Fun & Frustration: Work & Play
I have been toiling away at Lineage 2 for a few weeks now… only recently have i had the chance to play the game as it should (10 hours straight at a time that is!). There are a few things that i want to say about the game from a few perspectives.
First of all, it is a PvP style game, so there are not many ‘play nice’ types playing. This wouldnt be such a big deal except for a few issues. First of all, whenever you die (over lvl 4) you have a percentage of a chance that you lose something either out of your backpack or your actual armor that you are wearing… this idea isnt entirely new, as death penalties exist in almost all video games, but instead of simply having a corpse that you must return to retrieve (like EQ) or you respawn with all of your armor but REALLY far away (like DAOC) or you “clone” back to your spawnpoint (like SWG) your armor actually falls off your body – and is lootable by any one that happens to walk by. The sad thing is, until you click the confirm button (confirming your resurrection in the nearest village) you can actually watch people loot your stuff. Now, in a “play nice” type of game (such as EQ – where GM’s dont tolerate theft) even if you send a tell asking the person who found your tunic, 9 out of 10 times, the most you will get is a sour laugh and a few obscenities.
No play nice rules when it comes to your hard earned items….
The PvP mentality also takes effect in any hunting situation, not even first come first serve, anyone who so much as makes an ounce of damage gets rewarded for a kill, so, you often have people running around ‘helping’ others …. unless you are going to die, then they just wait till you die and reap all the rewards.
In Everquest, if a group of people were obviously killing a group of monsters on a regular respawn time, grinding in a particular spot, most people would continue on their merry way looking for the next spot. Although grinding was called “camping” when it was a spot that was for a quest, or known for the phat lewt =) ….camping a spawn is bad… grinding is good… there is a difference – although to an outsider, it may not be so obvious.
In Lineage, there is no difference, and people dont care. Something i am trying to adjust to.
Learning a new game that is similar in so many ways to so many others is hard. Although i keep thinking “been here did this” i usually get my ass kicked for having that very attitude.
Which leads to more frustration, I have been playing today for almost 8 hours, and although i gained a level and some uber items, i have been teetering on the brink of lvl 13 due to not being in ‘sync’ with my partner.
Which brings me to more frustration and rant #4,876: Playing a frustrating game with the one you live and sleep with… good thing we have two couches in the house!
It is funny to sit outside of myself and watch how we interact when we play. So much emotion is invested in the process of grinding and dying, that sometimes, its hard to seperate the madness i feel about dying and what i think he could have done to prevent it…. even more anger is invested when its the other way around….Yet, when he has had enough frustration with the game, even though im equally as mad, i push on, and argue – in real life – that he get his lazy butt outta bed and get back in the game ….there;s mobs that need killing!!! Levels that need to be obtained…. places to go people to see!! how can he just lay there…. angry and frustrated when there’s so much WORK to be done!!
Which brings me to my last point… this point has been brought up (as has been the others) in many academic forums about games, fun and play. The amount of WORK… the tedious grinding, the tear enducing boredom of clicking the same buttons over and over and over again just so that … eventually, you can hook up with your friends and actually PLAY the game. Have fun instead of frustration.
In most games, and Lineage2 is no exception for me, the reason why i started playing was because i had friends from other games email me or message me saying “hey! you should come and play Lineage2 with us… theres a bunch of us from XX guild from XX game!” and the fool i am, i always download/buy the game and play to the point of too much just so that i can be in the same virtual physical space as my friends. The funny thing is that the way Lineage2 is designed, you cant even hook up (face to face) with each other till level 20 or so because the travel costs are enormous, and each race starts in a different end of the world. So, the only communication we have in game is [a poorly designed] chat system. Yet, somehow, its all worth it for me… the arguments with my spouse, the bad chat engine and long hours killing the same damn stone golems, just so that i can be in the same game as my friends….most of whom ive never even met in my tangible life.
For me, thats the key to a successful game, I will tolerate most anything the game throws my way, i will eventually master and even enjoy the game elements all in the name of having a place to be with my friends. For that reason, i think the new games have alot to thank EQ and UO!
Most game studies does not include games such as online card games, etc. from the mouth of
lugology.org Gaming in this sense does not include traditional mainstream games such as chess or poker, nor any type of gambling.
I think there is something to be said about those types of games having their place in the world of [some] gamers. For myself (and i define myself loosely as a gamer) games such as yahoo’s pyramids or alchemy are desperately needed in times of decompression from the stress and frustration (and intense high adrenalin levels) of games like EQ, Lineage2, DaoC. I use them as a mind numbing space between game and everyday tangible life.