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ARK FAQ

 

General Questions:

Will there be forums on the main playark.com website?
– For the time being no, they will continue to use the Steam forums. Though this could change later on.
(Source 1)
(Source 2)

 

Server Donations?
– You’ll be able to monetize your server any way that you please as the team at ARK does not see this as an issue.
(Source)

 

Do we have to own the game to host a server?
– No you do not have to own the game. The server files will be posted for the public to use via anonymous Steam package download.
(Source)

 

Early Access Launch Time?
– They can’t say for certain but it’s often 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern time according to Drake. They will be sure to keep everyone up to date as much as possible.
(Source)

 

When will we see new footage?
– On Monday 12pm PST / 3pm EST the NDA will be lifted and you’ll begin seeing streams of the game.
(Source)

 

Will there be multi-packs available for the game?
– Yes there will be, a single copy will cost $25, while a 2-pack will cost $40, and a 4-pack will cost $70.
(Source)

 

Will the game be available on Windows 10 for early access?
– Yes it will be, it is actually what the team develops on, along with Windows 8 and Windows 7.
(Source)

How will mods work?
– Through steam workshop. It’s unclear what level of support there will be at EA launch, however they plan to have an option to auto-download mods when connecting to a modded server to make the whole thing as seamless as possible. Additionally, modders will have full access to their editors and the game’s source code, so the potential for mods is essentially unlimited.
(Source)

Will the game really update every two days?
– That is what the team is aiming for and they’ve said it could even possibly be more frequent depending how things go.
(Source)

How Many Developers Are Working On ARK?
– More than 40 members are working on ARK: Survival Evolved.
(Source)

Can we pre-load or pre-purchase the game?
– No. Steam doesn’t allow the preorder (or, as a result, the preloading) of Early Access games because of the risks involved and the potential for a developer to just take the money and run.

How will we report bugs?
– There will be in-client bug reporting and feedback reporting, at EA Launch. You’ll be able to do this through the Steam overlay.

What languages will be available at full release?
– The developers said that the game will be available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish on its full release.

Saves Between Servers
– You will be able to transfer items/characters/dinos between servers, but only by “digitizing” them at an Obelisk.

Interactable Land?
– You can destroy all the foliage including the trees and many rocks, but you can’t actually terraform the underlying landscape. So you can clear out a forest to make room for a village, but the dirt layer beneath will remain as is.

Procedural Worlds?
– Though it will not be available at first, and is in the early stages of development, there is a procedural generation system that is being worked on, and they hope to have it up and running by the end of the summer. They added that they want it to be very customizable, giving the server admins the ability to adjust a plethora of parameters to mold the ARK to their liking. They warn, however, that, like in any other game, procedurally generated content will not be as polished or as high quality as the handmade version, though they hope the modding community can step in and help solve this by both hand-creating their own arks and by tweaking the procedural generation system.

Anti-Cheat
– The way ARK will prevent cheating is to use what’s known as a “Server-Authoritative” setup. This differs from other games in the amount of trust it gives players. Some games let the client track it’s own position and report it to the server, trusting all the player location data it receives from the client application. This allows hackers to cheat by exploiting this trust, sending out fake location information that the server will think is from the client. Since the server trusts the client, it just accepts it and relays the information the exact same way it would any other, non-cheating players’ information.

ARK servers, however, won’t trust the client applications at all. What this effectively means is that the server will double check anything and everything the client says against the rules the developers put in place so that, even if hackers send out fake information, it will be caught immediately and those responsible can be kicked and/or banned before they can cause any damage.

They stress, however, that no anti-cheat method is ever 100% effective, and they will be seeking to find and squash any exploits they can  in EA.

Will We See Streams/Videos of the Closed Alpha?
– The closed alpha of ARK: Survival Evolved will be under a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) meaning you will not be able to share ANY information at all about the game.

How Long Until Official Release?
– It’ll be about a year until it’s officially released, but it will hit Early Access on June 2.

Will the game be limited to 30 FPS?
– No it will not! You will be able to get as much FPS out of the game as you want if you have a beefy computer.

Will this game ever have a Pay2Win feature?
– No! There will be absolutely no features adding to the game that would give an advantage to players that purchase over others that do no. There will be no monetization in this game other than the possibility of an entirely new expansion ARK’s (whole new worlds as expansion pack).

There will never be any items, not even cosmetics — there WILL be tons of cosmetic “item skins” but they will all be earnable in-game rewards and time-limited free events to encourage gameplay, nothing ever to spend any real money on.

Studio Wildcard are very much against any in-game monetization whatsoever. They’ve  seen it distort too many otherwise good games.

Will there be a FOV slider?
– Yes, you will be able to slide between a 70-110 FOV range.

Does ARK: Survival Evolved support SLI?
– Currently with DX11, SLI is not supported – however when DX12 rolls around in the Summer, it will be.

Will the game support other languages?
– Yes! It is planned to have the final version of the game localized to English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.

Will the game support gamepads?
– Yes, the early access launch will have gamepad support.

Can you turn off Motion Blur?
– Yes you can.

Will the game have a multi-player mode?
– The game is both online multi-player (with persistent official and custom player-hosted servers), and with a Local Single-player option as well.

What is the Alpha that’s being advertised on www.playark.com and if I get in, does this mean I would get Early Access for Free?
– The Alpha is our pre-early access testing group, which is a limited number of players to help them test the game before they head into Early Access.

The Alpha testers get the game for free as a result (they get Steam keys), but of course they also have to put up with lots of pre-launch data wipes. It is planned that ARK will be leaving Alpha in about a month as they head into Early Access.

