If someone's spamming !!!!! in Lost Ark, they might just be buffing themselves!!!!!

A crowd of dancers
(Image credit: Amazon Games)

Wow, this story means I can use as many exclamation points as I like!!!!! I'm making myself more powerful!!!!! Super saiyan writer mode—max verbiage!!!!!

OK I'll stop. If you're ever playing Lost Ark and come across something like the above in battle, however, it may just be a player being annoying: Or it may be that they're applying a damage buff that can reach quite extreme levels.

Among Lost Ark's many items are stones of birth, which come with an engraving that grants a particular skill. One of these dropped for a player called Tlim, and the engraving on it was called 'Sight Focus.' The in-game text on this reads: "Lv. 1 (Nodes 5): When "!!!!!" is outputted in normal chat, Sight Focus is activated for 6s. Once after the effect is activated, the used offensive skill's damage +8%." As it levels, the buff increases.

The 'Sight Focus' engraving in Lost Ark

(Image credit: Smilegate)

"At first, I thought there must be an error in the translation," writes Tlim. "Maybe I read it wrong...? Surely such a ridiculous skill doesn't exist, right? Wrong. With this engraving, if you put a message in chat that ends with "!!!!!", the damage of your next skill is increased. It's on a 30 second cooldown. It works with text macros built in to the game. It can be any sentence—'Believe it!!!!!', 'KAMEHAMEHAAAAAA!!!!!', 'I have the power of god AND anime on my side!!!!!'. Whatever you believe will extract maximum cringe from your group."

So choose your text macros wisely. Get over here!!!!! You're not Alexander!!!!! I wish I was playing Diablo 4!!!!! That last one was a joke!!!!!

The only issue Tlim ran into was that, unsurprisingly, folks in their party didn't know about this mechanic and so gave him some hassle for apparently spamming chat. When in fact they were simply playing as the developers intended.

"So just remember," writes Tlim, "the guy spamming anime quotes MIGHT just be the annoying weeb or maybe he's just helping you clear the content faster."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."