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See: ARK: Survival Evolved

Survivalbox roundup: The Black Death communicates, Hellion revamps, and Life is Feudal soft launches

Once you recover from the drive-by scorching of MJ’s ARK: Survival Evolved critique, perhaps you’re wondering what else is going on with survivalboxes in other regions of the genre.

The Black Death is making a concerted effort to connect more with fans by bringing back the weekly Q&A series and expanding its presence on social media. The team also is asking for gaming feedback from its community via a survey.

Space sandbox Hellion is working hard on its next update, which will mainly focus on reworking and rebalancing several key systems, such as power supply, life support, and the user interface. The team is excited to announce that Discord integration is coming to the game soon as well.

And with Life is Feudal’s soft launch tomorrow, you’ll definitely want to get hyped up for this semi-MMO by watching the release trailer below!

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The Survivalist: ARK Survival Evolved’s sequel tease is an insult to its fans

You know that moment when you just can’t take it anymore? I am there, right on the cusp. I know many folks have gotten to their “I can no longer support <insert name here>” phases for various games and studios for a variety of reasons, but I had never yet reached such a point in my own gaming. (That one studio doesn’t count because I never supported them in the first place.) And now here I am. I don’t think I can continue to support Studio WildCard.

That is definitely a shift for me. I have been an ardent fan of ARK: Survival Evolved. I championed the game pretty heavily: I have streamed it for over two years, I personally host two servers, and this very column was born largely on the back of ARK. I have almost 1500 hours of playtime, and I own the expansions. I had praised the game and Studio WildCard for a long while, holding it up as an example of things done right.

Then things changed. The accumulation of many remarks and actions that ate away at my trust was topped off by the way the studio shows disregard for its current customers, treating them as disposable cash cows. And then came the sequel talk this very week.

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ARK 2 isn’t planned right now… but it’s still a real possibility

The good news for fans of ARK: Survival Evolved who are not in the mood to buy a sequel to the game at the moment? There isn’t one being developed right now. But ARK 2 is still not off the table according to one of the community managers; in fact, based solely on popularity, it seems inevitable.

We don’t have any plans for a sequel right now. But as has been stated, with the unprecedented popularity of the game, it would be a disservice to not expand on that through a sequel.

Why a sequel instead of just expansions? Because the development team has learned a lot over the course of bringing ARK to release, and that means a sequel could contain lessons learned about system design as well as back-end improvements to make the game easier to update and maintain. Of course, it’s all speculation right now, as one isn’t presently in the pipeline; the title did only recently move from early access into proper launch. Just don’t be surprised if you hear about one in the next few years.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Tanek for the tip!

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The Stream Team: Going on a griffon hunt in ARK

From the first moment Massively OP’s MJ saw the majestic griffon flying around ARK’s Ragnarok server, she wanted one. Needed one! Today, she’s going to attempt to get one. Capturing and taming this beast will take help as well as some luck. Tune in live at 6:00 p.m. for this first attempt to subdue the king of the skies.

What: ARK: Ragnarok
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 11th, 2017

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ARK: Survival Evolved posts live action trailer in honor of Xbox One X launch

Xbox One X is landing on porches this very moment, you guys, and ARK: Survival Evolved might just be the first thing you load up because nothing is more fun than being eaten by dinosaurs in high-def.

“Provided as a free update to Xbox players, ARK on Xbox One X takes full advantage of the new system’s power, delivering next-generation gaming with brilliant HDR visuals, 1440p high-resolution options, longer draw distances and enhanced visual effects, higher framerates, significantly reduced load times and much more. All these new features make ARK: Survival Evolved on Xbox One X the ultimate visually and technically advanced dinosaur survival experience on any console.”

We’ve included the brand-new live action trailer down below, which is more than a little cheesy, but hey, it’s fun. You can see the graphics comparison video too!

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The Stream Team: An aerial tour of scary things in ARK’s Ragnarok

Depressingly, it appears that Studio WildCard isn’t bothering to turn the Halloween event on at all this year. At least Massively OP’s MJ has a horse dressed up like a unicorn! She’s going to head back into ARK’s Ragnarok and celebrate the season anyway by looking for scary things herself. Things that can gobble her up! Perhaps by doing an aerial tour, she’ll actually survive. And While MJ is up there, maybe she can scout out some new dinos to add to the herd. Join us live at 12:00 p.m. to seek out the more frightening aspects of the island… and maybe find one to tame! Did she mention she had a Giga as a neighbor?

What: ARK: Ragnarok
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, October 28th, 2017

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Massively Overthinking: The state of early access, alpha, and beta ‘testing’ in the MMO genre

I remember years ago when then-Massively-columnist Rubi Bayer let loose with a blistering rant on the state of faux beta MMOs. She helmed Betawatch back then, see, and she was fed up with (mostly imported) MMOs claiming to be in beta when in fact they’d soft-launched. A lot of readers didn’t understand her fury at the time, but boy have things changed, right? Now, every game’s in on that very old trick, only they call it early access now, while some are still pushing the boundaries, charging $1000 for pre-alpha.

MOP reader Pepperzine proposed a topic for this week’s Massively Overthinking that’s right on point. “I was thinking it would be interesting if we could discuss when people consider a game to be in alpha/beta versus a final launch as a topic,” he wrote to us.