Who composed the music?
– The composer is Gareth Coker, who also composed the music for “Ori and the Blind Forest” send him a shout out on Twitter @garethcoker

How much will the game cost and will there be a price difference between Early Access and the full release?
– Not entirely sure yet — but Early Access will be cheaper than full release. The games cost will be $25 USD, and console cost is still TBD.

Will the game launch with VR support?
– Early Access will launch with full Oculus Rift VR support. (and game-pad controls)

Beware, flying a pterodactyl with a VR headset on may induce extreme fear of heights!

Will there be a tutorial?
-Early Access will have a very basic tutorial, but that’s definitely an area of further work they will be doing post Early Access to flesh that out.

Will you guys support streamers and youtubers when the game is released?
– They will, they welcome any and all YouTube videos and streams you want to make the game. Anything you want to do, have it all!

Can we have a list of all the creatures and dinosaurs in the game?
– Click the names to view pictures of the dinosaurs/creatures.
Brontosaurus
Stegosaurus
Dodo
Mammoth
Meglodon

They will continue to share more via Steam, as well as an album on their Facebook page.

How often do you plan to update the game during Early Access?
– Approximately once every two days. No kidding around!

Will console versions also get early access?
– There are currently no plans to have a console version of Early Access. They will let you know if anything changes.

Are there any benefits to participating in Early Access?
– Apart from seeing the game grow, they say that Early Access purchasers on Steam will get some exclusive in-game goodies that they will be unveiling in the weeks ahead. Some nifty things to be proud of.

Technology – How far do you guys plan to go?
– There will be a sci-fi tech tier with some pretty crazy stuff, and that aspect of the game becomes ever more prevalent towards the end-game, but they will leave revealing more about that ’till a little down the road.

Game Optimization + Specs?
– It doesn’t require a top-tier video card but it does require 4 GB system RAM currently. However, if you have a mid-to-low graphics card you will definitely have to reduce graphics to make the game not look as good as it can be. But yeah it has a TON of configurable video options so you can pretty much get it to run on any video card down to like a $100 budget card.

That said, they plan to optimize, optimize, optimize as they head through Early Access. You can never be too optimized, and they are quite good at that.

For Max settings at 1080p, they recommend a GeForce 980 or equivalent graphics card. 3.0 Ghz CPU and 8 GB system RAM.

For Min settings at 720p, they recommend any DirectX 11 compatible graphics card with at least 1 GB video memory, 4 GB system RAM, and a 2.5 Ghz CPU.

 

Game Related Questions:

Natural Death?
– There is no natural death as this game is not a simulator, it’s a fantasy game. Though, the community could produce a mod for this.
(Source)

 

Will there be a “Battle Royal” mode?
– No, it will not be officially supported. Though, the community will likely create a mod for this.
(Source)

 

Will there be any sort of natural disasters?
– Currently there is not, though it could be a possibility later down the road.
(Source)

 

Lack of feathers on dinosaurs?
– The team at ARK decided to go with this decision as they’ve worked on all the dinosaurs from the ground up and decided to go with a more fantasy approach in the game and hope to make the dinosaurs more interesting this way. Though there will be more dinosaurs that are more factually accurate than some that have already been displayed.
(Source)

 

Will there be helmets and masks?
– Yes there will, you’ll also be able to paint them.
(Source)

 

Will we be able to manipulate untamed dinosaurs to our advantage?
– They plan on working more on this over time, but for now just keep in mind that dinosaurs do not like having their eggs stolen according to Drake.
(Source)

 

Will we be able to name our characters?
– You’ll be able to name your characters whatever you want in-game, though people will be able to see your Steam name and your current survivor’s name.
(Source)

 

Will dinosaurs hear us if we talk in-game?
– Currently no, though this could be a possibility as they progress with the game.

 

Will there be instruments and horns?
– They will be implementing instruments and horns, though their functionality is still being worked on.
(Source)

 

Is it really that scary in the jungle at night?
– According to Drake, it is extremely scary. The jungle at night is pitch black and you have to navigate completely off of the audio (unless you have your own light source). If you do bring a light source, it’ll have a very limited range and will give you position away to other survivors and creatures.
(Source)

 

Do buildings decay or last forever?
– Currently structure decay will exist in PvE, though in PvP it will be disabled. When enabled if a structure is left alone for a certain duration with no interaction such as your team being near it, then it’ll gradually lose health. In PvP players seem to enjoy destroying abandoned bases or taking them over.
(Source)

 

What is the max level and player and/or a dinosaur reach?
– At June 2nd launch, 60 will be the level cap. Though, it will be increased as more boss creatures and tributes are continually added, along with the ascension progression loop.
(Source)

 

Character Options: Tattoos, Piercings, Jewelry?
– Accessories such as jewelry are very likely. Tattoos will likely be just be possible via the warpaint system, which will follow the banner, flag, and sign painting system that they intend to roll out in June.
(Source)

 

How many people will be needed to cover all of the skills from the tech tree?
– It will require 2-3 which could cover the entire tree with overlap, at-least in early access.
(Source)

 

How often do you need to feed your pets?
– You only need to feed them once every 1-2 weeks.
(Source)

Amount of meat from different sized dinosaurs?
– You’ll be able to find more meat from larger dinosaurs, including differences in quality occasionally.
(Source)

Spawning
– The map will be broken down into regions, and you can pick a region to spawn in when you start a new character. This allows you and your friends to spawn relatively close to one another, though you will still need to search after that.
(Source)

