# Breeding Needs to Change

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I did some math for ark breeding in preparation for this post, because I'm aware how controversial it will be. In essence I asked the question "how many hours are required to breed competitively for endgame stats?", and put those hours next to the hours required to complete the other content in the game. My conclusion was that it took too many hours (thousands) to breed for endgame stats, while the game had nowhere near as many hours in other forms of content. The lion's share of the game's content should not be an RNG AFK experience, nor should the reward be so substantial that it makes people want to spend these hours to play alongside others. Breeding needs to be toned down in both value (possibly not much to be gained beyond consolidating parent stats) or in time expended for mutation (raise mutation rates by a massive margin...not my preferred solution). Below is the math and assumptions made for those interested:

I used an "apex" rex breeding setup with 50 clean females on official rates. I used the conservative mutation rate of 7.31% chance for a single mutation (knowing that the rate is halved once the male has 20/20 mutations), and found that you need 95.6 eggs per mutation in the given stat (1/7) you wish to mutate for. This meant that for each creature, you needed about 44 hours to get an egg with the right mutation inside. Once I added the rex mating interval, rex gestation and raising time, it took about 131.56 hours per mutated rex in the correct stat. Multiply by the number of desired mutations in a stat (let's say we want 200 points in melee and start with 40 wild points in melee, so 80 mutations), and we have over 10k hours to get a 200 melee rex.

Now my math may be mistaken, but I attempted to keep the hours as conservative (lowest values) as I could to highlight that the average times for these things border on absurd. Ark 1 is not going to be able to address this, and I have no interest in seeing people lose their hard work (the math shows pretty clearly how long it took). However, Ark 2 really needs to address this as a serious problem in design that needs correction...keeping this system in a future game would, in my opinion, be a mistake.

Edited by Shifter6
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58 minutes ago, Shifter6 said:

I did some math for ark breeding in preparation for this post, because I'm aware how controversial it will be. In essence I asked the question "how many hours are required to breed competitively for endgame stats?", and put those hours next to the hours required to complete the other content in the game. My conclusion was that it took too many hours (thousands) to breed for endgame stats, while the game had nowhere near as many hours in other forms of content. The lion's share of the game's content should not be an RNG AFK experience, nor should the reward be so substantial that it makes people want to spend these hours to play alongside others. Breeding needs to be toned down in both value (probably not much gained beyond consolidating parent stats) or in time expended for mutation (raise mutation rates by a massive margin...not my preferred solution). Below is the math and assumptions made for those interested:

I used an "apex" rex breeding setup with 50 clean females on official rates. I used the conservative mutation rate of 7.31% chance for a single mutation (knowing that the rate is halved once the male has 20/20 mutations), and found that you need 95.6 eggs per mutation in the given stat (1/7) you wish to mutate for. This meant that for each creature, you needed about 44 hours to get an egg with the right mutation inside. Once I added the rex mating interval, rex gestation and raising time, it took about 131.56 hours per mutated rex in the correct stat. Multiply by the number of desired mutations in a stat (let's say we want 200 points in melee and start with 40 wild points in melee, so 80 mutations), and we have over 10k hours to get a 200 melee rex.

Now my math may be mistaken, but I attempted to keep the hours as conservative (lowest values) as I could to highlight that the average times for these things border on absurd. Ark 1 is not going to be able to address this, and I have no interest in seeing people lose their hard work (the math shows pretty clearly how long it took). However, Ark 2 really needs to address this as a serious problem in design that needs correction...keeping this system in a future game would, in my opinion, be a mistake.

Your numbers might be right.  Regardless of that, you are saying that ARK breeding needs an overhaul in the 11th hour of the game's development and lifespan because it takes too long to get 200 (two hundred) points in a desired stat.  Are you speaking with a sense of hyperbole to get a point across, or is that what you want out of the game of ARK?

What is necessary?

What is "endgame?"

What is overkill?

Who are you competing against?  Trying to get a self-tamed/bred/owned Rex line that's better than @BertNoobians' line so you can "compete" with a "superior" product, even though one is a Rex that bites hard and the other is a Rex that bites hard?

200 pt melee Rexs.  And here we all were killing all land-based Bossfights with Rexs in the 50s (birth melee) like they were a joke!  We could've been done with those bossfights 4 times faster!  All that extra time, we'd have some kind of a profit-margin of time spent, displayed along the X axe-icks.

All bad Office jokes aside, why?

