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A few thoughts

About 3 months ago, my wife and I purchased Ark for the PC,  we were completely star struck by the building capabilities in the game, and immediately jumped into the title and started on a path that ultimately has proven to be far more frustrating, irritating, and exhausting than we were prepared to deal with. I'd like to offer my thoughts on the title and I hope whoever reads this understands that with all the issues I am going to point out, it's my intention to point them out constructively and to in some cases offer suggestions. Whether or not anyone cares, or this gets read, I really felt a need to post.  I am aware that we're going to immediately get trolls, flames, you name it, welcome to the internet.

 

A little back story; we started on private servers.  Our private servers have s+ installed, Stack mods, Eco mods, and a few other handy things, so life was really easy on the Ark for us initially. Maybe that's part of why we're so frustrated, we've had it too easy. But it's more than that, we've seen what this title could become. Snapping points that work, stacking foundations, the ability to actually pick something up we've decided doesn't belong where it was placed, etc.  Why isn't Wildcard using some of the modifications that have proven time and time again to be a huge convenience? 

 

As an Indie game developer and unreal engine guy myself, I understand the fundamentals of game design, development and the key phrase, "Game Balance." However, there are some things in this title that really do need some love and attention.  A multiplayer title has to be challenging, especially in a survival game genre. However, the way the design currently sits, it could easily lead to negative attention as players who enjoy this title are going to start dying of exhaustion in the real world.  The game at least in my opinion has been sent off the deep end on time investment, players are driven to log in at obscure hours of the night or early morning to do imprints, driven to log in once maybe even twice a day, to top off food troughs for existing dinosaurs, driven to sit for hours on end waiting on their tames and gestation period.  Personally, if I didn't have to work, and all I had was time, this would still be quite a bit to handle, I'm nearly 50 years old, I've got responsibilities, a job and a family. I work a 40 hour week, I can't afford to put in another 40 hours in-game.   Now some of you just read that and are saying, "Play on private servers with better rates." I get that, but you have to understand, you trade the "challenging" for the "easy" when you do that.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying make this game a 1 hour a night win, but 3 hours after work should be sufficient to maintain a decent sized base, dino collection, and to get all the chores done regarding taking care of everything.

 

When you think about all the aspects of this game and how much time and effort it takes, it's staggering.  If you want to tame dinos, you need kibble, if you want kibble you need to build a green house, plant, tend and harvest. This all by itself is an insane amount of time invested.  You have to get the seeds, have to get materials to build crop plots, have to run irrigation to the crop plots, have to get resources for the crop plots, irrigation pipes, green house building materials, a dino or two for fertilizer, compost bins, etc etc etc.   And this is JUST to going on kibble.  Once you get the kibble, then you still sit through a long period of taming.   Each aspect of setting up a farm/base/house with animals/dinos takes a phenomenal amount of time invested. Time is precious and valuable for everyone, even the younger players don't have 12 - 14 hours a day to invest into doing all this.  Ultimately, the game by design is unhealthy to it's playerbase, lack of sleep, countless hours in front of the screen because people are worried they'll miss an imprint, constant worry that the troughs might go dry and dinos they spent hours if not days taming/breeding/raising, are going to die. 

 

In addition to the overall time issues with this title, I wanted to point out that there are noticeable issues. I've got captured streams of griefers who come in, spam chat with unsupported characters for hours, players on the PVE side of things who use exploitation and loopholes to kill other players, happened to me just the other night, the player went out while I was milking a wyvern, drew 4 wyverns to me, neatly deposited them into the trap I had been using, let them kill me, then simply jumped off their mount, grabbed all my gear, and flew off.  Another issue, and a big one, is the loss of characters after transferring, I've got 2 friends now that have lost their characters to these technical issues. 1 of the players after 6 days managed to get his character back and the Ark Admins gave him back his base and things, but it's happening quite a bit, and that my friends is going to drive players away from the title. It's game breaking. Players are emotionally invested into their bases, dinos and characters. Especially when it takes so long to accomplish anything.

 

Latency; this is a huge issue for us, I run the trench almost daily, 10 - 15 second lag while diving into the trench to grab that next potentially awesome wyvern egg is almost surely going to result in a lava bath and loss of a dino, loss of all gear, and no hope of actually retrieving the gear. Unless of course you have a crossbow and grapple hooks already sitting in the wings for such an occurrence.

