Lost Ark Fans were given a treat ahead of launch, with an almost two hour Q&A with director Keum Kang Sun (aka Gold River) answering a ton of questions during Crown Ark Week. Without further ado, let’s take a full look at the Gold River Q&A.
Q: Could You Tell Us More About The Delay Of Lost Ark’s 2021 Launch?
A: I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the delay. It’s not because of New World (jokingly)! Legion raids were a huge part of Korean content, so I personally made a request for Legion Raids to be implemented. Adding Tier 3 content meant getting the game out would take more time than expected.
I noticed Amazon didn’t include the reasons for the delay in their announcement and it seemed like Amazon did all the work to make this happen, yet they didn’t reveal any details behind the delay, which was a little frustrating.
All in all, I’m happy we are including Legion Raids for all users to enjoy – I’m very excited about that!
Q: Do You Have Any Plans For Future Updates That You Can Share?
A: For this launch we have 15 classes coming and every 2-3 months we will introduce a new class. We have Legion Raids ready, with the Valtan, Argos, and more releasing.
So we have a ton of updates for you all, but, based on our experience, pouring out all the updates at once is not the best option. We have speedy updates ready to go, and will monitor the progress of our users and release content as appropriate. You might even say “stop the updates!” – be prepared!
Q: Do You Have Anything To Say To New Players Diving Into Lost Ark This Week?
A: For those who prefer vertical content, I would recommend diving into Legion Raids. For those who like to take their time enjoying the game and enjoy horizontal content, I’d recommend diving into side stories, item collection, and so much more that there’s to enjoy.
Q: Are There Plans To Do A Global or Western LOAON?
A: It is my dream to have a global event like LOAON (note: this is an event in Korea that showcases a ton of Lost Ark content). However, considering all the differences between the different game versions, it’s a bit difficult.
Although, once all the versions achieve a meeting point (being on the same content stage), then perhaps we can have a global event.
Q: You Are A Very Popular Figure In The Lost Ark Community – We Saw Fans Even Purchased Ad Space For You And Smileagate. What Are Your Thoughts On It?
A: I can’t believe (the news of) this got here! This was my bragging point, so thanks for bringing it up! Our Korean users created this ad space for me, so it seems like we have their support.
Q: The Relationship You Have Between The Game Developer And Community Is So Special. What Do You Think is the Secret to that kind of relationship with your community
A: To be honest, it hasn’t always been that great since Lost Ark launched. If you think about friends, when you go through the low moments, that brings you together. And even through our lows, our users have been steadily providing criticism, encouragement, and feedback. That really helped us get here, to this point.
And this comradery has been built over the years of us going through it all together. My hope is to have that same relationship with our new users. It would be amazing for all of our users to build that comradery and common theme of Lost Ark and love, our love, for it.
It seems a bit random to say but I saw that it’s Super Bowl season. I saw the Rams went up – I’m a Tom Brady fan. And just like if you look at Super Bowl fans, everyone is connected with a common theme – the love of the sport – and we hope to have the same kind of energy with our Lost ark global users.
Q: You Said You Love To Listen To The Playerbase – Is There Any Feedback You’ve Heard From The Western Users That You’d Like To Address?
A: I’ve been keeping up to date with Reddit, YouTube, you name it. I saw on Reddit there was a debate on whether we should release Tier 3 or Tier 1 first – it was pretty heated! As a developer, I’m happy to say we’re including all the tiers on launch. In Korea, it took almost two years for Tier 1 and Tier 2 content to come out.
We’re not going to be giving western users that much time for Tier 1 and Tier 2 content. We’re giving them more of a condensed timeline, where users can get acquainted with the game and enjoy Tier 1 and Tier 2 shortly and move on to the latest content.
So with Tier 1 and Tier 2 you get the gist of the game and get acquainted with it. Then the real meat of everything comes in Tier 3 and if you go with the flow, it will enhance the experience, in my opinion.
Q: Is There Anything Else You’ve Heard That You’d Like To Address?
A: Seems like there are a lot of conversations happening, I even saw a Tier 3 growth chart that someone made – it was quite impressive! There was a debate on DirectX 11, but I’ve already resolved it (note: DirectX 11 was released for launch).
I’d also like to make a note about one YouTuber, Sywo. Over two to three years, he’s been able to provide responses and content for the community and we want to live up to the hype and continue to deliver, for his sake.
Of course, we also can’t forget to remember those who gave us feedback, even in our low moments. And to everyone in this space, our ears are open for any feedback, it is all welcome.
Q: Have You Noticed Any Differences Or Anything Interesting Watching Western Players Try Lost Ark, Compared To The Korean Audience?
A: Each game version has some differences and publishers do take regional differences into account to make variations. But in my opinion, no matter where you’re from, we’re all gamers. At the end of the day, we’re all looking for one thing, to have fun.
