A best-in-slot item in the cash shop? That’s pretty much classic pay-to-win, right? Oh wait, it’s not automatically BIS, it only becomes that if you upgrade it properly. And the upgrade item … is also in the cash shop. Well, now.
That appears to be what Lineage 2 is doing with its new Circlets of Power. As MassivelyOP discovered, these Circlets require a lot to get them to their highest power levels, including three rounds of enchanting it from +0 to +5, each of which requires a Blessed Circlet Enchant Scroll — “available for a limited time in the L2 Store” — and the first five of which have a chance (no word on what that chance is) of failing and resetting all your progress. You can examine the entire overwrought process here.
Players are, unsurprisingly, not very happy about it all, with many voicing their displeasure on the announcement thread.
While revenue for the first Lineage game has been trending downward for about a year now, Lineage 2 has been small-ish but steady for about half a decade now, so there wouldn’t seem to be some quick “need an infusion of cash now” method to NCSoft’s madness. Or maybe the success of Lineage M on mobile has the company re-examining the profitability of its other titles and there is a sudden need to financially justify the existence of one of NCSoft’s “lesser” games.