Community Crunch 355: ARK Roadmap, EVO Event, and More!
- By StudioWildcard
- 649 comments
- 94,259 views
Hey there Survivors!
We’re ready to reveal ARK's roadmap for the next year, covering various game-related initiatives, new platforms, and media. The community’s support continues to be incredibly humbling and inspiring for the team, and that enthusiasm helps drive us toward creating the ultimate survival franchise. What we’ve planned has changed due to many shifting factors, but we believe it will ultimately provide the most fun and excitement for everyone who enjoys ARK.
We know you’re eager for the lowdown on our plans and more transparency regarding what’s behind the curtain, what’s evolved, and what has sprung anew, and we’re ready to share that with you… But before starting, we want you to meet our new friend!
Download in full resolution in the Media Kit
And now, for the roadmap…
After careful consideration, we have decided to delay the sequel's launch to the end of 2024, when it will still launch exclusively on Xbox, Game Pass, and Windows distribution platforms (Steam/PC). We’ve put much thought into delaying ARK 2 for the betterment of the final product and the team's well-being. This news will be disappointing to many - we feel it too - but we’re confident this heavy decision is the right one.
So why the delay? Our goal is to make ARK 2 the best game it can be and provide a truly exceptional and rewarding experience for players. Unreal Engine 5 is incredibly new technology to us (and all developers), and we aim to use this cutting-edge tech to its fullest potential while creating a game with never-before-achieved scope at Studio Wildcard. As we learn more about the engine and develop the sequel, we have adapted our workflows and adjusted our pipelines to accommodate this new next-generation paradigm, and because of everything that involves, we need more time for development.
We sincerely apologize for this delay and genuinely appreciate your understanding. Your support and passion are vital to us, and we will continue to work intensively to deliver the ultimate next-gen dinosaur survival experience. With that in mind, we do not plan to showcase any gameplay/screenshots/videos of ARK 2 this year; however, we intend to keep you informed and engaged in the development process by regularly showcasing more ARK 2 assets in the months ahead, leading to our gameplay reveal next year.
But! Our desire to push the boundaries of what ARK 2 is on a next-generation platform has led us to the decision to create an intermediary Unreal Engine 5 ARK product utilizing some of the new technology we are building, allowing us to further our mastery of the new engine and ultimately battle-test some of our riskier technical advancements. We’ll gain a deep understanding of how well the rendering and lighting techniques work on console, what performance will be like, whether we can optimize and deliver interactive water and foliage on a widescale basis, and much more. We will deliver cross-platform modding, cross-platform multiplayer & a new account system, informing us about other changes we should consider for ARK 2. Due to the scope of all the technical and QOL changes required for such a next-gen experience, it is not feasible to make this new version of ARK backward compatible, which led us to conclude that this would need to be a separate product.
We also recognize that ARK 2 has some pretty significant design changes from the original game, which may not make it as appealing to everyone (looking at you, Souls-like combat, primitive-only weaponry, and strict third-person mechanics – and an overall “very serious” tone), which is why we feel it is essential to provide players with a fully next-gen version of the original experience to ensure that fans can continue to enjoy the ARK they know for years to come.
We’re thrilled to share this new ARK journey with you this year -- bringing players from PC, Xbox, and PlayStation together in a next-generation version of the game you love, topped off with revolutionary cross-platform modding.
Download in full resolution in the Media Kit
ARK: Survival Ascended is a next-generation remaster of our beloved ARK: Survival Evolved, harnessing the power of Unreal Engine 5. It will be released on Xbox Series S/X, PC (Windows/Steam), and PlayStation 5 by the end of August 2023. The base game will include The Island, SOTF, and all the “Non-Canon” DLC maps (which will be added to ASA over time).
