ark survival evolved

Official Site: ARK: Survival Evolved, Steam
Studio: Studio Wildcard
Launch Date: June 2, 2015 (Early Access)
Genre: Dino Survival Sandbox
Business Model: B2P (One-Time Fee)
Platform: PC, Xbox One

The Stream Team: Love is in the ARK

Besides turning various animals bright pink or red, the Valentine’s event in ARK is a mating and breeding extravaganza! Massively OP’s MJ and the crew are taking advantage of it to increase their packs. That’s right, MJ is spending the weekend breeding. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to watch.

What: ARK: Aberration
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 17, 2018

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ARK Survival Evolved gives its dinos some tender loving care

Dinosaurs deserve some love too, even if they’re oversized grumpy reptiles who keep trying to eat those good-natured players in ARK. The survival sandbox rolled out its TLC Phase 1 patch today that celebrated Valentine’s Day while making a pass (the balance kind, not the sexy kind) at several of the game’s signature beasties.

In the update, five of the prehistoric creatures — the Procoptodon, the Gigantopithecus, the Direbear, the Direwolf, and the Rex — received visual, animation, and ability redesigns. The patch also placed a hard limit on the number of turrets players could plop down in an area and added several quality-of-life improvements.

And if you really were banking on some dino love today, then enjoy ARK’s Mate Boosted event. This increases the mate boosted range, reduces baby food consumption, and jacks up mating, mating recovery, egg incubation, and creature maturing speeds. So go forth and breed your imaginary gigantic pets, you weirdos!

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The Stream Team: To the blue biome in ARK: Aberration

It’s shiny! Also dangerous. But when has danger ever stopped Massively OP’s MJ from seeking a shiny? ARK’s blue biome in the Aberration expansion is so bright and inviting… all those sharp-toothed, clawed dinosaurs want her to come visit. MJ can’t resist, so she’s heading down to explore this beautiful area. Join us live at 12:00 p.m. for a romp through the blue biome.

What: ARK: Aberration
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 10, 2018

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The Survivalist: ARK’s latest exploit highlights how cheaters ruin official servers

Let’s talk exploits. And no, this is definitely not a how-to guide! For shame! If you are a person who exploits, a pox on you. No, we are going to discuss how exploits — and more importantly, how those exploits are handled — can seriously harm, if not irreparably damage, a survival game.

This exact principle was highlighted this week with Studio WildCard’s announcement and its accompanying emergency update for ARK: Survival Evolved. I applaud the studio for jumping on the fix, even when it meant a surprise major version change that locked folks out of unofficial servers until they updated. However, how the exploit and the exploiters were handled is a different matter. In survival sandbox games, cheaters can ruin the long-term experience for the entire server, as does the subsequent action (or inaction) against those cheaters.

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ARK Park launches on March 22

There are no doubt people who play ARK: Survival Evolved primarily because it provides a robust environment to play a survival game. There are also no doubt players who play the game chiefly because it means getting to ride and interact with dinosaurs. Members of the latter group will get another option in that category on March 22nd, when ARK Park releases for all virtual reality players who want to interact with some dinosaurs.

Of course, the game was originally planned to launch back in December of last year, with fans becoming painfully aware that the game was not going to hit its launch date before the delay was actually announced. But it’s going to be here in just a bit over a month, so eager players can hope that the delay was worth it. The launched game will be available in both a standard and deluxe edition, with the latter including additional outfits and an exclusive dinosaur mount.

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ARK Survival Evolved grants amnesty to players exploiting a bug since 2015

Hey, ARK: Survival Evolved cheaters! Your doom is nigh!… actually no your doom has been postponed, chiefly because so many people are cheaters, or at least are affected by them.

This morning, Studio Wildcard revealed it has uncovered and fixed an ancient and widespread exploit, in use primarily on the official PC servers since 2015. It necessitated an “immediate” patch earlier today. But it won’t be bringing with it the bans and punishments exploiters deserve, as the company says that would damage “the health of the game and the official servers.”

“Under normal circumstances, such an exploit would deem a global tribe wipe, and a comprehensive ban for all players involved from our Official Network, as well as BattlEye-protected servers,” Wildcard says. But…

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Massively Overthinking: What are your criteria for recommending MMOs?

Last week, we got a well-intentioned email from a reader named Rick, who proposed a column in which readers tell us what they are looking for in an MMO and we offer up suggestions for just the right MMO. It’d be like Guild Chat, we imagine, only instead of dispensing guild advice, we’d be telling you folks what to play.

The email prompted some discussion among the MOP staff about whether that would be an effective column to write (or to read). We do answer some questions like that for the podcast from time to time, for example, but I seldom get the impression we’ve actually helped. Most times, the listener has already tried everything and is hoping for a game that simply doesn’t exist yet, so we’re destined to fail. And even then, it’s really difficult to recommend MMOs to people without really knowing their full history with every studio and game. Some of us can’t even find an MMO we want to play!

