ark survival evolved

Official Site: ARK: Survival Evolved, Steam
Studio: Studio Wildcard
Launch Date: June 2, 2015 (Early Access)
Genre: Dino Survival Sandbox
Business Model: B2P (One-Time Fee)
Platform: PC, Xbox One

ARK: Survival Evolved’s explorer notes system puts lore front and center

This week, Studio Wildcard revealed what it’s calling an “explorer note system” for dinosaur survival sandbox ARK: Survival Evolved.

“You’ll be able to discover the stories of actual inhabitants that have lived on the isle, and follow what their fates are over time,” write the devs. “By studying their notes, learning through their experiences, and revealing the secrets they have discovered, you will be able to get closer to the heart of the mysteries surrounding the ARK.”

Wildcard also says it’s “taking a break from revealing Dino Dossiers” for the time being. Last weekend, the studio pushed out the dung beetle, dimetrodon, and gallimimus patch to Xbox One players, meaning the Xbox edition of the game is almost caught up to the PC.

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The Daily Grind: What untapped survival sandbox theme needs love?

Zombies. Dinosaurs. Other people. Pygmies, for some reason. They’ve been done. But plenty of themes haven’t been tapped for survival sandboxes.

Joking in the Massively OP online offices the other day, our writers decided that MJ’s frequent travels deserve immortalizing as a survival game. “Introducing Air-1 Citizen: Follow protagonist MJ as she trawls airports and tries to make it to the right plane, which may or may not take off and convey her to her destination! We’ll have two modes: One is all about melee combat with airplanes, hijackers, attendants, and tourists; the other is a minigame for baggage handlers where you have to sort the bags into the right conveyor belt. (Insert GM joke about TSA agents stripping away your gear.) No need for a complicated launch; we can just keep Air-1 Citizen in early access forever, dividing it into smaller and smaller pieces — Air-1 Citizen: Bag Totality now comes split into the Bag Customizer and Bag Sorter modules, both at full price!”

OK, maybe not; we were all a bit silly and cynical at the time.

But what theme would you like to see in the next big survival sandbox?

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The Stream Team: ARK’s grappling hooks and greenhouses

There’s never a shortage of new ARK: Survival Evolved stuff, so it can be hard to keep up sometimes! MassivelyOP’s MJ has fallen behind on experiencing some of the latest updates — namely, grappling hooks and greenhouses. Both sound useful, though only one is likely to get MJ into trouble. Join us live at 12:00 p.m. for a little building and mountain scaling in…

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 13th, 2016

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Interview: The Repopulation’s lead dev on its new engine and survival spin-off Fragmented

Following Above & Beyond Technologies’ January announcement that it was solving The Repopulation’s HeroEngine crisis by getting the heck away from HeroEngine, we spoke to studio rep JC Smith all about the MMO’s impending move to Unreal Engine and the birth of survival sandbox spin-off game, Fragmented, which is meant as an appetizer in the interim. Read on for our interview!

Massively OP: One thing I’ve seen commenters worry about is that Fragmented could become The Repopulation’s Landmark, and the comparison seems fair — a lot of the effort going into Landmark should be applicable to EQ Next too, theoretically, but that game is dragging on seemingly forever without public development. Are you concerned that the length of time it takes to rebuild The Repopulation will age it out of the market by the time it’s ready?

JC Smith: The hardest part about making this change for us was mainly the time frame. We kept hoping something we could find a way to get the Hero Engine version of the game to market, because the last thing we wanted to do was to set the game’s time frame back by a significant amount of time. After the situation had stretched out for a while though we realized that an engine switch was our best option, despite the set back in time frame. It is something that we took very seriously though.

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The Daily Grind: Which survival sandbox are you most likely to play?

Over the weekend, Justin wrote about the deluge of major online multiplayer survival sandboxes hitting us lately. First there was DayZ and its early zombiebox clones, then Daybreak actually made bank on H1Z1, then ARK: Survival Evolved added a dino dimension to the mix, and soon enough we’ll have Conan Exiles to play — with neither dinos nor zombies! And that’s without even mentioning Minecraft’s survival mode and the dozens of smaller survival games along the way (Die 2 Nite and even Realm of the Mad God spring to mind as just two we covered in detail years ago).

Today I’m wondering whether you play any of these. Which one is the best one for a newbie to the genre, an MMO player crossing the border, so to speak? If you’re the newbie, which one of the big survival sandboxes are you most likely to play — which one do you think has the most for an MMORPG player?

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ARK: Survival Evolved adds in giant birds and grappling hooks

Everyone knows that ARK: Survival Evolved is a survival game. But what do you do once you know that your survival is assured and you have plenty of resources to continue living? Well, you find more stuff to ride and build yourself a grappling hook. Yes, there’s a grappling hook in the game now, and it works exactly as you’d expect. You can climb up sheer cliffs, you can drag small creatures along with it, you can hitch a ride on flying creatures… you know, basically everything you would want to do with a grappling hook in real life.

