What's going on with Lost Ark anyway? It's been a good long time since we heard anything about this promising and stunning-looking MMOARPG, including whether or not it was actually confirmed to arrive in the west.
We are tracking a rumor this week from Steparu that Lost Ark is planning on a new Korean CBT for sometime this summer. "Although just a rumor and nothing set in stone, someone from LostArkDB had a chat with a Smilegate employee, and they mentioned that the next closed beta for the Korean version of Lost Ark is scheduled to start sometime in June or July," he posted.
If true, that means that the title is still slowly progressing through its overseas beta cycle and will probably be a while yet to arrive in North America and Europe -- if ever at all. Still, it's something, so cling to hope!
One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It's way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.
But all the same, for tonight's Massively Overthinking, we'd like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2017 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.
Right now we are in a strange place in MMORPG history. Following the backlash of WoW clones and several high-profile titles that underperformed, major studios are becoming extremely risk-averse to creating big-budget titles the way that we saw not five years ago. Many former MMO teams are diversifying with shooters, MOBAs, and other safer and trendier titles.
Yet all is not lost! MMO features continue to ripple out into all types of game genres and new titles continue to be produced -- just not from the usual suspects. Instead, most of what is on our immediate horizon comes from either crowdfunded indie teams or eastern giants. The good news is that 2017 should see the culmination of many of these long-brewing projects and adaptations, hopefully resulting in a bumper crop of interesting online RPGs for us to play.
So let's run down the list of games that either are or possibly could be coming to you in 2017. We will provide an overview of each title, why you should care about it, and our best guess at the odds of its officially launching during the calendar year. If an upcoming MMO is not on the list, then it is our opinion that while we'll see it eventually, a 2017 release isn't happening.
One thing is for sure with Lost Ark: You are not going to find yourself constrained and bored with a paltry handful of class choices. The title sports six basic archetypes that then branch off into three advanced classes each, bringing the total high-level count for professions up to an impressive 18 selections.
For example, the Mage can specialize into a Bard, the Assassin into a Pirate, and the Specialist can pick up a supermarket tabloid and become a dreaded Astrologer. Other interesting-looking class titles include Musician, Hawkeye, and Warlord. Let the other games have their paltry Fighters and Warriors -- you are a Warlord and you will stride across their corpses.
While some of the names might be in flux due to localization, at least fans of the upcoming MMOARPG can start mulling over possible class picks.
What are you going to do once you hit the level cap in Lost Ark? Sure, get gear and do stuff, but what gear are you going to get? Where are you going to get it? Are you sure that gear is a good idea? What's the easiest way to get all of that gear? Fortunately, Steparu has run through a good chunk of the game's current endgame offerings in the first closed beta, and as a result you can get an idea of what the gearing process looks like.
Or at least what it looks like when you barely speak Korean and the game is not yet localized. There may be nuances here that are as of yet undiscovered.
Players have a variety of options for improving equipment, including field bosses, solo climbs up the Tower of Infinity, and slow but rewarding cinematic dungeons. It's a whole lot of options with a wide variety of rewards and none of the usual slow "enchanting" endgame systems that are frequently found in Korean titles; check out the full rundown if you're curious about how the endgame develops.
There's no doubt that Lost Ark has it going on in the visual department, but is there real substance behind the flashy style of this online ARPG? Steparu has been investigating the game's first Korean closed beta test and has a lot to say on the subject.
If you're concerned that Lost Ark is an MMO in name only, he reassures fans that this is the real deal: "Lost Ark is indeed an MMORPG though there are times that it may not feel like due to the linear-looking maps during the first handful levels of the game. I believe this was done intentionally to provide a very 'cinematic' experience which Lost Ark does very well."
Read Steparu's preview (and part two) and check out a few engaging gameplay videos after the jump!
There's a new eight-minute trailer out for Lost Ark, and if you'll pardon a mild spoiler, it's flat-out amazing. It's almost as if the trailer needed eight full minutes to hint at everything this upcoming action-RPG has to offer, including a castle siege during a thunderstorm, hidden easter eggs, and some intense (if not localized) cutscenes.
Steparu compiled a list of information that came out of a Lost Ark media event. The current plan for the game's testing is to move through three stages of closed beta before one final test in Korea, during which the level cap will be set at 30. There's still no word when the game might jump over to the west.
