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Damascus Steel Kitchen Knives | Best Quality Knives for your Kitchen
You probably have enough of all these kitchen knives that overflow your drawers but none of which cut properly… It’s not easy to do a good job with expensive ripping or crushing instead of cutting, is not it?submitted by OkHistorian3 to u/OkHistorian3
It’s time to offer you real kitchen knives that cuts, a kitchen knives of professional quality.
But which to choose to start?A good kitchen necessarily needs good utensils, and if there is something necessary and valuable for a cook who respects himself, it is obviously his kitchen knives!
The knives are something very important for a cook, it’s a bit like candy for children, except that a good kitchen knives is both a pleasure but also a tool to do “a good job”.
The apprentice cook and professional cooks are also ready, or already spend fortunes, to equip themselves with quality knives. Knives from well-known traditional brands such as Kai, Sabatier, Global, and Chroma sell knives worth several hundred euros and knives sets that can go up to thousands of euros.
Today many food lovers have understood the interest and the importance of having good Damascus kitchen knives and also want to enjoy the pleasure of cooking and cutting with real professional knives, real knives effective and efficient chef.
But between the chef’s Damascus kitchen knives , the santoku Damascus kitchen knives , the paring Damascus kitchen knives, the fillet kitchen knives, the vegetable kitchen knives, the slicing kitchen knives, the ceramic knives, the stainless steel knives , the Japanese knives (and I on the way ) …… Hard to make a choice.
Choose your kitchen knivesSo how to choose your kitchen Damascus kitchen knives?
Let’s simplify things and focus on three important characteristics of a good kitchen kitchen knives: the blade, the shape and the handle.
This is the most important part of your Damascus kitchen knives because it is from it that will depend on the quality and accuracy of the cut.
We distinguish 3 main blade compositions:
1. The stainless steel blade
It is composed of at least 12% chromium and a small percentage of carbon that varies between 0.2 and 1%.
The higher the carbon content, the better the cutting edge is efficient (and durable).
2. Carbon steel blade
Composed primarily of Steel
This blade therefore benefits from a superior cutting quality and more durable than stainless steel knives, but is also more sensitive to oxidation so requires more specific maintenance. On the other hand she will stay sharp longer and she will need a sharpening session much less often than the others.
3. The ceramic knives
Composed essentially of zirconium acid, they have very hard blades with a powerful and durable cutting edge. Their blades do not oxidize and do not require sharpening for several years. (By cons flat: attention to the risks of breakage because the ceramic is very hard).
Good to know: To know the hardness of kitchen knives, there is a hardness index called “Rockwell index” or HRC. For kitchen knives blades it varies between 50 and 60 HRC. For kitchen Damascus kitchen knives, from 54 HRC, it’s already very serious.
We can say that there are as many shapes of knives as of uses, the choice of your kitchen knives will therefore depend on the use and the use that you wish to make:
The chef’s kitchen knives: this is the favorite knives of chefs, the versatile Damascus kitchen knives par excellence. Its sharp blade can measure between 15 and 25cm and is ideal for slicing, cutting, mincing and chopping meat, vegetables, fish and herbs.
The universal kitchen knives: smaller than the chef’s kitchen knives (with a blade of 13 to 15cm) it is also ideal for cutting and slicing vegetables, herbs and meats.
The paring kitchen knives: with its short, rigid and pointed blade it is mainly used to cut and peel small vegetables and fruits.
The santoku : it’s the ultimate Japanese kitchen knives, the chef’s Damascus kitchen knives as well as the European chef’s kitchen knives. Handy and very versatile with a blade of 14 to 20cm, it is ideal for slicing, cutting and slicing but also chop with its excellent balance.
The sole fillet : with a longer blade, thinner and narrower from 15 to 18 cm it is ideal to cut accurately and lift the fish fillets.
The tranche lard: it is Damascus kitchen knives specially adapted for slicing meats, it has a very long and narrow blade which measures from 20 to 25cm.
The bread kitchen knives: This kitchen knife has a long and serrated blade, allowing you to slice and cut the bread without crushing it.
Comfort and good grip when cutting are important, you have the choice between three types of ergonomic handle for your Damascus kitchen knives:
The raw wooden handle : the heaviest and with the feeling of natural touch and more.
The synthetic wood handle : this type of wood and resin mix offers an excellent compromise between comfort and resistance.
The plastic handle is a handle that guarantees the best hygiene and good resistance to corrosion.
