Questions by Cody
Answers by Tim Tan,
Producer for Lineage II
As the Ten Ton Hammer editorial staff posts this interview, the style="font-style: italic;">Lineage II
development team is prepping the servers for the massive
update known as The Kamael: The 1st Throne. If all
goes according to plan, the Kamael expansion will go live at 4:00 PM
Central Time on December 12th and players will rush into the new areas to battle for
fortresses, explore the new Isle of Souls, and create legions of new
To mark this momentous occasion, Ten Ton Hammer sat down with style="font-style: italic;">Lineage II’s
producer, Tim Tan, and asked him an assortment of questions that
explore different parts of the expansion content and why new players
should give the game a try. We also discuss fortress battles and the
Kamael class roles, so sit back and enjoy the article!
Ten Ton Hammer: To start,
what roles do you think the Kamael classes will fill in the game? Would
you say that they’re a versatile race, or are they mainly
focused towards a specific area?
style="font-style: italic;">The Kamael,
according to Tim, are a very specialized race.
Between the different Kamael class choices, there’s a lot of
specialization. There are certain classes that are particularly melee
heavy and specialize in close combat attacks, but there are also other
classes, like the Arbalester, that focus on ranged warfare. Finally
there’s the Soul Breaker who’s a mesh between the
two. I do feel that if you choose the right class path you can do
particular things very well. Overall, I think that the race is balanced
because of the class choices you can make.
In terms of their role, it will be balanced because of the way the
Kamael skills work. It’s all about taking souls and using
souls for various purposes using their dark magic. Regardless of what
class you have, you can certainly use that dark magic for a variety of
purposes: buffs, melee, ranged attacks, etc.
I think they’re also going to be very useful because in the
later areas of the game there are areas that require trap-finding
abilities, which only the Kamael can do.
Ten Ton Hammer: Do you
think groups are going to be limited if they don’t bring a
Kamael along to find the traps? Or are there ways around the traps?
should be ways around the traps, but the Kamael just make it easier to
get by them.
Ten Ton Hammer: Why do
you think new players should be interested in the expansion? What about
– and the expansion in particular – should new
players be excited about?
isn’t really specific to the Kamael expansion, but
we’ve had so many updates over the past few years –
all of the chronicles and general updates – that have helped
ease the new player into the game. You can now acquire buffs that help
you advance from level 8 to 23, and the Kamael update extends that buff
period out a bit longer. We added a bunch of solo functions that just
generally help the players in those early levels.
All of these other changes just filter into this Kamael update and
really draw players into making new Kamael characters. Along with that,
a good portion of the existing player base will re-roll to try out the
new race so it’s a good time for new players (or those
players that haven’t played in a long while) to come in and
try out the game.
We’ve created a brand new starting area, the Isle of Souls,
for the Kamael race, and a set of monsters associated with that new
area. There are also low level dungeons that are in the area, so
it’s really just a combination of everything coming together
at the same time. The changes we’ve made – combined
with the new race – are a driving factor to bring more
players into the game.
Ten Ton Hammer: What do
you feel that the greatest area of improvement has been?
You’ve changed a lot since I played back in the early
post-launch days, and I’m curious about what you think the
biggest area of improvement has been.
style="font-style: italic;">Fortress battles
should be one of the more exciting parts of the Kamael expansion.
clan system, which is also my favorite part of the game. From the
beginning, we had a clan system that you could level up. Originally I
think we had levels 1-5, and there’s always been a cap on the
number of players you could allow into your clan at each level.
Throughout the years and the updates, we’ve actually enhanced
that system over and over again. Eventually we revamped the clan system
to support levels all the way to level 8. So instead of having just 40
people, you could expand all the way up to 120.
Reputation points have also been a big part of our clan system. For
instance, if you win a siege you’ll get positive reputation
points. You can spend reputation points on clan type skills that affect
everyone in the clan. That whole system is really an exciting part of
the game, and we feel like its something that’s been
constantly improving. In the Kamael update, we’ve increased
that level number even higher; you can now advance your clan up to
level 10. There are also lots of elements that tie into fortress
battles and many of the other systems.
Ten Ton Hammer: What do
you think is the most exciting part of the Kamael expansion?
I’d have to say the fortress battles. In general they should
be a lot of fun. These battles are easy to engage in, meant for small
groups and clans, and there’s plenty of politics and intrigue
tied to the whole system. The battles are also tied to item rewards
that you get when you win fortress battles along with a number NPC
relations that change when you take over a fortress. There’s
a large number of these fortresses, so players should be able to engage
in these confrontations if they so desire.
Ten Ton Hammer: Why did
you decide to integrate fortress battles into the game? Small group /
clan oriented combat has never been a big focal point for style="font-style: italic;">Lineage II, so why
did you decide to bring that into the game at this point?
Tim: I think
there’s been an underlying desire from the player base to
have more accessible world PvP. I think our castle system, which
features a large siege every two weeks, is a great system.
It’s full of large scale battles along with lots of strategy
and maneuvering, but there’s an outcry to have more
controllable lands and things that are a little more accessible for
everyone in the game.
While the castle lords still have the power of the castle, but they can
choose to fight with the fortresses if they wish. However, this just
adds another nuance to the political and faction system, and it also
encourages players to grab these fortresses because of the skills and
items that you can pick up from these various fortresses.
Since a portion of our player base isn’t advanced enough to
play in a full scale castle siege due to not being in a large clan, it
really boils down to an accessibility sort of thing. Really, I think it
fills out that next tier of combatants in the overall scheme of things.
Ten Ton Hammer: What
really drives the popularity of Lineage
II? Obviously the game is extremely popular in Asia and
has its fair share of fans in North America as well. What about the
game draws people to it?
a great question. Often when people talk about style="font-style: italic;"> Lineage II, they
discuss how hard it is or how it’s not for everyone. But I
believe that the game is all about a sense of accomplishment, which
creates a lot of player loyalty to the game itself. For most players,
you get out of L2 what you put into it. If you put a lot of effort into
the game, you get a lot back in return.
style="font-style: italic;">The Isle of Souls
is the new starting location for the Kamael race.
It’s also a type of game that’s continuous. Other
MMO games that are on the market right now may be easier, but they
don’t have the same sort of continuity you find in L2. In L2
you have lots of levels to achieve and plenty of social interaction
between clans and alliances.
Although the battles may change from week to week, that social
structure is continuous. If you work really hard to achieve something,
like a high level clan, you want to keep that going. We have a loyalty
that breeds a great community, and at times it’s almost
contagious. You want to bring more people into that sort of loyalty, so
that your overall ranks are stronger.
Ten Ton Hammer: Beyond
the Kamael expansion, what are your plans for style="font-style: italic;">Lineage II in the
future? What should we expect out of the game?
Tim: More of
the outstanding content you've come to expect from us. With our
updates, we really try to enhance the gameplay. We add systems, items,
skills, and lands. There are lots of good systems and types of combat
in the game already, so with the next few updates we’ll just
continue to add more content to the game.
I’m sure there are lots of good things coming down the
pipeline that I can’t talk about right now, but players
should expect more of the high quality monsters, areas to fight in, and
items to collect. Couple that with enhancements to existing systems,
and players can continue to expect quality updates from us.
Ten Ton Hammer: Thanks
for taking the time to talk with us, Tim! We hope everything goes well
with the Kamael update!
playing the new expansion content for style="font-style: italic;">Lineage II? What
did you think about Tim’s comments about the game? Let us
know on the forums!
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