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First of all I want to thank you for addressing what I would consider to be the biggest issue plaguing Atlas at the moment, the claim system.

 

For those that missed the latest Captain's Log.

 

I was lucky enough the claim a spot in the first week, so i am not coming to this as a player that is speaking purely out of frustration. I am concerned with the overall health of a game and it's systems. This game has big potential and I would like to see it grow in stead of shrink over the coming months.

 

The problem currently is that not only is everything is taken (and has been taking since day 2), but it is all locked by players that have far more claims than they will even use. Over half of my island is claimed by companies/players that are playing on entirely different servers. There is massive amounts of land in this game right now that is locked and unavailable because people have 30, 50, 100 or more claims that will will never be able to use. It's not only big companies that are doing this (although they are probably the main cause) but individuals and smaller companies as well. Go to any polar region and see entire islands completely empty, claimed mostly by 1 person or company.

 

This causes frustration among new players and old players alike. This causes servers to feel dead with little or no community and forces people to lawless areas just to be able to build and explore.

 

So what's the solution? From day one the obvious solution that almost everyone was suggesting was limit the number of claims. If this was implemented the first week people would have been able to take it in stride a bit better. Yes, there would have been backlash from people that got off starter areas first and blanket claimed islands but the long-term benefit would have probably been worth the short-term backlash.

 

I hope you (the dev's) have a miracle fix up your sleeves to solve the claim issue, I would be all ears to hear it but I just can't see a solution that doesn't involve some reasonable limit on number of claims. I hope that is in the works for the new system. The perception right now is that every "solution" has worsened the problem and added new issues. I don't think a server wipe is feasible at this point but, if you were to start new servers with a claim limit my guess is that the vast majority of your player base would happily make the move over to start fresh.

 

What would be a reasonable claim limit? 3-5 claims per person would allow you to have multiple bases in different regions and do basically everything you need to do. Larger companies with more players would have more claimed area, smaller companies would still have a comfortable amount of space. You could even tie it to discovery points, starting with 1-2 available claims and grow over time as you reach your max 5 claims with say 200-300 DPs. The DP system could also be expanded to include taming, breeding, killing rares, collecting rare resources, etc. It's a cool system that has room to grow imo.

 

The Ladder system for claims just incentivizes this problem. A ladder systems is fine for other things like discovery points or maybe structures destroyed in PVP (as long as offline raiding is addressed).

 

As is stands the claim systems latest change addressed those people that wanted the peace of mind that their claims would still be there after a hypothetical three week vacation. The vocal minority is loud but rarely think about pros and cons. Generally just emotional reactions to their specific problems.

 

The biggest mistake a game company can make is NOT listening to their player base.

The second biggest problem IS listening to the player base.

 

I feel for the dev's and hope there is a good solution out there that everyone can agree at least helps move into the right direction.

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I hate to say this but any major change will probably require a full server wipe. We have no reason to be upset about this either as we all signed up/bought the game knowing this was in Alpha. It happened in ARK multiple times so I would expect it here.

A fresh start would be...refreshing? 

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Let me also add that a full server wipe would also allow them to make some much needed changes to the map such as opening up some lawless regions. These were only put in place as a band-aid because of the lag/issues with Freeports. They could also add a few more islands and even make some larger land masses with navigable rivers . In addition, I believe they need to change the temperate regions around. There's no reason to have so much artic area if people aren't going to even utilize it. I tried it and it was miserable and not fun. This is a pirate game, not a norse viking game.

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Maybe a full wipe will happen in the future, but I have a strong feeling it would not be shotgunned on us. We would have months knowing it was coming.

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If ever we do get a wipe, I hope that before it goes live, they set up a pre-defined hex grid of claims, to take care of the claim overlap issue, as well as getting rid of dead spaces between claims that are too small for people to put claims down in. There are definitely a lot of wasted spaces, and extra flags that have been placed, that cant be moved, removed, or replaced with the current overlapping going on. That, and get rid of the sea claim flags. You want the space, you swim down to the bottom of the ocean and place the flag in that grid.

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Pretty sure lawless was always planned. They weren't thrown in last second.  The last second was making them home servers, which was turned off weeks ago.

And gold upkeep for claims will be a pretty big part of a fix.  It just needs to be enough to make people give up land they aren't using. There should be unclaimed land on the map, that nobody owns.  The price needs to be high enough that people dont claim land to make resources private, but for building purposes 

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1 minute ago, Archsenex said:

Pretty sure lawless was always planned. They weren't thrown in last second.  The last second was making them home servers, which was turned off weeks ago.

And gold upkeep for claims will be a pretty big part of a fix.  It just needs to be enough to make people give up land they aren't using. There should be unclaimed land on the map, that nobody owns.  The price needs to be high enough that people dont claim land to make resources private, but for building purposes 

Just having to visit your claim  and put gold into it would be enough to free up land.

Edited by Axden1

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I totally agree with limiting land claims per person, with the possibility of earning more?

I agree with predefined plots of land -- get rid of the dynamic circles.

I agree that it would be nice to have non-claimable areas "wild lands" that are more dangerous and resource rich than the claimable areas. Currently the random alpha spawns in/near bases is annoying -- not fun.

