Lost Ark Closed Beta Hands-on: The Combat Feels So Right
It's unnecessary to introduce what Lost Ark is, since there are so many articles about this game already (you can read them at the game hub). After 1 day's hack-and-slash experience, all I want to say is: the game still needs to be improved, but its combat is exactly what I am expecting for.
Character selection and customization are presented in simple interface and cool animations. It doesn't have a robust system like Black Desert and Blade & Soul have, and it doesn't really need that complication.
I picked a Fighter, a female kungfu master. If you don't know, each class has a unique starting area filled with unique quests to help you familiarize the basics of the game. Fighter is an eastern warrior so her starting area has the typical eastern style construction.
Similar to Diablo 3, right click the mouse button and you can move your character and left click the mouse button you can do normal attack, and by pressing space button you can dodge. Surprisingly, combos are already pretty smooth to play at beta phase, and a series of attacks consist of normal attacks and special abilities are hideously satisfied. Skill effects have to been mentioned — they are eye-catching but not exaggerated. All the flashy, explosive visuals don't require a monstrous PC to support, and a mid-end computer with a GTX 660 GPU will be enough to take care of the game at highest settings.
Again, Lost Ark has clear UI most Korean MMORPGs don't have. Take character panel as an example, in addition to character name, level, portrait and gear, you can only find attack, defense and an overall gear rate on the interface.
The game has standard starting quests, but thanks to the immersive world and fun combat, those quests aren't very boring. Some main quests come with cinematics, while some are too slow-paced. It's worth mentioning that each class will face a unique boss at the end of starting quest line. Hitting level 10 means the end of starting quest line, the time to choose a subclass, and the start of the real adventure.
I feel the actual graphics, especially the details aren't 100% the same as what are shown in the official trailer. It makes sense, however, since the game is just in closed beta. Besides, Smilegate has confirmed they will upgrade the game to Unreal Engine 4 so there will be no reason to worry about graphics downgrade.
Based on my experience in the starting area, I think the game has 3A quality. It won't be easy to do the end-game and business model for a Korean MMO. We still need to wait and see if the game is a genre changing MMORPG.