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Ask Massively: Not everyone wants to be your friend edition

Eliot Lefebvre

I don't dislike Lineage II, but my experiences with it sort of cemented my feelings on non-consensual PvP. Suffice it to say that it involved someone who had set herself up a little sniping-hole from which she would murder any and all low-level characters with an arrow through the neck. As she explained in the area chat, this wasn't for rewards or anything. She was doing it because she found it funny.

Lots of of people do find that fun. But I'm personally not keen on that as a motivational technique. I don't want to level up so I can be one of the bullies instead of the bullied; I'd rather just opt out.

Why did I tell you that story to lead off Ask Massively? As Bill Cosby would put it, I told you that story so I could tell you this one, or at least so I could answer one of this week's questions about Lineage II. Also, thermodynamics. If you've got a question for a future installment, you can leave it in the comment field or mail it along to

Utakata asked: Is Lineage II reasonably soloable?

In conducting my thorough research of this particular topic, I'd like to note that I enlisted a few other Massively writers to confirm my own memories of long ago. So my thanks go out to Jeremy Stratton, Beau Hindman, and Karen Bryan for their useful feedback.

The question all hinges on what you define as "reasonably soloable." If you want to know if you can level solo, then you definitely can do so for the majority of the game, but certain classes will find that doing so gets harder and harder as you level up. It's also going to increasingly rely upon finding a good spot and grinding for a while rather than going out and doing quests.

If you want to do most of the cool stuff the game likes to show off, the answer is a definite no. Much of the game really does require a group, especially for the larger PvP features and more of the interesting PvE content. There are many functions that require a guild and/or a good number of friends.

If you want things to be safe while you're solo, the answer has always been no. While the game has some measures in place to prevent rampant player killings, none of them has ever been able to prevent someone from, for instance, loading up on trash gear, camping outside a low-level starter area just out of the reach of guards, and then one-shotting everyone who tries to quest in the area. I had that happen to me when I started the game many years back, and it's an unfortunate consequence of how the world is set up.

All that having been said, it's a big and interesting game with a lot of options if you're willing to put the time and effort in, and it's not a bad value for the up-front price. But you won't be able to comfortably solo to the level cap, although you can get most of the way there.
Gordian asked: So are any of you going to be working over the next week?
Some members of the team aren't that interested in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The rest of us will send them postcards.
Shmegger stated: You also can't fire a cannonball and expect it to turn into a perpetual motion machine, but sometimes it happens.
Not according to our current understanding of thermodynamics, notwithstanding that a cannonball flying through the air or other medium would by necessity not be a closed system, thereby obviating its potential status as a perpetual motion machine. I've included a few relevant articles for those interested in the topic.
Looking for some advice on which class is best for soloing in Aion? Not sure who this Raph Koster fellow is? Curious about the release date of NCsoft's newest MMO? You've come to the right place! No one knows MMOs like we do. If there's anything you'd like to know about the MMO genre or the site itself, Ask Massively is here to help every Thursday afternoon. Just ask!

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