I left the game running after the trial ended to see what would happen. I discovered that I was able to play even after the trial was over, so I got a few more hours of play time with the game before I closed it and lost the privilege of being able to play.
I experimented a bit with the settings, increasing them bit by bit until performance suffered too much, then reverting the change. The game looks really nice. I also spent a lot
of time playing single player. I had a lot of fun discovering things and making progress.
It's a bit like in math (or programming) classes where they teach you how to accomplish something, and then after you've struggled with it and banged your head against the wall with how long/hard/convoluted it is, they finally teach you the "easy" way to do the same thing, and you're just elated.Story Time
I probably played for over 10 hours running around getting killed by almost every aggressive creature that attacked me. Finally I (accidentally) figured out how to tame dinosaurs. I started with the Dodos. I was just goofing off and punched a Dodo until it went unconscious. Then it said something about feeding it to tame it. So I put some meat in its "pocket" and nothing happened. "Oh yeah, Dodos are herbivores." I gathered some nearby berries and fed them to the Dodo. It ate some. I nursed it back to health, and I had a new pet. It followed me home, where I told it to stay by my garden so I could harvest its poop to use as fertilizer.
It was a female, so I decided to go tame a male dodo so the two of them together would make dodo eggs! While searching for a male, I found two more female dodos and tamed them. Finally I found a male but just after I knocked it unconscious I realized I didn't have any berries. So I ran around like mad to all the bushes harvesting as many berries as I could find and went back to the little passed out dodo only to find him walking around again. "Hmmm... He shouldn't be up already..." I was puzzled. "I'm not sure if this is the same bird or not, but I'm taming this one." I punched him out and fed him berries. Then I searched the surrounding area and found the first one I had punched out, still unconscious on the ground. I fed him some berries, too. After a few minutes I began my journey back home and set up my Dodo doodoo (and egg) farm.
This game made me crazy about poop! Every time I saw some dodo poop, or an egg, I'd run and grab it up to put in my crop plots to help my plants grow. Why was I growing plants? What purpose did they serve beside a very small source of food and to be used to tame more dodos? I had no idea! But I had recently discovered how to make a compost bin, which would turn animal poop into even better fertilizer, so I gathered all the poop I could find.
Meanwhile, I'd also learned how to make tranquilizer arrows, so I decided to try taming something a little more useful than a dodo. I wandered around looking for a Dilophosaurus w
but found a couple of Carbonemysw
instead. She was big, and could probably easily kill me if I got too close. But I figured I could outrun a turtle, even if it was a giant turtle.
I didn't know how the tranq arrows would work, or how many shots it would take, so I positioned myself to have an advantage to run away if need be and then I took my shot. It got her right in the back leg. She turned to look at me, but didn't approach. "Weird. How come she's not chasing me?" I thought. I shrugged and fired again. She continued to face me wherever I walked, but didn't attempt to approach me. I decided to get close to her and see what would happen. Ouch! She bit me! I backed off but she didn't give chase. I shot her a few more times until she finally went down. I approached and gave her meat and berries and let her choose what she wanted.
I quickly found out she was an herbivore. I also quickly realized I was unprepared and didn't bring enough berries. Again, I ran like mad to all the nearby bushes, collecting as many berries as possible to feed her, thinking the more berries I gave her would tame her more quickly. This turned out to not be the case though. I could see two meters. The first was an "unconsciousness timer" which was counting down. The second was a "taming progress" meter, which was filling up. It became very apparent that she was going to wake up before she was fully tamed.
