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A New Player's Experience (10 obnoxious problems and 10 easy fixes)


Okay, first off, I want to start this off by saying I love this game. At its core, this is an amazing game.
But goddamn, does this game have a lot of poopty issues that shouldn't be hard to fix.
  1. Several times per week, I have had *something* fall through the world. I've had wild dinos I'm trying to tame disappear, my tames have fallen through the world, and I've even managed to die, while offline, and have my corpse fall through the world.
  2. Getting on a flying tame, even with using the appropriate whistles, is way more of a pain in the ass than it should be.
  3. The process of joining a custom server by the +connect option is hilariously bad. The game loads, then it pops up an accept/cancel window. Regardless of whether you hit accept, cancel, or ignore the window, it starts loading you into the server anyway (lol). It sometimes shows a loading screen, sometimes not, but starts loading mods. Then it either kicks you back to the title screen or the server select screen (but you can't click on anything). Finally, it sends you back into the loading screen, and you load into the client. Since this is such a mess, it makes it difficult to tell if you're hanging, broken, or working as intended.
  4. The commands available to single player / admins are weirdly limited. Features that are easily accessible in the Unreal Engine are mysteriously just not included in Ark.
  5. For some reason, they never renamed the window from the default of "Shooter Game". While this doesn't impact the player experience, I find this amusing.
  6. The mod update process is bad. Having players auto-update their mods as soon as the boot the client just means they can't connect to custom servers that haven't been updated yet.
  7. The building process is laughably bad. 7 Days to Die had a better one when it launched back in 2016 than Ark does now.
  8. The darkness. Holy poop. Okay, so this is a mixed bag. When I'm on foot in the redwoods and I can see nothing? Perfect. I love the tension that creates. When I'm flying on the beach and all I can see is the moon and a shadow of my character? Nonsense. It feels like the developers have never actually been outside after nightfall in their lives.
  9. The dino transfer process for a new map is obnoxiously slow and painful.
  10. The clipping / interaction range is weird and obviously broken. I've had my giga get stuck on a doedicurus tail. I regularly get physically blocked by things, yet bafflingly can't interact with what's blocking me.
  11. The AI is terribad. Trying to get new tames into a pen through gates would be funny if it wasn't so sad. No wonder dinosaurs went extinct.
So this isn't just a rant post, here's easy fixes for all of these:
  1. Give the admins access to the teleport command that's literally part of the Unreal engine. Failing that, fix your code so poop doesn't fall through all the time (that's not as easy, so just do the first option).
  2. Give us a targeted whistle that tells a targeted dino to come pick us up, and we auto-mount once it's in range.
  3. Give us an option to connect by IP from the server select screen. Just don't swap us off the first loading screen.
  4. Give admins the easy commands that the Unreal engine has - teleport, get actors list, get actor information by id, etc. It should be trivial for an admin to search all the tames on a server, find the one that's fallen through the world, and teleport it back. Instead none of those steps are possible. There's several more than this that should be included.
  5. No change really needed.
  6. Create a setting that players can enable to not update mods until you join a server that needs them.
  7. No easy fixes here, S+ did their job for them so the dev team lucked out.
  8. Give us actual gamma controls? The ones that exist don't seem to do anything.
  9. Just give us a setting to let us upload dinos from anywhere. While I realize that this one can be abused, it's super obvious that you're doing it. If it's still contentious, just make it  a custom flag.
  10. If a tame is physically blocking my movement, I should be able to interact with it. You can simply trigger the interaction option for a few seconds after a collision.
  11. No easy fix here, but given that the other 10 are easy or done I'm okay with not having a good idea here.
The kicker is I experienced all of these issues personally in my first *two* weeks of playing. For a game that's been out for four years and has the resources that Ark does, it has some frankly sad problems.
And I'm only writing this rant because I'm unable to play on my custom server, because the admin is unavailable, and there's been a mod update... which my client auto-updated. Even with our server auto-restarting and updating daily, we're still running into this problem regularly.
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