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ARK: Survival Evolved

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So I am usually pretty hesitant about 2 things, 1) Early Access and 2) Survival games. but this game definitely has grabbed my interest. Me and Ajax have been nerding out about this all night. The game has been in alpha for a couple weeks, but it was private and there was an NDA so there is no footage outside the games trailer (posted below). There have, however, been a series of developer interviews where they have revealed a TON of features and from the sound of it almost all of them are going to be available from the launch of the early access on June 2nd, including source code and modding capability day 1. There is a youtube who covered a lot of the Dev interview and talked about it in his videos (i can post some links below as well). I really try to let myself get caught up in hype for games, especially early access but this looks amazing so far. There was mention that the Early Access Price would more than likely be $25, with the posibility of the full release being more than that. I'm defintely kind of excited if this game ends up as cool as it looks, would love to get some other people involved, maybe even get a WMD server if there is enough interest.


First Look and some dev interview info:


Weekly Update vid #1:


Weekly Update Vid #2:


Weekly Update Vid #3:


More Dinosaur announcements:

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Not sure why some of the links expanded and others didnt, anyway. Not important. I also wanted to mention that the same guy who made those Youtube videos is going to be doing a special sneak preview livestream of the game Monday, June 1st on twitch tv. The stream is going to start at 4pm EST and he didnt specify an end time, but this is exactly what I was looking for, a way to see the game in action before shelling out any money.

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As I told you, I think this game looks like it has potential (I like survival games). But its so hard to tell this early. I will keep an eye on the Steam summer sale in 2 weeks or so to see if they've released it for sale (and on sale).

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It will be available to the public to purchase tomorrow (June 2nd) for $25 for the Early Access Build. normally i wouldnt buy it during early access, but after reading all the comments from the Developers saying what will be included in EA vs what wont be added till later, it sounds like the game should be extremely playable in the early access build. I do, however, want to see actual gameplay before i invest in it, but because of the NDA for the alpha, there is none. But some press copies have gone out and people are allowed to stream the game live (but not post on YT till tomorrow). you can ask ajax, every time i read a new feature of this game, i was basically losing my mind. Like when i heard you can not only mount/ride dinosaurs, but you can control them and use them to attack other people/dinosaurs, and not only that if its a large dino you can get all your friends to hop on the back and ride along, firing off the back a la the Party Bus from GTA 4.


I don't blame you for wanting to wait for it to be on sale, but seeing as its early access and coming out so close to summer sale, my hopes for it being on sale this time around are low, but you never know. But i've been looking for a good survival game ever since i was "let down" by starbound and all its empty promises. I looked into 7 Day to Die with the intention of playing with you guys, but it just didnt look like my type of experience. I know its in alpha and maybe it will improve but, the graphics just seemed very ugly and 2008, and the movement seemed very clunky, and i talked to some people who play it, and they said it is clunky and there is a learning curve involved in timing your swings... anyway, not here to bash on it, i've never played it, it just didnt look like what im looking for.


IF i do end up buying this, i will definitely keep you guys updated on what i think. i will probably also Livestream it at some point and could send you guys some video footage eventually. I'm cautiously optimistic at this point, and hopefully today when the press people are streaming it, my optimism will rewarded.


so for those who didnt watch all the videos, here are a few key features that i think fans of survival games/PC games want to know about

1) There will be single player, PvE servers, PvP servers, and private servers (they said they might be rather intensive, so they said most people would be able to host one on their pc while playing)

2) map is NOT procedurally generated, so one you know the map, you know it for good. You can even map out the world in single player, then go to MP and still have your map.

3) The game originally was not going to feature an FOV slider, but after they heard Frost cry about it, they changed their mind and said it will

4) the game will have mod support from day 1 of early access, and they are encouraging people to add content to the game. this could mean everything from new crafting recipes to new Dinos to new Maps.

5) The game uses the "sleeper" system, which to me is kind of amixed bag. for those unfamiliar, basically when you log out of a server, your character will remain in the game, standing wherever you left him "asleep" The purpose of this is to discourage combat logging (logging out of the game when you are getting attacked to prevent character death). They didnt elaborate if the sleeper would persist for 1 min, 10 min, forever, so that is something that remains to be seen.

6) by default, the game will not feature permadeath. From the sound of it, it will be kind of like Minecraft. if you die you respawn and still have all your crafting recipes, skill points, tech tree, and map, but lose your inventory. they did not specifcy if it would be recoverable if you went and found your corpse.

7) Dinosaurs

8) Characters will be server specific, however some things (map, in game unlocked, and digitized materials) can be used globally. So "digitized materials" refers to a mechanic where at some point in the game (maybe after you beat the story) there is a way to digitized things (weapons, gear, even dinosaurs) which you can then take with you to other servers.

9) yes the game has a story and an end point if you wish to pursue that

10) the game will have special boss monsters. As far as we know now, these monsters will not be tameable but who knows for sure. The bosses (so far) are done kind of like Terraria where you summon them using an item/ritual of some sort. They also mentioned that people not involved in the summoning will not be able to "snipe" the boss stealing the XP etc, which then leads to...

11) sniper rifle. yeah, the game has guns. they seem pretty prevalent in the trailer, but apparently the better guns (sniper, assault rifle, etc.) will be difficult to obtain and will be more of a late game commodity. They are toying with the idea of having a server option where you can limit what guns to allow, either specifically, or by tech level (bow -> black powder gun -> automatic weapons) for those who dont want the game to be dominated by people who have guns.


Those are a lot of the big points that the devs have revealed so far. again, I will be keeping an eye out on this game today and in the future, and will let you know if the actual game lives up to all the hype and promises the devs made. Fingers crossed, this could be the survival game that wins me back over.

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So, for anyone who still cares, here are my takeaways after watching about 6-8 hours of ARK streams yesterday


1) Looks super fun

2) game is currently very poorly optimized and struggles on even well equipped systems, and is nearly unplayable on older systems (aka mine). The devs have heard they outcry though and said that working on optimization will be a top priority in the next week or so, fingers crossed.

3) while everything in the trailer is doable in the game, it will take a LONG time before a lot of that stuff is doable. getting assault rifles and taming T-Rexs takes a LOT of time and effort and levels so, people who expect to be riding a laser T-Rex in the first hour will be disappointed. That said, i was able to see someone tame a triceratops, but they didnt have the character level to craft a saddle yet, so they couldnt ride it. but they could use it to attack things and follow them around.

4) aside from 1 person, i didnt see anyone having connection issues to the servers, no granted, they were only running 2 servers yesterday and had a limit of 100 on each server. We'll see what happens today when the game opens up to the public

5) if you dont want your stuff getting messed with, it almost seems like you will need a private server, which is kind of unfortunate, but not surprising. You can put passwords on the doors to your house and stuff to keep people out, but i have a feeling it wouldnt be hard to just break a hole in the wall and invite yourself in.


So basically, i think this game has a TON of promise and i definitely want it. but it looks like i am going to have to wait till either it is much better optimized, or i can afford a GTX 980

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