Let’s Talk About Beacon and Ark: Survival Ascended [Updated]
Published (Updated )

[Update October 15th 2023]: Based on what little Wildcard has told us about Ark: Survival Ascended (ASA), we already know that there will be enough differences for ASA to be considered a separate game by Beacon. For example, player and dino movement speed will be capped by default, but there will be a configuration option to turn it back on. This confirmed difference alone means that there would have to be some sort of separation between Ark: Survival Evolved and Ark: Survival Ascended. The good news is that the existence of the option at all is a good indicator that ASA will still have plenty of configuration options.

As Beacon grows, my plan is to add support for more non-Ark games. However, I don't think it would be fair to raise the price of Beacon Omni every time a new game is added, since not all users will use Beacon for every game it supports. So Beacon Omni will be a separate purchase for each game, and since ASA is a separate game, there will be a separate purchase for Beacon Omni for Ark: Survival Ascended.

I'm also introducing some other pricing model changes in the interest of keeping Beacon maintainable. Beacon Omni will be moving to an update plan model. This is similar to a subscription, and I'm sure some people will call it a subscription, but it's not exactly the same thing. In an update plan pricing model, you purchase a license to the current version of the software, as well as any updates that are released over a period of time. When your update plan expires, you still have full access to the licensed software. You still have the license for life.

Here's how Beacon Omni for Ark: Survival Ascended will work. $20 USD will get you Beacon Omni for Ark: Survival Ascended and updates for one year. Renewal of the update plan is $10 USD for each additional year. Existing owners of Beacon Omni for Ark: Survival Evolved can upgrade to Beacon Omni for Ark: Survival Ascended for $10 USD, which also includes one year of updates. Prices for other currencies will be based on exchange rates.

Existing licenses of Beacon Omni for Ark: Survival Evolved will not change at all. They are still lifetime licenses.

As for when Beacon will support ASA, that's impossible to predict right now. We don't know enough about ASA, and even once it's released, it will take time to discover settings and figure out how they work. Wildcard's documentation of these things is notoriously poor. My plan is to essentially duplicate the ASE code for ASA, and then make changes from there as needed. So support might be available within a week or two, but there's a very high chance that settings will be wrong and require more updates to work out the kinks.

Original post: I'll get right to the point: I don't know anything more about Ark: Survival Ascended (ASA) than you do, so I don't know what Beacon's support for it will look like. There are two possibilities:

  1. ASA uses the identical paths, stats, configs, etc. as as Ark: Survival Evolved (ASE) and Beacon can immediately support ASA without major changes. A minor build update would be necessary to detect the correct servers from Nitrado, but Beacon would be mostly unchanged. I think this is the less likely of the two possibilities.
  2. ASA is different in some ways that requires me treating it like the separate game that it is. We already know some of this to be true, such as it not launching with support for all maps.

If I need to treat ASA as a separate game, there's some good news and bad news. The good news is I already planned for this eventuality, albeit for Ark 2. Beacon 1.6 already understands the concept of multiple games, but the interface elements are just hidden. This means I could get a version of Beacon ready for ASA in weeks (probably with bugs) instead of months.

Besides the timing, the bad news is that at this time, I have not decided wether or not ASA support for Beacon will be a paid upgrade. If I can go with option 1 and not have to treat it as a separate game, it'll be included in your existing Omni purchase. This would be my preferred route. However, my plan has been to charge separate Omni purchases for each game that Beacon supports. This makes sense because if I add support for a game you're not playing, it means you're not paying for something you don't need. This design is also already in place in the shipping version of Beacon. But I'm not convinced wether or not it's "right" to charge an upgrade fee for this, especially with all the repurchasing Wildcard expects us to do.

I have not decided yet. Beacon for Ark: Survival Ascended may be a paid upgrade, or it may not be. I need time to consider.

I think we have a rough transition ahead of us. I'll handle it the best I can.

Oh and for the record, this is not an April Fool's joke.

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