Gaming

Lost Ark on Its Last Leg

New Legion Raid boss Valtan

Despite a successful launch for MMO standards and backing from Amazon Games, Lost Ark seems to be deteriorating with time. The game seems to have continued issues with essentially the same thing in-game. Not only this, but these problems consistently occur after weekly maintenance on Thursdays.

With these issues persisting and some of them being game-breaking, developers have to make spontaneous server maintenance, meaning taking down the game so they can fix something for a specific region or server within a region. This can be most clearly seen in the NA West servers which have been taken down for up 12 hours outside of server maintenance for the past 3 out 5 weeks. To top this off, these spontaneous server downtimes are during Friday and the weekend, primetime for many working people.

Several of the already well-known twitch streamers that played from the start have stopped playing completely. Obviously, Amazon Games and Smilegate do not want this to happen, but when it becomes a reoccurring problem, it’s time for some scrutiny. First, to run down this list of things that have caused these server closures. This list is not the entire list of issues as well.

  • Not being able to enter certain areas/game crashing for entering certain areas
  • Main quests not being able to be complete no matter what, meaning players not past this already could not progress (this problem persisted for days)
  • Poorly planned release of new content causes many different in-game problems for players like latency issues, high ping, and game crashes (namely, new guild content)
  • BOTS – This problem has been around for months. There are robots controlled by humans that make 100s of accounts on the Lost Ark with the purpose of making gold and selling it for real money (USD). These bots send messages and pollute lower-level areas with 100s of ‘players’ running around. The problem has gotten so bad that just to get into a server to play can have a waiting period of up to several hours. Amazon Games and Smilegate have banned millions of these bots since release, but they come back every week to do the same thing.

It is too bad these problems and more are continuing to happen because the game is good. About two weeks ago, the newest round of Lost Ark content was released into the game. The main new content that came with this was the Legion Raid Valtan. A two-boss raid (8 players required to complete) that is available to players at item level 1415+ (Hard mode 1445+), the first boss is a giant werewolf, and the second is a minotaur, Valtan. Clearing Valtan every week is very important to a player’s progression. There have been two different spontaneous server maintenances during the time this raid has been live. This is a bigger deal than other downtimes, here’s why:

Lost Ark is a game that gets progressively more difficult for tier 1 to 3 then the higher in tier 3 a player goes, the hard it gets still at an exponential rate. From what we know from Korea, there is content meant for less than 1% of the player base to be able to do successfully because of its difficulty. More on this later… Valtan is another step up in difficulty from all the content previous. There have been horror stories of people taking over 40 hours to clear it or people using all their free time to try to kill and still not being able to kill it. Even worse, players who are in the middle of trying Valtan when the random closure happens can no longer do it after servers are back up, they are locked out. This really hurts people’s will to play.

The question becomes: When even harder content comes out, will players have to endure more random server closures, putting them behind everyone else by no fault of their own? If this continues to happen at what seems like a 50/50 rate every week, it would be safe to say it will happen again.

The June-July Roadmap for Lost ark is supposed to be released the week after Memorial Day. While this is only speculation, there is expectations of Hell mode (mode above Hard) coming out for Abyssal Dungeons, a second Legion Raid (the one after Valtan), and other quality of life/events. We will see how many random server closures come with it as well.

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