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Jozef

Atlas: the offline griefing simulator

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There is exactly zero incentive to PVP in atlas. Why hassle with trying to attack an enemy fleet in an epic sea battle, or siege a well equipped fort with heroic defenders when you can simply wait for your enemies to log off, then kill them without resistance and destroy everything they ever created in the game in minutes.

Once your enemy logs off, they are defenseless, sleeping, and therefore can be killed with a single hit and looted of all possessions without any skill or difficulty involved.

There are no safe places to log off either. The strongest walls anyone can build in the game can be destroyed with a few salvos from a ship, so in about 10 seconds. Even walls that are built far away from shores can be destroyed by a single cannon cart in about two minutes. Also, a simple cannon has longer range than any defensive armament of a base, so you can safely park your ship or cannon cart outside any base, and shoot it without any chance of retaliation.

Any ship you may build will also go down in a matter of seconds if found unmanned, even if you spent a week building it.

Suppose you are really vested into not dying when you log off, and decide to spend an enormous amount of time and effort building on a remote mountain top that is both away from ships, and cannot be reached by cannon carts. Well, then then any attacker can still destroy the strongest wall you can build in the game with about 30 grenades, in about 2 minutes. To put this into context, grenades are relatively cheap to make and the average player can carry about a hundred.

Interestingly, not only is it incredibly fast and easy to kill people offline and destroy entire bases, its rather expensive to build them. Atlas has the odd logic of making it cheaper to attack a fort than to defend one, even not counting the range advantage of attackers that makes all the defensive armaments useless anyway.

At the moment not even mega companies seem to keep a large enough player force to defend themselves 24/7, so just build yourself a cheepo ship, get a horse with a cart, pack in a few grenades and sail around to find any building or ship left unattended for two minutes. Destroy it, loot it then move on. Its what everybody seems to be doing as its the most efficient strategy with the current game mechanics. A single player in underpants can currently beat any mega.

I had this stupid idea a month ago to start the game, team up with some friends, build an awesome pirate base and fleet and then look for other fleets to battle. After a month, the four other guys left, as if we built something, it would always be destroyed while we were offline. We never witnessed an actual battle. We did see ships sometimes, but if they found us online, they would just sail away without attacking, and avoided us if we tried chasing them. The few allies we met have the exact same experience (most of them left after getting wiped repeatedly). I have only witnessed actual ship vs ship combat on videos. And to be fair, cruising around we found countless fleets moored on shore with their owners logged off, and also countless bases built by fellow players. We made the policy of not attacking anything if there are no players on it, as it did not seem much fun griefing others. But for most people this is the game: find an unattended ship or base, destroy it, then loot it. If you find other players, then just avoid them.

Offline griefing is by far the most efficient strategy in this game, and this makes it a very unrewarding experience in my opinion. Its not the fault of the players, its a mistake of the game developers that made offline raiding the easiest and most rewarding activity in Atlas. A very poor game design choice if I may say so.

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I have over 1k hours in atlas and everything you said is true. however in rust everybody just offlines everybody also and that game is pretty darn popular.

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You are right about Rust, but there offline raiding is both clearly marketed as being an integral part of the game, and still you can make comparably safe bases that take an actual effort to raid. Add to that the small, controlled servers and regular wipes and you have a great survival game which is about building safe bases, and trying to raid other people's constructions. It works.

Atlas however is marketed as a fun, massive pirate game with naval battles but in reality its just offline raiding and just four ship types. There seems to be no incentive to take part in naval battles whatsoever. If you play it like Rust you can do quite well, but you will miss out on most game mechanics from taming through shipbuilding to naval combat. If you play it like its intended then you will spend your time building a fleet and then trying to find other ships to fight in vain, and lose your fleet when you log off. It just doesn't work.

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Posted (edited)

Also it's pretty cheesy that enemies will sail a ship by, hide whatever they need to raid you in the ocean, spam the island with beds, and until you find the equipment in the ocean they can raid you with no ship anytime. Something needs to be done about that as well. 

I vote no building outside claims and lawless at least. 

Also make the settler cords useful, currently it gives you the cords of the first item they drop and that's it. 

This is also why I think they should just remove combat timers. Let it just be about war for taking islands. That way small companies likely wont be worth the war deck, unless they attack another company or something, and big companies would know when the fight is comming so they can properly prepare. 

Edited by Mike L
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7 hours ago, Mike L said:

Let it just be about war for taking islands.

So like Planetside... where holding land becomes meaningless...?

