‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ Turret Change Controversy Begets More Changes

ARK: Survival Evolved has struggled with performance since its initial Steam Early Access launch in 2015. Studio Wildcard announced planned changes over the weekend that reduce the number of turrets in an effort to improve the open-world survival game’s performance and quickly caused a backlash in the process. This prompted the developer to promise a new, more powerful turret to compensate players, plus additional changes to reduce the effectiveness of certain base attacks.

A community update article listing turret changes in ARK: Survival Evolved sparked much confusion and outrage in the game’s community. As eventually clarified by Studio Wildcard QA Tester Rob on Twitter, the change will limit a tribe to 100 turrets in a 100-meter area, which is approximately equivalent to 33 foundations in the game. This is in response to a sudden surge in tribes increasing the number of turrets deployed and packing them in closer together. Per Studio Wildcard, this has caused servers to do seven time more work than before and impacting the game’s already dodgy performance and a Reddit post from one of the developers states the recent increase in turrets has caused server updates to drop to as little as one frame per second (fps).

Studio Wildcard offered a buff to turrets in order to offset the number that can be deployed. This included a 20 percent increase in damage from auto-turrets and TEK turrets and increasing the inventory of auto-turrets by 50 percent so they can hold more bullets.

These changes are supposed to go into effect on Tuesday, December 5, with a warning message currently being displayed in-game for tribes who exceed the allowable turret count on PC. The PS4 and Xbox One versions of ARK: Survival Evolved are scheduled to receive an update this week to enable the same message.

Chilling with a Jerboa in ARK: Survival Evolved - Scorched Earth
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

Predictably, the ARK: Survival Evolved community’s hands went up in the air as they pointed out the various issues this causes defending hard-earned bases and supplies with some threatening to leave if the changes go through as proposed. Reducing the total number of turrets leaves bases more vulnerable to a developed raid tactic of using Stegosaurs to soak up turret damage thanks to the extra protection granted them from their armor plates and using Veggie Cakes to quickly heal them.

In response to the ARK: Survival Evolved community’s concerns, Studio Wildcard announced it will be introducing a large and more powerful turret that does approximately four times the damage of the auto-turret, but at about four times the construction and ammunition costs. There is also the possibility of adding some kind of knockback or movement penalty to animals hit by turrets.

Additionally, Studio Wildcard is looking at nerfing the armor on the Stegosaur to block less damage from turrets and adding a delay to using Veggie Cakes in combat. This is where the developers have to play a balancing act as both are used to battle the various bosses in ARK: Survival Evolved‘s PVE meta-game. They do not want to nerf either to the point where it becomes more difficult to battle the end-game bosses because of PVP issues.

[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]