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The only thing that stops a cave from being raided is online defenders with mesh biting gigas. It is that simple.

Many other things can be discussed but this is the one thing that makes raiding a cave base almost impossible.

Titans, cryo pods, & the mesh detection are moving the meta towards the smaller hard to raid locations that were previously not as viable and that does not just include caves. 

I don't think caves are the problem themselves and it will be difficult to drive people back to standard land bases. Any land base will be a target for large raids over caves as you can properly push them with large numbers and titans. Caves have always been targets for offline raiding and griefs. 

Find a way to fix mesh biting gigas in caves and I think it will make cave raids much more viable.

Make cave raids more viable and it should naturally balance out as poorly built caves will get easily wiped and well built caves will still have a chance to be properly defended.


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 The solution for "less people in caves". People are building in caves now because of "Mek Rushing". There are barely any land bases on xbox due to the effect people are scared to lose there base to a 100's 55K health meks. ("Mek Rushing" - Having a unlimited amount of meks and throwing it at a base). With that being said, if you build in a cave the meks can not go into the cave and you can not be "Mek Rush". If you want a solution to mass amount of people living in caves, get rid of meks (or fixed the damage of the duping situation) and make it so you get global banned when you "go under the map". Now for "Cave PvP", cave pvp is doing pretty good however there is one thing (not sure if you can even fix it). There is a thing called "Mesh Biting" ("Mesh" - In/Under The Map). In this scenario, while in a cave you can throw out a giga in the cave and start biting. While you bite , you will kill people through the cave walls. (Just to clarify, no one is in the mesh but the giga's bite hits through the wall. "Mesh Biting" can also occur in "Land PvP" through hills and cliffs. 

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First off, there has to be some incentive to actually having a land base (Ie. better turret cap, further titan nerfs, nerfing tek tapes, maybe just buffing above ground turrets in general). Completely flushing people out of caves in general would cause more harm than it's worth for a couple reasons:

A. Caves are the best breeder storage for 0/0 dinos, hands down.

B. Caves give smaller tribes and even solo players a chance to exist on official pvp. They can survive in the caves themselves, or live on a server where the alpha lives in a cave and doesn't care much about what is going on out on the surface.


That being said, most caves are very overpowered, but there are ways to make them actually raidable while still keeping them as a viable building location.

First and foremost, significantly nerfing crouch-points. This is a given. Even with the expansion at the entrance to Church cave on SE, it is still a very viable place to live with some minor defenses and vigilance on the outside of the cave - but it is also a lot more possible to raid.

Second, increasing dino access to certain caves (making it so soakers can maneuver around and enter the cave without the riders being shredded by turrets instantly), and making structures on the back of platform saddles NOT effected by 6x damage. A good example where this would be beneficial is the Center North-Ice cave. It would still be a very good place to live, but also a lot easier to raid, if box structures didn't get immediately destroyed by tek turrets when soaking.

Third - Velos. Not sure exactly what kind of fix could be done here aside from some sort of "turret cap" for them, but having an infinite amount of velos shooting in a cave is very difficult to counter.

Last but not least, Mesh biting. Like someone said above, either fix it or just allow it - both attackers and defenders of caves do it, whether on accident or purposefully. Not sure if this would really balance cave raiding that much, as attackers can do the same, but it is something that should be looked into regardless.



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Make caves have a smaller turret limet like 20 or 30 and if possible make it where velos can’t go on  aggressive in caves I think titans are find now they don’t do anything if you build right so no need to be scared about titans. And the reason I say lower the limit is because people have so much in caves already it would be bad to destroy everything they have and I think for big breed you need a cave in most cases 

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4 hours ago, DVSR said:

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.

Everything that DVSR and the others have said along these lines is so accurate. You wanna balance the cave meta? Restrict Titans to Extinction. Increase turret cap to 200-300. Nerf mek shields and mek damage to the player. It's so hard to counter mek rushes with anything other than other meks. 


1 hour ago, Sully said:

First off, there has to be some incentive to actually having a land base (Ie. better turret cap, further titan nerfs, nerfing tek tapes, maybe just buffing above ground turrets in general). Completely flushing people out of caves in general would cause more harm than it's worth for a couple reasons:

So much this. If you're going to drive people out of the caves, there has to be a balance.

