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December 3rd, 2021, 04:41
Lost Ark?

It's a F2P Korean isometric MMORPG that started development around 10 years ago, launched in Korea in 2018 and recently got picked up by Amazon to be published in NA/EU regions for an early 2022 release.

It's up on Steam at the moment with 96% positive reviews.

Looks pretty good in the gameplay videos.

Anyone heard of this game?
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December 3rd, 2021, 18:41
I had some mates that I played EQ2 with that fell in love with this game, yet I never tried it for myself. They raved about it often in the discord channel, that's literally the extent of my knowledge.
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December 5th, 2021, 01:32
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I had some mates that I played EQ2 with that fell in love with this game, yet I never tried it for myself. They raved about it often in the discord channel, that's literally the extent of my knowledge.
Yeah, I keep hearing stuff like this! People seem to really like it!

I suppose those mates went to the effort of setting up a VPN to play in Russia and modding the game to have a rough English translation. I couldn't be bothered with any of that and least of all the ping to Russia but after a fair bit of poking around, reading impressions, watching videos, the game is definitely on my radar.

I have a feeling a lot of people won't get past "free2play Korean MMORPG". As someone who's played a lot of MMOs since Ultima Online or even before that on BBS games, Korean cookie-cutter MMO was a huge red-flag and grounds for instant dismissal. But this game looks like some legit effort has gone into it. It's not using that generic MMO engine so many of the f2p asian mmos used to be made with, whatever that was called. It's actually made with Unreal 3 engine and uses dx9. (But I don't think it will run on WinXP )

Anyway, this thread feels a bit naked without some sort of picture or video link so I might post one I liked from a youtuber that runs you through the fourth dungeon. I've always liked the instanced dungeons best in MMOs. Four dungeons by level 19 is pretty good.
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December 6th, 2021, 21:42
Maybe I'm missing something, but It looks like it's basically just MMO Diablo to me.
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December 9th, 2021, 02:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Maybe I'm missing something, but It looks like it's basically just MMO Diablo to me.
Yeah, basically. But you're probably missing details and/or background info.

I like lots of classes! It'll launch with 15 classes in NA but there's already 21 in KR version. Diablo3 has, what, 6 with expansion?

I like lots of endgame content! For endgame content Diablo3 started with nothing then added Rift Keys in the expansion. Lost Ark will have Chaos Dungeons, similar to Rift Keys, plus a bunch of other stuff. Various dungeons and raids to compete in the MMO genre. Then also Guardian Raids which are similar to Monster Hunter battles, complete with annoying running away bosses. World bosses and events and other stuff.

There's also other pretty standard MMO stuff like your gathering/crafting, decorating your player house, sailing, etc.

I think originally it was just trying to be a better Diablo game but it turned into an MMO by adding more and more features to be competitive with all other online RPGs.

Let's have a look at the original 2014 announcement video.
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I'm just hyped I'll actually get to give it a play. It looked like I never would with all the region lock and stuff. The announcement that Australia will be allowed to play on NA was very exciting news to me.
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January 9th, 2022, 20:21
I found a whole section of new guides make for the NA release

Lost Ark Guides
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January 14th, 2022, 15:28
Originally Posted by scurex View Post
I found a whole section of new guides make for the NA release

Lost Ark Guides
Good find! Lots of helpful guides there, thanks!

I knew someone out there had to be interested in this game. It looks full of potential. Can't wait to play it in 4 weeks!!
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January 23rd, 2022, 21:16
This smells like an Asian grinder with boring loot and an over-the-top Diablo combat system.

To me, one of the biggest appeals of the Diablo genre is precisely that it does NOT involve the traditional MMO grind.

You get to experience the complete power fantasy in, say, 20-50 hours - instead of 500+ hours.

To each his own, though.

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January 24th, 2022, 02:04
I really need to play the game before I can comment. I think we can agree that if you like MMORPGs and you like Diablo, which I do, then it's got potential to be good.

But what I can say is this.

