I played it, I enjoyed it and now I’m telling you about my experiences…
Hello! I’m Tsurata, I’ve been working on this website since last year and it’s been a long road. I got to play in both CBT tests, however I only had the time to play extended sessions in CBT2.
So, what do I think of Lost Ark Online so far? Here are my personal notes on the game, don’t take this as a professional review, it’s just a blog post as a user.
Before going further, please keep in mind that this was the structural phase of the whole development, it was mainly to set things up and I can say that it was a fully fledged MMO feeling. The next phase might change a lot of stuff and improve the current content in many ways (hints of CBT3 content spoilers, such as Sylian’s Command getting extended, more islands, etc..).Warning: Minor spoilers ahead regarding how systems work , no story spoilers.
1. UI and the overall feel of the game
As a player who has played both betas(although didn’t spend much time on CBT1, like mentioned above) the new UI/HUD changes were really refreshing to the game’s overall feel.
The first version of the UI we’ve seen in 2014 was dark and diabloesque, then we had the FGT and CBT1 with a UI that looked a bit more MMORPG’ish with a hint of red/brown/orange, but for CBT2 Smilegate has surprised us with a nice, clean, dark and blue style that works well for the game.
We had way more graphical and game settings available in this test. The graphics have got a HUGE upgrade since the first closed beta such as: higher resolution textures, more foliage, different lightning and maybe some revised shaders too.
You can see some differences below in the comparsions I’ve made.
There are still some missing settings that might be mandatory for some people such as: turning off helmet display, mouse sensitivity, extended graphical settings, etc… but it has improved a lot since CBT1.
You can check out the translated game settings menu here.
2. Skill system, Combat and Tripod changes
Skill system: Basically, you have over 15+ skills to choose from (some classes may have more) from which you can put only 8 onto the skillbar plus you have your core skill(s). The effects and the behavior of each skill depends on the tripods you choose. It creates some diversity and a fun experimental playground for your mind.
Each player will be different as long as they don’t use the same build from the same guide or just happen to select the same tripods which is a really small chance. Having a build system like this makes the PvP really fun, although PvP is mostly gear-dependent, but more on this later on.
Combat: Hard to describe, it feels really fluid and everything just “clicks”.
It really feels like you are playing an action rpg and the isometric view with all the camera work and camera shakes(which can be turned off) make it feel like you are actually landing those hits, it gives the user a really great feedback.
There is no TAB targeting and you will have to aim your skills while also keeping your cooldowns and cast times in mind. It is a tactical action filled combat system.
Tripods: I haven’t noticed many changes since CBT1, just some visuals and minor name/description changes.
There are 3 tiers of Tripods. Tier 1-2 with 3 options each and 2 options in Tier 3, it offers some diversity to your skills. In other words this is your “build”.
You can select various modifications such as lowering cooldowns, increasing range or lowering your resource usage in Tier 1 and Tier 2, but then there is Tier 3 which usually offers you the choice that makes the skill behave differently, it also changes visuals.
To get Tier 1 tripods you will have to invest 4 skill points in a skill, to reach Tier 2 you will have to invest 12 skill points and to finally reach Tier 3 you will be investing 48 points total in a skill.
Getting skill points is a pretty simple procedure, you get skill points when level up and you can get more via Skill Point Potions by doing side quests/dailies or medal quests. There are some life/combat skill point potions as reward in your Adventure Book too. You will get a few reset potions at around level ~30 as a reward, but you can buy them in most cities for 6000 gold.
3. Questing, Progression, Dungeons, Life Professions and Sailing
Questing in Lost Ark is the most recommended way to get combat levels and you should do the side quests for the skill points and other additional rewards too.
There are plenty of different quest types, the most important will always be your Main Questline and the World Quests. You will also encounter many Sudden quests and World events during your adventures, you should do these too for the Lupeon’s Seals.
So, how do you progress in the game?
Well, level progression is really simple, you either do quests/world events or keep running dungeons on hard mode.
Gear progression is a different story though, with the introduction of Lupeon’s Seals and the exchange system, it is now much easier to get gear up to Legendary grade at late levels. You can get a few epic gears from quests or you could do dungeons on hard mode for purple (epic) gear. However, if you are missing pieces or you wanna skip the whole process of gearing up from quests/dungeons you can now farm these Lupeon’s Seals from Elite monsters, Sudden Quests and World events (such as field bosses or group missions) and just exchange your seals for decent gear.
