G-Star 2011 has become one of the most successful in its history – hundreds of developers and publishers from all over the world, almost 300 thousand visitors. Two days before the launch, on business day November 8, 2011, the Korean press was shown a trailer for NCSOFT’s new game, Lineage Eternal: Twilight Resistance.
While representatives of ArenaNet demonstrated Guild Wars 2, continuing the presentation of NCSOFT, the news about the announcement of a new game from the Lineage series was rapidly spreading across the Internet. It was forbidden to record videos, so I had to be content with photos from the NCSOFT pavilion, where the announcement had just taken place. Two hours later, the interview with the developers began.
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Since the announcement on November 8, 2011, it was expected that the game would become the heir to the cult in Korea Lineage and Lineage 2. The events of the game should unfold 200 years after the events of the original Lineage and 350 years after the history of Lineage 2. The player was waiting for a world in which evil won and to to resist him you need to fight hordes of monsters.
The world has also been heavily changed, but some of the old locations were present. For example, “Ivory Tower” has become a cursed place dominated by a former magician who has turned into an evil necromancer. Each class had two “racks” with sets of weapons and skills, switching between which is possible at any time.
One of the most unusual game mechanics was the ability to use skills / spells by drawing them with the mouse cursor: lay a path of ice, telekinesis lift the enemy and throw them to the side, perform a circular blow with a sword. The possibilities of this system were intriguing – what else can you do with it and how will the players react to it?
In an interview, a figure of 500 units (both NPCs and players) was announced in one battle, but it was immediately clarified that this number would be reduced to optimize the game, since it is aimed at a wide audience with a wide variety of computers.
Unlike the previous parts, Eternal was planned to have a single plot, adventures for 3-6 people, PvE and PvP activities, story dungeons. Surprisingly, sieges in their usual form were not expected, but other PvP activities were being developed.
“As for the end content, there will be some things that users like, such as raids and large-scale PvP, and although this is not a siege, PvP, such as skirmishing, will also take place,” said Changwon Choi, head of the development team. The translation is rough, but the meaning is conveyed correctly.
By the time of the announcement, the game had already been in development for 3 years and up to 80 people were involved. When asked about the game engine, they answered that it was their own development. Closed beta was promised to be held next year, 2012…
But in 2012 there was no CBT, no news, no NCSOFT on G-star.
In the summer of 2013 there will be news that the release of Lineage Eternal is planned after the release of WildStar (who remembers this game?) and Carbine Studio planned to launch it at the end of 2013 if the tests are successful, but the project will get to the release only in June 2014.
In 2014, the release of Lineage Eternal did not take place, but an updated game was shown at G-Star 2014. The first thing that caught your eye was the prettier graphics, but the developers promised the possibility of launching new items even on weak machines of that time, since a lot of time is devoted to optimization. The second obvious change was the disappearance of the “racks” in the classes. Now it is a class with 2-3 development branches for each skill.
The removal of stances was justified as a difficulty for casual gamers, as players were expected to combine and switch stances depending on the game situation. Showed three classes: Knight, Elementalist, Assassin. In total, 5 classes were planned – an archer and another magician would join those listed above, but there were no details of these classes.
It is known that the developers planned to abandon the classic MMORPG holy trinity tank-dd-heal. All characters were self-sufficient, like in Guild Wars 2 or Black Desert. Drawing skills with the cursor has also undergone major changes – the character has only one active skill for drawing, which can be assigned to the right mouse button.
On the test assembly, gamers could look at the meager character customization. The authors explained this by the fact that in isometry there is no way to view your character and, perhaps, in the future they will refuse to customize their appearance at all, leaving only the painting of things.
The gameplay trailer showed the open world and other players in it (in the video from 2011 there were only scripted mobs). The public quests were similar to those in Guild Wars 2, with 80 bosses present in the locations and most of them in the open world as part of the public quests. Some dungeons were generated using special technology to add variety to the game.
PvP is difficult – only the 4v4 arena is ready. In the future, there will be a clan confrontation with matchmaking by clan size (40vs40, 100vs100). They also showed a version for tablets and mobiles – it was not much different from the version for computers. But the release date of the game was not named, but they announced plans to release the game worldwide and with translation into 8 languages, including Russian.
Until the 4th quarter of 2016, only small news was published: about the postponement of the CBT, the launch of internal tests, the technologies that are used in the game. In early November, the situation changed – NCSOFT launched a website and began to abundantly supply the community with information about the game.
On November 30, 2016, Lineage Eternal CBT started. Wow, there was a lot to talk about and something to argue about.
The first point of contention is eternal. There are no more classes in the game – only eternal ones, the appearance of which changes through skins like in League of Legends or DOTA 2. The player switches between eternal ones from a pre-formed group. Choose from five Eternals (out of 13) and switch between them at almost any time.
The development of character skills has been reworked – now stones were used to change the effects.
It became known that the game runs on a modified engine from Guild Wars 2. From Guild Wars 2, the game also inherited “mirrors” – players were scattered on different versions of the world, but it was possible to switch to a party member in a couple of clicks.
Unexpectedly, the game turned out to have an almost working PvP system – clan wars that allowed you to beat the enemy in the city, locations with a constant PK mode, and these locations contained useful resources for which there were battles. But no one saw the siege.
There was a storyline, side quests, open events in the world, dungeons for several people with difficulty levels, story dungeons for certain characters. “Ivory Tower” was turned into a generated dungeon for the five – the player controlled any eternal, and the remaining 4 were controlled by artificial intelligence.
The auction worked, things can be transferred to another player or even thrown to the ground, where anyone could pick them up. Even before the start of the PTA, the developers said that the game still does not have a balance between classes and things, switching between eternal ones will be finalized based on player feedback.
After the end of the first CBT, an interview was published where the developers thanked the players for the test and the feedback they left. The readiness of the game was estimated at 50%. No plans for a second CBT or release have been announced. A few months later, it became known about attracting new people to work on the game, there was a rumor about a CBT in the second half of 2017.
In the spring of 2017, it became clear that something was wrong with the game. NCSOFT management expected more from the project than the developers could provide. Player feedback on Eternals and graphics was often negative. If the Eternals could still be improved, then there were problems with the graphics – the GW2 engine could not provide a better quality picture, and the destructibility, which was announced back in 2011, had to be completely abandoned. There was a rumor about changing the game engine to Unreal Engine 4.
In November 2017, instead of the announced PTA2, the developers announced a freeze on Lineage Eternal.
At the same time, NCSOFT publishes a trailer for a new project with the working title Project TL, which is closer in spirit to the trailer for Lineage Eternal: Twilight Resistance with G-STAR 2011.
In the spring of 2019, the developers decide to abandon the Lineage universe and develop a new universe in a new world and new rules. In September 2021, at the presentation of the Lineage W game, they will say that Lineage W is the last game in the Lineage universe, but not everyone will notice this phrase in a half-hour presentation.
Throne and Liberty will be officially announced on March 17, 2022 and will be released in the 4th quarter of 2022.
And here we have new promises: in the trailer, the classes have at least two “racks”, as if a return to the original idea from 2011; isometry was completely abandoned; promise a variety of PvE and PvP activities, including sieges. But the details are so few that they don’t exist.
In 14 years, the game has been redesigned at least 4 times, employees have changed, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent – all this to try to make a masterpiece that will eclipse the Lineage series of games. But will NCSOFT succeed?
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Author shd13. Special thanks to Bexa, Wedz, deadlyne.