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By no means do I want to see any changes to Ark 1 made in response to my findings. It's simply a look at a flawed system that stacks competitive advantage upon people (but realistically it's tribes that probably share the bulk of the extreme time expenditures) who devote unrealistic time into the game's breeding system. Ark 2 should not have a system that works this way, and should instead follow a different path. I totally agree that not only is it pointless to waste development energy on "fixing" Ark 1 breeding, but it would steal what could be easily thousands of hours of breeding from players that doesn't need to be stolen. I am simply advocating for Ark 2 to do away with this system for the future, and keep things more in line with inheriting the "best" parent stats or have stricter caps on mutations.

TLDR: This math is not meant to conclude that anything should change in Ark 1. Ark 2 however should do away with this system in a way that advantage is minimized, such that people don't feel obligated to spend thousands of hours breeding to get (upwards of) 4x what is normally found from the wild.

Edited by Shifter6
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few months ago i mentioned i was against x2 and x3 because we will mutate dinos to fast. we will go sooner to a point that the game needs to be reset.
you want that progress to take as long as possible. years.
luckily we have many different servers with different settings and so if you want to breed quick you can join a 100x server if you like. you will be burned out on the game must faster though.

the bigger problem right now with breeding is that people think they need 500 dinos to mutate a line. breeder A does a good job with 100 females, but is threatened to be passed by a new breeder B that uses 400 dinos. the only solution for breeder A to keep up is to also have 400 dinos. and then this with many lines and more breeders and bam, all servers lag like hell now.

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22 hours ago, TheDonn said:

Your numbers might be right.  Regardless of that, you are saying that ARK breeding needs an overhaul in the 11th hour of the game's development and lifespan because it takes too long to get 200 (two hundred) points in a desired stat.  Are you speaking with a sense of hyperbole to get a point across, or is that what you want out of the game of ARK?

What is necessary?

What is "endgame?"

What is overkill?

Who are you competing against?  Trying to get a self-tamed/bred/owned Rex line that's better than @BertNoobians' line so you can "compete" with a "superior" product, even though one is a Rex that bites hard and the other is a Rex that bites hard?

200 pt melee Rexs.  And here we all were killing all land-based Bossfights with Rexs in the 50s (birth melee) like they were a joke!  We could've been done with those bossfights 4 times faster!  All that extra time, we'd have some kind of a profit-margin of time spent, displayed along the X axe-icks.

All bad Office jokes aside, why?

Breeding isn't just for boss dinos, and in many cases in pvp your lines are the deciding factor in successfully defending your base or failing to do so. It's not just a difference of two rexes that "bite hard" its the difference between, your giga raging or your enemy's giga raging. Your velos deterring a push or being shredded by an incoming rush. A few more mutations into melee is the difference between your bloodstalkers being dangerous and being lethal.

Breeding that doesn't requires multiple servers worth of tames and round the clock work to be able to make progress on competitive lines is what the game need to both reduce reliance on the RMT market to get lines, and give new groups the chance to establish themselves before being stomped out.

There are some good changes coming up with the incubator for example. But breeding shouldn't be a process that can take weeks to even make a single step forward when RNG doesn't go your way.

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3 hours ago, carbonark said:

Breeding isn't just for boss dinos, and in many cases in pvp your lines are the deciding factor in successfully defending your base or failing to do so. It's not just a difference of two rexes that "bite hard" its the difference between, your giga raging or your enemy's giga raging. Your velos deterring a push or being shredded by an incoming rush. A few more mutations into melee is the difference between your bloodstalkers being dangerous and being lethal.

Breeding that doesn't requires multiple servers worth of tames and round the clock work to be able to make progress on competitive lines is what the game need to both reduce reliance on the RMT market to get lines, and give new groups the chance to establish themselves before being stomped out.

There are some good changes coming up with the incubator for example. But breeding shouldn't be a process that can take weeks to even make a single step forward when RNG doesn't go your way.

This is my precise point, and I know Ark 1 won't get the large scale change to this system it needs, but I hope Ark 2 sees the change you and I want...which is to not have this extreme time commitment to this process.

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2 hours ago, Shifter6 said:

This is my precise point, and I know Ark 1 won't get the large scale change to this system it needs, but I hope Ark 2 sees the change you and I want...which is to not have this extreme time commitment to this process.

Most people outside of megatribe leadership and anyone selling lines would love that change as well. Unfortunately there's also a quite a few players who don't have the experience with breeding necessary to realize the both the difference properly bred lines can make, and the commitment it takes to get there.

The only people that benefit from the system as it stands are the tribes who have top lines already and the breeders that sold them those lines.

