Jump to content


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


ARK: Survival Evolved - Cave Redesign

Recommended Posts

Dead Island cave is fine for the most part, it just needs to have the bat spawn fixed so they're not stuck to the back wall and the scorpions / spiders need to have AI changed so they aren't so easily lured off the edge. As it is currently you can go in the cave and get all the loot drops except one totally naked once you learn the jumps. To get the last loot drop you just need to wear ghillie suit + bug repellent and crouch while walking past the row of bats stuck against the wall in the back .. the same should apply for getting the artifact crate. If you actually want to fight everything in the cave you need to pull the bats in as small of groups as possible and wear your best suit of flak (plus an extra set or two since bats shred armor) then use your best pike (or sword i assume) and attack away as they swarm you. You could probably just go in with a rocket launcher and 3 or 4 rockets to kill the bats as well since they're mostly grouped up in 1 large group and will all agro together .. then use a few grenades to kill the spiders and scorpions on the bottom where the artifact is.

This presents us with two problems: (1) The cave is extremely easy for people who are experienced with the game and it's mechanics, yet extremely hard for people who are only planning on going into the cave a couple of times and (2) due to how easy it was to kite the bats before their spawn changed (they didn't always hug the back wall and you could easily get all the loot drops + artifact just by kiting the bats) there needs to be something to block players from running in an out so easily .. perhaps some areas that you need to crouch to get through while allowing bats to fly around the obstacle. It should also be made so that bats can be fought in smaller groups.

The jumps in the cave are perfectly fine as they're all relatively easy if you use regular jump instead of sprinting-jump with exception to the shortcut jump across the middle. Since we now have grappling hooks the jumps are mostly easy to bypass anyways.

Here's a link to a video I recorded a year ago to show you what I mean by how easy it is / was. The loot crate that I picked up in the video is now extremely hard to get now because the bats all hug the back wall so it's impossible or near impossible to kite them now, but all the other crates are still just as easy to get.

Skip to 1:20 unless you want to me watch me kite a carno away from the entrance lol.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


  • I like the idea of every cave having its own unique loot, like the different skins on SE (for example more headgear skins would be amazing!! Like how the Trike bone shows off that you've killed an Alpha Rex, cave headgear could show off a cave you have completed. Maybe a skin for completing all of them. Who knows. But skins!!!!!!!! :D)
  • Every cave having their own atmosphere and environments about them, just like Swamp and Snow. Those two are both very unique compared with the others.
  • Just generally up the difficulty of them, like Swamp and Snow. Sure, keep some lower difficulty caves for beetle taming and whatnot, but personally being at endgame, more challenging caves would be amazing.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think alternate uses for the relics might be cool. For example you could have shrine or something that, within it's radius, buffs you/your tribe depending on how many relics you attach to it. Or perhaps a type of store system where you can purchase special items for different relics. (Like a bronto skin for 50 relics of the massive or something.) Also adding unique dino/item skins in the loot crates would be a good incentive cave dive, and could encourage trade. 

Also making the cave a little more puzzley instead of guns a blazing on the hoards of bats would be nice.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking from a aesthetic design standpoint, I think it'd be cool if one of the caves could function as a sort of 'ruin' cave. Like, a clashing of man-made, dilapidated structures and natural rock formations and other assorted cave goodness. Just like, in Scorched Earth, we can see the remains of a settlement getting buried in the sand, I think it'd be neat if we could see the same on The Island.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely more atmospheric and unique looking caves and mini bosses protecting the artifacts...   I'd also like to see some caves (not all) have small entrances so that only a person can get in them so that they are challenging and you can't rely on your tames to protect you...

  • More stalagmites / stalactites, crystal chambers, waterfalls and flowing underground rivers with strong currents...
  • pitch black caves, no glowing crystals for light...
  • tree roots showing through cave ceilings...
  • More different types of Cave formations other than stalagmites and stalactites and crystals... like pool, flow, ribbon, pearl formations
  • Not all caves need to be invested with creatures... 
  • Wet caves with air flow are freezing / most caves are very stable in temperature though...
  • Remove x6 damage or lessen it or remove damage x6 and prevent building in caves that contain artifacts and drops...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 29/09/2016 at 5:12 AM, yabilly said:

remove lag spikes when entering or exiting caves.

