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  • Community Crunch 223: Genesis Transfers, Fixes and On The Horizon

     

    Greetings Survivors!

    In this edition of the Community Crunch, we’ll cover the details of opening Genesis Transfers on our Official Networks, the Dupe Protection System, Meshing detection, Third-party software, hardware upgrades for our servers, player dedicated servers for console, Mac, Linux, and we’ll touch on what we’ve been working on recently along with an overview of our focuses over the coming weeks.

    Before we dive into that, we’ll take a brief pause to acknowledge these unprecedented times for all of us - our team, our players, our families, and yours - things are tough right now and we could all use some support and camaraderie. Now, more than ever, activities like gaming allow us to stay connected and engaged with our community, particularly for those of us practicing social distancing, often in isolation. As a small gesture of appreciation for our extended ARK family, we will be continuing to run 2x rates for the foreseeable future. As we continue navigating our way through these extraordinary and challenging times together, our heartfelt thoughts are with all of you. Stay safe Survivors!

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    Genesis & New Official Servers Transfers 

    We’ll be opening full transfer of items and dinos into Genesis on May 15th, 2020 with two notes. The first note is that Extinction Titans will be restricted from transferring and the second is that Managarmr will be marked as unrideable. In the case of the latter, this decision was made in relation to their close-to-flyer status and their ability to dash through certain missions. We have opted to allow Gigas as they serve as a counter to tanking dinos, and Rockdrakes, as they bring some utility whilst being less mobile than Manas.

     

    New Server Transfers

    These were the latest servers added in tandem with our free weekend. Similarly to Genesis One servers, on May the 15th, they’ll also have their transfers enabled:

    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland705
    EU-PVE-Official-TheCenter706
    EU-PVP-Official-TheIsland707
    EU-PVP-Official-TheCenter708
    EU-PVE-Official-Ragnarok709
    EU-PVP-Official-Ragnarok710
    EU-PVP-Official-Valguero711
    EU-PVP-Official-TheIsland712
    EU-PVE-Official-Valguero713
    EU-PVP-Official-TheCenter714
    EU-PVP-Official-Ragnarok715
    EU-PVP-Official-Valguero716
    NA-PVE-Official-TheIsland717
    NA-PVE-Official-TheCenter718
    NA-PVP-Official-TheIsland719
    NA-PVP-Official-TheCenter720
    NA-PVE-Official-Ragnarok721
    NA-PVP-Official-Ragnarok722
    NA-PVP-Official-Valguero723
    NA-PVP-Official-TheIsland724
    NA-PVE-Official-Valguero725
    NA-PVP-Official-TheCenter726
    NA-PVP-Official-Ragnarok727
    NA-PVP-Official-Valguero728

     

    Server Upgrades

    We’ve also been recently working on upgrading the last of our servers to new hardware. A lot has already taken place across all platforms, these were our most recent that took place over the last week:

    PC
    EU-PVE-Official-Aberration222
    NA-PVE-Official-TheIsland339
    NA-PVE-Official-Extinction502
    EU-PVE-Official-Valguero526
    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland198
    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland43
    EU-PVP-Official-Ragnarok189
    EU-PVE-Official-Ragnarok397
    LEGACY-The-EU-PVE-OfficialServer262 (on Nitrado)
    EU-PVP-Official-TheIsland333
    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland343
    EU-PVE-Official-TheCenter349
    LEGACY-The-EU-PVE-OfficialServer272 (on Nitrado)
    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland346
    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland347
    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland344
    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland395
    EU-PVE-Official-TheCenter396
    LEGACY-The-EU-PVE-OfficialServer263 (on Nitrado)
    EU-PVE-Official-Valguero523
    EU-PVE-Official-Valguero525
    LEGACY-The-EU-PVE-OfficialServer265 (on Nitrado)
    LEGACY-EU-PVE-TheCenter633
    EU-PVE-Official-Ragnarok389
    LEGACY-The-EU-PVE-Isolated-Ragnarok60
    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland78
    EU-PVE-Official-GenOne661
    EU-PVE-Official-GenOne662
    EU-PVE-Official-GenOne663
    LEGACY-The-EU-PVE-Ragnarok59
    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland705
    EU-PVE-Official-TheCenter706
    EU-PVP-Official-TheIsland707
    EU-PVP-Official-TheCenter708
    EU-PVE-Official-Valguero518
    EU-PVE-Official-Valguero519
    OC-PVE-Official-Ragnarok208
    NA-PVE-Official-Ragnarok383
    EU-PVE-Official-Valguero516
    
