PlayStation 4 owners received a new ARK: Survival Evolved patch Thursday that finally added Procedurally Generated Maps to the console. Studio Wildcard also aimed at fixing game crashes, also known as “Blue Screening,” with the update. Instead, it made the crashes worse for many players.
The 502.7 patch released for the PS4 version is short on features, but does introduce a “new memory allocator for much more efficient memory usage (resolves any OOM crashes) and better performance” per the official patch notes. This was meant to solve the problems with ARK: Survival Evolved crashes, but that hasn’t been the case.
Survivors have reported more frequent crashes across Twitter and the ARK PS4 Reddit group. Studio Wildcard has acknowledged the issue and Community Manager Jat sought help from players to isolate the cause of the crashes. The most common cause of the crashes so appears to be while riding a flying tamed animal like a Pteranodon.
“I have successfully reproduced the crash,” Jat announced in the Reddit thread seeking help. “Not sure if it’s related to our mem logic changes or something else, so far my tests indicate it is specific locations (but it may very well be memory), but we’re going to work on resolving it tonight and have requested a QA date with Sony.”
In the meantime, Studio Wildcard Community Manger Jen suggested via Twitter for PlayStation 4 players to avoid flying to prevent crashes.
Xbox One owners are very familiar with the ARK: Survival Evolved crashing. It is called “Dashboarding” on Microsoft’s console as players are dumped out of their game and to main dashboard screen. This can be especially frustrating when riding a tamed animal as immediately logging back into the server can result in spawning in a new body versus back where they just were. It can also result in a tamed dinosaur being lost due to flying away and/or being killed.
Hopefully, Studio Wildcard can deliver the fix to Sony and it can be released before the weekend as this kind of issue can cause the game’s population to drop.
Another unfortunate side effect of the frequent crashes is it puts a damper on a new round of official servers being added along with Procedurally Generated Maps. PS4 owners now have servers 735 through 766 to set up on.
Meanwhile, the Procedurally Generated Maps add the ability to create semi-randomized maps. This was first introduced to the PC version of ARK: Survival Evolved in November followed by the Xbox One in mid-December. It required additional work and testing to get it on consoles and players should expect long map generation times. Still, Studio Wildcard will mix up the Extinction servers by using PGMs to create a new map every time the server refreshes at the end of a month.
It’s important to note PGMs are still being developed by Studio Wildcard and are missing many features found on The Island, The Center, and Scorched Earth maps. They currently do not support Obelisks, caves, or the swamp biome. As noted in the Procedurally Generated Map guide, there are still supply drops and animal spawns based on the biomes generated. Missing biomes like the swamp and the desert, plus other features, will be added as the developer continues to iterate on the feature. There is currently no published timeline or roadmap on when Studio Wildcard expects to complete PGMs.
While ARK: Survival Evolved is an official release on the PlayStation 4, it is still very much an Early Access title as the issues with today’s patch shows. Studio Wildcard is targeting spring 2017 for the full release of the game on the PC and Xbox One, which essentially means the same for Sony’s console. It will be interesting to watch the development of the game over the next couple of months to see if the performance and crash issues can be fixed while adding new features like the Tek Tier and a slew of new dinosaurs.
[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]