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George Catcher

Atlas of my Dream (big thread).

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I'm in love with all sea adventures of XVIII century, and ATLAS have it's great potential to become THAT game.

Unfortunately right now I just dropped the game again because it's still beyond imagination "time eater" and totally unbalanced and empty. So this time I decided to write here all my thoughts about "pirate/corsair" game I would dream to have and spend thousands of hours in there. I'll try my best with English (I'm not English speaker) and my poor Photoshop skills.

It's current ATLAS based, but my basic idea is to make people spend less time playing "lumberjack simulator", "sims-2", "Happy Farm" and focus more to actual sea adventures, trading, treasure hunting, battle and face the dangers. I'll keep it with several messages during next days here because I'll try to describe everything I came up.

This one is my personal vision based on my previous experience of MMOs and Pirate games playing . Feel free to disagree with me.

Lets start with...

 

01 - THE WORLD.

After I create my pathfinder in menu, I choice my home region. There no more lawless or freeport zones. Just a regular grids. I can choice any of 216 zones (except Goldens and Central maw) The idea is:

- Each grid has one freeport island.

- Each grid has few uninhabited islands.

- Each grid owned by one of 4 fraction in the ATLAS. I join the fraction the moment I choice my home.

- Some say that there is a 5th fraction of PIRATES but no one actually know - where their freeports are, and how to join 😉 Beware - if you join, all fraction, all non pirate players will be hostile to you even in PVE servers. It's the dangerous path.

- In PVP - all fractions are hostile to each other. In PVE - all friendly but pirate fraction is hostile to everyone anyway.

Let me go to E13 for example...

3udRZk6.jpg

As you can see - the grid is way smaller than it is right now in the game. Islands are way closer to each other. Still there are some space for maneuvers and sea battles. It was made to shorten sea travels, and to make players actually make turns between islands while passing thru.

Also each fraction has ONE HUGE FREEPORT which is a capital. To settle near - is big luck, but probably megas will settle all islands there.

I can see in my map only grid I choose. Another ones I have to explore. Yes, fog of war is back.

After I choice my grid I find myself naked in current freeport and my journey begins.

 

02 - FREEPORTS.

Freeports are local islands of life. There are alot of NPCs there, maybe NPCs ships are anchored near. There are shops. Taverns. Goverment building, bulletin boards, auctions etc. Lets talk through:

KV8mTXW.jpg

- Government - is the place where local authorities are. In the beginning I cannot access there, but later, after I gain reputation, I can enter, and get some government missions.

- Shops - are buying and selling stuff for gold. And by stuff I mean ANYTHING in the game. I can buy any resources even rarest ones, or tools even mythic quality (tho it will cost a fortune). I can sell resources too. And for example I wont be able to gain much gold for softwood in tundra (because there are alot of this wood around) but strongwood from equatorial zones are valuable there. Buying and selling resources is the way to get gold in this game. Shops also selling some valuables I can not use - just sell in to another shop. Current grid maps can be obtained here. And also shops can provide some local and global quests for some stuff delivery. Of course only if we have ship which is match the requirements for mission.

- Tavern is the place for crew hire and for quests also. Quests are different - to carry some passengers to another freeport, to escort some trade ships to another freeport, to go for treasure, to go and fight damned ships or pirates, to discover something in islands, to get something really rare (whale meat for example) and more. And there are also some beginners quest here (to gather some food around, for example).

- Auction - the place where players can sell their stuff to all other players. All auctions within fraction are connected to each other, but if I buy something I have to sail to the very auction where player put thing for sale.

- Bulletin Board - for messages. Imagine if some company wanna go Kraken or golden age. They can send message via the board with time and meeting point. Boards within fraction are connected.

- Wharf - selling, repairing and equip ships for gold. If I loose my ship in seas, it will appear here as a ghost ship, and I'll be able to pay some gold and bring it back. Without any stuff and crew, but same design and level. 

- Bank - to where I can deposit my gold.

And there is boatman, who will carry me for any island in the grid.

THE IMPORTANT THING is - here I can choice, how do I wanna play. Do I wanna go island, settle there, build my base, etc? Fine. After some beginning quests and learning the basics - I go to the boatman and for some coins he will drive me to near island of my choice to settle (NO MORE RAFT and ramshackle. They just garbage the shores).

What if I don't wanna settle? It's fine either. I just continue for local beginners quests, I earn gold, buy tools and weapons and finally I buy my first little ship and ready to explore the ocean. With small local grid quests I'll gather more gold, I'll buy better and bigger ships, get more quest etc. The choice is my.

I decide to settle, I choice my island, and go there.

To be continued...

Edited by George Catcher
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I paid some coins to boatman (in Russia there was famous pop song called "I'll kill you boatman" lol) and head to island of my choice.

