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Ten Level Test: Final Fantasy XI vs Lineage II

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by JuanitaBugg, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. JuanitaBugg

    JuanitaBugg Guest

    Ten Level Test is the new Eurogamer feature series in which MMOs compete for our love in a knockout competition. We pair them off, play each for ten levels, and then uninstall the one we had least fun with. For a full explanation of the rules and quite why we'd attempt this madness, and for an introduction to all eight contenders in the first Ten Level Test - EverQuest II, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Lineage II, Final Fantasy XI, Star Wars Galaxies, City of Heroes, Guild Wars and Dungeons & Dragons Online - visit the Editor's blog.

    In the first round, Vanguard scored a surprise victory over its label-mate, EverQuest II, in a meeting of the traditional American fantasy MMOs. This time, we look to Asia, at two games of similar scope but totally different culture - Square Enix's Final Fantasy XI from Japan, and NCsoft's sequel to its Korean monster hit, Lineage II.
    Character creation
    Lineage II: levels 1 to 4
    Final Fantasy XI: levels 1 to 4
    Lineage II: levels 4 to 7
    Final Fantasy XI: levels 4 to 5 to 4 to 5
    Lineage II: levels 7 to 10
    Final Fantasy XI: levels 5 to 10
    "The Strolling Sapling seems tough."
    The verdict

    In a way it's a similar pairing to the last test; one rough and demanding game that only allows soloing under sufferance (that was Vanguard, last time), versus another that's so eager to speed you through the early levels that it has bled all the colour out of them (EverQuest II). But compared to the yawning gulf between these two games, the Americans are so close you can barely see a crack of light. The only similarity between FFXI and Lineage II is in the primacy of grind, the fact that the only thing that really matters is the next level.

    But where the winner of the last round was an easy - if unexpected - decision, this is a very hard one. It's tempting to consider continuing with Lineage II for an easy life, and the thought of an even longer slog through Final Fantasy XI - with the joy of waiting for groups to make any kind of progress one I still have to look forward to - is not one to relish.