Gold upkeep in land claims is... (not sure about this?) -- I could see instituting a threshold - if you have more than (X) number of claims (in a company).

  • Taxes might be able to offset this.
  • This could also be offset by a robust market system -- allow players to set prices and "amounts needed" for certain goods in their bank  (i.e. I'll pay 2 gold per stack of wood, or I'm selling this horse for 650 Gold)
    When other players deposit desired item into the bank, they receive the corresponding gold, or they can pay for items listed in the bank) -- Put the Banks on the Atlas map, and this would definitely encourage exploration and trade.

Sea claims should only be possible if you have a bank in that zone.

I understand how interwoven and complicated these systems can be, and look forward to hearing what the Devs have come up with!!

ARGH!

Edited by Argh!

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1 hour ago, Meerkat said:

The biggest mistake a game company can make is NOT listening to their player base.

The second biggest problem IS listening to the player base.

I just wanted to emphasize this. Also, new mechanisms related to land claiming, such as upkeep, as well as some possible limitations which we’ll be able to cover precisely in the next Captain’s Log

I'm looking forward to the next log is all I'm going to say.

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The problem is Atlas devs are against the wall. People are fleeing the game in big numbers and any change they make that isn't close to perfect just makes another slice of people quit.

Claims is just one of many issues that Atlas got. Solving claims wont magically make the player numbers change, far from it.

But for claims a removal of all sea claims to begin with would be a good idea. Not only do they not count on the timer, they also give a much larger area in return and they don´t really make sense anyway. But the people that abused sea claims need some kind of grace period where they can place land flags inside their sea claim that covers land.

Capping flags per person doesn´t work and claims are no longer personally owned. The upkeep method is much better, get say 5 free company flags and then add gold cost to the rest. But again, it wont solve all your claim issues. Removing claims all together wont work either.

What you want is to make it too troublesome for the 1 guy that got 50 claims to keep going, nothing else.

But the big question is, how many people can the Islands actually support. I have seen eco dead islands due to the way people build on yellow flags and that´s even worse than everything claimed with red flags. Not that servers can really handle above 50 people anyway. People building Minecraft castles isn't helping either in any way. We are funny enough forced to be land bound in a sailing game. Hence we need a small base and lots of resource land, not to mention the mandatory zoo.

In the end you will never get around the 10 companies with 5 casual players in each all having 10 flags and essentially locking up an entire server. There just isn't claims enough to go around unless the population is spread enough or low enough. Someone will always complain why he or she couldn´t get a spot exactly where they wanted. You know the perfect Island, perfect biome, perfect habour area and just next to the metal nodes.

Edited by Shintai
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13 minutes ago, Shintai said:

Stuff

Agree with pretty much everything you just said.

Personally I'm hoping they try just implementing an upkeep cost first and seeing how that goes. It will force people to decide which claims are actually important to them and disincentivize owning more flags than they're willing to pay for.

I can't see a way of imposing a hard limit on flags that doesn't require a server wipe first, and I don't think the game has reached a point worth doing a wipe for, and although it will likely bring some people back it will also likely cause a large portion of their core player base to want to leave. And then in the back of the minds of those that are left will always be a voice saying "they're just going to wipe again, what's the point of putting in all this work?"

If it turns out the upkeep on flags doesn't make a big enough difference then it's an option to consider, but I think it should be a last resort.

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A wipe and 4 new official servers instead of the old with 4 tiles and 300 player maximum. Would still be empty for people to join 😉

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I just live in lawless.. I don't even have a tiny bit of desire to have a claim flag. because it is so very broken. Lawless is so very much safer than claimed land.

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3 minutes ago, Bloody Blackjack said:

I just live in lawless.. I don't even have a tiny bit of desire to have a claim flag. because it is so very broken. Lawless is so very much safer than claimed land.

I'm the opposite, i have a lawless land and just recently got a claimed base. I much prefer the claimed area. It feels like mine.

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Part of the big problem with the current design is that people feel the need (possibly rightly) to cover resources in claims.  Rather than making 1 or 2  claims on the coast, building their base, and then going inland to gather, they have their claims cover the resources.

A single player only needs a handful of claims, single digits, if they're ONLY using those claims to build a base.  Where a lot of the problems come from are people that are still operating in the mentality that you need a ton of claims to cover resources to make them "yours"

Capping per person also doesn't work because it doesn't tie activity to ownership.  You'll still have dead claims, that aren't being used for anything.  Gold makes a lot of sense as an upkeep resource.  Earning gold is insanely easy, just do a few maps literally while you're doing anything else, and you'll have the gold.  I can make 500 just during the course of sailing from one place to another by grabbing and doing easy maps.  Over the course of a week of standard play I'm rolling in 5000 coins personally earned, easy.

Resources, however, are too easy to get in large volumes, and all that will do is make people just turn up their taxes to force the schmucks who need to come gather pay for their ownership.  The upkeep resource can't be something that the territory itself just "takes care of" or you've done literally nothing.

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Just now, Axden1 said:

I'm the opposite, i have a lawless land and just recently got a claimed base. I much prefer the claimed area. It feels like mine.

