It runs, it looks good, but unfortunately we came across some driver issues that we can’t entirely tackle ourselves :(. We’ve reached out to both NVIDIA and AMD and will be working with them to get it resolved as soon as possible! Once that’s tackled, we’ll be needing to do more solid testing across a range of hardware with the new fixes. It’s disappointing to us too and we’re sorry for the delay, but we wouldn’t want to release ARK DX12 without the care it still needs at this point. Hang in there, and when it’s ready for public consumption, it should be worth the wait!
Will the game be limited to 30 FPS?
No! Build as big and mean a rig as you want and pump out as much fps as you want!
Will this game ever have a Pay 2 Win feature?
There will never, ever be any monetization of this game whatsoever other than possible entirely new Expansion ARK’s (whole new worlds as expansion pack). There will never be any pay items, not even cosmetics — there WILL be tons of cosmetic “item skins” but they will all be earnable in-game rewards and time-limited free events to encourage gameplay, nothing ever to spend any $$$ on. The term Loot Crate simply was employed to denote high-value item cache. To be clear, we at Studio Wildcard are very much against any in-game monetization whatsoever. We’ve seen it distort too many otherwise good games.
How many characters can we have?
One per server.
What languages will be available at full release?
We plan to have English, French, German, Italian and Spanish available for full release. Anything else, we’ll need to see.
Will there be a FOV slider?
Yes, you’ll be able to slide between a 70 – 110 range.
Does ARK: Survival Evolved support SLI?
Currently with DX11, SLI is not supported – however when DX12 rolls around, it will be.
Will the game support gamepads?
Yes, the EA launch will have gamepad support.
Can you turn off Motion Blur?
Yes you can.
Does the game have a Multi-player mode?
The game is both online Multi-player (with persistent official and custom player-hosted servers), and with a Local Single-player option as well.
Who composed the music?
The composer is Gareth Coker, who also composed the music for “Ori and the Blind Forest” send him a shout out on twitter @garethcoker!
How much will the game cost and will there be a price difference between Early Access and the full release?
We haven’t decided on the full release price yet, however it will not be as cheap as Early Access.
Will the game have VR support?
Early Access has Oculus Rift VR support (and game-pad controls)! Beware, flying a pterodactyl with VR headset on may induce extreme fear of heights! (it certainly does Drake!)
Will there be a tutorial?
That’s definitely an area of further work we’ll be doing post Early Access to flesh that out.
Will you guys support streamers and Youtubers when the game is released?
Of course, we’d welcome any and all YouTube videos and streams you want to make of the game. Anything you want to do, have at it.
How often do you plan to update the game during Early Access?
Approximately once every two days. No kidding around!
Are there any benefits to participating in Early Access?
Well.. apart from seeing the game grow we can say that Early Access purchasers on Steam will get some exclusive in-game goodies that we’ll be unveiling in the weeks ahead. Some nifty things to be proud of.
Technology – How far do you guys plan to go?
There will be a sci-fi tech tier with some pretty crazy stuff, and that aspect of the game becomes ever more prevalent towards the end-game, but we’ll leave revealing more about that ’till a little down the road.
Game Optimization + Specs
It doesn’t require a top-tier video card but it does require 4 GB system RAM currently. However, if you have a mid-to-low graphics card you will definitely have to reduce graphics to make the game not look as good as it can be. But yeah it has a TON of configurable video options so you can pretty much get it to run on any video card down to like a $100 budget card.
That said, we plan to optimize, optimize, optimize as we head through Early Access. You can never be too optimized, and we’re quite good at that.
For Max settings at 1080p, I’d recommend a GeForce 980 or equivalent graphics card. 3.0 Ghz CPU and 8 GB system RAM.
For Min settings at 720p, I’d recommend any DirectX 11 compatible graphics card with at least 1 GB video memory, 4 GB system RAM, and a 2.5 Ghz CPU.
Can you tell us more about the VR?
