Tencent Holdings for China
Innova Co. S.a.r.l. for Russia, CIS, Georgia and EU
|Engine||Unreal Engine 2.5|
Lineage II is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows, the second game in the Lineage series. It is a prequel to Lineage, and is set 150 years before the earlier game. It has become very popular since its October 1, 2003 launch in South Korea, reporting 1,000,918 unique users during the month of March 2007. To date, the game has been played by more than 14 million users, mostly based in Asia.
On November 30, 2011 Lineage II adopted a free-to-play model in Lineage II: Goddess of Destruction, with all game content being free save for "purchasable in-game store items and packs".
To begin playing Lineage II, players create a character as their avatar in the game's medieval-style virtual world. All the races start at the temple of their race (Example: Humans start at "Talking Island" and the dark elves at "The Shilen Temple") . Players can choose from either fighter or mystic professions at the start, except for Dwarves and Kamael which are only able to select the fighter profession; this choice acts as an archetype for later profession options. Each race has its own set of classes, even if humans, elves and dark elves have a lot of classes that are very similar to their counterparts in the other two races.
As players kill non-player character (NPC) monsters, they accumulate experience points and skill points (SP). As experience points accumulate, the character's level increases, meaning various attributes of the character are augmented. Players purchase and then upgrade their character's skills using SP. Players can play alone or as part of a group to fight monsters and complete quests for new skills, experience points, and items. Player versus player (PvP) is a significant portion of the game. The game provides many social, political, and economic aspects which are developed through the community and by the actions, in-game, of single players. Lineage II features siege warfare like the original. To make sure PvP stays under control, the design includes a Karma system that provides negative consequences for killing other players when they are not fighting back. When being in a chaotic state (karma number higher than zero) with a PK count of 5 or more, players have a high probability of dropping items after being killed.
Classes and Sub/Dual Classes
There is currently a large number of classes (36) for all races combined. Each race and subsequent class has a set amount of Stat Points already assigned to their class.
Upon completing the quest after reaching level 85, a player may add subclass to their character. This subclass starts at level 40. Limitations are put in place on which subclass one can choose (e.g. Dark Elves may not choose Elf subclasses. In addition, a player may not choose a class that matches their main class (a Dark Avenger may not become a Paladin, likewise a Treasure Hunter may not become a Plains Walker). Once a subclass has reached level 75, players may choose another. A character may hold a total of three subclasses in addition to their main class.
Upon completing the quests after reaching level 80, a player may add one dual class to their character (Dual class can be leveled to 99).
Heroes are Noblesse characters who have accumulated the most points for their class during competition in the Grand Olympiad while having a minimum of fifteen matches with at least one win. There can only be one Hero per class for a maximum of 36 Heroes at any time. Competing players are limited to their character's main class. Heroes are able to choose one of the Hero class weapons and receive Hero only abilities; in addition, they may speak globally to the entire server. They also receive a glowing aura so that they stand out against other characters.
In Lineage II, a player can obtain a monster that becomes his or her pet through the completion of quests. Unlike other summons or magic, as long as certain conditions are met, a pet will not be bound by time limitations, nor will it be dismissed by force. These pets can also hold most items in their inventories while they are called, including pet weapons and armor that can be equipped on the pet.
The game follows a fictional history through sets of plots called "Sagas". There are currently two sagas: "The Chaotic Chronicle" and "The Chaotic Throne". Large-scale updates/expansions known as "Chronicles" are done every six months, which introduce new story elements as well as new features and add-ons. Each chronicle also adds a great deal of new content to the game, including new skills, quests, areas and items; some chronicles also increased the level cap.
Characters act as a player's avatar within the game. Players are afforded up to 7 characters per account. There are currently six races in the world of Lineage II: the Humans, who are similar to modern-day humans and who have all-around balanced characteristics; the Elves, who have superior dexterity, movement, and casting speed, but weaker offense; Dark Elves, who have higher magic and melee attack capabilities; Orcs, who have higher HP and MP but slower movement; Dwarves, who are powerful melee attackers and master craftsmen; and Kamael, who are humanoids with single wings and gender-specific job classes.
