Amazon Games’ newest action MMORPG, Lost Ark, features an array of exciting combat options and a complex class system that gives way to many specialities and unique abilities. Many of the challenges you’ll face on your journey through Arkesia will rely on your ability to wield these skills, so we’re taking a quick look at how to maximise your combat potential early on in the game.
There’s plenty to do in Lost Ark – from collecting pets to taking down enormous demons – but combat is something you’ll want to have a handle on pretty early on, as it shapes your entire experience and progression through the game. You’ll find yourself slashing through plenty of dungeons in the main quest, but even side stories can have their own battles to overcome.
Combat can also reward you handsomely for your skills, with loot drops and gear upgrades available following the demise of most bosses. Here, we take a quick look at combat from all the main angles, and give you a few tips to keep your edge.
Class Types and Subclasses
Before you go anywhere or take any bad guys down, you’ll be asked to choose your class type. The choices are between Warrior, Martial Artist, Gunner, Mage, and Assassin – each of which have their own strengths and abilities. The choice you make here will dictate a lot of your combat options later on, so be sure to choose a class that complements your play style. Warriors tend to dive into the action head-first, using their brute strength to overwhelm enemies, while Martial Artists are more graceful and swift-footed, catching the enemy by surprise. Gunners can either wield heavy weapons or sharp-shoot over distance, Mages use ancient Arkesian magic to their advantage, and Assassins strike with stealth in the darkness.
Once you’ve picked your class, you’ll then have to select a subclass, but you’ll be able to trial each one in a sandbox setting before you make the final choice, so make sure their attacks are a good fit for you. During the early game, you’ll have to rely on each of these skills, as your weapons will be pretty weak. But we can fix that…
Weaponry and Loot
As you progress, you’ll find that the weapons you find gradually get stronger. The main quest bosses will drop advanced versions of your character’s specific class weapon or gear, and each town you visit will have a merchant selling slightly more advanced bits and pieces the further you explore. In terms of picking up raw gear, this is all pretty straightforward.
Weapons are also colour-coded to denote rarity – Orange being Legendary, Pink being Epic, Blue being Rare, and Green meaning Uncommon. Common weapons have no colour attached to their name. There are currently seven Legendary weapons available for each subclass, each of which comes with its own special effect, which will enable some truly devastating moves. Alongside the rarity and grade – which is randomly assigned when a weapon is discovered – you’ll have to keep an eye on the weapon’s state of repair, occasionally taking it to a professional in one of the towns for a tune up.
Each subclass has its own specialist weapon – for example, a Sorceress will wield a Stave – that can be used in combat alongside any equipped skills. Over time you will become adept with this one weapon, although you’ll most likely want to upgrade it whenever you can. Each weapon can be upgraded several times, costing more each time but yielding a more dramatic improvement.
First off, you’ll need to “treat” your gear by using shards – this enables it to take on further upgrades, which requires yet more materials. Every time you undergo the upgrade process, there’s a chance of failure, but you won’t break or lose the weapon on a failed upgrade, so keep trying until you get the weapon level you want.
Don’t be afraid to use your potions and keep yourself topped up – many of the HP potions are abundant and cheap, either dropped by lesser enemies or available in stores. Your character will also begin to heal themself if they are in a safe area for a few moments, so if the action gets a bit much, don’t hesitate to step away.
To protect yourself, you can also use various potions and status effects to speed you up, make you impervious to damage, or help you perform more effective attacks. Your gear will also decide how resistant you’ll be when enemies start attacking, so keep an eye on your overall Gear Score, which should give you a good idea. Before you enter a dungeon, you’ll be able to check the suggested Gear Score for that battle, and decide whether or not you’re ready to take it on.
Bosses and Dungeons
Dungeons are a major element of combat in Lost Ark, and you’ll find yourself entering them pretty regularly if you follow the main story. It’s your choice whether you do these solo or with friends, but you won’t find yourself at a disadvantage if you do it alone. Just be sure to check which difficulty level best suits your ability – higher difficulty dungeons drop better loot, but can be more of a challenge.
Upon entering a dungeon, many NPCs will disappear and you’ll have a clear path forward. You’ll be faced with waves of enemies, who are best tackled as they come so you don’t end up surrounded and overwhelmed. Eventually, after battling through a few waves and exploring the map, you’ll come across the dungeon boss, who will usually utilise the most formidable enemy types available in that dungeon. They themselves will also be pretty hard to beat, but keep healing and dodging and eventually you’ll be able to wear them down. By this point, you should have been able to practice on a few smaller enemies, so you’ll know which abilities to use and in which order.
The Combat Skills menu is your best friend in Lost Ark, as it allows you to build a character based around your personal play style. You’ll see each skill next to its corresponding level, and how many skill points are needed to raise it. Once you hit level four with a skill, you’ll also be able to add on upgrades that enhance each skill permanently. Reaching a higher overall level with your character will also reward you with new combat options that will render you ever more powerful against those demon bosses.
Now you’ve got all the information you need to start battling every non-human entity that comes your way – and a few humans too, if you decide to get stuck into PvP. Lost Ark is free-to-play, and available now on PC.