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Octia

Why Ark is fundamentally flawed as a competitive game.

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You can't win at Ark unless the mega tribe lets you.

 

Allow me to elaborate:

You can't "hide away" and attack a mega tribe as a solo or small tribe, they will ALWAYS find you. ALWAYS. It is very important to stress that there is NOWHERE to hide. You see, this is what the devs think balances the game, they think you can hide away from megatribes until you're leveled enough to fight back. Anyone who has played on a server where the megatribe are trying to claim the entire official server to themselves will know that you simply can't hide. This leaves anyone not in the megatribe at the mercy of the megatribe; you exist by their whims. Competitively the game is completely flawed for this reason. It boils down to the power of persuasion, which just doesn't work because it is still THEIR CHOICE, and they still hold all the cards. 

 

This leaves the player three options, leave the server (an option which is diminishing as these tribes are becoming a thousand strong, and spanning all official servers), or persuade them not to destroy you. These are the options anyone not in a megatribe have. In terms of gameplay, you have no form of defense against it; a game you paid for, and you can't fight back because the system is rigged from the start to support those who have the numbers, and those who started first. The third option? Try and join a megatribe. Another element that relies on persuasion, and is completely outside of your direct control.

 

Why can't you hide? Everyone knows all the hiding spots, and the map really isn't that big, all they need is a bronto to stomp through all the trees and it is GG, or just a bird to fly through the forest and over the map. Secondly, the refertilizer DOES NOT WORK. Sometimes it does regrow trees, sometimes it doesn't, the complete mechanic needs an overhaul, or just outright remove it and let trees grow back on their own. This would go a long way in helping smaller tribes hide, yet as is, if a diplo strays through leaving your base in the open, say goodbye to your base, looks like you'll be starting again. How fun. On top of that? Pillars... Pillars everywhere... Really guys? These tribes will pillar the entire map so you can't build anywhere good. It is like you're allowing people to cheat within the rules, where the slimiest lowest players win by being as shameless as possible, exploiting every loophole and flaw in the game.

 

If you can't hide, you can't survive, and right now, you can't hide. The game as is, is flawed. As a simulation of survival ? It fails even in that regard; you see, in real life you only get ONE LIFE, but in ark; you kill them? They come right back, how is survival the main focus when death has no consequence? So unless you're playing hardcore, the megatribe will stay ontop even if you kill them. You can't remove them from their perch without complete annihilation of their bases across all servers.. Now tell me, how is a solo player or small tribe meant to do that?

 

You can't have a game like this where people band together in the thousands without selling short everyone who can't play like that, or doesn't want to play like that.. You're forcing people to play a certain way, a way that is entirely outside of their control and at the whims of the other players; because they don't have the numbers supporting them, or they joined the game later. You've essentially put the success of your game in the hands of the megatribes; right now, they decide who plays the game, and who doesn't; and you're fine with that?..

 

The saddest part is, those in megatribes are usually the worst type of people, and the worst at the game, the type too afraid to face the challenge of playing solo, or in a small tribe...You'll get lots of people defending megatribes, but these people haven't tried the game from the perspective of someone NOT in a megatribe, because if they had, they would know that in it's current state it is unplayable. And lets be honest, impossible.

 

How can you have a competitive game when your opponent decides the outcome? You can't.

 

 

Edited by Octia
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I think it would be more flawed competitively if a solo player or a small group of players can soundly beat a larger group of players, like an ant beating an entire nest.

Don't get me wrong, I get your gripe. But the thing is that from day 1 the game has constantly and always been geared towards people working together rather than yolo solo. The lengthy tame times, the fairly exorbitant cost of resources for quality items, the fact that you can't learn every single engram on your own, all of this points towards having other people to cover the gaps you that can't. All the people banding together and playing together, they're just putting their round pegs in the round holes. You're trying to fit a square peg in, so it stands to reason that you will face adversity.

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27 minutes ago, ciabattaroll said:

I think it would be more flawed competitively if a solo player or a small group of players can soundly beat a larger group of players, like an ant beating an entire nest.

Don't get me wrong, I get your gripe. But the thing is that from day 1 the game has constantly and always been geared towards people working together rather than yolo solo. The lengthy tame times, the fairly exorbitant cost of resources for quality items, the fact that you can't learn every single engram on your own, all of this points towards having other people to cover the gaps you that can't. All the people banding together and playing together, they're just putting their round pegs in the round holes. You're trying to fit a square peg in, so it stands to reason that you will face adversity.

You're not looking at it as team vs team, but you're looking at it as each individual added together versus eachother, numbers vs numbers. Team vs team, the teams should be balanced. This is why I was suggesting in another thread nerfing the rates of gathering the more members you have in your tribe; so to get the bonus of more people it comes at the cost of less resources; and putting a cooldown on leaving a tribe so people can't just hop in and out of their tribe to get the improved rates.. Like a week cooldown or something per tribe switch.

