The Heartbreaking State of Lost Ark - A Long Term Lost Ark Player's Take

Hello everyone, it is truly heartbreaking that the day has come where I even feel the need to write a post like this.

As a general statement to preface this whole thing, my final wish is for everyone globally to enjoy the great game that is lost ark, my intentions with this post is not to instate a doomer mentality, but rather, hopefully reach out to any people who will be willing to be mature and take everything I am saying into consideration, so hopefully our voice can be heard, and positive changes can come.

To start, a little bit about myself:

  • I have been interested in this game since the very first trailer in late 2014.
  • I have been playing the game since CBT2 on the Korean Servers
  • I have experienced every iteration/version of this game, be it on Russia, Korea, Japan, season 1 or season 2, I have seen it all.

I experienced this game since you couldn’t press one button and instantly be inside your ship, I have experienced this game since chaos dungeons weren’t a daily loot grind, but were more similar to the story dungeons you currently experience while leveling, I have also been here when the game was at it’s worst state in terms of p2w and was at it’s dying breaths (Yon/Faten update season 1)

All things considered, our lost ark release for western audiences is quite possibly the best possible release in terms of game polish and game content.

A new player can easily get lost for months with all the horizontal and vertical content available (vertical content/vertical progression refers to gear score and overall character strength progression while horizontal contents refers to things like collectibles, islands, side stories and etc)

It goes without saying that, for the most part, the new user experience to lost ark should be amazing, especially with all the Quality of Life changes implemented so early on in the game.

However, all of this greatness on the outside hides a much darker picture that only people familiar with the game can possibly see.

I see a lot of people who get all their information from big streamers, and due to their trust in these streamers, they take their opinions and thoughts for fact.

For instance, months before release, when we had no release date in mind, and communication was silent from AGS, a lot of popular content creators were actively pushing for and supporting the idea of a Tier 1 release of the game, saying that this will help people focus more on their account progression (horizontal progression), by collecting runes, skill points, and other important collectibles.

However, just a few weeks before release, streamers quickly started supporting a Tier 3 release out of nowhere, something they would have never said months ago.

It became very clear that the opinions of these streamers and content creators were no longer supported by what they actually think, but tainted and manipulated by monetary incentive through being sponsored.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg, of a much darker future to come, and many more horrible decision that are directly against F2P players or even players that are willing to put a reasonable amount of money into the game.

Here is a list of some of the changes that actively harm the players:

  • 3 years of game content being compressed into a 1 month release, making any person with a reasonable amount of daily playtime feel completely overwhelmed with how many things they have to do to progress their character.

  • Removal of the July 7th (known as 7/7 astalgia patch) honing changes.

For context, during LOA ON Mini, the director mentioned specifically how the new player experience feels horrible and extremely stressful especially during honing from item level 1340 to item level 1370.

Due to this, the director decided to implement a relief patch, so people could more easily access relevant endgame contents such as Abyss Raids and Legion Raids (namely Argos, Valtan and Biackiss/Vykas)

This relief patch would change a few things:

As you can see, with these changes, a dedicated free-to-play player would with relative ease be able to get a few characters into tier 3 contents, from which they can directly funnel materials into their main character, and easily be able to access contents such as Argos, and eventually Valtan and so on.

These changes were planned for our release and were on the release date patch notes, then suddenly out of nowhere got removed and were never talked about to this day.

  • Staggered class release for monetary profit: currently, not all classes are available for launch and we are currently missing 7 classes, which will slowly be implemented into the game at around a monthly or bi-monthly cadence, this is really good for the game company, since it can generate hype, interest and most importantly money, but for the playerbase who wants to play a certain class, once that class is released, they would have to invest a ridiculous amount of time or money in order to get it up to where their main might be.

  • Horrible User Experience and Feedback (Mostly for EU): if you have been playing on the EU Central servers for the initial release, there were multiple game breaking issues that were handled way too late, and that we got almost no compensation for.

Issues include:

  1. Crystalline Aura not working (Which is a premium paid subscription by the way), we got 3 days crystalline aura compensation (that other servers which had no issues also received? XD), during the days where it was bugged, so even the compensation we received was a shot in the dark since no one got to benefit from it, and in a recent forum post by Roxx, she states there is no compensation planned currently.

