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  1. #1

    Ark Donation Perks. We Want Your Input!

    Quote Originally Posted by InsaneJ View Post
    We get a bunch of donations from the TFC servers. They are nowhere near enough to cover the costs of running a server. But they do help and they add to a feeling of community. Since the ARK servers use up quite a lot of time and server resources and since we seem to be doing OK with them, I think it's time to consider adding donor perks.

    • Do we want this?
    • Is it possible to do without making it pay to win?
    • Are there are any plugins/mods that can be linked to a shop system like we have for the Minecraft servers to automate the process?

    To give everybody an idea of just how much resources the ARK servers use. We currently have three ARK instances which we have to run on Windows. Our Minecraft servers are running on Linux. This means that the memory and CPU we allocate to the ARK server can't be used elsewhere. This makes them relatively expensive. Currently the ARK server has 32GB of RAM, 8 CPUs and two SSDs allocated to it. This is roughly a third of our server capacity. If we could run them under Linux the CPU and memory that's not actively being used could be assigned to other servers, but now they are exclusive to ARK whether they are used or not. Of course we can always move CPUs and memory around between virtual machines as needed.
    This is a concept the staff has been discussing for the last month and a half or so. In that time we've come up with a list of potential things that can be used for perks, but not how to implement them just yet. We have ideas, but we'd like to see what the people who play the servers think of the project.

    List of cosmetic items -

    Player skins:
    Santa Hat
    Witch Hat
    Bunny Ears
    Party Hat
    DodoRex Mask
    DodoWyvern Mask
    Manticore Helmet
    Clown Mask
    Vampire Eyes
    Werewolf Mask
    Chieftan Hat
    Top Hat
    Birthday Suit Shirt
    Birthday Suit Pants
    Wyvern Gloves

    Candy Cane Club
    Fireworks Rocket Launcher
    Torch Sparkler
    Manticore Shield
    Scorched Spike
    Scorched Sword
    Scorched Torch

    Dino saddles:
    Rex Stomped Glasses
    Dino Witch Hat
    Dino Santa Hat
    Dino Bunny Ears
    Dino Party Hat

    Dino Costumes:
    Rex Bone
    Carno Bone
    Raptor Bone
    Bronto Bone
    Stego Bone
    Trike Bone
    Giganotosaurus Bone
    Quetzalcoatlus Bone
    Jerboa Bone
    Wyvern Bone
    Megaloceros Reindeer
    Procoptodon Bunny
    Bionic Giga

    Something else I found that some other servers are doing are custom dino paint jobs where the admin would change the paint region on a dino X number of times. For example: Let's say there's a custom paint package for 3 paint jobs, the player makes the donation and selects the dinos to be changed. The admin would change the paint regions on the dino as requested.

    Another idea I have been playing with is a little less cosmetic, but not necessarily pay to win. More of a gray area. It's dino insurance. The way this works is that a tribe would insure a dino through a donation. The dino would be registered so there's no mistaking which dino is insured. If that dino were to die then the tribe would be given a special item that could resurrect the dino back to life with the same stats and level from when it died. This process would require a mod and some config tweaking for it to work properly, but it is an option.

    Special considerations also have to be taken when considering the type of server, like Primitive Plus. Most of the cosmetics can be used without problems, but other items could also be used as cosmetic when they aren't considered cosmetic on the normal Ark servers. An example of this would be scissors which aren't obtainable on Primitive Plus, but could be used as a cosmetic donation perk on a Primitive Plus server.

    So what are your thoughts on this? What do you like or dislike? What do you think needs to be changed, modified, or added? Would you, as a player, be interested in this program?

  2. #2
    I think the cosmetic things are fine but the resurrection thing sounds not so good, i would be fine with it if the dino can only be resurected when not killed by a boss or player, because else you can do pvp/bosses without worries....

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    I think the cosmetic things are fine but the resurrection thing sounds not so good, i would be fine with it if the dino can only be resurected when not killed by a boss or player, because else you can do pvp/bosses without worries....
    agree - wild dino kills only.

