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Weigh In: Public Beta.. What's Next?


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Weigh In: Public Beta.. What's Next?

There are a lot of things the community would like to see us address but a popular topic and one that we are currently interested in is the PvP cave meta. The next set of changes we would like to propose will be aimed at the goal of affecting the meta so that the ideal solution isn't primarily in caves.

We have ideas but we'd like to get yours before we propose some changes for a beta.  Let's keep this on-topic and related to the PvP cave meta (and changes that will affect that).  The time will come for open-ended suggestions for the beta.

Thanks in advance!

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Well... without sounding too brash the main problem and reason cave meta is a thing would be because the Titans? I would start there and take a look into how / if they should / penalties to them transferring


Edit: IF changes are made to caves, PLEASE make it either mode-exclusive or at the very least a .ini option for unofficials to still be able to do as they do now and not affect PvE

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Disable cave building and disable titan downloads on maps other than Extinction. 

If you look at the successful, high population unofficial pvp servers, they all generally have rules about prohibiting cave building and for good reasons. If you want ARK to be competitive and fun PVP experience you have to approach the problem from a map design perspective and realize just how unbalanced some locations are. Generally any locations with chokepoints are extremely overpowered and locations where only a crouching player model can pass through are damn near invincible. For instance one person on a giga at the crouch point of the island ice cave can stop 69 people indefinitely. 

As for titans they go hand in hand with cave meta. Titans make land bases impossible to survive in. If you prevent cave meta then you must give players the alternative to build normal land bases again.

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Titans are the only reason people build in cave , But there is just some caves that are near impossible to raid and defend them selves . Ice Cave on center is OP , Pearl Cave too any cave really that has a crotch spot.  you would see alot more land bases if titans werent a thing but dosent change the fact that caves are too strong.

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Titans are not the only reason to build in caves, cave meta is tied closely to mutation breeding since storage of 0/0 dinos on the scale required for PVP is not viable unless they are stored in caves. You either need to radically change the breeding mechanic such that so many 0/0's are not required or add a storage item where you can put a large number of dinos in cryo but still have them be breedable. I'm not sure if all building needs to be disabled in caves, I think removing crouch/choke points or disabling turrets in caves would be enough but that is something to explore. But if you are changing caves, you need to do something to address 0/0 storage.

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Caves are still needed for storing breeders, especially low level 0 mutation tames.

So just make caves auto turrets only. As well as make platform structures not take cave damage. Tribes can still have strong towers with heavies and teks outside of the cave but it can still be raided.


Areas without land access or underwater can be extremely strong as well. Especially if the defending tribe uses weight characters to grapple quetzals/squids so soaking is near impossible.

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What exactly can be proposed? What are you guys able to do? Ideally the only thing that would need changed are cave entrances and or out right disabling certain caves. I think cave building should exist on PVP official. It allows smaller tribes to gain a foot hold on official, and is also very important for end game breeding due to the large amount of 0/0s (low level female dinos used to breed) needed for mutations/end game breeding.

With that said I think a base line for caves needs to be; adjusting caves entrances. No more crouch, crawl, etc entrances (think Island Ice cave, Aberration shadow cave, Scorched Earth central cave) The only reason for these entrances to exist was to limit which dinos you can use in a cave for PVE, but with the addition of cryo pods you can use basically any dino in any cave. For this reason alone I think most if not all cave entrances will need a TLC/rework.

The most balanced caves for PVP are the newest and ironically have building disabled... All of Extinction caves have wide entrances big enough for lines or racers, gigas, tek rex, etc. This is how all the caves in the game should be modeled after IMO. 

I don't know what to do about certain caves like Center Ice Cave, this cave is without a doubt the strongest cave defensively, it also happens to be the largest. Although this cave doesn't suffer from the small entrances like the others, it does have a unraidable drop down location. It's impossible to push, this part of the cave will need to be reworked entirely or this cave will need to be outright disabled. It's too strong.

