Zorak [Lineage II]

Is it me you are looking for?

Once more I'd like to take a trip to nostalgia town and take a look at my days in Linage II. This is the first MMO I've ever played, and that was back in 2006, when it was two years old already. Lineage II is a Korean MMORPG which, as usual for Korean games, focused in its majority on your avatar, more than gameplay, story or basically everything else. This made it perfect for me because I had no idea what was going on.

I just had my 17th birthday when a friend of mine told me about this game, back then we didn't really know what MMORPGS were but he told me it was open world so it got me interested. I didn't have any money to pay the monthly subscription then so I sought out a Spanish private server and made an account on their forums. By pure coincidence their whole hive just reset a few days earlier so everybody was right at the beginning of the game or around the starter zones. That's something I also didn't realize until later on.

So there I was, I logged in for the first time and was welcomed by a character creation screen. Choose your race: Ooookay? Lets see... Boobs! Yes, boobs it is. Boobs has the racial characteristics of better melee attack and higher dexterity, okay, so boobs will be deadly and stealthy, a dark fighter. I was also able to choose boobs's haircut from between like 5 variants. Pulled back and a bun seems like a adequate choice for extra stealthyness. Choose your characters name: Boo... no I can't do that. This is a role playing game isn't it? Everybody will be playing the role of their character, I need a good and realistic name. I ended up going with Zorak.

You start in a Temple, a huge building with a tower that is supposed to be the headquarters of the dark elves, which is the actual race of Boobs, I mean Zorak. I have no idea what I have to do so I just start to kill the lvl 1 critters around my spawn point. Some NPC tells me some stuff in English I didn't understand at the time so I just walk up some stairs of the temple and find a trader. He sells weapons and armour, interestingly for all the way up to lvl 10. I have enough cash to buy a few health potions and head outside to kill some foes, which drop more gold. After some grinding, which only awards you EXP and gold, no item drops, and talking to some people I found on my way to glory, I headed out towards the horizon. Note here that the friend of mine that recommended the game to me wasn't playing with me yet, so I still had no idea what the point of all this clicking was.

I reached the nearest town not much later and it was full of people. By that I mean about ten other players, which was still much considering that at that time, the server had an average of 40 players online. Thanks to the screenshots, I still remember this little wizard elf called Nimarien, she asked me if I wanted to go kill higher level mobs in order to level up faster. Sure!

After grinding for a while she noticed something strange in the way I was talking, and asked me if I was a guy. I said "Yes, how did you know?". I was using the masculine form of everything I was saying, in Spanish for example, "Mago" is a male mage, and "Maga" is a female mage. I told her that I didn't want to fool anybody, but I wanted to role play this character. She gave me a few tips on how to improve on that and from that point on I was completely absorbed by my online persona. It was really entertaining to be able to be a completely different person and immerse yourself into the world of Lineage. And yeah, the exaggerated boob physics weren't the only reason.

I began to learn how everything worked, what each class does, and talking to different people and starting to know them better. Being that the server wasn't highly populated you always saw the same people running around and grinding the same mobs as you were, so you just joined their party and shared EXP. Then you quickly realised one of the advantages of being a woman, other players seem to automatically trust you. In Lineage II, you are able to trade and equip other peoples equipment without restrictions, a chest piece or a sword isn't bound to a character or account. Since every armour looks different on every character I often found myself asking if I could try something on, and they just lend it to me. I could've made a run for it with nothing the other guy would have been able to do, yet they trusted me, and those set pieces weren't cheap at all.

Nimarien and I made friends with Chibiusa. She was a dwarf, those are the richest fuckers of the game, because they are the only ones that can craft, and they craft one of the most valuable resources in the game, Soul Shots. These Soul Shots, or SS, drastically augment the damage of your weapon during combat, but each hit will consume one of those SS, so you found yourself going back and forth between the grinding grounds and the nearest city to restock on SS. This allowed you to engage higher lvl mobs, thus levelling up faster. It was also crucial for PVP. PVP is open in Lineage II, meaning you can hit anybody at any given time, and it doesn't mark you as hostile until you kill somebody. Going back to Chibiusa, Chibiusita was her alter ego. Yes, two accounts and two games open at the same time. Dwarfs have a skill to extract crafting materials from still living mobs, use that skill twice and you get twice the mats when the mob dies, if already being rich wasn't good enough.

Advancing in this game was a very tedious work of grinding and grinding and grinding. You didn't have any quests or objectives to complete. The only exception to this were the class change quests. At lvl 20 and at lvl 40 you could decide which path or specialisation you choose for your character. In order to do that you start an enormous quest line, so long in fact, I had to print it out (since there's no in-game waypoint system or anything) and all the steps together filled two sheets of paper and took me around 8h to complete. But after that, I was finally an assassin, with all the skills necessary to fuck your day up with my tiny shiny dagger. One back stab at a time.

