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Kast

Tears of a Bear Cannon

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There are a lot of reasons why players have moved on from Atlas, but, on PvP servers, the constant demolishing of everything one has built (often when offline) is going to be in the top three. The bear cannon - one single asset has probably cost Atlas hundreds or thousands of players. "Hey, it's a PvP game! blah, blah". Yes, I know. I play for the PvP and I've blown into many a base and sunk dozens of ships - I've used it a lot, and I'm telling you that the bear cannon is a ridiculous weapon.

We've done a lot of testing on both official and private servers, and a manned bear cannon will out range ANY NPC-manned defensive weapon. That means that all of those defensive positions around your base are utterly useless if you're not also there at the time of the attack. And since there's no in-game notification (other than the log) of an attack across grids, chances are that you won't be present when any particular attack occurs.

So, two suggestions:

1. Cut the range of bear-mounted cannons by 50%. Not 10% or 20%... by 50%. It's a serious change, and the folks who enjoy running off your new players will certainly cry bloody murder, but it'll make base defense meaningful again. Seriously, when in all of military history has a towed weapon ever been able to out range a fixed gun emplacement?

2. Allow weapon-mounted NPCs to notify company members (across grids) when they've agro'd on a pathfinder.

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20 minutes ago, Kast said:

Seriously, when in all of military history has a towed weapon ever been able to out range a fixed gun emplacement?

All other factors being equal, given that range is primarily a function of the force applied to the projectile, and given that recoil force then becomes a consideration, a fixed gun emplacement can always do more to compensate for recoil than a towed gun, so the answer has always been never.

All other factors being equal.

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I agree.  Some may assume that the people who left, just don't like PvP.  I disagree, wholeheartedly. The reason is that when you are wiped, you now have to rebuild everything, and get all new BPs, and gold, and breeding animals, etc..  You have to rebuild a new base, and new ships, etc...  You now know that you cannot PvP...you must PvE, to get built back up.  This can take many weeks, or months, and you always lose people after a wipe, so you know it will be harder to get back to where you were, and there is no guarantee that you will get back to where you were.  You are now at a disadvantage...you are now a "Have Not," and so the enemies have a huge advantage against you.  I truly do believe that the reason why people leave, and don't come back can be boiled down to one single word.

Morale

I don't think Atlas is the only one to suffer this.  I think most games like this, have suffered for the same reason, but of all the games I have played like this, Atlas presents the most daunting prospect for rebuilding.  And, it isn't just the offline raiding.  It's also the online raiding.  You not only play "wack-a-mole," but you play, "where-is-the-mole?"  So, your suggestion is one I have been thinking about...the need for something that tells you the general vicinity of the enemy.  Not pin point, but the general vicinity. 

 

I do not have all the answers for this, because I do not know what the Devs can, or would do to fix this.  I don't know how far they are willing to go.  But, my opinion is that you have to find a way to give people a reason...a real reason, to fight, without that fight costing people everything.  That is the problem now.  Getting wiped costs you everything.  Getting raided costs you nearly everything, because people kill your tames, to see if you are hiding anything good in them, and just to hurt you...and they sink everything they can, and they popcorn every last item they don't want.  Not to mention that if they destroyed the container, every last item that was in it, will disappear in 30 minutes.  IMHO, that is an easy fix they can do right away.  First, make it so the containers can be unlocked with enough damage to the container/crafting station.  So now you can get into it without destroying it.  Second, find a way to end popcorning.  I am not sure how you would do this.  It would take a lot of thought, to make sure the fix doesn't become an exploit.  Personally, I think they should start up a PvP server where there is NO land wiping, but make it such that you really do have to get out to sea more.  So, this is what I would do.

