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rpicardi1

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  1. Chapter 7. Gabriel and Nina’s story of survival. Riding on the shield Stryder, the two strangers, Gabriel and Nina, make the trip safely through the void to Eden. In spite of the shield produced by the Stryder, the trip through the void serves to disinfect everything from the contamination picked up in Rockwell’s Garden. It is the only thing that has kept the Eden Ring free of Rockwell’s influence, so far. Arriving at the tower base Nina has noticed all of the tamed creatures that now includes a raptor pack along with two carnos. “How were you able to tame these wild creatures,” she asks Dr. Mays. “I discovered that most of the creatures in this Habitat Ring have been genetically altered to allow us to interact with them,” answers Dr. Mays. “We can even selectively breed them if we so desire.” “Incredible,” answers Gabriel. “I knew that the DNA of those creatures had been brought along with us for this long journey. I never knew that they had been spawned into Eden let alone having been genetically altered to allow us to tame and use them.” Back inside the tower base, proper introductions are made with the two survivors and the crew of 007. An extended tour of the area is then made where Gabriel and Nina are introduced to the tames in the area prepared for them. Both of the survivors, and Commander Pike have a ton of questions to ask each other. The discussion goes well into the night. “Just what is happening here?” as Commander Pike as everyone gathers for the evening meeting. “We’re not entirely sure,” answers Gabriel. “It all started a year ago when we started having unexplained problems with the food processors in the two habitat rings followed by cryopods failing for no apparent reasons. The ship had just entered stable orbit around Arat when additional unexplained failures started occurring. When we started noticing strange lifeforms showing up in what we now call Rockwell’s Garden, HNLA set up isolation protocol to protect what we call Eden from contamination. That’s when I found out that something was wrong up on the bridge when we lost all communications after a warning about some giant life form that had invaded the control room.” “I led a security team, along with our biologist, through the Bridge Teleporter to investigate what was going on. It was a horrible sight of seeing masses of foul smelling distorted flesh growing all over the place before the security team was attacked with vine like tentacles laced with flesh eating acids. The distorted giant face that identified himself as Rockwell, then informed us of how he was going to expand his influence throughout the entire universe, starting with establishing himself on Arat, before killing everyone still left alive on the bridge.” “I somehow managed to escape back through the teleport, but a part of Rockwell was already growing in the cargo bay and soon took over that section of the Habitat Ring. Nina managed to isolate that area to contain the spread but it somehow managed to get into the ventilation and power conducts to eventually feed on all of the cryopodded colonist down below.” “HNLA managed to keep the infection out of the Eden Ring, but I fear that everyone in the cryopods stored down below are dead as well.” “Your fears are unfortunately confirmed,” responds Commander Pike. “My team that went down below confirmed that the cryopods stored down there were either empty, or contained decomposed bodies.” “What ever happened to the rest of the crew on this ship?” asks Dr. Mays. “They all died when they were either attacked by the creatures of Rockwell’s Garden, or when they attempted to storm the Bridge,” answers Nina. “We are the only ones left.” “How were you able to gain control of the Stryders and a Voidworm?” asks Gabriel. “I was able to hack into the control console to place it into manual control,” answers Dennis. “The Voidworm was more difficult as we had to paralyze it so I could find it’s control panel and disable its attack on sight programming. I do believe that I could find the control panels on the rare mechanical creatures roaming in the Habitat Ring and gain control of them as well.” “How did you and your crew end up on this Ark?” asks Gabriel. “According to our computer records, the ship should only have your DNA records in storage.” “We don’t know.” answers Commander Pike. “We just found ourselves in these strange space suits after we were killed when our ship crashed into Mars. Dennis was able to find out some of the history of this ship and it’s 100 year mission to reach a new world to establish a colony there.” “Interesting,” answers Nina. “HNLA must have spawned you into Eden similar to what she has done with these creatures that are now living in here. “Who is this HNLA?” Commander Pike finally asks her. “She is the name of the computer system that manages the operation of this ship,” answers Nina. “Have you been able to access the main computer to communicate with HNLA?” asks Gabriel. “Only partially,” answers Dennis. “The system appears to have been placed in a security mode to protect itself from whatever is attempting to take control of it. The outside terminal has access to what we believe are virtual reality training scenarios to prepare us for some kind of a battle. We have tried some of them and found that many of them are impossible to survive the dangers they are presenting.” “I wonder if HNLA is attempting to train us so we can take out Rockwell,” answers Gabriel. “He has created such a mess in the other Habitat Ring in his effort to gain control of the ship. She has to be blocking his effort to inhabit Arat. Otherwise, he would have done so long ago.” “That is my guess,” answers Commander Pike. “It would certainly explain why we were brought here after my ship was struck by a meteor and crashed into Mars. It would also explain why we are finding various weapons in the supply canisters we have been finding in this Habitat Ring.” “Supply canisters?” asks Gabriel with supplies. “Yes,” answers Commander Pike as he shows Gabriel some of the unusual weapons they have gathered from them. “Could this HNLA be preparing us for an all out effort to rid the ship of Rockwell once and for all?” “It would seem so,” answers Gabriel “Then, we need to train in the VR simulator until we have learned how to win them all on their most difficult settings,” orders Commander Pike. “Once we have become strong enough, we can then head for the Bridge teleport, defeat him, and regain control of the ship.”
  2. Chapter 6. The other habitat ring. It is the following morning that Commander Pike selects a team from his crew to go explore the other Habitat Ring. The plan is to use the Stryders for transport given that one has to wear their Tek Suits in the airless void that separates the two rings. The team consists of Dennis, David, Ahab, Dr. Mays, Margaret, Terry, Danny, and Dr. McCoy. Everyone else has been assigned to work on the fencing and other structures to protect the domestic animals that they have been rounding up. That team has been placed under the leadership of Carlos, the Construction Crew Chief. Dennis has managed to obtain four more Stryders that were found during his investigation into the various terminals found in the Habitat. His team have obtained another harvester, shield generator, and two more enforcers. “Excellent,” comments Commander Pike. “Those enforcers and shield Stryders could prove useful should we run into anything dangerous over there.” With everyone mounted on a Stryder, and David in lead on his Void Worm, they head off to the central corridor to head into the walkway. “Place your helmets on before we cross the force field,” warns Dennis. “There is no air out there to breathe while we are in the void.” As they enter the void, Dennis notices that everything has changed from their last visit. After flying the Void Worm over to one to land there and check out it’s content, he flies back to file a report to Commander Pike. “That’s interesting,” Dennis tells Commander Pike. “I know that we entered through the same passageway as we did yesterday. Yet, everything looks different. Even some of the minerals I found on those asteroids are different. They are covered with these red, green, and blue crystals. Yesterday, they only contained white crystals.” “That’s most interesting,” answers Commander Pike. “I also noticed that the light beacons marking where there are those supply crates are now different in color as well.” “I wonder if there might be a relation to those colors and what can be found out here,” asks Margaret. “That is a possibility,” answers Ahab. “We should check what appears out here daily with the color of the beacons and see if they form a pattern.” Floating across, they enter the walkway on the other side. It looks identical to the one they have just left, but they soon notice that something is different when they take off their helmets to breathe the air that is inside there. “What is that smell?” asks Margaret. “It smells like a swamp in here,” answers Terry. “It has the odor of rotting vegetation.” “Should we place our visors back down?” asks Commander Pike. “According to my environmental suit, the air is still safe to breathe,” reports Terry. “There has to be something going on in this Habitat Ring to have changed the balance of the environment in here. It shouldn’t be any different from the environment where we came from.” “Lets continue on,” orders Commander Pike. Entering the main corridor, one imminently notices that the sky has an orange hue to it. The vegetation in the flower pots are of a strange type in various colors of orange hues. “Don’t touch anything in here until we know that it is safe,” warns Margaret. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” “Lets head into the Habitat Area,” orders Commander Pike. Continuing on, they soon are able to see the strangest looking world ever. Lightning crackles near a giant tentacle looking structure in this weird garden of fungal looking swamp plants. A nearby stream of brownish water feeds into a lake that looks like it might just be a cesspool from some small community. The putrid smell of something foul is coming out of a doorway that leads down into the interior of the Habitat Ring. It is too small for the Stryders to enter. Giant plants looking like Venus Fly Traps are observed among the strange vegetation and fungus growing along the edge of the lake. Ahab is about to get off of his Stryder to examine one close up when one of them snatches up a Lystro that wanders too close by it crushing it in it’s jaws. As one of the fly trap looking thing moves to grab him off of his stryder, Commander Pike, shoots it with his Stryder’s laser gun blowing the jaw like head off of it’s stalk. “Stay on your Stryders,” warns Commander Pike as he moves his mechanical creature to higher ground. Ahab uses the harvester tool on his Stryder to get a sample of the strange plant life in this Habitat Ring. Checking out what it has gathered in the saddlebags, he is shocked to find out that it has gathered raw and spoiled meat along with wood, thatch, berries, and various types of mushrooms. Aiming the harvester at another one of the giant fly trap, he fires the harvester beam at it. It vanishes in the beam leaving several giant insects and other smaller creatures untouched. More raw and spoiled meat is now in the saddlebag. “That’s weird,” Ahab reports to Commander Pike. “I’m getting raw and spoiled meat from those giant fly traps. That should be impossible given that the harvester beam has not harmed any living creature in this habitat ring.” “They must be some kind of a plant animal hybrid,” reports Dr. McCoy. “That would explain where the raw meat is coming from.” “What kinds of lifeforms is your Stryder detecting?” Commander Pike asks Dr. Mays who is riding on the Stryder with the radar attachment. “I’m finding several lifeforms that I have never heard of that is showing up on the radar,” reports Dr Mays. “There is a creature sleeping over in the brush called a Shadowmane. It looks like a giant feathered lion. According to the on board computer, it can go stealth to attack us when it gets dark out.” “There is another creature showing up in the distance called a Velonasaur. It registers as dangerous to our Stryders as it can fire off it’s quills like a machine gun. I’m also detecting some sort of giant spider hiding in those huge plants in the distance called a Blood Stalker. We had better assume that it will attack us to suck out all of our blood.” “Finally, I am warned about some of the creatures the radar is detecting hiding down below. One is a small creature that can latch it’s mouth over your head to take control of your mind. Another is something called a Seeker. It looks like a flying squid that is attracted to a light source. Still others the computer has little information about them. All of these creatures seem to be the creation of someone called Edmund Rockwell.” “Who is this Edmond Rockwell?” asks Commander Pike. “He is what one would considered a mad scientist from the 19th Century,” answers Danny. “He was reported to be at odds with his colleges on the day that he vanished without a trace while on a biological expedition in the Outbacks of Australia. He had gone into a cave to look for some rare plants rumored to be able to give one immorality. When his colleges finally got up the courage to go into the cave, they discovered a bottomless pit next to his research backpack where some strange looking vines were growing. They then made the assumption that he was attempting to take samples from those vines when he lost his footing and fell into the abyss.” “If he is indeed on this ship having found immorality and is messing around with the biology in this Habitat Ring, he could be a most dangerous foe,” answers Commander Pike. “How do we defeat such a dangerous individual if he has taken control of the ship?” asks Ahab. “You don’t,” answers one of two strangers that have just emerged from a structure that is next to Commander Pike’s Stryder. “Take us back to Eden, then, we can tell you what has happened to this ship. It’s too dangerous to remain in Rockwell’s Garden for long.” “How will we get you back through the void without spacesuits?” asks Commander Pike. “We can ride on the Stryder with the force field and activate it just before we enter the void,” answers the stranger. “It will trap the air inside long enough for us to get to the other side.” “Lets go then,” orders Commander Pike.
