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Introducing the Phoenix!



A new Dino Dossier has been revealed, this one is everyone’s flaming fire flyer, the Phoenix!

Common name: Phoenix
Species: Unknown
Time: Unknown
Diet: Flame Eater
Temperament: Elusive

Wild:

Among the most mysterious of all flying creatures, much of what is known about the Phoenix exists in legends which have been told through generations. These myths have often changed through the passing of time, but one constant is the belief that fire represents cleansing and renewal. The Phoenix embodies this process through its everlasting cycle of death and renewal.

Extreme heat-waves in the desert seem to initiate the rise of the Phoenix, while the end of this so-called "Super Heat" precipitates the creature's reversion into ashes. While the Phoenix seems ambivalent to most wildlife, if provoked, its ferocity is evident in its ability to set targets aflame with a single bite.

Domesticated:

Attempting to pacify a Phoenix is, quite literally, playing with fire. The Phoenix must be continually set ablaze in order to be tamed. I've seen many turned into dust and ash in the attempt. After it has been pacified, the Phoenix will regain its vitality when it is aflame! Although its compact size prevents the Phoenix from being ridden, its aggressive enflaming has proved to be invaluable in battle. Plus, it can quickly roast up tasty cooked meat and refine raw ores at any time, as a living furnace!

ARK Digest 48!

Here is our question and answer session with Lead Designer, Lead Programmer, Co-Creative Director of ARK: Survival Evolved, and Co-Founder of Studio Wildcard: Jeremy "Drake" Stieglitz!

Survivor Monics asks, “When it comes to game performance in general... The game has come a long way I believe, optimization wise... But still, is missing quite a bit. What are your plans moving forward regarding these specifics?”

A lot of server-side work in particular, more physics threading and more efficient networking. For clients, one of the biggest areas for potential improvement currently is faster rendering of large bases: using instanced meshes to render hundreds of structures in a single draw-call. After that, general profiling. DX12 is still of interest, but we need to do more analysis to make sure it’s a real benefit to players -- the gains were small last time we checked, and the drivers were unstable, though I imagine a lot has improved over the past year, so will be taking another look at it!

Survivor DangerPlayz asks, “Hey Jeremy! I play a lot of Single Player and am very happy with the changes you have made recently! However, can we please get an option to remove the engram points system and unlock all engrams at a certain level, when we reach said level. Thanks!”

Will do, easy enough.

Survivor Caseybear asks “Will the small CrossArk cluster servers be gaining access to Ragnarok and other future content? If so, any idea when?”

Aye, it should be added when we allocate more server machines at launch.

Survivor IGNWhyt asks, “Will you please address the issue where the game takes up 100+GB? Is this intended? Are there any plans on reducing the size?”

It’s intended. In essence, much of the content exists in two forms: seekfree (for fast-loading of the basic game), and non-seekfree for support of Mods and Total Conversion to use individual assets. That said, there is a strong argument the non-seekfree files necessary for Mods should be contained in an optional “Mod Support” DLC pack, and not part of the immediate base game. Will consider this in the days ahead.

Survivor RaifuForLaifu, asks “Can we get a damage reduction on The Dragon's fire breath pretty please with extra sprinkles on top? 25% feels a tad ridiculous. Thank you”

It shall be done!

Survivor Blackwolfe asks, “You earlier mentioned that you were reworking the kibble tree. Will this also affect the kibbles asked for when imprinting dinos? Beacuse kibble for imprinting I think is a large part of why people feel forced to have a lot of dinos (together with the kibbles needed
for taming).”


Yes, we have a tentative rework of the Kibble Tree that will be going live on the post-retail-launch “Experimental” branch for public feedback.

Survivor GamerPerfection asks, “Can you make the Tribe Logs record your Tames/Turrets kills? I find it frustrating not knowing what they've actually killed when i'm not around.”

It shall be done!

Survivor Mendoza asks, “Can we get Sun Glasses added to the game to help reduce glare?”

Yep.

Survivor iAmE asks, “Do you plan on hiring any additional support staff? I would figure any number would be nice, as you would seem to be going up from what appears to be zero (4-6 Month ticket turn arounds hurt this game an immense amount.”

Yeah, as we get into retail launch and beyond, more Support Staff is going to be needed and we’ll be getting that buffed in the coming weeks.

