ARK: Survival Evolved - All things Crafting etc.
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Post by NASA2 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:27 pm


9:00am Why I love Ark's pickiest creature: a giant snail that only eats cake

PC Gamer
When you tame a creature in Ark: Survival Evolved, your work isn't done. You need to keep your pets fed, though that's usually not a problem. Most carnivores are happy with red meat or fish, and herbivores are typically content with a selection of berries. Fill a trough, park the animal nearby, and it'll eat when it gets hungry.

A few animals are more selective, like the dung beetle, which only eats poop. The beetle won't eat out of a trough like other animals, either: you have to stick the poop right in its inventory, but poop isn't exactly hard to come by since dinos and players are constantly taking dumps all over the place. There's even a key you can press to make yourself or your dinos poop on command. Dinner time!

There's another creature that only eats one kind of food, and that's the Achatina, a land mollusk that I will just call 'snail' to keep it simple. The snail, too, needs to be fed manually, but it has a more refined palate than the dung beetle. The snail only eats cake. And isn't that the perfect life? Only eating cake?

Cake doesn't just fall fully formed out of dinosaur butts.

As you might imagine, cake doesn't just fall fully formed out of dinosaur butts, and it can't just be roasted in a campfire like a slab of meat. It takes a tiny bit of work, by which I mean you might wind spend hours gathering and mining and crafting and building several entirely new structures. All to feed a single snail.

I'll just briefly explain how to bake a cake. In a cooking pot, you'll place your ingredients: fiber—no biggie, you can grab that from bushes. Water—collected in a skin or a jar, no problem there. Stimulant—okay, you'll need to collect stimberries from bushes, and mix them with sparkpowder, which itself requires grinding flint and stone together at a mortar and pestle. A little work to do there, but still pretty easy.

You'll also need carrots, corn, and potatoes, because this is a vegetable cake. You won't find those lying around, either, you'll need to grow them from seeds (gathered from bushes) in three different planters (built from wood, thatch, fiber, and stone) and you'll want to keep them irrigated with a water source like a reservoir (which is built from stone and cementing paste—which itself can be made from stone and chitin (which can be harvested from creatures with exoskeletons) and then connected with a stone pipe and tap (made from more stone and wood).

Of course, growing your plants will also require fertilizer, which can be created in a compost bin (combine poop and thatch) or generated by feeding poop to that beetle I mentioned earlier. And, unless you want to spend ages waiting for your crops to grow, you might as well go all-in and construct a damn greenhouse using a whole bunch of metal ingots (made in a forge), crystal (mined from mountaintops and caves), and more cementing paste.

So, you've built your poop box and farming plots and irrigation systems and a damn greenhouse and you've grown and harvested your vegetables. Time to bake the cake? Ha ha, no, dummy! You're not done yet. The cake's final ingredient is sap, which you can harvest from giant redwood trees, once you craft an enormous metal tap (from 100 ingots—which take 200 metal—and still more cementing paste).

Ready to stick your tap into a redwood? Nope, you're not. You need to place it well above ground level, so hey, why not just craft a bunch of wooden tree platforms and build an Ewok-style base way up in the trees so you can actually attach your tap and collect your sap and bake your cake (which will spoil in just over an hour, so you might want to build a fabricator so you can craft a gas powered generator and a fridge to preserve it, too).

In return, your snail will produce paste, which is ironically enough, one of the resources you just crafted or gathered loads of just to be able to feed the snail its special veggie cake. It also produces a natural polymer for crafting, which is very useful. It makes a cool wet slimy sound when it slithers around, which I enjoy, plus it's one of the only creatures in the game that will never attack you.

Yes, it is quite a lot of work to feed this one snail, this one delightfully picky creature that insists on only eating hand-fed cake produced by hours of construction and tons of materials.

But in that way, Ark's snail is like a real life pet, which is why I love it. If you have a dog or a cat or some other type of pet, you know the lengths you'll go to just to keep them happy. You'll pay massive vet bills, administer expensive medicines, buy crates full of toys, replace pieces of furniture, and redecorate your entire home just so the little animal in your life can experience some contentment. You don't just put your dog or cat near a bowl of food and call it a night: you tend to them, care for them, and spend hours of your life doing back-breaking labor so they have what they need. Ark's snail is no different. It's just a little slimier.

