lineage

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

Battle Bards Episode 120: Short stuff

Look down — and it’ll be the last thing you’ll ever see! That’s because fury and death arrive in the form of short character races in MMORPGs. Even if they hit below the belt, their music is sweet to the ears! In this episode of Battle Bards, the crew take on themes from Gnomes, Halflings, Dwarves, and other short races in MMOs.

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 iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 120: Short stuff (or download it) now:

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Perfect Ten: MMOs with different (camera) perspectives

By the time that World of Warcraft came on the scene in 2004, the MMORPG industry had already gravitated toward standard when it came to the interface — specifically, the camera angle. MMO players and devs seemed to prefer third-person views that either peered over the shoulder of avatars or followed right behind them. For decades now, we’ve grown used to watching our characters’ rears as they jog along, and we can’t really imagine the experience otherwise.

Yet when you think about it, while this camera perspective is overwhelmingly used in the genre, it’s not the only one that crops up in MMOs. We’ve seen both old and new titles experiment with the camera angle, sometimes out of style and sometimes out of necessity (here’s a great Gamasutra article on the subject).

For today’s list, we’re going to look at 10 MMORPGs where the camera is positioned in a different way than you’d normally expect, especially if you are coming from modern games.

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Lineage II celebrates its anniversary and the spring harvest

Dual events are vying for players’ attention in NCsoft’s long-running Lineage II. Can you believe that the fantasy MMORPG is now 14 years old? You’d better, because the anniversary celebration is happening right now.

From now through May 16th, Lineage II is spreading the love and festivities to all players through bonus server settings. These include 300% vitality bonus, no XP loss upon death, and 200% item drop rates (on weekends only).

In addition to the anniversary, the Spring Harvest event is in full swing with lots of opportunities to smash open food to see if there are any rewards inside. Because that’s what you should have been doing with food all along, don’t you know!

Lineage II launched in North America back on April 27th, 2004. Yes, it actually predates a certain other fantasy MMO. Impress your friends with that fact.

Source: Lineage II

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Lineage 2: Revolution talks about server merges, new servers, and more content coming in May

Server merges happen. You may not want them to happen for a game that you’re playing, but they’re sometimes just a simple necessity. Of course, if a game is doing well, you’d rather see new servers cropping up rather than merges. So how do you feel about both happening at the same time, which is exactly what’s taking place in Lineage 2: Revolution? (It’s fine if your answer is “confused.”)

Yes, the game is merging down several of its lower-population servers into new servers to help bulk up the game’s population and improve matchmaking, while also preparing for a new server for everyone who wants to start fresh at the same time. It’s just a little bit unusual. The good news is that characters will be deleted during the merge only if a player hasn’t played in 30 days, has no transaction history, and has no characters over level 10; otherwise, characters will possibly need renaming but nothing more.

The game is also preparing for castle sieges and new dungeons with its May patch, so there’s a good reason to get server populations up now rather than later. And considering that the game is apparently boasting about being a top-grossing mobile title, it’s clearly doing something right despite server merge oddities.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the dumbest armor?

Back in February, PC Gamer put out a piece on the absolute dumbest character armor in gaming history. There’s more than one MMORPG in the list, including World of Warcraft (Arthas’ Lich King armor) and Lineage 2 (Dark Elf string armor). Bizarrely, City of Heroes made the roster too for that one dude from The Lost faction with a TV helmet. The best part is the commentary from an actual real-life armorer (they’re basically all the equivalent of “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid”).

I thought it would be fun to dig further into MMOs for even more dumb armor. Me, I’ll vote for anything where the shoulders would poke me in the eye, anything I would legit wear clubbing, and anything that proves definitively that the designer has no idea how actual boobs work.

Which MMO has the dumbest armor? Post pics if you have them!

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The Game Archaeologist: Lineage

If we judged MMOs by their numbers alone — and I’m not suggesting we do so — then the original Lineage would be the crowing rooster strutting about the hen house. It’s also been one of those games that I’ve always intellectually acknowledged was a huge hit for some reason but never gave much attention. I think it’s because, contrary to many western MMOs, Lineage is primarily an Asian phenomenon. That doesn’t mean it should be shunned, of course, but just that it may be difficult to understand when you’re on the outside of it.

So let’s back up the memory truck to September 1998, when a then-fledgling NCsoft rolled out a Diablo-style isometric MMO and struck virtual gold in South Korea. At the time, gaming rooms were becoming a huge thing in the country. A recession had hit, giving people a lot of time with nothing to do, and the government was rapidly expanding the broadband network. In the face of this perfect storm, titles like StarCraft and Lineage became overnight household fixtures — and remained so for decades to come.