  3. Starting a new game on Vannaland West. This location is one of several on the large northern island. The location is inspired by Phlinger Phoo game play posting on You Tube. In fact, I had forgotten about vising Skaland in the past, the small island of the waterfall that is just off the southern coast of Vannaland, when I was playing with the mod map. I spawn in my survivor, Eric Robinson, into Vannaland West. He appears on the beach just across from the dangerous Swamp Island called Bulbjord. It is a cold location just like so many others in this island archipelago with the snowflake present and temperature in the 50sF. Grabbing a stone, a loose stick, and punching a driftwood log for thatch, I craft a pick and head East down the beach towards the island with the waterfall that I can see in the distance. I will split the level ups between weight and fortitude until that reaches 40. Hitting a boulder with the pick, I soon have the flint for the hatchet and spears collected from the first levelup. A torch is made along with a hatchet and three spears after picking the bushes for berries and fiber. I continue down the beach leveling up enough to get a basic set of thatch clothes to ward off some of the cold. Surprisingly, there has been a lack of creatures to kill for meat and hide. Anything that I see is too large to attempt to take out with a spear. Crossing a stream bisected by a small island, I get over to where I can make the dangerous swim to Skaland. I don’t have the resources or the engram for a raft and the canoe is listed as unavailable. It takes nearly all of the stamina to reach the beach that is past the waterfalls. There are sharks and mantas in the water that I manage to avoid. It is with much relief that I have made it to this island without getting killed. There are several Dodos on the lower slope but most are of the party type, totally worthless for getting meat and hide. I do get two regular ones and kill off the party ones to reset their spawns. Gathering the materials on the way, I head up to the bluff to set up a storage box, campfire and the Viking Workbench. With a Viking Shed and single bed crafted up and placed down on the bluff by the waterfalls, I have established my shelter just in time for protection from the freezing night. This bed doesn’t require a foundation, yet functions as a regular spawn bed that requires one. I place it directly on the dirt floor in the corner. The next morning is spent in leveling up and looking for more creatures to obtain much needed hide for crafting a forge and mortise and pestle. Once I have obtained the hide, I place down foundations behind the shed and put a forge on it. I find that the odd looking rocks along the beach are actually the same as river rock. Good, I soon have enough metal ore to get the Better Dino Workbench. That is highly desirable given that it combines the preserving bin with the workbench as well as provides access to the special preserving recipes and access to crafting Valerian Reins, a special costume for fliers that increases their abilities. Interesting is that I find an X Dunkleosteus stuck tail first in the shore. Given that there is quite a drop off there, I can see how it could have spawned there. There is also an Anglerfish stuck in the beach nearby. Easy water tames should I decide that I need them later on. A Moschop is obtained when it asks for something that I already have. It is put to work gathering fiver and berries. I also clear out the Party Dodos and take out a spitter. While I have brought them inside the farmhouse structure on past maps, he doesn’t fit through the narrow door of the shed. I park him under the underhang. With Bart’s help I am able to gathered the required materials for the Viking Blacksmith barn and it’s two large doors. It will shelter him along with the parasaur that I soon tame that is roaming along the beach. The next morning, I craft up a raft to sail across to Vardiland. I need crystal and metal ore from a hill near a stream where I have camped before. Using K mode to look out for Leeds, I sail across and beach the raft at the mouth of the stream. Going upriver is risky as a Spino is usually in the area. Heading up the hill, I dodge the raptors and Troodons. I reach the top and gather crystal for the spyglass, Obsidian, and raw metal. Returning, I place those items into storage on the raft, go back along the shore to harvest honey from a honey cone, and sail East to the ship wreak to gather supplies abandoned there. Beaching the raft at the wreak site, I gather extra metal tools, scrap metal, cooked and rotten meat, and lots of extra wood. They go on the raft. Then, I spot them. There are wild Andrewsarchus in the area. Time to place down a spawn bed on the raft and attempt to tame one using the honey I got from the honeycomb. This is not an easy effort given that I should have Gillie Armor. There are penguins close by in the freezing show, but I go ahead using the brush and boulders for cover and get close enough to a high level one to toss it some honey. Playing the minigame, I am able to tame a high level female. What a great addition this creature is to survival. She moves fast, has a wicked kick, can slide on the turns, and hits hard enough to take out an Alpha Raptor in the area to gain a bunch of levels that go into stamina and melee. She is a good swimmer as well capable of out swimming the Alpha Sharks in the water. I soon have lots of raw meat, hide, and toughened hide from a rex that got in my way. I bring her back on the raft and place her in the barn with the parasaur and moschop. The next day, and update released on Steam, I am able to craft a canoe thus being able to avoid the Leed threat as they will ignore canoes. The canoe can also be used for storage and as a spawn bed. It can also be picked up to be transported to where it might be needed such as on an inland lake or river where rocks are an issue for a raft. Up to three players can also access the canoe at once. Back at Vardiland, I spot a Level 140 male Andrewsarchus and proceed to tame him. Getting him leveled up, which includes wiping out a Rex, I pick up the canoe and swim him back. He is easily to out swim the alpha sharks that show up to be a threat. No cryopods at this time. During this fourth day, I find a high level pteradon using my little island for a resting place. A bola and three tranc arrows on a crossbow, it is out and taming. A day later, a Level 150 male shows up and it is tamed. Karitan has been hard to come by. Eventually, I get a saddle made for the Level 145 female. After killing off the penguins in the snow area near where I found the ship wreak on Vardiland, I craft up the Valerian Reins which doubles the stamina and allows for increased maneuverability. Eventually, I come up with enough resources for a second saddle for the 150 male. On the fifth day, I make a trip over to the dangerous Swamp Island of Bulbjord. I use one of the Andrewsarchus for the trip. The place is crawling with snakes and Sarcos. Kapros are another major threat that can dismount you from most tames. However, they do stay away from my mount sensing that he can quickly tear them a new one. Interesting, I learn that I didn’t need to kill penguins. There are dead creatures here that yield organic polymer as well as hide and spoiled meat. Cementing Paste is another resource that I need. Given that I can’t find the chitin and keritan needed to craft it, I will need to find Beaver Lodges to raid. This resource is needed for the Harpoon Gun and the now available net ammo. I fly about looking for them but find none. While flying along the cliff area, I do find the Patron’s Cave and the Rhelm Cave. However, flying on creatures is not allowed, so I will need to find another way to travel in those places. Besides, single player games do not have access to the R teleport command. I do find that the Rhelm Cave teleport controls do have access to the storage section found only at the Obelisks. Excellent, Given that Electra, my Lightning Dragon, has been uploaded to it, I spawn her in to this new world. Still, I have to have her follow me out of the cave before I can ride on her. Outside, having now crafted cryopods, I pick up the pteradon and ride on Electra taking out an Alpha Rex that gives me some very good weapons. While checking out a cave, I find Demodus hanging from the ceiling. Some research indicates that taming them will involve lots of blood packs on both me and a high level sacrificial Moschop. Therefore, when I am back to my camp, gmsummon “desmodus_character_bp_c” 150 and craft up the saddle. I name her Brad the Impailer for now. What an OP creature this giant vampire bat is. She can fly in any direction like a Tapa, glide, use radar location, has infrared vision, can latch onto cliffs and ceilings, has good stamina, and best of all, can fly in caves where no other flier can be use. She gathers blood packs, raw meat, and tons of spoiled meat from her kills. One thing discovered is that the Demodus Dracula will only harvest blood packs, raw meat and spoiled meat from anything that it kills. As a result, tek creatures and alphas only give up blood packs, raw and spoiled meat, so if you are looking for their resources, don't use the vampire bat to kill them. I make the teleport to Asgard where I find beaver dams to raid. The weather there is much warmer where one can find ready made villages to live in. It also contains some very dangerous areas where Shadowmanes can be found after dark. Not a place to be at during the night in the Red Swamp. And the Blue Swamp contains a cave infested with Lightning Dragons. Anyhow, with the cementing paste, I head back to the camp to craft up the Harpoon Gin and a bunch of nets. A “Tickle Chicken” I spotted earlier and tamed helps me out in gathering the large amount of fiber those nets require. With a Doed and Ankylsaur that I have found and tamed, I gather more resources and construct a fenced in enclosure to keep out the occasional dilo that spawns in om my island. The bat is even more efficient at killing off the pesky gulls. Currently, Valerian Reins will not work on them. But, that is not a big deal. These giant vampire bats are so maneuverable and can pick up creatures the same size that the Tapa and Pteradon can to suck their blood and kill them. With the fence complete and Brad the Impaler, I can now concentrate on looking for “Feathered Raptor” eggs given that I have seen them in the mesas above the Patron’s Cave. That will be a job for tomorrow.
  4. The canoe, Nets for harpoon guns, and several important saddles, should become available with the next update for consoles. Vannaland West seems to be the safest spot to start. Head East down the beach, cross the split stream with the single tree island, make the long risky swim over to the island with the waterfalls. Worst threat there are the rare dilos and thieving gulls. Weird looking river rocks are along the beach. I'll get that part of the adventure posted in a couple of days.
  5. An update took care of this on PC. Everything appears to be available in the crafting list to unlock. Those playing on console will just have to be patient until the patch to fix this is certified for upload.
  6. I also have them for each of the maps as getting started on some of them require different tactics or are not recommend for beginners. The latest free map, Valheim, I rate as medium difficulty due to how cold it is on that map. Recommended early goals for survival on this map is to quickly level up fortitude to 40, level up weight, get into hide armor as fast as possible, and build a shelter before nightfall. It gets brutally cold at night. Some locations to spawn in at. Default Vardiland places you along the beach by the pine forest. You may have to deal with Raptors and Troodons early on, so be mindful that they are in the area. Recomment that you head East to find safe to harvest honey and the shipwreak on the beach. Andrewsaurus spawn in the plains nearby that, like the Equuis, can be tamed at any level and ridden bareback. Don't get too close or you will be killed. You toss them honey, then run up to them and ride them when they start eating the honey. Play the mini game to tame but watch their red rage bar. Jump off and run before it goes full red. You can then toss it more honey and continue taming. Wait too long and it will kick you off and kill you. Vardiland South. This will place you next to a shipwreak and some runestones. This will give you early access to metal tools and levelups. The downside is that you are locked unto a small valley surround by high cliffs where the dangerous stuff lives. There may be a back entrance to the Darvian Cave. Do NOT spawn into Vannaland North. It is a death trap of murder cold and wolves. Likewise, Balheimr is as hard as it warns you. If the heat doesn't get you, the dangerous creatures living there will. Early gameplay has found that the safest location to start in is Vannaland West. By heading over to the nearby island with the waterfalls to the East and making the long dangerous swim while avoiding the sharks and mantas, starting your camp on this island will keep you safe from anything larger then a dilo. There are sufficient basic resources there to get established with shelter and metal tools. With a canoe, you can explore the more dangerous Swamp Island, Bulbjord, to harvest dead creatures for spoiled meat and organic polymer. Once you can find enough chitin or keratin, your home island should have high level Pteradons landing there. I will be posting about that adventure soon in my gameplay of the official map.
  7. Spawning on on Vardiland South; New survivor. This is an interesting location only because one spawns in close to a ship wreak. Otherwise, the area is just a small cove surrounded by steep cliffs with only a narrow path into the freezing cold high up. I think that there is a back entrance into the Darvon Mine in this area, but I haven’t found it yet. With my survivor spawned in, he’s in the area of a ship wreak where loot able supply crates and barrels are scattered about. Crafting a pick, several of the crates are broken open where a hatchet, pike, crossbow, scrap metal, rotten, and cooked meat are found. Some nearby rune stones help with adding those much needed early levels necessary for quickly getting established in this cold unforgiving world. A Viking Workbench is quickly placed down to store the extra items as my survivor starts the process of leveling up in order to get cloth armor and gather the materials to place down a Viking Shed on the flattest part of the beach area. Dodos remain hard to come by, the default ones that is. There are lots of party ones that only drop useless cake slices and nothing else. A spitter is taken out with the pike as bolas become available. Leather armor is quickly crafted up to deal with the cold. Level ups are split between weight and fortitude. With the bow becoming available, arrows can now be made for the crossbow. A supply drop has given me a mortise and pestle along with a storage box. They are placed on a foundation and the extra items transferred out of the Viking Workbench. A Viking single bed is crafted and place in the shed give that it doesn’t require a foundation, but still acts as a spawn bed. Late that evening, as I start working on getting foundations to place a refining forge down, I hear a parasaur being attacked by a raptor. Given the orange glow now showing up in the darkness, that is instantly bad news as it means that an Alpha Raptor is now on the beach close by. Getting up on a rock, I see that it has bugged out trying to eat it’s kill. By shear luck, I am able to hit it in the head for 225 damage as it remains bugged trying to eat the kill. 25 arrows later, I have eliminated the threat as I gain an additional 25 levels for the kill along with a higher level pick, hatchet, and a sickle. With that danger passed, I am able to place the foundation down for a forge to start refining the scrap metal and river rock metal ore into metal. Instead of crafting a Smithy which requires a foundation, I craft the Krakens Better Dino Workbench. It does not require a foundation and combines a workbench and preserving bin in one. It will also give me access to special items such as the Valerian Reins for fliers. I place it inside the shed directly on the ground. In the morning, thanks to an update that has fixed the issue of certain important items being unavailable in the crafting list, I am able to craft a canoe. Besides acting as a spawn bed and storage box, along being able to pick one back up, the Leeds tend to ignore it. I sail along the coast to a place where I can obtain crystal and to a small island that contains oil and metal rocks. With those materials in storage, I head back to the camp where I can process those materials. Before I can go looking for starter tames, I need to build them something to protect them from the predators that are starting to show up. Troodons have been spotted up in the woods and will be a threat comes nightfall. With enough materials having been gather, the Blacksmith Barn and it’s twp large doors are crafted. It take a bit of time to find a suitable place to place it as it is quite large with the ground being so uneven. Given that none of them spawn on this side of Vardiland, I cheat and spawn in a tamed Andrewsarchus for protection. The Troodon threat is quickly wiped out for the evening. In spite of his size, he fits easily into the Viking Barn. Thanks to the location and sheer luck in killing an Alpha Raptor early on, I finish the second day on this map at Level 78. This map is now placed into the archive as I prepare to start another gameplay in a different location.
  8. That location placed me on the beach next to the wreak. Good spot given that a couple of runestones are close by for quick leveling up. While safe for a while, things will get dangerous there as by nightfall, a Level 25 Alpha Raptor dropped down to raise havoc with the local wildlife. As luck would have it, it got stuck attempting to eat it's kill giving me the opportunity to pelt it in the head with stone arrows using the crossbow for 225 damage per shot. I ended up with a higher level metal pick, hatchet, sickle, and 25 levels. On the downside, Troodons are now showing up in the area. BTY, Easy Zone North is mislabeled as you found out. If the wolves don't get you, the murder cold will. Vannaland West is your best spawn point for an easy start. Head for the island with the waterfall to set up camp there. Dilos and sea gulls are the only hazards that spawn on that island. Swim over to it if you can avoid the sharks and mantas. Otherwise, use a canoe. Metal can be obtained from the strange looking river rock on the beach.
  9. The rhelm teleport key is R. However, it is only implemented for server based games. It is not available for single player at this time. So, one will have to go to the rhelm teleport cave to travel to the other three rhelms for single player. Canoes and harpoon nets are now available thanks to a patch update for PC.
  10. I had that same question on the canoe and net ammo for the harpoon gun. The last update fixed that issue.
  11. There are three ways to learn how to play the game. 1, The school of hard knocks where you learn what works and what gets you killed, and 2. You view all of the tutorials. before playing. I don't recommend 3 because having everything given to you by a friend in a private session doesn't teach you how to play the game. For 1, I would recommend that you learn how things work in single player with the default settings. I would recommend that you view the in game guide before getting started on "The Island." As us veterans of June of 2015 had no such guides, we learned the hard way how to play the game with default settings that were 0.25% of what they are now. Those were fun times of discoveries, heartbreaks, and accomplishments. Now, if you want to get started without reading 2, don't read any further. Start up your first single player game and try to stay alive by learnign what works and what doesn't. 2. Ark, The Island. Walk through for first time players. All systems. Start by reviewing the In Game Tutorial to learn how some of the basics of the game function. It will give you an idea how various icons in the game function. Next, start a single player game to get familiar with how the game mechanics work using your, keyboard, mouse, or game controller. Otherwise, you are going to be killed constantly while trying to figure how things work while playing on the toxic public servers. The game does not pause while you are looking in your inventory leaving you vulnerable to a surprise attack by everything that wants to kill you. In single player mode, the game is frozen when you hit the Esc key. In on line mode, the game keeps running 24-7 where your character can be killed while all of your hard work gets destroyed. All first time players will have a chance to modify their character as they wish. Regardless of how they craft them, all characters start with the same stats in the game. Game Play Mechanics. Constantly running will make you tired as well as use up food and water faster. Extreme cold, heat, starvation, or dehydration will eventually kill you. If you spawn near a predator, run! Hide behind something or run by some herbivore, which it may take an interest in, allowing you to escape. If you are killed, you will be reborn losing everything but your crafting skills. You have 15 minutes to reclaim your stuff from your dead body or bag if you were eaten. A Death Beacon will appear when you get in range of your body. No other players can see this but can still loot your stuff if they happen to find your dead body or bag. Start playing your first single player game on “The Island” in South Zone One. Once you have spawned in; 1. Grab that rock in front of you, then go punch that driftwood log to get 1 wood and 10 thatch. 2. Go into crafting and craft the pick. Place it in hot bar 1. 3. Go hit one of those round boulder to the left with the pick to get flint. Use the pick on a tree to get more wood and thatch. Pick some bushes to get some berries and fiber. 4. As you will have leveled up by now, apply the level to health or weight. Select the hatchet and spears from the Engrams List and craft a hatchet. Place it in hot bar 2. A hatchet gathers mostly stone, wood, and hide, The pick gets mostly flint, thatch, or raw meat. 5. Craft at least three spears and place them in hot bar 3. Spears are good for defense against the spitters and compys. As spitters will flare their hood before spitting on you, jump to the side to dodge the blinding spit. If you are attacked by a compy gang, go backwards to keep them in front of you aiming the spear low to kill them all. Left mouse stabs with the spear, right mouse can be used to throw one. Walk over a spear to recover it. Note that spears can break without warning. 6. Place mejoberries in hot bar 0. Why? To prevent more important items being stolen from you by the Pegomastax which will sneak up and steal things from you. Stolen berries may passive tame them. 7. Craft a torch and place it in hot bar 6. You can still pick up stones and harvest bushes while using a torch for it’s light and keeping warm. 8. Go kill some Dodos for their meat and hide. Eat berries for food but save the Narcos for taming as they will put you to sleep. Likewise, the Stimms will give you energy and counteract poisonous bites but make you very thirsty. Save the purple ones for taming herbivores. 9. At the next level up, get the campfire, shirt and pants. Craft the clothes and put them on. Find a sheltered spot where your back is protected from surprise attacks and place the campfire down. Place some wood or thatch in it for fuel, raw meat to create cooked meat and light the fire. Use the fire and or torch to stay warm when it gets cold. 10. A Waterskin will store water for your use when you are away from a water source, but they will leak. You can refill them by standing in the water and press the use item key, or place in the hot bar and press that number. They can also be refilled when it rains. 11. As it is likely getting dark by now, use the torch for light and warmth as you go about gathering more materials for a shelter. You should have a level up soon to get thatch foundation and walls. A shelter will give you additional protection from the heat or cold. Plan on staying put during the night as it can get very dark out and you could easily walk off of a cliff or get ambushed by a predator. 12. On Level 4, get the slingshot for your first ranged weapon. On Level 5, the storage box. Place extra items in it so you are not being overburdened by their weight. 13. Get a sleeping bag but don't craft it for now. You need the hide to craft the Simple Bed which you will place on a foundation. This will give you a fixed place to be reborn if your character gets killed. Sleeping bags are a portable one time use item. 14. Supply drops may give you useful or higher quality items. Access them if you can safely do so. 15. There are going to be many more items then you will ever have engram points for selecting. Spend them on items that are most useful. At this stage of the game, mortise and pestle, narc, standing torch, bow and arrow, bola, tranc arrows, and the raft are top priority. The Bola is most useful for stopping an attacking raptor or for immobilizing a creature from a Parasaur size and smaller to kill or tame. 16. A raft will allow for fast transport for resources and safer locations. You can place structures on them and ferry your tames with you. Just watch out for swimming sarcos, which can attack your tames on the raft, alpha sharks, or Leeds, a giant fish that will attack your raft and destroy it. 17. Your first tames can be some dodos for an egg farm, spitters that you knock out with the slingshot and use as guard dogs, and a parasaur for transport and berry harvesting. Get low level ones for now, they are easier to tame. If you can find a Moschop that ask you to feed them something easy, such as a type of berry, passive tame it by placing that food in slot 0 and feeding it when prompted. It is good at gathering berries, thatch, fiber, wood, even raw meat. It doesn’t need a saddle. Your first flying tame should be a Pteradon. Wait until you can craft saddles for them before attempting a tame. 18. Explorer Notes are a good way to quickly level up your character and your tame. Wait until you have tamed a Pteradon before opening them. While riding on your Pteradon, you will both get the experience when you activate one. You will get double the bonus if you activate a second one while the XP timer is running. You are now well on your way to being a survivor of the Ark. Play cautiously, be aware of your surroundings, and watch your six. And, always prepare for the unexpected.