The advantage of professional kitchen knives
What is the benefit of cooking with professional kitchen knives?
This is obvious: if you cook regularly you will reap huge profits to use real Damascus kitchen knives.
A professional kitchen knives will not just save you time by cutting all your food in one go and easily like the great chefs.
Or even to take pleasure in making very clean and precise cuts during your preparations.
Using real kitchen Damascus kitchen knives will bring you pleasant sensations of efficiency and performance, and you will feel the pleasure that a chef feels when he has his kitchen knives in his hand and is ready to take on the challenge. Arena kitchens for hours.
In short, having good Damascus kitchen knives is absolutely essential for optimal performance and to be comfortable during his many culinary exploits! For more quality damascus steel knives
Ark: Survival Unlimited - A Creative Exercise on Improving the IP
My point is, I’ve seen it all, I’ve heard all the complaints, I lived through the Scorched Earth rebellion, I lived through the Holiday Event blues, I anticipated every inevitably delayed patch drop, was exasperated by every over-hard swing of the nerf-hammer, I got hyped up on Aberration, and was incredibly excited for but a little let down by Extinction. (Though it does have its golden nuggets here and there and I still love it.)
So what I’m going to attempt to do here is distill all of my experience over the last three years into a treatise of sorts on the strengths and weaknesses of this franchise and how I believe it could be improved in the years to come, whether through additional DLCs, or a full-blown sequel… Plus, since I hope to be a game-dev someday, it’s a good practice exercise.
Buckle-up, it’s gonna be a wild ride. 😉
So how to we go from Ark: Survival Evolved to Ark: Survival Unlimited?First off,
VisualsArk as a franchise is a highly visual experience, whether it’s the scenic and sometimes otherworldly views, the sheer variety of creatures available to hunt and tame, or the thousands of animations that go into making the world feel alive.
That said I feel that the main issues in these categories should be ranked as follows;
One of Ark’s major selling points was supposed to be next-gen visuals, and while a fresh off the Fabricator suite of state-of-the-art electronics and a fully ticked list of eye-candies can produce some truly spectacular visuals, I think this has ultimately worked against the franchise rather than for it. Very few consumers have access to the technology necessary to render ARK at even half it’s full glory and still maintain a stable framerate.
In the type of online environment that ARK is meant to be, this can be and often is detrimental to the experience as a whole. Server based games are inherently stressful for the technology involved in running them, and I think that attempting to go full-throttle on Graphics has done no favors to this IP. Ultimately, I believe that toning the graphical fidelity down a couple notches would greatly benefit the franchise should it choose to expand in the direction of a sequel, as it will make the game more accessible across a broader variety of rigs.
For this point in particular I want to make a couple things clear; I actually really love the direction they’re going with their animations in general. All of the dinos that have had TLC passes were vastly improved, and all five of the standard creatures introduced in Extinction have really good flows to them. That said, there are still a lot of rusty areas, particular in the realm of player characters. None of the first or third-person animations for humans are anything to write home about, the Mek also feels extremely clunky and difficult to maneuver in, the Titans are simply too clumsy and slow to really be enjoyable to ride, and most of the remaining creatures whether natural or artificial are starting to feel really aged.
Now, since ARK is a complete game I would never have the audacity to expect all of this to be addressed, Frankly, the work-load would be absurd and I have no desire to put anyone through that. But, in the event that a sequel is made and we have a fresh slate, I believe that a great degree of importance should be placed on making the animations feel visceral. That is the key component that makes moment to moment gameplay feel intense. It’s when you pull out of a dive with a Snow Owl and see the wings shudder in the rushing wind, it’s when you furiously charge forward on a roaring Rex and feel like you can see the muscles and bones working beneath it’s armored hide, and it’s definitely not the Spinosaur’s two-legged waddling, or the Mek’s stiff-jointed shuffling (could’ve taken a few notes from Titanfall here, especially since the Explorer Notes describe our main characters doing things in these Meks that are 100% impossible with the controls we’ve been given as players.)
In order for immersion to truly take place, it’s the small details that are the most important. Things like the players characters Swan-diving off a high cliff into water with the wind whistling beside them, or doing a normal dive into closer water, perhaps lighting a torch with a piece of flint when it’s first pulled out, or swinging a sword with technique, like it’s a weapon and not just a reskinned hatchet. Things like sabers, wolves, and parasaurs shifting their weight a little when they make turns, or Carnos sliding along the turf and kicking up dirt as they bank a 180 and take off like the cheetahs of the dinosaur world that we were promised, things like Sarcos and Spinos actually walking on the bottom of large bodies of water and kicking up small clouds of sand or silt with each step, or super predators actually physically impacting each other as they vy for dominance, water dinos that aren’t locked onto the X and Y axis, and even eating and drinking animations for wild creatures. To achieve a truly immersive experience, I believe that all these things are necessary, details are king.
