Studio Wildcard is racing to get ARK: Survival Evolved done and out Early Access this spring. Lead developer and studio co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz shared plans to deal with over-powered dinosaurs during an interview released Wednesday. He also revealed that the team behind the open-world survival game will be looking at upgrades for the Xbox Scorpio, possibly even supporting VR.
ARK: Survival Evolved veteran Survivors are not unfamiliar with dinosaurs being nerfed. Studio Wildcard has consistently nerfed different creatures since its release. The big animals, such as the Giganotosaurus, have been targeted repeatedly. Stieglitz still isn’t satisfied with where tamed dinos sit and has a plan for the final months until release.
“They’re still too damn strong,” the lead developer told British outlet Daily Express. “We’re going to have to slowly wean players off these dinosaurs as we hit more of a final game balance.
“We will take that one step at a time, every time we add a new cool feature, we will weaken tamed dinosaurs a little bit more.”
Those “cool new features” will be coming soon. Studio Wildcard plans to release the Tek Tier to ARK: Survival Evolved on the PC via a planned January 20 update. Originally scheduled for December, the Tek Tier adds a science fiction-style tier of weapons, armor, gear, and other craftable items above the existing metal tier. This includes power armor with each piece providing a special ability, the ability to construct underwater bases, and high-tech dinosaur gear like a laser beam mounted to a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s head.
Other “cool new features” listed in the 254.0 patch planned for release in a couple of weeks includes no less than 7 new animals, per the official patch notes, including a sheep that can give wool. Studio Wildcard also plans to add a lance to be used for jousting.
The recent release of the PlayStation 4 Pro with improved resolution and framerate for ARK: Survival Evolved also has fans wondering about the Xbox Scorpio. Steiglitz’s comments point to similar support for Microsoft’s next console with the possibility of virtual reality support thrown in.
“It looks plenty powerful enough (for VR) to support it and have it look really good, it’s just a matter of getting our hands on the console and seeing what we can achieve with it.
“For us we’re still very experimental with Virtual Reality in ARK, I do not think the VR support we have now is anywhere near the final implementation.
“It’s quite basic and is something us to gather feedback to help us work out what to do with it. It’s there for the Oculus Rift and we’re hoping to do something a little different with the Vive.
“And whatever Microsoft are doing with The Scorpio is a little further out but it’s definitely going to be on our radar when we get a development unit to start working with.”
The Xbox Scorpio is rumored to have 6 teraflops of GPU performance, which puts it well ahead of the PS4 Pro’s 4.2 teraflops. The extra horsepower is meant to support 4K gaming and virtual reality gaming, though to what extent and at what cost has yet to be revealed. Microsoft has not announced its virtual reality plans yet, beyond partnership deals with the Oculus Rift.
As Stieglitz mentioned, ARK: Survival Evolved does support VR headsets now on a limited and experimental basis. It has also announced a separate VR title called ARK Park, being developed by Snail Games. The Jurassic Park-style experience is planned to release in 2017 with support for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR.
What do you think of the Studio Wildcard’s plans to further nerf tamed dinosaurs in ARK: Survival Evolved and support for Xbox Scorpio? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]