Amazon Games Studios and Smilegate RPG have been trying various methods to combat the rampant botting problem in the popular Korean MMO. The most recent actions were drastic, as devs implemented a mass wave ban that terminated thousands of Lost Ark accounts. While these extreme measures are warranted, the community and developers have sought more proactive ways of barring bots from the game. The Captcha Security feature is now making its return to Lost Ark.
Lost Ark Captcha Security Measure
The Captcha Security Measure is a system that was implemented a while back but was removed due to absurd penalties. The feature has been reworked and is now back online to help curb the rampant botting in the game. Devs and fans are hoping that the captcha will be an efficient way of preventing more AI-controlled accounts from farming Lost Ark gold.
Some changes have been implemented to the reworked security measures to ensure that it is user-friendly. However, it still retains some of the core aspects of the previous version. Here is how the reinstalled Captcha Security Measure works:
- Players will receive an image based-prompt after entering a world area (raids and dungeons are excluded).
- These prompts require adventurers to select an inverted or upside-down image. Players are only given three tries within 30 seconds to complete the captcha.
- Failure to complete the prompt will result in players being removed from the game for a particular time. You will need to wait for the penalty timer to expire before logging back into the game.
As mentioned in the recent posts, the captcha is only being implemented in NA West servers and is temporary. Devs will monitor its effectiveness in combatting the bot problem and players’ feedback on the feature. If the developers find that the security measure is effective and does not impede adventurers’ gaming experience, then they will also roll it out to other servers.
Previous Captcha Security Measure
This is not the first time devs introduced a captcha to the game. In April 2022, developers implemented a similar security measure, but the penalties were quite different. Instead of just being unable to enter the game for a certain period, players who failed the captcha were automatically banned from Lost Ark. This situation resulted in a massive spike in appeals.
Gamers were understandably upset with how severe the penalties were. Devs decided to suspend the previous captcha system after the negative feedback from the community. Since the punishment has been reworked for the latest version, players might be more receptive to the captcha.
Lost Ark’s Botting Problem
Lost Ark has been notorious for having a severe botting problem. While bots are not uncommon in most MMOs, the Korean MMO severely suffers from them due to being a free-to-play game. Adventurers will notice thousands of bots roaming around the fields of Arkesia or standing still near essential NPCs in major cities.
These bots are programmed to gather tons of gold through activities such as Lifeskills or Rapport. As a result of these activities, the prices for items related to these ventures have dropped. There is also an ongoing gold inflation issue due to the amount of money being generated but not spent.
Lost Ark has taken several steps to combat this problem. The reworked Captcha Security Measure is the most recent one. However, more drastic measures have been taken in the past, including ban waves affecting real players. These mass terminations of accounts have also resulted in surprising results.
The ban waves have been notorious for removing over half of the currently active accounts from the game. The recent one saw the termination of 2/3 of the active population suspected of botting. Unfortunately, these ban hammers also targeted inactive adventurers due to a glitch in the system. With implementing other security measures against bots, players hope these ban waves will become less frequent.
After the rework, the Captcha Security Measure has become much more user-friendly after tweaking the penalties. It may become inconvenient to the player base, but it looks like it is becoming an effective tool in preventing bots from further farming Lost Ark gold. Devs will take a few more days or weeks to review the whole feature before they roll out the captcha on other servers.