Since the launch of Smilegate's Lost Ark in NA/EU country, it has passed over two months. From the beginning, there were tens of millions of players, to now, the number of players has decreased significantly. What on earth is going on here?
Some players gave their feedback on social platforms. For example:
Player 1: "I find honing not only not fun, but repulsive. This game is not solo-friendly, either, despite what people say. It took me forever to get to tier 3 solo. You are dreaming if you think the average free-to-play player has anywhere near 20k gold. That's ridiculous. Do you even go to the grocery store?" (Comment from Reddit)
Player 2: "finally uninstalled it. Three hundred fifty hours, and I'm broke from failed attempts to upgrade my gear; it's at 1355. I don't have the time nor desire to grind on 2-3 alts to feed my main. I'm glad that so many others love this game, but when instead of having fun I get frustrated, it's time to move on."(Comment from YouTube)
Player3, player 4…
Based on the feedback from different players, MmoGah summarizes the following several reasons：
Since officials began taking action against bots, they have banned over 1 million fake players. In fact, it's a good thing for real players, but it does reduce the players' amount.
In the endgame, players need a lot of materials. But due to the daily/weekly limit, they can't farm enough materials by themselves. So they have to use gold to buy them from the market. But there is another problem that it's very difficult to make Lost Ark gold in the game because of the massive deflation in the market currently. Many items used to sell for a lot of gold are only selling for 1 or 2 gold. So to get enough Lost Ark gold, players have to spend real money to buy it. Those are why many players said Lost Ark becomes a pay-to-win game.
The honing rates in T2 and T3 are ridiculously low, especially once players get to T3 or after getting item level into 1370. They have to spend plenty of time and gold on Honing. Many players expressed that honing is not only not fun but repulsive!
After entering T3 or ilevel1370, the progression pace slows more, so a small group of players takes a break to wait for the new content.
Hopefully, the developer will listen to the opinions of the average players and take action. Especially with other big games like Elden Ring being out, if these problems are not solved, a large number of players are likely to switch to other games! So don't let your fans down!