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Platform: Windows 98/2000/XP
Publisher: NCSoft
Developer: NCSoft
Genre: MMORPG
Format: CD-ROM
Release: US 04/28/04 - Japan N/A



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"Get your feet wet."
 
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"Dark Elf rampage."
 
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"Clash swords in duels."
 
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"Home sweet home."
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Mark P. Tjan
Preview First Look
03/05/04
Mark P. Tjan

The original Lineage defined NCSoft as a prominent Asian game developer, and continues to hold a lion's share of the eastern MMORPG player community with over 4 million subscribers. Now NCSoft plans to take the world of Lineage and give it a huge facelift. Enter Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle.

Lineage II will take place 150 years before its predecessor, and feature a real time battle system similar to Blizzard's Diablo and Diablo II. The world will be rendered in full 3D, a large departure from the three-quarters isometric view of the original Lineage. Players may select from five different races, each with their own specific advantages. These include Humans, Elves, Dark Elves, Orcs, and Dwarves.

Humans are the base model upon which all others are built and have the most class opportunities, allowing players to experience the game from a well balanced perspective. Elves are swifter than humans, but lack strength making for expert marksmen. Their cousins the Dark Elves are intelligent, well-rounded fighters, who are better at dark magic than other races. The Orcs are the most physically powerful race, but slow and cumbersome. Dwarves, the last race on the roster, feature a larger inventory than any other race and have more physical strength than usual, but are otherwise standard. These race modifiers, combined with the game's class system, allows for great amounts of diversity. Each race has access to certain classes and which path players start out as, mystic or melee, determines which upgrades players will be offered. Races are also separated into its own starting village; such as the elvin Worldtree Glade, or the Talking Island of the humans.

Players who reach level 10 or higher will be allowed to create clans. Clan leaders are referred to as "Lords", and can recruit more and more people as the clan gains levels. Initially, clan lords can only recruit 10 people to their cause, but this number can reach as high as 40, depending on how well the clan evolves. Clans must earn levels through clan quests. As the clan completes these quests, new skills will be accessible to its members, and its capacity for new players will grow.

Clans which reach a certain level will be able to take part in sieges and declare war on other clans, giving rise to full scale battles. They will also be given clan houses, storage facilities, and other benefits. If players wish to leave clans, they may request their leader's permission and depart without penalties. However, if players leave clans without asking permission, they will have to wait five days before joining another clan. During this time, no other characters may fill the empty place in the clan.

Players will also have to decide whether to remain neutral, or engage in PVP. Lineage II will feature a karma system where players are penalized for aggressive actions against other players. When one character attacks another, their name is highlighted in purple, symbolizing that they're aggressive; in this way, a character will acquire karma. If a player's karma becomes too heavy they're marked as chaotic, and cannot enter cities without guards attacking them. In addition, townsfolk will not trade with chaotic characters. Neutral characters have their names in white, while chaotic characters are featured in red.

The game's karma system also determines how much loot is dropped during hunting parties. Chaotic characters for instance, will acquire more loot per kill, in proportion to the level of their karma. In addition, the likelihood of characters acquiring loot from a monster that they're already wearing decreases in favor of items players do not already possess.

Lineage II will also feature mounted combat. Players will be able to acquire an egg early in the game and raise a hatchling dragon. As the dragon grows, players will be able to ride it, and later wield it as a war mount. As the dragon matures, it will also acquire the ability to breathe fire and support its rider in battle.

The graphics are based on the Unreal Warfare Engine, and will be rendered in full 3D. Although the graphics will not push players' machines too greatly, they will require at least a GeForce2 or above, although a GeForce4 Ti is recommended. The game's musical score has been composed by Bill Brown, known for his work on Quake III and Clive Barker's Undying, and was recorded by the Seattle Symphony.

Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle looks to be one of the more unique and inventive MMORPGs in the near future, and will reach North American shores on April 28th, 2004.



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