Ghost Divison - Confessions of an Endgame Survivor.

  • Hello Ghost Division, Survivers, Owners, and Admins.


    For those who don't know me, My in-game character's name is Drakon. I've been on the Ghost Division cluster for roughly three to four months and have had some of the best experiences in Ark since its release. Since then, I've completed every Alpha boss arena, the Alpha Tek Cave, Alpha Rockwell, and every cave on each map.


    I immediately fell in love with the cluster from day 1 when I was able to seamlessly play for hours without rollbacks and crazy lag spikes.
    Everything seemed as it should be and boy was I a happy camper.
    Building my first little base, trading with the locals, and building a name for myself as a spelunker of sorts.


    A month In, I began to run bosses with new friends, and even started some of my own breeding lines.
    This is where the Ghost Division cluster really shines, and that is first experiences.
    For any players returning to the game, or just starting out, I would not recommend any server other than Ghost Division.
    With great, active, and helpful admins, a well moderated forum, and even it's own working currency. My parasaur agrees, those were really the best of times.


    While experiencing my time in what I thought to be digital Eden, some strange nuances began to arise. Upon first realizing how drops were changed, I was discouraged but doubled my efforts, getting cave runs down to mere minutes in an attempt to secure the blueprints and gear I needed to further progress. This is where the experience began to feel like an uphill crawl. While I understand loot being handed out like candy on Halloween isn't the right way to keep people playing, It's also the reason people keep playing. This is in the end, a Loot based survival game no matter how you spin it. That grind is what keeps people playing, but it needs to be balanced well or it will have the opposite effect as seen in many AAA titles.


    Although Ghost Division absolutely shines to perfection in early-mid game, I believe it severely lacks in lategame progression and rewards. When it comes down to it, most of the truly unique experiences in Ark are one-and-done, such as the Tek Cave or Rockwell. While these both take an extreme amount of commitment, time, and dedication, they offer no reward whatsoever after the first completion. This is also where we can make some really significant changes that will improve both the late and mid game experience.


    1. Rockwell and Tek Cave would be so much better with custom rewards (BPs or Element). As this is a private server, there is the option to enable these boss fights to reward those players who commit to regularly running them. This also encourages them to take new players in, and will boost both the Island and Abberation player retention/population.


    2. Fishing needs to come back. It's obvious that it was nerfed during the time that multiple people began asking for ASC fishing rods as rewards. Please don't think that we don't know this. I've inquired with Wildcard directly, as well as the mod authors of all mods we use on the server and they have never encountered similar conditions. Fishing rods are difficult to come by and should be removed from voting rewards if you don't want too many people using them for easy BPs, or please find a balance soon. It's been months since this happened and really shouldn't take this long to fix.


    3. Boss drop nerfs need to be revisited. This is again, a hit to endgame players, YOUR MOST LOYAL PLAYERBASE. Why this was done in the first place really baffles me, as it doesn't say that boss loot was changed anywhere in the server description, forums, or discord and was found out through a ticket after the boss fight was completed and about %30-%40 less element was looted. Disappointing and unnecessary with the amount of commitment it takes to run boss fights.


    I believe these three issues are the main hurdles Ghost Division faces for endgame players. They can be remedied and even improved upon. While you may argue that these players are but the vocal minority, please also remember they are the ones pushing server progression and keep new players interested/invested in their time on GD. Fact is that we don't want to leave, but the lack of endgame rewards is what really begins to push away those who willingly spend hundreds of hours playing and breeding, filling your auction house with items, helping newer players, and creating incentives to voting.


    We only want the best for GD, not to make our game easier, but create a reason for us to stay and help propagate the seeds of this digital paradise.


    Cheers, Drakon.

  • I've recently dropped in activity on the Ghost Devision servers, due to lack of anything to do, since doing boss fights isn't rewarding, caves doesn't give anything useful, and what's the purpose of breeding when bosses aren't rewarding and metal is so easy to get as a lategame player.

    You can't fish because the loot makes you feel like you're literally wasting your time, hunting drops goes by the same death sentence. I don't need more kibble when I have over 300 of each, and if I did I'd rather get my stuff together to make a kibble farm, something interactive. I'd have to build a place to store my vivariums, make a system to organise the eggs, I'd have to actually go out and tame the dinos. But instead I find myself not doing anything, because there's just no need anymore, I have far too much kibble to do anything with, from just the early and midgame hunting.

