Over the years many of us have fallen in love with Lineage. I have some extremely fond memories from the L2 beta and in many ways, it lead to my first job in the industry over at WarCry. So what's going on with the genre nowadays? Quite a bit actually! We had the chance to sit down with Sam Han, Lineage II Producer for NCsoft West and Young Park, the original Lineage Production Assistant for NCsoft West to talk about it.
Tamat : Hello there! Thanks for joining me to talk about the Lineage franchise.
Sam Han : Hello Allakhazam!
Tamat : When did you start working on the Lineage franchise?
Sam Han : I’ve worked on Lineage 2 since 2004. Like many producers in the MMO industry, I started as a GM (Game Master) and worked my way up to a producer position this year.
Young Park : I started almost a year ago. I was working on Tabula Rasa before I started working on the original Lineage.
Tamat : What about your roles of both projects? Can you tell us about the work you’ve done to make the games so memorable?
SH : With the different roles I've had while working on Lineage 2 for the past 5 years, I've had a lot of exposure to the different areas. I feel like I made good contributions as a GM/Head GM and development liaison, but was really able to make more meaningful changes once I became part of the product development team. As a producer, I have a lot of ideas that I think will make L2 even better for players, and look forward to trying to make the game more memorable than ever.
YP : My role on the project has been to aid the producer in anything he needs to get the job done. This might mean doing QA, writing on the forums, creating ideas for events, coming up with website features, a little of everything.
Tamat : Over the years the Lineage genre has grown up, what would you say are a few of the major accomplishments that lead to all the success?
SH : For North America and European territories, I think the first major accomplishment for Lineage 2 is the quality of teams we have working on it. From Billing to CS, Operations and QA, all of these teams work hard and as a result achieve things that could not be done if they did not work together. It truly is a great accomplishment for all of these different parts to work and interact so well with one another which enable Lineage 2 to function as well as it does.
Secondly, it’s the deep content and game play experience of the game itself. I can confidently say that we owe it to Lineage 2 customers all over the world who have contributed ideas and feedback on each update we presented to them. They help us tweak and fine-tune Lineage 2 to the legendary game it is today.
YP : I think that because the Lineage game is so mature, it has added to the appeal. One person might look at it as “Man, this game is 10 years old?” whereas I (along with thousands of players) see it as “Wow, this game has 10 years of content and polish!” I really don’t think that there was any one specific moment I would attribute to the success of Lineage. The game is fun, and people told their friends about it. It’s as simple as that!
Tamat : Let’s focus on Lineage 2 for a bit. What’s going on with the live game?
SH : A lot! With CT2 Gracia Part I we introduced the vitality system, which really helped new and existing players enjoy the game and take a little away from the leveling grind. We also introduced the Kamaloka zones, where parties of players can go in and battle through the instanced zones. With Gracia Part II brought Kratei’s Cube (a competition style PvE with a PVP element) and the Pailaka instances. These allow solo players to venture through 3 distinct areas at one time. We’ve been adding a lot of content for players new and old, as well as trying to add content that appeals to PVP, group and solo play.
Tamat : How about Lineage? Anything going on?
YP : Right now, we’re working extremely hard to lessen the gap between the Korean and US service. Season 3 of the game is ramping up and everyone is really excited about it. As for the US service, we recently updated the game with the new Episode 6 and Episode U content from Korea and are already working on the next update.
Tamat : Let's talk about new content? Is the team working on something players may not know about?
SH : The team is hard at work to provide players with new experiences all the time. We’ve had two events since October which were totally unique to the Western Markets. The Halloween Event and the Saving Santa Event were both designed for us, and we have more specialized content on the way. In addition to unique events, there will also be a huge amount of additional content in the last release for CT2, Gracia Final.
Tamat : What’s next for the genre? Can fans expect to hear more about Lineage 3 in the near future?
SH : Both Lineage and Lineage II will continue their stories and unfortunately, it is too early to mention anything about Lineage 3 at this time.
YP : All I can say is that NCsoft is working with different ideas to create a fantastic Lineage IP. One where each game connects to one another in some fashion or form.
Tamat : Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
SH : We have a lot of exciting things coming up on the horizon. New events, new account services, and new content. We will try our best to provide a great gaming experience to everyone who loves Lineage II and this is our goal as a team and company.
YP : Personally, I feel that the original Lineage is a game that holds strength over a lot of the new MMO’s coming out. Lineage may not have the fancy 3D graphics and shaders that we are now seeing, but I’ve always been a firm believer and advocate that graphics don’t make the game. Lineage is such a well thought out story/game that you quickly forget that you’re playing game that was made 10 years ago!
Tamat : Again, thank you for your time and congratulations on all the success that surrounds the Lineage franchise.
SH & YP : Thank you for your time!
Andrew "Tamat" Beegle