By most accounts I am someone that would be considered a whale. I’ve probably spent about $1000 since launch on this game - bought the platinum and gold founders packs and every sorceress skin I could. On top of that I bought lots of mats from mari and rapport stuff to max out the skill point people. Unlike many players i’ve never bought anything outside of the games ecosystem although I did erroneously get caught up in a ban wave for a day which was bizarre but whatever. This coupled with 750 hours of game play has set me up with the following:
- 1395 Sorc (level 55), will have full argos set in a week or so
- 1340 Sorc
- 1340 Slinger
- 1340 Bard
3 T2 characters and 3 t1 characters sitting at the roof of each tier prepared to feed future classes I want to play.
This sets me up to do a fair amount of honing on my main and generate around 10k gold and a few million silver per week which I absolutely need given honing at this level is insanely expensive. This is possible bc i work from home and spend a few bucks on top of that but finally i feel like ive reach equilibrium on my silver/gold resources.
I share this because as someone with the disposable income to support the game I don’t really feel like i got $1k worth of value and if I feel that way I’d imagine folks less fortunate than myself would view this even more negatively. Furthermore, despite my investment in the game due to honing costs being so high for my main I am constantly under the gun for silver or gold. This makes me hesitant to spend more in the future bc i do not see a the west embracing this game long term if things do not improve. Lost Ark for what its worth is a really fun game but I am concerned about the longevity of the game. I am concerned that the walls may be placed a bit too high for the average players (especially in the west where grinding is not popular) and that the economy of the game is too costly even to be worth spending money as someone like myself.
I constantly see people complaining about honing in the deadzone. However, many of those players are soon to reach 1370 where you get a brief honeymoon to 1385 then your progression slows down to be 100x slower than that deadzone as you push for 1400 with less than 1 hone attempts worth of mats per day (unless you buy mats or have alts). I’ve said this elsewhere and I will say it here as well, after 1385 without alts or money (or both) you cannot expect to reasonably progress beyond 1385. You might be lucky to see 1 ilvl every few days. Sure there may be a few gigachad one tap doods out there but I’d imagine very few.
In addition to the honing, the economy is out of whack. As it stands today gold in NA has been fluctuating around $30-45 for 10k, as someone willing to spend money for convenience to me that doesn’t seem worth it, I might consider it if 10k was like $10. Buying gems with real money is a terrible investment atm bc royal crystals are basically worthless, you cannot sell skins on the ah to generate a profit bc the gold is worth too much and mats are worth virtually nothing so you also get squeezed on that side to make generating gold even harder. This even applies to professions, I have leveled all professions to level 30 and not a single profession is profitable - you cannot gather a meaningful quantity of flowers to craft pots for example. the gold required to make the good pots makes it cheaper to just get them from mari - therefore its not worth making them to sell or to use yourself. fish all you want they are worthless. so basically professions are useless outside of the incremental costs of doing stuff in your stronghold and therefore do not generate any meaningful revenue to players.
I would like to see this game succeed and if it does I’ll gladly continue to support the game with purchases but first the game needs to be course corrected. The economy desperately needs more gold and the materials/honing rate need to be balanced so that regardless of ilvl you are able to generate at least 1 honing attempts worth of materials per day/character and you have a more realistic path to achieving end game goals. Western players want to embrace this game - there is a huge amount of people out there that want a great mmo they can commit to for years but the game in its current state seems to be doing everything possible to scare away f2p players by bottlenecking their ability to generate gold while simultaneously telling those willing to spend money that their money is worthless.
My apologies for the lengthy post but I wanted to share this in hope that the feedback is considered.