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Why I think Lineage 2 before GoD is the best MMORPG

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I think Lineage 2 before GoD was the best MMORPG made up to this date. I will explain why. First, L2 was not perfect. It had many flaws. But also L2 had several features that make it the best.

First it was a well made MMORPG – huge world, tab targeting combat – but fluid, with skill combinations, system for crafting, enchanting of gear, weapons and skills, variety of monsters and bosses, variety of classes and skills, variety of weapons, several different races, PvE and PvP, very good graphics for its time. A solid MMORPG in general.

But the things that make L2 the best are more specific.

First – L2 before GoD had open, persistent virtual world. No instances with one exclusion.

This exclusion was the Olympiad – a tournament, with 1 vs 1 and 3 vs 3 arenas, that could be watched by the other players. It was a competition, with special rewards for the first 3 players in every class. The pure competitive element made an enormous difference with the arenas in the other games. It is like a comparison between friendly match in the neighborhood and UEFA Champions League final or Super Bowl.

Then the crafting system – only one class was able to craft items – dwarf blacksmith. And there was a chance for rare gear with higher stats, that was made only with crafting, and a chance for complete failure.

But these dwarfs were not very good in PvP, PvE and gathering. So they needed another class of dwarfs that was good in gathering of materials and resources. Also a healer, probably a tank and DPS, to fight the mobs and other players.

The PvP in L2 was not separated from the PvP.

So that crafting system was the core of the open world multiplayer activities. The crafting made players to play together.

All players needed a blacksmith, but he needed other players. Also the blacksmiths were able to sell their services with own stalls.

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So the next thing were the players shops. There was not a single action market. Every player could open a shop. That was incredibly immersive, as it was like a real market, where you have to check, and you can find great deals, but also you can be swindled.

Back to the PvP and the PvE – the raid bosses in L2 were competitive, so different parties fought for every raid and dungeon. Often players lure the bosses to hide them in the vast virtual world. And the competition for the big raids let to battles with thousand of players involved.

So the PvE led to PvP, that led to PvE and etc.

Then comes the fortresses, they were a rewarding asset that could be conquered by the small clans – guilds.

For the big clans were the castles. To conquer a castle in L2 gave dragon mount to the leader, but also the power to collect and manage the taxes over trade. Access to many unique items, like books for skill enchanting.

And there was the seed system. So the players could put seeds into monsters, and then to harvest. The harvested crops could be exchanged with the castle owner for resources. And he could use them to get unique items. A system for large scale competition and cooperation.

Another great thing in L2 was the pace. Solo player needed years to reach maximum level, although in group the things were faster. But the pace of progression was in general very slow. Even for gathering the drop rates were so low, that players needed weeks for one set of gear.

That made every victory bitter sweet, and every loss terrible. But also gave to the gameplay a meaningful longevity.

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