 

  • Make a central bank at the Freeport. 
  • Here, you can store maps, BPs, Gold, and rare resources. 
  • Items in the bank cannot be taken from you.
  • While wiping is not possible, raiding is possible.
  • Walls are indestructible.
  • The company bank is now where things are kept, when not on your person, in a ship, or  All resources, all maps, all BPs, all gold.
  • The company bank cannot be enclosed within a structure.  It has to be semi-vulnerable.
  • The bank is visible to everything on the island.  Crew draw gold, crafting stations see BPs, etc.. 
  • Make a mechanic that makes things go to this bank when you get near the island, and when you pull them out, a decay timer starts.  Or just have the decay timer. 
  • The only place these things don't decay, are in the company bank, or the central bank.
  • The company bank is the only thing on the island that the enemy can damage...which unlocks it, allowing them to take things. 
  • This also creates a control point for defense.  Your primary concern is to defend the bank, which can't be hidden behind indestructible walls.
  • This also reduces, to an extent, the need for a large amount of walls, and defense.  You would still want them, but you won't need them all over your island.

 

Another idea is a stable to keep breeders in. 

  • You can designate any animal to be a breeder.
  • You take it to a Freeport, and take it to a Stable.
  • You pay gold to keep it there.  Not an exorbitant amount, but a reasonable amount.
  • It could be that once an animal is designated a breeder, you can never take it out?  Just a thought.
  • Have a limit on how many you can have of each animal type. 1 Male, and 6 females? 
  • You can breed them on the Freeport. 
  • Stables are rented for the breeding, and then raising the baby.
  • Alter how babies are taken care of, if necessary.  Allow them to be transported on ships at an early age, so you can clear out of the Freeport, as soon as possible.

 

This may need some thinking through, but what I am getting at here is this...much of your wealth is protected.  Your months of building up breeders, is protected....BUT...many more opportunities to lose small amounts of stuff, are created by having more need to travel back and forth between Freeports.  The Lawless areas surrounding Freeports, would now have a real purpose in game.  They would be PvP hot spots.  You would lose things, now and then, BUT, there would be no more morale killing wipes.  You don't lose EVERYTHING in one day.

 

If these methods don't work, the formula that we need is simple

  • Create mechanics that allow you to 100% protect your stuff.
  • Create reasons/mechanics that cause you to have to regularly put a portion of your valuable stuff at risk.

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Kast said:

There are a lot of reasons why players have moved on from Atlas, but, on PvP servers, the constant demolishing of everything one has built (often when offline) is going to be in the top three. The bear cannon - one single asset has probably cost Atlas hundreds or thousands of players. "Hey, it's a PvP game! blah, blah". Yes, I know. I play for the PvP and I've blown into many a base and sunk dozens of ships - I've used it a lot, and I'm telling you that the bear cannon is a ridiculous weapon.

We've done a lot of testing on both official and private servers, and a manned bear cannon will out range ANY NPC-manned defensive weapon. That means that all of those defensive positions around your base are utterly useless if you're not also there at the time of the attack. And since there's no in-game notification (other than the log) of an attack across grids, chances are that you won't be present when any particular attack occurs.

So, two suggestions:

1. Cut the range of bear-mounted cannons by 50%. Not 10% or 20%... by 50%. It's a serious change, and the folks who enjoy running off your new players will certainly cry bloody murder, but it'll make base defense meaningful again. Seriously, when in all of military history has a towed weapon ever been able to out range a fixed gun emplacement?

2. Allow weapon-mounted NPCs to notify company members (across grids) when they've agro'd on a pathfinder.

Grenades do more.

 

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1 hour ago, Captain Jack Shadow said:

The company bank is now where things are kept, when not on your person, in a ship, or  All resources, all maps, all BPs, all gold.

I really like your idea of a company bank. It makes me think of the vaults from Conan Exiles (pre-nerf): 600k hitpoints and it can only be damaged via explosives or fire. So, the Atlas company bank/vault would require that the raiders spend a good chunk of resources to crack it open; as opposed to a bear, some cannonballs and a dream. I like it.

I'm not so sure about invulnerable walls etc.. I think that risk of loss is a big part of the excitement of the game. However, raiders need to experience the fear of loss too - and that can be accomplished by forcing raiders to engage/eliminate defenses that can actually hit them and their tames, as opposed to shelling a base safely out of range. There are plenty of people who would love the 'tower defense' building potential of Atlas if it weren't for the fact that the defenses will probably never fire a shot in anger before the walls come down.

