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Ragnarok Update!Aug 16, 2017 - Community Announcementshttps://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/839207011926157406/777B14591D54B988B219E7D3BD1712DC739163C5/ We're excited to say Ragnarok has received its first expansion and here's what the the development team behind the map had to say: https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/847094349182218208/4B9705AD37EC1B4A7D334C3A43873AD7ABBD9F29/ Ragnarok is expanding into the South West region of the map where it'll be opening up the playing field by adding a near 25% (the size of The Island) additional playable landmass including: large islands, lots of flat-lands to build, a new experimental free range Wyvern cove, temple ruins, a meteor crash site, underwater passages, as well as a mini Tasmania Australia as we call it. https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/847094349182225972/864517C0DEE15E47E3B909FCD033B86D901BC361/ https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/847094349182221405/D699C149CF993252C12BF3FDAE597EEE796699D6/ This most recent update has been a challenge creativity-wise. Scorched Earth and The Island assets were never really meant to be placed side by side necessarily, so finding that balanced between the two has been rewarding. We really wanted to emphasize a change from the more tight-knit North West to a more open and accessible South West. Where, we could give ARK players a host of new wide open areas to conquer and explore, as well as the real estate to really drive those large creative builds. https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/847094349182226782/F28875C783EA5D20F43ACD06EE342C41A6480CE8/ https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/847094349182223461/D62F9689A62A184C9D37586590336E702093EEFB/ With this update, we wanted to try something new, something different. Rather than just do another Wyvern trench in the South, we thought, why not mix it up and give the wyverns a domain to reign over, rather than crowd them in a trench. This drives a bit more uncertainty with the player's safety, as well as creating dangerous air traffic! Moving forward with Ragnarok development, players can expect two things: Us going back and adding some extra love and definition to the most recently released area as well as more resources, and us fixing any bugs that show up in the South West that we or any player may find in their adventures! https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/847094349182220571/B128608AD2F3CA149A87A6621B2F1CDA6BE334A4/ https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/847094349182215703/BD373DE7515DFAE5A10FBEFE4222C2248EF2E3E3/ This major version update also included a number of awesome changes and fixes for v256: - Tameable Titanoboas! - New Server Option: Force Respawn of Wild Dinos on Server Restart! Enabled by default on official servers, this will force weekly respawns of dinos on all servers to prevent certain dino types (like the Basilo and Spino) from becoming depopulated on long running servers. (?ServerAutoForceRespawnWildDinosInterval=SECONDS). Note in some cases this may not work more than once, we may have solved the ca...Introducing the Otter, ARK Digest 47, and Sponsored Mod Update!Aug 9, 2017 - Community AnnouncementsIntroducing the Otter! https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/847093278997661789/BF421416B29788A0C86A107C121823274F25938A/ A new Dino Dossier has been revealed, this one is everyone’s favourite furry friend, the Otter! Common name: Otter Species: Lutra Peloso Time: Early Miocene Diet: Omnivore Temperament: Friendly Wild Found along the Island’s many inland waterways, Lutra Peloso have become exceptionally adept at hunting and foraging. This species of Otter has to be particularly cunning because of its diminutive size, and fierce competition for its preferred food source: fish. It is not a creature that excels at combat, and would not naturally pose an intimidating threat to any predators. Finding packs of river Otters is simple enough: They are distinguished by their elongated bodies, bushy tails, and webbed feet. Their trusting and inquisitive nature ensures they are often hunted for their lustrous fur, but many prefer to tame them to become trusted companions. Domesticated There are few creatures which provide the companionship that Lutra Peloso does. Rather than traveling beside you, it would prefer to comfortably rest on your back, providing insulation. Once domesticated, it can be told to harvest fish on demand, with a specific goal in mind from the fish that it consumes, the otter has a knack for foraging silica pearls, and can even yield a slight chance at finding black pearls within! ------------- For those of you living under the mesh and haven't been able to keep up with the news, ARK has entered its final stage of development towards Version 1.0 and will be Officially Launching on August the 29th 2017. There has been a lot of questions regarding what will happen to the development of ARK. Whether there will be additional content added to the base game, in the vein of; new friends to tame, new engrams to learn, items to craft, QOL, gameplay, and optimisation improvements... the answer to all that is yes! We will be continuing to work on the base game, as well as plans for future content in the form of free updates, and DLC (paid and free). Today we'd like to give you a bit of an early preview/tease of what you can expect for later this month on release (in addition to the mystery beyond the TEK cave). As well as our otterly cute friend, we'll also be introducing some new TEK items: https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/847093372371248411/7F64D88E03201F71F8CD63C12FAB840B24EA9E4D/ - The TEK Sword, with a dash-charge attack as well as armor piercing capability! - The TEK Shield, which can reflect incoming projectiles and bullets, and can completely stop splash damage! - The