Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ark: Survival Evolved

Where you been Telecanter?  Umm, yeah.  Kinda been addicted to an early access game called Ark:Survival Evolved.  It's a survival game with crafting and building, but the main thing is you can tame and ride dinosaurs.

The game is designed to be played with tribes.  You share experience for doing things when you are close to tribemates, for instance, and some of the dinosaur taming takes so long it really requires multiple people helping. 

It is a PVP server.  Not everyone will kill you on sight, in fact that is a dangerous way to play, but people will try to break into your buildings, steal your things, and kill your dearly won dinos.  I find the challenge of succeeding in spite of this intoxicating.

Of course, I am trying to play it solo.  And so I have mostly been living like a guerrilla, learning the land and trying to hide little outposts deep in the jungle.

There are downsides. Bugs: when you kill a creature the corpse often balloons away, denying you the resources it contains. Constant server upgrades: add cool content but teleport your sleeping character into the wild where it is eaten by dinos (yes, when you log out this game leaves a sleeping body and yes, almost every time I log in I expect to be dead).  Toxic players: you know that stereotype that games are played by young males that are racist, sexist, and immature?  Well, in the hundreds of hours I've spent playing this game online I've found it is absolutely true.  There are often lots of players on a server that are silent and I hope, hope, they are the more mature, kinder, less idiotic humans playing the game but there is no way to know.

The game has pretty frequent upgrades, almost daily.  I'm hoping the balance will shift a bit because right now it seems like it takes much less time to destroy something than to make something.  Chaos is winning.

My character is almost at the level cap, and as a solo player I will probably never be able to tame some of the bigger dinos, so I already feel my interest starting to wane.  If this game sounds interesting, or you already have it and want to tribe up, shoot me an email and I'll tell you which server I'm playing on.


  1. I keep looking at this game, and your post tempts me further. What times are you usually playing?

  2. Good luck with your dino wrangling. :)

  3. My schedule is pretty open now, and I can be on/off all through the day. It can be difficult to log on prime time PST sometimes because there are only 70 players allowed on sever at a time. If you want some excitement, the hostile Chinese tribes are still on before noon PST.

    Having a microphone would make things easier.

    @Christian: thanks, I still haven't ever tamed a flying or swimming dino and I'd like to before I quit playing the game.

  4. Yeah, still lurking, and am happy that your absence is due to a pleasant addiction and not an excess of work.

    But to bring you back to what is truly important, let's talk FRPG. I am interested in whether or not you are sill using the Petitions for clerics/clergy that you had posted about long ago. If not, why not? The concept is interesting.

    Finally, if you don't know of the web site, check out I know you like to camp in the Sierras, and you may find their presentation of Google satellite images and superimposed topos and other maps interesting. I am currently using the Sierras to represent a range in my campaign map and amuse myself with the idea that the players home town may be near my old home of Tehachapi.

  5. Hey thanks for the comment and the website, I'll check it out.

    I haven't played in a while because the couple that hosts our games got married. (Been a lot of weekends taken up by bachelor/ette parties, the wedding, and honeymoon). But, yes, still using petitions.

    My players wouldn't know clerics any other way. They tend to ask for help only in crisis situations and it is always a moment of tension because sometimes the bones say "no." Our last session one player just made it to level three, which means he can pick a permanent indicator of holiness. That could be a halo, but since he worships Captain Morgan he may want something different : ) ( maybe the smell or sound of the see around him wherever he goes). Also, I need to write up some rules with him, something that if he breaks them, he will lose this symbol of favor from his god.

    Yeah, I like petitions. The biggest downside is trying to simply explain the differing probabilities of success to players. I've revised that several times, but need to take another look.

  6. D&D is awesome and so is your blog. Tried to post a comment using LiveJournal but it didn't seem to be working, hope I haven't inundated you with comments. I'm a 13th level Bard in 1st Edition D&D (we play with the original Players Handbook & Unearthed Arcana). Been playing a 5 year campaign with my pals every Monday night rain or shine (or significant others' birthdays) trollop23 (LiveJournal) Hulky23 (Twitter)