Imagine only playing 20 hours of Diablo!?!
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January 24th, 2022, 02:51
But, you know, I could also say that boring loot has been standard MMO stuff for a while now. If you recall early WoW there were a lot of stats that were not relevant to your class. INT on a Warrior, for example. So, if you look at modern WoW character sheet they don't even list them anymore. The primary stats of a Warrior is STR and then there's STAM for hitpoints, which everyone uses. Items tend to have an even distribution, with more tank themed items perhaps having a little more STA. Then they have the secondary stats that all classes make use of. Critical Strike, Haste, Mastery and Versatility. So, your class items will always have the two main primary stats, then they vary with the secondary stats, which will benefit you pretty evenly, but still lets you sort of add flavour to your build. Maybe you like doing crits for the big numbers, but someone who likes Haste will do just as well by getting in more attacks. Mastery effects all classes differently, but adds power to their spells and Versatility is a pretty generic % bonus to attack/defense that works out just as effective, in most situations.

Lost Ark is similar. The basic stat of a weapon is just "attack power" which translates directly into damage. (without the randomness of a damage range to balance for. WoW weapons damage ranges have become so small they're mostly irrelevant) I think you can hone it a little for a few % more attack power. Then the armour pieces have a little more going on, but still similar to WoW, with the two primary stats, but "armor" is separated into physical and magical defense values, which can also be honed a little, and two secondary stats. However, Lost Ark does have a couple more secondary stats. There's Critical Strike again, which is crit chance but not damage. Mastery, with varying effect based on class, same as WoW. Suppression, which increases damage done to disabled/weakened/CC'd enemies, but doesn't effect "chip" damage - a new type of health bar. Swiftness, similar to Haste in WoW. Endurance, which is a defense based secondary that no one ever uses, effecting AC/shields/recovery rate. Proficiency, which gives a + or - to duration of status effects inflicted/sustained and increases damage to bosses "disable" bar for if you want to knock them out.

Beyond that basic comparison, LA also has traits called "engravings" which can be learned via books, to a certain extent of 12/15, with every 5 points being another rank, then the rest need to be filled in with points from jewelry items that also come with points in negative engravings. So, you want to be careful with your items not to stack many of those and try not to get 5 points of any of them.

Also, LA let's you put points into your skills/spells which you gain on level up, but you can actually find more skill points in the world which are account wide skill points that make leveling alts overpowered. Also, for skill ranks 4, 7 and 10 you can add another bonus to the skill. Sort of like runes in D3. So, there's some theorycrafting to be done there.

There are some other progression systems, too. There's quite a lot going on and I don't know it all. There are even some non-combat stats like Charisma and a few others that come into play while romancing NPCs that comes with rewards that can contribute to progression with things like stat point books, etc.

So, LA itemization is actually on par with the genre. Maybe even a little more complex.

What I don't particularly like is the enchanting system where your chance to succeed starts to drop beyond +10 and by +25 you're dealing with a tiny 1% base chance to succeed. However, unlike other games, like Black Desert Online, failure will not reduce the items enchantment or destroy the item. It will waste some upgrade materials you'll have to farm again. But it's also worth mentioning that full +25 gear isn't required to access any content. Mostly +15 is enough. There's also content, I think called "Hell" mode where gear isn't even counted and its all normalized. Also, PvP is normalize too, so no unbalanced PVP here, unlike WoW.

Anyway, while the new system in WoW, where you can pretty much ignore everything but the "Gear Score" value on an item, might seem boring, getting a better GS item is actually pretty satisfying and noticeable. It's also much better than running a lengthy dungeon or raid only to get an item for your Warrior with INT that would be better suited to a Paladin, but still beats what you have in slot - making it an upgrade and causing an argument with the parties Paladin who also wants it.

Again, I'll need to experience it before I can judge how well it all plays out, but just going over the stats, as an RPG veteran, it looks like a good enough system. Maybe the Engravings are a little boring and it looks like everyone tends to go for the same few like Grudge and Cursed Doll which makes the books cost a fortune on the auction house while ignoring ones that sound good to me like Heavy Armor and are quite cheap to max out. But, yeah, I'll have to see how it goes.
Last edited by SirJames; January 24th, 2022 at 03:07.
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January 24th, 2022, 03:26
My thoughts, reading this massive wall of text, are why are the defensive engravings under-performing? Are we dealing with bosses having "enrage" timers that necessitate DPS over all else? Or is it more a matter of wanting to keep the battles short at possible so people have less opportunities to take a hit and die? Surely, Heavy Armor (150% more AC with no downside) could be useful in the later scenario?