The "lag"  you experience when entering a cave is the Unreal Engine switching the level it is streaming in memory, which is a blocking action. This is necessary so that things outside of the cave are not rendered there by giving better performance in caves. It is unavoidable. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you have a great opportunity to add some puzzles to the caves to make them more interesting and more of a challenge from an intellectual challenge rather than simply it being get geared up and brute force your way through.

Some ideas for some puzzles you could implement:

  • Series of levers that need to be activated to open doors/raise bridges etc.. The levers may be positioned in other parts of the cave, requiring you to explore more of the cave in order to gain access to the other parts where the artifact is located.
  • Clue based puzzles, perhaps drawing on knowledge from the dossiers to gain access to parts of a cave.
  • Time based puzzles, perhaps you have to light a standing torch in one part of the cave and another in another part of the cave to activate entry into the next part of the cave.
  • Equipment based puzzles, utilise equipment in order to reach parts of the cave, such as the grappling hook.
  • Item based puzzles, perhaps you have to tribute an artifact from another cave to gain access to some rare loot, or use a certain item at a certain point to solve a puzzle.
  • Environment based puzzles, I thinking back to the games like The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past, which would use water to allow you access to other parts of the the dungeon. Perhaps you could use an activation to raise the level of the water for a certain amount of time that you would use to gain access to an otherwise unreachable part of the cave.

Visually I think you also have an opportunity to incorporate more of the lore of The Island into the caves. I really like the design of the ice cave on The Center which has massive building sculptures carved out of the ice. Visually the lava cave is currently the best looking cave of the old caves in my opinion.

In addition, I think the wild creatures in the cave need balancing more. The Arthropleura in the wild is too OP in my opinion, its acid should not be able to wreck an entire set of Flak armour in one hit. I think it should only wreck on random piece of the Flak armour at a time, giving you "five chances" with diminishing returns given you are less protected with each piece that you lose.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The first gap on the devourer (north east) is very difficult to make with a wolf or saber when exiting the cave, if that is intentional then alright but we lost our highest wolf in there due to repeated failed attempts at that last jump and falling all the way to the bottom

The north west (skylord) cave, I like the way you are encouraged to find a different way out after collecting the artefact, although posts of players who attempt the exit following the artefact collection say that it is near impossible,

Would love to see more design that when you collect your loot you are required to find a different exit, perhaps the level design would be too much to have a rock slide blocking your entrance and creating a new exit, only for it to be reset (rock slide away) once everyone has left the cave. You could use a rock slide mechanic or incorporate some of that alien tech to have closing doors


Side note

I would love to see safer, well alternative paths that utilise crawling, jump puzzles and grappling hooks, paths that are only big enough for a player, so people can take in mounts and take on all the creatures of find little narrow cracks and crevices to slip into, and go around the creatures


Did anyone consider putting silica pearls into the caves waters to make it more rewarding for people to enter and attempt,namely the pack (upper south) with tis heavy Darci and megapirahna spawn, there is a huge pool of water that has nothing more then deadly creatures in it;I am aware it serves as a safety net if you fall down from the titanaboa den


Perhaps adding in titanaboa nests, so we know if there are titanaboa eggs there?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps lead away from a more generic cave feel

Pack the south east cave with more obsidian  as it is filled with lava,

The lower south cave, why can't you get a saver in but you can a wolf?

