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    Captain's Log 23: Setting A Course

    Ahoy Pathfinders!

    We’ve seen some interesting action over the past week whilst Anarchy rules! Players have found imaginative ways to entertain themselves within this no holds barred meta whilst we gather useful data for the future. Meanwhile, the team has had in-depth discussions regarding the upcoming patch, with some specific focus on claim and war systems. There will be some adjustments to our previously announced plans and this Captain’s Log will outline the details that have emerged during this process.The specifics will be honed and adapted as we approach the PTR as well as the launch of these new systems.

         :anchor: Setting a course :anchor:

    March Mega Patch Update!

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    If you didn't have a chance to read our previous Captain's Log, please do so as it covers a lot of information regarding our massive update coming later this month, and will add some clarity to the changes we discuss below.

     

    General Claim Changes

    We’ll be making some general changes to the system which will impact both PvE and PvP servers: 

    • The boat decay system will be enabled. This means that there will be a tagging system attached to boats which will cause them to self destruct after multiple weeks of inactivity on PvE, Golden Age Ruin, and Freeport servers. To tag a boat, the owner of that boat (single player or company) will just need to enter its stasis/render distance.
    • Claim owners will be able to demolish structures (via the pinwheel) on their settlements temporarily as long as the structure has been placed within the last 12 hours. After the 12 hour period has passed, they will not be able to demolish the structures using the pinwheel, and must manually destroy it. Claim owners can do this outside of raid hours or warlike. This exists as an anti-griefing mechanism. On PvE servers, we may extend the time beyond 12 hours as players will not have the option to destroy via PVP.
    • There will be a notice sent to the Settlement Owner’s Company and also via a cross-server notification pop-up when new players/companies are building on their territory. Players will have the option to subscribe to this Company Log via email or Discord, similarly to other Company Log messages.

    PvE Claim Changes

    We received an extensive amount of feedback from the PvE community regarding our upcoming changes. The overwhelmingly clear message was a desire to retain some form of a claiming system.

    One aspect of the design we intend to stick to is the fact we want players to always have an option to build, otherwise, the game cannot be truly experienced in its current state.We understand that there are some concerns regarding how that could potentially be exploited in a PvE environment, and we’ll be working on designs and systems to ensure that isn’t the case from a technical point of view, as well as through GM involvement.

    With the Mega March update, the claim systems on PvE will change from being lawless-esque servers to the following:

    Use the same claim system as PvP, but remove the raidable hours and war aspect. This means that players will be able to claim islands, and anyone can build on those settlements. Each settlement will have an upkeep cost which is based on a variety of factors such as the islands ranking, the number of settlements that company has, and how many different companies are building on the settlement. Settlement owners will be able to set a tax rate, and also players will be able to place their player run shops on the claimed land.

    However, we are planning some PvE specific changes

    • We’ll be imposing a hard limit of Claim Points equivalent to one small island for single players. 
    • Companies will be able to own multiple settlements, but there will be a hard limit (lower than PvP) and it will be based on Island Points and the number of players who are currently in that company. This means that larger companies will have access to more ‘Claim Points’ and are therefore able to settle on more islands with higher rankings, however, we will still be imposing a relatively low cap.
    • Company alliances will no longer be enabled on PvE servers. We understand that there are some legitimate use cases, however, in this sandbox environment, we believe they will primarily be used to game the system and get past company rules/limitations. We recognize that this may impact how trading communication takes place on PvE servers and we are looking into an alternative option for players.

    PvP Claim Changes

    We’ll also be adding some new options along with changing how cannons are used during raidable/wartime hours.

    • Give claim owners the option to enable allied companies to build cannons on their lands
    • Give company owners the option to allow allies to use their cannon (governance setting)
    • Enable an activation timer on cannon structures placed by non-allied companies during wartime and raidable hours to prevent instant FoBs. Similarly to battery-powered heavy turret activation timer on ARK.
    • Delay on joining a new company or alliance after leaving one (24 hours)
    • Company owners and admins can now set other companies as neutral. This is done via the in-game pinwheel, similarly to alliances when targeting another company’s structure or player. Companies which are marked as neutral will have a different colour display HUD, as a way for players to indicate they are non-hostile, however, they will not have other benefits which the alliance system would provide. In summary, there will now be three states in which other companies can appear: ally/neutral/enemy.

