Ark: Survival Evolved Has Downgraded Its Dinosaurs

Ark: Survival Evolved Has Downgraded Its Dinosaurs

Ark: Survival Evolved is one of the most popular survival games ever, and if you can't see why, you're the dumb adult in one of those kid's shows. It's the dinosaurs. Obviously. Jeez. So what happens when a patch makes them markedly less useful? Things go south in a hurry. The PC version of Ark recently received a surprise balancing patch that dropped dinosaurs down a few rungs on the evolutionary ladder. While individual dinos received different tweaks to stats and scaling, the gist is that all tamed dinos suffered 50+ per cent reductions in damage and health across the board. Initially, players suffered some big losses, pitting their once-absurdly powerful high-level raptors against herds of stegosauruses (or a T-Rex) and watching them suddenly get stomped into prehistoric paste. Naturally, they were pissed.

While players quickly wised up, they began noticing other ramifications of the patch. For instance, weaker dinos are slower at harvesting resources, turning the game into more of a grind.

After a day of sustained outcry, Ark's developers chimed in, explaining that they have felt like this sort of thing was long overdue. Basically, tamed dinos were super overpowered, leading to absurd situations like the aforementioned raptor taking out an entire herd of stegosauruses with relative ease. In PvP situations, people would just have their hulkiest mini-godzillas do most of the work through brute force, removing many tactical elements from the equation. Drastic though the patch might have been, it was done to bring the game in line with the way the developers originally envisioned it. They explained:

Earlier on in development we had a misunderstanding between how both player and creature stat scaling was supposed to function and by the time we had realised what went wrong, and how it went wrong - we had to come up with a solution. The misunderstanding was noticed as we started to introducing higher levels and more difficulty into the game, which resulted in higher-stated dinosaurs, basically much stronger creatures to what we had planned and intended.

Our first-step to coming up with a solution to tackle the scaling was to hit dinosaur stats in one go, retroactively. We wanted to scale down tamed creatures vs wild creature interaction so that you'll no longer have absurd situations where one Raptor is single-handedly destroying 10s of max-level wild Brontos without any trouble. However we also wanted to keep it so that tamed creature vs tamed creature interaction would remain similar to how it is currently.

Since the initial patch, they have tweaked things like dinosaur resource harvesting (to reduce the grind a bit) and some specific dino stats. In time, they hope to differentiate dinosaurs and other creatures from each other in big ways — rather than just with levels and stats. "We want them to become more similar to how they're described in their dossiers and different to what their base-stats are like," the developers explained. "So it will be possible to have creatures that function in completely different ways, as opposed to everything being so uniform."

Many members of the community are still having trouble coping with the sudden deflation of their precious dinosaurs. While I think Ark's developers made a smart decision in the long run, I feel like they executed it poorly. For one, they could've sapped tamed creatures' steroidal strength gradually instead of meteor nuking everything in a single go, resulting in a collective losing-of-shit so profound that it's now considered a mass extinction event. They also could've paid closer attention to balance ramifications, such that resource harvesting and certain creatures (like the direwolf) wouldn't have suffered so much. It's also worth noting that this is a game where it's easy to get attached to your dinos, dopey though they might sometimes be. Deaths due to sudden balance changes? That's infuriating and a little heartbreaking.

To an extent, though, this is what happens when Early Access games collide with massive, expectant audiences. Sometimes developers make sweeping changes to unfinished games; that's just how game development works. At the same time, though, millions of people have already paid for and are playing Ark. Clearly, designating it simply as an "unfinished" game — with all the allowances that come with that term — is no longer useful. It walks a strange middle ground, especially given that it's one of the most popular games on Steam despite its early state. It's not just any old Early Access game, in other words.

Ark's developers are usually pretty good at communication, but this is a case where they could've been better. Instead, it seems like they succumbed to a game-still-in-development mentality and made a surprise overhaul to perhaps the most notable element of their dinosaur game: the goddamn dinosaurs. Odds are, Ark's players will settle down and adjust with time, but until then, things are probably gonna be ugly for a little bit.


Comments

    To be honest, this was needed.

    They're apparently adding Dino-Armour soonish, which will add to dino defence. But, the issue came when some animals were able to get to godly like proportions while others were limited severely. Then there was the issue that a rifle would do almost zero damage to some while doing godly amounts to others (TRex/Bronto for instance, different amounts, despite comparitive size).

    Like any change, it's naysayed by many, but it's in alpha and it's a balancing game. It's being adjusted and it'll be worked out.

    and they have just pushed out various buffs and nerfs :)

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/346110/discussions/0/594820656447032287/

    * Further Dino Balance Adjustments:
    +67% Tamed Melee Damage Per Level Increase
    +33% Tamed Melee Damage Per Level Increase
    +20% Affinity Boost Increase Health/Damage Tamed Dinos
    +33% HP increase to Tamed Flyers/Quetz
    +Remove Flyer Projectile Damage Multiplier
    -60% Turrets Damage vs Dinos

    for better or worse it is done.
    But the devs FAIL to register sercurity issues with chinese hackers and extremely poor server stability.
    Those are the issues that are well OVERDUE in addressing.

