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Best order to play maps and DLCs?


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Best order to play maps and DLCs?

Hi all!

I have started playing Ark a couple of months ago, so far exclusively in single player and I am loving it. I am playing on the Epic Games version and have all the DLCs as well. I am positively surprised by all the variety of  unique creatures and engrams that each map has to offer!
I want to follow the canonical story of the game in the regular map order, however I also see that there are 4 non canonical maps that are not directly connected to the story, still I would love to raid them in between in order to get some of their unique features and dinos.
Which is, in your opinion, the best order and timing to include these non canonical maps in the story play-through? I have looked up on the internet however most post are two years old and I could not get a clear picture.

Thank you very much!

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Well, it really depends on what your goal is. You said you want to follow the story game in the regular map order,  so I would recommend doing that first until you get past scorched Earth, at least. Center is just a bigger, "better' version of the Island, so it doesn't really add that much in terms of creatures. It is mostly environmental aesthetic differences, easier resources, etc. The custom maps in general tend to be a bit easier, including easier to get higher level tames. The regular maps to me seem to have far more low level creatures you gotta kill/wipe out to get good ones to spawn. 

 

I would definitely start with island, since it will give you the introduction to the story, quite a bit of content, and give you the basics of the game.  I'd skip the center, since it is basically just a bigger, improved version of the Island in terms of creatures.  Crystal Islands has some cool stuff you can bring over to Scorched Earth that will be useful, like the passive tame crystal wyverns.  An alternative is Ragnarok, which is a good generalist map.  Has stuff from Island, Scorched Earht. Has Wyverns, like Scorched Earth, but is a way easier map than Scorched Earth. Valguero is okay, but it really only has 1 unique creature on it.  Like the center, Val seems kinda skippable to me unless you really want Deinonychus. The other stuff you can get on the paid DLC. 

Aberration is quite a bit harder than the other maps, so be careful with that one. It's a great map, though. Very fun, but needs a bit more experience. Extinction after that, then Genesis. 

Depends really on if you want to fully play through and "complete" each DLC before moving on the next if that is your goal.  That might take a while, so if you are bored, try out the custom maps for a bit.  

 

TLDR: Island, Scorched Earth --mabye Crystal Islands or Ragnarok--Aberration, Extinction, Genesis. 

 

It is totally arbitrary though.  I prefer the paid DLC maps to the custom DLCs. 

 

Edited by Zeldei
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If you want high-levels, they're a dime a dozen on the non-story maps. I made a separate character for them, but if you want to play them with your main one, Ragnarok is a good place. The blue obelisk is super close to some of the spawn points. In terms of what's there, The Center has lots of unique biomes and places, but no new creatures or resources.

Valguero is a nice map, it has some really beautiful places, and like Ragnarok it has some Scorched Earth stuff, but not as much as Rag itself. Also has a huge cave system with mushroom forests with Aberration creatures and a radioactive area that you need a special suit to survive in, take that, add a cool glowy blue area, make the surface, and the obelisks deadly and hard to reach, and you've got Aberration.

Now, I actually have played around on Aberration with a minor character who will just be deleted when my main story map character gets there, and it is awesome. Bulbdogs are so cute, and it's amazing how all the creatures glow. They actually stay "glowy" if you're on another map! Just a lot of raptors, ravagers, and carnos. If only my minor character could make bolas...

Crystal Isles is very beautiful, not in a majestic way, like Ragnarok or Valguero, but just really nice looking. Crystal everywhere! And easy to tame wyverns, that are faster than regular ones. I wonder if they could be used to a steal a regular wyvern egg. Also Aberration creatures that aren't underground.

So that's my take on the non-stories, and Aberration. Also, one last thing! I feel bad for Scorched Earth. It was released before the official release of ark itself, during early access. It was promised plenty of new creatures, and while The Island got quite a few, it got the phoenix and only that, which thanks to Genesis Part One, is just a flying magmasaur. Ragnarok has all the others. It only has one guardian and no overseer. Its only function is story progression.

Edited by DodoRaptor
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Island

Play this until you are ready to start looking for boss dino's. Once you are, make Valguero your hunting map. Better levels so you can find good dino's to start your breed line.

I opted for Valguero over Ragnarok to get you a shot at the Deino (Dragon Killer) and save high level Wyvern egg hunting until you're at SE. 

After you beat the Island, go to SE. Once you are ready for high level Wyvern egg hunting, use Ragnarok to enhance your search. I'd recommend using Wyvern's in the boss fight to switch it up. 

Next is Ab. The most unique map. Play that with your character but leave all your dino's stored until Extinction.

After Ab, play Extinction. Once you are ready to try red drops incorporate in the Center for the best Giga hunting ground.

After Extinction you start up on Genesis. When you're ready for Moeder go back to Rag to hunt Tuso's and start that line. 

 

I think that's how I'd pair the canonical and non-canonical maps. 

(Console player so no Crystal Isles yet so not sure if or where to pair that).

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8 hours ago, MuchiMuchiBox said:

Hi Zeldei!

Thank you so much for your answer! I will follow your advice. I sometimes struggle to get high lv dinos (I am playing on diff 1 with MAX DIFF on) on Island.. going to the Center might be better in your opinion? 

