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  • Community Crunch 255: Behind the LiveOps Curtain and More!

    Behind The LiveOps Curtain

    Hey Survivors, we thought it might be a good time for a little Live Operations Dev Blog of sorts. We’ve been very busy behind the scenes and sometimes during that hive of activity, we may forget that our players enjoy details outside of “We’re busy with X, more info soon” etc. So let’s give you more of a glimpse behind the LiveOps curtain.

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    LiveOps

    LiveOps has been er...hectic of late. Let’s get straight to it.

    Transfer Issues: We encountered some serious problems on our networking side that led to some players losing items and/or characters. We initially implemented a quick fix in order to address it as quickly as possible, then pivoted to working on a more long-term upgrade to make our system more robust.

    We don’t find what occurred acceptable in the slightest and have some of our engineers focused on working alongside our host to upgrade the system and prevent these issues from occurring in the future. These specific problems were something we hadn’t encountered with the system in the past (even though the symptoms may appear similar to some of our players).

    Anything resulting in data loss for our players is of critical importance to us and we apologise to those affected.

    Meshing: Meshing is still a focus for the team - we’re constantly working on patching out methods and holes as we learn of them. We saw an uptick in meshing incidents on Playstation recently. In general, we’ve made significant strides in reducing meshing and, overall, incidents are way down in comparison to a year ago. That said, in a sandbox game, people always find new methods.

    Some of our solutions to further counter meshing include:

    • Zipline patch. Players can no longer jump on a zipline to get through a small hole.
    • Implemented an automated system that will now try to detect projectiles, so when players are firing rockets, ziplines etc inside the mesh they will get destroyed before they’re able to make an impact. Unfortunately this system can’t hit every location but we’re happy to have made some impact in this regard.
    • World Borders: Soon, we will be updating world barriers on all maps so that anything outside of a world border will be destroyed. Boom. This is live on The Island on PC and there were some edge-case issues with it being oversensitive but that’s now been fixed and we’ll be rolling out to other platforms soon.


    We consider our continued approach to meshing to be three pronged:

    • Better detection to prevent it in the first place
    • Destroying what has slipped through the cracks
    • Identifying specific areas that can be exploited and patching them.


    We’ll share more on the world border changes when that goes live. 

     

    Enforcement

    Some of you don’t feel your reports lead to action so we want to share more info about the action taken against players who cheat or otherwise break our Code Of Conduct. We are working on some solutions for better visibility for those affected by cheaters into punishments and actions taken against players that are consistently ruining the game via third party software etc. We hope to roll those out in the near future.


    Performance and Stability

    Client and server performance was a focus through 2020.

    That said, over the years, we’ve learned to stop counting dodos before they hatch in regards to how noticeable performance improvements are. But now that we can see the combined impact of a year's changes, we can confirm some tangible improvements when comparing performance at the start of 2020 to performance today.

    Servers

    Transfer system:

    • We completely moved to an in-network solution
    • Now have more control over what can go in and out of the system on a network level
    • This system is faster, more reliable, and more cost effective

    (though it still needs some work to get it where it needs to be! ;))

    DDoS protection:

    • We added additional hardware and software solutions to our already existent DDoS solution through Nitrado
    • Incoming traffic can be more finely tuned on the packet level rather than at a higher more general level than prior



    Performance in-game

    Structure placing and demolition performance update.

    The most significant boost to performance in-game that we implemented on our Official Network last November is the structure placing/demo update.

    Eliminated server calculation in relation to placing structures:

    Previously the server had to do some massive calculations involving checking all snapped structures to the structure being replaced to verify structural integrity. That calculation has now been eliminated as it is a replacement rather than the placement of a new structure in a new area. This is most noticeable on busy servers with large save files.

    Optimised server calculation for demolishing structures:

    The demolish change was a reduction on how much is actually being calculated. It’s less complex in the way in which the server checks these things now so demolishing things will be less intensive aka “cheaper”on the server’s performance thereby reducing lag, stalls and/or server frame drops when demolishing.

