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What you need to know about Lost Ark

Derek
November 11, 2021 11:03 AM

If you've been keeping up with MMO-RPG news, you've probably heard of Lost Ark and may have played the closed beta.

Lost Ark is the hottest 'new', free-to-play MMO-ARPG (RIP the New World release), developed by Tripod Studio and Smilegate. Imagine Diablo and Genshin Impact had a baby, that became an MMO ARPG. That would be Lost Ark (ok maybe not the most accurate nor the official description of Lost Ark, but IMO pretty close). If you haven't tried it yet, you could try it on the Russian server where it's been released.

Lost Ark is technically not a new game, it was first released in 2019 and region locked initially to Russia and Korea. It was then brought over to Japan in 2020 and now releasing in Q1'2021 of NA and EU (Global release).

Are you sold yet?

Many already are. How popular is Lost Ark so far? Per Statista, Lost Ark is top 10 most played in PC Bangs in South Korea .League of Legends dominates the game share, and Lost Ark is pretty behind, but being top 10 is still not shabby, with it being firmly in the top 5 in its genre.

It's coming to NA and EU (Global release) in Q1 of 2022. The published release date is technically March 31st, 2022, but that's just the last day in Q1 of 2022. It could be delayed again, as it was already delayed once by its Publisher, Amazon Games. NA and EU release version of Lost Ark will be different than the current versions in the Japan, Russia and Korea versions.

If this transmog doesn't sell you on Lost Ark, I don't know what will

How have beta testers rated the game so far?

It's a home run. A lot of MMO-RPG players hope it's the next 'WoW' (nothing can ever be the next WoW, not even WoW, but that's a discussion for another day).

Here's the general sentiment of the Pros and Cons of the game:

Pros: 

  • Storyline & Immersion - Storyline and characters are hilariously similar to other popular stories (hello helms deep, lord of the rings?) and cheesy at times but there's a lot that feels epic. Getting to the first major city makes you feel accomplished and immersed. The Storyline and quests ramp up proportionally to give players an epic feel to what's important in the player's journey.
  • Gameplay - There's a lot of depth and customization to the game. It isn't as straight forward as Retail World of Warcraft's talent system but customization to the player's character feels impactful right away.
  • Content - There's a lot to do, PVP AND PVE. You won't be bored. Class identity also very strong and fun.
  • PVP - Gear, skills and stats are normalized. There's no pay-to-win advantages here (more on this as a con later).
  • It's hard - There's a ton of challenging content that you can do. The game isn't rollover easy and progresses at a pace that is appropriately challenging.

Cons:

  • It's hard - Players have compared it to Mythic Raiding in World of Warcraft.
  • Isometric - Most of the popular MMORPGs are not Isometric. Most are third person. It's a different feel, one that'll take adjusting to, but it's a potential con.
  • Potential P2W - Here's a more in-depth explanation. No one knows what changes are going to be made to the shop from now until release but Lost Ark needs to make money. Unfortunately, that means they need to offer content that is valuable to players. Which probably means not just cosmetic advantages but also progression.
  • Overwhelming - There's SO much to do, it can get overwhelming. The game starts off well by guiding the user through the different facets of the game but this drops off quickly.
  • Character Customization - Customization for characters is top tier. However if you want to be a WAIFU paladin: no can do. If you want to be a CHAD bard: sorry.

There are parts of questing that are repetitive, eg: kill five boars, gather herbs, kill these different five boars, gather these different five herbs, etc. Every MMORPG is guilty of some repetition, there's only so many different variations you can have when there's thousands of quests out there. However, the main story quest has parts that are exceptionally unique and different. The scenario instance right into the first major city was epic. The dungeons leading up to that were fun and challenging. Mechanics (and how badly mistakes are punished) appropriately ramp up as the player progresses.

Overall Lost Ark is great. It being free-to-play makes it an easy try. I would recommend getting to level 27-30 (progress through to the first major city) before giving it any criticism. I know MMORPG players are starving for a game that will be the next 'World of Warcraft'. Some were hoping New World to be it. I'm hoping it's Lost Ark.

TLDR: WE'RE ALL GONNA BE LOST ARK MAINS