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Jatheish

Xbox - Status Update: Week Two

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Hey Survivors!

Just want to update you guys on all the latest information regarding ARK on the Xbox platform.

Account restructure - Trial & Purchased

Over the past few days we've been taking a look at our server statistics to see how players were connecting, how many people we had online during specific moments of the day and how we could go ahead and further improve the state of our Official Servers, in addition to bringing up more and resolving issues.

Something which was identified through this was the number of trial accounts versus paid accounts playing on our Official Servers. At the time, a lot of servers were being flooded with Trial ARK accounts which prevented regular users from being able to enter. Therefore we decided, in order to provide an optimum gaming experience to all Xbox ARK Players, we would go ahead and restructure the way our servers are currently accessed, and ensure that players have a much easier time in locating the most appropriate server.

In order to achieve this we decided to change the way a particular account type sees and connects to the Official Servers. Survivors who have purchased ARK now have access to Official Servers with other players who have also purchased the game. Survivors who are currently testing ARK on trial versions, will only have access to servers with other trial users.

This is to ensure that both set of players are getting the best experience they can get from the game and we will continue to make changes as we go ahead to improve the state of our Official Servers.

What does this mean for Trial Users specifically?

Previously you would be playing on a server which had already been accessed by survivors who had purchased the game. This meant you were potentially competing your survival against others who may have had an advantage over you, due to the amount of time they could put into the game, how long they had already been established for and the amount of experience they had.

With our new system in place, Trial users will only see specific Trial Servers. These servers have been setup to make your trial experience of ARK much more enjoyable and a little enhanced, so you can somewhat experience the game as if you were going to play it for longer than an hour. The rates have been adjusted on this server to speed up progression so you're able to get a taste of the game as you get further along. These servers will also be wiped every now and then to prevent them from being completely covered with resources left by previous players, this would have been an issue on the old system because Trial Survivors would have been forced to compete against pre-established Tribes.

Something to keep in mind is that the ARK trial is still limited by a limited time period. We would advise that some survivors consider trying out the game in single-player mode so that preview time is not wasted by attempting to connect to a multiplayer server. To access the single-player version of the game, you head into your Main Game Menu and select the Host / Local button. From here you'll see a hosting user interface, with many options and sliders. Feel free to adjust the game to your own personal tastes, and then when you're ready - at the bottom of the screen you'll see a Play Singleplayer button - select that and let your ARK adventure begin!

Official Servers

In whole, this access-restructure is also beneficial to the state of the current Official Servers as this means there will be a significantly lower number of people attempting to access the servers in order to taste ARK in a multiplayer environment. We understand that there are still a number of concerns that have been brought up regarding our servers and I'd like to address them.

Queues

This is something we are currently looking into and seeing how it would work through our server's session list. We hope to be able to bring it to you guys but are not completely sure yet, as queues are not as straight forward as they sound - believe me, if they were - you would have queues yesterday, I can assure you that - but we are seriously going to look into it and see what we can do.

Ping

Currently it is clear that we still have issues with pinging our servers through our current server-session list, but do not fret. If you happen to see your ping displayed as "N/A" this does not mean you are unable to connect to the server, you still can. We'd advise that you ignore it for now and just attempt to connect - once you're in game and you hit your start button, you'll be able to see your correct ping. This is an issue that has been resolved in our developer environment but crops back up in the live-game, so we need to tackle it from a different angle, but don't sweat as we'll get it resolved.

Server version 729.8 vs Server version 729.9

Now this can be a little confusing, when you see servers that have different version numbers, but don't worry! Something you need to keep in mind is the difference between a Major change and a Minor change. A major change will cause the number before the bullet point to change, and a minor change will only affect the numbers after the bullet points. Sometimes you can have minor changes that will lead to Major changes just because we prefer seeing a whole number. The most often time you'll see a major change is when there is an introduction of content or there has been a major bug fix.

Now you're probably wondering why some servers are showing version 729.8 and others are showing version 729.9. This is because the patch that went out was client-side. This means that it does not effect servers, but it effects you and your game. One of the changes that were made is that the server-session list would display more than 100 servers. This meant that any server above 100 needed to have the latest update too. That's why we've got different versions! It's because the update only needed to be downloaded by servers above 100, and you survivors! So don't sweat, it's not us getting lazy - it's because that update did not need to be done on everything.

What about those 60 Official Servers, Why does it take you guys so long to bring up more and Why only 60!

When we bring up servers, we aren't thinking "what's a good number to bring up, do we think this is enough?" we think more along the lines of.. "How many servers can we feasibly put up at a time while still managing all our other duties and not going crazy." Bringing up servers currently is not as straight forward as it is on PC, this is because we have yet to polish the system. 

Right now, we have to commit a lot of man power to bring up servers (the team had actually worked through the night to setup the 60 Official Servers that were due to launch today). Bringing up more Official Servers is a linear progression of time spent, that means for every server we bring up - the longer and more time it takes to setup. So initially you start off with 10 servers and if you want to bring up another 10? That second batch will take longer than the first and it will continue to rise the higher you get.

Well that sounds absolutely ridiculous, can't you do something about that?

Well, you're right! It is a little silly, but unfortunately that's how it is for now. We can do something about it and we will be doing something about it, however that also requires time. We would have to spend a few days - a week creating a system to help us manage that, and that is something we plan to do - however if we were to work on it now, that would be us not being able to work on other things and that time would also mean we'd have much less Official Servers than we do currently.

