A total of 15 classes will be available for the launch of Lost Ark on Wednesday, Feb. 11 and each class will have somewhere around 10 to 16 skills to learn (good luck Gunslinger players). In this article I will do a run-down of the key terms that are in the Lost Ark’s combat system.
Classification of skills
There are five categories of skills based on what happens when they are cast.
Casting normal skills is as simple as pressing the skill button. If the skill needs to be pointed in a certain direction, the skill effect will fire towards the mouse cursor. Soulfist’s Deadly Finger shoots projectiles in a cone towards where the cursor is. As a result, Deadly Finger would be classified as a normal skill.
Point skills are different from normal skills since they require a specific location to be targeted with the second click to be cast. Gunlancer’s Leap Attack, a point skill, launches him into the targeted area, dealing damage to enemies in the impact zone.
Combo skills can be re-cast in a window after their first activation to have additional effects. After a certain amount of time passes, the skill will go on cooldown. Striker’s Storm Dragon Awakening is a combo skill that can be cast two more times after the initial cast.
Holding skills are different from the three above because, you guessed it, the skill button can be held. While the skill button is held, the spell effect continues. An example of this would be Artillerist’s Flamethrower, which shoots out a cone of fire in front of him as long as the skill key is held.
Other holding skills require the skill key to be held until a specific area can be selected by letting go of the skill key. Berserker’s Hell Blade can be held to select where the “sweet spot” will be. After the player stops holding, the second explosion will occur with the sweet spot dealing additional damage to enemies in the zone while knocking them up.
Charging skills are different from the first type holding skills for two reasons. One, holding the skill key for the first time does not start the skill effect but the charging period. Two, the longer the charging period is, the stronger the skill effect. Shadowhunter’s Demonic Vision is a charging skill that fires a stronger, longer ray if the charging period is longer.
There is additional text along with what the skill does in the lower part of its description with these specific terms below. Here is a rundown of what each of them means and why it matters.
The stagger mechanic is vital to understanding how to approach bosses in Lost Ark. Many bosses have a slim, purple bar beneath their health bar called the Stagger Gauge. This gauge depletes whenever a skill with a “Stagger” effect hits the boss. How much the gauge depletes is determined by the intensity of the stagger, which is ranked in order of low, medium-low, medium, medium-high, high and high+. The boss enters a dazed state where they will not attack or move when the gauge is depleted. This is when players can maximize their damage output without worrying about anything else.
The counter mechanic has a couple more conditions than stagger skills. First, it must be cast in front of the boss to have an effect. Second, it only goes into effect if it hits the boss in a charging state. When bosses are charging an attack, they are highlighted in bright blue. If a counter skill is cast during this time, the charging attack gets canceled. Mastering this timing is essential to beating high-level bosses who will have unsurvivable attacks that can only be answered by these counter skills, such as Abrelshud. Unless the players counter his attack, he will create a shockwave that covers the entire area while dealing devastating damage.
As it was clued from the first condition for activating a counter skill, the position of the character relative to the enemy they are attacking matters for certain skills. Skills with the “Front Attack” description deal 20% more damage and 10% more stagger damage when they hit the enemy in the front.
Inversely, skills with the description “Back Attack” deal 5% more damage while increasing the crit chance by 10% when they hit the enemy in the back.
Super armor gives the caster immunity from select crowd control based on its classification. Paralysis immunity negates staggers and interrupts. Push immunity negates displacement crowd controls such as knock-ups and everything paralysis immunity negates. The final one, All immunity, is pretty self-explanatory.