ARK Survival Evolved releases an ultimate edition, confirms Genesis Part 2 launch date of June 2

    
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The saga of ARK: Survival Evolved will be closing extremely soon — at least in a narrative sense — as Studio Wildcard has confirmed its Genesis Part 2 expansion will be arriving on Wednesday, June 2nd.

The expansion, which stars Doctor Who’s David Tennant and The Wheel of Time’s Madeleine Madden, promises to be a narrative bridge between the current game and the announced sequel while providing players with “a massive contiguous world filled with strange new biomes, story missions, and exotic creatures” all aboard a giant colony spaceship.

For those who haven’t been following the entire ARK narrative from the beginning, or those who want to dive into the entire game whole hog, this past weekend marked the release of the Ultimate Survival Edition, which bundles together the base game and every expansion (Scorched Earth, Aberration, Extinction, and Genesis Parts 1 & 2), completely updated and optimized to the latest versions, all for $60. The new bundle is available on Steam, EGS, and the storefronts for the Xbox One and PS4 consoles.

source: press release
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Arktouros

I actually did a “lore” playthrough of ARK a year or two ago where I’d play The Island getting all the lore tidbits and doing all the dungeons/bosses then finally ascension. After I’d move on to the next cannonical map of Scorched Earth then Aberration and finally Extinction.

Personally I don’t think it was really worth the effort, and actually gave up beating Extinction because of it. Bossing and getting to bosses is just way too annoying/grindy because of the RNG mechanics involved. Personally I would have rather just played/enjoyed the game and ignored the lore and read about it via the Wiki.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I’m not sure I’ve encountered RNG for the boss tribute items. At least not in the normal MMO sense of having to kill a dozen Alpha Rex before you find one with teeth. I guess there is a bit of RNG trying to find an Alpha, but for me the problem there has always been *avoiding* them when I don’t want to fight them. An Alpha Megasquid will ruin your day if it manages to sneak up on you. Fortunately a 200 foot long squid surrounded by a glowing red cloud isn’t the stealthiest thing in the world.

Ark has lots of bugs. It’s not even close to perfect. And I’m *really* not happy with how they included the story – it’s almost entirely in the form of “Explorer Notes” scattered at random across the entire map. (Rather than doing something sensible, like following the path those characters took in the story being told.) Unless you look up a map, there’s basically zero chance of finding all of them just during normal play.

I’m trying to play through “sort of” in order. I want to fight the bosses in the right order, but I’ve been moving from map to map taming my favorite kinds of creatures (and the best ones for the various boss fights.) I really like the Aberrant creature variants, with the bio-luminescent glow. And the Genesis “X-creatures” mostly look really nice too.

So my plan is to fight the bosses of The Island first. But I’ll be doing it with creatures collected from all the maps – X-Rexes and Tek Rexes from Genesis to fight the giant ape. Megatherium from Ragnarok, where they’re plentiful and easily tamed to fight the Broodmother. Therizinosaurs to fight the Dragon, supported by a pair of X-Yutys from Genesis again. Once I can beat all three of those, that unlocks most of the Tek items, and I’m hoping I can use the Tek Transmitter to bring a mixed army to face the Manticore on Scorched Earth and Rockwell in Aberration. The Manticore fight allows flyers, so if I can get away with it I fully intend to fight it with a mixed team of Rexes and Bloodcrystal Wyverns from the Crystal Island.

For the story notes… yeah, I don’t know how to deal with that so it isn’t a stupid grind. I’d like to get them all to “complete” the story, but they’re literally just evenly and randomly scattered across the map. Short of using cheat codes and teleporting to them all, there isn’t any good way to complete that. OnO

When the DLC arrives I’ll probably bounce to that map, unlock whatever I can of the new blueprints, and maybe find a nice spot to start a base there. If there’s anything I can tame that isn’t too insane, I’ll get a few of those. Then I’ll go back and use the new toys to finish the other maps “kind of” in order. The Egg Incubator and Tek Crop Plots should both be really useful.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Addendum: Yes, I still need to fight the bosses. My original save got corrupted by a mod that I’d been using when the author abandoned it. Turned out getting rid of it wasn’t as simple as just deleting the mod, and the game did not deal with it. I started a new game sometime around when Genesis 1 came out, and haven’t played enough to feel ready to fight any of the bosses yet. I had planned to spend most of my free time last month catching up…. but then discovered Dyson Sphere Program, and spent all of my free time playing that instead. Oh well.