I think it's important to address the reason why metas exist like they do. People have always built in caves, even in legacy, even in classic PVP where there were no teleporters, titans, etc. I believe these to be the reasons why;

  • Choke points
    • less turrets needed
      • less ammo
        • less farming/maintaining
    • less players to defend
  • Dino storage/breeding
    • 0/0 females
      • no worry about griefers sniping/killing your breeders
    • baby raising
      • no worry about griefers sniping/killing your babies

And obviously also not being able to get attacked by titans plays a huge part of current cave meta. But caves have always existed, the difference now being that they're becoming main bases because they can fulfill that purpose due to cryo pods. But the main reason for cave building for end game has always been for breeding.


I ask if you guys completely disable cave building that you introduce something such as a cryo breeding station, this isn't my idea it's Valors. He suggested something like a cryo fridge but that would allow you to store females able to breed. You'd be able to cryo the stud and place him in the breeding station and then it would produce the eggs and or cryo'd mammal babies? Doing this would allow people to breed in a land base without needing tons of space like current caves. Obviously you can balance this however, required tek powered, maybe consumes shards like a cloner? Also have to feed cryo'd breeders, etc. This would remove more lag from official servers even further just as cryo pods did. The bulk of the remaining dinos on Official servers are now breeders, introduce cryo breeding and this means even less entities taking up server resources.

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Where to even start....

Cave building started with your turret limits.   The turret limit made old typical building spots no longer viable.   Then came meks that could shoot outside turret range, manas that could freeze outside turret range, and then titans.   Then you have cryos,  you can chunk 100s of turtles on the roof of a base.  Or use 30 tek tapes to burst down a base.  2k dura tek suits, 1200 dura flak, 300k hp diplos,  80k hp turtles are just way too high, need a wipe.  Remove extinction, make it so you cant build in caves that can be defended by one person with an auto clicker indefinitely .  Cap bps and dinos stats and amounts you can have?  Basically every change since release has gotten us here.   The freezing people with snow owls and popping out a pocket giga is just stupid.   Fix duping.  Over-capped saddles.  The list goes on and on. Why would anyone ever go outside a cave?  I have 0 reason to go outside, if enemies come, let them stay out there, why go out and feed them kits, dinos, and resources.  You win pvp by ignoring them now.  Dont even have to go outside to farm thanks to gachas.  Getting rid of caves would cause an issue with storing breeders.  Who wants to store 100 or whatever level 5 clean clones outside.

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People build in cave cause scared of titans, 100 turret limit not enough to cover old alpha spots and because God lines on official/6man. Block titan transfer, increase turret limit and nerf all tank dinos if you want to see people build in the open.


Now, whatever you think to do, please don't destroy the hard work of cave people. Was hard to build and secure our easy cave on island and already is hard to deal with meshers and 150k HP basi everyday. Thank you.

