All embark on the Lost Ark! The coveted MMORPG is expected to reach the North American and European shores in Fall 2021. Lost Ark Online released in 2018 in Korea and, ever since, the Western player base drooled over gameplay clips and devoured every bit of info about the game.
In August 2020, Amazon entered a publishing partnership with Smilegate RPG to bring an unspecified game to the Western market in 2021. Speculations that the unnamed game is Lost Ark proved to be true one year later when Amazon officially announced that it’s publishing Lost Ark. Here is what you need to know about the game.
How Much It Costs To Play Lost Ark
Lost Ark Online is a free-to-play MMORPG. We all know how the player base feels about the infamous business model. More importantly, Amazon knows as well. They vow to make the game accessible for everyone, no matter how much money players are willing to spend.
“We think it is important that players have a path to acquire all items in our version of Lost Ark without having to make a purchase with few exceptions.”
What those “few exceptions” remain to be seen. So far, three Founder’s Packs are available. The Silver one costs $25, the Gold is $50, and the Platinum is priced at $100. The packs give beta access, three days head start, exclusive cosmetics, premium currency, and 30 Days of Crystalline Aura. The last one will probably be the game’s optional premium subscription. It gives some benefits but it doesn’t smell like pay to win. So far, so good.
When and Where Will We Be Able to Play Lost Ark
Lost Ark is already on Steam with the launch date set for December 31st, 2021. This is a placeholder as the game is expected in Fall 2021. The Founder’s Packs can be bought on both Steam or Amazon.
Testing has already begun with the first alpha test running on Steam from June 11th to June 16th. The first phase didn’t go as smoothly as predicted as the test was delayed for several hours. Technical issues are quite normal, especially in the first phases of testing, so that’s not really a reason for concern.
Unfortunately, the alpha is under NDA which means that the participants aren’t allowed to disclose anything about it. The closed technical alpha gives players the chance to try 14 classes, explore the Sea of Gienah, and fight enemies in the Ancient Elveria dungeon. We’re sure we will see plenty of gameplay clips and detailed articles as soon as the NDA is lifted. As for the actual release date, we don’t think it will come sooner than October. On 31st August, Amazon is releasing its New World MMO so an October-November release for Lost Ark is most likely. Fingers crossed it won’t be delayed.
If you are eager to test the game before release but don’t want to buy a Founder’s Pack, you can sign-up for the test sessions. However, access is not guaranteed.
A Few Technicalities About Lost Ark Online
It looks like Lost Ark Online will be solely available through Steam. The FAQ states that “Once it launches, you can download the game on Steam” and “you do not need an Amazon account in order to play Lost Ark”. While an Amazon account is not mandatory, players will need one to access the forums and receive customer support.
The game is a PC title only. There are no plans to bring it to consoles for now. If you are worried about system requirements, you will be glad to know that the recommended specifications are quite decent. A GeForce GTX 1050 should do for 1080p. For 4K quality, you will need an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080. The RAM recommendation is 16 GB. As for the CPU, an AMD Ryzen or Intel Core i5 is enough.
At launch, Lost Ark Online will be localized in English, German, French, and Spanish. Servers for Central Europe, NA East, and NA West will be available. Be aware that cross-server interaction is not supported so if you want to play with friends, you all need to be on the same server.
Lost Ark Online Gameplay and Features
Lost Ark is an MMO action RPG that plays, similar to Blizzard’s Diablo series, from an isometric perspective. It’s a fantasy game that takes place in the realm of Arkesia.
The story is quite generic. We have gods, wars, an ancient evil lurking around, a golden dragon, demons falling out of the sky, and brave heroes to deal with all of those. You know how these things go.
The gameplay features five main classes: Warrior, Martial Artist, Gunner, Mage, and Assassin. Each class has between two and four sub-classes with unique skills and abilities.
The combat is fast-paced. It looks like a lot of fun and, judging by what the people who have played the Korean version are saying, it really is. Some have called it the Korean version of Diablo. While it may look like Diablo, Lost Ark has content that’s geared towards MMO interaction. It has dungeons and raids where the group must work together to overcome challenges. It also has PvP content, quests, sailing, open-world bosses, homesteading, exploration, and more.
As for the graphics, we’ve all seen clips from the Korean version. The game is gorgeous. It features crisp visuals, breathtaking scenery, and a great level of detail. More than 1,500 NPCs inhabit the game world. The character creation includes so many customization features so you won’t run out of options to create unique avatars. Fall cannot come soon enough.