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Arktouros

I was trying to be brief but…

The RNG is not on boss tributes. You only need things like Alpha tributes for ascension if memory serves and it’s regular tributes for bosses. These are easy enough to farm in most cases except probably Spino fins because Spinos on the The Island share spawns with fish which forces you at some point to run through rivers clearing out fish to get more spinos to spawn. The RNG comes in two forms where I’ve probably spent 2500+ of my 3200+ hours on.

The first is just finding the right dinos. Most dinos spawn from a table of dinos in a biome list. So there’s a X% chance a dino in frost biome spawns as a TRex, Y% as a Mammoth, etc. The second issue to this is lets say your TRex spawns, that table isn’t weighted equally meaning an “upper percentile” level (IE 140/145/150) has something like a 1% chance to spawn but an extremely low one (5/10/15) has like a 30% chance to spawn kinda thing. This is true for all Wildcard made maps, but custom maps like Ragnarok fix this. Even if you kill/check an area for spawns if no Rexes respawned then you now gotta basically butcher the whole biome to start all over again cause there’s no real method for cycling out spawns unless the player damages/interacts with them.

If you do manage to find a high level dino of the one you want, you then gotta check it’s stats. A high base stat on one of the critical areas (damage, health, stamina) works and you won’t just outright kill it. If it’s bad you kill it and start over. You will learn to hate the Oxygen stat. After kibble taming it, the dino will get a set of stat points (from the levels it gains, hence the kibble) added to random stats. This means that natural 30+ stamina is worthless if all the random points from +15 levels is thrown into carrying capacity or oxygen so you’ll kill it and start again. If you’re extremely RNG carried majority will go into stamina and you have the start of a “super” dino. Repeat for multiple stats, then begins the RNG breeding where you try to smush all the super dinos together till you get a perfect pair and then breed them out into a boss killer line.

The second half of RNG is now that you got your super dinos you need to give them extremely high armor saddles for bossing. This is all based on chests in crazy locations mostly underwater on The Island. Underwater is basically pure cancer. Ignoring the 360 sphere angle of attack, there’s just way too many things underwater that can disable you. This means you have to get a Squid because it’s the only thing that can reasonably survive, especially where the chests are located. A good, bred squid with imprint bonus basically rules the ocean and after that it’s largely just a matter of checking chests constantly for upgrades. It can take weeks of checking on cool down to get a good high level saddle with armor since the blueprints will roll saddles with stupid things like durability which has no impact on the dino but impacts the blueprint.

While going to other maps will help with this (such as static Rex spawns on Scorched Earth or easily obtained loot crates with amazing saddles on Scorched Earth) it’s still a tremendous RNG based grind. While Gamma bosses don’t require this much effort, encounters like Alpha Dragon or Alpha Ascension require the very best of the best if you don’t want crippling losses. Also this is all basic bitch bosses of The Island. Manticore is some next level craziness. Aberration is entirely mad on Gamma let alone higher and honestly good luck finding good Megalos to fight it. I straight up gave up on Extinction cause fuck that boss.

All this is fine for a game, but if you just want the lore or play through? Just not worth it for your average person. This is just for bosses, not even any of the other content or stuff in the game. It’s really crazy.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

We’ll see, I guess. I play with Singleplayer Settings enabled (because I’m in single player and honestly, the default settings for official servers are deliberately designed to completely suck.) I haven’t fought any of The Island bosses before. I expect to get completely wrecked the first time I try the Alpha tier fights. The only bright side is that I only have to beat those once for the unlocks. I can get Element from other places for Tek stuff. You can’t send Element between maps, but I don’t *think* they’ve prevented sending most finished Tek structures. (Yet.)

