Why Lost Ark is Being Review Bombed Explained
The free-to-play MMORPG Lost Ark has been under fire for a recent wave of bans that has resulted in a dramatic drop in user reviews on Steam.
Lost Ark, the free-to-play action-MMORPG published by Amazon Games, has gotten a massive drop in user reviews on Steam, with recent reviews dropping to For the most part Negative in a matter of days. Spontaneous review bombs like this are rare for games except if some new patch or update drops and makes the game a significantly more regrettable experience than it was before, however for Lost Ark, this was not the situation. Instead, the offending incident that set off such countless players to leave negative reviews was a sweeping ban on inactive accounts, leaving players who hadn't signed on for some time baffled to find the game inaccessible.
Lost Ark previously launched in North America in February of last year after gaining popularity in South Korea in 2019. The game was praised for its profundity in class customization with many comparisons being drawn to the Diablo series. In any case, its combat became too a very remarkable grind at later levels, even by MMO standards, for it to have the staying force of other titans of the class. As such, its player base began to dwindle throughout the last year since its launch and with the recent bans and review bomb, the game may never recuperate.
Lost Ark's Bans Puts a Stain on Many Players' Steam Profiles
On January 14, many players signed onto Steam to find they had been banned from Lost Ark regardless of not having touched the game in months. A portion of the players banned had many hours in the game while others only a couple, yet at the same time got a ban nonetheless. It worked out that these bans were because of player inactivity — not idling within the game, but rather from lack of logging on for a sufficiently long timeframe. As such, outraged players took to the review section on the game's Steam page to communicate their displeasure and warn others that their account may also be at risk of getting banned.
While getting banned from a game for not playing it is sufficiently bad, to make matters more regrettable, Lost Ark utilized Valve's anti-cheat, or VAC, framework to issue the bans. Typically held for catching bots, this framework is dangerous because it leaves a shameful mark on a player's Steam profile indicating that they've been banned from at least one games. Players with this mark on their profile risk being banned in other online multiplayer games as it's meant to discourage bot accounts from accessing multiplayer servers got by the VAC framework.
A free-to-play game like Lost Ark risks incurring bot accounts along with real players since there is no barrier to section, which can represent a threat to the in-game economy and interfere with legitimate players' encounters. With an active player depend on the fall, Lost Ark has had an issue with bots in recent months, which would legitimize the utilization of Steam's expansive anti-cheat framework to separate the bots from its servers. Be that as it may, marking legitimate inactive players as bots and issuing a ban is a major issue for the game and should have been visible as an abuse of Steam's framework on the off chance that not revised.
Thankfully, it seems like designer Smilegate is aware of the issue and Lost Ark has responded to concerned players stating that the bans were set off by a bug, and they are working to determine the issue. As VAC bans are not appealable or reversible except if determined to be issued incorrectly, the ball is in Amazon and Smilegate's court to fix this situation. Unfortunately, with Lost Ark's declining player count, the game may not have the option to quickly return from the review bomb set off by these out of line bans.
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