The DK2 implementation supports full range of motion freelook using all the sensors. Leaning in and using 3D virtual space to line up that arrow shot just right is suuuuuuper satisfying, especially when it results in a Dilophosaurus headshot, makes you feel like a real archery expert.
How will we report bugs?
Game related Questions
Will there be more extensive character customization?
Yes, you will be able to successfully change your gender, as well as: skin color, eye color, hair color, body and face proportions (about 30 different sliders), and character name (different than your Steam profile name). Also you can dye all clothing items (if you craft the appropriate colored dyes from a variety of seeds in a cooking pot), and some clothing items have optional visual skins that you can apply.
Can survivors climb trees and build upon them?
You can’t currently climb trees, but that’s an interesting idea that we’ll consider as we progress. You can’t directly make treehouses, but by building upwards with ladders you can make structures that are effectively nestled high in the trees.
How many creatures can we expect to see?
About 30 unique creature types (Dinos and other extinct creatures) at Early Access launch, and beyond that rapidly expanding up to 70+ for our full release. Dinos are the main draw for the game, however ARK itself is actually composed of a range of extinct creatures from all era.
And there are far more non-dino extinct creatures both already in the game and being planned. More of them will be revealed with their own dossiers in the days ahead. We love dinosaurs, but we also love all sorts of extinct creatures and are intending to represent just about every major kind of extinct creature as the development continues!
As of now you do not spawn with any items, however you do have the Engram for crafting a Primitive Stone Pickaxe. You’ll find that gathering the initial materials is fairly simple, as you can pick up stone and punch trees for materials. It won’t take you long to craft the pickaxe!
Is there anything you are looking at to make this game more enjoyable for the single-player community and smaller groups?
Indeed one of our design priorities has been to provide more single-player or cooperative oriented goals for the game, such as an actual story expressed through in-game artifacts and quest items, character progression, bosses, dungeon-like challenges, and a definitive end-game (along with a rinse-repeat cycle so that the game can keep going as long as you want it to). We believe this will help provide more focus and player incentive than many survival games.
How large is the Ark?
Regarding the size of the ARK, it’s currently approximately 36 square kilometers of walk-able land mass. There’s also about 12 square kilometers of ocean, and of course that’s just 2 dimensional measurement. There are very tall mountains that rise above the cloud layer, and oceans are quite deep with major underwater reefs, and there’s a massive underground cave system that adds about 50% more traversable area to the ARK. The caves themselves are akin to dungeons in many ways, so while they can be inhabited by players, they are not easy places to survive long-term…
As for other ARKs, currently they are just copies of the same ARK with different statistical variation of resources and creatures to make it easier or more difficult. But as we proceed past Early Access, we intend both to introduce new ARK physical layouts and also add the procedurally-generated world feature. And of course there will be player-created Steam Workshop ARKs!
How does raiding work in Ark?
On a live server, you can indeed be raided when you’re offline. However the game has a few factors to mitigate this: Your pets can be set to help defend your base with various adjustable AI settings, and some pets can be very effective for this purpose depending on the species. At the later technology stages, you can build electrically-powered automated turrets. When you die in the game you will not lose everything, as your player character statistics and engrams (memorized blueprints) are retained after respawn.
What can you tell us about building?
You place a floor, then snap walls, doorframes, doors, ceilings, other floors, etc. At the moment, things are a bit gridlike, but we’ll be updating that as we continue development of the game. You can make a thatch building, then upgrade it piece-by-piece with wood sections (I’d advise upgrading your walls first) if you’d like. No need to start a new building. Also, can we design the floor/foundation size and shape or it comes pre-designed? It comes designed as square units of a fairly small size — with that you just snap the square units together to make larger shapes. You can also build pillars, etc, to reinforce your building via the structural integrity system.
What can you tell us about Resources?
They’ll be fairly spread out, possibly with the exception of a few. To expand on this, some resources can only be found in specific areas like the mountains, caves, or underwater zones. After they’re gathered they will respawn after a period of time.
How do beds and sleeping bags work?