  12. Spawning in on Vardiland. (Default area.) My survivor spawns in on a peaceful beach in the Northwest corner of this pine forested island. Bob Eric is promptly complaining about the cold in the 50* weather. Picking up a stone and branch off of the beach, the nearest piece of driftwood gets punched for thatch in order to craft a pick. Levelups for now are split between weight and fortitude. Hatchet and spears are selected. Thatch clothes are crafted as soon as they are unlocked. As soon as a real Dodo is killed, given that most of them are party dodos that drop useless heavy cake slices, gloves and boots are crafted. I work my way East along the beach towards an area where I know of the location of a shipwreak. I would like to craft a canoe but for some reason, those engrams are disabled. Given that Leeds live in the sea, a raft would be too risky at this time. Having to dodge raptors and troodons in one area of travel, it takes until noon to finally reach my destination. With stone arrows unlocked, I can finally make use of the crossbow I find in one of the loot crates by the wreckage. I also get metal hatchets, metal pick, pikes, scrap metal and cooked and spoiled meat from the other crates. Pikes of boards yield wood and thatch. The nearby bushes give up fiber and berries. A nearby Moschop is tamed given that it actually asked for something that I had on me. Looking for a suitable flat area on this beach, I place down the Viking’s Workbench, load it up with the required materials, and craft a Viking Shed. To properly place it down, one needs to go into K mode. Placing it down, I place down a foundation, a bed, mortise and pestle, storage box, and a campfire to cook up raw meat. This job gets completed just in time to shelter from the freezing night time cold that even a torch and hide armor doesn’t protect against. I park the Moschop under the overhang given that he won’t fit through the shed door. Having leveled enough in the morning to get the forge and Settler’s Workbench, I place some foundations next to the shed to get the scrap metal processed. The strange half buried rocks in the beach behaves as river rock as the metal pick gets sizable amounts of metal ore from them. As I could use some crystal at this time, I head back down the beach to head uphill to a location where there is easy access to some. It can be a dangerous trip due to an abundance of dilos, raptors, and a spino that is in the area of the hill and hillside. I find the crystal mining it along with some obsidian and metal ore. On the way back, I gather some honey as I have an andrewsaurus that has showed up and got itself stuck in some boulders. While the beach area by the wreak appears to be safe, inland and surrounding areas are not. I have seen an alpha raptor and t-rex in the hills among the other dangers such as the lions from the Marnimods wildlife mod and murder puppies. The rest of the day is spent gathering materials to craft the Viking’s Blacksmith Barn and it’s two large doors. It is placed next to the shed. Meanwhile, the Andrewsaurus, a Level 145 male, is out swimming in the sea. That morning, I set out to tame one of the Andrewsaurus I have seen nearby. I spot what I thought was the Level 145 along the beach but it turns out to be a Level 90. Committed to the tame, I go and tame it. To tame one of these things, you need to throw them a honey bait while avoiding aggro. Once it is eating the bait, you jump on it’s back and play a mini game for further taming. Watch the red rage bar and jump off to hide before it goes full. Otherwise, you will be thrown off and killed. Rinse and repeat until it register as tame. Like the Equuis, you don’t need a saddle to ride, but a war saddle with a minigun that uses advanced rifle bullets is available. Leveling up it’s melee, I soon turn this beast into a force to be reckoned with. It is a good thing given that the Alpha Raptor decides to pay me a visit. Taking it out gives me eight levels and Andrew 25 levels. Later, the nearby t-rex gets eliminated. This creature has some amazing abilities. It is able to run fast smashing through boulders and trees with ease and can outrun a Giga. It can come to a sliding stop to change directions, It jumps far, and is an excellent swimmer that can swim faster then the Alpha Sharks. It also has a wicked stun kick that can send other creatures flying. I park him under the overhang of the barn for the night. The goal for the next day will be to visit the nearby ice field to club penguins for organic polymer. I also need to find some beaver dams for cementing paste, then gather the rest of the materials for cryopods. It may be necessary to teleport over to Ascard with Andrew in order to raid beaver dams known to be there. As runestones are no longer needed for that task, given that they now act as Explorer Notes, I think that one can use the F key to activate teleportation to the other rhelms and back. I need to test that given that R did nothing prior to this edit. An update has fixed the issue of being able to obtain the canoe and harpoon net.
  13. My latest game play adventure in Ark Survival Evolved. The map; The official release of Forjor. Settings; Single player with taming, harvesting, leveling set at 3X. MODS; Ultra Stacks. Kraken’s Better Dinos. Castle, Keeps, and Forts Remastered. Echos Viking Structures, Marnimods wildlife. Kraken’s Better Dinos is a mod that enhances most of the abilities of the Ark’s creatures. Herbivores, such as a Doed, can now harvest berries. New tek creatures such as a Tek Trike and Giga are now in the map. So are several variations of new and useful creatures. New types of attacks are available on some dinos such as a stomp by the Bronto. Wild creatures may run away if they are badly hurt. It also offers a combo preserving bin, cooker, workbench that allows for the crafting of special foods from the special meat that some creatures will have when killed or from the milk of certain tamed mammals. Early, but less capable saddles are available for some creatures that have late more expensive to craft ones. Extensions can be made for platform saddles and rafts. Most interesting is the Valerian Reins that can be crafted from various rare materials. When placed on a flying creature, it enhances their speed, maneuverability, and stamina. Castle, Keeps, and Forts Remastered uses special workbenchs that allow you to craft building sections in those workbench thus freeing the player to continue to gather resources or start construction of structures. Like S+, you can pick up those pieces later. Foundations will also stack. Walls are 1/3 higher then Vanilla or S+ walls which gives your player more head room in placing storage chest and other items. You do not need to learn the individual pieces in this mod, only the three crafting workbenches which produce the equivalent of wood, stone and metal structures using the same building materials and amounts. That will allow me to save up those engram points for other useful items early on. Marnimods Wildlife spawn in at logical places in logical amounts. Each of her more modern creatures has a special taming requirement. Echo’s Viking Structures provides a range of Viking lodges, Furniture, and other useful items such as the Viking Longboat. Very important if you are installing the official map and have the mod map Viking_P installed in your Ark map listings. If you have the mod map version installed on your PC, It is highly recommended that you unsubscribe to that map, delete your Viking_P saves in the SavedArksLocal folder, and delete the 1838617463 mod ID folder from the Content/Mods folder to recover some disk space before downloading the official mod. Since there have been changes made to the map, you could run into issues if you try to use your renamed Viking_P save on the official map. You can always upload your character, important tames, and hard to get resources to an obelisk before deleting the mod map. Still, just prepare to start from a new or downloaded character. There is no guarantee that you won't run into issues if you have both the official and mod map installed. Note, selecting the new map for download will start Ark, but the map will not appear until it is downloaded. Just exit the game and wait until Steam indicates that the map has finished downloading. Then start playing Ark and the map will appear at the top of the non story map listings. I will be playing this adventure totally unscripted. While I will have specific goals in mind for my adventure, what happens in this map will be whatever the game play presents to me. Comments will be included from my past game play on this map to compare what happens in this adventure. Gameplay to come in the next posting
  14. Chapter 5 The evening report. Commander Pike has called everyone together to get a report of their findings of the day’s exploration. It is a most interesting one as Nathen Scott, Flight Engineer, comes flying back on a giant mechanical wing dragon followed by the rest of his team on their Stryders. “Where did you find that thing?” asks Commander Pike. “In the central core, we found a tunnel that lead to a covered walkway into the void between the two habitat rings,” reports David. “A force field prevents the atmosphere from escaping into space. With our spacesuits and the use of the Stryders, we were able to walk them through the force field into space. In spite of being in that weightless environment, we were able to freely move around. Most interesting were the asteroids we found floating between those two rings. Once we landed on them, we had normal gravity. They contained a lot of interesting minerals that we were able to harvest and bring back with us on the Stryders. While out there, we were attacked by this mechanical dragon. By using the shield generator Stryder, we were able to protect ourselves until one of us was able to use a Tek Rifle to paralyze it. I was able to gain control of it’s computer system to disable it’s seek and destroy command and return it to defending us from any danger. Most interesting is that we saw another lifeforms living in the vacuum of space among those asteroids. It looked like some sort of a space whale. Given that we could see a similar platform contained in the other habitat ring, I believe that we can access it from there.” “According to the system computer, you have found what is called a void worm,” answers Dr. Mays. “It is a bio-mechanical creature similar to the rare tek variants of several prehistoric reptiles we have seen in this habitat ring. And, yes, it is modeled after a dragon from out fantasy past.” “We will need to plan an expedition to study the other habitat ring and find out why it looks so different,” answers Commander Pike. Margaret and Tom are the next to file a report. They have taken on the task to study what is living in the waters of this habitat ring. Both of them have cute little otters riding on their shoulders. “Where did you find otters?” asks Dr. Mays. “We found them living in the stream that comes down from the hills into this lake,” answers Margaret. “They were easy to tame from the coe we found in the water. You do want to be careful when wading in the upper reaches of the streams. We found them to contain salmon that can become aggressive if you harm them. Also, we saw South American Parana swimming with them. They can be very aggressive. So far, we have not seen any of them living in this lake.” “Most interesting,” answers Commander Pike. “When we swam out to the silo in the middle of the lake, we found an underwater tunnel that led into a giant aquarium. We quickly swam into a hatch that led into an observation room where we could observe the activities outside. Would you believe that this aquarium contains all sorts of underwater prehistoric creatures that would give you nightmares for years? There were huge sharks, giant squids, a Lock Ness monster, giant whales, stingrays, electric eels, and all sorts of aquatic life that has been extinct for millions of years. Most interesting is that they are living in fresh water. That doesn’t seem possible unless those creatures have been genetically altered to be able to thrive in fresh water. Strangely enough, we even tamed one of the curious prehistoric dolphins. I suspect that it might even be possible to tame many of the larger creatures that live in that underwater world.” “The biosystem machinery in this habitat ring are amazing,” reports Tom Jefferson. “Unlike those habitat experiments in Arizona in the 90’s, this one is in perfect balance. The plant life out there is keeping the atmosphere gases in balance with the creatures that depend on them. While the system was designed with supporting some 100,000 humans, I still don’t understand why the CO2 levels haven’t reached a critically low level given all of the plant life out there in the habitat ring. Something that we don’t know about has to be keeping it at the ideal level for plant growth.” “I have found that each segment of this habitat ring contains it’s own fusion generator.” reports David, the electrical engineer of 007. “It is amazing just how small that power generator is. It provides all of the power needed for this segment of the habitat ring, yet is no bigger then a nuclear reactor on a modern aircraft carrier, has been running nonstop for over 100 years, and still has enough deuterium fuel to power it for another 500 years.” Conner and Tammy are next with their report on their exploration of the Habitat Ring. “So far, we have only been able to explore the workings of two sector of this Habitat ring,” reports Conner. “It appears that each sector can operate independently of each other. We have also learned from the system computer that this ring has been programmed to separate from the star ship and operate independently at low gravity acceleration. I suspect that is because they used to be independent orbital rings that were adapted to fit into the star ship. I’m at a lost why anyone would want to do that other then they had some concern that there could be a catastrophic failure of the star ship itself.” “We found that the outer edge of the habitat ring contains a pod bay with tens of thousands of ejection pods,” reports Tammy. “All of the cryopods in them have either been opened with their occupants missing or contain the remains of their occupants. There must have been some sort of catastrophic failure in the entire cryopod system given that the machinery appears to be in perfect working order.” “Dennis, have you been able to find out what is going on here with the computer systems?” asks Commander Pike. “We discovered an extensive virtual reality entertainment system in the terminal I used to get a history of this place,” answers Dennis. “Those simulations appear to be based upon various missions and adventures involving this ship. One mission involved us racing down a river on canoes. Another had us racing something called a hover skiff. Still another had us flying on rocket powered armored Astrodelphis, or those space whales Davis mentioned seeing in the void. That mission was much more dangerous as we had to shoot down aggressive creatures and avoid deadly traps. Still more involved deadly mazes and puzzles to solve up in the engineering section of the ship. One such mission had us defending against corrupted dinos and a huge creatures with tentacles coming out of it’s head that spewed out poison from it’s breath. It is as if the computer running those simulations has been programmed to prepare us to defeat whatever has caused the inhabitants of this ship to just vanish. Needless to say, we failed to complete a lot of them.” “Any luck in finding how to control this ship?” asks Commander Pike. “None so far other then accessing those simulations,” answers Dennis. "The computer states that if we successfully complete all of the missions in their most difficult setting, then we will be granted access to the bridge." “We may all need to run and complete those simulations if you suspect that the ships holographic computer is training us how to regain control of this ship.” answers Commander Pike. “Lets have everyone do the racing and capture missions in our spare time, then work our way up to the more difficult combat ones until we can easily complete them all.”
