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There is no tldr. This is mainly for the developers. 

 

Let me preface this by saying, The concept is brilliant. When the game works, its FUN. The other 80% of the time? Not so much.

About me. Started playing games back when the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy came in an awesome box that got packaged with pocket fluff. Ive worked as a QA tester and helped in the design process for a Marvel licensed game that never saw the light of day. I would like to think I have some experience in the industry.

I am new to ark. A result of recent push in their latest marketing efforts. According to all intents and purposes, I am exactly the type of ‘new player’ they are trying to bring into the game, and let me tell you my experience has been HORRIBLE. I have been on ark for approx. 2 months as of this writing and I would not recommend this game to my worst enemy. Yet im addicted. Havent played another game during these two months. That should tell you something.

You vets have your own horror stories spanning years of ark. You guys keep the ship afloat. But the ‘new player’ is vital to the life of any game. I heard of ark and never gave it thought. Dinos. Meh. Then through some deal on Epic, downloaded and tried it out. Ark is not a game that holds your hands. Cool. I ascended to a new level of patience after Dark Souls. I can handle anything. Ark seriously tests those limits. I get not holding your hand as a new player, and Im fine with that, so constantly being eaten by raptors make for funny youtube videos. But when you chose your spawn point, and the game spawns you across the map for no apparent reason, one could understand the frustration/confusion. But a new player wouldn’t understand why they cant complete a simple corpse run when the entire map is blocked by miles of player structures and dino gates. Only later in the game did I understand why this was. After my hard earned and fought for newbie gear and early weapons decayed for the 3rd time. I put down the game. This was my first experience.

Some months later, I picked it up again. Confused why dinos were wearing Santa hats and a Christmas Raptor was delivering gifts. Events are events, cool, and I progressed no further this run, starving because there is no place to put a simple campfire. I put the game down a 2nd time. This time uninstalled to clear up space.

Again, some months later I decided to give the game a serious go. (Marketing should be rewarded). I finally figured out how to tame dinos, built a starter base only to have those efforts ruined because I followed the in game text on the loading screen. Join a tribe it says. So when a random newbie ran up and wanted me to join their tribe, I said sure. Little did I know everything I owned would now be lost. I felt I followed the games instructions, and was punished for it. Fortuntately, a high lvl player saw my plight and helped me out. This is the ONLY reason I continued playing, because up until this moment I was not having fun. Its common for newbies to get help from players, that’s the nature of the business. They do hard work for gaming companies by keeping people interested. But it shouldnt be a crutch.

These next two months have been fun. I lived on the island and slowly build up as I learned the game. Things were manageable, until Gen2.

I began to see cracks not just in the game, but in the company Wild Card. You see I knew nothing about the history of ark, its bugs, and treatment of players.

For those not familiar with ark, this is my best understanding:

Everything costs time. Lets say you want to tame a low level dino. You cant just walk up to it and click ‘tame’. You have to prepare. First you need the right tools to either knock it out or capture it. Then once you have it in your clutches, you have to feed it the right “bait”. A fast tame can take a couple minutes, others can take HOURS. Then, depending on the dino, before you can ride it you have to farm for, and craft a saddle. Once you have your dino, there is care and feeding. If you disappear from the game for , lets say vacation, your new dino just might starve and die. Structures have a decay timer. If you are gone from the game too long, we’re talking weeks not months, everything you have is deleted from the game. You are forced to log in just to maintain your investment of TIME. And this is where the problem comes in.

When there is a bug unrelated to any of your actions that affects your character, it would make sense to be recompensed for your time lost right? Lets say for example, You go through the arduous process of preparing for, capturing and taming a difficult dino. Then, the server crashes. You log back in, only to find out those hours you spent are now wasted. Your dino is gone. You write to open a ticket and what is the response? I’ll copy it verbatim.

Thank you for contacting Studio Wildcard Customer Support. We are sorry to hear that you are having an issue with (insert issue here)

We deeply apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused. We will let the development team know of this issue for you. Unfortunately, due to our internal policy, we are not able to restore any lost items. As Customer Support we are unable to fix or make any changes to the game in regards to this. If you would also like to let them know directly yourself, you may also fill out a separate report here.

Or after clicking reply

Thank you for contacting Studio Wildcard Customer Support. Unfortunately, support@survivetheark.com and support@survivetheark.zendesk.com email has been deactivated. Please visit https://support.survivetheark.com to submit a support ticket.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Or

Please know that the development team is aware and are currently looking into this. Unfortunately, as Customer Support we are unable to fix or make any changes to the game in regards to (insert issue here). If you would like to let them know directly yourself, you may also fill out a separate report here. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused.

For those that don’t know, your value as a gamer, once you have purchased the game is TIME. Wonder why farmville charged you to speed up timers? In FTP games, its essential, in ark, it’s the main currency. Consider you have 4 hours allocated in a day for free time. What do you do with those 4 hours? What if 3 of those hours were erased after you spent them? This is ark.

And imagine my horror to find out this has been going on for YEARS. And the player base has accepted it. Can we not DO something please?!