Survivor Touhma asks, “As A server Admin I want an option that can allow me to have a full customisation on Taming time / ressources Any chances to have this options :

* TamedDinoCharacterFoodDrainMultiplier -> To avoid the consumption of ressource after taming ( when foodDrain is up )
* WildDinoCharacterFoodDrainMultiplier -> To tweak the speed of taming whitout affect the tamed dinos ( when foodDrain is up and avoiding the effect on tamed dinos )
* WildDinoTorporDrainMultiplier -> To have a use of narcotics ( because of TamingEfficiency make narcotics almost useless en taming time is less than offi )
* PassiveTameIntervalMultiplier -> To adjust the interval between 2 feeding tentative for passive tame dinos ( because if the foorDrainMultiplier is greater than 2 the dino is dying when trying to tame it )

Why I want these changes: https://survivetheark.com/index.php?/forums/topic/225312-something-wrong-with-taming-settings-on-custom-server/“


Those are good, and we’ll get it done!

Survivor CottonCandy asks, “1) Is there any chance we'll see an option to enable NVIDIA Ansel on servers that don't care about people using it to cheat, etc?”

Yeah, we’ll just add the capability to use Ansel if you’re an admin :-P

Survivor PaladinKong asks, “Will those who have the game now in early access be able to get the physical items that come with the collectors edition, like the dossier book, without having to buy another copy of the game?”

The company that manufactures & distributes the Collector’s Editions (which is not us directly) has told us that when they sell out, they can manufacture more that are CE-only (and thus cheaper) without the game included. I think we’re close to selling out, so we’ll bug them about it now.

Survivor johnm81 asks, “Prim+ players have been told that load times for pc version can't be addressed till after alpha. Now that alpha is over what are the plans to lower the 5-15min load times for this total conversion?”

Yep, we need to do give it a proper Seekfree cook which would then have the same load times as the base game. We’ll do so soon. The problem is that it has to then be updated (recooked) more often as well, but I think we can handle it. We may also provide Dev Kit authors with the option to do a (large but super-fast-loading) Seekfree cook.

Survivor legendaryc4 asks, “can console players get the option to hold back the left stick to slow flyers down? Very big here for me as building high up can be a pain.”

Yes, we’ll add this. Been on the todo list for a while but darn the limited buttons available on gamepad. What you suggest seems like a good way to go with it.

Survivor Lowly asks, “Can we get some sort of flame retardant suite, firefighter suite, racing driver type flame retardant suite, to fit into the modern technology side of scorched earth”

Yes, Bio/Hazard Suit is incoming.

Survivor Dustiest-Ninja asks, “On a scale of 1-Incredible Hulk how much did dealing with the PhysX Engine for the tek ATV-jeeps make you rage?”

It was… interesting. In all fairness, we actually had to modify the lowest-level PhysX code in order to make it work halfway-decently :-P I hope to do more with that soon.

Survivor Syntac asks, “Will you guys ever implement the Hive, the creature in the dev kit that looks like a giant beetle?”

After the Phoenix ;)

Survivor Gelantious asks, “Any news related to Vulkan? Still having hopes you guys will move over to it and ditch the idea of dx12, since it would help Linux users as well and all windows users, not just the windows 10 players.”

Unreal 4’s own official Vulkan integration was only like half-functional when I last reviewed it a few months ago. I’ll take a look shortly to see if it’s farther along. Once Epic has got it going fully well (fully matching the functionality and pipeline of DX11 & Shader Model 5), I’d like to try to incorporate it into ARK.

Survivor tolle79 asks” lets be serious the question of all quetions is why doesnt the doedicurus gather berries? Like how does it survive in the wild?”

It ought to gather berries! :-P

Survivor LordMaxilos asks, “TEK: Is there any chance that some sort of TEK Bow will be introduced to the game? As well as a TEK Arrow who will split up into three when you shoot it or something?”

Tek Bow isn’t a question of “if”, just a question of “when”!

Survivor Redstorm8616 asks, “Growable Cactus Sap?”

Hmm, could be fun. <*Ouch, prickly!*> In all seriousness, we should totally do it and will. Would be fun to have more growable crops.

Survivor mleii asks, “Can we get some videos showing what the Xbox One X will look like in game?”

Soon -- the Xbox One X runs at 1440p 30 FPS using “PC High” settings, or 60 FPS 1080p using “PC Medium” settings (we’ll provide the Option for either High or Medium modes). Also because the Xbox One X has so much available RAM, ARK for Xbox One X has a new 4k texture pack (free DLC) and when the a non-dedicated multiplayer host is Xbox One X, the clients don’t have a distance-tether! It was shown behind-closed-doors on August 8 Xbox One X event at Microsoft, so I think we can take some video from that build.

The Great Migration!