Erupting volcanoes?
– It’s unconfirmed if the volcano will be working properly at early launch, but it could be on the list of things to be done. It will be something planned if not right at early access. They plan on experimenting with eruptions or other “large-scale environments” but it is unknown how that will work out.
(Source)

Can you use a corpse of a large create as a temporary shelter?
– Corpses do have collision and can block bullets, so technically yes.
(Source)

Will your pets gear be customisable?
– Yes it will,  you’ll be able to paint their saddles upon early access release. Later on more accessories and saddle types will be added. Early access release adopters will also get a few special things which will be announced later on.
(Source)

Will we see swords, shields, morning stars, and other dark age weapons/armor?
– They do plan on adding some swords and shield later on as the game develops. However there will be full plate armor sets and other types of armor available at early access launch.
(Source)

Will food spoil over time?
– Yes most organic foods do have spoiling times so be sure to use them as soon as you can, especially when using it for recipes. Would hate for that rare ingredient to spoil for you.
(Source)

Item durability/object destruction
– There will be item durability and you’ll be able to repair it. You’ll obviously be able to destroy objects not only manually, but demolishing is also a thing where you’ll get some of the resources back from it.
(Source)

Trophies in-game for kills?
– There will be some trophy items which you can earn at early access launch, including apex predator items which have a quest purpose.

Skulls are also likely, at early access launch there will be a unique trophy item you can collect from dead players. It is uniquely keyed to a survivors unique ID, including some of their vitals info.
(Source)

Will rain put out campfires or other open light sources?
– As of right now no it will not. It is something the team can easily do, but they believe that it would take the fun out of some things. This is something that can be reconsidered if the players really want this feature.
(Source)

Will there be a in-game camera we can use?
– Not for early access launch, but it is very likely to show up over the summer as the game progresses. There will also be some achievements related to them.
(Source)

Can you hide?
– Yes you can, you’ll be able to hide inside of bushes and behind trees given that they are large enough.
(Source)

Will we start out with tools?
– You’ll start off using only your bare hands, though you’ll be able to quickly craft tools
(Source)

Will the time vary on the reason that you were knocked unconscious?
– It’s based off of the level of torpor your character has which varies from what you hurt by (fists, tranquilizer arrows, etc) as they have different levels of applied torpor. You’ll be able to decrease it by eating or drinking certain items.
(Source)

Do trees actually fall down?
– Yes they do, also large dinosaurs are able to trample tree by stepping on or around them. This means you can’t always use trees to hide from them.
(Source)

Can you grow trees?
– Foliage re-grows over time and you currently are not able to play trees in the wild. Though, you will be able to plant trees on crop plots. Wild planting might be something that comes later on.
(Source)

Can you name a dinosaur after you tame it?
– Yes you can freely change the name of a dinosaur as long as you’ve tamed it. Its name will also stay once you release it and another survivor tames it, then they’ll have the option to rename it.
(Source)

Can you throw feces?
– Yes you can, just equip it in your hotbar.
(Source)

What use is there for dino feces other than fertilizer?
– You can use it to suicide while enslaved.
(Source)

Are some wild dinosaurs naturally stronger than others, or all they all the same?
– No, they are not all the same. They will vary within a genetic range, giving them different sizes, colors, strengths, etc. As a result, simply taming a dinosaur may not be enough if you didn’t tame the best one.

The devs also considered implementing a mating system that’d use this genetic variance, so the offspring would get a mix of attributes from the parents, potentially becoming stronger as a result.
(Source)

VOIP quality?
– The quality is pretty good, also when speaking over a radio there is an actual radio filter on it to make it more immersive.
(Source)

Will nightime be pitch black?
– In the direct moonlight, it’s a fairly bright night, as nights go. But, in shadows casted from mountains and such, it is significantly darker. Thought jungles tend to be pitch black, so be sure to bring your own light source.
(Source)

Does rain refill/water things?
– Yes, if exposed to the sky, rain will refill your water meter, crop plots, and refills water tanks.
(Source)

More taming technology?
– Yes, they have a air powered tranquilizer rifle planned for the summer.
(Source)

Creature tracking?
– This is not currently in-game, but planned for this summer. This would include embedded GPS trackers which would be visible, but very tiny on dinosaur. This has many different possibilities, especially tracking your enemies to their base.
(Source)

Can you feed other players to dodos?
– There is a hypothetical situation in which you could feed a player to a large group of dodos, yes.
(Source)

Weapon Attachments?
– There are currently four weapon attachments available, those being the silencer, scope, holosight, and the laser sight.
(Source)

Flaming Arrows/Tasers/Stun Guns/Throwing Knives/Grappling Hooks?
– Not currently, but as the game improves throughout the Early Access, they plan to add new weapons and such, so it is possible.
(Source)

Converting Ocean Water To Drinkable Water?
– Ocean water is apparently drinkable without filtering it.
(Source)

Can you build plumbing to bring water into your house, and, if so, what limits on that will there be?
– The pipes have no length limit, but they will be visible to other players, so if you build them too far, you’ll lead everyone on the island straight to your base.
(Source)

Will mounts like Sabertooths and Raptor be able to jump?
– Some mounts will have this ability, though some obviously will not.
(Source)

What happens if I log out while riding a Trex? Will it automatically fend for itself or just stand around until I log back in? Or will I’ll automatically dismount?
– You’ll dismount and it’s behavior will depend on its behavior state.
(Source)

Can we move unconscious dinos to tame them elsewhere?
– As of the Early Access, that will not be a feature. Later down the road, it may be possible, but not when we launch the beta in June.
(Source)