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In my opinion, there are a couple of ways how to nerf this meta.:
-1. Cave debuff: If you stay in a cave for more then 5 min. You get a debuff. E.g., slowness or blindness and the longer you stay in the cave, the worse this effect gets. With death, the effect doesn't go away. Same for tek pod. The only way to remove this effect is by staying on the surface for some time.
Result: Living in caves gets pretty annoying, so people do not want to build in caves unless necessary
-2. Disable velos in caves(you can place pretty much-unlimited velos at a cave choke and so prevent every attacker from entering)
Result: Easier soaking + rocket running
-3. Fix meshbitting: It makes raiding some caves impossible, and the response time of devs is not even really existent.
Effect: Easier attacking at small chokepoints and crouch spots
-4. Disable 6x damage to platform structures so you can easier raid caves like the Ragnarok lava cave and don't lose a racer box with one rocket
Result: Easier online raiding of a few caves
-5. Change turret limit for caves so there are fewer turrets in chokepoints(or maybe no tek turrets(that would make turtles with c4 even more op))
Result: Easier rocket run+soaking
-6. Disable y traps in caves(some cave raids can pretty much be prevented with enough y traps, but let's first see how the effect of the y trap changes will affect that methode)
Result: You can easier move forward in caves
-7. Change the reasons why people go into the cave:
   -forest: change to grap range
   -ice: lower ice ball range
   -tek tape: limit the damage that can be done by mass tek tape rushes(e.g., tek tape limit or make damage depending on tek tape amount or make it easier to plant z tek tapes)
Result: People do no longer have it that necessary to go into caves
-8. Change certain choke points(make them bigger so you can use soakers e.g., trikes and don't have to coach, e.g., for ice cave on the island)
Result: makes rocket running easier + some caves become possible to soak, and you can move easily back with those soakers. This is extremely risky for tribes that have already built-in those chokes and might lead to floating structures
-9. Better underwater soaking possibilities:
   -maybe make it possible to use racers/brontos underwater, so they do not float directly over the ground and can regenerate stamina and maybe a way to regenerate oxygen while underwater, this would make it possible to use soakers with a box so you can not get shot out.
   -more possibilities to rescue overweight soakers in turret range, e.g., making it possible to whip squids/basilos(currently only cryoing works)
Result: Easier underwater soaking, but the effect will be minimal since people do not like attacking underwater due to a lack of possibilities
-10. Fence Supports should not give foundation claim in caves
I understand that it is intended to secure bases from building in range, but in caves, it makes it really hard/annoying to raid a cave due to the way those snap on the walls, so you got to grapple to them or use rockets. Without foundation claim of those, that would make it easier to push caves since you can just ignore them and so speed up a push.
11. Change parasaur alert:

Result: You can easier scout and soak caves without directly having enemies get alert when you just get close to the cave. Also, it stops giving an advantage to tribes with screenreading discord bots so you can offline caves.

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Up turret limit to either 150 (plantx separate limit) or  300, the limit took away 90% of actual build-able base locations 

Not allow titan transfers, or only have them transferable to Extinction servers 

also have TEK saddles count towards the platform limit 

Hatchframe Quetz is a problem, but thats easily sorted by upping the turret limit


(on the turret limit) We knew that the limit would not actually do nothing to help server performance (We did say that the Wildcardrighthand) but he knew best ;) Cryo pods did way more than limits did, but alot of problems with the current Meta is lack of buildable spots

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In my eyes the big problem with living outside of caves are titans, tek tapes, ddos causing tapes not to get shot, storage issues (clean females for matation breeding), meks. The problem about the titans is that their attacks make it nearly impossible to counterpush or deffend the choke at desert plat for example while beeing frozen and getting grabbed out of render by groot. Tek tapes are abled to swarm your tower with 40k hp and 30 of them + racers with 140k hp and even more. Since flashes way more than a dedicated of metal now its nearly impossible to effectively flash the riders and the lagg causes tek turrets to not even target the rider. Meks cause unprotected spam to basically be useless and allow to push with mobile forcefields that have a bigger influence on a giga fight than a yuti with their shield  debuff. Especially since as a defender you will most likely be heavily outnumbered a wide open area for the enemy to attack from is deadly with the. current state of raiding. + owls and manas killed ground pvp

Dino stats: with the muta breeding dinos go up in stats insanely high, but you cant muta breed your char or base. Thats why theris are faster than a player and 1-hit you, racers with 140k and turtles with 100+ k can soak inproportional amounts of ammo and countering them with them having titan support is quite a challenge if not slightly impossible. For example: on aberration where there are no flyers the big manta boy is downloadable but there is no way of dismounting him.

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Best thing for the cave meta:

Nothing. Cave's offer some of the best build and design ideas in the game. Especially underwater caves. 

However, before you make any changes at all to cave building, I'd recommend eliminating Titan's from the game. These backbreaking tames that can be used for massive amounts of damage are what pushed the community to live in caves. Pre-titan's there were the occasional side cave bases to raise in, and giant plateaued bases for dino's. Cryopods also effected this as no longer was a giant base required to have a massive tribe.


Just look back at pre titan, pre cryopod. Castle plateau, desert plateau, spiral, carno island, desert bases on scorched, the list goes on of places people built. As long as you continue pushing the titans, people will build in caves. If you change that without eliminating or making titans unable to be uploaded, the game will lose players.

