Welcome to the ninth issue of the ARK Digest! For those who missed the previous issues, check out the Announcement forum section on the Steam Community Hub and be sure to catch up with what you’ve missed as there is tons for you to catch up on!
ARK Survival Evolved Dev Kit update!
Earlier this week we were pleased to announce our partnership with Epic Games to bring the full power of the Unreal Engine 4’s tools and development resources to the ARK: Survival Evolved modding community, with our very own and one of the first custom mod editors!
We’re very excited to work alongside them and take ARK as far as possible in the modding scene, introducing new features and as much capability for all our budding modders as possible! The team over at Epic Games have kindly set us up with our own message boards there completely related to all things ARK-Modding related! You should definitely check it out; Unreal Engine ARK Modding forum!
Tomorrow, Thursday the 9th of July at 11 a.m PT / 2 p.m ET, We’ll be hosting a livestream alongside our lovely friends over at Epic on www.twitch.tv/UnrealEngine to walk the community through the ARK modding process. If you want to get more details, you can find them available here.
You’ve asked for them and they’re ready! These are Official Servers setup to contain ARK in a truly natural primitive form! You still have access to saddles and some metal tools, however that’s as far as it goes in terms of technology. Survivors are tasked to live in a world with no electricity, no guns and only making use of the most basic of weapons! We’ve got a whole bunch up including PvE, Hardcore and the vanilla PvP servers! If they continue to be a success then we’ll look into getting some more up as well as improving this game mode! Enjoy everyone, and good luck surviving!
Your Questions, Our Answers!
Survivor, Ronald asks, “When do the dinosaurs in the dino dossiers actually get released?”
All of our current released-dossiers (plus more to come) will be released this year, we’ve got a goal to release one dinosaur every One and a half to two weeks sometimes we’ll try a little faster if we can! When we get our trello setup, we’ll definitely include a card dedicated to all the upcoming Dinosaurs and when they are due to be released in game!
Survivor, dani485b asks, “Any plans on lifts / elevators both primitive(rope and carrier) and modern(electric) that can lift humans and dino’s 60 pillar up or more?”
Yup! We understand that transporting your Dinosaur can be quite tricky so we’ve got a lift/elevation system on our to-do list! That’ll help with your transportation needs, and hopefully will lead to even cooler bases!
Survivor, [CraK] R4ziel asks, “It would be great to see a bigger cooking device now that the fridges are getting a buff, I know you guys have confirmed were getting something, could you elaborate on loose timelines perhaps?”
I hope you’re fond of outdoor barbeques R4ziel! As we’re cooking up (hehe) something pretty cool. Later this week you guys can expect to see a new item and engram coming to the game! It’ll be an industrial grill which will allow you to cook meat at a much larger-scale and quicker pace.
Survivor, Felwyk asks, “Any plans for multi-seat saddles? How about boats?”
Right now there aren’t any plans for a multi-seat saddle, however we will have those grand ‘walkable’ saddles. We spoke about them in a previous digest, they’ll be big enough for players to partially build on, and can definitely hold a large number of survivors who just want to tag along for the ride. Something that you can also take advantage of is a large dinosaur’s body itself, just hop onto the Dinosaur that you’d like to ride with a buddy and dismount. Now as long as you can steady your balance, you’ll be able to ride on it’s head, neck, body or tailing, assuming it’s large enough! Though be careful as it can be quite rocky and if you fall off, could be a disastrous trip.
As for boats, you can expect to see them this summer! This is something we’ve been planning and working on for a while and we think we’ve got a good idea for their place in the game. We’ll be starting off with rafts and from there we’ll see how to progress!
Survivor, [Pyou] Mr Gob asks, “Are you going to improve the aquatic part of the game?”
Definitely! The ARK is a giant continental island surrounding by a vast ocean and other isles. The aquatic part of the game plays a very important part and definitely has a role in ARK. You will see it improve and change over the course of the early access period in the form of an expanded Ocean that leads to other smaller Islands further out, along with more Ocean-specific resources and aquatic cave entrances and creatures!
Survivor, Frost2090 asks, “For breeding again, are there plans for possibly breeding spacifically for mixing colors by using parent coloring?”
Yup! This is something we briefly hinted at in another Digest where we spoke about the genetics of an animal. When breeding you can definitely expect the colours to blend (..among other things!)
Survivor, Frost2090 also asks, “When can we start to see big biome changes, such as variety of biome specific plants or even new biomes? (cant wait for snow…)”
Very soon actually! You guys can expect our first new biome this month! It’ll be the Swamp biome and along with it will come various new plants and creatures specific to this area of the ARK. After that we’ll begin work on finalizing our snow Biome which we hope to release during August, which will also come with various plants and creatures, and then…. 😉
We’re also going to be releasing a new development-related feature fairly soon, we’ll see how often we can do these, but it’ll include various screenshots, previews, information and possibly even concept art regarding the new biomes and upcoming features! More on that later though 🙂
Survivor, meganoobmind asks “When will we see the Trello for Ark as you guys promised to launch on during EA launch?”
Apologies about the delay on this! We plan to release the public Trello before the end of July. We want to make sure we have our initial roadmap solidly in place to present to you at the launch, so that it’s pretty accurate to where we currently are, where we are immediately headed, and what our longer-term vision of the ARK is!
Survivor, Shadow asks, “”Do you guys plan on releasing more optimizations?”
Every week! It’s still a main priority for us and will always remain so throughout this EA period. This week our main focus will be on server-side optimization, which will help deal with some of those pesky issues such as Dinosaurs who enjoy spending more time in the air dead than alive, as well as loading time improvement, and then back on client CPU and GPU optimization. We’re actually currently testing some loading changes on some of the live-servers to see how the results fair, to both tackle an issue as well as improve and help with the times and rubberbanding!
