Lineage II's Goddess of Destruction now live!

You all might remember the interview ZAM hosted last month on Lineage II going free-to-play, well, it looks like time travels really fast, because it's already been a month and Lineage II's Goddess of Destruction Expansion and subsequent shift to Free-to-Play is upon us.

While there are many big things coming in this new expansion and shift, new players should be aware of the fact that NCsoft is opening up a brand new server - Magmeld - for all newcomers (no character tarnsfers!), in addition to their Path to Awakening; a web guide that offers in-game advice and level-specific rewards. This sounds remarkably similar to Aion's fantastic survey rewards that give you equipment, potions and scrolls as you advance to each new level. So if you're looking for a new MMORPG to play, what better place to start than free?

Lineage II Expansion and F2P to Launch Nov. 30th

You might remember that Lineage II announced they would be going "Trule" Free-to-Play two weeks ago, well, it seems like that date is coming up faster than you might think. Today, NCsoft has announced that Lineage II will launching its Goddess of Destruction expansion and be going Truly Free-to-Play on November 30th, 2011. Along with this expansion comes a new web-based levelling guide and item shop, called Path of Awakening, where players can get tips and limited gear to assist them in their push for L2's higher levels.

Also new to Lineage II are Exploration Packs, which can be purchased int he L2 Galleria Item Shop. There are three Exploration Packs to purchase: the Discovery Pack, the Adventure Pack, and the Destiny Pack. The Discovery Pack will be for casual players with limited time, so it will include a number of support items, and special bonuses like R-grade Weapon Seal Scrolls, and an R-grade Top-Grade Life Stone. The Adventure Pack will include all of the items fromt he adventure pack, but will also include an R-grade Weapon Enchant Scroll and more support items. Finally, the Destiny Pack will include all of the above, including a special item that changes with every month.

Remember to check out ZAM's Exclusive Q&A Interviews on Lineage II's F2P shift! A few follow-up questions can be found here!

ZAM's Follow-up Question for Lineage II going F2P

Follow-up Questions ahoy! Last week, Lineage II made the announcement that they would be going "Truly" Free-to-Play. ZAM got the opportunity to sit down with NCsoft's Associate Producer, Nico Coutant and Executive VP of Publishing, Matt Turetzky to talk about some of these upcoming changes. Well, it seems like some players, particularly the ones in Europe concerned with the physical server migrations, are concerned about what this new shift will mean for Lineage II. and I managed to catch up with Nico Coutant again for some follow-up questions and answers. Enjoy!

Lineage II announces "Truly Free" business model

Perhaps not the most surprising news, given the industry's recent shift to the free-to-play business model, but it's still interesting to see how each development team approaches the concept of being "free" to play. For some, going free-to-play means installing a more robust free trial system, but for Lineage II, one of the oldest and most influential of MMORPGs in the early 2000s, going free-to-play isn't good enough. They need to go... Truly Free (Capital T, Capital F). To act on those words, NCsoft has announced that Lineage II's upcoming Goddess of Destruction expansion will be absolutely free for all players to access, in addition to a revamped starter area, new redesigned zones, new game guides, and even free booster packs for those struggling to make it to the cap.

All free.

This obviously raises some questions about the real logistics (what about veterans subscribers? will there be 'tiers' of player subscriptions?) behind the shift, so be sure to head over to our exclusive interview with Lineage II's Associate Producer, Nico Coutant, and Executive VP of Publishing, Matt Turetzky. You can also check out the L2 F2P FAQ for more information!

ZAM's Exclusive Interview on Lineage 2's F2P Shift

With their announcement that Lineage II would be going "Truly Free" with the launch of their Goddess of Destruction expansion, there were obviously a lot of holes to fill and facts to learn with how the team would go about this transition. I got the chance to get a quick Q&A in with Lineage II's Associate Producer, Nico Coutant and L2's Executive VP of Publishing, Matt Turetzky, in order to find out more about what going "Truly Free" really means. I suppose you could say that it's a fairly straightforward definition, but it never hurts to confirm! Read on for the interview!