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11 hours ago, carbonark said:

Breeding isn't just for boss dinos, and in many cases in pvp your lines are the deciding factor in successfully defending your base or failing to do so. It's not just a difference of two rexes that "bite hard" its the difference between, your giga raging or your enemy's giga raging. Your velos deterring a push or being shredded by an incoming rush. A few more mutations into melee is the difference between your bloodstalkers being dangerous and being lethal.

Breeding that doesn't requires multiple servers worth of tames and round the clock work to be able to make progress on competitive lines is what the game need to both reduce reliance on the RMT market to get lines, and give new groups the chance to establish themselves before being stomped out.

If you are playing PvP, considering my personal experience playing (and echoed through everyone I know that has played), having a good mutated line means absolutely, totally, wholly, nothing to your success or failure in PvP.  Nothing at all.  This isn't a honorable skirmish fought in the plains between assembled Dino armies, this is a get-offlined-world where either you or your opponent comes with an absolutely unbeatably overwhelming force and stomps your entire base into the dirt with little to no effort.  It might take some TIME, but server-wiping Megatribes have time.  So 2 Rexes that bite hard (or harder), who gives a damn?  You won't be online for your turrets getting soaked and your base getting blown into.  Or if you are, you might get aimbot-tranqed and caged.

It doesn't help you.  Breeding is fun, no question there!  But using a non-typical PvP skirmish as support for why change needs to happen in ARK 2?  It kinda falls apart there.  I am admittedly very openly bad at PvP.  But when raiding or being raided, I didn't feel there was never a question about how it was gonna go from the outset.  All the times I was raided or raiding, it was never a "close call."  That's my experience, again, echoed by most people I've ever talked to about PvP and including my own.

7 hours ago, Shifter6 said:

This is my precise point, and I know Ark 1 won't get the large scale change to this system it needs, but I hope Ark 2 sees the change you and I want...which is to not have this extreme time commitment to this process.

I'll admit that ARK takes it a bit far sometimes, especially with breeding.  But hoping for some change that seems like it willw just turn the way the game is played on its head...  I don't know.  The problem wouldn't go away, I think it would be even worse for newer players!  It's not like anyone would ever be SATISFIED with how a line sat until it was, coding-wise, reset to the max stat value of 255.  Just like @BertNoobians said, mutations will occur faster if time commitment is taken away, and a cap will be hit.  Then, starting and mid-level players will have wholeheartedly ZERO chance of victory against even upper-middle players with middling mutation breed-lines...  If top-end tribes cap out at 100+ true mutations (~255 pts in stats), and upper-middle people have ~30 true mutations (talking 80 pts in HP or melee), it will be really difficult for starting or middle level tribes with wild tames or unmutated bred lines to get a foothold.  They will get stomped into the dirt with no effort.

I dunno.  It's the way I feel about it.  I get that you and carbonark feel it should be different, just offering my view on how the current system will inform ARK 2, I think.

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8 hours ago, TheDonn said:

If you are playing PvP, considering my personal experience playing (and echoed through everyone I know that has played), having a good mutated line means absolutely, totally, wholly, nothing to your success or failure in PvP.  Nothing at all.  This isn't a honorable skirmish fought in the plains between assembled Dino armies, this is a get-offlined-world where either you or your opponent comes with an absolutely unbeatably overwhelming force and stomps your entire base into the dirt with little to no effort.  It might take some TIME, but server-wiping Megatribes have time.  So 2 Rexes that bite hard (or harder), who gives a damn?  You won't be online for your turrets getting soaked and your base getting blown into.  Or if you are, you might get aimbot-tranqed and caged.

I'm not talking about running solo or with a few friends in on 1x officials. In those cases you shouldn't even bother breeding at all. But if you have a group of people on 1x or smalls and have the time to attempt to build up then your lines are absolutely vital.

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2 hours ago, carbonark said:

I'm not talking about running solo or with a few friends in on 1x officials. In those cases you shouldn't even bother breeding at all. But if you have a group of people on 1x or smalls and have the time to attempt to build up then your lines are absolutely vital.

From my experience on smalls, naah.  It's not vital.  It'll help maybe with a few fights here and there, but again, those are just the ones where you have bred dinos and the other person doesn't, and they get rolled over with no effort!  When it comes to the server getting wiped by an invading tribe or a big tribe just out for some profit, naah.  It's over, might as well transfer off server and move on.  Maybe if you can get a few cryo'ed dinos to upload, you can have a better start on a new server.  But I was on Island 15 smalls for several months and for that time we couldn't progress far at all before getting wiped by this one tribe.  I took a break, came back, and tried to build up, that same tribe had the server locked down and as a starting level player, it was over and I just transferred off.