Survivor, Grego asks, “Will we be able to use weapons riding a dino? It would be awesome using a bow on a Ptero.”
This is something we’re considering and conceptualizing internally, we’re not completely sure on this yet however we would like it to work. At the very least, the new platform-saddles will enable people standing on them to use weaponry quite effectively, as well as place turrets or other stationary battle tools. Something that does work currently is stabilizing yourself on a creature, if it’s large enough you’ll be able to balance on it’s head, body or tail and use your weapons from there, it’s a little tricky but will definitely work. Also don’t forget that our flyers are able to pick people up and have them use weapons from the air!
Survivor, Ditchy69 asks, “Making it tougher for ‘Offline Raiders’ to strip your base clean while you’re asleep/ or at least having a ‘while you were away’ log to identify those who attacked and destroyed what (incl tribe name)?”
Yes! In several ways. We’ve created a form of primitive automated turret (and yes, we do have an explanation for how this can be done :p), as well as the use of both gas and alarm traps. Gas traps will put your enemies who invade to sleep and alarm traps can help inform you of an impending attack!
As for a ‘while you were away’ notifier, we’re actually creating a method to notify you if your base is being raided when you’re offline! You’ll be able to make use of this method, the ones mentioned above, as well as many existing options to help fortify your base and help defend yourself from an incoming raid.
Survivor, Acemore asks, “Will we ever be able to eat more than 1 berry at a time?”
Yup! We’re going to be adding a “Use 10” button/hotkey modifier very soon, so that’ll help with some of the button mashing you guys have to do right now. Although a simple trick you can take advantage of, assuming you’re stationary and your inventory is open is that you can place your berries and or cooked meat in quickslots 5-0 to spam them! Just hold down the hotkey 🙂 – we’ll look into 1 – 4, they should work too!
Survivor, ApeShet asks, “Will there be a admin option to disable the gamma command?”
Sure! In version 185 we will have an option to force-disable gamma in PvE mode as well (it’s already in disabled in PvP).
Survivor, Captain Sparx asks, “How soon can we expect more underwater-enabled weaponry? I’m having trouble clearing out the overpopulation of megas with just a spear and a dolphin, especially since the dolphin doesn’t help.”
A lot of you guys have mentioned this! So we’ve got a specialized crossbow coming for this purpose next week ;)!
Survivor, DrizzintahL asks, “Birds and Water dinos especially, a way to track your pets?”
We’ll be adding Electronic trackers to the game very soon! You’ll be able to use this to tag your Dinos to see where they are when lost. It’ll also come useful in other situations, see a T-Rex? Instead of taming it, track it! Perhaps another tribe will tame it.. and then you’ll know where their base is. Maybe you want to knock someone unconscious but instead of killing them, track them? It’ll definitely provide a lot of utility to the game!
Survivor, Marqon asks, “Is rubber banding/server lag a priority?”
An enormous priority! One of the top :). You can expect to see some major strides made forward on that in the next couple days. Server performance, which is the main culprit of rubber banding, is the primary focus of our core platform engineers at the moment. We’re currently testing a change on some Official Servers with load times, this should help deal with some of the rubber-banding in areas where players have extremely large bases, it’ll also hopefully help tackle the issue where you’re stuck loading your mount in third person.
Survivor, Musa Dudushi asks, “Will we ever see Metal Bow?”
Yup! A high-powered composite bow is currently in the works. For those who favour the archery life, this will most likely be your weapon of choice!
Survivor, Musa Dudushi asks, “Will we see any type of Decorations soon?”
Yep! We’ve definitely got plans for decorations, as well as furniture, including the animations to go along with using that furniture which will be coming later on! However in the next few weeks you guys can expect to see fully pixel by pixel paintable signs!
Survivor, Mr Archer asks, “Will stone harvests from boulders be increased?(Compared to other resources as metal and wood);”
Yes! In the next version, 185, we will increase how much stone you get significantly from larger rocks (more -total- resources, not more % percent vs other resources from that rock). So you’ll still get a bunch of flint or metal, but also extra stone to go with it!
Survivor, TheKazz asks, “Are you planning on adding something that will more effectively gather stone for the mid to late game?”
You should scroll down and check out today’s Dossier!
Survivor, Sava asks, “Will you be adding pink dye or upgrading the current dye colors in any other way?”
A bunch more dye colours will be added next week! Including Pink 😀
Survivor, t3chman asks, “Ceiling gate/doors for flying Dinos?”
Yup! We’re going to be adding a large-ceiling door soon for flying dino vertical entrances 🙂
Survivor, [BW]NeTRiDeR [K] says, “Like 25 patches ago an area radius setting for pets wandering /aggressive mode were listed in the patch notes”
Aha yes! That needed a bit more time in the development oven. We’re hoping to have it ready for next week!
Survivor, TheAnythinger asks, “When will the map be revisited and smoothed? At the moment there are more than a few areas around mountain bases that have invisible walls and overall very choppy landscape.”
Yup, we’ll be making a number of passes of the map over the course of the Early Access period, expect a major visual update with the introduction of the Swamp Biome in a few weeks, and then subsequent refinement with the Snow Biome in August and so forth!
Survivor, MatRixArTz asks, “Official to official server character transfer status/ETA?”
This is still a part of our plans! We’re currently waiting on a custom feature from Valve for this (Steam Inventory Per-Item Custom Data), but the current ETA is sometimes towards the end of July!
That’s it for this week’s ARK Digest! Thanks for tuning in and hopefully you’ve walked away learning something new ;). Thanks for all the support, engagement, and feedback so far!
All the best,
Your Community Manager Jat and The ARK Survival Evolved Team!