If I’m not in a tribe at all and I die, what will happen to the creatures I’ve tamed?
– When you die, the creatures will still be yours. You’ll just need to find them and pick them back up.
(Source)

How Does the Tribe System Work?
– The tribe shares everything equally. When you found the tribe, you are automatically an officer in the tribe. You can invite/kick people, as well as promote them to officer. Any officer can invite/kick/promote.
(Source)

What happens to your pets if you leave the tribe?
– Pets are owned by the tribe, so it stays with the tribe, and you lose ownership of it.
(Source)

Do you gain instant control over all the pets in the tribe when you join?
– Yes, all pets instantly obey you.
(Source)

Doesn’t the tribe system open the doors for pet theft?
– Yes, and that will likely be part of the gameplay.
(Source)

Will there be drugs to buff your character/debuff enemies?
– Yes – there will be various combinations you can make that will work as medicine, stimulants, narcotics, poisons, or other stuff. You’ll need a recipe to make them, but once you have it, you can make them.
(Source 1)
(Source 2)

Will you retain your map after death?
– Yes, anything you map, and any markers you put on it, will remain after you die.
(Source)

How is the predator-prey ratio on the island?
– It will vary from place to place and biome to biome. The outer edges of the map will be relatively clear of enemies, while the center will be inundated with them.
(Source)

Can you just mount any dinosaur once it’s tamed?
– No, you’ll need to craft a saddle for any rideable dinosaur prior to being able to mount it.
(Source)

Can you pick up enemies with the Pterodactyls?
– Yes, it has been called OP by some of the devs, as you can swoop in, pick up an enemy, and then drop them to their deaths.
(Source)

Will there be different biomes in the game?
– Yes, and the biome impacts what species and resources will spawn there.
(Source)

Maintaining Automated Turrets
– In order to have a properly functioning automated turret, you will have to provide a source of electricity to power it as well we supplying/resupplying it with ammunition.
(Source)

Blueprints – How Will They Work?
– Blueprints are physical items that you must have on you to create something. Engrams are non-physical items that are saved on your character forever. You cannot lose engrams. You can lose Blueprints (and they tend to have better stats than their Engram-created equivalents).
(Source)

Feeding Pets
– You will be able to place food in your pet’s inventory, they will know when they need to eat.
(Source)

Calling In Your Dinosaur?
– You’ll be able to call in a dinosaur of yours from a limited distance.
(Source)

Spawning/Limit for Dinosaurs
– Dinosaurs will not spawn within a distance of your structures, unless you have a large camp with nothing in it. They will not spawn in your base, but they could spawn then walk to your base. As for a fixed limit, there is none, but there are constraints to make the ecosystem remain realistic. According to TheLeftHand “It’s theoretically possible, but probabilistically impossible for the island to get taken over by any given dino type.”
(Source)

HUD For Tribe Members
– They would like to keep the user interface (UI) and heads up display (HUD) as simple as possible to keep the experience as immersive as possible, though it is still being worked on. You’ll have to approach the member and interact with them to see if they are in your tribe (their name will have a different color). You’ll also have a button which you can press to see a list of all of your tribe members. This could change, due to the team constantly working on the UI.
(Source)

Attributes/Skill Limit
– You won’t be able to have every skill/attribute maxed out for your character. Instead, you will receive points based on your level which you can then put in a certain skill set. This will make characters unique and benefit playing with other survivors with different skills.
(Source)

Day/Night Cycle Length
– Currently the cycle will compose of 30 minutes of daytime, with 16 minutes of nighttime.
(Source)

Ghillie Suits/Camouflage
– Currently there is painting which could be used as camouflage, but this could be seen in the with suits having leafs/feathers.
(Source)

Setting Things Afire
– During the early access this will not be a feature, it’s something they are not really considering as of now.
(Source)

Houses & Insulation
– The houses will have a proper heating/insulation system, making it important that you not have any holes in your buildings if you want to keep all the heat in. The exact heat stats will be visible in the stats menu in real time.

Pet Interaction
– Pets will have their own levels and be able to gain new abilities based on their levels. They will be able to be healed with food, and can only die of either starvation or being killed by predators/players. If you no longer want a pet, you can select an option to “release” them, giving up ownership claims and allowing anyone to take ownership of them.

Hunger System for Pets
– It will take a while for pets to starve as hunger is based on activity. If you are not doing much, your pet should be fine for a week, but once you begin using energy, digesting – then you’ll need to consider food.

Crouching/Proning
– Crouching and going prone both exist in the game.

Stealth
– They are working on a proper stealth system, but it won’t be available right after launch. They do, however, plan to have some implemented by the end of the summer.

Weapon Mechanics?
– There will be no bullet drop on guns, though primitive weapons will have travel time so be sure to position your weapon accordingly.

Siege Weapons
– These are a maybe. They want to implement them, and say they themselves are a fan of the idea, however they aren’t sure they’ll have the time. They also said that “dinosaur-mounted” siege weapons are a maybe.

How many characters are we going to have?
– There will be a limit of one character per player per server.

Campfires
– There will be campfires in-game, get ready to tell some spooky stories at night!

What can you tell us about Resources?
– Everything you’d expect to be harvestable in the game is harvestable. Boulders, shrubbery, trees, etc. will all break apart properly when harvested and give the appropriate resources. It will be possible to clear out an entire area and build a village in its place, and the resources will not respawn if there is something in their way. Additionally, the game takes lighting into account when “growing” plants, so they need sunlight to grow.