Xbox Series S/X and PC players will only be able to get it via an ultimate-value bundle known as the ARK Respawned Bundle. This bundle includes ownership of both ARK: Survival Ascended AND ARK 2 and will be priced at $49.99. This bundle will be available to purchase from the end of August for up to 1 year (after which ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK 2 will be sold separately). Additionally, the bundle will provide players access to an exclusive 1-month closed-beta to ARK 2 in 2024 before the rest of the general public can play ARK 2.
PlayStation 5 users will be able to get their hands on ARK: Survival Ascended as a standalone next-gen game at launch in August 2023 for $39.99.
All the expansion packs will be sold separately on all platforms:
- $19.99 for Explorer’s Pass, which includes Scorched Earth, Aberration (Q4 2023), and Extinction (Q1 2024).
- $19.99 for Genesis Pass, which includes Genesis Part 1 (Q1 2024) and Genesis Part 2 (Q2 2024).
At ARK: Survival Ascended’s launch, players will have access to The Island, Scorched Earth, and the new revamped game mode, Survival of the Fittest.
In addition to many other new features, ARK: Survival Ascended will feature the following improvements and enhancements:
- Unreal Engine 5 Overhaul with Nanite, Lumen and RTXDI
- Dynamic Water
- Interactive Foliage
- Unreal Engine 5 performance gains: instanced-rendering (large-bases etc.), threaded server networking, and native physics engine
- This includes cross-platform accounts and cross-progression, cross-voice chat & friends, etc. No matter what platform you start playing on, you can access your account, character, dinos, and items on a different platform for the ultimate cross-platform experience.
- We recognize the power of giving players the tools and capability to define their survival experience, so we want to take cross-platform one step further by working with Overwolf to introduce an industry-first cross-platform modding experience where mods created on PC are delivered directly to end-users’ consoles from a custom modding backend.
- The modding capability will include FULL blueprinting support ;), stacked mods, and maps. Everything that is currently possible on the Steam version of ARK: Survival Evolved and more will be possible on the new system and be available for end-users to play on consoles in all modes.
- Premium Mods: Reviewed by Overwolf and Wildcard for quality control and value, Mod authors will optionally be able to specify price points for their Mods (with 50% of the price point going to the Mod author). This is necessary to pay for the custom infrastructure required for Overwolf to support, administrate, and deliver Mods to the console.
- We plan on streamlining the process of upgrading legacy ARK: Survival Evolved mods to the next-generation platform. We plan to reach out to current/former sponsored modders in preparation for the launch of ASA with the tools they need to get their mods ready before the launch.
- Cross-platform Anti-Cheat
Survival of the Fittest
SOTF will be integrated into the main product as a new fully-supported game mode. It will have a dedicated team that will continue to work on more gameplay changes, mechanical improvements, quality of life, maps, and balance adjustments. The initial mode will be revamped with an exclusive ARK: Survival Ascended update, including:
- Upgraded to Unreal Engine 5 with complete cross-platform and cross-modding support (the SOTF UE5 source content will be released for modders to utilize as they wish within ASA)
- Scorched Earth SOTF Map
- Matchmaking queue
- Character and Creature customization with cosmetics
- Local Lobby where you can group up with your friends, configure the look of your survivor and dinos, and queue up for lobbies together
- Lots of bug-fixes and balance and functionality improvements
- SOTF will be integrated into the main product as a new fully-supported game mode. It will have a dedicated team that will continue to work on more gameplay changes, mechanical improvements, quality of life, maps, and balance adjustments. The initial mode will be revamped with an exclusive ARK: Survival Ascended update, including:
- Art Assets are being upgraded throughout the entire game
- Newly-designed holiday events take advantage of the next-gen pipeline, released as mods, so they’re always available to play!
