Lost Ark MMORPG - Release Date, Trailer, Gameplay and Latest News

Lost Ark, MMORPG, Diablo III, World of Warcraft, 2016, 2017
This fearsome looking bloke is one of the classes, the Warlord, that you can expect to get acquainted with in early 2017 (hopefully)!

If you're bored of Diablo, WoW, LoL, and DotA, look no further than here for all of the information you could possibly need about your next biggest timesink, Lost Ark.​

So many classes, just enough demonic hellspawn to punch, cleave, and banish-to-an-ethereal-plane your way through. These are just a few (seven, to be precise) of the 18 classes you can expect to play is in Smilegate’s upcoming hack and slash RPG ‘em up.

Lost Ark Release Date

If you had to save the world from a demonic invasion, and the only way to do it was to embark on a truly epic journey to rediscover an artefact everyone thought lost, would you take up the mantle? Of course you would, don’t be daft. In Lost Ark, you and your companions must travel, discover, and fight – usually in that order. Where other games claim to be huge, they lack the ambition that is set to make Lost Ark the definitive example of massively multiplayer.

Important questions first, when can you expect to have your hands on Smilegate‘s epic scale fantasy MMORPG? Disappointing answers second, the release date is still TBD. But with Tripod beginning production five years ago in 2011, fans are speculating that the wait can’t be much longer, and indeed, are estimating the release date to be early 2017. Although, this might prove to be irrelevant for a large portion of the fan base, as so far Lost Ark has only confirmed Korean and Chinese language support officially, and global expansion has only been briefly mentioned – it’s still not certain that full English voice acting will be included.

Hmm, yes, I see. A lot of the resources are fully in Korean, which makes it very difficult for a lot of fans to get excited. Although, many have managed to anyway. What we can see is that there are going to be 18 full classes, one of whom looks a bit like a plant. Oh, and one who looks like a beggar child.

How to Keep up to Date with Lost Ark

Understandably, this hasn’t deterred the steadily growing western following from flooding the game’s unofficial English fansite with traffic, and unofficial Facebook page with comments and posts, which I would advise you to keep an eye on for the latest confirmed news. But for those of you who can understand Korean, visit the official Facebook page, or the official website to keep up to date with all developer releases.

A rather apt metaphor. In this still, we see an icebreaker carving the way ahead for us. Slowly, but surely. Right?

Lost Ark Trailers

For those of you who prefer a more interactive media, check out the YouTube Channel for all of the latest gameplay and trailers.

This is a quick four-minute teaser for the game, showing off a few of the mechanics, classes, and environments that you can expect to find in the full game. Watch this if you're in a rush.

This, however, is a 20-minute in-depth broadcast from Korea's G-star expo, showcasing many of the gameplay aspects. Pay special notice to the points about different styles of leveling, and in depth class synopses. If a picture is a thousand words, at 24 frames a second, then this video says about 28 million words. And that is a helluva lot.

If you're interested, but not quite 20 minutes interested, check this one out. With some very cinematic music and stunning landscapes, this is the more exciting trailer that is sure to leave you 20 minutes interested. There are robots in it. And dragons. Enjoy.

Like a troubled bridge over waters. Footage from one of the gameplay trailers showing a battle on a bridge. Between you and me, I have a feeling that bridge is going to collapse very soon.

The World of Lost Ark

Lost Ark is a hack and slash fantasy MMORPG set in a large open world, with varied landscapes and huge ambition. Release is currently suspected to be limited to PC only, however console and mobile release has not been completely ruled out yet. From what I can gather, the titular Ark itself is a McGuffin which is important for defending humanity against a hellish army of demons who serve some chappy called Kazeros. This unsavoury character isn’t the first to try and invade the human world, you see, and this Ark was used a long time ago to save everyone when they needed it. As time has gone by, the human race has forgotten all about it, and it’s up to the heroes to recover it to save the world. This is hardly an original plot, however the lore it is steeped in is what counts for story as far as I’m concerned. More importantly, as little as I care for the plot, the game seems to care even less, instead opting for the organic approach where your actions and experience are what decide your story. A seemingly large effort has gone into creating a realistic and inviting world, where you do everything from fishing, to logging, to jumping on a boat and exploring the deep blue sea. It certainly appears that you get from this game what you put in.

Players should be reminded of several classic RPGs, including Runescape, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Torchlight, and many others. In order to set itself apart from these goliaths of the industry, Lost Ark claims to offer a deeper world, filled with vibrant activity and a wealth of beauty (Speaking of beauty, the battle animations are fantastic.). Different environments lend themselves to different playstyles, and if you watch the gameplay trailer you may even catch a glimpse of some platforming, although it may be an animation yet. What all of this means is that we can expect a truly unique MMORPG, where immersion is the name of the game.

Look at that lovely environment, all calm and serene, as if the demons never invaded. It would be a terrible shame if Kazeros scorched the earth and left everywhere in ruin as barren hellscapes. Ho hum.

