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Q&A with the Devs - Ask a Pirate Day #10

Ahoy Pathfinders!

Today we finally get to answer some of your questions once again. With the recent patch/wipe and contests announced, we didn’t want your answers to get lost in the wake. Now that the waters have calmed, we’re back to provide you answers.

Please check out the contest here[] to submit your videos and have the opportunity to win up to a $25 Amazon gift card.

As a reminder, the answers below only reflect the current timeframe and are subject to change. While we can provide current insight on the game and what we hope to do, what is destined we can’t foresee. We appreciate your support and understanding.

So ‘til next time, may your skies be clear, waters calm, and sails full in whichever way you roam.

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!


Any plans to address shield stun duration or overhead mace torpor damage to make melee combat more entertaining and challenging, rather than stun-lock-and-torpor combat?

Damage during land combat is something we are only loosely balancing right now as we continue to work through Early Access. We will be revisiting it closer to the 1.0 release.

With barrel bombs (even shot from catapults) still dictating the "meta game," is there a plan to remove them from ship combat totally?

We are working on new ways for players to counter dominant strategies in ship combat. We recognize that ship combat is not in a good place right now and are focused on the long term health of the game. Look out for new defensive modules when we expand the module crafting system in the next major patch.

Are there any plans to limit structures per island, reducing the lag associated with the spam we have currently?

We are coming at this from a couple different angles.
* Some memory management improvements are in testing that will allow clients to load and unload structures faster.
* Some new structure types that are larger are in the works so players don't have to build massive structures out of many small pieces.
* We are working through some ideas with claiming to help undercut the motivations for placing lots of small structures for meta reasons such as making landing tames hard or preventing others from building nearby.

Do you plan to limit the number of armored docks a company or island can have being used at any given time?

Not directly. Armored Docks require gold to operate. As we develop the economy, we are looking for more ways to sink gold and keep it scarce so that placing an Armored Dock costs you the opportunity to do something else important with that gold.

Are there any inbound flag claim (Height, Radius, etc) or Island changes (i.e.- Lawless Areas On Island Outside of Claim Radius)?

We definitely had some significant changes to this in the last major patch! We'd like to see how the meta adjusts before we commit to other changes. We are also spending effort making these configurations more customizable and exposing that to unofficial server owners so you can try out what combinations of ruleset you think are most interesting. Long term we would like to make fighting over valuable locations in the game take a concerted, multi-day effort. We'll talk more about that as features related to it are closer to being rolled out.

Are there any plans to add upgradeable end-game gear as a needed gold sink. Any chance on this being added back with the new BP crafting system you have hinted at?

We would love to make the crafting system more customizable and interesting. We have to balance this with other goals we have for the game. This particular area is not one of our primary focuses and so it's coming along in the free time, after hours, and weekends between other higher priority work.

Is there any way you guys will add a hull bigger than a brig with 4 large sails. But smaller than a galley?

Our plans for updating the modular ship system are full speed ahead and this is on the horizon. Our next major patch is planned to be focused on getting our core customization options out for ships. Immediately following that we will be working on making modular ships craftable in the Shipyard and introducing a dozen or more ship sizes. One of the great benefits of this new ship system is that we can make an entirely new ship completely out of existing parts and we are only a couple months away from unleashing that power!

Can we get an upgrade that increases the level (and rewards) of SotDs, allowing SotDs to be relevant in more than 8 out of 121 tiles in the game?

Check out the latest patch! Ships of the Damned are much more prevalent and have a much wider variety of difficulty on the map now!

Will the wipe affect the Unofficial Servers?

There are new features that unofficial servers may want to take advantage of. Our goal is to not require unofficials to wipe to support our changes, when possible. Early Access means that some changes in the future may be so transformative that this is unavoidable.

When will crew resource silos hold other food besides berries?

Thanks for the suggestion. This seems like an easy fix that will improve quality of life a little. We always try to fit these sorts of things in along side our larger features.

What does Atlas' long-term monetization strategy look like? Do you think it will be an Ark-like direction where you release multiple expansions? Subscription model? Mtx?

Right now we are focused on improving the game and making it something you want to bring your friends into play. Of those options, the most likely is expansions. There's not any interest with the team right now to do subscriptions or microtransactions.

What are some strategies you're working on for long-term player retention?

Improving the game. Seriously. We are trying to build a game where you want to gather a bunch of friends and try to carve out your place in the world and compete against other companies. That's the sort of game you can play with people for years and still have fresh experiences.

What are your thoughts on Armored Docks now that they have been in game for a while? They have added some really cool elements to the game but I also believe they have been abused by larger companies.

Armored Docks still are not where we want them to be. As the meta changes, their role within it will also change. Right now we want to focus on fixing any abuses or exploits using the Armored Docks. After we get some other changes in we'll revisit Armored Docks as a whole and see if they are fitting the way we want them to into the meta.

Is the current trade system completed in the devs opinion? Seems to not quite be everything it was advertised to become.

It's not at all complete. We got it roughed in and then moved onto roughing in some other things. We'll be coming back to working on it when we get some of our other large systems in order.

Any plans to improve how torpor works in general? Maybe make torpor do something like mess with the camera like the drunk debuff, torpor wouldn’t be such an instantaneous end to fights.

This is one of the approaches we have discussed for addressing the current land combat meta if we spent time on it. Land Combat is a major undertaking and requires a ton of continuous work on balance, so we are mostly leaving it as is right now until we have enough free resources to give it our full, undivided attention.

Is there a plan to address the lack of craft charges mainly on Gunports, Planks, and Cannons currently in the game?

These were addressed in the recent patch.

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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