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I have been saying this for years, caves are unbalanced and broken for base building in PVP. Way back in 2016 after the very first wipe of all servers there was a large rush on the restart to control and occupy caves on many servers. My tribe was luckily enough to be able to secure the centre south cave on The Island map and that gave us a huge advantage.  One night at about 3am a large Chinese tribe attacked us and we were able to defend against over 20 of them for several hours until they finally breached our last defences. Now that was a cave that at the time only allowed small dinos into it (no bigger then a carno) and yet it still gave us a huge advantage for defence primarily because there was only one entrance and as a result we got stack all defence in that one direction and saturate it and that is the primarily reason why caves in this game are too good for defence.

Since then many new caves have been added to maps that don't allow any dinos of any kind to be taken in. I don't see how one is meant to reasonably raid a cave such as the Ice Cave where you are forced to crawl through a tiny passage and come out on the other side to face 100 auto turrets all facing you without using trickery and exploits. It has been broken for a long time and yet few people cared to notice.

If you ask me players should not be able to build in caves unless the caves are going to be radically altered by giving them more entrances and bigger passages. This will also stop the issue of players using transmitters to otherwise circumvent the cave dino restrictions that would normally prevent such dinos being able to enter the cave.

With regards to the excuse that Titans are forcing into building in caves, I think that has been exaggerated. This isn't some new balance problem but one that has been around since the game was released. Titans maybe encouraging more people to build in caves but for the most part its not really a factor. The truth is people were building in caves well before Titans were introduced simply because its so easy to defend, the actual main risks of building in a cave where exploits ie people meshing through spots in the walls.

I do agree though that Titans should not be transferrable, as a design concept its a real failure and the less maps that broken nonsense is able to exist on the better.

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Why people build in caves? Because you have more space, it's 10 times easier to defend, it requires less resources and you don't have to worry about your breeders and babies getting sniped.
Fixing that will be hard because of all the changes Wildcard has made to the game. Let's look at turret limit, before turret limit you could build bases big enough to safely store all your dinos. People didn't build in caves as much back then not only because of no turret limit, but also because of the maximum turrets you could fit on a turret wall, what I mean by that is, for most caves you couldn't fit more than 200-300 turrets on a death wall, which compared to heavies damage wise is approximately 50, let's not even talk about tek turrets, they received such a big buff back then and now, since patch 295.102 (Use FastTurretTargeting system automatically for anything moving faster than 300 cm/s) it's impossible to run a turret wall if a server isn't lagging really bad.
One of the only reason people built in caves back then is because you could AFK on a giga with autoclicker at the crouch spot, making it almost impossible to do anything. 
Also let's look at extinction, it's only made everything worse. Even though cryopods were added to reduce dino storage issues, tribes are now mutation breeding with insane amounts of 0/0 cloned females because of how much element you get from extinction. Extinction not only added that, but it also added velos which strengthen cave defenses by a lot, meks, titans, snow owls and gachas. Why would people ever build a land base when meks titans snow owls and tek tapes are a thing, your best chance to kill a titan is to cryo a giga or velo on top of it. If all 3 titans manage to download your turret tower/base just gets rushed by them, backed up by paracers meks tek tapes and gigas.
Literally all you need outside of a cave is a teleporter for meat and berries. You don't even have to do boss fights anymore, people running gachas 24/7 is more element than you'll ever need.
The only real counter to caves right now is the tek railgun and it's not even close to enough.

So my suggestions are:
1. Change cave entrances, make them larger and remove all crouch spots. Maybe add multiple entrances.
2. Add a different turret&structure cap for caves, for example make it so you can't place more than 100 turrets in the entire cave.
3. Change north ice cave's artifact of the clever side, the drop point is too op, and there is too much space behind it.
4. Revert changes made to turrets in patch 295.102
5. Change the way mutation breeding works, maybe add an actual mutation cap.
6. Add a tek saddle limit per alliance.
7. Add a mek limit per alliance. Nerf mek shield radius.
8. Nerf titans and their special abilities(forest grab range, ice breath range&freeze time)
9. Disable placing hatchframes and chairs, benches, toilets on platform saddles.
10. Drastically increase turret limit/decrease its range. Make it so turrets over the limit actually don't work. Change it to alliance limit.
11. Do something about meshbiting. 

