Lost Ark is offering players who paid to play the free-to-play MMO early additional items if they switch to quieter servers. The move comes as Lost Ark is struggling with long server queues during its early access period ahead of the official free-to-play release later today.
Some players are having “a less than ideal experience” said developer Smilegate in a blog post, and several measures to reduce queue times are being introduced.
Players who bought Founder’s Packs to gain early access to Lost Ark will be offered the same items again if they switch to quieter servers as Smilegate attempts to spread out the huge number of players already online. The offer comes due to the fact that existing characters cannot be transferred to new severs, and so players will need to start the game again from scratch with new characters. Starting again would mean leaving behind the premium items on the previous server, but Smilegate’s new promise means Founder’s Pack items will be available for players on any server they choose.
While that makes changing servers a little less painful, there is an additional incentive. Those who purchased the Silver, Gold, or Platinum packs will also be given extra Royal Crystals that can be spent on skins, mounts, stronghold decorations and more in the in-game shop. To qualify for the replicated items and Royal Crystals, you need to switch servers and redeem your items by 12pm PT on February 14.
More than a dozen additional servers will also be opened to coincide with Lost Ark’s free-to-play launch and the creation of additional characters will be limited “for the foreseeable future”.
It’s already one of Steam’s biggest-ever games, overtaking the likes of Apex Legends and Among Us in peak concurrent users, even before it is officially released later today.
More than 530,000 concurrent players logging on seemed to be causing some problems initially, with users reporting connectivity issues and increased queue times that prompted Smilegate to open another North American server shortly after early access began.
Lost Ark will launch as a fully free-to-play game on February 11 at 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm UK (that’s February 12 at 4am AEDT).
In our preview for the game, we said Lost Ark’s combat is “very, very good, combining the best elements of MMOs and ARPGs,” and there’s “a sense of wonder surrounding this game that has us greatly excited.”
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale.