Lost Ark is the second most played game on Steam: all about it

Live broadcast platform Tic is the best place to follow gaming trends. And the latest game to set the Twitch category charts on fire is Lost Ark. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) recently went free-to-play. After that, its player count on the Steam gaming platform also reached great heights, taking second place with 1.3 million concurrent players. But what is Lost Ark and why is everyone talking about it? We take a look below.

What is the Lost Ark?

Contrary to what its Steam page might have you believe, Lost Ark isn’t exactly a new launch. Developed by South Korean video game developer Smilegate, the game was originally released in December 2019, but was locked in regions like Russia and Japan. Still, the dark fantasy game saw a steady growth in playerbase and caught the eye of industry giant Amazon Studios, who later acquired the rights and released it for Western markets. Since then, the numbers have skyrocketed instantly.

Lost Ark is a top-down isometric action role-playing game (RPG) in the veins of classic Diablo games. Once you enter the vast and dynamic world of Arkesia, the game lets you explore the seven continents and seas to learn about cultures, battle mythical beasts, and search for lost treasures. It has everything you would expect from the dark fantasy genre – deep lore, flawed characters with stories to tell, and a range of epic quests to take on.

Lost Ark features 15 playable classes to choose from, each with their own unique perks and abilities. (Image credit: Smilegate)

It features 15 playable classes, which you can choose from at the start of your journey, giving you looks, skills, and weapons to suit your physique and gender. You can then team up with other players on the server and complete various missions to earn XP (experience points) or loot useful upgrades during battles. Going solo is just as fun as experiencing the cinematic story-driven campaign – all for free.

For comparison, games like World of Warcraft tend to lock certain quests behind an upgrade system. You must therefore reach at least level 25 before entering the relevant parts of the game. In addition, it is locked behind a monthly subscription plan. But Lost Ark places no such restrictions on what you can do in the world. The game allows you to team up with a high-level partner and fight demons and orcs far beyond your skills. If you die, it’s entirely on you.

Why is Lost Ark popular?

The nostalgia factor is one thing that drives popularity. As mentioned, the gameplay feels identical to the Diablo series, where you click to move around and attack incoming enemies, pick up fleeing loot, and sort supplies through a detailed inventory management system. You can even trade items with other players, team up with tough bosses, and perform a host of combo attacks to make fighting easier.

Lost bow, lost bow gameplay, lost bow combat, Combat in Lost Ark has no restrictions and allows you to team up with multiple players online to achieve your goal. (Image credit: Smilegate)

You might be way below the required level, dealing triple-digit damage, but the special loot earned is shared equally between each player. Simply put, it allows you to get rid of others to reach higher levels.

Side activities are generously spread out, allowing you to take occasional breaks like fishing, hunting, logging, foraging, mining, crafting new weapons and gear, and even building your own own colonies. You can customize your character’s appearance at any time and even play around with new skills to see what suits you best. Once you hit that sweet level 50, the game expands even further – letting you explore dungeons, take on raids and take on special story-related quests.

Lost Ark, lost ark gameplay, Feel free to experiment with new spells and abilities in your free time. Find the best for your character. (Image credit: Smilegate)

Lost Ark can be played for free from start to finish. But, if you’re having trouble, you can purchase “Founder’s Packs” which grant special items that help you level up your characters faster. The cheapest option is the Apprentice Pack – priced at $19.99, offering plenty of money, tools, and a 30-day Crystal Auro to help you on your journey.

There’s also an Explorer Pack, offering a selection of pets, a horse for traversal, and everything in the base variant. This is listed for $34.99.

Availability of Lost Ark in India

Unfortunately, Lost Ark is not available to play in India at the moment, and there are many reasons why that might not be the case either. The market for an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) in the country is very small. Of course, there are people who actively play titles like Dota 2 and League of Legends – two of the most popular MMOs. But when you combine it with another genre, in this case an RPG, it’s hard to see the scope.

Moreover, India is primarily a mobile gaming market, as more users have smartphones than high-end computers or laptops. Lost Ark is currently limited to PC. It is therefore unlikely to take advantage of the popularity of mobile-only games such as PUBG: New State or Battlegrounds Mobile India.

Of course, there is a certain percentage of audience in India that will be interested in playing Lost Ark. These include people who actively watch top Twitch streamers and keep up with changing trends. As of now, it is unknown if and when the Lost Ark will arrive in India. But there is no doubt that PC gaming fans in India who love multiplayer games without focusing on the storyline are missing out on a huge trend.

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