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Why nobody plays PGM

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So ever since the PGM extinction servers have been release on xbox, there has been a HUGE decrease in active players on those servers. And when I say huge I am meaning they went from max servers every month down to only have 5-10 players tops. 

You may just blame the fact that the PGM maps are bad and that's why nobody is playing them but I don't believe that to be the case here. Everyone I talk to loves the idea of PGM resetting every month like that but there are a few issues surrounding these maps that turns people away. First of all, the issues with joining really makes people give up on their first try. On xbox for some reason ANYTIME you attempt to join one of these servers (50% when joining normal officials) the game will just sit there saying "Joining Session...". So normally what people do is sit there waiting for 30 minutes it says that you can't connect and they retry. Well for some reason if you go to your network settings on xbox, make your console go offline for 10 seconds and go back online you will instantly get into the servers and this works for any server on the official list... In my eyes this is the biggest thing that needs to get fixed, as loading the PGM takes about 15 minutes in itself nobody wants to wait 45 minutes to join for their first time. Super discouraging.

 

Secondly, The fact that there are NO x plant seed spawns or beaver dam spawns on ANY PGM map. I do believe I have seen a beaver spawn on PGM ext 1 but I have never seen a beaver damn. Resources are super scarce on these maps. The best way to get CP used to be to tame an Achatina on there, but since now you have to get giant bee honey to tame those its impossible. Giant bee hives do not spawn anywhere on PGM maps so no way to get CP really other than killing insects. Then you come into the problem of PGM maps never having swampland, stopping you from really finding any bugs anywhere. Also no frogs so you can't get easy CP that way either. I have seen megatheriums spawning so I guess that would be the best way of getting chitin on these servers atm. People usually get raided every night on these servers simply bc of the fact that you can hardly set up defense. No x plants on the map take away the beginning defense most people set up. Leaving your base super vulnerable to attacks from grenades since they break stone down so easy and are easy to make.

 

The third major problem on these servers is the EXTREMELY uneven ground. I know it's randomly generated but like come on, can't someone go over the map with a smoothing tool before you put them on an official extinction server. 75% of the time people attempt to spawn in you get stuck in the ground bc of some deep dip that's shaped like a diamond going into the ground. There is no way to jump out of this, also yuo can't eat your poo bc you are considered to be in free fall preventing you from eating. If you want to even attempt to play on the server after getting stuck you have to wish to god some dino will come kill you or else you'll be stuck in the ground for the next hour waiting for your man to starve out or something. Even if you leave the server after getting stuck and rejoin you cannot create a new character since it spawns you back into the man you already created.

If you manage to survive without getting stuck you'll most likely die after running a few feet anyway. Alphas take over the whole map since nobody has a way of killing them. Alpha rexs carnos and raptors team up to kill everything you own. Also Large carnivore spawns seem a little too much as anytime I down a tame and come back there is a rex eating it. Also the rexs just walk over your spikes since the ground is so unlevel everywhere making it hard to keep them way. I have had friends try spawning in for 15 minute periods, dying EVERY SINGLE TIME  because they have to look at their implant and stuff before they can move. Also you can't really have any safe methods of travel since there are alpha leedsichthys literally everywhere on those maps. If you take land you get eaten by rexs and alphas. Take water you are killed by leeds, not rly anything that low level noobs can fight. Especially since rex saddle takes lvl 74, it is so hard to get to a high level on that.

 

The last huge problem that I'm going to offer here is that randomly while you are playing on these servers you will get a HUGE drop in frame rate. This drop is bigger than any I've seen on ark and it does not go away, I have sat there for 30 minutes waiting for the frames to pick back up but you literally get 1 frame per 10 seconds and it doesn't stop. The only way to get back to normal is by closing out the ARK app and re-opening it then rejoining the server. There aren't really any triggers as far as I can tell and it happens to me on 4 separate official PGM servers. 

 

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6 hours ago, nomeensno said:

The problem is the "idea" of PGM is better than the reality of it.... mostly anyway.  Extinction also has its faults so there's that as well.  In the end they need to both improve PGM significantly, and completely rethink extinction.

Before the pgm servers came out the island extinctions were always full of people it was awesome. Some of the most fun Ive ever had on ark was on pvp extinction

 

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6 hours ago, Vita said:

Before the pgm servers came out the island extinctions were always full of people it was awesome. Some of the most fun Ive ever had on ark was on pvp extinction

 

Yup, then they changed extinction, boosting rates too high.  5x across the board is just excessive and ruins much of the experience.  A great deal of what made extinction enjoyable was the early/mid game shenanigans that took place.  Now everyone is metal tier with beast tames on day 1 and the fun of it is gone.  There's no struggle, there's no loss, there's no purpose.  The fact that it's PGM amplifies the problem because the PGM maps are absolute garbage.