TEK Light, that can be attached or picked up to and from any surface, and is self--powered by elemental shards or can be linked to generators! Our latest Official Mod, Ragnarok, will be receiving a large update which is approximately the size of The Island. Players can expect to encounter new biomes such as a Coastal Wyvern Canyon, a Tropical Desert, Lowlands,...Cute, cuddly otters are coming to Ark: Survival EvolvedAug 7, 2017 - PC GamerArk: Survival Evolved is famous for its ferocious bestiary. This is a game that literally has dinosaurs with frickin' lasers attached to their heads, after all. The latest creature to be added to the game is quite a bit different from all of that, however, because instead of being huge and fierce (or even just kind of big, but still fierce), this new creature is a straight-up cuddler. It's an otter. Technically it's the "Lutra peloso," which as near as I can figure means "hairy otter" or something to that effect, but the point is that this isn't some giant, faux-prehistoric take on the beast that you can ride or feed your enemies to. It's just an otter, as we know and love them. You can even let it ride up on your shoulder. "Found along the Island’s many inland waterways, Lutra Peloso have become exceptionally adept at hunting and foraging. This species of Otter has to be particularly cunning because of its diminutive size, and fierce competition for its preferred food source: fish. It is not a creature that excels at combat, and would not naturally pose an intimidating threat to any predators," the Dino Dossier explains. "There are few creatures which provide the companionship that Lutra Peloso does. Rather than traveling beside you, it would prefer to comfortably rest on your back, providing insulation." They may not the most effective fighters ever, but as Marc Singer discovered when he fell into quicksand that one time, they can come in handy now and then. (Yes, those were ferrets, but the principle is the same.) Aside from providing warmth in crappy weather, tamed otters can be sent to forage for fish or silica pearls, and can even have a slight chance of digging up black pearls. And they're so cute! Which is really what it's all about, right? The latest Ark Digest also includes a promise from Studio Wildcard to continue the development of Ark: Survival Evolved once it goes into full release on August 29. "There has been a lot of questions regarding what will happen to the development of ARK. Whether there will be additional content added to the base game, in the vein of; new friends to tame, new engrams to learn, items to craft, QOL, gameplay, and optimization improvements... the answer to all that is yes!" the studio wrote. "We will be continuing to work on the base game, as well as plans for future content in the form of free updates, and DLC (paid and free)." Otters. Beautiful but barebones dino-sim Saurian is the anti-ArkAug 4, 2017 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunArk: Survival Evolved, the current king of dinosaur hill, is not a simulation of any kind. Saurian meanwhile, new on Steam Early Access this week after a successful Kickstarting a while back, is a survival game that similarly appeals to our first childhood love, but wants to be more Walking With Dinosaurs than Jurassic World. Which is to say, a dinosaur life simulation based on contemporary science’s best guess as the thunder lizards’ lifestyle. The release version so far is fairly short on things to do, but has some meticulously-recreated dinos, the option to pick a doomed fight with a Triceratops, and the significant risk of getting eaten by your own mother. (more…) Ark: Survival Evolved's full release has been pushed to the end of AugustJul 31, 2017 - PC GamerArk: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard has some bad news, but also some good. Let's get the bad out of the way first: The process of prepping the game for retail release took longer than expected, and so the planned launch date of August 8, which the studio announced back in June, has been pushed to August 29. "We're deeply apologetic for those who were negatively affected by the delay; it sucks, it wasn't what we had wanted, nor planned but where we currently stand," the studio explained in a weekend update. "We wanted to address this sooner but did not want to make any statements until we were completely sure of what was going to happen." The delay also impacts the release of a planned update for the Ragnarok expansion map, which Studio Wildcard said is actually the upside to the whole thing. "This extended time will allow further development of the map and you guys can expect a gigantic update, even bigger than we initially thought," it explained. "On the date of release, the overground of the world will increase by approximately one quarter, which is near-enough a 'TheIsland-sized' expansion; the update will feature new biomes, a coastal Wyvern canyon, an epic boss encounter, new engrams, and something secret the Ragnarok team are cooking up!" Beyond that, the studio's focus will be on improving the performance of the game on PC and addressing specific issues like multiplayer bosses ("They're ridiculous, we know why and we're going to fix it"), the "Baby-to-Juvie Stasis issue" that prevents infant creatures from maturing properly, and stopping "jerks" from going under the map and raiding people. A major version update that will "significantly assist with DDoS mitigation, resolve the exploit which has allowed players to dupe, and ... allow players to rent PC-dedicated Console Servers" is also slated for the middle of August. Ark: Survival Evolved delayed to the end of AugustJul 31, 2017 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunThe dinosaur island sandbox Ark: Survival Evolved was due to leave early access and launch in full next week, but it won’t. Developers Studio Wildcard announced over the weekend that they’ve delayed the launch from August 8th to the 29th, because