Dinosaur Abilities
– Different dinosaurs will have different abilities, however no word yet on what those would be. The example cited in the question, however, revolved around combat. Though will be able to set your “pets” to a specific setting to allow them to attack on sight, attack anything that attacks your tribe, attack anything that you attack, or ignore everyone.

Infinite Dinosaurs
– You cannot run out of dinosaurs or, as the asker put it, cause a second dinosaur extinction.

Confirmed List of Dinosaurs & Animals
– On the Steam Community forums, a list has been posted containing all the various species that will inhabit the ARKS. The list, as of the publication of this update of the FAQs, contains 48 species, each with how far in development they are. More are sure to be added in the future, so be sure to check back here for updates. You can look at that post here.

Base Decay
– Bases will not naturally decay or anything of that manner, so anything you build will stay forever or until destroyed. Bases can be dismantled by other survivors.

Tree Climbing
– Currently you can’t directly climb trees as a player character, but you can build upwards using ladders and integrate your structures with the trees. Actual climbing is something they’ll be considering as they progress though. Certainly trees within dense jungle areas do provide a lot of coverage from the ideas of players!

Fishing
– They have already implemented the ability to spear fish, however they are working on adding a fishing rod, which they say should be added by the end of the summer.

Parachutes
– The devs confirmed that there will be parachutes, allowing you to fall from great distances and flying dinosaurs and survive. The details on them, however, were sparse.

Excretions
– To add to realism, players will, after consuming enough food, need to defecate. It can either happen naturally, or you can force it by pressing a button. And remember to collect your feces, as they can be used later on in composters to create fertilizer for farming.

Tribal Flags & Signs
-There will initially be only basic, single-colored flags, but they plan to implement “fully-paintable” flags sometime after EA. These flags can be placed anywhere and can be used to signify individuals or tribes. There will also be signs which you’ll be able to add text on, and not too long after early access you’ll be able to have fully paintable signs using craftable dyes as well as a full painting interface. You’ll also be able to color most structural elements with paints.

C4 & Tripwires
– C4 is certain to be a versatile tool, as the devs promise it will be able to be placed “anywhere, really, including players and dinosaurs.” They will also be able to be set up to be detonated by tripwire. Additionally, they plan to add poison dart and spike traps after releasing into early access.

Where to Find Loot
– The devs said that there would be supply drops from “something to be revealed.” They would be “beaming” from above and around the ARK. As with any game, harder areas with harder creature spawns will have better loot, which you can spot by the color of the beam the drop emits.

On top of this, they added that caves will be like dungeons are in other games, offering loot at different  intervals. Just like above ground, nastier creatures will lead to better loot, and they warn that “some really nasty creatures that lurk deep within the underground,” which, along with the environmental hazards, are sure to make the caves a hotspot for high-level loot..

Next, the various carnivores in the game will sometimes drop loot they got from eating other players. This means they will drop other players’ stuff, so better dinos will have better loot.

Finally, you can craft most things as well, but Loot in particular can give you “rare blueprints that have increased statistical properties (and crafting requirements) beyond normal skill-tree Engrams.”

Will There be Communication Systems like Radios?
– Yes. You can currently craft radios and share a frequency to communicate across the ARK (when a server is set to use proximity voice or text chat). They went on to mention that a tower would be an interesting idea because you could ”flood all frequencies over an area (or jammer).”

Will There be Eggs to Raise?
– Yes, eggs do appear in the game as a rare and difficult to collect item. They will be more common in breeding grounds, of course, but be careful: the dinos of that species will not let you take the eggs without a fight. Unfortunately, their uses right now are limited; they can just be used for advanced recipes. However, the devs said they eventually they do plan to implement other ways to use them.

Damage Values: Game vs Realism
– When designing the game, they wanted something that felt real, so the health system is pretty hardcore. Pretty much any headshot will kill you, unless you’ve got a helmet, and the structures all take realistic amounts of damage based on their type and the type of weapons used. So, you won’t be able to break through a metal wall with a stone tool, but a metal tool on thatch will be like a hot knife through butter. And, though there are stats that can be improved through gameplay, it isn’t RPG-ish in that all the values for strength and health stay within a reasonable, realistic range.

What’s Base Building Like?
– It’s basically how you’d expect it to be. You place a floor, then snap walls, doorframes, doors, ceilings, other floors, etc. At the moment, things are a bit grid-like, but they’ll be updating that as they continue development of the game. Additionally, there will be the ability to update things that are already placed with new, better materials. For example, you can start with thatch just to get a basic base built, then reinforce it with wood so it’s harder to break into. And, to add to the realism, there is structural integrity. No minecraft-esque floating castles.

As for where you can build (and, more importantly, where other survivors can’t), there’s a foundation system that determines who owns land. By building the foundation to your base, you control not only everything on that foundation, but a “generous” area around it. This is to prevent anyone from building directly next to you. However, people, and dinos, can still enter your area, so remember to secure it.

Though, they emphasize that it is an early access game, so not everything is fixed. With building specifically, they’re eager to get feedback from the alpha/beta testers to see where weaknesses in their system lie and what parts need to be improved. Keep an eye out for future updates regarding this topic, for it’s likely going to be one of the more important ones.

Will we be able to track people’s footprints?
– Currently no, but they do anticipate on adding them in-game this summer.
(Source)

Will the game have voice-chat feature?
– The game will support both proximity localized or global voice and text chat, it will be up to the host to decide when configuring the server

Will there be character customization?
– Yes, you will be able to successfully change your gender, as well as Skin Color, Eye Color, Hair Color, Body and Face Proportions (about 30 different sliders), Character Name (different than your Steam profile name)

Also you can dye all clothing items (if you craft the appropriate colored dyes from a variety of seeds in a cooking pot), and some clothing items have optional visual skins that you can apply.