      It is early access, they are not OVERDUE. All issues will be tended to in time.

      The poor server stability has to do with structure/dino limits, if you are having issues you might want to look for a server with better specs or a quicker building auto destroy setting. As some one who had a server for a fair while, I can tell you that if you are having issues it normally has to do with the server freaking out over people being spread out across so many cells and that causes them to all be simultaneously be populated. Then there are all the private servers that for some reason run on shared memory with other game servers... MADNESS.

        Why have "OFFICIAL" servers then? Oh and you can't migrate your character off an official server, so all those hours you put into one character, all those rubber banding failures (I lost one taming croc and three tamed dinos to rubber banding), only to start over again from scratch. Might as well play on a 10x server?

          Well you may as well as there is still a real chance that another world wipe may happen, you may lose your stuff at any moment (whether from griefing, legit play or glitches like falling through the world). The early access is happening so they can make their way around and fix all these things BEFORE the launch rather than pulling a Ubisoft or EA and madly patching for up to six months after.

          All these early access games are the same, stop clinging to in game progression during it, its largely irrelevant. I have restarted multiple times between different servers; it is unfortunately just they way its going to go down for a while.

            Yeah but it's fun bitching about a glitchy game I paid for, even though it's early access. I understand it's still under development and falling through floors/swimming underground and what not, but is that really an excuse for hosting a bunch of official servers on under-resourced VMs after selling who knows how many copies @ USD$30 (roughly 50,000 players playing a day)?
            Oh well, plenty other games to play out there. Just the notion of surviving in a world with dinosaurs with friends is good (I actively avoided Rust because zombies). Didn't mind the glitches, the huge rubber banding was an issue though (I've already tried 3x and 10x private servers, no lag!) so all but two of us still play (out of 5).

              Maybe man, but I reckon they are working on content first as the content itself will keep generating bugs; may as well get it all out and then do the patch work after. I know it may be frustrating (when the EA started I lost my first solo tamed rex to a gate that somehow put his feet through part of a hill and watched him drown just bellow me).

              The thing is that we should just be grateful for constant updates, clear signs of the game improving and a decent amount of transparency from the developer that we probably wouldn't have gotten from many other studios.

              After thought; RIP "A pimp named Slickback".

                Haha yeah it's good they are developing quite constantly (sometimes 1-2GB updates, NBN FTW). Which is why we've persisted, it's become a much better game. But I'm sure they've sold millions, they should have some spare cash for bumping the VMs with more CPU/RAM... Unless they're being deliberate with the maxed out servers. The amount of content now makes the servers rubber band quite hard with 20/70 players as opposed to 70/70 when it was new.
                R.I.P. level 220 ptera "SR-71 BlackBird".

    I love this game, about 40+ hours in on xbone and haven't even tamed a dino yet.

      Not even a dodo??????

        Ok I have done a pachy but killed it within 2min attacking bugs, I have a tribe mate who has trained us about 10 dinos mostly dilophsaur

        all our trained dinosaurs get killed overnight anyway, we have only just completed our keep, all stone on primitive server surrounded in 4 story high wall and the dinos now have their own keep within the fort, has taken 2 of us about 3 weeks to get this far. at one point we have 2 raptors with saddles but they were killed over night.

      Ive only tamed a Turtle, Perasaur? and a trike and all have died in some crazzy situations.

      Love this game, Im playing it on the Xbox one.

        Yea I've seen you online playing, shame you cant transfer characters between servers, I never wanna leave Primitive 128 because of that, sux sometimes have to wait 20min to get on while its full.

          I play 4 player host games, your welcome to join our games, we are low lvl coz we have few games going.

            i kinda like the idea of other humans with the element of danger, but really dont want to start from scratch im about level 35

          Hey do you still play on primitive 128? We been on that server since this pretty much came out. . Curious who you are? Lol. Im sure you done better since the last time you posted here :)

          We been through alot of set backs on this server but still staying strong :)

    Doesn't the game have all these sliders for the server setup and config files to like change all this anyway? would seem if people want uber dinos they can just goto those servers with buffs.

    So, this hits the criteria for "making sense"... what's the problem? Is it that it also hits the criteria for "changing things people will arbitrarily complain over because change"?

    The PC version of Ark recently received a surprise balancing patch ....

    I think you meant to say "long awaited".
    It's been talked about for more than a month in several places by the devs. Specifically within a couple of days of the Giganotosaurus appearing they talked about the stats misunderstanding to explain why the Giga's stats were so ridiculous and that wasn't even the first mention of a rebalance coming.

    This game seems pretty intriguing...my brother and I will finish up our dying light play thru in a couple of weeks and will be looking to find another good co-op game;no mean feat, dying light is vastly under rated in that respect, possibly the most fun I've ever had co-opping!
    What's the core gameplay though, it seems a little grindy? I know you build, scavenge, find dinosaurs and tame them, can battle other players etc. but what else?

    Early Access Game
    "Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development"

    Looking to Build a tribe "NA Xbox Official Server 48" add my gamertag if interested "Gamer God Thor"

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