24

Dressed For Success

February 14, 2022 by Tim

Lost Ark is… interesting.

The Diablo-esque combat is pretty fun; attacks feel bombastic and weighty (once you get past the odd, largely unchangeable control layout) and carving your way through hordes of enemies feels is very satisfying. Loot doesn’t pour out quite the same way as a true ARPG, but the mechanics are solidly enjoyable.

The MMO side of the game I’m personally less engaged with, but I do recognize and appreciate that (so far) it’s a lot more streamlined and snappy than standard MMO fare. There are some quality of life and overall design elements that make things feel like a pretty solid step forward.

There are other areas of the game, though, that just feel a little dated in 2022 (the game came out in 2019, but nevertheless). This is a South Korean game, so a lot of this is likely differences of culture, but it feels odd to see certain classes restricted by gender. It’s not quite as egregious as “Pick either the Male Warrior or the Female Housewife”, but it’s odd these days to play a game where the gender of your character isn’t solely a cosmetic choice.

Perhaps it simply solves for them the need to create armor for each class that then also works on multiple body types. I can appreciate that perhaps it cuts the development time of new armor sets almost in half in that regard. That, however, leads us to the more disappointing element of the game: if you happened to select a class that is female-only, you have no choice but to run around in the tired chainmail-bikini trope, whilst your male compatriots tend to look like walking fortresses, in head-to-toe armor. It’s got a little bit of “what year is it?!” meme vibe to it.

Lost Ark is pretty impressive as a whole, but for all of the cool stuff I’ve seen, there’s just as much that feels restrictive, or frustrating or backwards. I downloaded it to toy around this week up until the release of bigger games, and it’s been fun for that purpose (and since it’s free, I can definitely recommend checking it out). But I wouldn’t say it’s given me any real reason thus far not to abandon it the moment other things drop this week.


Subscribe
Notify of
guest
66 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Albelius
Albelius
5 months ago

These days, games with this type of restrictions are a huge turn off and I avoid the game. Sexy armors are fine (and I do like some of them), as long there’s variety. Gimme the option to have sexy armor, regardless of character’s gender and the option for badassery fortress armor. Both in FFXIV and Monster Hunter World, I felt annoyed to see that many armorsets on male characters were badass and on females they were sexied. Again, as an option, yay! As the only option, nay. Especially when it’s clearly illogical to have bare skin at certain parts. Like… Read more »

Killiak
Killiak
5 months ago
Reply to  Albelius

Welcome to Asian game developer land, where all the men are hulking beasts who can comfortably wear 300lbs worth of steel in any environment, and the ladies armor rating actually rises when they wear less and less of it.

xaxxax
xaxxax
5 months ago
Reply to  Killiak

OH WAIT i’ve figured it out!

It’s like Oglaf said: SKIN TO WIN!

Jaeger
Jaeger
5 months ago
Reply to  Albelius

Yeah I want to complain about male armour of Monster Hunter world. What happened to my Bone Armor? Where are the horns pointing at my characters manhood covered only by tight swimwear. Let me intimidate the monsters with half naked man coming screaming at them.

HonoredMule
HonoredMule
5 months ago
Reply to  Jaeger

Whelp, I’m intimidated already.

Mnemnosyne
Mnemnosyne
5 months ago
Reply to  Albelius

It’s funny, you say sexy armor is fine and want the option to have variety…and then complain about sexy armor sets in games that have plenty of variety. In FFXIV, there are more non-sexy, fully-covering, practical-looking armor sets than there are sexy bikini armor types. And yet you pick on one of the sets that does show some skin? That seems extremely disingenuous to me. The complaint is a little more justified in Monster Hunter World where there isn’t (or wasn’t when I last played) a glamour type system, so if you want specific abilities on your gear you need… Read more »

Storydrivenrpgsaremyfav
Storydrivenrpgsaremyfav
5 months ago
Reply to  Mnemnosyne

I think the complaint was that the armor gender shifts, not that there is skimpy armor. Perhaps they simply really like the male armor version and wanted it for their female pc.

Rudfud
Rudfud
5 months ago
Reply to  Mnemnosyne

I believe he’s saying that he’s annoyed that the same armour would be cool on a male character but sexy on a female character rather than just dividing it into sexy armour that’s sexy on both and cool armour that’s cool on both. Which is very annoying, if dragon bone armour looks cool on the male character I expect it to look cool on the female as well, not magically turn into a bikini.

Helldemon
Helldemon
5 months ago
Reply to  Rudfud

He also said “as long as there’s variety” just before that which there is an abundance of in FFXIV.

Alcor
Alcor
5 months ago
Reply to  Albelius

I kinda had the opposite response: why can’t my men be running around in little Speedos? And why can’t we make less bulky male body types? I want sleek dudes in skimpy armor.