If I tried to build up enough to start taming and breeding there, I'd get spotted and wiped with no effort.  I was then solo, so that in and of itself is terrible no matter where you try to build up, but still, I hope my point is clear.

I guess, I don't see how it helps you past more efficient farming in most cases on PvP if you aren't in a Megatribe and therefore capable of shrugging off a whole server of would-be aggressors.  If you are on smalls with a tribe of 6, fighting a tribe of 6, I think small mistakes and actual shooter-game skill comes into play more than bred dinos do!  The survivor that can snipe through the lag, get lucky and get a bola off, get the angle right and get a pick, etc, and disable the enemy survivor puts the advantage of bred dinos (the best benefit is when they are ridden) a lot further down the list.

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2 hours ago, TheDonn said:

From my experience on smalls, naah.  It's not vital.  It'll help maybe with a few fights here and there, but again, those are just the ones where you have bred dinos and the other person doesn't, and they get rolled over with no effort!  When it comes to the server getting wiped by an invading tribe or a big tribe just out for some profit, naah.  It's over, might as well transfer off server and move on.  Maybe if you can get a few cryo'ed dinos to upload, you can have a better start on a new server.  But I was on Island 15 smalls for several months and for that time we couldn't progress far at all before getting wiped by this one tribe.  I took a break, came back, and tried to build up, that same tribe had the server locked down and as a starting level player, it was over and I just transferred off.

If I tried to build up enough to start taming and breeding there, I'd get spotted and wiped with no effort.  I was then solo, so that in and of itself is terrible no matter where you try to build up, but still, I hope my point is clear.

I guess, I don't see how it helps you past more efficient farming in most cases on PvP if you aren't in a Megatribe and therefore capable of shrugging off a whole server of would-be aggressors.  If you are on smalls with a tribe of 6, fighting a tribe of 6, I think small mistakes and actual shooter-game skill comes into play more than bred dinos do!  The survivor that can snipe through the lag, get lucky and get a bola off, get the angle right and get a pick, etc, and disable the enemy survivor puts the advantage of bred dinos (the best benefit is when they are ridden) a lot further down the list.

I would say that bred dinos make a major difference in amounts of damage that could be soaked, the speed you get killed by a single mounted tame, etc...but really the issue is a combined issue of 1.) the time needed to breed [which is insane] and 2.) the benefit of devoting that time (or having the product stolen via raid/bought/traded) compared to other players. Ark 2 would need to hardcap the benefit as well as the time needed imo to make the system more accessible without making it unfair. 250 is too high, probably anything over the original intended cap of 20 is too high, and I honestly wonder if the system should grant stat increases at all (instead you focus breeding to have disposable/replacable tames with the best wild stats you could tame, and maybe color mutants). You're totally right that making it easier is a massive mistake, since new players would go from low to no odds of success. But by lowering the benefits as well the maximum potential for a tame is more beatable and reasonable without using the breeding system (although it will give you an advantage...even if mutation breeding was totally removed since consolidating and imprinting almost always grants better creatures than fresh tames).

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9 hours ago, Shifter6 said:

I would say that bred dinos make a major difference in amounts of damage that could be soaked, the speed you get killed by a single mounted tame, etc...but really the issue is a combined issue of 1.) the time needed to breed [which is insane] and 2.) the benefit of devoting that time (or having the product stolen via raid/bought/traded) compared to other players. Ark 2 would need to hardcap the benefit as well as the time needed imo to make the system more accessible without making it unfair. 250 is too high, probably anything over the original intended cap of 20 is too high, and I honestly wonder if the system should grant stat increases at all (instead you focus breeding to have disposable/replacable tames with the best wild stats you could tame, and maybe color mutants). You're totally right that making it easier is a massive mistake, since new players would go from low to no odds of success. But by lowering the benefits as well the maximum potential for a tame is more beatable and reasonable without using the breeding system (although it will give you an advantage...even if mutation breeding was totally removed since consolidating and imprinting almost always grants better creatures than fresh tames).

If ARK 2 has a tamable dino plan anything close to what ARK has (something akin to Pigs or Owls), it'll be like ARK is now.  Being able to heal up your raid dinos trivializes soaking and raiding, further cementing the offensive stance at its already massive advantage over defense.  But that's another discussion, I think!

