The news is somewhat unexpected: in 2017, the two most anticipated online games in the Asian market – Lost Ark and Lineage Eternal – are not performed in a classical form from a third party, but in an unusual isometry. And if details about Lineage Eternal are still small, then in Lost Ark in Korea, right now there is a second beta test. We took part in it and tried to figure out what the game is?
The very first impression of Lost Ark: very unusual. In fact, almost all the first MMOs were isometric, from Ultima Online to Lineage, but this era ended long ago. Now with isometrics associate except indie projects like Albion Online or Path of Exile – simple, budgetary and not very beautiful. With Lost Ark it’s different: in terms of design level it’s more like Diablo 3. Locations are worked out very qualitatively, and their style is constantly changing – of course, we start in a fantasy world, but some zones are stypunk-style, with firearms and clumsy robots. The heroes are traditionally Korean: massive armor in young men, excellent figures for girls, and for the player to be able to admire this, the camera regularly draws closer to the character (for example, during a conversation with another NPC). Developers do not get attached to the third-person view at all, even if they use it in 90% of the time – in Lost Ark there are a lot of clips on the engine, and during the fight with the boss, the first person view, which is needed to go through the next mini-game . Upset except that the city: to draw them beautifully in the isometric did not work.
Predictably everything is also with control: the hero moves on the mouse click, and the skills are rendered on the keyboard. There are eight active skills, so the question quickly arises, what to take in the build. The combat system also reminds Diablo – during the pumping the hero cuts the enemy literally dozens, slowing down only on the bosses. The classic MMO already begins here: even the strongest opponents from the plot mode have several “phases” with different skills – one has to fight off their guards, run out of dangerous zones on the ground, catch the moments when it is possible to inflict damage, and so on.
With more serious enemies, everything is about the same, but they have to be defeated already in the group, in the classical composition – the tank, the doctor and a couple of fighters, dealing damage. In PvE, there is no shortage: it lacks both dungeons and individual bosses for a group of players that you can come across while traveling the world. For the sake of entertainment, the “cinematic” dungeons are made: during the fight with the boss, the characters are literally running around the entire level, avoiding traps, performing various tasks, and finally converging with the enemy in a short battle. It looks very beautiful, plus adds a variety to the usual instances.
A little mixed impressions while from PvP – and this, again, because of the unusual location of the camera. Yes, it is much easier to control the situation around your hero in isometric, but it’s completely unclear what happens just a few seconds from him – this territory is just beyond the camera. Still, the traditional view from the first or third person, in which both the review is large, and there is a possibility to sneak up behind, for PvP fits better. There are not many modes yet: there are locations where you can freely attack any player, there are arenas for small groups and a larger battlefield. In the final version will add guild battles and even, perhaps, battles for the territory, but details are still not enough.
The class system looks very promising. The developers promise under two dozen specializations – from the classic warriors and magicians to the gunner with a heavy machine gun. The main feature of the pumping – the ability to modify skills, adding them the necessary additional effects. For example, for PvP to attack, you can add control, against bosses it is worth to increase the damage, and during the exploration of the world it is reasonable to modify the attack so that it affects several enemies.
For those who like not only to fight, there are as many as eight peaceful professions – from fishing to archeology. From the exotic is to add a friendship system: the relationship of some NPCs to the player grows, if, for example, to make them gifts – an additional reward for this may be an additional quest. Promised and sea travel – the player will be able to manage his own ship, explore new lands, face dangerous enemies during travel – but all this is also in its infancy.
With the exception of unusual graphics, an interesting skill system and a couple of small innovations, Lost Ark turns out to be a very standard MMORPG with a traditional set of entertainment – from instances to PvP arenas. Nevertheless, to watch the game is worth: in the genre now announced so few interesting projects, that even a qualitative repetition of the passed – already good news.