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Ark:SE Update

January 28, 2016

So, there is the Ubisoft, EA, Activision model – charge for everything and double for some things.  Then there is the Wildcard model.  We will give you major content updates, including entire Biomes, for….free.  In the next update, which should be released within the next couple of weeks (already out for the PC), a new Dino and SWAT armor are among the many additions.


Patch 233 welcomes a new friend to the ARK, it’ll come as no surprise to survivors that the Gallimimus has been often been described as being chicken-like, with it’s extremely skittish behaviour, looking nervous even when eating! The speedy herbivore makes its way onto the ARK with no natural way to defend itself except for running away. Thankfully the Gallimimus may very well be the fastest dinosaur on the ARK, it’s strength, endurance, and speed of its legs allow it to ferry up to 3 Survivors in a specially-designed Saddle!

Today’s update adds an enormous amount of content and optimization, including:

– SWAT-style Assault Armor for all your raiding needs!
– Greenhouse structure pieces to aid survivors in growing crops
– The shockingly powerful Electric Prod capable of rendering even the strongest unconscious.


  1. January 29, 2016 5:18 am


    Every once in a while I get this song in my head and can’t (don’t want to) get it out. I love every moment of it and this video is GREAT.

  2. January 29, 2016 10:19 am

    To compliment the awesome Bill Withers original:

    Freddie King was one of the biggest influences for many guitar players (Clapton, SRV etc.) BUT he also had an incredible set of pipes on him. I can’t even imagine if I could sing like him.

    • January 29, 2016 5:16 pm

      It was almost solely with you in mind that I posted it. I was SO hoping that you would try to 1 up me. Thank you! Listening now.

  3. January 29, 2016 5:21 pm

    HERANDAR! Over here!

    Speak freely! What are your frustrations about Ark?

    (I thought for sure it would be a no brainer for you with your affinity for RTS and resource management.)


    I will say this, getting a leg up from friends is a double-edged sword. Part of the fun is leveling up and unlocking the new technologies so that you can “finally” do this or that. You miss all that when someone hands you a weapon that kills with one strike or an axe that fells a tree with one swing. Similarly, with always getting someone to craft things for you. It creates a dependence that isn’t fun. Also, working cooperatively can be like a marriage – it will definitely be full of compromise, that is for sure. Those are part of the reasons Cornie and I went off on our own, and all of the reasons we have stayed where we are.

    After a bad day at work, feeling like I have no efficacy, I just grab my axe and my pick and I wipe the mountain clean filling forge, smithy, and fabricator. AHHHH Accomplishment!

    But don’t go single player. Go PvE on a server by yourself or with one or two trusted others, and start fresh!

    Ok, go ahead. (Sorry, I just wanted to say that.)

    • Herandar permalink
      February 1, 2016 9:13 pm

      Resource management means you need to have resources to manage. Every time I log in, everything I had is more or less gone, and I have to gather it all again. And then there is the ultimate resource: Time. When you guys were falling in love with marathon sessions over Winter Breaks, I was working. I’ve been working 60-80 hours every week since October, and that’s with me reserving Sundays to work on mostly labor-intensive home improvement projects.
      I’ve been logging off my work PC at 11 PM most nights, and then turn on the Xbox One. The other night I jumped on, joined Kenai, Flenser and Frenko on 399, and within twenty minutes they were all logged out, leaving me in a party with someone I had never met before. I’m not complaining, they told me where to respawn (the base where I had fallen asleep last time had been completely demolished, and I was killed by a roaming raptor in my sleep) and they decked me out with gear much more effective than I could even hope to make. But I was determined to give the server another shot, and so I quickly set off on my own. The decentralized personal flotilla tribe set up encourages individual endeavors anyway, and since I couldn’t access the tribe’s pets, I didn’t feel obliged to stock up their food supplies, which is what I’ve spent 90% of my pay time so far doing. I figured I should tame something.

