Unlike other games, you can’t really pet stuff in ARK: Survival Evolved. You can, however, make a lot of awkward eye contact.
I started playing ARK on PC this weekend, and I noticed that prehistoric beasties just kept walking up and looking at me. Were they trying to remember if we’d met at that party last weekend? I decided to find out what they wanted.
What It Wants: These things are everywhere. I think they just want to be left in peace to commune with the earth, you know?
What I Did: Not that. I punched the hell out of this tree.
What Happened: It gave me a bunch of wood and thatch and then disintegrated. Like The Giving Tree meets Rocky meets Ghost.
What It Wants: Since it was standing near a tree buddy, I figured it wanted to give me stuff too.
What I Did: You can’t punch ‘em (a first for ARK!). I ended up sort of awkwardly groping it instead.
What Happened: I got some fiber that I used to make a pair of Stone Age JNCOs and a bunch of berries that gave me the scoots.
What It Wants: Things got a little weird with these fellas. This one skidded up to my feet and gazed at me like a kid at his first rock concert. He didn’t want an autograph, nor did he want to eat my toes.
What I Did: I punched him until he fell unconscious and then gave him some of my scoots berries.
What Happened: He came back with a friend.
When I wasn’t feeling it, he came back with a different set of friends.
What It Wants: After repeatedly turning down the compies’ advances to little effect, I finally speared one of them. They all swarmed me, and I stumbled into the water and got eaten by something. I respawned facing my own body. I think she wanted to admonish me for not being cooler about the compies.
What I Did: After I felt suitably chastised, I looted her.
What Happened: I got back my fiber and scoots berries. My ARK characters are known for their healthy bowels, but not their social skills.
What It Wants: Not much to do with me, to be honest. This one glared at me once and then I chased it in circles for like 10 minutes trying to get a good face pic.
What I Did: I was mad at it for throwing shade at me, so I punched it in the leg.
What Happened: See previous entry.
What It Wants: I thought this one was just frolicking in the water, which seemed like fun after my busy day of punching and dying. Turns out it was having a massive fight with some kind of dinosaur shark. I decided not to get involved.
What I Did: That’s a lie. I chucked a spear at it.
What It Wants: As night started to fall, the light got dramatic and a whole new breed of thing decided to get up in my face. This one emerged from the lens flare like King Mufasa from the clouds.
What I Did: Promised to remember who I was and took off. I suddenly felt real guilty about all that punching.
What Happened: It was probably reincarnated as Aslan on the battlefields of Narnia. Look at this thing. It’s got some inner wisdom to impart.
What It Wants: The One Ring. Do you have to ask?
What I Did: I did not wear the ring.
What Happened: I eventually tried to get to one of these things. I did not get far.
What It Wants: To remind you that your life is ultimately a momentary blip in a cold, uncaring universe and that one day everything you love will disappear and be forgotten.
What I Did: Stopped playing ARK and called my mom.
What Happened: She was happy to hear from me.