‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ The Center Map Adding New Content For Edge Of The World, Xbox Optimizations

The updates to ARK: Survival Evolved‘s The Center map are not complete yet. Studio Wildcard’s Ben Burkart (aka EvilMrFrank) has been Twitch streaming himself working on the PC and Xbox One survival game’s most popular map the last couple of days revealing new additions to the Edge of the World and a confirmation of more optimizations are on their way for the console version.

The Edge of the World is the west most area of The Center that features a steep cliff drop-off past the Green Obelisk, North and South mountains, as well as the bridge to the Redwood Island. ARK: Survival Evolved players may already be familiar with the fact their Survivor will die if they happen to fall off or fly too low.

Burkart is using the gigantic Edge of the World cliffs as an opportunity to carve a new play space for ARK: Survival Evolved players. The Center map designer dug into the side of the cliffs to create a vast cavern featuring a river, plenty of buildable space, and an ice palace. Since it would normally be dark in such a space, massive crystals are scattered around in the walls and pillars to serve as both decorative ambiance and light sources.

ARK: Survival Evolved - The Center (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via Twitch / EvilMrFrank]

The ice palace is situated in the very rear of the cliffside cavern and straddles the river that runs through it. According to Burkart, this area will serve as a new location for penguins to spawn. Since the creatures currently only spawn on the iceberg in the small lake next to the Green Obelisk, this is great news.

The entire cavern area will “be a bit of a safe haven from dangerous creatures,” per Burkart’s comments in the Twitch stream. It’s also important to note the new cavern area will not come with any of the ARK: Survival Evolved cave or ruins penalties. This means no building or flying restrictions and no 6x damage multiplier on any structures built in it.

Survivors should expect it to be cold, but Burkart is making some changes to the entire Edge of the World area to encourage more building in the area. Larger trees will give more wood than before when harvested, since trees are relatively sparse. The temperatures in the area are going to be increased a little as well, so it is not quite as brutal.

ARK: Survival Evolved - The Center Ice Palace (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via Twitch / EvilMrFrank]

Getting to the cavern by foot will require quite the trek, so it’s not something low-level players will be able to get to without at least the aid of a Pteranodon. There are paths carved into the cliff to reach down from the Redwood Island Bridge, South Mountain, and North Mountain. Players will also notice the waterfalls have been tweaked to add a second set of waterfalls below.

ARK: Survival Evolved players will be able to reach the water on the Edge of the World with this update. Expect to see Mantas, Megalodons, and other aquatic creatures down there, but no bottom. An invisible wall will keep players from venturing all the way to the bottom or further west than the current coordinate system allows.

The PC version of ARK: Survival Evolved will see the new Edge of the World content as part of the 246.0 patch planned for September 1, per the official website. Xbox One players will then see the same new content around mid-September. However, console owners still have the 739 content update to look forward to on September 1.

ARK: Survival Evolved - The Center (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via Twitch / EvilMrFrank]

Burkart confirmed some Xbox specific optimizations are included in the 739 update in addition to the other optimizations that have been performed on The Center map. This would be a welcome change for console owners as the map is known to suffer from performance issues as players fill it with structures and tamed animals. This may be the last optimization pass on The Center, though, as Burkart stated during the stream: “the map is about as optimized on level design/ art side as its going to get for quite some time.”

Another interesting tidbit from Burkart’s three Twitch streams working on The Center map, is this will be the last major update to the map. He wouldn’t specify what he will be working on next, but the implication is the map maker might start work on a new ARK: Survival Evolved map once this next update has been released and any bugs squashed.

Don’t be surprised to see these changes and more when Studio Wildcard visits the PAX West the weekend of September 2. The studio has been teasing “something big” to will be announced.

What do you think of the Edge of the World changes made to ARK: Survival Evolved‘s The Center map? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Twitch / EvilMrFrank]