When Lost Ark was first announced back in 2014 as basically the next generation of Diablo-clone in an MMO, I remember being straight-up grabby-hands about it. But Smilegate’s splashy isometric MMO, like its soulmate Lineage Eternal, has been delayed significantly, with a beta landing last year (a year behind schedule) and continuing even now. Fortunately, this summer we’ve had a trickle of news crossing the Pacific thanks to the translation efforts of Steparu, who today has another update.
And it’s got boats.
Steparu reports that the game has improved significantly since the first round of closed beta testing. The new screenies demo sailing content, islands, treasure chests (looks like they’re being hauled up from the depths of the sea from a boat crane), an ocean storm, marine life — it’s gorgeous. Even if you aren’t an isometric viewpoint fan, it’s worth a look.
Steparu is reporting on a Korean-language piece today that suggests Lineage Eternal is once again in do-over mode. According to the report, NCsoft has gutted the game’s engine plans, switching from the Guild Wars engine originally used and porting over to Unreal 4. This follows the replacement of the team lead on the game back in March, all of which is delaying the game (again). The report also floats the idea that the game may launch as a mobile game, not as a full-fledged MMOARPG as originally envisioned.
Lineage Eternal has been floating around in our field of view for years. First announced in 2011, it saw its first closed beta almost exactly three years ago. But following several focus group tests in 2015, the game skipped G-Star that year and resurfaced with yet another beta just before Christmas last year. A global beta was planned for this year until the previous quarterly report, during which it was revealed that NCsoft had overturned the development leadership, suggesting that the closed beta failed to “reflect NCsoft’s characteristics.”
Another interesting bit from NCsoft’s conference call? There’s a supposed Guild Wars 2 mobile game that may or may not go forward.
Ready to take high Asian fantasy to your home console? You’d better because NCsoft recently announced that it is working on adapting Blade and Soul to such platforms. The video game developer and publisher didn’t specify which consoles, exactly, are due to get the full Blade and Soul treatment, but during its investor call this morning, it did reveal that this version would get the same updates as the PC edition and is being made in North America. Bringing Blade and Soul to consoles is only the start of a major initiative by NCsoft to bring more MMOs to that slice of the gaming market. Blade and Soul recently announced a round of server merges while rolling out a series of high-profile patches this summer and fall.
It also saw another drop in revenue for the quarter, along with all of the company’s other MMORPGs, including Lineage and Guild Wars 2, the latter of which saw its fifth straight quarter of dropping sales, marking its worst quarter ever. NCsoft doesn’t appear to be too worried, however, as it’s now reporting its mobile games division as an IP, where it’s making up those losses in large part because of Lineage M (which is likely where a lot of those missing Lineage 1 sales went).
Motherboard has a fun-slash-depressing piece out this week on an unnamed hacker who claims he’s been cheating at MMORPGs to make a living for almost two decades.
Prior to his recent Def Con hacking conference talk, the hacker dubbed “Manfred” seemingly demoed via video a hack performed in WildStar, one he used to help him accrue nearly 400 trillion gold, which he then allegedly sold to players through various black markets. He argues he wasn’t hacking — he was providing a service by “finding unintended features in the protocol.”
At least some of his claims don’t even seem particularly outlandish, especially if you’ve been around in MMORPGs for a long time and have an understanding of how rampant duping and RMT markets have been over the last 20 years. Manfred claims he got his start in Ultima Online illegally deleting other players’ houses and selling his own on Ebay, funding his days in college. Since then, Motherboard says, he cheated and duped his way through the “wild west” of Lineage 2, Shadowbane, Final Fantasy XI, Dark Age of Camelot, Lord of The Rings Online, RIFT, Age of Conan, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2.
Goodies from this week’s ChinaJoy are already trickling back to us. Notably, Snail Games has posted a new trailer and screenshots for ARK Park, its VR-based ARK: Survival Evolved spinoff.
“The new trailer revealed a first look of the tower defense combat system in ARK Park,” Snail relates. “After players collect enough resources, unlock engrams and forge their weapons, they can head out to defend the attacks of raging dinosaurs. Players enter the world, first arriving at the Space Station, where they will customize their avatar and choose between single and multi-player experiences. They’ll participate in a multiplayer tour, so they can share the visceral gameplay and the thrill of witnessing dinosaurs up-close and personal.”
The PR reiterates that the game is still coming by the end of the year on the Vive, Rift, and PSVR.