As far as the breeding… yeah, I guess. I don’t actually care about the details at that level. As long as the boss dies at Alpha tier, I don’t care if I lose the whole army doing it, because I’m never going to fight at that tier again. Maybe I’m making a huge mistake I’ll regret later. But I just collect tames at or near max level, and when I’ve got “enough,” I pick through and find the best relevant stats for each. (Health, Stamina, Weight, Melee for fighters. Light pets are weird because *all* of their stats do something, with the “useless” stats remapped to range/capacity/recharge rate on their glow.)

I tend to spend a while in a given area, and a lot of the creatures cycle through without help from me. Mostly because the NPC AI is either set to Passive, or Axe Murderer. Spinos, baryonyx and even ducks will roam the rivers and kill fish. Raptors and carnotaurs will attack anything smaller than themselves, terror birds attack almost anything. Spinos are content to ignore anything that stays out of the water, but rexes and allos will annihilate anything that moves (except each other.) And since high quality saddles need tons and tons (and tons) of hide, sometimes I just take out a rex/rock drake/giga/whatever and eat everything.

And yes, I fully intend to take advantage of the “non-story” maps to get around the bizarre level scaling. At one level, I sort of get why they did that with official maps – for a new player (ake Beach Bob / Bobbette) even a level 20 Raptor is enough to end you and will then probably happily take you out ten more times as you desperately try to recover your stuff.

Maybe playing with Single Player settings makes that big a difference, but I didn’t think Gamma Rockwell was that hard in my original save. I didn’t have any crazy modded creatures or even mod weapons. And bear in mind, I *hate* boss fights in most MMOs, and even in Warframe. But fighting Rockwell just seemed to be a case of “keep moving, don’t stop long enough to get swarmed by Nameless, and turn around and shotgun the energy Death Orbs chasing you once in a while.”

In my old save, I beat it by myself, with a squad of probably extremely “meh” megalosaurs to gnaw on the Heart. I had a pair of not-that-great Rock Drakes positioned at the top of the ramp, who had almost all their levels spent on Health. Their job wasn’t to kill anything, just to sort of block the door and keep the flood of Nameless and Reapers from interfering. Rock Drakes do a bit of extra damage, but the big reason for putting them there is that Reapers can’t knock them into orbit with a tail swipe. The swarm would literally have to kill them to get past them. I just rode around in circles on the outer ring, and shotgunned the tentacles to death. Ark shotguns have the weird trait that there’s no damage falloff. If you’re aiming at something big enough for all the pellets to still hit it (like a giant purple kaiju tentacle) they do the same damage from any range where they inflict damage at all.

So… I don’t know. I’m probably doing it wrong and I’ll run face first into a solid wall of fail at the Alpha tier fights. But I find doing stuff in Ark to be a lot less… MMO than in most actual mmos. Is it hard to find a good blueprint for a given kind of saddle? Yes. Yes it is. But I only need ONE good blueprint for each kind. I’m sure it doesn’t matter now, but my limited understanding is that the best place to look for saddles are the loot drops for the Bug Cave under the redwood forest. Apparently there’s a much higher than normal chance for red drops. And the drop table there is different than anywhere else, with a much higher chance than normal of getting stuff that isn’t garbage. The next best place is the desert loot caches in Scorched Earth (and probably Ragnarok.) The ones in Scorched Earth are “deep sea” caches, but with a bonus loot roll for Scorched Earth stuff in addition to whatever they normally drop.