  15. Chapter 4. The creatures in the Habitat Ring. It is quite an unusual barbecue on an open campfire in this artificial world. Along with baked potatoes and roasted sweet corn, the grilled dilo does taste like chicken. “What a difference this is from eating freeze dried foods for months on end.” comments Sarah. “It is quite an unexpected pleasure,” answers Commander Pike. “At least, we don’t need to go vegan in this world.” “We most certainly will have access to eggs and fish, perhaps even milk from some of the mammals in this world,” reports Sarah. “We’ll need to send Ahab back out to locate and domesticate some mammals we can use for milk to craft up some cheeses.” “I do believe that there may be goats up in the hills,” reports Ahab. “There are also sheep and dairy cattle in the area. They should be easy to tame up.” “That will be yours and Sarah’s job in the morning,” orders Commander Pike. “You two can get us a dairy herd under way as we continue to learn more about this habitat ring.” “Incredible how our new dino friends are just chilling out near us with nothing to confine them,” reports Dr. Mays. “That behavior must have been hard wired into their brain by whoever genetically created them.” “It has to be,” answers Danny. “I doubt, that such behavior could have been taught to these dinosaurs let alone that they could have even been intelligent enough to learn it.” “You are most correct,” answers Dr. Mays. “They have to have been genetically programmed for that purpose. We should put them through some intelligent testing in the morning to learn just what they are capable of.” About then Sarah comes into the library with a strange looking mammal the size of a large dog. “Looks like that Sarah has found a new friend.” reports Dr. Mays. “What’s that strange looking creature?” asks Nancy. “It’s a Lystro,” answers Dr. Mays. “It sure looks like an ugly pug dog,” answers Margaret. “Well, she is cute and quite friendly,” Sarah tells everyone. “Looks like we will all soon have a pet of some kind,” reports Dr. Mays. “Even something as big as Carrie the Carno, or bigger.” “I guess that we will need to put Engineering to work fencing off some pasture land in the morning.” reports Commander Pike. “We’ll need it to keep the sheep and goats protected from the wild predators.” It has proven to be a most interesting first night on the Genesis 2 star ship. Most remarkable is that all of the tames, even the Carno, have been allowed to come into the library complex to sleep with the crew of 007. While a watch has been scheduled to keep an eye on things, it has been rather quiet around the entrance and on the inside. There are those noises of some creatures hunting in the distance as the Habitat Ring is bathed by the reflected light of the gas giant the moon they are around is orbiting. Sleeping in this artificial gravity is a far different from the months of having to be strapped into a blanket system on Star Ship 007 due to weightlessness. The morning comes quickly as the Genesis Ship comes out of the shadow of the moon they are orbiting. “What a great night sleep that was,” comments Margaret as she wakes up to prepare for the activities planned for that morning. “That was incredible,” reports Sarah as she joins the others with her new pet Lystro. “I didn’t think that we would ever enjoy sleeping with a pet in our bed again.” “Well, at least they were all housebroken,” reports Dawn. “They all went outside to the large bare spot by the bushes to do their business.” “The behavior of these creatures has to be genetically engineered,” reports Danny Washington, the crew Physiologist. “What we are observing with them interacting with us is totally unnatural, especially among these prehistoric reptiles.” “Why don’t you and Dr Mays stay here and find out more about the intelligence level of these creatures.” orders Commander Pike. “I’ll get a team together to go find any domestic animals out there, get them tamed, and have a pasture built to keep the predators away from them. The rest of us are going to continue exploring this sector of the habitat ring to find more clues to what is going on around here. We’ll hold a meeting this evening to report our findings to everyone on this mission.” As the rest of the group head out to conduct their assignments, Denny and Sandra set about to conduct their intelligent experiments with the tamed creatures they have with them. As part of the experiment, a Parasaur and trike are obtained being quickly passive tamed with something called bait packs. They have been crafted up from a recipe provided to them by the Genesis computer database. “This is incredible,” Danny reports to Dr. Mays. “As soon as I place this custom saddle on them, they know exactly what to do when being ridden. No domesticated animal in our world has ever been that intelligent.” Working with a custom scanner, Dr. Mays examines both the Trike and Parasaur getting information about their brain size and activity. “That confirms it,” Dr. Mays comments as both creatures stand calmly next to the scanner. “They have been genetically programmed for our use.” “Something puzzles me about these creatures in this world,” suggests Danny. “Have you seen any youngsters of these creatures out in the wild?” “Come to think of it, no,” answers Dr. Mays. “While there are eggs out there in the wild, the ones I have been able to examine are not fertile.” “Then, how can their population be sustained out in the wild if there are no youngsters being raised to replace those that get killed by predators?” asks Danny. “I don’t know,” answers Dr. Mays. “They must somehow be getting replaced by the computers that control this habitat ring.” “The reptiles are laying infertile eggs in the wild,” answers Danny. “I wonder if they can lay fertile ones that will hatch?” “We should find out,” answers Dr. Mays. “Lets go tame a female parasaur and see if we can breed them.” Armed with the required kibble, the two head out into the habitat ring to find a female parasaur. Locating a suitable candidate, they proceed to tame her and bring her back to the makeshift pen putting her in with the male. A furthering examination of the parasaur pair reveals some interesting facts to the two researchers. “Interesting, they are psychologically showing up with something called ‘mate boosted.’” reports Danny after examining their brain activity with the scanner. “They both appear to be enjoying each other’s company. Yet, their desire to reproduce seems to have been disabled.” “They are both biologically intact,” reports Dr. Mays after her examination. “So they are fully capable of reproduction. Lets see if we can figure out how to enable their instinct to reproduce.” A detailed study of the database on the creatures of the Genesis Ship gives Dr. Mays the clue for allowing reproduction. “There, I found the answer to that question. The desire to reproduce is disabled by default. I’m going to give them the permission to breed.” The mystery has been solved as the two parasaurs become involved in some intimate activity, then, in the construction of a nest in which a fertile egg is laid later that afternoon. Examination of all of the other tames find that the same genetic modifications had been made to their behavior as those of the parasaurs. “It looks like that we could selectively breed any of the creatures in this world if we desired to do so,” reports Dr. Mays. “It would be no different then what is taking place in the world that we left other then there is a genetically created switch in the brain of these creatures that we can selectively turn on and off.” “What an incredible ability,” answers Danny. “Unfortunately, I can see where such a power could have been easily abused by the leaders of the Earth this Genesis Ship was created from. It could explain what has happened to the crew on this ship.” Sarah and Ahab have now arrived leading a small herd of cattle, sheep, and goats, while herding them with two strange looking horses they are riding bareback. They are placed into a large fenced in pastures that the construction crew have just completed using materials gathered by a harvesting Stryder. “Did you find any youngsters out there?” asks Dr. Mays. “No,” answers Sarah. “You just confirmed my conclusion that these creatures have been created to populate the habitat ring,” reports Dr. Mays. “We have learned that they can have babies. It is just that the behavior has been genetically disabled by default. But it can be re-enabled.” “Does that means that the population of these creatures is being managed by the habitat ring?” asks Ahab. “Yes,” answers Dr. Mays. “But, something must have gone wrong to result in all of the colonist on board having vanished. Hopefully Dennis and the others can find out what happened to them so that we can prevent it from happening to us.” “There has to be a reason why we ended up hers when we should all be dead,” answers Ahab. “We could be a clue to fixing what caused everyone on this ship to just vanish.” “You are probably right,” answers Dr. Mays. “I have a feeling that the survival of the human race may depend on us solving that mystery.”
  16. On the exploration of the next day while looking for the Level 145 dragon, I am distracted by a Level 145 male parasaur. I proceed to tame him so that I have a mate boosted pair. It is around noon by the time I get him back to join Starter Patty. Back to the Southern Island, I finally find the Level 145 Dragon. Having landed, I proceed to confine him in dino gates so that he can be tamed. He tames out with some very good stats. I then go looking for three utility dinos while leveling up the tropical dragon. I could use an Ankylo for efficient mining of crystal, metal, and flint. I also need a Doed for stone for the Villager’s Workbench to put a ceiling on the pen. A beaver or Stego would also be useful for wood gathering. No luck on finding anything other then a beaver. However, the requirement for the saddle is pretty steep. Hitting the drops, I do obtain a high level chainsaw. I won’t need to tame a beaver or Stego at this time. With the assortment of stuff from drops and outright garbage primitive blueprints from yellow drops, I also obtain a Mastercraft Doed Saddle. Flying further North, I spot the first crystal creatures from the Crystal Island mod. It is a pair of parcers. Further North, I find overspawns of “Crystal Fluffy Raptors.” Not good at all. Worse yet, there are no nest. This may not be such a good mod to use given that creatures showing up on this map are not ones originally removed when Crystal Isles was a mod map. Later explorations find flaming yuttis and overspawns of colorful lava spitting crystal magnasaurs around the volcano. The Griffin Trench has many colorful crystal variants. A Level 174 tek griffin is with them along with a tek quetzal flying overhead. Given the lack of any Ankylo and Doeds anywhere near where my camp is, along with the utter lack of anything high level. I end up cheating in the two utility harvesters. I find that Annie can harvest over 1,000 metal ore from the rare metal rocks covered in moss on the tropical islands. That is a huge boost from less then half of that amount from a rich metal node. There are no river rocks in the Tropical area. And, she gets the 75% weight reduction on top of the stack mod reduction. She is also very efficient at getting crystal from the harvest-able formations both on land and in the water. I will need large amounts of metal and crystal for the windows on the lower walls. The Doed gathers large quantities of rock from all of the smaller stones. I need that for the Villager’s Workbench to upgrade the 12x10 pen into a barn with a landing pad for the dragon. I can be doing something else while 100 ceilings are crafting up. The chainsaw is very efficient at providing plenty of wood from just a couple of trees. I find that Perry and Patty Parasaur are good for getting the needed thatch from the stumps and driftwood along the beach area. With the required raw materials processing in the Villager’s Workbench, I am able to craft up the required materials for upgrading and finishing the 12x10 barn with a workshop inside. Bunny Dodos have been in the area where I have collected hundreds of eggs. It has been a drought of cracking them for Chibi something like a 10 to 1 odds. As the event will soon end, there will be no more eggs. However, there are still some very colorful creatures all over the map where I have explored so far. During the continued exploration, I visit the wyvern pyramid to check for eggs. I find a Level 190 Ember in a nest. Later that day, I am exploring along the blood crystal forest. A Level 100 Blood shows up in that biome that lands in a safe area nearby. I proceed to trap and tame it away from the crystal fluffy raptor hoard. Tamed, I take it out on the fluffy crystal raptors. They are an easy level up using the blood sucking attack which will drain the health from several targets at once. Still, there are overspawn issues with them as there is least a cluster of a dozen in one spot to deal with. Back at the base, I check out a male Moschop that has been hanging around for days, Although he is low level, I have two females that will start laying eggs if he is part of the pack. Easy tame with a rare mushroom that one can obtain from crystals. At this point, the Easter event has ended. There is much that can be done just back at the base before even considering setting up satellite camps in the other biomes. I have dragon eggs to hatch. That tek griffin is still around in the griffin trench. The desert has some oil nodes for placement of oil rigs, a safer place then where the isle of oil is located. The map has many special spots where one can obtained colored gems, element, black pearls, bee honey, and, a death trap den of dire wolves and saber cats. The floating isles are, of course, straight out of Avatar as is the giant tree swamp biome. With the end of the Easter Event, I will now place this map into the archive of adventures on Ark.
  17. Some good news posted a couple of hours ago. Switch is finally going to get an upgrade to Ark along with the paid DLCs as a package. It is scheduled for release later this year. See the article posted on this fourm by Cedric.
  18. Palm Sunday was a bad day for me. Not with playing Ark given that you should never become attached to any of your tames, but with tames you own for real. I was forced to put down two badly injured mini horses of 20 years after they were attacked in their pen by two dogs. That's something that one never expects to ever happen in a residential semi rural neighborhood. The only positive note from that is Animal Control has the one dog that I trapped in the pen and the owner located. We should soon confirm the owner of the other dog given the photos posted on social media inquiring about the two dogs when they were running loose. They were not pit bulls. Social media is a wonderful thing for quickly gathering evidence and locating those responsible. The neighbor down the road found his mauled dead cat in his front yard. On to the story; 4-15-22. Given that I have added the Crystal Island mod, I have restarted this map. The spawn location has placed me near the jungle area across from the bay overlooking the desert. There are two things I don’t like about the area. 1. There are dangerous creatures in the area such as a spino and a berry living nearby. 2. There is no metal nodes anywhere in the location or harvest-able crystal. I do spend the next hour getting a starter base established up on an overlooking hill and even find a mid level Parasaur to tame. I just give up on this location due to the lack of metal without cheating. I would have to make a major move to the islands to the Southwest to where there is metal and no threat from the spino and berry that show up down the hill on the beach. 4-16-22. With the map wiped, I spawn in and am promptly placed by a small pond in a familiar location. This is exactly where I wanted to be on the first adventure. The area is flat for easy building, has Dodos, Lystros, Compys, Dilos, pteradons, parasaurs, and has access to crystal with several rich metal nodes up on the hill. I proceed to get started finding a stone, punching a tree, and gathering from the numerous bushes to get leveled up. Basic weapons are soon made and some thatch clothes to give my character some protection from the tropical heat of the day. I pass on learning thatch saving the engrams for later items such as bolas, bow, arrow, and the Settler’s Workbench. A 4x4 starter hut is then built next to a pond. That mod has the advantage of using walls that are 1/3 taller then Structures + or the generic ones. It also unlocks all of the building pieces thus allowing for a huge savings of engram points in single player. With bolas and the bow with arrows, I head out to do some hunting in this area. The most dangerous creatures out here would be compys, dilos, and the annoying gulls. With the Easter Event underway, the Dodos have bunny ears and are dropping eggs like crazy. Those can be easily gathered and cracked open for a chance at a chibi. Mainly, I just spear some of them so that I can cook the raw meat and spoil some of it for tranc arrows later on. Needing a harvesting dino and having crafted up tranc arrows, I head out looking for a Parasaur. No luck. I only find a Level 15 which I proceed to kill for meat and hide. Coming back, I find that some moschops have spawned in along a point. I check them out. Raw prime fish meat, Nope, no Leeds nearby. Rare flowers. OK I can find those up on the hill by the metal nodes. Coming back, I feed the rare flowers and now have an overpowered harvesting dino that can get me berries, some wood, thatch, and lots of fiber. Being an omnivore, It will kill herbivores and harvest them for meat and hide. With the melee settings I am running, it doesn’t take long to turn this girl into a killing machine. Leaving the moschop secured in my starter hut, I walk around the point to explore the larger island in the southwest. Even though no metal spawns on that location, it does have higher level dinos living there that includes trikes, brontos, and tropical crystal dragons. There is also a deep sea lot drop that spawns there, but I need to be a Level 80 in order to access it. Throughout the night, I continue the shoreline exploration finding little other then dodos, some spitters, a trike, and some very colorful low level dragons. A note on the crystal dragons, they will bot bother you so long as you don’t do anything to hurt them. Not so on the Heir variants found in the desert. They will attack, especially, if you steal an egg out of the nest. Those can be hatched to produce normal crystal dragons which prefer a special crystal found by knocking out the wild ones. Once they reach adulthood, they live on raw meat but will prefer crystal. At Level 67, one can passive tame the normal wild ones but it is a similar process to taming the Equuis only you better be grappled to one or have a parachute handy as they promptly take off the second they are fed. Trapping with gates is possible if you find one stuck in the trees. Just don’t depend on them staying stuck in trees as they will still get away with the first feed. Continuing through the night, I walk the large island around spotting a drop coming down at the extreme southeast point of the map. I spot some parasaurs there as I proceed to the white drop with the ring. It gives me a high level thatch shirt blueprint, a bed, standing torches, a storage box, a set of thatch clothes, and misc stuff. Checking out the parasaurs, one of them is a Level 145 female. I proceed to bola her and knock her out for taming. By morning, she is awake and ready for work. Her buddy is a Level 60 female which I don’t need. Heading back to the starter base, I see two more tropical dragons. One of them is a Level 145. I’ll come back for him later once I reach Level 67. Back at the starter base, with a set of metal tools, I use my starter Patty to help me haul the large quantities of wood I will need for the 10x12 barn. The Settler’s Workbench will process that as I make several more trips for wood up on the home island. It takes all day and night to get the barn foundations and walls erected. Between the narcoberries and spoiled meat turned into narcs and the amount of crafting, I eventually reach Level 67. You know what I will be doing on the next day once I can get a roof on the barn. I’m going after that Level 145 dragon.
