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Ark: Survival Evolved – Getting Started

December 16, 2015
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Kenai had a lot of legitimate questions about the game and while I haven’t had a chance to dig deep into the wikis and tutorials, I did find some good stuff:  Official Wiki, Getting Started, Stats/Attributes and Leveling, Taming Your First Dinosaur,  and another survival guide (YouTube).  The more I read about it, the more I realize this is really, REALLY pushing the boundaries of The Stranded’s normal gaming fare.  On the other hand, this is survival gaming and looks to be more like Rust and Dayz than The Division, for those who want more of the former and less of the latter.  Answering some of the questions right away I give you this snippet:

Create a Base for Inactivity

ARK: Survival Evolved features a persistent world that continues even when you’re offline. Your body will stay in the server, as if it were asleep, until you log back on again or something comes along and kills you.  In the ARK, it’s very likely that something or someone will come along and kill you while you’re down and out. In order to keep yourself safe, you and your tribe mates need to form a base to live in — preferably one that’s not made of thatch (due to the low damage resistance).    Getting Started

Knowing this, I would suggest that we do agree to help each other out, but that, as in Minecraft, we agree to not build on one person’s habitat without their permission.  This is crazy.  I feel like I just bought Alice’s tree and am peering down the whole hole.

 

 

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21 Comments
  1. December 16, 2015 2:48 pm

    I forgot to buy this last night. I’ll be buying it tonight!!!!!!

  2. December 16, 2015 5:56 pm

  3. December 17, 2015 4:33 am

    Hey, there are some fundamental questions that need answering here.

    We cannot carry characters over from one room to the next as far as I know. So, when we decide we want to play together, we will have to all start on the same dedicated server at Level 1? Everytime?

    What about our XP? Does it carry over even if our character dies while we are away?

    Everyone REMEMBER what server you played on, otherwise you will always be starting over.

    • Blankman permalink*
      December 17, 2015 9:45 am

      Suns, I’m really not sure if this game is for you. I wish you would have tried the two hour trial first instead of purchasing it outright. Zos, rED, and myself mentioned last night that this game may cause you many rage-inducing moments. I tried to get into the same server as Zos & rED for the entire night only to be met with a big c-block. The servers were simply slammed. Ark is a very PC-centric survival game & it shows that it’s a direct port. There are no console friendly adjustments whatsoever. I’m not going to recommend that you request a refund, but now is the time if any.

    • December 17, 2015 10:58 am

      I agree with Kenny regarding the server issue. I tried to join them too. No dice. Once it even showed in Red’s profile that I could join him, but when I tried, nothing happened.

      I think we will figure this out, and/or a patch will fix it. Worst case, we can private host, but that takes away the PvP element (which I really enjoy).

      Exp remains if you die (and stay on that same server), you just lose all your loot. I haven’t tried going back to a server after I exit it and see if I still have my character. You may need to build a sleeping bag to do that anyway….

      I tried to bookmark NA #42. Didn’t seem to work. I’ll try and just “find it” tonight and see if my level is there or not…

      This could be a Lot of fun if we can all play together on a PvP server.

      In PvP last night, I got to level 8 before being killed by a spitting dinosaur and a bunch of bugs all ganging up on me at the same time.

      I started off getting attacked right when I spawned for the first time. I mean I just “flashed” into existence and some dude is running at me and attacking. I ran away, but he kept chasing. I did some ‘Ali dancing’ and beat him to death. “Tea bag time bitch!” “I Am the Greatest!”

      I had a number of encounters. Most were friendly. A few attacked me. They all died. I don’t understand these guys. Each time someone attacked me, it was with an axe. I pull out a spear. Noobs.

      My watercooler moment was when I needed to take a break to put kids to bed. I had my guy lay down in the grass. When I came back and started moving, I heard voices. Two teenagers not far from me. I snuck around and found them in someone else’s hut. Trashing the place, stealing and busting it up. I came to the door and looked in. One guy was in his “inventory” cause his character was looking at his ‘glowing’ arm. The other guy saw me.

      I shouted “What are you doing to MY House!!” I whipped out my spear and attacked the guy who was watching me. He took damage, backed away, and I went after the other guy. They almost recovered their whits enough to double team me, but….. They both had axes. Noobs!!

      Good game. If we can get into PvP worlds together we’ll have some fun. 🙂

  4. December 17, 2015 11:39 am

    My thoughts:

    — The servers were very full last night due to initial launch + 2 hr trial traffic. That being said, there are hundreds of dedicated servers. At least 500 based on the naming scheme of the servers.
    — The game is very smooth for an alpha considering the servers we were on were maxed with players (70!).
    — In terms of initial difficulty, getting started this game (at least the server Red/I were playing) surviving is harder than DayZ or Rust. The dinosaurs in the game will mess you up fast, and they are everywhere. It’s actually quite amazing the amount of content the developers have managed to put in the world using UE4.
    — Inventory management is kinda weird/clunky right now.
    — The game gives NO instructions or tutorials, so you have to use online resources.

    I think this game is pretty fun. It is really hard, but most of the games like this tend to be that way getting started. Once you figure out the mechanics, you can go from fresh spawn to shelter and basic gear in <30 minutes.

    I plan on digging more into this game soon. BUT I will also be reading a lot of resources. I traveled to some of the higher level areas in the game and it is clear that this initial area is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Oh, and I definitely murdered a few random players and stole a lot of good gear… only to be killed by a lizard sized enemy LOL. Red and I also had a pretty epic moment getting chased by a small army of raptors after we aggro'd them.

