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Mkruisje

opinions OPINIONS Procedurally Generated ARK!!

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I really like the idea of procedurally generated ARK maps! 

But I was wondering what are your experiences? 
And I just can't imagine that those maps will get any way close to how great the maps are right now. I mean there is so much work in Island, Center and SE, a generated ARK map can't be better right?

Let me know what you think :)

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Complete and utter waste of development time at this stage of game development in my opinion.  No one asked for it.  Even fewer people will do anything more than play on one of these servers for more than a fleeting moment.  It makes me even more afraid that this game is tending down the same catastrophic path that Dungeon Defenders 1 did.  Constantly focusing efforts on new pet projects rather than completing and optimizing the game.

Game's been out almosy a year.  If I could play and not be dashboarded multiple times a play session i would support this useless project.  Until then, I find their waste of dev time on this insulting.

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I also believe it is waste of resources and time owing to the fact that:

  • The game is supposed to be released in December and it still lacks end game content. 
  • There are 6 months and older bugs which are not fixed yet. 
  • The game is unoptimised totally.  I7-6700k 4.0Ghz, 32 GB RAM and MSI 1080 Gaming X and only 44 fps on epic settings? Really?
  • WIldcard focuses on projects that no one asked for like official Survival Of The Fittest than polsihing exsiting core mechanics.

I really doubt the game will be released in December. I wonder if they're going to say the same thing when they push premiere for the first time in June. "We need a bit more time to add what we want". What's more we have no roadmap of planned features even though WIldcard promised in EA steam page such one would be available to players. So they can keep this game in forever alpha state as long as they want. 

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On 24/10/2016 at 11:32 PM, Brayn said:

Complete and utter waste of development time at this stage of game development in my opinion.  No one asked for it.  Even fewer people will do anything more than play on one of these servers for more than a fleeting moment.  It makes me even more afraid that this game is tending down the same catastrophic path that Dungeon Defenders 1 did.  Constantly focusing efforts on new pet projects rather than completing and optimizing the game.

Game's been out almosy a year.  If I could play and not be dashboarded multiple times a play session i would support this useless project.  Until then, I find their waste of dev time on this insulting.

Sallllllllllllty!!!!

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Thanks for al your answers! :)

I need to say I like it a lot, but I do agree on that its just to early to focus on. They need to keep the players that are playing right now also, and for what I read everywhere is that everybody is screaming for bug fixes. Looks like they don't really listen to them. 

I think there should be a balance between it, its nice to have something new ones every time but it feels like the focus is specially on the new stuff instead of bugs.

But after all I'm exited for it to be done :) 

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Just now, jhakala1963 said:

I did create a couple of new maps and it is fun. I think having a blank map to start with without having wiki tell you where everything is will be a fun challenge. I am waiting for the linux server part to get resolved so my friends can play with me. For now I am playing scorched.

Indeed, I agree with you! When SE came out I tried not to use gamepedia, its much more fun when you figure things out by your self. And if the PGA are done and you need to search for things like caves :P

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3 hours ago, ChampionARK said:

Indeed, I agree with you! When SE came out I tried not to use gamepedia, its much more fun when you figure things out by your self. And if the PGA are done and you need to search for things like caves :P

As it is, Caves are super easy to spot... Wait for a fog (not pea soup fog mind you), fly up high and look around... Cave entrances will show up as a black hole while everything else will be greyed out more so by the fog - Bad graphics display...

or

Underwater caves can be seen clearly as a box from the surface...

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54 minutes ago, Mendoza said:

As it is, Caves are super easy to spot... Wait for a fog (not pea soup fog mind you), fly up high and look around... Cave entrances will show up as a black hole while everything else will be greyed out more so by the fog - Bad graphics display...

or

Underwater caves can be seen clearly as a box from the surface...

You just screwed up my cave search dream! ;P

But if the cave is in between a lot of trees, will you still see the black hole?

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1 hour ago, ChampionARK said:

You just screwed up my cave search dream! ;P

But if the cave is in between a lot of trees, will you still see the black hole?

depends on your viewing distance setting I suppose....?    Sorry if I destroyed your dream - I was pretty disappointed myself that I could see them so easily!

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On 26-10-2016 at 8:40 PM, kittle said:

I like the pg ark option - A LOT.  it gives me something to do in game other than grind resources and wait around for tames.

As expected, it is buggy - but it has a lot of possibilities.

I saw there was a seed code where the settings are for PGA. Do you know if that works the same way as Minecraft? That you have a map that is awesome and I like to have the same one I just use that seed? Or maybe a different way of doing that. :)

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On 10/24/2016 at 6:32 AM, Brayn said:

Complete and utter waste of development time at this stage of game development in my opinion.  No one asked for it.  Even fewer people will do anything more than play on one of these servers for more than a fleeting moment.  It makes me even more afraid that this game is tending down the same catastrophic path that Dungeon Defenders 1 did.  Constantly focusing efforts on new pet projects rather than completing and optimizing the game.