Sleeping bags and beds are your in-game respawn points (if you have none, then you get a random point on the beach in your character’s region). Sleeping bags are one-time-use and are locked to your specific character, and you can pick them up to move them. Beds are re-usable and are shared by your entire Tribe, but you can’t pick the up to move them after placing. And yeah they have a cooldown timer indeed!
How do you tame a creature?
To tame a creature, you need to knock it out using a variety of possible methods such as blunt trauma to the head, tranquilizer, or certain other weapons (effectiveness of the various methods varies by creature). Then once it’s in a torpor state, you need to feet it food that is appropriate for its kind of creature carnivore/herbivore and also some creatures have more specialized food preferences. After enough food to restore it to health, it’ll awake as a tamed creature.
However this is easier said than done, because while it is in torpor, its torpor status is decreasing and it may wake up too early — and there are various methods you can use to keep it unconscious long enough to become tamed. Also you may have to be watchful of other predators while you’re undergoing the taming process. The higher-level the creature is (and they do indeed have area-randomized levels), the tougher it is to tame. And the better job you do at taming it (less food utilized), the higher its resulting statistics after being tamed.
How will Pet customization work?
You can’t change the skin color of your pet, that’s determined by its genetics (i.e. random but also influenced by its natural level that you found the creature at, as well as its gender). So if you see a particularly cool looking Dino in the wild, you’ll want to get it before it escapes!However, you can name the pet after you tame it, as well as level it up however you want. And yes there are cosmetics you can apply to the Pet, currently just choice of saddle which can be painted, and will have various aesthetic variations, as well as dino warpainting. Just grab a brush and some dyes, and swipe the brush on your dino to paint to your hearts content.
I noticed Boss-type monsters in the trailer, are they tameable too?
It won’t be available during Early Access however beyond that… we’ll see.
Do tamed creatures suffer perma-death?
Yes, Pets suffer perma-death if killed on the ARK. However we will have a feature in the game so that Pets can be digitized out of the ARK to transfer their data from online play, to local play. This can only be done at an Obelisk transmission point.
Do Dinosaurs hunt and interact with each other?
Yes, they do hunt and feed on each other — according to a fairly complex predator-prey dominance hierarchy as well. For example, the Rex will favor attacking herbivores of a certain size, but will tend to ignore very small herbivores that aren’t worth his time, and he will also attack weaker carnivores but only if there are no better targets around, etc.
Herbivores, depending on their temperament, may defend or flee depending on their specific dispositions and their health status, and they may also come to the aid of allies of the same species, and especially their mates (yes most of the creatures have genders and it is very beneficial to have a tamed dino of each gender nearby, they will become mate-boosted).
So as you travel through the ARK, you’ll often see ongoing NPC battles play out… and you can use this to your hunting advantage!
How else do pets interact with survivors?
They have various AI states you can alter on each Pet such as:
Passive: won’t ever attack anything
Neutral: will attack anything that attacks it
Aggressive: Will attack anything not allied within sight range
You can also use a ranged whistle to tell a specific dino or a whole group of dinos to follow you or another character/dino, stop, or attack. Based on their AI state, they’ll also defend each other, nearby allies/structures, etc.
Can you give us a general idea about the PvP in ARK and is there an effective way to fight back?
PvPvE is definitely a challenge, but there are factors in the game that should make it a little easier for players to handle/avoid other hostile players. Specifically, you can choose a region to respawn in to help team up with your friends, and also the capability to tame creatures/dinos makes it a little easier to escape a combat situation if you have the right mount. Also, while physical items remain on your corpse when killed, your memory “engram” character progression and character statistics stay with you upon respawn.
What is Ascension?
It involves beating all the bosses, going into the volcano, completing an uber-hard dungeon and travelling through a stargate, beating a final fourth boss and discovering the true nature of the ARK, sacrificing your character and resurrecting as a new character containing a soul cube with a progressively level cap (and if done again, taking on bosses that are scaled even more difficult and have some changes each time). That about cover it? 😉
Can we build Underwater at Early Access launch?