  19. Ragnarok. The single player adventure. Ragnarok is the second player created map that became available as an official stand alone map for Ark. It is a large map with logical transitions between them. With terrain that has sections that were modeled from the real world, the terrain is gorgeous and believable. The history of this map was interesting having been released well before it was finished. Those areas being blocked by a barrier. With each map update, more and more of those areas were opened up with extensive details. In spite of the vastness of the terrain and the details, the map remained well optimized. Even under the sea has been well detailed right up to the world border. The mod game. Settings; Single player with taming, harvesting, leveling set at 3X. Movement Speed at 2X. Hatching and maturation rates set at 6X. Tamed dino’s health and melee set at 1X. MODS in use; Ultra Stacks. Kraken’s Better Dinos. Castle, Keeps, and Forts Remastered. Ultra Stack is a mod that makes gathering so much easier through larger stacking, weight reduction, and reduced spoilage time on all meat types. Kracken’s Better Dinos is a TLC mod that improves the ability of dinos in the game. It adds some additional Tek creatures such as an Ankylo, Trike, and Griffin. Cheaper to craft starter saddles are added for some high level creatures as well as a platform saddle for the Trike and extensions for existing platform saddles and rafts. Trikes and Brontos have a stomp attack. Doeds and Ankylos can now harvest berries. Fliers have the ability to move backwards. Equipped with Valerian Reins, all flying creatures have improved stamina, maneuverability, flying speed, and other useful improvements. Female Mammals can now be milked including Wyverns. New meat and hide types are available from some creatures. A combo Smithy and Preserving Bin adds new abilities including a way to cook and preserve new food types. And a substitute egg and Wyvern Milk replacement can be crafted for taming. Castle, Keeps, and Forts Remastered is a building mod that uses three special crafting benches for creating the numerous building shapes available that are equivalent to wood, stone, and metal. All pieces are compatible with Structure+ and vanilla building pieces. The one exception is that all wall structures are 1/3 higher then standard which is useful for giving your player more head room and allowing large storage boxes to not poke through a ceiling. Morellotops and Amaragsaurus will fit through dino gates. When you learn the crafting bench, you have all the pieces available to you thus saving your engram points for other needs. Best of all, you just load the crafting bench with the required resources and let the items craft independent of what you are doing, just like the Mortise and Pestle. With the extra pieces available, one can make a proper looking round roof as well as a corner roof sections, and single section gable roof so that a three wide structure doesn’t need a flat center. Foundations will stack, pillars place properly, and all pieces can be picked up at a later time. The Crafting Bench can be placed on the ground, a foundation, or the raft. (Platforms?) It also acts as a huge storage crate. The single player experience. There are four main areas of the map one can get started on along with three subsets of each of those. 1. The Highlands. This area can be harder to get started in due to it being colder then the others. It also tends to spawn in Allows, Rexes, and Gigas. Being mostly of plains populated with sheep, horses, and Gallys, wood tends to be scarce around there. 2. Viking’s Bay. Resources tend to be abundant in this area. Depending where you spawn in, it is either safe, or moderately dangerous. 3. Jungle. Of the three areas to spawn in, Jungle 2 will place you next to the Blue Obelisk. While you will have access to wooden crated that can be looted for metal tools the area is lacking in creatures that can be killed for meat and hide. Jungle 1 and Jungle 3 spawn in more small creatures, but many of them tend to be compys, dilos, and those annoying seagulls. All three areas contain much more dangerous creatures once you head inland. 4. Southwest. This spawn area was added upon completion of the map. It is an arid region with many dangerous creatures. For this game play, I spawned in at the west side of Viking’s Bay. This is a large flat sandy area bordered by a rock formation to the East and hills to the West. The area has an abundance of palms, bushes, stones and ground litter one can pick up along with sand. An abundance of river rock, along with some metal nodes, will get you started on metal tools. You will need a flier if you want to obtain any crystal as one cannot climb up to where the nearest nodes are located. Expect to find Pegos, compys, spitters, and seagulls to annoy you. Otherwise, Dodos, Parasaurs, and lystros can be found nearby. The path up into the jungle will take you up to the high bluff where you can expect to find Hynadon Packs, Sabres, raptors, carnos, and Argys. Some loot able wooden boxes can also be found at the top of the bluff. Day One of this adventure; Spawning in at Viking’s Bay West, I need to quickly get away from three thieving Pegomaxes. Thankfully, they don’t take any interest in me as I have nothing on me that they can steal. Down at the shallow end of the sea area, I set about on the tasks of getting the basic tools and supplies. Resources are good here for that. Thankfully, those pesky gulls are not spawning into this area of the map. I save the engrams for when I can get the Settler’s Workbench to build a starter shack next to a large rock outcropping. Next step is to place a storage box by the cliff. As I gather up wood, thatch, and fiber, the extra gets placed into it. Several Dodos bite the dust in order to supply me with much needed hide. With Bolas now crafted, I can go after larger low level creatures of which a Level 15 Parasaur bites the dust. With the wood tier reached, the Settler’s Bench is now available. Loaded with the required building materials, a 4x4 starter hut is built. It is equipped with a spawn bed, large storage chest, and a mortise and pestle. Narco berries and spoiled meat is placed into it to get narcs for the tranc arrows once they are unlocked. As late afternoon approaches. I add two more foundations to the hut. A Refining Forge is placed there and loaded up with wood and metal ore. The River Rocks that are abundant close by give me more then enough raw metal that is needed for the Kraken’s Workbench as well as the stone and flint for sparkpowder. Heading West along the beach to get some metal ore from some rocks along the ridge there, I spot a Level 140 Parasaur and proceed to tame it. I can keep her hid behind the starter shack until I have gathered enough materials to build a proper pen. By the end of the first day, I have a starter hut completed along with a spawn bed, forge, the Krakens Workbench, a tamed Parasaur, and a high level Moschop. I keep Patty and Miss Chomper hid behind the starter shack for the night. During the night, I keep the Settler’s Workbench busy crafting fence foundations. I know that this area can become dangerous in a day or two. While gathering wood, a Pteradon of Level 140 has been spotted. As I have the karatan needed for the saddle, I proceed to tame her and park her by the cliff. With Tammy, I am able to get the crystal needed for a spyglass. As I am preparing to start placing the fence foundations, I spot a pack of “Murder Puppies” coming down from the jungle. I quickly unload the foundations and grab Miss Chomper to go after them. Killing the nearest one, the pack leader howls and they all go charging over to my starter camp. Fearing the worst, I race back with Miss Chomper. Fortunately, they ignore Patty and Tammy by going after something else in the water. I track them all down and take them out with the Moschop. OK, this fence needs to be built and fast. I spend the rest of the morning placing down the foundations and the walls. It takes a lot of wood gathering, but as soon as it is done, I have to deal with a Sabertooth that comes down from the same area as those Murder Puppies. A raft is soon crafted so that I can head West to an area where I can cut down a lot more wood and thatch. The crafting bench on it is stocked with the needed fiber from the Moschop as the next project will be to go with a foundation 10x10 with walls three high. With the supplies now crafting on the raft, I am able to start with the construction of the 10x10 just inside of the fence wall. I get most of the work done during the night. The next day, I am finishing up with the pen when I place Patty on turret mode. She spots something stuck in the rocks in the bay. It makes no sense unless it is a shark, so I wade out there to investigate. It turned out to be a Megalosaurus of all things sleeping up in the corner in the water. Given that they usually only found in caves, or just East of the Lava Beach area it was strange that this one was in the Viking’s Bay rock outcropping. I proceed to tame it and name him Marty. He takes a while to get back into the pen but once in there, he curls up on the floor and goes to sleep. I spend the rest of the day locating and taming an Ankylo and Doed. Annie is most useful for getting metal ore and rock and flint for sparkpowder. Danny is put to work to fill up the Villager’s Workbench for a more ambitions project, a two story round barn that is 36 panels in circumference. A wood and thatch run into Viking’s Bay loads me up with those materials. Picking the large flat beach nearby the Settler’s pen, I start from the center out with well over 100 triangle foundations and many square ones to form the round foundation. The land is flat enough so that the only stacking needed is in the deeper part of the water. I use that spot for a dock. That evening, Marty wakes up, so I saddle him up for an all night hunting run by torchlight. He is not the greatest hunter in the world but does the job well in cleaning out all of the nearby low level creatures around. The next morning, I am pestered by a bunch of sea gulls in the area. I use the pteradon to ambush them from the air which works well in spite of not having Valerian Reins as I need organic polymer and toughened hide to craft them. That will come later. Work continues on the round barn which requires a lot more stone, wood, and thatch. While I could use a Stego for wood and thatch, I gather the wood by hatchet as I use the parasaur for thatch. Eventually, by Day 9, I have a two story barn with an attic for the crafting and living area, and a watchtower on the top of the roof. I will soon move all of the tames into the round barn and set up the work area in the attic. The old pen will eventually get a roof so I can use it for a flier’s landing platform. That will be on a later date as I have been distracted by a new player created map called Lasum. Blame a Matt Bishop video on the ten least played mod maps he picked out of the end of the Steam mod map listing. It has turned out to be a well made map that is mostly completed. I can see that map making for an interesting role playing world ranging from primitive mid evil to futurist apocalyptic world. Expect a single player report on that map in the near future.
  20. My single player game of Valguero. Valguero is a stand along map that is available as an official download for free. Unlike most maps, where the land mass is surrounded by a sea, this one is based upon a valley setting around a large lake surrounded by mountains that act as the border. Hidden in a cave system are a huge ocean and an Aberration cave setting. A boss cave featuring the Brood Mother can be found in the redwoods. An Ice Trench in the snowy mountains is infested with Ice Wyverns where deep inside of that trench is a cave to a lava trench with Fire Wyverns. There are also new types of Rock Golems hiding in the biomes. Numerous structures can be found in the land that can be built in. The most dangerous creature found in the Chalk-lands are the Denonicous, nicknamed The Fluffy Raptors. To obtain one, you have to steal their eggs out of their nest, then hatch them. The babies eat raw meat. These raptors have the ability to climb vertical surfaces including up trees, can glide a short distance, and take no fall damage as they land like a parachute. They can also latch on to a larger creature causing massive bleed damage while avoiding that creature’s effort to defend itself. Beware that they can take you off of a flier if you get too close to them. The mod game. Settings; Single player with taming, harvesting, leveling set at 3X. Movement Speed at 2X. Hatching and maturation rates set at 6X. Tamed dino’s health and melee set at 1X. MODS in use; Ultra Stacks. Kraken’s Better Dinos. Castle, Keeps, and Forts Remastered. Ultra Stack is a mod that makes gathering so much easier through larger stacking, weight reduction, and reduced spoilage time on all meat types. Kracken’s Better Dinos is a TLC mod that improves the ability of dinos in the game. It adds some additional Tek creatures such as an Ankylo, Trike, and Griffin. Cheaper to craft starter saddles are added for some high level creatures as well as a platform saddle for the Trike and extensions for existing platform saddles and rafts. Trikes and Brontos have a stomp attack. Doeds and Ankylos can now harvest berries. Fliers have the ability to move backwards. Equipped with Valerian Reins, all flying creatures have improved stamina, maneuverability, flying speed, and other useful improvements. Female Mammals can now be milked including Wyverns. New meat and hide types are available from some creatures. A combo Smithy and Preserving Bin adds new abilities including a way to cook and preserve new food types. And a substitute egg and Wyvern Milk replacement can be crafted for taming. Castle, Keeps, and Forts Remastered is a building mod that uses three special crafting benches for creating the numerous building shapes available that are equivalent to wood, stone, and metal. All pieces are compatible with Structure+ and vanilla building pieces. The one exception is that all wall structures are 1/3 higher then standard which is useful for giving your player more head room and allowing large storage boxes to not poke through a ceiling. Morellotops and Amaragsaurus will fit through dino gates. When you learn the crafting bench, you have all the pieces available to you thus saving your engram points for other needs. Best of all, you just load the crafting bench with the required resources and let the items craft independent of what you are doing, just like the Mortise and Pestle. With the extra pieces available, one can make a proper looking round roof as well as a corner roof sections, and single section gable roof so that a three wide structure doesn’t need a flat center. Foundations will stack, pillars place properly, and all pieces can be picked up at a later time. The Crafting Bench can be placed on the ground, a foundation, or the raft. (Platforms?) It also acts as a huge storage crate. Game Play Day One; There are several places one can start on this map, some safe, some a bit more dangerous. By far, the safest place is Small Island. However, it will be lacking in small creatures needed early on for meat and hide. I spawn in my character on Small Island. About 50% of the time, one will spawn in on one of the two island. Otherwise, you spawn in on the shore of the nearby mainland. While the same creature types will spawn in with you as they do on the two islands, there is the chance that a Purvolia may show up nearby to end your day early. As I spawned in on the mainland near the beach, I will need to swim over to one of the two islands before it gets cold out, then set up my starter camp before dark. I quickly get the required resources for basic tools and thatch clothes. However, fiber is hard to get as the sagebrush bushes on this section of the mainland have a hard to find gather box. There are no Dodos or Lystros in this area to get for hide so I have to watch out for a low level trapped Parasaur to take out for meat and hide. Once I am basically equipped, I look for the closest way to swim across to one of the two small islands. One has to be careful as there are sharks in the deeper section of the channel. Oil rocks are easily accessible down there for later game use. On the larger of the two small Redwoods Islands, I set up a Settler’s Crafting Bench and start constructing a 2x2 hut for the night. It can get quite cold on these Redwood Islands. Why did I pick this location? There are no predators on those two island, no dilos, no pesky seagulls, no compys, no Thylo up in the tree to pounce on you, just larger herbivores that are living here. That makes it a challenge to get hide and raw meat early on. Once I have the bow with arrows, I am able to find a trapped low level Parasaur to kill for meat and hide. With bolas, I now have the means to take down other Parasaurs and Phenomas for meat and hide. Under Kraken’s Better Dinos, Phenomas will yield lots of hide. They also yield a special meat that is listed as good for healing carnivores but poor for taming. Unfortunately, that meat spoils quickly and cannot be cooked in a campfire. It can, however, be preserved in the combo Smithy and Preserving Bin by placing charcoal and spark powder in there with the special raw meat. The good thing, one low level Parasaur and Phenoma gives me enough hide for bolas, leather armor, and for crafting the Mortise and Pestle, Forge, and combo Smithy and Preserving Bin. With plenty of river rock along the shoreline, I have the required metal ore needed to craft the combo bin and basic metal tools. The fast spoiling Phenoma meat allows me to craft tranc for arrows for future taming. By nightfall, I have obtained enough levels to craft basic metal tools, built a raft, and tamed a high level Parasaur for berry harvesting. Day Two; In the morning, I sail across the lake to the northern spawn point to go hunting and harvest some unusual resources there. In that bay, as I dodge the pesky seagulls, I kill some Dodos, spitters, and compys for their meat and hide. I chop up a dead turtle which yields hide, spoiled meat, and far more karatan then one can get from killing one. The dead beached dolphins yield valuable organic polymer, which will be needed for Gillie Armor as well as for Valerian Reins once I can obtain a high level Pteradon. It also contains hide and lots of spoiled meat. I get the Gillie Armor crafted as where I am heading next will be quite hot. Next, I sail over to a set of ruins where I tie up the raft at the dock. Here, it is quite hot, so I put on the Gillie Armor, then head up the path to where there is a garden containing Rockarrots and Savroot. At the garden, my harvesting is cut short as a nervous Gally goes flying by me with a Carno hot on it’s tail. Fortunately, it doesn’t see me, so I am able to finish with harvesting the advanced crops available there. I leave quickly as that Carno is still around chasing lower level prey. There are Pteradons in the area but none of them are worth taming all being Level 20 or lower. Back at my starter camp, I place the bounty into storage. A high level Ankylo has been spotted on this little island. Facts are, quite a few higher level herbivores spawn in on this island including a Level 140 female Bronto that is knocking down all the trees in the area. As I can now craft the saddle for one, I proceed to tame the Ankylo. She will be most useful to mine the abundant river rocks for stone, flint, and raw metal. By that night, I have her tamed and the forge filled with metal ore. Under the mod, Ankylos can harvest berries, wood, and thatch, and get some sap from the redwood stumps. Day three. Still no luck in finding a high level pteradon. I need one to start surveying the Chalk Lands as well as to obtain some crystal for a spotting scope. Day Four. I tame that female Bronto. Under Kraken’s Better Dinos, their stomp attack is awesome for harvesting. They get massive amount of wood from a stomp as well as stone, flint, and metal ore from the boulders. It is also a bit more selective then the tail swipe which is mostly good for getting berries and some thatch. I do more exploration with the raft and continue looking for a high level Pteradon. No luck. They are all Level 24 or lower. Day Five. Lucked out with a higher level pteradon. First a Level 60 that lost some taming effectiveness due to passing out just as I hit it with another tranc arrow. Later, the next day I get a Level 150 that lands by my starter camp. Finally, I have something that I can use to get crystal and safely explore the Chalk Land. With a raft parked along the shoreline so I can store items on it, I take off for the exploration with the now Level 225 pteradon. From him, I can safely observe the activity below as well as look for fluffy raptor nest. It doesn’t take long to find them out hunting as I see one of them latched onto the side of a Bronto chewing a hole into it. When one goes on an egg hunt, you never want to do this on foot, even with several tribe members. It is best to snatch eggs by using a quick flyer such as a Pteradon, bait the raptors away from the nest, then do a quick land and grab before they all come running back after you. I find a nest and do a quick land and grab. Crap, level 20 egg. I find another nest. Same thing. Level 20 egg. I take them back to the raft. Continuing the exploration, I find more nest. Level 15. I throw it out. The next nests after leading the fluffy raptors away from it, is a Level 55, then a Level 150 egg. I take them back to the camp to place in the preserving bin until I am ready to hatch them. Day Six, I have much better luck with nest raiding. The resulting game of raptor tag and fast raid yields me a Level 55, a Level 90, and a rare Level 180 egg. It will be time to set up a taming pen that will need about two dozen torches fueled by Sparkpower which thanks to the Ankylo, I have an abundant supply as fuel. During that raiding session, I spot a unicorn. With rockarrots obtained from the garden in the ruins, I an able to find and tame him in a relatively safe area. I use the raft to bring him back to the starter base. At the end of Day Six, I am at Level 76 thanks to the crafting of spark powder and narcotics from the spoiled meat harvested from the dead turtles and dolphins along the beach. So, with Day Seven, I will be building a hatching – taming pen for the fluffy raptor eggs. Past experience has shown me that I need about 18 torches arranged in a U shape inside of a pen given that when those little brats hatch, they are totally out of control for the first couple of minutes. A Feeding Trough filled with raw meat is most necessary to keep them fed as they grow up. That way, they only need food placed on them for the first several minutes of growing up. Having comfort foods on hand will help if you plan on imprinting when you start breeding the higher level ones. It is also best to just hatch a couple of eggs at a time given the chance of twins and triplets which can make claiming and controlling them a lot harder. Some info on this map that may cause you grief and frustration. 1. The Brood Mother Cave is extremely complex and dangerous to explore in order to get one of the artifacts needed for the boss fight. A megatherium, the giant sloth, is a must for cleaning out the bugs and spiders as their insect buff will make short work of killing off the numerous high level ones infesting that cave once you have killed the Broodmother and her horde. 2. One of the entrances to the underwater ocean is located South of the larger of Small Island. As that inlet is a good source for oil, you should easily find it in the deeper water. Beware that a deep sea creature could show up unexpectedly in that area. While the lake itself is Leed free, they do live in the depths below the underwater entrances 3. The beach side entrance to the Aberration Cave may toss you off of a flier to your death if you happen to fly anywhere near it. The entrance is big enough to take a Bronto into it. 4. Hopefully, it has been fixed by now but at one time, there was a spot in the Aberration Cave where you could fall through the mesh to a layer below. Even worse was a spot that you would fall through the world to teleport to the plateau on the surface if you didn't get killed by the anti meshing feature now in use. 5. Given that Rock Drakes were removed from the official map, I see no reason to go down into the dangerous radiation zone. 6. Some resources, such as pearls, are hard to come by. The one area in the lake where they can be found is infested with Karpos and Sarcos. Overall, the map has it’s biomes logically placed out and populated with the expected resources and creatures. You might want to turn down the creature spawn rates as it tends to be quite high in places. Thus ends this report on the Valguero adventure.
  21. Some interesting info for someone that wants to try playing The Island as it was from June of 2015 to September of 2015. From Steam, you can download and install a mod map called "The Old Island." It is as close as you will find what it was playing in June of 2015 with one major exception, Area 50,50 has the plateau of Survival of the Fittest terrain instead of the hill by what later would be the Redwoods. Other exception are is that all of the added in creatures are going to show up on the map, so expect Leeds in the sea as well as all of the other pest that will bother you in the usual places. The default spawn zone will be East Zone One which will place you between Drayo's Cove and the Lava Cave which will not have crystal in the entrance. The vegetation will be about as sparse as it was on day one.
  22. Day 200 on the Ark. Time sure does fly in a day that is only an hour long. Actual date is October 24, 2015, when I finally obtain a raptor. Several days ago, I had prepared some Raptor Kibble from my stores of Parasaur eggs. The recipe, one Parasaur egg, one longrass, one cooked meat jerky, two Mejoberries, three fibers, and water. Place in a cooking pot and cook until it is done. The preserving bin has turned cooked meat into jerky. It took a day for it to convert the cooked meat, oil and spark powder into each piece of jerky. I prepare 16 Raptor Kibble, place half of it in storage, and the other half on my raft. The past several days, I have spent observing wild raptors hunting on the delta from a distance with the spotting scope. I find that they tend to hunt in groups of two or three. They are so fast that I doubt I can deal with three at once unless I can get up on a boulder where they can't reach me. If I can get one alone, I will have a good chance of knocking one out on my terms. With a raptor saddle and the kibble on the raft, I set sail for the narrows of Drayo's Cove. Things look quiet there when I spot a lone raptor being annoyed by a dragon fly. I watch her from a distance while keeping an eye out for any other raptors. Oh Crap, I spot a Carno nearby. But he heads up river and will not be a threat. With my new metal Armor, I beach the raft, step off, and head in her direction. She soon spots me and comes charging full speed. One tranc arrow to the head. She is a real bitch and on top of me in an instant. I spin around placing the second tranc arrow to the head, I dodge her attack. The third tranc arrow misses and hits a tree when she knocks me aside. The forth one connects and down she goes. I check the delta for any other threats. None are nearby. The Carno is way upriver chasing a Parasaur. My metal armor has protected me well from her attack. Feeling relieved, I place the kibble and some narcs into her inventory. It is three minutes later when she eats the first kibble. The taming bar jumps over 50%. Great! This will not take as long as I thought and there will be kibble left over. In a couple of more minutes, I can be out of this dangerous area heading back to my base in no time. With the Second Kibble, I have finally tamed a Raptor. I quickly saddle her up, load her up on the raft, and set sail out of the cove. I certainly don't want to risk her in any fights until I can level up her health and hit strength. I beach the raft in a safer place and take her out hunting Dodos and Dilos. I name her Ronda. What a far cry that is from playing in 2022 when I obtain a mate boosted pair of high level raptors in only a couple of game playing days using tranc arrows on a crossbow and bolas. Days later, October 25th, 2015, I tame a pair of turtles and bring them back to the pen. They are like riding on a tank. Even though they are good swimmers and well protected from an attack, I will use them for eggs for some future Kibble. Their names, Duke and Lady Gamera. I also find a pair of Phenomas stuck in the driftwood on Herbivore Island. As I have the saddle from a drop in my saddle box on the raft, I think, why not! If nothing more, they will provide plenty of poop for the compost bin and my expanded garden. (This is before we knew about the stimm berry trick for forced pooping.) I have tried to hunt them before on the main island, but found that they quickly ran away into the dangerous jungle. These will be easy to take down with tranc arrows to tame. Only a couple of tranc arrows to drop them. What a horrible noise they make eating when unconscious. They consume the berries like crazy. But, they soon are tamed and loaded on the raft for the trip to cave base. Their names, Boss Hogg and Miss Piggy. October 28th, 2015. We get a special event as an update for the game. It is day 205 when the landscape changes again. This time it is just the change of foliage to fall colors. I take Tommy for an inspection flight. Nothing different, no new biomes, just a lot of fall colors on the jungle trees with the daytime weather a bit cooler over the jungle. Other surprises show up. There are pumpkin patches with spooky scarecrows. I also find grave with fog and tombstones. Ghost hover above them at night. Mostly, they appear to be decorations as I can pick the pumpkins, move the scarecrows, and take the tombstones as they set off a ghostly sound. Those pose no hazard, but Onycs and spiders soon appear on the surface which are quite dangerous. I soon learn to stay away from the Onycs as they attack in packs beating up my Dilo hunting pack and tearing up my metal armor. It is not worth what little meat and hide I get from them. A new concern has occurred as well. I am now seeing T-Rexes on my side of Drayo's Cove. While they have been busy attacking the wild Brontos and Parcers, each time I see see them, they have been getting closer and are a higher level. I remain concern if one of those T-Rexes comes around the point, it will be a straight shot to the unprotected Brontos and Parcers tames. I could easily lose them to an attack. I take out a T-Rex from the cliff that is getting close to the point. A couple of days later, I spot one heading for my Brontos and drop it from the safety of the cliff near there. I start gathering supplies for a Bronto pen. It will need a stone foundation and two behemoth gates. The requirement for those two huge gates is staggering. They can only be crafted in the Smithy. Each gate and gateway requires 750 stone, 750 wood, and 750 fiber. I have to move the materials in numerous trips to the Smithy, yet once crafted, I can carry both gates and gateways in my inventory. Danny the Doedicurus, my newest pet, makes gathering the large quantity of stone an easy task, But soon, all the nearby boulders have been destroyed. I take him to Herbivore Island to harvest stone for the stone foundations and stone walls. It still takes a long time to craft the foundations for the Bronto pen which will be huge. Then, I end up wasting a lot of material on the East wall when I find out that the pen, which is longer then I had anticipated, needs to be made much wider. Two more trips to Herbivore Island gathers nearly all the boulders there which makes the stone fence two high. I finish the other two sections with wood. During that time period, I have had to prepare for a possible attack by a new boss enemy, the Dodorex. This creature, according to WIKI, is said to breathe fire and is capable of tearing down metal walls. The only defense is to lead it away, or hide. I prep the cave for hiding taking Ronda in with me, or over to Herbivore Island and craft wall sections for the Bronto pen. During the next several days, a blood moon appears with the Dodorex shadow when the alert goes out. I either hide out in the cave, or head to the safety of Herbivore Island. On day 230 the threat is over as all the Halloween stuff vanishes. During that same time period, I am out riding Ronda along the North shore of Drayo's Cove. I spot a raptor beyond the ramp. “Alpha Raptor Level 30”, the spotting scope displays. I get out of there as fast as Ronda can run. “Alpha Raptor are extremely dangerous, hard to kill, and can rip through wood walls like they are paper,” according to the WIKI. I will keep my metal armor handy along with the Longneck Rifle with a scope, and a big stock of tranc arrows. Day 234. While flying on Tommy, I spot a skeleton racing around the other creatures beyond the ramp towards the point. It is the Alpha Raptor according to the spotting scope. Time to take it out if I can. I land Tommy on the cliff top and start firing at the Alpha Raptor. He races to the cliff trying to get me but is unable to scale it. It takes nearly 40 rounds to kill it. Crazy I think, a living skeleton left over from the Halloween scenario the Aliens were playing with. I'm lucky to get rid of the threat. A few days later, I spot another North on the beach while riding Terry the Trike. I had used him to spear a wild raptor the day before, but, this one has the orange glow around its head, a warning that it is an Alpha. I take Terry back to base and take the raft to the North to get its attention with the longneck rifle. It swims out after me as I stay out of its reach. Soon it is kept busy fighting off the Megalodons which eventually kill it. Then, one day while riding Ronda Raptor, I spot a turkey. A turkey? Those are not extinct. Oh well, must be another holiday the Devs are playing with. I dismount and shoot it with the crossbow. Opps big mistake. It attacks me, then a wild trike near by also attacks. I kill the trike but Ronda is tearing into the turkey and getting beat up by it. I give up trying to kill the turkey getting on to Ronda forcing her to break off the battle and run away. She is exhausted and badly hurt. I'm in no better shape either. We both head for the raft as quick as we can. I set sail to get away from the turkey which goes swimming out after us. It isn't long before the big sharks take interest in it. I sail back to base as more sharks join in the fight. That has to be one tough bird as it is fighting five of them as dusk falls. It is day 236 as I am heading back for the raft I left beached in Drayo's Cove. I had just tamed a Doedicurus but couldn't get him on the raft. So, I rode him back to base camp, saddled up Ronda, and headed back for the raft. I don't know what went wrong. The Brontos were crowding the area as I rode Ronda on the raft and prepared to cast off. Then, all hell broke loose. Next thing I know is that Ronda is not on the raft but attacking a Bronto with a T-Rex after another. Not wanting to lose her, I start firing at the T-Rex. It comes after me and the raft. Ronda joins in the battle. In spite of 30+ arrows, my armor destroyed, I am killed along with Ronda. A bad dream? It is day 230. I had planned to tame some Pachys on the south shore of Drayo's Cove. Taking the dream as a warning, I take the raft into the cove, and, there it is, a Level 30 Rex, the nightmare in my dream. (I’E, I just cheated by reverting the game back to it’s last save.) I beach the raft, get into position up on the cliff and hit it with tranc arrows. The Rex focuses its attention on me as it claws at the cliff side. It takes 45 tranc arrows to drop it. While coming down to finish killing the Rex, two raptors come out of the trees after me. I drop both of them. I have six arrows left. I kill the Rex and the low level female raptor. As I still have Raptor Kibble on the raft and a spare saddle, I tame the high level male for Ronda. Three Kibbles later as it is getting dark out, I have a mate for Ronda. I name him Ronnie. Time to get out of that dangerous area ASAP. Damn, my raft has washed ashore and become stuck. I head back to base camp on Ronnie. I'll have to build a replacement raft, sail back to the cove, and salvage the supplies stored on the beached raft. Then, go Pachy taming. By day 236, I have the new raft, all supplies transferred from the abandoned raft and two Pachys named Patrick and Patty. A couple of days later, I tame two Paracer, those huge horse shaped mammals. Petunia is first to be tamed. I take her back to camp. Patrick is the tougher one. He tries to run away and knocks down the barrier wall in the ramp before I can drop him. I reinforce it with wood soon afters. It is day 241 when I get the reinforcing work done. I spot what looks like it will be a big fight across Drayo's Cove between a Bronto, Stego, and a high level Carno. I will keep an eye on this as I am now ready to tame one as I have the saddle. Strange, as they get ready for the big showdown, they all end up staring at each other. I head back and get the raft which has the saddle and other supplies stored and sail over to Drayo's Cove. I beach the raft there and walk over to investigate. Interesting, the Carno does not attack me even as I walk up and touch her. In some freak of events on Ark, or maybe, the game wanted to see what would happen, I have a tamed Stego, Bronto, and Carno without having to tranc them and go through the long process of taming. Yes, that actually happened. I Ride the Stego long enough to remove the trees trapping all three of them, then unclaim him. He wanders off. I also unclaim the Bronto as I already have a pair. He wanders off. I saddle the Carno, which is now a Level 26, and name her Christina. After finding a spot to beach the raft so she can walk on. I head back to base. It is day 256 when another T-Rex wonders in from the Delta. But, now I have a saddle and the resources to attempt a tame. It is a nice level all gray male. It takes 20 tranc arrows to the head to drop him. They unexpectedly do a lot of damage, but, he tames quickly enough to get several levels. Jokingly, I name him after that stupid purple dinosaur from public TV, Barney. He makes a good mount, even though he is hard to maneuver due to his size. But, he opens up a whole new world to me. I can safely travel through the densest jungles of Ark without worrying about being attacked by dilos, raptors, or carnos. He can also pack a lot of supplies on him without being encumbered. The predators give Barney plenty of room as he goes stomping by. I do continue to play this map to November of 2016 having the entire box canyon filled with a stone pen and all kinds of tames inside except for three force tamed Titansaurs of which one walked over the spike fence and got hung up in my camp the day they came out. A cheat allowed single players to keep them without starving to death. The save has long since been lost to time as new games were started, new maps became available, and back up storage became an issue. Oldest save is from June 7, 2017. But in 9-13-2015, I was playing on a new system with an I-7 processor, 16G ram, a 512G SSD and a GTX 970 graphic card. Later, this system was upgraded to 32G ram, a GTX 1070, and a 2T SSD. I still use it for playing Ark along with a MSI laptop containing the same specs that was special ordered. Otherwise, I have a new AMD 5150X with 64G ram, there 2T SSD, and a RTX 3070TI running a double wide 1080P monitor. It took nearly a year to get the components for it without having to pay scalper prices. Thus ends this story of the first game play of The Island.