Can survivors climb trees and build upon them?
– You can’t currently climb trees, but that’s an interesting idea that we’ll consider as we progress. You can’t directly make treehouses, but by building upwards with ladders you can make structures that are effectively nestled high in the trees.

How many creatures can we expect to see by Early Access Launch?
– About 30 unique creature types (Dinos and other extinct creatures) at Early Access launch, and beyond that rapidly expanding up to 70+ for they full release. Dinos are the main draw for the game, however ARK itself is actually composed of a range of extinct creatures from all era. For starters you may have noticed the Sabertooth Tiger in the promo artwork, as well as the Woolly Mammoth released in our initial Dino Dossiers.

And there are far more non-dino extinct creatures both already in the game and being planned. More of them will be revealed with their own dossiers in the days ahead. They love dinosaurs, but they also love all sorts of extinct creatures and are intending to represent just about every major kind of extinct creature as the development continues!

Will the game have insects?
– Giant Dragonflies and Ants (as the actual corresponding prehistoric species) are indeed incoming, among other insects.

Spawn Items?
– As of now you do not spawn with any items, however you do have the Engram for crafting a Primitive Stone Pickaxe. You’ll find that gathering the initial materials is fairly simple, as you can pick up stone and punch trees for materials. It won’t take you long to craft the pickaxe.

Is there anything you are looking at to make this game more enjoyable for the single-player community and smaller groups?
– Indeed one of their design priorities has been to provide more single-player or cooperative oriented goals for the game, such as an actual story expressed through in-game artifacts and quest items, character progression, bosses, dungeon-like challenges, and a definitive end-game (along with a rinse-repeat cycle so that the game can keep going as long as you want it to). They believe this will help provide more focus and player incentive than many survival games.

How large is the Ark?
– Regarding the size of the ARK, it’s currently approximately 36 square kilometers of walk-able land mass. There’s also about 12 square kilometers of ocean, and of course that’s just 2 dimensional measurement. There are very tall mountains that rise above the cloud layer, and oceans are quite deep with major underwater reefs, and there’s a massive underground cave system that adds about 50% more traversable area to the ARK. The caves themselves are akin to dungeons in many ways, so while they can be inhabited by players, they are not easy places to survive long-term…

As for other ARKs, currently they are just copies of the same ARK with different statistical variation of resources and creatures to make it easier or more difficult. But as they proceed past Early Access, they intend both to introduce new ARK physical layouts and also add the procedurally-generated world feature. And of course there will be player-created Steam Workshop ARKs.

How is raiding going to be in Ark?
– On a live server, you can indeed be raided when you’re offline. However the game has a few factors to mitigate this:
– Your pets can be set to help defend your base with various adjustable AI settings, and some pets can be very effective for this purpose depending on the species.
– At the later technology stages, you can build electrically-powered automated turrets.
– You can also transfer your items and character to another server or to offline (local play) mode before logging off to keep a digital copy of your stuff, however this requires accessing an Obelisk data transfer point on the ARK so there is some challenge in doing so.
– Also, when you die in the game you will not lose everything, as your player character statistics and engrams (memorized blueprints) are retained after respawn.

How do you tame a creature?
– To tame a creature, you need to knock it out using a variety of possible methods such as blunt trauma to the head, tranquilizer, or certain other weapons (effectiveness of the various methods varies by creature). Then once it’s in a torpor state, you need to feet it food that is appropriate for its kind of creature carnivore/herbivore and also some creatures have more specialized food preferences. After enough food to restore it to health, it’ll awake as a tamed creature.

However this is easier said than done, because while it is in torpor, its torpor status is decreasing and it may wake up too early — and there are various methods you can use to keep it unconscious long enough to become tamed. Also you may have to be watchful of other predators while you’re undergoing the taming process. The higher-level the creature is (and they do indeed have area-randomized levels), the tougher it is to tame. And the better job you do at taming it (less food utilized), the higher its resulting statistics after being tamed.

How will pet customization work?
– You can’t change the skin color of your pet, that’s determined by its genetics (i.e. random but also influenced by its natural level that you found the creature at, as well as its gender). So if you see a particularly cool looking Dino in the wild, you’ll want to get it before it escapes!

However, you can indeed name the pet after you tame it, as well as level it up however you want. And yes there are cosmetics you can apply to the Pet, currently just choice of saddle which can be painted, and will have various aesthetic variations. Later on we plan to introduce war-paint for humans and dinosaurs, to enable further visual customization.

I noticed Boss-type monsters in the trailer, are they tamable too?
– You’ll be able to tame the larger Dinosaurs and Creatures, as well as sea-life creatures such as the Megalodons and Plesiosaurus. As for taming bosses, it won’t be available during Early Access however beyond that.. they may well.

Do tamed creatures suffer perma-death?
– Yes, Pets suffer perma-death if killed on the ARK. However we will have a feature in the game so that Pets can be digitized out of the ARK to transfer their data from online play, to local play. This can only be done at an Obelisk transmission point and we’ll have more on that later!

Do dinosaurs hunt and interact with each other?
– Yes indeed they do hunt and feed on each other — according to a fairly complex predator-prey dominance hierarchy as well.

For example, the Rex will favor attacking herbivores of a certain size, but will tend to ignore very small herbivores that aren’t worth his time, and he will also attack weaker carnivores but only if there are no better targets around, etc.