Your #2 is really the biggest endorsement to divorce PvP entirely and/or look for a different game.  Cryopods are a free-for-all, and you are dead-correct:  RMT sales DO happen.  Being so easy to raid and be raided means that nearly literally nothing is safe, and yes, the long intervals of Official breeding even on Smalls ensures that your bred lines will die just as easily when you are offlined and all your stuff is eaten by a 1500% melee Giga, because you can't get wiped in a 4-5 day interval and then (even with a team of 6) build back up and have the time to tame, aggregate stats, and start mutating dinos.

The idea of lowering the benefit of breeding, yeah...  That might work.  The cap would have to be hard-coded and not able to be circumvented, unlike the current method.  You just get a clean male or female and you can mutate the partner's stats even if they are at 80000/40 combined from pat/mat inheritance.  I do know now that the breeding and inheritance system is not coded smart enough to allow this.  It is pretty obvious that the mutation counter is just a number in the dino blueprint as written by the game, and does restrict mutation generation from THAT PARTICULAR dino character, but doesn't bind its stats to not be mutated by the partner.  The way the dinos are coded would have to be fundamentally increased in complexity, which wouldn't be impossible, but miiiiiight be unlikely (regarding my idea only).

Actually, thinking about it, the breeding stat-system already checks both partners stats and its mutation values BEFORE the mutation RNG is ran.  The breeding system of course parses both sets of data from both dino characters when determining the babies' stats, so it could be rewritten to lock out mutations if EITHER of the parents are above 40/40 total.   It would then route the calculation of the baby to bypass the mutation RNG script.

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7 hours ago, TheDonn said:

If ARK 2 has a tamable dino plan anything close to what ARK has (something akin to Pigs or Owls), it'll be like ARK is now.  Being able to heal up your raid dinos trivializes soaking and raiding, further cementing the offensive stance at its already massive advantage over defense.  But that's another discussion, I think!

Your #2 is really the biggest endorsement to divorce PvP entirely and/or look for a different game.  Cryopods are a free-for-all, and you are dead-correct:  RMT sales DO happen.  Being so easy to raid and be raided means that nearly literally nothing is safe, and yes, the long intervals of Official breeding even on Smalls ensures that your bred lines will die just as easily when you are offlined and all your stuff is eaten by a 1500% melee Giga, because you can't get wiped in a 4-5 day interval and then (even with a team of 6) build back up and have the time to tame, aggregate stats, and start mutating dinos.

The idea of lowering the benefit of breeding, yeah...  That might work.  The cap would have to be hard-coded and not able to be circumvented, unlike the current method.  You just get a clean male or female and you can mutate the partner's stats even if they are at 80000/40 combined from pat/mat inheritance.  I do know now that the breeding and inheritance system is not coded smart enough to allow this.  It is pretty obvious that the mutation counter is just a number in the dino blueprint as written by the game, and does restrict mutation generation from THAT PARTICULAR dino character, but doesn't bind its stats to not be mutated by the partner.  The way the dinos are coded would have to be fundamentally increased in complexity, which wouldn't be impossible, but miiiiiight be unlikely (regarding my idea only).

Actually, thinking about it, the breeding stat-system already checks both partners stats and its mutation values BEFORE the mutation RNG is ran.  The breeding system of course parses both sets of data from both dino characters when determining the babies' stats, so it could be rewritten to lock out mutations if EITHER of the parents are above 40/40 total.   It would then route the calculation of the baby to bypass the mutation RNG script.

Agree that there are many other balance questions intertwined with this one, and I am in complete agreement (wish there was a like button for replies) with the suggestion you have. Although I would prefer wildcard focus on imprinting and leveling over mutation breeding, if they do choose to keep the system, the original 20 mutation cap has got to be the limit. I would prefer that official (and the game itself) has a much lower reliance on wildly mutated dinos over regular tames, and instead focuses on more accessible creatures (which could be improved by say consolidate breeding and imprinting) that people can more quickly reestablish themselves with. This suggestion is also about the fact that across the board the mutation system makes balance really hard to establish and pressures players to devote thousands of hours to be competitive (or beat all the genesis missions) in a way I strongly dislike.

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Can we all just pause a moment and realize that the main issue here is that the dev's only ever wanted 40 mutations max? That it is a game bug that allows us to breed FAR past that value? In Ark 2, I just want the game to have a limit that is reasonable. 40 mutations is good with me. I feel the super bred dinos from the megas are so far and away impossibly powerful.

200 points into melee is just stupid regardless of what dino you are talking about. All it does it create an even farther gap in the power between newish / small tribes and the alphas & megas. Why do you think some megas hold 3+ servers with only 10-15 active members? Sure when they get fobbed they call in all their inactives, but the dinos is what makes them superior without necessarily having better skill at pvp.