For the final section of Visuals, I think the UI definitely deserves a mention. While the redesign is significantly better looking than the original, I still think there is room for improvement. Particularly given the fact that the interface appears to be holographically projected by the Implants. This also ties in a little bit with the Animations section, as actually seeing your characters hands move around and interact with this holographic interface might be a particularly fun way of deepening that feeling of immersion that we’re all looking for.
In my opinion, the best way to go about changing the UI would be to attempt to make it feel as little like a game menu as possible. Change the way we think about its appearance and focus on what such an interface might look like if it were real, what would it display, and where? How would we interact with it? Etc… I think if such a system existed it would be far more likely to group types of material based on weight (example: 22g Flint, 2.3kg Metal), rather than with arbitrary units, which only exist for convenience sake as the game design convention of individual “items” is so hard to let go of. This system would actually greatly reduce inventory clutter as you would only need a single space for each distinct type of material you’re carrying. Similarly, if we’re going to keep Skins and Costumes in play, rather than having them as individual items that spawn in, I think it would be wiser to give them their own Inventory Tab that never changes or empties, and just pull them off of their whenever you want them. Anyway, that’s just one idea. Moving on…
AudioUnsurprisingly, I really don’t have too much to say on this topic, the Soundtrack Gareth Coker created for ARK and its Expansions is spectacular, and the sound-design for the individual creatures and actions is not half-bad either, the new guy they hired on did a pretty good job with his sound passes. That said, there are two areas that I think could use some serious thought.
Dynamic Battle Music
I think a lot of people will probably understand where I am coming from when I say this, but the Battle Tracks in this game are very inconsistent as to when they start and stop, and the fact that they phase in and out so abruptly is a type of immersion breaker in and of itself. It’s certainly great to have an epic piece playing in the background of your battles, but at the end of the day I believe more care should be placed into how the music interacts with what you’re doing and how it detects that. Volume, speed, and starting point are all factors that could contribute greatly to the depth of this system.
To some degree, I understand the design choice Wildcard made in not having any music playing during standard gameplay, a lot of what you’re doing is just grinding or performing “chores” for lack of a better term. At the same time, I also think that this franchise would benefit greatly from having atmospheric music backing its beautiful scenery and wildlife, even if it was just every once and awhile and triggered when crossing into a new biome that you haven’t been in for a while, or upon reaching particular areas like the tops of mountains. It would really do a lot to amplify the beauty of what you are probably seeing in each of those areas, or the tension of spelunking or deep-diving. I really hope this change is made going forward, as music is a language that everyone understands, even if their computer can’t render two thousand shadows at once.
Now onto the deeper issues,
CustomizationThis is an issue that has, in my opinion, hung over ARK like a dark shadow since almost the very beginning. Sure, one might argue that there are tons of customization options available, I mean, dyes, warpaints, skins, costumes, mutations, etc… And then there’s the Mutant Creator. I mean…
But seriously, what’s with the Character Creator? It is far easier to create avatars with impossible physical proportions which consistently remind you that you’re playing a game full of 12 year-olds with warped senses of humor then to create any semblance of a realistic looking human. Even the fact that everyone is some sort of steroid infused body-builder does nothing to improve the situation. Talk about immersion breaking?
It should have been fixed long ago, and frankly, never should’ve been possible in the first place. One of the most important parts of the Otherness that draws us to Video Games is the ability to step into the shoes of another person. To create our ideal representation of ourselves, our feelings at the time, or just to experience things from a different perspective. Our Avatars act as our bridge into the “Other” of every Video Game’s story and the cycle back to help us relate to other people and to ourselves in the real world. That’s why they’re so tremendously important. We have to be able to relate to them and form an emotional attachment.
With the current system in place, it is far easier to create a freak of nature than to create an interesting looking character, there is very little opportunity for details, no initial hairstyle choices, no facial editor, no realistic proportioning for torso or limbs, no freckles, scars, or birthmarks, no detailed eye colors. We’re presented only with the most basic of the basics, which results in a world full of Bobs and Janes where everyone looks roughly the same, or outright ridiculous. In a sequel, I think this is one of the most important aspects of the Franchise that needs to be addressed, especially because of the implications repeatedly presented to us by the Lore.