Oh, and I understand that you're probably not meant to play solo, but when you have thousands of people working together across servers, it spoils the game for small 5man tribes..The game feels like it was made for 5man tribes, not 100man tribes; it is completely exploitative when people have up to 1000 members; and it is turning PVP servers into PVE servers. Anyone not in the megatribe will leave because they can't PVP, and anyone in a megatribe won't attack another megatribe because they know it isn't in their best interest. What do they have to gain from attacking another megatribe? Nothing, some extra loot they could've gathered easily anyway. They have no incentive, and so they just band together like a bunch of cowards and stomp on thatch huts all day. The game is heading towards one big tribe, and no PVP except against newbies who've just joined the game.

They know  it is a numbers game, and they're exploiting it to the most extreme degree. t

The devs have a choice : let them continue to exploit the numbers game at the cost of losing a lot of players who don't want to be a part of that, or who can't compete; or balance/limit it somehow.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Octia
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14 minutes ago, ciabattaroll said:

I think it would be more flawed competitively if a solo player or a small group of players can soundly beat a larger group of players, like an ant beating an entire nest.

 

Not necessarily. All we are asking is a non zero probability. Some smart dude was contemplating the world a few thousand years ago.

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not  always to the swift, 
nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, 
nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; 
but time and chance happens to them all."

Edited by johnm

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17 minutes ago, johnm said:

Not necessarily. All we are asking is a non zero probability. Some smart dude was contemplating the world a few thousand years ago.

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not  always to the swift, 
nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, 
nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; 
but time and chance happens to them all."

Exactly. There isn't a chance, this is the real issue. In real life you could bring down an army as one man by cutting off it's head. In ark you can't do that, so there really needs to be counter measures in place, or perhaps some means of hiding. Maybe underground bases? Something that lets people hide away properly so they atleast have a fighting chance.

Edited by Octia
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Only takes a minute or two of looking at the ruleset to understand that PvP in ARK is pointless.  Why you somehow think it would ever be any different is strange.  It's like complaining that water is wet.

On an unofficial server with custom settings and an artificial PVP set of rules, you might be able to get something that resembles PVP.

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@Octia What platform are you on? I don't find it nearly so hard to hide as you make it sound on PC servers, nor quite as aggressive (especially right now). I haven't been raided once since I moved to my island server 5 days after launch, but maybe I'm just lucky.

Ark Official PvP is never going to be balanced in the way you're thinking. A huge part of the competitive aspect of the game is who can build, organize, and keep together the biggest team. Strength in number is a core mechanic to Ark. Even as a solo player I really like that aspect to the game; it's what provides the real survival challenge.

You have some good ideas in the initial post though. For instance, letting trees respawn everywhere but where they'd grow through buildings would be a welcome addition. Instead of re-refert I wish they'd gone the opposite direction and let players salt the ground to prevent respawns (within a short radius of structures).

The other part of hiding is that you need to adopt a multi-server approach. It's tough solo or as a small team, but spread out across several servers you become very difficult to wipe in short order.  Having a place to evacuate to if things get nasty is a huge advantage as well. In my experience you really have to PO an alpha for them to drop everything and spend the next 4 hours scouring the server of your every trace so there's generally some evac time.

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This is going to sound snarky, but it is absolutely not intended that way... you should seriously consider a PVE server.  In PVE wars are mutually consented to, which generally means some external balance and ground rules are applied to the conflict.

Official PVP in ARK is hyper competitive, and the majority of players on those servers do not want any additional restrictions.  That's also not everybodies cup of tea, which is why there are official PVE servers, as well as an incredibly large number of unofficial servers with every imaginable set of "home rules" to choose from.

There are actually viable ways to damage or even destroy an alpha or mega tribe, but it's not easy and requires a fairly high level of experience in the game.  Again, that playstyle isn't for everyone.

Okay, now for a very small piece of legitimate snark.  :)

1 hour ago, Octia said:

In real life you could bring down an army as one man by cutting off it's head.

I hope you just got a little carried away on this point, because reality just doesn't work that way.  Armies have a chain of command, partially to ensure that the death of whomever is in charge doesn't disrupt the army or keep it from pursuing its mandate.  I do understand the point you are trying to make, but the measures you've suggested wouldn't stop people from moving their organizational structure to their favorite flavor of voice coms and 3rd party apps and continuing to do exactly what they have been doing, albeit they'd be pretty salty about the changes.

You never can tell what changes the future may bring, but for now you might consider the other options I mentioned.  You may very well find that despite your current mindset they might actually be the key to providing you with the gaming experience you're looking for.