things took longer than expected. That’s game-making all right. Over the next few weeks, in the run-up to the actual proper launch for real, Wildcard and chums will be working on performance improvements, fixes for bugs and exploits, and more. (more…) 'Paid mods [are] a way for us to get more free art content to players,' says Ark dev on future of sponsored schemeJul 21, 2017 - PC GamerIn February, Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard unveiled a sponsored programme that would pay mod creators on a monthly basis for their work. Offering a stipend of $4,000 per month, each individual's work would be evaluated, and it would thereafter be determined if those modders would continue to be paid for the next month. With the dino hunter's August 8 PC release looming, however, not much has been said about the programme since—its Ragnarok map has been received well, however we don't know much about what happens next. To this end, I spoke to the developer's Jesse Stieglitz about how he and his team plan to grow the initiative post-launch. "We've not dedicated all that much time to promoting it, maybe not as much as we'd have liked to, however that's probably because we've been focused on shaping things up for our retail launch," says Stieglitz. "But we recently put out our next official mod called Ragnarok with a mod team that's now officially supported and we'll continue to have servers up for it and we'll have updates and more polished applied. "They basically get not only money from us but they get development support from us and that's probably more valuable to them because we help them shape it up technically and artistically and creatively." Stieglitz suggests the sponsored community maps will only get bigger and better from hereon, and that the Ragnarok team are among the best level designers he's seen. Development on Ragnarok will continue till completion, and Wildcard plans to launch "at least" one more official DLC this year, with Stieglitz hopefully of a second. He continues: "Essentially the official mods, or paid mods pipeline is a way for us to get more free art content to players. We can only do so much ourselves so we look at best of what the mod community has to offer and how can we help them make their content better than it already is—whether it's financial support, but also a lot of the things it's logistics or technical support. There will be others and we use this as a kind of seeding programme to find the next ones. We'll hopefully have more to announce there going forward." Ark: Survival Evolved is due to launch in full August 8, 2017. Ark: Survival of the Fittest is 'an experiment that didn't catch on but we do think there's a fun game there' Jul 20, 2017 - PC Gamer"Ark: Survival of the Fittest was for us an experiment," says Studio Wildcard's co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz. "It started as a mod and it was pretty cool and pretty fun. I lot of these games that are very successful—like PUBG, like, you know, Counter-Strike or DotA—originate as mods and can switch over to standalone titles." Having begun life as a mod, Ark: Survival of the Fittest became a free-to-play standalone game in early 2016. As a promising battle royale-type venture—in a world prior to the likes of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds—it failed to take off and was later "reintegrated" into the main Survival Evolved game. According to Steam Spy's data, less than 300 people played Ark: Survival of the Fittest concurrently yesterday—whereas over 350,000 took to the wargrounds of PUBG simultaneously. Given the unexpected, astronomical success of Brendan Greene's similarly styled battle royale game, I asked Stieglitz where he thinks SotF went wrong, and whether or not Studio Wildcard will revisit it down the line. "We thought Survival of the Fittest would have that potential based on the fact that it was a pretty fun mod and there were a decent number of players. It never quite caught on as a standalone, even as a free-to-play which of course means it should larger numbers of players," Stieglitz explains. "We didn't want to charge something like that anyway—it's not our intent to charge for that kind of game and also, frankly, our primary priority was and is developing Ark: Survival Evolved. "It was an experiment that didn't catch on but we do think there's a fun game there. We've debated many times why it didn't quite hit the sweet spot when similar games—you might call them arena survival games, of some sort—have really taken off. Especially recently with PlayerUnknown's game and also King of the Kill." Stieglitz says he's unsure of where Survival of the Fittest fits into today's landscape, but that a lack of resources have prevented he and his team from reinvigorating the game as it stands. Stieglitz suggests the fact SotF's slow-paced, complex and hour-long battles mean its hard for players to drop in and out in the same way they can in PUBG—but the fact Ark includes dinosaurs is nevertheless appealing to the battle royale genre. He continues: "I don't know it'd be as big as PlayerUnknown's title, but I think dinosaurs are very agreeable to a general audience and they're cool in a PvP environment. Everybody understands how powerful a T-Rex is compared to, say, a rapture. That's a very intuitive thing—it's a good spectator game in fact. However, it really comes down to focus right now. We're a very small team relative to what we try to do - we've got about 30-some people in our cor...ARK: State of the GameJul 19, 2017 - Community AnnouncementsHey, Survivors! We’ve got important and exciting news to share! First of all, we’ve finally completed our game for the console disc retail submission! It was a very long and arduous process, our boss fight or so to say, and your feedback throughout this process has been highly valuable. It was a very tight deadline to make the ship date, and the team has been intensively grinding through singleplayer-oriented refinements