Hyeong-Jin Kim, the Production team head for Lineage II, came up with basic concept for the game in early 2000, and development began in October to November of the same year. Kim and producer James Bae have stated that their reasons for developing a prequel for Lineage rather than a sequel is that "Lineage will continue to be updated as a game", and that "by working on its past, we will not be risking conflict with the direction of updates that Lineage will take in the future."
According to Kim and Bae, the game's initial subtitle, "The Chaotic Chronicle", was developed with the intention to "express the large-scale war, strategies, conflicts, and collaborations that we hope to encourage among players."
Lead Game Designer Raoul Kim said that the reason for rendering Lineage II in 3D was "simply because most games today are [also] using 3D graphics", and because they deemed it "more appropriate than 2D for the things that we were going to create." Developers chose to utilize the Unreal Engine 2 game engine because of its capacity to render outdoor scenes and its powerful editing features.
According to Game Design team head, Cheol-Woong Hwang, there were different concepts for each of the race's home villages. He described the concept for the human village in Talking Island as "ordinary", while the Elven Village was designed "so as not to lose the natural and royal high-class feeling." They designed the Dark Elven village based on a "grotesque and serious feeling in order to express the rough history of these who had been expelled from the Elves."
NCsoft Publisher Partnerships
NCsoft & AsianMedia
Lineage II – South-East Asia or simply L2-SEA is NCsoft's first "Publishing License" grant for their flagship game to a completely independent company. NCsoft granted a distribution license to AsianMedia for ArenaNet's Guild Wars for the Philippines. AsianMedia has been licensed to distribute, publish, and operate Lineage II. NCsoft's licensing grant initially limits AsianMedia licensing to three countries namely, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia.
On December 22, 2009 It was announced that the contract between NCsoft and AsianMedia was not renewed. All players in L2SEA are now notified and given 30 days before AsianMedia closes down on all servers in L2SEA.
The overall reception for Lineage II is mixed, receiving average review scores from various video game rating websites. Scott Stahl of the The Daily Orange praised the game's graphics and design, though he also mentioned that the game "quickly degrades into an incredibly tedious and monotonous process of killing the same monster a thousand different times", and that the character creation options are "incredibly shallow, with maybe two or three different faces and hair styles for each type of character." Andrew Park of GameSpot said that the game "offers either a repetitive grind or a stiff challenge", and is not suitable for casual gamers who can only play an hour or less per day. Allen 'Delsyn' Rausch called the Kamael "an interesting race in that, unlike other Lineage II races, they focus specifically on the warrior path with high-level class paths segregated by gender."
The Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood expansion won the Expansion of the Year award at Stratics Central Editor's Choice Awards 2006, and Lineage II earned an Honorable Mention for the Game of the Year award.
On November 8, 2011, NCsoft officially announced Lineage Eternal as the sequel to Lineage I. The first gameplay videos debuted at the G-Star 2011 gaming convention in South Korea on November 10, 2011.
Lineage II is one of the MMOs that were subject to ethnographic study in Constance Steinkuehler and Dmitri Williams's article, 'Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen) Name: Online Games as Third Place'. The authors used the game to try to "explicate the kinds of social and intellectual activities in which gamers routinely participate, including individual and collaborative problem solving, identity construction, apprenticeship, and literacy practices" (888). The Lineage series, along with Asheron's call series, were selected to represent successful MMO franchise, and the two franchise were used to demonstrate the MMO's capacity to act as a "third place", where individuals can gather to socialize informally beyond the workplace and home (p. 889). The authors conclude from their findings that MMO's are a new kind of "third place", but as players become more hardcore and more involved, they no longer function as a "third place".
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- Lineage Eternal Announcement
- GStar Gameplay Videos Debut - First Look at Lineage Eternal
- Steinkuehler, Constance, and Dmitri Williams. "Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen) Name: Online Games as "Third Places"." Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Oct. 2006: 885-909. Print.