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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

    Ark_Evolution_Event_minimized.thumb.png.2d282a169df9bbbd0ba09a90303a7cec.png

    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

    742a6867-210a-4cc5-a1f2-efde3d22748e.jpg

    📸 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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    18 hours ago, Duffmek said:

    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 

    Get a single player world and test. Wolnt lose anything.

    16 hours ago, telausblade said:

    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?

    The Gen chronicals are our updates... 

    Edited by Dinobros2000
    • Facepalm 1

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    8 hours ago, jmc08062016 said:

    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 

    Leveling up dinos?

    • Facepalm 1

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    On 2/20/2021 at 9:55 PM, Dinobros2000 said:

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

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

    Nothing is supposed to be able to leave the border, or be outside it...

    ...until something does, like something did, repeatedly while wc was diddling with the anti-mesh system during the event. And yes, I believe simply killing the character and destroying its inventory in lieu of any number of alternatives allowing for recovery really is unelegant, particularly considering the absence of any replacement policies.

     

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

    ...until they don't, like they didn't. Look, this has now become just one of many trust issues players have with this game. Someone expressing a desire for a useful indicator to help navigate an unreliable situation shouldn't really be met with such confusion.

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    Yet another crunch that touches on well.. Not much of importance..

     

    Players losing tames, chars and even entire bases after an update corrupts their save files, server browser issues etc, not to mention the constant connection issues to what is probably the worst server hosting company on the planet's servers and network (And the only one available for Xbox/Playstation server owners), and what does WC do about it? Pretty much the same as Nitrado; Point their fingers in every other direction, but mostly at us, the players, telling us to use pointless, and useless so-called workarounds that hardly ever works but most notably never ever consistently. Well, that or you guys just keep quiet and never man up and respond to us..

     

    Instead of focusing on applying temporary band-aids, focus on permanent fixes. That should be any game dev's priority, because with temporary band-aids, the issues will never go away.

     

    There's an old saying; Don't bite the hand that feeds you, but you guys have almost eaten arms and legs at this point..

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    1 hour ago, ExcessEvil said:

    Players losing tames, chars and even entire bases after an update corrupts their save files, server browser issues etc, not to mention the constant connection issues to what is probably the worst server hosting company on the planet's servers and network (And the only one available for Xbox/Playstation server owners), and what does WC do about it? Pretty much the same as Nitrado; Point their fingers in every other direction, but mostly at us, the players, telling us to use pointless, and useless so-called workarounds that hardly ever works but most notably never ever consistently. Well, that or you guys just keep quiet and never man up and respond to us..

    The work around a might work sometimes, that’s why they suggest them, and plus, the game is coded in a way that these problems exists. Not like there is some ultimate fix, or anything to be addressed. They can’t mess with base game code like that and not have some weird random bugs, or like a full game wipe or something. There really isn’t anything to address but hopefully info about Gen 2, ark 2, and Animated series. I haven’t read ALL the crunches, cuz I don’t wanna read old news that isn’t very intresting anymore, but I’m guessing they probably have addressed char losses. Only thing to do is pray WC gets everything nice and clean in A2

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    18 minutes ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    The work around a might work sometimes, that’s why they suggest them, and plus, the game is coded in a way that these problems exists. Not like there is some ultimate fix, or anything to be addressed. They can’t mess with base game code like that and not have some weird random bugs, or like a full game wipe or something. There really isn’t anything to address but hopefully info about Gen 2, ark 2, and Animated series. I haven’t read ALL the crunches, cuz I don’t wanna read old news that isn’t very intresting anymore, but I’m guessing they probably have addressed char losses. Only thing to do is pray WC gets everything nice and clean in A2

     

    The game isn't 'coded in a way that these problems exist'.. Good grief, what kind of rubbish statement is that? That means they intentionally added the bugs!

     

    Are you seriously making excuses as to why we've got these issues in the game? Are you truly that daft? There are multiple reasons as to why we are plagued with bugs and other issues and it's not because of the way the game is coded, but i'll get to that a bit further down.

     

    The so-called 'workarounds' were first figured out by PLAYERS not the developers themselves. These so-called 'workarounds' are like those type of band-aids that come off way too fast. There's a REASON a LOT of ARK players still consider this game to still be in a state of Early Access/Game Preview, and that's because of the bugs and other issues that have persisted since Early Access/Game Preview, and it makes one wonder why they bothered with Early Access/Game Preview in the first place, since that's the time during game development where they should fix said bugs and issues to make sure the game runs and behaves smoothly post-release.

     

    The main fault (Two parties actually are at fault here, more on that further down) there lies with the QA team and their inability to do their jobs correctly. As a QA analyst and QA lead, they have a responsibility to make sure that the game is shipped with little to no bugs, especially game breaking bugs and other issues.