for the posterity of the disc-based version. All that aside, we were able to resolve many issues, as well as considerably improve the game through various changes and implementation of new techniques and it’s now time to move onto refocus our development efforts on the live game, as well as address some key topics within the community: https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/156899501296882417/317EAA75F6BEC5CAF0AA039C7382BBBB131F942B/ Will the Official Servers be wiping? Short answer: No -- but read the long answer! We had previously released a statement a year ago informing players that our Official Servers would not be wiping on the retail launch of the game. We’ve thought long and hard about the decision, taking into consideration the various points brought up by the community, the internal members of the team, as well as the general discussion that has taken place on the internet through various press/media outlets and will be sticking to our initial decision. It is clear that some group of players are for the wipe for, and some are against it, all for legitimate reasons; and we took it all into account. We ultimately decided that we would not wipe and we would rather pay the cost to launch an additional new PvP & PvE Server Cluster network (alongside but separate from the current PvP & PvE Legacy Cluster), where players will get to have a fresh experience on the ARK; across all four maps with no influence from any of the previous servers. At that time we'll be rolling out the new server code and infrastructure necessary to prevent critical issues such as server crashing exploits, duping, and DDoSing, so they will not affect the batch of new servers (as well as the legacy ones, going forward). Our current set of Official Servers will be rebranded as “Legacy” and indicated as such on all platforms. We will also be taking steps to remove some of our ‘ghost town’ servers, where the player population has remained near-zero for an extended duration of time. We’ll take a look at the statistics and will be repurposing 10% of the lowest count servers across all platforms. Once we know which servers these are; we'll preserve the save files and upload them, so if you so wish to use them, you can. Players will also have time to move through Cross-ARK to a different secure Legacy server. Every three months we will be taking a review of the Legacy Officials to see what the numbers are like and may consider repurposing more ‘ghost towns’, however, the goal will be to preserve any place with human activity. To be clear, if you're playing...Ark: Survival Evolved's design lead on huge server wipe reversal and new structure post-PC launchJul 19, 2017 - PC GamerYesterday, I spoke to Studio Wildcard's co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz—who is also Ark: Survival Evolved's lead designer, lead programmer, and development director. The conversation was scheduled ahead of a pretty significant announcement he and his team had planned for today: that the open world survival 'em up planned to wipe its servers, a "mass extinction" as a pre-prepared statement suggested, ahead of its August 8 PC launch. This morning, I was informed this was no longer the case, that Stieglitz and Studio Wildcard had made an equally significant 180-degree turn and that Ark would no longer undergo the proposed server wipe. A recent "rash of cheating and hacking" within the game had been billed as grounds for the move, however by rolling out a "fresh cluster network of servers running new code and infrastructure" will prevent similar issues occurring down the line. Earlier today, I caught up with Stieglitz again to clarify the reversal. Stieglitz answered fully and, given the confusion tied to the relatively dramatic 180-turn, I've opted to publish his responses in full. PC Gamer: So, in less than 24-hours Studio Wildcard has made a pretty explicit 180 regarding its decision, or lack thereof, to wipe its servers. Jeremy Stieglitz: Welcome to Wildcard. So after speaking about our decision to wipe servers yesterday I went back and spoke to the team and asked: are we doing the right thing here? There are a lot of different opinions around the round table, so to speak, and we also talked to our community managers who are a little closer to the players than we are. And then, we also talked to our playtest team—the playtest team are actually like just players, they know the game really well, they're volunteers, they tend to take a look at our content, they're not employees so they come at it from an Ark fan standpoint more than anything else. We also did another deep dive into the online debates about the wipe versus no wipe situation in Ark. Ultimately we took away from all that it just seemed like a pretty even split. You're talking about basically half the playerbase, even in PvP, that does not want to see this happen. It just doesn't seem like a good, smart move to, probably, piss off half the playerbase. We knew that before too, but we didn't have an exact statistic as such. We knew it was affect a lot of people, but the problem was that before we thought there was no way we could actually have this many servers. One thing we definitely didn't want to do, and we're definitely not doing, is we're not only having the old servers. They are seriously affected by this irreversible hack-a-thon. It can be prevented going forward and they could maybe have recovered to some extent because the hacked items get used up through combat and conquest. But ultimately, we want players to have the option, new players especially, to experienc...'Was it the right decision? I can't say, it was motivated by [getting] the game on store shelves,' says Ark director on price hikeJul 19, 2017 - PC GamerFor some, Ark: Survival Evolved's recent controversial pre-full release price hike highlights the trouble with pricing Early Access games. For others, most specifically DayZ creator Dean Hall, it's "****ing OUTRAGEOUS." But