Edited by ranger1presents
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3 hours ago, Octia said:

You're not looking at it as team vs team, but you're looking at it as each individual added together versus eachother, numbers vs numbers. Team vs team, the teams should be balanced. This is why I was suggesting in another thread nerfing the rates of gathering the more members you have in your tribe; so to get the bonus of more people it comes at the cost of less resources; and putting a cooldown on leaving a tribe so people can't just hop in and out of their tribe to get the improved rates.. Like a week cooldown or something per tribe switch.

 

 

 

I am looking at it as team vs team, and the team with both the greater size and greater time invested tends to have a very clear advantage over the team that's fewer in size and resources.

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...And this is why I want to see a new game mode!

  • Isolated cluster server or Isolated single map.
  • Server forces everyone joining to pick 1 of 3 tribes (or server makes the choice for you).
  • Objective of game is to capture all the artifacts or first team to ascend or SOTF style deathmatch or whatever etc.... (once objective is met, a tribe Is declared the winner and the server is reset).
  • No tribe is allowed to have more than one third of the total number of people allowed at one time on the server.
  • The game is fair (No mega tribes vs solo/small tribes) - Each tribe has it's share of casual / no life / hard core type players.

 

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6 hours ago, ciabattaroll said:

I think it would be more flawed competitively if a solo player or a small group of players can soundly beat a larger group of players, like an ant beating an entire nest.

Don't get me wrong, I get your gripe. But the thing is that from day 1 the game has constantly and always been geared towards people working together rather than yolo solo. The lengthy tame times, the fairly exorbitant cost of resources for quality items, the fact that you can't learn every single engram on your own, all of this points towards having other people to cover the gaps you that can't. All the people banding together and playing together, they're just putting their round pegs in the round holes. You're trying to fit a square peg in, so it stands to reason that you will face adversity.

so getting big and rich means their attitude can become savages?

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5 hours ago, Octia said:

Exactly. There isn't a chance, this is the real issue. In real life you could bring down an army as one man by cutting off it's head. In ark you can't do that, so there really needs to be counter measures in place, or perhaps some means of hiding. Maybe underground bases? Something that lets people hide away properly so they atleast have a fighting chance.

impelement 7 days too die too get a shovel Kappa

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6 hours ago, Shrekasaurus said:

Maybe max. tribe member count could be reduced?

Wouldn't work.

People are already massively exploiting the tribe tame limit (500 on PC) by spliting into 1-2 man tribes. 

Just look at it as a McDonalds...every individual restaurant is franchisé owned (1-2 man tribe) but each of them is part of the big empire that McDonalds is (the mega tribe).

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3 minutes ago, powerstuck said:

Wouldn't work.

People are already massively exploiting the tribe tame limit (500 on PC) by spliting into 1-2 man tribes. 

Just look at it as a McDonalds...every individual restaurant is franchisé owned (1-2 man tribe) but each of them is part of the big empire that McDonalds is (the mega tribe).

Tame limits are a band-aid fix on a large wound. Devs don't want huge kibble farms, so introduced mutton. But then nerfed it. WC does not want people to hold so many dinos for breeding, yet they make a mechanic that heavily encourages storing 80 females. Devs don't like massive bases with thousands of turrets, but then they make offline raiding still a thing. Devs want players to work together in large tribes, but then don't like when large tribes have large amounts of dinos. 

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11 hours ago, Octia said:

You can't win at Ark unless the alpha tribe lets you.

 

Allow me to elaborate:

You can't "hide away" and attack an alpha tribe as a solo or small tribe, they will ALWAYS find you. ALWAYS. It is very important to stress that there is NOWHERE to hide. You see, this is what the devs think balances the game, they think you can hide away from megatribes until you're leveled enough to fight back. Anyone who has played on a server where the megatribe are trying to claim the entire official server to themselves will know that you simply can't hide. This leaves anyone not in the megatribe at the mercy of the megatribe; you exist by their whims. Competitively the game is completely flawed for this reason. It boils down to the power of persuasion, which just doesn't work because it is still THEIR CHOICE, and they still hold all the cards. 

 

This leaves the player three options, leave the server (an option which is diminishing as these tribes are becoming a thousand strong, and spanning all official servers), or persuade them not to destroy you. These are the options anyone not in a megatribe have. In terms of gameplay, you have no form of defense against it; a game you paid for, and you can't fight back because the system is rigged from the start to support those who have the numbers, and those who started first. The third option? Try and join a megatribe. Another element that relies on persuasion, and is completely outside of your direct control.

 

Why can't you hide? Everyone knows all the hiding spots, and the map really isn't that big, all they need is a bronto to stomp through all the trees and it is GG, or just a bird to fly through the forest and over the map. Secondly, the refertilizer DOES NOT WORK. Sometimes it does regrow trees, sometimes it doesn't, the complete mechanic needs an overhaul, or just outright remove it and let trees grow back on their own. This would go a long way in helping smaller tribes hide, yet as is, if a diplo strays through leaving your base in the open, say goodbye to your base, looks like you'll be starting again. How fun. On top of that? Pillars... Pillars everywhere... Really guys? These tribes will pillar the entire map so you can't build anywhere good. It is like you're allowing people to cheat within the rules, where the slimiest lowest players win by being as shameless as possible, exploiting every loophole and flaw in the game.