    We acknowledge that there has been a lot of feedback regarding alliance limitations and how they impact mid-sized companies along with the role they play when sharing territory. This is something we are currently discussing and we may have an update for you closer to the time of the patch. 

    Player to Player Secure Trading System

    This update will also include our first phase of the Player to Player secure trading system! We regard this is an important aspect of the game, alongside our Player ran shops, which you’ll be able to experience later this month on the PTR!

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    Procedurally Generated Shipwrecks

    The March Mega update will also be introducing a new environment objective for players to explore whilst out at sea! Procedurally generated shipwrecks exist as a new source to loot for items and blueprints. You’ll be able to find them randomly populating throughout the sea floor, with a higher density present around the underwater trench. You can find them by diving deep into the ocean or looking out for their visual indicator on the surface of the water, or successfully completing the sextant mini-game which will point you in the direction of nearby shipwrecks (procedurally generated or player-made).

    We’ll have various types with their own unique looks. Players will need to swim into them to locate the chest to loot, which will vary based on the shipwreck.

    The structural pieces (planks) will not be able to be harvested, and the submarine can just directly attack the shipwreck to harvest the loot. Once the chest inside the wreck has been activated, it will begin a timer which will destroy the wreck, additionally, looting it entirely will also cause the wreck to be destroyed.

    Please keep in mind that this will be our initial implementation for these procedurally generated shipwrecks and we’ll be expanding on them in a future update, as well as introducing more PvE content for players to explore and experience. 

    Public Test Realm (Test Live)

    This update, including the war system and claim changes, will be making its way to our Public Test Realm before it hits the entire Official Network and will be accessible for all players for both PvP and PvE. It is anticipated that Test Live will be available to play around the 20th of March and we will keep you posted should there be any more updates as the time approaches. 

    We appreciate all of the feedback you’ve shared regarding the update and will continue to work on improving the systems, and the game by incorporating aspects of that feedback into our existing developmental pipelines as well as our vision for the game!

    Upcoming Major Version

    We’ll also be releasing a major version update on the 8th of March, which will contain a massive overhaul to the way items are replicated on our networks. This should result in a considerable performance gain and reduction in bandwidth on servers, and due to the scale and necessity of the changes, a major update will be required.

     

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    Additionally, we will be rolling out the Peg Leg and Hook Hand cosmetics which can be acquired at your nearest Freeport!

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    Dynamic ATLAS Maps

    Our roundup of the Dynamic ATLAS Maps will be on a temporary hiatus due to the current Anarchy patch and the fact we have announced the wipe. It will be making a return when the ATLAS relaunches with the new claim and war system.

     

     

        :pirate_mask: SHOW 'N' TELL #5 :pirate_mask:

    We enjoyed the variety of creative submissions in this fortnight's Show 'n Tell. It's awesome to see all of your originality and talent. Feast yer eyes on  th' best o' th' bunch below! Congratulations to our winners who have scored themselves cash prizes!

     

    WINNERS

    PCHELA LESNAYA

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    We were stunned by this beautiful piece with its skilled use of light and shadow displaying the artist's impressive talent and attention to detail. This art both formally and conceptually points to being awarded first place! 

    PRINCESS SUGAR

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    If joining this Company means we get an adorable map like this in order to learn locations on the Island for clear comms during defense, we're in! 

    MARNII

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    A well situated and architecturally impressive offering from an imaginative builder who is obviously honed at their craft. 

     

    HONOURABLE MENTIONS

    OTAWA72

    large.OTOWA72.jpg

    ARGH!

    large.ARGH!.jpg

    GLOBYTHEOLDPIRATE

    STRITE

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    ABYSIAN

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    Congratulations to the winners and runners up and thank you to all of the entrants; we love looking through everything you guys send in! 

     

    :wheel:

     

    Alrighty, that wraps up this log! Thank you so much for becoming a part of our crew and we can't wait to show all you scallywags, landlubbers, captains, and seadogs what lies ahead!