Also there are a few teleportation glitches in that cave where the game throws you back up to the overworks or thinks you are in water when you are not


You could always incorporate more stalagmites to block off paths from creatures to create, player only areas, either to create safe rest zones or to create paths that only players may follow, or just to prevent players taking tames to certain areas of the caves

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

guys level design doesn't really include the wild dino that spawn in there. level design means how the stage is going to be made, the environment. 

some comments I have about our caves are:

1) most of the surface caves are above ground and contain a little segment where it's flooded. a surface cave that is completed flooded would be a nice alternative

2) walls should be walls. trees should be walls too. there are caves with invisible walls. getting our dino stuck in there by them has always been an issue. wild/crates spawning behind the walls is still an issue. not sure if spawn points are part of level design.

3) jumping puzzle in the dead island cave (Devourer) has claimed a few lives of toads. there should be a better way of navigating through. I supposed this is the cave where the broodmother was resting. in this case shouldn't the path leading downwards be much wider?

4) caves should also reflect what they are close to. the cave nearest to the volcano should have lava. the cave nearest to the snow mountains should have some bits of icicles

5) some underwater caves should be completely flooded

6) maybe some kind of a different cave entrance? all of them are standing upright. what about caves with a drop as an entrance? to get back up you need to use grappling hooks.

7) large empty caves with nothing in it. I'll love it. please please please 

8) all underwater caves are the same. I think having a few caves with different resources like metal, obsidian, maybe even a random tree (a coconut found its way there. why not?) would be very nice

9) corpses of beached aquatics in underwater caves

10) more corpses of survivors in caves. have some of them impaled on a wall or on a ledge are some examples. make it more like "he made a grave mistake". we can then include survivor logs of caves for explorer notes

11) a mini boss in cave? don't have to be an alpha, but something harder to beat. guardians of the artifact maybe?

12) fake artifact crates?

13) this isn't really a cave, but a huge paw print as a crater or sorts as an entrance to a cave sounds really good

14) some kinds of markings left behind by other survivors warning of pitfalls and other stuff would be nice

15) ropes. ladders. random wall torches with fire lit. it'll be nice if we can use some of those ladders and ropes as well

16) maybe have one of the caves be a mining cave, but they dug too far deep and now wilds are unleashed and killed everybody. so some random wooden boxes, rusty metal picks, rusty shovel, random pile of rocks would be nice


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

These are some suggestions, I hope you like!

1. Make the caves all have a unique theme to them (like snow cave and swamp cave) make them like raids! Where you go in with your friends and fight difficult enemies (like the yeti) and cave bosses (maybe) and checkpoints (just in case you die) and a level requirement for each of them.

2. Amazing rewards. Like skins, higher tier stuff. I want caves to be rewarding and fun!

3. Fix the weird bugs like those "shiny rocks."

4. And maybe a little story for each of the caves (like in SE) or just some cave drawings.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like how the caves are implemented on the Center map... I never have the 'load stutter' going in and out of those. Could you have Frank take a look at the caves and see if they can be done the same way?

From what I have seen of the caves, each would benefit from having a theme like the Swamp and Snow caves got, or like the ones on the Center. I do like the obsidian-esque wall textures, but perhaps smooth them out and make it easier for creatures to move around in them.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know ya'll have played Skyrim. Everyone's played Skyrim. Does anyone remember that one mission where you find one of the Elder Scrolls underground? Like, you had to go in through that ice crevice? Blackreach! There should be a Blackreach cave. I mean, I remember feeling like I was going on a full blown expedition when I went through Blackreach 'cause it was such a long, big dungeon level. I can see players throwing down temporary campsites and getting separated in all the different rooms or paths. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

• Bones/fossils would be nice to see in caves, as well for the entire island. ;)

• Better loot and a skin within the artifact container, just like in Scorched Earth

• Give us some hints on the Ark-story with more cave art, also like in SE :D

• Different mini-bosses/guardians, but not a smaller broodmother for every cave, just a remodeled creature for every single one. For example bigger Dilo in the south cave, Carno, Rex or Argent in the North East Cave and so on.

