Designing Virtual Worlds

I was talking about reading this book the other day, and that I had emailed the author about how the designers of Lineage 2 could have taken some real lessons from it.  It got me thinking of all the things that were bad or poorly redesigned, and gosh there were a lot.


You could go years without ever getting an item that dropped from a mob, that you could equip.  Past the early levels (1-10) the chance you would get ANY weapon or armor drop was next to nil, and it being correct for  your class in the odd event it did happen, was extremely slim as well.

There was no rhyme or reason in the gearing system.  Weapons weren’t pinned for certain classes so you’d get stupid combinations like a mage using dual-swords or a bow.


Normal quests were not worth doing, for items, exp, or money, with maybe 2 exceptions or “well I’ll be in this area anyway”.  They didn’t give any worthwhile exp (it was often the same as killing 2 mobs), never gave worthwhile items to equip, and often gave less money than it cost to complete the quest. In some cases, the MORE items you turned in, the LESS money per item  you got!


The game wasn’t designed in such a way to deter scams, and the GMs did not care if people WERE scamming.  I can’t find my example images at this time, but here are a few common scams based of game problems.

  1.  The game font made a lowercase L and an uppercase I look exactly the same.  For example Ellie looked the same as EIIie or ElIie.  Exactly the same.   People would create a character of someone and message their friends and clannies and ask them to see a weapon or armor.  They would then never give it back.
  2. Lower level items often looked exactly like higher level items.  A grade crystals looked exactly like worthless Soul Ore (if I remember right) with a difference in price or something like 2,000 vs 10. People would set up sell shops with the cheap stuff labeled with the good stuffs name.
  3. That leads me to Sell Shops.  You could type whatever you wanted in your store name to fool people.  “Selling spiritshots cheap!” the store could say.  You open the store with “sell” in your head and see shots at 10a! Wow what a deal!  You pick to buy as much as possible and.. “you just sold 5,000 spiritshots”.  Wait, what?  Oops, it was a BUY store labeled as a SELL store and you just sold all your stuff for super cheap.  Oops.  One would say “just pay attention” I would say “design  your dumb game better” or severely punish people trying this tactic.
  4. Dwarven craft shops had a problem where the cost to craft an item wasn’t visible in the window past a certain numbers of characters.  You could see 1,000 for example, but not the renaming ,000.  A craft would oops, cost 1 million adena instead of 1,000.
  5. And finally (for right now) you would probably never see any of the high level content.  The requirements to kill ANY of the major raid bosses were so such it was likely to never happen.  It was designed for 200+ people, which on the NA servers, was never going to happen.


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