Another thing that made me super happy was the fact that you could have your own mount, so I asked around to know how to get one. I was told I had to make a quest line in order to rob a dragons egg, which you have to carry with you until it hatches, like a Togepi, and I was like whaaaat me want. I did the quests, got the egg, and walked and walked until it hatched. I called it Pantumaca, which in the Catalan language literally means bread with tomato. Don't ask why. If I recall correctly you get it at lvl 10 and can fight by your side, but can permanently die if you don't use a revive scroll on him. Once you level it up to level 30 it would evolve into a bigger dragon which you can then ride, and even at a higher level it would become a flying dragon. He can also nom Soul Shots.

Some time later I did my quest line to become an Abyss Walker, an even more bad ass version of Cutty McBackstab that I already was. After that I decided to help with the creation of a new guild called Frozen Rose with a few people I already had played with a many times. This meant we could all go together to the more difficult parts and dungeons of this world. I specially loved the idea of joining them because one of their rules was strict role play, so no discussing real world topics in any of the guild or group chats. We didn't have to talk all fancy and stuff though, just play the game and only talk about game related things. But then there was this guy:

Koki, the guy I unintentionally friend zoned. Yeah, that happened, and in this story, ten years later, I still don't know if I should feel bad or not (probably not). So as mentioned earlier, I role played my character all the way from the beginning, since this is literally a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, in addition of the guilds main rule being strict role play. Because of this, nobody knew I was a guy, but for me that wasn't a problem, because as long as I'm in the game I am that character on the screen, nobody else.

Well this guy was one of the players with whom I played most often, he was online nearly every day and was in our raiding group most of the time. We talked many times and went out by ourselves to explore new areas. At one point, since weddings were a mechanic of the game, one of the Admins from the server teleported the whole guild into an underwater temple that was massively decorated, with gold on the ground and everything, and we had our ceremony, and then we were engaged. This gave us the possibility to teleport to each other and some other things. Since I never broke character in the 2 months I was already playing by then, he never questioned my gender and I think he ended up falling for my character (not for me, obviously). I don't recall the following events perfectly, but this is what I remember.

My colleague that recommended the game to me came back to the server with his male char a few weeks earlier, and as he saw how many advantages I had being a female, he deleted his high lvl character and created a new one, female. He then proceeded to use his "charm" to get favours like faster levelling and new items. I didn't really approve of his way of doing things but I didn't really care. He ended up joining our guild as well and married one of the lieutenants of Frozen Rose, who gave him every armour piece he desired, that little bitch :D

Anyway, Koki started to, or tried to get personal with me, talking a lot through the private channel, until he asked if I could send him a picture of myself. That put me kind of in a shitty situation because I obviously couldn't show him a real picture of myself, it would totally kill my character, and I wasn't going to show him a picture of some random chick from the internet, that would be even shittier. I told him that I don't want to show him any picture, but he somehow managed to start a "presentation thread" on our guild forum, where everybody showed himself and told the rest a little bit about themselves. You guessed it, my friend and I were the only ones that didn't partake in it, and that obviously began to raise some red flags.

The days passed and Koki, with the rest of the members of Frozen Rose, were all over me asking questions and pressuring me to post on that forum thread. My friend, who was clearly abusing the fact that he was female, not hurting anybody, but just for his own benefit, cracked to that pressure and posted on that thread something along these lines: "Hello. Hereby I'll let you know that I am a 17 year old man named Miguel. I am tired of this which hunt and will be leaving this guild ASAP. Oh! And by the way, Zorak also has meat dangling between her legs". Yep, that was it. After that post the whole guild was against me, calling me from liar to accusing me of identity theft, and that I completely broke Kokis heart. Yep, those words were uttered by the leader of a strict role playing guild, on a role play server. We were hated on the server and on the forums within a day. I left the server in silence, completely disappointed, there was nothing I could do.

Huchini wielding his Sirra's Blade

We immediately began to play on a new server, myself creating a human warrior named Huchini that would grow to be a dark avenger. He was an amazing tank and even had a pet black panther that dealt all the damage for him. On the picture above you see me wielding the mighty Sirras Blade. That sword took me probably 3-4 weeks to gather all the crafting materials for it, and forging it had a 40% chance to fail. I was so nervous when I gave the mats to that dwarf to craft it, but it came out beautiful. I was the first and only person on the server to have it and everywhere I went people stopped me to ask what kind of a sword that was. It was amazing.

That's about it for the stories of the first MMORPG I ever played. Even with that little mishap with the alleged "identity theft" while role playing, I had an amazing time in that game, made real life friendships that lasted for years and it will always remain a good memory. Hope you enjoyed this little piece of soon to be history and...




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