Lost Ark Progression

A log of the day to day of my progression process in Lost Ark

So....Lost Ark came out on February 8th. For those that aren't in the gaming space, Lost Ark is a MMO Action RPG that was released in South Korea in 2019. As a person that grew up with gaming throughout my childhood, I always fell in love with the concept of Role-Playing Games (RPGs) and being able to progress and level up. Certain games have progressions that are easier than others. Some takes years and others take weeks.

After being in the product design environment for a long time, I found out how similar tracking progress in both Product development and RPGs are. There's always a goal or epic, and there's always issues or tasks that you do to achieve that goal. Once you finish the epic, you will reach an outcome whether it reaches a business outcome or a being prepared for new battles.

So as practice for managing products, I'm going to do this fun project of tracking my day to day. This will hopefully give me another reason to stay inside, stay safe from the current pandemic, and spend less money on Amazon. (very ironic because Lost Ark is published by Amazon, but I strive not to buy into their subscriptions or paid mechanics 🤞)

February 28 - March 23
Current Goal - Reaching T3 1370 - "Argos Raid" Ready
- Wow, look at how the time flew. You can tell the "addiction" popped in, and that's a whole problem by itself. Progressing in Lost Ark slowly out prioritized a lot of things that I was doing including my blog updates. My last post was around February 28, and I was barely reaching T3. And now it's almost one month, and I'm finally in T3 territory (which is basically 1302+ in terms of item level)
- So how much time did I end up spending from then to now?
- We went from 133 hours to 295 hours. A good 150+ hour. And I probably either messed it up on some days, because I do remember not timing some things, and then other days I timed things where I wasn't doing things. Based on my steam logs, it's saying I played the game for 400+ hours. So if I subtracted the amount of time I spent leveling a char on a different server, messing around with marketplace, and just being AFK, then I might be close to what I've tracked.
- Either way.....400 hours for a F2P game? I've barely put 40 hours in a $60 dollar game these days. So the entertainment value has already been reached in my opinion.
What am I working on now?
— I've been doing a lot of horizontal progression. I'm at the point of the game where a lot of things are gated by server reset time and/or RNG. So my progression can only happen on a per-day basis.
- But besides that, I'm also working on some new characters.  I have two currently sitting at T1, and I'm hoping to get them to T2 one of these days. I might even make a 3rd character.
Current Mood
— Dead and Tired
- RNG is still my worst nightmare
February 21-27
Current Goal - Reaching T3 Content
- Wooo, where did the week go???? Been hard to do the day to day logs, but at least I'm still tracking relatively of what I'm doing. I'm now in the Tier 2 category and also in the part of the game where you can only upgrade your gear once or twice a day and that upgrade is dependent on your success rate. So countless days were spent to gather materials which can lead to a depressing day of failing. While they do have a pity system, it's kind of a burn to your pride knowing that there's people that started way after you, and can be "further" than you in the game.
- But that's the fun nature of this game. It gets you to play more, and on the days you do fail, you get the spend the rest of the time doing some of the horizontal progression that I've mentioned before.
- My goal for this week is to hopefully reach Tier 3 content which is the last stage of the game. This is where things get really hard and content becomes more unforgiving in terms of mechanics and gear.
— I'm still at it with the kanban board. And as much as we hate to say it, but it actually works. It helps you show progress, and at the least, gives you direction on what to do. I highly recommend it for everyone to use something like this for their own personal matter whether it's gaming, freelance project, or even capturing house chores.
Current Mood
— Sleepy but motivated
- RNG is my worst nightmare
February 18,19,20
Current Goal - Reaching T2 Content
- Sometimes it's nice to just sit home and game. Yes, not that healthy, but mentally it was enjoyable and I felt very stress-free. I was able to escape work and just have...fun. I got to watch a lot of shows as well because the exploration is almost as good as playing a simulator game like Sims or some idle clicking game. And it's even more enlightening knowing that it produces some scaling effects later on.
— Weekends....what can I say. Time all spent on progressing gear, sea exploration, and finding seeds.
Current Mood
— What can I say, I'm addicted. I don't know for how long I'll be addicted, and I think I'm trying really hard to rush certain things so I can get the game to a point where I can play it "less often" (ironically). But I feel like I lost track with the original goal of this project of tracking progress.
- What's really working for me is the Kanban board. Sometimes I'll get distracted with other things because the horizontal progression in this game is massive. And with the Kanban board, it helps me focus on important things while giving me flexibility to do other things.
February 16, 17, 18 - Unknown
Current Goal - T1 - Gearing to 600
- So I got sucked into the game as always, and there's just a lot going on with this game. As you can see, I'm making some progress, I'm doing some content, and I'm doing the things.
- My current goal is to get to 600 which is the start of getting into Tier 2 of the game i.e. 2nd expansion. So a good 10 days or so to get to the next part, isn't so bad in my head. I slowed down a bit because I wanted to play with more friends. That time helped me progress further in other side quest stuff.
— For 3 days, we've logged a substantial amount of time (16h~). Tuesday was the shortest because we love those random maintenance and server downtime.
- But yeah....questing is no joke in this game. You can see the comparison of questing vs actually doing dailies/end game stuff. Granted I haven't done real end game yet so you haven't seen me suffering in dungeons for hours. It'll be interesting to see how the time spent shifts as I get more optimized and gapped in the game.
