Amazon Games and Smilegate RPG have described the Lost Ark March update as "a mistake". The studios say they're working to improve various aspects of the game, including the proliferation of bots, gear honing, and more.
Why was the Lost Ark March update a mistake?
The Lost Ark March update was released on March 10th and added new story content, the first major Abyss Raid, and more. Now, however, Amazon Games have described the timing of that event as "a mistake". In a blog post written to address some Lost Ark community concerns, Amazon says it thought more players would have reached endgame by the time of the update's release, but that players were spending more time exploring, completing quests, and gathering collectibles than they'd expected. In addition, the amount of bots and real-money traders present in the game led to a scarcity of Tier 3 honing materials, which meant many players couldn't access the new content the devs had added.
This also led to players accusing Lost Ark of being pay-to-win. The perception seemed to be that since the developers had released endgame content long before most players were ready to tackle it, they clearly wanted players to pay to accelerate their progression. This is another reason Amazon viewed the timing of its update as a mistake. Originally, the studio had intended Argos to be part of the game's launch, but had decided to hold back because it was an "important stepping stone" to help players bridge the gap to true endgame content that isn't present in the Western version of Lost Ark yet.
Amazon goes on to say that it believes players progressing at their own pace is crucial to enjoying Lost Ark, and that it intends to focus on updates that help players move on with content that's currently in the game rather than adding more endgame features. There will be new endgame stuff coming in future, but for now, Amazon says it wants to help players progress to that point. As such, Legion Raids, which Amazon describes as "the definitive Lost Ark raiding experience", won't be coming anytime soon. New classes, the area of South Vern, and new islands are all on the feature list for the near future, though, as are more classes and skins.
What is the status of the upcoming Lost Ark roadmap?
In addition to addressing endgame content, Amazon also talks about the upcoming Lost Ark roadmap, which was taken down after the game's release for "adjustments". Amazon says it's working with Smilegate on the roadmap "in studio this week". The two studios will share more information on content coming to Lost Ark in April and May sometime in the near future, but it won't be until this week is over and all of the plans for the roadmap have been finalized. As such, we don't yet know exactly what's on the roadmap, but expect some of the aforementioned features, like Legion Raids and South Vern, to make an appearance.
We do have an idea of what's coming in Lost Ark's more immediate future, though. Amazon says that owing to its mass ban around the time of the March update, bot numbers have steeply declined, and that the studio will "continue to take a hard stance" against bots. To address the scarcity of honing materials outlined above, Amazon says it's introducing new Grand Prix honing rewards in next week's update. In addition, a new Guardian Raid Event will be added, allowing you to enjoy Guardian Raids "in a more casual way". This event will give you honing materials, as well as event-specific rewards you can spend at a new vendor.
To round off its update, Amazon says more weekly honing materials will be provided in the upcoming first season of PvP, and that Arkesia Grand Prix reward adjustments will be made, allowing players to earn Tailoring Books and Metallurgy Books from this event. Next week, Amazon is also handing out some free gifts to Lost Ark players, including a whole bunch of fun cosmetics and useful items. You should definitely check out the full post if you want to see everything you can claim starting from March 21st, as well as read a little more about what Amazon and Smilegate are intending to do for Lost Ark in the future.
What is Lost Ark?
Lost Ark is a new MMO-ARPG created by Korean developer Smilegate RPG. It was originally published in Korea in 2019, but found a Western publisher in Amazon Games, who subsequently released it in the West in February this year. The game quickly amassed a following over here, with 4.7 million Lost Ark accounts being created in just a few days after the game's launch. In fact, the game's launch was so popular that its popularity led to widespread server queues, with some servers simply not accepting new players due to being at capacity. Things seem to have calmed down a little now, though.
You can play Lost Ark right now for free on Steam. Since getting stuck into this vast and imposing ARPG can be difficult at first, we recommend you give our Lost Ark guide hub a look. There, you'll find everything from a beginner's guide all the way through to specific class guides and trade skill tips. Here's hoping we hear more about the Lost Ark roadmap from Amazon and Smilegate in the next few weeks.