    Sure the one blueprint of a Chainsaw I found was awesome, but for it to take literal MONTHS to find ANY kind of useful blueprint that isn't a diplo saddle, it's just far too boring, far too time consuming, and doesn't feel great in the end. I have a sour taste in my mouth, even a month after finding that blueprint, because I'm the only one who has anything like it right now. No one - NO ONE has found a similar blueprint in all the time I've played on the server. I feel like at least one or two players should have found one, so that if I chose to craft and sell them I'd actually have competition in the market. Sure I don't sell them right now, but that's simply because there isn't a market, and I don't need anything because I'm so far into the lategame, that materials aren't needed, dinos aren't needed either, so I just end up lending it out, because I don't need to run around with 1 million of every if any resource...

    I completely agree with the problems that Drakon has listed, and I'd really love to see changes to it, so that I can start playing more often.

    Sincerely,
    Kuro

  • I'll leave my 2 cents here too,


    I totally agree with the issues raised above and i'm sure every other mid to end game player will say the same

    While the experience from beach bob to mid late game its very engaging the end game doesn't bring any satisfaction in regards with the amount of time invested in farming drops , bosses , caves .

    Why i totally agree and support the voting system as one of the ways to support the cluster and bring new players in , it just seems that everything its only centred towards that : VOTES

    The feeling of satisfaction from getting a good BP from a boss or drop that you've been farming for weeks , hell months in some cases , has been totally taken out from the game and replaced with the anxiety of checking the voting list every day to make sure you haven't missed a vote and the hope you'll be 1st of 2nd at the end of the month so you can receive something you really want

    It is not just the market side of it of actually having good bps , it makes the player feel more rewarded and satisfied and more secure to go and try out more stuff without the fear of losing his gear as he might not be able to buy the same or not afford to get anything like that in the near future

    With that said i hope the best ark experience i ever had as Drakon said it very well will get even better

    Thank you

  • one more thing , im sure players don't stick around for the drops or the abundance of loot as there is none :)

    its the community that has been built around this cluster , great admins and overall a great place to meet people ,make new friends and have a fun time that keeps players engaged

  • Hi all,


    I am mid player for like a month :D Its not because i dont have time, there is no drops that bring me to advanced player.

    Almost a month i am running caves and nothing usefull except areneo saddles :D


    There has been great changes such as vivarium, dino souls etc. which definitely bring the cluster to next level and made new player explosion. But i think there should be little more changes as Drakon and so many mid-end players suggested.


    I totally understand server owners reply with drop tables rework would take 2 full time weeks. And they dont have time for that. But at least there should be little improvement at drops, may be just at caves, bosses which reduces rework time to minimal. And create us a point to focus.


    Or at least we can use default loot settings so we can know where we can find drops. Right now i have no idea what i am doing :D Because all loots high edited.


    Cheers

  • I agree, I think there needs to be more steps to make end game on the server more enjoyable. Loot drops are mentioned daily as unrewarding by the majority of players.


    Nerfing the boss element is a very weird change in my opinion, makes it pointless to farm for element.


    There has been really good changes though such as vivarium and the dino sould mod I agree. Road maps etc are really nice to see but for me the biggest issue with the cluster is how unrewarding the loot table is. I understand it is a lot of work but when it is such a big issue for many players I think it should be at least looked at. You spend hours and hours to farm drops and get the same items regularly.


    I hope this doesn't come across as just complaining but it is just my opinion on the current state of late game on the server.

  • Well first off this community is beyond amazing. First day I joined back into ark I went to this server and I am still loving it. Met a bunch of good friends on here that I now play on the daily.


    I totally agree on ever point of view of what Drakon is saying. I feel like there should some type of a event to the server with prizes etc. I think that would bring more players in to participate especially for end game players who don't know what to do anymore besides run bosses or breed. Also I understand that fishing was beyond overpowered but it can be slightly improved just by nerfing it a bit.
    Rockwell and Tek cave needs to have some type of reward.. yes you may get extra levels and become max level but from the hard work preparing you don't get much out of it. I would really like to see what changes can be made :)

    Cheers,
    Phixel

  • Found this server cluster after logging around 3500 hours on official servers both PvP and PvE. I find the cluster to be as I said in day one, heaven of Ark. Love it here.

    I have not run boss fights on the cluster yet, but I have done many on official. Drakon and the others above make a solid point. and I agree with them. Rare/High Quality rewards will ensure the continuation of even the highest players grind in Ark. In Ark I am always willing to risk what I have to gain better items/creatures, as are many. Decreasing chances to gain higher quality items from high risk areas, will lead to a reduction in player numbers.

    Drakon and Phixel both were/are great at welcoming me here, as they have many others. I value their views in relation to the server as I believe should you. I see mention of the time to change drop quality, found this tool, https://beaconapp.cc/ and I believe it would make changing loot drops a much less time consuming task if the decision is made to.