     

    Point being, we shouldn't have to use workarounds for every single issue with the game, or any game for that matter, though ARK is probably the only game with so many bugs and issues post-release in the history of gaming, both when it comes to the internal code structure and networking issues. I mean they are using what is probably the worst server host on the planet. Just look at how freakishly slow the website is loading for the most part.. If the QA team had done their jobs correctly, and worked with the dev team and the testers aka Early Access players, the game wouldn't even have half the bugs and issues currently present.

     

    As for the other part of who's fault it is, it's the shills, the white knights and brown nosers (Including some youtubers) who constantly keep yelling to the developers that they're doing nothing wrong and the game is super duper awesome with no bugs etc all the while, shutting down threads that contains negative criticism and feedback they don't like.

     

    If these shills, white knights and brown nosers including the QA team doesn't get their heads out of their own rear-ends, ARK 2 is going to flop.

     

    They've shown little to no transparency during it's life cycle except from during the early days of Early Access on Steam, and when something goes wrong (which it does on a daily basis, especially for Xbox server owners renting through Nitrado!), they point their fingers in any direction but their own (So does Nitrado). 

     

    Heck, we're still waiting on the flyer speed leveling update for consoles, an update that has been out on PC since late 2020 now.

     

    Trying to shill and tell us that there's nothing to fix or do about the game is ridiculous at best, when all the evidence present tells us otherwise.

     

    I wonder how a stat sheet of how many tames, characters, bases that have been lost over the years due to bugs and issues post-launch would look like.. Add in all the connectivity issues related to private server on consoles rented from Nitrado with stats showing how often people get a timeout/connection to host lost message. It certainly wouldn't look good..

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    42 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    That means they intentionally added the bugs!

    Uhh no.

    43 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    Are you seriously making excuses as to why we've got these issues in the game? Are you truly that daft?

    1 reasons, and 2, probably

     

    43 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    game is coded, but i'll get to that a bit further down.

    I was specifically talking about Game crashes, Player loss, and thoes, not the normal bugs any game has.

     

    45 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    The so-called 'workarounds' were first figured out by PLAYERS not the developers themselves.

    This is commonly how workarounds are found(and exploits) that’s kinda what work around are. 

     

    47 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    Point being, we shouldn't have to use workarounds for every single issue with the game, or any game for that matter,

    You shouldn’t, but sometimes you have too.

     

    49 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    I mean they are using what is probably the worst server host on the planet. Just look at how freakishly slow the website is loading for the most part..

    🤣 hahahaha, Official servers...

     

    *that description reminds me of these forms.

    55 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    ARK 2 is going to flop.

    I think the devs might be capable enough to make it less buggy tho... they are much more experienced this time.

     

    57 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    They've shown little to no transparency during it's life cycle except from during the early days of Early Access on Steam

    You mean telling users what contents coming? Seams like a thing most game companies do...

     

    57 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    Heck, we're still waiting on the flyer speed leveling update for consoles, an update that has been out on PC since late 2020 now.

     

    That’s a setting and the time capsule version....not anything too Offical

     

    59 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    Trying to shill and tell us that there's nothing to fix or do about the game is ridiculous at best, when all the evidence present tells us otherwise.

    Never said this

     

    59 minutes ago, ExcessEvil said:

    I wonder how a stat sheet of how many tames, characters, bases that have been lost over the years due to bugs and issues post-launch would look like.. Add in all the connectivity issues related to private server on consoles rented from Nitrado with stats showing how often people get a timeout/connection to host lost message. It certainly wouldn't look good..

    A lot.

     

    1 hour ago, ExcessEvil said:

    it's the shills, the white knights and brown nosers (Including some youtubers)

    ...I don’t think they are at fault, I mean, it dosent seam WC listens to the form suggestions and stuff.

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    2 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    I think the devs might be capable enough to make it less buggy tho... they are much more experienced this time.

    I am in full agreement with this. they are using a newer engine for starters AND they have better skills, they can figure out what things in the game will be problems later on.

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    4 hours ago, Deinonycuz said:

    I am in full agreement with this. they are using a newer engine for starters AND they have better skills, they can figure out what things in the game will be problems later on.

    This does not automatically mean the game will be better and less buggy. Newer engines bring different problems. Sadly a lot of newer installments of games are even more buggy than the previous ones and there are a lot of examples. 

     

     

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    39 minutes ago, Vahilor said:

    This does not automatically mean the game will be better and less buggy. Newer engines bring different problems. Sadly a lot of newer installments of games are even more buggy than the previous ones and there are a lot of examples. 