Even if you haven’t played Lineage and you don’t know anyone who does, trust me: Millions and millions of players have. As former Senior Producer Chris Mahnken once said, “Lineage keeps going because it’s just plain fun.”

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NCsoft has hired 1000 employees in the past few years, considers VR and ARG titles

Everybody saw NCsoft’s financials last month, I’m sure – Guild Wars 2 bouncing back thanks to Path of Fire, Lineage M driving revenue, and Blade & Soul outperforming almost everything, pretty good news all around.

What we didn’t cover was the associated conference call and Q&A, which has only recently been fully transcribed in English and has a few nuggets worth highlighting

  • CFO Jae-Soo Yoon told listeners the company is working on 13 new titles, of which the largest are Blade & Soul II, Aion Tempest, and Lineage II Mobile, all mobile titles, and Project TL for PC.
  • To make those happen, the company’s hired “around 1000” new employees over the last two years. One analyst was skeptical about those numbers, suggesting that NCsoft is overspending on labor compared to an unnamed smaller company launching far more games; Yoon counters with some polite shade by suggesting NCsoft is going to for quality over quantity.

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The MOP Up: Enter the Phantom Halls — if you dare! (March 18, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Mu IgnitionLineage 2 RevolutionRevelation OnlineEarthfallLegacy of AtlantisDC UnchainedSoul ArkBattle CarnivalWorld of WarcraftOld School RuneScapeAionWar ThunderArtifactPokemon GoThe Black DeathAstroneerEVE OnlinePhantom HallsMU Online, and Heroes of Newerth, all waiting for you after the break!

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Here’s how Netmarble’s fighting crunch after multiple developer deaths

Last year, Netmarble came under fire from South Korean authorities following the death of a game developer under its banner. Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service noted at the time that the game studio employee “died from a work-related cause” brought on by “irregular night-time work and excess duty in the 12 weeks” when he passed away from heart disease – in his 20s. Excess duty was described in this case as 89 hours a week for almost two months. And he was apparently not the only Netmarble employee to drop dead that year; compensation filings noted two more deaths in 2016.

By summer of last year, additional South Korean agencies, including the jusice department and labor divisions, began pressuring Netmarble to clean up how it handles overtime and overtime pay. And most recently, according to MMO Culture, the company has devised a plan of its own to limit overworking.

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The MOP Up: Dragonball Online kicks off beta testing (March 11, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from FlyffRecord of Lodoss WarOld School RuneScapeLineage 2 RevolutionCorum OnlineZombie BarricadesFinal Fantasy XIMU OnlineRagnarok OnlinePokebel OnlinePath of ExileProsperous UniverseWakfuDragonball Online Global, all waiting for you after the break!

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The MOP Up: Closers chooses its next character (March 4, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from War of RightsBlade and SoulLineage 2 RevolutionDarwin ProjectPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsClosersElder Scrolls OnlineBlessSoulworker OnlineSkyforgeThe Black DeathSaga of LucimiaDungeon Fighter OnlineMu OriginProsperous UniverseLegends of AriaBattlerite, and Aura Kingdom Mobile, all waiting for you after the break!

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SuperData says ‘pay-to-play’ MMOs declined again in January 2018

SuperData published its January recap of the worldwide digital games market this week, and the analytics firm doesn’t have much good to say for sub MMOs. “Continuing their decline, the Social and Pay-to-Play MMO segments shrank 5% and 9%, respectively,” it notes.

There hasn’t been much shift at all on the PC revenue side, with the top 7 games remaining exactly as they were in December – including PUBG, Fortnite, and World of Warcraft. CSGO entered the list to displace ROBLOX and nudge down World of Tanks, and that was it – not much movement.

On console, Call of Duty: WWII continues to hold the top spot, but Monster Hunter World has joined the list and claimed #2 thanks to its launch last month. PUBG, interestingly, has completely vanished from the console side (it was #3) last month, but Fortnite continues its upward climb.

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Analysts see ‘potential for earnings growth’ in NCsoft’s trio of upcoming titles

If you walked away confused by NCsoft’s most recent quarterly financial report, Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. might be able to sort it out for you.

The Seoul-based analyst firm suggests that the Lineage series, which appeared strong at first glance, actually turned in weaker than expected revenue, in spite of the fact that Lineage M was the top-grossing game on Android and iOS. “The biggest surprise was marketing spend, which jumped 10% QoQ and 69% YoY, despite the absence of any new major titles,” the firm notes. “We believe this suggests the company spent as much on promoting Lineage M’s massive updates as it typically does on promoting new titles.”

That said, the firm still calls the company a buy: “We see little reason for concern in terms of profit and valuation in 1H18 and see potential for earnings growth and a re-rating in 2H18, driven by new releases.” What new releases would those be? Blade & Soul II (first half of the year) and Aion Tempest and Lineage II M (last half of the year).

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