    Thank you guys for all you do, and thank you for this server cluster.

  • Lots of things have already been said and honestly, I agree with most of them.


    Having come back to the servers after the wipe knowing the before (Summer/Fall 2017) and after (now), I sure have to say the servers and their settings have improved a lot compared to the prior version.

    Ever since I found GD they've been my favourite servers and imo they are those, that provide the best long term game play without being too grindy. I really really enjoy playing here (and spend too much time doing it) but I am now also reaching the point at which I know I'm gonna run into the problems the others already have stated. While the early to late mid-game work well and are really enjoyable, the endgame will be just a cut to black at some point. At least to me. I know how and when I'm going to take down all the alpha island bosses and then I'll probably do the other maps, do the Tek Cave and then what? I'll be mad about not getting the Element I was promised so I cannot be Iron Man for as long as I like but I am also to lazy to run bosses again because why should I, I could also just farm Element on Aberration etc but I won't need it bc I'll be too tired of playing by then. I'll quit, just to restart for Extinction. Now if that wasn't coming out I would probably just leave ARK again, for another year or so.


    Now I have been lucky enough to actually run into a useful saddle BP (after I had bought enough good saddles already haha), but I hear and see, how people try to find good loot day by day, for months, and only ever get the same disappointing loot. Even from underwater cave loot boxes etc. If we didn't have the Auction house it would be impossible for 98% of the players to get what they need within the timeframe they have to actually play and progress.


    The auction house is the only thing that keeps some players around, because even if they haven't found the BP they want in 1000 drops, they have a chance to progress as long as there are other players, who have been lucky enough to find good loot and additionally, are willing to sell the items crafted with them.


    But some people do not want to buy their items. They don't want to buy anything because they like the challenge of building up by themselves without the help of others. And these people sooner or later leave the servers again because they get frustrated.


    I must've thrown away about 40 Kapro Saddles in the last month alone. Why is it always the same stuff?


    Enough for that, you get my point.

  • I joined as a solo player on this cluster just few weeks after the relaunch, And honestly I expected quitting after like 2 weeks and here i am still here with over 1K hours on this cluster with nearly 800 hours on Ragnorak itself and 1000+ hours all around the cluster!


    What kept me on the server mostly the community, getting to know more nice and helpful people aswell which created a whole fun environment for me and them aswell

    I played as solo but most of my activities were with people helped me before or i helped in the past of course solos that i have never known before or met which is really cool!

    aswell I really liked responsive admins/owners whenever i had a problem which didn't happen that often but still they were always there for us.


    anyhow me and the rest of the alliance/friends i made on the server most of the time shared some similar opinions and thoughts as we spent more time playing together on the cluster always thought aswell of what could make it better and gave some suggestions and discussed it with different people from the community and the team.

    Starting was like


    as a survivor and a person that likes "open-world" "survival" games I had an issue starting and to be honest after around 1000 hours I still could not get these specific blueprints that i looked for, after chasing hundreds of beacons whether its in caves, water or land. I just spent time getting the same useless items over and over again including

    "Araneo Saddle" of all different rarities and many more useless items and tons of kibbles.


    Mid-Game


    With what i gathered/found/tamed I knew it was time to step-up my game and catch up to these people who started few weeks before me specially with 2-4 people in their tribes to beat the boss fights faster than anyone, found similar people who had a story same like mine we teamed up in alliances planned with using what we had and slowly we did beat every boss starting with betas, getting ourselves back together again and going for the harder version of the fight, and worked just perfect for us.


    End-Game


    If you made it here and you spent alot of hours playing this game then you know what it is, you reached a point where you have everything as in resources and tames,

    but lacking the Blueprints you always dreamt about and looked for unfortunately just because you got unlucky with these rates, so all you got to do is build more, breed more because you know you wont get what you desired after hundreds of hours. so all you do as i said more breeding of these powerful stats that you are probably not going to get to use them anymore and this will be mentioned in the bottom :-)



    1. as a starter I like the whole concept behind making good loot more rare and valuable But imo Its a way too hard to find with these rates

    2. It was easy to make friends and alliance on the server with this nice community and the mid game was smooth and a fun experience

    3. end-game imo should be modified and edited by owners to have more content/loot/Events aswell if possible including random bps that you can obtain from bosses doesnt matter if its going to be rare or not but it will push me to do these over and over again

    4. as a loyal player to the community and cluster I really would like to know all about Buffs/Nerfs to dinos/bosses/fishing/loot or whatever it is because i hate to discover it on my own later on.


    many thanks to the Ghost Division team, and to the whole community!




  • Althought i am not a long time resident in this cluster but i would also like to share my thoughts.


    I totally agree with Drakon and many others thoughts and i would like to point out the fact that you cant assume every player has all the dlcs and adjust or make changes based on whats available on other servers, in this case if a player doesnt have an Abberation dlc then thats not fair for them at all to loose out on element from boss fights. What if Extinction is an element heaven similar to metal in abberation?


    Besides whats being said already i highly suggest weekly wild dino wipes. As an ex server owner / admin and modder ( hundreds of hours on devkit and thousands testing ) i can assure you there are always dinos stuck either inside rocks / cliffs / mountains or below map which simply is wasting server resources.


    Such a good server setup for new to mid gameplay however its let down with low loot rewards as well as lack of events.


    Question is what keeps the end players going? Will server be better without them ?

    Besides typical ark progression its all about bragging rights and fun, example if i say i have 100 armor blueprint another tries to beat that and they will be spending time looking for higher value blueprints, same goes for dinos, breeding. After all this is a pve cluster what else to do, but by doing events and rewarding them you can be sure everyone will be having fun and look forward to events.


    I mean when i ve read server description, rules and mods i decided to join and build a tek base skipping metal tier all together, however now s+ catalyzer is disabled, boss rewards nerfed nothing to keep me going other then the community...


    Instead of disabling s+ catalyzer maybe it would of be better to adjust its crafting cost , afterall if players farm element and transfer them to other maps they still need to vote so they can pay the transfer cost. So keeps mid to end players continue voting for server.


    Mostly whole economy run by alpha players to keep game interesting for others, afterall i am pretty sure they dont need 1 million ingots just sitting in their storages. This encourages others to farm / breed to make a place for them in this economy.


    We could also have alternative mods such as "antinode" mod, which its not easy to craft and gives some more fun with speed. Afterall alpha players have no problem killing boss dinos so they can have little bit more fun killing boss fights with a single dino with power node and such....


    I understand admins and owners have to spend time with family, work, irl as i have being there before, and they have done great job making the server what it is today so please keep in mind i am just sharing my thoughts, suggestions and experiences to see if things can be improved.



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    Fyi some of the events i used to do in my servers :


    Besides small events for new starters i ve used to do following main events rotating every month.


    Kill Events - Let the alpha players / breeders show off their op gigas or rexs by killing high lvl alpha dinos. Could be pack of alpha raptors / carnos / alpha rexs. Gives them bragging rights for the time they ve spent breeding those dinos as well as showing their 1000 armor saddles. Others will envy and will try to replicate.


    FFA Taming Events - Free for all taming event where admin spawns slightly higher dino ( example lvl 180 rex ) every player has to be naked, will have to use primitive crossbow and normal tranq arrows and will shoot the rex, whomever knocks it out gets it admin tamed. You can see from 180 tek dinos that stat wise they are not much different in some cases lower then 150s so not much of a difference but its a great event to keep players happy and its also fun seeing everyone competiting / running away getting killed / chased and such. If 180 dino is too easy then admin can spawn a lvl 600 just to determine the winner and then give them 180 tamed dino.


    180 Wild Spawns Tame Event - Althought i ve mainly used this on herbivores, i ve used to spawn only 180 in wild random location then without giving advance notice suddenly players will see clues in chat about where the dino is, then whole server stops what they r doing and hunts it down and tames the dino themself. Basic example " a lvl 180 beaver lost its way and currently chilling by a waterfall" while beaver is by a non common waterfall as most will mainly run to centre or big waterfall.


    Breeders Event - Admin will choose a dino type and give an advance notice ( month or 2 months ) in this time whomever gets the highest bred lvl wins the event, event prize could be a lvl 180 dino chosen by the winning tribe or player. Target dino has to be a dino thats not common so nobody have advantage over each other. For example it could be a galli..


    Worse case scenario if any of these lvl 180 dinos have super single stat admin can ask that its breeding kept in tribe only and not to distribute eggs to make sure it doesnt effect or stop others breeding.


    And many other small races for beginners to mid players.

  • Shadow dinos on levels higher than available by default can't happen. We've had this before: 210 wild dinos events. What it caused? Noone was taming anything outside of that event, noone wanted the regular levels, so in non-event time people didn't have anything to do but breeding the stats they got. It was completely broken.


    We also used to have a scavenger hunt events weekly. Around 10 chests spread on all maps, all with some super loot like asc items, blueprints, sometimes even tek tier and high level wyvern eggs... And guess what? Noone was looking for them. Usually 2-3 chests were found, and the locations weren't really difficult.


