Lost Ark is distributed free-to-play, but the MMORPG business model has raised many questions in Korea. In the West, Amazon Game Studios intends to adapt it and promises any expense will be optional.
In South Korea, local gamers slapped the first version of Lost Ark on the wrist for its somewhat intrusive business model – before it was revamped a bit in a 2.0 version of the MMORPG. What about the Western version of Lost Ark that we expect in the coming months on the servers of Amazon Game Studios? We know Western players are demanding on the subject, and the operator provides some details.
As we know, Lost Ark adopts a free-to-play model allowing you to discover the basic version of the MMORPG for free. To finance itself, the game includes two object shops – one permanent and the other, Mari's secret shop, whose content is only temporary and regularly renewed. Amazon Games specifies that we will only find cosmetic or comfort items in these shops – including pets that automatically collect items or items that facilitate inventory management, for example. And to avoid any risk of imbalance, the operator specifies that in the West, an epic pet will be accessible for free via a quest at the start of the game, and the pets' abilities will be permanent (in Korea, they are for a limited time, requiring payment regularly to keep enjoying it). Also, temporary items from Mari's secret shop will be available longer than in Korea to give Western players time to understand their purchases better.
Another modification, the western version of Lost Ark, evolves the content of the "premium crystalline aura" offer. (which notably allows faster progress in the South Korean version). In the West, movement speed boosts or XP boosts are removed from the premium offer.
But how do acquire the objects of the shops? Lost Ark incorporates four distinct currencies: gold and silver for the day-to-day operation of the in-game economy and crystals to buy items, which are added royal crystals purchasable with real money.
Most of these currencies are earned by playing through quests or special events (silver, gold, and crystals), and those that cannot be earned in-game can be purchased from other players for gold in a market subject to the laws of supply and demand.
A rather classic mechanism in many free-to-play games and which makes Amazon Game Studios say "that all objects will be available in exchange for currencies that can be earned in the game," directly or indirectly (the only exception - classic there again – being the Founder's Packs and Services as a name change). If the statement is often correct, we know the limit: what about the time it will take to get Lost Ark gold or crystals in-game ( New World, the other MMO from Amazon, is, for example, rather stingy when it comes to distributing gold)? More broadly, does the gameplay allow for the healthy functioning of the economy, or is it deliberately frustrating to push players to buy royal crystals?
We will judge the document when the time comes, but the closed beta, which will be held from November 4 to 11, should provide the beginning of an answer. All testers will receive 40,000 royal crystals to test the functioning of the shop without having to pay a dime, and the tests will begin to understand how players will appropriate the economy of Lost Ark.