The Lineage II team has just released a dev diary that talks about several features in the Hellbound update (slated to go live on 4/23), as well as why they think the 4th Anniversary Edition retail box is a cool thing for players to get. They've included 15 screens that illustrate items they mention, like transformations, the two in-game items in the 4th Anniversary box, and fighting in the Underground Coliseum. They also show the lighter side of Lineage II, with screens of Agathians and a parade that goes through Fantasy Isle approximately four times a day.
Dev Diary: What's So Cool about Hellbound and the 4th Anniversary Edition By the Lineage II North American Dev team
On Wednesday, April 23, 2008, NCsoft will be celebrating the four-year anniversary of Lineage II: The Chaotic Throne's launch in both North America and Europe. This fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game is one of the premier player-versus-player (PvP) games in the market today, with a customer reach of over nineteen million players worldwide. With the game's four-year anniversary coming, we wanted to do something special for not only our current players, who have been with us for a very long time now, but also appeal to those who have played in the past to come back and celebrate with us.
The Lineage II: The Chaotic Throne - 4th Anniversary Edition box includes a special edition DVD featuring the Lineage II game client and all of the previously released expansions, all on one convenient disc. If you're new to the game or just haven't played in awhile, you can just use the DVD to quickly update to the most current version. Those that buy the box can make use of a whopping sixty days of play time and get access to two exclusive in-game items, the Black Half Mask (a special head accessory) and a Pig Lollipop (which transforms you into a loveable pig - it's fun!).
We're also offering free or discounted Player Services for veteran players, depending on how long players have held an account. If you created a Lineage II account one year or more ago you will receive a free Character Gender Change. An account two or more years old will additionally get a half-price Character Name Change, and really long-term players (three or more years old) will earn all of that plus a half-price Server Transfer. Finally, the 4th Anniversary Edition box will include a mini poster with a map of the lands of Aden.
With the shipment of Lineage II: The Chaotic Throne - 4th Anniversary Edition we will also be releasing the next content update for the game: Hellbound. Also included in the 4th Anniversary Edition DVD, the Hellbound update adds many new changes and improvements to the Kamael, our last major expansion. Once you earn the trust of the local Hellbound natives, you will be able to gain access the Steel Citadel, a massive four-tower fortress. Each tower must be defeated in order-the Base Tower, Tower of Infinitum and Tully's Workshop-before you can gain entry to the Tower of Naia and battle the raid monster Epidos before facing the ultimate boss, Beleth.
The Steel Citadel and an encounter with Beleth are just too tough for normal pre-Hellbound characters; with that in mind, we raised the game's level cap from 80 to 85, and added a series of new high-level skills and quests to accompany the new level cap. Now a group of super-powerful characters may be able to best the Steel Citadel and take down Beleth.
Hellbound features a lot of other further improvements and enhancements that players will enjoy. For instance, players can now evolve their wolf pets into Fenrir wolves, which can be mounted and ridden into combat. The Baby Buffalo, Baby Cougar, and Baby Kookaburra can be further evolved into "improved" pets, making them better companions. We've also raised the level cap for pets to 86. A host of new common and rare transformations are now available, allowing characters to morph into various creatures or even raid bosses for short periods.
Like most updates, we've also added all kinds of new weapons, armor and other goods players can collect. All new top-level S-80 grade weapons and armor can be acquired, such as the Icarus Hammer and Wingblade, or the Dynasty Jewel Leather Armor. A new type of Agathion will also be available-Agathions are a different kind of pet (essentially really small, cute companions) that can perform a special trick when you're fighting.
Lineage II features un-rivaled PvP combat on a large scale, and our recent updates have done a lot to make it even better. Clans wage long-term sieges over nine distinct castles. For those not involved in clans, or who are in smaller clans, we developed a Fortress Battle system, where small groups of players can participate and still get lots of benefits and access to specialized merchants (who sell some cool items). Both of these systems have seen additional changes with Hellbound; clans now have to be even more powerful to participate in castle sieges, and clan leaders who possess a Fortress can now summon and ride a Wyvern into battle.
To round out Hellbound, players will be able to do even more fun things on Fantasy Isle. If you ever wanted to know what a specific NPC looked like, just wait awhile on the Isle and eventually a parade of colorful personas will make their way through each area, roughly four times a day. Players can also participate in the Underground Coliseum, where they can gather in teams and battle each other in a series of deadly matches.