      I scared a parasaur into some rocks, and slung stones at it’s head and began the taming process. It was low-level (8), and was 90% tame when I got stuck standing on the same rock. I could still turn, and so I turned ~165 degrees, and tried to chip away at the rock and killed the parasaur with one swing. Okay… Bad luck, lesson learned. Rinse, wash, repeat. The next parasaur was much higher level (22), and even though I put all of the berries I collected into it, and used ALL of the narcoberries, it woke up before taming, and all of the items I gave it were gone. I knocked it out again, and even built a foundation and a mortar & pestle next to the sleeping beast to refine the narcoberries into narcotics, and still lost everything when it woke up. Killing it was therapeutic, but not enough. And ultimately, writing about it now, it wouldn’t have made any real difference. If I had tamed it, it would undoubtedly be dead by the time I logged back in. But I didn’t even get the slightest emotional payoff for about two HOURS of frantic scavenging and tending.

      I don’t have the time to get past the gathering stage, even with the charity of others. I’ll give it more tries, especially when they add split-screen and I can join my son. But I wish I had saved the money for something else.

      My son got Rare Replay over the weekend. So I literally have over 90 games I can play on my Xbox One hard drives currently.

    • February 1, 2016 10:14 pm

      Herandar, thank you for taking the time to write it up! I knew almost none of your stories (including the extent to which you are busy “gathering resources” in real life). It all makes sense and there is nothing I can say to your in-game experiences because much of it I have either experienced myself, or have seen happen to others. It is definitely “Survival Evolved” with the emphasis on “survival”. The game is brutally difficult alone. There are some very easy adjustments that can be made (never sprinting to save stamina etc.) to make the first 10 levels more bearable, but you need at least one other person working with you – to protect or gather and trade off. And as you mentioned., just getting the stuff given to you is neither very helpful (it just takes a death or good use to lose it all again), nor very fun.

      If you have the heart to go back to it in the near future, split-screen with your son will definitely be the way to go. Find a private server and play with him only, and very slowly and very methodically, build a place together, rushing/forcing no single aspect of the game but taking each stage as it opens up and is acquired easily.

      Cornie bought the Rare Pack over the holiday and loves it. Has played several titles to completion. A great deal, especially for those who don’t own the original games.

      By the way, you are still doing better than me with bad purchases. The boys and I bought 2 copies of Battlefront, and unless someone in North America escorts us in, we cannot even play. Literally, there are no servers to play that MP only title! The good news, is that that is it! I am done trying to keep up with everyone. I will only buy games that I know I can play and enjoy with just Cornie and I. 75 bucks x2 wasted on Battlefront (literally), but 100s saved on future titles!

      Next gen!

    • Blankman permalink*
      February 1, 2016 11:04 pm

      Agent Herandar… ***static*** Post-pandemic New York ***radio chatter*** needs a few good agents to take ***static*** the city back from anarchy. Transmission out.

    • Herandar permalink
      February 2, 2016 12:32 pm

      I’ll be all over the Division single-player. I’m leery of Asshole Central, and will probably avoid it most of the time until there’s nothing else to do. Too many people just out there acting like it is a FFA deathmatch, even though it isn’t.

    • February 2, 2016 1:32 pm

      Yeah I would go for a refund in that case. Two hours in Ark time barely covers building a thatch safehouse, and taming the beginning level utility animals in a server.

      If that’s too long for you, it is better to get a refund. The game speeds up considerably over time and tames get lower time with different materials you can gather, but the curve is getting the levels to get those materials and get more efficiency with tools.

      SP does cure some of those ails, and the next update will bring splitscreen and increase the player number and radius of non-dedicated-peer servers.

      Now if you go that route then turn the XP up and the Taming Speed up. Harvest totals to 2.5 and take away food, stamina and water drains.

      Try to build structures ASAP as they de-spawn predators in your area. Thatch to begin, then place wood or stone to replace it later on. Stone is almost unbreakable by all animals, and metal is unbreakable in SP.

