Lineage 2 Addiction, Hostility and Psychology

“The game” (remember “The Game” in Star Trek?) is really addictive, like many Mmo Rpgs. If you notice the feelings you have while playing Lineage 2, they are like the symptoms you find in people who are exposed to drugs.

In the initial stage you feel a deep sense of euphoria but as you keep playing that feeling turns into a compulsion and you only keep playing so that you don’t feel bad anymore.

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In time, the euphoria fades away and gives way to cynicism and social hostility. So many players of Lineage 2 are hostile, aggressive and rude (and I say many because there are always exceptions of kind individuals, some of which I had the pleasure of meeting). But there are many trolls and people who want to fight verbally, continuously, to prove their superiority. The reason to that is because the game, as any other platform of online interaction cannot replace physical connectivity. Interaction online is simply not real and because the subconscious realizes this, the person becomes frustrated, unfulfilled, cynical and hostile.

If you want to enjoy the game, you have to make sure that you have other social activities that have a priority over the game and that you can take regular breaks of 1 or more days. People who are weak in defining priorities in their lives will find themselves completely addicted and devoured by the game. If you cannot abstain from the game for at least a day without missing it intensively, it means you are already addicted.

Of course there are other reasons why there are no many hostile people on l2 servers. Because the game is free and anyone can access it. The characters are anonymous, which gives people a kind of security to be abusive. The third reason is that the game is played by a lot of teenagers or by people who have a teenage mentality. This ends up in endless childish fights on the hero or shout channels.

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Something also has to be said about arrogance. There is a lot of arrogance and ego among those who spend a significant amount of their time, lives and money to prove their in-game superiority. These people become obsessed and do not realize that the virtual world is only a mirage, it is but a shadow or a mirror of the real world. Lineage 2 lacks in-game safety valves when it comes to the social arrangement of things. It is like a society without laws and because it has no rules and regulations, about stealing for example, players simply digress from real life’s moral values and justify it by saying that the system allows it. This is, in my opinion, a fault of the game, but it unravels masterfully the greedy nature of human beings. In Lineage 2, everything is about items and money and you can see all people fight greedily about those. In the end, you can’t take the adena (in game currency) with you in the real or any other world, but how you dealt with others, and your in game actions, do define who you are.

Lineage 2 is a great platform to observe and study human behavior. There are very few players that are self-sufficient enough so as not to care about what others say or do. Most get caught in endless debates on who is the best and who is the worst player, leader or which clan is the best. There is a great deal of value in antagonism and competition, but not when it happens without class and just as a way to perpetually waste one’s time.

A lot of these problems could be solved through 3 ways, but the problem is that these solutions will result in less revenue for the company. These would also eliminate the black market of in-game currency.

1. Eliminate all Raid Bosses and create complicated instances available to everyone. This will solve the problem of stealing. Wow does this and l2 has learned and copied a lot of Wow, it is high time they also created this security valve. Another option is to keep few world raid bosses but reduce the quality of the drops.

2. Make the game available only by subscription and remove the in-game purchases. This will give all players the same opportunities in developing their character. There will no longer be imbalances when some people spend thousands of dollars in equipping their characters. Or keep only few items that do not dramatically change the balance of power. Keep for example cosmetic items.

3. Make the top armors and weapons available through the hardest instances and remove the excessive detailed mechanics on enchanting. This way, the players and the clans with the most skills and coordination will be able to gain items and not the ones who spend the most money.

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There are solutions but I know they will not be implemented unless NCsoft decides to further change the game as it may be reaching its final completion (its final demise/end). Introducing the loop of macros was a huge game-changer that we could have never thought would happen before, simply because it allows us to bypass the game’s insane farming aspect. I have written an article on L2 Macros here: CLICK TO READ. Why did they do that? I suspect that the closer we come to the end of this game, the more conveniences will be introduced to it.

There is a lot to be learned about the players inner psychological need to prove superiority. Most top players who crave for attention and keep swearing and offending people on hero channels are suffering from low self-esteem and direction in life. The are deluded in thinking that the mirage of the virtual world will give them a sense of worth that they are lacking in real life. They first amass tons of rare equipment to become extremely strong and powerful but all these items have no meaning unless there are other players that will fight against them. So they are trying to get the attention of others by trolling and insulting so that they can feel superior. The trick here is not to provide them with what they seek. Ignoring these people completely and not participating verbally or in their pvp fights is the greatest way to render their equipment useless. Sure there will always be the Olympiad and the Sieges but these are controlled environments where clans compete with each other. These are actually the only platforms where players are expected to prove their superiority, through competing and not through insulting and trolling on the chat channels. The best way to win a fight with such people is not to fight. Walk away and don’t waste precious time on them. The time you are wasting replying to them, could have been used to develop your character even more. If you still have feelings of anger towards them, it means that you have not developed the ability to concentrate on your goals only. I recommend reading the brilliant article on The Subtle Art of not giving a fuck. It will put things in the right perspective.

To conclude, I’d like to say that I highlighted some very dark aspects of the game in this article. That does not really mean that Lineage 2 is a dark and evil game. It is just a game, neither good or bad in an ethical sense. What I wanted to stress is how it can be abused, just like anything else, by negative people. Once we can define the nature of the negative situations that occur in game or in real life, we can understand how to bypass those and enjoy our time playing and being entertained in the magical world of Lineage 2. A little awareness goes a long way! Happy gaming!

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