Lost Ark: What Class to Play?
Lost Ark Classes: Which to Play?
After a successful period in Russia and Korea, Lost Ark is finally seeing a western release! I know a lot of folks are hyped for this MMO, considering the amount of scrutiny that it got from game reviewers and critics. When the closed beta went live on November 2021, players and onlookers got to try out the game and see for themselves if it was worth their time. There’s a lot to like about the game: the focus on PvE and exploration, the in-depth customization for your character, and the sheer amount of exploration you can do. There’s one main caveat to the western version of Lost Ark though – not all the classes available in Korea and Russia will make it. Now before feeling down in the dumps, there’s still a lot to choose from; there are 5 classes available for the west, and these turn into specialized classes down the line. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
General Overview of Lost Ark’s Classes
Lost Ark will feature 5 main class archetypes that can be divided into many advanced sub-classes. So far, there are a total of 15 classes to pick from (main and sub-classes combined). Each class has a unique set of gameplay styles and abilities that sets it apart, providing flair to its gameplay and combat. Based on your preferred situations and activities, you can either choose a class that you’re most comfortable with or one that’s sure to be a challenge and get you out of your comfort zone.
I mentioned this previously, but unfortunately, compared to its western counterpart, there are more classes available in other regions (Russia and Korea). But fret not, because these other classes will also be released into the western version of Lost Ark. According to the developers, the reason for excluding them and instead adding them post-launch was due to balance issues and localization requirements.
Moreover, all of the classes in Lost Ark are gender-locked. As a consolation, you can customize the look of your character with a variety of hairstyles and face options. Lost Ark offers in-depth customization that you can fully take advantage of thanks to the myriad of in-game “alterations” you can do via the skins and equipment systems.
The Warrior may be basic, but it’s by far the most reliable class in any MMORPG for a beginner and a pro. These sword-wielding warriors are known as the “bulky class” in Lost Ark, but with the different sub-classes available, there are more ways to play the otherwise typical melee character. The Warrior class is divided into three advanced classes: Paladin, Gunlancer, and Berserker. Sadly, the Destroyer class – which is available in other regions – will not be available in the western launch of Lost Ark; we can expect this class to be added later down the line.
Let’s start with the Paladin, a classic in the MMO genre. Known as one of Lost Ark’s proper support classes, the Paladin has a variety of support abilities and plenty of frontline damage to spare. Some of the class’ skills like Alithane’s Judgment and Law of God are immensely satisfying to use. The Paladin’s identity abilities are Divine Aura and Divine Executioner. Divine Aura is a more support-based utility that provides buffs to your party, while Divine Executioner increases your range of auto-attacks and overall damage. Overall, the Paladin is designed as a tanky, support class that can provide team benefits in both PvE and PvP.
The best way to describe the Gunlancer is that it’s a mishmash between a support, DPS, and tank class. Think of it as a class that fulfills the role of the tank in Lost Ark, but it does everything in a badass way. The Gunlancer is a solo-friendly class that’s great for beginners thanks to having one of the most useful skills in all of Lost Ark, the taunt mechanic. Plus, it’s a class that has a powerful shield, letting you ignore a lot – if not all – the attacks, even from hard-hitting bosses. With huge burst damage, a high uptime of consistent damage output, and the ability to soak up a lot of damage, the Gunlance is one of if not the best tank class in Lost Ark.
The Berserker, meanwhile, boasts some powerful AoE abilities and an identity ability that sends your character into a rage-induced fury. This class hits hard thanks to its high burst damage and abilities, but in exchange for that, the Berserker is the weakest in terms of defense when talking about all three of the Warrior classes. As such, they have to be protected by their other tankier brothers.
It’s not an MMO without a mage in it – at least, that’s what I think. There are only two available classes for the mage archetype in Lost Ark at this time which are the Bard the Summoner, but we can expect the other region-locked sub-classes to come soon.
Wielding a magical harp that can heal or buff allies, the Bard is one of Lost Ark’s main support classes. Best of all, it’s a viable class for both PvE and PvP. The Bard’s identity skill is Serenade, in which there are two types you can use: Serenade of Salvation (heals allies) and Serenade of Courage (boosts attack damage). If you want a guaranteed spot in the endgame content, the Bard is the one to pick.