    We're not taking these gains as cause to stop iterating, though. There's still room to improve, so we’ll keep pushing those out throughout 2021 too.

     

    Community feedback/connection

    In some ways, when we update the game, we’re really updating something that’s no longer ours. It’s yours; it’s a creature, mechanic or DLC that millions of players may have grown to love, and we want to make sure we do good by you all first and foremost.

    This is a reason why we released an Official Discord, so we can get more feedback from players on the direction we’re headed. Thanks to a breadth of functionality, lots of our players have embraced the ARK Discord as a semi-public community platform. We find observing our player's thoughts and chatter, along with sometimes interacting with you in a “live” medium useful and enjoyable. This along with the more traditional forums and various feedback channels helps us to stay connected to the community.


    If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking your head behind the curtain with us. Do let us know if you find write ups like this interesting.


    Studio Wildcard
     


    EVO Event

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    Survivors on all platforms will be receiving a special Evolution Event perk! It will be active until Thursday the 25th of February. All Official Servers across each platform will be undergoing this evolutionary change which includes:

    • 2X XP

     


    Community Corner

    🎥 Clips/Videos 🎥

    🎥Creator: sotfleague

    This week was the first monthly tournament for the player-run SoTF league with a prize pool. Icebox came through with first place in the duos.  This early game bow fight leads to a priceless reaction from the announcer.

    🎥Creator: Syntac

    Check out the latest Love Evolved update with Syntac!

    🎥Creator: Alexby11

    You have to answer when nature calls 💩 #ARKADIA

    🎥Creator: AaronLongstaff1

    Take a look at Aaron's stream of a Japanese-styled temple. He's building on Crystal isles, a perfect backdrop for this awesome build!

    🎥Creator: Feederi XD

    Throwback Clip: Fifi and tek jump pads go brrrrt

     

    🎨 Fan Art 🎨

    🎨 Sonne-Spiritwind - ARK: Coelophysis

    ark__coelophysis_by_sonne_spiritwind_deegh0o-fullview.jpg

    🎨 SlappyShotte - Com|Aberration

    deefnle-67bfaef8-5676-4587-90eb-336b8243d204.jpg

    🎨sis_6193 - Let's go home early

    EtWkk7ZU0AE9uxS.jpg

    🎨TekARK3 - Locke Terranova

    EunKOPKXEAARbG-.jpg

    🎨 Slither06#9236 - Otter (Discord)

    otter.jpg

     

    📸 In-Game Screenshots 📸

     

    📸 @mocco1218ga 

    Euaft9WVcAAeW5w.jpg

    📸 Sandi#9998

    sandi.jpg

    📸 Tinner The Big Red Dovah#2333

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    📸 Vattghornn#9974

    Screenshot_599.jpg

     

    Enjoy your weekend!
    Studio Wildcard

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


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    Serious the map border kills you now, died when I accidently hit it on Island, lost all my gear as well.

    How about making the fkn border visible so we can avoid the stupid bloody thing

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    8 hours ago, Zedex said:

    Any word on the next Genesis 2 Chronicle? Eagerly waiting for the gloves and helmet to become available. Thanks!

    Yeah, I just need some news on Gen2... 🙂 

    • Thanks 1

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    I just log to refresh nowadays , Genesis is a disc fest for 1 year, with like 3 peeps online, Ragnarok and Crystal Isle lag and crashes, only my Extinction server is a bit ok, I really hope Gen 2 servers are at least playable. 

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    Still no Genesis 2 news update. Just a mention would be nice :(
     

    Edited by Dezmond88
    text

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    More stable = transfer issues, two day delay on event, people dying when they touch the border wall, and constant DCs on nearly all map.
     

    Please tell us more @complexmindedabout how this game isn’t a steaming pile of diplo dung. I’m happy to say I’ve been Ark free for 8 days. That “little transfer issue” took my character, ate a new Dino mutation, and cost us 300 eggs that went poof in the upload process. What a freeing series of events. Arkless hasn’t been more refreshing. I hope you guys don’t screw Gen2 up too badly, but hey, Ark2, right?

