This is a question that puzzles me for a long time, although I already know the answer to it. But I won't reveal it just yet. The thing is that each one of these MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game, for those of you that still are in doubt what this post is about) has it's own followers, or maybe dedicated worshipers in some cases. And both games have their own advantages and disadvantages compared to the other. So let me lay things out, from a personal point of view, of course.
First of all, I want to start out by saying this: I know Lineage II and World of Warcraft are not the only online games. I'm just talking about them because they touch the same market segment and they have some of the largest percentage of users. Besides, these are the ones that set the standard in all MMORPG games, and the rest just follow. That's my opinion anyway. And now for the comparison.
From a visual point of view
Putting the two face to face you immediately observe one huge difference in term of design. The world of Lineage II is a lot more close to reality than the one in WoW and the characters tend to look a lot more realistic. The buildings have a certain look that tends to mimic real life castles and towns. On the other hand, WoW has a more cartoonish look to it, The buildings and colors are not so dull, they are vivid. The characters are based on the ones from the famous Warcraft III, also from Blizzard. This difference between them continues throughout the entire world they depict and through the user interface. I guess it's a matter of preference here. Both of them have a certain beauty and fall together nicely.
From a player point of view
There are a lot of things to say here. I doubt I can remember all of them.
Let's start with the economics. Because both of these games are based on a subscription, the main currency is the online one. The two have a somewhat different way of the representing money, although the basic concept is the same. If in L2 the only currency is Adena (most likely derived from the name Aden, the main kingdom of Lineage 2), WoW goes for the concept of subdivision, which we all now. The smallest coin is the bronze one. One hundred bronze coins are equal to a silver coin and one hundred silver coins are equal to a Gold coin. Simple isn't it?
Another important aspect of an online game: the monsters. There's not much difference here. Sure, the names are different, they're in different places, they look different, but besides that they're practically the same. You still have zombies, wolfs, walking trees and other stuff like that. It's not much to tell here: you kill monsters, you gain experience and money/items and then you kill some more monsters.
Quests: as it would be expected, the quests are different. You can have two online games with identical quests. But of course, the rewards of the quest are the same: experience, items, money. One thing that is different between them and I particularly found useful was the fact that in WoW you can see right from the start of the quest what reward you will receive. That saved me a lot of time on worthless quests.
Races are a subject that I don't want to discuss. Both of the games have several races, each divided into classes and each class with it's own good and bad parts. Trying to compare the two would take ages and I doubt it's even possible, considering the fact that the worlds they live in are not identical.
From a performance point of view
I personally find that World of Warcraft runs a bit smoother than Lineage and I think part of the reason is the fact that the textures in Lineage are a lot more complex, thus harder to render. But I wouldn't bet on that, I'm not a game developer. Also, the sounds might make a difference, but not too much. I tend to believe that the major difference is in the engine used to power the game. Lineage 2 uses the Unreal game engine, while WoW uses it's own World of Warcraft Engine. But that tech stuff is beyond me.
If you look around, I'm sure you'll find more information on this subject. Here are just a few of them returned at a quick Google search:
- Lineage 2 vs World of Warcraft - a PK Perspective
- Lineage vs WoW - Obsidian Forum
- WoW vs Lineage - pwnem.com
There are a lot of points that have not been discussed and I'm sure fans of either side have a lot of cool things that have not been pointed out here. Well people, I'm sorry, but I'm just too tired and just now I realize that you cannot compare these two. Both of their developers have done a great job in defining them as uniquely a possible and each one of them has it's own edge: like L2 has it's stunning graphics and WoW has it's huge user base.
So, now that we've reached the end of this post, which one do you prefer? Lineage 2 or World of Warcraft?