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Community Crunch 297: Introducing Fjordhawk, ARK New Years Event, and More!

Posted on December 23rd, 2021 07:11 PM EST

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As we wrap up what has been an exciting and busy year for ARK and a challenging year for all of us, we'd like to take a moment to thank you all for your ongoing support and express gratitude for our team and our players.

We hope that you felt optimistic more often than not this year. That you found joy in unexpected places. That 2021 gave you opportunities to rest and take a break from the challenges present in the world over the past couple of years.

A special thanks goes to the varied communities that bring diversity and inclusion to the playerbase: our non-english speaking players - nod to the Arkadia crew and the spanish speaking community - Hololive and the ever-joyful Japanese community, our large German and French communities and their wonderful content creators, the amazing LGBTQ communities and creators, creativity within the community as seen in the wonderful ARKitect events or the #danceoffs on social media. Congratulations to Syntac on his 1mil subs and Youtube Gold Play Button and Nexxuz who was nominated for the ESLAND Awards in the category of best series of the year! It has also been a joy to see newer creators establish their own communities and it is, as ever, humbling to be able to facilitate that in some way through our game. We can't mention everyone but rest assured we see you and what you bring and it means the world!

ARK wouldn't be where it is without our players and our talented team and we wouldn't be looking forward to ARK 2 and ARK: The Animated Series without your passion and support.

May the Holiday Season bring you joy, time to relax and a moment to reflect.

We wish you the most amazing Holidays and a Happy New Year!


The Studio Wildcard Team

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Common Name: Fjordhawk
Species: Parabuteo veðrfölnir
Time: Mid-late Anthropocene
Diet: Omnivore
Temperament: Calculating

Most of the creatures I’ve encountered here have endured thanks to their great size, strength, or ferocity. But the fjordhawk gets by on its wits and by scavenging. The bird also seems to have an almost preternatural ability to predict and avoid danger. Fjordhawks follow predators (and survivors) from on high, watching for their moment to swoop in and snatch up an easy meal.

Tamed fjordhawks are surprisingly playful, and their favorite game is fetch. Indulge your bird with this play and a bit of patience, and you’ll reap the rewards. Just point out a target, and your fjordhawk will fly off to retrieve it for you. A well-trained fjordhawk can locate injured prey and communicate its find to you.

These clever birds will bond with humans as wholeheartedly as any canine or primate, in a way uniquely suited to this time and place. If you should meet with some grave misfortune, your fjordhawk will immediately fly off with as many of your belongings as it can carry. As soon as you’re respawned by the ARK, your friend will track you down and return your equipment to you!

Fjordhawk will land on ARK with the upcoming free DLC map, Fjordur!

Voting is now open and the time has come for you to cast your vote for the creature you want to see in the upcoming free DLC map: Fjordur. The Top 10 creatures were selected from the top 10 upvoted creatures during the creature submission process.

Follow the link to see the finalists and cast your vote!

Fjordur Creature Vote[]

We've made some changes to the creature voting process and we've invited Craig to give a summary:

Hey there, Survivors! CraigBrownCraigBrown here to chat about the upcoming community vote for Fjordur’s third new Creature. I’m very excited about this, because I have *very* strong feelings on the way the previous vote went (some good, some bad).
First of all, I’m so happy that so much of the community came out and made your voices heard. Yall cast thousands of votes, and it came down to the last few minutes of the vote. My creature of choice may have lost (hard), but I’m always happy to see the community get this involved.

I’m a big fan of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). I think it’s a better system than the traditional “whoever gets the most votes wins”... especially when the results are available in real-time. The inevitable result of a traditional vote is always the same:
  • Two candidates pull ahead of the pack, becoming the frontrunners
  • Anyone who hasn’t voted yet sees the two frontrunners as the only options, lest they “throw away their vote”
  • Instead of voting for the candidate they like most, they vote for the frontrunner they dislike the least
And the result is usually someone that only a minority are actually happy with.
On top of all that, live-results further exacerbate the problem. If someone likes the Penguin, but sees that it’s in 5th place (out of 10), they’re going to think that voting for the Penguin is throwing their vote away… even though that’s what they actually want to vote for.
This is where RCV comes in. With RCV, you rank all of the options from “want the most” (rank 1) to “want the least” (rank 10). Then we do the calculating…
  1. We add up the highest-ranked candidate from all the ballots. If any candidate has >50% of the vote, they win!
  2. If no candidate won, we remove the bottom candidate from the race. Then, we cross that name off of every ballot
  3. Now that all the ballots are updated, go back to Step 1
(Technically, there are a bunch of versions of RCV… but instant run-off is the easiest to implement, easiest to understand, and gives very good results)

The best thing about RCV is that it’s always best to vote for the candidates you actually want! Even if they don’t win, your vote isn’t wasted. Your second, or possibly third or fourth or fifth votes will still get counted.