“Back in the day, this was easy to determine. Selective testers were extended invites into beta who were experienced testers who had the computer hardware to handle the software. The primary purpose of being in the testing phase was exactly that, to test and bug report. When the game was made available to the public at a price, a game was considered launched. Now, players are granted access to pre-launch titles by ‘donating’ or purchasing access. For the most part, the primary purpose of participating in the pre-launch experience for these players is not testing or bug reporting but rather to experience and play the game. The division of purchasing a game and donating to test has become so blurred that it is no longer a valid way of determining if a title is at a state to where it is launch ready. These titles can stay in this pre-launch phase for as long as they deem necessary, easily deflecting criticisms by reiterating it is still in development. So when do you consider a game to be launched? Is it when the producers declare it is? Is it when there is no longer the possibility of wipes? Is it when cash shop monetization is implemented? Is it as soon as the company begins selling access?”

Where’s the line in 2017? Let’s dig in.

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The Survivalist: ARK Aberration has already been delayed, but here’s what to expect

Surprise! ARK: Aberration, the survival sandbox’s next expansion that was slated to launch this month, is delayed. Shocking, I know. Actually, if any fans were actually surprised, they obviously haven’t been following ARK: Survival Evolved very long. The delay, along with a other news, was announced during Twitch Con 2017; Studio WildCard showed off the expansion to a host of streamers who, in turn, showed the game off to the rest of us. Fans got to see hours of Aberration gameplay, learning little tidbits about the world and its unique flora and fauna as streamers experienced the malfunctioning ARK for the first time. And the world does look fascinating!

Besides the delay and the peek into the underground world, we learned that the Structures Plus mod will be officially integrated into the game. This is fabulous news for builders who’ve been waiting a long while for this feature to get some attention. And for those who want some real-world ARK goodies, the ability to purchase the The Collector’s Edition of ARK: Survival Evolved sans game and expansions was also announced. Also, ARK itself and the expansions are on sale this weekend only.

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ARK Survival Evolved will soon let you sleep on a bed – or handcuff someone to one

Late last night a couple of interesting announcements came through the Twitter pipeline about ARK: Survival Evolved — namely, the ability to sleep on a bed upon logging or to handcuff someone else to it! No, really: With the release of version 273, players will be able to chain/handcuff other players to structures like a bed or chair. Those shackles will persist through logging out, so whoever is restrained will remain restrained. We’ll leave speculation about just how that feature is going to be used to your imagination. Players will also get to log out on a bed (although they could wake up shackled to it!).

This release, which also includes various fixes, additions, and optimizations, is slated to drop today. So, off to bed with you!

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The Stream Team: Down with ARK’s dragon!

The first time Massively OP’s MJ tried ARK’s dragon boss raid, things didn’t end particularly well. But the team learned from that experience and they’ve prepared even better for this second attempt. Will the team prevail and succeed in blasting that overgrown lizard out of the sky, or will everyone — and the dinos they rode in on — just be dragon kibble? Join us live at 12:00 p.m. for Dragon Raid, the Sequel.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, October 21st, 2017

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TwitchCon 2017: Get sneak peeks of ARK’s Aberration today

Are you eager to learn more about ARK: Survival Evolved’s upcoming underground expansion? How about watching some gameplay live? Three streamers at TwitchCon are sitting down with devs today and exploring Aberration. We’ve already gotten to see the giant crab that can be tamed and used as a mount, and we discovered that the Reaper Queen can impregnate characters. What else is different? Day/night cycles are random, and the massive Rexes and Gigas will not be present.

There’s a ton of info being revealed, so don’t miss out on learning more secrets of this cave realm. Tune in tonight and watch live.

If you miss the streams live, that doesn’t mean you miss out completely. We will be adding finished videos as they become available.

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The Stream Team: Finding a new home on ARK’s Ragnarok

The most exciting thing about ARK’s Ragnarok map for Massively OP’s MJ is the chance to explore an all new place — which is a good thing, since someone built on her favorite spot! That just means it’s the perfect chance for her to pick up and move to another part of the island, exploring everything on the way. But there is plenty of scary stuff out there, and most of it can eat her in one bite. Join us live at 12:00 p.m to help find a better spot for her new home.

What: ARK: Ragnarok
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 2nd, 2017

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The Daily Grind: Do dinosaurs help or hurt your immersion in MMOs?

My kids, being of a younger age, tend to find dinosaurs pretty darn awesome. They went bananas the other day when they saw a dino mount in Neverwinter and screamed at me for not getting it (“cash shop ploy” does not mean much to them).

Not every MMORPG tosses in dinosaurs, but they get slipped into fantasy worlds more often than you would think. From World of Warcraft’s Un’goro Crater to Trove’s Jurassic biome, there seems to be this thought that dinosaurs can punch up a title and pander to that young, impressionable kid in all of us (and I won’t even get started on the whole ARK phenomenon).

It might be a frivolous topic, but do you think dinos help or hurt MMOs? Are they just too immersion-breaking and bizarre to toss into most fantasy worlds? Does their scale hamper their inclusion? What do you say?

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