    PS4
    Asia-PVP-PS4Official-TheIsland557
    Asia-PVE-PS4Official-Valguero1116
    Asia-PVE-PS4Official-Valguero1117
    
    Xbox
    NA-PVE-CrossPlayOfficial-Valguero1169
    

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    Mac & Linux

    Late last week we were able to push out fixes for both the Mac and Linux versions of the game, which should allow those clients to play on the latest servers, with all the latest content. We appreciate your patience and will be working on improving our pipeline to get these out to you in a quicker and more stable state.

     

    Player Dedicated Servers


    We’re still in the process of iterating on getting Player Dedicated Genesis Servers working on the standard Xbox, PS4 and PS4 Pro. The reason it’s taking longer than expected is due to the fact that Genesis introduced a lot of new underlying systems to ARK, primarily related to the Mission System. This led to an increase in how much memory is required to host a Genesis server. Currently, our engineers are working on optimizing the server so that they’re less intensive on memory usage to see if we can get them under the necessary threshold to allow the other consoles to host them too. It’s on an ongoing process and we’ll keep you updated as we get further along.


    Live Game

    Over the past couple of months, we’ve shifted our primary focus for our regular patches between balance/quality of life and bugs/exploits. The past few weeks have been primarily dedicated to bugs and exploits in this regard. We’ve also been working on various crash fixes. We plan to pivot back to further balance and QoL improvements soon, including a pass on breeding to improve player’s experience and further tweaks to mission rewards and crates on Genesis.

     

    Anti-Cheat & Exploit Measures

    The last time we spoke about our efforts to combat cheaters, we unveiled our work on our Anti-Meshing systems which focused on detection and prevention. After rolling out the system entirely, we saw a 90% reduction in overall meshing cases across the board. Since then, we've continued the fight against the various ways that underhanded survivors try to cheat on the ARK, and we'd like to give you an update on that fight.

     

    Meshing

    Our Anti-meshing Detection System is proving effective and we’re continuing to see a vast decline in incidents. Like all exploits/cheats, this is an ongoing battle and here's our latest progress:

    large.1049416346_MeshHitsOverTime(3).png

    As you can see the battle against meshers is not over, but cases remain low and will continue to decrease over time. Some of the additional changes we've been working on have included:

    • Improvements to the Anti Meshing detection system. This has involved being able to detect meshing in new areas of the map, as well as eliminating false positives and refining the system where edge cases could slip through. 
    • Level Design changes across all maps which focused on filling in holes and ensuring that collision has been set correctly to prevent players from entering unintended playable areas of the map
    • Tackling mesh-methods head on to prevent players from being able to get into the mesh in the first place
    • Initial rollout of the Anti Mesh Biting solution on all platforms, to prevent creatures from attacking through the mesh. Still early days so far, but a lot of the primary methods of mesh biting have been eliminated and we’ll be continuing to monitor for new methods and reports to squash them too!

    We really appreciate and want to thank the ARK community for the reports and support, as the information provided helped us to improve the system overall. Keep it coming guys! ❤️

     

    Duping

    Similarly to meshing, this has been another hot topic that has plagued the game. In one of our most recent updates, we were able to release a system to identify duped items (in some cases retroactively), as well as prevent many instances of duping from occurring in the first place. It's still early days, but so far the results have been outstanding, as we're sure some of you have seen. The system is still being monitored by our team and we'll continue to iterate on improvements where possible whilst having our enforcement team dish out harsher punishments. 

     

    Exploits & Bugs

    Fixing bugs and exploits has been the main focus of our most recent patches. We’d intended to push out some patches focusing on balance but they were put on hold whilst we address what we consider to be more pressing issues.