Supposedly, we’re taking people from thousands of different time-periods and parts of the world and placing them in these ARKs, yet our characters only ever look vaguely European with an occasional skin-tone shift which is more jarring than anything, because years and years of experience have taught our brains to associate certain physical proportions and traits with different ethnicities. Having the ability to make your character look Asian, Hispanic, Middle-Eastern, African, Native American, Indian, and maybe more would go a long way towards making the whole experience more fun and believable and would greatly expand our customization options and potential for immersion both in role-playing situations and in standard gameplay.
Armor and Structural Aesthetic
This issue ties directly into the next topic, which is Progression and Tech Trees, but for now I’m more focused on how we as players characters can have agency in the way our characters and bases look. I remember when they first showed off concept art for the Fur Armor, before the Snow and Swamp Biomes were introduced to The Island, every single design looked awesome, and frankly, I wanted them all. I know it’s a lot of work to create each individual armor set, but I think it’s worth it to really create a game that exceeds the standards of an AAA title.
It would be beyond cool to be able to make different versions of the various types of armor available to further customize our look and immersion in the gameplay. For example, a Flak Armor that looks more like a medieval-style Knight, but with the added aesthetic of Black Powder Weapons and a bit of Primal flair thrown in. Or Fur Armor that has elements of Saber Tooth or Mammoth theming depending on what you use to craft it. Maybe Hide armor that can look scaly if you use reptilian parts. And it would be truly nice to get complete Skin sets, or else make things like Manticore Armor and Wyvern Gauntlets craft-able armor pieces. Since you already went to the work of making the 3D Models for these things, I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I was delighted when I heard the Manticore Helmet would become a full armor set, and deeply disappointed when the Wyvern Gauntlets never got the same treatment, that situation was repeated with the Aberrant Helmet and Sword and the Corrupted Armor set.
At this point I would much much rather have craftable variants of the Armor Classes rather than the occasional incomplete skin set. I think this would go a long way towards making the overall experience more fun. And although this might be a bit overboard, I wouldn’t mind having some similar craft-able variations on the Structure Tiers. Perhaps different types of wood, or more jagged cut stone, maybe Tek tilesets that use airlock style doors instead of forcefields, etc…
That about does it for my thoughts on that topic, so let’s get into…
Progression and Tech TreesTech Tree Gaps
This is definitely one of the bigger issues for me, but I think that stems in large part from my completionist tendencies. That said, Ark has a long-standing problem with gaps in it’s tech trees which result in a really awkward production ramp that requires vastly inconsistent amounts of time and effort to travel, a similar phenomenon occurs with decorative items, weapons, and utility structures such as lights. The way I see, Ark essentially follows a four Tier advancement system, Tribal -> Settler -> Industrial -> Tek
Examples of gaps in this tree include Mortar and Pestle to Chemistry Bench, which entirely skips the Settler Tier and offers no Tek equivalent, forcing players to invest an enormous amount of resources to upgrade one of the most basic Crafting Stations and losing out on the opportunity for some interesting mechanics with High Concept Technology such as molecular restructuring to convert chemical substances or simple yet logical improvements such as an Apothecary.
The Refining Forge to the Industrial Forge is yet another example, Settler Tier could easily have been filled in with a Metal Foundry, and Tek Tier could’ve done something interesting like a Magnetosphere that passively produces metal by extracting it from deep beneath the ground.
Similar gaps exist in the Cooking Trees, and between lighting types such as Torch Sconce -> Electric Lamp -> Tek Light (Which is not even obtainable on a Canon ARK?)
The list is quite extensive even beyond that, Saddle Mounted Weapons (never got the swivel cannons we were promised for Tribal Tier), Emplaced Weaponry such as Cannons and Ballistae and Miniguns could’ve used a Tek equivalent, Environmental Controllers such as Air Conditioners have no equivalent or advanced versions.
Weapons were going strong with a Side-Arm, Close-Combat, Long-Range, Heavy Weapon, and Special Weapon for two out of the four tiers, but ultimately never came through for Primitive or Tek. (And the Tek Long-Range weapon is locked behind a DLC, in addition to having limited use in PVE) Primitive Heavy could’ve been a Tomahawk for example, would’ve been fun. Shields also missed out on the opportunities to be Dual-Wielded with one handed projectile weapons such as Pistols, Hand Crossbows, Grenades, and at least Spears if not Pikes, severely limiting their applications in combat.