  4. #4
    Those are some good points. Considering how much staff involvement it takes to keep something like dino insurance running smoothly and the evidence that players would have to present in the event that the insured dino dies, I think it would be best to drop that idea entirely.

  5. #5
    New Spawned Alsa8tia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Ok, so. I really like this idea. My wish for the scissors to be implemented in this system however, does have a flaw. Not all of your servers have primitive plus. This would mean that on your other servers I could get the scissors without paying but on the prim+ server, I would have to donate. I don't exactly see how that is a fair thing. Again, I do understand that it is a cosmetic thing but to have to donate to get something that I could get on any non Prim+ server seems a little wonky, no?

  6. #6
    Thank you for your input. I can see how it would seem unfair. Consider this though, the scissors are purposefully not in Primitive Plus because the developers for P + didn't want them there. So adding them to P + would in fact be modifying the original game. The other servers without P + do not need this modification in order to utilize the scissors because it was intended that way. Adding them to the P + server does in fact change the game in that you're able to utilize a game mechanic that was not previously present (cutting hair, and even using it to shear sheep). Now I wouldn't say this calls for a "premium", but it does put it in a category that enhances gameplay and has the potential to benefit the server. This whole donation concept isn't about making money, it's about supporting the costs of the server owner InsaneJ. If we exclusively relied on donations to run HappyDiggers there would be no HappyDiggers. There just isn't enough. But supporting the server owner's costs IS something we can do (even I do it).

    Just because something enhances the game doesn't mean it should be added though. I could make the same argument for Tek on a Primitive Plus server, but it's obviously ludicrous from a gameplay perspective. Scissors are not entirely cosmetic, as I pointed out earlier with sheep shearing, but it has such a low impact that I don't think it would shift into a Pay 2 Play scenario.

  7. #7
    Looks like scissors on Primitive Plus is a moot point. Just ran some tests on the item, it behaves like a sarco saddle. Meaning that when spawned in you can use it to your heart's delight, but when the server restarts the item and all iterations of the item (blueprints included) will be removed from the server.

  8. #8
    Utilizing our current donation system I've made some modifications for Ark. Donator ranks are a one time price for re-occurring monthly rewards.

    Price Rewards
    Donor €15 1 Random skin from the list per month
    Donor Awesome €30 3 Random skins from the list per month, 1 Permanent dino paint job per month
    Donor Legendary €60 6 Random skins from the list per month, 2 Skins you choose per month, 3 Permanent dino paint jobs per month
    Donor Epic €100 9 Random skins from the list per month, 5 Skins you choose per month, 9 Permanent dino paint jobs per month, 1 Bionic Giganotosaurus skin

    Integrating the current donor system into Ark we can have skins handed out once a month like a subscription. Unlike a subscription though, it would only be a one time pay. For instance, if you pay 15 euros to become a donor you will forever be a donor and receive the monthly rewards for that group. If you payed 15 more euros you would be upgraded to Donor Awesome permanently and receive the monthly rewards and so on.

    Keep in mind that the current list of skins will likely be doubled or greater. I'll be adding several Ark skin mods. The Bionic Giganotosaurus skin, though listed in the original post, will not be included with the random/chosen monthly skins. That will be a Donor Epic reward only. I'll be using a randomizer program once a month for each donor, meaning one donor will not get the same rewards as another donor for the same month. Donors can do whatever they like with their rewarded skins including trade or give them to non donors. I will not be giving out blueprints for skin crafting.

    A special community building will be constructed that will contain vaults with customized pincodes on them. Each vault and pin code will be specific for each donor. This will allow all donors to receive their rewards monthly without the need to be present on the server to obtain them, simply using your special pin code on your vault will allow you to access the rewards.

    Permanent dino paint jobs are not war paint. Dino paint jobs will change the color regions of a dino to change its "natural" color schemes to whatever the donor wants. I am not sure if this will change offspring colors or not.

    The donation ranks also come with access to HappyDiggers minecraft donation servers. We might be incorporating a donation server for Ark in the future either by adding a new server or converting a current server.

    This is not the final draft of the Ark donation system. I am still considering different aspects of non skin mods and possible perks for donors.

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