Lost Ark Closed Beta First Impressions

Lost Ark held their closed beta from August 4-11 and it’s been a whole load of fun, and I have a hard time playing anything else. This is an action MMO, popular in Korean, in Beta in Russia and Japan, and soon it’s coming to North America and Europe. If the closed beta is anything to go by, then this one could be a massive hit when it releases in March 2022. Today I’m going to run through my first impressions of Lost Ark after roughly 10 hours of gameplay and talk about the gameplay, story, classes, dungeons, combat, and plenty more too.

What is Lost Ark?

This is a massively multiplayer online action role-playing game and it’s been available in Korea since 2018, plus it’s in beta in Russia and Japan since 2020. It’s coming to Western audiences in March 2022. Also, good news… it’s going to be free-to-play!

The gameplay is from a perspective similar to Diablo, and you have classes, loot, exploration, and combat. You can customize your skills, weapons, and gear to spec into different playstyles. The action and the gameplay loops look very satisfying, whether you are fighting masses of enemies or facing off against big bosses. There are PVE battles, raids, and PVP combat too. It looks like a whole load of fun, plus it swept the Korean Game Awards in 2019, which is what made me sit up and take notice.

What is the story about?

In terms of the story, the world has been invaded by a demon army, as Kazeros (the big bad) has opened The Chaos Gate with his six legions to invade the human world. The world had long since forgotten the threat of demons, and humans had forgotten about using the Ark to defeat the demons in the past. Now, it’s up to you to explore the huge world of Lost Ark to gather the pieces and stand up to the Demon army.

In terms of scale, there are seven varied continents (with seas between them) full of different cultures, strange beasts, and secrets to discover. The collective name for the lands is Arkesia. Its your job to explore, take down enemies and huge bosses in the open world plus collect that all-important loot.

Which classes are in the game?

You have 5 main classes to choose from, then at level 10, you’ll get to select your specialization class or subclass. In the NA and EU beta, this happens immediately as you start at level 10.

Let’s have a close look at the classes and subclasses.



The Warrior is your classic DPS class. Berserker deals big damage with the Great Sword, Paladins are heavy suppprt and Gunlancer takes a leaf out of the Monster Hunter playbook, plus they are a very tanky class too. If you like to take on the role of DPS and play slightly bigger, heavier classes, then The Warrior is for you.

Martial Artist


Martial Artists are all about the melee action, getting in there up close and personal with enemies. You have a male and female option here, who share similar traits, but are slightly different in the detail. If you like to punch, kick and juggle opponents up in the air with your martial arts skills, then this is the class for you.



Gunners dish out the damage from the range with their guns and tech. They are great for DPS, especially the Artillerist who have their rockets. Sharpshooters on the other hand use arrows, plus you have your standard Gunslinger and Deadeye sharpshooters. If you like to attack from range with some awesome weapons, this is the class for you.



The Mage is split into 2 subclasses, the damage-dishing Summoner, and the support-focused Bard. If you play the support role in other MMOs and are looking to support in Lost Ark, then the Bard could be for you. If you want to dish out magic-orientated attacks, then go for the Summoner.



Assassins are your classic Rouge/Hunter class. Quick, nimble, operating in the shadows. The subclasses are split into two with the Deathblade and Shadowhunter. Assassins are all about speed and big damage, so if this is what you are looking for, then try out the Assassin.

How’s the combat?

The combat is in an ARPG-style and you’ll be able to level up your weapons and armor through quests and raids, battling world bosses and also PVP opponents too. Lost Ark promises easy-to-learn combat features that lean into their Tripod system where you can unlock three tiers of customization for your abilities, letting you control how you want to fight. There are different classes, all of which have unique play styles including Warrior, Mage, Assassin, Martial Artist, and Gunner.

Lost Ark combines plenty of features that make MMOs popular. You have a huge world to explore, there’s rich and detailed lore plus the character customization is deep and varied.


On each continent, there’s a series of Dungeons, which in the early game are some of the most fun content in Lost Ark, while you make your way to endgame. You can solo any Dungeon, or you can take advantage of the matchmaking and go in with a team. There is normal and hard mode Dungeons, and on hard mode you’ll get slightly better rewards.

Run through Dungeons on normal difficulty to get through the content quickly. If you want to take your time, then do hard mode with a group.

You can’t use a mount inside the Dungeon, but you can run past groups of enemies. Sometimes you’ll hit a brick wall that doesn’t get removed until you beat the enemies, bear this in mind if you want to speed through the content.

Dungeons have a series of mob enemies, and you’ll face off against a big enemy at the end. Kill them, and you’ll get the Dungeon Loot. After you kill the boss, make sure you equip your new loot to level up your character.

Secret Dungeons do exist, these can be found by getting scrolls off NPCs in the game.

Other Lost Ark Info

One of the promising facts about Lost Ark is the fact it won 6 awards at the Korean version of the gaming Oscars in 2019. This means the game is out there, people are playing it and loving it. From the visuals alone you can see this one has potential but it won everything from character creation options, sound, technical achievement, and also the People’s choice award. It’s also been out since 2018, meaning the developers have had time to hone the game based on player feedback. Hopefully, this means it’s not going to be a hot mess when it releases like other major releases we’ve seen in the past few years.

Amazon is going to be the publisher for Lost Ark in North America and Europe and apparently, there was major competition for the distribution deal. Amazon has already launched their first MMO with New World this year, which had a great start, although recently seems to have lost a bit of traction with the game-breaking bugs. Lost Ark could be the perfect follow-up to New World, especially if it has a little more polish and quality.

The MMO features combined with a satisfying gameplay loop do have the potential to be a winner, look at what Bungie has done with Destiny over the years, turning that into a machine that people log into weekly for regular content drops. Here in Lost Ark, we have PVP, or players teaming up for PVE world boss battles. When you’re not in combat you can be customizing your character, or getting stuck into professions and refining your skills.

Let me know what you think of Lost Ark, I’d love to hear from you.