Game's been out almosy a year.  If I could play and not be dashboarded multiple times a play session i would support this useless project.  Until then, I find their waste of dev time on this insulting.

Ummm lots of people have been wanting it. You're insane to think no one wants procedural worlds. Lots of people enjoy exploration in these kinds of games and procedural worlds gives them that. Also man, you need to find a better server, seem pretty salty.

 

2 hours ago, ChampionARK said:

I saw there was a seed code where the settings are for PGA. Do you know if that works the same way as Minecraft? That you have a map that is awesome and I like to have the same one I just use that seed? Or maybe a different way of doing that. :)

If you have ALL the settings for generating a world including the seed, then yes for a given version of the game code, it should produce the same map.


Now onto my opinion:

Overall I think it's awesome. Took a lot of work to figure out how the procedural engine works and I would have liked the default settings to be something that given a particular seed produces a more "usable" ARK. Also played around with the new Game.INI spawning modifer and was able to get all the species who's biomes are being generated now spawning in other biomes so all are available.

I'm sure as they fine tune both the procedural algorithm and release new versions, they'll adjust the defaults and I'll tweak my server settings as more biomes are being properly generated. As of now I'm going to be playing on my hosted / modded procedural server. We also have a TheCenter server, but I like the exploration aspect of procedural ARKs. As the engine gets overhauled and maps reset, we'll maintain player data and just reset the map so people don't have to level each time.

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10 hours ago, CyberVic said:

Ummm lots of people have been wanting it. You're insane to think no one wants procedural worlds. Lots of people enjoy exploration in these kinds of games and procedural worlds gives them that. Also man, you need to find a better server, seem pretty salty.

 

If you have ALL the settings for generating a world including the seed, then yes for a given version of the game code, it should produce the same map.


Now onto my opinion:

Overall I think it's awesome. Took a lot of work to figure out how the procedural engine works and I would have liked the default settings to be something that given a particular seed produces a more "usable" ARK. Also played around with the new Game.INI spawning modifer and was able to get all the species who's biomes are being generated now spawning in other biomes so all are available.

I'm sure as they fine tune both the procedural algorithm and release new versions, they'll adjust the defaults and I'll tweak my server settings as more biomes are being properly generated. As of now I'm going to be playing on my hosted / modded procedural server. We also have a TheCenter server, but I like the exploration aspect of procedural ARKs. As the engine gets overhauled and maps reset, we'll maintain player data and just reset the map so people don't have to level each time.

Nice! Do you try to have the same map each time or a different one? That would be awesome too, to have a server where you can explore every month a new map. 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, ChampionARK said:

Nice! Do you try to have the same map each time or a different one? That would be awesome too, to have a server where you can explore every month a new map. 

We'll do a map reset whenever they update the procedural code that makes it necessary. Don't want resets without it being necessary.

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So I'm pretty happy that the PG Aspekt gets into the game...

Let me explain why:

The thing about ARK is - if you know what to do it becomes not only a bit more easy but a lot - for instance if you know where on the map you find which resource you have a big advantage - so big its better to search on the wiki for 15 minutes (which you never need) instead of taking a Dino and fly over the map to explore.

With my group I usually pre-select some Base locations and outposts before we even start at a server.

PGArks solve this problem in a really sweet way... Your Information is now a limited resource... because you just can't open a wiki and see where you can tame your favorite Dino, or where to best build, or even where to go next.

Think about it - how much worth would be the location of dung beetle on day 2-3 for you? Plant X? Metal? Pearls? Obsidian?
You don't have a wiki for this anymore and this gives you a big depth of gameplay...

The moment you step on the PGARK all your knowledge about locations go out of the window and the information you gather is as useful as the other resources...
I'm pretty sure you can even trade Information for resources in PGARKs and thats worth a lot...

 

That all said - I would like that we get bugfixes too - for instance that I don't have to build double walls and that we get a better gameplay in general without too many bugs and exploits... 

I think PGARK´s are a great addition but I like to see further development on them later when the game is more "finished".

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I wish it didn't require me to surpass such a HIGH learning curve in order to generate a map halfway decent lol I've learned a bit from some of the guides, thank god, but it's still.. So difficult lol I've generated alot, and I had maybe one that I halfway liked and that's because I wrote stats down on a piece of paper. Learning curve is tough on this one..

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On 29-10-2016 at 11:01 AM, OmegaTCU said:

So I'm pretty happy that the PG Aspekt gets into the game...

