Lost Ark has always faced an issue with bots infesting the servers of the game, creating queues, and driving up prices in the market. It’s an issue frequently criticized by fans. Still, the frustration has elevated to an all-time high after some queues reached as high as 10,000+ players, and Smilegate RPG made comments praising its population of “800,000 concurrent players.”
Players have flooded the Lost Ark forums to report the long queues, presumably due to bots, with some having to wait over two hours to wait in a line of over 10,000. Community Manager Shadow_Fox stated that changes wouldn’t happen overnight in an attempt to quell the patience of players, although this hasn’t stopped players from threatening chargebacks and negative reviews. In the latter thread, Shadow_Fox even made a point to clarify that feedback is not gathered from Steam reviews.
This issue has become exacerbated by a recent news post made about a week ago, where Smilegate RPG stated that the Steam version of Lost Ark has exceeded “800,000 concurrent users after a large-scale update,” attributing the game’s large population to the release of the Valtan raid. However, fans believe that this number used by the company is unreliable, as they believe a significant portion of that number is populated by bots.
Bots are used to farm materials and accessories in the game, easily selling them on the market and creating gold to sell to other players. This gold is bought at a cheaper rate through a process known in the community as “RMT.” Reaction from the staff has been a mixed bag, with Community Manager MinerTarv even stating in a puzzling post: “I get the frustration you feel and why you want to make cheaters feel fear, but no kingdom ruled through fear is a kingdom worth ruling.”
Regardless, it’s apparent that countermeasures against bots are largely ineffective. Fans are worried about the future of the game, as queue times extend longer and longer. Hopefully, Smilegate RPG is able to implement measures to mitigate the bot problem soon.