  2. Extremely long queues: I am talking 5-20k people queues on any given server on EUC, which translates to about 3-9 hrs of purely sitting inside of a queue.

  3. Completely broken matchmaking: you finally endured sitting through a 6 hour queue, only to suddenly realize that you cannot even get into solo instances (chaos dungeons, which are your dailies btw) or queue up with others to do various game contents (guardian raids, abyss dungeons etc)

  4. Broken Store: for most players, trading in the auction house, whether it was gold to crystal exchange, or purchasing any goodies would be completely unavailable for most of the day.

  5. Botting Issues: horrible anti-cheats and using steam as a game launcher means botting and using cheats or hacks becomes laughably easy, this issue is not so awful on other servers mainly due to Korea and Japan requiring mobile phone verification and having way stricter policies.

  6. Unfair account bans: countless people got banned for simply trading in the auction house (yes, literal bots running around not getting banned while legitimate players do) with no feedback, no compensation, nothing.

  7. Outright lies: when the EUC issues got out of hand, we got an entirely new region, EUW, one of the ideas people had to motivate people to join EUW was to implement an instant level 50 boost so players do not have to go through a 12-15 hour leveling process all over again, it was officially stated that this cannot be done because apparently ‘‘not possible.’’ due to powerpasses only working on rosters in which there is already at least one level 50 character.

This is a straight up bullshit lie, on Korea, Russia and Japan, a completely freshly created account can purchase an instant boost to fucking Punika while never having played the game before.

  1. Horrible communication: there are countless changes to the game that happen that do not get added whatsoever into patch notes, including NPC rewards being changed, Island Rewards being changed, collectibles names being changed (Island Token > Island Soul).

  2. Horrible advertising: on any other Lost Ark release, when new content would be coming out, especially with skins, we could open the official game site, and be able to preview the skins we want to purchase.

Korean Server Example (You can preview all classes):

Meanwhile our version:

Overall, this and many other changes I simply cannot put into a single thread, that is already excessively long, have ruined my and many other people’s perception and enjoyment of the game.

Lost ark always has been and always will remain a P2W game, and while in the past players like me and others have been fine with this, since you could make meaningful progress as a dedicated free to play player, this is no longer the case on our release of the game, which is ironic cause most people would have predicted our version to be less pay to win than other releases.

As it stands, content is gated behind a pay-wall, and the most commonly presented counter argument is that ‘‘the content will always remain there, so there is no rush’’.

Would you say the same if I told you that you can simply wait 3 months to play lost ark or pay 2000 USD to be able to play the game right now?

Most MMORPG players play for the endgame, for the character progression, and for being able to enjoy high-end difficult raiding with their friends or guild.

And while on other servers, frequent events, boosts, and being able to have multiple high level alts to support yourself was enough to be able to keep up with the endgame as a free to play player, this is simply not the case on our release.

In the past, I knew that as a free to play player I will never be able to reach +25 on all my gear, and I was perfectly fine with that, let the whales be happy with maxed out gear and an illusory sense of superiority, as long as I can enjoy and clear the contents with lower gearscore, I am satisfied.

As of right now, not only is it a hopeless dream to ever max out your gear, it’s also pretty unrealistic to even be able to access content before it eventually becomes outdated and new content comes out.

Also, if you are a member of a guild that was trying to do region/server first clears of equalized contents (Hell Mode), say goodbye to that wish as well, since even the entry point for that content has become an unrealistic goal if you wish to not drop a ton of cash on upgrading your character.

Last but not least, to people who aren’t worried about this yet, AGS has delibirately disabled server announcements for gear upgrades, why?


I am aware that this was an incredibly long read, and if you made it this far, thank you.

I hope in the future, issues like this are no longer present, and we can all enjoy this game together.

Thank you.


This is what I call a proper feedback, well done mate!


I loled at the difference in advertisement for the skins. I even double checked myself because it really is that unbelievable.
Amazon, the billion dollar company, fails to even encourage people to spend money properly.
AGS is a leech to its parent company at this point. I wish someone would leak the emails the bosses send to each other. I have to know and understand how it’s this bad.