Let me explain why:

The thing about ARK is - if you know what to do it becomes not only a bit more easy but a lot - for instance if you know where on the map you find which resource you have a big advantage - so big its better to search on the wiki for 15 minutes (which you never need) instead of taking a Dino and fly over the map to explore.

With my group I usually pre-select some Base locations and outposts before we even start at a server.

PGArks solve this problem in a really sweet way... Your Information is now a limited resource... because you just can't open a wiki and see where you can tame your favorite Dino, or where to best build, or even where to go next.

Think about it - how much worth would be the location of dung beetle on day 2-3 for you? Plant X? Metal? Pearls? Obsidian?
You don't have a wiki for this anymore and this gives you a big depth of gameplay...

The moment you step on the PGARK all your knowledge about locations go out of the window and the information you gather is as useful as the other resources...
I'm pretty sure you can even trade Information for resources in PGARKs and thats worth a lot...

 

That all said - I would like that we get bugfixes too - for instance that I don't have to build double walls and that we get a better gameplay in general without too many bugs and exploits... 

I think PGARK´s are a great addition but I like to see further development on them later when the game is more "finished".

Sorry for my late respons! 

I totally agree with you, when The Center came out I tried not to use Gamepedia because the game is harder that way. More fun and you need to think better before you do something :). And indeed this way you have a different kind of gameplay. Maybe people will help each other more and I like your idea of trading for information. 

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11 hours ago, Critter said:

I wish it didn't require me to surpass such a HIGH learning curve in order to generate a map halfway decent lol I've learned a bit from some of the guides, thank god, but it's still.. So difficult lol I've generated alot, and I had maybe one that I halfway liked and that's because I wrote stats down on a piece of paper. Learning curve is tough on this one..

What are things you learned about it? :) I'm very curios! 
And do you maybe have the stats of the map you liked a bit so I can try it out? :)

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I like the idea, but there is no way I'm playing on a procedurally generated map right now.

TL;DR: Take a stroll from the beach through the jungle up the mountain and you've seen the ENTIRE map.

I generated a few maps but ended up dropping the idea, because the main reason why I want new maps is exploration. However as it stands, the procedural maps don't give you all that much to explore.

Firstly, they're waaaay to small. There is no excuse why there should be any limit on the size of a generated map. Just let the generator work for twice the time and get a map that's twice as large. I don't see why you would limit it like this.

Secondly, for the relatively small map that you get, you get really boring stuff. No obelisks, no caves, no bosses. No artifacts in general. Just a glorified noise-map divided into a few regions, based on terrain height.
There is literally not a single spot on any of the maps that I generated that feels special in the slightest way. It's all just some perlin noise (or whatever noise) mapped onto a terrain height map with an ocean surface somewhere in the middle.
You get Beach, Jungle, Mountains, Redwood Forest and Snow. And these biomes look exactly the same, wherever you are on the map. Beaches have the same tree/rock/bush density EVERYWHERE on the map. Jungle has the same tree/rock/bush density EVERYWHERE on the map. Mountains have the - you get the idea.

You can basically spawn somewhere on a beach, walk up the shores through the jungle and onto the mountain and you've seen the whole map, because the biomes are the same everywhere.

Thirdly, the resources are badly distributed and badly configurable, apart from trees maybe. But there is no distinction between trees and rocks in the generator configuration. Metal and other mountain resources spawn way to rarely and are, again, not configurable.

Constructive criticism:

I would like to see obelisks and maybe caves on procedural maps. Unless I'm missing something here, this really shouldn't be a big deal to implement. Even if that means the caves would be prefabs.

In addition I belive that varying densities of various resources across the entire map would drastically increase the experience of exploration. As stated above, my biggest gripe with the procedural maps right now is the fact that they're the same, wherever you go. It's Beach, Shores, Jungle, Mountains, everywhere and there is no need or incentive to set up camp on this particular shore as opposed to that one over there.
Seriously just let the generator produce some special places on the map. If you look at The Island we have places like the volcanoe or the hidden lake, as I believe it's called. Just terrain and resources, but arranged in interesting shapes. Just make it produce artifacts like that and exploration will actually be fun.

Finally, remove that pesky size limit, if at all possible. For a long time now, I would have loved a map with two islands and an ocean in between. Just something bigger, or is there a reason why Minecraft can do that and this game can't?

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That said, procedurally generated maps could become a great feature. I do think back from time to time to when I didn't know The Island inside out. Exploration is a great experience and with a map generator that exploration can live on for a very long time. With a good map generator that is.

I agree with the people on this thread who mentioned the fact that whenever you want to know where you can find a motherlode of metal on The Island you can just look it up on the wiki. On a generated map this possibility would simply not be there, forcing you to actually explore. I would greatly welcome that!