      Tame Trikes, Raptors first. Trikes give Thatch/Berries. Raptors can kill all beginning animals. Then move to Carnos then T-Rexes when you can do enough Narcoberries for Narcotics.

      After that is all about getting a Pteranodon, and the specialty animals: Ankylo, Doedicarus, Mammoth, etc.

      Very important, time in SP is frozen when you are gone, so if you were taming a T-rex and you have to go, it will still be there when you come back.

      In comparison my son did that and he was running with a pack of three T-Rexes that he tamed by himself in a about two hours too.

      It’s up to you.

      I wouldn’t blame the game until you get to see it all. I guarantee you would feel different with some time in.

    • Herandar permalink
      February 2, 2016 8:47 pm

      I’m not blaming the game, Frenko. I watched people playing it on YouTube when it first hit PC and said, ‘Not for me.’ It got released on Xbox One, and there are comments on this site where I said the same. Then I watched the game consume Kenai, who, due to our schedules/shared time zone and game libraries, I play with the most of the Stranded, and read others posts here exclaim what a revolutionary experience the game provided, and I wanted to experience that sense of joy and wonder. There was an established tribe that I knew would welcome me. I’ll keep trying. But I’m not willing to play it exclusively.

    • Herandar permalink
      February 2, 2016 8:49 pm

      What does this mean?

      “increase the player number and radius of non-dedicated-peer servers.” (I get the player number increase…)

    • February 3, 2016 12:38 am

      That’s just the rendering distance forces a proximity limit of how far you can be on non dedicated servers. I am assuming splitscreen has that limit.

      it also raises the limit of non dedicated games, like if we wanted to host a private game up to 8 people.

      The advantage of the private game again it is like single player, 6x XP gains, etc.

      The reason why this game is still addictive is that it gets better and better at time goes on. In fact the worst part of the whole game is the beginning.

      Now if you want to go back to servers, we can indeed help you out. Very likely the amount of info might be overwhelming the first few days.

      but we are getting to the stage that 6 hour tames become one hour at the near highest level.

      Our bases are getting big. It’s no longer one base. It’s a few big bases.

      We now go in the swamp, the artic, and any biome at will.

      The only thing left to conquer are Caves and the deep sea.

      After that is the npc bosses which the whole server is trying to do.

      It’s hard playing anything else because after seeing and interacting throughout the whole map, pretty much any other game feels tiny.

  4. January 30, 2016 2:23 am

    Best $35 ever spent. Not sure if it’s my favorite game of all time yet, but I can certainly see myself playing it for years to come without a problem. If they give out free stuff is just a bonus.

    I don’t think you can “get” all the good parts of the game without investing some time. Heck I feel even now after putting some serious time on it, there are areas of the game I still don’t fully get, but the difference is I am welcoming that as part of the progression of the game.

    The game in a Tribe becomes sort of a social test. I think at the beginning it’s sort of easy if you are all the same level because it’s simple task oriented. Later on then it becomes more complex, as the roles change and there’s more complex tasks at hand.

    Some tribes make it a strict community, making a general pool and putting the tribe above the individual, and some are good at that. Others, like what we eventually did, either paired off in different parts of the map or settled individually, and then shared the surplus.
    Some work well with friends only. Others prefer completely strangers but with common interests.

    After debating it for some time I am in the individual/common interest guy. So much so that I wouldn’t even share a tribe with my son (He did manage to destroy Zender’s raft and kill off Luke’s frog in less than two hours of game time, and never cared to come back and repay it.)

    Which is why I am going to try it out solo again. I think after some experience you can very much develop a system that can enable you to experience all parts of the game (Taming, Building, etc.) in all types of play styles, but getting there is the biggest hurdle.

    When we played in 67 it was task heavy oriented. When I started in 399 we made a group with randoms but we were all low levels so everything was much more even. When I came back to 399 after 67, it evolved in different phases we didn’t fully experience in 67. Building rafts, going to the artic, etc.

