Is Lost Ark, Worth Playing?
Lost Ark is one of the best Korean MMORPGs to launch in the last five years, but that is not as impressive a feat as you would think.

Points of Interest.

the Lowdown
Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
Developer: Smilegate RPG
Publisher: Amazon Games
Price: Free
Release Date: 11 February 2022
Supported Modes:

It’s a Korean MMORPG.

There is no mistaking that Korean MMORPGs are very popular; they are often free-2-play, look fantastic, and offer a huge amount of content. Unfortunately, this is only one side of the story, and Lost Ark, like the vast majority of Korean MMORPGs, has its fair share of good and bad elements.

What I liked about Lost Ark.
Visuals.

While Lost Ark is not the best-looking MMORPG on the market, it is very pretty for a free-2-play action RPG, and the storybook-style introductory cutscenes for each class looked fantastic.

However, I was a little disappointed to see that each features your character prominently but does not reflect your character’s actual appearance and instead utilises the default appearance of each class/gender combination.

While this was done to keep costs down by allowing a single set of slides to be drawn for each glass/gender combination, I would have enjoyed seeing my custom character included in their backstory, as it was jarring to see my character represented by someone who did not resemble my character in the slightest.

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing

Combat.

Lost Ark’s combat system is comparable to that of Diablo 4 but is not quite as fluid or honestly fun; while I am sure it would be more enjoyable on a controller than a mouse and keyboard, attacks feel weightless, and while each attack is suitably flashy and does considerably damage, nothing about the combat system wowed me, despite being a very capable system that does not suffer from any single major issue, overall a carefully constructed system that makes very few mistakes, not takes many risks, to the detriment of long-term enjoyment and player participation.

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing

Alt Friendly.

Like many Eastern MMORPGs, Lost Ark is very alt-friendly and allows players to level alt characters while playing on their main character and also level their characters AFK, a perk that is predominantly reserved for Crystalline Aura (VIP) members.

While this is all well and good, and players are awarded a single Vern Power Pass and a few intervals for free, allowing adults to leap to raid-worthy status, additional passes must be purchased with real money. Like most things in the cash shop, they are overpriced.

For a casual player, Lost Ark is a great way to play with a bunch of adults and save time; however, if you intend to be active at endgame, prefer to either sign away six months of your life to grind gear or open wide your wallet to prepare your alt army for endgame encounters.

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing

What I didn’t like about Lost Ark.
Monitization.

The Lost Ark cash shop is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with free-2-play Korean MMORPGs, from overpriced cosmetics to currency obfuscation and pay-2-win items; the cash shop is truly appalling on a level that most Western titles would not even dream of copying.

When I remember that the ionization in the Western release has already been toned down from its Korean counterpart, I cannot help but wince when I think about what our fellow gamers in Korea have learned to put up with and how I hope more of them speak out against such predatory monetization practices in future.

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing

Excessive Mechanics.

Lost Ark, like many Korean MMORPGs, stacks mechanics on top of mechanics, forcing players to learn a multitude of systems, when Western mmorpgs have accomplished the same outcome with far easier-to-learn systems that are not based around frustrating the player enough just to buy what they are looking for from the cash shop, or buying currency or items to ensure that their upgrades do not fail. They do not lose the item itself (in some games) or simply lose the price of the upgrade (Lost Ark).

While some games have been more egregious in this regard, Lost Ark is pretty bad, and I feel a slimmed-down version built around player experience and not driving traffic to the cash shop would have resulted in a much more enjoyable game.

Voice Acting.

Overall, the voice acting in Lost Ark is rather poor, and some rather important scenes are ruined by voice acting that sounds bored, confused, and frankly, like the voice actor did not care at all about anything but getting home and getting paid., and honestly considering some of the dialogue, I fully understand why they feel that way.

Dialogue translated from Korean to English is often flat and lacking, and honestly, for the voice actors to do as well as they did (it was bad) was a testament to their fortitude and dedication to their craft.

Magical Little Girl Race.

Like most Korean MMORPGs, Lost Ark has a “magical little girl” race, and while it’s not quite as egregious as some titles, and the character at least appears to be around 12 or 13 years old; these loli-like races always attract the wrong type of people.