Our focal point is to enjoy the game and we want to maintain an authentic Lost Ark experience in the west. And now that we’re globalizing Lost Ark, we see there are so many different skills and areas coming together – we’ve been talking with Amazon games and we’ve gotten their support to maintain our outlook on the game, which we’re very happy with.
I’ve also heard that Squid Game has become very popular in the west and a lot of the viewers even prefer watching it with the original Korean language. That’s why when I saw a Reddit thread asking for the Korean voice overs to be available for the western launch, we decided to make it happen.
We’re going to maintain the core of the game so please, receive it well and we’re looking for your responses!
Q: What Would You Say To Players Who Might Say Lost Ark Is Pay To Win?
A: This is a tough question. I did request for Amazon to ask me hard questions and they’ve really delivered.
Lost Ark is a completely free to play game. In an ordinary free to play game, there’s a structure where obstacles come up and the game pushes players to pay real money to advance or ease progress. Even in Lost Ark, there may be moments where it may be useful to pay real money to advance, but we don’t put in place specific obstacles.
Whether you’re exploring or collecting items, it doesn’t require items to be purchased. However, for those who prefer vertical content and want to quickly advance, then yes, using real money does have a benefit. Of course, we are monitoring everything closely.
If I may, I’d love to share an expert tip on how to enjoy the game:
Don’t go too fast, just take your time.
Q: What Is The Story Behind Your Lost Ark Director’s Trailer?
A: There are a ton of great trailers from Amazon Games and I’m really grateful for them. However, from a developer’s standpoint, we wanted to show the beauty of the game, why we created it, and some inside knowledge.
I kind of want to brag about the music too. Trailers often over exaggerate things, only including the good parts and the beauty. So with our verison, we wanted to show the vision behind the game.
Q: Can You Describe The PvP Elements In Lost Ark?
A: PvP is not the focal point of Lost Ark. The game is more about exploring, enjoying PvE content, and doing side quests.
However, with the growing popularity of PvP, we are doing our best to improve it. Be it the arena or other aspects like the new PvP island. We’ll continue to monitor everyone’s feedback on PvP and see where to go from there.
Q: Do You Have a Favorite Character In Lost Ark?
A: Without a doubt – Kadan. No spoilers, you’ll meet him in the game!
Q: What Is Your Global Goal?
A: I think we’ve already achieved what we set out to achieve. If you look at the genre, it requires a ton of time, content, and cost. A lot of the other MMOs don’t even make it to this stage, or even launch.
MMOs are very hard to make, so as we’re able to service over 140 countries, I think we’ve already made it.
Q: Do You Have a Number In Mind of Users You’d Like To See On Launch?
A: You’re quite persistent! Since you asked, I will answer.
I would put it at 200,000 concurrent players. A Korean game in the past, PUBG, yielded great results, so as a Korean I’m very proud of their accomplishments. It seems like there’s a wall at 200,000 concurrent players, we’d like to pass it – you can do it, right?
Q: Do You Have A Philosophy When It Comes To Building A Game And What Could Lost Ark Look Like In The Future?
A: I try to think of the philosophy, rather than focusing on the content. With MMOs, it requires so much time and commitment, both financially and emotionally. We don’t want to be wasteful of anyone’s investment, be it time or money.
We don’t know if it will be a great game, but with the time and effort we put into it. We hope Arkesia will foster great memories and we can grow together.
Q: How Would You Describe Lost Ark In One Sentence?
A: In 10 to 20 years, if you look back at Lost Ark, it can make you smile.
- What Is Your Favorite Class? I love them all equally.
- Which Class Do You Play? As a developer, I focus on what needs most revisions, so I get around.
- When Will We Get The Female Berserker? Perhaps at the end of this year, or early 2023.
- Squid Game Mode Confirmed? There is an island in-game where anything is possible.
- Is There a Way to PvP With Friends? We’re working on it.
- Why Change Class Names? I wish it stayed the same, but it changed after discussions with the publisher.
- How Often Is New Content Added? Our goal is catching up the rest of the world with Korea. So we’ll continue to build based on user experience.
- In The Future Will All Regions Receive Content At The Same Time? That’s the dream. It’s going to be a lot of work though.
Q: Do You Have Any Closing Words?
A: I believe as a genre, MMOs need improvement constantly. I look up to both Diablo and World of Warcraft and I wouldn’t have even thought of creating Lost Ark without those types of games.
Compared to those types of games, we’re just taking our first steps and want to continue improving alongside our users. With everyone’s encouragement and feedback, we aim to continue improving and prehaps in 5 to 10 years we can go head to head with the likes of title MMOs like World of Warcraft.
I’ll be waiting for you in Arkesia. Let’s Play!
That’s all for the Lost Ark Gold River q&a, hopefully we’ll hear more for him in the future as Lost Ark grow in the west.