So we thought we’d open that discussion up for everyone. How do you go about recommending MMOs to other people? What are your criteria? When your sister says she’s done with WoW, your co-worker requests input around the watercooler one day, or Some Dude On Reddit asks for pointers – where do you start?

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Snail Games introduces PixARK, heading to early access in March

So you’re a Minecraft kind of soul. You like that sort-of-pixelish-but-not-really look. Your friend is an ARK: Survival Evolved junkie. She’s more about dinosaurs and that flavor of survival. You both want some character creation and character progression and fantasy touches. Where can you both be happy? Why, PixARK, of course. It’s like ARK and Minecraft had a baby, and that baby has lots of jagged edges and monsters roaming around.

It’s an unusual baby.

Yes, PixARK has just been announced for a planned March Early Access kickoff, with full release taking place later this year. We don’t know a whole lot about the game just yet, but you can get some sense of what it’s aiming for with the trailer and some screenshots below. If you’d like the survival sandbox elements with a bit more craft and a bit less stabbing others in the face, this might be something to keep an eye on.

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The Survivalist: The downside of hosting custom servers for survival games (and why we don’t do it)

After the latest guide introduced even more possible games to sink our survival teeth into, it is understandable that the question cropped up again asking whether Massively OP would be officially hosting any servers for any of these titles. Think of it, life and death alongside your fellow MOP fans! Of course, we think it could be great fun, and we like playing games with ya’ll. However, as much as we love having folks congregate and have fun together, the answer is unfortunately no. Could it happen in the future? You could say there is a possibility, but it is extremely remote. Remote as in you have a higher chance to win the Powerball lottery. (Of course if you do win and want to fund such an endeavor, let’s talk.)

But why, you ask? Didn’t MOP have an ARK: Survival Evolved server? There are a number of reasons that official servers are not in the future, some of which the official unofficial ARK server helped illuminate or reinforce.

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The Stream Team: ARK makes a good testing ground

Wait, what? ARK on a Tuesday? Yes! Massively OP’s MJ needs to give her new gaming rig a go, and ARK — with its gorgeous visuals — is the perfect place to test it all out. Of course, it’s also because her laptop can be a fallback if it all blows up on her when she swaps out hard drives. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. for some dino-riffic adventures either way.

What: ARK: Aberration
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

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The Survivalist: Another year, another Survival Game guide

A new year, a new batch of survival games! Yes, the genre has become so popular that one guide, no not even two guides could contain all of the survival goodness. More keep cropping up. I certainly can’t say as I mind, since this is the style of game that has been giving me the feeling of having an impact on my environment. And it’s not all the same collection of zombies, although there is still plenty of that. It is interesting to see what new takes developers are bringing to the table. Want to do a survival reality show? There’s a game for that! How about living like a viking? Yup. What if you want to be the psychotic killer that survivors are trying to, well, survive? Got you covered. Fell like upping the ante and surviving via VR? There are a few of those available.

If you are looking for a new survival to sink your teeth into, here’s the addendum for some newer games in development as well as some newly discovered ones since the last mega double guide. Note: This collection will be a mix of multiplayer and single-player titles with some uniques thrown in.

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ARK: Survival Evolved shows off the visuals and abilities of its dinosaur TLC pass

The animal denizens of ARK: Survival Evolved could use some improvements of all sorts, and that’s why dinosaurs and mammals alike are being considered in the game’s TLC pass. Curious about what’s changing? There’s an entire post about exactly that, showing off the improved visuals while also talking about how the various critters will be changing. Dire bears, for example, will become immune to bees and capable of aiding in honey-harvesting activities, thus ensuring that there’s another benefit to riding a bear around the map. (The first benefit is riding a bear.)

More precise throws and better movement are coming to the Gigantopithecus, along with the ability to carry smaller creatures as necessary. Wolves are having new scent-based mechanics introduced to ensure that these animals hunt in appropriately dangerous packs. Even the mighty Tyrannosaurus is getting movement improvements so the beast won’t get stuck behind small obstacles as often. It’s a good look at some of what will be coming as the game rolls out these upgrades in a series of patches, so check it out to enjoy the visuals and the improved animal arsenals.

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The Stream Team: ARK Aberration’s glow pugs are the best

Now that Massively OP’s MJ is safely back home, she can continue her quest to make a home on ARK‘s Aberration server. And she will fill this home with bulbdogs, the adorable shoulder-riding glow pugs that light up her life. She might also try for a ravager, but priorities! Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. for more expansion exploring.

What: ARK: Aberration
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 13th, 2018

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