Underwater base building will be partially in at Early Access launch: you won’t be able to build vacuum sealed underwater bases, but you will be able to build in underwater air pockets that are like mini-caves embedded in reefs along the ocean floor. However, building out the technology tier that will include vacuum sealed structures is a post-Early Access priority.
I saw guns in the trailer! Are they easy to obtain?
They can be found in loot crates but also crafted from blueprint items, or engrams that you learn via skill progression. Depending on the weapon it may require many kinds of components that also need to be crafted, rather than just raw materials. There’s also a weapon attachment system so you can add scopes, sights, flashlights, and other accessories onto a gun. As for how many… too many to easily list off the top of my head but we got all the obvious types covered already (i.e. sniper rifle, machine gun, pistols, shotgun, rocket launcher, grenades, tripwire explosives, remote det c4’s, among other weapons) and will continue to expand.
Can you tell us more about the Vehicles?
That’s still in the conceptual phases for post Early Access, but we’re thinking of jeeps, boats, and helicopters to begin with. We do have rafts in the game currently.
Can you tell us more about Sleeping/Unconsciousness?
When you log off your character, or if you suffer serious trauma, or eat the wrong thing, your body becomes unconscious. This will allow other Survivors to interact with you. They can steal your items, kill you, and even feed you! But there’s something else you can do in ARK… you can drag their ragdoll sleeping body around… move it to wherever you want… even move it into a prison cell and enslave it (or just put it in a very dangerous position for when it awakes)… you can force-feed an unconscious person food & water to keep them alive…. and by enslaving, we mean: you can physically confine them and keep them alive indefinitely if you maintain their health. You can then do such useful things as extracting blood from them to create transfusion items, or using their poop as fertilizer, etc.
Something to also keep in mind is that when you’re logged-out, you don’t lose water/food status. However, if you’re logged-in, you do. So if someone is logged-in and is trying to starve or dehydrate themselves to death, you can force-feed them food to keep them alive in your prison.
Is there a suicide key?
Right now there is not a suicide key, however there are other means you can use to kill yourself – such as starving to death, eating your poop until you die, jumping off a high-cliff, punching a wall or a tree. Though if you’re being held captive, there’s a high chance that you’ll be drugged continuously, so finding an opportunity to do these things can prove difficult. We are considering an option of having a suicide key added to each weapon, turning the gun on yourself for instance. However this won’t be in Early Access and it’s just a thought for now.
How can I find my friends in game?
There will be a number of tools available to you to help look for your friends, one of the early items you’re able to craft is a Flare Gun which is incredibly useful. Also when you create your Survivor on a server, you get to choose a default map-area respawn region, and by choosing the same region as your real life friend, you’ll spawn-in pretty close by… after that, it’s all about crafting sleeping bags and beds in a little house together!
Are Survivors able to host their own dedicated server?
Absolutely, the Early Access game ships with dedicated server EXE so you can host your own custom server. You can modify the configuration to affect lots of variables such as NPC difficulty scaling, Player vs Player enabling, weather patterns, whether voice or text chat is proximity localized or global, and many other factors. Furthermore, you can host custom maps as well from the Steam Workshop.
We can’t guarantee that unofficial servers aren’t hacked/modified however, so we also will be launching with our own official server network that guarantees item security. But yeah, the game is being designed first and foremost for player-driven customization.
It also has an offline single-player mode.
How does travelling between servers work?
Data download to and from Official Servers is currently not allowed, due to the potential for hacking. This keeps the Official Server network “clean” of any external potentially hacked data. Unofficial Servers have the option of enabling data downloads (default is enabled), which is between unofficial servers, or data from offline play. Note you can always upload data from ANY server (official or unofficial) for use in offline play. Because that’s just for you!
So yes a mod server could enable easy progression, but then it’s just for your own benefit really, and if an unofficial server wants to be 100% “clean” without possibility for hacked data, they can prevent data downloads.