NCsoft Hosts Halloween In-Game Events

NCsoft is celebrating Halloween in Aion, Lineage II, City of Heroes and Guild Wars. Here's the schedule:

  • Aion's Harvest Revel.Oct. 26 to Nov. 9. This year the Harvest Revel stars the witches of Sanctum and Pandaemonium, tasking you with harvesting souls. Reward bundles for these quests include Sugarcrook’s Sack, Witch’s Sack, Witch’s Hoard, Witch’s Surprise and more. Each bundle contains a number of possible prizes – including Halloween costumes, scrolls, amulets and Harvest Ale.
  • Lineage II's Halloween Treats. Begins Oct. 26. Your highest level character per server, per account will receive a Halloween Hat, a Halloween Gift Box and a Golden Jack O’Lantern Mask 7-Day Pack.
  • City of Heroes – Dr. Kane’s House of Horror. Through Nov. 2. This event will add even more panache to the existing Zombie Apocalypse and Deadly Apocalypse, as you venture into a nightmarish mansion full of danger. Take on the doctor’s zombie horde as you make your way through this terrifying house of horror. Will you be able to stop the doctor from creating a zombie army?
  • Guild Wars – The Mad King Thorn. Through Nov. 2. Once a year, Mad King Thorn and his spooky cohort visit the land of mortals for a creepy celebration full of holiday quests, the Costume Brawl PvP event, Halloween-themed guild vs. guild battles, two new costumes, and lots of other tricks and treats.

Lineage II to Adopt Hybrid Business Model

NCsoft West has announced that Lineage II will be adopting a hybrid business model in North America when the Goddess of Destruction update launches later this year. The model will provide features that are "greater than those of a conventional subscription model, and creates a new way to play." Details are sparse, but more information will be revealed "soon."

In addition, NCsoft is partnering with Innova, Lineage II's Russian publisher, to officially service Lineage II's free-to-play model in Europe.

Goddess of Destruction Site Shares Final 2 Classes

NCsoft just unveiled the final two Awakening Classes on the Lineage II: Goddess of Destruction site, along with a new boss and zone. Here are the details:

  • Awakening Classes: Aeore Healers tap into powerful magic to support their allies from behind the scenes, while Othell Rogues are assassins who use speed and stealth to dispatch their enemies.
  • New Boss: The demon Balok wields the power to open the gates to hell. He can be challenged in an instanced raid by one to three full parties of players. The instance resets twice per week.
  • New Zone: The Prison of Darkness is both a solo hunting dungeon and a party instanced dungeon for the Spezion raid, all suited to high-level characters.

This massive update is scheduled to launch in Lineage II this fall.

Goddess of Destruction Site Receives Updates

NCsoft has once again updated the Lineage II Goddess of Destruction site with all sorts of new content. Here's the rundown:

  • Awakening Classes: Sigel Knights have outstanding defense and strong stamina, while Yul Archers specialize in ranged combat.
  • Transportation: Jump routes let you leap across long distances along a preset path. Also, every Awakened character has to its own class-specific mount.
  • New Bosses: Istina can be found inside the Seed of Annihilation. The Twins, Maliss and Isadora, become stronger the longer they fight.
  • New Zones: The Harnak Underground Ruins is a party hunting zone comprising three floors and various chambers. Fortuna is a small group instance that has nine stages.

This massive update is scheduled to launch in Lineage II this fall.

New Goddess of Destruction Details Released

The original Lineage has sadly shut down in North America, but NCsoft is still busy working on Lineage II. They've just published a new batch of content on the Goddess of Destruction page to give players a glimpse at what's coming in the game's largest patch to date. Here's the rundown:

  • Two New Awakening Classes: Tyrr Warriors are strong melee fighters, while Feoh Wizards are masters of the elements.
  • Two New Zones: The Garden of Genesis shelters the essential flora and fauna of the material world, and the The Fairy Settlement is the park-like, forested land of the fairies that followed Kimerian into exile.
  • New Epic Raid Boss: Spezion's stern face is molded by the ages he spent trapped by bars of starlight, being driven to madness. His Prison of Darkness is a party instanced dungeon.

For more details on all of these Goddess of Destruction updates, check out Community Manager Sace's blog entry. NCsoft is also hosting a Player Appreciation Week in Lineage II from July 6-13, which will give you access to all sorts of buffs.