Feels like, but if someone raids you and gets you out. theyll CLAIM your base. Theyll Own it. and demo it. In lawless, you want me out? you have to blow it ALL up.

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Are we forgetting one big reason some players have claimed far too much? The tax system. Remove that and the incentive to keep so much land evaporates for most.

Some people have claimed far too much for other reasons, a hoarding mentality, these are the same people who mass pillared in Ark (I'm not talking about protecting important resources or thoroughfares but all out land grabbing to exclude others). There needs to be some kind of mechanic in the game such as limits on the number of claims per player (via steam ID, not alts). I'm not sure claims costing gold, even if it's exponential, will solve much at all unless taxes plus small tribes or solos hoarding is addressed at the same time.

& remove the ridiculous leaderboard for the most claims in PVE. Totally pointless and nonsensical in PVE. That could be done TODAY. Just remove it.

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As a casual player, having to pay gold to maintain my pitiful few claims would be a deal breaker.  Larger companies can get gold more easily so it actually doesn't hurt them so much unless it scales higher for each claim.   I would prefer limited claims per player or maybe gold upkeep past some minimum number of claims (maybe 3?).  I have about a dozen flags down mostly to protect the 2 or 3 I care about from overlap exploits.  I would be happy If I could just keep the 2 or 3 without getting flag-griefed and not get taxed to death when gathering outside my claim.

 

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You want to limit claims? You need to remove all incentives to placing claim flags. You could even add deterrents.

To remove incentives:

1) Remove the tax benefits. 2) Limit how many claims, so people must choice more wisely where they claim.

Add deterrents:

1) Charge rent. 2) Maybe consider reducing the gather rate on land you have claimed. 3) Could block some activities on land you have claimed, for instance taming or finding treasure maps. 4) For PVE, reduce the amount of time for claims to be claimable based on how many claims a company has.

Not saying any of the above is a good idea, but would reduce the number of claims.

Edited by wildbill

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17 minutes ago, wildbill said:

Add deterrents:

1) Charge rent. 2) Maybe consider reducing the gather rate on land you have claimed. 3) Could block some activities on land you have claimed, for instance taming.

Not saying any of the above is a good idea, but would reduce the number of claims.

I like the charge rent idea. A scaling cost. Just random numbers, but for an example: First 5 crew claims are free, each one after adds a cost per day, 10 gold, 25 gold, 40 gold, etc...

 

edit: Just to clarify, this would be land claims, not sea claims. Those need different attention.

Edited by Axden1

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to clarify, i do NOT think a wipe is feasible. the dev's do have their backs up against a wall and damage control should be top-of-mind. it was for that reason i suggested a voluntary fresh start on new servers with claim limits implemented in the original post. 

the gold upkeep idea is an interesting one with each claim costing exponentially more. i think this would be a decent trade-off although i would assume that this would not effect larger companies as mush a smaller ones due to having more people to farm maps. you would most likely have solo players up in arms, but i will say this... i am a solo player with over 30k gold just wasting away with nothing to spend it on. gold isn't that hard to come by.

that being said, i do like # of claims tied to discovery points a bit better. this rewards the most dedicated players and still eliminates claim spamming. start with 1-2 and gain 3-4 more over time as you reach higher DPs. you might need to re-balance some of the bigger bosses giving so many DPs since a solo or small company won't necessarily be able to kill the kraken, etc.

taxes, just another incentive to claim spam. needs to be reworked or removed.

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Just now, Meerkat said:

to clarify, i do NOT think a wipe is feasible. the dev's do have their backs up against a wall and damage control should be top-of-mind. it was for that reason i suggested a voluntary fresh start on new servers with claim limits implemented in the original post. 

the gold upkeep idea is an interesting one with each claim costing exponentially more. i think this would be a decent trade-off although i would assume that this would not effect larger companies as mush a smaller ones due to having more people to farm maps. you would most likely have solo players up in arms, but i will say this... i am a solo player with over 30k gold just wasting away with nothing to spend it on. gold isn't that hard to come by.

that being said, i do like # of claims tied to discovery points a bit better. this rewards the most dedicated players and still eliminates claim spamming. start with 1-2 and gain 3-4 more over time as you reach higher DPs. you might need to re-balance some of the bigger bosses giving so many DPs since a solo or small company won't necessarily be able to kill the kraken, etc.

taxes, just another incentive to claim spam. needs to be reworked or removed.

I disagree. wipe is easy. Push the button. *whispers* Just.... let it happen. mmmmmmmmm

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23 minutes ago, Bloody Blackjack said:

I disagree. wipe is easy. Push the button. *whispers* Just.... let it happen. mmmmmmmmm

This topic should be about land claims, not wipes. You are just diverting attention from the problem.

A wipe is only a temporary solution, with no changes made, two months later the servers would have exactly the same problem (well even sooner) of all land being claimed.

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Put a decay timer on flags withing a radius the size of a flag, if no company member triggers the event. flag goes poof. Timer 24hours? 4 days? 

 

Also if you disable fast travel between servers, and only allow respawn in the server youve died or a freeport. Then poof EZ

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