The ARK obsession continues! Today is the story of my Diodicurous (Diod) tame, and all of the game design aspects that factored in and made it an all-around good time.
The Diod is one of the newer dinos added to the game, and its specialty is rock collecting. This is a very big deal because rocks are one of the most frequently used resources, and prior to this dino there were no great methods of gathering lots of rocks quickly. Once you have one, collecting 1000 stones goes from ‘ugh, need to run up and down a mountain with my ‘E-spam’ macro running’ to ‘lets go smash a few rocks Diod, I need 1k stone!’.
Very recently I kibble-tamed a level 112 Diod, who ended up at level 166 with very solid stats, meaning once he is maxed-out on XP, he will be just over level 200. Even now, at around 170ish, he is a rock-collecting machine, and the fact that he isn’t a huge dino means he gets around on a mountain very well, and is able to keep up when following you between rocks and trees (huge dinos are a major pain, as they get stuck on EVERYTHING).
So how did this tame happen, and what went into it? For that we need to go back a few days/weeks. Diod kibble (special taming food) requires Dilo eggs, some berries, some meat, a bit of oil, and water in a lit cook pot. The two somewhat difficult resources are the eggs and oil.
Oil you get from the ocean, where smaller amounts can be gotten without special gear, but for larger (100+) amounts you really need scuba gear and a tamed dolphin (story for another day). I initially got my first bit of oil the manual way, then traded for a bit more, and currently have scuba gear and a tamed dolphin that I use to gather ocean resources (oil, pearls).
Dilo eggs come from the Dilophosaur, a small carnivore that isn’t too difficult to tame. The best method to get a steady supply of Dilo eggs is to tame a bunch of Dilos, put them in a pen, and collect the eggs. Building the pen wasn’t too difficult, as it’s a simple 4×4 stone structure with a roof, although its rather important that the pen doesn’t have a floor as eggs have a bad habit of dropping through or into a placed structure. Once built, it does take a bit of time to find, tame, and bring back the dinos, and then more time to collect eggs and keep the dinos fed. Oh and hopefully an alpha dino doesn’t come along and murder the whole pen, which is very possible if the pen isn’t constructed well.
Once you have your kibble cooked up, you then need to find the right dino. Levels can range from 4 to 120, and using kibble on a dino below 100 is generally seen as a waste. Finding a level 100+ dino, and especially a ‘perfect tame’ 120, can take some time, or you might get lucky and find one quickly. Also the further from base you go looking, the harder it’s going to be to get the dino back either prior to the tame, or after.
In my case a tribe-mate found the 112 somewhat nearby, and as I have a flying dino, I was able to get my supplies and find him and the dino quickly. Once at the location, I took it down with tranq arrows, sat around for about two hours to get it nice and hungry (a tranq’ed dino is defenseless, so you can’t be too far or they might get eaten by another dino), and finally fed it the 50+ kibble to complete the tame. After that it was just the matter of getting the new Diod, along with my bird, back to base.
The Diod represents a huge investment in time and planning, but ultimately rewards you with greatly improved stone-gathering efficiency. It’s a great risk/reward mechanic, along with a solid progression milestone. It’s also not ‘one and done’ content, as the dino can be killed or lost and require replacing.
Overall I think ARK does a good job of providing both types of progression; you have permanent progression like your character level and your basic game knowledge, and then you have repeatable stuff like building a base or taming dinos. Now time to get back to smashing rocks, in preparation for the next goal.
ARK has the potential to be a really good game, but the level inflation (dinosaur and player) and grind in terms of taming times are completely out of control. Most of the useful dinos take over 2 hours to tame – some of which can be front loaded by getting kibble and it’s the most boring process imaginable. Sitting around waiting for dino to get hungry and spending eons force feeding it berries isn’t the slightest bit interesting.
PVP wise, a group that doesn’t have stuff like large tamed/leveled 100+ dinosaurs doesn’t stand a chance against a group who does. Dev team also focused far too much on adding more levels, dinos and crafting stuff rather then improving core combat mechanics and dino AI.
Waiting for the better combat and AI if that ever comes along. IMO if you want to try the game in the meantime go for a level capped private server with faster taming and gathering.