Lineage 2, first released in April 2004, has been re-imagined with an onslaught of game progression enhancements, new high level content and the introduction of the Truly Free™ business model with the launch of their latest expansion, Goddess of Destruction™.
With a history now spanning close to a decade, Lineage 2 sits atop the online gaming throne as one of the very first high-quality, 3D ‘grind-style’ MMORPGs ever released, and has stood the test of time with more than 500,000 active players enjoying its many updates and expansions today.
The ‘hardcore’ open PvP system, advanced castle siege mechanics and beautifully realised 3D world help Lineage 2 offer high-level players an incredible gaming experience, and with the new ‘Path to Awakening’ mechanics in play, new players should no longer feel left behind.
The world is as enormous and uncharted as it is dangerous and unforgiving, utilising the older ‘kill or be killed’ mentality, wherein players can attack one another at will, but in doing so must suffer the consequences; known as ‘karma’, a devastating alignment change that leaves your character ‘red’, allowing players to attack you on sight without consequence, increasing the chance of you dropping your items upon death by about 80 per cent. Vicious and unforgiving, the world of Lineage 2 was a place of caution and understanding, as the difference between a good day, and a really bad one, are never very far apart.
The castle sieges, the other main attraction to the game, are basically as good as they’ve ever been. Taking place every weekend, and requiring guilds to register before they attack, they usually consisted of hundreds of players battling it out for hours at at a time.
Dwarves (the crafters in Lineage 2) are able to create a range of effective siege weapons to assist in these battles, and by successfully acquiring a castle guilds gain access to an awesome hideout, tax control over a nearby city, and several other fantastic benefits—including a flying dragon mount for the guild leader if the previous requirements have been met.
Back in its hay-day Lineage 2 was more than enough to keep players immersed and engaged, but in reality this had less to do with the game itself, and more to do with the lack of games on the market.
Up until recently, this left Lineage 2 in a bit of a hole – hundreds of superior clones had been released, and most of them supported WASD movement and a fully-featured quest system (which, Lineage 2 lacks) – but today, with the ‘Truly Free’ version of L2 at hand, it’s back in the game and better than ever.
Throughout its almost decade-long reign of terror Lineage 2 has released nine separate game expansions, alongside several large updates; adding new storyline, bosses, skills, weapons and armour, lands to explore, and even a new race—the Kamael, a race of half-angel characters. And unlike many other pay-to-play games, they were all released free of charge, paid for by the monthly subscription fees. They were:
First Saga — The Chaotic Chronicle
Prelude (Open Beta)
Chronicle 1 — Harbingers of War
Chronicle 2 — Age of Splendor
Chronicle 3 — Rise of Darkness
Chronicle 4 — Scions of Destiny
Chronicle 5 — Oath of Blood
Second Saga — The Chaotic Throne
Throne 0 — Interlude
First Throne — The Kamael
Second Throne — Gracia
Goddess of Destruction – Current Build
In the latest build, Goddess of Destruction, more additions were made than ever before. The Truly Free and Awakening Progression system were added, opening Lineage 2 up to a new audience (and re-inventing the game for new players, something that has been requested for many years) – but there’s a lot more than that. Here’re a few of note:
- New, exclusive skills have been added to all classes, offering a powerful new way for players to express their own personal flair
- Revamped combat mechanics, drastically increasing combat engagement with new dynamic skill options
- Huge graphical overhaul, bring Lineage 2 back to the realm of gorgeous visuals and fantastical environments
- 34 new hunting grounds, 60 new bosses, 400 new weapon and armour variants
- WASD movement
All of this is to say: Lineage 2 is back in the game. Once upon a time, before World of Warcraft, Lineage 2 was the only place for a gamer like myself to experience a gorgeous, 3D persistent world filled with thousands of players. That lasted for a long time – but eventually, it stopped.
Now, it’s back, and better than ever. Lineage 2 is no longer a player in the MMORPG market, but it’s a lead contender in the F2P MMORPG market, and is more than worthy of your time.
If you’ve played it before, join to check out the new features; if it’s your first time, there’s never been a better day to start. It’s bigger, better and more brutal than ever before. The only question that remains: are you HARDCORE?