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Building in caves was a thing before titan meta tbh.. if you are a small tribe its much easier to defend against a 60man slotcap on your server. Big tribes do not have a problem defending main bases out in the open because they are usually on, well connected and have alliances.  It would be my opinion that alot of cave building happens because people do not have the ability to defend there base. If you do changes that affect cave building drastically you might lose alot of population, smaller tribes who cant defend there base during offline hours will be wiped within a month. (My opinion only pertains to small tribes playing on official server... not 6mans) The problem has to do with how people raid each, everyone joining all at once and the defending tribe cant defend at all. 

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So we from a official Megatribe figured out as issue is that the Racers/Titans/Meks are currently a huge issue which needs to be finetunned. For example on Official PVP part of the issue is that 150 k racers are running around. 10 of them can push/soak any 100 turret tower unless all tek turrets. However having a ground tower with all Tek turrets makes you vulnerable to both rockets and Tek tape rushes. So to adjust this you can either nerf Racer HP or instead, buff already existing counters like the Allosaurus(not pickable by quetz for example, more bleed dmg, more hp) or increase turret cap by 20-50 additional turrets. However which also works is instead of reinventing the wheel with new methods to fix the racer hp issue, you can use already existing opportunities to fix the issue. By for example making Phoenixes breedable(their burn dmg can burn through the racer boxes) but they are so quickly dead and hard to tame that nobody uses them. Same goes for Basilisks, by making them breedable you offer opportunities to surround the whole racer box thing and increase the dmg by getting mutations onto it. I hope this helps. Generally I'd also buff the Titanosaurus to have somewhat of a Titan counter which/alternative which hasn't been used too much recently. In addition to that to make people go out of caves I'd also recommend you to increase the amount of enforcement developers from 2 scouts and 1 head to atleast 2 more people. Because another big part of the Cave meta is the fear to be undermeshed through for example pearl caves which are pretty easy to get under it.

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I'll tell u the real and only truth to why people build in caves and that is because the amount of grinding one must do in a open area, those who build in caves only build there because they tribe is small, they keep getting meshed,or they fill it will be the only best spot due to the lack of defense items in the game. If you want to stop people from building in caves add more defense items to the game make it to where we have multiple options on how we can defend our bases than the usual way posted on YouTube or told by someone who loves to do things one way. Why not add things like camaras, to watch how someone got into base, narc turrets to prevent soaking easy, rocket turrets,flying turrets to cover the air which is almost impossible to defend your base against, arrow turrets with poison arrows as ammo, I could think of so much 

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Would definitly need to balance titans better maybe only one can be downloaded every 10 hours instead of 3 every 6 hours. Need to take out quetz bombing so take hatchframes away from being able to place on platform saddles. Increase tek turret health to counter mek rushing and increase damage to meks from turrets. Caves are part of the game so dont disable them nerf them and give advantages to building outside. Duping has broken any meta though people have 1000s of duped dinos millions of explosives etc. But you can keep improving the game and eventually make new servers with the game at a better state.

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Changing the "Cave Meta" needs to be a delicate fix. These servers have been online for years. People have built in these caves for those same years. Deciding now, all these years later, that you'd suddenly want to eliminate and/or heavily penalize cave bases just completely upends all those years of work on building bases inside of them.

I would hope / expect that such a monumental change would simply affect new maps / clusters+servers etc, because such a major change would be essentially like wiping servers for some of us. This is what the game is, and has been for years - suddenly deciding the game is "not that" will be a devastating blow to thousands of bases that aren't abusing or exploiting the game at all. Such a move will be the death knell for many of us.

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The way I see it there's 2 ways you can address the cave meta. You can either make caves as undesirable as land bases and hope players will choose land bases over caves, OR you can address the reason why players don't want to build land bases because as we know before players would usually build land bases as their main base with auxiliary caves which were used as dino storage rather than an actual base.