 

If you can't hide, you can't survive, and right now, you can't hide. The game as is, is flawed. As a simulation of survival ? It fails even in that regard; you see, in real life you only get ONE LIFE, but in ark; you kill them? They come right back, how is survival the main focus when death has no consequence? So unless you're playing hardcore, the megatribe will stay ontop even if you kill them. You can't remove them from their perch without complete annihilation of their bases across all servers.. Now tell me, how is a solo player or small tribe meant to do that?

 

You can't have a game like this where people band together in the thousands without selling short everyone who can't play like that, or doesn't want to play like that.. You're forcing people to play a certain way, a way that is entirely outside of their control and at the whims of the other players; because they don't have the numbers supporting them, or they joined the game later. You've essentially put the success of your game in the hands of the megatribes; right now, they decide who plays the game, and who doesn't; and you're fine with that?..

 

The saddest part is, those in megatribes are usually the worst type of people, and the worst at the game, the type too afraid to face the challenge of playing solo, or in a small tribe...You'll get lots of people defending megatribes, but these people haven't tried the game from the perspective of someone NOT in a megatribe, because if they had, they would know that in it's current state it is unplayable. And lets be honest, impossible.

 

How can you have a competitive game when your opponent decides the outcome? You can't.

 

 

That's just such loser talk,  YOU cannot build unless the alpha let's you.  Ark is a survival game,  you need to be able to adapt to survive. 

If your a solo or small tribe you have the advantage,  nothing to lose,  you can have a small footprint so none knows your there,  you can not worry about defences as they won't be enough and just concentrate on pvp,  farm flame arrows and metal arrows,  make a few c4 and go attack them,  blow a gate or two kill a few tames and run away,  you can cause hours of losses for an alpha and have no fear of come back. Foundation spam all around their Base and set ieds around to catch their farm tames,  pick em with your ptera and kill their beaver. There is loads you can do that will have them screaming in party chat. Most big tribes are just randoms that don't know each other,  a little bit of pressure and they will all fall out. Days of being trolled will take its toll on them and they will beg for peace. Especially on new servers where they are trying to build up,  the last thing they want is to constantly be attacked and their turrets drained.

Main thing to remember is Ark is all about time.  You need to put the same time in as them to match them. If you play 10 hours a day it is only like 5 people who play 2 hours a day. You need dedication to take down a dedicated tribe.

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40 minutes ago, Nford said:

I would personally prefer greatly enhanced defense, the way it works IRL. There's a reason forts/castles/etc were built, it gives a massive advantage to defenders. The way the current system works it's much easier to destroy than it is to build. 

Thats why all the castles are still standing?  Castles was good for stone tier,  archers on the walls and boiling oil kept away nakeds on foot. As time went on people hit metal tier and castles became usless due to cannons and explosives. So we stopped living in them. Now with tech tier if you put all your troops in a castle we will just send a rocket over and Nuke the whole lot.

IRL it is easier to attack than defend,  just ask the Japanese lol 

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23 minutes ago, SmokeyB said:

Thats why all the castles are still standing?  Castles was good for stone tier,  archers on the walls and boiling oil kept away nakeds on foot. As time went on people hit metal tier and castles became usless due to cannons and explosives. So we stopped living in them. Now with tech tier if you put all your troops in a castle we will just send a rocket over and Nuke the whole lot.

IRL it is easier to attack than defend,  just ask the Japanese lol 

Yes, I'm a student of history, and castles became ineffective with the advent of gunpowder, at which point we switched to earth berms to absorb the impact from cannons. There's always new technology developing, followed by ways to counter it. But, throughout history it is consistently harder to attack than it is to defend.

Yet we don't have any of the options for higher tier defenses. We don't have missile defense systems(no, ATs don't count), we don't have camouflage, we don't have ways to effectively hold off attacking forces. It disproportionately stacks towards offensive strategies. The Japanese didn't have effective defense against a nuclear bomb...but we do now... Well, I hope they're effective, we've never had to use them. 

Edit: A lot of castles are still standing 

Edited by Nford

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The problem is not unique to ARK, its found in most open world survival games that offer un-moderated servers 

a bigger group of players (I don't say tribe, because if you limit tribe size, 50 people will still play togeather just in 5 tribes) will gather materials, tame more dinos, craft more items faster than a small group.

With no server admin to tell a group "you're preventing other players from having fun, you need to stop" they will have their way with the cluster.

Playing on official servers is agreeing to this style of play. This is not an issue on unofficial servers that watch for this sort of thing and enforce fair pvp

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