Bwauder
Bwauder
5 months ago

With no oceanic server the queue time was horrific.
I ended up deleting it without even playing once to make room for something else, I really need a new HDD and probably a bit more time &/or patience with the current situation.

WereCatf
WereCatf
5 months ago

My husband just tried Lost Ark yesterday and after watching the game for ~3 minutes, I was entirely 100% nope, boring and annoying. I could immediately see many of the F2P-trappings, I was put off by the annoying “anime-style” characters and extremely high-pitched squealing of all the ladies and and and…uggghhh.

Hubby would like for us to play some MMO together, but we’ve both grown weary of WoW after putting tons of years into it and no other MMO is appealing, and especially not F2P MMOs. Nope, mm-hmm, not getting me on that gravy-train.

Phil
Phil
5 months ago
Reply to  WereCatf

Not Elder Scrolls Online? That’s the first MMO I was able to get my better half into and it’s such a glorious place to explore

xaxxax
xaxxax
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil

I’d agree, except several years ago developer has outright proven that animation cancelling based build are the only way to deal with higher level content.

As for LA, F2P but P2W or rather pay to play the annoying game less. Also, high heels for sleeping and climbing ladders or even sheer cliffs 😀

Vadim
Vadim
5 months ago
Reply to  WereCatf

I’m afraid f2p is inevitable for the MMOs since it translates to higher population =)
I recommend giving them a try, most games while being depended on it still don’t burden the player too much. But you don’t know about it until you try.

And in general f2p-stuff mostly ignorable like some kind of Ads. It sucks that we have to excercise the same “selectable blindness” in our past time, but again it inevitable. Even paid games already have this, so it will be handy any way.

Zack
Zack
5 months ago
Reply to  WereCatf

Ever played Path of Exile, or open to it? While F2P, most of the microtransactions in Path of Exile are entirely cosmetic. The rest are stash spaces for those of us who like organizing our shit, but in no means impact direct gameplay.

It seems to do well for Grinding Gear Games so far, since they keep putting out new content every 3 months and is working on a sequel.

evilleet
evilleet
5 months ago
Reply to  Zack

I have to agree, Path of Exile is a nice ARPG and they keep things fresh.
But one should really spend a little bit for those stash spaces, since it enables you to do trading and that is in the late game almost a must.

BillyG
BillyG
5 months ago
Reply to  WereCatf

Elite Dangerous?

Don't_Fear_Phil
Don't_Fear_Phil
5 months ago
Reply to  BillyG

If you have better computers and don’t care about massive game breaking bugs Star Citizen is so much more fun to me than Elite Dangerous.

Tracker
Tracker
5 months ago
Reply to  WereCatf

Try FFIV if you haven’t yet.

free trial up to level 60, which gives you bounds of game to sink your teeth into, a great story (if a little slow in the early stages), communities great, it’s well established by now.

but yeah.. i’ve been bitten before on the predatory nature of F2p mmos, not going down that dark road again.

Nazghallion
Nazghallion
5 months ago
Reply to  Tracker

Hell Jocat on youtube made a really interesting vid recently that even gives you a good idea of a way to kinda work out how youd want to play even before trying it out

southpawfrenzy
southpawfrenzy
5 months ago
Reply to  WereCatf

I’ll toss my suggestion for Guild Wars 2. It’s a bit older, but still has a very active player base, and regular content updates. There is a free-to-play option, but they’ve been really good about keeping the IAP’s to quality-of-life or cosmetic options, so it doesn’t feel P2W.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
5 months ago
Reply to  WereCatf

Maybe try out the Guildwars ones?

leduk
leduk
5 months ago
Reply to  WereCatf

try guild wars 2

MasterofBalance
MasterofBalance
5 months ago

Shorter shorts sounds like a completely reasonable solution 🧐

DahrAmahr
DahrAmahr
5 months ago
Brian Sapinski
Brian Sapinski
5 months ago

The very first comic I ever read of Ctrl-Alt-Del when I first discovered it was the one that poked fun at the out of control “breast physics” of DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball 2. Somehow with today’s comic, I feel like I’ve come full circle after all these years.

syserr0r
syserr0r
5 months ago
Reply to  Brian Sapinski
NoName
NoName
5 months ago

And yet, no matter the comment below, countless people do not care and lay it.
Myself included and funny enough, female Gunslinger. Yes, Stilettos were a “wtf” moment but pfft…it’s asian, what do you expect, really.

