NCsoft Corp. has announced the release of a new episode of
Lineage, the company’s online multiplayer role-playing game. With the release of Episode 10: Lair of Valakas, Mac and PC players can play side by side in the Lineage world.
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In Lineage, online players are brought to a fantasy realm where they can choose from one of four different character archetypes — knight, wizard, elf or royalty. The game introduces the concept of a “blood pledge,” which players make to one another to help ally themselves towards a common goal, like the siege of a castle.
Lineage was first unveiled to Mac gamers at Macworld Expo in San Francisco this past January. The online role-playing game is a phenomenon in Korea, Japan and Taiwan, where it sports millions of subscriptions and hundreds of thousands of concurrent players. Lineage was introduced to North American PC gamers this past year and its original developer, Jake Song, has crafted an OS X version. Currently in beta release, the Mac version is available for free download and play (users with limited Internet connections can also order a CD if they prefer). Up until now, though, Mac and PC gamers have been segregated.
“For the first time, Mac and PC gamers will be able to play side-by-side in an online graphical fantasy world,” said NCsoft.
In order to keep interest fresh in the subscription-based online game, Lineage’s makers periodically release new free “Episodes,” which essentially unlock new areas — new geography, new monsters, new objects to collect. NCsoft executive producer Richard Garriott noted that the new episode would further immerse players in the world of Lineage.
“Lair of Valakas promises many new surprises for Lineage players and will advance the storyline, introduce new characters and provide a challenging gameplay environment,” added Garriott. Garriott knows a thing or two about online gaming and computer fantasy gaming — he’s the one who created the legendary “Ultima” line of computer games.
The Lair of Valakas itself contains the underground dwarf kingdom and the Steel Gate guild, as well as Valakas, the fire dragon. NCsoft noted that the game’s siege system exists in the dwarven kingdom, so players can attempt to capture control of the Steel Gate guild and its resources.