I mean, with the limited amount of gold a new player, surely you'd be better off with 10 points in Heavy Armor for double defense than 2 points in Grudge, as Korean prices dictate, for nothing, or even 5 points for 5% more damage done and 20% more taken.

So much I don't understand, yet.

It also might be worth mentioning that this MMO doesn't have the standard trinity of tank/healer/DPS. Bard and Paladin are considered support classes and offer a small amount of healing and a few buffs, but mostly everyone is a DPS that offers a few synergies like an attack that weakens the boss giving party members 10% more damage or crit,etc.
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January 24th, 2022, 10:26
You're quite right, the loot seems on par with the genre - which is the problem

I agree WoW is one of the few MMOs that originally had better loot, but they gave all that up - as it was too hard to balance. Too much work, I guess.

I guess if you're really into MMOs with endless Diablo combat and limited immersion (top-down, really?) - this could be a winner.

Certainly seems very popular - which makes sense, given the popularity of games like FF14 - which has similarly dreadfully dull loot, a zillion cutscenes with little or no voice-acting and endless combat.

Nah, the only modern MMO for me is ESO - and that's only because there's nothing better out there. But at least it understands the appeal of freedom and exploration - and the loot is probably the best of any modern competitor

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January 24th, 2022, 23:09
I think, in the end, items come down to two choices. It's either what you want or its not.

What you see in WoW is the drop is always what you want but it might not drop. It's only a minor thing if you wanted crit and got haste. In the end, the Gearscore is what matters most.

What you see in Diablo is a huge amount of loot with completely random stats and then even if you find what you want the bonus amount of STR is also random so the chance of getting a best-in-slot item with a perfect max roll on all stats in next to nothing. You're not going to find BIS legendary items with perfect stats in 20-50 hours.

Lost Ark is somewhere in between. You will get drops that are not what you want, but when you do get the right stats it will be a max roll of STR, or whatever. Plus, the auction house is far more important in LA, where in WoW it's never used for item upgrades and really just somewhere to buy some crafting materials. You will be finding upgrades on the AH and selling drops from raids. There is no Bind-on-pickup on endgame drops. Particularly if you find a ring with a popular engraving like Grudge along with popular secondary stats like crit chance. Those ones will sell for heaps.


But you can enjoy playing through the storyline in Diablo3 in 20-50 hours and not worrying about hardcore gamer stuff like BiS items. A casual approach is perfectly valid and it's the same for Lost Ark. You can just play through the main storyline solo or co-op in 20 to 50 hours and not worry about doing the extremely difficult endgame raids. But you could also play for 500+ hours. The difference between LA itemization and D3 is that in LA you can actually get the version of the items you want.

Also, what's wrong with isometric perspective? It's a classic!
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January 25th, 2022, 10:31
All I can say is I hope you have fun with it

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January 26th, 2022, 00:14
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
All I can say is I hope you have fun with it
Surely you can say more than that?

What's really that different between getting nothing or something you do want and getting a random drop you may or may not want? It's still just need=1 or 0.

It's really not that fun to stop and read the stats of EVERY item that drops in Diablo3. I pretty much just ignore everything but legendary items, so what use is all the trash?

Lost Ark would appear to be in a pretty good place with the drops. It's something like modern WoW items but with personal loot drops like modern Diablo3, so it's not a race to click the boss drops like in D2. With modern WoW raids/dungeons the items drop for the whole group but only people who need them can "roll" on them, so you might go away empty handed. At least in Lost Ark you'll go away with drops to sell on the AH.

Unless I'm mistaken, anyway. I'm sure you do all get some drops after a raid, but there's also a special chest that gets auctioned off for gold that only one raid member can get.

We'll see, though! After I actually play it I'll post some proper impressions. This is not yet a game that I can recommend. Just something that looks interesting in a time when most stuff doesn't.

