It's been over a decade since we first laid eyes upon Lineage Eternal, the would-be grand follow-up to NCSoft's immensely popular Lineage MMORPG series. MMOBomb's first coverage was in 2014, when previews for the ARPG-style game were shown off at the G-Star convention in South Korea. Since then, we've seen closed beta tests (2016), an engine switch, which led to it being "delayed significantly" (2017), a name change to Project TL (2017), a promised launch "next year" (2020), and another promised launch in the second half of 2022. At this point, the only thing "eternal" about Lineage Eternal/Project TL seems to be its development time.
Maybe this time NCSoft really means it, though. A new trailer debuted yesterday for Throne and Liberty -- covering the T and L in Project TL -- and it looks pretty sweet. It shows off a good bit of gameplay, including a variety of class mechanics, traversal options like vaulting and grappling hooks, and huge PvP siege battles featuring giant monsters. (My favorite part is the "carry" at 2:30.) There's also a cinematic trailer for Project E, which was teased last month; the two games actually take place in the same world, but on different continents, one European-flavored and one with a Korean feel.
If you want words to go with the visuals, check out the blog/interview that accompanied the trailers. Throne and Liberty is actually a new IP, unrelated to Lineage, and it's designed to appeal to players worldwide: "We did not specifically divide the East and West or focus on a specific target," said NCSoft's Jong-ok Ahn.
When discussing the game's content, Ahn said that his team "paid a lot of attention to the story," which could be good or bad, depending on whether that story resonates with fans or is just seen as a tedious barrier to suffer through before getting to the good parts of a game (hello, Lost Ark).
He also said that "far more players are more interested in overcoming well-designed challenges than competing to reach their limit," so many of the game's toughest challenges "can only be accomplished if multiple players understand the characteristics and skills of each boss well and use their abilities to cooperate." Make of that what you will, but my interpretation is that there's going to be at least a little attention paid to a more Western style of progression and endgame.
Other cool stuff from the interview:
- Players can transform into animals, and even carry other players around in some forms.
- Weather and the environment will play a factor in the game. For instance, wind can affect bow-and-arrow accuracy, while a sewer that might allow access to a tunnel during a siege can be filled with rain and be unusable. Players can even cause "a solar eclipse or rainstorm."
- Since both Throne and Liberty and Project E are set in the same world, "Important events that happened on the same planet are interpreted and progressed in completely different ways in the two games." One of these involved a "War of the Old Gods," whose events reverberate throughout both games.
One last interesting tidbit: NCSoft Principal Development Management Officer Moon-young Choi said, "Last year, we focused on the development of mobile MMORPGs, but this year we will be challenging various genres based on different models and will actively enter the global market." Given the massive influence mobile games have had on NCSoft's financials over the past few years -- often accompanied by a lackluster performance from its PC titles -- we've openly wondered if the company would downsize its PC sector in favor of more mobile development. Choi's statement seems to indicate that won't be the case, which should get a thumbs-up from fans of games like Blade & Soul, Aion, and Guild Wars 2.
A couple of fancy trailers don't make good games all by themselves, but considering the long wait we've all had for anything truly tangible about the newly named Throne and Liberty, even a jaded MMORPG fan like myself can't help but feel a twinge of excitement for the upcoming titles. Now we'll just have to wait and see if we really will get to play them by the end of this year.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.More Stories by Jason Winter
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