wherever you stand with the issue, the open world dino hunter's Jeremy Stieglitz has explained the premature increase is tied to the game's physical launch. "Admittedly, my intent, our intent, was to have the price hit the full retail price when the full retail launch occurred," Stieglitz, the game's lead designer, lead programmer and co-creative director, tells me. "That would have been at the retail launch, not prior to that. The reality turned out to be, and we didn't realise this until we got to the final phase of getting the game into retail channels, was that: in order to get the game into retailers—that is not digital retailers but physical ones, both for the physical disc PC version and the console version—the retailers and distributors wouldn't take it if the digital versions was cheaper than the retail version. They found that it would undermine their sales potential." Stieglitz goes on to say the markup in turn couldn't wait because retailers wouldn't take the game if they weren't able to run a preorder programme. He suggests these two outcomes in tandem "forced" the studio's hand, and while unhappy with having to hike the game's price prior to its proposed August 8 PC launch feels that "the value is there, for the most part, of that price point." Stieglitz continues: " certainly will be there at the date of retail launch—that means you buy it now for $60, for example, in three weeks it's going to be $60. It would've been $60 in three weeks anyway and we wouldn't release a game that we didn't feel was worth that. We're really confident that there's a hell of a lot of value in that package—content, features and fun gameplay. "It is unfortunate and was absolutely not our original intent and not something I wanted personally, to have that price hike occur prior to the retail launch. I can certainly understand why that ruffled feathers and pissed people off, to be blunt, and I can only say that sometimes we as a developer can't control the variables. You might say, well, we didn't have to do it and that's true but then we wouldn't be able to have a physical retail launch. "I think, ultimately, that's important to me personally—not from a money standpoint but from a vanity standpoint. But also it's important for Ark to be able to reach players in the non-digital community, in the physical gaming community. There really is half the market, these people who buy games in stores worldwide and we do feel that from a playerbase standpoint, those new players are going to add a lot of fun to existing Ark pl...Ark's controversial price hike highlights the trouble with pricing Early Access gamesJul 10, 2017 - PC Gamer"Shh. Their vision is based on price movement..." Game pricing is a thorny question that we’ve taken a crack at before , but this week we’re dealing with two considerably thornier questions: how much should an Early Access game cost, and should that cost increase when it officially launches? Last week, Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard announced that its dinosaur survival game was getting a price increase on Steam from $30 to $60 (or £23 to £50) “to ensure retail parity” (match the price of the console versions) ahead of the game’s August launch. Many are less than pleased with the price hike. Some Ark fans suggest that, given ongoing bugs and server issues, the game isn’t worth $60. Some who’ve held off on purchasing the game are unwilling to pay double the Early Access price. DayZ creator and Ark fan Dean Hall called the increase “greed—pure and simple” in a series of scathing tweets , and a troubling sign that Wildcard is disconnected from its community in a follow-up interview . There’s a lot to unpack here, so we reached out to several prominent Early Access developers to hear their take on how Early Access games should be priced. The four Ark Steam reviews rated "most helpful" by users over the past 30 days. Steam reviews are currently "Mixed." What price is right? Many Early Access games see a small price increase when they officially launch. Red Hook Studios’ Darkest Dungeon, for example, was bumped from $20 to $25 upon exiting Early Access. So it’s no surprise that Tyler Sigman, co-founder and design director at Red Hook, supports the general idea. "Your feelings don t matter. Suck it up. What matters is how the market feels." Hugh Jeremy, Unknown Worlds “A price increase coming out of Early Access makes a lot of sense to me,” Sigman said via email. “As far as I’m concerned, as the developer you want to reward early adopters the best that you can. After all, early adopters who took an early risk got a discount and were able to take part in influencing the game. That’s real value for people to buy into Early Access.” In this sense, a launch price increase serves as an incentive to buy early, and a reward for those who do. You could also argue it acts as a testament to a game’s completion, a concrete way for developers to tell would-be buyers that they’ve fixed all the problems from Early Access and the game is now worth more. Prison Architect Mark Morris, managing director at Introversion Software, which released Prison Architect via Early Access, offered another perspective. “I think that when you first price a game, even in Early Access, you anchor it to a particular price point,” Morris said via email. “Significant increases are always going to be perceived as a problem … if I’m being honest, I thin...Dean Hall criticizes Ark's price increase as "****ing OUTRAGEOUS"Jul 8, 2017 - PC GamerFormer DayZ developer Dean Hall published a series of tweets about the price increase of Ark: Survival evolved, which jumped from $30 to $60 a month before its planned departure from Early Access in August. In his tweets, Hall called Ark's price change "****ing OUTRAGEOUS" (asterisks his) and attributed it to "greed - pure and simple." "We should be encouraging games to stay in Early Access until they are finished." Dean Hall Hall counts himself a "huge fan" of Studio Wildcard's