ARK Survival Evolved won’t wipe exploit-infested servers ahead of August launch

    
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Were you anticipating a wipe ahead of the formal launch of ARK: Survival Evolved in August, especially given all the recent exploits? It’s not happening, Studio Wildcard announced today via press release, “despite a recent rash of cheating and hacking within the game,” which is an odd sort of way to put it. But the studio does have a plan, and that plan seems to be to let everyone voluntarily reroll on clean servers:

“In addition to continuing to operate the legacy servers, on launch date the studio will roll out a fresh cluster network of servers running new code and infrastructure explicitly designed to prevent such issues from occurring in the future.”

Update: This move is in apparent contradiction to the game’s original plans (privately announced earlier this week) to wipe it all as both Kotaku and PC Gamer are reporting. (Thanks Ceder!)

Wildcard also announced that the Ragnarok official mod will launch on console on August 8th alongside the full release and that it’s partnered with Nitrado for player-run custom server hosting on console “available at a very low price.”

The studio previously announced a $59.99 base price for the PC version of the game, a fee game dev Dean Hall called “****ing outrageous.” The game has been in early access on Steam for several years at a lower price and famously sold an expansion while in that test mode. Most recently, we chatted with ARK composer Gareth Coker about his work on an ever-changing early access title.

Source: Press release
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Tazuras

Hmm, does this mean they will have to update and maintain two separate server code bases? If so couldn’t that get expensive?

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mcsleaz

Official Servers are Crap.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

First, anyone at all that really wants the game, already has it. Second, if they are planning on banning a lot of folks, pumping up the price to prevent/profit from them buying again makes a certain kind of demented logic. Third, no reason to buy at this price; it will be on Steam sale again in no time.

Fourth, LOTRO’s expansion may launch end of the month; PoE first week of August. Lots of quality stuff coming out, no need to run to a dumpster fire.

ceder
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ceder

A lot of 3rd party sites bought keys in bulk as well during the steam summer sale anyway so many sites are or will be selling it at a fraction of the price. But you are right, that the steam market for the game is pretty saturated. The price parity with consoles makes it thus to where even with a few sales it’ll be the equivalent of 2-3 previous sales to be sure until the next price drop.

All indications are that they’re going to be adding/announcing something more with this official launch as well(probably to try to market more value added to justify the price differences, but we’ll see.

As for the banning, ask wow how that works for them: its a great quarterly revenue boost. They ban folks then they buy again and keep going. You can almost time those bans by the quarterly report time frames. That too many be a consideration for them as opposed to any really and truly meaningful prevention method.

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Connor

A lot of 3rd party sites bought keys in bulk as well during the steam summer sale anyway so many sites are or will be selling it at a fraction of the price.

Valve changed the way that gifting works to curb this, now it’s impossible to buy games in bulk and let them sit in your inventory.

ceder
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ceder

Except a quick google search and you can see the game from many being sold between 10 to the current “parity price”. Not all of the sellers are effected by that change.

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Connor

All accounts are affected by that change, and it went into effect in May. You must have an account to send the gift to (or schedule the gift for) at the time of purchase, and if the gift is declined then it gets refunded (you don’t get to resend it to someone else). Anyone selling an Ark key bought it before the May 4th gifting update and has been sitting on it. The game went on sale for less than $10 in January and March, so if they’re selling for $10, they keys would be from then.

No one was able to stockpile gifts from the summer sale, barring buying them for individual accounts and selling the whole account. It’s impossible.

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Melissa McDonald

At first I felt sneery snarky comments boiling up inside me. Then, I considered it. It’s actually not such a bad idea to launch a game where you just flat-out tell people, “You can play on old Mos Eisley server with a wretched hive of scum and villainy, or you can start over on Naboo server where things are just peachy and fair.”

Actually not such a terrible idea when I consider it for a few moments.

ceder
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ceder

Except its really not going to be the case. The scum and villainy already have their game plans ready to hit the new servers and be their same ole selves in a day or less(there are a few in game mechanics that allow players of large groups to exponentially increase their exp). For 2 years they’ve made similar fix/protect against exploits duping and within a very short time the same types of folks were back at it. The new servers will be no different.

Most of the very vocal people calling for wiping the original servers were mainly people who wanted specific plots of land that landbarons had claimed, or pvp and pve servers being land baron’d and dominated (over the progressive course of 2 years) by what they call alpha tribes on a server. Those things too per what I mentioned wont change either.

But again as I mentioned below, for the majority of ark players, all of this is a non issue since the majority do not play official servers.

ceder
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ceder

A more in depth interview with the head of Wildcard on the wipe(as originally they were going to wipe then 24hrs later 180’d) and more can be found here: http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolveds-design-lead-on-huge-server-wipe-reversal-and-new-structure-post-pc-launch/

miol
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miol

edit: What Tobasco da Gama said!

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Tobasco da Gama

Yeah, launching with “new code and infrastructure” that hasn’t been tested at scale sounds like a great plan.

ceder
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ceder

Well according to the pcgamer interview I linked above, they’d decided to full wipe then 180’d less than 24 hours later so it infers the possibility that they’ve not necessarily thought hout that “new code infrastructure” yet. Given over 2 years they’ve caught and fixed then security theater lauded such to only have new exploits/dupes crop up in days/weeks there after, I really don’t see this being any different and people will be complaining relatively soon to the same effect.

ceder
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ceder

Well they removed the post with the link. But google works wonders to find it. Its an interesting read and maybe Mop will write another article or cite it in this one(like they usually do with some of their news stories).

Edit: also Kotaku is reporting a focus about this being a 180 reversal in 24 hours of original intentions.

ceder
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ceder

All good bree reinstated it saying its removal was in error(on twitter hehe). :)

ceder
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ceder

If anyone thinks exploits, level 70+ in a day by large tribes and more aren’t going to happen on their new server slices on those horrid nitrado servers, then I’ve swamp land in the Gobi desert you might be interested in. Almost a guarantee we’ll be seeing complaints and demands for wipes in the coming weeks and days on the steam forums from the same people and others who were decrying the state of the “legacy” servers.

But a non issue for those that play unofficial servers to be sure.