I've always liked the Megalodon design wise, but it's utility kind of sucks.
In the Dossier (I know, they aren't 1-1 representations of in-game animals) they're compared to the T-Rex, specifically being it's equal in the water.
This is fluff at best. Sure, it has a weak chance at gathering Black Pearls, but if you're at the stage that you need those, you likely have access to
better mounts. They don't even gather meat that well. How can we improve Meg though? Good question.
Sharks are some of the most cunning hunters in the animal kingdom, and there's no reason our Megalodon can't be the same. An updated model
would be nice. Though, I can't say for sure how, as it's pretty commonly accepted that Megalodon was just an overgrown Great White. Other kinds
of shark could be used for inspiration though, right? Rather than sticking with only stripes, why not give it different types of markings? Spots or
Rosettes, maybe. Tipped fins, Horizontal stripes, even.
Looks aside, what really counts is utility. You forced the flier nerf on us because you wanted us to use different animals and explore different areas
of the map in different ways, but you never really gave us much of a reason or desire to do so. We need a reason to use the Megalodon. We need
a reason to choose it over say the Mosasaur. How? tweaking stats is one thing, but I'd rather see better abilities. Tracking & Analyzing: Sharks are some of the most amazing and successful hunters we have in the natural world, and the megs would have been no difference. Sharks can track prey for miles in turbulent oceans based off a single drop of blood, and can even locate prey by the electrical fields their bodies produce. Why shouldn't Megalodon do the same?
You could give it the Scouting ability of the Troodon, which would allow it to search the ocean depths for different quarry, players, tamed animals
and wild animals, all represented by an Icon depicting what they are. This would be very helpful in the deeper parts of the ocean where its all but
impossible to see. It would also make looking for that specific tame a lot easier, and since the Megalodon is noted in the dossier for ignoring
smaller prey, that would mean not having to code icons for stuff like Coelocanth, salmon, trilos, etc.
Furthermore, give Megalodon the ability to gauge an animals condition, the way Direwolves do, as sharks can tell the difference between a fish
that is injured and one that isn't simply by the way it moves. It's hard to see in the deeper depths of the game, and the deep oceans are not the
place where you want to go in blind. Improve Mobility: Give it more flexibility in its mobility. The thing swims as stiff as a submarine. This makes sense when concerning the Basilo,
because it evolved to swim with up and down movements, sharks swim utilizing side to side movement, allowing them better turning abilities. Immunity to Cnidaria: Certain sharks are immune to the poisons of Jellyfish, and the Cnidaria is certainly one of the sneakier pests in Ark's oceans.
Sure, you can kill them easily enough with a decent Crossbow or a Harpoon or two, but it means having to dismount from your water mount, putting
yourself in unnecessary risk. So, unless you're riding a Basilo, your best option is to flee or risk open water to combat them. Unless we make Megs
here immune to Jellyfish sting. This would be a good way to introduce growing tribes to Biotoxin earlier in the game, where it's most useful, but to
balance it out, you could make the Megaldon be pretty poor at collecting the toxin, giving only small batches of the poison since there would be
"little left" once the megaldon was done eating. Feeding Frenzy: Certain sharks are notorious for going into a frenzied state when feeding. Perhaps Megalodon would get some sort of buff to it's
combat abilities after having fed off a corpse, similar to the Argents healing ability when eating a corpse. Maybe give a slight boost to attack and
speed stats. effectively making the megaldon a berserker, jumping from kill to kill to kill in a rampage. Bleeding Attack: While a lot of people are more apt to go for the impressive breach attack, I personally think the bleeding effect is more apt for the
megalodon. Have their bites cause a bleeding effect similar to the Giga or the Allosaurus, causing the animal to gradually lose health and reduce their
ability to run away for a set amount of time. Bull Rush/Stun: A lot of people are requesting this too, the Rush/Ram/Charge attack. Was made popular by Jaws and in part Moby sausage. It would prob be similar to the the Triceratops ability, a small charge build up before rushing forward at a quick speed, and upon hitting the target, it causes them to be stunned for a period of time, possibly throwing off the mount's player too. On the one hand, I could see this being very helpful in taming some of the larger/harder underwater creatures, such as the Plesi or the Mosa, stunlocking them in spot to get in a few extra tranq arrows before having to stun it again. It would remove the necessity for luring them up from the lower depths, or having elaborate underwater traps, and would make them invaluable for moving to that next stage.
Alternatively, you could have the rush attack also do more damage to underwater structures. Most ocean raids are surface level affairs. But, that leaves
a lot to be desired. You want to see Megalodons be used in PVP? Make them viable for underwater raids. Allow them to be underwater siege engines:
crash the behemoth gates, rush in through the breach, start ripping apart unsuspecting water tames before the enemy knows what's going on.
Whats that? Your opponents live in a sophisticated underwater bubble palace? Crash into their living room, poop on their kitchen table, then go destroy
their water pumps to flood the place! Let them drown then go in with your scuba gear and reap the rewards, etc, etc.
Ideally, I would love to see all of these suggestions utilized on the Megalodon in some capacity or another. Realistically, though. I know this would make it overpowered game wise. If I could only pick three, It would be Feeding Frenzy, Bull Rush/Stun: Specifically the PVP aspect, and the immunity to Cnidaria.
Alternatively, perhaps we can choose what we level up, similar to Maschops or Theriz's ability to spec into a specific form of harvesting. One radial option would be for hunting and gathering, the other would spec into its fighting abilities.