  23. A test start on The Island after I made the first post. In the location I started in June of 2015, place me near the point of Drayo’s Cove where a Spitter went after a Moschop just as I spawned in. The vegetation is much denser in the box canyon then it was in 2015. It’s considered medium difficulty. Lots of Spitters to kill, few Dodos. Other creatures were turtles, a Moschop that changed what it wanted when rendered out and back in, an Oviraptor, Pelegoaris, pteradon and Brontos. No trikes or parasaurs. Two hours of playing gave me 40 levels and got me into metal tools. There is barely enough metal from mining rocks to get a pick, hatchet and crossbow given that there are no metal rock or river rock in this area. However, there is crystal just inside of the cave that will yield what is needed for a spyglass. That was not the case in 2015 unless you went way inside into the dangerous area. A trip on the raft gets me to Herbivore Island where I obtain lots of metal ore for the forge. The second two hours+ brings me up to Level 70. In addition, I have crafted an 8x10 wooden enclosure from the Settler’s Workbench. Between the dead trees and down palms, I have been supplied with more then enough wood and thatch for the construction. A tamed Moschop, not available in 2015, has supplied me with plenty of fiber. Still, nothing worth taming so far as the Trikes, Parasaurs, and Pteradons. They remain at very low levels like from the original 0.2 setting in 2015. I do obtain a mated pair of good level raptors down in Drayo’s Cove after dodging ants and microraptors, how I hate those things. Back to original game play As I reached Level 35, it was time to get a flyer. I need to get crystal for a spotting scope. Pteranodons had been flying around in the area ever since I started playing Ark. One even flew into the cave when I was setting up a temporary camp in there. But, now, for some reason, they were nowhere to be found. The WIKI states that the best way to tame one is to use a tranc arrow when one lands to rest. I am warned not to use a crossbow as lower level Pteranodon are so fragile that one shot could kill them. So, I pack raw meat on Mike with extra narcs and head up the coast in search of a Pteranodon I had spotted days earlier. I find him and keep an eye on where he may pick a place to land. He lands nearby. I hit him with a tranc arrow using a primitive bow. He starts to fly off but before I can place a second shot on him, he falls to the ground in a heap. Note that bolas didn't exist in 2015 Keeping Mike nearby as a bodyguard, I set up some standing torches as it is already late evening. He is 25% damaged as I place raw meat and narcs into his inventory. It is a Level 2. The tame takes all night. Yes, all night for a Level 2. ½ an hour actual time. Interesting is he has healed completely by the time he is tamed. He gets the name Tommy the Pteranodon. He follows Mike and I back to the dino pen. When I take him for my first flight, I find that I have to leave all my inventory behind except for my armor, basic weapons, and some food. I also need to keep a stack of raw meat on him as he will eat that when he gets hungry while flying. The WIKI warns me about keeping an eye on his stamina, to land and rest him as needed, or we could end up landing into danger or drown in the water if his stamina runs out. I take him off on a test flight. My, how big this island looks from the air. I fly over Drayo's Cove and up into the delta. I see it crawling with the first raptors I have seen. There are sarcos and other nasty predators hunting the river. With stamina getting low, I pick out a safe beach on the point and land there to rest. Then we take off to Herbivore Island. That place is amazing. There is a natural sheltered bay formed by two sandbars with rocks on the point, sort of a natural harbor. Back in the bay is a large sheltered dead end canyon. The top contains numerous large rocks forming a crescent. There is a palm and hardwood forest on top. Best of all, while there are numerous herbivores roaming the island, there isn't a carnivore to be found, not even a dilo. Strangely, there are no Dodo or Turtles to be found there either. The next day, I make a survey flight towards Far Peak. I don't get there as I take advantage of a drop I spot along the coast. It contains a complete wood hut. Burdened with that weight I fly back to camp. Still, I have found safe landing places where I can rest Tommy for that planned trip to the top of Far peak to get crystal. The following day, I take along only the pick and pike, I leave everything else but my armor, some food, and a torch. I make a rest stop just before a large bay, then a second on the beach at the base of far peak. Then, I make the long accent to the top of far peak. The view is awesome a I look for a safe landing spot away from the scorpions and Saber Tooth. I can see the entire Ark from there and it is big. Landing on the top hidden by a big rock from a roaming scorpion, I get to work on the crystals nearby and dump any stones I harvest. Golden metal rock is also nearby, but for the moment, the crystal is most important since weight will be an issue on my return trip and both are very heavy. With 50 pounds of crystal and ignoring the cold, I get on Tommy and head back down to the coast. On the trip back to camp, I see a Carno hunting in the exact spot I had tamed Tommy the day before. It’s going to be a threat if it reaches my base Camp given that the pen is only made out of thatch. I fly Tommy back to base and take the crystal into the cave where I can craft the spotting scope that night. The next morning, I make my plan for dealing with the Carno. I saddle up Mike and Trixie, my two strongest mate boosted Trikes. The plan is to use them to approach the Carno and when it comes in to attack, use Mike to spear him in a charge while Trixie nails him from the side. The plan works better then expected. I approach the Carno from the side. It runs towards me to attack, The angle is perfect. I turn and ram the charging Carno in its face as Trixie rams it from the side. The Carno bites the dust. Both Mike and Trixie come out of that battle with only minor injuries. I am very pleased with the results as I dismount Mike and chop up the dead Carno for its meat and hide. September 10, 2015. I have doubled the size of the thatch pen from it’s original 8x13 to 13x16 to give the tames more room in anticipation of taming more of them. I soon add more storage in the corner by my bed shack along with preserving bins and crafting stations. My Level 38 Perry gets the fancy Ark logo blanket saddle. I have also obtained a Level 27 female which is laying eggs I will need for Raptor Kibble. September 14th, 2015. With everyone requesting this, we finally get a raft. I promptly get one crafted up and start exploring with it. It should be noted that a second update occurred later that day so that the sharks wouldn’t attack it. The next morning I saddle up Perry and load him on the raft. The Parasaur doesn't seem to place any weight on the raft. In fact, it seems that anything I place on it has no effect on it at all. When Ark came out in June, storage boxes had a limit of how much weight they could hold. Like the Dodo birds attacking players, that restriction was removed. Also, land dinos were given the ability to back up, something the Pteradons still don’t have unless you are running a mod. And, until recently, they would take off flying as soon as you got on their saddle. Landing in the cove, I build a thatch shack from supplies I had collected from a drop. I add a campfire, torches, and a porch. After cutting some wood for a fire, I take Perry out exploring. As I ride along the outer beach avoiding the numerous other herbivores living there, I spot two gleaming rocks on the ridge above. Metal, I have found the metal rocks. Hitting them with the metal pick yields metal ore, as much as 50 pounds in some of them. Before long, I have almost 300 pounds of metal ore stored in the raft. I head back to main base with Perry. Now, I can craft that longneck rifle, a scope, a sickle, spare crossbow and spare metal tools. I also get a garden plot started to raise advanced crops. I finally tame an Ankylosaurus that I find on Herbivore Island. 9-14-2015 at Level 38. Day 135 on the Ark. Have I been playing this game that long? The past 35 days have been spent exploring the eastern shores, testing out new items, taming pets on Herbivore Island, and mining metal ore there. The new longneck rifle has its use but doesn't seem to hit as hard as the crossbow. It is also expensive to use requiring a metal and several gunpowders for a single bullet. So, for now, I store it on the raft with the ammo. The crossbow remains my ranged weapon of choice. With tranc arrows, I can drop a Dilo with one shot. In fact, I end up taming six of them. They make a great hunting pack working well together and able to take on the normally hard to kill turtles with ease. I have sailed the raft far north to an island known as Dead. The spotting scope confirms it is crawling with predators of all sizes. With Argentavis flying close by, I turn the raft about. I have also sailed the South Coast going as far as a bay formed by a rocky outcropping. I have observe a pack of raptors tearing up a parasaur and other herbivores in an inlet leading to a river. The rocky outcropping is fairly quiet with only a couple of dilos hunting the Dodos living there. I find a quiet spot on the sandy beach there and construct a thatch hut from supplies I got from a nearby supply drop. With the next game update, of 9-26, I find that my base is in a huge mess. All of the boulders and vegetation that I have mined are suddenly all back thicker then ever. Mike finds himself perched on top of a boulder. Two others boulders have materialized in the wall of the base. Outside, I observe the same mess. One boulder has materialize inside my irrigation system which continues to function. I set about cleaning up the mess by first breaking up the boulders with the metal pick. The wall remains undamaged when they explode and vanish. Next are the palm trees by the Dino Gate. They are just in the way of my pets especially in the landing zone for Tommy. The next day, I saddle up Tommy for an inspection of the Ark. As I fly over Drayo's Cove, I notice several extinct creatures that I have never seen before. There is a small flying reptile with a round head with rows of sharp teeth. I see another creature about twice the size of the dilos but with a big round head. Then, I spot a huge horse shaped creature browsing on the palms. I place the spotting scope on it. “Male Paracer, Level 6.” So, that is what it is called. All seem to be docile as I fly close by to inspect them. I fly up the coast towards far peak when I notice that all three obelisk have rotated locations. The blue one is green, the green one red and the red one blue. What? The volcano under the blue obelisk has turned white like it has become snow covered. At Far Peak, I nearly get lost in the dense fog. As I am nearly to the top anyways, I head for it and land there to get crystal for a rifle scope. It is freezing cold at the top, far colder then on my last trip. As I prepare to leave, I spot an Argentavis flying straight towards me. I just make it out in time as I push Tommy to fly down the steep slope at full speed. Thankfully, he leaves the Argentavis in the dust. When I reach the nice bay to the East with the waterfalls at its end, I find that it is no longer there. In its place is a vast swamp with cypress and mangrove trees. There are sacros galore in the water. Titanboa snakes are everywhere along the edge. Paracer inhabit the meadow on the edge. And, I see huge frogs hopping about. Now what? A bigfoot in the forest. The spotting scope displays, “Female Gigantopithecus, Level 9.” With the extra building supplies I gather from cleaning up the mess, I set about doubling the size of my Dino Pen. It looks like I may be adding new pets to my collection and I may need that space soon. It is been 190 game days I have invested into playing Ark. I have finally completed the improvements that have doubled the size of my dino pen. Those improvements include replacing the thatch walls with wood. They also include reinforcing the ramp barrier with wood after that wall was damaged by a wild Bronto that climbed over the thatch wall on a boulder damaging it. I also have a hunting pack of six spitters, some tamed dodos, a pair of Phenomas, and another Ankylo. I have completed a second pen connected to the first using wood for the first two panels. And, then it happened. October 20, 2015. The Bronto that climbed over the ramp barrier manages to wedge itself against my newly finished pen and the nearby palms. This presents a real problem. If he panics, he could destroy several days of work. If I try to cut him loose, he could get hit and attack destroying the East wall and my irrigation pipeline. That leaves a third choice, attempt a tame and hope for the best during the take down. I know that this will be the most difficult tame yet attempted. The bigger the creature, the more effort that is needed to drop one, the longer the tame, and the more resources needed. Brontos are huge. In fact, they are the biggest creatures on the Ark so far. I refer to the WIKI for some advice how to proceed. The notes say to aim for the head with tranc arrows, to give them a couple of seconds to take effect, and that it will take quite a few before the Bronto will drop. It also says to expect the tame to take days and hundreds of Mejoberries, maybe a thousand. I find that Brontos will also eat advanced crops that Rockkart are a favorite and they will speed up the tame. I am in luck, my garden has four full stacks available. I plan for the take down at first light. I head up on the rock on the shore base to get a good shot at the Bronto's head. The first shot hits between the eyes. The Bronto turns to face me head on and remains stuck. Thankfully, unlike the Stego, he doesn't do anything to to damage the base. 15 more tranc arrows to the head and he collapses in a cloud of dust. The tame goes well. In spite of a bloodied forehead from all of those arrows, the Bronto has suffered little damage. The base is undamaged. The rockkarts are working well on this Level Six Bronto. In spite of the taming settings being turned up to 2X, it is early morning on the second day before the bronto tame is complete. Of the four stacks of rockkarts, I have two left among with the hundreds of Mejoberries that were not needed. I name him Bruno. I take him out as a pack animal. He follows along nicely. I am able to pack a thousand pounds of wood on him as I turn around and park him next to the new pen. The next day I level up to 55 and craft the Bronto saddle. He is a fabulous berry harvester gathering hundreds in one tail sweep that sends a wild parasaur running in panic. As I park him back by the pen, I find that I have another problem, how do I get off him without getting badly hurt? It is a long ways down from his back. I find the solution is to do the Fred Flintstone and slide down his tail. Several days later, I decide to tame the female Bronto that has been stomping down the palms at the point. She should make a good companion for Bruno as well as be a source for eggs to use in some future kibble. I load up Terry with the supplies, the Bronto saddle, set off to the point, and park him behind a boulder so he doesn't get involved in the take down. As expected, she comes charging at me with the first tranc arrow to the head, I avoid being stepped on with the second. Ducking a tail sweep, I place a third. Running around a boulder on the beach, a fourth. Back into the palms, a fifth. She is not a happy camper as I trip over the driftwood trapping a Trike that runs off. Then, down she goes in a cloud of dust. I place the rockkarts and narcoberries into her inventory, set up a pair of torches to ward off the cold, and get prepared for a long stay after ambushing three dilos that come snooping around. They have second thoughts about causing trouble when they see Terry nearby. The tame goes well showing 85% taming rate when it is complete. I name her Berniece, place the saddle on her, bring her back to base, and park her beside Bruno. One more chapter to come soon.
