With the upcoming closure of ARK: Survival Evolved Official Servers at the END of September and the release of the UE5 ARK1 Remaster, or ARK: Survival Ascended, I want to put forward a large collection of ideas for the Devs. This will be an IN-DEPTH List of changes and balances to the overall game. This is of course, a list of suggestions that I hope to give to the developers to look at and take ideas from if they wish to. Hell, they may have already had some of these ideas, but I want to put this out here for them anyways. Map Suggestions:
Removal of 6x structure damage that exists OUTSIDE the boundaries of a cave. Many caves hold this issue, especially regarding Center Ice caves, Center Pearl cave, Fjordur Dragon Terminal Cave (Front Gate Entrance) and Center Lava Dropdown cave. Rather than the 6x stretch to be 40+ foundations away from the entrance of a cave, I suggest these 6x boundaries stop at a maximum limit of 5 foundations away from a cave entrance.
Additional 6x structure damage to caves that don't have it but are counted as caves by the game's own code. Referring to the INI line "AllowCaveBuildingPvP=false" that was added for conquest servers during the no cave building season.
Removal of 6x Structure Damage from Ocean "Boxes" on Gen1 and Fjordur. Massive entrance Under Water spaces that fundamentally serve more closely as Underwater Bubbles (Like on Center) than caves. I reason, if Center is allowed 1x Underwater Bubbles, then the same should be argued for these "Boxes" that aren't just "Caves".
Removal of 6x Structure Damage from the Fjordur "Realms". The separate biomes like Gen1, that suffer as largely unflyable spaces due to the way it is counted as a cave. They are 3 additional large spaces to play in, PVP in and more, and are rendered half useless because any building spot that looks decent, is all 6x no matter what. The same going for travel being severely limited to only Desmodus and practically banning all other forms of flight because it treats the realms as caves.
A Fix for Center Underwater Bubbles to properly allow the uncryo-ing and teleporting of tamed creatures into them. They are largely untapped base locations simply because they are largely unusable because of this bug.
A Fix for limited building spaces, such as a large cave on Extinction that you cannot build half of, due to the way the terrain around the edges of its interior prevent placing anything past a certain point.
Addition of wild creatures where they used to be in their modded map versions or are placed during gamemodes like conquest/classic. Biggest example of this is the addition of Reaper Queens present on Valguero Classic/Conquest Servers. Or the removal of Rock Drakes off of the Valguero and Crystal Isles maps on release. More or less, looking at Non-Story maps and re-adding or newly adding creatures to balance them out individually, still keeping in line with their release periods and corresponding story DLC that came before.
Aberration should have some larger subdivision of its spawn biomes, like Genesis 2's Eden ring being subdivided more than it appears to be on the surface. Examples of this being:
- Separating the fertile lake water spawns from the rivers and adding unique lake spawns in the deep water
- High up locations having unique spawns and creatures as opposed to sharing the same spawns as lower locations
- Redwood tree locations being a more redwood-based spawn type area while still retaining aberration feels
- To go on top of that, there should be additional aberration variants to go along with any potential spawn variance that could get added via this subdivision (Ab terror birds, compys, actual spawning dimorphs, araneos and megalania, etc. etc.)
- Radiation area being split up to include newer spawns, or more uniquely separated spawns,
- as well as make reaper queens rarer by the same nature. Maybe mix their spawns with reaper kings to increase their rarities or something?
I also think the aberration surface could benefit by a closer resemblance to the lunar biome on gen 1. That being non flyer non giga tek spawns, maybe some lower gravity, etc.
Additional Rockwell Innards entrances and a change in how building around it works. Allow turrets but retain the damage multiplier on structures. If anything, block building within a decently sized radius around the heart/Rockwell prime terminal if that's the concern.
I suggest every variant should have different advantages across the board (better than the typical "aberrant dinos have 3% less hp and 5% more damage" that makes up the current standard.
If they don't get those advantages, Most variants, if not all of them, should be breedable with other variants instead. (IE, Aberrant Spinosaurus breeds with X-Spinosaurus type stuff) Or at least living variants breeding with other living variants and not TEK ones.
