Steam’s hottest game has no built-in way to stop jerks from ruining your fun...which means that players have to get creative if they want to maintain the peace.
Ark: Survival Evolved is a dinosaur hunting game where players have to use the environment to, well, survive. You know the spiel: you can craft, you can build, and so on. Think of it like DayZ or Rust, but with dinosaurs. People like it so much that Ark has been tearing up the Steam charts since its release in early access.
It’s not perfect, of course. One thing players seem to agree on is that the game can be a messy hotbed for jerks and assholes. One of the most top-voted reviews on Ark’s store page says that it is “literally a griefers paradise” because “everything [you build] for can and will be destroyed, killed, and looted...while you’re sleeping ever so peacefully in your bed.” While some players feel helpless to this fact, others are being a bit more proactive when it comes to griefers.
“We have an infamous scoundrel and rapscallion locked in a cage,” Seagull reported. “Whenever he gets low health from punching the wall I tranq him and feed him blood until he’s full HP. We’ve had him in there for quite some time.
“This is what happens when you’re a jerk, justice is served.”
Seagull says that the player was imprisoned for ten hours in a virtual prison created by other Ark players. It allegedly took 30 minutes to trap the troll, and after he was captured, the players say they forced him to craft care packages for new players as “community service.”
This digital vigilante justice was met with both support and disgust from other Ark players. A few choice quotes...
“That, is....AWESOME,” one player wrote. “We could use a criminal system like that.”
“Maybe he will learn manners when he is released,” another mused.
“You are beyond the worst scum in the game mister Seagull,” one commenter said. “Like the absolute worst...If the police actively held a man in a 1x1x1 prison and repeatedly tranqed him and force-fed him blood for a reported 10 hours against his will and without trial then yes. I would call them scum and kick them in the nuts.
“The point stands you are effectively banning this player for little more then ruining your pixels.”
One commenter even notes that the developers totally intended for stuff like this to happen. Here is what Ark’s FAQ says in regards to the “unconsciousness” feature within the game:
When you log off your character, or if you suffer serious trauma, or eat the wrong thing, your body becomes unconscious. This will allow other Survivors to interact with you. They can steal your items, kill you, and even feed you! But there’s something else you can do in ARK... you can drag their ragdoll sleeping body around... move it to wherever you want... even move it into a prison cell and enslave it (or just put it in a very dangerous position for when it awakes)... you can force-feed an unconscious person food & water to keep them alive....
and by enslaving, we mean:
You can physically confine them and keep them alive indefinitely if you maintain their health. You can then do such useful things as extracting blood from them to create transfusion items, or using their poop as fertilizer, etc.
Mission accomplished, I guess!
The funny thing about this entire debacle is the final twist. Here’s Seagull, on the fate of the player that was imprisoned:
I just wanted to update this to provide some posterity to the situation and everyone commenting. We did imprison Ricky, for raiding and such, it was fun and we invited him to our TS and we all had a great time.
After getting to know him more, and finding out how absolutely insane (total headcases) some of the tribe leaders are on our server, we now play with him as a member of our tribe. Right now we have become friends and are having fun together and he is not destroying anybody’s stuff.
Maybe that’s stockholm syndrome. Or maybe it’s the brilliance of Ark: Survival Evolved and its players shining through.