    Examples exploits we’ve fixed recently include: 

    • Fixed an exploit with the Rock Drake
    • Fixed an exploit that allowed mission creatures to be used in unintended ways
    • Fixed an exploit which allowed certain creatures to attack structures through walls
    • Additional server-side protection against exploits
    • Fixed an exploit with turrets and ziplines
    • Fixed an exploit with meshing and the cruise missile
    • Fixed an exploit that allowed you to get under the map.
    • Fixed a mounting exploit with Magamasaur

    And there’s definitely more if you go through the rest of the patch notes, as well as a whole host of bug fixes!

    We know that the patch notes regarding exploits aren’t super detailed. We typically just reference the object surrounding the exploit and that is because we prefer to hold these cards close to our chest, especially to prevent these methods from being exploited on unpatched Unofficial servers.

     

    Player Reports

    We recognize that some of the auto-responses on tickets could be worded in a more precise manner so as to mitigate confusion and we’ll be working with our GM’s to update them. Something we’d like to clarify is that an auto-response with the ticket being closed does not denote that the case isn’t being investigated. It means one of the following: 

    • Enforcement action has taken place
    • An investigation is ongoing
    • No further information from the reporter is required. 

    Our enforcement team (GM’s) does not disclose the outcome of player reports for player privacy reasons but rest assured that if a reported player or tribe is found in violation of the Code of Conduct, the enforcement team will be taking the necessary action against them.

    For those wanting to report a player for breaking the Code of Conduct on an Official Server, it can be done so here.

     

    Third-Party Software (Aimbot/ESP etc)

    Over the past few months, we’ve seen a spike in our CCUs across the platforms, which usually leads to a spike in cheaters too. In particular, on PC and Crossplay servers, we’ve witnessed a rise in aimbot reports and the team has been working hard with our partners to combat the use of third party software. 

    For some additional insight into the cycle of fighting against aimbots, this is usually what happens: We notice an increase in the number of aimbot reports, we work with our anti-cheat partners to identify and detect the new software and once that has been done, we’ll issue a ban wave and punish cheaters accordingly. Following this, we’ll see a slight dip in the frequency of aimbot reports on our Official Networks, until either new software is released or older software has been updated, and then we repeat the process again of identification, detection, and punishment. This cycle can be as long as a few weeks, or as short as a few days. It’s a constant cat and mouse and our team is working diligently with BattlEye in order to detect new third party software and keep our officials as safe from cheaters as possible. In addition to that, we have also ramped up our enforcement measures, including, not only player bans but full wipes of tribes associated.

    In regards to Crossplay specifically, we’ve recently implemented and improved our systems & heuristics to identify those using malicious third party software and it is proving effective. Over the past week, our enforcement team has wiped multiple tribes and banned a large number of players on our Crossplay servers with more to come very soon. We’ll continue to enforce hard against these cheaters.
     


    Eggcellent Painting Contest

    sjzXkF4.png

    As a reminder, the Eggcellent Painting contest is ongoing.  There will be two competitions with a prize for the winner of $100!

    • In-Game Painting
    • Real-life Egg Painting

    The entries will be judged by our community team. Submissions are limited to three eggs per survivor, so choose your best egg. You'll have the month of April to enter, with April 30th being the final day to enter. Submit your images in the comments below, and we look forward to seeing your creativity!

    Click here for more details and enter your painting for a chance to win


    On The Horizon

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    Along with continuing to squash bugs, improve performance, and address any exploits that may arise, we will be working on planned balance and QoL for the Live Game. Some of the team are busy working on the upcoming Crystal Isles map and a unique new creature. We’re excited to release Crystal Isles on our Official Networks in the not too distant future!


    ARK is On Sale on PS4!

    PS4_Summer_Sale_ARK.jpg

    Grab a copy of ARK for PS4 on the Playstation Store

    Steam Sale: Explorers Edition (75% Off)

    b66d23ff436b6041e2ba8327e0c585ea.jpg

    Want to introduce your friends to the world of ARK?  Right now, the ARK: Survival Evolved Explorer's Edition Bundle is available for 75% off on Steam! The Explorer's Edition gives you access to the base game as well as the Scorched Earth, Aberration, and Extinction Expansion Packs.

    Go grab your copy now!


    EVO Event

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    As mentioned above, we've enabled 2x XP, taming, breeding, and harvest. We'll continue to run these rates for the time being as a gesture towards our community as we all deal with the isolation and stress during these tough times.