We have some very important news for Survivors playing on our official servers. This coming Tuesday (August 22nd) we will be posting the list of servers that will be taken down on our launch day and re-purposed for the new servers, while all other existing servers become Legacy servers. For those who decide not to migrate, the saves for these servers will be uploaded and provided, which you can then download and use to host your own unofficial servers with all of your stuff intact.

Closer to release date we will also be communicating how these servers will be allocated, so you can prepare to take over a new server!

ARK: 3x Evolution Event Weekend!



Survivors across ALL Platforms will be receiving a special Evolution Event+++ perk this weekend! It's already live now and will remain active until Monday the 21st at 12PM EST. All Official Servers will be undergoing this evolutionary change which includes:

3x Harvesting Rate
3x Taming Rate
3x EXP Rate
3x Maturing
3x Hatching
3x Gestation
3x Faster Mating Interval Rates

Reminder: this 2x bonus is on top of the 2x rates that are now standard on our official servers!

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To read the rest of the Community Crunch this week, check out our announcement post on our official forums.[survivetheark.com]

Keep on surviving!



We're excited to say Ragnarok has received its first expansion and here's what the the development team behind the map had to say:



Ragnarok is expanding into the South West region of the map where it'll be opening up the playing field by adding a near 25% (the size of The Island) additional playable landmass including: large islands, lots of flat-lands to build, a new experimental free range Wyvern cove, temple ruins, a meteor crash site, underwater passages, as well as a mini Tasmania Australia as we call it.




This most recent update has been a challenge creativity-wise. Scorched Earth and The Island assets were never really meant to be placed side by side necessarily, so finding that balanced between the two has been rewarding. We really wanted to emphasize a change from the more tight-knit North West to a more open and accessible South West. Where, we could give ARK players a host of new wide open areas to conquer and explore, as well as the real estate to really drive those large creative builds.




With this update, we wanted to try something new, something different. Rather than just do another Wyvern trench in the South, we thought, why not mix it up and give the wyverns a domain to reign over, rather than crowd them in a trench. This drives a bit more uncertainty with the player's safety, as well as creating dangerous air traffic! Moving forward with Ragnarok development, players can expect two things: Us going back and adding some extra love and definition to the most recently released area as well as more resources, and us fixing any bugs that show up in the South West that we or any player may find in their adventures!





This major version update also included a number of awesome changes and fixes for v256:

- Tameable Titanoboas!
- New Server Option: Force Respawn of Wild Dinos on Server Restart! Enabled by default on official servers, this will force weekly respawns of dinos on all servers to prevent certain dino types (like the Basilo and Spino) from becoming depopulated on long running servers. (?ServerAutoForceRespawnWildDinosInterval=SECONDS). Note in some cases this may not work more than once, we may have solved the case but we're looking into it ;) .
- New Server Option: Tribe Size and Alliance Size Limits! The new tribe member limit is defaulted to 70 players and the new alliance per tribe limit is defaulted to 10 on official servers (MaxAlliancesPerTribe=# and MaxTribesPerAlliance=# in Game.ini). Note: Values may be off by 1 (looking into it!), so just pick your number and then add 1 to it.
- Platform Saddles are now limited to maximum 40 saddles per tribe. Each platform saddle (with structures) counts as 19 tribe tame slots (?PersonalTamedDinosSaddleStructureCost=19 & ?MaxPersonalTamedDinos=40).
- 1/4 sized Ragnarok map update (the "Southwest Update").
- Eggs no longer fall through structures during rendering.
- Baby ovis should no longer fall through structures after being born.
- Players can now escape being grappled by any enemy by using tools with blades to "cut" the line.
- Turrets now have a Players Only mode which targets players riding on dinos before targetting the dino.
- Crops can now be fertilized be pressing E on them instead of having to open the inventory.
- Hatching and Gestation progress bars now include countdown timers as well as percentages.
- The structure limit is now properly indicated to the player once the limit is reached.
- Containers/structure inventories now indicate how many slots are full without having to open them.
- Corrected spelling of Pulminoscorpius.
- Pump action shotgun pellets per shot increased from 10 to 12 (20% damage increase on full hit), initial spread decreased from 10 to 7.5, and max cone size at full range decreased from 100 to 75 degrees.
- Decreased the stun on humans from shocking tranq darts from 5 seconds to 2 seconds.
- Fixed 3 exploits used to get under the world map.
- When structures or tames are deleted due to the PVE timer expiring it is now properly communicated in the tribe log.
- Huge perf gains, may vary based on system configuration due to upgrading to the latest Unreal Rendering code. After changing your in game settings, be sure to restart your clients!

Introducing the Otter!



A new Dino Dossier has been revealed, this one is everyone’s favourite furry friend, the Otter!