Lets talk about:

03 - Claim system.

Each uninhabited island have:

- Peaceful shoreline.

- Dangerous middle part.

Shoreline consist of several zones available to claim. One player can claim just one zone. Few players company - just one zone. Average company - few zones. Megas with hundreds of players - whole island.

HaK7ViI.jpg

Before I choice my grid, and my island - I have the information, of how many claim-areas there, how many are taken and how many still available.

I go to free zone, put my flag there, and this one is my. Each zone can be in 5 states:

- Free (available to claim)

- Under construction (some time after the claim, all structures there indestructible, all storages - unavailable for anyone but owner)

- Claimed (just claimed territory, it's possible to attack it, to do damage, to do marauding etc. For PvP and piracy).

- Ruined (after successful attack. Structures are damaged, anyone can enter and take everything from the boxes).

- Abandoned (after player doesn't show up for a long time. All doors are unlocked, all boxes are available for anyone).

If zone is in "ruined" state it then goes back to "under construction" so owner could restore everything and maybe enforce defense line.

If zone is in "abandoned" state, after a while it goes back to "free" with all structures are gone.

You can also manually unclaim zone and go search another one.

Middle part of island is either forbidden to build, or free to build for anyone with fast decay rate to structures. There are some dangerous animals there, alphas, nests, maybe ancient ruins guarded by ancient forces. Most of quests leads there. All treasures, monsters to kill, discoveries, rare and expensive resources are there. For example - the guy in freeport tavern asked me to go E11 find the island called "Emerald Reef", and bring "Emerald flower" growing there. So I sail 2 grids, find the island, go to the dangerous middle part, find and gather the plants, and then go back.

 

So I there, I claimed my area. And it's time to build. Let's check, what I've got in skills.

05 - BASICS.

Right now the game is in state I would call: "So many efforts, so little reward". I mean, you spend days forever sailing to discoveries, then you got +1 skill, then you get your +1, and learn the skill you don't need and you wont use anywhere anytime in future. You learn it because it's on the way to skill you need. Some skills are provide you just so little, you don't even bother, some are unnecessary, some even useless.

I'd like to see all different state. Imagine - you have all basics available at the beginning, and you just gonna choice - what do you need, and what play-style you wanna do? Like here:

dEHPnKu.jpg

Left side - is your basic survival. 

Basic tools allows you to create wood-stone tools (hatchet, spear, stone pick, campfire, rough armor, fishing rod, maybe a tent for cold areas).

Horse-taming - allows you to tame (or to buy) a horse, and to create (or to buy) cargo harness. It's important for anyone who wish to play with beast-mastery skills untouched.

Swimming - provide you altogether speed, lung volume and cold water resistance (cold waters should be deadly, btw).

Harvesting - improve you resource gather amount, gathering speed, and decrease stamina drain for harvesting.

Simple as it gets.

Right side - here any skill available. You wanna build - learn construction. You wanna tames - learn beast mastery. You no need to learn hand-to-hand combat before tames.

Just because I'm here at my claimed area, I decided to build my base - I pick there:

 

06 - CONSTRUCTION.

Remember I was saying: NO MORE SIMS-2? I mean alot of players doesn't bother and build just simple 10x10 cube house, and name it "THE BASE". Also alot of people do the opposite and spend weeks to build totally useless unnecessary monstrous bases. Zero sense, huge walls, fences, empty castles, thousands of ceilings around, and then you sail by, and game start to twitch trying to load all this madness.

What if we change all that? No more walls, roofs, foundations, ceilings? Just houses instead?

XYSljPj.jpg

You learn "Thatches" and it's open your civil and military section.

You then learn "ready to build" constructions there, and they all available to you in thatches state. You can then learn wooden. And get either thatches or wooden building. If you already built something in thatches, you will be able to upgrade it to wooden, and later to stone state.

In different types of buildings there are different temperature inside (in stones there are always +20'c +68'f).

Building process is a bit different. You create your foundation, it's flat prepared area with slope edges. It's building size and only fortress requires more than one. You put TAVERN on foundation area and construction site appears. It requires resources from you. You need to bring a lot of wood, thatches, fibers, stones, keratines, hides, crystals (for windows), and when you got everything it needs, the construction begins and lasts for... let's say, half of hour (or whole hour. Or couple of hours).

pAgxLBQ.jpg

kQ3CHNz.jpg

Let's go through skills.

Thatches/Wooden/Stone - it open you access to building type you learn.

Foundation - flat area for buildings. Thatches - just usual pile. Wooden - pier (you can also use it for build actual pier in a waters). Stone - just square stone foundation.

Tavern - is place where you have your bed, cooking spot, food storage and water barrel outside. Upgrade to wooden - and you have grille instead of cooking spot.

