What happened to old-school MMORPGs?
For the last 5-6 months I’ve been playing this game called Lineage 2: Revolution. It’s a mobile game based on a hard-core-old-school MMORPG from 2004 with the same name – Lineage 2.
From the first glimpse it brings nostalgic feels: elves, dark elves, orcs, humans, dwarfs, mob grinding, weapon enhancements, but at the same time it feels so much different…
Like character models look almost exactly like the original ones, but whenever you see them move or engage in combat they act in a completely new way, moreover they have a voice now so expect to hear a lot of hi/hey/heya-like sounds and each race is gender locked, so no more half naked dark elf females, only skinny males. Not that long ago we finally got a first big expansion which added orc race, but again only a male version of the orc fighter.
So these are all of the character models in the game at the moment:
There’s much more new and old cool stuff so the comparison can go on and on, but actually what I wanted to talk about is an article from a Russian website that I stumbled upon a few days ago, where the author talks about how disappointing and humiliating the game is because of one reason: the game plays itself… How is that possible? All thanks to one button “auto” which allows your character do all the action on it’s own.
Questing, mob grinding, everything basically, even dungeons don’t take much of an effort, of course it’s all optional and you can choose to suffer manualy OR just push the magic button and your character will do everything while you can go have a coffee, according to the article on the Click-Or-Die website. So the point of the article is that “this is the dumbest shit ever, but after I tried it, the game is playing on my phone all the time, but it still sucks tho”.
And it got me thinking, that this is actually the best thing to ever happen to lineage 2! To any MMO on for that matter… Because in every MMO everything comes to the grind (extremely repetitive, boring and exhausting task/action performed over and over again) .
Whether it’ll be doing quests or just killing monsters, no matter what it always comes to the grind one way or another. And it is a super boring tremendous waste of time!
Back then in prime years of MMORPGs if we had an option to put the boring parts of gameplay on auto we most definitely would, and there were ways to do so by using some illegal software, but obviously it was against the rules of the game and if you used any kind of such a software, that would let AI(Bot) to do all the dirty work and got caught, you could get banned forever, policy against bot-users was very strict. And now it’s officially legal, even more so it is implemented in the gameplay!
And the thing is that you start to notice how essentially dumb the game is, there is nothing to it, if you take the whole grinding process away, there is barely anything left to do, except pvp which was always the main goal and the end game for Lineage 2, for any MMOs actually, but what if you don’t care for PvP? There is nothing to do!
I personally feel like MMORPG genre is slowly but steadily dying, simply because the generation that loves this kind of games has no opportunity to play anymore, we have jobs and families and lots of stuff in real life which leaves us with no time to spare on the online RPG games, because require hours and hour of DAILY attendance, while new generation of kids has no interest in it because they have Fortnite, PUBG and now Apex Legends which is more fast paced, has RPG elements, has MMO elements and no need to invest ridiculous amounts of time to actually enjoying the game.
Character select screen allows you to check out your acharacters up close:
So what is the answer for the MMO game publisher? The only obvious choice left! Mobile version of the same old game, with the comfy option of putting everything on autoplay. All what’s required of you it’s direct the character in the direction of what he/she should do with couple taps and you’re free to go. It’s not a secret that today it is an era of mobile devices, tablets/smartphones are more popular than PC so naturally game publishers adapt and I think it’s for the best.
Yes it’s obviously a free-to-play game, which means it’s filled with transaction varying from 1$ to 100$ per item, and you can buy literally all the best gear in the shop not just cosmetics, it sucks I agree… But everything there is to buy, absolutely 100% obtainable throughout the game process, with rare exceptions of cosmetics and mounts.
So if you love playing MMORPGs, especially the Korean ones, and don’t have much time to spare, then Lineage 2: Revolution is the game for you!
Here’s the cinematic trailer for orc race for you to check out:
And a pretty funny commercial: