If you’ve spent time in any number of MMOs, you know the bot problem. Lost Ark has been particularly affected in recent months, with Amazon and Smilegate RPG working to fight back against rampant botting without ruining the experience for real players. Lost Ark is beginning a new, more intense round of bot bans, and is warning players ahead of time about potential disruptions and what to do if their accounts are accidentally affected.
The announcement acknowledges that they’re always working on the bot problem, but sometimes casting a wider net and coming down harder on a bigger scale is key. This banwave could disrupt data a bit, so they warn that “you should expect to see more significant fluctuations in the number of concurrent users playing Lost Ark, and queues should decrease over time”. Real players may have their accounts accidentally caught up in the removals, but if that happens, support will be aware of the possibility and should get accounts back up.
While there are understandably no details yet, it seems that, as in the past bot banwave actions, the team will eventually update with some information about what was done, as well as how players might be affected.
Previously, anti-bot and RMT actions have resulted in a few changes to quest reward structure, the gating of area chat, anti-cheat detection, blocking IPs from countries outside the publishing areas that have shown bot activity, a native detection system, and better reporting tools. Steam verification is another option that let real players have access to certain functions, while blocking them for the non-verified user, but this requires having made a purchase in the game. Fully free to play players can’t get Steam verification.