Korean games often run into trouble when their monetisation arrives to western markets and Smilegate are trying to avoid this with Lost Ark.
Lost Ark has microtransactions and being a Korean MMO, it can get grindy quickly, with one way out of it being to pay with the real money. However, the game will step away from pay-to-win practices in the west as the players here are not too keen on seeing such monetisation.
There are four main objectives regarding monetisation that Smilegate had when they partnered up with Amazon Games:
- Ensuring microtransactions are optional
- Revamping pets
- Mari's Store FOMO adjustments
- Crystalline Aura rework
The first part here, ensuring that microtransactions are optional, refers to the players being able to acquire anything through regular gameplay. These things usually become extremely grindy but Smilegate are distancing themselves by allowing players to trade purchased items which should have an interesting impact on the game's economy. Furthermore, Crystals will be obtainable at the exchange, although it remains to be seen how much grind this process will entail.
Pets will no longer have the rented bonuses but rather provide permanent ones, depending on what you purchase. On top of that, the pet itself will be permanent and an epic one will be obtainable as a quest reward early on in the game, allowing players to auto-loot whenever it's possible.
Mari's Secret Store will now have a rotation interval of 72 hours, giving players three days to decide whether they want some of her offerings. The FOMO element is still there but it's much smaller.
Crystalline Aura, the premium service buff, will now provide half-priced ship tickets and free Triport trips but it will lost the increased combat XP and increased movement speed buffs.
Smilegate also unveiled a breakdown of the available currencies , revealing which one is used for what and how to obtain them.