Ark is a really great game but it takes a lot of time to learn and has a bit of bugs that can affect your experience a lot, would recommend to buy if the game is on sale as i would rate the game to be worth 60 bucks if it would include scorched earth expansion. The game is a bit heavy to run and i would recommend having minimum of 3Gt VRam and 8Gt of DDR4.
As for new players i would recommend to play single player or start with PVE servers as it takes a lot of time to learn the game and most of the people on PVP servers have at least 500h played and they have 10+ members on tribe, as for my personal experience i started on pvp server with my 3 friends and we had just gotten enough resources to make a metal base some guys with the best gear in the game (tech EQ) came and destroyed all that we had (the server had restarted 5 days ago) . The game also has a lot of really good mods and if you play on single player i would recommend to try and get the most out of the mods. Remember to add multipliers to the game as taming and leveling can take actual days on some dinos.
Tips for searching servers: Search for servers from your browser and not the in game-menu as it usually bugs really often and if you get connection timeouts just try connecting again and if you really want to join a server try getting in contact with the servers owner and try to solve any problems with connecting to the server as the owners usually can see if you cant connect to the server because you don’t have some of the mods needed. If you are looking at getting ark, i would highly suggest you watch this video to get ark for free pc!
Overall, great game. Better to play multiplayer in my opinion, but finding a good server can be quite difficult. The “official” servers are complete trash, filled with abandoned bases. As for the rest of the servers, most of them are 100x gather, tame, etc which kind of defeats the purpose of the game. But if you can find a good server, i totally recommend.