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On 10/24/2016 at 9:32 AM, Brayn said:

Complete and utter waste of development time at this stage of game development in my opinion.  No one asked for it.  Even fewer people will do anything more than play on one of these servers for more than a fleeting moment.

Speak for yourself.  I have always wanted procedurally generated Ark maps due to the original maps becoming stale.  I've got a PGARK server up and running and it has repeat players every single day.  The custom map forces players to actually survive in an environment they can't google to find out what areas are safe and where minerals can be found.  It actually requires exploration, and some seriously stealthy scouting.
 

On 10/24/2016 at 10:10 AM, Lewiatan said:

I also believe it is waste of resources and time owing to the fact that:

  • The game is supposed to be released in December and it still lacks end game content. 
  • There are 6 months and older bugs which are not fixed yet. 
  • The game is unoptimised totally.  I7-6700k 4.0Ghz, 32 GB RAM and MSI 1080 Gaming X and only 44 fps on epic settings? Really?
  • WIldcard focuses on projects that no one asked for like official Survival Of The Fittest than polsihing exsiting core mechanics.

I really doubt the game will be released in December. I wonder if they're going to say the same thing when they push premiere for the first time in June. "We need a bit more time to add what we want". What's more we have no roadmap of planned features even though WIldcard promised in EA steam page such one would be available to players. So they can keep this game in forever alpha state as long as they want. 

I do agree that added features like Competitions and Events should be put on hold until the game is completed.  That said, I believe procedurally generated maps are more of a core component than an added feature.  TheIsland and TheCenter are only 2 maps and, quite frankly, after this amount of time they've grown stale.  Everyone knows where everything is, where the best building locations are, etc.  There's no exploration enjoyment anymore, even if you start a new game.  Wildcard needed something to keep survival players interested in the game and adding procedural generation has done just that.  You can tell by the server listings that it's a popular component of the game, so in my eyes they made a good move implementing it.

That said, PGARK is currently missing some key components that really need addressed.  First, and most importantly, there are no caves.  Second, and equally as important, there are no obelisks.  This takes away a lot of the mid/end-game goals for players and makes the game strictly about survival.  Without these components the procedurally generated terrains may not be enough, but we have no news on what Wildcard plans to add to PGARK so we just have to wait and see.

As for bugs, this is still an Early Access title.  Until they finish adding core content and move onto the final stages of development, bugs really shouldn't be a priority.  If the bug is game breaking, then of course it should be immediately addressed.  Optimization is also a final stage of development, after all the core content is completed.  People often talk about bugs and optimization during Early Access because they don't understand the development cycle.  They're used to going out to Walmart and buying a finished product that, yes, might have a few bugs which get patched up (or ignored).  They aren't used to jumping into the middle of the development cycle and experiencing what only alpha-testers used to be privy to.  As a former alpha-tester for several games I can quite confidently say that non-optimization and bugs are a way of life and you just need to deal with them (and report them) until the game is actually finished.  If you can't handle that, you shouldn't be buying early access titles.

 

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On 11/11/2016 at 9:05 PM, MajorNr01 said:

my biggest gripe with the procedural maps right now is the fact that they're the same, wherever you go. It's Beach, Shores, Jungle, Mountains, everywhere and there is no need or incentive to set up camp on this particular shore as opposed to that one over there.

I actually think that's the point.  There really is no advantage.  You can't really camp a resource (like TheIsland's volcano) and beat the hell out of everyone else.  You're on an even playing field, which is what will separate the men from the boys.

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13 hours ago, ViperZeroOne said:

As for bugs, this is still an Early Access title.  Until they finish adding core content and move onto the final stages of development, bugs really shouldn't be a priority.  If the bug is game breaking, then of course it should be immediately addressed.  Optimization is also a final stage of development, after all the core content is completed.  People often talk about bugs and optimization during Early Access because they don't understand the development cycle.  They're used to going out to Walmart and buying a finished product that, yes, might have a few bugs which get patched up (or ignored).  They aren't used to jumping into the middle of the development cycle and experiencing what only alpha-testers used to be privy to.  As a former alpha-tester for several games I can quite confidently say that non-optimization and bugs are a way of life and you just need to deal with them (and report them) until the game is actually finished.  If you can't handle that, you shouldn't be buying early access titles.

 

To be honest, ARK: Survival Evolve will be the last game in Early Access I've ever bought. Wildcard disappointed me so many times, postponed many features which would add more value to the game than "Oh gosh! Another shiny dinosaur to tame!". I'm currently getting rid off my tames on Official servers and this weekend I'd quit ARK for good. I might check game state if it is ever released from EA. But I doubt it would be ready before June 2017. 

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