CoOp Readiness Guide
Hi! Is your alliance considering joining others to create a level 20 sanctuary quickly? How can we accomplish this? This guide will assist in the process. So let us start with the basics.
Note: We are aware that sanctuaries are a public community property; this article is strictly for those who have decided to treat it as a private sanctuary with their collaboration partners. This is a long read, we have separated this into sections with collapsable menus for easy reference.
Sanctuary cooperation requires preparation to ensure your team is delivering on the partnership agreement. After all, this is a collaboration in which communication and responsibility play a critical role. Getting started is as simple as taking the following steps.
Not every player is familiar with the benefits of a level 20 sanctuary nor how they function. This is where you, as an alliance leader or sanctuary leader, play a significant role. Get the buy-in from your alliance teammates by communicating the benefits and how having access to level 20 sanctuaries will help drive their teams’ growth. For a sanctuary to reach level 20, the teammates’ Food, Interactions, and Toys are best used in the collaboration sanctuary. This encourages players to value these tools as they will now see them as DNA rather than just one more inventory item.
Build your communication channel. In-game chat does not allow you to retain your training chats or pin essential messages. Start gathering your team into a third party communication application. This will allow you to share strategy and ensure that your alliances work in harmony towards higher rewards.
Depending on the size and number of sanctuaries, you will need a strong set of players to place dino(s), on time, every 48 hours to keep your share alive. This is not a one-person job. So find people within your alliance that will band together to help with sanctuary duties.
Some coops choose to drive sanctuary growth via over-leveled, boosted dinos. This forces players to utilize their tools on dinos that they don’t necessarily want or need at the moment. Find a coop that encourages your team members to vote on sanctuary dinos. Voting every two sanctuary cycles will ensure that your players are spending their tools on how they want to spend them while still allowing the sanctuary to grow quickly.
Not all CoOps will allow you to vote, promote voting, honor voting, and instead choose to drive their sanctuary growth via over-level over boosted dinos that you may not want. These might be known as high sp, hero, or super dinos. ARK calls this waste strategy. Yes, bold statement, but given the constant quick builds in ARK, we have proven this method works time and time again. Our 75+ teams build their level 20 sanctuaries in under 48hrs. One ARK team, EVA, is picking up strategy like second to none chasing down ARK1’s record of (Link to 5-hour sanctuary).
Voting is crucial. Some teams ask their alliances to vote for their top three dinos in order of preference. Before joining CoOp, have your team votes ready. Voting allows the strategist(s) to plan out the most efficient layout based on dino votes and the interactions/XP it delivers to sanctuary leveling. Without votes, you are flying into a CoOp with nothing more than random dinos and hoping for the best. Fuse level dinos with more votes can do more leveling for a coop than a high-level dino with boosts which no one has interests for, e.g. concavenator.
Build your Dino Farm
This is what we call our over-level dino list in ARK. It is a list of all dinos which we have over-leveled and boosted specifically for sanctuary (which happens to be very handy in advantage tournaments). CoOps are about applying the best strategy. If the sanctuary could use your dino because you have the best dino voted for, then why hold the coop back. There is a strategy behind building a dino farm list for CoOp. A post is coming soon on this topic.
We are ready!
Not yet, you are ready to begin your research into available CoOps, but the process of finding the right CoOp group for you has just begun. You must know many things to avoid a bad experience, and you should be aware of the Dark Side of CoOps. Yes, where there is light, there will always be darkness, but you can avoid becoming a victim if you know how to spot troubles in advance.
Sanctuary CoOp Standards
Below are the must-have key elements of a successful sanctuary collaboration.
The ideal CoOp partnership will treat you as an equal partner and will not deliberately withhold information that is necessary to ensure a fair and robust partnership. Open communication with all partners in the CoOp, direct access to the sanctuary strategists, and a clear understanding of CoOp engagement rules are a must in a successful and fair CoOp.
To ensure full transparency, we recommend that you understand what you are signing up for with this new partnership. Several CoOps can promise many level 20 sanctuaries, but what they do not clarify is how they are built or obtained. A trustworthy and transparent CoOp will share the following information: method(s) used to build the sanctuary, the length of the build; A team of six active alliances can produce one level 20 sanctuary in under 48 hours when the right methods are applied. If it takes longer, this signifies that your partners may not be fully transparent in their efforts in the collaboration. Who are your partners in CoOp? They should not only provide you with their names but introduce you to their leads. Your responsibilities within the CoOp. Understanding what is expected of you and the team will ensure that your alliance is not being mistreated or taken advantage of.