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@RINat615 that’s also a good point, though as was mentioned it should have been simple to fix that bug and just prevent breeding from any tames past that limit. Enforcing that limit would have made gameplay, even with fully mutated tames more competitive as well as making it possible for more tribes to get competitive tames.

You can mutate a stack of 20 mutations pretty quickly, relatively speaking. Limiting the number of points that can be pumped into any stat would make wild tames more valuable, and encouraged more experimentation with allocating points.

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37 minutes ago, RINat615 said:

Can we all just pause a moment and realize that the main issue here is that the dev's only ever wanted 40 mutations max? That it is a game bug that allows us to breed FAR past that value? In Ark 2, I just want the game to have a limit that is reasonable. 40 mutations is good with me. I feel the super bred dinos from the megas are so far and away impossibly powerful.

200 points into melee is just stupid regardless of what dino you are talking about. All it does it create an even farther gap in the power between newish / small tribes and the alphas & megas. Why do you think some megas hold 3+ servers with only 10-15 active members? Sure when they get fobbed they call in all their inactives, but the dinos is what makes them superior without necessarily having better skill at pvp.

To be clear 40 mutations on a rex is still 130hrs x 40 for 40 mutations in one specific stat. That's 5200 hours to max out a rex line. I would scale it down even farther such that "max mutated" is much weaker than using other methods such as leveling and imprinting, and only confers a small advantage (akin to 1-5 mutations max, which is still 650 hours on official rates with 50 female rexes). Totally agree that the system we have now was unintentional and has received bandaids as a result of people pouring so much time into it...which means that ark 2 is the best place to see it fixed for good.

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21 minutes ago, RINat615 said:

Why do you think some megas hold 3+ servers with only 10-15 active members? Sure when they get fobbed they call in all their inactives, but the dinos is what makes them superior without necessarily having better skill at pvp.

I think the dinos help, yes.  But the primary reason for their success is their persistence, in my experience.  Of course, having a single steroidal ridden dino makes you an almost insurmountable threat to most players on the server, but its the Age of Cryopods now.  Throwing out a ton of dinos on cooldown and in 15 minutes (with 3 actives) having an army of 12 (3 dropped when entering server, 9 tossed out 3 at a time in 5 min intervals) is doable.  They probably aren't being countered by an army, and is it really gonna come down to an open-field battle, or is it much more like someone will snipe one of them, or get a pick?  If this happens, again, the benefit of the high level dino is kinda gone.

Don't judge my choices on entertainment, but watching ARK YouTubers like BAM and Kishko, and even random videos of raids from consoles and PC, you can really see the balance a of battle tip toward the team that gets a kill on the other side's survivor.  I haven't participated in many really large PvP battles, but there are plenty documented on YouTube!  You sit on a huge cooldown while they ransack your base, because dinos functioning on AI are a terrible substitute for a ridden dino.  They take more damage, do a LOT less damage (attack speed on AI VS ridden), and can make awful pathing choices.

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im breeding direbears for years & i can tell you, that below 100 females you are wasting your time!, because the mutationrate is soo low, that you will wait more for re-mate timers, then spending time on raising useful offspring!

with my around 150 girls, i get a useful (HP or Dmg) mut abouuuuut every 3. round ?! ofc its sometimes more sometimes less!

but i gotta admit, the rates & times are pretty crazy, specially, when it comes to the insane times on other dinos (luckily we got cryo these days, but some dinos are still insane to raise)

bears are pretty easy with 4h pregnancy & about1-2h needed to handfeed, to make it to 10%, but without Events like 2x or 3x breeding, it gets annoying too

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3 hours ago, HenryManson said:

im breeding direbears for years & i can tell you, that below 100 females you are wasting your time!, because the mutationrate is soo low, that you will wait more for re-mate timers, then spending time on raising useful offspring!

with my around 150 girls, i get a useful (HP or Dmg) mut abouuuuut every 3. round ?! ofc its sometimes more sometimes less!

but i gotta admit, the rates & times are pretty crazy, specially, when it comes to the insane times on other dinos (luckily we got cryo these days, but some dinos are still insane to raise)

bears are pretty easy with 4h pregnancy & about1-2h needed to handfeed, to make it to 10%, but without Events like 2x or 3x breeding, it gets annoying too

You may find it interesting that I calculated the hours it takes to get one egg/preg with the desired mutation based on 50 females (regardless of species) using only mating interval and got 44 hours average! I appreciate you telling me your experience, because numbers mean so little if they don't match real in-game experience. I hope you see this thread is not to disparage or wipe the hard work you and so many others put into their favorite creatures, but instead as one that looks forward and asks "Is this system really worth the time people spend on it? Are there other better ways to design breeding to be fun but not a massive horrific RNG grind with tons of females and entities, etc?"

