Lost Ark: Players complain about the high item level – but a professional explains what everyone overlooks

Tom Henry

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The new Argos raid appeared in Lost Ark a week ago. But it was not well received because normal players have not yet reached the required item level. We at MeinMMO explain what exactly the problem with the raid is, how it was solved in Korea and why we are at least a little better off in the West than many players think.

What is the complaint? The new Argos raid appeared in Lost Ark on March 10th. This is intended for 8 players and a gear score of 1,370 to 1,400. But that’s a problem for many players.

There is currently a so-called “dead zone” from Gearscore 1,340 to 1,370. This can only be skipped with many materials, because the players have to upgrade their armor and cannot farm new ones. However, this requires a lot of grind or the use of real money. So if you currently want to play Argos, you have to invest money, which makes Lost Ark “Pay2Win” in the eyes of some players.

But the raid is not only a problem in the West, it was and is in Korea as well. However, the developer Smilegate has now introduced innovations that help players survive the Dead Zone.

However, well-known player Saintone explains that we already have some catch-up mechanics, but many just overlook them.

Everything you need to know about the Lost Ark endgame – in the video

The Argos raid flopped in Korea and Smilegate brought important changes

What exactly is meant by the Dead Zone? Currently, players in T3 Abyss dungeons only get gear up to gearscore 1,340. After that, this value can only be increased by upgrading the equipment.

The equipment can now be improved by several levels via the so-called “Honing”. However, this costs gold and materials. At a certain level, these upgrades can also fail. Then the materials are gone, whereby the item is not completely destroyed.

Lost Ark Honey Maxroll
The cost and chances of upgrading from 1,302 to 1,370 (via Maxroll).

How was Korea? The user EasternPen9uin explains in reddit that Argos was already a flop in Korea. Because there was also the Dead Zone from Gearscore 1,325 to 1,370.

The Smilegate developers became aware of the problem and made changes. Thus, a “bonus” was introduced that significantly reduced the cost and failure chance of upgrading specific to gear 1302-1340.

However, it took a long time for this buff to come. Argos was released in September 2020 and the changes were unveiled at a LOA event in June 2021. So the players in Korea had to nibble on the dead zone for several months.

EasternPen9uin also revealed that there is a Honing Material Pack in Korea, which contains matching upgrade materials for real money. He is convinced that if Amazon and Smilegate really wanted to make money, this package would have been in the western shop long ago.

The West is already better off, but Saintone also has some concerns

How are we doing at the moment? The well-known player Saintone explained on reddit that the situation in the west is already better than when the Argos raid was released in Korea.

Although the upgrade costs in the materials are still just as expensive as in Korea before the buff appeared, significantly less gold is required per upgrade attempt in the West. In addition, gold is said to be available faster overall in the West than was the case in Korea at the time.

Saintone also positively notes that the western version will seemingly quickly skip the Argos raid and go straight to the next content – South Vern and the Legion raid Valtan. Both are intended to be the very content that players would much rather spend their time in than Argos.

Where does the professional have worries? Nevertheless, Saintone sees the problem that many of the catch-up mechanics that already exist in Korea are currently missing. In addition to the buff, this also includes challenge raids that give bonus rewards once a week.

Players in Korea would also have the advantage that the longer waiting times would allow more characters per account to reach T3 and put materials into the main character. So the situation in the West is not ideal.

He also fears that the new content will come so quickly that the developers will have to apologize again. This has already happened in Korea:

My concern for the West is what our community in Korea was complaining about as recently as the middle of last year: too much content that was helping to increase vertical progression in too small a time frame. That left little breathing room for players looking to keep up as raid after raid rolled out. Smilegate had to formally apologize for this.

I’m a little concerned that the expected growth rate of players in the west has been misjudged relative to the rate of content release. While 1,370 could be reached in just a month as a F2P player with a bit of luck and a lot of hardcore time investment, can the same be said of 1,415 for those looking to enter Valtan on release day?

What is your item level currently in Lost Ark? Are you already affected by the Dead Zone? And does it bother you that content with a higher Gearscore is already being released, or do you just not care?

You can read exactly how Amazon reacted to the criticism of the new raid here: Lost Ark brings new content too quickly, says: “Didn’t think players would get mad”.

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