game. "I absolutely think the game would be worth it when it reaches a stable state," he said in another tweet. "Emphasis on the last few words!" In other replies on Twitter, Hall said that Ark is "nowhere near close" to being finished, calling the dinosaur survival game "very buggy." DayZ, which Hall began developing in 2012, entered Steam Early Access in December of 2013, and four years later it is now preparing to enter beta. Hall left Bohemia Interactive in 2014 to found a new game studio, RocketWerkz. We asked Hall via email what Ark needs to do to justify its $60 price, what effect Studio Wildcard's decision to release paid DLC had, and how developers determine the appropriate price when they're transitioning from Early Access to a full release. PC Gamer: As a fan of the game, what does Ark need to do to justify that $60 price point? Dean Hall: I put a pretty high expectation on a "AAA" price. Many focus obsessively on how long a game is in early access but I would far rather a game take as long as it needs in Early Access to be bug free rather than a rushed development and then a rushed price increase. I believe Ark, like DayZ or any other Early Access game, should remain in Early Access until it achieves the expected performance and bug standards of it's price. I play the game exclusively on permadeath so the bugs killing you are just so much harsher for me! How does Wildcard's decision to release a paid expansion in 2016 change this price increase? I think that DLC split the community which is the main reason I wasn't a fan of it. I had many friends who would play Ark with us, but not into it enough to buy the DLC. It's always a risk with DLC in a multiplayer title. As I say below, I think that decision is symptomatic of how successful they are and that those making the pricing decisions don't care about the state of the game. How does a developer determine what's the appropriate price increase when they're transitioning from Early Access to a full release? As Garry Newman pointed out in a tweet to me : they're doing something right! Ark has been incredibly successful and this decision will not undermine that in the least. So you could argue they can set whatever price they want. But as a consumer myself, I think it's symptomatic that those making the price decisions don't care about the state of the ...Ark: Survival Evolved price doubles on SteamJul 6, 2017 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunStudio Wildcard have doubled the price of their dino-infested survival game Ark: Survival Evolved on Steam. The developers say that the price hike is “to ensure retail parity for the upcoming launch” which is on 8 August. … Ark: Survival Evolved is now priced at $60 ahead of its full release in AugustJul 5, 2017 - PC GamerIf you've been on the fence as to whether or not to purchase Studio Wildcard's dinosaur survival game, you've officially missed your window to get in on Early Access pricing. Ark: Survival Evolved is now $59.99 in the Steam store, "to ensure retail parity" for the game's full launch in August, according to Ark's official twitter account. Ark, in Early Access since 2015, has been priced at $29.99 on Steam, and has featured a number of sales that have dropped it as low as $10 at times. However, as its Steam page warned: "... the game will be lower priced through Early Access, relative to its final full-version retail price." That full-version price arrived for consoles a few weeks ago, and while we haven't quite at reached the August 8 release date, Ark is now full price on PC as well. If you bought Ark prior to today, naturally, you don't need to sweat the price increase: you'll own the full game when it leaves Early Access. Ark: Survival Evolved leaving early access in AugustJun 13, 2017 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunAfter two years in early access, the dinosaur-riding sandbox survive-o-craft ’em up Ark: Survival Evolved will leave early access and launch on August 8th. It’s not clear how much this will actually change the game, as creators Studio Wildcard say they still plan to keep adding things after launch, but perhaps they’ll finally sort out Ark’s performance problems. And if wishes were raptors, beggars would ride, eh? Before then, Wildcard are still busy. Today they launched Valhalla, a free fantasy-ish makeover mod and new island. It’s the first mod from the Ark Sponsored Mods Program, which pays modders to mod, to get be officially added to Ark. … Ark: Survival Evolved will leave Early Access in AugustJun 12, 2017 - PC GamerAmidst the hustle, bustle, and blinding chaos of E3, Studio Wildcard has very quietly announced a big bit of Ark: Survival Evolved news: A release date of August 8, worldwide and across all platforms. "During the past two years, millions of Ark players have built gigantic bases, captured and trained armies of dinosaurs, crafted armories full of weapons and eaten billions of pounds of Jurassic creature-kabobs. With their help, we’re about to reach the completion of core content for Ark: Survival Evolved and release the full game to the world," studio co-founder and co-creative director Jeremy Stieglitz said. "For those players who were excited with every update during Early Access, Ark’s going to become even more fun with surprise new content at launch & beyond, as we will continue to have a staggering amount of additional gameplay, creatures, and story elements in the works." Studio Wildcard also announced that the modder-made map Ragnarok is being released today on Steam as the game's first official expansion, and also the first mod to be integrated into Ark through the sponsored mod program. The new map will feature: * A 144 sq kilometer map designed to be explored by land, sea or air; * Tons of harvest-able or gatherable resources; * Caves of all shapes and sizes, each designed to be built in; * Distinct variations on former ARK creatures, as well a special brand-new creature unique to Ragnarok; * Build