 

Pillaring; another huge frustration, our first week in official resulted in 2 days of searching for a small sliver of land to place 4 foundations down just to get started, the land around us was pillared for a good 100 yards out from any notable structures, yet we couldn't even sit down a campfire so we didn't starve to death.  Bases with no way out, placed in known spawn points, another good one that we ran into. We loaded onto one server, only to be in a heap of about 30 Bobs who were all piled there unable to move because someone built a base literally right on top of the spawn point.

 

I could go on, there are many many things that need a significant amount of improvement on, but those are fresh in my memory and this post is already a small novel in size.  Optimization and some work on balance really does need to be done, at least in this poster's opinion. A stronger admin presence and enforcement of the ToS and rules wouldn't be a bad thing either, I just hope there's something good in the pipeline for these issues, what the title needs is optimization, then attention should be focused on the community's needs and requests, and if it's doable, great. Maybe it's just me, but after 4 years of development, I would have expected things to be running much more smoothly, and the modding community seems to have accomplished quite a bit of the work that needs to be done, why hasn't Wildcard adopted some of this?   The title isn't getting any younger, all game companies know that you are lucky to get more than 7 years of shelf life out of a title, please for the love of all that is holy, fix some of the issues? 

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They have S+ modded servers with official/QoL rates. Check the PC server advertisement list here.

I ran a solo tribe, all bosses, hunted and bred the top weight Argy's on PS4 PvE. I worked 48 hours a week. 3 hours at night was plenty of time to maintain my base. Yes, I put in longer hours on my days off but that's because of my in game goals and how I chose to spend my free time.

You either invest it or stream line it based upon your goals and personal choice.

There are many issues with this game but when thinking of issues, automatically think about how it affects PvP since PvE was an afterthought.

Permanent pick up means less resources needed to advance your FOB. Higher resource rates means imbalance to larger tribes stands the same just easier to slot cap your turrets.

Land claims and expanded non buildable areas are only way to reduce pillaring. Some people go overboard but most pillars serve a responsible purpose.

The rest of the issues serve legit reasoning but it only drives a small fraction of the player base away and unless they plan on releasing a new season pass with a good amount of additional content, operating official servers is just costing them money right now so no big issue if they become less populated.

Sorry but I think you just need to search a little more to find that perfect unofficial in both rates and mods because official is playable and has stood mostly the same for more than a year so improvements will be slow and steady if they come at all.

 

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Here's really the issue with going with an unofficial/private server:

 

We had (2) servers, a 60 man public Ragnarok and a 30 man public Extinction server through one of the popular hosting sites.  Out of the 2, we had one active, and 2 - 4 active players, even with advertisements, a welcome center to help people get started, etc. Logically, most players who start playing Ark aren't going to go for a private server, they are going to head into an official server for the full game play experience.  Unfortunately, that means if we want to have any interaction at all, we had to come to official servers as well.  I've been talking with my wife about potentially putting up a cluster off a business speed dedicated connection using two Precision workstations here, but we'll see. At this point, we're doing whatever we can to just maintain what we have on official. 

 

The other poster who mentioned time management, I agree, we're slowly starting to head that way, I got up this morning and threw everything that wasn't being used right that minute or tended to, into pods, it's going to mean weeks of selectively pulling things out to get it matured, adding even more time to the already huge amount of time that it takes, but I see no viable alternative at this point and don't want to be chained to my computer.  As an IT professional, I sit in front of computers all day long, coming home and staring at one another few hours a night while doing redundant tasks to raise dinos just isn't working out well.  I appreciate the mature and helpful feedback, I hope more will post and comment on this. Many players feel like there needs to be some work done to this title. 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Rio4201 said:

Here's really the issue with going with an unofficial/private server:

snip

 

The other poster who mentioned time management, I agree, we're slowly starting to head that way, I got up this morning and threw everything that wasn't being used right that minute or tended to, into pods, it's going to mean weeks of selectively pulling things out to get it matured, adding even more time to the already huge amount of time that it takes, but I see no viable alternative at this point and don't want to be chained to my computer.  As an IT professional, I sit in front of computers all day long, coming home and staring at one another few hours a night while doing redundant tasks to raise dinos just isn't working out well.  I appreciate the mature and helpful feedback, I hope more will post and comment on this. Many players feel like there needs to be some work done to this title. 

