It's safe to say Lost Ark's launch has exceeded the expectations of both publisher Amazon and developer Smilegate, to the point where it's causing some major problems. We've already reported on the massive server queues players are having to wade through to get onto the game. But there's another, less reported issue that is also impacting player experiences, and it all surrounds a feature of the game known as Crystalline Aura.
Crystalline Aura is described by the Lost Ark team as a 'premium account benefit' that players can purchase with Blue Crystals, one of several in-game currencies in Lost Ark. Blue Crystals can be acquired either with in-game-earned gold at Lost Ark's currency exchange, or through buying the Lost Ark store with Royal Crystals, which are paid for with real money.
When activated, Crystalline Aura provides a bunch of bonuses. It gives you 50% off using the game's Ocean Liners, halves the cooldown period of your Song of Return, reduces the time it takes to resolve actions at your Stronghold, and a bunch of other things. You can read the full list of bonuses below:
- Triport cost waiver
- Ocean Liner 50% discount
- Crystal Benefactor Title applied (While benefit lasts)
- Daily NPC Affinity Interaction +1
- Life Energy recovery +10 percent
- Bifrost slots +2
- Song of Return Cooldown -50 percent
- Stronghold Crafting time -10 percent
- Stronghold Dispatch time -10 percent
- Stronghold Research time -10 percent
- Stronghold Action Energy recovery speed +10 percent
- Free Ultimate Stress Buster in Stronghold
- 'Crystal Benefactor' Title
All resulting effects from activating the Aura last for 30 days. At least, they're supposed to. Many players are reporting that their Crystalline Aura is vanishing before the 30 days period expires. A post on the Lost Ark forums titled "My Crystalline Aura is gone!" currently has almost over 1800 replies, most of which are players claiming to have encountered this issue.
The problem, which started before the official launch, is still ongoing. "I lost my 30 day aura that I activated about 2 days ago," posted user D0nkih0te on February 22, while user Mazt says "This is the 2nd time this has happened. Last one was 3 days ago. Got it back for 1-2 day, now it's gone again."
Amazon is well aware of the issue. On February 14th, the Lost Ark team addressed the problem of missing Crystalline Aura in a broad post on current top issues, explaining that the issue was linked to another problem regarding missing premium content:
"For these entitlements, two different servers need to talk to each other, the game server and the commerce server," Amazon says. "Right now there is an issue where the commerce server, due to the massive load that it is experiencing from how many people are playing Lost Ark, fails to properly communicate with the game server." The post also states that: "For Crystalline Aura specifically, we know that this is a paid premium account benefit that has a timer associated with it."
Yet while this explained this issue, it obviously didn't resolve it. On February 20 the official Lost Ark twitter issued the following post:
We are aware of the crystalline aura issues on Europe Central and are working to resolve them. Thank you for your patience and understanding.February 20, 2022
Around the same time, a forum moderator, Solaire, provided an update to the "My Crystalline Aura is gone!" thread, stating that Amazon "would like to take a closer look into this issue with you all" and providing a contact link to Amazon Games. However, Amazon's responses don't appear to have been particularly helpful. "I used the Contact Us link via this topic to send a ticket, and the response was an email with a link back to the topic," replied user Airora. "So essentially, I'm just going in circles."
This isn't simply an issue of an in-game feature not working correctly. Crystalline Aura is a premium item, and many players have forked out for it directly, either by buying Blue Crystals with Royal Crystals, or through the Founder's packs and Starter Packs, all of which offered 30 days of Crystalline Aura as one of the pack benefits.
While Amazon has repeatedly stated that it is aware of the problem, it does not appear to have issued any kind of recompense for players who have paid for this item and not received it. In a separate post titled "Crystalline aura won't be compensated", user notinuse stated "You are putting in potential fixes for this problem every few days, but none of them have solved it. And yet you are acting like this is something given for free to us and not even mentioning a compensation."
The scale of the global interest in Lost Ark has clearly caught both Amazon and Smilegate off-guard, and they are still scrambling to meet demand. However, this doesn't change the fact that many players have paid money for an enhanced experience that, at present, they are not receiving.