• How about some more resources like silica pearls in caves?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Central cave needs a fix in that dinos parked above it can drop through and never get out, we currently have 2 bears that are in this situation from different times.  Also agree with above posters in that they seem a good place to make titanaboa eggs available, that would keep people going back in.  Titanaboa eggs do sometimes occur in them currently but often drop below the ground level and so cant be gathered. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be cool to take advantage of the North west and lower south caves ceiling height by adding old mining ruins like mining carts maybe with tracks and some mining scalfolding to make it look like previous people's held small mining operations before something mysterious happened that turned the mine into ruins. Also to add to the fact that the caves were used to mine you can add more metal and crystal spawns with less loot drops, even the mining carts could hold loot.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 1:36 AM, Oldkane said:

Central cave needs a fix in that dinos parked above it can drop through and never get out, we currently have 2 bears that are in this situation from different times.  Also agree with above posters in that they seem a good place to make titanaboa eggs available, that would keep people going back in.  Titanaboa eggs do sometimes occur in them currently but often drop below the ground level and so cant be gathered. 

Actually, Central is a tame-friendly cave, it has a teleport thing at the very end. This teleport thing is at the bottom of the pool of water that is around the artifact. You have to go all the way to the bottom, where it looks like you and your tame is turning into red dust.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

-make their textures easier on the eyes. RN it's a super complicated mess visually. 

-many different ways to find the artifact: A long, easy route around: a quick but very dangerous shortcut, etc. 

-have landmarks within the caves

-North East Island cave is broken by design. It is so easy to go up and down in this game with chutes and grapples: make all the floor at the bottom kill you, and have the artifact spawn at random, hidden places (I. E, C at be seen as soon as you walk in) so the cave has to be fully explored. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So this is gonna be a long drawn out post but I'll try to condense it down as much as I can.

General Suggestions

  • Caves should be a challenge meaning players should not be able to bring in mounts. Shoulder mounted creatures and small dino's are acceptable (such as Dimetrodons and Dilophosaurs)
  • Certain caves should be revaluated in their effects on the player for example Central Cave is located below a volcano and should be VERY HOT instead of being very cold. I'll list more detailed suggestions for each cave below.
  • As many have said having a "Mini-Boss" or a "Special enemy" spawn inside the caves to act as an Artifact Guardian would make Caves much more interesting both as a source of loot and easy way to gain XP.
  • Caves should have the Artifact located in hard to reach or extremely well guarded areas.

Central Cave Suggestions

  1. Entrance - Needs to be made much smaller, for example keep the current entrance but the further in you go, the smaller it gets to the point where you can only "park" dino's in the mouth of the cave but will require you to go on foot the rest of way.
  2. Interior + Hazard '#1- As the Cave is located beneath a Volcano it's interior should reflect that, instead of being cold it should be unbearably hot and the closer you get to the artifact the air becomes toxic requiring a gas mask or scuba/ghillie combo much like the Swamp Cave to navigate further.
  3. Resources - If Scorched Earth is Installed, Sulfur should spawn here and is largely the reason why the Air has become so toxic further down in the cave.In addition Obsidian should also spawn in much larger quantities.
  4. Hazard #2 - Add Steam Vents, these go off every few seconds and are placed in various chokepoints and hallways of the cave. With proper timing a player can easily avoid these, however getting hit by one inflicts massive damage on the player.
  5. Creatures - Remove the Oync and piranha, only insects should be able to survive here.
  6. Hazard #3 - Closer to the bottom of the cave where water is present remove the phiranha but make the water lethal if anything touches it. Since it's so hot down there, that water is like dipping your foot into a boiling pot of water and will literally cook anyone who falls into it, AKA it's like Lava but just boiling water or extremely acidic water.  
  7. Mini Boss - I think the Artifact Guardian for this cave should be a unique version of Arthropleura which is untamable and having a much higher health pool and melee damage. It's spit should not only be lethal but extremely poisonois.
  8. Artifact Chamber - The Artifact should be much harder to get and require some fore thought to acquire, for example being placed on a rock pillar above a much larger lake of boiling water/acidic water and requiring players to grapple hook to it or navigate a series of rocks.

