Hello Lost Ark Team @Roxx
Today I heard some players in my guild were banned due to RMT. I have interviewed them and get some my own thoughts. I have spent over 1000 hours in this game and I really hope lost ark can stay sustainable in the long future. Therefore I want to share some thought with you.
First, I think giving penalty to the people who conducted RMT is definitely a right thing. RMT breaks the play fair code of conduct in this game. It also caused a reduction of revenue to Lost Ark and Amazon. However, there are multiple ways you can penalize the people who purchase gold using real money. I want to discuss if account ban is the best approach or if there are better approaches.
I have interviewed some players whose account were banned due to RMT, and I have read other’s posts. I realized that majority of the players who were banned over 1 month eventually quit the game. RMT is a common problem in a lot of multi-player games. But account ban worked well in those other games since people can spend money to quickly build another account in the game after they switch to the official payment channel. However, why large percentage of players who were banned eventually quit Lost Ark? The reason is collectibles. People who can spend money in RMT can easily purchase those gold officially via steam and build another 1460 even 1500 character. But usually they spent over 1500 hours in the collectibles which can significantly affect the DPS. Barely any person is willing to spend time in a new account after the ban to re-do all the collectibles. It’s the main reason account ban is almost equivalent to forcing to quit.
I started seeing posts regarding RMT ban since early July. As I check the active player count, I have seen the count started to significantly drop from 291K on 7/7/2022 15:00 to 147K on 7/14/2022 15:00, which is about 50% decline. In my own experience in the game, I have seen some guilds dismissed due to guild master being banned, some players who have active account quit because their friends were banned, etc. I also noticed it’s more difficult to find teams with high item level players in the Vykas Raid, and fewer high quality accessories at the auction house.
Furthermore, I’m concerning about the negative influence on the revenue of Amazon Game division due to the wave of RMT ban. So far Lost Ark have kept a harmonious environment for both players who purchase via steam and players who chose to spend time and effort instead of paying. Lost Ark needs both of them to grow and stay profitable. With a big proportion of the players who willing to pay quit the game, I worry it might cause a reduction in Amazon Game division’s revenue.
As we talked about the downside of banning RMT buyers, what about other penalty approaches? Why don’t you try Gold Penalty approach just like Russian and Korean servers? Under the gold penalty approach, you can remove all the gold of the RMT buyer’s account, or even better you can deduct 3 X the amount that they purchased, and allow negative gold in those accounts. I believe under this new approach, fewer players will quit. Instead, after they lose more gold than they purchased from RMT, in order to continue playing, they will have to purchase more gold via steam official payment channel. In this way, you can increase revenue and keep loyal players at the same time. With this approach, I’m not saying selling gold is right. For the people who sell gold, I believe ban is still the best approach for them. But maybe gold removal and negative gold will be a better penalty for the buyers.
At last, I sincerely hope lost ark can grow larger and keep bring us new contents. Regardless, this will always be the best game I ever played!
All have a wonderful day!