    That’s about it for this Community Crunch. Stay safe and take care!

    Studio Wildcard 
     

    Twitter: twitter.com/survivetheark
    Facebook: facebook.com/survivetheark
    Reddit: reddit.com/r/playark
    Instagram: instagram.com/survivetheark
    Twitch: twitch.tv/survivetheark
    Steam: steamcommunity.com/app/346110
    Youtube: youtube.com/survivetheark

     

     


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    User Feedback

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    Will we ever see the day when upload timers are removed?

     

     

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    Allow manas on genesis for pve, they're completely useless on flyer maps, give us a reason to actually breed them

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    Shame that Giga's will be allowed through, worked really hard to run some of these alpha missions and I feel that effort has been undermined by just letting all the OP Giga lines in, but it is what it is I guess.

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    Hope you guys find this Crunch informative as Jat and I dusted off our CM hats. 

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    I have two concerns at the moment, that would be amazing if you could address in the near future!:
    1) Character loss, since its more frequent than i'd like to believe.
    2) Support for character loss on genesis.

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    isnt it better to leave gigas out of genesis? everything will be pointless if even one giga gets transfered here 

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    they should do a event like with life one they do. community donate x amount and rate gop up x amout. make it amoth long event. all money gos to hospital or reacher on a cure to the virus. that could be cool

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    What about DDOSs. Too many people doing it and rolling back servers. I had my character deleted and it had hard Val and Hard Brood.

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    Why would you allow gigas? Or anything else OP? I thought Genesis was supposed to be a challenge. You're catering to the carebears.

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    so just saying I said this first when it turns into the new abby server due to no flying or tek suit -.-  btw abby servers are dead and mostly just crap people log into for a metal run 

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    To bad transfer is opening... Byebye challenges when all broken OP lines are coming in....

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    14 minutes ago, ArcaneHellGiver said:

    Shame that Giga's will be allowed through, worked really hard to run some of these alpha missions and I feel that effort has been undermined by just letting all the OP Giga lines in, but it is what it is I guess.

    Trust us I'm sure all the other tribes that worked hard to do the alpha content feel the same way.

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    Should've left giga's out of the transfer, they'll just take out all the fun in doing the missions. 

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    Out.. FRICKING standing, thank you guys for updating us and being thorough, less room for assumptions or presumptions really helps everyone stay on track and calm during the turbulent times! Keep on keepin' on!

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    A problem I've recently come Into is that I don't have loot drops. I don't have drops crates that spawn in caves, or even wyvern eggs. Is there a fix or is there one coming. I'm on rag but it's effected all my single player worlds

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    My condolences go to the new players who have been playing on the Official PvP new servers who are about to feel the full force of capped Dino lines coming to smash into their base on June 4th.

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    16 minutes ago, crazyhobo said:

    so just saying I said this first when it turns into the new abby server due to no flying or tek suit -.-  btw abby servers are dead and mostly just crap people log into for a metal run 

    I personally enjoy the Ab servers *because* of the challenge--and lack of lag.

    Was kinda hoping that they would never allow Gen1 transfers, but always kinda knew that it was inevitable. Maybe they can restrict it to certain dinos?

    Edited by YinDragon

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    Seems I can exit to main now with my XB1X. I’m happy. Now to see if I can get on extinction without being DCd in wave 4 on my first ever OSD. Not being able to reconnect with my passive set wyvern was very stressful. Funny that this game causes me stress when I play to unwind. 
     

    Thanks for fixing what you can. I do appreciate it very much. 
     

    EDIT: Logged into extinction, looked around, went back to my shack so I could grab a bite and when exiting to main I got booted to xb home screen. I was able to leave Ragnarok and go to Extinction without trouble. Unsure if this is helpful at all. I rock a XB1X and this is obviously after today’s download. Hope you can find some relief soon. 

    Edited by BossPaco
    Still crashed out to home screen lol.

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    Nice work, the desert titan shouldn’t be able to leave extinction at all,  It’s preventing people building out in the open, I remember being in awe of the alpha bases and having a look as a noob. Now everyone is hiding in caves, I’d like to see bases out in the open again 

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    Will we ever get a tether slider back in the main setting? Please. It makes co-op near unplayable

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