Lost Ark (opens in new tab) players in Europe have been dealing with lengthy queues since the game went live in the EU and North America earlier this month. Last week Amazon Games set up a new region called Europe West (opens in new tab) to help alleviate the strain, although it warned that the Europe West servers would only "reduce, not eliminate, queue times for Europe Central."
Unfortunately, it appears that's about as good as it's going to get. In a new update (opens in new tab), the Lost Ark team acknowledged that there's not much it can do for Europe Central itself, apparently because of the game's underlying structure.
"The Europe Central region is at capacity and unfortunately there is no way to increase the number of players per world in Europe Central," Amazon Game Studios community manager TrevzorFTW wrote. "Adding more servers is not possible based on the complexity of all the systems that need to work together."
The situation is further complicated by the fact that Lost Ark does not fully support server transfers. A server transfer option "just rolled out" in Korea, where Lost Ark has been running since 2019, but it's a manual process, run weekly, and doesn't support cross-region transfers, meaning that players can transfer to other servers within Europe Central, but not to the new servers on Europe West.
"Therefore, unfortunately, it is not a viable option at this point for the western version," TrevzorFTW wrote. "But we will not rest until we’ve exhausted all options."
In the short term, at least, the Europe West region will be a real boon for newcomers and players who haven't progressed very far into Lost Ark on Europe Central, but less so for players who are deep into it and don't want to walk away from their characters and progress. In a statement emailed to PC Gamer, however, Amazon Games said the launch of the Europe West region is already helping to relieve the load, resulting in queue time reductions.
"This is the balance of bringing great games to new territories—new surges in demand can also bring new, unforeseen challenges," Amazon Games said. "Given the complexity of the systems that have to work together, adding more capacity in Europe Central data center is not an option. Instead, Smilegate and Amazon Games partnered to deploy a new data center for European players in just five days—Europe West—to respond to the regional demand. To further clarify, the terms 'Europe Central Region' and 'Europe West Region' are the names of specific data centers, and do not refer to the geographical region of Central Europe.
"Since opening four days ago, the new Europe West Region data center now houses just under 20% of our European players and is growing every day. We know queue times are very frustrating for our players, and we are encouraged to see this new data center has already reduced peak queues by 48%. We’re monitoring this number closely while continuously working to further improve queue times.”
Amazon is also offering a second variation of Lost Ark founders packs to players who purchased them so that they can start up new characters in the new Europe West region without losing all the startup loot they paid for.
The Lost Ark update also touches on changes aimed at improving matchmaking, reducing gold seller spam, avoiding fraudulent purchases, and improving stability. Full details are up at playlostark.com (opens in new tab).