After seeing how well my previous Lost Ark Review did, I figured it would be a good idea to create a guide to help free-to-player (f2p) progress in the game. The goal of this article will be to inform and will have some spoilers, though not many.
Just like many MMO’s, levels in Lost Ark are not as important as item level, the average level of all the items equipped. Effectively what this means is that tougher content is more easily unlocked with the more content that a player does at their current item level. To put this in perspective, players will hit level 50 within the first set of story quests, which takes around 24 hours of time to complete, and will still have much to complete in the story quest. It is highly recommended that all players complete the full first set of story quests through Shushire until returning back to Vern and receiving the “Powerpass.”
The Powerpass is extremely important if you want to try new classes and characters. It allows players to create a character and “powerpass” that new character to the same spot in Vern that the powerpass was earned. This allows players to have up to three characters, all with the 24 hours-worth of initial story quest done, all in the time of doing it once.
Once receiving the powerpass, the game will also prompt you with a quest that tells the player to reach item level (ilvl) 460. However, most new players, upon getting this quest, will only be around ilvl 250 at this point. The very first thing players want to do from this point is a couple of Chaos Dungeons. Players can enter Chaos Dungeons alone or with a group of other players and the objective is the kill 10,000 monsters and bosses, all the while receiving gear and materials. The gear drops are important for the 250 player because they drop at ilvl 302 so players will want to get all 6 pieces of gear (weapon, head, shoulder, chest, pants, and gloves) that are ilvl 302 from these dungeons. Given the drop rate, it should only take one dungeon to get all of this.
Once you have gear, the materials you have been getting, destruction/guardian stone fragments, harmony shards, and leapstones, are used to “Hone” that gear and increase the ilvl. Honing is done at NPC that is the Thor-looking hammer map icon and each time a player successfully hones an item, its ilvl goes up by 20. Therefore, players must hone each of piece of gear eight times before reaching ilvl 460. Each new level requires more materials also, so there is a need to do more content. After the Chaos Dungeons, doing Guardian raids and Abyssal dungeons will be the next step. Guardian raids give more materials and accessories that do not have ilvl but increase stats. Abyssal dungeons give the same as Guardian raids plus additional higher quality gear.
Doing these things above will only take a few hours and definitely will not give all the materials that are needed to get to ilvl 460 on the first day. There is a way to expedite of getting these materials but is only available to one character, so before doing this step, choosing which character to main is important. On this main character, players can go from to different islands, do quests and receive more than enough materials to reach ilvl 460 in just one day.
Here are the islands that can be done, and I would recommend doing them in this order, although it does not have to be done that way.
Glacier Isle: This provides a somewhat long questline that provides a lot of materials but also provides a song at the end that is necessary for completing other content in the game.
Starlight Isle: Rewards an island token at the end, also necessary for another quest later.
Serenity Isle: Same as above.
Dreamgull Island: The quest start is from a sparkling pile of debris near the entrance of the island. This is a common way that “secret” quests can be found in the game.
Panda Island: Give pirate coins which can be exchanged for honing materials as well as many other things.
Opher, the Lonely Island: Players most-likely have already been prompted to come to this island, however, it is important to have five island tokens to turn into the statue to receive the reward. Doing the five islands quests above this will result in the five island tokens.
Sunflower Island: A very long questline that introduces the collectible “Masterpieces.”
Toto Silver Island: Easy quests for materials but quests do not give island token.
White Wind Island: More pirate coins.
Shadow Island: Somewhat grindy, players must kill 100s of monster to completely the questline but introduces the Shadowspire. A challenging and useful piece of content for progression.
Liebeheim, Formona Island, and Aiwana Island: These three islands are very close in proximity to each other and their quests intertwine. Good for materials.
Lullaby Island: Most of the quests involve interacting with an invisible fairy so it requires some exploring and clicking around to find. The last part of the quest chain requires the song from the end of the Glacier Isle questline.
There are a few more Island that I am not mentioning. If you are interested in those other ones, they can be found in game in the top right of the screen under the “Welcome Challenges: Collectibles tab”. However some of them give Tier 2 materials which cannot be used to get to 460. Getting ilvl 600 is the beginning of Tier 2 and doing the all of the Island mentioned above as well as Chao Dungeons and Guardian Raids daily, players should have enough materials to get 460 then 600 ilvl within a couple of days.
Depend on the response to this article, I will a guide on Tier 2 progression guide next week as well as go a bit into min-maxing in Lost Ark, otherwise known as playing and gearing as efficiently and quickly as possible.