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Community Crunch 213: Patch Notes Round-Up, and Evo Event

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Patch Notes Round-Up

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As we near the launch of Genesis and a new year of ARK content, the current state of the game and the topics that are trending in the community remain essential to us. While we are excited to introduce new content and experiences to ARK survivors, it's important to take a brief moment and recap some significant updates that have made an impact on the current state of the game.

Developers that are working on Live Ops updates have a different priority and focus than that of those working on new content. The main focus of these updates is to ensure that you have an enjoyable and fair playing experience with current game content. As you might imagine, it is a constant process of observing, investigating, adjusting, interacting, updating, reporting, resolving, and repeating the cycle.

Performance, Bugs, Balance, Quality of Life and fixing Exploits are important to us and we know they hold a high priority for you folks too. These updates may not be new news for the well-informed survivor but they may provide insight into the thought process behind the changes. Without further ado, let’s get stuck into what we’ve been up to with recent live game patches: 
 

Performance

Performance is an intrinsic cornerstone of a player's experience. Improving performance is an ongoing process for us that we’ll continue to seek to optimize. Here’s what we’ve worked on in regards to performance recently: 

- Changed droppeditem physics to improve server performance.
- Added animation staggering system by default to reduce CPU overhead
- Applied a one time disabling of replication on all sleeping players on all Official PvE servers.
- Fixed a client-side crash related to rendering 3D text
- Vastly improved server stability, with various Network Channel threading crashes fixed

 

Unintended Mechanics / Exploits

Addressing exploits and unintended game mechanics in a meaningful way is crucial to the health of the game on our Official servers. Recently, the team has focused quite heavily on eliminating various methods of exploiting and we’ll continue to hit them as hard and as often as we can! 

Many of our recent exploit fixes targeted meshing methods and dupes but there was also some focus on unintended mechanics like MEKs becoming invulnerable and the pretty damn rude Ice Titan breath going through the mesh much to the dismay of its targets, amongst others. 

Addressing exploits is an ongoing commitment and we look forward to rolling out more fixes in the near future. 
 

- Unattach all grapple hooks when sitting on a chair.
- Disabled climbing pick from attaching to gateframes, charge lanterns, ladders, fence foundations, and railings
- Fixed 2 mesh exploits related to creatures.
- Fixed 2 mesh exploits related to structures.
- Fixed ice titan breath going through the mesh.
- Fixed some cases where building structures did not use a bidrectional trace check 
  (allowing certain structures to be placed deep into the mesh).
- Fixed a case where a collision check on players wasn't correctly applying thereby allowing 
  them to go enter some meshes.
- Fixed an incorrect collision profile which allowed MEKs to collide into and stack on top of one another.
- Enforcer can no longer blink onto/or very very near creatures
- Pipes can no longer be placed on enemy structures
- Fixed an exploit with the snow owl that allowed it to infinitely freeze players
- Added additional server-side protection to Explorer Notes to prevent cheaters from acquiring them with hacks
- Passengers on creatures will now be ejected if the creature is picked up
- Fixed an exploit related to turret damage
- Fixed various duping methods

 

Bugs

What is there to say about bugs? We don’t like them, players don’t like them and they need to be squashed. Along with what we’d consider more run of the mill bug fixes, we’ve addressed some bugs with far reaching implications in regards to MEKS, Managarmrs and Velonasaurs, among other issues. Our players are adept at rooting out bugs and we’ll continue to iterate on your bug reports moving forward.

- Reloading bows from prone TPV no longer gets them stuck
- Firing bows while in orbit camera no longer gets them stuck
- Firing bows while running no longer gets them stuck
- Pipes can no longer be placed on enemy structures
- Fixed the enemy build radius check for the fence support
- Fixed the whip to properly pickup items that are flat on the ground (previously would miss such items)
- Fixed a client crash related to Velonasaurs
- Fixed a client FPS bug related to Velonasaurs
- Fixed a bug which allowed Velonasaurs to shoot endlessly in turret mode without draining stam
- Fixed a collision issue with Velonasaurs
- Fixed a network desync related to Velonasaurs
- Fixed a bug which allowed MEKs to be invulnerable to various types of damage
- Fixed a bug which allowed Managarmrs to use their ice breath underwater/whilst swimming
- Fixed a bug which allowed Velonasaurs to shoot endlessly in turret mode without draining stam
- Fixed two damage miscalculation bugs with the Managarmr pounce and Velonasaur AOE Needle Spin
- Fixed a bug which prevented players entering 'K' cam a second time if they had a weapon/tool in their hand.
- Fixed a bug with the Velonasaur's attacks causing it to incorrectly attack the wrong collision group on 
  Paracers, Diplodocus, Brontos, and more creatures.
- Items placed on top of water pipes will now respect enemy foundations.
- Fixed a bug which would sometimes cause the atmospheric fog to break
- Fixed a bug which would cause the Snow owl heat vision to cause other clients FPS to drop when around
  large bases or a lot of creatures

 

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Quality of Life

As many players will have noticed, we’ve rolled out a significant number of QoL updates recently. The time you spend in-game is valuable to you and is most rewarding when it's not filled with tedium.  We prefer your time be spent on the things you enjoy. This is where Quality of Life comes in! These updates have incorporated changes to stack sizes, inventory slots and other miscellaneous tweaks to help make your time on the ARK feel engaging and rewarding. Please continue to let us know the types of QoL changes you’d like to see as we work together to identify what’s important to players. We understand that the ARK Community is diverse with each group holding a different perspective and all of your feedback is valuable to us.

