The difficulty levels of in-game activities have become a hot topic for Lost Ark players, with specific feedback surrounding certain raids and dungeons. Although Lost Ark‘s activities can be undeniably fun, many players started feeling like some activities were becoming more tedious than enjoyable.
Tier 1 and 2 content were nerfed since it serves a different purpose to the Korean version, as Tier 3 was also included in the Western release. It was nerfed by changing damage from certain attacks, rather than a general or broad nerf as players had expected.
Lost Ark devs have decided to nerf some Tier 1 and Tier 2 content to make things a bit easier on players. Join us as we discuss the recent Lost Ark Tier 1 and 2 nerfs, and how these nerfs may affect the game.
Tier 1 & 2 Nerf Update Explained
Although Lost Ark players were expecting the worst when Amazon first mentioned the nerf, the actual update was not as bad as many had anticipated. The update intended to rebalance numerous Tier 1 and Tier 2 endgame activities by nerfing several Abyssal Dungeons and Guardian Raid aspects.
It seems that the developers have considered the general experience for its Western players, and have nerfed these aspects out of good intentions. The Lost Ark game devs followed up with a hefty explanation, considering the gameplay experience for players from a holistic standpoint.
We'll be addressing numerous bugs and issues in this week's update alongside the balance adjustments to some Tier 1 and Tier 2 content.— Lost Ark (@playlostark) March 3, 2022
Get the details here!
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Below is a segment of the official statement regarding their reasoning for these nerfs:
In other regions, players had to stay in Tier 1 and 2 for a considerable duration, as Tier 3 had not yet been released. With the amount of time spent in these stages of the game, players had a long time to study the patterns and mechanics of the Guardians and Demons they encountered— leaving only a few monsters that ended up posing as challenging hurdles for them. As Lost Ark has progressed and added more content, the time and progression required for Tier 1 and 2 has decreased. In the western release, Lost Ark launched with Tier 1, 2, and 3 content. Tier 1 and 2 are designed as a prologue for the wealth of end-game Tier 3 content that Smilegate RPG has developed since their original launch.
It appears that the primary purpose of Lost Ark’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 difficulty levels was to keep players occupied until Tier 3 was released. Players would have had time to grind and learn the game’s mechanics and systems, but the fact that Tier 3 was released upfront in the Western version makes things slightly different.
With the different purpose of Tier 1 and Tier 2 in our regions, there were some overly difficult Guardians and Abyssal Dungeon encounters left behind. This balance update isn’t about simply adjusting the difficulty as whole. Rather, the focus is to improve some of the difficult patterns to better prepare players as they progress through each Tier and work their way toward Tier 3 endgame content.
Granted that Western players are not spending hours upon hours churning around in Tier 1 and Tier 2, the nerf update is somewhat justified. Having these activities classified as endgame content may not make as much sense compared to the initial Korean release.
The Lost Ark game devs also noted that only less than 10% of the game’s players had actually completed the Guardian Raids and Abyss Dungeons. Although, numerous players have stated that Tier 1 and 2 content really wasn’t that difficult, provided that players actually research their targets and put in the work.
What Exactly Was Nerfed?
Players had initially feared that the Tier 1 and 2 content would see a general dip in difficulty overall. But, thankfully, this wasn’t quite the case. Rather than changing the overall difficulty, the update changed damage from certain attacks or attack patterns.
Below are the specific nerfs and changes to Lost Ark’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 content:
Ancient Elveria: Necromancer’s Origin
- Improved player forgiveness during the orb phase when trying to defeat Sigmund during Stage 2 of Necromancer’s Origin.
- Improved the visual effect of Sigmund’s color wave to make it more clear to players.
Hall of the Twisted Warlord
- Made a change to the Phantom Legion King attack pattern and Phantom Cut debuff stack that is applied to the character.
- Updated the Phantom Legion King Illusion Sword summon attack pattern.
- As the swords follow the players, if a player receives two stacks they will incur damage and upon reaching three stacks, they will die.
- Decreased the amount of damage required for the Stagger phase when Ephernia appears in Stage 3 of Hildebrandt Palace.
- Increased the Phantom Energy effect range from the Meteormechanicduring Stage 3.
- Changed the attack shape of the second Meteormechanicfrom a circle to a front attack during Stage 3.
Gate of Paradise
Sea of Indolence
- Increased the warning time for the omen attack in Stage 2 of Sea of Indolence.
- Changed Indolence Sentinel Akam’s attack from a wipe mechanic to a high damage attack in Stage 2 of Sea of Indolence.
- Removed the stun debuff that was applied when players were hit by the tail swing attack.