Dorander
Dorander
5 months ago

Maybe stiletto heels aren’t the most practical choice for running around, period… or any kind of athletic action. I remember this “oh my god” moment playing Mass Effect 2 when I realized my favorite companion choices (Miranda and Samara) were both wearing heels in combat. It was jarring.

lechuckGL
lechuckGL
5 months ago
Reply to  Dorander

I love how they addressed this issue in DC Comics:

https: // external-preview.redd.it/GLp6e_X_dWI1cqwq6Due8i-1BDiibmpNhYzESj6-2MU.png?width=640&crop=smart&auto=webp&s=9ba83eae98e5c22313b662cf0f25dd6e177c6be9

Last edited 5 months ago by lechuckGL
Kelibath
Kelibath
5 months ago

Can I just say, kudos for this! Had the same issue with the Divinity series and their permanent heels in “Original Sin” (although at least the boob-mail was boob-plate!). It’s just weirdly unrealistic and it’d actually require far fewer changes to existing resources and character design to just make all the full-body armour fit a female model. Plate mail doesn’t need breasts moulded onto the surface, in fact they damage the utility! I don’t mind the /option/ necessarily but it feels so unreasonable (especially when nothing similar is added in as fanservice for anybody else). And they definitely shouldn’t be… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Kelibath
Jaeger
Jaeger
5 months ago

Yeah high heels are a stupid inclusion, but I’ve learned to ignore the more fantastical aspects, like shields being barely better than decoratrion and doing pidly damage if any at all (I can demonstrate what being hit with a shield does all I need is legally binding contract that I will not be sued for any damages or expenses). But you either deal with all stupid fantasy desings or you denounce them all. No picking and choosing, all or nothing, that stupid armour desing for men and women alike, stilettos, swords wider and longer than 2 meter tall body builder/powerlifter.… Read more »

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward
5 months ago
Reply to  Jaeger

You are absolutely allowed to pick and choose should you so wish.

Jaeger
Jaeger
5 months ago

That is the path of hypocrisy. You are free to choose sure, but make sure your argument is sane and sound. Stupid shit is stupid shit no matter which way it blows. You take umbrage with one thing, then why the other is OK when both are stupid?

Allen
Allen
5 months ago

In fairness, the characters in most of these MMO/ARPGs (and media in general) are designed to “look bad-ass”, rather than have any sort of battlefield practicality. IRL, dual wielding any weapon is a stupid idea. Over-large weapons must be immune to physics. etc.

It’s all fantasy. It might be a stupid, unrealistic, hyper-sexualized power fantasy I’d never enjoy. But if enough people enjoy it, it’ll last. If not, it’ll die off. “Survival of the fittess”, and all that.

xaxxax
xaxxax
5 months ago
Reply to  Allen

“IRL, dual wielding any weapon is a stupid idea. Over-large weapons must be immune to physics. etc.” yes yes, as is plainly apparent by the wide selection of offhand weapons and miyamoto musashi : )

Kaogen
Kaogen
5 months ago
Reply to  xaxxax

Yeah, but the offhand weapons weren’t typically used actively in combat as much as the main weapon, iirc. They were more like opportunity weapons or the equivalent of sidearms.

Rolan7
Rolan7
5 months ago
Reply to  Allen

This is an OLD discussion, but a power-fantasy varies from player to player. It’s awesome if people want to play a hypersexualized caricature of femininity- no, seriously, I honestly understand that. It’s just not for everyone, or all the time.

Sometimes- not always- women want a power fantasy that isn’t catering to typical beauty standards. Like how guys sometimes play monstrous or “nerdy” characters.

Bob
Bob
5 months ago

I find these attacks on women and what they wear to be bigoted.

CBL
CBL
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Thanks for missing the point and context! I’m assuming it’s intentional because of your choice of wording. If you do honestly want someone who can read the room better to explain why you’re wrong and an ass for saying so, though, happy to put a little time in to explain!

Soag
Soag
5 months ago
Reply to  CBL

Not that I necessarily agreee with either of the sides, but how is being an ass any better when you’re responding to an ass?

JustJoel
JustJoel
5 months ago

I dont mind at all the sexy outfits, as others said tho they shouldnt be mandatory (I do know a lot of gamers of all sexual prefferences that arent cool with chainmail bikinis). I do also find unconfortable about the genderlock for ALL options; it does feel rather weird; it was the case for Diablo II but that was a while ago. The “realism” thing in high heels? Thats trash, videogame outfits are meant to be flashy, itd be easier to survive in those skimpy outfits than in those gigantic unwereable armors.

Last edited 5 months ago by JustJoel
Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
5 months ago

And here I am, trying to get back into Dungeon Fighter Online, where they’ve added genders to most if not all the classes – with some benefits to playing a particular gender, mechanically speaking – but they’ve also boosted the level cap and streamlined so much that someone coming into the game is going to get fast-forwarded through their first 40 levels without understanding what they need to make use of and/or how.