6:15amModder replaces Ark's dinosaurs with Pok mon, is quickly slapped with DMCA notice [Updated]
PC Gamer
Update 2: The DMCA notice has apparently been lifted, and no longer appears on the mod's page in the Steam Workshop.

Update: We've spoken with the developer of the Pokémon Evolved mod who has confirmed that, as of right now, this DMCA notice appears to have been submitted by another modder (or a supporter of that modder) who is also developing a Pokémon mod for Ark. (Copyright infringement claims can be submitted by parties who are not copyright owners.) Drama! We'll let you know if we receive any further information.

Original story: A mod for Ark: Survival Evolved that replaces all of the survival game's dinosaurs with Pokémon has appeared in the Steam Workshop, though if you want to catch 'em all you might need to be quick about it. The Workshop page states that "A DMCA Notice of Copyright Infringement has been filed on this item." As of Sunday, five days after the the mod appeared, it is still available to be downloaded, though that may change in the near future.

We're not sure yet who issued the DMCA notice—we've inquired and will let you know when we hear back (and we have: please see the updates)—but it could definitely spell trouble for the mod, especially since modder 'Mystic Academy' admits the models and animations used in the mod were imported directly from Pokémon X/Y rather than recreated from scratch. The modder only made changes to ensure the models worked in-game.

We'll keep you updated as to the status of the Pokémon Evolved mod, which, legality aside, looks pretty cool. There's no resource gathering—you just hunt, fight, and ride Pokémon. You can watch enthusiastic YouTuber Riot enjoying it here.

13 JanExperiencing multiple mass extinction events in Ark: Survival Evolved
PC Gamer
As I write this, almost 32,000 people are playing ARK: Survival Evolved. By current player count, it’s the sixth most popular game on Steam. I’ve always dismissed it, figuring that if DayZ was still unfinished, any newer Early Access multiplayer survival games would likely be even further from completion. That’s a dumb thing to think, and not at all how game development works. I’ve decided to give ARK a chance.

I start the game, and chose a server at random. It’s nighttime. I pick myself off the ground and find myself face to face with a dinosaur. Score! It’s a dilophosaurus, and it looks familiar. Wasn’t that the one that, in Jurassic Park, spat venomous goop into Dennis Nedry’s eyes before eating him? Yes! It was! My suspicions are confirmed when it spits venomous goop into my eyes. Then, as if any doubt remained, it eats me.

I respawn in a different location, and start exploring the beach. I learn that tapping E over bushes and rocks rewards me with stones, berries and fibres. I also find a tree and punch it. Wood is added to my inventory. This is for sure an Early Access survival game. Soon... hold on, what’s that sound? It’s a raptor. I know about them from Jurassic Park, too. I’m dead. Again.

I exit to the menu, figuring that a daytime server would at least enable me to see the creatures that are eating me. I spawn and, for a change, see gentle dinosaurs. I spend a moment admiring a brontosaurus up close, before a raptor runs up and eats me. I should try a different spawn point. I pick one to the west, and wake up on a tiny, floating patch of ice. I’m naked, and freezing to death. I jump into the water, planning to swim to the mainland. A megalodon is looking right at me. It does what I assume comes naturally to a massive prehistoric shark.

I try spawning to the east, and wake in a tropical biome. I’m told it’s too hot. Before I can do anything about that, I run into a giant snake with a goddamn dinosaur face. Why is everything in the past so big? What is prehistory trying to overcompensate for? Instead of eating me, the titanoboa merely paralyses me. Then it eats me.

I run into a giant snake with a goddamn dinosaur face. Why is everything in the past so big?

In a last-ditch attempt to make any progress, I go back to the eastern spawn point. I wake to a temperate beach, and, best of all, no dinosaurs. Instead, there are dodos. I punch one for a few seconds, and its meat is added to my inventory. After a little bit of scavenging, I start a fire and craft a weapon and pickaxe. Sure, I’m still 25 fibres away from owning my first pair of trousers, but it’s a start.