The Lineage franchise continues its unstoppable runaway train force in South Korea — this time with Lineage M.
Korea’s Pulse News reports that Lineage M now counts over 10 million players in its first month. The game launched overseas just a month ago with 5.5 million preorders; as of two weeks ago, it had already earned $89 million in revenue, what Pulse calls the “rapidest gain in the Korean game industry.”
Intriguingly, Pulse quotes a WiseApp stat that 70% of Lineage M’s launch-day users were over 30 years old, compared to 29% under 30. Is it a shift in the MMO market, a shift in the mobile market, or a marker for Lineage’s overall base?
SuperData’s June report doesn’t include Lineage M, but the Netmarble-backed Lineage 2 Revolution made the top 10 for mobile revenue in May and indeed set monthly revenue records in Korea — which Lineage M aims to break.
Expect NCsoft’s next quarterly report next month.
isn’t the only game at Trion Worlds
that’s shuffling around its community team these days. RIFT
announced last Friday that it brought on board Jennifer “Yaviey” Bridges
to be the new community manager for the fantasy MMO.
Bridges said she has worked on several MMO community teams to date including EverQuest II, WildStar, and Lineage II and was a RIFT player back in the early days of the title.
“If you couldn’t already guess, MMORPGs are my jam,” Bridges wrote. “They’re my absolute favorite type of game for a variety of reasons. I love the communities in them, I love that you can constantly strive to be better at something, and questing in general always feels so epic.”
This move doesn’t mean that Linda “Brasse” Carlson is out as a RIFT community manager. Bridges confirmed that Carlson will continue to manage the team while doing “cool creative stuff” in the meantime.
It has been nearly 10 years since Massively OP’s MJ has played Lineage II regularly, but she’s heading back in now in honor of the anniversary. What sights can she see, and what trouble can she get into? Will she even recognize the game? Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a 13th anniversary look at…
What: Lineage II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
With Pokemon Go trying to avoid explicitly calling itself an MMO, Massively OP once again has room for a top contender in the realm of mobile MMOs. There’s just one problem: We’ve got mostly Western readers for a genre that seems to appeal much more to the East. I was given the opportunity to see top global mobile MMO Lineage 2 Revolution and up and coming dino-sandbox Durango at E3 2017. I can see the appeal of both games, but also some limitations. Let’s dig into both.
What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? You might think “Arrr,” but he really loves the C!
Dad jokes aside, swashbucklers have boarded Lineage II’s classic server over in Europe, but we doubt that anyone is too concerned about the company. The pirate horde is headed by Captain Zaken, a fearsome foe that can only be taken down by a minimum of seven (!) coordinated parties. He’s only the first of five additional raid bosses that have bolstered the game’s villain roster.
Pirate treasures can now be found on the hunting zone of Devil’s Isle, or if a chance of scenery is needed, there’s also the new Giant’s Cave to explore. To help with the patch’s raid bosses and hunting grounds, players can take advantage of weapon augmentation to give their gear a bit of a boost.
The Netmarble take on NCsoft’s Lineage franchise, Lineage 2 Revolution, has soft launched as a global version in multiple English-speaking markets and app stores this week as planned. The Unreal 4 game has already become a blockbuster overseas, having landed in the top 10 ten mobile games in SuperData’s revenue charts for the last several months and helping to propel Netmarble’s record setting $12B IPO bid this spring.
The game boasts high-ish end graphics for mobile devices and stock MMORPG mechanics usually reserved for PC and console games, including questing, raiding, and PvPing in an open-world setting. Anybody smacked this on a phone yet to try it out?
After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:
SuperData’s April worldwide digital video games market summary has arrived, and with it we get a glimpse into the top gaming studios. And only the tippy top.
Irritatingly, World of Warcraft has once again been split into east and west, contrary to every other game on the chart. SuperData had split the game for its January report, botched the entries in February and hastily repaired its graphic to rejoin the two, and for March, the WoWs were one from the get-go. Now they’re two again.
The upside for WoW is that its western branch pulled out ahead of World of Tanks in terms of revenue (Tanks was beating a combined WoW last month). Dungeon Fighter Online and New Westward Journey Online II have swapped positions, while the addition of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (and separated WoWs) has pushed Lineage I and Wildlands out of the top 10 entirely. Wildlands dropped down the console list as well; ARK Survival Evolved and Mass Effect Andromeda have dropped from the console chart altogether.
On the mobile side, Pokemon Go held steady, but Lineage 2 Revolution continues creeping upward.