The Many Deaths Available to You in Ark: Survival Evolved

Here’s a short list of ways I’ve died in Ark: Survival Evolved since I picked it up on the Steam Summer Sale:

  1. Being stepped on by a dude’s pet Spinosaurus. Not a wild one. Had a saddle and I think a wee little hat. This was a tame Spinosaurus. A pet. I can’t be mad about that. Dude had on a jumpsuit and a cowboy hat, too.
  2. Taking a spear in the throat from a guy. Different guy, though he had a pet raptor. Thing is, prior to being impaled by the dude, I hadn’t realized that you could throw spears. That was extremely valuable information, and made my subsequent hunting of triceratops and dodo alike much easier. Thanks, Murder Guy!
  3. Megalodon. I’ve yet to get a survivor to the point where he’s in a position to do anything about this. I see the shark and…boom.
  4. Megapirahna. It’s because I can do more about this that I consider it a more frustrating demise. One megapirahna isn’t a huge deal, unless you’re cold (which you will be) and thus low on stamina (which you will be) and thus not really able to swim (which you will be) and thus running out of oxygen (which you will be). In that sort of situation, a single megapirahna can be that last issue I’m just not equipped to deal with. I’ve managed to kill them even then, usually. When there’s one.However, there’s almost never just one. Usually one will bite me on the ass, and while I’m dealing with it three more will flank me and get to munching.
  5. Being super hungry, but also super sleepy, because I had to eat a bunch of “narcoberries” to avoid starving to death. This results in passing out, then starving to death. Slowly. With no options but to watch.
  6. Being killed by myself, because I thought the save function worked. The save function involves—as I understand it—finding this particular alien device and uploading one’s data to it. I did this, on a public server. I was so proud of myself that I built a house a half-day’s journey from the device, and I built a little plot of land, and I hunted and grew strong. Every few levels, I’d fight my way back to the spot and save again.Now, I knew that uploading such characters wouldn’t be allowed on public servers, since the file exists on the hard drive and can be all-too-easily fiddled with. That was fine, but I wanted to be able to load the character up on my machine and keep progressing.Apparently, no. I assume I did everything correctly, since I performed the operation multiple times. I’m fully open to the idea that my character will just appear at some point, but until then I count this as a tragic death.
  7. Falling. Falls in the game are brutal. They’re made far worse because the first-person nature of the game, combined with the generally frenetic pace of the resource grind, means that is very easy to hit a cliff without realizing there’s a cliff to be hit. If I’d played Rust first I might have acclimated to the pace and, you know, gravity faster. But before achieving the death mentioned in the previous item, I almost got to a save point only to realize that there was only a single land-bridge to the point…and it was about 200 yards from where my body hurtled off of the cliff.This is all the worse because fall damage is very high. Falls that would be ignored in most games are instant-deaths here. I’ve not experimented with how armor interacts with all this, though. Maybe my cloth pants and cloth tunic would render me invulnerable!
  8. A giant turtle. The important thing to understand about this is that the giant turtles take a long time to kill, but aren’t especially damaging or quick. You can strafe them, jabbing away. As long as you have the necessary resources to repair the spears you’ll break, everything works out.Except for this one time, when I was fighting a giant turtle in the dark of night, well-armed and armored. I wanted the food, and the hide. I had things well in hand.Then the turtle hit me, and I didn’t realize that my strafing had put my back against—my true nemesis—a cliff.

The game’s not all caprice and cruelty, though. Playing on a PVE server, I was accosted by a gentleman with the kind of name that players select for avatars they plan to use for trolling. He stood around while I was gathering berries, and punched me. For about two minutes. Now, in a PVE server it turns out that you can’t actually kill another player, though you can knock them unconscious. It appears that punches don’t overcome two cloth armored items, though I didn’t know at the time if this was true. All I knew is that a guy was decidedly trying to kill me, and I had some things going that I didn’t want to risk having spoiled. So, after he had his two minutes to swing, I stabbed him to death with a spear.

Well, stabbed him unconscious. Like I mentioned, can’t kill a player on a PVE server. That meant that he eventually got back up and immediately started punching me again.

That’s when the game sent a dilophosaurus, like a tiny fringed angel. Mobs can kill players on a PVE server, and the violent naked gent was entirely too focused on punching me to position himself properly. Once the dilo spit hit home, it was easy to keep him between the dinosaur and me, until such a blessed time as he perished.

I looted his corpse, which was full of valuables.

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