I explore a bit more. Suddenly, my health starts to drain. I spin around, but see nothing. My health is still falling. I look down, and finally see the problem: a pack of compys—tiny carnivores that would be cute if they weren’t eating my bits. I run, but they keep up. I get out my hatchet, and start swinging wildly. I take one down, but it’s too late. I’m killed. I spawn in the south. It’s pitch black. It’s night. A titanoboa eats me.

10 JanIntroducing the Equus!
Community Announcements - Jat

Dino Dossier

A new Dino Dossier has been revealed, this one is everyone’s favourite specialized speedy steed, the Equus!

1 JanThe biggest PC gaming controversies of 2016
PC Gamer
The openness of PC gaming allows anyone to contribute, from modders, Twitch streamers, and two-man dev teams to the biggest game studios in the world. But with no real regulator at the helm to set and enforce standards, it also means that everyone has shared ownership of the platform, opening the door to abuse, troublemakers, and scandal.

Pour a glass of dramamine and revisit the finest flubs that graced PC gaming this year. From least-most controversial to most-most controversial, these are the stories that drew the greatest negative reaction from the PC gaming community in 2016.

Scorched Earth added a ton of new stuff: new creatures like the deathworm and the mantis, new features, over 50 new items, and the centerpiece, six desert biomes.
ARK: Scorched Earth
The pressure on Steam's Early Access program has only increased since its introduction in March 2013. Although Early Access has yielded excellent games like Darkest Dungeon, Don't Starve, Offworld Trading Company, Subnautica, Divinity: Original Sin, Infinifactory, RimWorld, and Kerbal Space Program, some PC gamers remain reluctant to buy into unfinished games and the uncertainty that the Early Access label sometimes carries.

In September, Studio Wildcard dealt a blow to Early Access' reputation when it released Scorched Earth, the first paid expansion for Ark: Survival Evolved. At $20, it was two-thirds the cost of the base game. Many fans were unhappy to see a game that was by definition unfinished getting post-release content. On the third most-popular post on the Ark subreddit ever, one fan criticized: "We paid for the developers to finish Ark: Survival Evolved, instead they took our money and made another game with it." Studio Wildcard defended its decision saying that implementing an expansion early would make the technical process easier for future expansions.

More reading: Ark: Survival Evolved dev responds to paid expansion controversyValve must take greater ownership over Steam's Early Access program

Nostalrius could accommodate as many as 11,000 concurrent players.
Vanilla WoW (that is, a pre-expansion version of World of Warcraft) has remained a popular way to play the most popular MMO of all time. As Angus wrote in April, "Nostalrius is a time capsule: a beautifully nostalgic record of what a living world used to look like. It's a museum piece created by passionate fans with no official alternative."

But it's against WoW's terms of service to operate an independent game server, even if that server takes no money from its community. In April Blizzard issued a cease-and-desist against Nostalrius, WoW's biggest vanilla server, which boasted 150,000 active players. The forecast was grim: Blizzard had shut down other vanilla servers before, and it felt unlikely that the internet petition that sprung up in response was going to reverse the action against Nostalrius.

The server owners complied, shutting down Nostalrius in April, but the fight wasn't done. Shortly after, they managed a face-to-face meeting with Blizzard to press their case for the value of vanilla WoW. "After this meeting, we can affirm that these guys WANT to have legacy WoW servers, that is for sure," wrote a Nostalrius admin.

The story continued to develop as members of the Nostalrius team, seemingly uncontent with Blizzard's lack of discussion about the issue at BlizzCon, announced their plans to bring back the server under a new banner, Elysium. Barring some change of heart by Blizzard, Elysium itself stands a decent chance of also getting shut down. But the resurrection of Nostalrius puts greater pressure on Blizzard to permit vanilla servers, lest it be embroiled in another battle with a big piece of the WoW community.

More reading: Inside the WoW server Blizzard wants to shut down

The revised victory pose.
Blizzard's buttroversy
Debate about the portrayal of videogame butts came to a head in 2016 when, in a lengthy post on the forums, player Fipps complained about a victory pose for Tracer, Overwatch's speedy and spunky attacker.

“I have a young daughter that everyday when I wake up wants to watch the Recall trailer again," Fipps wrote. "She knows who Tracer is, and as she grows up, she can grow up alongside these characters. What I'm asking is that as you continue to add to the Overwatch cast and investment elements, you double down on your commitment to create strong female characters. You've been doing a good job so far, but shipping with a tracer pose like this undermines so much of the good you've already done.”