Herbivores, depending on their temperament, may defend or flee depending on their specific dispositions and their health status, and they may also come to the aid of allies of the same species, and especially their mates (yes most of the creatures have genders and it is very beneficial to have a tamed dino of each gender nearby, they will become mate-boosted).

So as you travel through the ARK, you’ll often see ongoing NPC battles play out… and you can use this to your hunting advantage.

Will dinosaurs breed?
– The idea has been considered. Currently they have male/female dinosaurs who have certain traits based on their proximity/relation to dinosaurs of the opposite gender. They wont have it for Early Access launch, but who knows what they might get up to.

How else do pets interact with survivors?
– They have various AI states you can alter on each Pet such as:

Passive: won’t ever attack anything
Neutral: will attack anything that attacks it
Aggressive: Will attack anything not allied within sight range
Hunter: Will actively explore seek out targets

You can also use a ranged whistle to tell a specific dino or a whole group of dinos to follow you or another character/dino, stop, or attack.

Based on their AI state, they’ll also defend each other, nearby allies/structures, etc.

Can you give us a general idea about the PvP in ARK and is there an effective way to fight back?

– PvPvE is definitely a challenge, but there are factors in the game that should make it a little easier for players to handle/avoid other hostile players. Specifically, you can choose a region to respawn in to help team up with your friends, and also the capability to tame creatures/dinos makes it a little easier to escape a combat situation if you have the right mount. Also, while physical items remain on your corpse when killed, your memory “engram” character progression and character statistics stay with you upon respawn. Finally, there are methods to transmit your data out of the ARK to another server which can be useful in case you wish to back something up or transition to another ARK.

What is Ascension?
– As for the Ascension end-game process, it definitely is related to the implant on the characters’ arms and also the purpose and nature of the ARK itself. It plays into the end-game/post-game loop and they will be revealing more information about exactly how that works over time.

Can we build Underwater at Early Access launch?

– Underwater base building will be partially in at Early Access launch: you won’t be able to build vacuum sealed underwater bases, but you will be able to build in underwater air pockets that are like mini-caves embedded in reefs along the ocean floor. However, building out the technology tier that will include vacuum sealed structures is a post Early Access priority.

I saw guns in the trailer! Are they easy to obtain?
– As for guns and weapons, they can be found in loot crates but also crafted from blueprint items, or engrams that you learn via skill progression.

Depending on the weapon it may require many kinds of components that also need to be crafted, rather than just raw materials. There’s also a weapon attachment system so you can add scopes, sights, flashlights, and other accessories onto a gun. As for how many… too many to easily list off but they have got all the obvious types covered already (i.e. sniper rifle, machine gun, pistols, shotgun, rocket launcher, grenades, tripwire explosives, remote det c4’s, among other weapons) and will continue to expand.

Can you tell us more about the Vehicles?
– That’s still in the conceptual phases for post Early Access, but they’re thinking of jeeps, boats, and helicopters to begin with.

Cannibalism?
– Yes

Can you tell us more about Sleeping/Unconsciousness?
– When you log off your character, or if you suffer serious trauma, or eat the wrong thing, your body becomes unconscious. This will allow other Survivors to interact with you. They can steal your items, kill you, and even feed you! But there’s something else you can do in ARK… you can drag their ragdoll sleeping body around… move it to wherever you want… even move it into a prison cell and enslave it (or just put it in a very dangerous position for when it awakes)… you can force-feed an unconscious person food & water to keep them alive….

and by enslaving, they mean:

You can physically confine them and keep them alive indefinitely if you maintain their health. You can then do such useful things as extracting blood from them to create transfusion items, or using their poop as fertilizer, etc.

Something to also keep in mind is that when you’re logged-out, you don’t lose water/food status. However, if you’re logged-in, you do. So if someone is logged-in and is trying to starve or dehydrate themselves to death, you can force-feed them food to keep them alive in your prison.

Is there a suicide key?
– Right now there is not a suicide key, however there are other means you can use to kill yourself – such as starving to death, eating your poop until you die, jumping off a high-cliff, punching a wall or a tree. Though if you’re being held captive, there’s a high chance that you’ll be drugged continuously, so finding an opportunity to do these things can prove difficult.

They are considering an option of having a suicide key added to each weapon, turning the gun on yourself for instance. However this won’t be in Early Access and it’s just a thought for now.

How can I find my friends in-game?
– There will be a number of tools available to you to help look for your friends, one of the early items you’re able to craft is a Flare Gun which is incredibly useful. Also when you create your Survivor on a server, you get to choose a default map-area respawn region, and by choosing the same region as your real life friend, you’ll spawn-in pretty close by… after that, it’s all about crafting sleeping bags and beds in a little house together.

 

Server Questions

Will server rentals be available day one of early access?
– Third party servers will be available the day of release. You will not be able to have access to a server before June 2nd.
(Source)

Dedicated Server Information
– You will be able to host your own dedicated server(s). You will be able to exert fine-grain control over any private servers, plus the obvious options like kicking, banning, passwords, and the sort. They will also have steam workshop support for mods. Since the anti-cheat is system-authoritative, this is probably where most mods will be aimed, at least to some degree.

The requirements of a “full-scale” server (a fully populated, 100 person server) are pretty steep relative to many other games. Those wanting to host should have a good multi-core processor. Expect high utilization (100%) on dual core CPUs. Additionally, you will need at least 4GB of RAM (more is, of course, better) and 20GB of HDD/SSD space for the base game, more for mods. HDD requirement may drop in the future, however, as they acknowledge having some unnecessary files there.

