The Diablo veteran’s guide to getting into Lost Ark

Grind from the comfort of your own Stronghold.

Images via Blizzard Entertainment and Smilegate

Lost Ark is the hottest new MMO craze with thousands of daily players. The game has been out for a few years in Korea, but since it’s release in the Americas, the gaming community has noticed there are notable similarities between Lost Ark and the classic Diablo series and for many people it fills that Diablo-loving part of their hearts. If you’re one of those long-time Diablo fans intrigued by Lost Ark, let’s help you get into this new fun game that everyone’s talking about.

Class equivalents

Lucky for any Diablo fan, there are quite a few Diablo class equivalents in Lost Ark. Love playing Wizard? Create your own Mage sub-class Sorceress who can do all the elemental spells you could dream of. Adore Monk? The entire Martial Artist class is made for you.

However, none of these classes will be a proper one-to-one. For example, while the Berserker sub-class has that ever-so-satisfying Whirlwind Barbarian spin, the rest of their moves are much slower than you’d expect for a Diablo Barbarian. Also, you’ll struggle to create the same specialized characters (for example, you won’t be able to build a full-fire mage) because you’re only given so many skill options. And when it comes to summoner classes (Necromancer, Witch Doctor) you’re out of luck until some unreleased classes reach Europe and the Americas.

You can customize your character model, though, which is an exciting way to personalize your Lost Ark character in a way Diablo doesn’t allow.

A different way to play

One of the staples of Diablo gameplay is grinding different locations, dungeons, and challenges to get the best gear. While Diablo is famous for its powerful legendary and set items, Lost Ark doesn’t have that same iconic gear situation yet. So, no Firebird’s Finery, but instead a complex system of leveling up with, crafting, and upgrading high-tier gear into something much stronger. Both systems have you looking for RNG to give you good drops, but Lost Ark more focuses on post-level 50 dungeon-running while you could get the Diablo gear of your dreams anywhere (including the season challenges, something Lost Ark does not do). It’s still grinding for gear, but not the same as hunting down specifically the legendary Illusory Boots so you can walk through crowds. So, just be prepared to focus more on leveling and crafting than looking for specific gear.

Also, Lost Ark has added gameplay features like the strongholds. Strongholds in particular are important for making your character stronger. You can upgrade and improve your stronghold to accumulate more materials and craft better items. You can make upgrade materials, potions, and more. With your stronghold well-leveled and organized, the grind becomes so much easier, so make sure not to neglect it.

Multiplayer style

You can play all of Lost Ark multiplayer, just like Diablo. However, since the game Lost Ark is online and multiplayer at all times (where Diablo is not), the system works a little differently. In Diablo, people join the game and the enemies get harder and you do all missions in a single one-to-four person game. In Lost Ark, you, your friends, and even strangers can join up to do dungeons and missions together. However, when you interact with NPCs, pick up quests, and watch cut-scenes, you will always do that alone. The game does not automatically sync you up with your buddies the way Diablo does.

Visual adjustment

Any hardcore Diablo player will notice that there are… notable design similarities between the two games. While some of it is probably just a coincidence because video games like to have things like bats and ghosts and demons, other times it can be eerily similar. For example, the Herald of Pestilence from Diablo III’s third act has a very familiar-looking double in Lost Ark that might startle an old-school Diablo player when they see it.

There are some notable differences in visuals, too, though. You fight a lot more menfolk in the game, all of the settings are a lot brighter, and you take your companion NPCs along with you a lot more often on missions, so get used to Armen and Therian and a handful of others fighting your battles with you (and admittedly getting knocked out a lot).

In general, Diablo is a fantastic dungeon-crawler with one hero whose friends come along for the ride sometimes, while Lost Ark is a fresh and exciting dungeon-crawler where people tackle the world’s problems together. They’re a little different, but both fun, so pick a class, adjust to the gameplay, and jump right in.