 

 

On your second point i have been doing the same thing since i learned timers and imprint paused in cryopods.

when i get home i throw out my dino that i wanna raise after they get to juvi, if any are close to imprint timer i rename them with how long left so i know to throw them out first or wait for cryo sickness to go away.

 

alot of what i do gets easier as i have things set up, indi forge , green house, breeding area etc so i can just jump on, but before then i made targets each night . gather enough resource to build X or prep taming stuff ready for Y. also ive only just started using kibble to tame things before it was always meat/berries or if lucky cooked prime.

 

i found i can get away with leaving dino unfed for most of the working week and then doing troughs full during 2x at weekends.

 

i am solo tribe and currently now doing alpha monkey and spider boss's comfortable solo (i always invite aligned tribe in aswell just incase i get DC or killed) might try rag boss's next

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On 6/6/2019 at 11:57 AM, DauntingBeef08 said:

On your second point i have been doing the same thing since i learned timers and imprint paused in cryopods.

when i get home i throw out my dino that i wanna raise after they get to juvi, if any are close to imprint timer i rename them with how long left so i know to throw them out first or wait for cryo sickness to go away.

 

alot of what i do gets easier as i have things set up, indi forge , green house, breeding area etc so i can just jump on, but before then i made targets each night . gather enough resource to build X or prep taming stuff ready for Y. also ive only just started using kibble to tame things before it was always meat/berries or if lucky cooked prime.

 

i found i can get away with leaving dino unfed for most of the working week and then doing troughs full during 2x at weekends.

 

i am solo tribe and currently now doing alpha monkey and spider boss's comfortable solo (i always invite aligned tribe in aswell just incase i get DC or killed) might try rag boss's next

 

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On 6/6/2019 at 10:09 AM, Rio4201 said:

A few thoughts

About 3 months ago, my wife and I purchased Ark for the PC,  we were completely star struck by the building capabilities in the game, and immediately jumped into the title and started on a path that ultimately has proven to be far more frustrating, irritating, and exhausting than we were prepared to deal with. I'd like to offer my thoughts on the title and I hope whoever reads this understands that with all the issues I am going to point out, it's my intention to point them out constructively and to in some cases offer suggestions. Whether or not anyone cares, or this gets read, I really felt a need to post.  I am aware that we're going to immediately get trolls, flames, you name it, welcome to the internet.

 

A little back story; we started on private servers.  Our private servers have s+ installed, Stack mods, Eco mods, and a few other handy things, so life was really easy on the Ark for us initially. Maybe that's part of why we're so frustrated, we've had it too easy. But it's more than that, we've seen what this title could become. Snapping points that work, stacking foundations, the ability to actually pick something up we've decided doesn't belong where it was placed, etc.  Why isn't Wildcard using some of the modifications that have proven time and time again to be a huge convenience? 

 

As an Indie game developer and unreal engine guy myself, I understand the fundamentals of game design, development and the key phrase, "Game Balance." However, there are some things in this title that really do need some love and attention.  A multiplayer title has to be challenging, especially in a survival game genre. However, the way the design currently sits, it could easily lead to negative attention as players who enjoy this title are going to start dying of exhaustion in the real world.  The game at least in my opinion has been sent off the deep end on time investment, players are driven to log in at obscure hours of the night or early morning to do imprints, driven to log in once maybe even twice a day, to top off food troughs for existing dinosaurs, driven to sit for hours on end waiting on their tames and gestation period.  Personally, if I didn't have to work, and all I had was time, this would still be quite a bit to handle, I'm nearly 50 years old, I've got responsibilities, a job and a family. I work a 40 hour week, I can't afford to put in another 40 hours in-game.   Now some of you just read that and are saying, "Play on private servers with better rates." I get that, but you have to understand, you trade the "challenging" for the "easy" when you do that.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying make this game a 1 hour a night win, but 3 hours after work should be sufficient to maintain a decent sized base, dino collection, and to get all the chores done regarding taking care of everything.