- Decreased the damage dealt by several attacks: Jumping out of the ice; Grabbing a player and breathing ice fire.
- Decreased the damage dealt by several attacks:
- Tail attack after thumping the ground with tail: Jumping out of the ground; Lightning projectiles.
Flame Fox Yoho
- Reduced the duration of Flame Fox Yoho’s Flame Ground attack.
- Decreased Flame Fox Yoho’s HP.
- Reduced the effect of the Burning Soul ability.
- Decreased the damage dealt by several attacks: Throwing Fox fires; Jump forward and claw attacks; Jump upward and claw attacks.
- Decreased the duration of Tytalos’ Circle of Spalling rock attack.
- Changed Tytalos’ attack that collects sand energy and explodes from a wipe mechanic to a high-damage attack.
- Decreased the damage dealt by Tytalos’ earth explosion attacks.
- Modified Guardian Achates summon statue pattern to always summon four Guardian Statues.
- Decreased the damage required to apply Weak Point to Achates.
- Decreased the damage dealt by the lava eruption attack used by Lava Chromanium when becoming Berserk.
- Decreased the damage required to apply Weak Point to Levanos.
- Weak Point is a mechanic which requires players to break a part of the enemy (such as shields, shells, wings, etc.) or target a specific area with abilities and battle items marked with the ‘Destruction’ keyword.
- Reduced Alberhastic’s beneficial effect that was granted when obtaining the Heat Orb.
- Changed the wipe mechanic to a high-damage attack.
Potential Issues With The Nerf
Although the general consensus is divided regarding the Tier 1 and 2 difficulty level nerf, players have pointed out a few factors that could potentially be problematic later down the line. The most notable areas for concern amongst Lost Ark players include the following:
Tier 3 and Abyss Raids Difficulty
Tier 3 content has not been nerfed, leaving the current difficulty level as it stands. In addition, with the release of Abyss Raids, the challenge and difficulty level is only going to increase.
Many players feel that this can create a massive gap or jump in the difficulty level from Tier 1 and 2 to Tier 3 through to the Abyss Raids, potentially creating a jarring and overwhelming experience for players. Many players may not be able to handle such a steep difficulty level progression, and may simply quit as a result.
Changing Guardian’s Signature Attack
It was expected that nerfing Tier 1 and 2 Guardian Raids would make the experience more manageable, but the way it’s been done is rather questionable. For example, Tytalos’ signature attack was changed completely, which many players saw as an absolute joke.
Reasons For Failing Missions Prior To Nerf
Some players pointed out that, unlike player feedback and data may detail, some players may have failed missions for reasons other than the activity’s difficulty level. Players may not read up on the mission or ensure they have the right approaches before going in, and they may assume that the mission is simply too hard overall.
Players Who Worked Hard To Clear Tier 1 and 2 Content
One of the major problems, as with any activity nerf, is the fact that other Lost Ark players have completed it. The number of players that were fine with these activities prior to the nerf may be significantly low considering Lost Ark’s large total player count, but they are feeling understandably annoyed having gone through all the effort – essentially, for nothing.
Urgent Lost Ark Issues Are Still Unsolved
No MMORPG is short of room for improvement, and Lost Ark is no exception. There is already a standing list of things players would like to see, including possible nerfs – but, the Tier 1 and Tier 2 content simply wasn’t on this list.
This includes issues like cheaters, speed hackers, and other problems that actually have the potential to destroy the game as we know it. Players have felt that there are quite a few things the devs could have changed and improved, but they chose to change a reasonably challenging activity instead.
Players’ Responses To The Endgame Nerf
The Lost Ark game devs were quite optimistic about the nerf prior to the announcement. Amazon Games potentially expected the nerf update to be well-received by players – but, based on social media posts, player reactions have been anything but positive.
Despite the fact that the Lost Ark game developers have stated that these nerf decisions were based on player feedback and data, several players are unhappy. Numerous players have been incredibly vocal in their disappointments, with the primary issue being that the game is being made easier.
Understandably, many Lost Ark hardcore players have found that making any aspect of the game easier will dampen the experience, not enhance it. One of the main aspects that many gamers love is the thrill of a challenge, and this nerf has stripped that challenge away from this type of player base.
On the other hand, newer or casual players have felt that these changes to the difficulty levels will improve the overall experience, leaving the Lost Ark community fairly split in their opinions. Having a lower difficulty level can incentivize players to improve their skills and abilities.
While having your favorite Lost Ark endgame activities nerfed can be understandably frustrating, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Their reasonings do add up from a broad perspective, and it isn’t out of line with what most MMORPGs end up doing over time.