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

Lineage Eternal begins testing with a focus group

After a couple years of development, it’s easy to feel that we’re no closer to Lineage Eternal actually launching. But that’s not true; NCsoft is hard at work, it seems, and the game has just entered focus group testing. It’s not precisely a full beta, but darn it, it’s something. Work with us.

Focus group testing will last until June 26th, with students pulled from Seoul’s Sogang University in the Game Education Center. Said group reportedly contains some foreign students as well to help provide inside before the game’s eventual global release. If you’re not there, though, all you can do is watch and wait, but at least it’s enough to make it clear the game is moving forward.

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Perfect Ten: The top 10 healthiest live MMOs

One question that consistently pops up across the MMO gaming circuit is, “What are the most popular/healthy/active MMOs out there?” Every time I see this question, I sympathize with the concern behind asking it. For some players, finding a game that not only exists but is hopping and has the greatest potential for a future is of paramount concern.

Massively OP reader Duffy suggested that we cover this very topic when he asked, “Which MMOs are struggling and which seem to be rolling in gravy? Do MMOs in general do very well or are most just able to keep the lights on?”

It’s a difficult question to answer off-the-cuff because there are a lot of variables to consider. Instead, I researched several angles, including player tracking services, frequency of patches, financial reports, and even how often each game pops up on blogs. While the following isn’t definitive, I feel strongly that the following 10 games are the healthiest live MMOs on the western market right now.

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Lineage II starts work on an EU classic server

After NCsoft solicited the Lineage II playerbase last month about whether or not it wanted a classic server in Europe, the community has answered with a resounding “Yes please!” The studio said that far more than the required 15,000 signatures on a classic server petition were submitted, triggering the official go-ahead for the project.

NCsoft gave a broad overview of what will happen now that this has got the greenlight: “We’ve started working towards opening the server. As you can imagine, it involves a lot of preparation, discussion, testing and other complicated stuff which we cannot talk about in detail. There is still a risk that the project won’t be launched if the circumstances are not in our favour. We appreciate your efforts and your involvement in this project. You’ve shown your desire to see Lineage II Classic in Europe, and it means a lot for us. ”


Lineage Eternal will hold a small beta test next month

For a game that was hyped to heck and back with its announcement, you would think that Lineage Eternal would get more time in the limelight. Despite its seeming back-burner status, though, the game’s development is moving forward; Steparu is reporting that a small beta test will be held for the game next month, although details are not yet specified. This may be a focus group test in a set environment rather than an online test; it’s unclear.

The game was slated to enter closed beta the second half of this year, but no further information has surfaced on that, which may indicate that plans have changed. Regardless, even a small test means that players are likely to hear more about the game and its ongoing development in the coming weeks.

Source: Steparu


Perfect Ten: Ten MMOs still going after ten years

It struck me, very recently, that a decade is a long time for MMOs.

If we’re going to count Ultima Online as the first proper MMO as we think of them – and I am – we’re almost 18 years out. Most games have not seen all of those years, and I’m not just talking about the games that launched more recently. It’s rare to find a game that’s been going for a decade, and even rarer to find one that’s been going for a decade and is still getting updates rather than just being stuck in maintenance mode.

So here’s a Perfect Ten celebrating 10 titles that have made it past that mark, even if they’ve just squeaked over the border. Sure, they’re no longer the fresh-faced darlings of the industry, but when you look at all of the great titles that have either shut down or slipped into quiet maintenance over the years, “still going” is often a pretty huge boost by itself.

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Lineage II: Infinite Odyssey is live today

The latest update to Lineage II is pushing beyond all of the its various limitations. Tired of the level cap? It’s gone. No, not expanded, just… gone, apparently. Players can also push onward to a new tier of advancement past Noblesse, becoming Exalted and gaining access to new exclusive skills and the like. There are also two new zones, a powerful new raid boss, and plenty of story to go along with the update.

This all coincides with the game’s 11th anniversary celebrations, which mean new items in the game’s cash shop and a special Veteran Pack for players who have been with the game for an extended period of time.

With that much history, it’s possible that some players would rather start back at the beginning and move forward in a more measured fashion. An official classic server is possible at this point, but the developers behind the server are gauging interest first, asking players who are interested to register with a target threshold of 15,000 signatures. If you’re a bit more interested in looking backward than forward, you should check that out.

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Take part in a flying raid with Icarus Online

Even if they share common lineage, MMOs must have a distinctive angle or face death by mediocrity. For the upcoming Icarus Online, that hook is flying combat — and lots of it.

Icarus Online is moving forward in Korea and Japan and features both ground and aerial combat. In fact, the title even boasts “flying raids,” which is a good indication that the flight aspect is more than a marketing gimmick.

The fantasy title is using the CryEngine 3 and is heading into open beta in Japan on April 16th. While the Korean version has a regional block, it’s uncertain whether Japan’s beta will too. You can check out the Japanese trailer for Icarus Online after the jump!

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Anarchy Online and Lineage II to be inducted into the MMO Hall of Fame

Say hello to the newest members of the MMO Hall of Fame: Anarchy Online and Lineage II.

The nominating committee for the organization voted to induct the two titles out of 173 potential candidates for the class of 2015. According to the site, games chosen are selected “based on their major contributions to the massively multiplayer online gaming industry as well as to the millions of fans who have enjoyed them over the years.”

The MMO Hall of Fame has been recognizing significant industry games since 2012.

[Source: Gamasutra, MMO Hall of Fame]


Lineage II’s Infinite Odyssey expansion coming this month

Mark your calendars, Lineage II fans, because on April 22nd you’re getting a new expansion. It’s called Infinite Odyssey and it will coincide with the game’s 11th anniversary.

NCsoft is removing the level cap, allowing players to “achieve level 100 and beyond,” according to today’s press release. The cap removal also means additional skills, with some of them boasting names generated by the game’s community. Two new zones are also included. Atelia Fortress and the Garden of Spirits are “designed to test heroes to their utmost and will prove to be a challenge for even the most seasoned veterans,” NCsoft says.

The rule of Atelia Fortress, a new raid boss named Kelbim, “is one of the greatest challenges the heroes of Aden have ever faced.” You can get a glimpse of the expansion via the teaser trailer after the cut.

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LOTRO Legendarium: Why you need to read the books if you play the game

While my Kindle is loaded with so many new books I’ve yet to read that I really should take a few months off to plow through them all, I decided to devote a couple of weeks to re-reading a series: Lord of the Rings. I’d read them through in high school and recall being bored by the non-Frodo storyline and had to speed-read them in college for a fantasy lit course, but neither of those experiences left a deep impression on me.

So I decided that after eight years of playing and loving Lord of the Rings Online, I needed to rectify an oversight and give the books a thorough read. After all, if LOTRO is, as Turbine loves to say, “the game of the books,” haven’t I been missing out?

It turns out that, yes, I was missing out. And now that I’ve finished the trilogy, I can say unequivocally that if you play LOTRO, you need to read these books. It will change how you see and experience the game for the better, and here’s why.

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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]


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