Dev Diary: Hellbound Transformations
While our Lineage II players generally enjoy playing and advancing their own characters, they still like to have a different experience every once in awhile. Our players also crave something new and diverse-something they can't get in any other fashion. How about playing something one normally wouldn't play, like one of the game's many dangerous creatures? Players who have experienced Lineage I have seen something very similar to this with polymorph scrolls.
With The Kamael we expanded on this concept, which we call transformations. Moderate- to high-level characters can transform into a variety of creatures for combat and non-combat situations, utilizing a special talisman, skill or consumable scroll. Players level 50 and above from all classes can acquire the "More than Meets the Eye" quest from Necromancer Grand Master Hardin in his Academy. Once the quest is completed, players can then go to Transformation Wizard Avant-Garde on the second floor of the Ivory Tower to get their first transformation skill: Transform Onyx Beast. The player must also possess a Transformation Sealbook for that particular creature in order to learn the skill. The Sealbooks can typically be purchased from various vendors (for example, the Dragon Bomber Sealbook can be purchased from the Town of Aden Adventure Guildsman).
From there, as the player gains levels they can gain other transformation skills and Sealbooks. At level 55 the player can acquire Transform Doom Wraith, and then at level 60 players can get racial specific transformation skills. Each of these skills is geared towards a specific race, though another race may use them with some decreased attributes (exactly how much depends on the race). These battle-oriented transformations are known as combat transformations, where the character assumes the stats of the transformed creature. They also have access to a number of transformation-related skills; the higher the character level, the more skills become available. Combat transformations last thirty minutes and can only be used once every four hours.
A couple of the transformations are special cases, like when a Kamael goes through their third class change, or when the player acquires a specific item (like the Demon Sword Zariche). We also introduced non-combat transformations, which are generally more socially fun and no special skills are required.
With Hellbound we wanted to further add to the transformation system and give it a bit more depth and variety. Five new commonly available transformations were added for all characters that reach level 70. At the same time we introduced a series of very rare transformations, which allow the character to transform into an especially tough raid boss, like Ranku or Kechi. They won't be as powerful as that raid boss, but they'll be more powerful than the normal combat transformations. The Transformation Sealbook needed to complete the transformation process can be acquired by hunting certain types of raid monsters, so obviously these items will be highly sought after.
Aside from a couple of new, fun non-combat transformations, a set of class-specific transformations have also been added. Once the player reaches level 80 in their sub-class they can undertake a special quest to acquire it. These transformations into "divine" versions of their sub-class can be especially powerful and have a wide variety of specialized skills available to them.