Q&A with the Devs - Ask a Pirate Day #5

Posted on January 22nd, 2021 07:38 PM EST
Ahoy Pathfinders!

This week we have another Q&A with the Devs for you all as we wait for next week’s Patch! Moving forward, Pathfinders can expect a patch every other week barring any unexpected circumstances or changes in tide.

Some of ye on our Discord may have noticed a new hand on Deck! Let’s get an official introduction to our new community manager!

*Washes up on to shore*

Hey y'all, I'm Conch. I'll be joining the crew as Captain Nami's first mate. I'll be handling most of the dialogue here in the Discord going forward and I'm look forward from hearing from you all. I'll say now I cannot make promises on where our journey may take us but I will do my best to relay your concerns and make our voyage as enjoyable as possible.

You'll shortly see that my sarcasm is my sword and will be wielded often for the forces of good-natured humor (*Trolls Beware*). Other than that, I'm a BIG e-sports fan (*cough* TSM *cough*) so if it's been streamed I've probably watched some of it. Still waiting for competitive Atlas to take off *crossing fingers*.

So if you find yourself in need, I'll be here. Here's to smooth sailing ahead! Cheers!

It’s a new year, and we know some curious Pathfinders may be wondering how ATLAS is going to continue to shape out from here. We are still very much continuing development across all the features and mechanics we have introduced so far. The Trading System and the pieces dependent on it are still in the early stages; and there are still a line of new and unique ships to come! The claiming system rework is still in the testing stages as well. As we work on refining these systems we have put in place, we are also getting closer to defining the direction that we’d like to take ATLAS. We’re still planning it out, and once we have a more cohesive structure in place, we’ll roll out more information to the community. :)


Ehhhh? What’s this!? We’re not seahorsin’ around!

The Tameable Dolphins were only the first of the new underwater tames, which are going to be a part of a taming/breeding rework. Not to fear! This isn’t taking away from our development time in other areas. It is a smaller project that we are doing on the side to add a bit more fun and flavor out in the waters.

We would also like to stress that we are not neglecting optimization and bug fixes in favor of new content. We hear your concerns and understand that there is a lot we need to continue to fix and improve. The team of engineers who work on optimization and fixes are different from the team of designers that implement new content. We are fixing elements of the game while developing new content in tandem. Oftentimes, optimization and bug fixing are a multifaceted issue and require more time and resources to address. Other times, these coding updates may be an under the hood improvement. We’re taking things step by step, and it may take multiple patches for certain fixes, and even new content, to reach the stage we want it. We thank you for your support and patience!

Without further ado, here’s our Q&A! Hang out at our Discord for a chance to get your questions answered in the next Q&A!

What is the next step in the new ship lego project?
For now, we will continue to make unique ships built with a growing selection of unique modules. Further down the road we are looking into allowing players to buy / craft their own modules and build their own ships.

Will the team be addressing or nerfing large walls spamming ? So we might actually be able to destroy a 50 layer wall of them or an entire island spammed with it.
Yes. This is on the list

How is the progress on the claim system? Are you able to reveal more details on it now?
While the focus of the game is, indeed, to get more focus on the sea, we can't ignore the land play.
The "new" claiming system is an attempt to balance land play and make it more fun. In general, the team has found bandaid on top of bandaid in this department and we want to remove those layers and get to a cleaner code base and more fun gameplay.

Where in Development is Mech Monkey?
I'll never tell.

Any plans for new servers? Modes?
Yes. We have lots of things planned. We have hit upon a theme for the game that we really like and lots of other wonderful things that are really going to make this game pop in 2021. To answer your question a bit more I can tell you that we're beginning design for small, temporary worlds that you get to via maelstroms that appear on the map. They will only be available for a bit of time and will typically have something cool on them. This is really early but lots more really cool stuff is in the works.

Any word on improving armored docks? Like maybe enclosing them so NPCs are safe? Also, having repairs inside armored dock would be helpful.
Yes, this was always the plan, we just need a little more time to get there.

Can you tell us more about the direction tames/breeding is headed?
For now, we are looking at cleaning up the tame system and adding some more tames to the water. Beyond that, it's fuzzy. The more work we put into tames the more people want to stay on land, but the tame system is only a fraction of what is possible and who are we to stop that. I wish I could tell you more, but we really need more time to come up with something fun, deep, and different.

When will there be a sail revert/rebalance and perhaps a buff to weight sails to make them usable?
A major overhaul of the sail system is on the books. It's another example of the layering of issues that we are now stripping off to get to the fun of the game. No word yet on the timing.

In the steam page, the responses from the devs, and older interviews seem to emphasize a focus on player immersion and faction building with a pirate/colonial aesthetic. The actual design seems to be more of a min/maxer grind fest with theory crafting elements. What’s the actual intended experience for the game?

I hear you. Let me clear things up if possible.
- Atlas isn't where we want it. The game has a long history already and I don't want to spend time there. Just know that where we are today is not where we want to be.
- Vision is about destination. When we talk about vision, we're talking about where we want to be, not where we are today.
- Finally, remember that the game's development is a cooperative experience. We put a bit of something out and then see how you like it and then we adjust to that.

All that said, this is where we are today...

We have hit on a theme for the world that is going to give it more cohesion, remove some of the more annoying limitations of the game, and open it to more possibility. If allowed, we'll be introducing this theme a bit at a time (the way a new idea would be introduced IRL) and then grow it from there.
For a period of time last year, we were guided to add a new strategic layer to the game to give companies new tracks to explore. The aesthetic and realism boundaries of this have expanded a bit and we're very excited for what's being planned for 2021.

Final Note

Again, we would like to emphasize that ATLAS is still in Early Access, meaning many things can and will likely continue to drastically change - even in the middle of development. Anything discussed is only up to date as of the moment it is posted. Features and changes that ultimately make it to the next patch, as well as timing, may be different from what was previously discussed.
As always, we appreciate the suggestions and feedback from the community. Please keep them coming! Thank you for all of your support! :)

Happy Sailing,
- ATLAS Crew

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