The clarity in the partnership and what is expected of you and your alliance is necessary to ensure a successful partnership; therefore, transparency is a must.
Another key element in CoOp is communication with both your CoOp partners and alliance. A CoOp will organize all teams into a third party communication app to ensure that everyone is collaborating and coordinating the sanctuary build and maintenance. Without being on the same page, the integrity of the sanctuary will become compromised.
Providing a method to coordinate and organize the shared sanctuary is a must for any sanctuary CoOp group. We have seen several tools being used in CoOp; most are created using a spreadsheet; others are using document formats, and yes, we have even seen a written format. None are wrong to use; all are different. Technology will make life easier for a CoOp but is not 100% necessary. The idea is to organize, coordinate, and place it in a format that all can refer to it as needed. This plan must be made available to everyone in the CoOp, not just the strategist. If the plan is not shared with you, then question it. This means something is being withheld from you and the team.
A plan is needed; winging it will result in rogues and misunderstandings when it comes to the most wanted dinos not being made available to your players.
The fastest and most fair way to reach a level 20 in a CoOp will be one that will plan to include the top voted for dinos, which will include some if not all of your alliance favorites within those 24 slots. So plan and organize. It is the only way to go.
As with most organizations, there must be a group or one individual that is dedicated to providing guidance and making decisions to ensure that the CoOp is moving forward, remains fair, and that all partners are adhering to the rules of engagement.
Some CoOps hide behind the idea of democracy and will vote on all decisions; however, the decisions must be presented to the group. The presenter is the one driving those decisions; how he/she chooses to present the information dictates how you vote. Yes, even in these so-called democratic CoOps, leadership drives their decisions and direction. Fully democratic? Not unless you also have access to the source and are allowed to make a fully informed decision driven by the facts you have gained.
The right leadership is essential to have a successful CoOp as decisions may be made on the fly at times. In ARK, we have learned from our earlier days and evolved into a new strategy utilizing co-leads. Choosing the right co-leaders that bring a combination of strengths reduces friction and stress upon the partners. Co-leads must be similar to those within their group to maintain a stress-free and non-toxic CoOp. These superb players will help guide, lead, strategize, and treat their partners equally.
Seek out CoOps that have a strong foundation in leadership and will provide you and your team with opportunities to become leaders while treating you with the same level of respect.
Darkside of CoOp
Please be aware that there are predatory CoOps organizations and tactics. There are many alliances that shy away from CoOp because they have heard the horror stories shared by others. Know there are good CoOps out there, reputation is everything to them. Please ask to speak to other leaders and talk to others in the JWA community before making a decision.
The following are questionable and unethical tactics communicated to us by teams leaving other CoOps and joining ARK. In joining a CoOp, you become an equal partner, and as such, it is your right to know if any of the following impacts you. Any non-transparency within the CoOp organization will more than likely mean they are keeping something from you.
A leech alliance is an alliance that did not participate in the build. Yes, you read that right, the leech alliance did not participate in the build. Once the teams in the CoOp build a sanctuary, leech alliance will be brought in during the next share time as part of the share team strategy. These “leech” alliances will gain multiple sanctuaries via this method, having never spent their tools on building a level 20 because they will have utilized unsuspecting alliances to do the work for them.
Detection & Prevention
If you are in a CoOp and cannot talk to or identify all of the alliances and members in your sanctuaries, then chances are you are in one of these CoOp groups. If you suspect a leech alliance in your CoOp, ask for screenshots from that alliance to see how many high-level sanctuaries they have at build time and after build time. Remember, if your CoOp does not allow you to talk to the other teams you are sharing the sanctuaries with, chances are you are building sanctuaries for a leech alliance.
CoOps require a team of people to be available to place dinos and communicate. However, be aware that once in CoOp, your team members will be susceptible to recruitment by the other alliances and CoOp Organizers. Poachers will scan small alliances for their top players and request you bring them into the sanctuary team, citing they make the most reliable members for CoOp. Or they might poach a low contributing player with a strong influence on the team who will, in-turn, poach the other players they are after.
The only way to prevent this is to interview the alliances in the CoOp. How long have they been part of the CoOp, have they lost any players to another alliance in the CoOp? Also, ask to speak to former teams of the CoOp. How many teams have left the CoOp, and what are their reasons for leaving? Come here to the Ludia forums and ask for input on a specific CoOp.