New content, QOL improvements, balance, and gameplay changes, including but not limited to:
- Updated mini-map (pan, zoom, pings, etc – similar to the SOTF mini-map)
- New structures (display cases, smaller TEK Teleporters) & building QOL improvements (snap fixes, increased foundation support, foundation height adjustments, and more)
- Queueing System
- New third-person camera (with the option to opt out)
- Directional Sprinting and Walking
- Ping system
- Gamepad cursor
- Chibi Slot and Skins Tab
- Balance passes (e.g. Cave Entrances, MEKs, Aberration Creatures, more breedable creatures, etc)
…and more! (seriously, a lot more, this list isn’t exhaustive, but it’ll get super long if we list everything, and there’s more we’ll decide to do between now and launch too)
We understand there will be questions regarding LiveOps for the product, so we’ll review some key areas now.
- Final Content Update: In June for ARK’s 8th Anniversary, we’ll release ARK: Survival Evolved’s final content update, which includes the fan-voted Rhyniognatha!
- Cross-platform: It’s important to note that ARK: Survival Evolved (ARK:SE) and ARK: Survival Ascended (ASA) will coexist but will not support crossplay between the two games. ASA will have undergone profound functional changes which prevent it from being compatible with the previous game.
- Holiday Events: We plan to develop and release ASA-exclusive holiday content that takes advantage of the next-gen pipeline released in mods, so they’re always available to play!
- Official Servers: With the launch of ASA at the end of August, we will be taking down all Official Servers on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC for ARK: Survival Evolved – at that time, the final save-datas from the ARK: Survival Evolved Official Servers will be uploaded for players to re-host on their own servers or play in singleplayer/non-dedi, as well as slightly earlier snapshots. You will still be able to play on single-player, non-dedicated, player-dedicated, and unofficial servers. ARK: Survival Ascended will have its own fully supported Official Network for all platforms.
- Feature Sunset: With the launch of ASA, we will be ending official support for Primitive+, Split Screen, and Procedurally Generated Maps. These aspects of the game will not be ported to the new Unreal Engine 5 version.
- We will look into releasing the source files for Primitive+ for those that wish to repurpose aspects of it for mods.
- ARK: Survival Ascended Updates: The remaster will have regular updates to resolve bugs, introduce new content, balance changes, and quality-of-life improvements for years to come.
- ARK: Survival Evolved Updates: will be limited to crashes and critical bug fixes.
We plan to release a new canonical-story expansion pack for ARK: Survival Ascended that will be available in Q4 2023. This DLC will feature four new creatures, which we’ll share more details about later this year!
ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition has been off to a great start on Nintendo Switch. The insightful crew at Digital Foundry called it "one of the most radical improvements in game quality (they've) ever seen."
So far, we've launched Scorched Earth, Aberration, and Ragnarok, with Extinction coming on April 11th. Our current estimated timeline for the rest of our significant releases is as follows:
- April 2023 - Extinction
- May 2023 - Small Tribes servers
- June 2023 - Genesis Part 1
- October 2023 - Genesis Part 2
Winter 2023 into 2024 - Remaining community maps
Spring has been an exciting time on the platform, with the release of the Carcharodontosaurus now roaming around The Island and Ragnarok. Eggcellent Adventure begins on April 3rd, bringing this full event to players on Nintendo Switch for the first time. Lest we forget ARK: Dinosaur Discovery, which also saw a content update to v1.5, recently adding a full-featured in-game map and numerous gameplay improvements. As a reminder, ARK: Dinosaur Discovery is a separate download available for FREE to all digital owners of ARK on Nintendo Switch.
Finally, we are happy to welcome a swath of new players from Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan & South Korea. Both titles are now available locally on Nintendo Switch in those regions from our partners at Spike Chunsoft.
We have some important news for Mobile Survivors! At the year's end, we anticipate a relaunch of ARK: Mobile as a completely revamped product. It will be based on a graphically improved version of the Switch codebase due to the increased power generally available with mobile devices and include new Switch features and content and mobile-specific changes. We plan to release all the expansion packs and non-cannon maps over time into this revamped version, and from that point onwards, ARK: Mobile will have its product lifecycle and roadmap.
