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The goods and bads of ARK (Happy Bday!)

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The goods and bads of ARK (Happy Bday!)

There are both many good and bad things with ARK. Where to start?

ARK has many creative elements as well as interesting genres, themes, story, and scenery that make it one of the best games I've ever played, if not the best. The game takes 2 unlikely genre types, action-adventure and survival, and combines them into a thrilling adventure. In fact, the only other game I can think of that even comes CLOSE to matching ARK's beauty is Subnautica, and even that had just one map. The game does a fantastic job of combining mythical, prehistoric, and sci-fi themes, which are represented by the scenery, which, btw, is gorgeous with it's lighting and textures. The lore and story of ARK has an outright fascinating concept behind it, and the explorer notes not only introduce us to some interesting and relatable characters as well as an interesting story with some good morals, but the method of obtaining the notes is creative as it inspires the players to explore the game more. ARK has an amazing amount of huge, quality content-filled maps that sets the game apart from other games like Call of duty, where you can spend up to hundreds of dollars on cosmetics and small, simple maps.

And yet, ARK does have some clear faults in presenting this story and content to us. Probably the biggest ones are, of course, lag and crashing. This problem alone has led to huge amounts of hate from some players, saying that the devs should fix lag/crashing. Sadly, lag and crashing is different from troodons, wild gigas, and titanosaurs, which can simply be nerfed or removed. It is, like Thanos, inevitable.

Think of it this way: lag and crashing occurs less often in singleplayer, and for a good, simple reason. The game has to render stuff like the leaves on tress and the scales on dinos. This is easiest to do in singleplayer because the game just has to focus on the one player and the assets immediately surrounding it. This is why the creatures put next to each other in my brother's every-creature zoo in his ARK world look like low-res PS1 characters and still lag the game tremendously. In co-op singleplayer, there's a host barrier, as the device you're playing on would probably melt if it had to render stuff for both you and the other player if you were a good distance away from each other. Then there is the majority of lag/crashing cases, live servers. Think of servers as 40 co-op singleplayers, minus the host barrier. At the end of the day, these problems aren't caused by the devs putting in bad code, it's caused by the servers (what 90% of the players play on) not being able to account for the insane activities of every other distant player. Thankfully, the devs have made a decent effort in recent updates to make the game render more efficiently. In fact, I don't think my game has crashed once since Extinction was released.

Finally, there are 3 smaller problems in ARK that many people may not have thought of. They are basically the reason I made those 2 game suggestion posts. They are:

Spoilers: Some new players decide to start playing ARK because they are curious about the story. But because the ARK story is now "over" the devs felt it was okay to make the story more obvious, what with loading/menu screens and such. But by making the game's ending literally the first thing you see as soon as you boot up the game, you in turn ruin the mystery of the game and make the game feel more dated. By making it clear which maps contain spoilers for the story, and by making the truth about the ARKs less obvious from the get-go, you could reverse that.

Reward<Work: One of the things I saw in reviews for ARK was that the actual reward for completing the ARKs, the cutscenes, did not outweigh the work needed to obtain it. And I can see where that comes from. Each ARK consists of fighting through the caves, obtaining the artifacts, fighting the bosses, reaching the final boss, killing THAT, and finally be met with ... a 30 second cutscene that doesn't even relate that much to the next ARK. One of the ARKs doesn't even HAVE an ascension. With the cutscenes I mentioned in my suggestion posts, you could at least attempt to make the ARK experience more exciting and rewarding after doing so much work to reach the endgame. They could also give the story...

Story continuity: There's plenty of continuity in the explorer notes and the actual game, but little similarities between the two (i.e, king titan's scar, overseer arena terminal, extinction city being shaped like a bowl with small cluster of buildings in it). It's like the explorer notes and actual game were worked on by two different teams. Among other things. The cutscenes I proposed would give intro to our character, as well as the next ARK upon the completion of the current one. You could also try to either mend the explorer notes or adher the game more to the explorer notes.

In conclusion, I'm not saying ARK is bad. It does need a little tweaking and polishing, but its still a great game, even in it's current state!



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