Blizzard agreed, and promised to amend the pose. “We want *everyone* to feel strong and heroic in our community. The last thing we want to do is make someone feel uncomfortable, under-appreciated or misrepresented,” game director Jeff Kaplan wrote.

Then came criticism that Kaplan was caving to criticism, or worse 'censoring' Overwatch in response to a complaint. "We understand that not everyone will agree with our decision, and that’s okay," he wrote in a second update. "That’s what these kinds of public tests are for. This wasn’t pandering or caving, though. This was the right call from our perspective, and we think the game will be just as fun the next time you play it."

Lost in the pile of this was how civil the original critique was. "My main complaint is that there is no facet of Tracer's silly/spunky/kind personality in the pose. It's just a generic butt shot. I don't see how that's positive for the game," wrote Fipps in the original post. I continue to agree that the pose wasn't Blizzard's best. Really, the reaction to the reaction was bigger, as it fed into a wider conversation around sexualized characters, feminism, inclusiveness, player criticism and other issues in games.

More reading: Overwatch victory pose cut after fan complains that it's over-sexualized

We loved Forza Horizon 3, but not the UWP strings it's attached to.
Microsoft's UWP
Microsoft's latest courtship of PC gaming continues to be a mixture of good and bad. We loved Forza Horizon 3, liked Gears 4, and found Halo 5: Forge to be surprisingly great. But on the operating system side, things weren't all blue skies and green fields for PC gamers in 2016.

In March, Microsoft asserted its plan to bring its biggest games to Windows through its Universal Windows Platform, a set of standards and restrictions meant to, in Microsoft's eyes, make it easier to publish applications across multiple Windows devices, improve security, and help developers write code under a more unified platform. Those modest benefits are outweighed massively by the danger of Windows becoming more of a closed platform.

Among game companies, Epic Games CEO and co-founder Tim Sweeney was the most outspoken critic of UWP. In March, Sweeney labeled the initiative "a closed, Microsoft-controlled distribution and commerce monopoly," and called for others in the industry to oppose it. Sweeney didn't miss the opportunity to level more harsh words later in 2016. "Slowly, over the next five years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken," he warned in July.

More reading:Epic CEO Tim Sweeney pummels Microsoft's UWP initiativePhil Spencer on Microsoft's PC plans: "I wouldn’t say our strategy is to unify"

CS:GO's in-game items sparked multiple scandals.
CS:GO skin gambling
The stage for 2016's skin gambling debacle was set three years earlier, when Valve rolled out cosmetic microtransactions for CS:GO. These items could be traded, sold, and bought through Steam for as much as $400—the maximum listing price on the Steam Community Market. It didn't take long for questionable, unlicensed third-party websites to realize they could use Steam bot accounts to automate item winnings and losings, and it didn't take long for dozens of flavors of skin gambling to spring up as CS:GO peaked in popularity.

The lowest point so far in a story that continues to develop, though, was the revelation that two very popular YouTubers showed themselves winning thousands of dollars of items on a site called CSGO Lotto without mentioning or indicating in any way that they were the creators of CSGO Lotto. Oops. Exposed, TmarTn offered a pitiful apology, saying that his relationship with had been "been a matter of public record since the company was first organized in December of 2015," presumably meaning that a public record existed of his co-ownership of the shady gambling website for someone else to uncover.

There's no definitive verdict on the legality of in-game item gambling at this time, but you can expect the issue to continue to be explored in 2017.

More reading:YouTuber owner of CS:GO betting site offers worst apology ever CS:GO’s controversial skin gambling, explained

A beautiful alien dinosaur that existed only as marketing.
No Man's Sky
It was a perfect, ugly storm of some of the least-appealing trends in modern gaming: unchecked hype, unfinished games, last-minute review code, bland procedural generation, and misleading marketing.

