someone tells me otherwise of course.
  • Be prepared.  At what I’m guessing was the final ‘newbie’ quest, I realised that I’d run out of soulshots (pill shaped things that increase your damage and are used every time you attack if you so choose).  So I went back to town, bought some more.  Ooops, I thought you would use 1 per attack, but my 200 soulshots ran out very very quickly (the first lot of them were a gift so I hadn’t been counting).  Back to town … again … to buy 500.  This time I only used them right at the end of the series of rooms I was working my way through.  I also stocked up on arrows, just in case.  Newer MMO’s have made us lazy, and I haven’t decided whether this is a good or bad thing, but it was kinda nice to realise I had to put my thinking cap on.  Of course ‘kinda nice’, might turn into ‘pain in the ass’ very quickly.
  • A shiny line to show the way.  This is similar to EQ2 however the EQ2 one is clever … and doesn’t go through walls … and has curves in it.
  • Lots and lots and lots of things to learn.  I expected this, it’s an older game, before streamlining become fashionable, which, in truth, is some of it’s appeal to me.
  • Mentors after level 40.  Do you need to find a mentor? Are they easy to find? Do you play alongside your mentor or is just ‘having’ a mentor what it’s all about? I will have to do lots of reading on this also.
  • If I re-roll should I be picking a particular server? I just went with the one at the top of the list (GMT +2?), which was closest to Oceanic – not that 8 hours away is at all close.

EDIT: I just noticed that I’m on Chronos (GMT -2), so you couldn’t get further away in time if you tried. Not sure if it matters at all of course.

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3 Comments

Filed under Aion, Lineage II, MMO

3 responses to “A new week and a new game

  1. Huh. That is an unexpected turn of events. Anyway, I will try to answer your questions as best as possible.

    1) Yeah. There is WASD movement but it is horrible. Lineage 2 was, like most of the older korean games (the ones I played at least), designed to use the mouse for movement. Why? I have no idea but the WASD was obviously added later on without much thought to it.

    2) Yeah. Level 1 to 40 nowadays are pretty fast on Lineage 2. In the old days of yore it would take a few weeks at least and that is assuming you knew your way around. From level 40-76 it slows down a little but can still be relatively fast if you have a mentor and, again, know your way around. From 76 to 85 is when things start to get really grindy. And from 85 onwards your best XP will be in groups. Soloing is just for the masochists, desperate or those who really don’t mind slow leveling.

    3) I could swear they asked for confirmation about your class choice. But I guess my memory is playing tricks on me. It does that often. @_@

    4) Yeah. The attraction to Lineage 2 used to be the number of classes and how tied they are to each race’s lore. You *can* use armor and weapons that your class doesn’t have skills for though in most cases it won’t do you much good.

    Things change however when you reach level 85 and go through your 4th class change. All classes are streamlined to 8 different classes. The one you change to depends on your previous just like all other class changes.

    However there is a way to get a different class if you have a Stone of Destiny. So for instance, I could start as a dwarf artisan and by level 85 choose to be a Wynn Summoner (not something that would occur naturally) . The only problem is the only people with Stones of Destiny are those who had characters level 40+ before the Goddess of Destruction update. Otherwise you have to wait for a special event or promotion where it will be available in the cash shop. Just like the one we have now and will end in about two days. Before you think about buying it I wouldn’t suggest doing that unless you *really* love the game and intent to stick for a few months. It takes time to get to level 85.

    5) Aye. Soulshots are pretty much the money sink in Lineage 2. Though it is more though the end of your D grade days (that is from level 20 to 40). Then after that you get a lot of free shots from the Path of Awakening (free stuff you claim in the game’s site) that you probably won’t have that problem until the 70ies.

    6) Yeah. I always hated how that shiny line didn’t help much. -_-

    7) Indeed. Not only because it is an older game but because it also has some designs of dubious value. Like crafting. Yeah, I hate crafting on this game. -_-

    8) Mentors are usually easy to find. Be aware though that most of the random mentors you would get by shouting for one will expect you to play actively. They are usually the ones that offer to be online 24/7 too.

    The reason for this is that they earn tokens they can trade for stuff with each level they get. So the faster you level the faster they get tokens.

    If the mentoring contract is broken however they get a penalty where they can’t get another mentee for 7 days. The mentee however can go on and get another mentor immediately. Since a lot of people just disappear or break the contracts without saying anything a lot of mentors can seem a bit wary before making a contract with someone.

    You don’t need to play together however. You get some buffs and 200% XP bonus while they are online. If they are offline you get any of that. Those things help a lot so it became pretty common for people to look for mentors to make those levels go faster.

    9) I honestly don’t know which server would be better for your time zone. I play on Chronos but unfortunately our clan is mostly composed of canadians and americans. So I am afraid there wouldn’t be too many people online during your usual play time. :/

    I hope I answered well most of your questions. If not just holler and I will try to answer better or point you in the direction where you can find answers.

  2. Hey Rakuno :), I was peeking at Lineage II because I like finding out at least a little about games that haven’t crossed my radar before, and I found your posts interesting. Thank you for your detailed response! Given my butterfly nature, I would feel bad luring a mentor into what is likely to be a short term affair. But at least now I have some knowledge of the game. It’s also interesting to see what NCSoft have changed and what they kept or refined for Aion, both are beautiful to look at.

    Like all MMO’s Lineage II is best played with a friend, or if that’s not possible, at least playing as part of a good clan / legion / guild etc and that may be tricky to find with respect to this game. One of the things that excites me about the upcoming Guild Wars 2 is that I’ll have several real life friends playing, something that hasn’t happened for me since I first played Wow, but I’m still on my mission to hit 60 in Aion before then (albeit with some other game distractions along the way :)). Only time will tell if I succeed.

    • Hehe. I can understand that kind of curiosity too well. And no problem! :)

      From what I played of Aion so far I think it is the one who actually influenced Lineage 2 more than the other way around. I say that because with the Goddess of Destruction update, Lineage 2 added a small storyline to tie in the quests from level 1 to 40, some cutscenes here and there and streamlined the number of classes on level 85 to just 8. They also added combo skills to those 8 classes that work pretty much the same way as the ones in Aion.

      I am just not sure who borrowed the idea of mentoring from whom as I don’t know when Aion added their system or how it works.

      And yes, Lineage 2 is definitely best played with other people. That is pretty much the reason I am hanging around there now. I was fortunate to have met a good clan back in the days and that most of them decided to return now that it is free to play.

      The only person I already know who will be playing Guild Wars 2 is a clan mate from Lineage 2. The rest I don’t know and I don’t feel like trying to get them to play the game unless they can give it a try for free before the release. In any case, good luck with reaching your goal with Aion and I will keep looking forward to your posts, whichever game they may be about. :)

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