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27 minutes ago, Kast said:

I really like your idea of a company bank. It makes me think of the vaults from Conan Exiles (pre-nerf): 600k hitpoints and it can only be damaged via explosives or fire. So, the Atlas company bank/vault would require that the raiders spend a good chunk of resources to crack it open; as opposed to a bear, some cannonballs and a dream. I like it.

I'm not so sure about invulnerable walls etc.. I think that risk of loss is a big part of the excitement of the game. However, raiders need to experience the fear of loss too - and that can be accomplished by forcing raiders to engage/eliminate defenses that can actually hit them and their tames, as opposed to shelling a base safely out of range. There are plenty of people who would love the 'tower defense' building potential of Atlas if it weren't for the fact that the defenses will probably never fire a shot in anger before the walls come down.

 

My ideas center on the idea that being totally wiped, is a morale breaker for many gamers, who then quit, and never return to the game.

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Posted (edited)

 

3 hours ago, Captain Jack Shadow said:
  • The company bank is now where things are kept, when not on your person, in a ship, or  All resources, all maps, all BPs, all gold.

That sounds interesting, may I add leaving doors and gates destructible.

leading to points of weakness, needing defences, like real castles / fortifications.

Edited by Jack Shandy
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1 hour ago, ragnar cook said:

Grenades do more.

 

 

donnie.jpg

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im not a friend of pure pvp and pure pve servers either, i hope we will see a mixed official server in the future.

it could have a red player system like nearly all other mmos do, or it could have you get any reasonable gold amounts and rare resources from pvp areas but can store them in pve areas so you progress once you got em secured.
or a npc bank that allows you to save your gold, together with a goldshop for ships and all stuff, you could do more fun stuff and need to rebuild less often so building could be made a little bit harder and more on the survival side.

but i would prefer a consequences and economic system that allows you to progress over indestructible stuff, thou i do agree that it shouldnt be so easy to sink ships, maybe something like anchored ships dont sink or sink very slow so you can still save them when you log in the next day.
when someone steals your ship or resources i dont mind but if they just randomly destroy it for no real purpose thats not good for the playerbase of the game.
so dropping all resources on the ground to make em vanish by some random burglar that doesnt steal em or take em with him would be another points to adress. maybe a save stash that is indestructible but you can not drop resources into it instead it will pick up 50% of the resources dropped to the ground when they vanish in an area.

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9 hours ago, Captain Jack Shadow said:

I don't think Atlas is the only one to suffer this.  I think most games like this, have suffered for the same reason, but of all the games I have played like this, Atlas presents the most daunting prospect for rebuilding.

Eve online has to be a contender for the greatest loss experienced in a game to date, it's too much of a life-hog for people with a family and long hours etc.  We lost a POS with about a year worth of play, moved and abandoned to casual play in high sec (which is such a taboo in EvE)...  Some people have no sympathy at all, others acknowledge that the loss doesn't serve the crime.  Others are neutral.  The same was with Elite Dangerous, where people in a few million cr ships are able to project losses of tens of millions to victims of attacks (this saw a mass exodus to PvE), and it's been a bone of contention ever since.

Genuinely I think it will never have a solution.  As PvP needs players to work, chasing players away with wonky mechanics favoring gang bangs (excuse the expression), does wipe out the chance for the old fashioned Joe Bloggs that plays 3 times a week for a few hours.

I guess you can never please everyone, and the hardcore want things harder, and the super casual players just want mechanics that throw them a life vest.

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The main reason people are leaving PvP is because it's nothing more than a grief fest. There is no OBJECTIVE, REWARD SYSTEM, ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM, or actual REASON to PvP. I stopped playing on PvP because the only time there was PvP was by accident and most of the destroying happened while we were offline. I can't even find a word to describe how bad/stupid/ignorant/boring/sadistic it is. Can anyone help me find a word to describe PvP in Atlas? 

