Hey everyone, it's me again, that guy who says stuff, and then tries to make sure other stuff gets done. It's a crazy time!
So, here's what's going down for sure:
Advanced Auto Turret - BobCorp has provided me with authorization to distribute the BobCorp Automated Laterally Attenuated Nano-Cell Electronic Defense system.
This is a new turret we'll be introducing along with these changes that will essentially be a bigger, beefier turret, allowing for people who still need that damage density to populate their turret slots with turrets that are much more powerful. We're aiming for about a 4x increase in overall effectivness and cost for these things, along with disabling their use on rafts/boats. Construction costs and ammunition costs would be similar.
We opted for a new turret because of a few things:
- It conveys the power of the new turret clearly without needing to add any new functionality to anything else.
- It doesn't create a sudden need to change the balance/functionality of existing turrets in any way, and thus rebalance all sorts of other stuff that could potentially break. We're aware we have already done a lot of that, let's not push it farther.
- Existing turrets don't get a sudden, massive buff.
- We can scale the cost/maintenance/upkeep of the new structure without inconveniencing everyone who isn't pushing these upper limits.
- If we need to introduce any specific kinds of modifications to this new turret, we can do it without impacting anything else.
So yeah, that's why that.
In addition, this stuff:
We're coalating feedback that we're getting along the way to develop a better sense of what exploits may exist or severely disproportionately effective tactics might need additional adjustment. For example:
- Stego Armor Plates are going to have to block less damage from either bullets, or turrets specifically.
- Veggie Cakes may need a more prohibitive delay on their use in combat.
- Adding knockback to either the new turret, or both new and existing turret to offset specific movement speed + shield + rocket/c4 configurations may be in order.
These are just examples of things that we'll be seeing how they play out and what kinds of impacts they might have outside of just the general pvp game (for instance, veggie cakes and Therizinos are a good way to fight the dragon right now.) and whatever we decide to act on, I'll make a post about it sometime before December 5th.
I also want to take this opportunity to address a couple of things I've seen in comment threads:
With the exception of some really really large dinos (dinos like the Bronto) we disable idle animations on dinos on the server. Idle dinos also only tick once every 4 seconds or so instead of every frame. Idle dinos, while expensive, are only expensive in a general sense. Things like their animations have next to no cost on the server, and we use paralellized animations, which means most animations aren't even run on the main game thread (They're much faster.)
Dino head tracking is client-side, not server side. It has no cost on the server.
The vast majority of the servers that people play on are very expensive, custom-built servers with top of the line 8 core/16 thread cpus running at 4ghz, 64 gb of ram. We pay out the nose to make sure your servers are powerful.
The ARK Server also only uses 2 threads on the CPU. This is because the version of Unreal that we built the game on did not support multi-threading/paralellization. We have integrated Paralellized animation, and networking, so our networking overhead and cost of animation work are done on a 2nd thread. We're doing more work to try and thread more elements of the server, but it is incredibly complex and difficult work to do. Running 3 instances per server only takes up 6 cores at most. Having less instances per box would have no impact on the performance of each individual server.
We do a lot to make the game run as smoothly as possible, while still enabling the kind of freeform, open-world experience that the game was designed to be.
Anyways, I'll do a follow-up sometime later in the upcoming week about any things that we've decided we're going to do for sure. For now, TLDR:
Adding a new, more powerful turret that'll be able to replace about 4-5 of our current turrets.
Making Stego Armor Plates take more damage from turrets.
Still collecting feedback and looking into additional measures.
Thanks for your time, and your patience.
- The Right Hand