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Vanessa

My Crusade Against the Fog

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Dear Devs,

I love your game. I play it way too much and I've been playing it since the very beginning. I actually just checked on Steam and noticed I have over 1000 hours on it and cried a little bit. I think the game you delivered at launch is incredibly fun, immersive and has been much improved with Early Access. I write this so you understand where I'm coming from and take it as constructive criticism with the goal of improving the game I love.

With that in mind, please take a few minutes to discuss internally the fog mechanic as it is implemented right now. I don't have a problem with the concept of fog. In moderation, it adds to the atmosphere of the game, provides variety and even some very interesting situations, especially in pvp.

The problem I see is in its implementation, and it's twofold:

  1. First, it makes the game look awful. Ark is, at least for me, an absolutely gorgeous game. I am fortunate enough to be able to run it with all settings maxed, and the scenery sometimes is breathtaking. Looking down atop a high mountain watching waterfalls and entire forests with foliage moving with the wind while dinosaurs roam about and light rays dance around your field of view is a joy to behold. You guys did a fantastic job with that. And then 3 times every single day I'm not able to see anything because there's fog - essentially endless smoke that makes everything look terrible and replaces the breathtaking scenery you've worked so hard to build with a greyish/brownish smog that you have to stare at for 10 minutes doing nothing.
  2. Second, it happens way, way too often. On my server at least, it happens AT LEAST 3 times every single day. Sometimes four. I've counted five once before I logged off in disgust. It makes no sense. There's never 4 fogs in a day, ever. In fact I got so annoyed by it that I decided to research fog frequency for you. So to help your analysis and hopefully successfully complete my personal crusade against this terrible mechanic, here's a study of the prevalence and behavior of fog in the real world: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/242592499_fig2_Figure-2a-Annual-average-number-of-dense-fog-days-at-National-Weather-Surface-Airwaves

You will notice that even on very foggy areas, there are only 20 days of fog per year. Compare this to 3-4 fogs per DAY on Ark and you can see how it would have a detrimental effect on immersion. Now obviously I realize that talking about realism on a game that involves your person being abducted by aliens, thrown into a zoo of sorts and have you shoot dinosaurs in the face and then force feed them meat/berries/mushrooms/poop so they can do your bidding forever and help you kill a giant arachnid and a poop-throwing monkey is utterly ridiculous, so let's discuss it in terms of game mechanics instead and avoid me some embarrassment.

Instead of a subtle, beautiful effect that would enhance the beauty and atmosphere of the game, perhaps present only in lower terrain, fog as it's currently implemented is simply show-stopping. You can't do anything because essentially the scenery is replaced by smoke. It starts abruptly and ends abruptly. There's no difference between regions with and without fog. The whole island is covered in it. For some weird reason, it seeps even inside my base. You can't do any exploring, or anything rather than being indoors or around your base, for several minutes. 

You could argue: "oh but it's challenging". Well, I'm not sure about "challenging". I don't recall a single instance where I was killed by fog. I can recall several instances where I was very annoyed by it. This is not "Ark: Fog Evolved" or the island of Lost (OR IS IT?! the plot thickens...). If you'd be relying on this outdated game mechanic to provide challenge to this game, you would have bigger problems.

Let's be honest then. The fog is horrible, and when you have to stop what you're doing 3-4 times per game day because of it, it's just frustrating and annoying. Not challenging. Just annoying. And it's particularly a pity on such an otherwise beautiful game world.

I'm pretty sure the root of the problem of frequency was the recent implementation of a 50% chance of fog every time it rains. I'm pretty sure it's also raining more than before as well. So add 50% chance of fog with rain, with increased rain frequency, on top of the overall chance of fog without rain, and you get to where we are: fog 3-4 times per day and a rather irritated girl on the other end.

My suggestions to solve the problem:

  1. Decrease the frequency of fog. Make it more relevant by limiting its occurrence. Heck, maybe lengthen the duration of the fog, but make it much rarer. This would have two effects: increase the strategic value of fog and dramatically decrease the annoyance factor. It would be more of an event when it happened, but happen less often so it's more relevant.
  2. Ideally, make fog a gradual effect, that starts very subtly then slowly creeps in, then slowly fades away. It would give players warning that it's coming, and it would be much more natural. If you could make it vary in terms of altitude, that would be great as well, and also have the added bonus of making it beautiful to watch, much more consistent with the beauty of the rest of the game. Obviously Im not sure this is feasible or what the performance cost of doing so would be, but I leave it as a suggestion.
  3. At the very least, give us players control of the frequency of fog on our servers via ini settings. If for some reason I cannot fathom you are happy with how fog works on official servers, at least unofficial servers would have the option to tailor its frequency to their personal preferences.

Thanks for reading this very long winded post about something as exciting as fog on a video-game. If you're a player, I commend your patience and level of boredom. If you're a developer, 1. I love you for the game you've made, 2. please fix fog :(

Thanks

 

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The fog and rain both on the island is ridiculous 😒 The rain is not soft thing lines like it is supposed to be (as is evident when you look down during a storm or witness the centers storms) but instead thick white streaks across your screen. Then the fog ALWAYS HITS and you cant see where you are going. If its at night and I'm ever flying when the fog hits, I land and have to wait for it to stop or else I worry I'll fly into bases as others have. Tbh I wouldn't have a problem with the frequency of either if they would just fix the rain and lower the intensity of the fog. I'm not sure why its still a problem either considering those have been a huge issue since the dawn of ark it seems. 

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No one likes the fog. No one ever liked.

But the devs are way too proud to remove it. They think whatever they do is correct. They only change things if there is a huge outcry by the community and there is no other way to calm them down.
Unfortunately fog is gonna stay in game...

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Oh wow, yeah I totally agree. I have a problem with the rain too, but the fog makes the game almost unplayable for me, at least while it is present. Having to stop whatever I am doing simply because the game activated a feature is absurd. And yeah, the frequency is insane. I counted 6 rain showers in a 24 hour in game period the other day. And if that was a very occasional thing, I would not mind. But it rains every single day, usually multiple times a day. But it has never gone a full 24 hours without rain. And that is bizarre in the extreme. It breaks immersion, causes annoyance, and brings on the really unwelcome fog. Not a good aspect of this great game!

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On 10/3/2018 at 3:27 PM, WisdomofEden said:

There's always the option of using a fog remover mod! This mod works amazingly well and is extremely small :D

Here's my review on it ^_^

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMXCDxFRoC4

Yeah, but I had very bad luck with anti-fog mods. Either they were removed without any hint or reason or they didn't work... I gave up on no-fog-mods. And the setting the devs gave us isn't working for me as well - at least on Ragnarok where we've been playing for about a year now. 😕

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On 10/6/2018 at 4:39 AM, AdligerAdler said:

The dense rain sucks too. Rain in combo with fog is terrible. Rain in combo with fog and night makes the game unplayable when you're outside. *puts controller away and does something else*

 

Exactly. Dark foggy rainy nights means I’m either switching servers or playing another game. 

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