Lost Ark's developers have just made a statement in an official newsletter regarding the game's bot situation and how they intend to deal with the issue. This comes as many Lost Ark players are understandably frustrated by the growing number of bots plaguing the game's community.
Originally released in South Korea in 2019, Lost Ark came several years later to Western audiences on February 11, thanks to a publishing deal with Amazon Games, resulting in a major success for the action-RPG genre. The game has consistently remained one of the top five most played titles on Steam every day while setting the record as the second most played Steam game of all time with 1.3 million concurrent players. As a free-to-play game with an addicting Diablo-style loot system, a massive world to explore, and a robust character build system, the game has been able to attract millions of gamers while holding their attention for countless hours.
One of the biggest caveats to the free-to-play model is, unfortunately, the ease at which bots can be used to manipulate the game's systems. Since there's no financial risk on the botter's part, it's easy to simply create another account once or even if they get banned. This has resulted in a substantial population of bots infiltrating Lost Ark's population, and the developers have taken some measures. Several million accounts have been banned for using bots, area chat has been level-gated so that brand-new characters can't spam, and the game's automated chat moderation has gotten better at identifying bots, though hopefully, it won't mistake real players for bots. VPNs have also been blocked, a potentially controversial move that will help prevent people from circumventing IP bans to the detriment of those using VPNs for harmless reasons.
Lost Ark has been dealing with bots from the beginning, and it's an extremely difficult challenge to overcome for a free game with this much popularity. It's a delicate balancing act trying to implement measures that hurt bots without hurting innocent players, and it also takes considerable effort to implement systems such as two-factor authentication or Captcha. The varying privacy laws in each territory the game operates within also make it difficult to authenticate each player's identity. For now, the game's developers have their work cut out for them as they focus on improving the game's Easy Anti-Cheat implementation and its own native countermeasures.
Although Lost Ark has had major content updates, it's just as important to work on the aspects of the game that affect the community. Bots are a general annoyance to players and can also severely cripple the delicate economies of multiplayer games by causing massive inflation and flooding the market with currency earned through botting. Lost Ark clearly has a long road ahead as it strives to rid itself of this problem.
Lost Ark is available on PC.
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Source: Lost Ark