  24. Watch some of the You Tube trailers of mod maps and PC game play. You will be blown away by the virtual reality this game can display in real time compared to the Switch which plays a poorly supported crippled version of The Island. You will need a good gaming PC to enjoy Ark, the official mod maps, and the player created stuff available. There are many excellent game playing videos over in the Creative Chat forum. Once you get use to the keyboard - mouse method of playing Ark, you will never go back to a game pad.
  25. My Island Adventure 2015. With reference to a story posted in January of 2016 and an extensive collection of screen shots, I have assembled the experience from first playing Ark Survival Evolved from it’s release on June of 2015 to the end of December of 2015. The computer in use at that time; I-5 with 8G ram and a GTX 460 graphic card. Previously, I had dual 512meg cards but upgraded when those cards wouldn’t run Midevil Engineer, a sandbox building game. Game settings were on high on a monitor that was 1680 by 1050. While I played that first map until the released of The Center, the last game save has been lost to time. However, I still have the screenshots from the first thatch hut of July 10 up to the expanded base when it was invaded by the newly released Titansaur which walked over the spike fence and fell down the cliff. The game settings: They were all default but one has to remember that Wildcard changed the default rates for gather, XP and taming to four times the original level. That will be evident when you read just how many game days it took to level up. The settings using the present 2022 rates as a reference, 0.25 for XP, gather, and taming. The wild creature levels, from 1 to 40 max with most being from 4 to 12. There were no bolas available to aid in taming or defense. There was no raft either to get away from sharks and Parana. Vegetation and other harvestable items was very sparse compared to what appears on the map today. There was no swamp, redwoods or snow biome in 2015, those being added later that year. Mid June of 2015. With that first update to allow one to play Ark in the new Host/Local menu, It was now possible to start a single player game. Gone was the need to play on one of the new official servers where everyone was still learning how the game works and became vulnerable to those that knew how to play it. So, I start out by making my character, naming him Halsey, and selecting East Zone One which is located between Drayo’s Cove and the Lava Cave entrance. On those first two weeks, I concentrated on leveling up as I got my stone pick, stone hatchet, and some spears. A temporary 1x1 hut was built in the rocks on the point of Drayo’s Cove where I worked to gather the materials for thatch clothes. The area has remained quite safe from predators with the only creatures on the beach area are low level dodos, turtles, parasaurs, trikes and, pteradons. A note is at this state of the game, Dodos would run from you in a panic if you attacked them. That was not so before single player was released where Dodos would attack a player if provoked. By July 10, I had leveled up enough to get a spawn bed and had built a 1x4 thatch shelter against the cliff of the box canyon by the Lave Cave. According to the screenshots, there was very little trees and bushes in the box canyon to harvest for resources. At that time I was only Level 12. I did have a cooking pot but is didn’t appear to have much use at the time. It's also when I learned how to use Steam for saving in game screenshots. Now, what is interesting back then is the fact that the Blue Obelisk is located along the East shore. The red and green are in the other locations. I find that creatures are getting stuck in the trees, such is the case for a Level 2 turtle and a Level 5 Pteradon. I do find a Level 14 Trike stuck as well. Two Brontos are in different areas of the beach knocking down the trees. July 12 I go explore the Lave Cave. It has an area inside that one could build a small camp with room to spare. I even saw a Pteradon fly inside that area for a short while. Down inside, it gets too hot to go very far as I can see lava falling from the ceiling. Now, these were the days before Bats became an issue. On July 13, I am able to access my first supply drop. Three sleeping bags, a fire pit, some spark powder, and a bunch of assorted berries are found inside it. The night of the 14th, I am having to deal with the cold weather. I am on guard with a spear having survived a surprised attack by three spitters that nearly killed me. They do give much needed meat and hide which is placed in the small storage boxes. On the 15th of July, while exploring up on the plateau, I spot a T-Rex on the other side of Drayo’s Cove. That is not good should it wander across and start going after everything on my side of this area. July 19th. Is this a bug or what? I nearly freeze to death, literally, while standing next to a fire with a lit torch. I later learn that I will need multiple fires to stay warm under such conditions or go hide in the cave. This was before huts were set up to provide some shelter from the cold nights. July 21, an update now allows me to throw a torch. It also adds Dimorphdons, and the soon to be hated Titanomyrmas, the giant flying and crawling ants. July 25, this is ridiculous, three standing torches and a torch and I am freezing to death while in the cave. At Level 18, I finally have the slingshot and a bow with arrows. August 3, or Day 32 on the Ark. How time flies. A green drop appears on the hill on the point. It contained two parachutes, a bow, 46 stone arrows, and 16 valuable tranc arrows. I decide I will head for the trapped Parasaur I spotted yesterday to tame it. But, it is nowhere around. So I head for that stuck trike I found the other day. He is still there. Finding him, I hit him with a tranc arrow and promptly have to avoid an attack by a Level 5 male. This doesn't make sense at first, I think. Normally, mate boosted creatures will come to the aid of one another. I have quickly learned that if other creatures of the same species are nearby, they will come to the aid of the one under attack regardless of their sex. So, I drop him with tranc arrows when he gets stuck in the trees. It is an all night tame but finally get him. I name him Mike and head back to camp to make the saddle. As I approach camp, I spot a wild Dilo waiting in ambush. As I hit it with a stone arrow, Mike charges in front of me and rams it with his horns killing it instantly. The Trike has now proved its worth as a bodyguard against other predators. I soon level up and craft that trike saddle. As I ride mike, I find out that his skills are more useful then I had imagined. In addition to being able to attack and kill wild Dilos, he can knock down trees and driftwood to harvest wood and mostly thatch. Even more valuable is his ability to harvest berries and seeds which he does in far greater numbers then I ever could picking them by hand. He gets no fiber, but, that is fine by me. The ability to harvest large number of berries especially those hard to get narcoberries, will greatly aid in crafting narcs and taming future dinosaurs. I decide to go tame the original trike that I was after the day before. I take mike along for the tame. Three tranc arrows drops the other male. Like Mike, the tame takes about an hour. It is much easier since I can use Mike to gather the berries I need and not have to rely on my limited supply of crafted narcs that I am will need for more tranc arrows. During that tame, another supply drop occurred on the hill. I get two standing torches, a firepit, and misc items. As it is getting dark, I placed the torches near by and light them to help ward off any unseen predators during that night. That second trike, another male, wakes up tamed. I name him Terry the Trike, place Mike's saddle on him, get him unstuck by using his attack mode, and whistle for Mike to follow us back to the base. Later that day, I find the male Parasaur stuck at the point on the cove side. I head back to get the trikes and the Parasaur saddle I had crafted some time ago. I decide to bring both trikes with me as the area this Parasaur is in can be much more dangerous at night. The tame takes an hour given that I have knocked out a Level 20. Once tamed, I have one heck of a time getting him unstuck but finally get him loose. I ride him back to base with the trikes following us. I name him Perry the Parasaur. Like the Trikes, Perry can harvest wood, thatch, and berries. But, his gather rate is so slow that I find I can do the job much faster on my own. He does have the ability to run a lot faster and further without getting as tired as quickly as the trikes. Unlike the trikes, he has much less ability to carry heavy items. What becomes interesting is that like me, my trikes and parasaur, have health stats, can be level up, and that I can improve one of their stats such as health, weight, speed, or melee damage, each time they do so. Such an ability is proving quite useful, as I can craft a pet that is faster, tougher, and stronger then their wild cousins. In addition, I had noticed that when a wild female Trike had wandered close by while I was in the taming process with Terry, a mate boost would appear over his stats. I looked that up in the survivor's WIKI. He stated that having a mate boosted pair gave each of them a 25% boost in their abilities, something that could make the difference in surviving, or being killed in a fight with a predator. So, it was time to go tame a girl for the boys. I didn't have far to go when one wandered into camp during the night. Placing the boys on Passive so that they wouldn't accidentally attack her, I hit her in the head with a tranc arrow. Down that head shook then she charged in my direction. I dodge in the nick of time as I put a second arrow then a third to the head. Finally, she staggered over to a nearby boulder and collapsed. Note, head shots are now less effective on Trikes with the update. They were very effective in 2015. I don't know why it turned into such a long tame She wasn't that high of a level. Fortunately, much of the vegetation around camp has return, so I didn't have to go far to get a steady supply of narcs and the Trike's favorite food, Mejoberries. I named her Tina. Both my males now show mate boosted. By day 43, I have tamed a second female trike named Tricia and crafted a second saddle August 7th. The August 1st update has added tribolites as well as a sickle. Until I can unlock the Forge and Smithy, I cannot make one to make finer gathering a lot quicker. At least, some of the foliage and boulders are starting to return to the area. I also tame a second female Trike that has wandered into the box canyon. At least, I now have mate boosted trikes. One day when chasing after a drop on the hill with my four trikes and collecting its stash, I noticed Terry was missing. Where did he go? What happened to him? Given that he had a saddle on him, I had to backtrack to find what had happened to him. I traveled all the way back to where I had went the entire day. No Terry. A loss of a saddle and valuable tame with everything he was carrying I though. Then, when I turned the corner to reach cave base, Terry comes running to greet us. Seems though he had tried to shortcut across the cliff as we were racing to the drop, lost his footing, and slid down it. As taking all the trikes along has become a chore to keep an eye on them so they aren't getting stuck on or behind something, I decide to just take a saddled mate boosted pair along on my daily foraging expeditions. I find that keeping a track of a pair is a much easier task then with taking four of them along. They also work much better as a pair then with four of them or alone. In addition, I notice that the wild dilos I occasionally come across tend to keep their distance, even when I am dismounted. I use the saddled pair for harvesting wood and thatch and switch Trikes when the one I am riding becomes encumbered by the weight of the resources. As I have spotted a T-rex on my side of Drayo’s Cove, I have been kept busy building a pen from wood and thatch to protect my tames. I am also preparing the wall sections to block off a ramp that comes up from Drayo’s Cove to keep one from coming up into the cliff above my camp given that the T-Rex came up the ramp to investigate a starter hut I had built there before wandering off to continue hunting on the beach below. August 29th. I lose one of my Trikes while out gathering wood. A pesky Bronto on the point had been trashing the palms all week. That idiot Tricia decides she has had enough of this and goes off after the Bronto. Unable to call her off, I get on Mike and charge in to help, but he soon gets too tired to fight. I am forced to bail off and fight on foot with the primitive bow and arrows, Badly hurt, the Bronto runs off to the cliff and gets stuck trying to climb it. The Bronto falls as I get a message that Tricia has killed it. Unfortunately, she is crushed to death when the it falls on top of her. I salvage what I can and head back to base. The next day, I go searching for a replacement and locate a Level 21 female stuck in the palms near the point. It takes 15 tranc arrows to drop her. Two days later, Yes, it takes that long back then resulting in only 42% taming effectiveness, she is tamed and ready to go. I name her Trixie. Those four Trikes have proven to be a most valuable resource, a game changer in this world of survival, by making my survival on the Ark far easier then doing so on my own. That night, I hear this big crash outside of the thatch pen. Did a T-Rex come up the ramp to find my camp? Going outside, I find that a Stego has slid down the cliff and is now wandering about. It is a Level 2 Female. September 1. I decide to go tame the stego as she is now down by my beach shack. She promptly goes crazy as I hit her with tranc arrows to the head. By the time she falls unconcious, she has destroyed half of the beach shack, the cooking pot, and three storage boxes. After an all night tame, I saddle her up and go berry harvesting. In no time, I have over 300 mejoberries, 120 thatch, 33 wood 66, narcoberries, crop seeds and an assortment of other stuff. September 8th. The thatch barrier is finally completed. I see a Bronto testing it out. After several tries to cross it, it finally turns around and leaves. It is day 52 in the game and about 70 real days of playing Ark when I finally reach level 25. Metal tools! Yea! To craft those tools, I need a Smithy. It takes five of my refined metal ingots, 50 stone, 30 wood, and 20 hide to craft it. With the Smithy, I am able to craft a pick, hatchet, pike, and crossbow using the metal ingots that I refine from the metal ore in the Refining Forge. With 52 days of breaking boulders on the beach and inland, I have collected barely enough metal to craft all five items. The pick, taking only one of my precious refined metals, is well worth the cost of the materials. It enables me to harvest flint, stone, and the occasional metal ore at a much more efficient rate. At a much slower wear rate, it will last an entire day of constantly hitting boulders before needing repair or replacing. The hatchet, of similar capably, but taking eight of my metal ingots, is extremely efficient at getting wood, It takes very little time to gather hundreds of wood at once. The Pike, taking ten of those metal ingots, gives me a hard hitting spear, while a bit heavy at ten pounds compared to three spears, I find that it hits my targets twice as hard and will not break unexpectedly. It does show a wear bar after extensive use. The crossbow, a stunning achievement using seven metal ingots, gives me a longer range hard hitting weapon that uses my existing stone and tranc arrows. Not only do the arrows travel faster and further with the crossbow, they hit with twice the efficiency when fired from a primitive bow. Once cocked, I just acquire the target and pull the trigger. I find that it works great at taking out those pesky dilos, one tranc arrow fired from a crossbow is more then enough to drop all but the higher level ones. I hit them at range, they stagger, then collapse unconscious. The only drawback is it takes twice as long to reload. Yes, the grind was really that bad back in 2015. Yet, Ark continued to get numerous updates with new creatures appearing in many of them as well as new tools and abilities. To be continued.
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