    Now the stage is set for Kibble only Perfect Tames, Building Defensive Structures against anything, farming resources in any part of the map at will, and developing relationships with the other tribes.

    By now the server is like home. That’s something that doesn’t develop easily in any MMO that I have played.

    Some people play the game like it’s minecraft, making huge lagfest buildings that serve little purpose. Others are very ridiculously neat and efficient. Some tribes took on the BroodMother:

    Others like ours are still struggling trying to lay down pipes, electric wires and not getting Dinos killed.

    All in all, I think it has been a great ride, and wouldn’t mind starting from scratch whenever they reset the servers.

    • January 30, 2016 7:36 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to write up your thoughts, Frenik. Good stuff.

      Yes, I am not at all afraid of a reset. Much as I love our very high level Argentavis and Beelzebufo (and we will miss them like a pet if we lost them), the opportunity to start fresh is exciting. Everything, including location, would be different.

  5. February 3, 2016 2:16 am

    Bringing Frenik’s and Herandar’s convo here because the comment boxes are so narrow.

    “It’s hard playing anything else because after seeing and interacting throughout the whole map, pretty much any other game feels tiny.” Frenik

    That is the thing, once you have experienced the power of not just building but actually designing your own place, and taming and naming your own dinos (which are basically your “vehicles” of all forms and capacities), the other RPG games seem quite arbitrary and contrived in their limitations.

    Cornie and I create our own objectives for the evening. Tonight let’s tame a Mammoth. Tonight let’s go adventuring in the swamp. Tonight let’s redesign our fort. Of course, almost every evening unexpected events pop up, or objectives are failed, at which time, we adjust our goals and move from there. On evenings when we don’t seem to get anything that we wanted done (tamings didn’t work etc.), we try to go on a short adventure – do something completely new, to “leave on a high note”.

    As an example, in an effort to bring water to our main floor, Cornie accidentally placed a water tap in the middle of our Industrial Grill. To destroy it, we had to destroy the wall of our fort behind the grill. By the time we were finished the “clean up”, we had added a huge extension on to our fort and the whole idea of redesigning, which still hasn’t even started yet, was born. Of course, to get the resources we need for such re-designing, we need a Deodocurus and a Mammoth, etc. etc. etc. And so it goes. If you set obtainable objectives at the beginning of every session, it becomes incredibly fun.

    At some point I will write up life’s lessons learned from BF (shooters in general) and Ark.

  6. March 17, 2016 9:57 am

    I will be playing THIS. When it comes to Xbox……

    Ark: Survival Evolved targets esports with Survival of the Fittest spinoff

    Esports are about to do the dinosaur.

    Developer Studio Wildcard revealed Ark: Survival of the Fittest, a spinoff based on its online game Ark: Survival Evolved, and it’s out today via Steam (with a console release date to be determined). It’s calling Survival of the Fittest a multiplayer online survival arena, an obvious play on the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre that includes mega hits like League of Legends, which makes $1 billion a year with in-game purchases. Survival of the Fittest will also be a free-to-play title that focuses on competition, hoping to become a part of the blossoming esports market that could reach $1.1 billion in spending by 2019.

    “Originally, Survival of the Fittest was a ‘total conversion’ mod within the open-world survival adventure Ark: Survival Evolved,” a press release from Studio Wildcard noted. “The game rapidly grew in popularity amongst those wanting a competitive ‘Battle Royale/Last Man Standing’ experience. This standalone game brings all the features of the mod, with upgrades, and newly integrates dedicated esports ranking, matchmaking, reward, and tournament features to make it readily accessible to all players.”

    Studio Wildcard will also give out cash prizes to the 10 top players in all four of Survival of the Fittest’s game modes every month, with the No. 1 players earning $3,500.

    Ark: Survival Evolved is still in Early Access via Steam and Xbox One, which means you can purchase and play the game before it’s technically finished. Studio Wildcard noted that Survival Evolved is Steam’s most popular Early Access game.

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