NCSoft Corp. today announced that its massively multiplayer online role playing game Lineage is now available as
an open beta
for Mac OS X. Players can download the beta version and play for free. And if the hefty download is too much for your connection to manage, you can also request a free CD that will be mailed to you.
“The beta will allow players to enter into the actual Lineage world, not a separate ‘test server,’ and all beta participants will be provided with free game access for the duration of the beta period,” explained the company. The open beta enables Mac users to play alongside their PC counterparts.
Billed as the most popular online game in the world, Lineage is a phenomenon Korea, Japan and Taiwan, and was introduced last year to PC gamers in the United States. The title’s original creator, Jake Song, has developed the game to run in Mac OS X. Lineage sports more than four million active subscriptions and 330,00 concurrent users worldwide.
Lineage features a fantasy world in which you adopt the persona of one of several different classes of characters — a King, Wizard, Elf or Prince/Princess. A foundation of the game is the concept of the “Blood Pledge,” a strong alliance that you develop with other players in the game world. Through these Pledges, players can form strategies with each other to help overtake castles. “But winning the battle only means the game of politics and negotiation is just beginning. Keeping your castle is sometimes harder than capturing it,” explained NCSoft.
Lineage exists purely as an online game; no single-player version exists either for PC or Mac, and the game runs exclusively on Mac OS X.
Online games can often be daunting because new players are thrown into the mix with experienced players who can exploit their lack of familiarity with the game. This issue has been addressed with the inclusion of a new player area in which you can “level up” your character by gaining experience and learning the basics of the game.
Lineage also features periodic updates that expand the game world by adding new lands to explore and new creatures to battle.
Following the conclusion of the open beta, Mac gamers will be able to subscribe to the service; subscribed customers receive future CDs for free as part of their service. The subscription based service will come free with a 30 day trial. Following that, players are charged US$15 per month (discounts are available to those who opt for four-month increments). But remember, there is no charge for Mac testers to play Lineage during the duration of the beta test, and anyone’s welcome to join.