The April and May updates for Lost Ark have been hyped to oblivion. And, while the May update is yet to arrive, the April update has been out long enough for us, and the player base, to get some impressions.
Update Release Date
Starting off from the beginning, we have the update release date. The first time these updates were mentioned, and Amazon started with their marketing, was in mid-March, when the updates were teased just after the March update, which was the first update for the game itself.
It was followed by a Roadmap, which was then followed by radio silence. At least as far as any real news were concerned. The mere fact that ta meme culture arose from the April update being meant for April next year with a game so widely accepted by fans, is enough to show just how in the dark we all were regarding it.
However, the update did arrive in April, even though it was at the end of April, with lessons implemented from the March update. These were focused on allowing more players to enjoy the new content, without restricting it and catering to only those in the higher echelons of gear-score.
New Continent - South Vern
The only reason that South Vern is a new continent in Lost Ark, is because it wasn't in the original release. While this may seem obvious and a form of tautology, there is a meaning behind this.
In essence, South Vern is merely more of the same type of content that was already present in the game. The story, while on the level of quality of the previous content, lacked the fresh breath of something unexpected and new we had when playing through the original storyline.
On the flip side, it was easy to progress as it did not take long to adjust, and get to the end-game content we are all craving to see, as well as earn the Fetion Powerpass, to unlock the Glaivier class.
One thing to note, though, is that Amazon were perhaps too fearful of committing past mistakes, in a different time where they were no longer an issue, and the lack of new Chaos Dungeons was clearly felt, as well as that of Field Bosses, due to the discrepancy between the amount regular content and the end-game grind.
New Class - Glaivier
The new Advanced Class, Glaivier, is the perfect addition to the April update. Not that it was revolutionary, but that it fits perfectly into the overall update with its mechanics, which, much like South Vern, already existed in the game, just with some different executions.
The new class brought by the April update is focused on speed and precise strikes to deliver DPS, with a mechanic of switching between two "stances" for a different playstyle to fill out an energy meter. And though the mechanic should be fundamentally different from the Shadowhunter, the resemblance is far too close for comfort. We must say, though, that Glaivier has visuals leagues above the Shadowhunnter ones.
Still, though, it would have been nice to see the mage classes get some love with the potential for new magics to display the developers' creativity, though that may not be up to Amazon in the end. Nor can we expect it either, as the next class is even more unimaginative, the Destroyer.
Unusually for updates such as this, which are followed by bugs aplenty, aside from the usual suspects in bots and attempted hackers, Lost Ark has actually instead some changes to the game with the April update that are, frankly, a Godsend, with one, in particular, more so than others. Submitting secret maps can be done by everyone in a party with the April update, removing the fear of random players dropping out after leaving you high and dry after you used yours.
It is unusual that the greatest thing about an update is something that is usually done via patches, but since it saves us so much hassle, we'll take the win. After all, perhaps the fact that this is an update in progress means that the half-finished feel it gives off is exactly due to that, because the full extent of it is yet to be seen.