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 Is Ark: Survival Evolved Good?

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<AKA>Scotty

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PostSubject: Is Ark: Survival Evolved Good?   Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:30 pm

Shameless summary of an essay wrote elsewhere:

I’ll say this about most survival games: they fail to have a compelling gameplay arc.
Let me explain. Survival games should have three “Acts” to go through in its gameplay. The first is the loot and gather aspect. The difficulty involved comes from staving off ambient conditions such as food/drink/sleep/temp as well as ambient AI such as zombies/animals/robots/etc.

The second aspect is the building part. At this point ambient conditions have been taken care of temporarily and loot/supplies have been gathered enough to produce a more permanent settlement or structure. It’s simply the claiming of permanent ownership of something, and the will to fight for that ownership.

The third is self-actualization. After permanence has been set and ambient conditions are rarely a threat the question becomes “What now?” Basically, a purpose apart from survival is now necessary to, well, survive! It’s part of the human condition.

Now, here’s the rub: I’d argue almost all survival sims have the first two parts down, but almost all of them also trip up on the third part. Mechanics are rarely in place for self-actualization: you could build more, or gather more, or destroy someone else’s stuff, but really all you’ve said is “My purpose is to be more powerful than X.” When people complain about the constant KoS and griefing has become, this is part of that complaint: that the only purpose developers seem to have put into play has been for the express purpose of ruining other people’s stuff or protecting your own stuff. IMO, anthropological research has always indicated that only a small portion of society falls into this mode in survival situations: most try to get civilization up and running again. Since most survival sims don’t even address the creation of a civilized society with in-game mechanics, you could even argue that a survival sim isn’t simulating the most crucial aspect of survival sims.The complaint that most multiplayer survival sims are just FFAs or circle-jerk griefing is tied to the fact that the endgame of most multiplayer survival sims is simply repeating Act 1 and Act 2. At that point, you’re not playing a survival sim: you’re playing a rouge-like shooter with some survival mechanics thrown in.

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AKAShady
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ark: Survival Evolved Good?   Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:57 pm

but it has jurassic poo E.O.C.

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