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On 6/3/2023 at 10:27 PM, Oreloki said:

The overall idea is to provide players with a jack of all trades water mount that opens up many doors for early game. It will have features of the Basi, Diplocaulus, Otter, and Anglerfish, but each of those creatures will far outclass it in their respective uses. This creature is meant to be an early-midgame tame, one that is for opening up new routes in your playthrough that are normally locked behind either later game gear or having to combine multiple other tames together to get the same easy access to the ocean.

  • Early oxygen tank- The Dire Otter will give an oxygen boost underwater. It will NOT be a free oxygen tank like the Diplocaulus, but instead provide the same extended dive period that the Genesis 1 ocean has. This is based on the air-trapping properties of beaver fur, which normally insulates its skin underwater. The bubbles trapped in the Dire Otter's mane are easy access for its rider.
  • Cold water insulation- The Dire otter makes it easier to dip your toes into the frigid oceans of the Arks. Perhaps not as well as having its miniature relative tucked around your neck, but enough to get you by!
  • Pearl gatherer- The Dire Otter can harvest more pearls than the player can by hand, but less than an anglerfish.
  • Stun immune- The Dire Otter can't be stunned by Jellyfish or slowed by Eels, but it isn't as tanky or hard-hitting as a Basi. This stun immunity is again thanks to the insulating properties of the otter's fur.

On top of this, the Dire Otter will be decent on land, probably equatable to a sabertooth, if not a bit slower. The real Enhydriodon omoensis, on which this creature was based, was theorized to be a formidable hunter on both land and in water, so Ark's version should at least be able to manage an ambush sprint on land.

As far as the design goes, it's actually a little nod to how a few other Ark creatures are based on cryptids! The Dire Otter is based on a cryptid called the Dobhar-chú, hence the scaly appearance. This is also what sparked the idea for the name Syreni, for both its mermaid appearance and being both a land and water creature.
The fins are optional lmao
If Wildcard decides to disclude them in the final design, so be it. In my personal opinion, an otter with fish traits is just as in-line with Ark's genetically modified creature designs as an elephant-sized insect, but I also trust the devs to adapt the design to something that looks like it belongs in the game, as they have done with all the previous creature vote winners.

The Dire Otter will spawn rarely in areas with access to both land and deep water (On Ragnarok specifically, Casun Islets comes to mind first). It will be aggressive and have the ability to grab players who are on foot and drag them to the water, attempting to drown them. They cannot grab a player off of a mount. I don't intend to make another Kapro.

Taming them is the fun part! You tame them by playing Simon Says with your emote wheel! So for example the otter will wave at you, and you'll have a few seconds to wave back. If you mess up by missing the time window or using the wrong emote, the otter will try to drown you (they have to be near water to be tame-able) I'm thinking to initiate the tame, you must first offer them a fish corpse above a certain size, that way you don't just have a bunch of otters waving at you all the time, cute as that would be. It also puts a small barrier on an otherwise ridiculously easy tame. They're meant to be early game, but they shouldn't be free.

The Dire otter is an extremely intelligent and social creature, and this carries over to the bond with the person who tames them! Using emotes to interact with a tamed otter strengthens this bond, giving special perks! (A wave emote could give a short harvesting bonus, a fist bump gives a damage bonus, etc.)


  • Torpedo attack. Basically a Pteranodon spin attack but underwater
  • Tail Slap. Could possibly do a knockback or a short stun
  • Drag. Can grab creatures smaller than itself and maintain the grab status when becoming submerged, quickly draining oxygen from the victim in the grab state and drowning them.

As for the saddle, I did put some thought into that and I think it would be cool if the saddle had inflatable canisters on it, perhaps fueled with something like gas or sulphur, that could allow a player to very rapidly rise to the surface of the water in emergency situations. On land, the canisters could be punctured in a pinch to release a cloud of gas, either to let you make an unseen escape or send smaller creatures packing.

Please let me know your thoughts and ideas for interesting mechanics to add or balance this cutie out.


Ideas from the comments!

  • Able to passively scare off Seagulls and Piranha
  • Able to catch and transport live fish while underwater
  • Saddle gives perks but isn't needed to be ridden. Possibly faster without it, at the sacrifice of armor
  • Some kind of sea crate buff?
  • Finite Oxygen underwater, but oxygen refills if it eats fish, making it viable to remain underwater for longer periods of time but still not quite as good as a scuba tank
  • Tamed otters are able to rescue you and pull you to the surface if you're drowning

Give It To Me Yes GIF by Achievement Hunter

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