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People don't like PGM because its been done so many times before and it's wearing thin for some. Another reason could be regardless of the server, people will know the map and its strengths and weaknesses prior to establishing a base, and if they can't find something they can just google it.

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On 8/20/2017 at 10:40 PM, 1david25 said:

I believe this is due to the amazing hand crafted maps that you can get. Random gen will never have the special touch a person making a map can have.

And as others have mentioned, the procedural maps have issues with spawns that need to be hand placed or that at least don't work with the current random generation.  (Bee hives, beaver dams.)  The missing biomes like swamps, the lack of flat terrain, the fact that there's no mechanism for caves, and the lack of even some of the basic kinds of resource nodes...  PGM is a system that was added, and then apparently abandoned.  It needs *massive* amounts of work.  It *could* be incredible, especially if they could find a way to add procedural caves (or even just to add entrances to pre-defined caves.)

If they expanded it to allow you to make PGM maps that included biomes and creatures from the expansions?  That would be amazing.  It's highly unlikely though.

Really though, there's just no reason to play on a PGM map with all the current limitations they have.  If I wanted a "new exploration experience," I could start a second character on Ragnarok and then send over a care package from my existing character on the other single player maps.  Ragnarok looks amazing, and has hand-placed spawn points for most or all of the standard and Scorched Earth resources and creatures.  In comparison, PGM maps are just sort of random and bland.  PGM maps don't even have Obelisks, and I think creature uploading from beacons is disabled in Single Player.  There's just too many things *missing* from the PGM system to bother spending time on it.  At least for me.  I'm sure some people love the additional challenge.

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On 8/21/2017 at 10:28 PM, ehuhoser said:

The problem is WC kinda introduced it without working on it ever again it was sort of like a test to build and then dropped on us with the word experimental.

This.  The settings don't really work right, it's not updated, it doesn't have a great UI for setting it up.  It's very, very hard to make a map that looks anything vaguely less than nonsensical.

 

And that's depressing, because PGM ability, done right, gives this game such endless replayability.  Instead it was a redheaded step child and just ignored.

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20 hours ago, Thorium said:

 

PGM is a great concept but it would be better as DLC with a whole team only working on PGM.

I agree PGM is a great Concept, and have played around and around with it on the PS4 

I think most people will find the interface confusing and very un-user friendly  but this is an issue all by itself

As an older gamer i look for games that i enjoy playing and has a long longevity in keeping me playing, Ark is almost one of those games if the PGM side of the game was more polished and complete it would be the game all other games had to use as a standard when it came to a long life game......I for one would pay for the ability to create my own maps as a DLC, they could use the current PGM setup as a teaser then offer the in depth  interface as a DLC if so i would drop 40, 50, 60 bucks on it 

 

If we had the ability using seeds, droplets as they call it to add random structures (ruins) or generate caves randomly this would help 

Be able to assign the seeds or droplets by the biome and control mountain and water frequency height ect by biome 

PGM could keep Life on ARK for a long time, 

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Pgm have been good fun and i have had some amazing results ,i have not had many issues to be fair and a lot of issues people mention are resource or dino  issues to really make them  work yes biomes have got to be included ,but along with swamps, waterfalls and cave system and a form of drag and drop object interface , rocks ,trees ,vines ect that alone would improve the concept ,or is this just another Ark project left to rot when instead it could be amazing ?? 

Edited by LEETHEG666

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I can confirm for myself that at least the Steam version, but I suspect the Win Store version too, still has the 'trapped in a hole' problem today.  Realistically, the fix seems like it would have to be to be to run a smoothing pass during PGM generation, to remove those pits.

I very much like PGM maps.  The resource scattering and spawn points aren't 'logical', but that's reasonable for the idea of PGM.  What isn't acceptable, and makes me want to stop playing, is the 'stuck in a hole' problem.  It's *WAY* too common.  The only way I make it tolerable is literally to avoid portions of the map where I know those ruts are.

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I have never played on PGMs, nor have I made my own. It's too complex for a console player who has only ever made a Far Cry 2 map, but made it a flat ass desert. It's too complex for people who have no idea what each thing does, and how adjusting it will affect the outcome of the map. I would maybe be more likely to make my own if Primal Survival was put back into development since I wanted to make a good map that supports various amounts of creatures and playstyles based on those creatures. But right now, I care not for PGMs.

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