Atlas Land Shuffle Preview: Part II

Hello again! Some time has passed since Part I of our Land Shuffle Preview, and another large wave of questions have surfaced from the discussion. While The Atlas team is not yet ready to share any post-shuffle visuals today, we do have a lot of questions that we want to give some clear answers on, and some status updates on some others. Please read on to learn more in this Part II to the Atlas Land Shuffle Preview!

Why are you all doing this?

We’d like to start off this conversation with addressing this broad question that’s been posed more than a handful of times. The goal of Land Shuffle––and future planned features like Sieges––is to change up the meta in Atlas from its now-stagnant state to a much more active and exciting one. “Meta” is an industry term that came from MMOs that roughly stands for the Most Effective Tactic Available. That current tactic is bunkering up with your current castles, which doesn’t lead to a whole lot of action. The overall goals of all these upcoming Atlas changes are to:

  • Have a home you and your team care about enough to defend.
  • Have valuable territories that are worth fighting over.
  • Rethink the incentives that make fighting over castles or territories worthwhile.

However, it’s also very important to note that Land Shuffle is not the answer, but rather the first step into making those goals a possibility. There will need to be more adjustments based on our learnings post-land shuffle to get Atlas to that ideal meta.

Will there be any changes at the start of next season’s land shuffle with conquering/surrendering castles, castle guards, castle levels, castle elements, or safe passage?

No. All of the mechanics around these will remain the same.

Does your castle move when it’s conquered?

We’re not sure how this rumor came about, but no, castles won’t move when conquered.

Will there be any changes to battle mechanics like preventing outside 5TA from joining castle battles, limits to the number of teams at a castle, or preventing uneven level teams from doing battle with one another?

No battle changes will come with Land Shuffle. We’ll be tackling the combat aspects of Atlas with the Sieges feature that is next up on our development roadmap.

Let’s talk clustering.

We still plan to cluster together the castles of each 5TA, and then place the cluster based on the highest ranked team in each alliance. In terms of how those castles within a cluster will be organized, this will be left up to chance in this iteration of land shuffle. We’ll consider prioritizing higher level castles towards the center in future versions if that doesn’t work against any of the goals of this meta switch.

What will happen to teams that aren’t part of a 5TA, or any alliance for that matter?

The land shuffle distribution will just treat their castles as a one-team alliance for the purposes of placing them somewhere. Instead of using the highest ranked team in each alliance, just the team’s own power ranking will be used. This will likely result in more of the team’s castles being access castles.

What happens if we disband the Alliance before Land Shuffle?

Some have speculated that disbanding your Alliance before the shuffle would allow you to spread out your alliance’s castles a bit more to make it harder to get wiped out. If you do this, each team as its own cluster will be randomly placed based on their own individual power rank. If your alliance is okay with the randomness of chance in doing this, as opposed to knowingly being near allies, then it’s your alliance’s decision to make.

What will the post-shuffle castle distribution look like?

The ratio will roughly be 4:1:1.

4 Ownable PvP castles : 1 No Man’s Lands : 1 Safe Zones

What about castle depth?

The latest news on this is that we’re internally exploring what we can do with roads in order to modify castle depth. In the original design, we had one castle per region, but now it’s one team/alliance per region. Instead of talking about how many “bubbles” deep a castle is, it’s more about how many “regions” deep it is. How “accessible” each castle is depends on team size and castle ownership. Keep in mind that no matter what: the majority of castles will be more vulnerable to attack. This is intentional to create a more dynamic Atlas meta.

Will there be changes to castle ownership?

We don’t have plans to change the maximum number of castles you can own, but we will say that it should be harder to hold onto a lot of castles in the future. That being said, just based on the nature of the shuffled map, there will be more Safe Zones, NMLs, and access castles throughout the map.

Will there be changes to Gold Mines and Beasts?

Yes. We plan to remove all Gold Mines from the map, and remove the respawn timers on Beasts. We’re doing some economy analysis on this one first though, but we feel that it’s a fairly safe change.

When can we see actual pictures of the map?

We have some preliminaries, but they need to be assessed by the design team as well as Atlas Early Birds to suss out any critical problems so that we can make adjustments on the technical side. We’re doing that this week.

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We hope to have visual representations of what the map will actually look like in our next Preview. Thanks for reading, I know it was a lot! Keep the feedback and questions coming! Discussion thread is over this way.

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