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Lost Ark's success and the importance of combat

We all know that Lost Ark has been a huge success initially, and I wanted to try to deconstruct the reasons for that.

Lost Ark is a AMMORPG (MMO in name only imo). I tried out Lost Ark out of curiosity about a year ago on a VPN connection to the Russian servers. It was decent, but I wasn't a huge fan of the isometric perspective, and how it felt more like a 1-8 player co-op game with a small pvp game mode. I quit the game after a day because of that, so I don't know too much about the details of the game, but I think I know enough to know why it has become a viral hit: the combat.

Lost Ark is not popular because of the quests or story. I played through the initial story, and saw the pattern of quests. It is the typical boring story and kill X of this monster quests that 99% of players will skip through.

The reason why it is so popular is because of the combat. If the combat was just average, then I doubt that this game would've been this successful. People like the responsiveness, animations, aiming, approachability, and intuitiveness, that come with its action combat system.

I believe that Ashes is much more attractive on paper in terms of game systems, actually being truly massively multiplayer, dynamic, being more compelling and rewarding to play beyond just completing a series of themepark objectives, etc... but I think what we see truly matters is the combat. Through observation, a MMORPG can have average everything else, but if it just has excellent combat, then it can be a huge success. I do not know if it works the other way around, with having everything being excellent except having average combat, in 2022, and judging by modern combat standards.
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Comments

  • It's free.
  • ShadonSolShadonSol Moderator, Member, Alpha One
    They're currently reworking the combat system based on the feedback from Alpha1, so stay tuned for that!
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  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Lost Ark is a hack and slash game.
    Not at all what I want from an MMORPG.
  • AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Candy Crush was big, what gameplay can Intrepid get from that game?
     
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  • Atama wrote: »
    Candy Crush was big, what gameplay can Intrepid get from that game?

    Tap target combat. 🤪

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  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I agree. The combat feels great and combine that with the customization, i'm having a lot of fun playing the game. It's one of those MMOs that makes me want to go out and fight things.

    One thing i have noticed that i like is how some of the different skills function. The charge skills feel really good to use but one that i keep thinking about is a skill i have that works similar to a quick time event. Hitting it right feels really good. Since the original form of combat had a qte on basic attacks but it didn't feel good, i wonder they could put it on some skills that make since.
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  • Lost Ark had a "success" because of massive hype and Amazon marketing. People will realize very soon how bland this mobile games is.

  • AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    CROW3 wrote: »
    Atama wrote: »
    Candy Crush was big, what gameplay can Intrepid get from that game?

    Tap target combat. 🤪

    Crap, now that you said that, I sorta want it.

    (Plus I can get one of those dunking birds to help with raids.)

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  • Atama wrote: »

    Crap, now that you said that, I sorta want it.
    (Plus I can get one of those dunking birds to help with raids.)

    Heh - this reminds me of a funny story. Back in the day, I had a buddy of mine load the UO client to his work machine and used a stapler to hold down an ability key through the day to level up some type of spirit skill.


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  • AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    CROW3 wrote: »
    Atama wrote: »

    Crap, now that you said that, I sorta want it.
    (Plus I can get one of those dunking birds to help with raids.)

    Heh - this reminds me of a funny story. Back in the day, I had a buddy of mine load the UO client to his work machine and used a stapler to hold down an ability key through the day to level up some type of spirit skill.

    Analog macro via static hardware bot.
     
    Hhak63P.png
  • Lost Ark is a good example that you need more than just exciting combat to be successful long term. A lot of people are trying it out for free, but many people don't stick with it or dont even try it because it lacks that open world mmo feel. Literally can be played solo all the way to max level and very linear progression.
  • Totally agree, LA combat system is Amazing, i would love to see a complex combat system for AoC, where abilitys have different status like destruccion parts, stagger, counter attacks, ETC. and not like NW where every ability is just different by animation and damage
  • fabulafabula Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I would counter that Lost Ark was not a "success" because of its combat system. In Korea it released with the same combat system that it currently has and it failed. It wasn't until it started adding dungeons as its max-lvl content that it started to turn things around. If anything this shows that having fun group activities such as dungeons and raids is more important than the combat system.