Exactly this. I didn’t realize how lazy a company could be. Literally, all they did was putting 2 sentences to introduce a new skin and call their job done. I was like, ‘is AGS serious for this?’

Oh god, I have never seen a online game company that is more lazy than Nexon


This is an excellent read. :clap:
I wish the relevant people would read this.


nice feedback thanks for your time doing this, hope that help the toxic people on the forum to open their eyes.


Amazing feedback and written post.
Thanks for taking your time and put this together.

Hope the right people see this.


And Smilegate lets all of this happen.

Maybe i had to much hope listening to Saintone & co about this “amazing” company.


Good post with credibility of experience with other versions. AGS right now is basically EA games, AGS is jsut GS with Amazon in their name because parent fundings, manipulation and hard pay wall decisions when other versions are lenient to the overall playerbase.


Thank you for taking your time to post this!


That’s a Great feedback, Thanks for posting it, hope things can change for the Better


I still hope something changes and we actually get the game experience the director talked about with T3 being great and T1 and 2 very quick (and later in the game life skippable).

On the German part of the forum, one of the CMs, @Maselbart, literally confirmed that Smilegate is not reading the forums and is dependant on the feedback of AGS.
We as players can just hope AGS is open with Smilegate and not holding things back.


At first i was hesitant to read it all, but in the end i just had to. WOW this is actually insane. How can smile gate get even CLOSE to allowing this. I keep thinking the game will be saved as in Korea the community loves the devs so much and they do so much for them. But with all that being said. It seems amazon is calling more of the shots then i originally though. Bad on them. Lost ark deserves to be represented by a proper company. Good Feedback, and it really opened my eyes. I hope the devs can see this and explain why they are lying from boosts to censoring and everything else they might of lied about. And i hope they start to put more effort into it


Amazing post with bare truth for everyone to see.

Let’s not let this post be forgot

AGS and Smilegate are allowing this shitshow happen.


The director said he read the Lost Ark reddit NA/EU … so i guess he is well aware of the state of the game :frowning:
Furthermore, it is Smilegate who develops the game (like honing chances, no challenge guardians etc …) so, again, i think they are well aware of the situation even if Amazon misleads them.


@invicta Can you post this to reddit with something along the title of “Golden River please read”? or something like that. If he does read Lost Ark reddit na/eu then he might see this and things might have a better chance of change? idk its some hopiume


Seems like a good idea if the director really reads the subreddit.


I mean its worth it if it actually does save the na/eu version of the game? im really sad that this is not the version we wanted but a twisted worse version of what it could of been


I am afraid gold river is behind these changes.

People often get too lost in people praising smilegate, but you have to remember that even before this the game was pay to win, for reference, the latest major p2w change was ‘‘esther bonds’’

tldr of esther bonds: there is an entirely new tier of weapons in korea called the ‘‘esther weapon’’, essentially, these weapons are unique in the sense that as you upgrade them, they visually change, and are the current strongest weapons inside of the game.

Currently on korea, to get your esther weapon maxed out, an estimated 45k usd needs to be used to fully max out your esther weapon.

Note that the 45k number changes based on a variety of things, such as the price of USD to Gold on KR, as well as the price of the actual stones ranging from 500k gold to 1 million gold each.

The reason these stones are so expensive by the way is that they are an extremely rare drop of an extremely hard raid encounter (Kakul Saydon and Brelshaza P6)

If you were to actually ‘‘farm’’ these esther stones, you would probably need 1-2 years of clearing these raids on a weekly basis on multiple characters.

This was a ‘‘whale exclusive’’ content and none of us minded it or commented on it too much because our love for the game simply made us put a blind eye to any shady shit they would do, because again, the game was fair to free to play players who put in a reasonable amount of time a day.

I think while most people here will jump to blame AGS, which I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the reason behind these changes, I think Smilegate is actually the main player behind these changes.


Ah… i mean i could complain here all i want but it wont change anything. If smile gate wants their game represented this way in the western markets then they will lose western players as a whole the western community HATE the P2W model where as the eastern community doesnt mind it and accepted it. I would love to pick his brain and understand the reason for doing this when it is completely different from ALL other regions. :confused: