Dear fellow Ghost Divisionists,
as we all now these past few months since Genesis release were really troublesome times for any inofficial ARK community. Wildcard did their best to produce a huge workload for us as with every new patch and especially with the release of the two most recent maps (Genesis and Crystal Isles) elementary things were changed and a lot of tools and plugins did not work. We had to keep down servers, change a lot of workflows like cleaning up the map, restore a lot of bases (OK, still more bases to go, sorry for the delay), we had to discuss a lot of things because of the changed meta gameplay especially with Genesis etc.
On top of that we decided to give our PvP cluster some love and try to re-establish a florishing PvP community. Sadly our first approach was sobataged by Wildcard again, the week before Season 3 start was packed with bugfixing and problem solving and we just did not find the time we would have needed for a proper preperation. That is why we decided to relaunch Season 3 with some more changes, way more communication with the players and a better concept. So far we are pretty happy with the current season but there is so much more room for improvement. We still believe we can make that cluster great again (damn, I hate that term, but it is just perfectly fitting ). The current season is running fine, next season will hopefully be even better!
Long story short: We got way more to do than we had time to work on the project, resulting in some kind of standstill with new features and improvements. Luckily amidst all that trouble we found a great addition to the team: Dia joined our ranks as our new developer and he performed some unbelievable miracles so far! He improved the way that GhostData works in several ways.
Here are some of the outstanding changes made or currently in development:
- Disconnect Button
Players now have the option to disconnect themself from the server in their GhostData profile. This is really helpful if you had a crash and cannot reconnect as the server says you are still connected.
- DinoSoul overview
Also in your profile you find an overview about all your Dino Souls on the server including the total number of souls you have. It shows you the stats, the inventory and even the coords so you can find every soul ingame easily (Inventory names are only filled if you renamed the structure in ARK, sadly this is how ARK works). You can even filter this list!
- Inactivity list for Admins
With the purchase of the Decay plugin we now have pretty good data about tribe activities in our cluster. We already asked all players to visit all maps they have stuff on to connect all SteamIDs with the tribes on each map and now we have a perfect overview about inactivities. Tribes with players that have a pending inactivity tickets are automatically spared and we can remove tribes from the map with only two clicks! We are really looking forward to much cleaner maps. Sadly some other problem with GhostData prevented us from doing cleanups...
- GhostData performance problems
... and that problem was the ArkBot performance. ArkBot is the tool we are using to host GhostData and with currently 10 servers in our cluster that tool was just overwhelmed, it took up to 30 GB of memory and wasn't reacting to anything, neither the web interface nor the desktop UI. Dia already made some changes that we are testing at the moment that should solve these problems.
While he was at it he also added some interfaces for a monitoring software so in the future we will be able to react way faster than before. We can monitor a lot of technical stuff and react even before problems occur! This will help to further stabilize our clusters and makes our lives way easier.
- Auction House addition
Last but not least Dia also added a new view to GhostData that shows all current auction in our Auction House on PvE. This will help you find whatever you need, check your own auctions etc. This is also currently in testing.
We are really happy about these additions to GhostData, that tool becomes better and better. These additions also makes GhostData and therefore our community attractive to all new players as no other cluster offers that much information to both players and admins! This will really help us thrive.
While our new developer has enough ideas and work for the next few years we sadly had some problems with our event section of the team. The latest problems with ARK took up all our spare time and we did not find even a second to maintain our event server and support our event manager. Of course this caused some frustration and therefore Dani took a timeout from the team to do some research and brainstorming about future events. We are happy to announce that he just came back and is eager to provide you with fun events, great challenges and of course rewarding prices! He si currently working on the Beat the Unbeatable event, so keep an eye on the forum threads covering the evbent and providing you with all the information you need to know: [PVE] Defeat the Undefeatable Event
But Dani and Dia were not the only one that was hard-working, we also did several other improvements to our cluster and had a lot of discussions about suggestions, transfers etc. As ARK gets bigger and bigger (Gens2 will also be released this yeah... maybe... at least Wildcard said so) the overhead that comes with hosting big clusters also increases. That is why we had some major team changes: Our beloved owners Calaban, Soerpa and biehlomatic were promoted to a newly created supervisory board. As real life took a toll especially on those three of us they just did not find the time to work on our project like it would be needed. That is why we made that hard decision and created this new role. All of them are still considered a part of the team and they can read and comment on everything the active team is doing, providing us with some good input, neutral positions and unprejudiced opinions.
At the same time Kiwii and Cherie joined the owner team. Both of them has been team members for years, they know the community and how things work and they always were reliable and trustworthy. Not that our other team members lack these properties, but those two were part of the team way longer and because of private constellations we can now work really efficient.
This of course thinned out the admin team even further and even though we have the best admins we could dream of (really, these guys are performing miracles) we decided to add some more admins to the team. We had a lot of really interesting applications and now are down to three applicants that we will interview within the next days and hopefully find 2-3 new team members to continue giving you the best possible support without exhaustion.
I know, this is already a lot of information for you and you might already fight with tiredness, but I'd like to request some more of your attention as now we will summarize all the changes that we did to the clusters lately - and this is what is most important to you as players. We worked through a lot of suggestions (and have way more to still talk about), discussed server transfers etc. and we hope we made some decisions that we all can live with. We are aware that there will never be a decision that makes everyone happy, but we always try to find the best compromise. And with currently around 1700 players in the PvE cluster (all SteamIDs logged in during the past thirty days) and an growing PvP community there are way to many people to please But I will now shorten this and summarize all the changes made:
- [PvE] Transfers for Genesis and Crystal Isles
We will soon active transfers for those maps. While Crystal Isles will be a completely free transfer we will block dino transfers to Genesis. You can still bring dino souls and eggs to the map so you can bring all your beloved creatures, BUT we will block any usage of the Giganotosaurus. You will not be able to unsoul it and if you decide to bring a fertilized egg you will not be able to claim the baby and you will be stuck with a wild baby Giga in your base. The trasnfers will be opened on the following dates:
- Other maps -> Genesis: July 10th
- Crytal Isles -> Other maps: July 10th
- Other maps -> Crytal Isles: July 24th
- [PvE] New rule: You are not allowed to have more than 1000 Dino souls per map. Check GhostData to see how many sould you currently have.
We had to add that rule cause some tribes were hoarding massive amounts of dinos resulting in a way to big savegame filesize. This even made Ragnarok crash and we had to take it down for several days. Bigger filesizes also mean more laggs, especially during worldsave, and longer startup time. That is why we had to limit the amount of souls per tribe. Always remember: every unneeded soul is harming the servers!
- [PvE] The new option "Dino Soul Destroy XP" coming with DinoSouls has been disabled
While it is another QoL feature this brings two problems with it in our eyes: It further encourages players to hoard dino souls and it is another option that makes some parts of the gameplay dispensable. All these small QoL features just makes the game easier and boring in our opinions, gaining advantages without effort is destroying any long time motivation.
- [Discord] Marketplace regulation
We limited the length of posts in the #marketplace channel to not exceed 300 characters to make sure it ensure a clear overview.
- [PvP] Changes to raid protection
To be honest we thaought that was obvious, but we needed to add another rule: The raid protection ends as soon as the protected tribe is actively raiding. I guess we don't need to explain this...
- [PvP] Soul Ball XP
The passiv experience gain has been reactivated for souled dinos.
- [PvP] Element dust transfer
We opened a poll wether to open element transfer in general or keep the current status. The decision is not made yet. We still think allowing dust transfer while blocking everything else will give Extinction a way to big advantage, so it is either complete transfer or no transfer at all to make sure everyone has the same conditions. Check this thread to partake in the poll: Element dust
- [PvP/PvE] WildDinoKill on Restart
Crystal Isles spawns are pretty bugged again. Instead of doing wild dino wipes on every restart we decided to perform two dino wipes a week during the night. This is already active on both our Crystal Isles maps.
- [PvE/PvP] NoWander+ Plugin
This plugin is helping all the breeders in our commuity. It prevents newborn dinos from wandering, sets them passive, does not prompt you to enter a name on claim etc. We are currently testing that plugin to see if it brings any exploits or other disadvantages. If the plugin is good we will add it to boith our clusters
- [PvE] Grinding of mission loot
We allowed the grinding of mission loot so you have another way to farm resources.
- [PvE] CKFR Mod
We added the Castles, Keeps and Forts Remastered mod to Scorched Earth to do some tests with it. We ask all the players to join SE and help us collect some data. All you have to do is maybe build a little base with these structures and give us some feedback. We also allowed a third area on that map for the duration of the test phase. That way we can monitor the technical aspects of adding the mod like lags, savgamefilesize etc. We also like to get your feedback from a player's perspective. Please use this thread to do this: CKFR Mod on PvE Cluster
So far this is everything. I know this is a lot and I will thank you that you took the time to read all of this up until this point. We hope you enjoy the results of all our work as this is the most rewarding thing to us: Having a thriving, freindly community where everyone can enjoy ARK!
Have a great time and stay clean,
You Ghost Division Team!