“Wait, I thought I could ride something new?” Yes, dear reader, you can ride the Terror Bird, a flightless bird that grows up to 12 feet tall with the ability to make long gliding leaps. The most recent patch also adds in fishing updates and tribe alliances, so you can do more stuff after you eventually get bored of riding around on a new bird and grappling around all over the place. Check out a video highlighting these additions just below.

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The Stream Team: Three’s company on ARK’s Gallimimus

Riding dinos in ARK: Survival Evolved is fun enough, but who wants to be the driver all the time? How about riding shotgun? MassivelyOP’s MJ is on the hunt for a Gallimimus, a fast-paced racer that can seat up to three. That means while one person steers, others can be firing those tranquilizer arrows! Join us live at 12:00 p.m. as the team tries to add this new creature to its herd.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 6th, 2016

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The Daily Grind: What’s the appeal of survival games?

It hasn’t escaped my attention that survival games have become an insanely popular video game market over the past few years. Titles like ARK: Survival Evolved and Conan Exiles are recycling and refining a formula that seems to revolve around building stuff, building more stuff with the stuff you built before, roaming around, dying to critters, dying to other players, and erecting player towns that are as ugly as they are functional.

As someone who has only lightly dabbled in the genre, I have to put forth this question: What’s the appeal here? Is it just the endless process of crafting? The pride of ownership? Living out fantasies as Bear Grylls? Running your own server fiefdom?

I’m not saying that these games are bad, but they do appear to be pretty much the same thing done over and over and over again. I’d love it if someone explained to me the appeal from the inside!

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ARK: Survival Evolved’s cross-platform peak daily headcount is nearing 200K

Dino survival sandbox ARK: Survival Evolved is pulling in over 100,000 unique users per day, a new interview with Studio Wildcard on Gamespot reveals.

“One thing we do know is that can’t be mostly free players because you can only play the trial for an hour,” says co-founder and creative director Jesse Rapczak. “Considering every day we’re seeing peaks around that, the game has way more concurrent players than the PC game ever did, even at its highest peak of like 85,000 or something like that.”

Rapczak says it was more expensive to develop the game for Xbox, and the game’s Xbox price is higher too, but the game’s popularity on that platform has pushed “peak cross-platform player count lately around the high hundred thousands–you know, 175,000, 180,000, kind of creeping up towards 200,000.”

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ARK adds a trio of new creatures and SWAT gear

Prehistoric animals continue to stomp, run, and scamper into ARK: Survival Evolved. The survival title will be adding three new creatures over the next couple of weeks. The Titanosaur is a tank-like “walking mountain,” the Chalicotherium is playful “mobile artillery,” and the Gallimimus, already live, is “chicken-like” dino that can speedily carry three people on its back.

Yesterday’s Patch 233 also added a greenhouse in which players can grow crops, SWAT-style gear, an electric prod (you know, for kids!), faster save and load times, and a nifty baseball cap as a reward for testers.

If you move fast, you might be able to snag a discounted copy of ARK in the Humble Bundle sale (which ends at 1:00 p.m. EST today). Check out the new patch overview video after the jump.

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The Stream Team: Cranking out a compy army in ARK

MassivelyOP’s MJ has built up her flock of sky piranhas in ARK, and now she’s starting an army of land piranhas. With four compies already, she needs to tame at least four more to get the swarm effect. The trick is finding one alone to tame, because facing a pack is not advised! Join us live at 12:00 p.m. to help wrangle a few of these vicious — yet cute — killers.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

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ARK: Survival Evolved plans to bring online more than 100 new Xbox One servers

Excessive popularity isn’t always a good thing for an online game. ARK: Survival Evolved has been struggling with handling an overabundance of Xbox One players ever since its early access debut last month. Fortunately, the team is preparing to bring over 100 new servers online to handle the population’s needs.

“In less than a week following its December 2015 launch, ARK was downloaded more than 1 million times and Survivors had experienced more than 200,000 real-life days in their struggle to survive against dozens of Dinosaurs, other Survivors, and the elements,” says Studio Wildcard.

ARK also just updated its Xbox One servers to v730.1, which is slightly behind the PC version at this point.

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The Stream Team: The hunt for ARK’s pooper scoopers

Two new dinosaurs have descended upon ARK: Survival Evolved, and you know what that means: It means MassivelyOP’s MJ must have them! Her first target is the dung beetle. After all, with all her dinos, a pooper scooper would sure be handy to have in the MOP pen. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. as MJ goes in search of the giant beetle to force-feed poop to so it will like her.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 16th, 2016

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