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Should I Get ARK?

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I need some input from our readers! I’m considering getting Ark since it’s 50% off on Steam. Good idea? Bad idea? Why?

Here’s what I see in my mind’s eye when I think about ARK:

I’m riding on the back of a dinosaur in the wild chasing after other dinosaurs. I have a really cool base where I make things. I set out on exploration adventures to find treasures and loots and bring them back to my base. I have a server where my friends and I can play in peace (or relative peace?).  The world is dangerous and survival is hard, but we do it together.

How far off am I?

I’d be willing to entertain getting a Keen & Graev Community dedicated server if there was interest. I’d lean towards PvE since I’m not into naked people running around ganking me while I sleep.

What I don’t want is the feeling like I have to PvP for the game to be fun. I want to be able to PvE mostly. Maybe a little PvP here and there… but I’d be okay if there wasn’t any at all. I know that I would need to avoid the official pvp servers — I’ve heard the horror stories.

I’d be really interested in hearing what some veteran or experienced players have to say about the game. Worth the $20 for the game + its expansion? Worth $16 a month to host a server?

  • I do think the server would be more fun if it had pvp with rules..
    Aka no camping bases/home, making those safe.
    But out in the wilds have pvp being allowed.

    It is fun to have competing tribes of people

    • Yeah, if I had a dedicated server I would definitely impose strict rules on PvP such as no ganking or stealing from offline players.

  • Your mindseye view is rather correct, except in PvE-only the world is not particularly dangerous or hard. Well, it is at the start. You can compare it with minecraft. At the beginning you don’t know what is happening or how to do things, and night is still somewhat scary and dangerous till after a while it turns routine. Same with ARK. Once you have figured out how it works, the danger is from other players, not from the environment.

    Also, many people find vanilla ARK very grindy, but that is up to personal preference, and there are ways to deal with that serverside.

    If it is worth it, god knows. Personally my metric is value is fine at 1 euro per hour spend. ARK will last you 36+ hours, so per my metric, yes.

    Two caveats:
    -I do not own ark, this is basically the opinion of one of my friends who is a rather dedicated player.
    -I refuse to buy on principle because of the business model. It is in early access still, and even released an expansion pack, while in early access. WTF is up with that?

    • I saw that too and did a double take. An expansion for a game in early access?

      But we all know early access is the new “pay for beta” model. It’s the new “pre-order to get exclusive benefits” model. It’s the new gimmick to get sales sooner.

      I appreciate your input and points. They seem quite valid.

  • Would you feel less regret if you bought it and didn’t like it at a lower price point? If yes, then wait. ARK has dropped to 66% off before, in April and May, the current summer sale is not as low it can go. By winter or a little before, it might hit 75% off.

    If the small difference in dollars is not going to matter either way, and you’re hankering for dinosaurs asap, then you may as well give it a shot. There seem to be a decent amount of server tweak options to customize just how you’d like the world to feel.

    I’ve played very little of it, but it feels like a very hefty-sized game, content-wise, and has attracted a pretty good sized following so it’s doing -something- right.

  • Recently picked it up myself and have been absolutely loving it. Don’t let the expansion throw you off, it was more or less a new map to play with because the standard island has been around for a while now and they were likely losing some of their player base due to boredom. The game is still getting frequent updates and they contain both bug fixes and occasionally new content.

    I do find some of the game a little grindy, but I just adjusted some settings on my server to help alleviate that. I don’t have hours to spend doing nothing but babysitting an unconscious dinosaur so I increased the taming speed. I found resources to be a little scarce in the early game unless I wanted to spend hours just chopping trees and chipping stone so I increased the drop rate a little bit. It took a little fiddling to get things “just right”, but now I can log in for a little while and just play without issue. No worries about logging in to a pile of dead dinos,I just spend 5 or 10 minutes gathering everyone some food then go on about my business.

    There is occasionally some nasty bugs (currently the map is basically useless because your location isn’t actually displayed, and sometimes when I log in I fall from the sky and start my day with plummeting to my death) but the team does a pretty good job of getting things fixed up. They are focusing more on the console side right now so us PC gamers are kind of screwed at the moment, but I’m pretty confident that once they get the crashes out of the Xbox version things should start picking back up again on PC.

    I did play ages ago when they had a free to play weekend and the changes from then (like a year and a half ago) to now are pretty significant. I say take the plunge and grab it while it’s cheap, because when it leaves early access in about a month it’ll likely go up in price.

  • Graev and I picked it up to have something fun to play together. We’ll probably do a Keen and Graev server with some accelerated taming and resources to remove the tedium and grind as well as the need for a huge tribe.

  • Yes it’s a good game defo at 50% off But there is a fair share of assholes especially the ones that have been playing for a while

  • Hey I would say go for it, try out the game learn the basics then spend some serious time looking for a clustered server group with a strong community and one thing alot of people forget about is that in pve tribes can still declare war and enjoy some fair pvp cause really admins cant enfore rules that well cause admin monitoring abilities and kinda crap compared to some games like 7 days to die.

  • 100% worth picking up. You will get a good number of hours out of it for sure. Personal server is a good option, as is increasing taming/drop rates. The defaults (at least back when I played) are kinda brutal, though they do make finally taming one of the stronger dinos more rewarding.

  • Just trying to figure out how the genre has fallen this much that you are asking this question. Let me guess. It won’t end well.