To list off examples of the first idea however:
- I think Aberrants should be more resistant, maybe like 10-20% more resistant against damage from turrets/bullets but maybe not dinos, and should ALL be radiation-proof to give them value compared to their vanilla counter parts, or some other effect that gives them an edge just like it.
- Another example being X-Dinos being more resistant to Dino damage but not turrets/bullets or perhaps instead, dealing more damage to creatures and taking more damage in return as opposed to taking less.
- Or even another idea being the one often seen in mods where TEK Dinos do bonus damage against element-related creatures such as Extinction's Corrupted variants, Gen2's Rockwell biome(s)-specific R-variants, and Rockwell created/influenced creatures like Shadowmanes, Reapers, Nameless, Noglins, Summoners and other creatures like that. But in return perhaps they take bonus damage from explosive type damage such as TEK Turrets/Rifles, Grenades, Rockets, C4 and the like.
- These types of advantages would be pretty cool to play with among the variants to provide more of a reason to raise those particular creatures over another variant of the same creature. This would however, then require an advantage that Vanilla creatures get over other variants to balance the gap between them all.
I don't know, I feel like there's SO much you could do with the variant related content in this game to vary it up more and it tends to stagnate pretty heavily these last few years in my opinion.
On top of changing the variants we do have, I think we should get some more map specific variants on other maps, like Center, Ragnarok, Scorched Eartth, Valgeuro and more and more. Now that idea may be pushing it, and might increase the game's size far too much, in which I'd get that. But at least our old friend and story map Scorched Earth could do with having variants of its own. Every story map since Aberration has had variants of some sort, I'd like to think Scorched should get a set of its own too.
Tusoteuthis should have a VISIBLE "struggle to get free" minigame like the Bloodstalker and Tropeognathus do. They also should get dismounted by Shadowmanes rather than their current complete immunity. Should also nerf their damage output by half given that their base 85 damage becomes triple that for every mouse click, because of the way Tuso attacks are coded.
Dunkleosteus should be immune to nets and shadowmanes, and be the true soaker of the ocean given its bulky look and natural armor, offering rider protection similar to a Trike's. With that in mind their HP pools should be at least double what they are to compare to the sheer volume of HP that Basilos present to the table.
Basilos should NOT be immune to nets and shadowmanes. While they serve wonderfully as an immunity to Cnidaria, they posses far too great an HP pool to be immune to these things. Given that their maximum HP when capped out is nearly 700k currently, I feel they should be nerfed to be closer to 400-500k OR take a slight bit of extra damage from turrets.
TEK Mosa Saddle Revamp. Instead of it being another Megalodon Saddle, why not make it similar to the Space Whale turrets? You could add 2 mountable TEK emplacements and maybe the rider gets access to a large TEK cannon similar to the Stryder Chest Cannon. It would add some unique usability to the Mosa in PVP saddle wise.
Mosasaur itself, If you then also increase Mosasaur bite damage to be equal or slightly more than a Tuso's total output, they would serve as a Tuso rival while still being able to be messed with by a Tuso's ability to pick it/rival it.
Remove the ability to bleed Brontos, AND Titanosaurs. Rebuff Bronto Saddles to the past 100 armors they once held, same as racers. And Rebuff Bronto HP to sit MORE firmly in-between a Racer and a Megachelon. They are huge creatures that take full damage from most things, so having a bit more available health would make them more useful.
Buff Titanosaur HP to sit around the same value as an Ext Titan (roughly 500k-700k) - Suffers from a similar issue Brontos have against Diplos, but in this case its Titanosaurs against 'Chelons, where a smaller creature scales BETTER than it does late game.
Increase Turret Damage dealt against Brontos and Titanosaurs, ideally by a multiplier of 2x damage. Following that, give Titanosaurs the Mek damage multiplier and Download Damage Multiplier That Extinction Titans receive. Also make them transferable with the same restrictions that Extinction Titans receive.
Increase Bronto and Titanosaur Resistance to Damage from NON BULLET Sources to turn them into Dino Tanks rather than bullet tanks. Soaking up the bites of a capped damage Giga or Rex and soaking up the spines of a Velonasaur would add new utility to these very old tames without making them exceptional choices for turret fire.