I had heard about people playing on multiplayer servers who had been knocked unconscious by other players, then kept alive--but unconscious--by being fed narcotics by their captors, and being used as human blood farms. So I knew it was possible to force feed narcotics to people to keep them unconscious, but I didn't know how to do it, much less if it was even possible to do it to an animal. I ran around like mad again on a quest to find Narcoberries, which make whoever eats them sleepy, and upon finding some, put them in the turtle's "pocket" so she would eat it. She didn't eat it. The unconsciousness timer was running out... I googled how to tame an animal and it mentioned force feeding Narcoberries or narcotics to the animals, but it didn't clearly explain how. Something somewhere said something about "select the item and click the force use item button" but there was no "force use" button. I looked around frantically for anything that could be the "force use" button on the screen, but nothing matched that description. Finally I saw "remote use item" and thought that might be worth a try, so I clicked it. The giant turtle ate the berry, and the unconsciousness meter filled up a little bit. The better way to do it would be to feed her narcotics. But I had used all my narcotics to make the tranquilizer arrows.
Once again I ran around like mad looking for more Narcoberries I could use to make narcotics with. The berries were somewhat rare, and it took five of them to make a single narcotic. Gather, gather, gather, run, gather, gather, gather, run. Finally I had 5 Narcoberries. I ran back to my hut where I had my trusty mortar and pestle and mixed them up into a narcotic. Then I ran back out into the trees where the Carbonemys lay unconscious and fed her the narcotic. It filled up the unconsciousness meter quite a bit, but not nearly enough to keep her asleep long enough to finish the taming process.
Yet again I ran around like mad harvesting all the berries I could find, looking for more Narcoberries. Collected enough for another Narcotic, fed them to the Carbonemys, and repeated the process. It was a thrilling 30 minutes (or so) of racing against the clock trying to gather berries to make "just one more" narcotic to feed to the turtle before she woke up when I finally finished the taming process. Phew! What a rush! I named her Carbuncle.
She tried to follow me, but she couldn't. It seems the game glitched and she was stuck inside a tree. In hindsight, this is probably the only reason I was able to tame her, as it kept her from chasing me down and killing me when I first began shooting her with tranquilizer arrows. I cut down the tree which gave her freedom of movement.
You can issue commands to your pets in ARK, but there's not really any explanation of what they do, so if you can't divine it from the standard text, you just have to experiment and see what happens. While looking at the list of commands, I accidentally told Carbuncle to go into aggressive mode, which means she will attack any nearby creatures, unprovoked. There just so happened to be a Triceratops (trike) nearby, which she immediately ran toward and began attacking. Every trike I had attempted to battle thus far quickly resulted in my death, so I was panic stricken that after all that work taming Carbuncle, she would immediately be killed by the trike. So throwing all caution to the wind I pulled out my spear and began poking at the trike in an effort to save my precious turtle. Surprisingly, we won! My joy and astonishment quickly led to another bout of panic as Carbuncle rushed off to another nearby creature. This time it was another Carbonemys (one that, prior to taming Carbuncle, I had intended on taming after her). I rushed in again to help her fight and to my great relief we won again!
"We're invincible! Mwa ha ha ha!" I felt the power rush to my head. Rationality quickly returned and I ordered Carbuncle to be passive. Then I took her back home to my hut.
I eventually made a saddle for her, and rode her around (very slowly!) on land, and a bit faster in the water. She helped me gather more berries so I wouldn't be so unprepared for the next taming session. Playing around with some of the other commands, I allowed her to "wander" when she wasn't being commanded to follow me, in hopes that would allow her to go eat and stuff and not die. I let her roam the landscape and go swimming and do whatever she desired, occasionally calling her to come with me and carry heavy loads for me.
Eventually she wandered far off and I never found her again.
But I've tamed three Dilophosaurusw
es, who help keep me safe on hunts. I tamed a Parasaurw
who helps gather berries and with the saddle I made for her, helps me cover ground quickly. I tamed three Ichthyosaurw
s for really fast water travel, one is permanently beached (it spawned in too shallow water for it to move), one wandered off much like Carbuncle did, and got killed by a Megalodonw
, and the third is the one I actually ride around in the water.
Anyway, the point is, once you've started taming some of the creatures, it really makes the game easier and you feel like you can accomplish so much more. It's awesome! And all this while barely having the courage to wander very far from the place I first built a hut near one of the spawn points.
I like the game. And considering how many hours of entertainment I've gotten out of it already, I think it's probably worth the cost.