Before that, though, heavy, sincere anticipation had formed around No Man's Sky. Here was a game from a small studio with an impossible promise: 18 quintillion planets, procedurally-generated wildlife, infinite exploration. In trailers, it looked like a massive step forward for the stagnating survival genre. To help Hello Games achieve these lofty designs, it had the backing of a major publisher in Sony. And No Man's Sky was delightfully mysterious, so much so that we were still answering fundamental questions about the game a month before launch, thanks to limited access to code. At a preview event, Chris was allowed to play for less than an hour.

Concerning signs came in the days before release. A significant day-one patch was on the way to fix major exploits. The PC release date itself wasn't announced until very late. A player who acquired a leaked copy of the game was able to reach the center of this allegedly near-infinite galaxy very quickly. And in a strange move, Hello Games wrote a blog warning players about the game one day before its launch on PlayStation 4. "This maybe isn’t the game you *imagined* from those trailers," wrote Sean Murray in a blog post that outlined, from his perspective, what the space game was and was not. "I expect it to be super divisive."

It was more than that. But initially, No Man's Sky became the biggest launch on Steam of 2016, hitting 212,620 concurrent players on PC. That's more than double the all-time peak of 2015 phenomenon Rocket League. In short order, the mystery unraveled. Two players, livestreaming simultaneously on launch day, could not see one another despite reaching the same location. The limitations of the game's procedural generation were revealed, as players shared screens and video of samey-looking aliens. And the hope that somewhere, cool, custom snake monsters were prowling the universe, disappeared. Players urged other players to seek refunds, and No Man's Sky's concurrent players sunk. Hello Games went quiet.

Our reviewer, Chris Livingston, recaps the rest of the saga perfectly in our lows of the year:

And then there was the reaction to the reaction: Hello Games went utterly silent for a couple of months. While I understand the reasoning—when everything you've ever said is suddenly under intense scrutiny, it makes sense to be careful saying anything else—the impenetrable silence only made matters worse, as fans felt they had been completely abandoned and ignored. At least things have gotten better recently, with new features added in the Foundation update, and the promise of more changes to come in the future.

There are lessons to be learned on all sides. Devs: keep in mind that no one ever forgets what you say during development, and while it's fine to talk about the elements you hope to put in your game, you're going to hear about it if those things aren't actually there when you release it. Plus, completely shutting off all communication with the people who have bought your game is a terrible idea. As customers, we need to remain skeptical of early E3 trailers, bullshots, pre-launch hype, and be especially cautious about pre-ordering games. And, we need to be patient. Even if developers aren't talking, they're listening, and adding new features to a game takes time.

Ultimately, it was a pleasantly chill, but underwhelming neon planet generator that became the poster child of many of the things we dislike. The lingering thought is how differently things would've gone if No Man's Sky had released in Early Access as a $20 or $30 beta.

More reading: The anatomy of hypeFive reasons game marketing can be misleading

30 Dec, 2016Ark: Survival Evolved is getting sheep, with or without a Steam Award win
PC Gamer
Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard has clarified that the Ovis Aries—better known to the world as "sheep"—will be coming to the game in its next major update, regardless of whether or not it takes the prize for "Best Use of a Farm Animal" in the ongoing Steam Awards. The announcement was made following a wave of criticism over the original Ovis Aries reveal, which implied that the wool-bearing beasts would be added to the game only if Ark wins the award.

"We were encouraged by Valve to rally the Community to come together and vote in the upcoming Steam Awards. We thought what better way to do this than add a modern-day farmyard animal! In our excitement, Ovis Aries was designed as a celebration of the nomination," the studio said in the "re-announcement" of the sheep. "We want to make it clear that regardless of whether Ark wins a Steam Award or not, Ovis will be making its debut in the next major Ark version update!"

The original announcement, which has since been deleted but can be seen through the Wayback Machine, is somewhat more open to interpretation. "Head over to on Thursday the 29th of December, as you’ll have the opportunity to come show your support for Ark by voting for us!" it said. "If Ark wins the award, we will ensure that our fluffy friend quickly makes its debut on the Ark in the next major version update!"

That could be taken to mean that winning the award would spur the studio to ensure that the sheep arrive with all possible quickness, but many players read it as an all-or-nothing proposition: No prize, no sheep. A flurry of negative feedback blew in, both on and off Steam, as gamers shared their outrage over the attempted "bribery," leading Wildcard to pull the initial announcement and issue the update.