Hackers and how will they be dealt with?
The server is written to be 100% authoritative about the state of the world, meaning it doesn’t trust the client with anything. The client only sends key input to the server, and the server determines all outcomes. This makes the game difficult, or potentially essentially impossible, to hack. The downside is that the server is much more resource intensive because it is doing all calculations for all clients — but for a serious hardcore online game it is the only way. That said, aimbots and local graphics hacks could still be a concern, and for that we have employed VAC and also the capability for server hosts to perma-ban players by Steam ID.
That said, the game should be less hackable than some of the other survival genre games because the server is 100% authoritative about everything in the world, including player movement and attacks.
It’s difficult, because for the most part, unless you’ve worked on games, or at least worked inside of a client+server architecture, the words “server-authoritative” are meaningless to you; it’s even still a bit esoteric when you hear “the client just inputs commands to the server”, or “the server just replays the movements and sends them to the client”, because people don’t really understand the consequences of this kind of architecture.
Essentially, the way our game is structured, is such that your client, the thing you use to play the game, anything you input from your computer has to talk to our server, and our server serves as a referee.
We set the rules, of course, on our server. On games like Rust, H1Z1, etc, they have their server “trust” the client with some things. For instance, it may trust the client to tell it where your character’s position is in the world, or what direction your character is facing. It might “trust” the client to tell it how fast your character is moving, or it might “trust” the client to tell it when damage is taken.
This architecture (Client+Server authoritative) makes it possible for hackers to “lie” to the server, because the server trust the client. So the hacker can make the client tell the server “I did not take damage” any time that the player takes damage, and so the server “trusts” the client, and just accepts that the player did not take damage, even if they did.
With a server authoritative architecture (the kind we use), we do not trust the client about ANYTHING. The client does not get to say if you took damage, or how fast you are moving, or what direction your character is facing, etc. The client can only send your inputs to the server, so if you say “I’m flying”, the server does not trust you, so you simply cannot fly. If you say “I did not take damage!” the server does not trust you, so you will still take damage. All of this information is calculated on the server, which is under our control (at least on official servers.)
When you press “W”, though, the server gets a notification that you pressed “W” and then goes ahead and moves your character in the way that pressing “W” would move your character, and then tells your client that you moved in a specific way.
If you tell the server that you just fired your gun, and your target was someone who was behind you, the server will know that that action was impossible, and will simply ignore your impossible action. After all, the client is not to be trusted, so if the client SAYS it did something, but the server disagrees, the server is always right. Always.
So, after we’ve established that nobody can convince the server to do anything that’s impossible inside the game (such as flying, or shooting people through walls, or shooting them from a million miles away, or preventing fall damage, etc.) we’ve got to acknowledge that there are hacks that can directly target your software: Aim bots, edits that remove trees/bushes/walls/etc. The effect of these can be mitigated by the server-authoritative architecture (such that, for instance, if someone shoots at you from across the map while you are in the jungle, and they can see you, they still can’t actually stop the trees that would be in the way from existing (server says they exist, server is always right.) so their bullet will be calculated by the server as having hit a tree, and that’s that.
But we have VAC! And VAC is extremely good at catching people who use these software-based hacks. These kinds of hacks, while impossible to prevent in an active way, can be dealt with passively (with bans by VAC and by server admins, and us!).
So, these two things together will make it very difficult for people to gain any substantial advantage through hacking.
Naturally, we’ll be keeping an eye on this, and encourage users in Early Access to not just attempt to hack our game, but to tell us if they succeed, and to reveal their methods so that we can patch anything that might come up or be possible to prevent on our end. We’ll probably offer bounties or other such encouragement to get people who enjoy hacking who decide to come to us with their methods, as well.
Hope that helps.
– The Right Hand
Other questions from Survivors
What are your plans for the community as a whole?