Land bases have been reduced gradually over time and it really has nothing really to do with caves other than the fact that you can build in caves in order to avoid the issues that land bases present. Currently these issues consist of a combination of:

* Titans
* Hatchframe Quetzals/Paracers
* Server cap/rushes with Paracers tanking Heavies whilst Tek Dinos destroy the Tek Turrets whilst they have a considerable player advantage 50-60 players versus ~10. Often used in conjunction with titans.
* Server lag and FPS lag ie: having to render in all your dinos at one location on the map instead of having a cave where it's all unrendered (this is more important than people think, people usually rather log off than play this game with 255 ping and slideshow FPS)
* exposing yourself to more forms of griefing such as Griffins sniping all your dinos and running away, dinos creating LoS issues with turrets, and so on

Players have recognized that is just so much less of a headache having to deal with these things by building inside a cave. The most experienced builders in ARK can only do so much to deter things like Hatchframe Quetzaling, Titans, and figuring out how they're supposed to design a 100 turret limit base to defend thousands of dinos on maps with base locations that weren't designed with the 100 turret limit in mind. It's just simply easier to build in a cave and not have to deal with it.

In regards to why you would build in a cave, the main thing that has made people build in caves has been dino storage long before there were titans or even teleporters. Building dino storage outside a cave for breeders is just laughable. Try making a structure that fits even a fraction of the space thats in a cave and try defend it with 100 turrets, at any point of egress you'd be dealing with as few as 15-25 turrets max. If you choose not to have a structure then you'll be faced with having all your breeders sniped down by Griffins which is just a cancer form of gameplay that no one enjoys and dinos often create LoS issues with turrets on towers outside which can be exploited. Yes Cryopods have alleviated the issue, however none the less in order to breed dinos you need dinos that aren't in Cryopods so unless Wildcard figures out a way to breed dinos in Cryopods you will have to do something more to address this.

One more less mentioned aspect of caves I feel is water PvP. Water PvP as it stands needs an overhaul, in particular water dinos. Right now the only viable tanking dino in the water besides Turtles is the Basilio which only really works because you can stick your player model inside the mesh whilst riding it. Water DPS dinos such as Mosa, Plesio, etc have terrible maneuverability with no ability to reverse at all making them mostly unusable for actually fighting things. Player PvP in water is garbage and consists pretty much solely as grapple PvP, the fact that the only thing we have to actually kill another player is stone arrows, C4, or a spear gun which can only be made as primitive should show you how much it needs to be revamped. The reason this is important is because players build water caves to discourage others to raid it, if water PvP were more fun or compelling then water caves would be less desirable and perhaps actual water bases in the ocean more so.

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1. Make Metal and Tek Structures stronger and harder to destroy, right now meks can easily clear spam, maybe this will encourage players to build outside caves.

2. nerf range of guns so its difficult to snipe dinos, sniper, longnecks, com bows etc etc they all should have same range as turrets. just like manas were nerfed on ranged attack

3. vaults should be harder to destory, back in the days (2016). people would leave vaults if they saw them. these days vaults are as easy to destroy as a storage box, this will encourage bases being built outside on map with vault spam.

4. as far a PVP is concerned make player movement speed fixed. players should be able to gain advantage in PVP my using good flak, guns and managing their players stats (level up points) e.g. RainbowSIx and Counter Strike every FPS game has player movement speed fix by doing this PVP will be more fun. right now... a player with 190% move speed runs faster than a player on a rex, hence high dura flak and weapons BP and players using mindwipe and PVP stats build will come in play more.

   -   ARK loading screen says (you cannot run faster than dinos, apparently you can)

   -   This will bring ALL dinos to be used more in PVP, a player on foot will think twice before attacking a player with a tamed Raptor (right now its a joke)

   -   remove mek shield its ruining the game play. a base or a FOB with 3 meks and shield attachment is cancer to raid and increase tek shield radius and stronger.

   -   increase turret cap from 100 to 200, this will encourage big bases to be built outside caves, legacy bases were fun, we all agree on this i am sure. from balance point of view decrease the number for slots in turrets to hold less ammo. tek turrets should have the longest range in the game...they are tek turrets after all

   -   if possible limit number of structures placed inside cave, like 100 structures should be allowed inside caves.