A date for the update hasn't been announced, but voting for the Steam Awards' "Best Use of a Farm Animal" will begin later today. Ark: Survival Evolved is up against some major rural competition: Goat Simulator, Stardew Valley, Blood and Bacon, and Farming Simulator 17.

28 Dec, 2016Introducing the Ovis Aries, coming in ARK v254!
Community Announcements - Jat

A new Dino Dossier has been revealed, this one is everyone’s favourite fluffy farmyard friend, the Sheep!

Hello Survivors!

We were encouraged by Valve to rally the Community to come together and vote in the upcoming Steam Awards. We thought what better way to do this than add a modern-day farmyard animal! In our excitement, Ovis Aries was designed as a fun celebration of the nomination. We want to make it clear that regardless of whether ARK wins a Steam Award or not, Ovis will be making its debut in the next major ARK version update!

If you hadn’t caught up, ARK has been nominated by the Steam Selection Committee for a Steam Award! We are a finalist in this category:

The “Best Use Of A Farm Animal” Award - Animals are rad and almost any game is better for including them. This game used a farm animal in the best way possible.

Voting has begun, and we'd appreciate if everyone can vote today at!

We are really honored by the nomination, and are thankful for all the support plus ARK’s recognition in this category. Whilst ARK’s animals may be non-traditional in modern farming, some have held such roles in the past, and ARK contains a variety of animal farming mechanics: such as wild animal taming, breeding, slaughtering/harvesting of animals, workhorse animals (for resource/crop farming), and of course who can forget working with animal byproducts (manure, milk, and other substances).

Thank you and happy shearing (& mutton chopping) in ARK v254:)
24 Dec, 2016Ark: Survival Evolved's latest patch brings new caves, giant squids, and Raptor Claus
PC Gamer
There's no place like home for the holidays, and if you've made a home on Ark: Survival Evolved's incredibly dangerous dinosaur-filled island, here's a present for you. Patch 253 has arrived, and with it some new dinosaurs, some new locations, and a new item: the camera. Plus, you might catch a glimpse of Raptor Claus as he flies above the island dropping presents for the next week as part of Ark's second annual Winter Wonderland event.

The patch, which is now live, adds two new underwater caves containing artifacts and challenges. You may find an additional peril in visiting them, however, due to some dangerous new sea creatures like the Cnidaria Omnimorph (a large glowing jellyfish) and the fearsome Tusoteuthis Vampyrus, a giant squid capable of grabbing you with its crushing tentacles and sucking the blood out of you.

There are a few new land-based dinos as well, such as a T-Rex-sized herbivore called Therizinosaurus Multiensis that promises to be useful for harvesting greens, and the Troodon Magnanimus, which may be a bit smaller than a raptor but is reportedly much smarter.

If you spot one of the new dinos (or Santa), you can now snap a photo. A camera has been added to Ark, allowing you to take pictures and apply the image to an in-game canvas, for a lovely keepsake of your adventures.

In less joyful news, Studio Wildcard has confirmed that the sci-fi themed TEK Tier update has been delayed until patch 254, which is currently planned for January. So those lasers you were planning to mount on your T-Rex's head? You're gonna have to wait a little longer for 'em.

For those who aren't playing but want to, though, there is good news in that Ark is currently part of the Steam Winter sale and can be had for $12.

24 Dec, 2016Patch 253: Cnidaria, Pegomastax, Therizinosaurus, Troodon, Tusoteuthis, Underwater Caves, Winter Wonderland 2!
Community Announcements - Jat

Season's Greeting Survivors!

It's that most wonderful time of year again, a time of celebration, joy, and sharing. And we have a lot to share with you in this update!

Join Raptor Claus as he darts across the night sky in his sleigh, air-dropping presents filled with high-end Loot Blueprints, Mistletoe, or Coal for naughty Survivors. Survivors can trade in Santa's gifts for Reindeer Costumes, Candy Cane Club Weapons, Santa Hats, and if they collect enough Coal, they might even be able to summon the elusive holiday-themed DodoRex to do their bidding for a limited time!