    The main issue I see with LA is that it feels more like a Diablo game with a persistant shared lobby than what I expect from an mmo. You do the same content every day to increase your power and you might get away with that if you offered a reason for doing so, such as competition among players through PvP. This sort of competition gives players a reason to want to keep playing and increasing their power but once you have this you cannot ignore the p2w aspect of the game anymore so this becomes your main issue to deal with.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Lost Ark is an Action RPG, so... no.
    That's horrible combat for an MMORPG.
  • Lost Ark is also full of bots
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dygz wrote: »
    Lost Ark is an Action RPG, so... no.
    That's horrible combat for an MMORPG.

    I agree with Dygz.
  • 1sab3la1sab3la Member
    edited April 30
    insomnia wrote: »
    Lost Ark is also full of bots

    Not sure what that has to do with the topic. Also the bots while a problem especially on EU servers is a tiny % compared to over all base. It is being played by millions and I love the "because it is free". For a free game it sure is making good money and I don't just mean off t3 boxes although you can find some videos of people spending 1k-2k to power max gear on fresh character. Vast majority will just spend on cosmetic items. Also the OP specifically pointed out the combat and not the "world" or "business model" or even things like "itemization". I find all those to be bad imho but endgame combat is really fun.

    Unlike NA and EU a lot of Asian games are heavy p2w. LA started off poorly true but it was bad world experience with bad guardian mechanics and extremely p2w. Season 2 rebooted a lot of the game. Most Asian games I have played do well with combat. It is everything else that western market generally does not like such as grind, item leveling mechanics, p2w and so on.

    Honestly most people (edit: most in KR region) moved to LA because another popular game went heavy p2w. They don't like p2w but they don't have the market we have for games. The only way to milk is to attract people and that's why you see innovation in combat mechanics. Systems generally remain the same with some changes. Like LA you cannot break your gear when you level unlike BDO. BDO is another example of a game living because of combat.

    Most people I know enjoyed the combat even in NW (outside wars due to massive sync issues and bugs) but hated the over all game. Western market will catch up. Only innovation that you ever seem to really see is in fps/shooter type games but it's extremely competitive market so they have to be. No one wants to make a innovative mmorpg because they are so expensive.

    Anyways I hope combat is good in ashes. So far I'm excited and on my toes for excitement. I just hope they can deliver. Still very excited and would love to play the crap out of that game. Hopefully it's so fun it's the kind of game you lose your job over
  • ChiXiStigmaChiXiStigma Member
    edited April 30
    Lost Ark is a awesome well thougt out and build game with lots of content. I hope devs of AoC also played it and cherrypick good things out of this game.
  • I played Lost Ark for 800h+, the one thing that really caught my interest initially was the footage of Brelshaza Legion Raid.

    I do a lot of PvE raiding in MMORPGs, and the mechanics looked really interesting. After actually playing it, it really clicked with me. Right from the tutorial, the combat feels very satisfying, it's dynamic, responsive. And as you progress through the game you realize it has a lot of depth to it, especially when you engage in PvP. The PvP is very good and they have a lot of different game modes, with arenas and PvP islands.

    I hope the universal abilities (active blocking, dodging) will make the combat feel dynamic. I really like when you need to precisely time your abilities. Counters/interrupt, parry/"perfect block" or whatever...
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    This is unfortunately just the usual split, a split I hope that some company someday manages to join.

    Actiony games are lots of fun. People play them largely for the experience of the combat. But for some reason they're seldom actually good otherwise (psychologically I could guess at the reason, there's papers on it, but it's not relevant to this discussion).

