Lineage (video game)

Last updated
Lineage
Developer(s) NCSOFT
Publisher(s) NCSOFT
Designer(s) Jake Song
Composer(s) Joey Newman
Series Lineage
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS X
Release
  • WW: September 3, 1998
Genre(s) MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Lineage (Korean : 리니지) is a medieval fantasy, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in the United States in 1998 by the South Korean computer game developer NCsoft. It is the first game in the Lineage series. It is most popular in Korea and is available in Chinese, Japanese, and English language versions. The game was designed by Jake Song, who had previously designed Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds , another MMORPG.

Korean language Language spoken in Korea

The Korean language is an East Asian language spoken by about 77 million people. It is a member of the Koreanic language family and is the official and national language of both Koreas: North Korea and South Korea, with different standardized official forms used in each country. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County of Jilin province, China. It is also spoken in parts of Sakhalin, Ukraine and Central Asia.

South Korea Republic in East Asia

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. It comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2 (38,750 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million.

Contents

Lineage features 2D isometric-overhead graphics similar to those of Ultima Online and Diablo II . Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle , a "prequel" set 150 years before the time of Lineage, was released in 2003. By 2006, the Lineage franchise had attracted 43 million players. [1] Project TL , a sequel will be set after Lineage and will be the last game in the Lineage series.

<i>Ultima Online</i> 1997 video game

Ultima Online (UO) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), released on September 24, 1997, by Origin Systems.

<i>Diablo II</i> 2000 video game

Diablo II is an action role-playing hack-and-slash computer video game developed by Blizzard North and published by Blizzard Entertainment in 2000 for Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS, and macOS. The game, with its dark fantasy and horror themes, was conceptualized and designed by David Brevik and Erich Schaefer, who, with Max Schaefer, acted as project leads on the game. The producers were Matthew Householder and Bill Roper.

<i>Lineage II</i> video game

Lineage II is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows, the second game in the Lineage series. It is a prequel to Lineage, and is set 150 years before the earlier game. It has become very popular since its October 1, 2003 launch in South Korea, reporting 1,000,918 unique users during the month of March 2007. To date, the game has been played by more than 14 million users, mostly based in Asia.

In May 2011, NCSoft announced that due to unprofitability, the North American Servers would be shut down on June 29, 2011. [2]

Gameplay

Lineage's stat, monster, and item system was originally largely borrowed from NetHack with MMO elements added. [3]

<i>NetHack</i> rogue-like computer game

NetHack is a single-player roguelike video game originally released in 1987 with ASCII graphics. It is a descendant of an earlier game called Hack (1982), which is a clone of Rogue (1980). Comparing it with Rogue, Engadget's Justin Olivetti wrote that it took its exploration aspect and "made it far richer with an encyclopedia of objects, a larger vocabulary, a wealth of pop culture mentions, and a puzzler's attitude." In 2000, Salon described it as "one of the finest gaming experiences the computing world has to offer."

Players can choose one of seven character classes: Elf, Dark Elf, Knight, Prince, Magician, Dragon Knight, or Illusionist. Princes are the only class that can lead a blood pledge (which is Lineage's term for a guild or clan).

In role-playing games (RPG), a character class is a job or profession commonly used to differentiate the abilities of different game characters. A character class aggregates several abilities and aptitudes, and may also detail aspects of background and social standing, or impose behavior restrictions. Classes may be considered to represent archetypes, or specific careers. RPG systems that employ character classes often subdivide them into levels of accomplishment, to be attained by players during the course of the game. It is common for a character to remain in the same class for its lifetime; although some games allow characters to change class, or attain multiple classes. Some systems eschew the use of classes and levels entirely; others hybridise them with skill-based systems or emulate them with character templates.

Elf supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore

An elf is a type of human-shaped supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. In medieval Germanic-speaking cultures, elves seem generally to have been thought of as beings with magical powers and supernatural beauty, ambivalent towards everyday people and capable of either helping or hindering them. However, the details of these beliefs have varied considerably over time and space, and have flourished in both pre-Christian and Christian cultures.

