Though Lost Ark is a great game with hundreds of hours’ worth of content, it is time to talk about some of the shortcomings this game can improve on or fix. I want to preface this with the fact that Amazon Games and Smilegate, developers of Lost Ark, understand and publicly acknowledge that most if not all of these problems are in the game, and they are working on fixing them. This developer’s roadmap published talks about these problems along with an update on what content to expect in the future.
The largest problem that is addressed in the road map and affects the most players, is the cost of gearing up and raising item levels. As portrayed in my recent Tier 2 guide, Lost Ark is a grind to be able to reach end game content. There is a lot of content to do and it all has to be done if players want to reach max level content efficiently. That being said, many players can and have gotten up to Tier 3 without playing thousands of in-game gold or US Dollars in the cash shop. This changes in Tier 3.
In Tier 1 and 2, players could enhance their items multiple times a day and increase sometimes over 100 ilvl in a day. In Tier 3 however, it is a pretty large stroke of luck to be able to successfully enhance a few of your six pieces of gear through normal methods like Chaos Dungeons, Una’s tasks, Guardian raids, and other daily/weekly events. This is where the cash shop comes in useful. Mari’s Secret Shop, on the right side of the cash shop, provides enhancing/honing materials for all three tiers in exchange for crystals, a currency that can be exchanged for with in-game gold (95 crystals for between 650 to 1000 gold depending on demand) or with royal crystals (purchased with USD, royal crystals can also be exchanged for gold or crystals). The materials of most value cost between 80 and 240 crystals.
This leaves players two options to be able to gear up in Tier 3 without it taking months, do every single piece of content that gives gold (Rapport, Masterpieces, Gold giving islands, sell materials, play the marketplace, etc., this takes 12-16 hours a day) or spend money on the game. In some cases, it only takes one or two hundred USD, to reach end game content, but many players have caved or have been willing to spend thousands of dollars on Lost Ark. Those people who paid also have some of the highest ilvls in the game. With all this being said, Amazon Games and Smilegate have openly admitted to Lost Ark Tier 3 content, specifically from ilvl 1340-1370, to be Pay-to-win. With end game content like the new content, Argos, being locked behind ilvl 1370, many players are frustrated by the grind for these 30 ilvls. It does not seem like much, the success rate of a hone for 5 ilvls is 15% without any buffs. This needs to be done for 6 pieces gear 6 times, so there is a lot of materials and luck involved.
Moving on to more minor issues, there are quite a few bugs and other mechanisms in the game that has players annoyed. The most recent issue was with daylight savings. The in-game timer and event timers were out of sync so the event would say it was happening, but it would not actually happen until an hour later. Lost Ark developers took two 2 hour hotfixes and a 4-hour weekly maintenance just to fix this problem. For such a minor problem to require 8 hours of server downtime is somewhat concerning, especially from Amazon Games after New World.
Other minor mechanic issues include “Reset imminent” on World bosses. For example, the max-level world boss Moake must be standing at his spawn location, otherwise, its health will fully reset. For a boss that moves a lot, takes at least 50 people and 15 minutes to kill, a reset is devastating and makes no sense. I speak from personal experience.
Finally, the most minor bug is with Abyssal Dungeons. Often a group with try to enter an instance only for one player not to be moved into the dungeon after accepting the queue. This causes the group to have to remake the party and re-queue, not huge, but annoying and fixable.
I am sure there are more problems but this overs the Pay-to-win elephant in the room and a couple of other minor issues.