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Detailed List Comparing Raiding VS Defense Buffs Over Time


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The current meta of raiding is way too easy. Raiding has been buffed tons of times, directly or indirectly, while building health and defenses has not improved significantly. I'll be listing all the changes I can think of below, feel free to add more if I missed any. Keep in mind all of these buffs came into play without the health/resistance of structures changing whatsoever from the Early Access.

Raiding Buffs:

Rate Increases: In many of the popular game modes the rates are about 15x what they used to be. Original 1x was doubled once and then doubled again last year so normal official is already 4x what it used to be. Then add in the 2.5x or 3x rates from small tribes and arkpoc and we're at about 15x rates. It is much easier to farm C4 these days then in the past and structure health is the same. You could say it's much easier to farm structures as well but whether it took you 10 days to farm a metal base or 1 day to farm a metal base it doesn't protect you more. C4 being so easy to craft gives players the attitude of "might as well blow it up, doesn't really cost me anything". Additionally, capped saddles are much easier to farm out giving many dinos an 80% damage reduction.


Mutations: Ever since mutations were added raiding dinos and soakers have been buffed ten fold. Defenders can mutate some Velos or Thylos for defense but they are much more situational and less impactful overall than the buff raiding dinos get from mutations.


Direct C4 Buff: C4 received a 70% buff in damage with no change to material cost.

 

Turret Limit: I understand a huge reason for the turret limit was lag but it is currently impossible to have an outdoor base with 100 turrets. I think many will agree the rathole meta is pretty lame. Unfortunately, these days the only things defenders realistically have if turrets.

 

Arthropleura Buff: A real death blow to structures. This buff makes it so structures don't matter whatsoever. A metal base without turrets is more vulnerable than a thatch base with a few plant X. In fact, in a good cave with good death walls/turret placement the only reason tribes don't build the interior in thatch is because you would accidentally damage it. Kinda sad when that's the only advantage metal offers.

 

DLC dinos/Soaker Buffs: The Trike and Stego have now been buffed not to mention the addition of all the god tier DLC soakers. Rock Elementals, Gas bags, Reaper Kings, Megachelon. Soaking a base is incredibly easy these days  especially with the next listed buff.

 

Cryopods: A huge convenience for all to be sure but one that makes raiding so so incredibly easy. When you combine cryopods with other things on this list it is incredible for raiders. Imagine if you had to slither an artho across the map or carry it at all times with a flyer. Instead you just pop it out and eat any base you see. See a base with turrets but your Rock Elemental is on the other side of the map? No problem anymore. In fact you can just bounce server to server and look things on a fast Mana with enough dinos to soak an offline mega tribe.

 

Visible Decay Timers: While I don't think decay should be removed, being able to see other tribes decay timers makes offline raiding so easy. For those who don't know you can just spyglass what their decay timer is at. If it's down two hours well you know you probably have plenty of time to offline raid.

 

Desert Titan: Most tribes don't bother because the other methods here are already strong enough but obviously very good for raiding.

 

Parasaur Buff: No more hiding loot when a parasaur can just be grabbed by a wyvern and fly around the entire map.

 

INI Files: Now this isn't a buff added by WC directly but I'm including it because WC does not enforce their INI rules. Just go on youtube, there's like one hundred large youtubers using an INI openly and nothing happens. I don't think anyone has ever been banned for INI and it makes hiding anything impossible. Also nerfs plant X and Z vision disruption for defenders. (if you didn't know you can edit files to make plant x and z not blind you among many other things.)

 

Defense Buffs:

C4 slows down dinos when placed on them: A nice defense buff for sure but ultimately not very impactful. C4 on dinos is still a VERY strong strategy. Go watch Youtube videos of raids and you will see that it is still used incredibly often.

 

Removed High Quality Rocket Launchers: A needed change at the time but in hindsight what is available for raiders today is way worse than better rockets. They also buffed base rockets by 20% since this nerf.

 

Tek Structures: Most people don't even use Tek structures as they are generally worse than metal because of tek saddles/rifles etc. I didn't do the math but I would be interested to know if current Tek structures are even stronger than Metal structures were before the C4 buff.

 

Heavy/Tek Turrets: Technically a buff but does it really count as a buff when they are weaker in the current meta than old auto turrets used to be? Normal auto turrets are unusable these days.

 

Velonosaurs: Just another turret really. They're nice but not really game changers.

 

Bleed effects: Very nice in theory but not practical overall. When are you going to be able to get a Thyla in range of someone's stegos/trikes/gasbags to put a bleed on it? Also if you are in a position to have a Thyla in range then just use a Giga, that'll be faster. Again if you check youtube videos you will hardly see them used even though on paper it sounds great.

 

Gen 2 Buffs: I know they're adding the ammo box and what not in Gen 2 but I don't think that's going to make a significant difference honestly. Just take a little longer to soak a base and only really applies to tribes in these OP caves that can farm out that many bullets anyway. We also don't know how it's going to work yet.

 

A few  interesting notes is that people use to double wall their bases, honeycomb, have airlock doors like in Rust, etc. No one even does this in the current meta because essentially if your base is found and you're not in one of the few OP cave spots then your base is foundation wiped. Having double walls slows down c4/Arthos by 30 seconds or so. Additionally, when is the last time you have seen a behemoth gate? 12.5k health is laughable.