Common name: Otter
Species: Lutra Peloso
Time: Early Miocene
Diet: Omnivore
Temperament: Friendly

Wild

Found along the Island’s many inland waterways, Lutra Peloso have become exceptionally adept at hunting and foraging. This species of Otter has to be particularly cunning because of its diminutive size, and fierce competition for its preferred food source: fish. It is not a creature that excels at combat, and would not naturally pose an intimidating threat to any predators.

Finding packs of river Otters is simple enough: They are distinguished by their elongated bodies, bushy tails, and webbed feet. Their trusting and inquisitive nature ensures they are often hunted for their lustrous fur, but many prefer to tame them to become trusted companions.

Domesticated

There are few creatures which provide the companionship that Lutra Peloso does. Rather than traveling beside you, it would prefer to comfortably rest on your back, providing insulation. Once domesticated, it can be told to harvest fish on demand, with a specific goal in mind from the fish that it consumes, the otter has a knack for foraging silica pearls, and can even yield a slight chance at finding black pearls within!

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For those of you living under the mesh and haven't been able to keep up with the news, ARK has entered its final stage of development towards Version 1.0 and will be Officially Launching on August the 29th 2017.

There has been a lot of questions regarding what will happen to the development of ARK. Whether there will be additional content added to the base game, in the vein of; new friends to tame, new engrams to learn, items to craft, QOL, gameplay, and optimisation improvements... the answer to all that is yes!

We will be continuing to work on the base game, as well as plans for future content in the form of free updates, and DLC (paid and free). Today we'd like to give you a bit of an early preview/tease of what you can expect for later this month on release (in addition to the mystery beyond the TEK cave).

As well as our otterly cute friend, we'll also be introducing some new TEK items:



- The TEK Sword, with a dash-charge attack as well as armor piercing capability!
- The TEK Shield, which can reflect incoming projectiles and bullets, and can completely stop splash damage!
- The TEK Light, that can be attached or picked up to and from any surface, and is self--powered by elemental shards or can be linked to generators!

Our latest Official Mod, Ragnarok, will be receiving a large update which is approximately the size of The Island. Players can expect to encounter new biomes such as a Coastal Wyvern Canyon, a Tropical Desert, Lowlands, Tasmania, several iconic beaches, a hidden temple, a new cave, an epic boss encounter and more! Here are a few screenshots of the upcoming areas:






Players will also be able to tame Titanoboas! We know you've been waiting a while for them and we feel confident with our latest optimisation work in adding them to the ARK. Their taming method will involve alluring these terrifying snakes with the fertilized eggs to feed on.

We are still planning on our mid-month update which will introduce our DDoS Mitigation for all Official Servers and address the duping exploit.

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ARK Digest 47!

Here is our question and answer session with Lead Designer, Lead Programmer, Co-Creative Director of ARK: Survival Evolved, and Co-Founder of Studio Wildcard: Jeremy "Drake" Stieglitz!

Survivor, Blackwolfe asks, “In my opinion, building is one of the important pillars of Ark and the building system is long overdue for some love. Do you have any plans to improve the building system in the near future? (like with improved snapping, triangle pieces like in s+, decorations etc).”
We’re investing the possibility of including Structures+ as an officially integrated feature -- beyond an Officially Supported Mod, directly into the core game itself. No promises yet though, it depends on how much of a clean implementation it proves to be.

Survivor Cynanic Ember asks:

Will the two upcoming Expansion Packs included in the Season Pass round out and complete Ark's story entirely, or is there a possibility for additional Expansions beyond those?

We’ll see how the next two Expansions go, and if there’s more interesting story to tell and survival mechanics to explore beyond that. I’m hopeful!

Has the TLC pass for Legacy dinos been scrapped or pushed back to post launch updates?
Post-Launch update. I will not be able to rest until those initial launch dinos get their due.

On that subject, will post-launch updates be in much the same format as pre-launch? Or will we have larger themed updates like "Farming and Flora Update"?
Same format as pre-launch, at least for the rest of this year. Namely, firefighting and individual feature updating. Next year, will probably settle into a groove of less frequent, bigger themes.

Will the Ice Wyvern ever get a distinct model, texture, and breath weapon instead of a re-skin?
Yes, at the end of August! And it will be transferable.

Will we be getting a more robust TEK Arsenal? The current TEK Rifle is the successor to the Assault Rifle, but what about a TEK Heavy Weapon like the rocket launcher (plasma cannon or railgun maybe?), or a sidearm, sniper rifle, or close-quarters weapon? (i.e Shotgun, not Tek Sword)
Yep, you will, stay tuned. I’m a big fan of ‘Eraser’!

