An MMO, typically, has two hallmarks upon release–long queues and chat spam. Lost Ark has been dealing with the first problem since its highly-anticipated release last week. Now, players are starting to notice something even more annoying once they manage to log in: bots selling gold for actual money. A problem in other popular online games for years, the issue was bound to pop up sooner or later. But the problem with Lost Ark, specifically, is how it’s being run in the West.
In the game’s home country of South Korea, a player can’t sign up without ID, which proves that person is who they say they are. There is no such requirement in the West, meaning that anyone can make an account, whether they be bots or scammers.
One Reddit post shows how bad the problem has become within only seven days:
Gold is pretty easy to get in Lost Ark, and buying it would only be done to save time. Buying gold with real money is an actual in-game feature, though it’s quite expensive.
Players have probably also noticed waves of people spamming “add me” in the chat. No, it’s not a meme or a real attempt at making a human connection–once a player has 50 friends in the game, they’re sent 1,000 amethyst crystal shards. This valuable currency can be traded for nice cosmetics. No matter where you go in Lost Ark, you’ll see the chat absolutely wrecked by friend seekers, bots, and spammers. For those new to the MMO scene, get used to it. This is your life now.
Lost Ark was fully released in its free-to-play format on February 11. The game managed to break 500,000 concurrent players on Steam during early access. Within 24 hours of release, Lost Ark managed to break the all-time concurrent player records of CS-GO and Dota 2 at 1,324,761.