This weekend IRL saw rain bands from Hurricane Joaquin cause monumental flooding across my state in South Carolina. Though my neighborhood is fairly unscathed, it was an official State of Emergency in my city, and there were evacuations and curfews in place. Schools are out today (though work is still in).
Luckily, we didn’t lose power around my place, so I spent much of the weekend holed up away from the rain (ironically) playing ARK… with a spatter of FFXIV and Cities Skylines here and there. A few weeks back, Syn and I re-rolled a brand new second personal server, so that we can play even if the rest of the zombie-hunting troop isn’t around.
The New Base
We started as usual by rolling characters at East 1, since it’s at the top of the area list. I no longer recommend East 1 as a starting area, but we’ll get to that later. Syn and I started building our new little hut on the top of an outcropping that overlooked the ocean. This worked well, because it gave us a good vantage point, while keeping one side of the base sheltered away from roaming dinos.
We were doing well. We caught a few different dinos including Lucky the Para, and Syn’s Carry On and Matching Set, the two Phiomia that have served as her beasts of burden whenever she’s out gathering stuff.
She also caught a Para she named Umbrella (a play on the name Parasaur/parasol) and another Happy… but sadly Umbrella and Happy met a terrible early fate. I only got one screen of them.
RIP poor parasol. So this was our dino zoo when we left it two weekends ago.
We were feeling pretty good at that point, so we started moving further inland by building an additional small outpost so that we had a place of refuge as we explore the more dangerous forest land. It’s a really good thing that we did.
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
Last week, ARK had an amazing update that added swamp and snow biomes and lots of awesome ridable creatures, such as dire wolves and frog-things. I remember vaguely reading that the new biome update messed up some folks’ bases on the official servers. Seeing that ARK rarely calls for a restart despite all the incredible patches they put out, this came as a surprise to some people.
I didn’t think much of it until this weekend when Syn and I decided to log in and pick up where we left off. It was night time when we arrived at our little inland outpost. Immediately, I could tell something wasn’t right.
I noted that our supply cache was floating a bit off the ground, and the world sounded very different. That’s when we saw a Beelzebufo (henceforth known as a frog) hopping around just outside of our light’s radius. That’s when I realized… oh crud.
East 1 was one of the areas that had been transformed into a swamp biome!
The next morning, we searched everywhere for our original base. We knew it was on the coast, but everything, including the coast line had been transformed. And the swamp with huge titanboas and crocodile-looking Sarcos is a pretty dangerous place for low level characters.
Finally, we found some of our old dinos milling around in the swamp, so we were able to rescue them. But still no sign of our base.
That’s when I looked up.
Because we’d built our base on higher ground, and now that area was flattened and lowered to be a swamp, our base was hovering amazingly in the trees!
Everything is still there, we just can’t access it yet. So we literally only had what was in our packs, what little we put at the outpost (which is now too dangerous to stay at), and our train of dinos.
Suddenly, we were homeless with dinos to care for in a hostile land. I felt like a virtual refugee.
Since there was still time left in the day, we headed south, as far away from the marsh as we could. Riding and herding our dinos, we eventually found a nice little inlet on a pennensula that we decided to make our new home.
And thus, we began to build again.
I have a lot more to write about the weekend in Ark, but it’s probably a good idea not to be too long winded.
So… to be continued!