I’ve been meaning to write about my experiences with High Five but something just wasn’t right. Now I feel that the experience has ripened in me and the time has finally come to expose the truth to the world. Prepare yourselves because it is going to be a rant, nevertheless a rant with logical arguments and common sense. Even though common sense may not really be that common, especially in the Kingdom of the obsolete Warriors of Aden.
To put it bluntly nobody wants to play the Warcryer in H5. All CPs are eternally looking for an active WC or OL (Overlord). Compared to Goddess of destruction, H5 has some very fundamental flaws that have been corrected in the newer chronicles and going back to that is like returning to the medieval era. Yes it was a romantic age but people were dying from the plague, the inquisition was hunting down witches and they had no internet.
If you try to go back to H5 and have never properly played it before, either because you played 13 years ago on java servers or because you never got passed level 40 in the official 10 years ago… or just because you played on a private server with buffs… then you are in for a big surprise.
H5 is no fun. It is a bridge-chronicle that connects the arduous, bot-like farming mentality of the first chronicles with the prophecy of the coming of a new age. If you think H5 is the dawn of that era, I’d say it’s mostly something like 2 am. No sun rising from the east yet. It makes you feel like Hellman spawned but you missed it. H5 is epic in its endless farming aspect. It is still a highly repetitive chronicle, especially on a server x3 without any buffs. It has its own quirks, like the nevit system, the xp system and the CP composition. The fact that the parties are still 9-spot parties, and the fact that there are so many different support classes, makes the setting up of a full party or cp quite difficult. Apart from the technical part of it, for example there is no place for a prophet in a full party, there is also the social aspect of it; the fact that you can’t really find 9 competent or for that matter honest and considerate team players to play with. Some classes are really totally unwelcome in the common xp parties, as they cannot contribute anything to it, and frankly, this chronicle is still played, on a professional level (they got noobs too though) almost exclusively by Russians. You won’t find big international speaking clans and communities playing H5.
The Russians play very aggressively. They don’t (want to) speak English and can not be relied upon. You will find that the majority of Russian players will pk without second thought, just to get an xp spot. They will also kick players from party, without warning, just because they want to replace you with someone else or simply they don’t like you. They will drop party and leave without letting you know in advance. Basically they play as they wish, they come and go as they wish and exist in that Lineage 2 universe in a very chaotic state that is governed by the laws of the jungle. Like warriors without honesty, no reliability and often no integrity. In that kind of a server, you need to be equally aggressive and without integrity, if you want to survive. Basically, you need to be a jerk.
GoD is not like that, even though it can allow people to unfold their jerkiness as well, but its not that obvious and classes are much more balanced. The epic farming has stopped, macros can be looped, people are not expected to farm for hours like bots and can instead play creatively and devote their time to meaningful things.
But let’s get back to H5. So it has a problem with the classes. There are several kinds of party types that can be set up for successful xp. Most of them require one main buffer (wc or ol), one bishop and one recharger (shillien elder or elven elder), a sws (swordsinger), a bd (bladedancer), and three damage dealers or two damage dealers and a tank. A limit CP would have orcs for damage dealers and WC as a main buffer. A mage CP would have mages with AOE skills as damage dealers, OL as the main buffer and no tank. There are some other types of CPs like archer CP or summoner CP. The big imbalance of the chronicle is the fact that mages can xp much faster than melees. And when I say much faster, I mean hell of a lot faster. When a mage CP hits 85, which is the chronicle cap, melees will still be struggling to get third occupation.
You can’t level up by killing RBs. In GoD, the number one way to reach 85 fast is to kill RBs. In H5 people were looking at me strangely when I was mentioning that I go for RBs. Instead, you are expected to grind and kill mobs for hours, without end, to level up. Support classes going alone for xp, and without knowledge of the nevit system, are in for a big surprise. There are also no quests to give you xp. The only way to level up fast after level 55, is to join aoe parties with mages. That is if you are lucky enough to play a class that is needed and you can survive the endless pvp and pking that is going on in those popular spots. The struggle is real and the magic is where? H5 is an rpg that is being played like an action shoot’em up. Counterstrike in an highly magical medieval setting. Hmmm. Right.
Sometimes I wonder: what was I thinking when I decided to join a H5 server?
I will tell you what. I was thinking that H5 is a chronicle that is older, thus inferior to GoD, thus it would be much easier for me to tackle and master. The lack of conveniences combined with the complexity that the multiple classes weave into the fabric of a h5 party, make the usage of third occupation skills slightly more complicated.
Some of the differences between chronicles that we shouldn’t forget are:
In GoD there are no regents for skills, no spirit ore, no holy water etc.The crafting materials have been minimized by 80%, which makes crafting much more straightforward and easier. Adena no longer drops from mobs in a way that can make you rich, which means this can’t be abused by bots, as it can be in H5. Apart from trade, the mechanics of money are very different. The problem of numerous support classes (that nobody wants to play) has been solved by fusing them (and their functions) in one single class that is actually important and fun to play. GoD has simplified the game in a meaningful way that makes it more effective. Most of the times less is more. In this case, less is definitely more. I would compare the evolution of Lineage 2, to the evolution of DnD. H5 is the complex 3.5 version and GoD is the newer, simplified and balanced 5th edition.
One of my biggest issues is that I rarely find l2 gamers who can actually evaluate and understand that GoD is superior to H5. There seems to exist a strange mentality that spreads among players, especially in eastern Europe, that tells the story of Lineage 2 as an action game and not an rpg. For some reason, it attracts people who do not recognise the true nature of this game. H5 is overplayed and obsolete.
So back to my original quest: what was I thinking when I went back to H5? I was thinking first of all of numbers. Numbers of players. A fun community, opportunities to create a special clan. Either we like it or not, the population on the official servers has dropped to a point where it’s not fun to play. When you have to wait longer than an hour to find party, it means that people have stopped playing. However, a server full of non English speaking Russians, where all trade and party matching occurs in Russian is not helpful either. That was not what I had in mind, when I decided to go back to H5 and give it a try. Another thing I was also thinking of was cryptocurrencies. It just sounded very cool to be able to farm satoshi and trade adena for satoshi. In practice, there is no way you can earn money from this as a single player, non experienced in H5. Because you will have to compete with the professionals who are extremely well organised, who employ “drivers” to xp their chars 24/7, and who have written their own private books on the chronicle.