I can accept the bugs, accept the server-wide lag, crashes, and everything else wrong with the game, if the company did something to help you recoup your lost time. Not from your OWN stupidity or bad choices. But just for logging into the game (see random login respawn, all inventory lost), or just for playing the game as they intended (see lost mission progress)

To Ark: This is a brilliant game. Please support the players. Because as a new player, I have NO incentive to support any more of your projects. (Ark 2) And anyone I might have brought into the game will be warned, because I have no indication that YOU, the company, will be any better in Ark 2.

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yeah, the online multiplayer experiance is kinda junk. Granted, you can play with others who can help, but the island online is probably the worst place to try and start off....My mom was the one who got into this game and kept bugging me on how to play it.
It took me awhile, but even I secumbed to the possibility of what ark could be, and finally I got her to move off of online play to solo offline.

Wow, what a difference.....Dude, Im not telling you to stick around. You wanna go, fair enough. But if your ever interested in playing this game and not worring about loseing your hard earned work, give solo a run. Its different, and in a good way.

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Solo is a blast, this game is either you want PVP, you need social interaction so you choose PVE, but if you want to experience the actual game and then solo is the way. Dead honest, I had 0 interest in this game for years, then gamepass got it. I was HEAVILY into rust, but I had to wait for a wipe that was 3 days away. This was months ago, singleplayer ark took over 1200 hours of my life and I am so thankful for it. Trust me, solo will be alot of fun.

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The long taming of high level dinos annoyed me too in the beginning , but with the time you learn to how to speed up the process. Garden and beehive are essential. And the fastest way to get ascendant kibbles are not Yuties but Deinos. So I think Valguero is the best starter map. After collecting 20 or 40 deinos eggs you can move to any other map.

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I would never play on official servers, those are for hard core MMO players who enjoyed the... I use the words 'enhanced difficulty'  and leave it at that.

Do single player, or rent your own sever from https://arkservers.io/ (I can put that link in this post... right?) that you can adjusted in a huge number of ways to suit your play style right out of the box (taming times, dino growth times, etc. Dozens of options), and even add mods that change the entire behavior of the game.

Then invite those players who you know won't try and ruin your experience. I play with my own family and have nearly 2800 hours in the game. I almost feel silly about that.

The bugs however... well they remain. You do have the ability to do backups to save stuff, down the server so time doesn't pass, and even have access to admin cheat codes to deal with them.

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I have over 6,000 hours in the game, almost all of it on official. I've had to start over multiple times. Several times due to playing pvp and just other players there will eventually destroy everything you have if u pvp long enough. One of the most upsetting times was due to the "great migration", which after reading your post, I don't think you know about that. Basically what happened was a bunch of new servers opened up, and my server was getting shut down, and I had to transfer everything I could, with not enough warning, and also learn how to handle the newly introduced transfer timer. I lost a LOT of stuff just getting it to a drop and staring at this stupid yellow count down that had never been there before, nor was it explained anywhere that I'd seen. Another problem wild card has always had is not setting down an established line of communication to us. I eventually came to understand that this website was more official than other, yet that is apparently changing as they favor their new discord, but I digress. More to your point about time currency, and inevitably loosing it... and speaking as someone who lost the majority of several thousand hours of that currency... I'd like to address why I tolerate it. Basically what it boils down to is you don't need that much time to beat the game. If rn I had to start over from scratch but there was an equitable system to compensate for time currency, and they were like looks like you sir get 7k of that currency, I'd be able to buy a giant tek base, all the best dinos, a perfect build location, 500 ascendant saddles, and then I'd go and kill all the bosses in the first day, and then I'd be BORED. What'd be the point in that? So I don't want to encourage wild card to destroy my time currency, but ya know, it just doesn't matter.

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I agree with more than 80% of what Lonewolf said.  That is the real kick in the nads...the fact that I can be addicted to a game that could absolutely be the best game ever made. All elements of gaming can be utilized in Ark...PVP, farming etc. Multiplayer...single player. Official or non-official...there are so many options.  It looks amazing...Rag is still new to me, but it looks absolutely incredible. It just sucks to have so many issues and no real communication from the company. I am a bit frustrated with the number of Supply Crates being stuck in the terrain. Is it intentional? Others get stuck in harvestable resources and it works to clear them. Others are so embedded in the terrain that you know it won't happen...but Rag is huge and you have wasted 5 minutes just to get there and now 5 minutes back to your original destination. I am in my 50's. Time is indeed precious, and while I respect the grind and the time invested, I don't feel anyone respects my investment. That is also true for the period of time from November-April when all of my single player progress was lost because of an update.  I wasn't feeling the one apology that was offered and shared here from another site. I totally expected like a 5-7 minute apologetic video explaining to me what exactly happened...and some sort of a bone to be tossed in compensation other than a link to a list of cheat codes. Communication to the players is important. For an example, the flyer speed update that is still apparently not working for consoles. No one says anything and people want to know. It is not like it is a new issue. Someone somewhere knows what is going on with it, and I would like to know as well. 

