On Apr. 11, Lost Ark started a series called Lost Ark Academy, to guide the newer users in the world of Arkesia. The first of their series was about item level and progression. The following is their full post.
Heroes of Arkesia,
We know that many adventurers already have a firm grasp on the many systems in Lost Ark needed to progress and maximize their characters’ potential. For our newer players, we’ll be hosting the “Lost Ark Academy” series exploring some of these systems. This series will also serve as introduction for some of the new content that will make its way to Arkesia’s western shores, such as guides on upcoming Advanced Classes or new end-game content types. This week, we’re kicking the series off with a deep dive on item level and how to progress through Tier 1 after you’ve hit level 50 and finished the opening storyline.
Tier 1 and 2 are designed as a prologue for the wealth of end-game Tier 3 content that Smilegate RPG has developed since their original launch. They are intended to be used as a road for players to understand the many systems within Lost Ark, encourage players to explore the vast world of Arkesia, and learn how intricate mechanics play out in dungeons & battles. We’re aiming for players to ramp up into more challenging and complex content as they progress in their journey. These upcoming encounters (such as Legion Raids) will serve as the hurdles for players to challenge themselves, master systems, and learn complex mechanics— so let’s talk about how you get there!
TIER 1 - NORTH VERN, SHUSHIRE, & ROHENDEL
When you’ve completed the main storyline of North Vern, you’ve made it to the start of Tier 1. At this point the vast world of Arkesia will start to fully open up for your exploration. If you’re completely new to the game, it can feel a bit overwhelming at first, but we’ll highlight a few key systems to help guide your path. One of the first systems you’ll encounter is honing, and the new focus on Item Level.
PROGRESSION & HONING
To start progressing by honing your gear, you’ll need to start by acquiring a set of item level 302 gear— named “Providence”— the first set that can be honed. Completing North Vern will unlock daily and weekly activities for your character to complete, all of which are covered in the next section - “Daily & Weekly Activities”. Chaos Dungeons will drop pieces of 302 Providence gear if you’d prefer to get started right away, but heading north and completing the frigid Shushire storyline will grant you a full set.
Honing your gear is how you improve your item level, and can be completed at any gear honing vendor in a major city found at the hammer icon on the map. If you’re having a hard time finding that city’s vendor, you can search for “Gear Honing” on the map [M]. This vendor will help you hone your gear, with each level granting increased weapon power or defense, more vitality, and increasing its item level. In-game Guide Quests and Welcome Challenges will walk you through the process, but if you’ve forgotten, the Training Area has a tutorial on the system. To find it, navigate to the guide tab on the bottom right of the UI, select ‘Training Area’ and the ‘Honing’ tutorial can be found within the ‘Essential’ tab when you’ve loaded in.
Find a new piece of gear that’s better quality or rarity than the one you’ve been upgrading? No worries, you can use the ‘Gear Transfer’ tab at any gear honing vendor to move those upgrades into your new piece so no progress is lost. It will only cost a small fee of silver.
Initially, honing your gear will require a mixture of 4 in-game honing materials, along with small amounts of Silver. To upgrade a piece in Tier 1, you’ll need Harmony Shards, Harmony Leapstones, and Destruction Stone Fragments for your weapon or Guardian Stone Fragments for your armor.
Honing materials can be gathered through a few means, but the primary ones are daily activities and island exploration. We’ll cover the daily, weekly, and time-based activities that help you gain these materials below, but mention here that exploring Tier 1 islands is an excellent source of materials. If you’re looking at the map not sure where to sail next, the Welcome Guide has a few suggestions under the “Collectibles” tab.
Once you’ve completed North Vern & Shushire’s main storylines, your main goal will be reaching item level 460 to unlock Rohendel. Let’s move into some activities to help you achieve that!
DAILY, WEEKLY, AND TIMED ACTIVITIES
Daily and weekly activities are one of the best ways to get honing and progression materials. Completing Vern will unlock the Guide Quests needed to start the following daily and weekly activities. Once you’ve finished those, you’ll be able to try out the following pieces of content.
