In November I posted about the news of Tek Tier making its debut in December, although it was delayed a month. There are links to some good articles in that post, so go check it out. http://cheerfulghost.com/GregoPeck/posts/3163/ark-coming-to-ps4-in-december-release-delay-and-tek-tier
Not all of the Tek Tier was included in January’s patch. But the wiki (http://ark.gamepedia.com/Tek_Tier) contains a list of what’s confirmed. Most notably, the ability to have underwater bases is expected to be included in February’s patch.
In order to get and use Tek Tier items, you have to get the Tek engrams by defeating the bosses; the Broodmother (giant spider), Megapithecus (giant ape), and Dragon. Defeating the Manticore on Scorched Earth isn’t required. To get to the boss arenas, you still have to collect the Artifacts (located in caves) and take them to an Obelisk or supply drops along with a few other ingredients. There are now three difficulty levels for each of the three required bosses; easy, medium, and hard. The difficulty level changes how much HP the bosses have. You can get all of the engrams by defeating each boss once via the hard portal. This not only unlocks the hard level specific engram(s), but all of the others for that boss. So, you don’t have to fight each boss three times.
The portal will transport you, tribe mates, and your tamed creatures to the boss arena. One of the problems with this are some of the limitations for the arenas (seen here: http://ark.gamepedia.com/Boss_Arenas). Arena rules include the limitation of no more than 10 players and 20 creatures. There is also a list of compatible creatures, which means you can’t bring in every creature. The Scorched Earth Arena against the Manticore is the only one in which flying creatures are allowed. Giganotosaurus is one creature that cannot enter the arenas. Luckily, T-Rex is a compatible creature.
Defeating the boss on any difficulty level will unlock the engram(s) for that boss at that level. The very first engram earned is always the Replicator, which is used to craft Tek Tier items. It can also craft 4 times faster than other crafting stations and has more slots. It helps ease the issue with crafting some high quality blueprints for things such as saddles, which require a hefty amount of resources and therefore slots to put them in. Still the Replicator has limited slots and may not be able to contain all of the resources needed to craft some things. The solution I found for this issue is by using a mod called StackMeMore, which increases stack sizes and reduces the weight of resources. The other issue with the Replicator is that it is crafted at an Obelisk or supply drop.
Bosses now drop a material called Element, which is used to craft and power Tek Tier items such as the Replicator, armor, and weapons. Each piece of Tek armor has special abilities. Combined, they grant a huge insulation bonus. I was able to survive in the snow biome wearing my Tek suit, instead of the regular Fur armor. Still, sometimes I’d get cold at night and my Fortitude (the stat that determines how well you adapt to hot and cold) is very high, over 50.
The Tek Helmet can go into different modes including scanner, night-vision, and a mix of the two. The scanner highlights creatures or players giving them a different colored outline for their aggression level. Your tamed creatures will be outlined in green, neutral is white, and aggressive (attacking you) is red. On the PC, you can double press E to switch between modes. I found this helmet extremely helpful when looking for the new creatures to tame.
The Tek Chestpiece acts as a jet pack, activated by double jumping. You can also hold the jump button or key to float and move around in the air, but you can also hold the SHIFT key and hover or fly. If you’re also wearing the Tek Leggings, you can move forward in the air fast by holding the CTRL key. The chestpiece also gives a swimming speed boost.
Holding CTRL with the Tek Leggings lets you run forward very fast, breaking trees and structures along the way. I use this when I’m encumbered and can’t move. When that happens, I hold CTRL and am able to walk forward until I let go of the key. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful in moving inventory.
Say “goodbye” to fall damage with the Tek Boots! They also give you the ability to climb mountains. I usually get around the map by flying on a Quetzal or Argy, I don’t do a lot of walking, so I don’t really need the ability to climb mountains. After all, I have a jetpack now, why climb a mountain when I can fly over it? Still, the removal of fall damage is great! This removes the need to carry parachutes!
The Tek Gauntlets let you do a super punch with a Right-Click. You can hold the mouse button and target before letting go to punch. You can also super punch trees and rocks, though it’s a very ineffective way to harvest resources.
The Tek Rifle is a “laser” rifle. It can shoot continuously by holding the “shoot” button or key until it overheats and needs to take some time to cool. A Right-Click lets you see through the scope, which also has night vision. It seems pretty powerful. I’ve used it kill an Alpha Rex and a Giga, while my Quetzal was regaining stamina.
The Tek Rex Saddle is pretty much a helmet for a Rex that acts like the Tech Rifle. It doesn’t auto-fire and has an armor rating of 45. While the wiki says that’s better than regular armor, it’s still about half of a good Mastercraft Rex saddle, which can have an armor rating of 100. It does deal explosive damage and can damage structures (including metal).
The Transmitter is pretty much your own Obelisk. It acts the same way, allowing you to craft a Replicator or transfer characters, creatures, and items between games or servers. If you put one close enough to water, you can now transfer water creatures. I love this, because I like to transfer creatures and items between my single player maps (the default one, The Center, and Scorched Earth). This devices makes it so that I can move a lot of creatures and items around quickly and easily.
For players on the Center, there is only one boss arena with no variation in difficulty. However, the Center’s boss arena includes the Broodmother and Megapithecus together in one fight. Once you defeat them you are given only some of the Tek engrams. In order to obtain the rest, your character has to travel to another Ark (server or map).