I don’t care how many times supporters of such races claim a character is a 9000-year-old dragon in a little girl’s body; if a character looks like a child, it should be treated as one, and honestly, I hope the magical little girl classes are removed from all MMORPG in future, as they do little but attract perverts to the game, and at other times help perverts know which characters are ironically actually played by little girls.

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing

Prime Gaming Goodies.

Due to being published by Amazon Games, Lost Ark is never without Prime Gaming goodies, and just by claiming every Lost Ark park whenever I had an active Amazon Prime subscription, I returned to a generous amount of items, in-game currency, and perhaps most importantly no less than 60 days worth of Crystalline Aura (VIP subscription).

While Lost Ark is far from the only game to offer Prime Benefits, as a title published by Amazon Games, it, along with New World, is likely to continually receive perks until either Prime Gaming stops offering perks or either game fails, which right now feels unlikely, despite both games having had their share of controversy.

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing

Botting.

Lost Ark is overrun by bots, and it’s not uncommon for more bots to be online than real players; while Amazon has attempted to address this issue, their attempts have accomplished little beyond slowing down the creation of new bots and banning previously discovered ones.

While this does help keep bots from taking over entirely when real players are forced to compete with armies of bots to acquire the XP and resources they need to progress, more should be done, and more must be done.

Fortunately for veteran players, most bots are caught before they reach endgame zones, but allowing new players to face a lonely grind to level cap, surrounded only by bots and the occasional player, is not a great way to ensure the longevity of a “massively multiplayer online role-playing game”.

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing

Sexual Content.

Lost Ark in the West is far more tame than in Korea, and still, almost every single female character (including NPC) shows a vast amount of cleavage, has the figure of a porn star, and walks like they are trying to seduce everyone in the club.

In addition, almost every female armour set and female NPCs show absurd amounts of flesh, with sideboob, underboob, butt cheek or cleavage making an appearance in roughly 97% of all female armour sets and well over 80% of all female NPCs.

While some may dismiss this as a non-issue, I feel strongly that making content purely to titillate is wrong, and while there is a time and place for nudity in games, making every female character eye candy is offensive, and for those who are prone to acting on their lust, dangerous.

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right-hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. - Matthew 5:28-30

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing

Religion.

Religion and Religious iconography feature heavily in Lost Ark’s narrative. Yet, its approach to religion, one religion in particular, almost feels sardonic, with the titles, worship places, iconography and concepts of Christianity being used frequently. At the same time, the figure of Christ is absent.

Now, while I do not agree with why they did this and feel it was a lapse of judgment, I cannot help but understand their reasoning, even If I find it abhorrent.

Jesus is a controversial figure, as he openly proclaimed himself to be the only way to God, and for some people, such statements are viewed as offensive; however, I feel that such a statement is only offensive if it is not true, and that if it is indeed true, is it not academic or spiritual cowardice to deny said truth?

The evidence for the divinity of Jesus is staggering. Yet, academically dishonest individuals will ignore one of the most important aspects of critical thinking: the impact a being, creature, or event had on the creatures, beings and events surrounding it.

If someone were to enter a room and find a drunk & still warm cup of coffee, it would be logical to assume that someone had been there recently or was still there; the fact that a still warm, half-consumed beverage existed is enough evidence for any logical person to assume that a living, breathing human being had put it there, and yet these same people will deny the impact Jesus had on the history of the world while ignoring the effect his life had on the world, both at the time of his earthly ministry and since his resurrection.

The Early Church vs Modern Church.

If you look back at the early church, it was a very different group of people and a very different culture than what we have today in many mainstream Western churches, from easy-to-swallow gospel and fancy suits to powerful political office and massive lobby power being a Christian in many western countries (particularly in USA) is a fair bit easier than being part of any other religion, with the vast majority of political offices being firmly entrenched in Christian hands or at the whim of Christian voters and Christian wealth.

Yet, if you turn back the clocks to the church’s inception, you will find a very different state of affairs and mindset from the early Christians.

Persecution.

The early church was persecuted relentlessly by the Roman Empire, the Jewish authorities, the Greek authorities, and just about anyone in a position of power who felt threatened by the radical teachings of Jesus that threatened to upend their world by showing people a new, and better way to live, and most importantly making all men and women equal, to admit that Jesus was right, the powers that be would have to admit they were wrong, and as we see too often today with Right Wing American Christians, admitting they are wrong, and that Jesus is right seems to be a difficult pill to swallow.