Don’t get me wrong, the amount of stuff we do have is great, but I am a sucker for follow-through and love to see ideas fully fleshed out rather than half finished. I mean, imagine a Tek Tier Warmap with a holographic representation of the Ark which could reveal locations for various resources types, players, or wild dinos, and would receive telemetry from Scanner Beacons which you could hide around the maps.
I delved much deeper into this topic in another post I recently made if you're interested: https://www.reddit.com/playark/comments/a1jrfp/ark_structure_and_item_tier_review/
Now, I respect Wildcards attempt to encourage character Specialization using the Engram system, I think it was a step in the right direction but ultimately it became little more than an annoyance and did not have the intended effect with players quite often short on Points for Engrams they really wanted or resetting their characters with Mind Wipe Tonics to get around the system. The best way forward in my view would be to introduce Skills and Perk Trees, which I know sounds terribly pedestrian, but hear me out.
I’ll use Taming creatures as an example for what could’ve been and might still be. Imagine a Zoology skill which could be used to study and learn about creatures though hunting, observation, or discovering behavioral patterns, filling out info for us in a kind of Dossier Equivalent (which we would need in any sequel that takes place after Extinction for obvious story reasons). As you improve this skill, you could specialize in Taming, Handling, or Husbandry, and receive special bonuses related to certain groups of creatures such as Mammals or Insects, and perhaps eventually for specific Species within those groups.
Taming would obviously relate to how quickly you can track, down, and domesticate a wild creature.
Handling to how it behaves in conjunction with its rider, what orders it can follow, what abilities it has access to, and whether it receives stat bonuses or not.
And Husbandry to breeding, how long it takes to recuperate after breeding, what kind of imprinting bonds might form and with whom, or how effectively creatures produce by-products such as fertilizer, oil, honey, milk, wool, etc…
Any number of perks could be used to alter all these variables and enable players to truly specialize their characters in meaningful ways, becoming a true master of the Direwolf Pack, an expert Bee-Keeper who produces unparalleled qualities of honey, mead, and royal jelly, or an Aerial Hotshot with a highly organized squadron of support fliers.
Same concept could be applied to the other skills, you could use Perks to specialize in crafting high quality weapons with better durability and damage potential, to become a survivalist with great resistance to exposure in heat or cold and to poisons and toxins, to become an expert at melee combat, or an exceptional architect whose structures boast additional durability and extra resistance to certain damage types. Great potential exists for true specialization, but not within the current Engram system, and that’s why I think a traditional Tech Tree and a Skill Based Perk Trees would be wonderful additions to the franchise.
Lore and World-ConsistencyNow, in this particular area Ark doesn’t dramatically fall short, but there are a few key areas I’d like to address.
Creatures as Described vs. Creatures in Gameplay
There are multiple occasions in which creatures or creature groups do not behave as described by Helena, lack certain features they are supposed to have, or sometimes do not even exist in Canon ARKs despite being described in her Notes.
Araneo – As far as I know, they have no ability to spit venom as is mentioned in their dossier, have no ability to sense vibrations in dark environments, (at least not one their riders can take advantage of) obviously they can be ridden now when their dossier says otherwise, and despite being described as an excellent guardian for those who wish to avoid killing, it has no abilities that would assist it in this role, it will always kill before it KO’s. (TLC would be great if you’re in the mood, hint hint.)
Titanomyrma – Only appear in small groups, never fulfilling the dreadful promise of a swarming behavior as suggested in their dossier, and have no Queen variant or colony structure, both of which were things that players were expecting due to the way the Dossier was suggestively worded. It may have been unintentional, but it still leaves you wanting. Plus, having random colonies spawn here and there and continuously spawn Titanomyrma until destroyed would mix things up in yet another interesting way and add to the feeling of a living breathing world.
Pulmonoscorpius – Dossier suggests it would be kitted for KOing other creatures but it is absolutely horrendous in this role and has no abilities to assist it in the endeavor. Personally, I think it would be cool to be able to jump at and latch onto larger creatures and continuously inflict Torpor at a rapid rate, only taking damage to Stamina until shaken lose. (TLC? :D)
Beelzebufo – Contestable, but I think the Dossier suggests that Chitin stored in their inventory ought to be converted to CP over time. This would dramatically increase their utility. Plus it would behoove the game to remove CP from Beaver Dams or at least greatly reduce amount that spawns as it is simply too easy to obtain as is.
