Welcome to MassivelyOP’s ARK: Survival Evolved server
I’m still enjoying ARK: Survival Evolved quite a bit, and as such I figured I’d set up a dedicated server for the MassivelyOP community. It’s been up for a few days now, but it’s largely unexplored since a grand total of five people have ventured onto it as of yet!
If you’re looking to engage in some dino-themed survival sandbox gameplay, click past the cut and see if the setup is to your liking. And if it’s not, feel free to offer suggestions in the comments.
First things first, you’ll need a copy of ARK: Survival Evolved, which is currently in early access alpha and available on Steam for around $25. Once you have it, you can search for the server named MassivelyOP.com in the unofficial lists, though for whatever reason I’ve yet to find it there myself (hey, I haven’t administered a game server since Jedi Outcast circa 2002, so give me some time to figure this all out).
If you can’t find the MOP server in the unofficial public lists inside the ARK client, you can connect directly via Steam’s server browser. Click “view” in Steam’s topmost menu bar, then click “servers” about three quarters of the way down that list. Click the “favorites” tab, then click “add server” at the bottom right of the window. Enter 188.8.131.52:19116 in the IP address field, then click the “find games at this address” button to the right. Once it’s done doing its thing, click the “add this address to favorites” button and you should have the MOP server bookmarked for posterity, future reference, or both. As it’s currently a public server, there is no login password.
Alternatively, you can find the server if any of your Steam friends is currently playing on it. This functionality works from the main ARK server-finding menu. Just don’t forget to add it to favorites before you quit!
Currently I’ve opted to disable a few options and enable a few others. You can use a third-person view, for example, and you won’t start again at level one when you die. You also won’t see your position on the map (your “M” key by default), as I thought it might be fun to try some dead-reckoning or landmark-based navigation.
Depending on how many people actually play on the server, we’ll vote on these features and possibly others going forward. One of the main things to be aware of is that the server is currently PvPvE, which means that players can kill one another. Don’t let that stop you from trying it out, though, because I’m not a fan of gankbox gameplay or the typical kill-or-be-killed survival mentality. In the short term, I’d like to give people the option of PvPing if they choose because more gameplay options are always better.
If it devolves into pointless round-the-clock slaughter, though, we’ll reboot the server as PvE-only, so play nice!
At this point, I have no idea what to expect in terms of population. There’s currently a 30-player cap, but it’s adjustable if the MOP community is unexpectedly dino-crazy. Since this is a dedicated server as opposed to a spare computer in my basement, it should be running 24/7, so feel free to connect and play at your leisure. Do be aware that ARK’s developers are patching the game frequently, and occasionally I might have to take the server offline in order to update and restart it.
Also be aware that this game is in early access and it is in alpha, so it’s very possible that stuff will break, change, or possibly even explode, though I will make every effort to avoid progression loss. If you have problems with the server itself or with another player, you can leave a comment on this post or use the MassivelyOP tip line to contact me.
ARK is fairly sandboxy, so there’s really no right or wrong way to play it. If you want to roll around the island as the most fearsome dino hunter who ever lived, go right ahead. If you want to explore the caves and the rest of the huge map, that’s fine too. If you want to join the MOP tribe and help us tame dinos and build massive forts, feel free.
The only rule at this point is to treat your fellow players with respect. Ideally this server will morph into a sort of cooperative PvE-focused community where groupers group, soloers solo, and no one has to assume the worst every time they encounter another human. To reiterate, I’ve opted to leave PvP on for the time being in case people want to duel one another or engage in tribe vs. tribe skirmishes. MOP’s ARK server is not intended to be a FFA PvP-fest, though, so exercise your PvP privileges respectfully and with restraint, otherwise they will disappear!
If you’re new to survival sandboxes, there are plenty of YouTubers playing ARK at the moment, and many of them are making tutorials. If you prefer text, try the Steam guides forum, both to learn about the game’s mechanics and to get an idea of all the different stuff there is to see and do.
Failing that, just remember to gather the materials to make fire and cook meat straight away (punch or chop trees for wood and thatch, which serve as kindling, and gather stones as well). Of course you’ll need to kill a dinosaur, a dodo, or a fish to obtain the raw meat before cooking it on your fire. I wouldn’t stray too far from the nearest water source until you’ve gotten accustomed to the game mechanics as well as built up a nice stockpile of materials. And finally, shelter is your friend, particularly on cold nights. So spend some of your engram points on thatch house component recipes.