ARK: Survival Evolved will finally receive Xbox LIVE Achievements in December, after a year in the Xbox One Game Preview Program. Studio Wildcard announced details of the 748.0 update scheduled for midway through the month. This patch also brings Procedurally Generated Maps to the dinosaur-filled survival game for the first time, changes to Extinction servers, the newly refreshed caves on The Island, and more.
Studio Wildcard first promised Achievements were coming “soon” to ARK: Survival Evolved at the end of June. “Soon” turned into over five months later as Lead Developer Jeremy Stieglitz made the announcement via Twitter and added Achievements to the 748 patch notes for the Xbox One in the official forums. The studio is currently targeting to release the update on December 14.
Details on how Achievements will work have not been shared. Many existing players have racked up hundreds to thousands of hours in the game, maxed out characters, tamed every creature, and killed bosses. It’s unknown if they will be rewarded retroactively for some, all, or none of what’s already been done.
Not coincidentally, this is around the same time the PlayStation 4 version of ARK: Survival Evolved will launch. It will include Trophy support along with an enhanced graphics mode for the PS4 Pro. Update: Stieglitz teased a PS4 release announcement for Wednesday, November 30, at 10 a.m. ET just after this article was published.
One major feature included in the next patch is the addition of Procedurally Generated Maps (PGM). The ability to create semi-randomized maps was introduced to the PC version of ARK: Survival Evolved a little over a month ago. It required additional work and testing to get it on the Xbox One, but Studio Wildcard revealed plans to mix up the Extinction servers with the PGMs.
The 748 patch release will coincide with Studio Wildcard taking the official Extinction Servers offline temporarily and setting them up to run with Procedurally Generated Maps going forward. This means when the server resets itself every month, it will provide a new start on a unique map.
“Our decision to make these changes is based on the idea of each player’s experience on an Extinction server being a unique one. The servers were intended to provide survivors with a fresh environment to compete in, over a short period of time. By making this change we will be able to ensure that things are kept fresh as each cycle will be played on a completely new map, with infinite possibilities,” Community Manager Jat explained.
It’s important to note PGMs are still being developed by Studio Wildcard. 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.
ARK: Survival Evolved owners on the Xbox One should also expect a laundry list of new content and features with the 748 patch that were added to the PC version recently. The 252 PC patch brought four new dinosaurs: the giant snail, Achatina; a nocturnal two-legged carnivore with the Megalosaurus; the Triceratops cousin, Pachyrhinosaurus; and the cowardly lizard, Moschops.
The update will also bring revamped caves to The Islands. Studio Wildcard gave each one a graphical refresh to bring “them up to par visually” and improve the game’s performance while in the caves. New rewards are also added for those that complete the challenges that await inside.
ARK: Survival Evolved players that have structures built inside or at the entrances to The Island’s caves will want to begin moving valuables out. The cave refresh will result in all caves being destroyed.
The oft-delayed Breeding Phase 3 will also be added with this patch. This adds family trees and mutations when breeding dinosaurs. PC players are still discovering what happens when you inbreed. Reddit user silverbullet1989 shared an image of a Spinosaurus with a neon green belly, for example.
Xbox One owners waiting for news of the Christmas Holiday event will have to continue waiting. Studio Wildcard has confirmed the Winter Wonderland 2 event will launch on the PC on December 21 with the 253.0 patch. The event has not been confirmed for the console yet, but the Halloween and Thanksgiving events did make it, so it stands to reason the next one will too.
[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]