A massive new ARK: Survival Evolved update just hit the Xbox One Friday evening, following a PS4 release. The 751 patch brings the usual assortment of new dinosaurs and craftable items, but is potentially more notable on Microsoft’s console due to it making use of a new Xbox Development Kit (XDK) update which may help performance and networking issues.
The version 505 patch for the PlayStation 4 went live Thursday evening and weighs in at just 3.2 GB. The Xbox One update 751 is much larger at 19 GB with a separate 5GB update for Scorched Earth. The reason for the size difference is due to the large number of game files that need to be replaced to accommodate some console-specific changes explained below.
Xbox One Specific Update
Studio Wildcard promises major performance and memory gains with the 751 Xbox One patch thanks to an update to a recent update to the XDK. Lead Designer Jeremy Stieglitz even pointed out via his Twitter account that the upgrade could also improve online connections in addition to the performance gains.
The changes introduced with the XDK update are why this ARK: Survival Evolved console patch has taken longer to get through certification and also why the PrimitivePlus update is not arriving for either the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Studio Wildcard had to devote extra time to testing the XDK with the base game and wants to make sure the official mod plays nice and runs smoothly with the XDK before releasing an update. This affects the PS4 version because any changes made to the Xbox One are then ported to Sony’s console, as Community Manager Jat explained in a TwitLonger post.
Update: Studio Wildcard reports there are some issues with this update which they are hoping to fix in patch they are working on this weekend and will submit to Microsoft on Monday. These are the issues they will attempt to address, per a TwitLonger post from Jat:
- Controller shut down kills application [You can plug a wire into your controller to keep it charged/active and then host a player-dedicated]
- Player Dedicated and Non-Dedicated Servers are only listing one at a time.
- Servers are not listing in the Servers on Cluster Session List under the Travel to another ARK option.
- Inviting to or Joining (via invite) a Password Protected Player Dedi Server fails
- You can’t successfully Invite/Join game into an Official Server
General Performance Update
ARK: Survival Evolved also receives a general performance improvement patch to both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One via an Unreal Engine 4 update. The official patch notes point to an approximate 15 percent performance gain as a result.
Performance is a common and frequent complaint for ARK: Survival Evolved on consoles. Studio Wildcard recently stated it will spend more time on improving performance prior to its official release out of Early Access and the Game Preview Program. That is currently scheduled for this spring, but don’t be surprised if that slips into Summer following the delay of a few features like underwater bases.
Studio Wildcard appears intent on making the oceans a more dangerous place. Two new sea-faring creatures join a pair of new land-based beasts, one of whom will likely turn into a new favorite to tame and ride.
The Ammonite sports a shell and will drop valuable resources like Black Pearls and Ammonite Bile, which is used to craft Pheromone Darts, when killed. Just because it doesn’t fight back doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous to attack. It sprays green ink into the water when attacked, which causes all nearby wild animals to attack. This includes land animals if they are close enough.
The Electophorus is a giant electric eel that can zap prey or enemies to stun them. It has a wide range at which it will get aggressive and is generally found in packs of two or more. Additionally, they are quite fast so players will likely want to hunt or attempt to tame them on a fast underwater mount.
The Thylacoleo is a powerful new predator that can be found in the Redwood Forests of The Island and The Center. They are unique as they will spawn on the side of the Redwood trees ready to pounce on Survivors or other prey that get too close. This includes knocking players off their mounts whether they are on the ground or in the air.
The “marsupial lion’s” ability to jump, climb walls, and deal massive amounts of damage make it a valuable tame as it can fill many roles. It can even be used as base defense by parking it on walls to ambush enemy raiders.
The Microraptor is a small predator bird that makes use of hit-and-run tactics. Its attack will stun unmounted players before running away and is capable of knocking riders off their mounts. They make a useful companion tamed dino, which can be mounted on your shoulder. Throwing them at an enemy will result in the same stun or dismount attack as the wild version.
New Craftable Items
While underwater bases did not make the cut for this update, ARK: Survival Evolved does receive some new Tek-based structures. The Tek Forcefield does just as its name suggests and will put a forcefield around bases or other valuables. The forcefield can be adjusted up to 20 foundations in diameter. Just be aware that it is powered by Element and consumes up to 10 Element per hour at its largest size.
The only things capable of damaging the Tek Forcefield include the Tek Rifle, the Tek Rex Saddle, explosives, and Titanosaurs. Otherwise, it keeps out other Survivors that aren’t part of your Tribe or allied with your tribe along with any unfriendly dinosaurs.
New Tek Doors have also been added, which will open automatically when players from the tribe that placed the door approaches. It has the same damage limitations as the Tek Forcefield.
It’s important to remember that all Tek structures, weapons, and gear are end-game items, which means they are expensive to build. Studio Wildcard has also made it so the necessary Element resource can only be earned by summoning and defeating the ARK: Survival Evolved bosses.
Finally, the Pheromone Dart is not listed in the official patch notes, but is added with this patch. Players and animals shot with this dart will cause nearby wild creatures to start attacking it. This can be used as a defensive measure to get a large predator off you or an offensive measure to cause mayhem for an enemy tribe.
Gameplay Balance Changes
Rocket Launchers, C4, and Rocket Turrets all received some tweaks with this patch to the PS4 and Xbox One. C4 now does 70 percent more damage to Structures than Rocket Launchers while the latter saw its base damage increased by 20 percent to offset the removal of item stats. Additionally, tamed flying dinosaurs will not move at a fixed slow speed when carrying C4.
Meanwhile, Rocket Turrets now take slight damage when fired. They will no longer fire once their health goes below 5 percent.
[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]