The highly-anticipated ARK: Survival Evolved update that added split-screen to the open-world survival game was finally released to the Xbox One yesterday. One common question from gamers, though, has been about the addition of new servers. Studio Wildcard Co-founder and ARK Co-director Jesse Rapczack explained why no new servers have been added and the studio’s plans to address the question.
The popularity of ARK: Survival Evolved on the Xbox One has propelled the number of daily active players past the PC version. In an IGN livestream via Twitch on Friday, Rapczack stated there were around 110,000 daily active players on the Xbox One versus approximately 85,000 at the peak for PC. Studio Wildcard has added hundreds of official servers since its December launch and players have been using spare Xbox One consoles to setup their own dedicated servers as well.
Still, the question was asked if more official servers will be added to ARK: Survival Evolved on the Xbox One.
“I think people are asking for new servers because they want to have a fresh start,” Rapczack said in response. “There’s actually plenty of servers for the Xbox community. The issue I think is people want a fresh server.”
Does the co-director of ARK have a point? Yes, the official browser list shows many servers that are not at capacity. Things have improved substantially since launch when players could sit at a screen for long periods of time attempting to get in on a server.
Meanwhile, some of these servers may have space available simply because the players who first got in have overrun everything. It’s not uncommon to see pillars planted across PVE servers to prevent others from building houses and bases, effectively locking new players out. Meanwhile, PVP servers often see the rise of “alpha tribes” that effectively dominate a server because they’ve been around since the server launched and have all the best dinosaurs and equipment.
“We’ve been talking about how to handle this internally,” Rapczack explained. “We may do something where we have a certain type of official server that let’s say resets every three weeks or something.”
“Our goal with the official servers has always been to just set them up as a world and let them exist. If you don’t like the state of one because it is ruled by a tyrant or another one is too peaceful for your blood-thirsty tastes and you keep getting wrecked by the peace keepers, then you may be try a different server and see if that’s more to your liking,” he continued.
“That’s why we have so many servers. There’s like 555 or 600 servers. That’s a lot of worlds. Yeah, they might not all be the best ping time from where you are at. We understand that.”
The best way for ARK: Survival Evolved Xbox One gamers to get a new world while playing with others is through the private dedicated servers. While it does allow the host to set their own rules, it comes with its own set of problems. Using a console as a dedicated server isn’t ideal and has certain limitations based on the number of players and connection quality. Fortunately, Studio Wildcard is looking at alternatives.
“We are exploring ways to do third-party hosted Xbox servers in the near future, hopefully,” Rapczack said. “That will allow people to play on Xbox servers that are hosted on PC, that are with third-party hosting providers or something of that nature. That way there can be more servers to people’s liking, tuned to different ways. Just like on PC where people can rent their own dedicated servers. It just comes down to how long and how we make that work logistically.”
As previously covered by Inquisitr, this wouldn’t be the first game to support hosting servers through a third-party. Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 allowed players to rent servers, though they could not host one themselves.
ARK: Survival Evolved is currently available for the Xbox One via the Game Preview Program and PC via Steam Early Access. Studio Wildcard describes the game as being in a pre-alpha state with many features still missing. It’s proven to be extremely popular and addictive despite that, and is currently scheduled to launch for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, this summer.
[Image via ARK: Survival Evolved]