Lineage II - Hellbound Pet System Enhancements
The good folks over at Lineage II have provided us with this dev diary concerning the pet system enhancements that are coming with the Hellbound expansion due later this month.
Lineage II players absolutely love their pets. They are useful companions in the lands of Aden, able to conduct a varied series of attacks, use special skills, and more, all in aid of the player. In addition, pets can go through a series of evolutions, earning new abilities and becoming much more powerful with each step. Pets only have a few downsides—they lose some experience upon death and must consume a quantity of food before they grow hungry and ineffective, but overall to players they are a boon.
Since Chronicle 2 we've been slowly improving the pet system, added a new type of pet here, a new layer of evolution there. With the release of Hellbound we've expanded the pet system even more, with benefits that will help most players in one way or another. Those that have a Wolf as a pet can evolve it normally into a Great Wolf once it gets to level 55, and then further evolve it into a Fenrir if it’s above level 70. The Fenrir is the third evolutionary stage of the basic Wolf and offers many powerful skills and special attacks. Players can upgrade their pets through the Pet Manager NPCs in most towns; these Pet Managers also have a pet raising guide and other useful tips they’d be more than willing to share.
Fenrirs are also special because players can use them as mounts—when summoned, they can climb on the pet and use it in battle. Previously, Striders were the only common mountable pet (clan leaders who controlled castles could summon and mount Wyverns, but that is a special case). Besides looking cool, there are some real tangible benefits to mounting a pet. The owner will assume the same attack power as well as speed of the mount in question. The Fenrir doesn't have to be mounted of course, it can attack and defend its owner on its own quite well.
Speaking of clan leaders, players that are members in a clan also have further advantages to being Great Wolf (or Strider) owners. Players can specially evolve these pets into Great Snow Wolves or Red Striders, and even a Snow Fenrir. These clan-based pets have access to more unique skills, which sets them apart from ordinary pets. Their speed and defense ratings are much higher than usual when mounted.
We're not neglecting some of the other pet varieties either. While we’ve raised the character level cap to 85, we had to do the same to the pets and they have been adjusted accordingly. Baby Buffalo, Baby Kookaburra and Baby Cougar owners will now also be able to evolve their pets into “improved” pets once they are above level 55. We’ve geared each of these baby pets towards a general class type, and the baby pets will give buffs accordingly. For instance, a Baby Buffalo will grant fighter-oriented buffs, while the Baby Cougar grants buffs good for all classes. The higher the level of the improved baby pet, the higher the number of buffs available.