The Leveling Process in Lost Ark Feels a Little Dated
After a year of hands-on time with the free-to-play action RPG-inspired MMO Lost Ark, I came away with the impression that it had potential if you could get past the initial slow burn. Since then, I’ve been thinking about it a lot more and my opinions haven’t really changed much. Despite the game’s flashy combat and entertaining moments, the sheer grind required to reach the promised endgame may be too much for some players.
As much as Lost Ark appears to be a clone of Diablo, I can assure you that the only similarity between the two games is in their combat. Otherwise, they’re quite different from one another. A MMORPG with traditional training, Lost Ark gold is more similar to World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV in its core gameplay. Beginning as a lowly level one with a dream: to reach level 60 and unlock the endgame, also known as the end of the rainbow, is your ultimate goal.
It’s just that getting there might be a challenge. A long-distance hike is required to get to the end of the rainbow, which isn’t exactly a happy skip. This is a place where you’ll find yourself setting up camp and toasting marshmallows on a regular basis. As you can see, regular breaks are required because the grind never ceases. This is due to the fact that the game follows a rigid MMORPG template that is both overly familiar and a little dated.
Following the main quest line as it takes you across the land of Arkesia in search of the Ark, a magical item capable of driving the demons from the land, is the most effective way to level up in Lost Ark. Aside from some well-presented cutscenes and competent voice acting, the story isn’t too bad. With the help of set-pieces like a town being ravaged by a demon army or an exotic dungeon filled with massive clay warriors, the game manages to keep your attention. However, as you bounce between towns, you’re dragged into menial objectives and side quests that aren’t particularly interesting.
Please go get me some herbs, set fire to these barrels, and while you’re at it, destroy seven bad mushrooms for me, if you don’t mind. Getting that sweet, sweet Lost Ark gold for sale means you’ll have to get used to living on a clipboard. Some people may enjoy the chores, the gradual progression of the EXP bar, and the allure of shiny loot rewards, while others may find them tedious. I do it from time to time as well. However, from what I’ve seen so far in terms of the game’s questing and progression, there isn’t anything that distinguishes it from the competition. Whereas World of Warcraft’s seamless world is stunning and Final Fantasy 14’s story is compelling, the leveling process in Lost Ark feels a little dated.
The game’s most compelling feature is its combat, which draws inspiration from Diablo and other top-down action role-playing games. You pound buttons, and your character cleaves through waves of enemies with chops and blasts as you play. Depending on the class you choose – assassin, mage, warrior, gunslinger, and so on – the amount of cleaving you receive varies dramatically. Using large sword swipes, my paladin inflicts devastating blows on his adversaries while also bathing them in holy magic, which renders them useless. My gunslinger chooses three different types of barrels: dual pistols, a shotgun, and a sniper rifle, to name a few options. It also makes them far more complex, as you can switch between these weapons on the fly, spraying, praying, and blasting hordes of imps into oblivion as you please.
Combat is satisfying and crunchy at the same time. When it comes to stringing together combos, there’s a lovely dynamism to the moves, and the game accommodates both veterans and newcomers in equal measure. You’ll look good no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re button mashing or thinking critically, which is especially true considering the characters appear to be taking their trip to the goth anime convention extremely seriously. And it becomes more engaging as you progress through the game and unlock a slew of snazzy new abilities to use against more difficult enemies.
Co-op also elevates the game, as dungeoneering doesn’t seem to work quite right when played alone. Yes, it is perfectly possible, but the positive vibes aren’t in the air right now. You feel like you’re a chef in an empty kitchen, slamming your great sword through fish heads at breakneck speeds. It’s a strange feeling. Due to the fact that you can see how they add a little flavor to the kitchen, sous chefs make the experience far more enjoyable. As your friend flies into the fray spinning his big honkin’ hammer, a sprinkle of napalm, a dash of demonic flair, and a What the hell was that Steve? can be heard in the background.
And as you gain experience points and level up, you can add skill points to your abilities to make them even more powerful – for example, I increased the speed of one of my paladin’s swingy slashes while keeping it’s ability to mince anything in its path. As I mentioned in my previous hands-on, they aren’t the most exciting upgrades to begin with, serving as more of an incremental stat boost rather than a powerful augmentation to the character. However, as the story progresses, this does change a little. You can transform AoE blasts into long-range delayed bombs, and your plasma bullets can be transformed into magnetic orbs that suffocate enemies in their grasp.