The amount of seals required will increase exponentially on both the required amount and the rewards from elites and quests. Low level gear and weapons will cost a few hundred seals each and later endgame items (max level was 50 in CBT2) were priced at around 130k seals each.
There is also a gear score (average item level) system and the groups looking for players had certain circumstances for joining a raid group or a dungeon farm group, but this might be an Asian shenanigan that you will never see on western servers.
Dungeons: They were easily solo-able up until the higher level ones on both Normal and Hard mode and they gave a lot of exp and loot.
The boss mechanics are really simple early on, don’t stand in the circles and avoid as many attacks as you can.
People used to powerlevel by spamming dungeons after level 40 in a group, because one run gave you around ~150k exp and took 3-5 min to complete(to level from 40 to 41 for example, you needed ~500k exp).
Life professions: These type of activities were never really my cup of tea in any game, but it felt okay even for me.
You can start playing around with Life professions if you follow the main questline up until Lake Bar(around level 25).
There will be a few tutorials on tools and the professions itself, I invested all my life points into Fishing, it was fun. You had to throw in your decoy and wait until a fish pulled it under the water, then you had to press your hotkey fast and pull the fish out. Later on I unlocked Bait skill too and it made the whole fishing a lot faster.
Sailing: You get to the Voyage content at around level 35, if you follow the main quests.
You will get a basic ship, you can level up your ships from parts you collect on the ocean.
You can level up the ships to have more crew member slots. Each ship has a few passive skills by default. You can unlock more ships by doing adventure quests and finishing World/Exploration quests by actually visiting islands and helping the people on them.
You can encounter ghost ships, sirens, storms and shipwrecks which you can explore. The ocean is really huge, you can see other players’ ships. It costs resources to do activities and travel on waters, you can fill it up in docks.
If you happen to run out of resources (your ship’s health basically) you will be left with a broken ship, that is heavily slowed down. You can not use your boost or any abilities until you repair the ship at a dock.
You can get crew members from sailors you find on the ocean, quests or the exchange shop. Sailing is a huge part of the game and it’s the most fun, I judged it to be bad when I first saw it, but surprisingly it was a really great experience.
4. PvP , Raids and other endgame content
Sadly enough, I didn’t get past level 41 in the closed beta, because I was busy with real life problems, so about this part all I can tell is the feedback I saw from other players.
PvP, the biggest slice that interests many people usually. They added a few open PvP islands on waters to expand on PvP content, they didn’t seem to add much, you fought over a chest that gave you loot. The 3v3 and 6 player FFA remained the same, MMR system in place and the class with most CC or high burst usually wins. It was said to be heavily gear oriented too, no balancing or equalizing gearscore in arena (as of CBT2, they are rebalancing the game in a later test phase).
Guardian Raids on the other hand seemed like a great challenge, you will need good cooperation in a group to defeat a guardian. You have a time limit, 3 lives overall(the whole party, so only 3 deaths / party, not / player), the guardians move around the map and enter different phases. Both melee and ranged classes have to avoid skills, because there are long range attacks and really quick close attacks too. The loot is also really worth it, you can get materials or Legendary / Ancient gear drops.
Cube and Infinity Tower remained kind of the same.
Cube is a place you enter with a group and you need to kill different waves of monsters, you get a lucky/unlucky buff at the start of each wave, the longer you can stay alive with your group the better your lootchest will be.
There was an Elite Cube mode too, you had to clear 3 normal cube runs and have over 330 ilvl to enter it.
Infinity Tower works the same, but it’s a solo instance, you can test your limits and train yourself here. If you reach the top floor, that is the 60th(CBT1 it was 50), you are probably good enough with your class. You will also get a lot of rewards while you work your way to the top.
5. Final conclusion: Is it worth the wait?
In my humble opinion, yes, it is worth all the waiting.
The whole game feels really polished and fluid already in its current state. The graphics are very nice and the way the world is designed is just stunning. The game was very optimized for its early phase. The leveling felt a bit of a hassle for me, but thats just the 10+ years MMO experience talking, it is not that bad. The game overall felt really nice, I can’t wait to see more!
If you have come this far, thank you for your time! I hope it was at least a bit useful to you.
What are you most excited about Lost Ark Online? Do you have a question? Leave it below in comments!