    I looked back to see Red on the ground (he broke his legs jumping off a big boulder) getting eaten by several of them. I told him "i will meet you at this green structure!" After running for a while, I heard violent stomping. I turned around just in time to see a giant T-Rex size dinosaur instantly destroy me. I think that was the longest run we had 1) being alive and 2) finding each other on the map.

    Once you setup a "home" structure. You can spawn in the same locations, so this should help with a LOT of the initial pains.

    OT: STAR WARS TONIGHT

  5. December 17, 2015 2:07 pm

    Hey, I am ALL about this game. I didn’t have time to write about it after trying it last night. Loved even just the crafting aspect of it. It is every good aspect of Minecraft, but thematically interesting and compelling, with incredible adversarial interaction.

    Over time, the server stuff will all be worked out. Heck, if I can ever get my Internet speeds back, I will turn my Xbox on 24/7 and host a PVP server myself, leaving 10 of the 70 spots reserved for our crew, so that we can always find a place to play. This is GREAT stuff, and your stories above confirm my hopes.

    You do realize that after playing this for a couple of months, some other games on the horizon are going to look pretty silly and simplistic. Seriously, even solo, my winter holidays are now fully booked!

    • December 17, 2015 2:32 pm

      We’ve got to figure out a way to get in the same room! Rolling in numbers will be a huge advantage. I wonder if I could run the game in the background while steph has netflix on etc…

  6. December 17, 2015 6:17 pm

    Related: This game is compatible with Oculus Rift AND Morpheus (Playstation). I think AR is awesome, but unless Microsoft plans to adapt (at reasonable price) soon, it feels like they are missing their shot at the market.

    PS: My Gear VR gets here early next week, and I should have my cardboard on Friday.

    • December 17, 2015 6:25 pm

      I would imagine that A:SE is the perfect venue for VR. It is important to note, however that compatibility and actual usability are two different things. I don’t think the One has the power to run OR. So it is compatible, but will only run on a PC. I don’t know the requirements for Morpheus though.

      I look forward to hearing your impressions on your new VR hardware.

    • December 17, 2015 6:50 pm

      As far as I know, the PS Morpheus works through processing hardware on the actual headset as well as the console. The cost will be the big question.

      I am pretty stoked for the GearVR. 99$ and the reviews I have read have been largely positive. Obviously, for high end graphics games, this is not possible on the GearVR, but multi-media (VR film/ photos etc) it works perfectly fine. There are also a lot of lower-end visual games running on it. I recently got a Galaxy Note 5. The screen is actually higher resolution than the final Oculus Rift release. (2,560 x 1,440 (note 5) VS 2160 x 1200 (oculus))

    • Herandar permalink
      December 17, 2015 7:13 pm

      Yes, I heard the PlayStation VR (Morpheus was just a development code name) has a rather large external processor. Okay, found it:

      PlayStation VR is like the worst possible name they could have chosen…

  7. Herandar permalink
    December 17, 2015 7:02 pm

    Hrmmm… When I first saw this on PC, I gave a great big meh. Are you guys going to burn out on this in two weeks? I’m slowly bringing myself to consider this.

    • December 17, 2015 7:32 pm

      There is a 2 hr trial, so you should check it out (preferably after we have our shit together and can show you the ropes)

    • December 17, 2015 9:35 pm

      Herandar, you question is fair. We’ve earned it. I think, however, that this one is a keeper, even if it means going on a private PvE server because getting slain by spear wielding cavemen loses its appeal.

      If our participation makes the difference in the value of your purchase, then the safest thing to do is wait. The funny thing about this game is that it don’t matter how much you level up, you still have to restart in your underwear when you get killed. When we don’t like a game as a community, interest usually dies out within that first 2 weeks you mention (i.e., Halo 5).

    • December 18, 2015 8:26 am

      Herandar, Xbox Live was down for me last night. No Ark!! Uggg…. Anyway, I’ll be on tonight hunting and being hunted. Come join us!

      We need to find a good PvP server that can get us in together.

  8. December 18, 2015 2:36 pm

    I plan on hopefully playing (late) tonight. Anyone else gonna be on? We have to party up and synchronize servers. Are they still getting hit by crazy traffic?

    • December 18, 2015 2:53 pm

      Working Saturday, so I won’t be on till late (2pm JST or so). I will play, however, until my eyes slide shut or I slide off my chair unconscious, (barring domestic demands). Just posted a tutorial for maximum learnage and happy lifestyle.

  9. January 1, 2016 3:44 am

    Didn’t see this post.
    I have to say that PvE is the best way to learn the game. After focusing on getting a tribe together, complete randoms working as a group and coordinating engram upgrades.

    I loved that so much specifically because they were randoms. Everyone was learning the game and played different and PvE enabled a freedom that you can’t afford in pvp.

    Loved having stories after spending a day in a server and because of the proximity chat with randoms. There was the “campfire tales” effect afterwards.

    This might be my favorite new game and just like Destiny, friend list is not required! So it will not matter if in two weeks it gets dropped or people don’t “get it” or think it’s worth the time. The game provides enough entertainment that randoms don’t hinder it.

    The best part it’s that it’s complex enough to merit a long play time. Even by now I can see how starting multiple characters can be dun and play the game differently in each world.

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