South Korean developer Smilegate recently held a community and media event to celebrate the 1st anniversary of its hit MMORPG, Lost Ark. Titled “Luteran New Year’s Appreciation Festival,” the development team is at the event as well talking about huge milestones, what they did over the past year, admitting mistakes, and talked about the future of Lost Ark. Sadly, there was no mention of any Western server (not counting the Russian one). Lost Ark started with the slogan “For All RPG Fans,” and the upcoming second season will have a new slogan, “With All RPG Fans.” Pretty epic I think. Read on for more details!
● Before the start, I will just like to throw it out there that there is a PVP esports league of sorts for Lost Ark in South Korea, but I will not be touching much on esports stuff.
● Also, despite the previous Unreal Engine 4 upgrade and mobile version rumors, these were not mentioned at the event.
● The first new upcoming update for Lost Ark is the “Challenge Trial Raid,” which might be tougher to most players than existing raids. It was only mentioned that “control” is very important here, with players being honored on a leaderboard.
● The second new upcoming update for Lost Ark is a new selfie-camera system, which can capture screenshots beyond the limits of the quarter-view default camera. Taking full advantage of Lost Ark’s graphics, players can capture memorable scenes from any angle.
● The third new upcoming update for Lost Ark is a rank system not just for PVP and raid, but for various other gameplay functions as well. Of course, this was not revealed in full details, so players will have to wait for future announcements.
● The forth new upcoming update for Lost Ark is a new island call “Island of Beginning.” This is the battlefield where Lost Ark’s battle royale concept will take place. The last person to survive the island’s dinosaur threat will be declared the winner.
● As there is no official translation yet for many game terms and features, I will have to skip the fifth and sixth new features. These 2 are supposedly highly-requested systems from the Korean community.
● The seventh new upcoming update for Lost Ark is call the “Fellowship Expedition” system, though I am not really sure how to explain it. It is something like a feature where players can put their sub-characters to use and not feel like doing the boring “homework.”
● The eight new upcoming update for Lost Ark is “Life Reform,” and as the name suggests, big changes are coming to the live functions (fishing, lumbering, etc).
● The ninth new upcoming update for Lost Ark is revamping nautical voyages, changing the seas to a place where players enjoy roaming and having fun rather than boring “homework.” New and special adventures are being developed right now.
● The tenth new upcoming update for Lost Ark is the marine dungeon, Gate of Paradise. This is part of the new naval content, with new encounter and threats in the deep seas. Players can expect strong boss monsters and a new guardian boss here.
● In addition to all the content updates, improvements are being made to all aspects of Lost Ark, including cross-server party search function, quests, game music, in-game guides, character selection, preview look in auction house, growth mechanism, user interface (UI), and many more others.
● The class gender-lock system of Lost Ark has been a point of contempt from the community, and Smilegate ti working to rectify that issue. The team is working on Male Battle Master (the one with punches and kicks like Diablo’s Monk) and also Female Devil Hunter (the one with dual guns and rifles).
● To summarize, all these are being prepared for Season 2 (undated right now), roughly translated as Paradise of the Undreamed. As mentioned, Season 2’s slogan is “With All RPG Fans” with an aim to support small-scale teams, provide better support to guilds, and getting more feedback via surveys. Season 1 is the introduction to the adventure, while Season 2 will throw players deeper into chaotic conflicts and head into an epic climax.
● We have not ended! Here are some summarized details from the community Q&A session with the Lost Ark development team. I will skip some of the more in-depth ones and head on to those which can be understood more easily.
● Previously, an item known as the “Instant Completion Ticket” was made available in Lost Ark. Somewhat similar to mobile games’ “Instant Raid,” this item was meant to help players breeze through raids instantly as they were quite hard and time-consuming. The team knew it was a mistake within a few days, but did not remove it immediately as there was a new dungeon update incoming. The team apologized to the gamers for this mistake.
● Right now, “power inflation” in Lost Ark is too severe, leading to a loss of players. Power will be adjusted in Season 2 to minimize this issue.
● Answering a question about the frequent balance updates, the team accepted that there is a difference on how they view this issue versus how the gamers view it. Sometimes, for example nerfing a character, it might be too severe and only recognized after a huge amount of players attest to it. The team will then have a patch update to correct this issue quickly. The team’s mindset is to acknowledge errors, and waste no time in fixing them.
● With regards to continuously attracting new players, the team admitted in concentrating too much on developing end-game content. Similar to most developers, they overlooked the existence of new novice players. In the future, Smilegate will set up a team that cares only for the beginner section and try to improve current shortcomings.
● The story of Lost Ark does not end with collecting all 7 Arks in the game lore, as in Season 1 (current version) players can already collect up to 6. The worldview of Lost Ark is vast, and there are many continents which have yet to be revealed. The team teased that when all 7 Arks are collected, “something amazing will happen.”
● The team recently watched the Korean movie “Parasites” winning many international awards, and the goal for Lost Ark is to go abroad and raise the status of Korean games.