Does not work with 90% of the other stuff you want to do in Atlas that needs relyable land support...

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14 hours ago, Sheepshooter said:

So like Planetside... where holding land becomes meaningless...?

Does not work with 90% of the other stuff you want to do in Atlas that needs relyable land support...

It doesnt work for surprise attacking someone.  But I dont see how it devalues land any? You could still do the same stuff you do on land now. Farm, collect resources, make better stuff, park ships.  So I dont see what you mean besides people moving things off the island before war time, but if they move too many assets off, there more likely to lose their land. 

If you wanna talk about land not being valuable? How about currently theres tons of unclaimed land because of the small player base, or how megas are living on each others land and abandoning their home land, so that they dont have to defend through combat timers? Pretty much because of what I was saying above, way too easy to gear out and harass a company as much as they want with no ship. 

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Posted (edited)

The only naval fight I had fun was in the beginning of the server we had no npcs. in a schooner using the canons manually, the capital said go to portside or shoot starboard side.

I find ship battles very boring. Only the capitan have fun, others are just playing hammer and bucket simulator, until you are boarded and granades destroy you. I would like to use the canons and let NPCs repair the ship or the planks to set automatic. It Would be cool if players could use a top deck morter, or something useful im battle that cannot be used by a NPC. NPC take all the fun and leave the boring tasks to players. This game is all about people having their personal ships, and when you are raided you have 2 people online having to move 12 ships anchored fully manned of NPC.

As a crew member, in a ship battle you can only do podium, hammer, bucket, gliding and trying to board a ship when you are not laggy rendering a ship. Shooting canons is something NPCs do better.

Devs should go and play blackwake until they realize what is a naval fight.

Edited by Emanuel a

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I agree with much of what is posted in this thread. Raiding bases is far too easy, and naval combat - supposedly the main focus of the game - gets surprisingly little attention.

Also, I just noticed that most people in this forum seem to keep repeating the same criticisms in hopes of getting listened to: basically all the top threads here are calling for less offline griefing and more love for ship vs ship combat. Instead the next update is delivering cats and seahorses. Not only is this game in a bad state, its apparently heading in the wrong direction.

(meanwhile I have been griefed again, 3rd time this week. Strongest defences breached in under a minute, tames killed, all assets looted, base destroyed, ships sank. And I was just finishing rebuilding the walls after the previous raid and making a new ship so I have at least one. Hence the base was practically empty after the previous wipe, the attackers had nothing to gain from this. No wonder 90% of the playerbase quit with such mechanics.)

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13 hours ago, Jozef said:

I agree with much of what is posted in this thread. Raiding bases is far too easy, and naval combat - supposedly the main focus of the game - gets surprisingly little attention.

Also, I just noticed that most people in this forum seem to keep repeating the same criticisms in hopes of getting listened to: basically all the top threads here are calling for less offline griefing and more love for ship vs ship combat. Instead the next update is delivering cats and seahorses. Not only is this game in a bad state, its apparently heading in the wrong direction.

(meanwhile I have been griefed again, 3rd time this week. Strongest defences breached in under a minute, tames killed, all assets looted, base destroyed, ships sank. And I was just finishing rebuilding the walls after the previous raid and making a new ship so I have at least one. Hence the base was practically empty after the previous wipe, the attackers had nothing to gain from this. No wonder 90% of the playerbase quit with such mechanics.)

but the attackers did gain something after killing all your tames and sinking all your boats, they got to spam in global what they did to you. for most of the bloodthirsty that still are in this sinking ship called atlas that is all the reward they wanted.

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14 hours ago, Jozef said:

Also, I just noticed that most people in this forum seem to keep repeating the same criticisms in hopes of getting listened to: basically all the top threads here are calling for less offline griefing and more love for ship vs ship combat. Instead the next update is delivering cats and seahorses. Not only is this game in a bad state, its apparently heading in the wrong direction.

Yeah, in the end it's their game they can do what they want with it, but we can see how 35000 people voted. They had some fun, got greifed after they logged off, and quit. 

Now most of the 5000 players that are left have the attitude of, well if you dont have enough players to defend it you shouldn't have it, but they dont think about sustainability of the playerbase at all. If the game is designed this way, only one group of players wins, the biggest one.  Therefore pvp is eventually going to be pve, then it will die off/maybe have a few solo players. At which point I'm sure they'll eventually close down the official servers.  Wiping and not changing anything about design will just start the same process over again where eventually the biggest group will win again. 