Along with this holiday-themed update, we are also excited to unveil content Patch 253! Which includes two new full-scale underwater caves and setting free five new creatures: Cnidaria, Troodon, Tusoteuthis, Pegomastax, and the Therizinosaurus. Not to mention an extra special surprise, allowing survivors to truly enjoy every passing moment, and make them even more beautiful and memorable than ever before: a camera item used to take in-game photographs, which can then be applied to the in-game Painting Canvas! Tek Tier Phase 1 will now make its debut in January's ARK v254, which will be previewed in-depth with additional items at the start of the new year, more details can be found here!


Cnidaria Omnimorph, a combination of everything good and bad about various species of Jellyfish, the Cnidaria is too simple to tame or train, but tribes keep schools of them around for their bioluminescence and their ability to sting. Containing them in pools around a camp is a great way to make a barrier of swimming, stinging security that also illuminates the night. They also drop a special biotoxin which can be used to create shockingly powerful torpor darts.


Pegomastax Fructarator, a relatively harmless herbivore who prefers to live alone and gorges on just about any plants it can find. Far from the definition of "pretty", Pegomastax features a nasty looking beak (with tusks for extra effect!) and feathers, making him a unique sight on the island. Some tribes keep a few Pegomastax around, as they are excellent scavengers, and are notoriously known for their thieving ability.


Therizinosaurus Multiensis, is one of the strangest dinosaurs on the islands. Built like a T-Rex, this herbivore possesses great harvesting abilities. Its claws allow it to perform both brute-force or delicate actions; from taking down enemies (though it would prefer to just leave them alone) to plucking leaves from a particularly tasty bush. Because of this ability, Therizinosaurus are always handy to have around for harvesting specific resources, or, when needed, decimating enemies in combat.


Troodon Magnanimus, outside of human beings, the Troodon might just be the cleverest creature on the island. You don't "tame" a Troodon, you earn its loyalty through its social nature and love of the hunt. Their ability to scout is second to none, and often you will see tribes adventuring out with Troodon, as they are often considered a smaller relative of the island's Raptors, but arguably no less dangerous, especially because of their love of the hunt.


Tusoteuthis Vampyrus, a monstrous relative of the vampire squid, Tusoteuthis bears a closer resemblance to giant squids. It may be slow, but the aquatic Tusoteuthis is a horrific threat to anyone who dares get too close, using its tentacles to first grab, then crush...and then syphon the blood out of, its hapless victims. Tribes will sometimes tame this nightmare of the deep in order to extract its unique ink, which contains oils that can be processed into fuels.

Patch 253 also introduces two brand new underwater progression-oriented caves to TheIsland, with new artifacts and challenges!

Intrepid survivors will want to suit up and explore these new depths to uncover high-end loot, fight the terrifying creatures, discover two brand new artifacts, as well as uncover the mysteries of the ARK.

And for those of you who want to relive the experience, but not take the plunge themselves - you can! With a brand new camera! Survivors can snap pictures of their adventures, and instantly paint them on a canvas, reliving the memory whenever they so choose!

Patch 253 also includes; additional network performance gains, various new ARK DevKit features and hooks, and BattlEye has been enabled by default for Dedicated Servers (use -NoBattlEye to run without!)

ARK Winter Steam Sale!

The Steam's Winter sale is now live which means ARK: Survival Evolved can be tamed on PC/Mac/Linux for a 60% discount and the Scorched Earth Expansion Pack is also available at 33% off! Or introduce someone new to the game, this holiday season by gifting them the Survivor's Pack Bundle!

We hope you enjoy this latest update, and from everyone at the Wildcard Team, we wish you Happy Holidays, and keep on Surviving!
15 Dec, 2016Why Ark: Survival Evolved's best mount is a damn frog
PC Gamer
As an Ark player, I'm still new and more than a bit of a disaster. The island of Ark is a dangerous place, and even simple tasks often result in a horrible death. I've been bitten by everything with teeth. I've been poisoned repeatedly. I've fallen off cliffs, drowned, starved, and drowned while starving after falling.

This isn't some heavily populated PvP server I'm on, either. A friend invited me to play on a private server, where the few players around are all extremely friendly. I joined my friend's camp on Herbivore Island, where nothing hurts you unless you hurt it first. And still: death. Death, for me, all the time. That's why it's important to have a trusty mount, and I have a few, mostly gifts from the server admin who has tamed just about every creature in the game. I have a T-Rex, and Argentavis (like a giant eagle), and I even tamed my own (low-level) Megalodon. The Rex can kill anything in its way and the eagle can cruise safely above danger. But I recently found something even better, and it's a damn frog.