Tannery - is house for leather works. Tannery, mortar and pestle and storage box here. Upgrade to wooden to speed up all you works in there.

Workshop - place with smithy, storage box, bookshelf, and also mortar and pestle. Upgrade to wooden to speed up all you works there.

Blacksmith - house with forge inside. Upgrade it for double slot forge.

Stables - for your horse and your cargo harness park. Upgrade for longer food decay rate in feeding bowl.

Warehouse - place with a lot of storage boxes, to store everything you've got from you adventures. Upgrade to improve storage capacity.

Supply house - you place it and it maintains all structures in the area. You just need to place resources inside. Also you put crew salary there. Upgrade to increase repair speed.

Residential - house for you crew (without one you can not hire any). Upgrade for more capacity.

Road stuff - overlay textures of road (traveling speed on those are bit faster). Stairs, bridges, railings as they are.

Beautification - for those who wanna micro management. Signs, street benches, streetlights, flowers with kits, flags etc.

 

There are military buildings as well.

Walls - if you wanna protect you base. Some types there like 1x1 2x2 3x2 3x3 etc. also there are "slope-type" to match landscape. Doesn't require foundation.

Gate - if you wanna protected entrance. Match walls. Doesn't require foundation.

Tower - if you wanna some firepower to protection. You can put there a crew with ranged weapons, or if you learn certain skill - you even can attach there few ballistas/swivel guns etc, and mount crew in.

Fortress - big fort building you put on shore. It's well armed and available for any cannons against enemies ships. Fully upgraded - it can stand against strongest ships in a game. Requires alot of resources and crew. In PVP and piracy you actually need to destroy one before you ruin territory you siege.

 

In PVP or piracy, you need a siege weapons (or ship battery fire) to destroy buildings. When you damage they health to zero - they turned to "ruined" state, with no doors and open boxes, so you can rob everything. Also destroying tavern will make bed unavailable for owner, so he will need to respawn in freeport or nearest ship (or keep tent with bed somewhere in forests nearby in case on emergency).

 

After building ruined - the owner will be able to gather resources and repair it.

 

This building style have advantages. You won't need to spend a lot of time with designs, paints, creating like 200 walls, 100 roofs etc. Each base will be polys optimized, so no more extreme CPU loads. A-a-a-a-a-and...

...devs will be able to create different building styles (like Asian style, Nordic style etc.) and sell them as DLC (so it's addition income for Grapeshot). There are also the way to create ingame rewards (imagine you have all building with wooden shutters instead of windows. And you do long quest chain - helping the alchemist to invent glass, and then you get you windows to glass type as reward).

My first tavern building is done. I'm gonna get some food and we'll talk about food system later.

9vAzOO2.jpg

to be continued...

Edited by George Catcher
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I don't like current food/vits system because it simply boring.

No need to bother. You hungry - eat 5 piece of meat and fish, and 25 piece of berries and vegis. And then forget about it for next half an hour. During long journeys, when vits rate is low, players just eat poop, die and respawn with fine vits rate. That's it for current food system.

I would change it totally.

07 - Farming and food.

4 types of food still here. Vitamins system is gone. Instead food buff, debuff and synergy introduced.

You don't need to eat all 4 types of food. You can spend your life eating just only meat. But each type of food gives you different buffs for short period of time. And you will just wanna go, search and eat different food.

- Meat - provide you all strength buffs. Damage increased. Weight carry increased. Stamina increased. 

- Fish - all intelligence buffs. Faster XP gaining. Better crafts.

- Berries - all resistance. Fortitude bonuses. Torpor resistance. Health increased.

- Vegies - all for speed. Movement speed. Attack speed. Reload speed. Gathering speed.

 

If you eat some type of food together (like fish and rosemarie) you might get some extra buff of synergy.

If you eat some type of food which are not well together (like salted fish and milk) you get debuff.

To learn all good and bad combinations - player will have to experiment, go forums, or maybe buy some books in freeport).

 

If you wanna get most of food bonuses, you have to go Farming and Cooking.

TFAR9JJ.jpg

Farming provide you 4 more buildings.

- Barn - for seeds, fresh greens and flour storage.

- Garden bed - for growing.

- Greenhouse - for growing plants from different biomes. You need right soil and put wood in to greenhouse stove (it spends wood really gentle).

- Windmill - for flour creation (production speed depends on a wind lol).

 

- Basic farming - allows you to grow every plant from entire ATLAS.

- Advanced farming - for exotic plants growing (seeds can be bought in freeports).

- Expert farming - for wheat or rice growing, which then can turn to flour.

 

Careful gatherer - those 3 skills for:

- getting seeds from gathering.

- all food this pathfinder gather have increased decay timer.