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It seems we just are reaching a new low in "Welcoming" new players. The last couple of days it seems the  last DLC is realy breaking the core mechanics of the game: Breeding.

I don't mind the 15000 ingots I lost due to the Strider Transmitter fix that actualy broke the transmitter completly, but that same "fix" broke hatching eggs without incubator.
What it comes down to is this: You either have to buy the DLC or you have to depend on the goodwill of others and steal/beg/borrow for an incubator. No more waiting for the right time of day, torches/campfires, taming dimetrodons or grinding for ac's as beginner. Your eggs just don't hatch without incubator. Breeding watertames? You'll need 1 or more incubators on approperiate depths in a waterpen as well wile you are limited to only 3 incubators in one region.

This is a gamebreaking bug that's going on for 2 days. If it's intentional it is criminal, forcing people that bought a working basegame into getting DLC.
Harsh words, I know. But this issue needs to be adressed soon, it's a core mechanic!

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Been with ark since year one.  In my experience, 1-10 players in PvP will be out to intentionally ruin your gaming experience just for kicks, and unless you luck into a mega-tribe they will succeed.  I have found that on a quarter of the PvE servers I have been on there is at least one tribe that will make the server unplayable at times due to duping, forced crashing, mega-structures and mass pillaring just for the sake of it.  Then there is the strong chance that at some point, you will go to transfer servers and your character will just disappear.  If you are a tribe of one, the support ticket will not be answered in time and all of your bases, tames and gear will decompose: years of genetic lines, grinding and boss fight victories will disappear.  I know players that have lost characters a half-dozen times to server transfer glitches - they just happen to be in a mega-tribe that can quickly set up boss fights for their extra characters.

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1 hour ago, maxplanck58 said:

Been with ark since year one.  In my experience, 1-10 players in PvP will be out to intentionally ruin your gaming experience just for kicks, and unless you luck into a mega-tribe they will succeed.  I have found that on a quarter of the PvE servers I have been on there is at least one tribe that will make the server unplayable at times due to duping, forced crashing, mega-structures and mass pillaring just for the sake of it.  Then there is the strong chance that at some point, you will go to transfer servers and your character will just disappear.  If you are a tribe of one, the support ticket will not be answered in time and all of your bases, tames and gear will decompose: years of genetic lines, grinding and boss fight victories will disappear.  I know players that have lost characters a half-dozen times to server transfer glitches - they just happen to be in a mega-tribe that can quickly set up boss fights for their extra characters.

The one time I lost my guy I was practically solo. But I did have an inactive tribe member I was able to call up and convince to refresh the stuff, then later I got him to tribe in a new guy, then just had access to grinders and such which makes the xp grind not so bad. And eventually was able to team up with several other tribes and do all the bosses again. It really does pay to have friends in this game, solo is possible but there's a lot of ways it can screw with you lol.

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On 7/18/2021 at 12:17 PM, maxplanck58 said:

In my experience, 1-10 players in PvP will be out to intentionally ruin your gaming experience just for kicks, and unless you luck into a mega-tribe they will succeed.  I have found that on a quarter of the PvE servers I have been on there is at least one tribe that will make the server unplayable at times due to duping, forced crashing, mega-structures and mass pillaring just for the sake of it.  Then there is the strong chance that at some point, you will go to transfer servers and your character will just disappear.

One in 10?  You playing the same game?  :)  My experience with Official PvE also mirrors that, and the problem is that it only takes one tribe to wreck a server.  It gives people who would be PvE griefers so much strength, and on PvP as well.  Makes raiding simpler if the other team is kicked offline!

I'm almost afraid to say this because it almost certainly guarantees it will happen...  But in 9K hours I have been very lucky in that I have never lost a character.  I really feel for those that have, I've seen it happen on an old server.  I remember one guy who was a bit private on an old PvE Official server, lost his character to deletion.  He put in a ticket, and when his stuff decayed he had to watch his dinos disappear and people storm his base in front of him and dismantle it for his dino lines, eggs, blueprints, and then sell his lines to the server.  I couldn't imagine.

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To "join a Tribe" most time we are six player in a Tribe on official pve. We farm together get Artifacts and Tributes make Bosses. Then comes Gen1 okay Mission count for Boss we also work hard together that one Tribemate (me) get enough Missions to dtart Gamma (we are all have a Reallife and not always time to play same time)

But with Gen2 Wildcard say fu Tribes and Teamwork everyone in Tribe needs all Trash Gamma Missions not a count of them so for what join a Tribe no way for me and my Tribemates to see the Boss on official.

(And one point more, i have a char on all my server i play to not loos it in transfer so i would make all gamma missions five times...)

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@Lonewolfxuz Nice words, as non-native english speaker I couldn't write it down any better. The game is great, but the gap between the community and the company is huge and I don't think this will change with ARK 2. All these voices in the forum are getting ignored. I also tried to put it into words:

The only difference: After 3 days on official servers, I gave up. The ping horrible enough that I wasn't even able to tame/hit anything, hence I am playing on a private server with friends, which makes the situation bearable.

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