    Slower games appeal more to people who don't have the skills or time or focus for the Actiony ones. They also therefore focus more of their dev time on stuff like the world and encounters and economics and as a result can't be as p2w, but they don't seem to do well because the combat is usually boring.

    I don't think the two playerbases are ever going to unite unless the developers make it work. As long as people have the reaction of either 'I'm not playing this game because the combat is too twitchy' or 'I'm not playing this game because the combat is too slow', every MMO dev is going to have to choose which way to push their stuff and hope that it matches their other game aspects.

    Ashes so far is on the 'slow combat' side, and a lot of the supporters of the game are explicitly against the style of combat that combat-lovers seem to like more.

    So on the 'Next Big MMO' front, we're probably just going to get the split again. Ashes take half, Throne and Liberty take the other half, everyone play FF14 in the meantime.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I've made suggestions to speed up combat and make it much more dynamic (I prefer dynamic to action, fluid to fast) if you lack competence. I can not reveal anything though (I do not even know if the devs read my posts lol). Anyway, until we get away from the mindset or copying combat systems in the entirety then innovation will be a slow and arduous process.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Neurath wrote: »
    I've made suggestions to speed up combat and make it much more dynamic (I prefer dynamic to action, fluid to fast) if you lack competence. I can not reveal anything though (I do not even know if the devs read my posts lol). Anyway, until we get away from the mindset or copying combat systems in the entirety then innovation will be a slow and arduous process.

    I believe that Steven has just basically moved to 'translucent' development, let's say.

    In terms of Combat, they basically don't plan to show us anything. I agree with this. People don't understand combat. Even those of us who DO understand combat can't really explain it to others who don't, so I doubt the reactionary content would be good.

    I'm fine with Ashes dropping some of their transparency, they weren't exactly keeping it going as strongly anyways since the team started shifting. I'm a little concerned that they don't much TELL us anything though. I'd figure that the discussion on how combat is being worked on could happen at least a bit, without direct visuals or demonstrations.

    Same for Archetypes, in my opinion. If a Content Creator wants to make an entire rant video about a tentative statement, for example:

    "We're working toward giving Fighters abilities that raise their stats before attacking."

    That person would have to make a bunch of assumptions. But it would let people who 'like that sort of gameplay' have something to work with.

    But hey, if they're confident enough to switch to 'doing the combat revamp without the actual feedback' part, or are taking feedback and just not acknowledging it, then the only 'cost' here is transparency, and we just gotta be patient.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Yeah I watched the livestream. I love the sandal god but of course the sandal god might not like a theoretical blood Shaman lol. Although, roman gladiators also wore sandals ^^
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I'm very eager to see how close you can get to creating a Blood Shaman...
    Summoner augments on Cleric Life-Drain Active Skills.
    Especially how quickly you might be able to get ability cosmetics - like if you apply blood cosmetics to you Hallowed ground even before you reach Level 20.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dygz wrote: »
    I'm very eager to see how close you can get to creating a Blood Shaman...
    Summoner augments on Cleric Life-Drain Active Skills.
    Especially how quickly you might be able to get ability cosmetics - like if you apply blood cosmetics to you Hallowed ground even before you reach Level 20.

    I thought Neurath was talking about play mechanic interactions, not skills and cosmetics?

    The thread is about combat. So you should probably view the comment in terms of 'the combat feel of a Blood Shaman', which is really complicated and has more to do with core game mechanics and timers.

    I'm not saying that your 'eagerness to see' is invalid, it just doesn't seem to have anything to do with the thread or sub-discussion? Neurath can correct me and engage with you if I'm misreading this.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited April 30
    Slower combat appeals to RPG players who want be more strategic about their combat - especially - hopefully - to have more time to choose the abilities they use based on their foes' actions and the actions of their group-mates. Rather, than just repeating supposedly META rotations or mowing down hordes with just a couple of key strokes.