Last time they wiped they did make some changes that helped some, however they kind of just stopped, and cut out small companies entirely(pretty evident by the company alliance limit instead of a player limit).

The players left have figured out the best ways to greif the combat timers, so the playerbase kept dropping, and it wont stop until the devs stop them by design, and allow more than just the biggest company in the game 

That's the simplest I can put it, your right some of my suggestions have been repeated from game suggestions to this pvp general section.  

So 35000 players, or the 5000 players left, who's side are the devs going to pick? 

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11 hours ago, lordkhan4444 said:

but the attackers did gain something after killing all your tames and sinking all your boats, they got to spam in global what they did to you. for most of the bloodthirsty that still are in this sinking ship called atlas that is all the reward they wanted.

And I don't blame them, they are clearly playing the game within the rules and have a very efficient strategy for success. I blame the game developers who made the game rules favour this kind of gameplay. That fact that it takes more resources to build a wall than to destroy it means if you are building any base, you are losing. Because you could have used that time and effort to easily grief someone and gain their hard-earned wealth instead. And as Mike says, for the players who are not interested in griefing, the only logical solution is to not play, hence why 90% of the playerbase left.

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I know there are countless proposed solutions on this board to the current pvp imbalance that strongly favours the attacker and makes raiding bases far too easy. I'll add here mine as well just for the sake of it:

1) new resource: clay
Clay is a common resource much like stone and can be found on most shores. It can be collected with a shovel.

2) new crafting station: kiln
A kiln is a crafting station much like the forge, and it can turn clay and coal into bricks. (it can also be used to create glass or porcelain items in a future update)

3) new building tier: brick
Brick walls require bricks and other standard materials to build, they are the most expensive building type. Matching metal doors require a high amount of alloys to manufacture. Brick tier offers the highest level of protection to defenders. A single grenade or cannon shot deals 5-10 damage to a brick wall. With 50.000HP (more than double the 24.000HP of a large stone wall), a large brick wall is the strongest wall in the game. It needs about 20 minutes to destroy if attacked by two standard brigs with cannons (each bring having 11 cannons, firing every 4 seconds, dealing on average 7.5 damage to the wall with a single shot would deal 49.500 damage to a 50k HP wall in exactly 20 minutes). 20 minutes may not seem like much, but it would be a clear improvement from the current 30 seconds to bring down a large stone wall.

4) cart-mounted weapons have half range and half damage compared to rigid-mounted weapons. Cannon carts would still be extremely useful in large battles and skirmishes and taking out small outposts, but would fall short when attacking large fortresses. An average team of pirates with 3 cannon carts could still penetrate the strongest inland fortresses in the game in under five hours if they are left unattended, well within the current siege window of 8 hours, large armies being even faster.

5) Land mounted weapons get a 20% range increase compared to ship mounted weapons. Combined with their common height advantage, cannon towers would then outrange ships, so a ship attacking a fortress would deal a few salvos, then move out of range to repair, then return for another few salvos until the tower is destroyed, leading to at least a minimal amount of challenge associated with destroying a base.

6) NPC operated weapons get to use their full range. Currently, NPCs will not target enemies beyond 30 tiles, even if their cannon would allow it, meaning they are easily outranged and destroyed by attackers.

7) Double the damage of puckles. Currently a high level, well armoured player can just run up to a puckle gun and take it out with about 2 grenades while taking minimal damage. Charging a machine gun head on should be suicide not a walk in the park, a doubled puckle damage would lead closer to that.

8 ) NPCs manning land-mounted weapons get their payments reduced by half. Manning a cannon on a ship rocking on the high seas is tough job, lounging on a castle wall, waiting for attackers to show up is a walk in the park in comparison. Land-mounted cannons therefore should cost less to man allowing a fort to be defended on all sides by at least a couple of cannons or puckles without costing a fortune.

 

Notes:

- besieging a brick fort will now require attackers to stock up resources or have supply lines. Taking down a large brick wall will require 6.666 cannonballs, costing a total of 67K metal, 19K flint, and 7K coal. They will weigh about 14K pounds, filling a galleon about half way. As a comparison a simple fort with 15 large stone walls currently costs 6K fiber, 18K stone, 6K thatch, 12k wood, 8K metal, 4K coal (using iron as an example), provided the defender does not shoot back. The new brick tier should be more costly, about doubling the metal and coal cost of the construction, and adding clay. Due to the steep metal costs of cannon balls, this would finally lead to a resource advantage on the defender's side, so manufacturing all those cannonballs would cost more effort than building the walls themselves.

