After releasing in February 2022, Smilegate’s blockbuster MMO, Lost Ark, quickly became one of the highest-played games on Steam. On its launch day, Lost Ark managed to surpass 1 million concurrent active players.
Needless to say, Lost Ark is a very popular MMO. Due to its free-to-play (F2P) nature, players can get started for free as they make their way to Lost Ark’s robust endgame. However, the game’s monetization systems have led many players to call it a pay to win game like Diablo Immortal.
Even though the game continues to top Steam charts, players have been unhappy with the game over the past few weeks due to a number of reasons including bots, server issues, and the roadmap updates.
Lost Ark’s player counts are an anamoly
As a free to play game with pay to win mechanics, it’s very possible to power up your character with real money. Due to this, Lost Ark has a noticeable issue with bots. It’s very common to see groups of bots running around Lost Ark’s endgame areas as they focus on running content for loot and gold which can then be sold for real money.
What catches peoples’ eyes is that Lost Ark’s player numbers seem to be growing over time. While it’s not that uncommon for games to grow over time, it’s worth noting that Lost Ark’s player numbers have substantially grown at a rate that no game has ever seen before on Steam.
There are rampant server issues in Lost Ark
The release of Lost Ark has mostly been a stable experience for players. There aren’t that many bugs or performance issues that ruin the game.
However, players in the NA-West region have been dealing with lots of server crashes over the past few weeks. Part of the reason is that the NA/EU version of Lost Ark is playable through a VPN for players in Asia. They choose the NA-West region because it’s the region closest to their countries, allowing for better game performance.
Combined with the server load from bots, this is causing many players in the NA-West region to consistently deal with game crashes.
Some players aren’t happy with the lack of a 1460 honing buff in the June update
Lost Ark’s June and July Roadmap was recently revealed. While the game is bringing lots of new exciting content, there’s one notable issue. Players won’t receive a honing buff for their characters who are sitting at item level 1370.
Why is this a big deal? Lost Ark is a game that favors progression when players use multiple alternate characters (i.e. alts). Lost Ark’s progression materials are locked behind specific tiers. For example, once a player hits item level 1385, they’re rewarded with a honing buff that boosts their chances of upgrading gear on their alts until item level 1340.
So players were expecting to receive a honing buff when hitting 1460, so their characters who are sitting at 1370 can hit 1415 more easily. When this same content was released in the Korean version of the game, players did receive a honing buff when hitting 1460, so it adds extra salt to the wound.
Lost Ark’s recent reviews are Mixed on Steam
Here are some of the recent reviews on Steam to showcase how players feel about Lost Ark.
qiao.nbk (Not Recommended): “Actually it is a good game. But SG and AGS keep making dumb decisions and global players always recieving shorter end of the stick. Tedious and boring leveling experience, dead content (T1 and T2) and you need to stay there for prolonged period of time. And blatant cash-grab decisions that contradict their earlier statments, like with class cadence release or honing buffs that should be in the game in that time, but they refuse to add it despite saying that we need to catch up to other regions.”
Urbelix (Not Recommended): “Slow progress content to milk more whales, no buff on Honings, new class every 2 months, etc”
Arebon (Not Recommended): “Was a good game till Amazon touched it. Flooded with at least 80% bots and a lot of RMT combined with lacking content that is not hard to complete (current state) As well as only 1 entry for that content per character so you can not even help out your firends or do content more then once a week if you dont grind the the ♥♥♥♥ out of the game to push multible characters to 1445 or use some P2W mechanics to push ALTs
TL;DR don’t touch a game that is published or developed from Amazon they did not learn from New World or past fails”
We’ll see if these reviews end up having an effect on Lost Ark’s player numbers.