Allow Brontosaurus and Titanosaurs onto Aberration. I argue this merely because creatures like Megachelon, Ice Titan, Desert Titan, and Forest Titan are all allowed yet these Sauropods are banished to the shadow realm! Haha.
Increase Bronto base damage to 80-100 dmg instead of 60. Also adding a Debuff that applies to CARNIVOROUS tames or, tames in general, struck by the Tail swipe of the Bronto. It could be called something like "Shattered Bone" or "Jaw Broken" and applies a 20% damage debuff for 5-10 seconds, and stack up to 3 times for a maximum of ~49% damage reduced from a tame with this debuff.
Add Titanosaur to Extinction, Gen2, and Valguero and add the ability to Transfer them like Ext Titans (including download timers and multipliers, they're a raid dino that you can't feed just like the Ext titans, they deserve some love too!)
Titans, Ext and Titanos, should be allowed onto Genesis 1 and 2. If its a matter of terrain issues on Gen1, then just add them to Gen2 / fix the crash that occurs when someone attempts to download one. If not, I frankly see no reason to disallow them OTHER then the mission-cheese concern, which already happens with capped damage Gigas anyways LOL
Complete Flyer Rebalance. And I do mean complete. They should all be significantly harder to obtain, as getting off the ground early is a very significant game changer in both playstyles.
- Pteranodon's could be like 40-60% faster overall. Their stats however, are fairly well placed.
- Argentavis could be somewhere from 70-100% faster overall, and picking could be rebalanced to have larger range and slower animation for a wider range of utility in combat. Currently they are too slow and too easily targeted to have any sort of utility in the PVP world. And for PVE they get overshadowed by a plethora of other tames for both flight and end game farming.
- Desmodus could be about 30-40% slower, given that they get a saddle and a full dive like owls or griffins AND are breedable with the ability to take out weapons with a wide ranging pick. I think many could agree having them be slower is a very fair deal, especially since in an early game environment they are largely tamed as easily and numerically as Pteranodons. With that said, I also think they should be harder to tame. How exactly to achieve that, I am unsure of as of this update.
- Snow Owl dive bomb-ing into the ground currently applies a slowing effect. Instead, I think it should apply a freezing stack like the Rhynio's resin stack, and that mechanic should be universal across all freezing mechanics. (IE: Amargasaurus Ice Spike should have a visual indicator for it's freezing mechanic, and coordinate with the owl, Managarmr, Ice Wyvern, Fenrir, and Ice Titan freezes, obviously applying various amounts of said freezing stacks. By utilizing the same mechanic, you could then set up the mechanic to either last longer via specific means or be cuttable with a sharp object like how nets or resin sapping work, or even blunt objects for freezes to directly oppose resin/net requirements)
- Rhyniognathas could do with less health scaling, and/or some way around the resin armor. Perhaps bonus explosive damage? Or additional resin cost as damage is applied, inducing the idea that the damage is "chipping" away at the armor. Maybe after a fast enough amount of damage is applied, it forces the resin armor to turn off because it all got "chipped off" too quickly.
- Crystal Wyverns need to be harder to tame outright. They prove to be so easy to tame on fresh start, largely due to note runs outpacing their level requirement. Perhaps instead of a basic passive tame, they could be reworked to be more like other, newer creatures that have unique taming methods.
- Ice Wyverns need a change to their breath mechanic to be better utilized. Perhaps an increased range. And/or something like a proper full freeze if you stack enough times similar to the Rhynio's resin. (See Snow Owl Example)
- Fire Wyverns could get a better range to their fire breath, as the way it tends to function while moving is often outdone by the ranges of crystal wyverns with similar, if not identical breaths. Seeing as It's reused by Ice and Crystal Wyverns, I'd much rather see both Ice and Fire be unique compared to Crystals and the other Wyvern Variants.