Chaos Dungeons - defeat hordes of enemies across three levels of a dungeon to earn Destruction and Guardian Stones, Honing Shards, gear, accessories, and silver. These can be completed solo or with a group (either with friends or matchmaking). An in-game guide video can be found at the top right of the Chaos Dungeon UI.
Guardian Raids - defeat powerful Guardians by yourself or with a team. Each Guardian has unique attack patterns and mechanics, and successfully defeating one will allow you to harvest its soul. Harvesting a Guardian soul will grant Destruction and Guardian Stones, Leapstones, and other valuable rewards. These can be completed solo or with a group (either with friends or matchmaking). An in-game guide video can be found at the top right of the Guardian Raid UI.
As your item level progresses, you’ll unlock higher levels of Chaos Dungeons and Guardian Raids, with each level granting increased rewards.
WEEKLY ABYSSAL DUNGEONS
Abyssal Dungeons are longer dungeons that can be completed once a week, per character. You’ll face more difficult bosses with challenging mechanics, often requiring teamwork. While you can’t complete these solo, you can use matchmaking or the “Find Party” menu to locate a team. Completing an Abyssal Dungeon will grant accessories, gold, materials used to craft epic or legendary gear, and honing materials. An in-game guide video can be found at the top right of the Abyssal Dungeon UI.
Daily and weekly Una’s Tasks can be found on your escape menu, or by pressing the [Alt + J] shortcut. Every day you can complete up to three daily Una’s Tasks, alongside 3 weekly tasks. These will display the rewards and let you choose what you’d like to work toward. Rewarding a range of important items from various honing materials, silver, Pirate Coins, Ability Stones, to end-game collectibles when you’ve completed them enough times. Using your Bifrost slots [Alt + W] can allow you to easily reach these tasks whenever you’d like.
TIME BASED ACTIVITIES
While there are a variety of time-based activities that can show up on the timer located on the top-right of your screen, here’s a few tips of where to start if you’re looking to dip your toe into the water before diving in. You can track the spawn time and location of the following activities through the timer, labeled “Content about to start”, and each of these activities will grant impactful rewards as you look to progress.
Chaos Gates - spawn every hour on the days they show up. Locate the gate to load into a dungeon where you’ll team up with other players to defeat powerful demons. Clearing the Chaos Gate will grant secret maps leading to a small secret dungeon containing honing shards and honing success rate increase materials, both of which correspond to the tier of the map. Chaos Gates can be completed once per day, per roster, but the maps can be used whenever you see fit.
World Bosses - similar to Chaos Gates, you’ll team up with other adventurers in the area to defeat a powerful boss, only this time you’ll be in the open-world of Arkesia. When defeated, these enemies will drop valuable rewards, such as accessories. Can be completed once per day, per roster.
Co-op Sailing Missions - sail with other adventurers on the high seas to complete tasks, look for treasure, and race against each other to earn Pirate Coins and Sailing Coins. These coins can be exchanged at the merchants in every continent’s main harbor for honing materials and other goods.
As you dive in you’ll find other time-based activities you can participate in, like Ghost Ships and Adventure Islands - but more on that in the future. If you’re ever feeling uncertain on what you should do to progress, make sure to check the welcome challenge tab at the top right of your in-game UI. The five tabs each have unique tasks, challenges, and prompts that will help you find relevant quests— not to mention they’ll also reward you quite well for doing so!
LOOKING AHEAD - TIER 2 & 3
Once you’ve honed your gear up to item level 600, you’re ready to embark on your journey into Tier 2, starting in the Umar land of Yorn. Tiers 2 & 3 will introduce their own levels of honing materials, daily and weekly activities, new islands & quests containing those materials (and more covetous rewards), new game systems, and content types.
If you’re ever unsure what your next move should be as you progress through these tiers, make sure to check back on the Welcome Challenges to see what steps you can take to continue progressing through the story. There’s also a wealth of awesome guides, tips, and other advice out there to help you progress through the Tiers of Lost Ark - all the way to Tier 3 and the end-game.
We’re excited to continue watching players progress through Tier 1 and beyond, vanquishing Guardians, Demons, and other powerful bosses in Abyssal Dungeons (and the occasional monstrous chicken for an Una’s Task). Thanks for your support, and we’ll see you in Arkesia!