Experiencing multiple mass extinction events in Ark: Survival Evolved

PC Gamer
Jan 12, 2017

As I write this, almost 32,000 people are playing ARK: Survival Evolved. By current player count, it’s the sixth most popular game on Steam. I’ve always dismissed it, figuring that if DayZ was still unfinished, any newer Early Access multiplayer survival games would likely be even further from completion. That’s a dumb thing to think, and not at all how game development works. I’ve decided to give ARK a chance.

I start the game, and chose a server at random. It’s nighttime. I pick myself off the ground and find myself face to face with a dinosaur. Score! It’s a dilophosaurus, and it looks familiar. Wasn’t that the one that, in Jurassic Park, spat venomous goop into Dennis Nedry’s eyes before eating him? Yes! It was! My suspicions are confirmed when it spits venomous goop into my eyes. Then, as if any doubt remained, it eats me.

I respawn in a different location, and start exploring the beach. I learn that tapping E over bushes and rocks rewards me with stones, berries and fibres. I also find a tree and punch it. Wood is added to my inventory. This is for sure an Early Access survival game. Soon... hold on, what’s that sound? It’s a raptor. I know about them from Jurassic Park, too. I’m dead. Again.

I exit to the menu, figuring that a daytime server would at least enable me to see the creatures that are eating me. I spawn and, for a change, see gentle dinosaurs. I spend a moment admiring a brontosaurus up close, before a raptor runs up and eats me. I should try a different spawn point. I pick one to the west, and wake up on a tiny, floating patch of ice. I’m naked, and freezing to death. I jump into the water, planning to swim to the mainland. A megalodon is looking right at me. It does what I assume comes naturally to a massive prehistoric shark. 

I try spawning to the east, and wake in a tropical biome. I’m told it’s too hot. Before I can do anything about that, I run into a giant snake with a goddamn dinosaur face. Why is everything in the past so big? What is prehistory trying to overcompensate for? Instead of eating me, the titanoboa merely paralyses me. Then it eats me.

I run into a giant snake with a goddamn dinosaur face. Why is everything in the past so big?

In a last-ditch attempt to make any progress, I go back to the eastern spawn point. I wake to a temperate beach, and, best of all, no dinosaurs. Instead, there are dodos. I punch one for a few seconds, and its meat is added to my inventory. After a little bit of scavenging, I start a fire and craft a weapon and pickaxe. Sure, I’m still 25 fibres away from owning my first pair of trousers, but it’s a start. 

I explore a bit more. Suddenly, my health starts to drain. I spin around, but see nothing. My health is still falling. I look down, and finally see the problem: a pack of compys—tiny carnivores that would be cute if they weren’t eating my bits. I run, but they keep up. I get out my hatchet, and start swinging wildly. I take one down, but it’s too late. I’m killed. I spawn in the south. It’s pitch black. It’s night. A titanoboa eats me.

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9 Comments
Grandmas Furburger Jan 16, 2017 @ 8:36am 
After you rack up some experience you actually never die after a naked respawn, unless you respawn in the middle of a pack of terror birds, nobody can handle them naked.
Xodius Jan 16, 2017 @ 7:58am 
lol welcome to ark. RULE1: alwase stay one step ahead, and dilos can be easily outran with a little speed level up. RULE2: Stay sharp, and get a spear when encountering compys, the knockback keeps them at bay. Rule3: Tame A friend. You can tame dinos by knocking it out using your fists(not recomended for non dodo creatures), stones and slingshot, tranquilizer arrows, and darts in a rifle. afterknocking the creature out, place the corrosponding food in it's inventory based on its natural diet, which can easily be found by the creature's temperment twards players.
Built Ford Tough Jan 16, 2017 @ 2:48am 
If this sort of thing happened to PC Gamer readers on a regular basis in real life, we could rebrand this genre utopian fantasy. How many stupid degenerates can mother nature relieve us of before the gene pool is improved?
codybryan27 Jan 13, 2017 @ 8:19am 
this game pretty much summed up for a first time spawn. lol thanks for the story.. add i look foward to further hearing of your slow progressions.
Kurashi D. Kona Jan 12, 2017 @ 10:59pm 
I have never had any of these problems. I just play on private servers I make with my brother... :P, graphics are great and runs very nicely.
KFC Manager Jan 12, 2017 @ 9:05pm 
welcome to survival games
Morbex Jan 12, 2017 @ 2:50pm 
after dying many times in the beginning you start to get the point of making a small thatch base fast, your problem will be solved, it's only realistic, most dino's would kill a human, thats why you have to craft tools and tame.
Unholy Eve Jan 12, 2017 @ 12:25pm 
TL;DR Alphas are now betas.
Tarzan Jan 12, 2017 @ 10:05am 
2,000 hours in, your base is wiped by another tribe from a nother relm in 3 hours while you sleep. You wake up naked on the beach. Again....