Lost Ark celebrated its launch on Steam in early February. Since then, it has become an integral part of the top 5 of Steam charts. In the past few weeks, the MMORPG has increased the number of players again. But there are things that make you question the stats. Are many players likely to be bots?
What is the current status of the missing ship? The new MMORPG from Smilegate and Amazon is currently working fine on Steam. It peaked at 591,542 concurrent players in the last 24 hours – enough for third place on the charts, behind CS: GO and Dota 2.
But there have been criticisms from a number of players in Lost Ark a few weeks ago. Many players claim that these figures are decorated with bots and that the community as a whole should be much smaller. We at MeinMMO took a closer look at this.
There are no weak stages and an increase in numbers despite the lack of interest
What is remarkable about the numbers? Lost Ark basically doesn’t have a phase of the day when few players are online. If you look at the numbers for the past week – and the maintenance is hidden right at the beginning of the graph – the highest number of players is 628,000 and the lowest is 369,000.
Lost Ark has managed to keep at least 58% of its player numbers permanently. In addition, the graph is relatively quiet and has little fluctuation in general – most of the time there are more than 400,000 players online at the same time.
If you compare this graph with the other top games on Steam, there are obvious differences. In CS: GO, for example, last week it peaked at 902K players. The lowest normal value was 317,000 players. This is only 35% of the maximum number of players.
In addition, the fluctuations here are very strong and clearly related to specific times. Every day there is the same picture and every day the numbers drop below 400,000 and therefore below the 50% mark.
As the graph looks in CS: GO, it also appears in other online games like DOTA 2, Apex Legends, PUBG, and GTA 5 on Steam. They all have a low profile when it’s around 2:00 AM in our country.
Why does the Lost Ark graph fluctuate less? One explanation for reduced volatility might be better coverage of all time zones. But that’s exactly what seems unlikely with Lost Ark. Because the game has its own version in Russia, Japan and Korea and it is not on Steam. There should be more twists here.
The popular theory is that there are many bots around Lost Ark, which have been constantly ignoring numbers since they went out to farm 24 hours a day. There is other evidence to support this theory.
Ups and downs like bot play and drop after bot bans
What are you talking about robots? The fluctuations in the number of Lost Ark players are almost reminiscent of MIR 4, a Play2Earn MMORPG primarily played by bots:
On March 5th, we also reported a massive wave of bans. Reportedly, more than 1 million bots were banned from March 3-4. And you can even see it in the player numbers:
- On March 3rd, Peak had 815,000 players online
- On March 4 only 759,000 – the first time the game dropped below 800,000 players at the peak
- However, on March 5, the number was again 847,000 players – although you have to bear in mind that there are more players on Saturdays than during the week
Then there was a second wave of bans. From March 9 (805,000 players) to March 10 (679,000 players). The outside world was not informed whether there were further waves of the ban.
Not an increase in interest, but an increase in the number of players
In March, the number of players decreased significantly, dropping to 336,000 concurrent players on March 30th. But in the past few weeks, they’ve been recovering significantly, regularly tearing down 600,000 concurrent players.
While there has been some new content in Lost Ark for players to discover now, interest in the MMORPG has generally declined and is much less than it was in March, according to Google trends. However, the number of players has almost doubled since then.
Good updates help, but the numbers are suspicious
Are all players in Lost Ark bots? No not at all. The Lost Ark is still very popular.
Events that offered more loot and therefore less strict, new classes such as the Spear Bearer in April and the Destroyer coming in May, as well as new raids and dungeons have a large percentage of returning players.
It’s no coincidence that MeinMMO author Mark Sellner last explained why now is an ideal time to go back or start Lost Ark.
However, if you are just starting a new character, you will encounter many bots. Meanwhile, they also made their way to higher gear grade areas. There are always complaints about bots on reddit. Here is a selection of themes from the last 7 days: reddit 1, reddit 2, reddit 3, reddit 4, reddit 5 and reddit 6.
German community manager Maselbart also confirms in the official forum that robots are a problem in the West:
Smilegate and AGS work closely together and no one is digging the ground for the other. Bots are a bigger problem in the West than in Korea, where players have to register their accounts with a phone number. Things are a little more difficult there.
Blaming Smilegate for packaging is completely unfair and, in my opinion, unfair to developers who are trying so hard.
SG and Amazon are constantly working on different and new ways, but something like this isn’t just buyable, it takes time to work.
It is difficult to estimate the proportion of bots in the number of players. But there are many indications that bots are playing a significant role in the good numbers on Steam.
There are a lot of complaints about bots, especially on US servers. Exactly in prime times, the usual drop in other online games is missing. Here the game sometimes 100,000-200,000 users are too powerful.
Have you encountered bots lately? Or have your servers been rescued?
Shroud of Twitch Streamer explains why Lost Ark numbers are dropping so much:
Twitch Streamer explains why New World and Lost Ark lost so many players on Steam