- Slight chance to get some extra from gathering (you can even find rare loses for sale and quests, or even treasure maps).

 

As for cooking. You get:

- Basic - for all usual resources recipes.

- Exotic - for all exotic recipes.

- Bakery - you make all recipes in pastry, and they stays fresh for much longer.

- Equilibrium - allows you to create full balanced meal, which gives you equilibrium buff. Required all 4 types of food.

 

- Cook skill - you get all your cooked food stays fresh for longer.

- Master cook - all buffs from cooked food lasts longer.

- Chief - all buffs from cooked food are stronger.

- Fridge - allows you to replace food storage in tavern and supply room in ship to fridge.

 

I'm building my base and I guess it's time to go seamanship and set sails for adventures.

Ns4DZcW.jpg

to be continued...

Edited by George Catcher
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In my opinion current ships in the game are going totally WRONG WAY.

I don't remember any of pirate movie, cartoon or game where captains were building shotguns-ships, were turning their ships to armored rhombus by roof covers. I don't remember pirates were building french-louvers, or carrying herd of elephants on smallest ship deck. All those metas, kite tactics, 40 big cannons on Sloop, all of that IS JUST MOCKERY OF WHOLE SAILING ROMANCE. I know I'm swearing right now, but sail ships in pirate games ARE THE CORE. THE VERY MAIN PILLAR of whole universe. And universe built just around em. 

And devs designed few ship, and then let em go as they are. After that they were on some giant crabs, magic torpedoes, dinos invention etc. IMAO that's just mockery of players.

It's no surprise that online is falling, and even X-Box release didn't really help to fulfill the world.

c1cuPXe.jpg

To be hones - I would just CANCEL all ship that are already exists and redo literally everything about them. We don't have any walls, ceilings, roofs right now. So no more 40 guns on ship with no gunports. No more elephants on sloop decks. No more 6 masts ships (I know there was one 14 masts ship in real history but that was an exception. Usually there were 3 or 4).

My idea is:

There are 26 ships in the game. Each consist of frame, planks/gunports, decks. Introduced new rgging, new sails attached into sail spots of that rigging and... lets call them "Modules".

EYrFFEu.jpg

And yeah. Guns should go into just gunports (with top deck, nose and stern ports introduced).

nGojhZe.jpg 

So is there room for creativity. Definitely yes. Is there room for ship disfigurement? Not at all. 

Let's take a look to seamanship skilltree.

raUVpmC.jpg

5 main buildings in there.

- Wharf - for ship building. There is special "sea smithy" in there. You can build there planks/gunports, deck, rigging, steering wheels, nose figure (you have to buy/earn/find blueprints for one), attachments, modules and patches. All navigator tools are also here. Also there is a loom for sails, where you can create 2 type of sails - square (for better speed) and triangle (for sharp wind angle).

- Buoy - is a buoy.

- Small, medium and big lighthouses... for light that guide you home (I'll talk about weather later).

And there are 6 classes for 26 ships. You will have to open alot of skill here. Ships within one class are same size, but different from each other by SPEED, sturdiness and amount of gunports.

 

6 class:

- Small shipyard - for building ships 6th or 5th classes.

- Small repair dock - for repair, and rebuild your ships 6th or 5th classes.

Tartan k_001.jpg Barkas k_002.jpg

Small, cheap. For beginners. For short travels around the island or within one grid, or attacking small unarmed fishing boats : ) They advantage are great turn acceleration and break.

- Rigging 6th class. There are planks, and gunports for 12-16 pounds cannon or 8 pounds coulevrin. Decks, cockpit (cockpit always built on stern side of ship) and actually rigging also in this section.

- Cockpits are captain places where respawn bed, gold chest and some private boxes are. 

- Cargo Hold (1x1x1) - for all cargo your ship carry. All cargo holds in a ship connected and have once access from ship round menu. Has limited space and reduced effect on ship's weight.

- Berth (1x1x1) - has couple beds for crew. Without one you cannot hire the crew.

- Ammunition - contains boxes for all cannonballs, spears etc, for your ship's firepower.

Notice there is no cooking spot or resource box. Those ships are not suppose to do long travels.

dg0QEQM.jpg

5 class:

Barquek_003.jpg Sloop k_004.jpg Lugger k_005.jpg

For quests within couple of grids, or battle small trading vessels.

- Rigging 5th class. There are planks, and gunports for 16-20 pounds cannon or 16 pounds coulevrin. Decks, cockpit (cockpit always built on stern side of ship) and actually rigging also here.

- Supply (2x2x1) - room where cocking spot, food storage and resources box located.

 

4 class:

- Medium shipyard - for building ships of 4th or 3th classes.

- Medium repair dock - for repair, and rebuild your ships 4th or 3th classes.