Forced Merger Option Ultimatum
You come into a CoOp with a team of 30 or so active players with the intent of growing your team; the CoOp will allow you to participate for one or two cycles then pull you in for a serious conversation. You will be told your team just simply is not performing, and it’s best that you merge your players out to other alliances, so they have the benefit of CoOp or risk losing them when you lose the level 20s. They will sweeten the deal by promising you, the leader of your alliance, a good/elite alliance to join into. Do NOT, under any circumstances, give up a team you have worked hard for and still want because of CoOp! What they will do is take your best most active players, move them into their elite alliances, and move the rest into what they call a casual alliance or disband the alliance leaving the rest of your team out on their own with no rewards. Remember, you as the leader with your team, might get into a “good” alliance, but it is very easy to kick you out of that “good” alliance for any reason they deem appropriate.
A good CoOp will encourage you to keep growing and help with recruitment so you can build a team full of similarly minded players. Only if you approach the CoOp leaders and are truly ready to become a player should you ever consider giving your alliance up. This is a delicate decision, a process where you should feel supported and not taken advantage of.
The organizer discards your team votes because they simply do not like them, then fills the sanctuary with dinos, which only the CoOp strategist alliance has voted for, limiting your selection to their desires. The only real solution to this situation is to find another CoOp. Your votes and alliance are important, even if it is a common dinosaur that made it to the top of the list.
Most Wanted Dino Placement Delay
The organizers will delay the most desired (META) dinos until the sanctuary reaches level 20. This will force your team to spend your hard-earned FITs on leveling the sanctuary. A good strategist will know that this strategy only creates animosity and a lack of sanctuary usage and tools. If you are in a CoOp that utilizes this strategy, it’s time to put your players first. After all, CoOp is about them. You are doing this for every single member of your alliance’s benefit.
Rogue definition: An unauthorized player that will place his dinosaur into the collaboration sanctuary.
“Boot the rogues!” Wait, what?! If your CoOp does not allow you the flexibility of educating your players when they place an unscheduled dino into the CoOp sanctuary, then are they the right team for you? Education, then warning, and only then, booting is the standard in CoOp. Anything else is too lenient or too strict. A trustworthy and fair CoOp allows you to maintain your identity and respect your decisions so as long as these align with the collaboration goals you and your team have agreed to.
The education of players is key to ensure that should they move on from your alliance and land in another with a CoOp level 20 sanctuary, the behavior of roguing is no longer there. A well-informed player in your alliance is an asset to you and the JWA community.
Abuse of power/Threats/False Democracy
Non-communicative, dictatorial, angry, dismissive, immature, manipulative, false democratic, and dishonest are, unfortunately, all behaviors observed in CoOp. As a CoOp and sanctuary strategist, it is not easy to do, but it requires many hours outside of the game to make it happen. How this is handled will determine the success of the team. We are all adults; CoOp is a community task, and only through clear communication can this happen. There is no room for drama, which creates a toxic environment. If you find yourself in a toxic environment, talk to your sanctuary strategist, attempt to change it, and if it is not possible, then consider finding a more similarly minded CoOp
Some CoOps also promote Democratic decisions. However, be aware that the person presenting the idea/plan being voted on is usually the only one that has access to the alliance being presented or information on the decision being made. They will present this to their benefit thus giving you the sense that you had a say in the decision when you truly did not. If a CoOp is truly democratic in all decisions then you will have access to the alliance in question and/or the details of what you are being asked to decide upon. Do not fall for false democracy, ask questions, ask to speak to the alliance leader, and be involved. After all, it is your partnership.
All alliances are entitled to CoOp, so long as they are willing to collaborate with their partner respectfully and responsibly. Suppose your team has a desire for a level 20 sanctuary and are ready to take this step. In that case, there is no reason you should be made to feel like you have to be evaluated, scrutinized, or made to offer anything other than your collaboration to join a CoOp. A true CoOp will treat you like an equal partner, where you are respected and treated as an active alliance would be regardless of your rank in the tournament or number of players with 5,000 or more trophies.
Beware of Strangers
Beware of the Trojan Horse of CoOp. The majority of the time, these will be players within an authoritative position in the CoOp. They will come into your alliance chat channels and sometimes add their secondary accounts into your alliance. They intend to poach your players or evaluate your worthiness in their CoOp. What they say and are doing are two different stories.
Before allowing this person to join your alliance or chat channel, make sure you have enough information to trust this individual. Get to know them, observe how they engage with others, ask about their reputation, and make sure you can trust this person to be respectful and not to seduce your players into their or another alliance.