The Summoner is the best class in Lost Ark, period. Why, you ask? Because you can summon pets to do your bidding! Kidding aside, this class is extremely fun to play with since it has a lot of variety in its skillset. The Summoner is a relatively straightforward class, making it viable for both PvE and PvP situations. Of course, it doesn’t come without its cons. Since the Summoner is better for sustained damage during long fights, your character will be squishy and vulnerable, so caution is advised when using this class.
The Assassin has some of the best-looking gameplay in Lost Ark. Everything just looks so flashy and mesmerizing – almost as if they’re dancing in a midst of blades. The two advanced classes you can get with the Assassin are Deathblade and Shadowhunter.
Sleek, quick, and heavy-hitting – those are the best ways to describe the Deathblade class. Deathblades are one of the best DPS classes in Lost Ark, and while it might look like it’ll be easy to use, there are a few mechanics that’ll require you to juggle multiple abilities at a time. Playing closer to an agile martial class than a proper rogue, the Deathblade carves through the battlefield with grace and skill. However, if you’re going to focus on PvE content, the class tends to be gear-dependent, making it not necessarily the first choice for some players.
The Shadowhunter is a crowd favorite, and it’s easy to see why. These shapeshifting demons are easy to pick up and play, deal immense damage, and have some of the flashiest-looking skills in the game. Shadowhunters have two forms: demon and human. You’ll mostly play as a human though, as you can only transform temporarily into a demon when your gauge is at 100%, thereby granting you a boost in your movement speed and health.
The Martial Artist
As a Martial Artist, you have two of the best weapons at your disposal: your hands and knees. You’ve got four advanced classes options at launch, spread across male and female versions of each class.
Starting with the Soulfist, it’s a unique class in itself due to having access to melee and ranged abilities. It’s flexible enough to act as an off-support in PvP too to complement the Bard and Paladin. Capable of solo carrying a team in arenas through the use of a powerful medallion, it takes some time and commitment to refine your playstyle due to its high skill ceiling. But if you put in the work, the Soulfist is a beast that can provide a massive damage output.
If you want something fast-paced and flame kicks literally turning into a tornado, the Striker is the class for you. It’s a class that can weave and dance across the arena, all while juggling enemies in the air and chaining abilities together. Just note that the Striker has a learning curve, meaning it’s a tricky class to play with for new players, but if you want to take a more “hands-on” approach with the game, then this is the one.
The Wardancer is basically a female version of the Striker, albeit with few crucial changes. With low cooldowns, extreme mobility, and the fact that it’s just fun to play makes it a great option for a new player. Much like other Martial Artist classes, the Wardancer has some balanced builds for PvE and PvP. That being said, since its gameplay is relatively straightforward, it’s not exactly the most exciting class to play.
The Scrapper is another popular choice in Lost Ark, with it being a tanky melee DPS class. This chunky melee DPS has high mobility and can hit harder than the Striker and Wardancer thanks to its Stagger buffs. Stagger is a mechanic that allows players to knock down bosses and enemies, by the way. Pair Stagger and the Scrapper’s great damage output and you got yourself a mean punching machine.
If it’s not yet obvious in the name, Gunner is a class that specializes in ranged damage and utility. The four advanced classes for the Gunner are Deadeye, Gunslinger, Sharpshooter, and Artillerist.
Since the Deadeye and Gunslinger are essentially the male and female versions of the same class, let’s just talk about both of them at the same time. You’ve got three weapons to choose from: a rifle, pistol, and shotgun. Both classes have high mobility but are very squishy. The sheer damage output of the Deadeye/Gunslinger makes it a class that’s a force to be reckoned with if in the right hands.
If you’re looking for something that’s more primitive-ish, the Sharpshooter is a bow-and-arrow class that utilizes a mix of long-range and short-range skills, making it pretty versatile. The Sharpshooter is all about putting a sustained level of damage, making it decent against PvE content and raid bosses. The class also has stealth mechanics that are useful when going through PvP content.
For those of you that want a balanced, ranged class, the Artillerist provides an all-around kit that can clear waves while dealing massive damage to single targets. With its extremely powerful and visceral attacks, this class can fill your screen with destructive chaos. Furthermore, the Artillerist stays relevant even when you go through the endgame content because of its tankyness, CC-immunity, and identity skill which lets you turn into a stationary turret. If you’re the type of person that loves big explosions, the Artillerist is the perfect pick.