Part one of a three part series explores class and character changes
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the NCSoft building in Austin, Texas and talking to some of the Lineage 2 Team about the upcoming update, Chronicle 4. C4, which is now live on Public Test Servers, brings an unbelievably massive amount of new content to the game — about 800 megs worth of new areas, systems, and classes.
While C3 addressed many issues in the lower player areas, making the 20 and under experience more friendly to new players, C4 caters almost entirely to upper-end gameplay. The maximum character level has been raised from level 75 to level 78, and a 3rd class change available at level 76 has been added. Players who complete their 3rd class change transfer will be able to purchase new skills at levels 76, 77, and 78.
While 1st and 2nd tier classes required you to purchase different levels of skills (IE Shield Mastery 1, Shield Master 2, etc), the 3rd class change opens up the ability to enchant skills. To enchant a skill you also need to have skill points and (for the first enchant on any skill) the rare item “Giant’s Secret Book”, only obtainable by participating in the newly added Olympiad, creating them via the Castle manor system, or completing your 3rd class change — or buying it from other players.
Not all skills can be enchanted, but enchants are more versatile than leveling a skill up; when you enchant a skill you get to pick what to improve (mana cost, power, accuracy, recharge rate, etc). The downside is that enchantments don’t always work. If you are insanely lucky you can enchant a skill to level 20 or 25, but failure has a price: you lose skill points and the enchantment level drops to 0.
Chronicle 4 also added the Noblesse status. When a player has leveled their main class to 75, and at least one subclass to 75, they may complete a quest to become a Noblesse. No matter what the main/subclasses are all Noblesse receive the same bonuses.
Noblesse skills mostly cater toward PvP. They are given several mount-based attacks to perform on a Strider or Wyvern, have increased damage during sieges/clan wars, and if the Noblesse is a clan leader, they can a more fortified siege flag for attacking clans and view battle statistics on the numbers of kills/deaths for their clan members. Noblesse can also initiate powerful multiplayer attacks, harnessing the power of 4 or 8 mages of different classes to deliver deadly damage.
The rewards of the 3rd tier classes and Noblesse status don’t come easy. If you thought the 2nd class change quests — which take even hardcore players at least two days to complete — were tough, wait until you try the Path of Noblesse and 3rd class change quests. Quests require players to take down raid bosses, travel a huge amount, and truly earn their new rewards — there is absolutely no way to solo the Noblesse and 3rd class change quests. The only good news is that dwarves will not be required to look for Toma!
Also introduced in Chronicle 4 is the Grand Olympiad, a massive PvP battle between Noblesse to earn the title of Hero. The Olympiad is a month long tournament that results in the crowning of 31 heroes — one for each 2nd tier class. The 31 heroes maintain their title for one month during the next competition, in which they can compete, but if they do not win they lose their status at the end of that month.
And the rewards for being a Hero are worth fighting for. Heroes receive a special weapon of their choice that has three or four special abilities and looks awesome, as well as a circlet and a glowing aura (the circlet and aura have no effect but appearance). The heroes also receive the ability to global chat, sending messages to the entire in-game world.
Even if you don’t win the Olympiad, participating in the tournament yields great rewards. Olympiad points can be traded for Noblesse Gate Passes, which players can use to teleport or spend to purchase different items, from Giant’s Secret Books to Blessed or regular Enchant Scrolls. With such great rewards, the Olympiad is sure to have many competitors, taking another step in making Lineage II the ultimate PvP game.
Last but not least on the subject of classes and character progression, NCSoft has made some changes to 1st and 2nd tier class skills. The classes that most benefit from these changes are the Summoners. Each Summoner class will receive a new summon: Warlocks get Queen the Cat, Necromancers get Cursed Man, Elemental Summoners get Unicorn Seraphim, and Phantom Summoners get Night Shades. While the old summons are more useful for direct fighting, these new summons act a lot like the Bladedancer and Swordsinger classes, buffing the party of their master. These buffs are massively powerful, but to balance this out, the summons are pretty expensive.
Chronicle 4 is one of the largest free expansions that any game has ever produced. Stay tuned for more information on Chronicle 4; upcoming articles will discuss the new areas and miscellaneous changes to the game in this massive update.
Thank you to Mike Crouch (NCSoft PR Manager), Adam Davidson (Lineage II Producer), Tim Tan (Lineage II Associate Producer), Sam Han (Development Liaison), Brian Hudson (Lineage II Event Coordinator), and Jason Ford (Lineage II Event Coordinator) for their time and expertise.
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