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Community Crunch 213
Posted on January 14th, 2020 07:55 PM EST
As we near the launch of Genesis and a new year of ARK content, the current state of the game and the topics that are trending in the community remain essential to us. While we are excited to introduce new content and experiences to ARK survivors, it's important to take a brief moment and recap some significant updates that have made an impact on the current state of the game.
Developers that are working on Live Ops updates have a different priority and focus than that of those working on new content. The main focus of these updates is to ensure that you have an enjoyable and fair playing experience with current game content. As you might imagine, it is a constant process of observing, investigating, adjusting, interacting, updating, reporting, resolving, and repeating the cycle.
Performance, Bugs, Balance, Quality of Life and fixing Exploits are important to us and we know they hold a high priority for you folks too. These updates may not be new news for the well-informed survivor but they may provide insight into the thought process behind the changes. Without further ado, let’s get stuck into what we’ve been up to with recent live game patches:
Performance is an intrinsic cornerstone of a player's experience. Improving performance is an ongoing process for us that we’ll continue to seek to optimize. Here’s what we’ve worked on in regards to performance recently:
Addressing exploits and unintended game mechanics in a meaningful way is crucial to the health of the game on our Official servers. Recently, the team has focused quite heavily on eliminating various methods of exploiting and we’ll continue to hit them as hard and as often as we can!
Many of our recent exploit fixes targeted meshing methods and dupes but there was also some focus on unintended mechanics like MEKs becoming invulnerable and the pretty damn rude Ice Titan breath going through the mesh much to the dismay of its targets, amongst others.
Addressing exploits is an ongoing commitment and we look forward to rolling out more fixes in the near future.
What is there to say about bugs? We don’t like them, players don’t like them and they need to be squashed. Along with what we’d consider more run of the mill bug fixes, we’ve addressed some bugs with far reaching implications in regards to MEKS, Managarmrs and Velonasaurs, among other issues. Our players are adept at rooting out bugs and we’ll continue to iterate on your bug reports moving forward.
As many players will have noticed, we’ve rolled out a significant number of QoL updates recently. The time you spend in-game is valuable to you and is most rewarding when it's not filled with tedium. We prefer your time be spent on the things you enjoy. This is where Quality of Life comes in! These updates have incorporated changes to stack sizes, inventory slots and other miscellaneous tweaks to help make your time on the ARK feel engaging and rewarding. Please continue to let us know the types of QoL changes you’d like to see as we work together to identify what’s important to players. We understand that the ARK Community is diverse with each group holding a different perspective and all of your feedback is valuable to us.
Balance is an ongoing process and we’ll continue to monitor our servers to see how players are using creatures and items as we consider making balance changes. Healthy balance is achieved by a constant process of small nudges, changes, and tweaks in order to improve the entire ecosystem as it is maintained and honed in response to the needs of the player-base.
It’s no secret the Managarmr and Velonasaur have held the top position in the food chain to dominate the meta since the launch of Extinction.
The Managarmr intrinsically holds loads of utility and that has made it challenging to balance whilst retaining that utility that helps make it the popular dino it is. Our intention was never to make Manas capable of remaining constantly airborne. Granted, its place as the top player killer was partially due to some bugs/unintended mechanics which we also addressed.
Velonasaurs were outputting extremely high DPS. Similar to the Managarmr, bugs are responsible in part for this (we see you, no stamina drain in turret mode and an unexpected scaling to the right click +c attack!). Velos are primarily intended to help in base defenses but they were far stronger in the meta than intended.
That said, our statistics show they’re still two of the most popular creatures which is interesting!
Other balance changes include some steps towards addressing the cliff platform meta, giving Brontos some love, smacking Plant Z a little and tweaking enforcers up after some functional changes we made in order to mitigate a meshing exploit left them looking a little sad.
The whole team has a lot of fun conceptualizing and implementing events and event-related content for our community to enjoy. The end of 2019 saw a return of our Turkey Trial Event and 365,085 player deaths from a well-known culprit. Shortly after, we released Winter Wonderland and introduced the adorably dorky chibi pets. Last year you indicated that events were important and listed several things you’d like to see. Because of this, we took some time to invest in events and make them more memorable for you. We get a kick out of the pics and art you folks share of your events skins and chibi collections, thank you for including us in your holiday adventures!
As always, keep your feedback coming, whether we are interacting directly or reading and observing, we pay attention to, and value, your communication with us.
Survivors on all platforms will be receiving a special Evolution Event perk this weekend! It will be active from Friday the 17th of Jan at 1 PM EST until Monday the 20th of Jan at 3 PM EST. All Official Servers across each platform will be undergoing this evolutionary change which includes:
- 2x Harvesting Rates
- 2x Taming Rates
- 2x EXP Rates
That wraps up this Community Crunch, our roundup of what we’ve been up to lately and a little insight into our process. For a more in-depth look at all of our recent patches, you can view full notes in our forums