Carbonemys and Doed – Dossiers suggest they can use their shells for added defensive capabilities, but they features are only soft implemented if at all. Also, what’s with the disappearing rider when Doed’s roll? Roll Cage is where it’s at, time for an upsize.
Dimetrodon – Dossier suggests it is useful as a living Environmental Conditioner, but it’s difficulty in taming and low mobility make this impractical in almost every way.
Pelagornis – Dossiers suggests that it should be rare near coastlines, yet it is prolific.
Anyway, my point in all this is that I believe each creature that exists and the information about it should be carefully reevaluated to determine whether or not changes need to be made in order to make it useful, relevant, and consistent with ARK lore, it sucks to put effort into making a creature only to have it completely ignored until someone needs meat.
Actions as Described vs Actions in Gameplay
All the survivor notes in this game suggest a certain degree of intimacy with the world and the way it works that simply isn’t present in many cases.
Rockwell’s Notes on the Island suggest thriving and diverse plant life which can be harvested in different locations and biomes and used for different purposes, yet the actual implementation of plant-life in the game is severely lacking. I would’ve loved to have seen Plant Dossiers, and biomes in which distinct Herbs, Berries, Fruits, and Vegetables might be found, with an array of hidden potentials only to be revealed by studying their traits and mixing and matching them to create new recipes.
However we have less than 20 Recipes, three vegetables and one fruit, none of which are found in the wild, and six berries, only two of which have any secondary effects. The Rare Flowers and Mushrooms of The Island are a little more interesting and the Mushrooms in Aberration also do a little to expand on this, but are ultimately just a gimmick with limited uses and little nuance. As quickly as their effects arise, they can be dealt with and they begin and end within themselves, not interacting with other plant-life (if you consider mushrooms plants.)
I’m similarly disappointed with Plant Species Alpha, whose three incarnations (X, Y, and Z,) were similarly gimmicky and presented no natural threat to players or creatures. It would’ve made obtaining Plant Species X a thousand times more interesting if they actually attacked players and other threats to them (such as Procoptodon) in the wild. Similarly, having to watch out for Plant Species Y in Scorched Earth could’ve made that environment even more interesting. And there is plenty of potential for more, like Plant Species V maybe, an enormous Venus Fly Trap that acts like a Torpor Inducing Bear Trap, or perhaps Plant Species A, which grows hardened petals and thorns that can be used as spears and shields of varying quality, maybe even armor, etc, etc…
So much more could be done with Plant Life going forward, and I for one would be thrilled to explore and discover it all.
Additionally, Diana, Helena, Santiago, and Mei-Yin’s notes all suggest a degree of control and maneuverability with Meks that could not possibly be further from what we actually get in-game.
Notes on The Island suggest it should be possible to bring certain creatures into Boss Arenas which are forbidden in actual game-play.
Passive tames are arbitrarily locked behind level walls which only serve to remind you that you’re playing a game.
Several Notes suggest herding behavior, yet all dinos wander aimlessly about even if from the same species.
Many notes suggest that the ARKs ought to react to player activity in some way and at certain points, but that never happens.
I suppose you could consider a couple of these point to be nit-picks, but there are even more issues that you could discuss, and I think World Consistency is one of the most crucial elements of any fiction, which is why I believe this also deserves close scrutiny going forward.
Creature InteractionNow here’s something I think everyone can agree the game falls majorly short on. And for me, it would be something I would sacrifice almost any other feature to see addressed.
Behavior of Wild Creatures
As it stands, wild creatures have two states, three if you differentiate between aggressor and defender. You have: wander aimlessly, or try to fit inside mouth/reactionary combat, there are no interesting or natural seeming behaviors present in the entire game, but there is so much potential for it, and it would enliven the experience more than most of the suggestions here combined.
Imagine Stegosaurs or Triceratops moving together in herds, reacting defensively when they spot large carnivores, migrating throughout The ARKs in routes that they’ve been following for generations, imagine having wild baby dinos travelling around with their parents, easier to tame, yet so much harder to isolate and capture. Higher risk, higher reward.
Imagine an ocean ecosystem that doesn’t view humans as the sole and supreme delicacy among all potential food sources, a world where all under sea life hasn’t formed an unspoken alliance against terrestrial invaders and brokered in an age of eternal peace. Imagine Mosasaurs actually hunting other sea life, or grappling with Tusoteuthis for dominion over the Abyss.
