Lost Ark received its first major content update just last week, adding a new endgame activity, the Argos Abyss Raid, as well as new story content. A new blog post from Amazon and Smilegate RPG now says releasing that new content so soon after the game's launch was a mistake.
"We made a mistake releasing the March game update too quickly after launch," the blog post states. "Data we analyzed alongside Smilegate RPG from their previous launches projected that a larger portion of players would have reached the level required to challenge Argos."
Because the new Abyss Raid requires an item level of 1370, many players felt pressured to progress as fast as possible in order to play the new content. Since Lost Ark is a free-to-play game, players can outright purchase materials needed to upgrade gear and raise item levels with real-world money. That, combined with a shortage of Tier 3 upgrade materials that Amazon and Smilegate RPG says was the result of a rampant botting problem and fewer than expected players reaching Tier 3 to begin with, meant many players felt Lost Ark had become a game where they needed to pay money in order to get ahead.
"Our goal is to provide fun content for players, even if it's at a higher level, while never making players feel pressured that they need to pay to progress," according to the blog.
To remedy the problem, Amazon will be injecting more T3 upgrade materials and gold into the game via a new event. Next week will see the introduction of Event Guardian Raids, which are more casual-friendly versions of existing endgame content. Players can complete the event Guardian Raid once per day (per roster) to receive more upgrade materials. The event will go on for roughly a month. The recently added Arkesia Grand Prix event will also see some reward adjustments to make it easier for players to progress to Tier 3 content. The game's upcoming competitive PvP season will provide another avenue for players to earn upgrade materials.
Amazon and Smilegate RPG will also be gifting a number of items, originally released in Korea to celebrate the game's Western launch, to all players worldwide. These items will include a Mokokon Pet, a Moko-board mount, legendary card packs, a Lost Ark United structure for player strongholds, and more. Those gifts will be sent to all players starting on March 21 following the game's weekly update.
Amazon recently banned more than 1 million Lost Ark accounts involved with botting. Though the game's player numbers have dipped from its record-breaking 1.3 million concurrent players on Steam shortly after launch, Lost Ark is still one of the most played games on the platform.