The updates to ARK: Survival Evolved keep getting bigger. The latest patch 243 was released early Thursday morning with some massive changes to the open-world dinosaur survival title in terms of new content like the new Redwood biome and Titanosaurus plus changes to the existing game such as a nerf to the Gigantosaurus and Pteranodon.
The Redwood biome has been a long time coming to ARK: Survival Evolved and changes the center part of The Island map around Grand Peak, south of the Volcano. The Redwood trees themselves cannot be harvested, but players can build wooden and metal treehouse-style bases in them, complete with retractable rope ladders. Redwood trees can also be tapped for their tree sap to craft the new gas mask to protect against diseases and poison grenades.
Note that The Center map (guide) will not receive the Redwood biome with the 243 patch. It will arrive in a month or so with developer Ben Burkart planning a beta release at the end of this week to test out the all new landmass for the biome. You can check out this article for details.
The enormous Titanosaur is the biggest dinosaur added to ARK: Survival Evolved 243.0 yet. It dwarfs the Gigantosaurus, but is supposed to be extremely rare. Only a couple should be available on the map at any one time. Studio Wildcard says this dinosaur will be extremely rare to find, but it will provide a mobile walking base. It can also easily smash bases, as seen in the trailer.
The Titanosaur will be a difficult tame as it cannot be knocked out with Tranq Arrows or Darts. Players will instead have to down it by hitting it in the head with something large, likely a catapult turretOther new items include a Chain Bola for the Ballista Turret to bring down larger dinosaurs like Quetzal and Rex. There's also new Custom Tripwire Alarm that will send notifications to players when their base is getting raided. Those who register at the ARK: Survival Evolved will receive the notification when the alarm is placed.
There are also some controversial changes coming to the Gigantosaurus and Pteranodon. Both dinosaurs are receiving significant nerfs in an attempt to balance the existing game. This comes after the last patch, which disabled auto-turrets and Plant X turrets on all platform saddles.
Tamed and wild Gigantosauruses now do 50 percent less damage while the wild Giga has 40 percent less hit points. Meanwhile, tamed Gigas now run 30 percent slower and have 25 percent less hit points. On the plus side, tamed Gigas will receive a 30 percent stamina increase and will require 70 percent less food.
Pteranodons have been the preferred battle bird since Quetzals lost the ability to carry Plant X turrets. They are extremely easy to tame though, making their damage output outsized to the offensive capabilities. Studio Wildcard has brought their damage down 30 percent as a result.
Studio Wildcard has a few performance improvements. ARK: Survival Evolved still has a long way to go to be a well-optimized game, but the developers have been adding incremental improvements more consistently with the latest patches.
You can check out the full patch notes for ARK: Survival Evolved patch 243 below. PC players should expect a flurry of hotfix patches following this release. Xbox One owners can look forward to receiving this path and all of the hotfixes sometime next week, per lead developer Jeremy Stieglitz:
- New Creature: Titanosaurus!
- New Item: Gas Mask!
- New Item: Chain Bola Ammo for Ballista Turret!
- New Item: Herbivore "TastyCakes"
- New Structure: Retractable Rope Ladders!
- New Structure: Tree Sap Taps!
- New Structures: Wood and Metal Tree Platforms!
- New Mechanic: Custom Tripwire Alarm Notifications via SurviveTheArk.com (E-mail and Forum). Optionally Tribes can post to arbritrary URL, if they have a custom system! Now if someone's raiding your base, you can get on top of it!
- Biome Update: Snow Extension & New Redwood Forests (this is a major environmental overhaul!)
- Ruins & Explorer Notes
- GroundClutter effect extended 50% further and +20% more GPU efficiency
- Approximate +5% GPU performance improvement related to more efficient foliage culling
- Approximate +10% Server CPU gains related to more network multi-threading
- Added option to disable Inventory Sounds. Yeah
- Balled Doed's are no longer invincible to Tamed Dino melee attacks -- now just very, very resistant to them.
- Massive +33% rendering gains with any translucent rendering (particles, greenhouse windows, etc). Yay for eliminating unnecessary SceneColor resolves!
- Game.INI values to scale the the 5 kinds of XP earned: Generic (automatic over time), Crafting, Harvesting, Killing, and SpecialEvents:
- KillXPMultiplier","HarvestXPMultiplier","CraftXPMultiplier","GenericXPMultiplier","SpecialXPMultiplier" (all 1.0 by default)
- Tamed & Wild Gigas Damage reduced by 50%, Wild Giga HP reduced by 40%, Tamed Giga Run Speed reduced by 30%, Tamed Giga HP reduced by 25%, Giga Stamina Increased by 30%. Tamed Gigas now require/consume 70% less food for subsistence.
- Tamed Ptero Damage reduced by 30%
- Fixed a rare PhysX crash that would bring down servers on occasion. Seemingly free of any more PhysX-crashes now!
- Fixed bug where Wild Giganotosaurus and other dinos would not respawn properly until the server was relaunched.
- Added two additional levels to gain, for Players and Dinos
- Server Note: To allow your Server's Titanosaurs to be permanently tamed (namely allow them to be Fed), launch your server with this commandline option:?AllowRaidDinoFeeding=true
[Image via Studio Wildcard]
[Edit: Studio Wildcard made last minute changes to patch notes. Updated to match.]