Schooner k_007.jpg Barquentine k_009.jpg Brigantine k_010.jpg

Brig k_011.jpg Snow k_012.jpg Fluyt k_013.jpg

For trading, resources hunting, half atlas traveling, escort missions and small battles against battle ships. Standard choice for solo players.

- Rigging 4th class. There are planks, and gunports for 20-24 pounds cannon or 16 pounds coulevrin. Decks, cockpit (cockpit always built on stern side of ship) and actually rigging also here.

- Small cages (2x2x1) - for tames bear size and less. Each cage can hold just one animal. You can put animal in and out by selecting action in round menu. No more animals on decks, if you send then "following mode" and get to your vessel, your animal will stays outside on the ground or into the waters. Good thing is you won't loose em during your journeys, and they wont fall underground or fly to heavens anymore. There are feeding bowl here.

- VIP (2x2x1) - For person delivery quests.

k1ax3rQ.jpg

3rd class:

Caravel k_014.jpg Pinnace k_015.jpg Carrack k_016.jpg

Galleon k_017.jpg Corvette (my all time favorite) k_018.jpg

Xebec k_019.jpg Polacca k_020.jpg 

Fastest ships here for all global questing.

- Rigging 3th class. There are planks, and gunports for 24-28 pounds cannon or 16 pounds coulevrin Decks, cockpit (cockpit always built on stern side of ship) and actually rigging here also.

Large cages (3x3x2) - for elephants size animals. They goes through two decks at once.

Masterworks (2x3x1) - room that contains smithy, pestle and mortar, and tannery so you can maintain your staff during longest journeys.

Attachments - Dinghy for drive from your ship to a shore. Dinghy have storage box. While attached to your ship, you can one click to transfer all stuff in there to ships cargo holds and back. Diving attachment - for underwater adventures. Extra cargo holds if you really need some x-tra.

lHCHkKE.jpg

2nd class:

- Large shipyard - for building ships of 2th or 1th classes.

- Large repair dock - for repair, and rebuild your ships 2th or 1th classes.

Mostly unavailable for solo players.

Navio k_021.jpg East Indiaman k_022.jpg Heavy Galleon k_023.jpg

Frigate k_024.jpg Heavy Frigate k_025.jpg

Those are absolutely perfect warbirds, for most epic seas battles against strongest enemies, or for those who wishes to collect alot of stuff/animals from around the world.

- Rigging 2th class. There are planks, and gunports for 32-36 pounds cannon or 32 pounds coulevrin. Decks, cockpit (cockpit always built on stern side of ship) and actually rigging also here.

1st class:

Warship k_026.jpg Linnen Ship k_030.jpg

The strongest firepower in a game. Not really good for sea fighting due to lack of maneuverability (maybe in squads or against the same vessels) but perfect for fort assault.

- Rigging 1th class. There are planks, and gunports for 42 pounds cannon or 32 pounds coulevrin. Here also decks, cockpit (cockpit always built on stern side of ship) and actually rigging.

 

How to create your ship?

- You go your shipyard and brings resources for ship frame.

- You go wharf and create planks or gunports (I would bring back resource difference between em). There are top deck gunports for top deck guns (6th and 5th class have only top deck ports). Few in stern and nose. You add decks (they go with stairs and holes for modules). You create one piece of rigging, and put it in one right spot. All masts, cables, ropes, ladders appears. All masts (even nose one) have few sails spot, so you go loom and choice which sails you wanna put in (square for speed and triangle for better wind angles)

Then depends of your desire you create modules, or rooms, I listed above. Small ships have so little space so you have to choice wither you wanna gunports, or rooms, and which rooms you put there. Big ships can carry all, and you can make universal ship for all purposes or some special ship for certain goal. 

If you have a blueprint, you can create attach nose figure. If you have any beautification (like life tubes, lanterns) you can create and attach them too (for those who love micromanagement).

If you have a dyes and brushes, you can paint your ship. Then you SAVE YOUR DESIGN and release ship.

If your ship is damaged, or you wanna change design - you put your ship to repair dock. It shows how many resources you need to bring for maintenance or to fix damages. You put resources in and repair starts and lasts for couple minutes.

NO MORE PLANKS YOU BRINGS WITH YOU IN YOUR TRAVELS. You can apply and replace planks (decks etc.) just in repair dock. You plank can leak but never disappear. In order to survive heavy damage, you go wharf and create patches. With patch you can restore your plank health from 0% to 50%. 

If you loose your ship it will appear in your home freeport as a ghost ship. Within some time period you can bring it back for gold. With no guns and crew, with empty boxes, but yet same level and design.

 

So that's it, for ship. No need to release em alltogether, but one by one? Why not?

 

And the last thing. Rigging, nose figures, beautification and modules can be different styles (like Asian style or Nordic style) and Devs can release those styles as DLC to get some extra income for game support.