We have several ideas in mind to help foster more of a cooperation-oriented community, though of course we’ll have to see how they play out in practice and adjust accordingly:
#1. The nature of ARK has more traditional RPG elements (such as statistical loot drops, levelling, raids, and bosses) which encourages partying and cooperation to successfully accomplish.
#2. There are actual long-term game-play goals that involve things other than killing players, which in many other survival games ends up being one of the only long-form things to do after a while. In ARK, there’s a definitive end-game that can be pursued by advanced players should they wish to take on the challenge. This gives an… alternative… channel to vent such violent intentions, and as will be unveiled the nature of the end-game further will encourage ARK-wide cooperation.
#3. Having local play (with the capability to transition your local progress to online play and vice versa) and straightforward player-hosted servers (including blacklist and white-list support) right off the bat makes it easier for players to join a like-minded server or make progress alone, rather than being limited to a set of official or large-scale unofficial servers.
We may need more systems, such as formal bounties (the Early Access version has a rudimentary bounty system but it’s partially informal) and reputation aspects, but we’ll see how things go over time. Regarding overall philosophy, we do intend to try to foster more cooperation than some other survival genre titles, both from a design and a community interaction standpoints.
Hope that helps give an initial indication of where we plan to go and some of the ways we’re designing ARK to be different than other survival games!
Are you going to take Early Access seriously?
We respect Early Access too and take it very, very seriously!
Everything we have listed on the Features list is in the game and will be available at Early Access, but of course we intend to do a lot of polish and iteration through Early Access in addition to continually expanding the Feature set as well.
But yeah, beyond simply hitting the feature bullet points, it’s our priority that the game you play on Day 1 Early Access is a damn fun, polished, solid-as-heck experience that is only going to get ever greater. How do we make it happen? work work work work work work work
We know that the track record on Early Access games in general and Early Access Dinosaur games in particular isn’t good. Actually we have a little something in the works to make the wound of the Stomping Land a little easier for players who were let down by it, but more details on that a little later…
We are set on being one of those Early Access exceptions, one of the teams that does it right. The developers behind ARK actually have quite a bit of veteran experience creating various well-known titles, so we’re 100% aware of what we’re getting into and fanatically committed to taking this all the way to the promised land… that would be, the land before time.
Have you considered following Rust’s approach to communication with it’s player-base?
Rust’s consistent and daily community updates is an approach we intend to take as well. When players are engaged in Early Access, the developer really has an obligation in my view to keep the players constantly informed & involved in the development process, and the game also becomes better as a result.
How much research have you done into pre-historic species?
As for the research, basically reading a bunch of general audience books and online articles, along with having friends and family who are in the biological sciences fields. We’ve taken creative liberties in a few places for game-play reasons, but have an in-world context for why these species may have evolved slightly from their historical counterparts, and indeed where there is such a discrepancy we call that out via the in-game dossiers that you collect.
So while I wouldn’t run a college paleontology course off the basis of this game, a general audience player can definitely learn a thing or two by reading all the dossiers and seeing how those aspects are represented within the game itself
What sort of experience does the team have?
Various members of the team have veteran experience in the industry and some of the titles they have worked on include the Uncharted series, Primal Carnage and much more!
What settings and platform was the trailer made on?
Windows, Max settings, 1080p, GeForce 980 GTX.
Will you guys support roleplaying?
Yes, absolutely! It’ll be something we encourage with the modding community too. Here are some thoughts in regards to it:
I just want you guys to know that as a writer, roleplayer, and avid lover of DnD, every opportunity I can to get you guys tools that will make it more possible to weave a fiction inside our world, I will push for. I can’t promise the world, but I can promise that there are multiple people on the dev team (myself especially) who can’t wait to see what the players bring out in our game
– The Right Hand
FYI I want to note that as we proceed it is very important for us to support RP in the game! Whatever options and settings and mod functionality we can expose over time to encourage RP, the better. While some players are just gonna be in it for the sheer core gameplay experience, a lot of people are looking to create their own immersive Dinotopia and whatever we can do to facilitate that based on feedback from the community, we’re gonna try to do.