Are survivors able to host their own dedicated server?
– Absolutely, the Early Access game will ship with dedicated server EXE so you can host your own custom server. You can modify the configuration to affect lots of variables such as NPC difficulty scaling, Player vs Player enabling, weather patterns, whether voice or text chat is proximity localized or global, and many other factors. Furthermore, you can host custom maps as well from the Steam Workshop.

They can’t guarantee that unofficial servers aren’t hacked/modified however, so they also will be launching with their own official server network that guarantees item security. But yeah, the game is being designed first and foremost for player-driven customization.

How does travelling between servers work?
– Official Servers only allow downloading data to other Official Servers, through the Steam Economy. Offline data download to Official Server is not allowed, due to the potential for hacking. This keeps the Official Server network “clean” of any external potentially hacked data.

Unofficial Servers have the option of enabling data downloads (default is enabled), which is between unofficial servers, or data from offline play. Note you can always upload data from ANY server (official or unofficial) for use in offline play. Because that’s just for you!

So yes a mod server could enable easy progression, but then it’s just for your own benefit really, and if an unofficial server wants to be 100% “clean” without possibility for hacked data, they can prevent data downloads.

Hackers and how will they be dealt with?
–  The server is written to be 100% authoritative about the state of the world, meaning it doesn’t trust the client with anything. The client only sends key input to the server, and the server determines all outcomes. This makes the game difficult, or potentially essentially impossible, to hack. The downside is that the server is much more resource intensive because it is doing all calculations for all clients — but for a serious hardcore online game it is the only way. That said, aimbots and local graphics hacks could still be a concern, and for that we will be employing VAC.

They will have VAC and also the capability for server hosts to perma-ban players by Steam ID.

That said, the game should be less hackable than some of the other survival genre games because the server is 100% authoritative about everything in the world, including player movement and attacks.

Will official servers have PvP?
– Yes, all Official servers will have PvP enabled as well as follow proximity based voice and text communication

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Other Questions from Survivors:

What are your plans for the community as a whole?
– They have several ideas in mind to help foster more of a cooperation-oriented community, though of course we’ll have to see how they play out in practice and adjust accordingly:

#1. The nature of ARK has more traditional RPG elements (such as statistical loot drops, levelling, raids, and bosses) which encourages partying and cooperation to successfully accomplish.

#2. There are actual long-term game-play goals that involve things other than killing players, which in many other survival games ends up being one of the only long-form things to do after a while. In ARK, there’s a definitive end-game that can be pursued by advanced players should they wish to take on the challenge. This gives an… alternative… channel to vent such violent intentions, and as will be unveiled the nature of the end-game further will encourage ARK-wide cooperation 😉

#3. Having local play (with the capability to transition your local progress to online play and vice versa) and straightforward player-hosted servers (including blacklist and white-list support) right off the bat makes it easier for players to join a like-minded server or make progress alone, rather than being limited to a set of official or large-scale unofficial servers.

They may need more systems, such as formal bounties (the Early Access version has a rudimentary bounty system but it’s partially informal) and reputation aspects, but they’ll see how things go over time. Regarding overall philosophy, they do intend to try to foster more cooperation than some other survival genre titles, both from a design and a community interaction standpoints.

Hope that helps give an initial indication of where they plan to go and some of the ways they are designing ARK to be different than other survival games!

Are you going to take Early Access seriously?
– They respect Early Access too and take it very, very seriously!

Everything they have listed on the Features list is in the game and will be available at Early Access, but of course they intend to do a lot of polish and iteration through Early Access in addition to continually expanding the Feature set as well.

But yeah, beyond simply hitting the feature bullet points, it’s their priority that the game you play on Day 1 Early Access is a damn fun, polished, solid-as-heck experience that is only going to get ever greater. How do they make it happen? work work work work work work work.

They’re also going to have a Trello roadmap available to the public by the time we launch Early Access!

They know that the track record on Early Access games in general and Early Access Dinosaur games in particular isn’t good. Actually they have a little something in the works to make the wound of the Stomping Land a little easier for players who were let down by it, but more details on that a little later…

They are set on being one of those Early Access exceptions, one of the teams that does it right. The developers behind ARK actually have quite a bit of veteran experience creating various well-known titles, so they’re 100% aware of what we’re getting into and fanatically committed to taking this all the way to the promised land… that would be, the land before time.

Have you considered following Rust’s approach to communication with it’s player-base?
– Rust’s consistent & daily community updates is an approach they intend to take as well, and certainly as they head into Early Access. When players are engaged in Early Access, the developer really has an obligation in my view to keep the players constantly informed & involved in the development process, and the game also becomes better as a result. Though unlike Rust, through Early Access they’ll be using the game’s Steam site as a our primary method of news updates & communication with the community. Just seems easier to them than maintaining a separate website.

How much research have you done into pre-historic species?
– As for the research, basically reading a bunch of general audience books and online articles, along with having friends and family who are in the biological sciences fields. They’ve taken creative liberties in a few places for game-play reasons, but have an in-world context for why these species may have evolved slightly from their historical counterparts, and indeed where there is such a discrepancy we call that out via the in-game dossiers that you collect.

So while I wouldn’t run a college palaeontology course off the basis of this game, a general audience player can definitely learn a thing or two by reading all the dossiers and seeing how those aspects are represented within the game itself.

What sort of experience does the team have?
– Various members of the team have veteran experience in the industry and some of the titles they have worked on include the Uncharted series, Primal Carnage and much more.

What settings and platform was the trailer made on?
– Windows, Max settings, 1080p, GeForce 980 GTX