A couple of weeks back I wrote about Lineage 2: Revolution, a mobile MMORPG that can be played mostly on autopilot. Two weeks later, I'm still playing. After a decade and a half of playing highly involved PC MMOs, it's nice to have a game I only need to play an hour a day.
Though I can control my character directly, it's much more convenient to hit the auto-battle or auto-quest button and let my currently level 53 dwarven War Ranger (a race-specific sub-class of Rogue) go about her own business. As long as I keep her stocked with health and mana potions, she had no trouble on most challenges that come her way.
It looks really involved, but it's not.
Her autonomy leaves me free to perform my various managerial duties. While she hunts 20 of whichever monster her current quest calls for, I'm maintaining and upgrading equipment. When she gets into a group for the Temple Guardian mini-dungeon, in which the party defends a crystal from waves of attacking creatures, I'm going through my daily checklist, making sure I have all my bases covered.
Every morning, on the toilet.
To some this may seem tedious. To me, it takes a lot of the tedium away. Running from creature to creature, pressing buttons to activate skills and abilities? In games that I've played for years, such as World of Warcraft, it's pretty much automatic for me already.
I spend my hour a day running through the daily checklist. I check in with my Clan (Guild), activate the daily and weekly quests I have allotted, and go through each dungeon (using an auto-clear ticket if I have one handy). I collect my login bonuses, upgrade the gear I can using items and equipment, and sell off any excess gear to keep my inventory clear.
To me, the fun part has always been the maintenance, the fitting of new gear, and watching statistics rise. Lineage 2: Revolution has plenty of that. It's almost like an MMORPG playing simulator.
Yes, it's a free-to-play game, with timers and premium currency and the ability, should one so desire, to buy one's way into more powerful gear. But I don't need any of that. I signed up for a daily stipend of gems after playing for a week, a $US9.99 ($13) purchase I felt the amount of enjoyment I was getting out of the game warranted. But at my once-a-day pace, I haven't been tempted to buy beyond that.
This is all not to say that I'm going to stop playing World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy 14. I will still log in and hang out with my friends there as time permits. But time is not nearly as permissive as it once was. It's nice to have Lineage 2: Revolution to scratch the itch without eating up a lot of time.