What is the objective of PvP in Atlas? To just wipe people out and then gloat in Global? It's like a round of Fortnight except that it takes months to build up instead of a few minutes and there is no winner or scoreboard. So when all that work goes down the shitcan because someone figured out an exploit or easy way to grief people offline, who would want to do that all over?         

I like PvP games and FPS games but this game has ZERO to make me want to play the PvP side right now.  

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The solution is crazy simple.

1. Anchored boats can not take or deal dmg. 

This is all that is needed to address that for the most part. 

I would however add some changes to consider, but these are ansilary compared to this much needed solution.

- make free ports...wait for it....ports.  dock for a fee and your boat is stored, safe and sound. 

- add a bank to freeports. You can save things in it.

- and to free up some space, ffs, crack down on these god, damn, megas that are consuming multiple grids. 

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39 minutes ago, Chucksteak said:

- make free ports...wait for it....ports.  dock for a fee and your boat is stored, safe and sound. 

You make it sound so simple!  😄   👍

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Posted (edited)

I'd like to see direct line of sight on cannons, for aiming.  kinda like using the large cannons manually on ships.  The current aiming system with the camera floating somewhere above the cannon makes it extremely difficult to aim the thing at longer ranges. You can't really see what you're shooting at, some kind of zoom in function or overhead camera would be nice, like arty in world of tanks or something similar.  Or firing down the line of the gun itself, like sighted aiming.  I mostly just let ai crewmen fire now albeit in pve anyway.  Given the expense of making ammo and amount of time and the weight and time it takes to move it all and load it.. it's a hell of alot of grinding, for a few minutes of fun.  Least they could do is make the fun part, actually fun.

That said I sank a sotd fleet, 3 reds and 2 oranges with a 2 gun schooner tonight.. that was the most fun I've had for awhile.  Never seen so many balls in the air.

Edited by Martyn

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3 hours ago, Chucksteak said:

The solution is crazy simple.

1. Anchored boats can not take or deal dmg. 

This is all that is needed to address that for the most part.

 

Not really.  It can take months to build up a breeding line to a good level, yet somebody who wipes your base can, and likely will, take all of that away from you in one day.  How many people will start all over?  A lot won't.

Bases are where you store all of your BPs, and Maps, so that is again, another problem.  It takes a lot of time to get to where you have a solid amount of good BPs, so again, after a wipe, you are starting over.

Now, I suppose if your idea is used, people would just keep everything on ships, and transfer to other ships, when not being used...OR, they would actually create ships to act as vaults, and animal storage.

 

I think the goal should be to allow people to protect ALL of their stuff, but also create reasons where they will need to expose small amounts of the valuable stuff, repeatedly.  This way, in boxing terms, you get punched in the jaw, and it hurts when that happens, but you never get knocked out.  Worst case would be that you get knocked down when you get caught being stupid, but again, you don't get knocked out.  This should be the goal.  This, IMHO, would help keep people from having their morale knocked into the dirt.  They remain excited about the game.  They have a reason to keep working, to overcome those punches to the jaw...but they never have to experience that hopeless feeling, many get when they are wiped.

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20 hours ago, Captain Jack Shadow said:

Now, I suppose if your idea is used, people would just keep everything on ships, and transfer to other ships, when not being used...OR, they would actually create ships to act as vaults, and animal ..

Yeah, exactly. Its a compromise. Id probably reduce comapny ship limit to (members x 1.5) for example to reduce some sillyness. However this allows someone to protect thier stuff,  with the limit of how many ships they can make and how much each one can hold.

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2 hours ago, Chucksteak said:

Yeah, exactly. Its a compromise. Id probably reduce comapny ship limit to (members x 1.5) for example to reduce some sillyness. However this allows someone to protect thier stuff,  with the limit of how many ships they can make and how much each one can hold.

Right, and I see that, but my idea is a bit different in that it allows people to protect there stuff in a way that allows people who aren't being stupid, to never get wiped into oblivion, but...but, it does require them to put those assets at risk, on a regular basis...just not everything at one time.  So, they might get a ship sunk, or a bank raided, and lose some stuff, but the majority of stuff would be protected in a central bank, on Freeports.  Your breeders would be in a similar bank...a sort of stables area where you go to pull the animal out...just like you would pull them out of a obelisk on ARK...but this would not have a timer that automatically deletes your tame.  Instead, you pay rent to keep it there.  If you fall behind, you simply can't pull it out, until you pay what is owed.