Frankly, I’d rather deal with trying to get an Ascendant Rex Saddle blueprint than putting up with the drama and BS of “raid” dungeons. Where the chance of anything good dropping is even lower, and the systems *players* have in place to distribute them means the odds of me ever getting anything, ever, are basically zero. Unless I do what I’m “supposed” to do and treat Raiding as a secondary, nearly full time, and completely unpaid job. (And let’s not forget, a job where all my “co workers” probably hate me and resent that I’m ever allowed to get *anything,* because that’s one less item for them.) So even if the mechanics in Ark are stupid, arbitrary, hateful grindy BS, they’re STILL better than in every other proper “MMO” I’ve ever heard of.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Additional note that doesn’t really matter – whales are better than squid for ocean stuff. Yes, they take constant damage below a certain depth. But they’re *way* easier to tame than a squid, and they’re actually immune to the stupid amounts of things that can disable/dismount you underwater. Squid are really, really hard to tame (even with a mod like Immersive Taming, which I do use.) Just because they’re stupidly rare and insanely aggressive. “Immersive Taming” makes getting one slightly easier than the default, but taming a high level one is still an excellent way to die. (A lot.)

As you said, the ocean is liquid death, and part of the “balance” in Immersive Taming is that you can’t use it on anything in a taming pen – which means trying to keep up with a free roaming megasquid as it tours the floor of the ocean and pays a visit to every. single. one. of its homicidal neighbors. “Oh, hello there Alpha Mosa. Thanks for the brownies, how *do* you get them so moist? Don’t answer that. Have you met my new friend Riley? Oh, I see you have! Well, you two have fun playing, I’m going to go check in on the Plesiosaur Death Twins. Toodles!”

The other problem I had with the squid I did tame in my original save was their huge hitbox, and the fact that once their tamed nearly everything will attack them. Jellyfish can’t dismount you from a squid, but they *can* pen you, and everything that attacks is trying to reach a point in the center of their head. Which means it’s entirely possible to get a squid stuck in a swarm of death where it can’t actually fight back, because none of the things that just pinned it in place are somewhere its tentacle thrash attack will even hit them. Harbinger had nearly 60,000 hp, and still nearly died just about every other time I took him out of the lagoon. OnO

Honestly, a lot of that is down to the part where it *feels* like the entire ocean biome is an afterthought for Wildcard, and one that they regret including at all. (An impression not at all helped by the fact that The Island and Genesis 1 are the only “story” maps that even HAVE an ocean biome.) And the almost incontestable fact that one or more of their creature designers is a massive troll and kind of a jerk. Evidence: the number of creatures who are almost useless (or even actually impossible) to tame, but who have the wild ability to stun a player, or their mount, or both at once. A stun that can’t be reduced or resisted except by having a mount that is actually immune to it. Purlovia, microraptors, thylacoleo (who are at least decent as tamed pets,) jellyfish, eurypterids, and until fairly recently the eels that exist in *vast* numbers and are literally set up to spawn INSIDE giant rocks where it’s impossible to see them until they swarm out and electrocute you to death. (The relatively recent change is that their chain lightning attack no longer instantly dismounts you.) Even the recent, very minor TLC for the sharks was pretty trollish at first – they gave sharks a bleed attack. All of them. Including the wild ones. And the wild ones got a version that stacked.

If I was designing a game, with the intent of making it “feel fair,” I’d have included some way for players to mitigate stun attacks. Such as by having the effect reduced by higher levels of armor, and the player stat that’s supposed to reduce the effects of heat/cold/toxin. And by making the highest tiers of armor completely immune to it. So yes, if a baryonyx surprises you in the water on your level 20 parasaur with primitive saddle, you’re both going to die. But it should NOT be able to do the same thing to your entire school of level 150 megalodons with Ascendant saddles and you wearing Tek armor. In Ark, right now, the lone Baryonyx is still completely going to kick your ass. OnO

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Arktouros

This is the last one I’m going to reply to cause these are just way too verbose…

Basilosaurs had their moment to shine but that day has long since passed. The damage nerfs and regen nerfs have made them a shadow of their former glory and now are a good entry level dino (Baryonyx -> Basilosaur -> Teso) but absolutely nothing beats a well bred squid. Even a medicore bred squid can take down a 150 Alpha Mosa without issues and I’ve actually done double Alpha Mosas with a good one and never reached half HP. When you’re doing the “hard” underwater cave on the east anything less than a Squid or an army of dinos is going to straight up die to the 350+ Dunks and other dinos in there.