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    You care about the losses due to instable transferring and deeply apologize? I lost everything I had worked to because I transferred, my giga breeding line, my manas, my velonsaurs. Worst thing is, it just kicked me out of my tribe, and being a solo tribe, I can't get back in, I sent a support ticket and it's been a week, and still, not even an automated response. 

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    So nice to see Wildcard still promoting videos from the very nice tribe Gang Gang and one of its member Fifi, which both got dev wiped/banned multiple times already for blatant cheating/exploiting/aimbotting. Oh well, and lets not talk about the tribe owner that also got multiple game bans already, had his tribe owner account just recently banned and is still playing on different accounts over and ober again. But hey, what do i know? Nice jump pad video.

    I guess as long as a main community manager is still simping for one of the worst, if not THE worst cheater tribe on officials, i guess nothing will change on official network 🙂

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    soo hitting the border is a insta kill for players now? great ..... no more flying or swiming anymore ... that is just STUPID the number of times i have been in the ocean and bumped into and off the edge is uncountable let alone a save pause and or lag that sends u into one, or chasing another dino and it hits the edge itself and u are busy chomping its butt ... boom dead ... yeah thats gonna make LOADS of people happy ..... sloppy, very very sloppy.

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    Bluescreening and getting kicked out of the game has gotten alot worse recently. There's places on maps that I bluescreen every time I pass through it. Sometimes I have to get a tame to safe a tame and then I blue screen again

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    Much better community crunch, information about what you are doing to tackle issues to help the players base is much more valuable than some of the content of recent crunches

    The official network still needs a pretty big overhaul though. 

    EU-PVE-Official-TheIsland78 Uptime 7 Days: 74%.

    If you had a pizza delivered and 25% was missing I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be happy

    Hopefully you'll work on this now as I'd love to read that you'd sorted this in a crunch in the near future

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    2 hours ago, Worrisomewizard89 said:

    Bluescreening and getting kicked out of the game has gotten alot worse recently. There's places on maps that I bluescreen every time I pass through it. Sometimes I have to get a tame to safe a tame and then I blue screen again

    Dude, if you are bluescreening, you need to check your PC..

     

    Crash to desktop is a thing, disconnects, kicks, lag, rubberbanding, border death, hacks, mods, scripts, meshing, non-existent server staff, griefers, crashing, offlining, DDoS, the pathetic choice of using the most useless hosting company online, transfer loss, character loss, sh t just vanishing, these are things you can blame WC for.. blue screening however is likely and usually a client side error.

     

    Make sure you have the latest graphics drivers, uninstall and reinstall the latests (don't just update), check hard drives for errors and do a completely fresh install of the game..

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    16 hours ago, GP said:

    Gen 2 original date was winter 2020 so the earliest window of release would have been December 2020, so no, it's not already a year. It was already delayed from Dec 2020 to Mar 2021.

    The no news is not comforting certainly, but it's not going to be delayed to next year.

    Hahahahahahahaha.  Deep breath annnddd hahahahahahahaha hahaha.  Right you believe that guy.

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    instead of adding BUGGED features that NOBODY asked, like the border wipes on The Island map, using legit users as guinea pigs, why don't you fix the PVE server crashes? Look about The Island and Crystal Isles server downtime reports!

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    Bugs that I would like to get fixed soon in ps4

    1- some creatures models are not displaying properly (pelagornis stuck on low texture ) 

    2- game suddenly closing when increasing gama 

    I would really like to get an answer to when will this stuff get fixed. Pela looks so bad i am not using it anymore

    Edited by Abdulrahmangabr

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    22 hours ago, invincibleqc said:

    At about the same time these improvements were released, an hard-coded multiplier of 1.5x was introduced and is now applied to TheMaxStructuresInRange setting meaning that players can now build 15,750 instead of 10,500 on officials which I have a feeling is completely negating these optimizations to some extent. Not sure if this was added for debugging and profiling or if this was a permanent decision, but is there any plan to revert that at some point? It sure make configuring an unofficial server confusing, as if we set the limit to 100 we expect it to be 100; not 150.

