| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Lineage 2

Lineage II's new expansion to launch on July 30

Fantasy, Lineage 2, Expansions, Lore, Free-to-Play

Lineage II
NCsoft has announced today that its classic fantasy MMO Lineage II will be launching its next expansion on July 30. Entitled Ertheia, this free expansion brings new hunting zones, new adventures, and reveals the lore that explains the arrival of the Ertheia race.

"As the last of Einhasad's four original races (Elves, Orcs, Dwarves, and Ertheia) enters the playing field, they will join forces with the other races and Heroes of Aden to save their world, all a part of the continuing saga within Lineage II's epic storyline," according to an NCsoft press release.

Check out the video after the cut for more information on Lineage II's Ertheia.

[Source: NCsoft press release]

Continue Reading

Lineage II expands to Ertheia this summer

Fantasy, Video, Lineage 2, Expansions, Free-to-Play

Lineage II
NCsoft's popular Lineage II MMO announces a new expansion coming later this summer. Entitled Ertheia, this expansion brings with it a new race (the Ertheia), new hunting zones, and more.

"Ertheia, born of the wind, were created by the god Sayha," the game's lore states. "Renowned for their beauty, everyone longed to keep them near. But like the wind itself, they never wanted to stay in one place for very long, and suffered if they were confined. For ages, the Ertheia made their home in the Wind Spirit Realm, away from interaction with the Material Realm. But a catastrophic event has thrust Faeron Village into Aden. And now these graceful, deadly warriors find themselves engaged in a life-or-death battle against Shilen in a strange place."

Lineage II recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in North America and features NCsoft's Truly Free business model. You can find out more on the exmapsion by watching the video included after the cut.

Continue Reading

Lineage II classic server detailed

Betas, Fantasy, Lineage 2, Culture

Lineage 2
Lineage II will be opening a classic server to appease those players who miss the original version of the popular MMO.

This classic server will be a hybrid of C1 and C2, offering everything from the old inventory system to the old party system to the old skill system, and more. The open beta for this classic server is going on now for Korean players and will end on June 3. After beta, the classic server will be pay-to-play.

Lineage II turns 10 years old in North America

Fantasy, Lineage 2, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries

L2
NCsoft's Lineage franchise has a lot to celebrate this week as the North American version of Lineage II turns 10 years old. Says the company,
During the past decade, millions of players have joined the fight to defend the realm of Aden from Shilen, the evil Goddess of Destruction, and her dark forces. During that time, players have experienced 21 free expansions, defeated more than 350 raid bosses, explored 450 unique zones, mastered 2,200 plus unique skills, and interacted with (meaning "killed") more than 10,000 unique NPCs and monsters, making Lineage II one of the largest MMOs in the world based on content alone.
The in-game celebrations will boast veteran packs and the Carnival of Aden, which includes login events, collection quests, special weapons, and weekend bosses. Happy birthday, Lineage II, and welcome to the short list of MMOs older than a decade!

[Source: NCsoft press release]

NCsoft relents on Lineage II's hero coin prices

Fantasy, Lineage 2, Economy, Patches, Free-to-Play

Lineage II
The outrageous -- and expensive -- Lineage II hero coin program is receiving a nerf in favor of the players. NCsoft announced today that it has reduced prices on "top-tier prizes" in the hero coin store by 40% or more. As an example, the Dark Amaranthine Weapon Pack has been reduced from 375,000 hero coins to 100,500 as a result of this change.

NCsoft also said that it will be giving players a hand with affording these items: "For those of you who might still be lamenting your inability to afford the reward items of your choice, take heart. We'll be introducing some special promotions both this month and in the future designed to help you increase your hero coin balance."

The launch of the hero coin program earlier this year was met with strong resistance and criticism for its exorbitant nature. Hero coins is a bonus currency that is given whenever a player spends real money in the game's store.

Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #10-1

World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, EverQuest II, Lineage 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Ultima Online, LEGO Universe, Runes of Magic, Miscellaneous, Firefall, Jukebox Heroes, Music

We're finally here: my top 10 MMO theme tracks. I anticipate that out of all of the weeks, this will be the most controversial, since not only am I proclaiming the 10 best, but you'll realize which of your favorite games I've left out of the top 40 entirely.

