Over the past few years, MMORPG Lost Ark has undergone many changes and many of them have radically changed the project. For better or for worse, and also what is new here, I will try to tell in this review.
It is worth noting that I returned to the game after a couple of years and decided to try specific things for myself: the whole new main story and features of version 2.0, as well as look back at the leveling difficulties and the final content.
Starting my journey through the world of Acrasia more than two years ago, I was first of all impressed by the plot, the abundance of secrets and various collectibles. There was always something to do here in between daily and weekly activities: an old quest to be completed, to collect a mococo or something else. And when you get tired of everything, you can always “relax” in PvP or go for the extraction of resources for the sake of gold.
In 2022, the entire gameplay has remained roughly the same, except that the components have changed, and the content with various bonuses has increased. Starting from scratch with a new character, it became obvious that it is now much easier for beginners to develop to an acceptable level, and any incomprehensible moments can be easily found in a special encyclopedia that provides detailed answers to most questions without having to go online.
Established guilds are also constantly recruiting new and experienced ones, so I immediately joined a fairly average team. In addition to support and communication, while in the guild, it is possible to accumulate additional bonuses for special contributions and killing guild bosses, which helps in further pumping.
From a completely new one, a personal estate appeared, where you can teleport at any time with the help of a song. Now it plays one of the key roles in upgrading ships, gives bonuses for food prepared by the chef (appears after the quest), allows you to develop secondary characters by training them (only available with a special subscription). It also has merchants with goods for new currencies, obtained using the new function of sending mercenaries on missions, and the estate also offers all sorts of research and a workshop for crafting a wide variety of items.
All this, of course, is great, and increases convenience. For example, you don’t have to craft yourself now, because there is a separate menu for this with all the recipes, and the ingredients can be bought at the auction. But the problem again rests on the developers’ favorite currency – gold. The latter is a currency that is needed for key things in the game, including researching the estate, crafting, buying at the auction, exchanging for crystals, which are used to buy much-needed goods in the black market, and so on.
Gold is always in short supply, because it is also needed to level up the character’s things and access the final content, which is provided only after reaching a certain girscor. Of course, at first the gold requirements are significantly reduced and up to a certain level of item points, you won’t have to worry about it.
However, approaching the final stage of the plot, it is no longer enough, so you often have to stop and wait for several days until the item is successfully sharpened, the general GS will increase and you will finally be given the opportunity to find out the further story. In the future, the need for gold only intensifies, and the easiest way to earn it is through daily and weekly activities, or by buying premium items in the in-game store and then selling them through the auction.
At the time of writing the review (March-April 2022), events are taking place in the game, such as Akrasia Express, Tortoika Herbarium and others, which allow you to save a lot of time and resources on leveling. Therefore, I hope they will be left forever, or at least they will be launched periodically, because the rewards there are quite valuable.
Next, it’s worth talking about new activities, and looking ahead, I immediately want to say that I really liked them. Upon reaching 1300+ item points, the real hardcore and tactics begin, which many love in most MMORPGs. If there are no high-level players in the group and only the same GS’s have gathered among you, then the path to any activity will not be easy.
Whether it’s a cube with negative effects that randomly appear after each stage, a challenge tower for solo players with 50 levels, raids on guardian bosses and weekly demon bosses, it’s easy to die without knowing tactics. The latter are always memorized through bitter experience, because no matter what the guild member says or the Internet tells, you can react in time only after many repetitions. Often, in some activities, even the mistake of one player can cost the life of the whole group.
Marine content has also been changed. Now you do not need to constantly catch cargo, collect resources and any garbage on the way to your destination. All that’s left is simple sailing and participation in various activities, such as ghost ships and world quests with various currencies, such as Givena Coins and others. They, in turn, are spent on customization items, sailors, and much more. Sea adventures have also appeared, where you need to find interesting objects in the sea using maps.
I initially did not like the marine content in Lost Ark, but I can say with confidence that now it has become much better and no longer causes such disgust. Moving around the islands is done calmly and the missions on them are sometimes very funny. For example, there is a variation with horror, where, as an almost defenseless person, you need to navigate through a mansion full of ghosts and screamers. And there are annoying, but no less funny ones, such as catching the ever-running Naruni for Nart Salandar. Previously, I would never have tried them, but now I didn’t even notice how it became more interesting.
PvP in the game remains as cool as ever. The balance is good, and the item level is fairly average. It is possible to set up a separate build for battles with other players in arenas and specify a bonus to the characteristics of interest. Of the new modes, mass PvP on the islands has appeared, but it often comes down to a simple meat grinder, as in most MMORPGs, so 3v3 team matches or solo duels are still the best choice for improving skills.
Another plus is a nice soundtrack in new locations, improved graphics (DX11, several new sliders), interesting new classes, a still tempting story with a fair amount of humor, added collectibles and even more parodies of a variety of cultures.
In total, I want to say that it’s worth returning to Lost Ark and looking at the changes. Perhaps things that did not suit you before will be to your taste. PvP has become a little better, marine content has also grown, daily and weekly activities have increased and you want to periodically go there with your guildmates or friends. Although item leveling is quite slow and always depends on gold, but with fairly generous events and a bunch of new quests, getting to most end-game activities is now quite easy.