Taming Squids I’ve always found to be fairly easy but I don’t use Immersive taming so that sounds like a problem of your own creation. Honestly getting the Black Pearls is always harder than the Squid. Squids can get boxed in, but it’s easy to manage typically. The only dangerous part is in the Western cave where things spawn in walls and just appear inside your squid as they randomly float out of the walls.

All those stunning dinos came right before The Island officially released and was a result of people saying the game was too easy. You got on a good Dino and you were invincible kinda thing. Then suddenly they add in all these dinos that can randomly stun you all the time and you’re no longer invincible and the game is “hard” again. Oh look leeches that spread disease. All it did was enforce a stricter meta of X dinos are good and every other dino was bad.

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Arktouros

I’m very familiar with single player settings, however even with single player settings enabled all this really does is fudge the numbers slightly. It means you can reliably do content without other riders on imprinted dinos because the damage scales higher per point and you don’t need things like Daedons for healing cause of the higher health per point. However fundamentally you still need good base dinos to breed out and you still need extremely high armor saddles for damage reduction.

Breeding has huge impacts on dino stats in terms of imprinting bonuses that are there whether or not you ride the dino. It also sets up an egg factory so you can constantly be pumping out new ones as needed as well as XPing backups for losses. My first try at the Ascension cave I hopped off a dino, slid off the back of another dino, and fell over the edge into the lava. All dinos instantly died all saddles lost.

All “chunks” a player isn’t in will go to “sleep” and not churn through anything. However more importantly you are the apex predator and once you’ve cleared all the rivers of Spinos looking for sails to farm Megapithicus cause you need Element (which you can’t transfer to each server, same as trophies) to keep your island Tek Generators running nothing is going to clear the fish to get them to respawn.

As “complex” as Rockwell is the Island Bosses are simplistic. The Broodmother fight is literally enter a room and just fight the boss outright. Nothing else to it. All attack, roar buffs on your Yuty.

Alpha bosses are roughly 3x as difficult as Gamma and so that timer ticking down becomes very relevant in terms of how much damage you bring and how few dinos you lose so they keep doing damage. The issue isn’t really get one and done it’s getting them at all given the huge tables for their loot. The Swamp cave is a step below the underwater crates, capable of dropping good stuff just not as good as underwater crates. Scorched Earth deep desert crates are as good as underwater crates (especially once you get a Wyvern and can easy scoop them, protip: setup huge metal pillars near them to mark locations).

RNG is RNG. Spending 100 hours farming chests every hour trying to find the saddle/quality you want vs spending 100 hours in a raid to farm the gear you want is no difference to me. Both are chore like and annoying.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Appologies for the “wall of text” posts. If I was more skilled at writing, I could probably be more efficient with words.

I guess for myself, the grind “feels” different because I only do it if I feel like it. Yes, 100 hours spent farming loot caches in the desert is still 100 hours spent. But I don’t have to do it all at once, and unless I also feel like combining it with fighting Deathworms I don’t really need to focus on it too much. The last time I did so, I was also listening to an audiobook. I got to enjoy flying around the desert on my favorite (but not strongets) Wyvern, and listening to a story I enjoyed. If I spotted a chest I’d swoop down and empty it, then go back to flying. The few times there was a Deathworm too close to avoid it, I’d pause the book so I could focus. When I got tired of it, I flew back to base and switch gear so I could go try to tame a couple of decent mantises.

Raids don’t work like that. As soon as the team forms, you’re “on the clock.” The few times I’ve interacted with them have been some of the most stressful and frustrating things I’ve experienced in my entire life. And that’s counting the time I was nearly attacked by a dog that I’m pretty sure was bigger than I am, the time I ended up standing less than twenty feet from a live bear who was NOT in a zoo, and the time I ran out of gas seven miles from home at 2am because I decided I wanted to be first in line at the Drive-In instead of stopping for gas *before* the movie.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

*Edit* Metal pillars don’t stop the Desert Caches from spawning? I assumed building anything to mark them would disable the spawn, since I thought that’s how normal Supply Drops worked – don’t build a fort on a Red Sky-Cache, because you’ll kill it.