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  1. (I've put in a TL;DR at the bottom if you want to get right to the point) Sarcosuchus was a fearsome semi-aquatic Cretaceous reptile, and the largest crocodylomorph ever to live. Lying in wait in the prehistoric swamps, falling prey to this massive beast would be a nightmare for even large hadrosaurs. Though likely not capable of death rolling and not having quite as powerful a bite as its slightly smaller, alligatoroid cousin Deinosuchus, its immense jaws were still no force to be reckoned with. On land, animals were safe as long as they kept their distance. The crocodile-like Sarcosuchus was in no position to pursue prey on land for a great distance. This changed drastically as they got anywhere near the water. In a flash, their foot, tail, or even neck would be trapped in the biological equivalent of a bear trap. No matter how they struggle, they slowly find themselves being painfully dragged into the water until they eventually die of blood loss, trauma, exhaustion, or even drowning as they are dragged deeper into the water. Only the largest animals were able to fight off its grip and discourage it, but not without nursing a nasty wound afterward. For smaller, horse-sized animals, the situation was even more hopeless. Sarcosuchus could easily have grabbed it, dragged it into the deep water and drowned it. All in all, this made the aquatic environments of the Cretaceous-era Gondwana a terrifying place to live (among other dangers). With that in mind, we can study its ingame implementation. Wild: Like in real life, the Sarco is dangerous if you're too close and unprepared. In any other case, the Sarco is more likely to kill itself than anything else. It's more than eager to follow you at its slow pace out of the water and into an open field, where you need only be armed with a slingshot and allow it to slowly charge to its death. In some cases, you don't even need a ranged weapon. Any mounted creature with a decent attack strength can kill the average Sarc while suffering only a little amount of health, standing still. It's only slightly more terrifying underwater. The Sarco can immediately swim up to attack you, but its small attack area coupled with its crazy speed means it typically has a hard time actually attacking you. It's very easy to take shelter on land in such a scenario. In the rare case where a Sarco manages to aggro a school of piranhas, seeing it zip around in circles frantically as it continues to be attacked, trying itself to attack in vain is truly a pathetic sight. You almost want to help. Domesticated: A domesticated Sarco is really only useful for coastal exploration, fast shipping of material and goods, or other amphibious excursions that require heavy equipment or items or resources to be loaded on. Combat-wise, it's really bad. You've got a giant long creature, with a slow turning speed, that's only able to deliver damage to a small area directly in front of the snout. Its only saving grace is its decent sprint speed to flee an attacker and get into the water, and the high health to survive the constant harassment while doing so. It could manage against one small attacking carnivore, as long as they're not attacking from the sides. The Sarc's neck is too stiff for any serious fighting. In the water, they quickly become quite impossible. Their speed in the water appears to be faster than a wild Sarco (They can't even stay still), which coupled with their small attack range makes them even more difficult to attack things than on land. Good luck trying to eat piranhas with your sarc, or even just a Coel. In addition, their alignment underwater remains the same regardless of where you're looking; in terms of air mounts, controlling more like a Quetz than an Argent. This further limits the Sarc's range of attack, this time limiting it to a two-dimensional attack plane in a three-dimensional biome. Though the dossier suggests that using it to fight Megalodons is a feasible tactic, in my experience the Sarc manages to get hurt more often than the shark, for the same reasons I described earlier. The Sarco still has huge potential, and I think I have some ideas on how to improve it. Firstly, as a general change (that could possibly extend to other semi-aquatic combat animals), Sarcos should be able to sprint while in water. The sprint would be just as fast as their current swimming speed as of this version and past ones. The resulting 'normal' swim speed would be slower, but allows for more precise control of the sarc whilst attacking. They should also be capable of full three-dimensional movement underwater just like fully aquatic animals. This, combined with the sprint, could potentially allow Sarcos to 'jump' out of the water like extant crocodilians. In the wild, Sarcos should only be found in or very near the water. In real life just as well as this version of ARK: Survival Evolved, the open dry land is a Sarcosuchus' worst enemy. If they venture too far out from water, they're (mostly) helpless. They can be seen on land basking in the sun, close to water so they can easily jump back in if needed. They also have the chance of attacking if animals or players are close enough; I'll get to land combat in a few paragraphs. In the water, they lie in wait for an unsuspecting creature to walk by. When an animal approaches close enough to shore, the Sarco sprint-attacks and unleashes a powerful bite. In this attack, a wild Sarco has a small percentage (possibly 50/50) of grabbing the animal and dragging it into the water. The ease at which the Sarc can drag its prey could depend on its size; a Phiomia (and player) could be pulled in easily enough, but a Parasaur would struggle more. A Sarco holding prey can perform a gnawing bite or thrash attack, decreasing both prey stamina and health. Each attack can pull in the prey closer. Once the prey is in the water, or its stamina is gone, it ceases to 'struggle' and the Sarco will shortly kill it afterwards. If a wild Sarco attacks a player (or a dangerous animal if hungry enough) and manages to grab him or her, the Sarc can simply be 'convinced' to let go simply by punching its sensitive, beautiful face. Each attack has a small percentage chance of making the Sarc release its grip (possibly multiplied by the strength of the weapon). This alone may not always be enough to fend off the Sarco; it may follow you back