It’s okay to take your time in your favorite MMO

ByJose A. York

Mar 30, 2022

lost ark had one of the most content-filled Western releases in recent memory. Multitudes of collectibles, fifteen classes, and a plethora of islands and continents to roam are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of stuff to do. Rewards also contribute directly to horizontal progression, with plenty of skill points, report items, and even cosmetics to claim.

Many players have expressed their dislike for the amount of content to do in the game. I know this might seem silly at first as we have often dealt with games where there was too much little content, but there’s a lot of merit in feeling overwhelmed. When someone throws a huge stack of papers at your table, it doesn’t matter if it needs to be handled today or in a week. You’ll always feel like there’s plenty to do.

Another issue players have had is fear of missing out (FOMO); distress or anxiety caused by not following current content or releases. This was amplified when Argos was released. Many players on the verge of reaching level 1370, or even those close to reaching level 3, had FOMO. Many MMO players like to be on the cutting edge of content, striving for things like server first or highest tier. Competitive gamers will always want to push to be the best, so when content comes out that almost no part of the population is ready for, FOMO can go strong. This can also ring true for people who aren’t necessarily the most competitive but want to be ready for the content when it comes out. lost ark has a unique issue where you can literally arrive in time for new content due to a bad RNG channel, which isn’t a nice feeling for anyone.

Personally, I am a hyper-competitive player. I’m always looking for ways to outdo myself in any MMO I play. Because of this, I also get overwhelmed easily, and FOMO happens to me quite regularly when I’m not able to keep up. Over the years I’ve tried to find ways to lessen or eliminate these two feelings from my gaming experience, and one of the most important things to remember is this: unless you’re aiming literally the world premiere or you are on a strict schedule (e.g. set group time), it’s good to take your time. I know it might sound very cliché, but missing a raid lockout or a week, in the long run, won’t hurt your progress significantly, especially in a game like Lost Ark. The raid content will still be there (and will no doubt be easier when you get there due to knowledge spread), and you’ll have no problem learning it from people who are also learning or don’t have no problem teaching you.

The second thing that helped me is knowing that progress in other parts of the game is still progress. You can very easily work on other aspects of your character or account while making significant progress. If you’re worried about getting into something like Argos but haven’t progressed on skill points, you may not reach the level you want when you finally get there. Your character is much more than your gear score, and raids are just one aspect of your growth. Are your engravings set up correctly to raid in the first place? That grudge or cursed tier one doll is a good sign that you may need to find a suitable build. Are your stats all in order? Expertise and dominance are undesirable in PVE for a reason and are just as important, if not more so, than many etchings.

Thirdly, make sure you don’t run out of other ways to work on your hand. It’s a bit adjacent to the second point but extends to the alts. Alts are extremely important for those who want to take the game seriously, and if you fall behind on your alts, you may have a lot more work to do if you’re worried about keeping up. Get these level 2 alts up to three if you haven’t already. Check out these dailies from Lopang Island, because you are definitely going to need the cash. Along with your own progress, is your group of friends keeping up? If not, what do they need and what can you help with? If you’re all planning on raiding together, do they need to revise any mechanics? Can you help them with some islands to get them more skill points? Doing things with your friends is also a way to work on your main, as it will provide a more reliable environment that you can improve on a regular basis!

This may be a little contrary to the previous point, but you don’t have to do everything every day. I only realized this recently, but I started implementing what is called a “three-day cycle” on my account. Outside of my main, I only do the main daily tasks every three days on my alts, so I can maximize the rested experience bonus rewards, without putting in as much work. I cycle between different alts, so I can actually do almost as much in a set amount of time. This alleviated approximately three hours out of my playing time, so I can just do whatever I want afterwards. If I ever decide to play hardcore, I can jam something like Infinite Chaos Dungeons or Adventurer’s Tomes.

Finally, and which many of us, myself included, may not want to hear, it’s good to take a break. In the end, Lost Ark isn’t going anywhere. The game will still have all that great content for years to come, and if you’re feeling really overwhelmed, maybe a few days off will help remedy that. I know that sounds like a platitude, but it’s a game, and while the balance between “trying to make the game not feel like work” and “trying to progress as much as possible over time I have” is tricky, it’s very possible to make sure you’re at least getting closer to your goal, without your goal being the only thing you to have to do.

It’s also one of the reasons why playing something you love matters way more than anything on a made-up tier list. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then what you do it with will have to take over the fun factor. If you don’t, you’ll burn out pretty quickly. You can be competitive and strive to be as good at an MMO as possible without sacrificing your fun.