August 01, 2004

Back in Action!

I finally got bored with hitting critters over the head with an iron hammer. I put Giantina on hold for a little while and pulled Nightfall back out again. Of course, the first problem was that she was naked and weaponless! Not to worry, I headed out to the swamp in the dark elf territories and hunted Dark Horrors and Marsh Zombie Lords using nothing but her magic skills. Since she had no wand or robes, her casting speed was unbelievably slow, but with care and attention to timing, I was able to kill enough monsters to make enough adena (Lineage II money) to buy her a simple leather robe set, complete with gloves, shoes, and cap. That left the issue of what to do for a weapon. Well, Giantina has not been idle, you know, and Nightfall's old gear is what provided the cash to get Giantina going, so Giantina contributed 120,000 adena to the cause and Nightfall got a new staff (called a "Journeyman's Staff"). Not a particularly good one, but a staff. Armed with staff and robes, she hunted much more efficiently and after a week or so, had earned enough for some better robes. Now she has a Devotion Set, enough crystals and "spiritshots" to keep her going, and even a little money. Considering that ten days ago she had nothing, I'm quite pleased with her progress.

Okay, then, on to other things. I've been posting on the official forums at the Lineage II Offical Site. There are many Americans players who are not happy to have Chinese players roaming around on their servers. Almost daily someone starts a thread complaining about Chinese players and asking NC Soft to ban all Asian IPs. Since I live in Japan, this means they would be banning me as well. Not a good thing. In all honesty, though, that is not the part that irritates me. What really gets my goat is how xenophobic my fellow countrymen are becoming. America is the most powerful nation in the world for only one reason: they respect the desire of all people everywhere to live in freedom. Despite this, xenophobia is a problem that raises its ugly head every thirty or forty years. I am at an age now where I understand why xenophobia does far more harm than good, and I have posted dozens of messages trying to convince people that banning Asians from the North American servers will hurt the community, not help it. Naturally, almost no one believes me.

Before I set Giantina aside, I finished her level 20 job change quest. She is now officially a Scavenger. In the course of finishing that quest, an interesting thing happened, so I posted it to the Offical forums in response to yet another "let's do something about the Asians" post. Here is what I posted:

Of Farmers and Fouls

I was out in NE Elmore killing bears and collecting Honey Jars for my Scavenger Quest. There were four other dwarves running around and one light elf archer. Within minutes of my arrival, one of the dwarves SoEed back to town. One dwarf girl, armed with some kind of claw weapon, began following me around killing the bears I attacked. I asked her to stop. She killed one more, said "hehe", and went off to another area to hunt. A few minutes later she was back, but just watching. I said, "Please go away!" At that point the male dwarf character hunting nearby came and shouted, "LEAVE HER ALONE", without specifying which one of us he meant. Quite silly, really.

A short dialogue ensued where I explained why I was killing bears, explained that she was, too, and added that she was probably doing the same quest I was. As we spoke, the KSer killed two more bears than SoEed back to town. The male dwarf who believed he was helping remained convinced that the other dwarf was a "Chinese farmer" and told he had already fought her once and killed her. Note that they were both white, so she must have fought back. He then SoEed back to town, leaving me, one dwarf, and the light elf.

Are you with me so far? We've got two aggressive players who have already fought over a hunting ground, a dwarf, a light elf, and me. Here where the tale changes unexpectedly.

I go back to hunting bears. The remaining dwarf comes up to me and says, "ni hao". I tell her I don't speak Chinese. There is a pause, she says, "get honey? easy?" I tell it's not easy, but yes, I am getting honey jars. She goes over to the light elf and there's a rapid dialogue in Chinese. Pretty soon another dwarf materializes nearby (logging in I think). Both dwarves start hunting bears, with the elf helping them by taking first hit, and in some cases, last hit. However, they stay clear of the area where I am and I stay clear of the area where they are. After a bit, I go up to the elf and ask if he speaks English. He says something in Chinese, and the first dwarf comes up to me asking what I need. I tell her that if the elf keeps taking first hit, the two dwarves will never get honey jars. The elf needs to concentrate on crowd control while they finish their quest. Another Chinese dialogue, three-way this time, and they modify their hunting style.

After a bit, I finish collecting my honey jars and get on with the next leg of my quest. When I get to Tomas, who do I find but the dwarf with the claws! She was doing her quest, too. We talk, and guess what, she's Canadian and speaks perfect English. She even apologizes for stealing my kills, excusing herself by saying how frustrated she was getting because the honey jars were not added with every single kill, but only every fifth or sixth, and sometimes even worse.

The only problem I'd had was with a Canadian player that another player had already killed because he'd assumed she was Chinese. There were three Chinese players hunting that area, two of them were doing their quest and one was watching their backs. Were the three Chinese farmers? I don't know, and I don't care. That's their problem not mine. Either way, this kind of scenario unfolds around me every single time I play. Yes, there are a lot of Chinese players. For whatever reason, they don't bother me and I don't bother them. This is called "peaceful co-existence".

I understand that some players have a lot of trouble. I come onto these boards everyday (can't play the game at work, after all), and read horror story after horror story. I am 100% certain that some of these miserable stories are pure fabrications by xenophobic individuals who attack first and regret it later. How many? Again, I don't know and don't care. What to do about the true stories?

Nothing. It's that kind of game!

If a player does not like this game, this environment, and this community, then they need to exercise their rights as a consumer and move on to something else. How to solve the "farmer" problem? Find the buyers, find the sellers, ban them both. How do you find them? That's NC Soft's problem, not mine.

My suggestion to everyone is simple: don't buy adena, be nice to other players, kill the ones that don't appreciate it.