- Doors are always somewhat weaker than walls, so the new large metal gates would require about 20% less resources to overcome. A single galleon could still break a large metal gate in under 15 minutes.

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On 8/8/2019 at 12:12 PM, Jozef said:

I know there are countless proposed solutions on this board to the current pvp imbalance that strongly favours the attacker and makes raiding bases far too easy.

This is simply not true. There are islands easier to defend than others, but good natural harbours and good bases in top of hills are almost impossible to raid unless there's nobody defending or the ones doing it are completely clueless. All of your proposed 'improvements', like extended range for fixed position cannons or insane resistance for walls maybe will make your base withstand and offline attack, but it will also remove any chance to cause any meaningful damage in an actual fight.

On 8/8/2019 at 12:12 PM, Jozef said:

8 ) NPCs manning land-mounted weapons get their payments reduced by half. Manning a cannon on a ship rocking on the high seas is tough job, lounging on a castle wall, waiting for attackers to show up is a walk in the park in comparison. Land-mounted cannons therefore should cost less to man allowing a fort to be defended on all sides by at least a couple of cannons or puckles without costing a fortune.

They already cost half of a sailing ship npc and tbh they are incredibly cheap now. Only on our main island we  have at any given time 1200-1300 between defences and docked ships, and we manage to pay them without problems, but we are about 25-30 active players in our company.

I get the impression that most of your complaints come from the fact that you want to play with a very small group of people, probably casuals most of them. IMO the game is not designed to be played that way, don't get fooled by the huge amount of empty islands combined with the low population, you can't . 

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On 8/4/2019 at 9:42 PM, lordkhan4444 said:

I have over 1k hours in atlas and everything you said is true. however in rust everybody just offlines everybody also and that game is pretty darn popular.

Rust sucks. We had more hope for Atlas...

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, znasser said:

This is simply not true. There are islands easier to defend than others, but good natural harbours and good bases in top of hills are almost impossible to raid unless there's nobody defending or the ones doing it are completely clueless. All of your proposed 'improvements', like extended range for fixed position cannons or insane resistance for walls maybe will make your base withstand and offline attack, but it will also remove any chance to cause any meaningful damage in an actual fight.

They already cost half of a sailing ship npc and tbh they are incredibly cheap now. Only on our main island we  have at any given time 1200-1300 between defences and docked ships, and we manage to pay them without problems, but we are about 25-30 active players in our company.

I get the impression that most of your complaints come from the fact that you want to play with a very small group of people, probably casuals most of them. IMO the game is not designed to be played that way, don't get fooled by the huge amount of empty islands combined with the low population, you can't . 

Hey pal, Grapeshot stated that Atlas is meant to be played by solo, small, on up to mega-companies. They claimed that they were taking special precautions to ensure that Atlas would be available to all aspects of gameplay mode and this includes CASUAL play, you pompous arse. What makes you think that YOU get the right to decide how this game should be played? The fact is simple, the devs are currently trying to make Atlas work for all playstyles and this might very well include offline raid protection flagging. Who knows, as they are still working out their ultimate solutions, you know, early access and all...

Edited by vaylain
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, vaylain said:

Hey pal, Grapeshot stated that Atlas is meant to be played by solo, small, on up to mega-companies. They claimed that they were taking special precautions to ensure that Atlas would be available to all aspects of gameplay mode and this includes CASUAL play, you pompous arse. What makes you think that YOU get the right to decide how this game should be played? The fact is simple, the devs are currently trying to make Atlas work for all playstyles and this might very well include offline raid protection flagging. Who knows, as they are still working out their ultimate solutions, you know, early access and all...

Yeah, they said they'd include small companies when designing the game, however currently, they've introduced a settler system, which reduces the base cost of the island the more settlers you have. 

Other than that nothing has been done to insure that the largest group isn't always the strongest.  Currently if the player base grows so must companies. 

It's pretty simple. Right now its low pop so 10-12 active players can hold an island most likely. Other than that if your not living out of the Freeport, or the bottom of the ocean your screwed. 

If the game goes up to 2000 concurrent players instead of 400, youd need a company of 30-40 to hold. 

If it goes back up to 40k players, only discord whitelisted max alliances are going to survive. 

That's why I've proposed a number of changes so that the little guy can make it and have fun playing the game such as.. 

Small personal Freeport bank

No combat timer, and restructure war to be fair. (Meaning you must risk your island to war) 

Make ships easy to raid when parked, not easy to sink. 

I know those changes look simple, and they are but they allow companies of any size to do buissiness with one another ,and would take griefing down to a minimum.  

