three things that work (and three that don’t) about the MMORPG that is on everyone’s lips

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It shows that there was a desire for ‘Lost Ark’. Smilegate and Tripod Studios’ MMO, brought to the West by Amazon, has since its launch being a success in every wayboth at the level of simultaneous players and viewers on Twitch, and the thing does not seem to be close to deflating, quite the opposite.

From Xataka we have had the opportunity to get our hands on the game and, although it is true that we still have a lot arkesia to go, many bosses to defeat and many things to achieve, we wanted to collect three things that, so far, we have liked and three others that we have not liked so much. Without further delay, we begin.

It has everything an MMO needs, and for free

We start with what we liked the most. The first thing is that you may like ‘Lost Ark’ more or less its aesthetics or its asymmetrical perspective, but it is a reality that is an MMORPG with all the necessary ingredients to conquer the fans of the genre.

The game has its own lorea main story (which is not the best and, really, is an excuse to learn the mechanics and level up), dungeons of different levels, PvP mode (player versus player), fortress building, sea navigation (which is almost a game in itself) and, ultimately, a end game pointing ways.

One of the keys to any MMORPG is that there are always things to do.

One of the keys to any MMORPG is that there are always things to do, objects to farmteam to level up and ultimately that sense of progress and improvement. ‘Lost Ark’ manages to offer this without much problem and, in the absence of going deeper into the game, it has all the ballots to give a good experience to more casual players and the most hardcore.

Lost Ark

You can go alone if you want, but the game wins whole when playing with friends, which can help us overcome dungeons or complete missions. An MMO can be lonely, but if we have friends who play the I level it will become more enjoyable and the dungeons will be more fun.

Have that point of complexity that makes understanding the meta difficult (eg understanding etchings, optimizing stats, building muscle memory for attacks), but at the same time it has a very friendly learning curve. If you spend time with it, you will discover how, in the end, all the pieces fit together.

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Does this mean that other current MMORPGs don’t offer this? Nothing is further from reality. ‘Final Fantasy XIV’ and ‘World of Warcraft’ also do it, but the difference with ‘Lost Ark’ is that the latter is completely free. No monthly payment or payment for expansions. The game is free from start to finish, though we’ll come back to this later.

Visually it is spectacular

Lost Ark

‘Lost Ark’ is visually stunning, plain and simple. I personally have played a lot of ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Guild Wars 2’ and ‘Lost Ark’ is by far my favorite. The graphics, far from being a game in Unreal Engine 5, they are really good and the scenarios, enemies and NPCs feel varied.

Each map is different, going from a blue and white salt desert to a flooded underground dungeon with its own biome and features. And the best thing is that everything feels organic. Zones are large and reward exploration with views and discoverables, as in ‘Guild Wars 2’, which is an incentive to explore the maps.

The characters are also sensational. Each character has its own identity, its combo of skills with animations worked over and over again impressive and its own strategy of I level. There are more complicated and easierand told to you by someone who uses a Demon Hunter with three weapons and their respective skills and the need to switch between them to increase DPS.

Nevertheless, there is no “better” or “worse” character. All classes are perfectly playable and usable. Depending on the class we take, we will obviously have some advantages and disadvantages, but the key to any MMORPG is that there are synergies between all the characters: one that deals damage, another that is resistant, one that deals damage in an area, etc. Whatever your play style, there’s probably a character for you.

It is a game that, ultimately, is nice to look at. It is still true that it has that Asian air that you may like more or less, but the detail of the settings and the visual richness that it offers us is worth admiring.

Translated and dubbed into Spanish

Lost Ark

It is curious that, being a game of Korean origin and that has just come out in the West, ‘Lost Ark’ has reached our borders completely translated and dubbed into Spanish. All the dialogues, in-game texts and locutions are in our language and, personally, I have to say that quite correctly.

As we will see later, the story is not that it invites you to fully immerse yourself in it, but it is appreciated that, for those players who like to walk around the maps, discover secrets, read everything and understand the lore of the game, everything is translated to our language.

