Lineage II: The Chaotic Throne – Gracia Cooler skills, new items, and better places to hunt
Company: NCSOFT
Friday 1st August/... NCsoft Europe presents the latest Lineage II: The Chaotic Throne - Gracia feature in which the developers discuss, in-depth, how they have improved many of the skills and increased the amount of inventory items so that playing Lineage II is even more fun and exciting than ever before.

Part of the notion of a quicker, more accessible and fun Lineage II with the release of Gracia doesn’t involve just faster leveling. We’ve improved many of the skills so that playing Lineage II is even more fun and exciting than ever before. The amount of inventory items has increased greatly—we’ve filled up the lower tier of items so new players can get decent gear a lot sooner, added new tier weapons to shops and even the chance of refining items into more rare and valuable items. Finally, we’ve spruced up some of the hunting areas in the game, like the Cruma Tower, so players can get more use out of them.

The skill system has undergone many changes, all for much for the better. The idea is to let skills help players in battle a lot more, enabling them to defeat more, tougher opponents, support each other better in raids, and let them advance in status quicker. Generally, all short-ranged physical skills now enjoy a boost in power along with a reduction in MP cost. In other words, they hit harder for a lot less mana. A couple of popular, useable skills like “Escape Shackle” have reduced casting times as well. Kamael skills can now be used without souls (though the more souls you use, the more powerful they are), which is a nice boon to our newest race. We’ve also increased the critical damage rate for magic across the board.

Lots of class specific skills have been added, like “Steal Mana” for the Prophet (which lets you recover MP while striking) or “Repair Golem”, which by the way is one of ten new skills for the Warsmith. All Kamael classes get a new “Fast Recovery” skill at level 43 that increases HP, MP and CP regeneration. We added some existing skills to other classes (Phantom Summoners can now use “Death Spike” and Bounty Hunters can use “Crystallize”). All Knights will get a particular boost in Gracia with the new “Vanguard” skill (available at level 43) that offers powerful attack skills utilizing a two-handed sword or dual-sword. Similarly all Healer classes will benefit from the “Inquisitor” skills (available at level 44), which bring a variety of attack-related skills to a class that’s not totally used to being on the offensive.

We’ve somewhat altered the way items, like weapons and pieces of armor, are organized in Lineage II with Gracia. We’ve introduced a class of items called Common Items which are essentially the same as what we had before, the main difference being they cannot be enchanted, enhanced or augmented in any way. Players can purchase them at most shops or through the usual method of collecting loot from the corpses of dead monsters. Coupled with the reduction of shop prices for all weapons, armor, and accessories, this will allow low-level and new players a much better opportunity at getting decently equipped, rather than struggling to get good equipment.

Item crafting has also received a bit of an upgrade; when crafting, there’s a chance the player could create two items from one set of materials. There’s also a chance that the item crafted could be a Foundation item, a special item type that can’t be equipped, enchanted or crystallized. However, it can be refined into a Rare item by the Blacksmith of Mammon (you’ll need a Mammon Polish Hardener as well). Rare items are marked in yellow text, and they can be enchanted, refined, crystallized or subjected to other item enhancing abilities. They typically have certain characteristics, depending on their level, which activates as a buff of one type or another (Rare weapons may get an increase in accuracy or critical hit rate, and Rare armor may increase defense or resistance to shock).

Finally, in Gracia we’ve revised a couple of hunting areas so players can get a lot more use out of them. Top of the list is the Cruma Tower, which we’ve altered to offer some of the best rewards for that level of difficulty. It’s optimized for five-member parties, with level 43 required for the first level and level 50 for the second (the max level you can have is 55). Specialized event monsters will spawn for each level, and the rewards are again top notch for that player level. A couple of other areas have undergone some renovation to make them more solo friendly, including Outlaw Forest, Garden of Beasts and Varka Silenos Outpost.