    Happy Sailing,

    Grapeshot Games

    🏴☠️For the latest dispatch on #playATLAS keep yer one good eye trained on this here information🏴☠️

    Natter n' chatter on Discord: https://discord.gg/playatlas
    Navigate ye olde Subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/playatlas
    Hear ye, hear ye on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sailtheatlas
    Watch us scallywags on Twitch: http://twitch.tv/sailtheatlas
    Plus ye can band with us Pirates on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/playatlasgame

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    8 minutes ago, Raine said:

     

    On Lawless, you might be able to drop a foundation and a resource box to collect your week's worth of mats, not a bad idea.  I'm not a ship builder, but I don't think all the mat requirements are revealed at the start, so you can't be sure you have what you need to achieve your next ship within a 4-hour demolishable shipyard timeframe.  Of course, you could rely on Wiki IF the mats are posted, but then you have to cross your fingers that whoever posted them was correct, and that the devs haven't switched it up in the meantime.

    Ramshackle sloops aren't a terrible idea, but will they hold the mats required for a brig or a galleon PLUS the corresponding shipyard if that's what you decide you're building?  I suspect not, but I haven't done the math.

    As for pillaring the ships in, the pillars were topped with rambling stone platforms and we tested whether the collision on them had been removed from the game.  I can confirm that at least on PvE, it has not.  Collision on pillars and platforms placed in the water is still a thing.  It still allows malicious gameplay on a PvE server.

    The wiki information regarding ships is extremely accurate, and all the materials are on the pieces when you unlock the recipes.  Calculating out the materials ahead of time is how I've done every ship I've buil, and I've built a lot of ships.

    And no, you wouldn't be going directly from Ramshakle to Galleon.  Build a schooner in between.  A schooner can hold an entire Galleon prefab. Or find a lawless island that isn't the living embodiment of hell.  I am curious how you found ones that were so bad, the entire time we played we never came across a lawless that was as bad as the barren hellscapes you described, and if we have we would have sailed to another island before bothering to set up shop. 

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    1 minute ago, Archsenex said:

    And no, you wouldn't be going directly from Ramshakle to Galleon.  Build a schooner in between.  A schooner can hold an entire Galleon prefab. Or find a lawless island that isn't the living embodiment of hell.  I am curious how you found ones that were so bad, the entire time we played we never came across a lawless that was as bad as the barren hellscapes you described, and if we have we would have sailed to another island before bothering to set up shop.

    You might need to replace a galleon or brig which was destroyed, so without a base a ramshackle sloop (unleveled for weight) might have to hold all parts for the galleon and its superstructure as well as the upgraded (and mat-heavy?) upgraded shipyard.  Perhaps it will be possible.  We don't know til the devs reveal more of their shipyard revamp.

    As for the hellscapes, those are real.  The most barren one I described was quite pristine when we first built on it at the Break of Atlas's Dawn.  Months later, it has become a wasteland barren of all life except inert foundations, pillars and broken structures.  That's what will happen globally on PvE over time if all servers become Lawless.  Still not convinced lawless is a better choice.

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    33 minutes ago, Raine said:

    You might need to replace a galleon or brig which was destroyed, so without a base a ramshackle sloop (unleveled for weight) might have to hold all parts for the galleon and its superstructure as well as the upgraded (and mat-heavy?) upgraded shipyard.  Perhaps it will be possible.  We don't know til the devs reveal more of their shipyard revamp.

    As for the hellscapes, those are real.  The most barren one I described was quite pristine when we first built on it at the Break of Atlas's Dawn.  Months later, it has become a wasteland barren of all life except inert foundations, pillars and broken structures.  That's what will happen globally on PvE over time if all servers become Lawless.  Still not convinced lawless is a better choice.

    Is it possible we may be entering the .01% territory to be worrying about players who have not  only built a galleon, but also lost that galleon, and the schooner that they used to build it on, all while not even establishing a single land base?  And even then, they could still return to a freeport, get another ramshackle, build another schooner, and then another galleon.

    Since the rapid decay of shipyards would be egalitarian, there would be plenty of coast on which to rebuild.  the materials for a small shipyard are quite modest, and large shipyards aren't that bad either.

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    You may be right about the 0.01%, but it's all unproven conjecture either way.

    There may or may not be plenty of coast on which to rebuild; it depends on how the land rush goes, how many people are actively playing, how bases and related structures are built, and most of all, the decay timers on existing ships.  As you've experienced, in the present iteration there are far too many rafts and ships of all sizes which are sailed to landfall and then abandoned forever, whether their original owners continued to play or not.  I really hope those are given an expiry date for non-use.