Community feedback from the Lost Island vote made it clear that while the community appreciated having their voices heard, we think it’s important to improve the process to let more of you be heard. In the spirit of open communication, once the vote closes and we announce the winner, we will make the final data available publicly (anonymously, of course). We are confident that RCV is the best way forward, and look forward to seeing you cast your votes.

Lead Designer, ARK2

Our first big release of the year, ARK: Genesis Part 2., was the final chapter of the ARK: Survival Evolved story is by far the most intricate and ambitious expansion we’ve yet created. ARK: Genesis Part 2 completes the eons-spanning story of ARK: Survival Evolved! Everything that your tribe has built, tamed, and fought for has led to this final challenge. We truly hope you felt it was a fitting story conclusion to the journey you’ve taken with us in ARK over the past 6 years!

This year we held our first-ever community creature vote for Lost Island. ARK community members submitted hundreds of entries filled with creative concept art and gameplay ideas. During the submission process, the community continually voted on their favorite ideas. Dinopithecus emerged victorious after rounding up the top 10 submissions!

Voting is underway for the next community-voted creature! Go check out the Top 10 creature submissions and vote on your favorite concept for the upcoming free DLC map Fjordur!

In 2021 we launched ARK on Stadia™ with cross-play, enabling you to team up with thousands of PC players online or enjoy a solo Jurassic experience if you prefer to rough it out alone.

From Love Evolved to Winter Wonderland, 2021 saw no shortage of in-game ARK events and unique skins. The T-Rex inflatable costume went "ARK viral" as it spread in pictures and videos throughout social media.

ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition launched in the latter part of 2021 including everything the ARK franchise has to offer. ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition includes ARK: Survival Evolved, along with: Scorched Earth, Aberration, Extinction, and Genesis Parts 1 & 2. All updated and optimized with every improvement made since the launch of the base game, adding up to thousands of hours of gameplay! As an additional bonus, this compilation also includes original soundtracks containing the music of ARK as composed by Gareth Coker.

This seventh year of participating in GameDay with ExtraLife puts us well over $450K raised and we couldn't have done it without the ARK community! We are grateful for our generous, supportive players, partners & sponsors, & the opportunity to help facilitate this endeavor.

Lost Island is the most recent Official Map that comes from the ARK modding community. Lost Island boasts 150 sq km of exploration and is the first map to include a community-voted creature. It's a pleasure to close out the year and holiday season by getting Lost Island and 3 new creatures into the hands of more ARK survivors!

At midnight EST on Dec 31st and midday EST Jan 1st, our Official Networks will be bombarded with raining gifts in a hail of fireworks to mark the end of 2021. These gifts will contain a collection of your favorite skins from past events that are currently unavailable and a chibi bonanza! And by bonanza, we mean, the drop rate of Rare, Very Rare and Legendary chibis will be dialed to over 9000!

'Happy New Year!' event is now enabled on Official Servers. The event is set to go off at approximately Midnight EST and Noon EST on the 1st of January 2022. Servers running the event will be bombarded with raining gifts in a hail of fireworks to mark the end of 2021. These gifts will contain a collection of your favorite skins from past events that are currently unavailable and a chibi bonanza! And by bonanza, we mean, the drop rate of Rare, Very Rare and Legendary chibis will be dialed to over 9000!
Unofficial Servers can enable the event with the following commandline param: -NewYearEvent
To modify the times, the following commandline parameters can also be used:

You can use to get your appropriate timestamp. Please keep in mind that this event cannot be run before Midnight EST on the 1st of January 2021, so if you wish to change your time it would have to be set after that.
Some additional notes:
This event can only be run ONCE on a savefile (with 2 triggers).
If a server is set to run the event at a time already passed, then on load the server will immediately trigger the gifts.
If a custom time isn't set, then the event will run default at Midnight EST on the 1st and again at Noon.

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