Ark: Survival Evolved officially turned one year old today. To celebrate its birthday week, the game is getting a fresh update that includes new creatures, XP-buffing birthday cakes, and a new dragon boss fight.
Two newly-added creatures are hitting the island -- one of which is the disease-carrying leech, a.k.a the Haementeria laetus. These organisms can severely debilitate their host with infections like "Swamp Fever", and require precision blade-work or an open flame to shake off. While these annoying blood-sucking creatures are not tamable, their venom can be used to create powerful anti-venom when processed properly.
Additionally, there's the Diploducus -- which acts as the game's own Uber service. This dino taxi seats 10 players, allowing you to get back to the tribe safely after some serious partying. Be warned: the Diploducus is extremely friendly, even towards predators. You may have to sling an arrow or two to help the dinosaur survive its adorably fatal attempts at friendship.
The one-week "ARK Birthday Event" also includes limited-run items. Players can find candles in Supply Crates to craft XP-boosting ARK Birthday Cakes. Each candle blown out gifts a present to the player -- like party hats for players and dinos, as well as birthday suits that will have players donning plenty of pixels.
The Dragon makes its ARK: Survival Evolved debut as a new boss for well-equipped tribes to take on. It'll take some serious firepower to best this fire-breather.
Other additions players can expect from the update include Training Dummies that will display Damage Per Second values that indicate the damage output of your fearsome dinos.
The Permanent Diseases & Cures mechanic introduces diseases that will persist past respawn and can only be cured through antidotes. Players will also be able to deliberately infect Dodos to act as disease-spreading nuisances.
For the full details on the patch, check out the list below.
ARK: Survival Evolved is gearing up for its full launch slated for this summer. In the meantime, you can check out this guide on how to efficiently tame your dinosaur in the Early Access.