Taking things to the banks, and pulling them out to use them, would put them at risk.  Like, you have a BP that you want to protect.  Pulling it out puts a decay timer on it.  So you want to pull it out, and take it home to use it, and if there are still plenty of crafts left on it, you want to get it back into the bank, so that creates opportunities for people to capture it.  The decay timer starts the second you obtain the BP.  When you put it into the bank, the timer is reset...not stopped...reset.  What would be better is a timer that counts down when it is not in the bank, but when in the bank, it counts back up...which would prevent people from just using the bank to reset the timer.  Or just have it such that it has to be in the bank for a set number of days to reset the timer.  Same for maps.  Gold would accrue interest in the bank.  So you have incentives to keep these things there, along with their being safer from being wiped.  It might also help with anti-cheat protection.  

The breeders could be handles just like the gold, maps, and BPs, in that you pull them out and take them home to breed them, which puts them at risk, or allow for us to breed them right there on the island, and transport the babies home.  I could see a possible breeding facility being made...a specific size for each pair you will breed, and it has everything included that you need for the process.  Trough, heating, and cooling methods.  You take it to some spot on the island...specific spots that don't block spawns...maybe even having to rent the spot...and you set up the breeding stable, which will decay shortly after the breeding process, and gestation, and 10% of maturation, is complete.

The reason I think breeders should be more protected is because of the sheer amount of time and effort it takes to get a very high level tame.  It can take many months.  How many people do you think will keep playing, when a pair of bears, that took 6 months, to a year to get, are killed in a wipe?   This is an imbalance in these types of games.  If something takes a really long time to acquire, you don't want it to be lost...or at least not at all easy to lose.  An FPS game is usually pretty well balanced in this regard...you spawn, run, shoot, kill, run, die, respawn, and repeat the process.  Death comes easy, but recovery isn't very difficult.  You either don't lose your stuff, or you can get equally good stuff pretty quickly.

Breeders can take a really long time, and a whole lot of effort to get.  So, I do think that stables that you rent...and no, not some absurd thing like 1,000 gold per day per bear...is a good thing.  But, you don't want thousands of bears on the freeport, or elephants, tigers, etc...so you turn them over to the stable owner, which is really just uploading them, like uploading to on obelisk.

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Why not just have the cannon have a long ass reload time.... or better have it to do 30% damage to the bear health so you can only fire 3 time before bear dies..... this is due to me thinking that recoil of cannons can be brutal against bears since it force and recoils are insane .... Or induce a 30% chance of the cannon misfiring and instead self explode harming the bear destroying the cannon and doing 50% of damage to the cart.    

There bear cart with cannon nerfed..... 

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7 hours ago, Dragoon14th said:

Why not just have the cannon have a long ass reload time.... or better have it to do 30% damage to the bear health so you can only fire 3 time before bear dies..... this is due to me thinking that recoil of cannons can be brutal against bears since it force and recoils are insane .... Or induce a 30% chance of the cannon misfiring and instead self explode harming the bear destroying the cannon and doing 50% of damage to the cart.    

There bear cart with cannon nerfed..... 

I don't know about the bear dying... But it'd be amusing if there was an RNG chance that each shot could cause the bear to panic and flee. 

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12 hours ago, Kast said:

I don't know about the bear dying... But it'd be amusing if there was an RNG chance that each shot could cause the bear to panic and flee. 

This would be both realistic and a move towards better game balance.

 

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Glad to see some players considering boat docking, and Freeport bank as an option. I've been posting about it for a couple of weeks. 

Bottom line, if there is no Freeport bank, or safe storage of some kind for items and boats, only near max size companies will be left in the end. 

My suggestion, is much more limited than yours, in order to help smaller companies more than large companies, but even a bank that stores everything for you would be an improvement over what they have now. 

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