Ark: Survival Evolved's dormant volcano at the center of the game's Island map has long been a favorite farming spot for players looking for precious metals. But those same players will want to make sure they move out of the immediate vicinity of the volcano by May 3rd, because Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard is about to rain lava down on everything in sight.
The volcano eruption is part of Ark's next big PC update called "V257," which releases next Wednesday. (No word yet on when console players can expect the patch.)
When the servers come back up, the huge crater at the top of the volcano will be transformed into a toasty lava pool. While that sounds fun enough already, the most interesting part of the patch is that anyone who logs out in the affected area may log back in to death and destruction.
Studio Wildcard is telling players to make sure they move their characters and all structures and belongings out of the crater before the patch comes back up, or they could lose everything. To be clear, Wildcard says all dinosaurs and structures near the summit are going up in flames. To assist players with getting to safety, Wildcard has already put up markers in-game showing where the lava is going to land next Wednesday.
Once the dust settles though, players will want to head back into the area as the volcano has been revamped with new content including the entrance to the brand new "Tek Cave." Caves are essentially Ark's version of dungeons and the Tek Cave is supposed to be the game's most difficult one yet, requiring Boss and Alpha Predator trophies before it can be accessed. A new type of end game called "Ascension" will be unlocked by those who defeat the dungeon.
While this all sounds like a blast, (sorry) it's worth noting that this isn't quite what Studio Wildcard initially had in mind for the volcano eruption. The developer's original plans involved a timed eruption cycle for the volcano that would have it spew lava everywhere while the servers were actually online.
But lead designer Jeremy Stieglitz told Kotaku that a timed environmental hazard that repeatedly destroyed its surroundings wasn't consistent with the rest of the gameplay on the Island map, and then there's the fact that the dev team just didn't see the point to committing the resources to create a progressive lava flow as the game nears its 1.0 retail release.
Ark: Survival Evolved: will leave Early Access to release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.