- Dedicated Storage weight reduced from 50 to 20
- Decreased cook time on the industrial grill by 50%
- Shortened aberration earthquake duration by ~10%
- Shortened Scorched Earth sandstorm duration by ~15%
- Lowered gasoline consumption rate by 50% on the following structures: 
       Chemistry Bench
       Electrical Generator
       Fabricator
       Industrial Cooker
       Industrial Forge
       Industrial Grill
       Industrial Grinder.
- Modified the stack size on various items:
       Veggie Cake 5 -> 10
       Raw Meat 20 -> 40
       Cooked Meat 30 -> 50
       Sap 20 -> 30
       Fiber 200 -> 300
       Thatch 100 -> 200
       Organic Polymer 10 -> 20
       Vacuum Compartment 100 -> 5
       Vacuum Compartment Moonpool 100 -> 5
- Modified the inventory slot size of various items:
       Industrial forge 60 -> 100
       Chemistry Bench 60 -> 100
       Fridge 48 -> 80
       Industrial Cooker 48 -> 80
       Preserving Bin 24 -> 48
       Mortar and Pestle 12 -> 24
       Refining Forge 8 -> 24
- Made it easier to look at items to pick them up
- Improved dropped item placement when dropping items from structures to reduce the chance of them getting stuck
- Added “F” alternate activate option on items to pickup all items in a nearby range
- Improved third person view offset so that it now positions at the average head height rather 
  than the center of the character’s capsule to improve how it feels when the camera is brushed up against 
  a collision in the world

 

Game Balance

Balance is an ongoing process and we’ll continue to monitor our servers to see how players are using creatures and items as we consider making balance changes. Healthy balance is achieved by a constant process of small nudges, changes, and tweaks in order to improve the entire ecosystem as it is maintained and honed in response to the needs of the player-base.


It’s no secret the Managarmr and Velonasaur have held the top position in the food chain to dominate the meta since the launch of Extinction.

The Managarmr intrinsically holds loads of utility and that has made it challenging to balance whilst retaining that utility that helps make it the popular dino it is. Our intention was never to make Manas capable of remaining constantly airborne. Granted, its place as the top player killer was partially due to some bugs/unintended mechanics which we also addressed.

Velonasaurs were outputting extremely high DPS. Similar to the Managarmr, bugs are responsible in part for this (we see you, no stamina drain in turret mode and an unexpected scaling to the right click +c attack!). Velos are primarily intended to help in base defenses but they were far stronger in the meta than intended.

That said, our statistics show they’re still two of the most popular creatures which is interesting! 


Other balance changes include some steps towards addressing the cliff platform meta, giving Brontos some love, smacking Plant Z a little and tweaking enforcers up after some functional changes we made in order to mitigate a meshing exploit left them looking a little sad. 
 

- Enforcer blink recharge cooldown reduced from 20 seconds to 7 seconds
- Enforcer blink range extended from 4000 units to 5000 units
- Enforcer can no longer blink onto/or very near creatures
- Velonasaurs will now consume stamina whilst in AI-turret mode
- Reduced Velonasaur recovery time from 4 seconds to 1 second
- Managarmr limited to 3 jumps, 6 strafes, and 1 dash before it has to land
- Reduced Managarmr ice-breath exponential damage scaling by approximately 20%
- Reduced stun duration on Jellyfish and Eels by 20%
       Wild eels 7 -> 5.6
       Tamed eels 1.5 -> 1.2
       Cnidaria 4 -> 3.2
- Reduced Plant Z flash range by 50%
- Plant Z Grenades weight reduced from 10 to 5
- Metal Cliff Platforms no longer take 50% less damage from explosive damage
- Bronto should no longer be affected by knockback
- MEK pistol Damage reduced by 10%
- Fixed the enemy build radius check for the fence support

 

Desktop Screenshot 2020.01.07 - 01.00.04.88.jpg

 

Content

The whole team has a lot of fun conceptualizing and implementing events and event-related content for our community to enjoy. The end of 2019 saw a return of our Turkey Trial Event and  365,085 player deaths from a well-known culprit. Shortly after, we released Winter Wonderland and introduced the adorably dorky chibi pets. Last year you indicated that events were important and listed several things you’d like to see. Because of this, we took some time to invest in events and make them more memorable for you.  We get a kick out of the pics and art you folks share of your events skins and chibi collections, thank you for including us in your holiday adventures! 

 

As always, keep your feedback coming, whether we are interacting directly or reading and observing, we pay attention to, and value, your communication with us. 
 