to the shore. The Sarco will sprint at you a reasonable distance from the water; but will stop chasing once it gets too far and will walk back to water (or wait to recuperate stamina). If the Sarc catches the player, or the player decides to keep aggro'ing it, they will soon realize it's a bit more flexible than before. The Sarco's main attack should be capable of curving slightly toward where the target is, rather than having to turn the whole body first (though still possible). I.e, wherever the sarc's head is pointing is also where it can attack. In addition, the Sarco's 'sprint'* attack is capable of executing almost 90 degree turns along with a tail swipe, depending on where the Sarco's AI (or rider) is 'looking'. An example of what I'm talking about can be seen in this video here, at around 3:05: Though it may look like he's simply teasing him, Paul Bedard is using a technique that exhausts the gator by coaxing it into exerting itself trying to arch and lunge toward him. He can then proceed to tackle it. Gators that still have all their energy can attack with greater speed. In related videos, you can see that they're just as capable of doing this underwater. The sprint* attack is very powerful, but uses up more stamina. If a certain amount of stamina is used, the Sarco will attempt to flee back into the water before it's all gone (though it might try a few swings here and there in the process). *The Sarco does not necessarily have to actually be sprinting in order to carry out this attack, but it uses extra stamina and riders have to hold Sprint in order to carry out the arch/lunge attack. Domesticated, the Sarco's ability to grab and hold animals makes it immensely useful as an aquatic carrying mount, equivalent to the Argent in air, or the upcoming Megalosaurus on land. Friendly tamed animals can be picked up with no struggle; it can even carry wild aquatic creatures without struggle (considering they're already in the water). If you made it grab a Paracer or a similar sized beast, it would be fun if the larger animal actually carried the Sarc along with it (like a giant clothespin! Great for transport!) The changes to its combat, I think, would make it a very formidable foe and hunting mount. Its increased control and precision in the water would actually make it useful in fighting Megalodons. If hunting on the shore, it could very easily ambush large prey and take them down, giving your tribe a lot of meat. Even when unmounted they could still fend off even a pack of carnivores on land with their combination bite and tailwhip. 'Fishing' with your Sarco would actually work now that you would have the option to slow them down, as well as give them a wider range of movement. No more being swarmed by easily defeatable piranha! The left mouse button would be the Sarco's standard attack, though with a slightly wider attack range depending on where you're pointing. The right click would grab animals (large, non-tamed terrestrial animals can put up resistance!) Holding 'Sprint' (moving is not required) while clicking either left or right will perform the extreme turns shown in the video depending on where you're pointing; if you're pointing straight ahead, the Sarco lunges. Can tail whip if used for left click. Because this move is also compatible with RMB, both wild and ridden sarcs can use it to surprise their prey and grab them right off the shore! I think the Sarcs are a really cool part of the game, but I've always felt a bit sorry for them when they're so easy to beat (and not worth using as a combat mount). While I don't think this would be very high priority for ARK development, I think it would add a lot to both the terror and awe aspects of a game, and no animal better deserving than this terrifying pseudo-crocodile. TL;DR Give the Sarco a wider range of movement when attacking; allow it to turn its head based on mouse direction, and let a 'sprint' attack (actually just an attack with Sprint held down) allow for 90 degree turns along with a tail whip. A 'sprint' attack aimed forward will lunge. In the water, they should have full three dimensional freedom of movement just like an Ichthy. Sprinting should be possible underwater, but let the sprint speed be its current swimming speed to allow for greater combat precision. Let it be able to grab and carry animals with right click, but have a harder time with some larger animals, acting more as a mobile bear trap; you can get the animal to budge by using the Sarc's main attack while the animal is held. The speed of these tugs depend on the animal's weight, and the Sarc has a chance of letting go if the animal or player attacks back. Once the Sarc gets said larger creature into the water, it stops struggling and can be carried around. The sprint movements also apply with the Grab button, minus the tail whip damage. Wild Sarcos should either bask on the shores or lie in wait in the water, poised to strike if an animal or player gets close. They will grab creatures and players and attempt to drag them underwater (and can be fended off with enough punches on the nose). Their aggression would be neutral while basking on land, but will attack if attacked or if you get too close. Their sprint speed on land is fast, but they don't stray too far from the shore and will walk back if the player is a certain distance away from water. Though they can still be kited, it's more difficult now as they're less likely to charge into suicide. Whaddya think?
  2. Jatheish


    From the album: Dossiers

    Common Name: Sarco Species: Sarcosuchus excubitor Time: Early Cretaceous Diet: Carnivore Temperament: Patient Wild: Among the island's water-based threats, Sarcosuchus excubitor is a lot what you might expect from a giant crocodile: A patient killing machine. It spends much of its days lazily waiting in the water for prey to walk near. That said, it is not opposed to scurrying onto land and pressing the issue when hungry. A good tactic for escaping many predators is to jump into the water, as most are slow swimmers. This is a bad tactic for escaping a Sarcosuchus, obviously, as they are actually faster in the water than they are on land. Domesticated: Despite being river-dwelling creatures, Sarcosuchus seem quite at ease in the oceans. More than a few fishing communities use them as mounts simply to help fight off Megalodons, or to gain better access to the resources found within the reefs.