Lost Ark Launching with More Content Than Anticipated and People Aren’t Happy About It
The January Lost Ark Update finally dropped (normally it comes early each month) and, amongst other things, it has confirmed there will be more content included from the get-go than anyone suspected. The thinking was that we’d get Tier 1 with maybe some limited Tier 2 content at launch, and then work our way through from there.
Amazon confirmed today that actually, we’ll get all of T1. All of T2. And Tier 3 gear with some of the T3 content.
Generally speaking, one would think more launch content is a good thing. More to do! Huzzah!
But uh- no. Not this time, apparently. People are mad.
And hundreds more like it. As I write this, the thread has 265 responses for the most part following these themes.
I get it to an extent. Tier’s of content in Lost Ark are similar in concept to expansions in other MMOs. The content of a tier will fall within a given band of expected ilvl or gearing power and reward gear (or relevant upgrade materials) within this band. The jumps in power between bands is fairly significant, too.
What this will mean, potentially, is that all the lower-tier content will very quickly become irrelevant. In a brand new game, you’ll have whole sections of the game that very few people see much value in running.
This will leave people doing the bare minimum (either solo or with a BYO group, mostly) to get through the ‘dated’ content and into the current tier. Much like someone starting into an already established MMO with several expansions under its belt. The more tiers out there, the further the perceived gap from starting point to ‘catching up’ is.
So Why Do It?
Why would Amazon and SmileGate make the decision to launch so far through into the content cycle when it’s making so many upset? Could they just not see this response coming?
I don’t think so — there have been threads ‘hoping’ for a limited and staggered release of the content well before now.
They had to make the call between those requests and one other fairly important fact:
- There were no true raids in Tier 1 and 2 content.
Where by ‘true’ raids, I mean supporting more players than a standard party. Guardian Raids (which are available in T1 and 2 content) were still designed for 1-4 players.
Tier 3 introduces raid content capable of supporting 8- and 16-player configurations.
And so, they decided that ultimately, it would be better for their game to launch with the ability to offer raids, if not literally day 1, then very shortly afterwards.
What I Think?
When a new tier of content releases in Korea (or Japan, or Russia — the other regions Lost Ark has already launched in) there is an accompanying catch-up mechanic.
The gear ‘grind’ essentially evaporates up to the start of the newly current tier of content.
I think implementing that for Tier 1 and 2 content at the launch of Western Lost Ark would be a terrible mistake, and essentially make a lot of those crying out against any form of inclusion of T3 at launch correct.
If those catch-up mechanics are included, you could expect even the average player to zoom past the gearing requirements (and rewards) of Tier 1 and 2 in a matter of days.
I don’t imagine Amazon or SmileGate will actually want that — so I think there will be a delay between launch and activation of those mechanics. If I had to venture a guess — I’d say it’d be 2-3 months before we see these mechanics activated.
If I’m wrong on this and the catch-up mechanics are there from the get-go, you can actually go ahead and throw me in with the discontented crowd.
Even if we assume I’m correct though, it doesn’t eliminate all issues.
The other element of the discontent with the straight-to-Tier-3 is the fact it will allow those with prior knowledge of the game (or just excessive amounts of time) to blaze way past everyone else. And in order to keep up with the Jones’, you’ll have to pick your final main, right from day 1, without the benefit of getting to play around and investigate the class field a bit — or without even the benefit of having all classes released. Quite a problem if you have decided your main isn’t one of the day 1 classes.
I have… a little more difficulty sympathising with this particular view.
There are always going to be those ahead and those behind, for whatever reason. And classes are going to be coming more or less continuously, including brand new ones we have no idea about from the other releases at this point in time.
I suppose if the expectation is that Tier 3 will be the NA tier for some time to come — and this is probably a very fair expectation — the view does become a little more relatable. As while catch-ups once enabled will get you to the bottom of Tier 3, you’d still have to work your way through to everyone else from there.
So maybe I’ve talked myself into understanding the concerns of that crowd after all. I can certainly see the best time to ‘switch’ mains being at the start of a new tier.
I guess either way, it concerns me, personally, a lot less than the idea of having swathes of content that we barely visit because it no longer holds any gearing value!