On December 23rd, “The Survival of the Fittest” game was released to the public after being abandoned by its developers in 2016. However, the updated version of the game features a completely different game mode, which has caused mixed reactions among players. While some fans of the old game were irritated by the changes, others who were unfamiliar with the previous version loved the game for its easy-to-learn gameplay. In this article, we will discuss the hopeful future of “The Survival of the Fittest” game and the thoughts and criticism of content creators who tried it.
The old version of “The Survival of the Fittest” game was a slow-paced survival battle royale with a focus on farming, crafting and taming. Players had to gather resources and craft weapons and armor in order to survive and fight other players. Crafting your own weapons, tools and armor but also taming were key features of the game.
Building yourself up as a player was a time-consuming process that required a lot of knowledge, resources and patience and teamwork. Matches in the old game could be quite long, even lasting for hours. Players were also vulnerable to enemy players and had little chance of recovery once their makeshift base / crafting spot was found. Overall, the old version of the game was a challenging experience that required players to learn about mechanics in order to even finish the game. It was not a game to spontaneously jump in and have some fun rounds. It needed preparation.
“The (new) Survival of the Fittest” is a survival game with a focus on dinosaur fights and little on foot player versus player (PVP) combat. Loot drops are shared among team members who are close enough to the drop, and the best armor and weapons are equipped automatically. There is little farming and minimal crafting in the game, with only certain types of ammo like arrows requiring crafting. Guns are not present in the game, and the best weapon right now is a compound bow.
Animals in the game can be leveled from level 0 to level 3, and their level is visible to enemy players. The three island bosses can also be tamed. The game uses tokens that can be acquired by killing wild animals or enemy players. These tokens can be used to tame animals, heal them, and level them up.
The game takes place on a dynamic version of the Island map, with the “ring” (an area that gradually reduces in size, forcing players closer together) able to end anywhere on the map
The best part is a player can posess a dinosaur that their tribe tamed when they die. That way players are not completely out of the round when getting killed but can even win the round as a dino. It keeps the whole team involved until the end.
Why a more simple game is better
Old SOTF was made for a small very skilled player group. But the new SOTF is more than just a nostagia project. Development costs money and also needs to be justified. You cannot develop a game for 15 players and invest a lot of money into it. You need to reach a critical mass of players.
Simplifying a game can help to broaden its audience by making it more accessible. This can include streamlining gameplay mechanics, reducing the learning curve, and making the game more intuitive and easy to understand. That’s what happened with TSOTF. The UI was reduced to only the important parts. Eating, drinking has been removed from the player and dino characters and inventory micro management is also history.
Changing an overcomplicated game into a more simplified version helps to attract more casual or non-traditional gamers, who are intimidated by more complex or hardcore games. By making the game more approachable it becomes more fun for everyone.
It is if course important to find a balance between easy and accessible and challenging to not disappoint the OG players – if that is an option, because it is common for players of ARK: Survival Evolved or “Survival of the Fittest” to be resistant to changes, as they are used to a certain playstyle and enjoy certain features of the game. When developers showed the changes and updates to the game, it was not a surprise to anyone to see the players express skepticism and even outright opposition.
It is also common for these players to eventually warm up to changes and updates once they see their peers enjoying the game. This is especially true because the changes are well-received by the community and add new features and gameplay elements that are popular with players.
Of course, this is not always the case, and some players may continue to be opposed to changes even after they have been implemented, but games can’t be developed for individuals only.
Many players who enjoyed the old version of the game have expressed disappointment that the new game is not like the old version, which had a slower pace and more focus on farming and crafting. These players felt that the new game is too fast-paced and miss the slower, more immersive gameplay of the old version.
Another common criticism of the new game is the lack of guns. Some players argue that guns are an important aspect of a battle royale and add an extra layer of strategy and depth. The new game’s minimal crafting has also been a source of criticism, with some players arguing that it was an important aspect of the old game and added to the player skill gap.
In addition to these criticisms, some players have argued that the new game does not have enough on foot player versus player (PVP) combat, making it less strategic and less exciting. Others have complained that the user interface (UI) is too simple and lacks the depth of the old version.
Some players have argued that the developers of the new version of “The Survival of the Fittest” should have consulted with old OG players when creating the game, as they know best what an “SOTF” player needs.
There are a few points to consider. Firstly, it is worth noting that there have been several community-led revival projects for the old version of “The Survival of the Fittest” that have all failed. This shows that there was no demand for a revival of the old game, and that the mechanics and gameplay of the old game are no longer appealing to players.
It is also important to consider that the old player group may not be the target audience for the new version of the game anymore. Which I am sure is a tough cookie for some players but the gaming world has evolved (hah) since 2015.
It is understandable that OG players may feel attached to the old version of the game and want to see it return, but it has not worked the last 5 times. At some point it’s better to just accept that. While input and feedback from the community can be valuable, it is important for developers to also consider the needs and preferences of their target audience and make decisions that are best for the overall success of the game and not only cater towards the loudest 15 players.
The Positive Feedback
The new version of “The Survival of the Fittest” has received positive reactions from players who did not have any connection to the old version of the game. Many of these players were excited to try the new game and were able to get a hang of the mechanics quickly. As a result, there have been a lot of games played and many streams on Twitch featuring the new game. TSOTF has showed the highest player numbers since it’s initial release.
One of the notable aspects of the new player group is that it includes players who have never played PVP games before. It means the new version of SOTF is welcoming to new player groups and easy to learn and to understand that they feel comfortable to try it out even when they won’t win the rounds.
But not every OG player was negative towards the new game mode. In fact, some OG players, like streamer Icebox, have actually been enjoying the new game mode and are streaming it on their Twitch channels to showcase it. Icebox, who was the first ever winner of an SOTF tournament in the old version of the game, has been streaming the new game mode and has received positive feedback from viewers. He even organized a paid tournament on his Twitch channel and plans to hold another one on January 1st.
It’s just a prototype – a fun one
Right now it’s important to remember that the game is still a prototype and will undergo many changes before the final release. Right now, we are essentially playtesters, providing feedback and testing the game to help the developers make it the best it can be.
It’s understandable that some players may have negative feelings about the new game, especially if they were fans of the old version. But remember that the old SOTF is gone for good and that the new game is its own entity. The sooner you realize this and move on, the more time they can spend in the new game and get good at it.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the developers are working closely with the community and plan to release many patches to improve and change the game. So if there are things you don’t like about the new game, remember that the developers are working to address them and that the final release will likely be very different from the prototype we’re playing now.
Overall, it’s important to keep an open mind. Any negativity or frustration is wasted energy, and it’s better to focus on providing constructive feedback and enjoying the game as it is now, knowing that it will continue to evolve and improve in the future.