North West Cave

  1. Entrance - Entrance is fine, it looks amazing with the Snow Biome so it doesn't really need to be changed too much
  2. Interior - I think the interior of this cave needs to be reworked to look more like an Ice Cave like perhaps it was flowing with water before it completely froze over
  3. Hazard #1 - Pitfalls should have a smaller thin layer of ice that if stepped on causes players to fall through to the spikey floor. The holes are easily avoided but disguising them to make them look like thin patches of ice could make it more difficult to navigate
  4. Decor + Loot Chests - Perhaps have signs of previous survivor acitivty such as random loot crates with frozen corpse beside it that spawns high tier loot (specific to the snow biome such as Fur Armor etc)  Perhaps even having a few skewered frozen bodies on the spikes below at pit falls could add an extra layer of decor.
  5. Mini Boss - I believe this Cave's Artifact Guardian should be a giant Oync or perhaps a Special Alpha Oync which ignores armor and hits hard.
  6. Artifact Chamber - Perhaps make the Artifact spawn on a pedestal that is surronded by a layer of thin ice, if the player isn't careful they are met with a deadly fall to a bottomless pit.

Lower South Cave

  1. Entrance - The Entrance of this cave should reflect the surronding environment primarily being jungle, my first thought was to keep things simple and just cover over the cave entrance in leafy vines, moss and maybe a tall overgrown bush but then I remember the Ruins, perhaps have this Cave entrance as a Ruin Entrance like an old stone temple entrance (inspired somewhat by Scorched Earth's Church Cave)
  2. Interior - Again the interior should reflect the exterior biome primarily being Jungle, leafy vines, lots of moss, if it's based on a ruins entrance perhaps there could be signs of previous ruins, treasure rooms and hallways, torches and such, evidence that this "Cave" was once inhabited.
  3. Creatures - While Titanaboa's should still spawn I believe that this Cave should also spawn a special kind of Albino Raptor which cannot be tamed only has slightly higher HP and damage than a regular raptor and be slightly larger. Dilo's and Compies should also spawn in greater number in this cave. The deeper a player goes however they will soon meet Spiders and Scorpions.
  4. Hazards - If an old ancient ruin is selected, having traps such as pitfalls, Poison Dart Traps or Spike traps could be a possibility to add an extra layer of challenge.
  5. Loot - As mentioned before perhaps have signs of previous explorers, perhaps webbed by Araneo's and hung from the cieling, perhaps random crates and supplies at various points which hold valuable loot to take.
  6. Mini Boss - The Artifact Guardian here should be a Titanaboa perhaps much larger and stronger, significantly faster too with more potent venom. It would require hefty firepower to bring down but offers nearly enough XP and loot like an Alpha. 
  7. Artifact Chamber - I think the Artifact should be placed on a pedastal one which shows that possible this Artifact was used by former occupants as an item of worship. It's easy to grab but first you gotta get past the Guardian.

Upper South Cave

  1. Entrance - I believe this cave, being primarily underwater should reflect it's underwater nature with that being placed near a water source. Perhaps have a waterfall cover the entrance, so that players will have to swim into the entrance.
  2. Interior - As it is primarily an water based cave, many of it's areas should be at least ankle/knee deep in water until reaching the deeper sections of the cave.
  3. Creatures - Titanaboa's spawn regulary in the shallow areas but the deeper areas host Piranha's, Sarco's and the Kaprosuchus. Insects should not spawn here.
  4. Loot - Perhaps have dedicated loot rooms in these underwater labrinyths, such as a half sunken boat with some crates on it, random wooden chests on the bottom of the cave floor or intertwined with inner tree root systems.
  5. Hazards - Whirlpools, various areas where the player can be sucked into a whirlpool which can hold them their almost indefinantly if they do not have crossbows with grappling hooks, ensuring a slow death by drowning.
  6. Artifact Chamber - I believe that players should enter an almost open arena like Lake inside the cave where the Artifact resides on a tiny island in the middle. Players simply have to swim out to get however...
  7. Mini-Boss - The Artifact Guardin is a unique Sarco that has greater health and damage resistance and inflicts an injury based wound if it connects with a player. It is also much larger and has a unique colour pattern.