Edited by George Catcher
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Not sure if you are done. Looks really good, bit surprised no one has replied to this.

I like almost all of it. Especially, the food system, the towns, the ships. We do need a feature like you describe to get your ship back if destroyed. Also you should be able to buy a horse (ya, you can trade for one, but it is not built into the game). The horse should be something you get maybe even before you get a ship in Altas. As it is, they are extremely hard to tame, so I usually get one after I have a few other tames. Also making the islands closer together reduces travel times, which we also need.

One trade-off the devs made was to have things like tannery and smithy fairly small and not a building so the same item can be constructed at your base or on your ship. You don't mention if there are ships that can be configured as a base. You obviously can't build a tavern on a ship, so how would this sort of thing work on the ship?

One thing that would go along well with the towns is the ability to take a job as a seaman for hire. This could be a special class of company member or you could hire yourself out to a new type of NPC ship. Maybe these ships would be involved in trade or possible some sea battles with you as crew being vital to their success.

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One trade-off the devs made was to have things like tannery and smithy fairly small and not a building so the same item can be constructed at your base or on your ship. You don't mention if there are ships that can be configured as a base. You obviously can't build a tavern on a ship, so how would this sort of thing work on the ship?

Beds and storage boxes in cockpit. Cooking spot in supply room. Smithy and tannery in workshop room of the ship. No forge tho... but what I was thinking is, do you actually need it all in your ship? The idea was to let players choice - if they wanna do all resource hunting, creating stuff things - they go ashore and set up their base. If they don't - they can just earn alot of gold instead, buy ship, and live there. In this case freeports can provide them all they need, all stuff, resources, even better quality tools, weapons, armor and ship parts. They just need to do missions, and earn reward, then go freeport and use shops or maybe even some public buildings with tannery, looms, smithies, forges etc.

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Let's take a look at sea travels.

I prepared, get sextant buff, set sails, point my ship to direction I need, a-a-a-a-and...?

I Alt+Tab and go check my e-mails, social media and watch Youtube for funny videos. Sometimes abnormal storm appear - I play Pacman with like 50 tornadoes, and I get nothing in reward. Sometimes it's fog - I either lower my sails, stop and go watch Youtube, or continue along the border, and go watch Youtube. Sometimes it's coldwave - with same low visibility and I either stop and go watch Youtube, or continue along the border and watch Youtube. Sometimes it's heatwave - which lower my HP by half. Then it regains.

Sailing is second main pillar of games like this. And right now there is JUST NOTHING in sea travels that keeps player in a game.

Seriously. I once set my sails along the border and went for a walk with my dog for a half an hour.

Let's talk about:

09: SEAS ADVENTURES

The basics I would do:

1) - Compress whole ocean at least twice, so the longest half atlas travel would lasts 40-60 minutes (I mentioned this one earlier)

2) - I would make players actually do something while sailing.

3) - I would reward them for all activities.

But before I go there - let me tell something about the wind. Right now it just rotates clockwise. It raises and cut it strength from calm to strong and back. And that's it. If I go half ATLAS with loaded ship, I know I'll experience counter-wind and calm (I pray not together) and that's only fact just take away my desire to sail:

m4jHv3D.jpg

I would change the wind so It would just blow same direction for a while (and by "while" I mean at least 24 ingame hours). Then it randomly rotates for some angle (clockwise or counter) and blow new direction for a while again. Most of the time wind is around average, provide me FULL SPEED. Occasionally it goes to strong hurricane state and this requires me to lower my sails and turn to it's direction to prevent ship and ragging damage. Occasionally it goes to calm state and all hidden flotsam appear on the water surface.

Now to the challenges. Weather should be divided in to two types. Warm in equatorial, tropic and desert areas. Cold in temperate, tundra and polar zones.

Warm weather brings: rains, thunder, storms whit tornadoes or hail, dust storms and fog.

Rain - make ship heavier, it loses some speed and maneuverability.

Thunders - slight chance that lighting strikes masts, causing ragging damage.

Storm brings deadly tornado or hail. Storm is not global, it just wide dangerous zone in the ocean, and players goal is to avoid or escape one by all cost. Sail into tornado will cause sever damage to ship or either destroy it. Hail do moderate damage to sails.

mlkDGtg.jpg

Fog lowers visibility to all ships (NPCs ones also) when it's calm.

Dust storm lowers visibility when it's strong wind.

 

Cold weather brings snowfall, ice rain, blizzard, white mist.

Snowfall just makes ship heavier.

Ice rain makes it even heavier, and deck became slippery.

Blizzard - is local spot to avoid because it cause moderate damage to ship and sails.

White Mist is bright sparky show fog appears during sunny day. Lower visibility.