A final reminder as to my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game. I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed earlier parts of this series, check out themes #40-31, #30-21, and #20-11. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

Continue Reading

NCsoft boosts numbers in Q4 2013 while Nexon names new CEO

Aion, Lineage, Lineage 2, MMO Industry, Guild Wars 2, Legal, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, WildStar

NCsoft
NCsoft is thanking its lucky Blade & Soul these days, as revenues from the game's popularity in China have helped to boost its financial status.

In the recently released Q4 2013 earnings report, NCsoft announced that sales, operating profit, pre-tax income, and net income were up over Q3 2013. Overall, 2013 was profitable for the company as its income went up year-over-year. NCsoft credited a growing Lineage and a "strong" and "solid" Guild Wars 2 for this effort, as well as cost savings initiatives. While sales in Korea improved from 2012 to 2013, those in Japan, Europe, and North America all declined over the same time period.

Lineage is by far NCsoft's biggest earner, followed by Guild Wars 2, Aion, and Blade & Soul. The company said that WildStar is on track to launch in mid-2014 and that the key GW2 focus is not on an expansion but with bringing the game to China.

Meanwhile, NCsoft's biggest investor, Nexon, just named Owen Mahoney as its new president and CEO, replacing Seungwoo Choi. Nexon also announced a revenue and income increase in 2013 and acknowledged that it is underperforming in Japan and the West.

Lineage II's Hero Coin rewards program debuts to firestorm

Fantasy, Lineage 2, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

Lineage II just rolled out Hero Coins, a new rewards system designed to give players who purchase items from the cash shop a little something extra. But the devil is in the details, and players in the official thread have expressed that the illicit RMT deals look sweet in comparison.

Here's how the program works: Players earn Hero Coins whenever they make qualifying purchases from the L2 Store or the L2 Galleria, with coins awarded retroactively for all purchases since November 30th, 2011. Sounds decent so far, right? But this is where the program loses its appeal for some players.

Hero Coins are not account-wide; they're bound to whichever character received the purchased item. On top of that, all Hero Coins expire at the end of every calendar year at 3:01 a.m. EST January 1st, so players can't accumulate them until they can make a decent purchase. And accumulate they must: There are items in the rewards program that equate to over $35K, but can be found on the black market for approximately $2K. For really big spenders, the top item converts to spending over $200K in cash in the store -- in a single year.

[Thanks to Ville for the tip!]

Lineage 2 launching Valiance expansion December 11th

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Lineage 2, Expansions, Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play

Though the Goddess of Destruction failed to obliterate Aden, that doesn't mean all was destined to stay peaceful and quiet in Lineage II. On the contrary, on December 11th, old threats (including four returning raid bosses) will resurface and new challenges will arise when L2's newest expansion, Valiance, launches.

Beyond the evolving storyline, this expansion brings an assortment of new goodies for players to experience, including updated raiding systems, almost 80 new raid bosses, a new ability system, a skill system overhaul, and the return of the Gracia hunting grounds. Get a glimpse of what's to come next week in the new screenshots below.

[Source: NCsoft press release]

Check out Lineage II's newest race, the Ertheia

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Lineage 2, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Races

Lineage II
Lineage II fans will have more than just a virgin continent and additional raids to contend with after the game expands with Valiance; they'll also have a brand-new race called the Ertheia to play next year.

NCsoft officially revealed the Ertheia today, showing the fleet-footed "mystical" people to the entire world. So who are the Ertheia? Let's go to the official press release for help on that: "While a lot is still unknown about Ertheia and the impact they will have on the world, it can be rightly assumed that they will be quickly drawn into the ongoing conflict in Aden." Wait, that's no help at all.

The Ertheia won't be released until next year to coincide with Lineage II's 10th anniversary in North America. You can watch the reveal trailer after the jump.

[Source: NCsoft press release]

Continue Reading

Raiders feel the love in Lineage II's Valiance expansion

Fantasy, Galleries, Lineage 2, Expansions, Endgame, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

Raiders feel the love in Lineage II's Valiance expansion
Raiders have a lot to look forward to in Lineage II's next expansion, which is due to release later this year. Valiance is heavy on additions and updates to the raid systems, including the addition of nearly 80 new level 88-98 raid bosses, updated drop lists for Dragon Raid bosses, a new raid boss summoning system, and a new Adena distribution system for after the raids. The open field raid bosses have also gotten a revamp, as has the raid point ranking system. Did you miss Beleth, Darion, Lilith, and Anakim? Players will be able to once again face these four returning raid bosses. And on top of all that, The Seed of Destruction and Infinity hunting grounds in Gracia have been revamped and changed to instance zones.