    I think Pantheon is the game trying to be a modern update of EQ, where you basically stand in one spot and each swing seems to take forever.
    My sweet-spot is the speed of Neverwinter Online.

    I liked the combat for New World. But, New World is a Survival Game.
    I don't know that I would like it for an MMORPG. Especially since it's completely weapon-based, rather than class-based.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dygz wrote: »
    Slower combat appeals to RPG players who want be more strategic about their combat - especially - hopefully - to have more time to choose the abilities they used base on their foes' actions and the actions of their group-mates. Rather, than just repeating supposedly META rotations or mowing down hordes with just a couple of key strokes.

    I think Pantheon is the game trying to be a modern update of EQ, where you basically stand in one spot and each swing seems to take forever.
    My sweet-spot is the speed of Neverwinter Online.

    I liked the combat for New World. But, New World is a Survival Game.
    I don't know that I would like it for an MMORPG. Especially since it's completely weapon-based, rather than class-based.

    This is what I meant before. You don't really understand combat in terms of how one speaks about it. This is in no way meant to be a dig at you. This is entirely about the fact that you say things without understanding their connections to each other.

    I really don't want to argue, I simply request that you try not to view 'META rotations' as part of speed, nor that strategy is meaningfully lessened by speed. Strategy decisions are based on Cooldown timers and ability prerequisites, absolutely not the actual speed of combat. This is WHY you have that feeling in NWO, even though NWO is actually almost blazingly fast in terms of both animations and combat flow.

    New World's combat is actually the one that is much closer to META rotations, but because it's so limited, and the cooldowns and flows are the way they are, it doesn't feel like an RPG.

    In short, you're saying things that are very clear about what you feel, but are misleading because of the terms you use, to an extent.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Blood Shaman is one half to Shaman and comes from augments. I have given a reference from Vanguard however, in vanguard the reference does not do divine, spiritual or moral connections.

    I adapted the reference to fit the Shaman. Also, Blood Shaman is not a class and would not even be active until after level 25.

    Furthermore, I havent built skill rosters because augments change skills. Balance is not my concern and neither is graphical design or coding. I am an ideas man and writer/creator who loves MMORPGs.

    For someone who told me to play cleric ranger for nature Shaman, then keeps saying Shaman will have totems, then saying I keep trying to change class names, then keep trying to protect the warlock class, I do not think you would be happy with anything I propose because you do not understand original content creation at all.

  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Azherae wrote: »
    This is what I meant before. You don't really understand combat in terms of how one speaks about it. This is in no way meant to be a dig at you. This is entirely about the fact that you say things without understanding their connections to each other.
    If that's what you meant, there should not be a problem with what I wrote.


    Azherae wrote: »
    I really don't want to argue, I simply request that you try not to view 'META rotations' as part of speed, nor that strategy is meaningfully lessened by speed. Strategy decisions are based on Cooldown timers and ability prerequisites, absolutely not the actual speed of combat. This is WHY you have that feeling in NWO, even though NWO is actually almost blazingly fast in terms of both animations and combat flow.
    Rotations should not really be a thing.
    Strategy decisions being based on cooldowns indicate that they are based on the speed of the cooldowns.
    Strategy decisions should be based on what the enemy is doing and how everyone in the group adjusts their decisions based on what the enemy is doing. Shouldn't primarily be based on cooldowns.
    I'm not arguin with you. I might be disagreeing with you.


    Azherae wrote: »
    New World's combat is actually the one that is much closer to META rotations, but because it's so limited, and the cooldowns and flows are the way they are, it doesn't feel like an RPG.
    Perhaps, although...
    I was mostly referring to speed. And animations.


    Azherae wrote: »
    In short, you're saying things that are very clear about what you feel, but are misleading because of the terms you use, to an extent.
    LMAO
    huh hunh.
    OK.
    smh

  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited April 30
    New World's animations and speed are slower than Neverwinter, Dygz.

    EDIT: Extraneous over-engagement removed.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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