Outspark is well known to me for their fantasy-themed MMORPG Luvinia Online—in fact, I’ve visited there at their behest in the past. Free-to-play games live and die on player interest and Luvinia is a good example of producing beautiful new content on a regular basis. With Linger City, Outspark is adding new maps and dungeons to explore to their already expansive lineup.

The new content explores the terrible aftermath of war—providing players a home base in Linger City itself: a treetop stronghold built by the gnomes after the destruction of their original city during the war. Due to the catastrophic nature of the warfare, relations between humans and gnomes have been strained to the extreme.

As a result, part of following the story of the destruction, players will find themselves working to ease those tensions.

Of the locations I saw, there was the ruins of the old gnome city—a casualty that ended the war and nearly ended the gnomes. It’s map is made up of crumbling stone columns, vast checkerboards of granite floors, and even wilting lamp-posts—still lit against the dark. The only inhabitants, the ghosts, linger in their anger and fury, attacking anyone who strays too near. (Players who wander into this area without the proper equipment or backup will find themselves quickly overwhelmed.)

Another amazing element of this installment is a great library set in a tower that has fallen into disarray. The contents are important to the politics of fixing issues between gnomes and humans but the chaos within is causing issues (not to mention making it very difficult to check out books.) In fact, the towers are filled with unchained elementals—who would otherwise keep the place running smoothly. In the first area there are numerous air elementals, gusting and blowing all over the place and making a mess of things.

Changes to the mechanics of the game

On the technical side, the Linger City expansion does more than just add maps and the new story of triumph, heartbreak, and regrowth. Players will find that the level cap has been increased from 89 to 95, enabling them to level through the new content.

There’s also the addition of bigger and badder equipment. Upon reaching level 90, players will be given a notice as to how they can refine their current equipment—as long as it’s activated Heritage equipment—as a result it means that players won’t need to hunt high and low and replace their entire sets at this point. However, they will be asked by a dwarf named Hackel Fire Stone at Abbes Acropolis to hunt down monsters and smash them for Ancient Magic Cores.

Along with new equipment refinement, the Star Card system is also seeing a bit of an expansion. As players fight their way through Abbes, they will be seeing a lot more cards—of considerable power and quality—but now they’re also able to synthesize them together to increase their power levels by talking to NPCs suited for that purpose.

There’s also news that older star cards can be turned in to upgrade into the newer ones—similar to the refinement of armor—meaning that players will be able to build their way into the new content without having to play catch-up.

As a writer, I am most moved by the tragedy, the triumps, the stories of love and loss; the still-open-wounds from the recent war; and how the story within Luvinia Online continues to explore its own world.

The tree above–an animé inspired sakura-tree type–is etched with the words “I <3 You” and it tells a story that players may find themselves entangled in. Spend a moment, smell the roses (or perhaps the cherry blossoms) and enjoy the storytelling.