 

EVO Event

Ark_Evolution_Event_minimized.thumb.png.2d282a169df9bbbd0ba09a90303a7cec.png

Survivors on all platforms will be receiving a special Evolution Event perk this weekend! It will be active from Friday the 17th of Jan at 1 PM EST until Monday the 20th of Jan at 3 PM EST. All Official Servers across each platform will be undergoing this evolutionary change which includes:

  • 2x Harvesting Rates
  • 2x Taming Rates
  • 2x EXP Rates

That wraps up this Community Crunch, our roundup of what we’ve been up to lately and a little insight into our process. For a more in-depth look at all of our recent patches, you can view full notes here:

PC Patch Notes

XBOX Patch Notes

PS4 Patch Notes

Until next time!

Twitter: twitter.com/survivetheark
Facebook: facebook.com/survivetheark
Reddit: reddit.com/r/playark
Instagram: instagram.com/survivetheark
Twitch: twitch.tv/survivetheark
Steam: steamcommunity.com/app/346110
Youtube: youtube.com/survivetheark


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so great stuff breaking down the wins? but where is the sorry we made servers unplayable over the weekend? connection issues all day saturday for majority of people, sorry the console version received two updates, one on a friday night with zero chance to fix till monday, and one hours ago you only just update everyone on what's in it? sorry for lack of acknowledgement anywhere on social media until yesterday.

here's some constructive ideas!
In future no more updates on fridays when you don't have the staff in on weekends to fix the mess you keep putting out?

create a auto notice on the ark main menu that can easily be updated to let people know whats happening instead of everyone stalking everywhere on social media.

You have beta branches for dlc but where is the beta branches testing all this? i can count 2 times this year you actually used test live servers yet is a common practice with far smaller companies and games, us eteh 16 million players to your advantage to help find these issue before once again you push them to live

Dev streams highlighting good stuff you added that isn't paid dlc, even bug fixes or demonstrations about how op the old meta has been for creatures? show people so they understand nerfs and buffs instead of only patch notes, something needs to spark this community because right now it's pretty lifeless

Hire a additional social media manager, the game has 16 million players it should have a whole team dedicated to collating feedback spreading positive vibes and more instead of only one person

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4 minutes ago, jammyjade said:

so great stuff breaking down the wins? but where is the sorry we made servers unplayable over the weekend? connection issues all day saturday for majority of people, sorry the console version received two updates, one on a friday night with zero chance to fix till monday, and one hours ago you only just update everyone on what's in it? sorry for lack of acknowledgement anywhere on social media until yesterday.

here's some constructive ideas!
In future no more updates on fridays when you don't have the staff in on weekends to fix the mess you keep putting out?

create a auto notice on the ark main menu that can easily be updated to let people know whats happening instead of everyone stalking everywhere on social media.

You have beta branches for dlc but where is the beta branches testing all this? i can count 2 times this year you actually used test live servers yet is a common practice with far smaller companies and games, us eteh 16 million players to your advantage to help find these issue before once again you push them to live

Dev streams highlighting good stuff you added that isn't paid dlc, even bug fixes or demonstrations about how op the old meta has been for creatures? show people so they understand nerfs and buffs instead of only patch notes, something needs to spark this community because right now it's pretty lifeless

Hire a additional social media manager, the game has 16 million players it should have a whole team dedicated to collating feedback spreading positive vibes and more instead of only one person

Good feedback.  There is some internal discussion on how to communicate service updates/outages in the future but this (posts like these) are a good step in terms of communication.

 

As to the other points, the most I can do is voice this feedback.  The team has used betas but typically not for DLC content.

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Genesis release date please!

Also I know that its a sales trick to make some new dinos crazy OP at the release of a new dlc. Everyone wants the best dinos right. And some will buy the new dlc for that alone. But please dont nerf them to oblivion when its time for a new dlc. The managarmr needs a buff.

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So you Tell the community that you are releasing a new DLC 4 months before it comes out. Ok whatever maybe a bit too early to tell us but whatever. Then you Delay the DLC a month before it comes out, Alright thats a little ridiculous but at least they are making sure it is going to be good. Then you drag your community out even FURTHER to when you dont tell us the official release date and its been half way through the month. Doing an amazing job guys, maybe another valguero where you just release it when you feel like it without telling your community 

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9 minutes ago, BertNoobians said:

i rather see genesis delayed 2 months then they release it to early with a crapton of bugs

Already delayed it for 1 month mine aswell make it 2 lul.

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Just now, PerseusArkouda said:

Just a suggestion. Drop the price of the game to attract more people. Genesis income will probably compensate the price reduction. We need more people to join in.

All they care about is the money, But yes that would be a good idea.

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6 minutes ago, Allanballan said:

Genesis release date please!

Also I know that its a sales trick to make some new dinos crazy OP at the release of a new dlc. Everyone wants the best dinos right. And some will buy the new dlc for that alone. But please dont nerf them to oblivion when its time for a new dlc. The managarmr needs a buff.

 Yes indeed we need a release date. Dont want to be toxic or anything but if you think the mana needs a buff you are out of your damn mind. They are almost as OP as they were the first time they came out if you get good stats. They did something right when they nerfed it, it is actually playable to use something other then a mana. 

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