Imagine the aeries of the high mountains, dotted by intricately constructed nests and guarded by fierce birds of prey and deadly draconic menaces.
Imagine the deep jungles, stalked by deadly reptiles and mammals, ambush predators who will spring out of nowhere and drag the unwary back into the brush.
Imagine putrid swamps full of dangerous plants and decaying carcasses coated in insect larvae, roiling with deadly diseases, giant tadpoles, and man-eating piranhas.
And perhaps most importantly, imagine carnivores that weren’t eternally hungry and actually had a pattern to their lives, nests to go back to, and young to feed. Imagine them following vulnerable herds waiting for an opportunity to strike and eying under protected settlements.
Basically, what we need in this area is an AI Overhaul, creatures need a life cycle of some sort. They need to have behaviors that they follow, they need to eat and drink, and they need to interact with each other in a way that at least appears interesting if not completely believable and immersive.
Combat could also use an overhaul, barring the occasional special ability, it’s rare that anything happens other than spamming the LMB and trying to make the best of knock-back effects, which are almost universal. What would really push combat over the edge to the Visceral territory I was talking about back in the Animation section would be creatures models that actually collide with each other and have power struggles. They don’t have to be long or intricate, they don’t even have to have a major impact on the outcome of the battle, it would just be absolutely epic to see a T-Rex and a Spino smack down for a few seconds once in awhile. Maybe sometimes the Spino wins, maybe sometimes the Rex wins, but either way it creates the illusion that these are real super-predators, and that contributes greatly to immersion.
Progression of Tamed Creatures
Another fairly big issue with creatures as a whole is how they gain experience. Those that are ridable have a massive advantage over those that are not because they are utilized far more often and can be controlled in a consistent manner with less risk. Those that are tamed for more passive abilities or utility purposes have a massive disadvantage as they are only occasionally used for the tasks that yield the significant experience, and thus level very slowly.
What I would suggest in this case is to establish an outline of what role each creature is designed to fulfill, and then grant it experience for fulfilling that role. If it’s producing honey, then by producing honey, if it’s gathering resources, then by gathering resources, if it’s acting as a beast of burden or a escort, then by moving over long distances, if it’s combat, then through combat. Basically, make each creature gain the most experience by doing what it’s meant to do instead of skewing the whole process in favor of combat dinos alone because they will inherently have the most action.
Another potentially interesting addition in my opinion would be size classes. They would basically function as armor classes, with larger dinos taking less and less damage from smaller ones as their sizes deviate more and more. It would essentially make large predators a huge challenge for smaller ones and prevent the comical scenes where a survivor with a tiny body and massive head walks up to a T-Rex with a specially levelled Parasaur and gums it to death. I think this would really contribute to making each type of creature useful in specific situations.
If there were say, five size classes, Verminous, Small, Medium, Large, and Titantic. Each size could take, say, 40% less damage with each size class below it, so Verminous Creatures would be unable to harm Large creatures at all, while Small Creatures could only deal 20% of their normal damage. Creatures in the same size-class would of course trade blows as normal, and no damage bonus is really necessary when attacking smaller creatures since the base damage values are already pretty believable in most cases.
The Grind and Player EngagementWhat You Imagine vs. What You Get
When you think of ARK and the concept behind it, I honestly don’t know how you could be anything but excited. I mean, you get to ride dinosaurs! With your loved ones! You get to adventure in a world full of sights you’ll not see anywhere else. And there is a grand tale behind it that is mysterious and intriguing to boot. From the very beginning you are confronted with the question, “what is this place, really?”
From there, you are free as a bird, able to go down any path you choose and set any goal you wish. Whether it’s making a Dodo Coop, or summiting that mountain over there, or maybe trying to find a Wyvern with just the right color pattern and hoping it laid an egg recently. Along the way, you discover more and more clues, develop better technologies, outfit yourself with better equipment, and secure beasts the likes of which no wild creature could ever hope to challenge.
But there is a grinding of gears in the background of all this that gets louder and louder as time goes on. Eventually it gets so loud that it drowns out all the sights, sounds, and magic of what is supposed to be happening. Put simply, there is just too much grind in this game, and there always has been. Even with the doubling of rates from what they were originally at, it is simply too much. And I don’t think it’s necessarily about finding a balance in terms of time and effort, but in terms of interactivity and accessibility.