Kaogen
Kaogen
5 months ago

I play the female martial artist and it’s my head canon that the game is about her journey to find a pair of pants with both legs.

Chris
Chris
5 months ago
Reply to  Kaogen

This just made me laugh, thanks 🙂

RblDiver
RblDiver
5 months ago

I’ve found one group of women without stilettos: The Mokoko. Their women wear flats or short heels.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
5 months ago

Kind of weird, seeing as the last few games I’ve played that had character creation essentially asked me to “pick my style” rather than gender, and offered options that were male-ish, female-ish, but mostly androgynous. I almost forgot that there were games in which male and female were not only designed different, but had different abilities.

Rolan7
Rolan7
5 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

I’ve been playing Outer Worlds as a woman with a rocking mustache lately. As I kid I would have laughed it off, same way I would have laughed off any insinuations I had same-sex attraction. It’s nice to have these options.

I love that a lot of triple-A games are relaxing such chargen rules. Doesn’t hurt anyone, probably amuses a lot of teens, and kinda means a lot to other. Win win win!

HonoredMule
HonoredMule
5 months ago

I think it would be interesting for a game to intentionally restrict your character options in a way that, rather than appealing to mainstream stereotypes, forces you to make compromises, ending up with a character that doesn’t project your preferences or sense of identity but rather forces you to branch out. Like, you can only be a warrior or a male, because all males are spell casters, and all warriors identify as non-binary. Maybe anyone can wear high heels, but because they are magical devices, they come with mandatory matching sweater vest and pocket protector. 😛 That’s silly of course,… Read more »

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
5 months ago
Reply to  HonoredMule

There was that time Rust randomized your skin color and gender.

That, uh, went poorly.

Rolan7
Rolan7
5 months ago
Reply to  Kaitensatsuma

Oof, that once happened in a branch of Space Station 13 to try to prevent metagamers from identifying their friends from round to round. Similar results.

Vedrit
Vedrit
5 months ago

It also has the “females walk by throwing their hip side-to-side” trope, which my wife mocks endlessly (she’s playing and made female characters)

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
5 months ago
Reply to  Vedrit

It’s uh the rotational force that allows for more efficient movement!
yeah, that’s it… 😄

Last edited 5 months ago by Kaitensatsuma
Snowfae
Snowfae
5 months ago

I tried it a couple times, but yeah… the way female characters are presented feels so ass-backwards its like I fell through a time portal into my old Rift account. The classes are a neat concept and I did like how it felt to play Gunner, but… Imma stick to FFXIV where I only look like something out of a weird hentai if I want to.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
5 months ago

To anyone who has had a dislocated ankle. Ouch. Well done on geting the look of That spot on!

Vivicector
Vivicector
5 months ago

This one is interesting. Its way more on the european RPG side then other Korean MMOs. Storyline is great. Grind is not thrown in ur face. Classes are fun.
The issue with the armor is there. I don’t care that much but never liked bikini armor, it simply looks stupid.

JustAguy
JustAguy
5 months ago

Would be even better if we in germany could play at all 😀

leduk
leduk
5 months ago

I love mmo, but I hate hns, so I’ll pass this time.

Kyz
Kyz
5 months ago

Did anyone say this about Bayonetta? Asking for a friend.

Scourge
Scourge
5 months ago
Reply to  Kyz

Almost certainly.

However, in that game you are playing a super-powered supernatural character.

In Lost Ark you’re supposed to be playing a fairly special, but otherwise normal person of your own creation, and given incredibly few options to customize your toon.

leduk
leduk
5 months ago
Reply to  Kyz

lots of ppl did, and tbh that was one of the reason I didnt even tried the game. Too much fan service.

lechuckGL
lechuckGL
5 months ago

Maybe these gals are just flexing their ankles muscles. I mean, I think you could train your ankles hard enough to keep you stable in any terrain using high heels…..

Illaria
Illaria
5 months ago

Strong Calves though! I’m enjoying LA for what it is, a place for me to see big numbers and clear out mobs en-masse. I’m not going to put any money into it though. I’m playing a Deadeye (Male Gunner) and I have a Soulfist (Female Martial Artist), and to be fair, both of them are really good looking. I think as long as both genders are equally sexualised, I’m okay with it. Ultimately, I think people are playing this game for the content it has in terms of End-Game, over specifically whether their characters wear heels or not – but… Read more »

Sabre Runner
Sabre Runner
5 months ago

Yeah. The whole character design in this game is atrocious. The combat is bland and repetitive. And it’s a huge sinner of “No place for 1”.

Kasaix
Kasaix
5 months ago

I think this one is more subjective. Different strokes for different folks, after all.