Lost Ark Gameplay

That all being said, we can now dive headfirst into speculation, and stoke the flames of the hype train. Updates for Lost Ark have been admittedly few and far between, but the features that we have seen so far are nothing short of overwhelming. World of Warcraft players will appreciate the massive open-world adventure with fleshed out dialogue and varied landscapes, League of Legends players will feel right at home with the fast paced combat that I can barely follow without crawling through at half speed, and fantasy fanatics will love the deep lore already on display. Oh, and if you enjoy simulation, there appears to be no shortage of that in here.

As with any MMORPG worth its salt, we start off with character design. You can choose from 18 different classes (berserker, gunslinger/demon hunter, summoner, you get it), each with different play styles, and customise their appearance to suit you. For me this lends a lot to immersion, and the differences between classes are huge, so everyone should find one to suit them. Whilst so far evidence suggests that classes are gender locked, there is time yet for that to change.

After this, the adventure begins. Most footage shows players working either solo, or in a group of up to four teammates. I’m not going to lie, if you have played pretty much any MMORPG before, you can probably figure out the gameplay from there… up to a point. The camera is the same third person view many of us are familiar with, and controls seem to be the fairly standard keyboard and mouse interface. The UI is simple and unintrusive, with a nice clean minimap, and many gamers will immediately feel at ease.

One of the things that really impresses me is the huge choice of how you spend your time; cards collected during your adventures can be used to battle other players; barrels of ale can be swigged in button-mashing contests; and islands can be sailed to and claimed – then explored and pillaged. There are secret rooms dotted all over, lighting puzzles that involve fireflies, and context dependent fights that can be overcome in more than a couple of ways (either by brawling, or by using giant boulders to your advantage). Which brings me to another feature, the environments. Just from the trailers you can bear witness to a plethora of beautiful environmental activities. Running through gates and jumping crevasses, cutting chains and dropping foes, kicking men off of balconies, all things which add to the immersion of Lost Ark.

All of these sparkly features would all be for nought were the combat bland and cumbersome, which is luckily not the case. Combat is a highly customisable mechanic, with every class presenting a different style, presenting different outcomes. Diablo III fans will be reminded of the rune system when the Tripod system of skill creation is encountered, where powers can be customised on three separate levels. Weapons and equipment have been kept relatively guarded at present, however it is basically a given that loot will add an extra layer of customisation to the battle experience, with different armours and weapons to make the challenges worth the trouble. These challenges will come in the form of battles, and will require different tactics, as some are to take place in set circumstances with environmental aids, whereas some will take place in the wilderness where it’s just you and your teammates. Or if fighting monsters isn’t quite your cup of tea, then you can head to the colosseum, where you can go head-to-head against other players in either solo or team battles. There isn't much information on them, but there are mounts as well, so for those days when you really cannot be dealing with demons, you can just whip out a robot and dismemeber another mech. Tons of family friendly fun.

Fight the power! Some of the cinematic bosses look downright intimidating, but probably the scariest part of the image is in the top right. Only 48 fps?! Optimise it, please!

In short, there are a lot of features that promise to make Lost Ark a game that is praised for its combat, and it just looks absolutely stunning. A favourite of mine is the summoner’s ability to spawn a stampeding herd of flaming horses, or an ice giant’s foot, or to convince a leviathan to come crashing through the borders of the spirit world and the human world just to make a couple of demons regret the day they crossed a chaos gate.

On the topic of ‘Chaos Gates’, these are portals that allow for hordes of demons to suddenly swarm you and your party, like an invading spirit in Dark Souls, but just more. When some previous games have implemented similar systems, it serves to make the game world feel more alive, and helps to preserve the tension of the dungeons and boss fights just that bit more, which is one of the reasons I am excited to see how it works out. Another reason is that some games have used similar random encounter mechanics that have been highly detrimental by slowing down the game play, and leading to mildly frustrating consequences. I’m looking at you, The Amazing Spiderman 2.

The Cost

Pricing at the moment is highly speculative, with many people hoping it will be free to play (like a large amount of MMOs at present), and some people expressing wishes that it will be a one off fee for unlimited play, a buy to play, with very little in the way of micro transactions. However, money isn’t likely to be the only way you pay for this game, as like many of its predecessors Lost Ark is no doubt going to be largely grinding based, perhaps an MMORPG – Massively Multiplayer Online role playing grind? This is again, speculation, but a standard for the genre. Regardless, no matter what amount of time you put into the game, it’s shaping up to look like one of the most enjoyable and immersive timesinks of the decade, and is definitely one you should keep an eye on.

Set sail! Just one of the bustling townships. If you’re like me, you’ll spend hours and hours just speaking to NPCs here. Then days sailing that ship there.

To Wrap Up

Whether you’re an old school RPG fan, or someone who’s relatively new to the genre, you’re sure to have something to gain from Lost Ark. And I see it developing into something huge, maybe even something massive; be sure not to miss one of the most significant launches of the year… Whatever year it may be. Be excited.

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Student, Brit, music & video game lover.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Hammerwatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:Fallout 3: Broken Steel, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth, Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD

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