To address titans: Unable to be pulled on a server within 24 hours of the previous one. Can't be pulled from any non-obilesk. 

To address mek rushing bases: eliminate mek's from being used in cryo's. Cap the amount of mek's a tribe can have. 

Those simple changes alone will help, but that's not enough! 

Increase the turret limit! By doubling the turret limit, no longer are bases required to have scamp defenses all around. The benefit of the cave is having 100 turrets pointing at the choke point. There is literally no benefit to being on a plateau. 

Don't change the underwater cave's. A lot of ark's underwater area is amazing. By changing the caves, you change the ability of tribes to have amazing designs of underwater bases.

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People went to caves because 1 - you gave them that option and 2 - it's easier to defend.

The only way to make people go out of caves - make it possible to defend their bases. When attacking won't need only a stego and few C4s, but actually will need an effort.

You know, it's very frustrating, when you are wasting hundreds of hours to build up, but then the game is limiting you on defences. To protect the on-land base, I need to defend 360° around it. And people will come from only 1 side. So why would I waste other +/- 75% of my defences for nothing, if I can go to the cave and put all 100% to the only place they can come for me?

Won't even mention titans and some "amazing" dinos features.

But either you do, I hope it will come out as an improvement, motivation to go out, and not as a nerf for the ones in caves already.

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Caves are coming together with Mutation breeding. Most tribes have alot of 0/0 mutation females in the caves, where they are safe, and not getting sniped. 

If you wanna change caves, you need to change breeding aswell. Just do like a DNA/Breeding-Table, where you can insert a Cryopod and it lets you get mutations or something like that.. Sounds kinda stupid compared to how much effort it is to breed all those females each day to push mutations.. but, I dont see an other solution than transfering all this mutation breeding into a structures/cryo-table what does the same. Plus, I'm pretty sure that all those 0/0 females causes the most lagg on our servers. 

And when you have fixed the Breeding System,  then you can change the caves to whatever you want.. Prevent Structures/Turrets/Change Entrances etc. But right now, we need the caves mainly for breeding.

Another solution.. Disable Vaults/Storage/Cryofridges in Caves.. So people are forced to build outside bases? idk..doesnt really fix the issue

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Reason for cavebuildings are Titan and turret changes.


Titans dont need explanation. Turret changes made it so that surface bases were worse than what they used to be while at the same time cave walls got heavily buffed thanks to hevaies and buffs to tek turrets.


To get people outta caves you either:


1. Prevent cavebuilding or make it so that you cant build deathwalls in it, but only slight stuff to prevent spawns


2. Change caves, particulalry choke caves but also Center Ice cave for example so you can actually raid it against active defenders, for example make it possible to ride racers in them etc, remove the chokes etcetc.


In both cases Titans need to get nerfed heavily otherwise people will get sick of the game when living back on the surface again really fast. Also take a look at OP surface spots like ab or ext tree while at it. Otherwise everybody will just move from caves to these spots instead, since they offer more or less the same as caves minus the 6xdamage on structures and instead of cave rat we'd instashift into sky rat meta. Nothing would be won if you get people outta caves but dont do nothing about these OP spots


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The main issue with the cave meta is that titans is too strong and tek tappy zerg together with paracers can wipe most bases/tps before people get into the server.
These are some of the ideas i think could be looked into.

1. Adding a new kind of turret which does increased damage to titans but almost nothing to other dinos, also a targeting system like tek turrets or just plain disable its ability to target anything else than titans. 
2. Increase turret limit to 120-150
3. Disable vaults and certain structures in caves so only dinos/cryod dinos can be stored in them.
4. Increase the cave entrance sizes so racers & gigas can be walked into them.
5. Reduce the HP titans have when you transfer them to a server so they starve faster.
6. Reduce the Mek shield by 15-35%. 
7. Reduce the damage Meks do to foundations while shield is active
8. Increase tek turret HP
9. Add a recharge mechanic to Tek Tappys similar to tek rifles.

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