ARK Survival Evolved’s Genesis Part 2 stars new monsters, biomes, and David Tennant of Doctor Who fame


The hype train for ARK: Survival Evolved’s Genesis Part 2 expansion is beginning to spool up its engine. At the start of a 24-hour charity livestream, a new teaser trailer was unveiled that offered a look at some dramatic new biomes, alarming new creatures (check out the gigantic laser goat things), and hints at the overall story for the expansion as voiced by Doctor Who’s David Tennant and Wheel of Time’s Madeleine Madden as Sir Edmund Rockwell and HLN-A respectively.

“The final confrontation between these two antagonists takes place on a gigantic colony ship traveling through deep space, and players will need to make use of all their ARK skills to succeed. Whether it’s taking possession of enemies via brain-controlling ‘Noglin’ creatures, zooming around doing radical tricks on the skateboard-like Hoversail, or managing & viewing bases remotely with security cameras – among tons of other new items and creatures – ARK’s largest Expansion Pack yet has game-changing additions for every kind of Survivor. But even with HLN-A’s help, will they be able to put a stop to Rockwell’s demented plans once and for all? We’re about to find out, because The End is Near!”

In the meantime, ARK is going to provide another TLC pass with focus on wooly mammoths, stegosaurs, and a number of new breedable creatures among other quality-of-life changes. The link above provides some of those patch notes, while the official site has summarized the latest reveals during the Extra Life livestream. And, of course, there are trailers after the cut.

sources: press release, official site (1, 2)

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My last play through of ARK was a story play through where I did all the lore book entries and played through each map sequentially ascending each time before moving on.

The problem was that most of the boss encounters were not just meant to be solo’d past the initial ARK map and even then only after major rehaul before it’s official launch. Even with all the right settings tweaks and adjustments most of the encounters simply need to be readjusted or fixed entirely. Manticore on Scorched Earth was extremely buggy. Rockwell on Aberration was ok but way overtuned on the highest setting. Extinction was basically impossible.

So when I see this stuff for Genesis I get worried essentially that any of it will actually be doable or playable without requiring a full crew people.

2Ton Gamer

I’ve never been a fan of Ark’s story play-through or even most of the Tek stuff. The reason I played initially was to build and tame dino’s and as more time has passed, they’ve added more and more in that direction, which can be cool, but like I said, I like the lost island survivor stuff better. To each their own.

These new DLC’s have added new things and features that I have enjoyed, but honestly I have not picked up this last Genesis DLC and have not found a need to do so. We come back (as a family) on our own household server and play with a friends and connect all of the maps together and it’s not bad with mods, but after a month of hardcore playing, we always move on until the next season.

I do look forward to them hopefully moving on to a new Ark 2.0 using a higher version of UE4 (or maybe 5?) and hopefully they will not shoot themselves in the foot with that game by configuring their own version so different than the actual UE4 that they cannot add the latest features. Ark does one thing better than any other survival game and that is it’s animals and ecology. The diversity of animals, their movements, the taming (for the most part), the breeding are all some of the game’s strongest features. Add that to some of the best building (Conan Exiles is better IMO) and definitely one of the best modding communities for a survival game and I think they could correct many of the UE4 missteps and maybe even lose some of the bugs they could never get rid of. This Genesis thing though is just not something I am looking forward to.


I’ve always liked the more fantastical elements of the game. And honestly, to me it felt like it was always planned to go that direction. The giant floating techno-spires called the Obelisks were in the original teaser trailer. There was *always* something weird and high tech going on in the background, they’ve just expanded that aspect over time.

I like the bizarre creature additions, and even the Tek-constructs like the Enforcer and the upcoming Strider. A game where I can mix power armor, mecha piloting, dinosaur taming, and riding what’s basically a mid-sized dragon? Yes please. To be honest, I think one of the biggest weaknesses of Atlas is that they seem to have decided the creature taming was a *mistake,* and all but crippled it. (Creatures in Atlas are far weaker, mostly *much* harder and more annoying to tame, and often barely worth the effort when you do.)

I think one of the strengths of Ark is that the creatures are almost a kind of horizontal progression. Need to harvest trees? Better find a good mammoth or beaver. Want to mine stone? Doedicurus. And a good ankylosaurus for mining metal. Then to carry it all you’ll need a caravan of Ravagers, or a Gasbags, or a flight of giant eagles. If someone doesn’t want to deal with all the specialist harvesters then there’s always a Mantis – a huge challenge to tame and they can’t carry much. But a mantis with access to Mastercrafted tools is the best resource collector around.


Ark has never been great at how it handles the story. There *is* a story, and it’s actually interesting. But to learn it you have to collect hundreds of “Explorer Notes” that are just randomly scattered around the map. I’m pretty convinced it’s not actually possible to get all of them without at least using a guide.