tree platforms on unique trees/rocks; * Expansive biomes that were built to reward hardy explorers; * Some of the most challenging dungeons in ARK will await players; * An active volcano that while erupting yields a high amount of resources in the form of lava crystal; * Beautiful vistas and base locations as far as the eye can see; * Hot springs that while dormant yield a relaxing buff, but when active, become dangerous; * Ruins to not only explore but that can also be incorporated into base builds; * A vast ocean with its own ecosystem; * Upcoming future desert biome to find and tame creatures; * Upcoming Explorer Notes that hold the key to Ragnarok's secrets and history; The Ragnarok expansion is free on Steam, although Studio Wildcard warned that it "is still in primary development, and so it will continue to expand with updates over time." It's great to have finally a release date, although to a large extent (for those of us on PC, anyway) it's symbolic: You can just nip over to Steam and buy the thing right now—still in Early Access, mind—for $30/£23/€28. ARK at E3: Ragnarok, Griffin, Release Date!Jun 12, 2017 - Community Announcementshttps://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/839207011926153531/5C8CD820436E6D0FD078441441EE7FCEF27E6BC3/ Hello, Survivors! We have some very exciting news to share with you all today! Introducing a new Official Mod: Ragnarok, available now on Steam! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfaOogXlG3g We're excited to announce the first mod to be integrated into ARK: Survival Evolved as part of its ARK Sponsored Mods Program! Developed by the former creators of popular ARK mods Valhalla and Umassoura; David Miller, Matt Janz, and Jackson Lawrence came together to work on their latest project, “Ragnarok” which is being released today for Steam players as a free DLC Official Expansion ARK, and will be shortly making its way to consoles in July. Global Cross-ARK and isolated Official Ragnarok servers will be available for you to make your new home. Note that Ragnarok is still in primary development, and so it will continue to expand with updates over time. https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/839207011926157406/777B14591D54B988B219E7D3BD1712DC739163C5/ Steam players can download Ragnarok now! http://store.steampowered.com/app/642250/Ragnarok__ARK_Expansion_Map The new map will contain: A 144 sq kilometer map designed to be explored by land, sea or air Tons of harvest-able or gatherable resources Caves of all shapes and sizes, each designed to be built in Distinct variations on former ARK creatures, as well a special brand-new creature unique to Ragnarok Build tree platforms on unique trees/rocks Expansive biomes that were built to reward hardy explorers Some of the most challenging dungeons in ARK will await players An active volcano that while erupting yields a high amount of resources in the form of lava crystal Beautiful vistas and base locations as far as the eye can see Hot springs that while dormant yield a relaxing buff, but when active, become dangerous Ruins to not only explore but that can also be incorporated into base builds A vast ocean with its own ecosystem Upcoming future desert biome to find and tame creatures Upcoming Explorer Notes that hold the key to Ragnarok's secrets and history Introducing the Griffin! https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/839207011926159165/42E080A84A260C21CDDAC34820C81FC9EF60B0BC/ A new Dino Dossier has been revealed, this one is everyone's favourite gallant glider, the Griffin! Official Release Date! ARK: Survival Evolved has entered its final phase of core production, and will hit worldwide retail and digital release on August the 8th, 2017 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Mac, and Linux. https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/839207011926155292/ADA1A183B7E3B3060CAD6D07E049E4CC97581972/ The past two years have been one heck of a journey! Millions of ARK players worldwide have built gigantic bases, captured and trained armies of dinosaurs, crafted armories full of weapons and eaten billion of pounds of berries. With your help, we're now about to reach the completion of core content for ARK...Why it took four hours and a dozen dead sheep to get my toilet working in Ark: Survival EvolvedJun 7, 2017 - PC GamerYou're going to see a lot of my poop in this story, but if it's any comfort to you, the amount of poop you're going to see is far, far less than I saw while creating it. Ark: Survival Evolved is probably the poopinest game ever made, with dinos and humans constantly dropping turds all over the map. It's not just for laughs: dung is used in the creation of fertilizer for farming, but having to pick up all that poop with your bare hands and carry it around in your pants is a little gross. Especially human poop. A little bit of civilization arrived in Ark in the last update: namely, functioning toilets. Naturally, I wanted to build myself a bathroom: there's something nice about the idea of being able to use a proper toilet instead of just having a doot fall out of me while in the midst of a conversation or task. I have a little house (it's more of a box) on an island I share with my friend and tribemate, Katie, and I've decided to add a restroom to it. I begin by building a couple of interior walls and a door to serve as a tiny bathroom, and then get to work crafting the toilet. Naturally, this being Ark, the crafting ingredients are ludicrous, requiring 40 units of crystal. For what? I don't really know, but considering a jousting lance requires 260 metal ingots and 100 units of obsidian (and no wood, mind you!), I suppose I'm getting off easy. After a quick jaunt to a nearby cave to collect crystal, some rock mining to gather metal, some tree chopping (my favorite) for wood, I build the toilet, place it in the new restroom, sit on it, and try to take a dump. I can't. I wait a while, but there's still no