Hello, Ark fans and welcome to Lost Ark World’s E3 preview! Below you’ll find the top 5 things we’re expecting to learn from Smilegate at this year’s E3, taking place June 16th, 2015. Please keep in mind that our predictions are merely speculation and educated guessing!
Lost Ark (Originally known as Project T) was announced in the fall of 2014 at Gstar, a Korean gaming convention. At the time, only 4 classes were announced; Fighter, Warrior, Mage and Gunner, alongside these glorious trailers (first trailer, second trailer)
The only release information given was that the game would begin closed beta testing sometime in 2015.
Our Prediction: For the Korean Market, we would expect a release date of summer or fall of 2016, with a western release in early to mid-year 2017.
While closed beta testing may already be in progress in Korea, Smilegate has thus far been extremely guarded with their information; especially as it pertains to western markets. The only indication we have so far of localization is from an interview in February of 2015, where a representative of Smilegate said “We are considering launching Lost Ark in the western market, and the date will be finalized after solidifying the service schedule in Korea.” But, due to interest generated and the unique presentation of the game, we fully expect a western release at some point in the future.
The classes Fighter, Warrior, Mage and Gunner (We believe referred to in the second video above as Battle Master, Berserker, Arcana and Devil Hunter in that order) have already been announced. In addition, we’ve seen Warlord, Infighter, and Summoner. All of these classes look polished and beautiful, with unique mechanics and styles; but these are just 7 of the 18 Smilegate has promised await us in Lost Ark!
While we can’t speculate to the class names, we can speculate what type of classes will be revealed. In a recent interview, Smilegate was asked if we would see a healing or support class. This is part of their response:
“The concept of a healer exists, but it is not a traditional ‘nothing-but-healing-spells’ type.”
Our Prediction: Smilegate will most likely reveal 2-5 more classes at this year’s E3, one of which is most likely going to be a healer/support class. We strongly believe this support class will focus on control and DoT/HoT type abilities, along with some strong movement or displacement abilities.
An additional observation: We will see at least one Steampunk themed class. Judging by many elements in the trailers we have already seen, I think it would be out of touch for Lost Ark to not include an “Engineer” type class with turrets, bombs and the like. Tell us what Steampunk abilities you’d like to see on the forums!
We’ve already got almost 30 full minutes of gameplay, but it goes without saying that we’ll get more at E3. So far, we’ve seen tons of great combat footage peppered with just enough to get us excited about other elements, like the Field, exploration, towns, PvP and more.
While a mainstay for any MMORPG today is combat, non-combat activities are becoming increasingly more important to gamers across all genres. To many of us, great combat is simply expected; it’s the elements that surround the combat core that get us excited!
Our Prediction: While we know we’re going to get a ton of stuff at E3, there’s two things we feel have been missing from the existing trailers.
Character Customization. This includes creating your character and changing your characters armor. Will there be a glamour system? Will all armor change appearance, or just some? How does the character design work? We strongly believe that this functionality will be shown at E3.
Some of us have been salivating after looking at the Life Level system, and seeing that we can do co-op gathering. (Woohoo!) But what is the gathering used for? We expect to see a preview of the crafting system, and what kind of professions will be offered in Lost Ark. What has been your most favorite profession of all time? Head over to the forums and let us know!
We’ve had a great overview of the combat in Lost Ark so far! We know that environments are interactive, (When the Infighter shoves enemies off a cliff in Video 2, or the spear guns while the players are fighting Berutooth) we’ve had a good preview of the Tripod system, and a smattering of abilities that various classes can perform. We’ve also seen role based combat, with the Warlord as a tank, Arcana as a DPS mage, Summoner as a control mage, and several other classes. But, there’s a lot more to combat than pretty combos – and we expect Smilegate to reveal more at E3.
Our Prediction: While there’s no way they’re going to be able to cover everything at E3, there are some elements we feel have been lacking in information.
Tripod System. While we absolutely love the idea of the Tripod system, and we’re sure it works well, it’s hard to grasp how it will be used for 18 classes without a lot of redundancy. For example, Elements and Combat Stances make for a great First-Tier sorter, but what else could go there to add more flavor? We’re sure Smilegate has something special in store for us in explaining the Tripod system.
Experience. We already know there will be combat levels and life levels, and we briefly saw an image of the Life Skill Tree. However, we don’t know exactly how skills and the Tripod will interact, and how experience will factor into that equation if at all.
Equipment. What type of effect will equipment have? Is it integral to the class, or simply for stat padding? With so many different ways to do equipment, it will be fascinating to see Lost Ark’s approach.
Real Money Interaction
Without a doubt, one of the most controversial topics in MMO’s today; how will the game interact with real money? While the MMO machines are pumping out more and more free to play games with cash shops, there are also unique business models that have been presenting themselves, such as Wildstar’s ability to pay your subscription fee with in game currency, or League of Legends’ highly successful cosmetic only model. So how will Smilegate choose to let us pay?
Our Prediction: Smilegate has already strongly hinted at having a subscription based model, stating that users have specifically requested a subscription based model. So here’s what we think:
The game itself will not cost money. Up front, there will be no cost to initially purchase the game and install it on your machine. While Lost Ark appears to have an incredibly high production value, Korean MMO’s are almost exclusively free to play.
The game will have a monthly subscription fee. In a recent article with a director at Smilegate, it was asked if Lost Ark will use a Free-to-Play model. The director’s response was:
“… many users had requested fixed-rate subscription fees… Everyone wants to play games for free. Nevertheless, they asked for subscription fees.”
While the F2P model remains king in Korea (And is prevalent in most MMO’s these days), this strongly hints that Smilegate is seriously considering a subscription fee model, stating “We think the ‘pay-to-win’ business model should be changed. And we will find a reasonable business model with regards to this matter.”
The game will have a marketplace. The marketplace is too integral in games now to completely get rid of; but we strongly believe it will be cosmetic only and give no stat advantage to players. Do you think cosmetic marketplaces are a good thing? Let us know in the forums!
We’ll be offering continuous coverage during and long after E3, so check in with Lost Ark World; your source for all things Lost Ark! Check out our Forums to meet like-minded people, and we’ll see you on the Ark!