The season has already begun and our path to full release is getting clearer on the horizon. While this ship’s journey is well underway, we still have a few stops to make before we arrive at our intended destination. Our current plans for the season include new additions and improvements to sea activity, the trading system, tame utilization, and single player.
We do understand the current frustration from the community about the focus on introducing new content while there are still existing systems and features that need fine-tuning and fixing. Fear not though! We’re getting closer to being able to focus most of our attention on bug fixes and polishing of existing content. The waters may be turbulent now, but the storm will soon pass, so batten down the hatches and hold on for the ride!
On that note, here are some things to look forward to in the current season!
To put it simply, ATLAS is a pirate game. Player activities should focus on the sea and, well, pirating! To that end we are introducing some new features to encourage leaving your home base, taking part in sea combat, and increasing conflicts with opposing players and factions.
Modular ships were introduced, in part, to supply a quick and straightforward way to get out to sea. We’ve made it no secret we’re not entirely happy with how they’ve turned out, so we’ll be exploring ways to improve their looks with new art and how sails work on them. Any major changes to modular ships will likely not happen mid-season, if only to prevent any issues with ships crafted prior to any changes.
Floating Operating Bases
Floating Operating Bases (FOBs) will introduce a whole new strategic system into Atlas where players will be able to build temporary floating bases to stage their fleet. The foundation of the FOB will be a large square with a hollow center. Along each side of the foundation will be snap points for Sea Docks, where player ships can be docked and protected. The foundation will provide support for all structures placed on it or connected to it up to 16 connections away, with no weight limit. There will, of course, be limits on where FOB foundations can be placed to avoid potential griefing.
- Companies will be limited to one FOB per grid.
- Must be placed in the open ocean.
- Can’t be placed near Tradewinds, portals, islands or other FOBs (being allied will not reduce the placement distance restriction).
- Can’t be placed in Golden Age, Kraken or Maw grids.
After placing the foundation, a decay timer will start ticking down regardless of if a player is within render range or not. There are only a few instances where this decay timer can be extended and once the decay timer reaches zero, the foundation will be destroyed. If the FOB foundation is destroyed, all attached structures will also be destroyed. Any ships currently docked will be released and no longer protected.
- Island Claim Grids:The foundation will decay after 36 hours and can only be extended if a War Declaration changes the grid into combat phase after the first 12 hours of the foundation's existence, meaning the foundation will be extended until the completion of the war declaration.
- Lawless and Lawless Claim Grids:The foundation will decay after 36 hours.
- PvE Specific:All FOB foundations will start with a 7-day decay timer which can be extended by 12 hours for 5,000 gold, with no limit on the number of extensions.
On PvP servers, FOBs can be claimed by other companies using the same claim flag used to capture enemy ships. The flag can be placed anywhere on any structure connected to the foundation. If claimed, the ownership of all ships docked in Sea Docks will be transferred to the new owning company as well.
Fighting against Ship of the Damned and ships from other player companies is fun and all, but the rewards for doing so can seem underwhelming at times. A new faction-based system will be introduced that allows players to sail their ships under the flag of the faction of their choosing! While we’re still designing the specifics on exactly how factions will play their part in the game, you can expect to see ships from each of the available factions roaming the open seas, special faction-based rewards, and PvE quest line progression. More information will be shared as we get closer to implementing these new features.
It’s been a couple of years now since we first started building a more automated and robust trading system, so we’ve had some time to evaluate how these systems are being used, their effectiveness, and enjoyability. The multiple types of auto-farm buildings, warehouses, markets, and sea forts all have an interconnected role in the current trading system, and we have several plans to improve many aspects of these.
A few of our planned improvements:
- A new interface (UI) for Markets
- Physical trade ships
- Tame trading
- Improved Sea Forts
Sea Forts will become a more integral and engaging system for both PvP and PvE players. Our last content patch included a slight preview of what’s to come by introducing our new smaller Sea Fort. We have much more in store for all of you though! From enemy NPCs, to hidden treasures and more, there’s plenty to entice players from all around. We don’t want to give everything away just yet though, so you’ll have to stay tuned for more details to come!
While creatures and tames may not be the main theme of ATLAS, they still play an integral part in current gameplay. With that in mind, we’ve been looking to improve how tames are being used. We’ve already introduced Tame Houses, Tame Hatcheries, and Tame Cargo Railings to improve breeding and transporting of tames, but there is still more we can do to improve their storage and utility.
We’ve also received a lot of feedback from the community on Tame Houses/Hatcheries, with one of the main critiques being the current UI used to view what tames are currently being stored inside. Having to go through the radial menu can become quite cumbersome when there are more than a few tames inside, not to mention the available information displayed is quite lacking. We’ll be working on providing a much better user interface to display tames and their relevant information.
While the Tame Houses/Hatcheries can be used to simply store tames, their unwieldy size and limited capacity do not always make doing so an ideal choice. The Tame Barn will be a new structure used for the sole purpose of storing mass amounts of tames. Tames within the barn will not reproduce or require food, they will simply be in stasis.
The Swarm House offers a way of obtaining new companion tames with the added benefit of passive resource generation. Swarm Houses provide the perfect habitat for Bees, Ants, Bats, Rattlesnakes and Mini Crabs. Nearby wild tames of the acceptable type will be drawn to the Swarm House where they will be captured and tamed. Creatures tamed this way will not be rideable or breedable.
Passive Resource Generation:
- Bee: Honey
- Rattlesnake: Venom
- Bat: Nitro Fertilizer
- Ant: Toxic Flora
- Mini Crab: Crustacean Meat
While our current focus may be on official servers, we have not abandoned single player or non-dedicated players. One of the main draws of playing in single player (or a non-dedicated session with a friend) is the ability to play at your own pace. Official servers (and many unofficial servers) tend toward seasonal play with periodic wipes. Those with limited time to play often feel rushed to complete content and may not complete all goals before all that progress ends up getting erased.
So why haven't we been keeping the single player map updated? When we update the single player map, this causes all existing single player worlds to be wiped as well. While not updating the map for so long has saved players from many unwanted wipes, it has also come with the unfortunate side effect of many new features not being accessible or obtainable.
We want players to have access to current content without being forced to start a brand-new game unless they choose to do so. We also want players to be able to play on the same map as the one used on official servers. To do that, we’re investigating ways on allowing players the choice of what season’s map to play on at any given time. One of the possible ways we’re looking into is free DLCs for each map.
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!