Ark Adds Procedural Worlds And Airbag Amphibians

I am delighted every time a new Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] update turns a dinosaur into a wacky gadget. From Archaeopteryx hang gliders to sauropods you can build mobile fortresses upon, the sandbox survival game has a fascinating and violent Flintstones logic. Procedurally-generated worlds are probably the biggest feature in last week’s update but I’m more interested in its new giant salamander. Can you guess what it’s useful for? Oh, y’know, you can ride it underwater and use it as a mobile oxygen tank by sucking air from bladders inside its head. Of course you can.

Patch 248 was a biggun. As well as its traditional handcrafted worlds, Ark now boasts the option to play in a procedurally-generated world. Creators Studio Wildcard say that “players can determine a myriad of landscape options from the heights of mountains, depths of valleys, and the number of lakes, rivers or oceans, to the kinds of each biome they want, and more!”

It’s an all-redwood world with rivers and lakes and valleys for me, please thank you thanks please and thank you.

Three new creatures are in too. Kaprosuchus looks like a cross between a crocodile and a horse, lurking in swamps to lunge and chase you around. Chalicotherium are honking great land sloths who can be tamed, and will handily hurl boulders as siege engines – just like in real prehistory. Then there’s Diplocaulus, an adorable amphibian who can be tamed and “are often used by survivors as an oxygen bag”. Obviously.

Ark has added so many creatures that surely Studio Wildcard can’t have many more to come before they start planning to leave early access? Though I might wager that they’re keeping a steady flow of new content coming – primarily from art teams – to placate players while other folks work on big underlying technical issues.

Who knows, perhaps one day they’ll fix Ark’s awful performance problems and properly release the game. Hopefully their launch plans do also include Flintstones foot-powered cars, lobster lawnmowers, and octopus diswashers.

For now, check out update 248’s patch notes and see the shiny newbits in this trailer:


  1. gwop_the_derailer says:

    Wait, Kabutops was real?

    • Michael Anson says:

      As real as dragons, megaspiders, and King Kong, at least.

  2. SqueekyMcClean says:

    I would have happily grabbed ARK, but then they decided to sell DLC for a game in early access. Such a shame.

    • Michael Anson says:

      That really depends on the reasoning for the DLC. It could be that the reason for Scorched Earth being offered separately was a need for additional funding for further game development. Frankly, I’d prefer to purchase DLC in exchange for the game not being abandoned, particularly when said DLC’s content is still entirely optional, and particularly considering how progress on the main game has not been abandoned in exchange for a focus exclusively on DLC.

    • badmothergamer says:

      I barely play Ark anymore but I purchased Scorched Earth just to support Studio Wildcard. I paid $25 for Ark and played it for over 350 hours. I was happy to hand them another $20 for an incredible bit of dlc, but it was more about supporting a studio that has been amazing in handling early access updates and communication.

    • mgsgta3 says:

      Thats unfortunate(for you) and absolutely your loss. I dont know what principle of yours it offends by doing the DLC but it was a good move. It is a completed(not in alpha) side thing that can enhance the actual game, and it is the beginning of having servers with multiple Arks attached so you can go between all of the maps.
      Thats why I happily paid for the DLC(and didnt return it after I decided I wasnt much into the desert thing).
      FOr me it has given more playabillity than ten $60 games(600 doolar value) and I got the game half off(i forgot exactly how much but I think around $15) so its pretty epic of a deal and a huge return of investment.

  3. protorp says:

    Can anyone outline settings or point to any resources for setting up Ark for relatively casual solo play? I keep meaning to dip into it, but the host Ark screen has so much to tweak… I don’t want to remove all challenge by any means, just make the most of my sadly much more limited these days gaming time…

    • Zeragoth says:

      I would recommend moving the taming speed up to at least 2 or 3 times, and maybe increase the resource gather rate to about the same. It’s mostly personal preference, but the tame times really need to be faster if you’re playing alone. Other settings are mostly not that important, though you might also want to increase the experience multiplier a bit.

    • Artist says:

      For a good, fluid causal game I suggest 5x – 15x for Taming/XP and 2-3x for harvesting. Gives you a good gameplay without the need to “grind” for levels.

  4. Raoul Duke says:

    This trailer features bits with suspiciously amazing looking graphics followed by bits with suspiciouslty awful looking graphics. How, in fact, are the graphics?

    • Michael Anson says:

      That depends entirely on your system specs. The game is not well optimized, but if you have the power, you can see graphics of the level shown in some trailers. Until it is optimized, however, even the beefiest of rigs, regardless of chipsets, can be randomly beset with slowdowns.

  5. Brandy says:

    so… it will be new DLC?

  6. Lupa says:

    IF ONLY the game would actually run with that graphics settings and be as smooth… HAH.. Maybe in 2 years.. When 4 more DLC’s come out and its into the BETA stage of development. :) Hatetolove-lovetohate