Is Lost Ark Pay to Win? | Analyzing In-Game Transactions
Lost Ark is one of the greatest and most recent MMORPGs releases. Launched by Smilegate and Amazon in December of 2019, Lost Ark brings many new and well-known features that are attracting a great number of players and turning the game into a huge success.
Even though Lost Ark is highly focused on PvE gameplay, some players see all the possibilities you can do when you spend real-world money inside the game. This left part of the community worried. After all, is Lost Ark pay to win?
The Tricky Definition
So the only possible thing someone could say to answer whether Lost Ark is pay to win or not is: it depends. Lost Ark is a free-to-play game but has lots of microtransactions, and people can spend money to open lots of shortcuts in the gameplay. This format is pretty normal and acceptable, considering that microtransactions are the only way for the game developers to make money. So, is Lost Ark pay to win due to these microtransactions?
The game has many different levels of pre-order packs with items that surely help to progress faster. But, in the end, Lost Ark can be pay to win for some people and for some not. It depends on what they consider pay to win, and that's where the tricky definition comes in. We can say for sure that Lost Ark is, at least, pay for convenience.
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What is Winning?
As mentioned before, Lost Ark is a PVE-focused game. However, it doesn’t mean that, only because you won’t be defeating other players, you won’t be winning. In Lost Ark, defeating some of the big bosses and completing important dungeons is winning, and, therefore, those who spend real money are winning. Considering only that, Lost Ark would be, indeed, pay to win.
But none of the items and status upgrades you can get in the in-game store are exclusive for those who spend money. That’s why for many people, Lost Ark is still just a free-to-play game where you can go without spending a penny. You can reach the power level of any player who spends thousands in the game.
We can’t ignore that Lost Ark is a game where the grind is very important. So, to reach the level you could with money, you will have to grind a lot. On the other hand, those who pay can reach strong power levels in minutes. That way, if you don’t have money, a long grind awaits. If you do, here comes big power and no effort. So, if you don’t pay to win, you pay for convenience, at least.
What is the Biggest Difference Between Paying or Not?
For some players, the most problematic payable feature of Lost Ark is the Crystalline aura. It is an in-game subscription item that gives many improvements to players. This crystalline aura jeeps the account tied to Beatrice’s blessing for either 30 or 180 days, depending on how much you pay.
Between the improvements the item gives, Crystalline Aura removes triport cost, ocean liner costs, increases life energy recovery, and unlocks pet functions, like selling and repairing items. This bonus also adds Bifrost slots and reduces the Song of Return cooldown.
As you can see, it gives massive amounts of bonuses and improves the quality of life and equipment, among other things. All of these things may not be directly tied to defeating a huge boss, and players can reach all of this through a farm, but paying makes everything more convenient.
If you purchase this bonus, you gain access to all of its benefits, and it interferes with the players' progress, giving an advantage that not everyone will have. Anyway, is that a deal that seems worth taking? I guess I’ll leave that up to you.
Are Microtransactions a Problem?
For many players, these microtransactions can be a problem. Even though they aren’t competing against other players, the lack of balance can make many people turn away from the game. But it is also necessary to remember that the game is free to play because the developers can profit from the microtransactions.
It will be reasonable to think that ocean liner costs, pet functions, and triport cost doesn't necessarily make Lost Ark pay to win and that you can play to reach the desired levels with your character. The few PvP elements in Lost Ark make the transactions system less problematic as well.
Making a purchase in Lost Ark will surely benefit players, but technically, the items and new gear players take to go speeding levels and fights don’t necessarily make the game broken. Lost Ark is still a great world to explore, and all the game features can be unlocked in a free way.