If it’s too good to be true, it more than likely is. That statement is true in CoOps. Any CoOp claiming to be the best out there is not being honest with you and themselves. Each CoOp has its strengths and methods. It is about you choosing the CoOp that best suits your alliance needs and wants. That will address our concerns and in which you will find similarly minded individuals.
Find the one that best suits your needs. Some CoOps enforce independence others choose to be more involved in enforcing cooperation. Each method provides its own benefits and weaknesses. Find which one suits you best. Do not trust a strategist that says their CoOp is the best based on their experience alone. Remember, reputation, actions, and community involvement speaks volumes over a simple black and white words.
Finding a CoOp
There are many places to look for CoOp. However, do not shy away from posting here in the Ludia forums. You will find many active and engaged leaders of CoOp here. While other communities offer resources, these are not monitored by Ludia, so please be aware that Ludia cannot protect you from any attacks, predatory behaviors, toxic encounters, or situations that break their Terms of Service should the incident occur on those sites. Stick to what is safe, and post here in the Ludia forums when seeking CoOp opportunities.
Look for the groups which are sharing sanctuary strategies in these forums and ask them questions. We are a helpful group in the JWA community and look forward to receiving the random DMs asking for advice or assistance.
Remember being in a CoOp is a partnership you should know whom you partner with before jumping into this collaboration.
- Suggested questions to ask: How many teams are in each sanctuary? How long will the sanctuary build take to reach certain levels, especially 20? How many dinos are assigned to each team per sanctuary? How do the teams communicate with each other? What strategy do you apply when building and acquiring these sanctuaries?
If they are unwilling to answer those questions above or tell you not to worry about them, then worry! Especially the one where they do not explain how the sanctuaries are built. Chances are you are part of a scheme at that point to take advantage of you and your team. Remember the transparency section; they are not being honest with you and are hiding something.
There are many great options available to you in CoOp. Choose the one which best suits your team, their needs, and strategic level/readiness. Below are a few examples.
These are CoOps, with around 20 alliances building two or three levels 20 sanctuaries. These sanctuaries can be done in many ways. Here are some methods ARK has applied successfully with new teams adapting to the basic strategy using ARK methods:
A one day build for two 20s with a third built by day two. Post 48hr mark, 3 L20 Sancs are fully shared (ARK1) (Majority of ARK teams) A two day build with two 20s by day two and a third by day four.
Pros: Fastest build in JWA without waste. Little stress on the strategist due to the quickness of the build and sanctuary share (fewest hops utilized). Effortless maintenance on alliance partners with fewer dinos and tools to keep it organized.
Con: Little room for errors as there are only 24 sites in a level 20 sanctuary; therefore, it is not the best environment for new teams to CoOp with many silent players (non-communicative/strategic players).
Three Team CoOps
A three-team CoOp consisted of 18 alliances, all separated into teams of six alliances. These six alliances will build their own level 20 in two days. On day 2, during the replacement of dinos (sub day), they will share the other teams’ sanctuaries.
Pros: You will have multiple sanctuaries, in some cases, incomplete higher level sanctuaries in two days, which is better than what you can do on your own.
Cons: In most cases, the sanctuaries will not reach level 20; thus, the building will continue for days until level 20 is reached. Once you have one level 20, it significantly slows the other sanctuaries’ growth. The sharing is complicated, and building teams may not communicate with each other.
These are single teams of 4-10 alliances. Together they build two to three sanctuaries.
Pros: You know who your partners are; they are all in one group working together to achieve the common goal.
Cons: The length and method to build are not player-friendly in many cases. The most desired dinos are transitioned to the new sanctuary build to encourage its growth to build the second and third sanctuary. Therefore, players are missing out on the maximum DNA gained for these dinos during multiple build stages. This results in waste. Fewer teams should not build more than what their capacity can handle, or those sanctuary tools are wasted through inefficient calculations.
By no means are all CoOps made equal; we all have our strategy and ethics, which we follow. This guide was created based on our experience as shared by the different alliances that have joined ARK and our own experiences. We are in no way perfect. Mistakes will happen; we are all human. Forgiveness and willingness to move on is always appreciated for those who have learned from their mistakes. If your CoOp is currently doing something you find questionable, please talk to them, ask for clarification, and allow them time to correct themselves. Should it not be resolved, then choose the best course of action for you and your alliance.
Best of luck to you and your team on your search for your ideal CoOp partner.
ARK is a community of over 75 active alliances collaborating on strategy, raids, and improving gameplay experience for our members. With a large team of sanctuary strategists, we are ready to bring CoOp to you and your team. Find our community on Discord. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon.