ARK: Survival Evolved celebrates five years, makes Crystal Isles map official, becomes latest free EGS game

    
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ARK: Survival Evolved celebrates five years, makes Crystal Isles map official, becomes latest free EGS game

It’s birthday time for ARK: Survival Evolved and its players, which is just one of several announcements made on the game’s latest Community Crunch post, which outlines what’s happening for the survival sandbox’s five year anniversary and also confirms a community map’s arrival to official servers.

First, the anniversary event: From now until June 24th, players can mark the occasion with five new chibis to collect, a Pop-Out Birthday Cake structure, some party hat skins from prior events, and boosts to breeding, harvesting, taming, and player XP.

Next, the community crafted Crystal Isles map has been adjusted by the dev team and officially added to the servers as a selectable map. This new version of the community classic features 150 square kilometers of verdant, fantastical biomes and a number of new locations and features like three types of tameable crystal wyvern and a custom boss arena. This location will also be the home of the new jet-powered, flak cannon-equipped Tropeognathus pterosaur for PC players, while console players can tame one on The Island, The Center, Scorched Earth, Ragnarok, and Valguero.

If you’d rather keep yourself away from all of the high-TEK stuff, there’s also some new Timecapsule Servers, which lock the game in 2015-era features. Players are warned that these servers will not be seeing regular customer support or updates.

If all of this makes you curious to check out ARK yourself, you might be interested to know that the PC version of the sandbox is free on the Epic Games Store until June 18th. Unless, of course, you despise the EGS with the hate of a thousand suns. Or maybe you’ll install the storefront just this once for a free game on the sly. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your Reddit or Twitter mutuals.

sources: Steam (1, 2), Twitter

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Freddy
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Freddy

Hey, a freebie is a freebie. Got GTAV and now ARK. Regardless of your opinion on EGS I think it’s pretty cool.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Downloaded this morning to add to my ever expanding EGS library, which is beginning to rival my Steam one. Exclusivity Shmexclusivity, that type of deal has been pretty standard in all types of business for decades now. I remember the days when I had to visit 5 different stores to get all the pre-order items for the original Guild Wars. Don’t even get me started on music albums or even books that would have something additional for each big box retailer they contracted with.

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David Goodman

It’s a very pretty map. Liking it so far – had no experience with the unofficial version before this, so i’m going in blind.

Was expecting more from the ‘crystals’ part of Crystal Isles though, turns out they just mine for stone, but… eh, not a huge issue; it’s a map, not an overhaul or conversion.

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EmberStar

I think in the original mod version they actually *do* provide weird unique resources used for taming the crystal wyverns. I believe those are passive tames in the original map. There’s also “liquid dinos” in the mod version, but since I’ve never played it I don’t know what those are. I don’t think they made it into the official version.

Still, it would be nice if the crystals could be mined for actual crystal, or even the colored Aberration gemstones used for crafting some of the items from that expansion.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Nope, not gunna do it. EGS enslaves. Not even for a free game.

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EmberStar

The core game and the first season pass both go on pretty steep sale pretty regularly on Steam. Unfortunately I don’t think this game exists on GoG yet, so it’s Steam or Evil Game Store on PC. :( If you want leverage to rationalize not getting it free, the EGS version doesn’t currently include mod support. There’s crossplay with the Steam version, but only as long as no one has any mods installed.

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Schmidt.Capela

I don’t have any issue with Steam. I find it to be the least intrusive store (apart from GOG), the default DRM favors consumer convenience over protection, and I find many of its features to be quite good; for example, I make use of its streaming capabilities almost every day.

EGS, on the other hand, is a store I will only ever consider purchasing something from at least a year after it completely ditches exclusivity contracts. Otherwise…

(A clarification: what makes my blood boil is exclusivity contracts, where one company is legally bound to not releasing the game on competing stores or platforms for a while or even permanently. When the so-called exclusivity is merely a commercial choice, with the publisher free to release the game on competing stores or platforms at will, I don’t care about it only being available from a single source.)

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EmberStar

I claim the freebies from the Epic Store, but I won’t install the launcher. Wait, what? TRAITOR. Maybe. But my thought is that the actual game devs get paid either way, and some of them are companies that I otherwise like. And I’m costing Epic money hand over fist, because I never buy *anything* I’d have to pay for. If they pay the dev based on the normal “suggested non-sale price” and forgo their own cut, I estimate I’ve cost Epic about a thousand dollars that they’re never getting back.

It’s stupid, and pointless, and probably a little spiteful. Obviously. For all I know I’m still playing right into their Evil Plan. I don’t know what else I can do though, since ignoring the Epic Store clearly isn’t going to work. There’s too many people who just don’t care. Millions and millions for whom it either doesn’t matter, or who actually see Epic as the good guys fighting against the Valve Overlords.