Hey Survivors! Welcome to the latest edition of the Community Crunch!
Extinction Chronicles IV Next Week!
On September 18th Extinction Chronicles IV will be released on all platforms. As usual survivors can expect a new tek dino, new Explorer Notes, a new cosmetic, increased level cap, and special colored dinos on all ARKs!
This weeks diary entry is brought to you by Lead Programmer, Chris Willoughby, as he talks about the process for designing gameplay mechanics for Extinction.
Hello Survivors! Today, I’d like to talk today about what goes into designing and building new gameplay mechanics. For brevity, I’ll focus on the Scout, a creature that we’ve revealed as part of our upcoming Extinction expansion.
When we approach designing gameplay mechanics we start by brainstorming interesting ideas that would make a compelling addition to our sandbox. The Scout started as a desire for the ability to fly around the battlefield with a drone. We have several members of the team who enjoy flying drones, so collectively we fell in love with the idea of remote piloting early. We also had another gameplay mechanic that we were interested in that finds its origins in another franchise – the ability to tag enemies to reveal them to your allies. This idea was also high on our list, and through further brainstorming, we found it was a natural fit for the Scout, so they came together in the brainstorming phase.
From there we seek to match those abilities up with concepts that fit well into the world we’re building. This one was pretty easy. We knew that we were building a futuristic city for Extinction, and immediately we latched onto the idea of some kind of automated security force that patrols it. It took several more sessions to land on the idea of the interplay between Scouts and Enforcers, and the way that the Scout is deployed, but we’re happy with where it landed.
Next, we’ll build the mechanic and iterate numerous times, using multiple weekly gameplay review sessions to nail the fine details. The Scout was deployable from a grenade and had remote viewing baked in pretty early on. Originally it’s tagging mechanism was a projectile that it fired. This was very difficult to use, so we switched to more of a raygun. The tags originally lasted a very short time, so they weren’t very useful. We’ve since upped the time that they last – making the Scout a key target for the other team to take out. In addition, we didn’t originally allow the tagging of allies, but this slotted in naturally as a way to give a more complete view of the battlefield.
Finally, we turn our experienced set of player testers loose to hammer on the mechanics until they fit well. This process is underway for the Scout and for Extinction as a whole as I write this. We’ve got nearly all of the mechanics playable and we’re iterating on the roles that they play individually and collectively within Extinction and within the larger game. As such, the abilities described above represent a snapshot of where they are as I’m writing this. These can and likely will change before launch! This is part of the reason that often times when we talk about something early on it doesn’t match up with what the final product becomes. However this iteration process is necessary to deliver the best playing experience that we can.
Thanks for reading, survivors!
Upcoming Server Maintenance!
This Wednesday, September 12th at 12pm EST we will be merging the PC ARKpocalypse servers into one cluster. It is important for players on those servers to note that during this process any items or creatures uploaded into the Obelisk will be lost. Therefore it is strongly encouraged that you download anything in your cloud to ensure nothing is lost before Wednesday.
You can follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with this server process.
Mod Community Updates!
The ARK Modding contest is now in full swing, and we’ve been getting some good entries, but I still want to encourage anyone that has ever considered making mods for ARK to dive in and participate. The submission period will be open until Saturday, October 6th so polish up those mods and let’s have some fun. After that, we’ll move into the voting phase where we’ll post all the mods in the contest publicly and let everyone try them out and vote on their favorites.
We’ve also received a couple tutorial bounty claims for chat commands and map optimizations and I have added a bunch of new bounties to the board ready to be claimed. You can find all of them here:
We’re going to need some new tutorial requests too, and please check the list in the form to see if the request already exists, as I choose new bounties based on demand which can only be counted if everyone submits the form using one of the items from the drop-down.
Next week I’ll have a new tutorial ready. I’ve been getting a ton of requests for a tutorial on version control, so I’m going to show everyone how to use Git with the devkit.
The Great Migration #4: Inactive Legacy Server Removal
Once again it is time to remove some of our lower population legacy ARK servers on Xbox and PS4 from our Official legacy network. Over time the ARK population has migrated from legacy to non-legacy and in its wake left many servers with low populations for 0-1 players in a significant amount of cases.
Here is a quick breakdown on how this process works:
Taking Down Low Pop Servers
With calculations based on sustained player-count as well as the popularity of game mode, we will be removing lower population legacy servers, most of which retain a 0-1 player concurrent population. These servers will be taken offline on September 24th. Any existing server that is not considered a low pop server and is not taken down at this time will still exist on the Legacy network.
Legacy servers will continue to remain on a separate cluster from the new cluster, which means you will not be able to transfer anything between Legacy servers and the new servers.
Servers Up for Deprecation
Below is a complete list of the LEGACY servers that will be deprecated come September 24th. You have from now until then to move your belongings onto a server not present on this list. Please click one of the links below. They are separated by platform.
How To Move Servers
If you are unfamiliar with the process, you are able to upload your items, creatures, and player through the Obelisk terminal, supply drops, as well as the Tek Transmitter. Survivors are advised to use Cross-ARK immediately to relocate their belongings onto a server that is not included in our take-down list above.
Server Saves of Deleted Servers
We will make the save files available as soon as we can. We will host the PC files which anyone can download and then you are welcome to re-host the save file for your own use. We’ll include a link to where you can download server saves in this post when they are available. Nitrado will also be able to provide the saves for use on Nitrado servers for console, as they have done in the past.
You can see a list of our currently available depreciated official servers on this webpage: https://survivetheark.com/index.php?/server-backups/
Community Livestream #8 This Thursday!
This Thursday September 13ththe community team will be doing another biweekly livestream!
During these livestreams Zen Rowe, Chris, and Jen bring you ARK news, celebrate modding, and the community as a whole every other week. We mix it up between playing ARK, showing off mods, and showing off your community creations for all to see. Survivors are invited to join us in the chat (and sometimes even in-game) to play and talk with the community team.
We are accepting any type of ARK related fanart to be featured in the Showcase section of the stream and entries are always open. This can be drawings, videos, builds, ANSEL screenshots, handmade crafts, anything ARK related!
You can submit your ARKwork to our streaming email address: email@example.com
Be sure to follow us on our Twitch page so you don’t miss a stream! twitch.tv/survivetheark
We’ll be hosting our next Community Live Stream on Thursday, September the 13th at 1pm EST! We hope to see you there
Fanart of the Week!
We would like to give a special shout out this week to creature paint artist Sharkcat for their Jurassic World raptor paints!
ARK: Evolution Event!
Survivors across ALL Platforms will be receiving a special Evolution Event perk this weekend! It will be active from Friday the 14th of September at 1 PM EST until Monday the 17th of September at 3 PM EST. All Official Servers across each platform will be undergoing this evolutionary change which includes:
2x Harvesting Rates
2x Taming Rates
2x EXP Rates
That’s it for this post guys!
All the best,