I don’t really know about the boss fights – on my original character I used an admin command to flag my character as having beaten them, because I was more interested in being able to visit the different maps. (Locking map access behind the boss fights is, of course, totally a thing that Ark does.) That character got wiped out when the save folder got corrupted, but the map unlocks seem to be tied to my Steam account. So on my current character I haven’t fought any of the bosses at all.

In any case, I’m curious to see how the new expansion turns out. Some of the creatures look fun, and some of the new items might actually be useful outside of PVP.


Bosses in ARK is a huge time sink.

The biggest pain is finding the base dinos themselves. This is problematic for a number of reasons. For one on every map but Ragnarok the dino pools are skewed level wise so there’s only like a 1% chance that a top tier (130+ out of 150 max level) will spawn. On Ragnarok all the dino pools are equal so a level 5 has much chance as a level 150 (base game has levels in multiples of 5). So if you’re playing the Island the chance of getting a high level dino is extremely rare and it means you’re going to have to mass slaughter whole biomes to see respawns. Once you do get higher levels to spawn you gotta down them, check for base stats, then kibble tame (won’t even get into the kibble taming setup) and hope for extreme stat rolls (IE: 40 in one stat, but terrible in all the other stats kinda thing).

Once you have you found high damage/health dinos you gotta basically start breeding them together. There’s a good chance when you breed two dinos together it will get the higher rolls so you gotta keep mass mating/hatching dinos at this point till you get a male and female “god” roll that combines all the stats together effectively making them a higher level than would naturally be possible (IE: max level may be 150 but stat rolls together combined could be 190). After that you have your “breeding” line of dinos. You can take this a step further and try to breed in mutations as well, you can have mutations on male/female line and if you don’t get health/damage mutations you instantly kill it off so it doesn’t take up a mutation slot. I always found this excessive though.

Next step is you gotta get saddles. Good saddles only come from top tier dungeon loot areas or underwater sea chests on The Island. There’s a fuckton of garbage in these chests so you’re going to be spending hours going through the hardest dungeons that drop the Rex saddles (mostly underwater). Underwater is like liquid cancer with the dinos they put down there and after all the nerfs there’s really only 2 viable underwater dinos but a high stat, bred squid will tear through anything (just don’t body blocked/trapped).

After all that (hundreds of hours) you then gotta level the dinos. This is incredibly time intensive at later levels and you gotta do it for 20 of them. If you lose any dinos they will have to be releveled. With the new Cryo system/fridges you can at least breed backups and they level while in there. You also have to get the artifacts many of which aren’t bad on Island once you get setup for it. Using a good Baryonyx will let you destroy the beginning dungeons with zero effort outside of the Megalos.

With 19 mate boosted, good stat rexes with a yuty you can pretty much do all the bosses on all the settings. Ascension is a different matter as you generally need/want Therizinos instead given their size and ability to eat vegetable cakes to heal up meaning you have to repeat that entire process all over again for a separate dino line. This also varies based on map, like other maps are way easier with some static dino spawn points and other maps are harder like getting good Megalos on Aberration was honestly the worst.


Warning: Wall of Text. O.O

My plan has always been to handle it in stages. With the Overseer you only ever have to fight it up to three times, but the other bosses are potentially farmable for Element. So my goal is to get creatures that are “good enough” for the lower tier fights and work my way towards an Alpha Army. Megatheriums for Broodmother, because their “Bugeater Rage” buff is a huge boost. Rexes and/or spinosaurs for Megapithicus, because there’s nothing special about that fight as long as you avoid the murderhole that your creatures can fall into. And Therizinosaurs for the Dragon. For three reasons. They’re slightly smaller than rexes and can surround it more easily. And as herbivores they supposedly take less damage from the Dragon’s fire breath. And also as herbivores, they can each carry a couple of stacks of sweet cakes as healing potions.

I wasn’t too worried about leveling them. Carrying them in cryopods generates a lot of passive xp. And attempting to breed for stats is *also* an XP farm. A kind of monstrous one, but… As you said, breeding generates a lot of failed attempts. Most of offspring won’t get the bonus levels, and you can see that before you claim them. So… keep one of the pets that needs to levels in the hatching pen. As each one hatches out, anything that doesn’t have the bonus levels gets chomped. The game doesn’t see a difference between wild creatures and unclaimed ones, and *also* doesn’t bother to distinguish between adults and babies. So… as long as a baby rex is old enough to not clip into the floor and instantly vanish when something bites it, as far as the game is concerned you just defeated a level 150+ rex. XP (and prime meat) rains from the sky. OnO

Since my current character can visit each of the maps without fighting the bosses first, I’ve been bouncing from map to map just to unlock the unique items. Now that I’m at the “until you kill the bosses” level cap I’m on Aberration. I like the way the aberration creatures look, so those are the ones I want to start with. My cunning plan is to get “decent to really good” breeding stock for the utility creatures, as well as the best Ravagers I can find and a couple of rock drakes. Ravagers get a 50% weight reduction on a lot of resources, so they’re good to help with resource collection. And their pack buff, small size for their HP and damage and ability to freely climb ziplines makes them good for exploring. I actually prefer them for most of the non-Insanity difficulty caves on The Island. getting the artifact from the lava cave is really easy when you can just run across a network of ziplines instead of risking Death By Jumpy Puzzle.

