Starting again in Ark: Survival Evolved

I’m back here again. Gathering stone for hours praying that the walls we build will keep the raiders at bay. Babysitting sleeping dinosaurs and quietly drugging them until they wake up and think we’re their masters. Being mortally terrified of the swamp.

Naimgear and me did all of this before on the Xbox One. We had a large base with a huge warehouse for flying dinosaurs and a giant pen for our Sarcosaurs (giant crocodiles). We had enough gear to comfortably travel anywhere south of the snow biomes without worry. We were friends with the huge tribe on our server that casually marched around the island on t-rexes and controlled the central valleys. Then we lost it all.

In Ark, when you log off your character simply falls asleep wherever they stand. We were playing on a PvP server so anything is fair game. In the middle of the night a group broke into our base using explosives. They killed all of our dinosaurs, destroyed most of our buildings and stole everything we owned. When we logged on there was nothing. All of those hours we’d spent amassing that dinosaur collection were gone. We stopped playing.

But now for some reason we’re back. Arrow, Naimgear, and me have all started a new tribe on a new PvP server on the PC. We’ve gone for an unofficial server this time with five times the gathering speed and ten times the taming speed. This means a dinosaur (like a Pteradon) that used to take an hour to tame now only takes six minutes, when you hit a rock you get 5 pieces of stone instead of one, everything is sped up.

We’ve got a nice new base on the edge of a cliff, we’ve tamed a few useful dinosaurs, we’ve started building a big new pen to keep it in. Of course the first night we logged off Arrow woke up to find us all in cages with all our stuff stolen, but he broke the cages and dragged us back inside so it’s probably fine.

There’s something undeniably addictive about Ark. There’s always something to do, some way to progress. Right now I’m looking for a giant armadillo so I can harvest stone quicker to build up our buildings. Naimgear wants to surround our base with spikes to keep would-be-thieves at bay (as long as they don’t fly), Arrow wants a frog. Whenever I log on, I’ll be able to do something. There’s always the chance we’ll lose everything again, but then there’s also the chance we won’t, that we’ll be able to defend, that we’ll survive long enough to explore the frozen north or the murky depths of the ocean. If we manage to do that, there’s a whole expansion available to take us into the desert.

Ark might be Early Access, and it might seem incredibly unfair, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun and definitely worth your money.

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