So, as all-powerful people do when threatened, they sought to destroy the emerging church and Roman, Jewish, and Christian history. All bare evidence of this persecution, with even the famed Roman governor Pliny the Younger, writing about the persecution and often execution of Christians for reasons other than being Christians as early as 110AD.

To deny the persecution of the early church is to be academically dishonest. In many places in the East, that persecution continues to this day, with Christianity being outright illegal in over 50 countries, not including countries where it is technically legal, but local religious authorities take the law into their own hands, such as we often see in India and Pakistan.

Loss of Status.

When early Christians managed to avoid the death penalty in certain communities, they often found themselves losing friends, family, and status, with the Jewish authorities in particular casting out any who believed in Jesus from the synagog whenever possible; such a move would have been devastating to early Jewish Christians who still identified as Jewish, and recognised that Jesus was their Messiah.

In other cases, We have records of Christian offices and military officers losing their titles, ranks and office, and even, in a few cases, being executed for their refusal to deny their saviour.

Dying to Self.

The Gospel of Jesus is one of dying to yourself, loving each other, and most importantly, loving God, and honestly, that just doesn’t appeal to most people, with Jesus speaking against lust, adultery, greed, fornication, lying, holding grudges, lording it over people, being self-righteous, uncharitable, and putting yourself above others, actually did the reverse, by telling his followers to give to the poor, forgive their enemies, pray for those that treat them badly, pluck out their eyes if it was the only way to avoid lust, and called satan the father of all liars.

As Jesus taught it, the gospel is not a wishy-washy “say this prayer and never be sad again!” cure; it is the truth, and the truth is rarely easy, but it is always right.

For hundreds of thousands of Christians across hundreds of years of open persecution to give up everything to follow the Teachings of Jesus, for the early church to go against man’s very nature, to face being ostracised and persecuted, to follow the teachings of a man who spoke of a kingdom beyond this world, you better believe its real.

Without that core of truth, that sure knowledge of rightness, there is no way on earth you could convince those early Christians to give up their entire way of life to follow a lie when they had nothing to gain from doing so but poverty and persecution, a death both spiritual and often very physical.

Saying you believe in God is easy; saying you believe in Jesus is something else entirely, and that is why Lost Arks’ developers felt it safer to copy the trappings of the world’s most popular religion than to include its figurehead, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and saviour of mankind.

Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. - JOHN 14:6

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing

Lost Ark FAQ

Lost Ark is a massively multiplayer online role playing game video game developed by Smilegate RPG and published by Amazon Games , it was released on 11 February 2022 and it is Free-2-Play.

Platform Availability.

Lost Ark is available exclusively on PC.

How Many People Play Lost Ark?

As of January 2024, around 350,000 people play Lost Ark on a fairly regular basis.

How Active Is The Lost Ark Playerbase?

Lost Ark is fairly active, meaning that matchmaking is stable for much of the day in populated regions and viable in less populated regions, even though wait times are considerably longer.

While Steamcharts would indicate that the total western player base of Lost Ark is much higher than 350,000, for the sake of this review, were excluded the bot population, as they inflate the concurrent player count and contribute nothing but misery to the games players and in-game economy.

Please note this figure refers to the western release of Lost Ark published by Amazon Games, and does not include players who exclusively play via the Korean client.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Lost Ark offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Solo Matchmaking
  • Group Matchmaking

Are There In-Game Microtransactions?

The Lost Ark in-game store sells:

  • Cosmetic Items.
  • Cosmetic Item Bundles.
  • Premium Currency Bundles.
  • Premium Battlepass.
  • Starter Packs.
  • Pay for Convenience Items.
  • Pay-2-Win Items.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Lost Ark is rated PEGI 18+ and contains the following:

  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Lost Ark is not a bad game, and for players who do not have the desire, time, or ability to play popular ARPGs such as Diablo 4 and Path of Exile, or high-quality MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy 14, Lost Ark is a passable substitute.

However, as someone who has at one time or another played all of the above, I could never see myself quitting any of them to invest in a pay-2-win MMORPG that places greater emphasis on flooding the cash shop with sexy cosmetics than it does on dealing botting and real money transactions on a truly massive scale.

Is Lost Ark Worth Playing In 2024?

7
Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Lost Ark" a rating of 7/10, indicating that it is a good game, that is well worth playing, and while it may have a few shortcomings, the average gamer will enjoy it.

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