- Lost Ark is super fun to play and provides users with an experience worthy of their time and effort.
- However, not everyone you encounter in-game is an actual human player, most of them are bots.
- Statistics indicate that almost three-quarters of the title's population are Ai-controlled accounts.
Die-hard fans of the MMOARPG video game genre will forever remember February 11 2022 as the day their new favorite game was released.
That is, users in Europe, North America, and South America, as fans in South Korea started playing Lost Ark back in December 2019, when the title was initially released.
Hype for this awesome game has been building for quite a while, and a lot of people have downloaded and played Lost Ark since.
This reflects in the numbers that the title has been stacking up since its second release, but you shouldn’t always trust what the naked eye can’t entirely see.
Gamers have started slowly realizing that many of the players they run into while playing are not really what they seem at first.
And we’re not talking about dealing with shady individuals or shapeshifting wizards, but about the large number of AI (bots).
Not everybody you encounter in Arkesia is a human player
You didn’t think that everybody you met while adventuring throughout Arkesia was a real player, did you? In fact, you would be shocked to find out how many actually aren’t.
Yes, the bots have been a real handful for both Tripod Studio and Smilegate, the two companies that put their heads together and created Lost Ark.
Bot accounts, as you would imagine, can be used for a multitude of things, including farming, camping, or trading, or maybe even simply to overcrowd servers.
Yesterday I was playing at 4 AM and I have encountered several bots in the game leveling up. I decided to follow them and make a research. It turns out that in almost every channel, every zone of the map, in every continent, there are massive ammounts of bots that are chain questing.
Forums dedicated to the ultra-popular game are buzzing with fans complaining about the massive bot community in Lost Ark and what it does to the game.
Note that Lost Ark players have been quitting the game since shortly after launch due to the proportions of this botting problem.
Furthermore, those that decided to keep playing have been begging the developers for a solution to this entire situation.
As a consequence, it can prove hard for a game to sustain itself when the number of new players that stick around is small.
Not to mention that the players that leave will be less likely to express any type of game-related opinion or feedback, thus decreasing the feedback pool that developers have at their disposal.
We’re about to take a look at some numbers which will make you better understand the magnitude of the above-mentioned situation.
How many bots are there in Lost Ark?
Players that noticed this abnormality have started tracking the numbers since early release, back in February, and have compiled pretty interesting statistics.
Sure, maybe you thought that 20% of characters in the game are bots, but it goes much higher than that. as you are about to see.
How we test, review and rate?
We have worked for the past 6 months on building a new review system on how we produce content. Using it, we have subsequently redone most of our articles to provide actual hands-on expertise on the guides we made.
For more details you can read how we test, review, and rate at WindowsReport.
If we take a look at the above-mentioned period, you will get a general understanding of how massive the bot population really is.
As you can observe from the screenshot above, which was taken from the Lost Ark forum, the number of bots is staggering, compared to the actual human players.
Apparently, bot classes are mostly Berserker and Sorceress according to the people that took the time to study this, and it was discovered that bot routines currently use these two classes.
We’ll remind you that Lost Ark features five playable classes, and each splits into Advanced Classes. As such, we have:
- Warrior: Berserker, Paladin, Gunlancer, Destroyer.
- Martial Artist: Striker, Wardancer, Scrapper, Soulfist, Glaivier.
- Gunner: Gunslinger, Artillerist, Deadeye, Sharpshooter.
- Mage: Bard, Sorceress
- Assassin: Shadowhunter, Deathblade
The disproportionate increase in percentage in the charts regarding classes such as Berserker and Sorceress is from the actual bots.
It wasn’t hard to read the differences, considering the Warrior subclass made an initial jump from 38.5% to 41.9%. The mages, on the other hand, had a more steady growth from 23.2% to 25.4%.
Now, we know you might ask why, and we’re more than happy to provide the answer for you. It is simply because of a little thing we like to call reliability.
You see, bot accounts made for farming or trading need to first level up, and then provide reliable services in a relatively low amount of time, constantly.
And what other classes are better fit to carry out these important tasks, if not Berserkers and Sorcereses? If you take a look at our guide to pick the best starting class in Lost Ark, we told you the same thing.
Which thing? That the Mage, a subclass of the Sorceress, and the Warrior, a subclass of the Berserkers, are the best for players starting Lost Ark for the first time.
That means that they are perfectly suited for this line of work, due to their resilience and ease to achieve high damage in whatever farm scenario they might be in.
Don’t get us wrong, all of the other classes can do just fine on their own, but they are not suited for botting because of the complexity required to be efficient.
So, back in February 2022, when the game was released in Europe, as well as in North and South America, only half the total population were in fact human players.
Needless to say, the information that 49.05% of Lost Ark players are bots did not sit well with the remaining fans and the situation got worse.