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    6 minutes ago, Raine said:

    You may be right about the 0.01%, but it's all unproven conjecture either way.

    There may or may not be plenty of coast on which to rebuild; it depends on how the land rush goes, how many people are actively playing, how bases and related structures are built, and most of all, the decay timers on existing ships.  As you've experienced, in the present iteration there are far too many rafts and ships of all sizes which are sailed to landfall and then abandoned forever, whether their original owners continued to play or not.  I really hope those are given an expiry date for non-use.

    That's included in the log, it's a tag system where they poof after a currently undisclosed amount of time.  The premise there at least is sound, and they can zero in on the exact amount of time during iteration.

    Edit: And they should absolutely scale number of ships to players in company.  5 per player is probably reasonable, at least as a first value.

    Edited by Archsenex

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    On 3/7/2019 at 7:59 AM, Dollie said:

    The boat decay system will be enabled. This means that there will be a tagging system attached to boats which will cause them to self destruct after multiple weeks of inactivity on PvE, Golden Age Ruin, and Freeport servers. To tag a boat, the owner of that boat (single player or company) will just need to enter its stasis/render distance.

    ↑ That's what's in the newest Captain's Log re ship demo timers.  I'm partly cloudy on how the above bit in yellow is supposed to work.  We'll probably have to wait for a more detailed explanation from Jat.

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    Just now, Raine said:

    ↑ That's what's in the newest Captain's Log re ship demo timers.  I'm partly cloudy on how the above bit in yellow is supposed to work.  We'll probably have to wait for a more detailed explanation from Jat.

    All that means is you need to go in to render distance for the boat to appear and its decay timer will be refreshed.

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    1 minute ago, [GP] Guybrush Threepwood said:

    All that means is you need to go in to render distance for the boat to appear and its decay timer will be refreshed.

    Ah...so, if your base is on the opposite side of the island from your ship, all you have to do is input some kind of distance measurement from your base to the other side of the island and you're golden?  Somehow, that seems sketchy to me.

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    2 minutes ago, Raine said:

    Ah...so, if your base is on the opposite side of the island from your ship, all you have to do is input some kind of distance measurement from your base to the other side of the island and you're golden?  Somehow, that seems sketchy to me.

    It's exactly like tagging your lawless stuff for refresh.  You just have to get to LOS to it.  Or just fast travel to it if you want to make things easy.

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    Just now, Raine said:

    Ah...so, if your base is on the opposite side of the island from your ship, all you have to do is input some kind of distance measurement from your base to the other side of the island and you're golden?  Somehow, that seems sketchy to me.

    All you need to do is have a bed on the ship, fast travel to it, fast travel back. That's all. Nothing sketchy about any of it as it is aimed at destroying boats left by inactive players.

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    I think the issue is that they've never really called that "tagging" before.  I'm guessing it's an internal word they haven't used much out here in customer-land.

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    Fast travel should be the only option.  Why enter some kind of render distance?  Seems unnecessary.  Or am I missing something?

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    2 minutes ago, Raine said:

    Fast travel should be the only option.  Why enter some kind of render distance?  Seems unnecessary.  Or am I missing something?

    I think you are.

    The server automatically puts stuff that no player is near into Stasis, which unloads it from processing.  "Stasis Distance" is a very common unit of measurement, if you know the unit.  To refresh your lawless stuff, you also have to get within "stasis distance"

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    Just now, Raine said:

    Fast travel should be the only option.  Why enter some kind of render distance?  Seems unnecessary.  Or am I missing something?

    The boat simply needs to render in for it to be "tagged". That's it. You either fast travel to it for it to appear, or you walk/sail to it for it to appear.

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    2 minutes ago, Archsenex said:

    The server automatically puts stuff that no player is near into Stasis, which unloads it from processing.  "Stasis Distance" is a very common unit of measurement, if you know the unit.  To refresh your lawless stuff, you also have to get within "stasis distance"

    Hmm.  In general I knew this already.  But why then did Jat explicitly  state the player or company was required to enter the stasis number on any particular ship, if its value is already a known default? 

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    1 minute ago, Raine said:

    Hmm.  In general I knew this already.  But why then did Jat explicitly  state the player or company was required to enter the stasis number on any particular ship, if its value is already a known default? 