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5 hours ago, TheDonn said:

I think the dinos help, yes.  But the primary reason for their success is their persistence, in my experience.  Of course, having a single steroidal ridden dino makes you an almost insurmountable threat to most players on the server, but its the Age of Cryopods now.  Throwing out a ton of dinos on cooldown and in 15 minutes (with 3 actives) having an army of 12 (3 dropped when entering server, 9 tossed out 3 at a time in 5 min intervals) is doable.  They probably aren't being countered by an army, and is it really gonna come down to an open-field battle, or is it much more like someone will snipe one of them, or get a pick?  If this happens, again, the benefit of the high level dino is kinda gone.

Don't judge my choices on entertainment, but watching ARK YouTubers like BAM and Kishko, and even random videos of raids from consoles and PC, you can really see the balance a of battle tip toward the team that gets a kill on the other side's survivor.  I haven't participated in many really large PvP battles, but there are plenty documented on YouTube!  You sit on a huge cooldown while they ransack your base, because dinos functioning on AI are a terrible substitute for a ridden dino.  They take more damage, do a LOT less damage (attack speed on AI VS ridden), and can make awful pathing choices.

None of those tribes would exist without competitive lines no matter how persistent they are. That's coming from actual experience in a large tribe, you can be as persistent as you want but if you have crap tames someone is just going to come in and meatrun you no matter what you do. Turrets, good weapons, foot pvp skills, none of that matters when racers and megacheleons have soaked your defenses and you've got theris inting into your cave and gigas guarding the entrance.

I watch the same videos you do, but there's a few things you need to keep in mind with them. First Kishko generally plays on either MTS or ARKpoc, which are much more geared towards early game content. That doesn't make anything he does less impressive, but it is relevant in a discussion about breeding because in those servers you aren't really going to see highly mutated lines that reflect what you'd experience on permanent servers like 1x and smalls. BAM's content is from lots of clusters, but ultimately also much more geared towards early game content. His crystal isles series for example was recorded before those servers opened up transfers, which meant that tribes were much less built up. Again that's not to knock him either but it doesn't really show the whole picture of what you'll see on the main official clusters.

As for other raid and defense videos, keep in mind that those are heavily edited, attacking a cave is a process that will take hours, if not days depending on how well prepared both tribes are. Generally there's a lot of back and forth during that time, where both sides will make their own push. Most of the time those videos will also be edited to favor one side quite frankly. Once you condense that down to 15-20 minutes for a video you lose a lot of context around the actual events.

I don't know exactly what your experience in ark is when it comes to pvp, but what I can tell you is that without question your dino lines are extremely important. This isn't my opinion, this is what every single tribe leader or admin will tell you in any organized group. There's a reason why in big tribes your personal tames get spayed/neutered before they go anywhere, there's a reason why breed lines are highly protected, and there's a reason why a lot of tribes won't let you bring personal tames if you leave.

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9 hours ago, carbonark said:

I don't know exactly what your experience in ark is when it comes to pvp, but what I can tell you is that without question your dino lines are extremely important. This isn't my opinion, this is what every single tribe leader or admin will tell you in any organized group. There's a reason why in big tribes your personal tames get spayed/neutered before they go anywhere, there's a reason why breed lines are highly protected, and there's a reason why a lot of tribes won't let you bring personal tames if you leave.

I just don't possibly see how!  I get that if 3 riders from each tribe are facing each other down on 6 of the same dino (3 on each side, fully imprinted) and they decide to have a chomp-off, whoever has the higher stats and saddle will win, so in that single not-common case, the lines matter a lot.  If one guy has a 75 point melee Therizino and he faces off against 2 bred and ridden lightly mutated Therizinos (say 50 points melee), the 2 will more than likely win.  Like the squid issue from the other thread, I could log into singleplayer and test it, because 75 points melee is a HUGE starting melee, and I'm pretty sure that in that scenario, even with the 2 unridden, the single Therizino, while vastly superior to the tune of ~13 extra mutations, would lose.  But again, its kinda moot to simulate because most people aren't gonna run into the fray against 2-3 ridden dinos with a single dino and expect to live, unless said single dino is a Giga.