Elves, a word from Germanic mythology, are frequently featured in Fantasy fiction. In modern fiction, particularly because of the influence from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, elves are modeled mostly after his original description: tall, human-like creatures of otherworldly beauty, with Kings and Queens. Along with this development, Dark elves are often modeled as a more sinister counterpart to the High elves, like the Drow or the Trow, which are the fairy-like dark creatures of Orcadian and Shetlandic folklore. The dark elves (Dökkálfar) or black elves (Svartálfar) are presented in Germanic mythology as dwarves and gray ones.

Game play is based primarily upon a castle siege system which allows castle owners to set tax rates in neighboring cities and collect taxes on items purchased in stores within those cities. It features classic RPG elements reminiscent of Dungeons & Dragons , such as killing monsters and completing quests for loot and experience points, levels, character attributes (charisma, strength, wisdom, etc.), and alignments (neutral, chaotic or lawful). A character's alignment affects how monsters and town guards react to the player's character, often turning hostile to chaotic players and attacking on sight.

Siege military blockade of a city or fortress

A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from Latin: sedere, lit. 'to sit'. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static, defensive position. Consequently, an opportunity for negotiation between combatants is not uncommon, as proximity and fluctuating advantage can encourage diplomacy. The art of conducting and resisting sieges is called siege warfare, siegecraft, or poliorcetics.

Role-playing game game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting

A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.

<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i> Fantasy role-playing game

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.

Player versus player combat (also known as PVP) is extensive in Lineage. Players can engage in combat with other player characters at any time as long as they are not in safe zones such as cities. By joining a "bloodpledge" (an association of players similar to a clan in other games) players become eligible to engage in castle sieges or wars between bloodpledges.

Subscription history

NCsoft has reported that Lineage had at one point more than three million subscribers, [4] most of them in Korea. The magnitude of the number Korean subscribers compared to other countries has sparked a number of theories. A ban on some Japanese imports until 1998 has been cited for delayed growth in its video game console market.

As of April 2008, Lineage had a little under 1 million active subscriptions. [5]

On May 11, 2011, NC Interactive, the subsidiary of NCSoft in the United States announced it would shut down the Lineage servers (3 at that time) because of poor subscription revenues. Various events were scheduled to take place in the weeks remaining. Players were given free subscriptions to other NCSoft titles of their choice. As of June 29, 2011, Lineage has shut down all servers in NA, permanently.

Between the start in 1998 and August 2012, NCsoft has accumulated USD $1.3 billion in sales from Lineage. [6] In November 2013 NC Soft announced that the game has made USD $1.8 billion. [7]

Origin of "Lineage"

The title Lineage came from a series of comic books with same title Lineage by Shin Il-sook, and the servers of Lineage are named after the characters of the comic book. It is a fantasy story where a rightful prince reclaims the throne from the hands of a usurper. When first created, the game closely resembled the original work. As developers have added new features, however, the fictional universes of the two works have gradually diverged. [8]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings 65% [9]
Metacritic 59/100 [10]

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References

  1. David M. Ewalt (2006-08-02). "The Best-Selling Videogame Franchises". Forbes . Retrieved 2009-03-21.
  2. "Lineage servers shutting down in the West". GameSpot . CBS Interactive. May 11, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  3. pm, Justin Olivetti | | June 7th 2011 at 8:00pm June 7th 2011 8:00. "The Game Archaeologist traces his Lineage: The highlights". Engadget. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  4. MMOGChart Subscribers
  5. 1Q FY2007 Earnings Release(Consolidated) Archived 2007-05-10 at the Wayback Machine .
  6. "K-game's spark in European market". Embassy of Republic of Korea to the United States of America. August 24, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  7. Ashcraft, Brian (27 November 2013). "Fifteen years in". Kotaku . Gawker Media . Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  8. Squire, Kurt; Constance Steinkuehler (2005-04-15). "Meet the Gamers". LibraryJournal.com. Archived from the original on 2007-01-27. Retrieved 2007-01-28.
  9. "Lineage: The Blood Pledge for PC". GameRankings . CBS Interactive . Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  10. "Lineage: The Blood Pledge for PC Reviews". Metacritic . CBS Interactive . Retrieved June 6, 2018.