     

     

    you do bring up a good point but still

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    9 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    I was specifically talking about Game crashes, Player loss, and thoes, not the normal bugs any game has.

    See, this game doesn't have any 'normal' bugs other games may have. It suffers from lots of game breaking bugs, which is not acceptable no matter how you try and twist and turn it around in their favor.

     

    9 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    Uhh no.

    Yes! By your own words

    11 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    the game is coded in a way that these problems exists.

    You can't explain away that sentence right there, bruh. You just can't..

     

    9 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:
    10 hours ago, ExcessEvil said:

    Trying to shill and tell us that there's nothing to fix or do about the game is ridiculous at best, when all the evidence present tells us otherwise.

    Never said this

     

    11 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    Not like there is some ultimate fix, or anything to be addressed.

    Again, your words..

     

    9 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:
    10 hours ago, ExcessEvil said:

    ARK 2 is going to flop.

    I think the devs might be capable enough to make it less buggy tho... they are much more experienced this time.

     

    Experience doesn't mean much when we look at how they've treated their first game, especially when it comes to unofficial servers for the consoles and the fact that save files tend to get corrupted every single major update. If anything, they should've learned from Early Access.

     

    9 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:
    10 hours ago, ExcessEvil said:

    it's the shills, the white knights and brown nosers (Including some youtubers)

    ...I don’t think they are at fault, I mean, it dosent seam WC listens to the form suggestions and stuff.

     

    But you see, they are. Both are. The shills and the developers for listening to them, and trust me, they do listen to the content creators and Nitrado partnered streamers..

     

    Do i hope they get it right with ARK 2? Of course, but after seeing how poorly they've managed their first ARK title, i have my doubts, because it all falls down to how good their QA team is and who they choose to listen to. People with actual bug reports or the shills who claim that there's nothing wrong with the game and try to shut down every bit of criticism and negative feedback.

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    ok, so just a quick question to all those who read this: which map should I get?
    1. Aberration

    2. Extinction

    3. Genesis pt.1

    4. Genesis pt.2

    just quote me and choose. I wanna go for aberration, but also wanna try the other maps. knowing my luck, I'm sticking to buying one map. which one?

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    2 hours ago, Magmasaur103 said:

    ok, so just a quick question to all those who read this: which map should I get?
    1. Aberration

    2. Extinction

    3. Genesis pt.1

    4. Genesis pt.2

    just quote me and choose. I wanna go for aberration, but also wanna try the other maps. knowing my luck, I'm sticking to buying one map. which one?

    You can’t buy just 1 Gen dlc. And pt. 2 isn’t available for another month. I would suggest is wait for a sale and buy abb and ext. then wait for a sale after Gen 2 releses when the DLCs are less then 20$...

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    3 hours ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    You can’t buy just 1 Gen dlc. And pt. 2 isn’t available for another month. I would suggest is wait for a sale and buy abb and ext. then wait for a sale after Gen 2 releses when the DLCs are less then 20$...

    okie dokie.

     

    1 minute ago, Magmasaur103 said:

    ok, so aberration first?

    my bad. had to quote these in here, since idk how to do so in edit.

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    1 minute ago, Magmasaur103 said:

    ok, so aberration first?

    Whichever, should be around 5$ each...

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    33 minutes ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    Whichever, should be around 5$ each...

    forgot to mention, I'm hoping to get one of these on ps4, so which should I buy on there?

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    On 2/20/2021 at 4:36 AM, arkark said:

    Its good to see you are working on improving stability of the game but please dont forget whats going on on most (afaik) genesis and extinction official pve servers where long save time makes game clients disconnect due to timeout and then server does not allow to reconnect fast because "there is already someone connected with that account".

    This makes the area where the player was not entering stasis immediately, and if player was doing veins/osd/missions this much likely means player killed, dinos killed, broken gear... rendering this maps to non playable status.

    Also the Crystall Islands servers on pve have the same problem and when the server crashes it takes about an hour to restart. 

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    2 hours ago, Magmasaur103 said:

    forgot to mention, I'm hoping to get one of these on ps4, so which should I buy on there?

    The 22$ bundle that contains ark, SE, Abb and EXT.

    Edited by Dinobros2000

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    36 minutes ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    The 22$ bundle that contains SE, Abb and EXT.

    well, you're all for the bundle either way, aren't ya?

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    16 minutes ago, Magmasaur103 said:

    well, you're all for the bundle either way, aren't ya?

    Yes. Save lots of money, get(almost) everything

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    1 hour ago, Dinobros2000 said:

    Yes. Save lots of money, get(almost) everything

    well, as long as I have more worlds besides the free ones, I'm locked and loaded. plus, I WANT ASCENSIONS!!!

    lol

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