Current Mood
— It's a fun ride and taking it slow makes it more fun. I kind of enjoy the collecting and doing different things on the map. The completionist within me just wants to do everything and chill with a true crime documentary.
February 15, 2022 - 5:58PM
Current Goal - T1 - Gearing to 460
- Upgraded my gear to 420ish.  But my biggest win was doing the first Vern Abyss Dungeon on my own. I usually try to play with friends, but either most were on their way to 50 or they were already locked out from the weekly lockout. The anxiety in being in situations where you can wipe a whole team for doing something dumb always gets to me. And I guess I feel comfortable with friends because we can knowingly joke it off and learn from our mistakes. While with strangers it can be odd and embarrassing if you do mess up.
- But as you can see, I did it. There was also maintenance yesterday, so I couldn't get everything done. I was able to complete my dailies and just basically did housework to plan out what to do next.
— 4 hours worth of work and dailies. Can be faster, but not too bad.
- A big chunk of it was doing some crazy long quest on Dreamgull island and I forever hate it.
Current Mood
— Getting a grasp of the game. And can comfortably spit back recommendations of how to get to where I am when people ask what to do. So that's a plus. Still got to get to the end of Tier 1.
February 14, 2022 - 1:20PM
Current Goal - T1 - Gearing to 460
- In the grand scheme of things, haven't really made progress. My gear score is still 340.
- I did end up finishing more quests to progress myself secretly on the side. The value of the hours I spend now will begin to show later in the game, but it's nice I can control what I want to do and still get some value out of it whether it's immediate or it scales in time.
— About 9 hours of gameplay.  Weekend was filled with activities like board games and Super Bowl
- I was a captain of the ship and got to sail around a bunch of places. They even had a Panda Island \o/
Current Mood
— I got a bunch of materials stored up, and I think I'm ready to tackle on my first Abyss Dungeon.  Scared to mess up, but I'm sure everyone has that first experience.
February 12, 2022 - 2:00AM
Current Goal - T1 - Gearing to 460
- Actual progress being made. There was still a bit of questline to follow which helped me get the gear and materials to get to get to straight 340. So I do recommend just finishing Shusire stuff, and basically you'll be locked until you reach 460
- Saw a lot of min/max guides that have you skipping things and going straight to dailies, but I'm taking it easy. No need to rush.
- Could I have gotten to 340 faster if I did the other way? Sure, but wasn't worth the hassle, and I still had to do the Shusire quest later on anyway.
- I've learned a Kanban board can really be successful and motivating when you can get things into the "Done/Completed" column. So I feel like you need that balance. You don't want to create tasks that are so small that you spend so much time dragging things to the right, at the same time, you don't want to create large tasks that takes forever to be completed (i.e. me leveling to 50 - I could have broken that down to level to 25, and then level to 50, or some similar chunks like that)
— Finishing up Arthentine and Shusire took about another 5 hours.
- I did mess around for an hour to try out a Chaos Dungeon and just overall look at my skills and trying to familiarize with what I can do now that I've unlocked piece one of the end game
Current Mood
— On track on what I need to do. Getting there efficiently is always the question. I don't want to be researching so much into this game because I need that brainpower for actual work lol
- So currently, I'm trying to find the "easy and lazy" method. Some route that can get me progression and feel productive without necessarily stressing over being left behind (I realize that's another mindset I need to instill over time).
February 11, 2022 - 2:00AM
Current Goal - Reaching Shusire
- Another 5-6 hours totaling my hours in game to 19 hours.
— Another late night because it was workout day.
- Continued from level 41. Took a short break for dinner and picked up from 43.
- Went through the island of Tortoyk and Arthentine, and got to level 50 \o/
- I still need to get my class engraving (20 books)
Current Mood
— Semi-lost on what to do now, because at level 50, the game finally expands which gives the player a lot of things they can do. So this will be a work in progress as I figure out what I need to plan out on my kanban board.
- Thoughts: There's a lot of horizontal progression that can go on while you vertically scale in gear. The key is to do one thing at a time.
February 10, 2022 - 1:30AM
Current Goal - Leveling to 50
- Another 6 hours in. Almost 7. Putting the total to about 13 hours burned into the game already
— Continued on from leveling from level 28
— Took a minor break after level 34 for some food, YouTube time, and I think I actually took a nap.
— Picked up leveling from 34 around 9:30 and burned some of that midnight oil. I was actually trying really hard to speed run through things but the journey from 28 > 41 was unusually long.
— Ended at level 41. Did go off on some tangent in doing life skills, and random side quests.
Current Mood
— Obviously still tired, and I can feel the "my body just wants to sleep" mode. If I really wanted to I can push things further, but the goal of this was to manage the efficiency of what I do. Don't worry, I'm still working out, still doing fun things outside of gaming, and hanging out with friends :)
February 9, 2022 - 2:44AM
Current Goal - Leveling to 50
- Earlier today (Feb 8th), I wrapped up my proposed Kanban board. You guys might be wondering why I'm doing such a thing. Don't worry, me too. I'm just playing around and having fun mixing two of my fun passions together: Gaming and Product Cycles.
— Created a character
— Went through main quests (Orange) and Side quests (Yellow)
— At some point, I got tired of side quests (around level 25)
— Ended up at level 28 at the end of a 6 hour session.
Current Mood
— Tired, but enjoying the game so far
Pics of the journey