But wait, there's more! You can head into these new battles in style with a new hairstyle from the beauty shop. Then, when all your slaughtering is done, you can kick back in a new clan hall or relax with the revamped fishing system. Get a peek at all these changes in the gallery below.

[Source: NCsoft press release]

The Game Archaeologist: Classic MMOs in October

Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, Lineage 2, News Items, Ultima Online, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in October
You think your fancy modern MMOs have the patent on Halloween? Mister, classic games own this holiday. They were out picking pumpkins and decapitating spooks long before you were a twinkle in the character creator's eye.

Halloween's back in many of our older titles this month, and for those of you who have been away from a beloved classic, it may just be the best time to return for another go. Anarchy Online not only has the return of Uncle Pumpkinhead but some pretty good subscription deals right now. EverQuest has the Haunting of Norrath, Pixel Pirates is offering seasonal items in the store, Guild Wars probably toggled its Halloween 2013 switch, RuneScape's got a brand-new questline, and Dark Age of Camelot is up to its standard tricks with the Pumpkin Moon.

Of course, October wasn't just about trick-or-treating; plenty of other events have happened to the classic MMO collective. From a record-setting expansion to invasions to a very happy birthday, this month kept hopping (and growling, slithering, and lurking). Let's check it out!

Continue Reading

NCsoft announces Valiance, Lineage II's next expansion

Fantasy, Lineage 2, Expansions, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, MMORPG

Lineage II
NCsoft has just announced Valiance, a new content expansion for Lineage II set for launch at some point before the end of the year. According to the company, the new content includes a storyline that "wreaks havoc across the lands" and brings big mechanics changes and skill updates.

Valiance marks the return of the Hellbound zone, which has been upgraded with new areas and hunting parties. NCsoft has added 25 new skills to the game, tweaked a number of existing skills, and entirely reworked the core skill system. Additionally, the studio is implementing an abilities system that allows players to customize skills to make characters more specialized. Some of Lineage II's most popular raid bosses are also on deck to return.

More information should be forthcoming as Valiance edges toward launch. Lineage II just celebrated its 10th anniversary in Korea; April 2014 marks 10 years of Lineage II in the west.

[Source: NCsoft press release]

Jukebox Heroes: Lineage II's soundtrack

Fantasy, Lineage 2, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Lineage II's soundtrack
Once again, I must begin this column by advising you to jettison your attitude toward an MMO when it comes to evaluating its music. Lineage II doesn't have the rabid following in the West that it seems to overseas, and I've heard a lot of negativity thrown its way (some of it quite deserved, but this is me jettisoning). However -- and I don't say this lightly -- its musical score is absolutely superb. It's right up there with the best of the industry and deserves to be heard.

Its many soundtrack albums have a small army of composers powering them: Bill Brown, Jamie Christopherson, Inon Zur, Hyobum Lim, Chihwan Kim, Junyup Lee, Junghwan Park, Junghye Hong, and Changbeom Kim. Collaboratively, these folks have assembled a sizable body of work that spans a decade of video game music.

The Lineage II soundtrack is, at times, cinematic, tranquil, lovely, and exciting. Check out these six tracks for a taste of the best, and if that interests you, you might want to listen to my recent Battle Bards podcast in which we dissect this score.

Continue Reading

The Game Archaeologist: Classic MMOs in August

Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest, Lineage 2, PlanetSide, The Matrix Online, News Items, Opinion, Ultima Online, Vanguard, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in August
How few players do you need to have before operating an MMO becomes ridiculously unprofitable and in need of closing? In the case of The Matrix Online, we found out that the magic number was 500. I wouldn't have even guessed that so few people were in that game when its shutdown was announced, especially considering the vocal anguish that arose when SOE lowered the boom.

I guess it goes to show that we're often quite clueless what goes on behind the curtain. There's always this balance between the number-crunchers (who need players and money to justify continued operations) and the passionate creators (who are often developers putting in the effort because they simply love the game and its community). If nothing else, it reinforced my belief that SOE does bend over backwards to keep these games running as long as possible, much longer than some other studios would in a similar situation.

So what other news regarding classic MMOs happened this past month? It's time for another one of my patented roundups, complete with archaeological commentary!

Continue Reading


Featured Stories

Swordsman launches today

Posted on Jul 29th 2014 2:00PM

Massively Speaking Episode 307: Oh to be a dragon

Posted on Jul 29th 2014 1:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW