Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.
Please consider supporting us by enabling cookies.
Captain's Log 22: March Milestone & Official Server Wipe
Posted on March 1st, 2019 12:15 AM EST
This Captain’s Log will go into some of the finer details of what we shared during our livestream earlier today. If you didn’t have a chance to watch it, you can check out the full VOD here, which also includes live gameplay of some of the upcoming features:
In previous logs, we stated that we would be visiting some major design aspects of the game which make it more accessible for smaller groups and solo players, along with reducing the steep climb necessary to experience some of the later game content. There is a lot that we want to do over the coming months, and this update will be the first of many to help resolve these problems. However, before we get into that, we’d like to talk about something pretty important.
With the release of this first milestone, we will be wiping all our Official Networks. This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly, however we believe based on a number of reasons that this will be the best move for the game, moving forward.
First of all, the changes we are planning for this update are huge. We are completely redesigning the world layout, introducing new island types and biomes, adding new playable areas beneath and upon the ocean along with completely revamping the claim system. Due to the impact of these changes, we believe a wipe is the best course of action so that you can experience the update in a fresh environment, without being influenced by any of our legacy or deprecated code.
The wipe will allow us to see whether the changes we’re making are heading in the right direction, or whether we need to sit back as a team and further adjust our design for the game. We believe that these systems, which we’re going to discuss in more detail, are some of the most important and core aspect of ATLAS. Using your feedback, insight, and creativity, we want to build on the foundation of the game throughout Early Access and we’re willing to make the changes necessary, no matter how large, to get them to work. Whether that means more content, complete redesigns, or wiping the network when big changes have come in.
Secondly, since ATLAS launched as an Early Access title, there have been a number of bugs, exploits, and patches made to the game that have had a significant impact on the state of the persistent world. A number of players have benefited or have suffered grievances due to these various since-fixed issues, whether they were taking advantage of crafting exploits, alpha babies, duping, or had their boats sunk by Gatling Ship of the Damned.
As such, being a game that is focused on players building an empire, claiming and ruling over what’s theirs, and being the hero or villain they were meant to be; we believe that a wipe is necessary to put everyone back on an even playing field.
Furthermore, we’ve been a little more soft in some cases when it came to players taking advantage of these game exploits. After the first wipe has taken place in March, that will no longer be the case. We will still prioritize fixing issues/bugs/exploits, so we encourage you to work with us when you’ve discovered something that could be exploitable. That is our mandate, fixing and resolving game problems, however we’ll be taking a more firm stance against the serious cases where a company has used an exploit without coming forward which could result in company-wide and or alliance-wide punishments.
Finally, at the end of March, when this update drops, we’ll be commiserating those of you who have taken part in ATLAS’ first iteration. We’ll be rewarding all players who have ever logged into Official ATLAS prior to the wipe with a special cosmetic item that you’ll be able to keep post-wipe. Please keep an eye out for our announcements for when the deadline is, so you can be sure to get the cosmetic!
Please note that this wipe will not be forced on Unofficial Servers, however the old claim flags will disappear and you’ll have to replace them or allow them to naturally populate.
With this patch, the team have a number of primary and secondary objectives. With our primary and biggest changes we hope to address the following:
- Players not being able to find land to build a base on both PvP and PvE
- Offline Raiding
- Incentivizing large companies to work with smaller and solo groups
- Players not being able to connect/spawn on a server
We recognise that these aren’t the only aspects of ATLAS which need to improve. There are problems with the new player experience, how punishing it is to recover after you’ve been defeated, server performance during large epic battles, viability of creatures, weapons, boat builds, etc. The list can go on and these are things which we plan to address, and more in the coming months ahead.
This patch, however, will primarily be focused on the points we mentioned above, and will hit our PTR/Test Live Environment a week before it makes its way onto the main game, so you’ll be able to get an early look at it and experience it on that network.
Please let us know your thoughts about this upcoming update, we value your feedback and insight. We don’t claim to be omniscient, and you may raise attention to something we hadn’t considered which will either result in us adjusting the design further, or we’ll consider how to tackle those concerns at a future date.
Firstly, we’re going to be making a number of changes to the claim system and introducing a new war system with this update. Please read through the entire design, as both systems will work with one another.
- Players can now build anywhere, without owning a Settlement (an island which has been claimed).
- An island which has been claimed is now known as a Settlement.
- Only one claim flag can be placed per island, and the owner (player/company) is the owner of that Settlement.
- There will be a hard limit on the total number of claim flags.
- Islands are given a rank based on their location, size and how valuable they are. These rankings will be used to determine upkeep, as well as identify the Top 10 Companies which will be a sum of all the islands that Company has claimed.
- Structures that are built on islands that are not Settlements can be raided at any moment.
- Fog of War and Shroud of War have been eliminated, so the entire ATLAS will be shown to everyone.
- World Map will now show the name of an Island (which can be changed by Settlement owners), who a Settlement is owned by, the current tax rate, and the current war status of the island.
- Islands will have colored overlay for ownership (Owned by you, an ally, or non-ally).
- NPC crew on offensive/defensive seated structures will no longer count towards the tame limit whilst seated.
- Company limit has been reduced to 250 members
- Group ranks have now been increased to 10
- Alliance changes will now be logged in the Company Log
- You can now sort the Company log to display entries from top to bottom
- A new group setting which can grant ‘owner’ permission for company members, which can only be set by the owner and unset by the owner. Members with the ‘owner’ permission will not be able to remove the actual Company Owner from the company.
- An alliance now only contains a maximum of 4 companies
- A company can only be in 2 different alliances at a time.
- Sea Claim Flags have been eliminated
- Claim flags can no longer be used to steal structure ownership on land
- Claim flags can no longer be merged into other companies
- There will be a hard limit on the total number of claim flags per company. For example, 20. Numbers can be adjusted.
- A claim flag cannot be placed without a tax bank.
- Claiming an island will take a fixed amount of time plus an additional amount per claim flag owned. For example, 1 hour to claim and +1 hour per owned claim flag. Numbers can be adjusted.
- Declaiming will always take a fixed amount of time. For example, 2 hours. Numbers can be adjusted.
Claim Flag Upkeep
- Claim Flags now have an upkeep cost which is paid from the tax bank
- The upkeep cost will be an assortment of resources.
- The upkeep cost will scale on the size of the island, the total number of claim flags a company has, and how many different companies/players are building on the island.
- Players can only place items into a tax bank that go towards upkeep
- Claim Flag will have a grace period after successful claim to allow resources to gather in a tax bank before upkeep is charged
- The claim flag will visualize if the upkeep will not be met, so players are able to contribute directly to the Tax Bank. The Tax Bank will now stack resources like a ship resource box.
- Settlement owners must set a window of vulnerability, currently set to 9 hours, where their island is raidable. Outside of this window, players, structures and ships will not take damage from other players.
- There will be a timer on players before they receive the invulnerability status.
- Anchored boats or docked boats will follow these same rules, if they are in the radius of a Settlement
- Non-settlement owners who have cannons on ships and are anchored shall not be allowed to fire cannons outside of wartime.
- Settlement owners can freely damage other characters and structures on their island.
- Settlement owners can set taxes on their island which will automatically be deposited into the Tax Bank
- Structures that are built on a Settlement which do not belong to the Settlement Owner will have a decay timer.
- Player Run shops which are placed on islands can also be taxed by Settlement owners
- Players can purchase a war token (significant cost) which can be used to declare war on an island.
- When war is declared on an island, players must select a schedule time in the future (3 days to 1 week)
- Only one war can be scheduled at once
- There is a cooldown after a war has ended before another war could be declared on that island
- Declaring war is per-island, so it is possible to declare war against multiple islands at the same time.
- The UI will indicate whether an island is experiencing Wartime soon or is currently in Wartime.
- Wars will last a fixed period of time
- When an island has been deemed warlike, building rules no longer apply. After the war has ended, the normal rules are enacted again.
Settlement Build rules
- Only the owner of a Settlement will be able to build offensive structures (mortars, cannons, and swivels) on their island, outside of Wartime.
- Other companies can build defensive structures (puckle) at any time.
- Other companies can build offensive structures ONLY during Wartime. Outside of Wartime, these structures are non-functional (inactive and unusable)
- Players can sign up for email notifications related to company log activity
- Company Logs that have any physical in-world location shall now include the grid and GPS. (e.g a boat was sunk on K5 at 50 50)
- Will continue to operate like normal, no islands on these servers can be claimed.
- Reduced structure placement rules
- Damage decay added over time on all structures
- No claim flags
- Damage decay overtime added to all structures
- A new auto-repair structure which players will need to upkeep to prevent structures from being destroyed by decay.
This milestone will also introduce some world changes to the ATLAS itself. The overall objective from these changes is to provide players with more land to use for their bases, as well as a general update for our current biomes and introducing new areas to explore.
- Over 200 islands added to the network, approximately 1 additional island per grid.
- Players can now set any server as their home server. Following the wipe and the potential for freeports to be overloaded, we’ll be temporarily enabling setting any ATLAS server as your homeserver. Additionally, we’ll most likely create a respawn on current server option too.
- New Vehicle: Submarine. Explore the depths of the ocean in this small scouting submarine. No weapons on board, but it does have claw arms to help harvest the ocean floor and explore (demolish) shipwrecks
The submarine can also light up its surroundings, and will require fuel to run. The fuel cost will be based on movement, so the more it moves, the more it uses. Additionally, there will be a higher cost for movement that is lateral (forward/backwards) compared to longitudinal (upwards/downwards). The submarine will not outclass ships as you’ll need to pay a lot in fuel costs to be able to travel far, the intention is to use them in these underwater deeping-diving scenarios. It’ll be unlocked and can be driven by defeating the Kraken, though players will be able to be passengers in other users submarine’s without having completed the Kraken quest.
- New Environment: Deep Ocean Trench. A new area to explore, guarded by powerful underwater creatures and home to the new Giant Crab.
The trench will be found on the Golden Age Ruin servers and contain 8 new power stones which can be used to unlock fight a more difficult version of the Kraken. It’ll be an area where players can find new resources, new creatures, such as the Crab with more to come in the future.
- New Creature: Giant Crab. It can heavy loads, along with players, tames and wild creatures
The crab can be found in the Trench and it is a tamable creature. It’ll have the ability to carry and throw other players/creatures, and it can also jump very far. These abilities may change over time as we progress further into ATLAS’ development.
- New Environment: Eastern Tundra now has its own visual design, no longer using the Western Tundra style
We’ll be updating the eastern side of the Tundra to have it’s own unique design!
- New Structure: Guillotine. Hanging your foes in a noose taking too long? Off with their heads!
When you behead another player, the game will remember their facial appearance and hairstyle, which can be used as decoration on wallhooks (on gunmounts too)!
- New Feature: Curses. Tied to the execution of players
When executing a player, you’ll now receive a % of their experience points. This will have a cooldown, so it cannot be used to quickly drain/transfer experience, and some general experience will be lost when the transfer occurs. We’re not intending for this to be an incredibly aggressive feature, but something more fun which occurs when executing players. We’ll be expanding the curses system more later on.
- New Feature: Squads (ships) of the Damned will now come in multiple size variations with different stats and difficulty levels.
Ships of the Damned will now appear in squads! They’ll contain an assortment of various types including Galleons of the Damned, Brigantines of the Damned, and Schooner of the Damned. These types will determine their difficulty, and the loot will scale based on the level of the damned, as well as type of damned that the squad is comprised of. For example, a Squad containing 2 Galleons is going to reward better loot than a Squad containing 5 Schooners. Loot will be rewarded on a per-ship basis. The intent behind this change is to make the fight less predictable and a more interesting experience out on the seas. We are not planning for them to be killing machines or an immense threat, they’ll still maintain a reduced targeting ranged and players will have the choice whether to engage in battle or to flee. However it should be noted that they will now share the same target when attacking.
- New Cosmetics: Peg Legs and Hook Hands.
These will be acquired through the cosmetic vendor in freeports, as they won’t be providing any stat benefits, we prefer that they are readily available for players. You will not be able to equip both the left hand and left leg (or foot) at the same time. Additionally, it will not be colourizable nor can it be used on naked characters but we are working on both of these aspects.
Rest of the notes
- New Feature: Player shops in freeports. Players can set up automated shops in each Freeport, listing loot for sale and naming their own gold coin prices.
- New Cosmetics: Multiple Armor sets to customize the look of your company and crew! Provided as a permanent unlock for completing the Quests in addition to skill rewards.
- Character creator now has a Height slider to make it easier to set your character's desired height
- Players can now mount a sail to directly control the sail's open/close amount and rotation settings in a more intuitive way.
- Vitamin Rebalance
- Pistol Reloading now changed to have the mini game appear back to back, rather than through various points of the animation.
- Various spawner adjustments & fixes across all islands
- All servers can now be set to a home server and have unique spawn points
- Players can also respawn on the server they died on
- Grappling Hook has been revamped, better physics & rappelling mechanics, and players will be able to realistically swing using them.
As more changes are made to the patch, these notes will be edited to include them.
With our planned changes for March, the game will be heading into a more rule based system, so for the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes to experience what it would be like if we took an alternative route.
We’ll be releasing an update tomorrow which includes the following changes:
- 6x Rates - Harvesting, Taming, Experience, and Gold.
- Claim flags will no longer prevent enemy building. You can now build anywhere, and only structure build radius will prevent it. This is a non-default, which will be enabled on our PvP Networks. Unofficials can also use this as a custom server-side config.
- All servers, other than Golden Age Ruin servers, can be set to home servers, allowing players to respawn at them.
This is what we’re enabling on all our non-Golden Age ruin servers, but please note that you must also flag the corresponding grids as homeservers on the servergrid.json.
This patch will also include:
- Whispering voice hotkey
- Server side config that allows you to alter the distance for the 3 voice modes: Whispering, Normal, and Yelling.
- Removing the Destruction Mesh on Lighthouses
- Increased the limit of folders in inventories from 20 to 40, and 80 in Bookshelves
- Treasure Map names now includes the grid for easy filtering
These changes will allow us to see how the game would pan out if we didn’t have the claim system affect build rules, which helps us collect more feedback on playstyles.
Complete Patch Notes
The ATLAS Dynamic Maps is a system that monitors live in-game territory ownership and indicates which companies dominate over the lands.
Each week with our Captain’s Log, we’ll be including an image to monitor the progress of the maps, taking note of any exits or new arrivals and any drastic changes in the overall claim.
Who will come to dominate the ATLAS may very well become clear in the days and weeks ahead, though maintaining a large Empire will likely come with its own longer-term challenges…
Soon, the companies that have occupied islands for a certain period of time will gain the automatic privilege to name them on the in-game and web maps, as it is their land!
Remember you can don your tribe’s company flag by stylizing it in the game with a paintbrush! Upload your own images or design it how you like, with the top company flags always being visible on https://map.playatlas.com/
[EU PVP] The Whale’s Wrath
Held: French & Ships, The French Monkeys, IVANARMY, Eternal Diamond, CHZ!!**, Kraken, Dark Project Armada, Frogue One and Stray Cats
Arrivals: Just Look for Merge
[NA PVP] The Kraken’s Maw
Held: Dynasty, TPG, CSTG, OwO, The Federation, No No No, Uganda, SoV, Bobs of the Seven, and Team Casualty.
Arrivals: Slam Whales
And whilst there isn’t active PvP on PVE servers, we’d like to recognize the following tribes for their claims!
[EU PVE] The Siren’s Call
Held: Compagnie des Indes, Rum ueber Bord, Future Company (HUN), SouL SanD, SwiftS.RU, Black Hand, Phantasia, M.E.R.C Spirit, and mochi.
Arrivals: War Bradaz
Departures: DoS Bros$
[NA PVE] The Hydra’s Den
Held: Scales & Sails, Atlas Shrugged, The Exiles, East India Trading Co, Sons of Orion, Without Divide, Lotus, Poets and Pirates, and Darksea Dawgs.
We’re still collecting entries for the Show ‘n Tell! So you have a little longer to astound us with your creations, be they your fleets, building designs, imaginative tatts, entertaining videos, original fanart or scenic screenshots. Don’t be shy and head to the submission thread for a chance to win some booty in the form of a cash prize!
Alrighty, that’s it for this post. Thank you so much for becoming a part of our crew and we can't wait to show all you scallywags, landlubbers, captains, and seadogs what lies ahead on the horizon!
🏴☠️For the latest dispatch on #playATLAS keep yer one good eye trained on this here information🏴☠️
Hoist ye sails to our Homepage: https://www.playatlas.com/
Natter n' chatter on Discord: https://discord.gg/playatlas
Navigate ye olde Subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/playatlas
Hear ye, hear ye on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sailtheatlas
Watch us scallywags on Twitch: http://twitch.tv/sailtheatlas
Plus ye can band with us Pirates on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/playatlasgame