It's also a great way to make the last 2 weeks to Elden Ring go faster!
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January 26th, 2022, 09:28
Oh, I could say a lot of things - but the best case scenario would be either having a negative impact on your potential enjoyment - or me being wrong about something (not very likely in this case)

I don't see the upside

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January 26th, 2022, 12:44
Is it not possible that you might be right about something and also not have a negative impact on my potential enjoyment?
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January 26th, 2022, 13:52
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
Is it not possible that you might be right about something and also not have a negative impact on my potential enjoyment?
That would seem unlikely.

Because if we establish that I'm right about why this kind of loot design is inferior - then you'd sort of have to deal with that when playing it.

Which would all but certainly have some kind of an impact.

I don't really want to do that.

There are no bad games, really. It's about personal preference.

But even preferences can change if you start noticing weaknesses in design paradigms and what not.

It's for that same reason that I try to avoid talking about games I'm hyped about - and I certainly try to avoid early reviews, even if it's next to impossible.

Why? Because we're all subject to influence - and if some insightful critic spots a design weakness - then I just might have trouble getting past it.

It's not just that, though.

The problem with reviews is that the reviewer is sort of obligated to have completed the game - or at least to have spent a good amount of time with it.

A lot of the worst issues in games and game design don't necessarily reveal themselves until you're a good way into the game.

Meaning, you can have a ton of fun before you figure out those problems.

Knowing about them before you even start can not only lessen the fun you're having - it can also hasten that lack of fun.

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January 27th, 2022, 00:30
MMO style gearscore/ilvl loot?

I mean, I'm sure we can both agree that the best loot method is hand-placed unique items with no random rolls. Like we'll be seeing in Elden Ring.

Diablo games are pretty much just slot machines.

30 mins of Diablo3 and my brain just turns off until I see a legendary drop. But that's also because the gameplay is so simple, once you've played with all the runes and settled on the build you like. I don't remember ever having to dodge anything. (In fact, the way the game worked was as soon as the enemy swings they'll always hit, no matter how far you move before the animation is finished.)

It's possible the added complexity of the combat of LA, where you have 8 attacks out at once might help with this, for a while. There are also Counter-attacks to look out for, different defenses to break, etc. The mechanics of the end-game raids clearly leave no room for brainless auto-play. You can't just over-gear and tank all hits. I'm sure by the time I get there they wont be so intimidating, but from where I'm standing now they look near impossible.

There's also the action game mechanics. Juggling, air attacks, etc. You can tell that Dark Souls, Elden Ring, etc, is more RPG than Action game because of the absence of these things. But they all add to the moment-to-moment gameplay which makes the game engaging in ways beyond the gamble of waiting for the next drop.

Also, 21 classes to master, should you become so expert you don't even have to think, anymore.

Yes, Lost Ark loot is going to be on the gambling side. It's a f2p game, an MMO game. They're all designed to keep the user playing for as long as possible. I don't expect it to be a pure RPG experience, like Elden Ring, without any addiction mechanics. But I do enjoy running co-op dungeons and raids in MMOs. As long as people don't get frustrated and ruin it by behaving like morons. Since the game has no subscription fee, I'm pretty happy to roll a character and play on and off between other games. Come back and play the new raid then quit again.

I already mentioned not liking enchanting systems with a chance to fail. Other than that, time-gated content, only being able to run a raid once a week, gets a sort of neutral reaction from me because it does give time for more busy or casual players to keep up with the hardcore players.

I don't think you have any secret insight you're just too kind to mention.
Last edited by SirJames; January 27th, 2022 at 00:45.
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February 23rd, 2022, 21:19
Not secret - just a lot of experience.

The more I see of this game, the more I'm convinced I'm 100% correct about it.

Sad to say.

But if you enjoy asian grinders with terrible loot design and absurd oversaturation of little gifts and opaque currencies (the asian version of the GW2 approach) - then it's probably not the worst game you can play.

It does seem to have a ton of content.

It's the kind of game that dazzles you with the spectacle until you wake up and realize you're on a treadmill built by the most hollow of souls.

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