Is Ark: Survival Evolved a good survival game? Is it a good enough survival game to get by without its key feature: the ability to tame, breed, and ride dinosaurs? Studio Wildcard is curious to see if players will still enjoy Ark without being able to saddle up the scaly terrors of the island, so they've launched some new experimental servers to find out.
To be clear, this isn't some new game-wide policy. It's a limited test to see how people like playing Ark without their pets. Dinos will still be lumbering, flying, and swimming around, but you won't be able to make nice with them—by which I mean drug them into unconsciousness and cram food into them until they submit to your will—on these new experimental servers, which will have the capacity for 120 players, with tribes limited to only 10 people.
On the Ark community forums, Admin Jat (Jatheish Karunakaran) posted the following:
"These are a bit different to our standard servers as they do not allow players to tame, ride, or breed creatures. ARK has a lot of core survival elements to it, and we wanted to see how players would find playing the game without the help of their trusty tames. Of course, this doesn't mean we're moving to a non-dino focused environment, it's just another customisation we've introduced for everyone"
This statement was followed by a winky-face emoji that I have not reproduced here.
Personally, the experiment doesn't sound so appealing to me: I really like riding dinos and I especially like using them to gather resources. Now that I've tamed a giant beaver, going back to chopping down trees with an axe sounds like a waking nightmare. As compensation for playing with no pets, the servers will feature a 2x multiplier for harvesting and XP.
What do you think? Would you enjoy playing Ark if you couldn't put saddles on dinosaurs? You can find out for yourself: put '[120 Players] NoTamingExperiment' into Ark's server browser filter and see how you like it.