ARK: Survival Evolved

ARK: Survival Evolved

Valhalla
 This topic has been pinned, so it's probably important
Excited Kangaroo  [developer] Aug 21, 2016 @ 2:29pm
Transition to new map
TLDR: Due to core issues with Valhalla we will be releasing a new map.

We started on the Valhalla map with lots of ambition but little to none know how. We are still very pleased with what we produced. However, there are issues that could not be rectified without rebuilding the entire map - I will list these in a bit below. We have a very fond place in our hearts for Valhalla as many of you do, but I ask all of you to be understanding and look forward to what we have planned. As you know we have not been updating this map reliably for a while now, but our attention has been elsewhere. We have taken all the knowledge we gained from creating Valhalla and applied to our new project, which we have deemed "Ragnarok". I will not talk much about it here, but keep a look out if you are interested in what we bring next.

Now I would like to list some of the issues that brought us to this decision.

1. Landscape density: In order to get the map as large as it is, without having an even larger file size and performance impact, we used a 5k heightmap and scaled its X/Y by 300%. This seemed like a good idea at the time. However, it ended up being very restrictive on what we could do with the terrain and ended up having to rely on rocks to create any kind of sharp change in the landscape. This was also very obvious in any of the snow biomes where you could see the large polys that made up the ground/peaks. Our new project is an 8.2k heightmap scaled by 125% and this gives much more control to put detail in the landscape while still having a fairly large (but not to large - more on that later) landscape.

2. Landscape variety/playability: This is the big one. When I was making the initial workup for the map I did not really have building and exploring in mind. I was focused on making it look realistic and trying to create epic vistas. As much as those features are important to us, that leaves out the entire gameplay element. Although it is possible to build anywhere, it’s a bit awkward since there is close to zero natural building space along any of the mountains.

3. Performance: While client FPS was relatively good on the map the server FPS/Tick was horrible. Mostly due to it processing events outside the natural bounds of the world (anywhere outside of what TheIsland would be). Larger servers had to wipe very often and that is not ideal. File size was also huge and was impacting for server owners. With Ragnarok we are addressing these issues.

There are a few more but these are the main issues/reasons for our decision. We will still add new dinos to Valhalla as they are released, but many of the current issues will not be resolved. Thanks for being with us for so long. I hope we can continue to provide awesome lands for you to explore.

To discuss this please visit our discord - https://discord.gg/6h4XNNR
Last edited by Excited Kangaroo; Aug 28, 2016 @ 8:08am