New updates can change an MMO beyond recognition. This is exactly what happened to Lineage 2. Old school players may surely remember the heyday of Lineage 2 in times of C4 – Interlude Chronicles. Today, you will find only the outlines of that game, if you will look at the main version – Lineage 2: Orfen. The original concept of the game has been completely redesigned.
At some point – and I wonder how this happened – hardcore MMORPGs began to protect players from any gameplay difficulties. Key items that were previously difficult to receive or were made by heavy dwarvish work, became available in regular stores. The developers introduced countless instances, thanks to which players could no longer strongly influence each other. Lineage 2 has lost what made it unique – an open hardcore world in which you need to fight for any content. Moreover, the game has switched to a free-to-play system. This was the last drop for many players. Lineage 2 completely changed its audience as a gaming product.
The previous hardcore players audience hasn’t gone away. NCSOFT (the developer of the game) decided to return to what they once started. Lineage 2 Classic was released like a kind of tribute to all the good things in the game. It is not the old version of the game, but its complete rethinking with the old school mechanics and borrowing modern developments of the last years. There is nothing surprising that Blizzard took over this experience and is now developing World of Warcraft: Classic. After all, everything new is well forgotten old.
While the main Lineage 2 version gradually switched to free-to-play (which is pay-to-win on some servers) mode, Lineage 2 Classic can be played by subscription on Skelth. This is not a popular MMO monetization model, however, in this case it also contributes to the old-school hardcore atmosphere, as players can’t just buy imbalanced items from the game shop to boost their characters. This allows for more diverse economical gameplay on the server.
Social component is one of the main reasons for the popularity of each MMORPG. Socialization helps players to engage with each other and the game itself, as they develop a habit to joint gaming and discussions. Players evolve their characters, make friends, pass instances, kill raid bosses, joke between it, and share loot. Most often, players unite to fight a certain abstract enemy, which is actually an artificial intelligence.
As a rule, these are still alliances that are in war with the gaming environment. All are friends and unite to fight a certain abstract enemy, ruled by a universal demiurge. In other words, enemy is artificial intelligence.
The social aspect of Lineage 2 is different. You do all of the above, but PvE is not main self end here. The true essence of this game is to fight everything (and everyone) that moves and for everything that can be obtained. The clans are needed not in order to pass particularly difficult dungeons (partly for this too), but in order to organize large-scale siege operations and protect castles, attack enemy clans, and dictate their rules to all.
PvP is the main and most grasping part of content in Lineage 2. Classic version indulges this desire to dominate through hardcore progress conditions as much as possible. This way competition and rivalry are encouraged. That’s why the fans loved the game 8 years ago, and that’s what Lineage 2 Classic offers.
The target audience for Lineage 2 Classic are mostly adults, most of whom were schoolchildren and students a decade ago. They may have already forgotten what it means to not sleep at night, waiting for the raid boss respawn. Many of them probably already don’t have such opportunity. No worries: the developers have added a fixed respawn for some of the bosses.
As a result, we have that “old” Lineage 2, for which old public yearned. It is forged on the patterns of the original idea of the game, slightly modified and makes gaming process a little bit easier, while it does not break the main concept. I recommend to participate in large-scale sieges of castles and visit epic bosses. You will definitely get new online friends while doing that. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the legendary MMORPG for those who missed it.
By Bonamors – Author of gaming articles with 10 years experience in MMO.