South East Cave

  1. Entrance - I believe this cave should have an entrance that resembles that of an old steam vent or gyser that has long since burnt out, players will need grappling hooks to descend deep into this cave, forcing them to leave behind their mounts.
  2. Interior - The Interior of the Cave is much like Central, largely barren and incredibly hot, once they reach the inner sanctums they will begin to find lava rivers and lakes.
  3. Creatures - Same as before a mix of Scorpions, Oync, Spiders and the odd Titanaboa.
  4. Loot & Resources - Signs of previous explorers and/or adventurers meeting their doom but leaving behind their travel supplies, old rotten chests and backpacks etc maybe the odd skeleton here and there.
  5. Hazards - Like the Central Cave steam vents would be a danger to players who stumbled too close, Lava Lakes and Pitfalls are also another Hazard to worry about.
  6. Mini-Boss - I believe the Mini-Boss for this Cave should be a Giant Scorpion with more HP, Damage and a more powerful, lethal venom (which strips your health away as opposed to Torpor). However this Scorpion guards the only entrance to the Artifact Chamber.
  7. Artifact Chamber - Same as before but having a Scorpion arena just before the entrance to the Artifact Chamber, meaning it's only way in or out and requires some patient jumping to and from platforms.

North Ease Cave

  1. Entrance - Should be left alone but the entrance should be more focused in the center of the island as opposed to the northern peak of the Island.
  2. Interior - Like before but with wider ramps to allow the land creatures such as Spiders and Scorpions easier travel to your location.
  3. Creatures - Same as before, keep the Oync until something else comes along. I thought about the idea of a Giant Hornets using the Cave as a nest for example with the Scorpions and Spiders feasting off scraps on the bottom.
  4. Loot -  Perhaps coccooned victims from Araneo's or skeletal remains with nearby loot chests by them.
  5. Mini Boss - At the bottom of the pit a large Araneo should spawn, it's not quite the broodmother but it's close to it and it protects the Artifact from being stolen.
  6. Artifact Chamber - I believe the Artifact should be coccooned in spider silk, the player requiring to hack through it before they can get to it.

Underwater Caves

  1. Entrances - Some of the smaller under-water caves should just open up into an air pocket, while other larger ones should have a tunnel system going through them opening into larger caves.
  2. Interiors - Smaller Underwater caves should be large enough to just about walk around in or go prone in but are not large to really do anything other than harvest silica pearls and oil nodes. Larger under-water caves should host a pleortha of silia pearls, tunnels and air pockets.
  3. Loot - The Loot inside these caves shouldn't change too much but perhaps larger under-water caves (which could have Mosasaurs spawn outside instead of Pleisosaurs) could have spots of rare black silica pearls guarded by Sea Scorpions and other under-water beasts.
  4. Creatures - Since no under-water creatures spawn IN the caves, I believe these under-water Caves will be invaluable for finding Ammonites in addition to rare resources like Diamond or any other resource that is only found in deeper oceans. They could also spawn Sea Scorpions, Giant Squids, Electric Eels and the possibly other sea creatures like Liopleurodon

Make Artifacts posses Special Powers

Simply put this idea would make going into Caves more profitable if those Artifacts you just gathered gave the user special powers when it's held in their Inventory. Granted it would need to be tested for Balance reasons but certain artifacts could provide a physical bonus while it's in a players possesion and a passive area bonus when placed on a obsidian pedastel. A quick example could be that the Artifact of the Clever gives bonus XP to the user while in possession of the Artifact or provides a bonus XP multiplier for all your tamed dino's in that area while the Artifact of the Hunter could make you have the stamina and speed of a hunter while it's passive bonus increases the detection range of all your tamed dino's on enemy threats. I would go more into it but I think this post has already enough content I will probably link a seperate thread once I make it.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites