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Machairodus: Ark's Baddest Kitty & Pack Giga Counter



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Species: Machairodus

Time: Late Miocene

Diet: Carnivore 

Temperament: Aggressive


Wild: Similar to the Ark’s Smilodon brutalis, the Machairodus is a large species of saber-toothed cat that dwells in the mountainous biomes of Ragnarok. They are much larger in size, however, amounting closer to the mass of a Shadowmane instead. Machairodus also tend to hunt in packs of up to five. This powerful big cat possesses a pounce-and-tackle ability much like the Thylacoleo to survivors and even other small dinosaurs. It is pointless to attempt to overpower a pack with a larger, stronger dinosaur, however, as the larger a predator is, the more the Machairodus' primal spirit boosts their attack damage. Pack Alphas drop their teeth, a special ingredient used in their taming process. 


Tamed: In similar behavior to their wild counterparts, Machairodus are able to pounce onto unsuspecting survivors and small-medium dinosaurs. However, once tamed, the Alpha of the pack gains the ability to pounce onto larger dinosaurs and attach to them for as long as their stamina allows. During this time, the Alpha is able to inflict heavy bleed damage with a special "shredding attack" that deals immense amounts of damage. Additionally, as long as the Alpha is grappled, its packmates deal increased damage with a stacking bleed effect if being ridden. It's "primal spirit" feature is included in its tamed variant, making it a swell counter to the Ark's largest carnivores… especially the infamous giganotosaurus; arch enemy of this vicious, apex pack feline. The feature increases the amount of damage dealt to larger creatures and also offers a climbing damage reduction the higher the damage dealt to the machai is. It is heavily reliant on pack bonus, however. 


Taming: To tame these beasts of a feline, survivors must first gather Machairodus teeth from killing prides of them, only the Alpha of which drops its teeth. It is important to kill the whole pride, however, as remaining Machais will linger by their Alpha's body, making it difficult to dismount and retrieve the teeth from its inventory. Once a survivor has gathered enough teeth (provided they are high enough of a level), they will be able to craft a special weapon that is required for taming the large feline. A survivor must approach the pack on foot and allow themselves to get pounced by the pack's Alpha. They must have their crafted weapon equipped to their last slot for the tame to initiate, however. Once pounced, and provided the weapon is properly equipped, survivors will need to succeed through a series of dodges and counter attacks until the Alpha retreats into a state of "temporary respect." During this stage, the survivor must capture the Machairodus they wish to tame using a net projectile. After it is trapped, the rest of the pack will begin attacking and must all be killed. Only then will the trapped Machairodus fully gain the survivor's trust, though it will not yet be fully tamed. To build its taming effectiveness, survivors must offer a tamed sacrifice to be devoured by the Machairodus. The larger the creature and the higher its level will determine how high its effectiveness will turn out. 


Appearance: This tank of a cat boasts robust shoulders rippling with sheer muscle. Towards the rear they lean out, giving them less weight to support when latching onto larger creatures. Two scarily long canine fangs curve elegantly from their mouths, perfect for dealing damage and key to survivors for defending against them long enough to tame one. A short, spiky mane lines their back, ending at a short nub of a tail. Their rosetted pelts assist in blending in with their surroundings. 


Extra: I've created this concept primarily as a hardened giga counter. It's a much needed addition in my opinion, as even with the arrival of the carcha the giga has no true rival. Nothing matches its raw damage, and in typical PvP bases it's the most used dino for sheer power. In most battles between dinos it's just a matter of who's giga rages first or gets the most bites in. I think that the addition of the Machairodus would provide an even challenger for the giga, even if only in packs. In stereotype, the giganotosaurus is supposed to be the biggest and the baddest. So, a creature that only amounts to its power (but definitely amounts to it nonetheless) in packs, and with effects like an insane pack bonus and stacking bleed, seems like a reasonable counter to me. They would need a tanky amount of health to survive a giga long enough to kill it; something a lot of creatures lack. It would either not have a saddle period with such high health, or have an optional saddle for pure armor value to survive its rival's brute strength. 

It would be a late-game tame with a level limit on the weapon needed for its taming mechanic, meaning there would be limited speed-running to tame it. It's different and difficult method of taming altogether evens out for how strong of a creature it would be in general. The fact that it might not have a saddle or have an optional saddle unlocked at a later level would somewhat balance the amount of damage large packs would deal. I just really want to see people use something else for raw power in the game besides gigas, or to have something actually capable of killing them. Please consider the Machairodus, or offer ideas that you think might refine it! 




Edited by Kaimen
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