The nice thing about riding a giant eagle is you can pick up smaller creatures in the eagle's talons. You can them drop them from great heights (though they don't seem to take fall damage), shred them to ribbons, or carry them somewhere, such as a taming pen like the one we built on our peaceful little island.

I'd already had several misadventures in the Gulch of Lamentation (a swamp whose name should have tipped me off), which is teeming with nasty creatures like Titanoboas (huge snakes) and Sarcos (crocodiles). However, during one of the many, many times I was dying horribly in the swamp, I noticed a multitude of Beezelbufos (big frogs) hopping around, and decided I wanted one as a pet. I returned on the eagle, picked up a pretty white toad, dropped it at our base, punched it unconscious, and stuffed it with raw meat, thus ensuring it would love me forever. I hadn't really planned on riding my frog, but saddling dinos makes them easy to move around in case they get in the way of anything, so I crafted a saddle for her and named her Electra.

Hopping around on Electra was briefly fun and silly, but just seemed like something to do in moments of boredom. She could really leap though, and since every time I venture into the water I seem to get feasted on by angry dino-fish, being able to jump across rivers seemed like it could be useful. So, anytime Electra could be leveled, I put all her points into movement speed. Before long, she was over 400% speed.

Now, her leaps give her some major hangtime. And she's fast. So fast. So fast that when I accidentally let her wander rather than stay where I parked her, I could only catch her when she ran into a boulder and got stuck.

So, when we run into trouble (which is every time we leave our base), we're a half an island away by the time most dinos have even managed to turn around. Nothing can catch us. Nothing can even come close. It's like I'm visiting a zoo. I can look at all the pretty monsters, and none of them can hurt me.

What's more, Electra can eat bugs. What's even more, is that when she eats a bug she harvests cementing paste, which is a craftable item made from stone and either chitin or keratin. Most items in Ark don't take long to craft, but cementing paste seems to take twice as long as everything else, leading to long boring minutes standing at a crafting bench, so having a shortcut is a real blessing. And with her movement speed, I can scour the jungle and swamp for bugs, eat them, and be back home with a pocket full of paste within minutes.

Beyond her usefulness, she has an odd quirk, in that sometimes when I spawn into the game she's not where I left her. I've now found her on my roof, and on top of the taming pen, which is so tall I'm not even sure how she managed to get up there. One time I found her sitting at the bottom of the lagoon. I don't know if there's a glitch with how she spawns, or if she's got a mind of her own when no one is around, but it gives her a bit of a personality.

Mainly, though, it's Electra's speed that makes her supremely useful to me. Everything in Ark scares me, but now I feel confident riding her just about anywhere. Anything comes close, we can just speed off. We've hopped through crowds of dangerous dinos. The swamp, my biggest nightmare, is now a breeze to navigate. And Electra has opened up the ocean, too.

Electra is a great swimmer. She's not as fast as she is on land, but we've yet to encounter anything underwater we can't speed away from. Best of all, swimming doesn't drain her stamina: in fact, if she's exhausted from land-travel, which requires stopping to recharge, we can just head into the water and she'll regain stamina even while swimming.

I'd been trying to locate an underwater cave for a while, by riding my shark while wearing scuba gear (another gift), but caves are guarded by Plesiosaurs that are a little too dangerous for me to tackle with my somewhat wimpy shark. On Electra, we breeze right past, and I finally managed to find the cave.

There's one small drawback: all that fast-hopping means Electra needs food. A lot of food. Noticing her belly was empty during an extended hop-about, I stuffed her full of dead gator meat and she tore through it, consuming about 1 meat per second. She fully consumed a couple bellyfuls of dead dodo before we got home. My girl can eat.

The beezelbufos aren't breedable, unfortunately, or believe me I'd be busy creating a genetic line of superfrogs. Even still, it's hard to imagine a better mount for the cautious or new Ark player. Find a frog, tame it, cram as many points into movement speed as will fit, and nothing on the map will be able to touch you.