For the foreseeable future, as we bring up more servers - we will continue to do it the way we do because servers are an immediate demand and we have to commit the hours to setting them up now. The response has been pretty overwhelming and we assure you, we're doing what we can to keep up with it but there's going to periods where we don't have enough, however this will only be for the beginning phases - once we're in a comfortable spot where we have enough servers, we can then get to polishing that system - so in the future, when we need more servers it will not take anywhere near as long to bring up, assuming there are no technical hitches ;).

Okay fine, now what about those Official Servers you were planning on bringing up?

We still plan on bringing them up! Part of those servers will be for Trial Users and another part will be for survivors who have opted into the Games Preview program. Unfortunately we've run into a technical hitch between our servers and Microsoft, so both our engineers and their engineers are currently working on resolving it. Here's hoping it fixes some other issues too, but we'll only know that - once this has been tackled! We expect the ETA for the resolution to be around 24 hours as both teams work through the night to get it fixed. We will update you if this changes.

My Official Server has been missing for a while, where did it go?

As announced in game, some Official Servers have been temporarily brought down to be migrated to new servers. Their data have been saved and backed up and once the migration to the new servers have been completed, we shall let you guys know. We expect the migration to be completed around the same time as when our engineers are able to fix the issue alongside Microsoft's engineers. The servers effected by the migration are the following: Official Server 98, 99, 100, 137, 138, 139, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 203, 204, and 205. We are expecting the downtime to last approximately 24 hours, however will keep you posted if it is longer. If your Official Server is not in this list, it is online and should be accessible. Sorry about the inconvenience guys, and we really appreciate your patience and understanding through this matter. It sucks, and we'll try and get it resolved as quickly as possible.

Player Dedicated Servers

Player Dedicated Servers seem to have an issue right now which we're constantly iterating on in our development environment to find the solution to. Unfortunately, we're not able to reproduce the problems unless we use the live-game - which make it incredibly difficult and confusing to fix. We're now working with Microsoft Engineers to tackle the problem together to figure out what the difference is between the live-game and our development environment, as in theory they should be the same. It's frustrating we understand, however we will try and get the fix out as soon as possible with them. It's one of our top priorities at the moment!

There have been some current work around which work for some survivors, but not everyone:

- One option has been putting your Xbox which is hosting the game on the DMZ to make sure that other clients are able to find and connect to it.

- Something else you should check to see is that your NAT settings are currently set to open

- Inviting friends via the ADMIN UI. Some survivors have not had much success joining their dedicated servers via the session list, but are able to join if they're invited directly.

Now these workarounds may not solve it for everyone, however they have proven to be successful in some cases. Don't worry though, we're going to track down the issue and resolve it once and for all. We will keep you posted as we go along in the process.

Non Dedicated Hosting

There have been a few questions about non-dedicated hosting so we've put together a FAQ to answer some questions. Non dedicated hosted, in short is another option of playing with your friends in a pseudo server environment. You'll be able to play alongside friends, without hosting a dedicated-server, however there are some differences which you can read more about here:

Thank you guys for your ongoing patience and understanding as we go through this Xbox launch together. The support and interest in the game has been absolutely overwhelming and we will keep on working to ensure we're able to bring you the best game possible, it'll be a little rocky starting off but I promise you, it'll be worth it and we'll give you a game experience you won't forget! (In a good way :P;))

All the best,

Wildcard Jat

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3 minutes ago, i321headshot said:

So are y'all going to make it where we can set up a server for Xbox one off pc or are we going to spend $300 dollars on a new Xbox just to host; or make it were we can buy a sever or rent.

One of the devs have said that they are looking into this, however, it will be extremely difficult if at all possible to be able to host a server for the Xbox off of PC and said that there is no promises for it because of the difficulty. As for the latter part, I am not sure on whether or not they may be considering it.

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Well, has anyone had any problems getting stuck in dead corpses because I have drowned due to getting stuck in a megalodon and my spino kept getting stuck in bronto corpses also my spino kept glitching inside of a mountain.

Also Ark staff members the range you have to with the host was extremely painfull especially because the game pulled me closer to the host and killed me and glitches my body out the world and knocks me off mountains so yeah. This update was helpful though I LOVE ARK I played since realease date at 1 am I have been waiting. I know it's only early access though but there's no way I'm gonna stop playing. I <3 Ark

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I'm glad to see the work being done for this and am excited for things to come! I ran across an unfortunate instance where my Giganotrasaurus clipped through a rock while it was wandering without me and just disappeared. The giant plateau/mushroom one on the north central part of the map. I know this is just a "preview" build so I'm of course not mad at y'all, just a little frustrated at the loss for the moment. In about 3 days, I'll probably be back on playing again because it's just too fun <3

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Thanks for update. :-) shame you guys released this over the holidays. Bet it's the worst time as most businesses go skeleton staff. Brilliant game and super addictive!!! 

Is there also going to be a change regarding idle players on servers? As I think many people stay logged in to prevent having the connecting to server issues. 

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11 minutes ago, zoldek said:

AMIZING WORK guys love the game but i had some issues in the high level engrams doesn't show up in crafting menu !!!

When you get into the higher engram levels, you may need to be using a smithy/fabricator. These engrams will only show up in the required crafting structure. You can tell if you need either or by looking at the bottom of an engram, it will tell you.

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Hi Jat I am having a problem ever since the update I can not load the game no matter what I do I have restarted my xbox, used hard reset and even uninstalled and reinstalled the game twice nothing has worked this only happened after I downloaded the update if you could get back to me asap I really love the game and miss playing with my friends

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