Really most of the changes to fix griefing and to make the game fun are pretty simple. Just wish devs had one person play on officials so they could have a firsthand opinion of what it's like to actually play their game. 

I think they just look at pvp rules and get frustrated trying to think of ways to make them better, so they come out with new content instead, and hope that fixes it. Which it doesnt, just for playability in their early access period the rules to pvp is the first thing they should work out, and only change those rules if new content of some kind causes an imbalance. 

I dont TRY to sound like a know it all. I know I do though ,but with 10000 hours in ark and probably 2500 in atlas, I do hope they value my opinion. 

Also had to add this in because it annoys me, my prediction for the dev livestream.

They answer two questions posted by players then just talk about the new content, cats and hats, and avoid answering anything about how they plan to fix the playerbase or the direction the game will be going moving forward. 

I hope they prove me wrong though!

Edited by Mike L

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Mike L said:

It's pretty simple. Right now its low pop so 10-12 active players can hold an island most likely. Other than that if your not living out of the Freeport, or the bottom of the ocean your screwed.

I have been playing ARK for well over 3 years and ATLAS since the early access launch. I am a solo player and I have several bases scattered across many islands that are well-hidden and have yet to be raided. The fact that the resource nodes grow back around our constructions makes it extremely easy to conceal our bases.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for all of my shipyards and ships =(

I wish that they would just implement an offline raid prevention flag, so that whenever the owning company logs out, all of our ships would be safe and sound.

Quote

Just wish devs had one person play on officials so they could have a firsthand opinion of what it's like to actually play their game.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on this one. This has always been the Devs' downfall...Anytime you see the DEVs playing the game they are always flying around in god mode and NOT actually playing the game. I get the feeling that they don't even know the first thing about how it is to actually play their game without using their fancy cheats...

 

Edited by vaylain

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Make settlers a meaningful resource and see the big guys not fighting with, but for settlers...

Oh yeah and balance the lan PVP, so that a small settler with a cannon bear is a major thread that needs to be removed...

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Posted (edited)
On 8/5/2019 at 4:38 PM, Mike L said:

Also it's pretty cheesy that enemies will sail a ship by, hide whatever they need to raid you in the ocean, spam the island with beds, and until you find the equipment in the ocean they can raid you with no ship anytime. Something needs to be done about that as well. 

I vote no building outside claims and lawless at least. 

Also make the settler cords useful, currently it gives you the cords of the first item they drop and that's it. 

This is also why I think they should just remove combat timers. Let it just be about war for taking islands. That way small companies likely wont be worth the war deck, unless they attack another company or something, and big companies would know when the fight is comming so they can properly prepare. 

I'd like to see it similar to Shadowbane.  Kill anyone, anytime, anywhere.  Buildings and boats green anchored in a friendly harbor however cannot be damaged. 

 

Sure people can come to your island and grief players and tames, but those players can simply go inside and wait for them to leave or do whatever they want.  Personally I'd get the handcuffs ready.

 

Want to actually damage buildings or sink ships in the harbor?  Wardec......hmmm maybe have 2 levels of war decs.  One makes structures and ships vulnerable.  The other allows that and allows you to take the island.  Make that one cost a lot lot more gold so its used sparingly.

 

Also I think 24 hours is ridiculous for a war dec.  There needs to be a game mechanic that allows it to be destroyed like a Banestone in Shadowbane.  The fight might last 15 minutes......it might last hours and hours.  The war dec needs to be a physical structure thats placed on the island to declare war.   Defending company picks the start time.  When the war starts everything is vulnerable including the war dec structure.  It needs to be hardened and take very little mortar damage to avoid easy spammage.  Force damage to be cannon/ grenade/melee.  Heck maybe even a special melee weapon like a sledge hammer that gets a huge bonus when used on the war dec structure. 

 

I dunno, just tossing random shit out that might give people some ideas. 

 

I loved how it was handled in Shadowbane.  We discussed what time we wanted to start it.  It was almost like a ladder match in some of the old FPS's I used to play.  Everyone got ready for the start of the Bane and when the clock started it was game on.  The attacking team had to be there ready to go or we would destroy the banestone right away thus ending the fight.  Many fights were back and forth battles where the banestone took some damage then we got pushed off it and had to regroup to make a new push.  Even after the banestone was destroyed sometimes people just kept fighting because it was fun....sure the base could not be damaged or destroyed anymore, but everyone was there and all dressed up so might as well dance. 

Edited by DocHolliday

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