Pillar and foundation spam on ARK: Survival Evolved has long been an issue on PVE servers since the game first launched on PC last July and on Xbox One last December. Studio Wildcard attempted to address the issue in a surprise patch release dropped overnight, which led to serious issues that caused the developer to revert the worst of it.
For those who don’t know, pillar and foundation spam refer to either structure being placed around the map to prevent others from building in a location. Foundations reduce resource and animal spawns while pillars have no effect. Some use pillars to protect precious spawns while others use pillars and foundations to claim as much land as possible and/or grief other players.
ARK: Survival Evolved patch 241.3 was released overnight to fix ocean spawns on The Center map and an issue with Vault drops were being improperly used. However, it also included the following change.
“All Official PvE servers now have 0.25 structure decay time and 0.5 structure resource blocking radius multiplier.”
This means the radius structures built on PVE servers that prevent others from building nearby also affect resource spawns, which will be half as big as before. That’s actually a good thing. The 75 percent decrease in the structure decay caused issues, however.
The first issue is the timer on the ability to claim tamed animals from other tribes, as it was tied to the structure decay timer. Studio Wildcard was made aware of this issue not long after the patch 241.3 was released and released patch 241.4. This puts the Dino PVE auto-claim timer on its own separate value.
The second issue is the timer on structure decay is not conducive to those that don’t play ARK: Survival Evolved every day. Thatch structures can now be destroyed by other players in a day, wood structures in two days, stone structures in 3 days, and metal structures in 4 days. This leaves weekend players, or those that go on vacation or the like, in a serious bind. They are likely to return to their server and find the hours’ worth of effort they have put into base building destroyed.
In fact, ARK: Survival Evolved players on Steam and Reddit are reporting logging in to PVE servers and finding their bases destroyed. Some even had their tamed dinosaurs stolen by others prior during the time between the two patches that caused and then fixed that problem.
Lead Developer Jeremy Stieglitz responded to the issue in the Steam community by announcing the structure decay timer will be reverted back to its original value while the radius value will remain the same.
“Point taken! We’ve changed the decay timer back 1.0 (original value), and we’ll leave int the reduced radius replenish range so that resources have a better chance to grow. In the future, we’ll be looking at a different technique to how to calculate decay rates, with the length of time depending on the amount of nearby/connected structures (so that ‘lone foundations’ won’t take as long to decay as full-on bases). We’ll pre-announce before doing any further changes to how structure decay is calculated as well.”
As of the time of this article’s publication, the original decay timer has been implemented back to the original value. However, there’s been no word from Studio Wildcard about rolling the servers back to the state they were in prior to the 241.3 patch or to bring back any structures destroyed or dinosaurs stolen by other players.
There is also no word on if the ARK: Survival Evolved patch 735.0, which is planned to release to the Xbox One today, will include the reduced radius of effect for structures. It’s unlikely, since the PC patch was delivered after Studio Wildcard submitted the console update to Microsoft for certification.
Full details on the Xbox One 735.0 patch can be found here. It fixes various issues introduced with The Center map and adds support for over 200 more servers, among other things.
It’s important to remember that ARK: Survival Evolved is still considered a pre-alpha game for both the PC and Xbox One, but what do you think of the PVE structure decay and radius changes? How should Studio Wildcard address pillar spam on PVE servers? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Studio Wildcard]