    They certainly are, thanks for taking the time to elaborate more about that kind of stuff. Keep it coming, I always find it interesting to read!

    I haven't actively played on officials for quite a while now, but I personally believe it is about time per-tribe limit gets reduced. With the introduction of Cryopods, tribes no longer need 500 tames and it could well be reduced to 2-300 in my opinion. Most tribes used to have hundreds of tames parked on display that they never use impacting everything from networking and save time for everyone. If players want to display their creatures then they can use taxidermy.

    2 dinos? I get reduction to 300, but 2? Leave some space for mass breeders, tribe wars, and velonos...

    19 hours ago, doverbeach said:

    "Soon, we will be updating world barriers on all maps so that anything outside of a world border will be destroyed. Boom."

    SMH. This is such an unelegant way to handle meshing detection from both a coding and a policy perspective. Just more of the same lazy, half-assed approach to yet another aspect of this game. Sure, destroy hours of progress to teach those horrible meshers a lesson. Who cares if the vast majority of players are literally doing everything they can to NOT get meshed, to no avail due to whatever happens to be broken on any given week. 🤦‍♂️

    Not really. Nothing is supposed to be able to leave the border, or be outside it.

    16 hours ago, Khiida said:

    "World Borders: Soon, we will be updating world barriers on all maps so that anything outside of a world border will be destroyed."

     

    hopefully you will make the borders really visible if you want to kill everything behind them. especially on scorched earth you usually see the borders after you have already flown against them.

     

    ??? Why do they need to be visible? They are borders, they will stop you going into kill zone

    Edited by Dinobros2000
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    On 2/19/2021 at 1:24 PM, StudioWildcard said:
    • World Borders: Soon, we will be updating world barriers on all maps so that anything outside of a world border will be destroyed. Boom. This is live on The Island on PC and there were some edge-case issues with it being oversensitive but that’s now been fixed and we’ll be rolling out to other platforms soon.

     

     

    7 hours ago, Duffmek said:

    soo hitting the border is a insta kill for players now? great ..... no more flying or swiming anymore ... that is just STUPID the number of times i have been in the ocean and bumped into and off the edge is uncountable let alone a save pause and or lag that sends u into one, or chasing another dino and it hits the edge itself and u are busy chomping its butt ... boom dead ... yeah thats gonna make LOADS of people happy ..... sloppy, very very sloppy.

    Nope, only if you are behind the barrier outside the map. They did say there were some bugs, but they also say they are fixxied.

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    BTW, how are you able to get a picture you made on the community crunch cause i made an Ark picture and i wonder if i'm able on here or somehow send it WC or something...

     

    Does anyone know how?

    Edited by KingofFire105
    QUESTION

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    8 hours ago, Sausagedog85 said:

    Dude, if you are bluescreening, you need to check your PC..

    Mate bluescreening issues with Ark these days are pretty much PS4 related not PC.

    The guy is on PS4.

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    19 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:

     

    Nope, only if you are behind the barrier outside the map. They did say there were some bugs, but they also say they are fixxied.

    tbh im not really in a mood to test that theory ... at least not while actulay in the water for a purpose - might make a raft and test it but knowing ARK and its progressively poor fixes you will have to mind my sceptisim 

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    Not a bad start. Would've liked extended event cause of character corruption :/

    Oh well glad to see Fixing

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    So are y'all going to give an update on gen 2 at some point or wait till end of March to postpone it again?

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    X2 xp is completely useless to over 99% of players as we have already hit max levels, wc are complete morons and need to pull there head out of there own arses. And when doing events give us start/finish TIMES along with start/finish dates.and gmp's need to start actually doing something about tickets put in.as I've put a few tickets in about dupers and players griefing and nothing gets done,only to revive email saying"issues been resolved"when in thruth absolutely f all has been done about it.and as for gm Phoenix...dont even get me going on how utterly useless they are 

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