The ridiculously pretty ARPG Lost Ark has been available in Korea since 2018 and is finally getting a western localization and servers in Europe and the Americas next month. Developer Smilegate has now served up details on when you'll be able to preload and where servers will be located ahead of the launch on February 11.
The official free-to-play launch will be on Friday, February 11 at 9 am PT, Smilegate and Amazon announced. There's a head-start period available if you choose to purchase a Founder's Pack, which begins three days prior on February 8. Pre-loading will be available the day before that on Monday, February 7 at 9 am PT. When you log in on launch day you'll be able to choose from a set of new servers: nine in Europe, 10 in the US, and two in South America.
Smilegate also mentions in its breakdown that there won't be an option to reserve a character name prior to playing. You'll only be able to reserve and claim your name by finishing character customization once you start playing.
That seemed reasonable until I looked at Lost Ark's character creation and started having flashbacks to the first days of Black Desert Online. I will be trapped in character creation purgatory for hours. Lucky for me, Jody already tested the customization waters when he tried out Lost Ark's beta last November.
"It begins in character creation, where I design a face with sliders for everything from eyebrow opacity to cheekbone protrusion, even though I'll be seeing this character from far above most of the time and every hat I equip completely changes my hair," he explains. "Still, later on I find myself tempted to use some of the beta's free currency to buy a redesign because I made my blush too intense. And I did actually buy a skin called Mysterious Noble Garb so I wasn't stuck wearing hotpants, which seem to be the main leg armor available to gunslingers."
He also goes over how the localized version of Lost Ark catches new players up on past events and the intersection between its ARPG combat and older MMORPG conventions.
For other pre-launch preparedness, you can check out the videos that Amazon has been sponsoring, which feature players explaining different classes or the sailing feature. The latest is a breakdown on the Gunslinger class down below.
You'll be able to download Lost Ark starting on February 7 from Steam.