Aberrant Megalosaurs wouldn’t help on any other maps. But aberrant spinos will. They’re not as strong as rexes, but if I could get a couple of decent ones they’d be a good start for clearing the alpha tier bosses on The Island. They might even be good against the lower tier incarnations of the manticore. I’m pretty sure they burn through torpor compared to rexes, and if nothing else they don’t have to run halfway around the arena to turn around.

My “cunning plan” is to bring my “decent to good” lines of aberrant utility and combat creatures back to the other maps. I did want to mostly fight the bosses in order, so I wouldn’t be fighting Rockwell before I leave Aberration. I have seen videos where people have fought his strongest tier solo. I think at least one of those was a credible attempt. As in, they weren’t playing with the settings jacked so that they could hatch new eggs every few minutes, nor did they have that stacking mod that lets someone carry thousands of items for basically zero weight. The whole point was that they were playing through solo with the default settings for dino health and damage. Hatching speed was increased, but not to insane levels. Mostly because the default settings *are* insane. Raising a rex on Official settings takes *days,* and raising a giga takes over a week. This is, obviously, completely absurd.

Anyway, the plan. Get decent creatures on Aberration, bring them to other maps. Then supplement them with the creatures that don’t exist on Aberration. Megatherium to fight the Broodmother, therizinosaurs and rexes as I can find them. A good yutyranasaurus and a pack of decent allosaurs would be nice, since supposedly the Bleed damage over time does affect bosses.

As far as the Overseer fight – I’ve heard about two or three tricks that make the lava cave gauntlet a bit easier. The first is pheremone darts. It’s actually the only thing they’re even good for in single player. Bring a stack of pheremone darts, and use the AoE Rage they generate to activate the wild creatures and get most of them to attack each other. At the least it can weaken the bigger therapods, hopefully thins out the dimorphodon swarms, and can pull purlovia out of their hidey-holes so they can’t stun you. If you’re lucky it’s apparently possible to pick off an enemy standing near a ledge so that when everything rushes it it gets knocked off and into the lava – followed by everything blindly trying to attack it. The darts don’t work on gigas though, which is where the other trick comes in. The Scouts from Extinction. Once the dimophodons in an area are dealt with, you can deploy a default (and therefore disposable) Scout and buzz the survivors. They see it as a tamed creature, but *don’t* aggro on the player piloting it. And even gigas will try to kill it. So use the Scout to taunt the gigas… right off a ledge. Plop plop fizz fizz. O.O

I’m *not* at all happy with how they ended up handling ocean creatures. As you said, there’s only two even slightly viable choices, because *SO MANY* things underwater can permanently stunlock tamed pets. Even with their new pack buff and bleed attack sharks are pointless, because jellyfish exist. And mosasaurs and plesiosaurs are pointless, because for some insane reason they can be grabbed by squid despite being huge. And also because jellyfish exist. So the only viable tames are whales (which can’t be grabbed and are immune to stunlock *and* prevent you from being dismounted) and squids. (Also immune to stunlock, too big to grab each other, and mostly protect you from dismount attacks.) And of those, really only the whales are viable in the two underwater artifact caves. The design choice to literally have hostile creatures hidden inside the walls means that it’s way too easy for a squid to get pinned.

Honestly, they *should* have done a TLC on all underwater creatures. Jellyfish need to be toned *way* the heck down, the way they’re implemented means that nearly everything you can tame underwater is a waste of time. Having a super mosasaur with 50,000 hp and 1000% damage just means it’ll take longer to watch it die when a jellyfish eventually does manage to get behind it when you’re fighting something else. Jellyfish need to produce an effect that gives you temporary immunity to their stun effect (so that there’s *ANY* counter to them if they manage to hit you.) And the armor on saddles needs to reduce the effect of stuns overall. Which would also have the effect of providing *any* counter whatsoever to baryonyx and microraptors.


Additional: At least the kibble rework simplified that mess. There were originally like 50 kinds of kibble where each creature only eats one and they were mostly assigned based on the semi random order creatures were added. Which had lovely effects such as horses needing troodon egg kibble. With troodons being a stupidly difficult “endgame tier” tame that you could really only do efficiently by feeding them baby gigas, and *also* an almost completely useless creature that there’s no reason to tame *except* to make kibble.

Now there’s only five tiers of kibble, and really only the best one is difficult to make. Until you get any breedable yutyrannosaurs, and then the only reason you’d need anything else is for baby snacks to use when you’re Imprinting. (Baby giga wants comfort food: simple kibble!)