If you are trying to get a line bred to fight or withstand a Megatribe, just quit and go do something else.  Unless you have more in numbers than they do, it is simply a matter of time before you are wiped.  Not to be defeatist, but a group of people don't regularly just breed up a line and go raid a Megatribe successfully.  It isn't something that is a common occurrence.  So, WITHIN THE MEGATRIBE, yes, they will espouse the benefits of their best stats and most solid line.  Everyone NOT PART OF THE MEGATRIBE just gets eaten.  And 9.9 times out of 10, the strength of the dinos they have never adds to the challenge for the Megatribe.

Big picture, it may be internally discussed in the tribe that the breedlines are OMG SO IMPORTANT when in reality, it isn't.  Most of the battles that aren't a complete and utterly laughable ordeal are decided primarily by what the survivors do (shooting skill, picks, those kind of things).  Someone messes up and makes a mistake or gets killed and goes on cooldown, and the tide of battle turns.  Breed lines mean so little on the spawn screen!

But back to the point, I will say that I hope ARK informs ARK 2 in a good way about what breeding should be.  I think it can, but we will have to wait and see!

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You seem to have this idea that the only scenario where you're using a dino is an all out war, when in reality you'll be using those tames in many more situations. It's not just 2 giga lines facing off, it's pvp'ing on Rag with mana's or wyverns, owls, etc, and your pocket tame of choice. The tames you have for that will be critical factor in how successful you are there. It's not just who can attack longer when mashing two dinos at each other. It's can I survive getting frozen by this mana if I try a pick, does my mana have the melee to freeze through a high armor saddle in time, if I pick a guy can my wyvern much him before he can melee/shoot down my wyvern. It's a matter of having the stam to stay in a fight, the weight to avoid being grappled in place, the melee to take on high armor. Those kind of things will help to keep not just your tame, but YOU in the fight.

The truth is that you don't breed up from scratch, you take what you can get your hands on from pvp or raiding and go from there, every now and again you find a cryo'd tame that's not snipped and you breed your own from it. Just like with the squid we aren't talking about 75 points into melee, there aren't line out there like that. You either have first gen squids just to get imprinted, or you're working from one of the pre-existing lines that you got your hands on somehow. You're basically either facing off against close to top-stat creatures or, just slightly better than wild.

As for mega tribes the goal isn't to go wipe them off a server, the idea is to farm them for your gear. You head over to pvp maps like rag and look for high population. But you need good tames to compete. If you have the people and enough kit, you can even fob up on a big tribe and get in some pvp there to try and farm some kits. But again you need the tames to compete.

Or you can go get some gensis loot and see how well you can do against those guys on foot, if you truly believe you dont need the tames. Let me know how that works for you.

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On 1/25/2021 at 10:55 PM, Shifter6 said:

. I am simply advocating for Ark 2 to do away with this system for the future, and keep things more in line with inheriting the "best" parent stats

I'm with this - regardless of what Ark 1 does. Mutations should be gone, and the best you can do with breeding is get best mix of stats from Male & Female in the child. With a hard level cap based on the total of stats. The effort is then much more about getting out and about looking for that wild rex w 143 points in melee instead of 142 . (And 1 point in stamina, and 1 point in health  .... )

Maybe imprinting should contribute to a brand new stat like loyalty or courage - so that your bred and cared for dino wont simply run away when it has been roared at or bitten to a % of health like a wild tame might?

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20 hours ago, DirkInSA said:

I'm with this - regardless of what Ark 1 does. Mutations should be gone, and the best you can do with breeding is get best mix of stats from Male & Female in the child. With a hard level cap based on the total of stats. The effort is then much more about getting out and about looking for that wild rex w 143 points in melee instead of 142 . (And 1 point in stamina, and 1 point in health  .... )

Maybe imprinting should contribute to a brand new stat like loyalty or courage - so that your bred and cared for dino wont simply run away when it has been roared at or bitten to a % of health like a wild tame might?

I do really love breeding and imprinting your personal tames, and I like the idea that you can get something above and beyond wild tames using that process. But I agree with ya 100%...after doing the math there is just zero justification to gate a progression system like this behind such a wildly time consuming process.

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Breeding will always be an issue because by design it is a mechanic to keep you logging in it adds nothing to the game, In-fact it nerfed the original gameplay if you think about it by nerfing every creature to the ground just to cater for the long term progression gameplay that is breeding.

Breeding is the daily/weekly equivalent of MMORPG's. People hate it but can not stop doing it because it helps with the long term progression goals. This means even with improvements to the system you mite as well just scrap breeding altogether because no change will have a positive affect on the game and it would just upset the majority loyal players who play because they can get advantages over others with the long play hours they have.

Edited by SlipperySquid
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