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I pretty much agree with just about everything here. I think one the major issues with Ark is that it seems entirely balanced around large scale megatribe vs megatribe wars, even when those decisions are far more detrimental to open world pvp or basically anything that isn't an all out server capping war. One of the major issues is that resources so incredibly easy to farm anymore, even if you reduce the damage on c4 down to 1/10th of what it is now it still wouldn't really make much of a difference. You can pretty easily craft 1000's of c4 at a time if you have decent farming tames or even just spend a day on gen farming points.

In Rust like you mentioned there are actual options to build more secure bases. Not only because structures are stronger, but also because explosives are much more expensive and time intensive to produce (and you don't have arthros that can just eat everything). Being foundation wiped in rust virtually never happens you base might be taken over or raided but it's never worthwhile to go through the amount of effort to completely wipe a base. Even building a smart base can stop a raider in their tracks if they find out they won't have enough explosive to get in or that they won't make a profit. That same balance doesn't exist in ark

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1 hour ago, Tylanater said:

The current meta of raiding is way too easy.

Which, unfortunately, is how WildCard wants it.

All of your points are true, but I'd be truly shocked if WC made any changes that would put things into better balance. PvP has always been (un)balanced in favor of attackers, and WildCard has always been aware of how their game works. I'm sure there could be a long and interesting discussion about why they prefer it this way but regardless of the answer it's clearly a deliberate choice that they have always stuck with.

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If defending was much easier than raiding, nobody would raid anymore (except maybe to grief/troll other tribes) because the rewards would simply not worth the effort. For the same reason players currently won't raid bases unless they know they can get more than what they spend out of it. This would also render PvP servers as unstable as PvE because there would be no natural cycle in what is farmed, spent, and destroyed. Every tribes would just grow bigger and bigger making them even less likely to get raided. I understand that getting raided sucks, but the reality is that it is as easy for you to raid than it is for them to raid you. Stop being stuck on that victim mindset and go get that loot!

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1 hour ago, invincibleqc said:

If defending was much easier than raiding, nobody would raid anymore (except maybe to grief/troll other tribes) because the rewards would simply not worth the effort. For the same reason players currently won't raid bases unless they know they can get more than what they spend out of it. This would also render PvP servers as unstable as PvE because there would be no natural cycle in what is farmed, spent, and destroyed. Every tribes would just grow bigger and bigger making them even less likely to get raided. I understand that getting raided sucks, but the reality is that it is as easy for you to raid than it is for them to raid you. Stop being stuck on that victim mindset and go get that loot!

I don't think anyone wants defending to be much easier that attacking, just for there to be a better balance between the two. Bases already get raided knowing that there won't be profit, just for the sake of controlling servers or just out of boredom. Adding some kind of actual challenge to raiding won't change that.

As for maintaining resource sinks to prevent stockpiling, uh, have you ever been in a big tribes base? I can't tell you how many dedicated storages full of resources, ammo, structures, etc that you'll find on just one of their controlled servers. You have tribe owned ones, personal ones, and on top of that vaults upon vaults full of items, blueprints and whatever else isn't better stored in a dedi. You also have 1000's of dinos in cryofridges, regular fridges full of consumables and pretty much anything else you can think of.

If you want to cut down on stored resources, more difficult raiding will push players into expending more of those stored resources. Nobody on PvP is going to just hunker down in their base and give up on raiding, it might encourage more open world pvp, but raiding won't go anywhere.

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2 hours ago, invincibleqc said:

If defending was much easier than raiding, nobody would raid anymore (except maybe to grief/troll other tribes) because the rewards would simply not worth the effort. For the same reason players currently won't raid bases unless they know they can get more than what they spend out of it. This would also render PvP servers as unstable as PvE because there would be no natural cycle in what is farmed, spent, and destroyed. Every tribes would just grow bigger and bigger making them even less likely to get raided. I understand that getting raided sucks, but the reality is that it is as easy for you to raid than it is for them to raid you. Stop being stuck on that victim mindset and go get that loot!

I raid plenty and have adapted to the meta. I live out of upload with some manas and gigas etc. and troll plenty. However, I don't think that makes good gameplay overall, especially for newer players. I also agree that bases shouldn't be unraidable, my argument is that it is skewed way too far in the direction of no effort raiding. Bases were never unaidable but in the older metas you had to weigh the decision if it was worth it to raid some stone bobs. You could do it sure but is it worth the c4/effort/walking dinos over? Maybe let them get a littler bigger where they have more loot  for you first. If you raid some small base currently and get 1 stack of paste then the raid was a success because it took 0 effort. I don't think every raid should be a profit that easily, you should have to think and make that decision. Additionally, a current day raid means that you are literally foundation wiped, in the past if you got raided you likely still had your smithys/foundations/etc which made restarting feel a lot less terrible.  The point is that why should a very large tribe get a reward out of raiding some noobs with almost nothing? If they want to do it just to mess with them then fine, that's a pvp server, but the fact that it is rewarding is too much.

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