Official Site: Lineage
Studio: NCsoft
Launch Date: September 3, 1998 (US)
Sunset Date: June 29, 2011 (US; still in operation in Korea)
Genre: Isometric PvP Sandbox
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC
See Also: Lineage II, Lineage Eternal

EVE Evolved: CCP’s Andie Nordgren on new structures and sovereignty

I’ve been pretty critical of EVE Online‘s upcoming sovereignty and nullsec revamp, calling the constellation-wide battle fake and its use of reinforcement timers unnecessary. While I still believe that a multiple capture point mechanic without reinforcement timers would be the ideal system, being at EVE Fanfest 2015 this week has definitely given me cause for optimism. After spending the past few days sitting in on roundtable feedback gathering sessions and absorbing the enormity of CCP’s new plans for deployable structures, I can sort of see what the future looks like for nullsec, and it’s pretty awesome.

EVE is hurtling head-first into a future in which everyone from individuals and small corporations to the biggest megacoalitions can vie for control of a little corner of the galaxy. Territorial alliances will eventually be able to design everything about their star systems, building sprawling industrial hubs, employing NPC security and agents, and creating a space that reflects the alliance’s personality and style. Star systems that are heavily built up with infrastructure will become juicy targets for roaming fleets, and systems that aren’t actively used and defended should be more difficult to hold on to.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into the plans for new structures in EVE and talk to Executive Producer Andie Nordgren on her grand future vision for nullsec.

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Lineage is opening its first subscription server in China

The name Lineage has gone hand-in-hand with free-to-play for a while now, but that might be changing. Chinese publisher Tencent Games is experimenting with a new subscription server in the region. The server, which goes online on March 26th, will require players to buy a “growth fruit” from the store to unlock 30 days of game access.

With a premium cost comes premium benefits, and one such bonus for subscribing is that players will be able to use a new Android app to perform basic gaming tasks such as grinding mobs for rewards. However, once a player goes down this route, her or she will not be able to move that character to a free-to-play server.

[Source: MMO Culture]


Investment firm sees a dark future for WildStar, bright hopes for Guild Wars 2

Korean investment firm KDB Daewoo Securities is not predicting a rosy future for WildStar, although it still is recommending NCsoft as a “buy” prospect. The firm sees WildStar dropping to $585,000 in revenue per month, with a year-over-year drop of 91.1% from its launch last year.

The good news is that the firm forecasts NCsoft’s revenue increasing in the first quarter, helped by a jump in Lineage microtransaction sales. Guild Wars 2 is expected to be a financial boon when the expansion releases in the anticipated second quarter. The firm says that 4.6M copies of the fantasy title have been sold so far.

The firm also noted that shareholders are “vying for control” of the publisher, particularly referring to Nexon’s involvement as of late.

[Source: Reddit, investment report]


Lineage II: Infinite Odyssey announced

Make room in the 2015 expansion pool because Lineage II is about to do a cannonball right into the middle of it.

NCsoft announced today that Lineage II: Infinite Odyssey will be coming out this spring. The expansion pack is set to have new zones, skills, and a raid boss. This launch will coincide with the game’s 11th anniversary in North America.

As part of the expansion hooplah, the publisher is holding a skill naming contest. Community members can submit titles for one of five brand-new skills, and the chosen winners will receive some in-game items. The contest is currently running and will end on March 24th 31st. Winners will be announced on April 7th.

[Source: Expansion announcement, Infinite Odyssey skill naming contest]


NCsoft financials paint a grim picture for WildStar

The good news for fans of NCsoft’s game catalogue is that the company as a whole is doing well. The most recent earnings report was released today, and it shows an increase in income compared to the same timeframe last year as well as stable figures for nearly all of its games. Lineage and Lineage II continue to do well, while Guild Wars 2, Aion, and Blade & Soul all maintain respectable profits for the company. And Lineage Eternal is still slated for beta this year, with launch moved from 2017 to 2016 (there’s something that never happens).

You might notice that the company’s most recent launch, WildStar, is not on that list. And that’s because it’s continued to go down in sales, dropping from nearly $15 million in sales during Q3 2014 to only $5 million during Q4 2014. This places the game precariously close to the threshold where City of Heroes fell when it was shut down, making the future of Nexus seem that much more uncertain. You can check out the full financials yourself if you’d like. If you’d rather just play the game, you can do that too: There’s a new 10-day trial on offer.

[Source: NCsoft earnings release; thanks to dirtyklingon for the tip.]


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