 

When you think about all the aspects of this game and how much time and effort it takes, it's staggering.  If you want to tame dinos, you need kibble, if you want kibble you need to build a green house, plant, tend and harvest. This all by itself is an insane amount of time invested.  You have to get the seeds, have to get materials to build crop plots, have to run irrigation to the crop plots, have to get resources for the crop plots, irrigation pipes, green house building materials, a dino or two for fertilizer, compost bins, etc etc etc.   And this is JUST to going on kibble.  Once you get the kibble, then you still sit through a long period of taming.   Each aspect of setting up a farm/base/house with animals/dinos takes a phenomenal amount of time invested. Time is precious and valuable for everyone, even the younger players don't have 12 - 14 hours a day to invest into doing all this.  Ultimately, the game by design is unhealthy to it's playerbase, lack of sleep, countless hours in front of the screen because people are worried they'll miss an imprint, constant worry that the troughs might go dry and dinos they spent hours if not days taming/breeding/raising, are going to die. 

 

In addition to the overall time issues with this title, I wanted to point out that there are noticeable issues. I've got captured streams of griefers who come in, spam chat with unsupported characters for hours, players on the PVE side of things who use exploitation and loopholes to kill other players, happened to me just the other night, the player went out while I was milking a wyvern, drew 4 wyverns to me, neatly deposited them into the trap I had been using, let them kill me, then simply jumped off their mount, grabbed all my gear, and flew off.  Another issue, and a big one, is the loss of characters after transferring, I've got 2 friends now that have lost their characters to these technical issues. 1 of the players after 6 days managed to get his character back and the Ark Admins gave him back his base and things, but it's happening quite a bit, and that my friends is going to drive players away from the title. It's game breaking. Players are emotionally invested into their bases, dinos and characters. Especially when it takes so long to accomplish anything.

 

Latency; this is a huge issue for us, I run the trench almost daily, 10 - 15 second lag while diving into the trench to grab that next potentially awesome wyvern egg is almost surely going to result in a lava bath and loss of a dino, loss of all gear, and no hope of actually retrieving the gear. Unless of course you have a crossbow and grapple hooks already sitting in the wings for such an occurrence.

 

Pillaring; another huge frustration, our first week in official resulted in 2 days of searching for a small sliver of land to place 4 foundations down just to get started, the land around us was pillared for a good 100 yards out from any notable structures, yet we couldn't even sit down a campfire so we didn't starve to death.  Bases with no way out, placed in known spawn points, another good one that we ran into. We loaded onto one server, only to be in a heap of about 30 Bobs who were all piled there unable to move because someone built a base literally right on top of the spawn point.

 

I could go on, there are many many things that need a significant amount of improvement on, but those are fresh in my memory and this post is already a small novel in size.  Optimization and some work on balance really does need to be done, at least in this poster's opinion. A stronger admin presence and enforcement of the ToS and rules wouldn't be a bad thing either, I just hope there's something good in the pipeline for these issues, what the title needs is optimization, then attention should be focused on the community's needs and requests, and if it's doable, great. Maybe it's just me, but after 4 years of development, I would have expected things to be running much more smoothly, and the modding community seems to have accomplished quite a bit of the work that needs to be done, why hasn't Wildcard adopted some of this?   The title isn't getting any younger, all game companies know that you are lucky to get more than 7 years of shelf life out of a title, please for the love of all that is holy, fix some of the issues? 

I totally agree with you. and will add some other points: 

Why I have to look for an unofficial server if I want to play the official configuration. That was my thoughts and also I wanted to play with my son. (He asked me to play with him and have a 2 people tribe (I thought it was a good way to keep him away from unknown players. I used to play NBA2K and people is very rude if you dont play well ) Once I started  the game I fall in love with the game. I convinced my son to play PvP small tribes (25). Here is all the frustration started: 

1) Alpha players (or well-developed players) that you don't know were are they by the way destroying your development. I understand it is a PvP game and I would do the same if I were them BUT!, BUT:

2)The environment is too hostile. So if you try to move forward to strike back the game throw on you a heavy animal or several of them to prevent you to tame or to build or to explore further and then lost everything you worked for hours and then go to bed frustrated. And take in consideration I am an adult. Imaging 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 years old kids playing the game that their little minds, still in development.

So after almost 3 months there is nothing from ur tribe are we are level 75 plus. 75PLUS and nothing.

