Community Crunch 225: Crystal Isles, Anniversary Event, Epic Games Store, and more!
It’s been five exciting years since ARK: Survival Evolved opened the way to the ARK and survivors around the world set out on half a decade’s worth of adventure.
In this Crunch, we’ll be covering the unique, real-world dinosaur, the Tropeognathus, the much anticipated Crystal Isles launch, our fun Anniversary Event, and a blast from the past by way of Timecapsule Servers.
Crystal Isles Launch
If you’ve been following the mod community, you’re probably familiar with Crystal Isles. Its supernatural beauty won the hearts of the ARK community since its debut as a mod in 2016. For four years it has grown to over 240K subscriptions and has called for many requests for the community to make it an official map.
We’ve decided to give it a new coat of polish to bring out its true shine. The newly updated Crystal Isles launches with a 150 sq km map with a wide variety of awe-inspiring biomes teeming with life. Whether you think you know Crystal Isles or plan to explore this map for the first time, be prepared for new breathtaking discoveries.
Build your bases high in rainforest canopies or mysterious floating islands, then dive deep into undersea caverns in search of resources. The Great Valley, a rainforest with bogs and towering tree limbs, lends new options for base-building and traversal. Eldritch Isle, an eerie and challenging realm, will be worth braving for its valuable resources like element and oil. Emberfall, a fantastic region of vibrant foliage and volcanic danger, will reward those who chose to explore in the region. Perhaps most awe-inspiring, Apotheosis, a cluster of floating islands tangled with vines and roots, shot through with cavernous pockets and spilling over with waterfalls. With three types of crystal wyvern for you to tame and breed and a new custom boss arena, Crystal Isles is sure to keep you busy.
Celebrate ARK’s anniversary with an updated Crystal Isles map and a new real-world dinosaur for you to tame on ARK’s PC Official Server networks!
And of course, with a new map, comes new servers! Please remember that transfers into these servers will only be enabled for characters and not creatures or items. We'll be opening those up at a later date, however, transfers out are enabled for characters, items, and creatures.
Unofficials can host the map themselves using the following map name: CrystalIsles
Protip: Adjust your map filter to CrystalIsles to find them quicker!
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We couldn’t let our fifth anniversary pass without an in-game event to accompany it! Bring out your party hats, because from June 11th to June 24th, ARK will be celebrating the memories we’ve made along the way. In addition to Tropeognathus making its grand debut, we’ll be introducing 5 new chibi’s to collect. Looking to complete your chibi collection? A brand new feature for this event allows you to trade 4 for a new one in the forge.
Throw a surprise party for your tribe-mates with the new pop-out birthday cake structure and have a get-together with your tribe wearing party hat skins from prior events!
This event can be manually activated with the server arg parameter: -activeevent=birthday
Dates: June 11th to June 24th
- 3X Breeding (mating interval, egg hatch speed, and maturation)
- 4X Player XP
- 4X Harvesting
- 4X Taming
- 5 New Chibi pets
- Party Dodo (Harvested to get cake slices for event content)
- Pop Out Birthday Cake Structure
Epic Games Store Launch
We’re hyped to welcome more Survivors to the ARK via our upcoming launch in the Epic Games store. For one week, players will be able to download a FREE copy of ARK for their personal library from the Epic Games launcher. Unlike “free weekends” the game will remain in your library for as long as you choose! Begin your journey on the island and see where the mysteries of ARK take you.
Other than modding, the Epic Store version of the game will operate like the Steam PC version and will be updated in full parity with our Steam updates. Both platforms will support crossplay, which will be enabled on our Official Servers between Steam and Epic Games and Unofficial Servers can choose to opt-into enabling crossplay or not.
Modding will not be supported at launch but we fully intend to have modding support enabled when the Epic Games Store supports it. For now, any servers that are set up to use mods will not display in the EGS version of ARK.
Now is the time to dive into the expansive world of ARK and begin an epic journey!
For those of you running dedicated servers, here's some info you need to know:
When running a Crossplay or Epic Game Store server, the VOIP software will be default to use the Vivox, an alternative VOIP plugin. For those using Steam only, you can continue to use Steam VOIP (default) or alternatively opt into Vivox.
Necessary Server Args:
-crossplay (enables Crossplay on Dedicated Server)
-epiconly (enables Epic Game Store only players to connect to the Dedicated Server)
-UseVivox (enables Vivox on Steam only servers)
Running a server with mods or without -epiconly or -crossplay will mean that the server will only accept player connections from Steam and not EGS.
And for the next week, ARK: Survival Evolved content on the Epic Games store is deeply discounted: Scorched Earth (50% off), Aberration (50% off), Extinction (50% off), and ARK Season Pass (50% off)!
(Protip: Search for * in the session name filter to quickly identify them
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Tame and saddle up your own Tropeognathus—ARK’s newest pterosaur—for a dizzying jet-fuel-powered ride into aerial combat, complete with powerful mounted flak cannon!
This large pterosaur from the Cretaceous period can quickly gnash victims’ armor into bits, and when outfitted with a saddle containing a jetpack, its speed and maneuverability are second-to-none. Also providing a built-in flak cannon available to the pilot, this terror of the skies can engage in aerial combat with extreme deadliness.
Tropeognathus makes its debut on the ARK with the introduction of our anniversary event! The creature can be found exclusively on Crystal Isles when playing on PC, and on console the flying terror can be encountered as a rare spawn on the following maps: The Island, The Center, Scorched Earth, Ragnarok, and Valguero.
Before TEK suits and replicators, survivors experienced the Island in a much different way. Traversing the landscape provided unique challenges without many of the creatures we know and love. It might be hard to imagine The Island without the Redwoods biome or the numerous caves that have been added but earlier survivors will have distinct memories of this era in ARK’s history.
Many of the latest creatures that serve as companions, utility, and defense in ARK’s modern era weren’t a concept yet. Time capsule servers will offer a unique perspective and highlight the progression of ARK’s content, lore, and community when compared to the current day.
While we’re happy to take this trip down memory lane it’s important to remember that Timecapsule servers are a snapshot of a moment in time. They won’t receive any customer service support or future updates.
The Timecapsule Experience
Here are a few notable features of the 2015 Timecapsule build:
- No TEK Engrams
- No fabricated snipers, compound bows, pump action shotguns or longneck rifles
- Flyer speed can be increased
If you'd like to take a look at ARK in its most primitive days, you'll need to opt into our special branch in your steam ARK configuration. You can do so by following the steps below:
1) Right-click on the ARK game in your Steam library and select "properties"
2) Select the "Beta" tab
3) Locate "timecapsule" in the drop-down menu and select that.
4) Select close, patch ARK, and start punching trees!
While the Anniversary event is active, there will be no special EVO rates. The event rates for Official servers:
- 2X Breeding (mating interval, egg hatch speed, and maturation)
- 4X Player XP
- 4X Harvesting
- 4X Taming
We’d like to thank the community once more, as we truly appreciate all the passion and support you’ve shown the game. While we couldn’t have foreseen quite how the last 5 years would play out, from primitive dwellings to hyperspace whales, our vision for the ARK franchise is as strong as ever. So stick with us on this rollercoaster ride into the future, as we look forward with you to tremendously exciting years ahead for ARK, where the very definition of survival continues to evolve.
The Studio Wildcard team!