During the Steam Lunar New Year sale I picked up Ark: Survival Evolved. I’ve put in a quite a few hours in and I’ve got to say that it is actually a good game!
It’s a lot different than what I thought it was going to be and I’m very glad that I decided to pick it up while it was on a sale.
What I Thought It Was About
After reading reviews for the game a while ago I thought that it was going to be full of a community of hackers, that the community of players only wanted to grief and that being a new player I would never be able to understand how the game is really played.
So far, in my 10 hours of experience with this game, the opposite is actually true.
The dev team behind the game just released an update a few weeks ago introducing a new anti-hack system which seems to be working very well, the community does have people who raid but it’s not nearly as a aggressive as I thought it’d be and I’ve had PLENTY of help as a newbie to the Ark.
I’ve died many times and I’ll be sharing some of my Ark life stories later in the post but I didn’t die because of other players killing me and picking on me, I died because of the game world and how challenging the game can be at first.
I was actually pretty shocked at my results so far with the game because the reviews definitely stated that the game was full of hackers and an abusive community. I’ve actually made friends on some servers and I’ve gotten help towards building my first shelter and getting my first dino to mount as well.
My First Ark Survival Stories
So the first life I had in a server… I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
No wiki, nobody to help me right away, just the experience and I.
Right as I get in my survival game instincts got me punching trees to gain wood and thatch (Minecraft helped in this context lol) and I also picked berries in the bushes.
As I kept exploring I came across a bridge that is obviously built by someone on the server and there’s a dead lvl 70 raptor next to it. Or at least I thought it was dead…
I walked up to it and saw that it was in a state of being unconscious. I pushed [E] to access its inventory and I saw a bunch of raw meat within it so I started picking away at the meat that this “dead” dino had inside of it. I was hungry and I didn’t think anything of it.
All of a sudden I hear another player yelling at me “Hey noob, you better get off of that dino!! I have a spear and a lot of health!!”
I instantly stopped what I was doing and I turned around. Sure enough, there was this really short dude with super lanky arms with a spear in his hands. Next to him someone with a bow and arrow fixated towards me, I could tell that they were together.
I stepped away from the dino to show that I was done messing with the dino.
He responded with “Yeah, that’s right.” and then he went towards it to do something with it.
I took a moment to go into the game controls to figure out how to do voice chat, found out that I could talk by holding [B]!
So I let him know that I was just fresh into the game that I had no idea what I was doing… I also asked some game questions such as how he’s taming that dino and how I could get a spear.
He actually ended up giving me some food and four spears to use on my journey, I said thank you and went across the bridge.
I didn’t live too long. (Shocker, I know.)
After I crossed the bridge I started punching down more trees and I leveled up to level 2. I found out that there are a lot of items that you can craft and I saw that I was able to craft a pick axe.
I went ahead and crafted the pick axe and found out that it gave me even more resources than punching trees and I didn’t take any damage like I did from punching trees.
After a little while I thought that I was doing really good, I had a bunch of wood, thatch, stone, fiber and flint so I was well on my way to getting my first shelter built…
Then a big raptor came running out of the deep jungle and absolutely wrecked me. It was fast and there was no way my spears were going to be able to kill it.
That is basically the story of my first life on Ark and it was an awesome experience. 🙂
Go forward a few servers later and many deaths later, usually by some big dino, I now have my first wood shelter built and it’s not crowded by others that would kill me. I even have my own raptor to ride around and kill stuff with.
I had died on the server a good few times and used text chat to let everyone know that I was having a real struggle. One guy told me to spawn in the West zone, after I did I spawned in a stone box and I had to punch walls and eat my own poop (yes, I ate my own poop in the game) in order to die and respawn again. It was quite annoying, but I like how random and crazy this game gets.
After letting everyone know how much I was struggling some dude on the server came and picked me up on his flying bird dino. He took me to his huge base and started giving me resources.
I moved maybe a couple of inches from the spot where he told me not to move and I died almost instantly. The turrets that they had setup on the base spotted me and killed me. 🙁
He came and got me again after I respawned and gave me all of my stuff back and proceeded to give me even more resources. This included metal tools, food, hide and other valuable resources needed to survive in the game.
