A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that violent combat is an integral part of Lineage II, and players will attack and kill computer and human-controlled opponents with swords and other medieval weaponry. Players can kill other players at will, but receive a penalty for it. There is no blood. Parents also should be aware that costumes can be racy and players can take off some female characters' clothes down to very revealing lingerie. Like all MMOGs, Lineage II is an online game and online communication can be unpredictable. Parents should take note that Lineage II requires a monthly subscription fee of $14.99.
What's it about?
LINEAGE II, a beautiful online role playing game for Windows PCs, puts players in the center of a complex story line set in a very dangerous world. Players join the world by selecting a fantasy character to play with – e.g. Human, Elf, Dwarf, Dark Elf – along with a character class that possesses magical or fighting abilities. At its most basic level, play consists of attacking creatures and players and taking money and items they drop.
It sounds simple, but Lineage II is not for the unwary. Unlike many player-versus-player (PvP) optional MMOGs, players can be killed by other players at any time, for any reason. Murder has its consequences: the killer receives negative karma and becomes \"chaotic,\" meaning that other players will not be penalized for attacking him. Computer-controlled guards will also target and kill chaotic players on sight.
Is it any good?
Aside from the open PvP, the heart of Lineage II is its siege warfare. Advanced players in a clan may occupy their own castle, and other players may lay siege to the castle and attempt to wrest it from the controlling party. The occupying clan receives numerous benefits, including income from taxation and better productivity of goods. Because of this, sieges are governed by rules to ensure fair play. Castle sieges must be scheduled in advance, and last only two hours.
The quality of artwork in Lineage II surpasses that of most online fantasy games by a large margin. The landscapes and structures are gorgeous, the characters are strikingly detailed, and the colors are strong and bold without being garish, which makes the whole game seem much like a well-drawn graphic novel. Years after its release, it still looks great.
Parents should be cautioned that characters, both male and female, may promote unrealistic body images. In particular, some of the female characters can be undressed down to what can only loosely be considered a bra, thong and thigh-highs: in short, erotic lingerie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about online safety with their teenage children. Why shouldn't you give out personal details online? Is everyone always who they claim to be? What does effect does online anonymity have on people's behavior? Families can discuss heroic fantasy and its sources in literature. What is it about Lineage II's take on fantasy literature that makes it so popular abroad?
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