Last 2 weeks (I am not a specialist in computers and server and stuff)  So I was trying to figure out how to play with my son  in a private session without paying anything to have a server so I try to create a server (clicking on the option in the starting menu)  And surprise If I create the server I can not play. Only I can invite people but not play. SOOOOO I can play with my son. So option discated

THEN we move to a PVE server (Only 2 by the way to PC - Xbox interplay if you want to play Island) And whta a SURPRISE colunms everywere  so you can not even place a box or a bed!!!!! you can do it in PVP!? why not here... Ok after 2 hrs playing and looking for a free spot I got nothing and got killed and lost everything. 

So I pay gold in xbox to play online and pay money for Ark and I can play with my son because the game setting are to hard to enjoy the game. 

They should work in a solution at least to have people to play private sessions with friend and enjoy the game. I dont want to play solo. 

 

 

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I love Ark, it's a great game and so deep it's kinda mind boggling.  Here's the thing though, WC has created this game to the best of their abilities in order to appeal to everyone as best they can.  You want PVP? Ok we got that.  You don't like PVP but still want to play? Ok we got that.  You want a serious grind where you can spend hours everyday playing?  Ok we got that.  You don't have that kind of time but want to play anyways?  Ok we got that to (unofficial).  You want to play solo? We got that.  You want to customize virtually everything?  Ok we got that.  

You see my point, WC has really tried hard to make this a game for everyone.  What other game does that?  Not only that, but they are still working on fixing alot of the issues you are talking about in adding things like S+ but you can only do so much and it all takes time.  If this game doesn't fit your needs absolutely perfectly? Well I guess that's just how it is.  Still one of the best games ever created IMO.

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23 minutes ago, Melcreif said:

I love Ark, it's a great game and so deep it's kinda mind boggling.  Here's the thing though, WC has created this game to the best of their abilities in order to appeal to everyone as best they can.  You want PVP? Ok we got that.  You don't like PVP but still want to play? Ok we got that.  You want a serious grind where you can spend hours everyday playing?  Ok we got that.  You don't have that kind of time but want to play anyways?  Ok we got that to (unofficial).  You want to play solo? We got that.  You want to customize virtually everything?  Ok we got that.  

You see my point, WC has really tried hard to make this a game for everyone.  What other game does that?  Not only that, but they are still working on fixing alot of the issues you are talking about in adding things like S+ but you can only do so much and it all takes time.  If this game doesn't fit your needs absolutely perfectly? Well I guess that's just how it is.  Still one of the best games ever created IMO.

Well said man. If I had more reactions I would like it 10x over

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12 minutes ago, d1nk said:

Well said man. If I had more reactions I would like it 10x over

LOL thanks man!  If I wasn't stuck at work I'd head home and play right now.  I have an itching to start a high melee character for this small tribes server I started on last night 😂

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1 hour ago, Melcreif said:

You want PVP? Ok we got that.  You don't like PVP but still want to play? Ok we got that.  You want a serious grind where you can spend hours everyday playing?  Ok we got that.  You don't have that kind of time but want to play anyways?  Ok we got that to (unofficial).  You want to play solo? We got that.  You want to customize virtually everything?  Ok we got that.  

The biggest complaints I see are people who are unhappy with the choice they made but refuse to play a different way.

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Well, this post wasn't a post stating that I "hate" Ark, nor was it intended to be that.  There are noticeable and pretty crippling issues that I've noticed, I'm sitting out in the middle of the island right now looking for my Argy that I just spent 3 F@#$'in days raising, he was on passive, following my Anky for a metal run, and the server lagged and off he went never to be seen again. This is the kind of crap that really ticks me off,  and I'm getting tired of hearing:

 

"It happens, it's Ark"

"Oh you got Arked, just raise another one."

There is NO excuse for these kind of issues in my eyes, and the community has decided that it would rather just accept these issues and live with them, rather than asking the developers to address and fix them. Its easy to  just say "oh well, its how Ark is" but I paid for this, and I feel it's in my best interest to express my concerns at some of the things I've seen. I don't accept the mentality of "It's ark, just deal with it."  I've spent hours and hours in this game so far trying to get established, raising dinos, and I'm just plain and simply fed up over the glitches and BS that don't seem to be getting looked at.  Maybe I'm wrong, maybe they are looking into it, I would be thrilled to see any signs of that.  