It is true that English is an almost universal language and that for some users it may not be an entry barrier, but yes it can be for others. Dubbing the game allows you to focus on the game and reduces the friction of playing in another language.

An exercise in patience

Lost Ark

The first aspect that we did not like is that playing ‘Lost Ark’ is an exercise in patience. Or at least it has been so far. On the one hand, playing in the afternoon, which is when we finish working or studying, means swallowing queues, in my case and playing in Wei, up to 12,000 people at 17:00. Ultimately it will depend on the server, but the reality is that: there are queues and skipping them is not feasible.

And it is something curious that leads us to wonder if it could not have been avoided. The game became pre-downloadable on February 7, with the launch scheduled for the 8th for those players who have purchased a Founder’s Pack. In a way, maybe it could having foreseen the number of players who would want to get in at launch to expand the capacity of the servers or add more.

Like any massive online game that arouses a lot of interest, ‘Lost Ark’ has been marked by queues.

The game has had Steam’s second highest concurrent player peak, with 1,325,305 players. In the last 24 hours alone, 1,135,765 people have been playing and right now there are 68,716 concurrent. They are not minor figures or much less. Perhaps it was foreseeable that the game was going to generate this interest and perhaps the queues could not be avoided, but minimized.

Playing ‘Lost Ark’ requires patience, at least for now. All games of this type usually go through the same phases: the initial hype, the drop of curious and casual players, and the stabilization with an established player base. ‘Lost Ark’, right now, is in the first and that implies being aware that before playing we are going to have to queue.

Leveling up can be boring

Lost Ark

As any MMO player will know, the crumb of this type of games is in the end game (what is after the story) and, for that, it is necessary to go up to level 50. That is what the main plot takes care of, which although it is not boring, it does not finish hooking at all. Many conversations tend to be superfluous, leading to “next, next, next” until the mission is accepted.

And there’s the problem, that the missions are usually all of the same style: go here, kill this or that bug or enemy, come back and talk to me. Or the worst: go talk to that NPC who is literally two meters from me. They are usually secondary missions to level up (it is recommended to do them, by the way), but come on, boy, the person you have to take the bag to is three meters away, don’t be lazy.

On the other hand, your firepower is significantly superior to that of your enemies. I use a Demon Hunter and it deals a lot of damage, both in area and individually, and except for a dungeon boss who managed to make me swallow a couple of potions, the rest of the enemies have been damage sponges They have not given me any challenge.

Lost Ark

You have to do that until you reach level 50. It takes around 15-20 hours to get up to that level. It’s not much, but it can get boring due to the monotony of the missions. When you arrive you unlock the end gamewhich is where the dungeons are, the I level of equipment and what really hooks, but until then: go here, take this, bring it to me and add missions.

That, if you know what an MMO is about, it’s not a problem. You know what to level up involves gofer and mercenary missions, is a reality. However, if you’re new to MMOs, you might think the whole game is like that and quit before you get to the icing on the cake.

It’s not pay to win, but paying has its own

Lost Ark

How does ‘Lost Ark’ earn money, being a free to play game? With micropayments, of course. The game offers us several currencies, being the real crystals the only ones that can be bought with real money. They are mainly used to buy the rest of the game’s currencies, to acquire cosmetic elements and, most importantly, to obtain crystalline aura.

And what is that about crystalline aura? Let’s say it’s a kind of convenience package. It offers several advantages, but among them are the triport voucher (so that it does not cost money to teleport), a 50% discount to travel by sea, a 10% recovery of vital energy (to hunt, cut or dig), two Bifrost slots (to return to places you’ve visited) and perks on pets, like a remote gear repair system or warehouse access.

It is not a pay to win game as such, since in the West the movement speed increase and the boost of experience gained in combat, but it is true that paying offers some comfort in some respects. There is nothing worrying, at least from what we have been able to play so far, but it will be necessary to see if, in the long run, things remain the same or change.

It shows that there was a desire for ‘Lost Ark’. Smilegate and Tripod Studios’ MMO, brought to the West by…

It shows that there was a desire for ‘Lost Ark’. Smilegate and Tripod Studios’ MMO, brought to the West by…

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