deployment. Finally, I decide to start chowing down on the dozen or so lambchops I'm carrying. I know it's not exactly classy to eat on the can, especially when there's a grubby monkey on my shoulder, but I'm eager to try out my new throne. After eating a dozen chops and periodically pressing the defecate button, I finally take a shit. However, it appears to fall out of my ear and land on the toilet seat next to me. That's the thing about plumbing: you've got to hook it up to something. Though it's technically a chair with a hole in it, and the poop should just fall in regardless, it won't: I need a water supply to make my toilet go. My house is some distance from the beach, and I really don't feel like running pipes all the way across the island, so I figure I'll just add a water tank behind my house, connect it with a pipe, and either manually fill it or wait for it to rain. I build and place the tank, craft some water skins, fill them in the lagoon, and drop them into the tank. The tank still shows itself as empty, though, and the toilet looks empty as well. Again, I can sit on the toilet, it but it won't work, and my dumps just land on the seat next to me. Luckily, it begins to rain, and soon my tank is filled. Peering into the toilet,...Patch 258: Hyaenodon, Megatherium, Megalania, Hesperornis, Yutyrannus, and More!May 29, 2017 - Community Announcementshttps://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/776155441466686686/31DC9F4A210222703FBE319F1719CF713DE31220/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7H2HONK3z0 Patch v258 finds its way harpooning onto the ARK with an entire boatload worth of content! It'll introduce five new creatures to the game, a new way of travel in the form of a gas-powered motorboat, an interactive toilet for when you just can't hold it in anymore, a harpoon gun for all your under the sea adventures, and not to forget; two new hairstyles, optimisations, and a greater Achievement set! With this update, ARK: Survival Evolved has officially released 100 creatures to the base game, not including bosses, events, or specialised variants! Now let's say hello to our new friends! https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/776155441466866783/9B65504DCCBF2AB787777D531C757414B320A294/ Dossier Hyaenodon dirus, a carnivore most often found across the mountains and tundras in packs of 3 to 6. The Hyaenodon is a very intelligent predator. Before engaging, it determines if the payoff for a fight is worth the risk of injury. Hyaenodon often prefers not to fight unless there is already weakened prey or a fresh carcass nearby. https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/776155441466802728/B456C6DE5DE56B7E1A5144E5694266A35D3795B3/ Despite being too small to ride, Hyaenodon are still popular pets. Their intelligence means they train well, and their natural pack mentality makes them excellent hunting dogs. Their ability to quickly recover health by consuming raw flesh off the bone ensures they can take punishment yet continue to fight, and they can efficiently preserve meat in specially-crafted saddle-bags. https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/776155441467103478/99814E21D5079B9F614833666FA5F083E836AE97/ Dossier Megatherium formipavor is one of the larger mammals on the Island. Despite primarily being a herbivore, a typical Megatherium is very intent on consuming the Island’s many insects. It is particularly adept at removing their insides without damaging much of the shell, maximizing extraction of chitin. The otherwise slow and peaceful Megatherium becomes faster and aggressive in the presence of these creatures. https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/776155441467269476/0F8250DED9C7C5BBC2AFD2460C3D2DB4BF4BE2EB/ Dossier Megalania muruspede is found throughout the Island’s complicated cave networks. Reaching up to three meters long, it can traverse vertically up cave walls with little difficulty thanks to its powerful claws. Like other Varanidae, Megalania is a venomous creature. Its poison is slow-acting but will drain the victim’s effective strength and health until death unless cured by a rare antidote. https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/776155441467362362/FC87D9139CC485CDAAB73E339F6C6F9986EC0BE4/ The rare ability of Megalania to effortlessly climb sheer environmental walls makes it a highly sought-after mount. While it is by no means the fastest, strongest, or toughest mount, the manner i...Despite Mostly Negative Reviews, 23% More People are Playing ARK Now Than One Month Ago on SteamSep 19, 2016 - GitHypAlmost one month ago on September 1, Studio Wildcard made the controversial decision to release a $19.99 expansion pack for their $29.99 early access game, ARK: Survival Evolved. And while the Scorched Earth pack has received almost 2,000 "Very Positive" reviews on Steam, the move by Wildcard has triggered a huge backlash on ARK’s primary review hub that tells a different story with close to 12,000 "Mostly Negative" recent reviews from angry players who purchased the game before the expansion. With so many negative reviews on Steam (many from users claiming that they’ll be dropping support for the game), surprisingly, ARK’s player count values have actually increased over the past month since the expansion pack launched. Looking at ARK’s weekend peaks on Saturdays over the past month, the average players per hour has gone from 36,637 players on August 20 to an average players per hour value of 47,681 most recently on September 17. [caption id="attachment_201575" align="aligncenter" width="800"] GitHyp’s ARK: Survival Evolved Player Count per Hour Data[/caption] So despite all the controversy, ARK: Survival Evolved isn’t actually losing players as it would seem based on just reading news and reviews… and the developer’s questionable decision to release more paid content while still being in early access has actually increased the game’s active playerbase by 23% on Steam.