Now that the game's full launch is approaching, will you be taking a look at any of the content that you originally wanted to implement, but was cut for various reasons? (Such as oil lanterns, primitive saddle mounted cannons, bean-bag ammo for shotguns, grapeshot for primitive cannon, etc...)
We plan to continue to add content post-launch, so I’m optimistic most if not all of these ideas will be realized in the months ahead.

Survivor Waterkeeper asks, “How's the kibble tree rework coming along?”
It’s nearly ready for public feedback, just trying to decide whether I want to put it out now or wait until the Experimental branch is live post-launch. Leaning towards Experimental branch to enable us to have more time to collect live feedback before it affects Officials, in case we don’t get some of the values right.

IGNWhyt asks, “Are there any plans to make a colorblind-friendly mode? It's 2017, as such its not a new concept game wise. Or at the very least make supply drops different colors (red/green and blue/purple) if you can?”
Yes, we will deal with this in the coming months, before the end of October. It’s important!

Scrysis asks, “Is Primal Ark still being developed? You know, the total conversion that allows players to play as the dinos?”
The team working on it had to put it on the backburner to help with completing our UWP and multiplatform launch goals (along with infrastructure improvements). We hope to return to it post-launch.

xKingPheonix asks, “Is the phoenix permanently scrapped or will you guys add it to another dlc?”
It’ll be added into Scorched Earth on August 29, as a thank-you for everyone making that Expansion such a success. We really do appreciate it!

Steyoung89 asks, “Where do you stand with the Windows 10 version of the game?”
It’s nearly ready -- with Crossplay and Windows-hosted Dedicated Server and cross-buy and cross-platform transfer of data etc -- and it should release on August 29 or near that (depending on whether Microsoft can certify it for launch quickly enough!).

ColossuS asks, “Extinction Servers have been dead for a very long time now and I have seen countless posts and tweets asking for the map to be reverted back to The Island; will this ever happen?“
Yep, we’ll likely make that change on the August 29 new-launch.

Stonefather asks “Will insects ever become breedable? I feel like they are outclassed by other creatures and being able to raise your own would help bring them closer in line with other creatures.”
Not by us, their lifecycles are too different from animals so it’d be difficult to represent without a major amount of effort for each individual insect.

Oakwind asks “When are we getting the Phiomia bacon we were promised?!?!”
Dino TLC pass, this year.

Lewiatan asks “Do you plan to make AI overhaul before or after premiere? What will AI overhaul contain?
Among other things, during the Dino TLC pass, for example, we plan to make various creatures biased towards being nocturnal or diurnal. So that, unless they are perturbed, you’d actually see them sleeping and recovering their vital stats during that time. This will provide more incentive for travel at a specific time of day or night, depending on where you’re going.

Survivor, SirMatthew asks “We will ever get banner/flag fixed in saddles, similar to the Tribe Flag from Survival of the Fittest?”
Very possible, just haven’t got around to it yet.

Sponsored Mod Program Update!

Here's what Cedric had to say:

We are excited to announce some new changes to the Sponsored Mod Program for the month of August. It’s mind blowing seeing what our sponsored modders have accomplished in such a short time. As the program develops and the mods mature, we’ll be looking to see if any more mods have potential for a console release.

We are adding two new mods to the program this month. Keep in mind that originality and creativity is the way to get a mod sponsored. The two mods we are adding this month are two mods that are still early in development stages, but show lots of potential. Without further ado!

Dragonpunk: Tribe of Gods



Everyone here is really excited for what this Total Conversion will bring to gameplay. At the moment, this Total Conversion is split into several different mods, but there are plans to make it a one-stop shop. They are aiming to redefine the way ARK. Be sure to check out their website[www.tribeofgods.com] for more information!



In the meantime, you can check out the Mythical Creatures for a little preview of what’s to come, plus they’ll be dropping a new magic mod later this month!

Call of the Wild



I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see new game modes being developed. Survival of the Fittest was originally a mod that was created in the dev kit. Call of the Wild summons a wave of creatures at a location you choose that are there for your blood. It reminds me of some of the popular wave-based game modes that are still popular in games today.

Right now, the sole focus is getting the mod stable, but I know there are some grand plans for this mod in the future.

That’s it for this month! Be sure to check out the mods steam workshop pages for information on social media. Most of the modders in the program are active on social media and will post a sneak peek of what’s to come.

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To read the rest of the Community Crunch this week, check out our announcement post on our official forums.[survivetheark.com]

Keep on surviving!