That being said, many are correct, Ark is an awesome game, it's definitely something you can dig into and find hours of enjoyment playing, I like alot of what was put in here, and continue to enjoy even the older content and things. I just wish they would stop plugging away at new content and fix the current issues. Don't get me wrong a new Dino is great, but the first time it runs off after 3 hours of taming the darn thing and just vanishes, well we'll be right where I am at right now. 1 Argy down, hours wasted, nothing to show for it, with my metal to boot.

 

I have a suggestion for the devs:  If you are going to continue to not address the issue of pet's getting lost due to server lag and latency, for the love of God, at least implement the s+ pet charm into official as a courtesy until it is fixed.  It's a nearly perfect solution.  As I am finishing up this post, my lost Argy that has been gone for well over an hour has just found it's way back to me. All I can say is.. wow.. can we say broken?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Aylana314159 said:

We have had weekly bug fixes since Extinction was released.

 

Edit: dino tracking exists.

https://ark.gamepedia.com/Transponder_Node

Thank you for that Aylana, I wasn't aware of that link, gonna keep a close eye on it from here on out. I just hope they can iron out some of the glitches, love the game but man these issues are really getting to be a nuisance. I just want to have fun and relax, and I'm stressing out every time I log in and something goes all wonky. lol

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32 minutes ago, Rio4201 said:

Thank you for that Aylana, I wasn't aware of that link, gonna keep a close eye on it from here on out. I just hope they can iron out some of the glitches, love the game but man these issues are really getting to be a nuisance. I just want to have fun and relax, and I'm stressing out every time I log in and something goes all wonky. lol

If a video game stresses you out, you're taking it way too seriously.

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45 minutes ago, Rio4201 said:

I just want to have fun and relax

This is why I switched to single player. Plus with work and health problems, I have to take weeks off. That doesn't work so well on persistent servers. I did play on a few awesome unofficial communities when I have more time, it was a lot of fun and active admin and community to help glitches and lost dinos.

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1 hour ago, Rio4201 said:

I have a suggestion for the devs:  If you are going to continue to not address the issue of pet's getting lost due to server lag and latency, for the love of God, at least implement the s+ pet charm into official as a courtesy until it is fixed.  It's a nearly perfect solution.  As I am finishing up this post, my lost Argy that has been gone for well over an hour has just found it's way back to me. All I can say is.. wow.. can we say broken?

 

 

They have 2 fixes for this actually.  The first one which has been around forever Aylana mentioned the Transponder node.  Every time I lose a bird or sea creature I kick myself 5 or 6 times for not putting one on it because they are cheap!  The next thing they added more recently is the dino leash which was also a great add and helps with these issues as well.

The Cryopod is just another example of them constantly adding things to improve the game.  IMO the Cryopod is one of best quality of life adds they've ever made.  One of your gripes is the amount of time it takes to raise something and the Cryopod allows you to do it all on your own time.

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It can take a lot of time to find a server that's right for you, but once you do the game really opens up. Honestly, hats off to anyone who works full time and even attempts to play on official servers. It took a lot of trial and error but I finally figured out what kind of settings and mods I like, found an unofficial that had those things and spent some time in their Discord before ever even logging into their cluster for the first time. Finding a server with a community that you click with is hard, but it can definitely make or break the Ark experience.

For example, since dinos getting lost is one of your main issues right now, maybe looking for an unofficial with one of the many dino tracking mods (transponder nodes don't always work) so you can easily locate missing tames. If progress is an issue, try a boosted server that is freshly wiped, or wipes regularly, so you can have a chance to build up and compete with other players. Honestly it kind of sounds like you would rather play PVE and maybe just mess around on PVP from time to time, or try one of the servers that is PVE during the week and PVP on weekends specifically for people who can't no life the game 24/7. Tons of options, experiment and find the way to play that suits you the best.

Honestly I'm not sure why so many people get hung up on official vs unofficial. I've done both, and while I don't think official is the worst thing ever, I'm not willing to put in the time it requires to run as a solo/small tribe player, or deal with the hassle of playing in a large tribe in order to get anything done. The game's flexibility is really impressive honestly, and I wish more people would take advantage of it.

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