- Voidwyrms should be only raiseable by eating element or some other robotic part. Whether its ore, dust, shards or hard element, or even just metal, poly, electronics, or crystal/oil, it should be element or machine ingredients for a TEK machine. And honestly, that should be true for all the TEK dinos. Meat and berries unfortunately don't make that much sense in the context of TEK machinery. This would also make them significantly harder to raise, as late game creatures should be in most cases.
- Tropeognathus could to have armor to their saddle the same way Andrews do. This would bring them into better competition against a creature like the Astrodelphis, which currently far exceeds the Tropeo's capabilities. The fact that Tropeo's, when force-landed by something like a Voidwyrm or Shadowmane, physically cannot take back off until it touches the ground is another major flaw, that could be a cool mechanic when applied to ALL flyers, but when applied to only one, just seems like a major bug that could be remedied.
- Astrodelphis could increase the cost of its saddle to function. I'm talking like an element consumption like a Tapejara saddle per laser fire, and double, triple or even quadruple that rate for the tracker balls. And if they aren't already, take full flyer damage in ASA.
- Astrocetus should be breedable, or at the very least, achieve a better scaling to their health pool to match up to end-game capped damage creatures and weaponry.
- Quetz... actually quetzals don't really need any suggestions. Most I might say is bring back Plant X only for platform dinos (not just quetzals but all platforms), and add a limit like gates have. Like maybe 4 or 6 plants total. Would make the plants way more utilized then they currently get to be on a normal basis.
Shadowmanes, so you cant double click insta-target, should force the charge-up stun on land, and with a faster charge, still require a charge up in the air. The point and click is incredibly overbearing in many situations and I think Shadowmanes would be more wildly enjoyed if they weren't as such.
Allow Andrewsarchus, Amargasaurus, Fenrir, and Fjordhawk onto Aberration. Given the current Aberration balance I feel these creatures fit the overall Aberration vibe and should be allowed to be present.
Allow Fenrir's to be breedable. As they stand they lack the strength to be a player in the long run of ARK. The advantages they bring are far overshadowed by their inability to perform as such.
Tropeognathus, as mentioned in the flyer section, has a glaring issue in which, when it is stunned/dismounted, it is unable to take off mid air like other flyers do. They are forced to fall all the way to the ground before they can take off again. I suggest either changing it to match other flyers, or changing other flyers to match the Tropeo. The latter of course would bring Aerial combat far closer to the ground, if they had to touch the ground to even take back off again I mean.
More Alpha dinos! I think a lot of people would be happier to see more variety of alpha creatures. Mods like Shiny! Dinos do this really well utilizing buffs, and I think the game could benefit from something similar.
More world-bosses like the Valguero-Broodmother, the Fjordur-Beyla/Hati/Skoll/Steinbjorn, and the Titanosaur/Extinction Titans as well!
Miniguns across the board are wildly all over the place. I believe these should be rebalanced between the Emplacement, the Handheld, and the Andrewsarchus miniguns and given a set shooting range across the board, and varying damage values depending on which is being used, with separate advantages for each choice that simply isn't present in the game currently.
TEK Tier lacks its own emplacement like the rest have. I suggest adding a place-able version of the Space Whale TEK Emplacement, balanced out with separate advantages to each to keep the Space Whale still viable to use between the options.
Add a TEK or alternative defensive Saddle for Rock Golems, the only ability it provides however is the ability to soak up explosive Tek damage the same way it soaks up Heavy Turret Ammo. As is stands, it becomes entirely obsolete the minute TEK turrets are introduced to the field.
Riot Armor has always lacked a true reason to be crafted by players, simply due to the lack of advantages it holds over flak. I suggest increasing Riot Durability to make it more pleasing to craft over flak, while still making it a cost vs effectiveness game with its particular resource costs.
I suggest an additional tier of underwater armor between Scuba and TEK suits. A form of Armored Scuba that is weaker than Flak but has quality level unlike TEK suits on maps that don't have TEK suit blueprints as part of their loot tables.
These are my current suggestions for this thread. I hope some of these ideas prove helpful to the Devs during their project to port ARK1 to UE5. Any further ideas I will edit in as I come up with em, including any ideas we as a collective come up with below on this thread. Hope to see what the "ARK: Definitive Edition" looks like on release day! Excited ngl