Path of Exile is an action role-playing game that has been around for a long time and it still has a loyal fanbase. Path of exile started as a homage to old-school action role-playing games like Diablo 2. There are a lot of similar aesthetics and homages to the Diablo franchise. However, over the past 9 years, the game has evolved and now has its own identity. Path of Exile has hundreds of builds to play thanks to its many skills and extensive passive skill tree. This game is also extremely fast that requires the player to move at breakneck speeds if you wish to make it through the Atlas.
Lost Ark has been out for a few years in South Korea, but not as long as Path of Exile. Lost Ark plays and looks similar to other Korean MMOs. It is gorgeous, vibrant, and has a much lighter tone compared to Path of Exile’s grim and gritty world. Lost Ark has been met with positive reception. Mostly because it offers a great mix of MMO and action role-playing games. It allows the player to explore a vast world with others while having fast and engaging combat that action role-playing games have. Lost Ark also has many classes, that don’t have to be paid for with Lost Ark currency or Lost Ark gold.
So which one is best for you? That depends, but let’s do a deep dive into what you can expect from each game.
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Nothing can make or break a game when it comes down to how much it costs. Free-to-play games are likely to have a big number of players at launch because there is no upfront cost. Luckily, both of these games are free for everyone. However, one game is more microtransaction heavy than the other.
On Steam, the game is entirely free to play. However, this game features a significant number of microtransactions as well. These microtransactions are mostly aesthetic but do provide minor stat boosts and buffs. For example, legendary Lost Ark skins can raise some statistics. The majority of what Lost Ark has to offer may be enjoyed without spending though. Completing quests and achievements will reward you with Lost Ark gold that can help buy better items. But a player that is willing to spend real money will always have the upper hand over someone who doesn’t.
Luckily Path of Exile doesn’t have this problem. The only thing you will need to spend money on is more inventory tabs. This is only true if you wish to be able to PoE trade with other players. However, you can experience everything this game has to offer without spending any money whatsoever. Sure, your character will be rocking some of the ugliest gear I have seen in any game, and your stash will be nearly useless, but you will have the whole game to play, from beginning to end.
Lost Ark is an MMO with an isometric perspective that plays similar to Black Desert or other Korean MMOs with an ARPG flair. The game’s fast-paced action was what most players anticipated. Lost Ark’s combat, which revolves around quick movement and flashy abilities, is some of the best in terms of enjoyment. Several skills have mobility and the majority of skills are fast to cast. However, heavier classes will have slow charging skills but do devastating damage. Lost Ark’s combat is all about impact. Everything feels so satisfying to hit and makes you feel almost unstoppable, even if you aren’t. However, most of the gameplay revolves around doing your dailies and completing dungeons to get materials to upgrade your gear.
Path of Exile is like a super quick version of Diablo, Titan Quests, and Torchlight. The game starts slow enough, but by the time you reach the end of the story, you will be zipping across maps as if you were the Flash. Path of Exile is all about movement, if your character isn’t quick, you will die instantly. Either way, the main gameplay loop is running maps to get PoE currency or gear. Then use that PoE currency to craft your gear to get even stronger. You will be doing this until you can reach the endgame bosses.
At the time of this writing, Lost Ark has eighteen separate classes. All of the classes are unique and come with their own set of abilities. Classes in Lost Ark have specializations that can be tailored to your playing style. While each class falls under one of five categories, all of them are exciting to play but are more suitable for different situations in combat. Some classes are tanky but slow. Others are fast and nimble but have low health. Lost Ark classes are distinct from one another compared to Path of Exile.
Path of Exile has seven classes. However, there is one main thing that sets Path of Exile apart from a lot of games. All of these classes can use the same abilities as the others. The main difference between the classes is their starting positions on the passive skill tree, starting attribute points, and ascendency classes. In short, the passives are what sets these classes apart, not the skills. Some may find this makes them less unique, but it still offers a lot of flexibility.
Lost Ark has a lot of content and considering it is more an MMO than an ARPG, it has many dungeons and group content to take on. Also, the way that gear and equipment work is more similar to MMOs than ARPGs. So players will have to tackle higher and higher dungeons and raids to upgrade their gear. Luckily, there is plenty of other things to do if you don’t want to find better gear. Once you completed the lengthy story, you can tackle many side objectives. A lot of side quests have mini-arcs. You can travel to each continent and explore the land, even if they are quite linear. You can go searching for all of the collectibles that you might have missed. Then there is PvP and other content that involves battling others. A lot of these also reward you with Lost Ark gold.
Path of Exile is packed with 9 years of content. So many different mechanics will be introduced to you throughout the game that it can be overwhelming for a new player. Path of Exile has a linear story, but the game has fantastic lore to learn. The real content of the game opens up as you progress and gain access to your hideout and get to the Atlas. Like other ARPGs, the main goal of the game is to get stronger to face even stronger creatures. You will do this by running maps over and over to get better gear until you become strong enough to face the Shaper or any of the main endgame bosses. The game has guilds, PvP, trading, and other features to help acquire different types of PoE currency too.
In short, what game is better for you depends on if you want a more traditional action role-playing game experience or an MMO with elements of action role-playing games. If you want to play games more like Diablo or Grim Dawn, then Path of Exile is for you. However, if you want something more like Black Desert with an ARPG flair, then Lost Ark may be the better option. At the end of the day, both games are free, so you can install both and try them and see which one is better for you.
Which game have you been playing more? Let us know in the comment section.