Meet the Quetzalcoatlus – Quetz to his mates, of which he has none, because he looks like he’s been constructed using spare parts from Half Life’s tentacle boss. He’s the newest addition to ARK: Survival Evolved’s ever-growing list of fanciful prehistoric beasties, characterised by developers Studio Wildcard as “a massive flying battleship.”
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I’m no paleontologist – seriously, I’m not – so I’ll let my reservations as to the historical and biological accuracy of Quetzalcoatlus’ size, appearance, and ability to fly while carrying gun turrets and human passengers slide. Instead, let’s consider his gameplay possibilities, and the impact that the ARK community continues to have on the game’s development – a topic I covered in a recent chat with Studio Wildcard’s cofounder Jesse Rapczak.
Judging by the official literature accompanying Quetz’s reveal, it doesn’t sound like the poor thing has a particularly enjoyable life:
Tamed Quetzalcoatlus have a very specific role on the island. Too slow to be an efficient local transport, and too weak to be an effective warbird, the tribes I’ve encountered tend to employ it as a mass carrier. Quetzalcoatlus is primarily used by these masters of the skies to safely carry vast quantities of supplies, creatures, and human cargo from one base to another without tiring.
Jeez, have a pop at the poor thing when it’s down, why don’t you? Slow and weak, used to bear agonisingly heavy loads across long distances… the envy it must feel when it spots a velociraptor. I anticipate some particularly interesting paint jobs in the works for this one.