Lost Ark 2023 Review: Pros, Cons, and Deciding Factor
This guide provides an in-depth review of Lost Ark in 2023, offering viewers valuable insights to help them make an informed decision about playing or returning to the game. The guide is structured into four main sections: Pros, Cons, Deciding Factors, and New Player Tips, with a brief summary at the end. The deciding factor section objectively examines various aspects of the game that may or may not appeal to different players, while the new player tips section offers practical advice on overcoming common difficulties faced by the community.
↖ Lost Ark Pros
Lost Ark is an MMORPG with many advantages over other games in the genre. Here are seven reasons why it's worth playing:
The main story quest alone can get you to level 50 quickly without having to do side quests. You can get to max level within a day if you grind it out. There are also two free level boosts and a knowledge transfer system that lets you skip the story on more characters by paying gold.
Diverse Class Playstyles
Every class in Lost Ark has two class engravings that can completely change the way the class plays. This allows for a large variety of play styles within one class.
The game's economy heavily relies on players, with gold being the core currency. Important items such as accessories, materials for the gear progression, skins, and mounts are tradable on the market. Even the freemium subscription can be purchased with Lost Ark gold.
Endgame Legion Raids
Legion raids give you materials to craft a set that you need, and most importantly, they give you a flat gold payout, which makes them relevant even after you've crafted the gear set. The hardest content, called Inferno, is an equalized challenge mode that gives you special rewards.
Inferno and the arena are equalized modes that provide a level playing field. Every player is given the same level of gear that they can modify to fit their playstyle.
Combat Feels Good
The game's combat is satisfying, with visual and sound effects that make the skills feel weighty and impactful. Older classes are regularly updated to make them feel as smooth to play as the newer ones.
The game's world is huge, with many different areas to explore and discover. There is always something new to see and do, making the game feel fresh and exciting even after playing for a long time.
↖ Lost Ark Cons
If you're considering playing Lost Ark, it's important to know that there are some downsides to the game that you should be aware of. Here are some cons to keep in mind:
It is a free-to-play game, which means that bots are a constant problem. They can create inflation, give players the opportunity to earn gold illegitimately and make the game world look bad. Although Amazon and Smilegate are working hard to combat bots, they are still a prevalent issue.
Steep Gearing Curve
The endgame involves an overwhelming number of different systems and currencies to gear up your character. It can be daunting for new players to learn about all of these systems and understand their functionality. Most of these systems require gold to use and are heavily RNG-based, making them expensive to use. The silver lining is that once you gear one character, it becomes easier to gear another with shared materials, assuming you're dedicated and have time to invest.
It is a game that involves a lot of grinding. The game has an overwhelming number of daily and weekly tasks, which can lead to burnout, especially since the game encourages players to have six alts to play efficiently. While the game has a rest system that allows you to miss up to 5 days of daily homework that you will get back with a 60% increase in drops from these activities, it's still a lot of daily investment for some players.
Constant Choice Between Efficiency and Fun
Players often have to choose between efficiency and fun. Trying out new characters with an established roster can be a huge hit to your efficiency, and that's a sacrifice that you must make in the name of having fun. It can be challenging to balance the two.
It is a game that isn't global, which means that certain regions are consistently behind Korea. While Amazon is doing a great job catching up, players in the West will only get released at a time than Korea. This can spoil a lot of the potential fun with new content because, by the time a new raid gets to us, it's been theory crafted and broken down into every spreadsheet known to humanity.
↖ Deciding Factors
However, before deciding whether or not to invest time and effort into the game, there are some crucial factors to consider.
No Holy Trinity
The game does not follow the traditional MMORPG structure, where players have defined roles such as tanks, healers, and DPS. Instead, some classes have taunts, and there are dedicated support classes, but everyone is effectively a DPS. This means that players must dodge mechanics as there is no dedicated healing, and no one will fix mistakes. If you enjoy a challenge and enjoy being responsible for your character's survival, this could be a positive aspect.
Lost Ark employs a complicated horizontal progression system that isn't required but is highly desirable to achieve the highest potential of your classes. This progression is entirely shared among all of your characters, but it can be gritty in itself and take an incredibly long time to achieve. Some examples are skills, potions, and card sets that can increase your damage. If you enjoy a sense of achievement and don't mind grinding for it, this could be a positive aspect.
Lost Ark is an alt-heavy game. If you're the type of person who likes only to play one character, this game may not be for you. It is possible to play only one character, but it will slow down your progression by a lot because the game is inherently designed to have a roster of at least a few alts, ideally six. If you enjoy variety and enjoy playing different characters, this could be a positive aspect.
High Personal Responsibility
Players must take responsibility for their character's survival. There are times when, if you die in a party with players who out-gear the raid, they can still clear without you. Still, the majority of encounters rely on most, if not all, players to be alive to complete the mechanics properly. Moreover, a lot of these mechanics can turn into a raid wipe just because you messed up. This can make the game fun but also incredibly daunting to play and learn. If you enjoy a challenge and enjoy being responsible for your character's survival, this could be a positive aspect.
Lost Ark's cash shop has materials on it that are limited to only a few purchases per month. These purchases don't actually give all that much to set you apart, but they are there. It's a good option if you're out of mats and are okay with spending a little to catch up. However, it can be a big turn-off to a lot of players. One thing to note is that the cash shop doesn't have anything exclusive to it that isn't obtainable by just playing the game. If you're someone who enjoys earning rewards through gameplay, this could be a positive aspect.
↖ New Player Tips
Here are some concise tips for new players of Lost Ark:
- Make friends or join a guild to make the most of the game's MMORPG experience.
- Start with a supporting character, as they require less gear and are accepted into raids more easily. You can switch to a DPS character later.
- Play on N.A. East or E.U. Central servers for better population and game experience.
- Follow the Maxwell speedrun guide to Tier 3 for an effective start to the game.
- Look up actual gameplay videos of a class that interests you before creating it, as the game encourages playing multiple characters.
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