The Lost Ark game is an action-focused F2P third-person 3D fantasy MMORPG that was released by Smilegate as an open Beta on the South Korean servers in November 7, 2018. It has been in the works for seven years, with a staff of over 200, and theorized $90-$100 USD million budget.
The basic premise is that there was once a powerful Ark that was used to drive away a great evil from the world. Now, an evil Legion of Demons from Kazeroth is gathering six legions to overcome the world. As his forces strengthen, he is opening Gates and releasing his forces into the world. However, the secret of the Ark’s location has been lost overtime, and so begins the quest of the world’s heroes to set sail to locate and gather the pieces of the Lost Ark to defeat the Demonic Legion.
As the game is only in its Beta phase, it is currently only available in Korea, on condition that the player has a Korean-authenticated account. There is currently no news regarding when it will be launched in the rest of the world, as yet. Therefore, if any Westerners do wish to play, they will have to buy an account from a Korean company, use a VPN and then make do with all of the text and audio being presented in Korean. On the bright side, there is a way to use Google translate and other tools for assistance, but it is likely that a lot will be lost in translation.
Lost Ark Gameplay
The game begins with the player selecting their class, specialization and designing their character. Once that is done, the opening sequence for that subclass will begin. Each type has their own starting sequence, location and beginner quests. Players can toggle the perspective between close-ups and regular camera perspectives. There are various NPCs for the characters to interact with, some of whom will provide the characters with quests.
In the opening sequences, most of these will entail fighting through mobs of monsters and defeating the final boss. As they do so, the characters will acquire experience points, as well as loot drops. Loot can include items, potions, armor and weapons, among other things. Even without understanding the language, players can get around the game, with the help of translating tools and area-specific maps that allow players to view where they are and where they should be heading. Objects that require interaction generally grow, which also help with task completion.
As the player progresses in the game, they will eventually acquire a ship that will allow them to explore the various islands in the Lost Ark game. There are rumored to be over a hundred unique islands with their own set of quests, layout and objectives. Each Island also has a daily quest, so players can still visit completed islands, once they have finished the island’s main task.
There is a current overall endgame and level caps, but the producers plan on introducing new content and bug fixes incrementally, with more of the world’s lore unfurling over time. Furthermore, even though the game is open, it is still in its Beta phase, which means that the game may be quite different when its ready for official international release.
As for the actual quests and interactions, most of the Lost Ark game is action-based, with a great deal of fighting. For the most part it’s PvE, but there are options for 1- 4 PvP battles. As with other MMORPGs, players can participate in dungeon crawls (including Chaos Dungeons and Infinity Towers) raids, NPC quest fulfillments, world exploration, and solo or multi-player gameplay. However, there are certain side-elements, such as solo and PvP mini-games, character dance parties and other random elements.
Players who prefer a challenge can opt for the rogue-mode, which entails players having to completely start-over when they die. This is a specific limited game-mode challenge.
Graphics and Visuals
Although there is a lot of unique content to the game in terms of the types of hero subclasses, abilities and spells, arguably some of the main aspects of the Lost Ark game is its attention to detail, graphics, audio, gorgeous landscapes, character designs and stunning cinematics. Players have also praised the game for providing little lagging in Lost Ark’s character reaction-time, making it much easier to time the hero’s attacks and counter-moves.
In terms of perspective, the camera angles are reminiscent of LoL and Diablo III, rather than WoW. Players will use their characters to explore the various cotenants and islands in the world. During cut-sequences, the game will sometimes pan out to reveal some of the surrounding landscape. Characters can also be moved around in engine, meaning that characters can be manipulated even during story sequences. Enemies react to attacks; often recoiling or being stunned by attacks inflicted by the hero character. They are also thrown back from the force of more powerful attacks, following the direction of the attack, all of which makes the battle sequences seem more realistic. This is also effective for buying time to retreat or to group the enemies together for a mass attack or spell.
Before beginning the game, players will be able to create their heroes. They will first need to select a class and subclass. Once those have been selected, they will people to customize their hero’s appearance. This includes selecting an outfit, face-shape, ears, make-up, face paint, facial hair (male-only), skin-tone, eye-color and more. The hero’s sex is dependent on their class. For instance, there are only female mages and male warriors.
Each account has six available character slots. This will allow players to create and tryout a few of the different classes and subclasses, and to switch between them. However, they will obviously be saved at their own game progression and level. If a player wants to create a seventh character, they will need to delete one of their other characters, thereby losing all of that character’s saved progress.
Classes and Subclasses
At this point, there are only four available classes, each having 2-3 subclasses, with another two scheduled for release upon the official launch. It is likely that more classes will be introduced over time. Unlike most games of its genre, it also provides players with guns, mech suits and other machinery that is not usually found in fantasy titles.
- Warrior: Warlord (great sword, ranged attacks), Destroyer (hammer) and Berserker (great sword, close-combat spins).
- Mage: Arcana, Bard (music-themed) and Summoner.
- Fighter: Battle Master (close-range), Infighter (close-range) and Soul Master (ranged).
- Gunner: Devil Hunter (guns), Hawk-Eye (bow) and Blaster (rocket-launcher)
- Assassin: Not available in beta.
- Specialist: Not available in beta.
Abilities and Weapons
Abilities are subclass-specific and are unlocked as the player levels up and are shown beneath the red health bar, along with the associated keyboard button. Abilities are upgraded by spending gold which eventually allows the player to alter the skill in some way. Gold is earned through loot-drops.
The Tripod System allows players to customize abilities as their skill levels improve. This means that at certain levels, players will be given the opportunity to select which aspect they would like to add to their skill. It can be edited before each encounter. This is useful, as a skill that is useful during a dungeon run may not be as effective in a PvP confrontation. Some of these effects are elemental, while others are weapon- or spell-based.
Mounts and Pets
Mounts can be unlocked through quests found on specific islands, while some can be purchased in the store. For instance, there is a daily quest on Turtle Island that awards players a turtle mount upon completion. However, there do not seem to be any collectable pet or companions at the moment.