I love ARK, its the only game I play and the only game I care to play right now. My favourite map by far has to be Aberration followed by Ragnarok, The Island is also a great map, Scorched Earth is ok, its just not for me, still a well designed map for the concept, i'm not sure why The Center is even an official map, its clearly unfinished, but still its well designed.
Extinction is a great concept, implemented horribly wrong. Aside from the mentioned issues in the original post..
Extinction was not play tested clearly. With every update there comes a new problem, even on other maps as wildcard scrambles to push fixes to issues that could have been foreseen. Updates for element veins trashed whole bases into dust, now OSD's are also trashing bases. Why are there no config options to reduce the OSD/element veins self destruction AOE?
The map design, the overall layout, there is just far too much diversity going on, wildcard shouldn't have just stuffed in two whole domed off biomes to add a couple of new dinos, people are more than familiar with Ice and Scorched biomes, this could have gone a totally different way, with new level content rather than regurgitated level content.
There are almost no nooks/mini caves to build bases in, you would have thought that Ragnarok being as popular as it is wildcard would have implemented some of the cave type build-able areas... albeit there are sky scrapers to build on.
The underground forest is almost baron, or at least no love has gone into its design, it is just a big empty cave, the foliage for some of the more noticeable crystals on walls, rocks and other larger foliage render in far to late, aberration didn't have these noticeable LOD and Near/Far foliage issues.
- Speaking of LODs, the city is a ugly sight when watching LODs transition, I'm sure to save on resources for all those integrated graphics people, but I like my polygons, next time more polygons please...
- The titans being a great idea, just a PVP nightmare, where are the config options? Why were the titans not play tested for trashing bases through entire cliff sides or city buildings?
This map doesn't look like it implemented anything Wildcard has learned from Level designers that populate the Steam Workshop, even from wildcards own previous edition Aberration, that was a beautiful map with a lot of attention to detail.
When first played Extinction I noticed:
Design issues, nothing looks like it fits.
Inventory UI issues. (character flickering)
Lighting and shadow. issues (moar IBLs?)
Mob spawn issues. (not enough, or beaver apocalypse)
Level loading issues. (biome transitions are weak)
Dome implementation is something to be desired.
Mesh collision issues and asset collision issues. (can mesh in many many places)
Foliage render issues.
Death trap volumes at the map edge that is poorly implemented. (radiation would have worked better)
Overall, this has to be the worst map in terms of a Wildcard release, untested, or at least not competently tested. Under loved and void of the same detail Aberration got. A massive disappointment in my eyes considering the hype.
I for one would have happily waited the extra few months for this to be released unburdened by these issues, its not like Wildcard haven't pushed back the release of a map months in order to get it right.
Please Wildcard I implore you, stop using Elon Musk time and setting unachievable deadlines, then rushing to push the latest new thing.
Rant over and I still love ARK, however its back to Aberration for me. Thanks for a great game!