Download in full resolution in the Media Kit
ARK: The Animated Series has completed the animation and cast recordings of all its 14 initial episodes, which are currently in post-production (VFX, sound mix, etc.). We're delighted with how the show turned out -- it's an epic melodramatic love letter to dinosaurs, fantasy/sci-fi, and of course ARK itself -- though we have not placed it yet with any platform, hence the lack of news in that area. So as soon as there's more to report, we will let you know!
Thank you everyone for reading through this substantial write-up, and stay tuned for more information on the ARK: Survival Ascended in the months ahead toward its August launch!
Conquest servers are being re-introduced for a new season by Snail Games. To kick things off, our current Classic PvP season will end, and servers will be wiped shortly before the new Conquest begins on April 25th. Classic PvP servers will wipe on April 25th, 5pm Pacific Time.
- Experience gain, taming, gathering have been tripled compared to our standard Official Servers (3x)
- Breeding, hatching, and raising rates have been tripled compared to our standard Official Servers (3x)
- No tribe limit
- Tribe alliances are disabled, though informal alliances are allowed
- Servers have a maximum player count of 100
- No Aberration map
- All other maps excluding Gen1&2 and Extinction will be available.
The following TEK engrams/items will be available:
- TEK Replicator
- TEK Transmitter
- TEK Turret
- TEK Hatchframe
- TEK Door
- TEK Foundation
- TEK ladder
- TEK Pillar
- TEK Ramp
- TEK Trapdoor
- TEK Wall
- TEK Doorframe
- TEK Windowframe
- TEK Window
- Sloped TEK Wall Left
- Sloped TEK Wall Right
- TEK Staircase
- Sloped TEK Roof
- TEK Railing
- TEK Fence Foundation
- TEK Generator
- TEK Trough
- TEK Teleporter
- Megalodon TEK Saddle
- Vacuum Compartment
- Vacuum Compartment Moonpool
- Cloning Chamber
- Tapejara TEK Saddle
- TEK Fence Support
- Large TEK Wall
- TEK Stairs
- TEK Triangle ceiling
- TEK Triangle foundation
Survivors on all platforms will be receiving an EVO Event! It will be active until Monday, the 3rd of April.
All Official Servers across each platform will be undergoing this evolutionary change which includes:
*Note that these bonuses are multiplicative of the game's standard 1x rates.
Official Servers: 2x XP, Harvesting, Taming and Breeding (imprint, maturation, hatch/gestation), 0.5x Mating Interval, 2x Hexagon Bonus
Small Tribe Servers: 4.5x XP, Harvesting, Taming and Breeding (imprint, maturation, hatch/gestation), 0.5x Mating Interval, 2x Hexagon Bonus
ARKPocalypse: 5x XP, Harvesting, Taming and Breeding (imprint, maturation, hatch/gestation), 0.5x Mating Interval, 2x Hexagon Bonus
Classic: 6x XP, Harvesting, Taming and Breeding (imprint, maturation, hatch/gestation), 0.5x Mating Interval
Fan Art Gallery | Screenshot Gallery | Artist Feedback Form
Creator: Sypher Sam
In this speed build tutorial, Sypher Sam teaches you how to build an Elven-style PvE house inspired by the Lord of the Rings' architecture. No mods were used. Plus, it can be built on consoles & PC!
Creator: Raasclark (featuring CaptainFatdog)
In this short, Raasclark and Captain Fatdog attempt to knock out a wyvern with a mantis! Will they succeed?
Favorite color tek Parasaurolophus by @Mio301130
Snow Owl by mendozian
Lights off! by @WolfTek7
Hugs! by @ScutalTheLizard
Warm your heart and body together by @rianeko_mabi
Delivering Spring by @falco_luna
Ferox by @k3zk_627
Recreation of Japanese Waterfall Castle in survival by @KiriiAndrew
Beautiful postcard by @RikerPlays
Do I love the Equus? Yes, not even gonna try lying about it by u/Fit-Photograph7844
Enjoy your weekend!
Official Wiki: ark.wiki.gg
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