    We also had kill events- spawned Rockwell and 12000lvl wild gigas on the Ragnarok desert, people actually enjoyed it, but some were crying about lost gear... Well :igelballoon:

  • Kat, not sure about lvl 210s but lvl 180s dont have much stat difference then lvl 150s, i mean you can see from Drakons attempt at breeding tek rex and tex raptor and considering next 180 tame event will be 1-3 months apart i dont think anyone will stop breeding with possibility of winning. Maybe in 210s event you have done there was a huge gap in stats and depending on how often you have done these events maybe it made 150s absolute.


    As for scavenger hunt not sure how you have done it but if people werent looking for them then i guess it was difficult. I mean main idea is to get the community hyped up and have fun. For items and bps i ve used to do maze event with or without wild dinos inside depending on player lvls.


    Yea kill events is all about bragging so maybe it was a wrong event for cry babys but lvl 12000 giga? lol, i meant like bred rex or giga against high lvl alpha rexs : )


    I am sure everyone love events, but if an event doesnt work we can alter it slightly to make it more appealing to players rather then stopping them alltogether.

  • Shadow dinos on levels higher than available by default can't happen. We've had this before: 210 wild dinos events. What it caused? Noone was taming anything outside of that event, noone wanted the regular levels, so in non-event time people didn't have anything to do but breeding the stats they got. It was completely broken.


    We also used to have a scavenger hunt events weekly. Around 10 chests spread on all maps, all with some super loot like asc items, blueprints, sometimes even tek tier and high level wyvern eggs... And guess what? Noone was looking for them. Usually 2-3 chests were found, and the locations weren't really difficult.


    We also had kill events- spawned Rockwell and 12000lvl wild gigas on the Ragnarok desert, people actually enjoyed it, but some were crying about lost gear... Well :igelballoon:


    Like Shadow suggested, maybe tweak the levels a bit lower to Tek Dino standards rather than 210.

    Trust me, if you guys said that there were good blueprints in boxes, this community would be searching for them from dusk till dawn.
    ( The last one didn't need them as much due to mods such as steampunk.)

    I get you guys tried a few things before, but there hasn't been any attempts with this current population. All we've seen is a lack of them.

  • Like Shadow suggested, maybe tweak the levels a bit lower to Tek Dino standards rather than 210.

    Technically impossible! Tek Dino Levels are directly connected (hardcoded) with the Max Wild Dino Level. If you increase the Max Wild Dino Level for events, it will increase it for the Tek Dinos with certain % too. And as Kat already said, multiple of your suggestions are the opposite of what the community asked us to change pre-wipe and in connection with a lot of drama after the wipe. This is no roller coaster where you can change the concept on a daily/weekly basis.


    The team will discuss the topic on the weekend and we will come back with a statement. All I want to say with this post: Don't suggest things that are IMPOSSIBLE. Before you suggest something, make your own research and look + understand how the settings and stuff work. Because everytime we are forced to tell you that we cannot make changes that are not possible, you guys are mad at us. Not the first time.

  • I think the settings as they are are perfect regarding taming wild Dino spwans

    No need for events with higher wild lvls as I'm sure this will end up either same after math as before with no one taming nothing anymore

    On the other side the lack of bps it's a major downfall with valid points expressed before

  • Technically impossible! Tek Dino Levels are directly connected (hardcoded) with the Max Wild Dino Level. If you increase the Max Wild Dino Level for events, it will increase it for the Tek Dinos with certain % too. And as Kat already said, multiple of your suggestions are the opposite of what the community asked us to change pre-wipe and in connection with a lot of drama after the wipe. This is no roller coaster where you can change the concept on a daily/weekly basis.


    The team will discuss the topic on the weekend and we will come back with a statement. All I want to say with this post: Don't suggest things that are IMPOSSIBLE. Before you suggest something, make your own research and look + understand how the settings and stuff work. Because everytime we are forced to tell you that we cannot make changes that are not possible, you guys are mad at us. Not the first time.

    Obviously, I didn't mean use the same command that the Tek Variant does.
    It's a hardcoded %20, we all understand that.
    Custom admin spawned dinos would have to be main way an event of that type works.

    I get that your previous community asked for that, but you now have a mix of your new community along with your old.
    Your CURRENT community is different in large part to the mods this server uses now.
    This community is trying to tell you something now, and hopefully it was worded clearly.

  • Event as in 1 or 2 hour sessions run by admins and dinos spawned by admins doesnt require any changes to server settings. Didnt mean events similar to breeding events running for few days not at all...