After that he took me into his flying bird dino’s talons and he took me to a peaceful spot full of herbivores. It was a very open area where I could start building my first shelter and start really getting a good feel for the game overall.
He gave me wood walls, a dino, a dino shelter and other resources. I thanked him over and over again, this dude spent over an hour with me to make sure that I was going to be able to live and experience the game in an optimal way.
This is why I am absolutely loving this game and I can’t fathom why the game has as many bad reviews as it has. Maybe in the past the game wasn’t built right and there really were a bunch of hackers and a bad community but now I’ve gotten all of the help I needed to survive and then some.
I’m definitely going to continue playing and I’ll probably even make posts updating as to where I’m at in the game if it’d interest you guys, I really do love this game!
UPDATE: After writing this post up I did end up logging back into Ark to find that the above wooden shelter and raptor dino were raided. I don’t know if my dino was killed, all of my stuff was taken and everything I worked hard for was gone.
I was a little upset but again I asked the community for help and I’ve now joined a tribe with another player and we’re building a stone base. I don’t have a dino right now but that will soon change I’m sure. 😉
But There Are Some Cons
Don’t get me wrong.
This game is a lot of fun and I’m definitely going to be putting in more and more hours into it. Right after writing this post I’m hopping on actually! 🙂
But there are a few cons that I want to put out there because this game is no where near perfection.
The lag is pretty nuts.
This is by far the most annoying part of the game. In every server that I’ve been apart of so far there has been a lag where if I drop something or if a player drops an item that it just lags hardcore back and forth between the ground and the player. It’s a weird graphic error looking thing.
Also, the game has to pause for a good 15 or so seconds to refresh the server. You can still move around and what not during this time but everything stops moving and whatever resources you get or whatever you do gets reset within those 15 seconds so you’re just kinda stuck in a server lag every here and there.
I sure hope that this stuff starts getting more fixed as time goes on, I can really see a bright future for this game if they figure out how to fix these annoying lag problems.
Learning the game takes time and research.
Much like starting out in Minecraft, if you don’t take a look at the wiki and/or YouTube videos you’re going to have a hard time figuring out how the game works and what you should be doing next.
I don’t really mind this portion in survival games like this, it’s basically the point of the game to figure it out on your own. But there really isn’t any kind of tutorial, you’re basically dropped into the Ark and then you’ve kinda have to figure out everything else on your own. It’d be cool to see some sort of a simulation tutorial of sorts.
It sucks to die after doing something awesome.
You gathered a bunch of resources, you killed a bunch of dinos, just built a cool shelter or found a really cool spot?
Say goodbye to it soon because death is inevitable in the Ark. 🙂
Another con that I don’t really mind here, but man it is a bad feeling when you get a bunch of awesome resources and out of nowhere a flying dino swoops down and rips your face off.
I have found though that after each death, I’ve learned more and more about the game and I seem to be doing better after each death. I’ll gather even more resources and get closer to building a cooler shelter.
If I hadn’t died and learned what I learned from those deaths then I wouldn’t have been able to have that shelter I was talking about above. But it still doesn’t change the fact that losing your items after death sucks.
The thing you get to keep is your level and your ability to craft the items that you unlocked from leveling up, I really dig that feature.
Some Screen Shots
Here are some screen shots of my recent adventures into the Ark, this is one beautiful game. I’m running it on high settings!
Those last three screen shots are actually from the story I told you about being helped by a guy to build my shelter, he was such an immense help for sure. 🙂
Definitely Get This On A Sale
I’m not sure if you’ve played this game or if you already have it but I’m telling you, you should get this game on a sale.
If you like survival games that give you random encounters and if you dig being able to play with communities of players then you’re going to absolutely love what Ark gives you. It’s such a good game!
Hell it might even be worth picking up at full price. I could see myself sinking in many more hours into this…
So, do you already play Ark?
Or are you going to be picking it up on the next sale?