Grab your popcorn -- for snacking, not snarking -- and settle in to enjoy the gameplay video after the jump.
The Diablo clone Lost Ark is gearing up for its closed beta in Korea, and when players check it out, they'll be able to explore several of the game's classes. Lost Ark starts out with four classes that later can advance into a choice of advanced professions.
As it stands right now, the Warrior can morph into the two-handed sword using Berserker or a Warlord who uses a righteous gun-lance to save the day. The Fighter has a choice between the elemental Battle Master or the incredibly quick Infighter. The Gunner graduates into either a stance-shifting Devil Hunter or an artillery-wielding Blaster. Finally, the Magician can ultimately become a party-buffing Bard or another currently unknown class.
If you've been waiting for something a bit more scroll-happy before jumping on the virtual card game train, you'll be happy to know that Elder Scrolls Legends has passed from the forbidding desert of closed beta into the verdant fields of open beta. Seriously, you can jump in and start playing the game right now if you'd like. It's the newest card game for people who would rather play a card game without quite so many actual cards.
Other beta news? No, there's none. By which we of course mean "yes, there's quite a bit."
- The beta testing schedule for Lost Ark is available, as well as a rundown of the available beta contents. Still no word on its localization, but a successful launch is the first step toward localization. You can also check out information on the game's various classes if you're enthusiastic.
- The final beta phase for Albion Online has begun, meaning that there will be no more betas for the game after this point. After this, it's all hands on deck, straight on to launch. And then, perhaps, pony rides for the staff.
- Edengrad is getting ready for its first round of alpha testing, giving players a chance to roam around in the post-apocalyptic landscape early in development.
- The technical alpha testing specifications and available content are available for Escape from Tarkov fans. Fair warning, you will have to escape again if you escape during the technical alpha. Other fair warning, that may not actually be the goal of the game.
- If you've missed the experience of playing Darkfall, you can jump in on Darkfall: Rise of Agon's closed beta right now. Literally right this second, even. You might even be inspired to shell out for a founder's pack, and then perhaps pony rides will ensue for the staff once again.
- Development continues fast and furious with Gloria Victis and a trio of pre-alpha patches, ensuring that improvements continue to land on the test servers at a rapid pace.
And, naturally, there's that full list down below. See something that switched modes unexpectedly and has a full cash shop running? Argue that something counts as launch? Just like posting about betas with no NDA in place? All of that is welcome down in the comments.
We know that many of you are following the development and testing of the gorgeous MMOARPG Lost Ark, hoping that the Korean beta will some day lead to a western release. While we have no new word on that front, we did want to mention that some players have been doing website footwork to suss out some of the game's details, particularly in regard to its class lineup.
Steparu reports that Lost Ark has somewhere around 18 classes, although only some of those have been revealed. These include the Bard, Battle Master, Blaster, Berserker, Devil Hunter, Fighter, Gunner, Infighter, Warrior, and Warlord. We have to include a standard disclaimer that these may not be the final names or the official English terms.
Get the full rundown in the preview video below.
Let's make something clear: Shroud of the Avatar has not launched, it's just handled its final server wipe and will now be persistent moving forward. Which is different from launch because the developers say so. It was a pretty big deal when it happened, considering that the developers also ran a big telethon at the same time. There's also a land "rush" of sorts, but if you didn't buy in at a big tier ages ago, it'll probably be a while before you need to worry about that.
Elsewhere in the beta world, there was... well, testing. You know.
This is just a sampling of stuff that's in testing, of course; there are more titles in the list we keep down below. If something dropped in a cash shop without letting us know or surreptitiously changed test phases, please, do let us know about it down in the comments.
The Lost Ark beta teased yesterday is now set in stone: It's coming August 24th, with signups beginning next week on August 3rd.
Do note that we're talking about the Korean closed beta here. As we recalled yesterday, the last word from Smilegate on a global launch for the MMOARPG was that it's still considering bringing the game westward but wants to hammer out its Korean plans first.
Steparu reports this morning rumors flowing on Korean sits that OARPG Lost Ark is on the verge of announcing a big upcoming beta test, which coincides with the game's planned feature at China Joy later this week.
Late last year, Smilegate didn't demo at G-Star but said testing would begin in Korea early in 2016 and China this summer. At the time, it said it was still considering bringing the game westward, but that it wouldn't make the call until the Korean launch was planned out.