Nearly all the hardcore features of this game, such as building immense intricate bases, or breeding super dinos and imprinting them, or even taming the best of the best, they take an absurd, and frankly unhealthy amount of time out of people’s real lives. Games are meant to be an escape yes, but they’re not meant to subsume the other things we have to do in life. It’s about taking a trip to a world with magic and bringing a little back out with you. It’s not about getting trapped inside.
I think in some cases this matter might even be considered a moral one, as I don’t see how any game studio can justify creating a situation in which someone is forced to choose between losing all the magic of the game world or living their real lives and interacting with real people. I mean, the level of dedication and time that Officials Servers require could be grounds for divorce, and in my view that’s simply unacceptable.
Going forward, I believe an essential consideration for this franchise should be accessibility. How much can you accomplish within a given amount of time? How much can you lose? How long does it take to get it back? Is it worth it to get it back? How hard should it be to lose your progress? How hard should it be to work your way back up? And most importantly, is this really fun? Is it really something I believe I can accomplish and have fun while doing it? That is the most important question of all. If a game isn’t fun, it’s worthless. And while I’ve had thousands of hours of fun in ARK, I find myself asking the question, “Is this fun anymore?” too much for comfort.
These are all critical questions that I feel have been largely overlooked, or else assigned arbitrary values and then patched/adjusted as time went on. But not, of course, before serious damage was already dealt. I think people have a right to expect that they can invest a reasonable amount of time into a game for a reasonable amount of reward. I also think they have the right to expect that their assets in game are in some fashion protected when they are not there to defend them. I am of course referring to the elephant of elephants, offline raiding. It has to end, there must be some solution to it, and if it takes hundred heads to figure it out, so be it, but there has to be a way.
I love this franchise, I have since the very beginning, and I really want to enjoy playing it, but that cannot last forever unless some serious adjustments are made. I think everyone knows what I’m talking about, especially the hardcore players…
StoryAlright, so I think most people would agree that the Story of ARK is a compelling one. It has mystery, suspense, twists and turns, high points and low points, it is quite well written. But it is not well presented.
At least that’s what I’ve come to believe. Every Note is like a chapter in the story, and you have multiple storylines running concurrently, folding into each other at different points and showcasing different perspectives. But, at the end of the day there is no control over how and when it’s presented to the player. It’s random, you could find Note #1 in a series one moment and note #30 the next moment. It is disjointed, it doesn’t flow well, and it’s hard to keep track of, which in turn makes it hard to get invested or engaged in it unless you go on the Wiki and read it straight through from beginning to end. It was a poor design choice, and I’m not going to mince words on that.
I’m not sure how things got this far without somebody at Wildcard pointing this out, and if it was pointed out, it is beyond me why it was ignored. I think there are still a lot of players out there who have no idea that ARK even has a story, there are lot of people who might buy it if they knew but don’t, and there are a lot of people who just cannot be bothered to care because it’s presented in an accessible way.
Even if the notes were discovered dynamically, so that each successive one you discover within a set acts as if it were the next one in order it would be so much better. #1, #2, #3, easy to follow, no confusion, no broken pieces. Which brings me to my point:
Driving the Narrative
Going forward this IP basically has two options, set future content before The Reseed Protocol is initiated, or set future content on Earth. In either case, I don’t believe this fragmentary story-telling is in the best interest of this game anymore. Players need just a little bit more structure and force driving things towards the intended destination. It doesn’t need to interfere with their choices or their agency, it doesn’t need to lock them into specific areas or give them specific objectives, thought objectives here and there couldn’t hurt.
I think the radio-broadcast style narrative would suit this game best. You take a character we already know, or introduce a new one, and have them contact us by audio close to the game’s starting point. As we progress though things, they can give us hints about where to go, what the next major goalpost in the story is, and maybe explain some things here and there. It doesn’t have to turn into a full-blown campaign mode, but I think ARK could benefit greatly from just a bit more direction in it’s narrative.
Give players something to remind them that there is more than just surviving to do. More than just killing time. If not in multiplayer, than at least in singleplayer.
Okay, I’ve said my piece. Honestly, there was more I wanted to say about a variety of different topics, and I could probably go on for quite a while if I really tried. But I know there’s only so much people will read, and Wildcard may never even see this. If you enjoyed it, leave a comment, I welcome questions or discussions. I may come back and update or add some things to it later on, but for now I think this is fairly good.
I love this game. I really want to see it reach even greater heights. All this is just the opinion of a longtime player and fan who one day hopes to be in the shoes of any developer who might read it. Fight on. <3