We’re back with another edition of Dev Q&A. We have info on PvE, game balance, and even a few cosmetics in the works. So thanks to all the pathfinders that submitted questions in the Discord.
The Atlas team is dedicated to provide as much transparency as we can since we feel the community is also a part of the team. Often the loudest of the members, you provide us with feedback, suggestions, and even a compliment or two. Therefore, we feel it is necessary to be open with the community in all facets. We hope you will continue to support us through rough (and calm) seas.
Until next time, we appreciate your support and ‘til next time, may your skies be clear, waters calm, and sails full in whichever way you roam.
Without further ado, here’s our Q&A! Hang out at our Discord for a chance to get your questions answered in the next Q&A!
Can you confirm if there will still be island claiming system or will it be lawless everywhere after the wipe?
We are still making updates to the area claim system and are going to focus on that. The Island claim system is likely to stick around after the wipe, but the map changes are still being finalized so that is subject to change. Either way the Island Claim System should be available for private servers.
Can we get some details of the theme and vision?
We're not planning to overhaul the game. We are planning to lean into things we have and reinforce them more with new content. So you might see Army of the Damned themed things in the world more, or Atlantis... We're also talking about introducing some pre WW1 dirty industrial content.
How are small companies and solo players going to work into the game?
Just like they do in the real world. Seriously. Large behemoth companies can't do everything on their own, and they can't protect everything at once. As we move towards having Wonders that companies build, it's going to require a massive amount of trade, logistics and war to get one built. This creates opportunities for smaller groups to be part of the wheels of progress or engage in acts of piracy as large amounts of resources need to be shipped on the water.
When can we expect balance changes?
Balance changes are happening continuously in small amounts. We don't have a focus on getting balance "right" because so many things are still getting added to the game. We want to get all of our changes in to get a better understanding of the big picture and then will come back and tighten the balance.
Can we get some form of roadmap even if it has a disclaimer that the plans could change anytime?
Right now we are focused on getting ready for a larger summer release. This will include more ships and some of the ship customization system talked about in another question. In addition to that, we are working on multiple maps that connect different parts of the world, rather than one large, uniform map. We also are laying the foundation for Wonders that players can build in the world by creating a general system for giving buffs to your company based on buildings you've built. The content we are working on generally will support these systems as we move towards a world where companies have more long-term goals and reasons to compete over specific land. That pretty much covers the major things we are working on for the next six months to a year.
...we all know the focus is on pvp but PVE players are still generally curious what the long term thoughts and ideas really are while lots of them generally feel marginalized and pushed aside.
We are focused on making Atlas one of the best and most unique pvp games out there. We want to be able to support PVE and Private servers so that other players can also enjoy what we create. Some of our changes are specifically driving PVP goals and do not fit well with PVE. We are looking at ways we can do a better job keeping PVP changes from creating bad experiences in the PVE community without having to spend a lot of time working on it to support two different play styles. In some cases, that means we need to not put those PVP systems on PVE. It also means we need to give unofficial server owners better tools for choosing how they want their world to be configured. Right now we are working on an overhauled configuration system that lets us do this with less disruption to our development cycle. Right now many things are hard-coded to work under certain conditions.
Are the new claim towers going to be modified for PVE? Will the mechanic change at all?
We would like to hear what PVE players think about this. While the disruption of adding the claim towers was painful because of the point in the season it occurred, generally we think it's better to be able to lay claim to an area and not have to build fence posts to prevent anyone else from building there. We do need to figure out some issues like decay times.
Weight Sail buff or changes, when?
All sails are getting updated and a new system is coming for changing the stats on sail blueprints. When is a harder question. We have some larger commitments that take priority right now and are taking a “time out” on some of the smaller things we've been working on to take care of some other business, like updating the mod kit, overhauling configurations, cleaning up a lot of bugs, and growing the team.
What tweaks do the team have for the new claim system, we are testing on Lawless islands?
We're still in the process of seeing how the meta changes from the new claims before making tweaks. As far as in the long term, we're planning to add some unique buildings and locations that must be captured with this system to get the benefit. The intention is for players to have strategic points on islands that give them an offensive or defensive benefit. Capturing an entire island might be a multiple day process as you have to take over these locations, build your own buildings, and wait for the benefits to kick in.
When will you add side quests? Maybe ones that earn players gold, loot, and xp? Other ones aside from the skill tree achievements/ pve bosses?
In the past there have been some MMORPG elements added to the game and we have decided this is not the best use of our time because this does not fit the kind of game we are making. Atlas is a sandbox survival game and we are fully committed to spending our dev effort on making tools for players to create their own interesting stories.
Are you guys gonna make more tames/bosses?
More tames are in the works! Our current focus (within the taming system) is making more existing creatures tameable. Crocodiles are next on the list and will be released soon. We don't plan to add new bosses. Our current boss fights didn't work well and were easily exploited, so we'd like to clean those up, and ultimately we want to focus on player stories rather than PVE content.
When will we see further information about the new ship system and further adjustments?
We are continuously making balance changes to the new ship system and the customization features described in this post are currently in development. The first customization feature will be released soon and will allow players to craft and swap a variety of railing types. The railings available with the launch of this feature will include Standard Railings, Cannon Railings, Cargo Rack Railings, Diving Attachment Railings, and Dinghy Hangar Railings. We know everyone loves the ability to paint their ships and we are also working to make the new ship system compatible with the painting system.
Will the current ship system still be available to build next season or is it just going to be these new modular ships?
There is no plan to remove the original ship system. That wouldn't even be a possibility until the other system is fully implemented. We would like the two systems to exist side by side unless something changes that makes this no longer possible. This poses some balance issues that we are going to have to address at some point.
Will there be a new map implemented?
Some changes to the map layout will be coming with the wipe in order to support Tradewinds. Later this year, you'll see a much larger overhaul of the map with portals to new areas.
Is there any plan to add a farmhouse-like structure that could also feed tames? Or the ability for tames on wandering to feed themselves from wild berries/ food?
We would like to eventually introduce a Stable structure where players can store their tames. We plan to add a similar module for the new ship system that allows easier tame transport.
When will we get cosmetic hat microtransactions/vendor?
We don't currently plan to add microtransactions for cosmetics or anything else even. Most of our art effort is focused on making new ships right now, but we do have one new hat coming soon!
Again, we would like to emphasize that ATLAS is still in Early Access, meaning many things can and will likely continue to drastically change - even in the middle of development. Anything discussed is only up to date as of the moment it is posted. Features and changes that ultimately make it to the next patch, as well as timing, may be different from what was previously discussed.
As always, we appreciate the suggestions and feedback from the community. Please keep them coming! Thank you for all of your support!
- ATLAS Crew
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