 

Oh, and about visibility itself. I would cancel unlimited visibility and make so it always changes around average values. So islands would appear as we getting close to them and lighthouses actually guide us (for that I would make freeport and homeland lighthouses different color or brightness).

 

Beside weather, player also should deal with ocean. There are randomly generated dangers in there.

Warm zones provides migrating seaweed zones and reefs with rocks out of the water.

Seaweeds dramatically lower ship speed, and if player wont escape in time full sails along wind direction may require to escape.

g0tFj18.jpg

Rocks and reefs are deadly. Hitting one will fully take out planks HP.

Cold zones provides drifting icebergs. Hitting one is also dangerous.

Both cold and warm zones also randomly generate jet streams (make ship turns and damage planks if angle is too big) and funnels (tries to capture ship in it's center - require full sail along the wind and along rotation direction to escape).

Everything above affect all ships. Player's ship, NPC's ship, damned ships etc.

Also because there are less water around, and islands closer to each other - sailing through the center of grid will require some maneuvers between island (something like that now in Polar and it's fun to sail through).

 

And tasty one. Each danger that player face, and each activity player actually do in the ocean, gives special reward points to the ship. If player pass seaweed zone - he gets "seaweed point". If he avoid iceberg - he get "iceberg point" there. If he gather flotsam - he get "flotsam points" etc. After gathering enough points player can choice special tittle for the ship. After gathering more points, player get special skill for the ship. After gathering points for the third time - special figure head for ship became available to craft.

For example if I avoid a lot of seaweed zones, I can add to my ship name a tittle: "Unstoppable". If I continue to pass seaweed zones I'll open a skill for ship that lower my speed penalty in seaweed zones by half. After I pass many more seaweed zones - I'll get... let's say "mermaid" figure head blueprint for my ship. Getting there should take a while, to make all those achievements valuable.

Figure head might also have some bonus stats. For balance stuff player should be able to choice just one danger bonuses and either be able to change em in repair dock or be unable to change them at all : ))

F51Zijz.jpg

Maybe survive inside the most deadliest situation (like actual tornado) - give player some really unique and valuable reward.

In PVP ships with those skills might suddenly get an advantage if battle occur near dangers.

And yeah. Some nice addition would be, if next weather would be predictable.

- Scarlet red sunset-sunrise - before windy weather.

- st. Elmo's flares - before thunderstorm etc.

Edited by George Catcher
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I like your heart and everything, I like that you added drawings, but.... There is not a lot of coherence to your ideas; and a lot of them are just importing more mechanics from Ark that were done away with for good reason. I don't want more Ark mechanics, I want less! (with exception to cryopods.) A bunch of this is already, or will be in the game exactly as you describe it. Like... a bunch of stuff. Especially everything to do with weather. That's already all there or will be soon.

There are some good suggestions here though.... taken on their own.


As a whole though, you are asking or a new game from the ground up.


really really really don't like your suggestions about ship building. More classes of ships are needed, but needlessly dullifying the entire ship tree would kill the tone of the game. Atlas is comic-realism.

I think several new hulls are needed as well as expanded sail types. I too think figure heads should do more.
 

Edited by PeglegTheAngry
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There is not a lot of coherence to your ideas; and a lot of them are just importing more mechanics from Ark that were done away with for good reason

I didn't ever play ARK and I even didn't watch a single video from the internet. So it's just coincidence. : ))

Quote

 really really really don't like your suggestions about ship building. More classes of ships are needed, but needlessly dullifying the entire ship tree would kill the tone of the game. Atlas is comic-realism.

I know it might sound weird and boring, but I'll talk about my main idea here. Right now WE DON'T NEED ANY MORE SHIP CLASSES at all.

Difference between ships should be:

- Size.

- Speed.

Maneuverability.

- Sturdiness.

- FirePower.

And you should find a compromise between those 5. 

Right now you shouldn't. Size doesn't matter - you can put small chest in very ship corner and put there like 15 tons of metal. And you won't wanna bigger but slower ship. Because size doesn't matter. As for maneuvers, sturdiness and firepower - you simply don't care. You can put alot of ceilings and roofs to you sloop and make it armored as hell. You can put there like 10-20 huge cannons to your ceilings and you don't need any big ship for that. You no need to do maneuvers during the fight because when it's free design, then meta comes in. Right now it's shotguns and kiting tactics. 

Instead of this:

Surpise_gpk.jpg

You create something like this:

maxresdefault.jpg

Call it "Ultimate destroyer" and go twitch to do stream called "I'm klling GhostShip with my meta-sloop". 

I would like to see "ship type matters". If I wanna carry more and do it fast - I go 3rd class, build corvette (my all time favorite) and with a lot of slots for "modules" I'll put there many cargo holds. It's also great to see actually cargo appears in my ship insides. If have like 16 beds for crew - I'll see 16 beds in my ship insides etc.

If I wanna big firepower - I wanna big ship with a lot of gunports. Barkas have just 4 ports each side for eight - 8 pound cannons (each make 400 damage per shot). Meantime Corvette can carry twelve -24 pounds cannons each side (1200 damage each). Coulverines are less damage but more fire range. Each ship within one class is different. One might be well armed and heavy armored, another one - very fast but less armored etc.

And of course battles. Boardside, maneuvering, using wind and sun as advantages (I'm gonna write about sea battles later).

-----------------

But anyway. Thx for your feedback. That's just my vision of gr8 pirate game. I had one in the past (Russian game called "corsairs" - all ship pictures above from this game). There were some flaws of course but all ship related stuff was really awesome. And... to be honest - I don't think DEV are reading this, but even if they are - they won't probably pick any ideas from here : ) (I'm actually not sure if they do "Pirate game". More like "survival sandbox with some ships in it").

p.s. - I'm whiting here a lot, more for my English practice : )))

Edited by George Catcher
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One of the biggest mistakes DEVs made is this:

kwN3xE0.jpg

10 - SEA BATTLES

I mean I aim, then I LMB. My all cannons do totally synchronized shoot, my cannonballs fly 100% accurate parallel trajectory and lands in exactly spot where I sent them. In the past NON OF THOSE SHIPS WERE THAT EFFECTIVE. It's not just unreal - it's stupid. Even now with today satellite aim helpers, shells are not THAT accurate. What I would do is:

Cancel 100% accuracy.

Cancel 100% synchronized volley.

Cancel 100% parallel trajectory.

Add misfire chance. 

Add critical strike.

Instead of this:

wy50m1q.jpg

Do THIS:

H1UKGxO.jpg

So when I hit LMB - all my cannons do volley within... lets say 3 seconds. And all my cannonballs lands in some wide hit area. When it's bad weather - sometimes cannons do misfire. Then my captaining skill-tree comes in. I can reduce negative effects with skills.

And one more thing. In far and long journeys - my crew can catch some sickness. Sick crew have reduced HP, do all sail controls slowly, have longer cannon reload speed, increased chance of misfire and gain slight chance to land 50% of cannon damage while cannon mounted. To prevent this one - some medicine should be added into ship supply box. Also visiting Freeport or Base - will cure all crew.

nwOhBYG.jpg

Famous captain - get additional exp. points ship get for seas adventures.

Hygiene (can be taken 3 times - with effect increased each time) - reduce chance of crew member catch a sickness.

 

Rationing (all but last skill can be taken 3 times as well) - same as now. Reduce amount of food crew needs.

Cheaper crew - same as now. Reduce crew payment.

Rally - for short amount of time slightly increases all crew actions speed (sails control, cannons control etc).

 

Maintenance - reduce ship decay rate.

Sail master - increase raising and lowering sails speed (by players and crew).

Ragging Master - increase sails turn speed (by players and crew)

Repairman - increase ship repairment speed (wither inside docks or in the ocean, repaired by patches).

Windshear - for the short amount of time allows to sail full speed regardless of wind and sails angle.

 

Better aim - reduce hit range area.

Heap shooting - reduce volley time.

Grainy gunpowder - reduce chance of misfire.

Overdrive - for short period of time greatly reduce cannons reload speed.

As for crits, cannons e-xtras, crew abilities - I'll write this one later.

To be continued...

Edited by George Catcher
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Posted (edited)

There are two amazing people - Kara and Nate. They youtube travelers and already visited 100 countries around the world.

Right now they are in their magic voyage to the very southern waters of Antarctica. And they got really touchy and emotional moment. Check it out here (watch from 12:00 to 15:00).

So I've been thinking. This video is really great example so ocean don't have to be all dangerous, evil place. There are some rooms for beauty as well, right?

I mean right now in Atlas - we just facing a dangers. Ocean is danger. Islands are full of danger. If you see anything in a game - it's probably wanna kill you, or you would wanna kill it for resources or loot. And after a video above I thought - maybe it would be amazing, if we had little positive events during our exploration too?

They would occur occasionally, and be that touchy and emotional with proper graphic and soundtrack. Those events were you don't need to kill anyone. Just to be in a right place and right moment. And watch. Not just whales, dancing along the ships. Maybe rainbows after the rains, luminous algae during the nights, magical sunset and sunrises, maybe some mystical stuff, glowing flora, rare blooming flowers, fireflies etc. And for experience all those stuff we would gain EXP as I mentioned above.

I mean right now there are dolphins, jumping around, northern lights in arctic, etc, but those are not events. Just meaningless picture.

Edited by George Catcher

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