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Captain's Log #34: Wild Pirate Encampments, Non Dedicated Mode, and More!
Posted on July 12th, 2019 07:38 PM EST
In this Captain’s Log, we aim to give you an update on some new and exciting features that will be making their way to the ATLAS, as well as a brief status update on the next Mega Update.
Before we begin, we’d like to give each and every one of you a huge thanks for the support you’ve shown ATLAS. Over the course of ATLAS’ development, our recent review scores on Steam have jumped considerably. We just wanted to express our thanks and show our gratitude for your support. We know that our work is far from over and that ATLAS still has a long journey ahead. There are many more changes we plan to make and features we would like to introduce. Keep your eye on the horizon, there is much to look forward to, some coming sooner than you might expect ;)!
Though, we won’t leave you guys empty handed! Here’s an update on our Hydra Six-Shooter Pistol! In an earlier log, we revealed it’s concept art, now we can actually show you what it looks like in game as it’s going through its implementation. This pistol, as the name indicates, allows for up to 6 shots before reloading -- though it is significantly weaker than the single-shot flintlock! So if your aim sucks, or you have multiple targets, this will be a great weapon of choice.
This is how the new feature will function on Non-Dedicated Multiplayer and Single Player mode:
“Wild Pirate Encampments” (WPE) are collections of enemy NPC characters, defensive fleets, and fortifications which inhabit claimable islands. They have varying weapons (melee and ranged), defenses (various cannons/turret types), and live in pre-built forts. They’ll also have AI ships representing all 4 classes (Sloop through to Galleon) patrolling the shoreline of their islands. The placement of Encampments will be randomized along the islands, and they can also include inland encampments without ships. You’ll have to explore an island to discover all the encampments which inhabit it, and the number can vary based on the island size, with larger islands having bigger and more Encampments. Each region will also have a WPE Level visible to players, some being higher than others resulting in better loot but a more challenging task.
In order to claim an island, Pathfinders must destroy the WPE that currently live on it. This includes their patrolling ships and any enemy NPC within range of the Encampment center. Players will be able to use the Encampment claimflag to reveal nearby enemy NPCs. After claiming an Encampment, all Encampment structures transferred to the new settlement owner, and an Encampment Loot Box will be spawned. Once defeated, an Encampment will never respawn, and you cannot unclaim an Encampment. However, if the Encampment has not been fully defeated, it will reset to full strength if sufficient time has transpired without it being rendered.
Players will have the option to disable WPE entirely via the Host Settings UI, or scale the difficulty of Encampments (this will not affect the loot quality).
If you decide to enable WPE on an Unofficial Dedicated Server please note that:
- Encampments will only spawn (and can respawn) on unsettled islands when no players/tames/structures are nearby at all, over a long period of time.
- An island can only have Claim Flags placed on it when no Encampments are present on the island, indicated on the HUD when the system is enabled.
We’re excited to introduce this type of encounter to the ATLAS and we expect to have it ready in the very near future.
Non-Dedicated Multiplayer will facilitate playing as a client whilst also hosting the server at the same time. It will allow up to 8 players to play simultaneously on the server. Similarly to Single player, the host will be able to make use of the host settings UI to adjust server settings to your group’s needs, as well as additional enhancements in your .ini files.
We expect to have this game mode available next week (the week of July 14), and the “Wild Pirate Encampments” Beta towards the end of the month.
We are working on final touches and testing for ISO: Blackwood and we expect to have it ready to play later this month.
Explore the heart of the jungle or settle in rolling farmland. Silent eddies run before your boat as you make your way through the slick reeds of The Mire. Wade through thick green waters teeming with dangerous creatures, rare plant life, and the occasional Gorgon to find buried treasure and lost corpses. Approach the ancient serpent boss, Anacython, if you dare!
For those not familiar with Blackwood, this is not something we’ll be supporting specifically on our Official Network, as it was designed and intended to be used for single servers an example of a mod map that can be hosted unofficially. This specific map will be set up so that you can still enjoy all the mechanics that ATLAS has to offer, whilst hosting it as a standalone server with no database setup required!
We released an update which was shortly reverted with the aim of tackling sky high Claim Flags. Our initial attempt involved setting a maximum height for flags to be placed at, but we recognize this one-stop solution doesn’t work for all islands, so we’ll be looking at a more island-specific approach in the future. We understand why these locations are chosen for flags, and how they relate to some of the more frustrating mechanics involved in contesting claims for both attackers/defenders, which we also plan to improve in the future.
An additional patch focused on the implementation of Fast Decay on our Official Network in order to tackle the structure spam that is present on islands. We understand that this doesn’t resolve the root issue and it can be worked around, however, it’s an initial measure we wanted to put in place whilst we explore proper long term solutions.
With today's patch, we'll be deploying a measure to help new settlement owners clear out existing structures on their island. A frustrating part of the game, after claiming an island from someone else, is dealing with the remains of their structures, whether that's a large base, or where that's multiple pillars and foundations littered around the island. With the latest patch, new settlement owners will now have a 12-hour window to activate a one-time razing of an island. This will destroy all structures on that island, including their own. It can only be used during peacetime, and will notify everyone on that specific grid, as well as log into any companies that had wiped structures on that island.
And finally, crew changes! So, of course, you guys may remember our mention of the I.W.C.R.S, now dubbed the Silo - a structure which can store gold and berries and is capable of feeding and paying crew from anywhere on the island - a much needed QOL change!
Another crew focused change we made recently, was to sync up the costs of both stationed and idle crew. This was because we wanted to encourage players to keep their crew stationed when possible, and the primary reason for that is for performance. Stationed crew are a lot more cost efficient on our servers due to specialized logic. So it’s a win-win for everyone here!
Further changes involved allowing the stationed crew to repair boats, but that change was shortly reverted due to players requiring the choice of whether or not they wanted their crew to repair their boat. Having all crew capable of repairing meant resources were being used up a lot more rapidly than some intended due to natural boat decay, but changing it back to idle only, means players have a partial choice in determining how often those resources are being used up. It's clear this system could use some improvements, and it’ll likely be something that's touched on in the future.
We wanted to highlight that sometimes we’ll make changes and they may not pan out, but we’re not afraid to pull those back, give them some more time in the oven or tackle problems from a different point of view. We appreciate your feedback as always and will continue to iterate on solving these problems and more!
And now for the rest of the patch notes:
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