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Lost Ark: The Biggest Differences Between The US And Korean Versions

When it comes to localized releases, "Lost Ark" had one of the best ones anyone could imagine. The Amazon ARPG took over Steam when it was brought to Western servers, quickly becoming one of the most-played games on the platform. "Lost Ark" was originally released in 2019 in Korean, and Japanese and Russian servers were added fairly quickly afterward. The NA and European servers went live years later, and players were pretty amazed at the game.

However, the game wasn't just brought over in the same state. There were many changes made, and some content was even scrapped from the launch entirely. In fact, Western "Lost Ark" developers were very open about the differences on the game's official US website.

Some of these changes will be updated over time to potentially catch up with the Eastern version of the game, but some of them won't be. These are some of the biggest differences that were made to "Lost Ark" as it hit Western markets.

Classes missing

On release, the Western versions of "Lost Ark" saw significantly fewer character classes compared to the Korean version of the game. While there were plenty of great beginner classes to choose from, Western servers only got 15 different options to choose from, which left out several classes from Korean servers. The Destroyer, Lance Master, Scouter, Summoner, Arcana, Reaper, Artist, and Aeromancer were nowhere to be found (via YouTuber Arekkz Gaming).

While some of the classes are incredibly new even to Korean servers, others were launch classes in the East, like Arcana. There's been some speculation surrounding why specific classes were left out. Reddit user Useless_Tabi explained that Amazon, the publishers of the game in the West, were limited to 15 classes on release. From there, the idea was that the publishers picked what classes would have the most appeal in the West while also keeping the game balanced. Too many options too soon could overwhelm players.

The classes will eventually head to the West, as one Smilegate employee explained in a "Lost Ark" forum. However, there's no way of knowing if the Western versions of the game will fully catch up to the Korean servers.

Less pay-to-win

Free-to-play games can be great – look at the success of titles like "League of Legends," "Call of Duty: Warzone," and "Valorant" for just a few examples. Despite being free-to-play, they aren't pay-to-win, a difference that can either make or break an online multiplayer game. Apparently, "Lost Ark" developers were concerned about how the game would thrive among Western audiences if it seemed too pay-to-win.

According to a business model article shared by "Lost Ark," paid, in-game currency was altered a bit to only apply to cosmetics, like character skins and specific pets or mounts. While there are other currency options in the game, they are able to be obtained in the world and traded among players without the use of real-world money.

Pets were also updated to make the game less pay-to-win. Instead of being premium content, pets are given to players in the early story missions of "Lost Ark." Korean servers have to rent out various utility features for their pets to provide, but Western servers get to constantly have the auto-loot feature just for having the adorable companions equipped. While some features are unlocked via the battle-pass like system Western servers has, it's different from paying for the specific feature from your pet on a monthly basis.

Changes to player-versus-player systems

On release, the player-versus-player system (or PvP system) was simplified and "gutted" for some reason, as one Reddit user described it. In the Korean PvP system, there are multiple different modes of play, along with rewards and even a ranked system to give players an idea of where they stand against other players in the game.

However, when the game was released in the West, PvP was noticeably lacking the ranked system and rewards in general. There weren't any comments from "Lost Ark" developers as to why these features were missing from the game. Considering that the PvP features are unlocked before end-game content in "Lost Ark," it was an interesting choice that didn't make much sense to gamers.

The missing features will more than likely make their way into the Western versions of the game before long — perhaps once players get more experience in the world of Arkesia.

Character model changes

The character designs in "Lost Ark" were under fire after some Western audiences felt frustrated with gender-locked classes and some of the game's more risque outfit choices. However, many of these were specifically censored in the Western release — something that didn't sit well with a lot of fans. Asmongold, a popular MMO streamer, shared and reacted to some of the design changes, which included less revealing costumes for female characters.

In the comments to Asmongold's video, some women were outraged. One viewer explained that, as a woman, they enjoyed playing around with both modest and more revealing clothing options, and it felt like "Lost Ark" was telling them they have to cover up.

These weren't the only changes to character models, either. Many of the characters were given new skin and hair colors in an effort to "increase NPC diversity," according to a news post from "Lost Ark." The most problematic thing about these character updates is the fact that they're not in the Korean servers, and to some, it was clear that the localization team was more focused on satisfying audiences than actually caring about the lack of diversity.