The custom maps tend to have higher ones, ya. I would personally skip Center, though. But I may be biased, since I have played it so many times I am bored of it. It's basically just a bigger island.  Some people did make good points above. Ragnarok is a good "all around map" for high level, varied creatures, varied environments, etc. You  might like that as a custom map default choice.  But try em all out and see what one you like best. 

Edited by Zeldei
Adding a comment about Ragnarok.
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I started out like you, but changed plans along the way. If by finishing the Island you mean beating the alpha tek cave (which also means having to defeat all the alpha guardians which drop trophies that unlock the tek cave), and depending on how much you play, there's a real chance of running out of content while still having miles to go on those stones. I had played on the Island for a year, and had beaten up to and including alpha monkey. Had no dinos that I dared to take With me to the dragon boss, so I decided to start breeding therizinos. But after a while I just got tired of the Island, so I got to the point of only having gamma/beta/alpha dragon and tek Cave left to Complete the map. That was a year ago, and I still have that Ahead of me. I ended up making major bases on every map, and started breeding dinos big time. I have 100 therizino females on one map, 100 rex females on another map, and am breeding them on cooldown. I have 20 dmg muts and 5 Health muts on my rexes now, about 5 of each on therizinos. I did the gamma tek Cave last week. I will be doing alpha tek Cave without a dino army With just a ranged weapon when the time comes.

 

So I Guess my point is, you have a good starting point, I think a lot of People start there, but don't feel like a cheater if you want a Snow Owl and find yourself suddenly going on an adventure to Extinction. That was my first non-Island experience, and soon after I had made huuuge bases on three other maps. I am now working a little bit on everything. I will do the bosses in order, but already started breeding megalosauruses for Rockwell, and have completed almost enough missions to do gamma Master Controller on Genesis. I can do Manticore now, I just am not in a rush atm. I'm mostly excited for when I'm taking on the King Titan on extinction, that seems to be the most epic fight in this game, even after Genesis.

 

Also btw, I play on a private cluster With altered rates, but we don't use mods. Difficulty is 6.something, I don't remember, but max dino Level in the Wild is 202. In the tek Cave they can be up to 606. I like the vanilla experience With respects to most Things other than the xp/gather rates. We have 2x gather, 10x mature. So if you play on other settings that might also affect how your plan plays out. If you are playing With official settings, what I said counts even more, you will spend a LOT of time before you are ready for the end-game stuff.

Edit: I'm on a work PC and I don't know why it keeps making certain Words have a Capital first letter. How annoying!

Edited by Fresiki
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Really depends on the experience you want. Generally the player made maps that turned into DLC: Centre, Rag, Valguero, CI are new player friendly as they give you all of the games dinos without the environmental dangers that the official DLC maps have. The boss fights on those DLC maps are also a joke and allow you to unlock many high end engrams with fresh tamed trash dinos whereas they would have taken much longer to unlock on an official DLC map. I personally don't like them as they make the game trivial but Rag has been the most popular map for a long time so there is appetite for that gameplay.

I'm sure opinions on how to play a story mode game will differ too. I have started such a play through a few weeks ago and my intentions are;

- Island until alpha ascension

-Transfer naked to SE and clear that map

-Transfer naked to Abb, clear that map

- Transfer naked Ext, clear that map

- Transfer naked genesis, clear that map

I think that's the purest story mode you can have and it will create thousands of hours of gameplay too but that's my opinion and there are obviously many ways to play a sandbox game. You could play a no flyer game with my gamestyle and you would take a very long time to get through the game though it would be quite satisfying to do so.

Edited by Cobretti
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54 minutes ago, Cobretti said:

Really depends on the experience you want. Generally the player made maps that turned into DLC: Centre, Rag, Valguero, CI are new player friendly as they give you all of the games dinos without the environmental dangers that the official DLC maps have. The boss fights on those DLC maps are also a joke and allow you to unlock many high end engrams with fresh tamed trash dinos whereas they would have taken much longer to unlock on an official DLC map. I personally don't like them as they make the game trivial but Rag has been the most popular map for a long time so there is appetite for that gameplay.

I'm sure opinions on how to play a story mode game will differ too. I have started such a play through a few weeks ago and my intentions are;

- Island until alpha ascension

-Transfer naked to SE and clear that map

-Transfer naked to Abb, clear that map

- Transfer naked Ext, clear that map

- Transfer naked genesis, clear that map

I think that's the purest story mode you can have and it will create thousands of hours of gameplay too but that's my opinion and there are obviously many ways to play a sandbox game. You could play a no flyer game with my gamestyle and you would take a very long time to get through the game though it would be quite satisfying to do so.

Personally I'm gonna do it kinda like you, but a bit different. Here are my "rules."

1. Beating a map for me means beating its final boss. Someday I hope to have done them all on alpha, but to move to the next map, gamma or beta is acceptable.

2. Transfers allowed. I'll be kind of liberal with them. I think that I've earned them if I made it to any map besides The Island. Obviously, the best, most perfect story mode would be leaving behind everything, but having a jerboa on The Island is something I can't resist.

3. I won't touch a map until I beat its predecessor. Its really hard because of how cool some dinos are, gachas are probably my main goal to someday tame.

4. Separate character for non-stories. Already mentioned that elsewhere here. On Ragnarok I could probably go tame up a pair of boss level rexes with about twenty minutes of actually searching. On The Island a 130 rex is awesome, on The Center it's kind of bad when a 150 is so easy. 

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