    Enter, as in "to walk into a location"

    you have to "walk within this distance of the ship"

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    Alright, I'll go with awkward phraseology then.  So one only needs to enter the render range of ship in order to refresh its timer.   No different from the original dynamic on the claim flags on either PvE or PvP.

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    2 minutes ago, Raine said:

    Alright, I'll go with awkward phraseology then.  So one only needs to enter the render range of ship in order to refresh its timer.   No different from the original dynamic on the claim flags on either PvE or PvP.

    yup, for now at least, you just gotta get close to your ships to prevent poofage, which for a first draft solution is A-Ok in my book.  I anticipate a 2 or 3 week timer

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    Raine

    Posted (edited)

    So back to Archsenex's suggestion of limiting each player to a total of five ships.  Can we prevent that from being gamed?  Do all the ships belong to the player or to the company?  Company governance would cover that.  If to the Company, then 5 ships per player wouldn't work well.  Recruit heavily, retain a large Company roster even if 80% of your players abandoned the game, keep their ships all over your island claims by doing bed hopping rounds every 3 - 4 days.  It's also a good way to keep large amounts of claims, since you don't have to correlate those to any kind of an active player base.  

    Edited by Raine

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     PVE side for this post.

     

      I have to agree with what Sadie said earlier .. K.I.S.S.  

      This new idea or system seems overly complex and based on smoke and mirrors numbers.   Island points and an undisclosed number of points/flags for companies, seems like this has not been fully planned out.  Sometime when this information is disseminated, it is done in a fashion like we should all just understand all the details.  As if we have been included in all of the discussions behind closed doors or in alternate communication mediums.   The more Complex a system becomes the more fragile it is, the more difficult it becomes to manage, maintain and support.  I have to stick with my initial thought of  limiting claim flags. 

      Two per person. It allows 1 to build a home on and 1 to ensure resources remain. Then a company has the sum of its members flags, a 4 person company has 8 flags. Give everyone 2 weeks to decide what flags to keep. One someone leaves a company than the officers have a week to choose which flags to release. 

       I would be curious to see numbers on players flags and what it would look like if everyone was limited to two and how much land would get free'd up for those that need it before adding islands... and then again after.   No limit on where they can be placed... just a simple limit of two per person.  Easy; to the point without trying to re-invent the wheel.

      You are going to rely on the players to manage the pillar, gate and foundation spam... and trust they aren't just going to keep an an entire island to themselves and destroy any and every building that gets placed?   That is assuming they don't work eight'ish hours a day, have a family and a life and only get a finite numbers of hours to play in a week and would be able to actually log in every 12 hours... so unless you're planning on stretching that number out to weeks .. it really doesn't matter.  it will be a gate, foundation and pillar fest.    

     

     

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    Just as I thought, they took the easiest way for the PvE claim system.  Take what they already have, and modify it.

    I still think it's better than no claims at all.

     

    One thing they didn't cover:  How are inactive claims handled?   

    ie Someone claims an island, and than quits playing.  They had a tax bank and settlers, so the upkeep is met, but they haven't logged in in months.  Is there a way for the claim to expire?  Or be contested?

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    3 hours ago, vaylain said:

    let the player community police ourselves.

    Funniest thing I have heard in a LONG time.

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    I like the fact they listen to the players at times. But so the devs know, i think most of us care more about out character progress, maybe a little more than land. I mean if its a reset to where i have to redistribute skill points then ok i can live with that. But if i start out at lvl 1 again this game is over for me. If you find a way we can upload our character progress or anything like that I think it will bring a lot of people back to the game especially in PVE. I believe the loss of character progress is making most of the PVE and maybe other servers quit the game. I still play hoping I won't lose my progress but I am the only one on the server where my claim is most of the time and the neighboring grids. When I have to choose a new server I see no more than 5 people on One server and the rest have one person on them. I can almost guarantee as a player if you can find a way to save character progress it will bring players back. I really have lost the motivation to play or really do anything but I enjoy the game and the graphics slash beauty of each island. So if the character reset is a misunderstanding please specify. But if progress is being reset and we're going to lose all discovery points and everything please try to find a way to save it and maybe even save the game from dying out.  I'm in a small company but no one in my company but me plays anymore since the announcement. I will be happy to provide any feedback or input that is needed from a player standpoint.

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