Later reports, recorded in May 2022, point out that what fans were appalled by was only the tip of the iceberg. As the months went by, bot numbers increased dramatically.
Posts on the same Lost Ark forum were already depicting a reality that many refused to believe at first, showing that the bot population had actually increased to a head-spinning 73%.
You don’t have to be a math genius to figure out that 27% is a ridiculously low number for such a popular MMOARPG title.
That being said, this number will also probably grow smaller and smaller due to the players that are still leaving on a daily basis.
What’s the solution?
Well, Smilegate did acknowledge the situation and provided a reply for its gaming community on the 13th of May 2022, also detailing measures being taken as a consequence.
We know that bots have been causing frustration within the community, and we share in that frustration. Over the past few months we’ve made a number of changes to Lost Ark in order to combat bots.
The company responsible for what is considered a gaming masterpiece confirmed it has been fighting a war against the bots infiltrating Arkesia.
Developers explained that combating bots can be especially challenging in free-to-play games because it’s so easy to create an account and enter the game.
As a result, Smilegate confirmed taking the following actions against bot accounts:
- Permanently banned several million accounts that participated in botting, hacking, or gold selling.
- Level-gated area chat to keep brand-new accounts from spamming gold-selling advertisements.
- Actively updated the game’s automatic chat moderation with lines and phrases that we know are commonly used by gold sellers.
- Changed the reward structures of quests and events to add a stronger deterrent against using bots to farm gold.
- Updated and improved Easy Anti Cheat detection capabilities to better identify and act against bots.
- Enabled a native detection system to help quickly identify bad actors and take action against them.
- Improved reporting tools in-game to help our players report bots and our support staff act more quickly on reports.
- Blocked IP from regions where we do not have publishing rights that have shown large amounts of bot activity.
- Blocked VPNs to stop bad actors from working around IP bans.
But don’t go thinking that this battle has been won just yet. In reality, developers are still working out clever ways to try and keep this from happening.
Each of the above tactics has shown some measure of success in removing bots from the game but you can still run into them around every corner.
Smilegate confirmed working closely with Easy Anti Cheat to improve their support of Lost Ark and with Smilegate RPG to improve the native bot detection system.
Furthermore, creators will also be tuning events and rewards to prevent or remove paths for further future bot abuse.
The community has been adamant with requests for tools such as Captcha or two-factor authentication in order to thin out the bot population.
However, all of these changes would require a sizeable platform and architectural changes that developers are not yet ready to make.
Note that real-world account owner identification is another method used in some regions, however, certain important factors make this a less realistic solution for the time being.
What’s the all-time situation of Lost Ark?
Seeing how Lost Ark is played through Steam, it’s not hard to find out what’s left of the Lost Ark community by looking at the numbers.
According to the Steam Charts, the peak of players engaged in Arkesian adventures reached 1,324,761, and this was back in February 2022.
Since then, the numbers started slowly declining each passing week, with only a peak of 907,696 players, which is 36.47% less, recorded just the following month (March 2022).
April was Lost Ark’s worst month to this date, with a further decrease of 20.09%, bringing the remaining players down to 569,729.
A lot of players, many of them bots, returned to the game in May 2022, when Steam reported a 37.79% increase in the population.
Another 7.17% increase has been reported for June 2022 as well, as Steam experts presented a statistic of 828,728 active accounts.
And, as you now know, the number of real players in those 828,728 is less than half. We’ll just have to keep an eye on the meters and see what happens with Lost Ark in the future.
Lost Ark Twitch streams have also dropped dramatically throughout the months, with people less and less interested in spending their time watching clips of the popular game.
This is reflected in numbers monitored by websites such as Twitch Tracker, where we can see just how bad the game is doing stream-wise.
Whatever the situation may be, Lost Ark still remains a really well-made game, with diverse classes and combat system, and it’s also very pleasant on the eye.
The intricate PvE scenarios and the entertaining PvP you can engage in while playing Lost Ark have fascinated many and continue to do so to this day.
And, you would also be pretty enticed by it, especially if you are a fan of games series such as Diablo, Torchlight, or Sacred.
Encountered the G0X9-SPELPWP1P2NT error while playing Lost Ark? That too can be solved with just a few easy steps, and we’ll show you how.
We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether to remain a resident of Arkesia or not. All that really matters, in the end, is that you have a good time and enjoy what you do.
Lost Ark is still a fun game, it’s just harder to do things now that almost three-quarters of the entire population is made up of AI.
Sad, but now tragic, considering that Smilegate is still putting in the effort to eradicate bot accounts. Pretty soon, hopefully, Arkesia will only be populated by real users.
Are you still playing Lost Ark on Steam? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.