Random events, miraculously revived dead pets, more amazing scenery, and lots of killing are on deck in today's Choose My Adventure. It turns out that I am terrible at raising my pet wolf and even got into an accidental scuffle with another player that left her pet dead and me even deader. I returned to the Path to Awakening because that's what you voted for last week. I've also neared the end of the uber-fast leveling cycle via quests and am turning to grinding for the majority of my experience gain. The fun-level has yet to dip for me; there's higher level gameplay I'm really hoping to dip my dagger into, and I'm curious to see what level I can reach by the end of this trip. As always, check out the extensive gallery and livestreams, and tune in to MV Guide to see when my next livestream will be.%Gallery-141708%
I decided to deal with the debuffs and head to Ivory Tower, the next stop on the Path to Awakening. Ivory Tower and the surrounding countryside are filled with gorgeous fir trees and gently bubbling brooks. Lineage II has yet to bore or disappoint me with its beautiful and diverse graphics. The tower itself is epically large and stands as a tall, elegant, white beacon that's easy to spot from anywhere in the vicinity. I'm sure I'll have more quests, but the Dark Elf Wizard NPC made it fairly clear that I'd be embarking on my own path from here on out.
I also want to add how much I think older game design can still be a powerful force amid today's standards. There are many things about older games that players don't like, and they've resulted in a lot of really fun new tools. Dungeon finders, instant teleport, and highly instanced areas allow for structuring and providing experiences that are overall positive and fun, but giant, open worlds that require more time spent away from non-stop killing provides their own brand of action and raise the value on other gaming experiences that I just wasn't always conscious of.
As I hacked my way through floating eyeballs and stone golems in Ivory Tower Crater, I explored what my pet wolf could do. I found out that I could kill him quite quickly. I even bought him some armor, a weapon, and some soulshots. It's pretty cool that you can outfit a pet with so many options. They have a large inventory, and there are pet managers everywhere that sell a wide selection of weapons, food, and armor. A lot of players are running around with Kookaburras, but I think I'll stick with the free wolf pet for now. I learned that there used to be a stiff penalty of losing a pet forever. You only had a short window of time to revive them or poof. Good thing that's gone. After my pet was slain, I must have spent a couple of hours searching online and in-game for a pet resurrection scroll. Lucky for me, my pet pulled a Houdini and was suddenly reborn.
Because it's Christmastime, there are things to celebrate in game. The easiest would be to simply find one of the Christmas trees (there's one featured prominently in Talking Island Village) and walk near it for an instant power buff. You could collect special drops by downing these and turning them in for various rewards. A peek online showed that some of the cooler rewards were a mount, A-grade and S-grade equipment, healing potions, and a few other temporary rewards. When it comes to holiday events, I prefer missions that I dislike as regular quests. It sounds contradictory, but I don't want a lot of long-distance delivery quests (a few are OK), and during the holidays I totally switch gears to that meaningless, high-spirited fun, like a cat with a crumpled up piece of trash. I just want to run around and play, so progressing takes a backseat for me.
Apparently in the game's past, crafting was much more worthwhile in terms of time spent vs. reward gained, but due to getting some very nice freebies and being able to level much faster, it's not worth the effort it was before Path to Awakening's freebies were offered. Low-level material doesn't feature into the new R-grade equipment, which lowers their value and usefulness as compared to when they used to be used for just about any grade. Likewise, crafting the materials don't matter because those materials don't feature into the new equipment, which is earned through only the highest-level areas. I think soulshots would still be worthwhile, but my limited experience in Lineage II doesn't allow me to say that with any certainty. My conclusion is that crafting isn't pointless; it's just shifted to higher levels. That may sound like a downer for players who love crafting, but if there's less focus on how crafting affects the overall market (or at what levels within the market) and other features of the game, it may not be any better or worse than it was before. The focus is just on the new level cap.
That brings us to the end of another week. I was involved less content this time around, but what I did get into was a lot to learn about. Lineage II has many substantial features that have a learning curve and will take time to figure out. Through a little patience and possibly some higher-quality wikis springing up, players could make traveling in Aden less stressful.
As always, another round of voting is upon us. Things are getting longer and scarcer, so I'm doing my best to come up with choices. Please, feel free to chime in with future choices.%Poll-72337%%Poll-72333%%Poll-72330%
Jeremy Stratton needs more MMOs to play. Seriously. The imaginary doctor who lives in his head gave him a prescription. The problem is, he's too flighty. He never knows just what MMO to try or how long to stick with it in order to get the most of it. That's why he needs you to tell him what game to play and how to play it every Wednesday in Choose My Adventure!