Last night about a month since its release in the west I hit level 50 in Lost Ark. My progress was slowed down with the initial EU Central region having massive queues and then starting over on the EU West region which given EU Central still have massive queues I’m pleased I did swap over.
At the start I know a lot of people rushed to end game and a lot of what I read online was to rush to end game but that was the one thing I didn’t want to do, too often in games I will burn myself out quickly rushing to clear content and keeping up with others and then I find that I quickly lose interest so I decided to play through at my own pace and I’m pleased I did.
Along the way in every zone and dungeon I’ve gone out of my way to collect everything I can, every mokoko seed, every collectable, every side mission and done all side quests. I’ve not completed any areas adventure tombs yet but most are around 70% which means it’s not as much of a task to complete going forward as it would have been if I skipped it all to quickly level.
There may be some spoilers ahead regarding the story and I’m writing it off the top of my head so I’m hoping I remember things right.
The best thing for me levelling up has been the storyline, I’ve seen very few people online say they enjoyed it and I think most have rushed through it but I found it enjoyable and watched every cut scene and read every quest text, I don’t often do that in games but something in this game gripped me and got me interested in it, maybe because it’s quite linear and flows through the zones easily that I could keep up with what was going on which made the levelling process for me more enjoyable than other games.
Theres also been some good battles, sieging the Luttera Castle was fun starting on a siege tower to assault the walls and kills big groups of enemies and I enjoyed the battle in Boreas Domain which had people you’ve helped along the way come to join in the fight, I actually had a feeling of oh shit what am I going to do now as enemies piled in from every direction before seeing my allies join in to help and then there was the questline just after that which had villagers wrongly accused on being heretics and slaughtered which I found quite sad, the scenario had you playing as Armen trying to save them and the cut scene was emotional as they were all slaughtered though that could also be due to the music in the background which I’ve since found to be called Tale of Pletze, a good cover of this I found on YouTube by JFla Music.
I did find however that after moving from the first continent that the storyline wasn’t as gripping, during the first continent you had Armen and then Thirain tagging along with you but there wasn’t anyone really notable after that, I still enjoyed it but didn’t get attached to any of the characters like I did in the first continent, although I did find some of the storylines interesting and throughout levelling one thing I have found good is how different the areas feel, the first continent was very medieval, then later you go to a kind of cyberpunk area with hoverboards and war machines, theres a frozen continent that with the sound effects and using headphones actually made me feel like I was in a cold area with the wind howling, theres an area where you shrink and get to ride a ladybird, it gives each area is own unique setting which provided a nice change to levelling.
Also as you level up you get introduced to different things you can do, you get a stronghold after taking over Luterra Castle which you can research things, build things, send people on missions and decorate, I’ve not done too much on this yet other than basic research and sending people on missions every now and then, there may be more to it later on that I’ll need to think about but at the moment for me it’s not a major feature I’ve invested time in.
You get introduced to trade skills midway through the first continent and it’s done in a way that subsequent zones show you the different trades rather than having them all given to you at the same time which I thought was good, I have done a fair bit of these, mostly mining, chopping trees and collecting flowers, theres also fishing but that needs done at specific fishing spots so I don’t want to go out of my way to fish and theres excavating but that needs me to press a button and then walk around to find where to dig which isn’t fun so I’ve not done that much and theres also hunting which again I’ve not done much as I keep forgetting about that one, trees, ore and plants are easy to spot on the mini map and are on the route you are going so they are easy to do while you quest but the others take more participation so I don’t do it as much.
The one thing I’ve not enjoyed so far is sailing, this becomes available after the first continent and isn’t too bad when levelling up as it’s a means to get to the next continent to continue the story but now I’m level 50 I’ve got islands to explore and daily quests which are on different islands and continents and the sailing is a bit tedious, it might get better and I’ve just spent 480 blue crystals in the shop to get a ship skin that automatically applies fast boosts while sailing so hopefully that as well as upgrading my ships will speed it up a bit, at least there is auto sailing which helps but it’s still annoying having to wait while you sail.
Now that I’m level 50 I also seem to have hit a bit of a wall where I’m not sure what I need to be doing, I can’t do anymore storyline quests until I hit item level 460 I think so I know I need to improve my gear. I got a 302 level set of gear for completing the storyline quests as far as I could and I think now it’s a case of completing chaos dungeons, raids and I think the abyssal dungeons to get stuff needed to level up my gear item level and I need to complete daily and weekly quests to also get materials needed to level up my gear.
I’m also unsure about how to gear, the basic gear I think I just upgrade but jewelry items have engravings on so I think I need to find some with the right engravings but so far I know nothing about engravings other than I have lots of engraving books I’m unsure how to use, I have some kind if engraving stones that fail to upgrade to 5 nodes to be useful, though I’ll admit I don’t understand it enough to know what is useful.
I think there is now a lot I need to learn about and understand to work out what I need to do, levelling up and following the storyline was fun but now I’m at end game it’s a little overwhelming as there seems a lot more I need to focus on and I’m hoping that I can focus on it and continue to enjoy the game as so far it’s been the first new game in a long time that’s kept me interested for this long but I also know what I’m like if games get too grindy at end game as I’ll stop enjoying it. I do know there is more storyline to go through which I want to do so I know I need to level up to be able to do that and I’m hoping that Armen makes a return somewhere as his story ended unfinished, so I at least know that I want to keep playing and keep progressing to experience the storyline which is good.
For now, I think I just need to grind gear item levels and go from there.
– Sparko Marco