   -   i suggest the next morning devs goto work, they should disable hatch frame on platforms, hatch frame build should be considered as abuse rather than a strategy.
EXT is pretty much useless while hatch frame build exist, due to this new players who do the effort to build at heights get raided easily.


in my opinion all these changes will lead to encouragement of having bases outside caves. thinking about only how to prevent cave building will not solve this issue, we have to think outside the box, and we have to balance items and things which force players to build inside caves.

hope my input was of some use.


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As a pvp player with over a year played. I can honestly say that caves are the most broken thing in ark. My solution would be either to have a huge land entrance leading directly into caves to where you can actually make a solid push. Or just remove cave building. Cryopods are a thing now so there shouldn't be a problem with not having enough room and to the people who complain about getting new mutations should be in a big enough tribe to expand their bases to a size that is able to have dinos out.

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8 hours ago, 2jay said:

I'll tell u the real and only truth to why people build in caves and that is because the amount of grinding one must do in a open area, those who build in caves only build there because they tribe is small, they keep getting meshed,or they fill it will be the only best spot due to the lack of defense items in the game. If you want to stop people from building in caves add more defense items to the game make it to where we have multiple options on how we can defend our bases than the usual way posted on YouTube or told by someone who loves to do things one way. Why not add things like camaras, to watch how someone got into base, narc turrets to prevent soaking easy, rocket turrets,flying turrets to cover the air which is almost impossible to defend your base against, arrow turrets with poison arrows as ammo, I could think of so much 

I like some of these ideas, mainly different turrets, maybe a lower tier defense turret that runs off spark powder and fires arrows or narcotic arrows.

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Reading all the offers to nerf caves and can't stop facepalming.

"Decrease turret limit, enlarge entrances" etc... maybe just ask devs to put you a button "Wipe this base" right away? 

Caves are now just harder to raid, and it is still not impossible. Just need to come to it from a different perspective. But I see many ppl around has the only setup - parasers or gigas, and to go anywhere out of that meta - brain freeze. Impossible! Unraidable! Nerf! Nerf!

Raiding shouldn't be easy at all in a first place. And shouldn't require 2 days of a game time to be able to wipe a base being built during several months in an hour.

If you want an easy game - go to play tetris.

Nerf is not a solution. There has to be a complex changes to motivate people to get out to the sunlight. It's not "cavemen" fault, that the game gave them the option to live there for years now.

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In addition to some comments... what about making ceilings snappable to dino and behemoth gates? Make them stackable? Would that give people added protection that caves have? 

Meks need to be nerfed. Sad, but them combined with titans are too op. Or come up with something to balance it.. maybe like a emp ammo to fight tek like the mek.. disablin shield and draining % of fuel. 

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titans, turret changes, and the hatchframing meta have sent just about everyone into caves, not to mention meshing / duping etc. people on officials have literally everything in the game now so even the largest tribes are consolidating into caves to avoid having damage done to them by even 2-3 people. Titans have already been nerfed, but realistically having titans the way they are, a turret cap, and the other problems that currently exist; why not live in a cave?

ive always wanted to go crazy and build a nice scorched 10/10 or desert base, but between border meshing, actual meshing, and duping that just doesn’t work.


Oh, not to mention meks, the single worst thing to ever be added to the game, especially with duping. Every big tribe has thousands of max level meks now, which is encouraging the cave life even more so.


essentially, the current problems with the state of the game have pushed people into caves to avoid being damaged by small amounts of people. Fix the game, and the cave meta will die off too.

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1 hour ago, Shped said:

the game have pushed people into caves to avoid being damaged by small amounts of people

We live in caves because we can’t stand against 10 paracers (usually are more that 10) with 140k HP each + cakes + owls + yuty with only 100 turrets. That’s why we are on caves. Hp on soakers get too high because breeding. In cress the turret limit to 300 or nert HP on all soakers and put a cap on them. 

About caves, do what ever you think its better, eigther open the entrance so paracers can enter, or remove cave building.



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You don’t have to nerf the things that make people build in caves,  you just need to nerf each cave in specific ways. Such as removing crouch spot in center pearl and making it so you are not able to place cliff plats above the water entrance to center north ice cave. There are many ways to nerf caves but removing titans from servers or completely making caves unbuildable is a not valid option.

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