The "feel" of Atlas - Suggestions and comments


#1

@PGDave

This is mostly my musings on the “feel” of atlas at the moment. It isn’t based on fact, numbers, or a very deep thinking process - its a gut feeling, a bit of intuition if you will, or perhaps perceptions colored by experience.

What this post is at best, is a pointer at things that need changing, and at worst a complaint summary. Truly understand that I’m one of the greatest supporters of Atlas, and just because I don’t list positives here, doesn’t mean there aren’t tonnes of them.

I’d like to point out to my fellow readers that this doesn’t mean “atlas sucks” or that “all hope is lost” - atlas truly has a lot of fun in it, so if you haven’t seen Atlas yet - do not be discouraged.

Believe it or not, but an enormous amount of changes happen in Atlas because of player feedback and directly so - a bit of an opposite to the main game for sure.

Where to begin?

I suppose, like the song, let’s start at the very beginning.

1. Adding Diamond teams before Platinum.

  • this feels wrong. I’m sure you have your reasons, but it feels like a perfect setup for a lot of unhappiness. To me, in my eyes, it would have made more sense to release Atlas to Plat1-4, into the western lands, and keeping the western lands locked off from Beta lands. Then add Sapphire 4, then 3, then 2, then 1. And finally Diamond.

Why? Nothing against Diamond ofc, but simply so those smaller teams could have a chance to build up more, get to know the game better etc before they get exposed to Atlas pvp and lose all hope of ever playing. You are running a real risk of players giving up on Atlas, before they have even gotten into it properly.

2a. Combat results

Not the actual results, but perhaps two separate parts

One the math - now don’t get me wrong , I love the complexity, but I’m sure I am the minority. I do the math quickly before I fight, but the majority of my players dont.

What I mean is this - when attacking someone in atlas, say sieger vs sieger, it would help a lot if it showed this

" Attacking Player X - ok? [Risk : Troop loss 27-270, Max potential glory gain: 135, )"

That is all, not thousands of lines of calculations - so much for 5 flames, so much for 4 etc
Just the range. Perhaps a likely outcome for 100%, non 5 flame. I was pondering putting the result of a 100% destroy non 5 flame as the “average” but I think you will get too many queries.

2b) Current Glory gain mechanic

I understand where the current glory gain mechanic comes from, and why the recent “nerf” was inacted - truthfully there is no nerf, once you factor in revives, gold, troops etc its the same.

The idea was that people would battle more, aka more engagements, but the reality is it FEELS punishing.

Attack really well, gain very little. Attack like an idiot, gain LOTS of glory. Practically you are worse off, if you do all the math and in a week or two you will have more troops than the person wiping, but RIGHT NOW, it sucks - not the now as in current system, - the now as in the current war.

I will have my troops back in 3 days, but the “level your primarch” isn’t running in 3 days, nor is the current war, or battle etc.

This is best seen with current pvp event. I went out for a bit of fun on Friday, so I loaded up a brand new sieger, some troops, and went out to have some fun. Eventually at the end of the night (about 3-4 hours in), I was down 37k troops, I had taken out an entire Diamond team, liberated about 7 islands and was very chuffed. It was … fun.

Until I looked at the scoreboard for the event, and at my sieger’s glory.

I had about 20k troops to revive (I made the mistake of being a “good” attacker - aka 5 flame 100% attacks), so my revives were around 65% or whatever. Now I’m still reviving, so …

Second I had made enough glory to level my primarch from level 1---->2 (barely). After a HIGHLY successful campaign. Hell, an entire team had lost 5-6 zones. I was expecting a lot more, especially for a level 1 prime.

Thirdly, looking at the event. What the F??? I need to LOSE 1.8mil ships to max an event? Lol, come on.

The attack cadance seems pretty fluent now, just need the “feel” of the “reward” to match it. The trick lies in the glory I think, but not 100% sure

3. Travel

This is Panda from Dreadnought’s idea, but I’m just reiterating it. Heathstone - 8h cooldown/prime. Make it so!

Other travel things

  • Make paths automatically path via safezones, not via enemy territories. I really want to be able to click somewere, click “go there” and have it go there without dying en route.
  • Make travel inside your own zones which are contiguous when changing zones NOT take 2 mins
  • Make a method of jumping to where your prime is (the little circle thingy doesn’t always show up - makes it hard to find them sometimes)

4 Small Quality of life issues

Allies bonus for wings on mine attacks/poacher attacks

Award a small amount of rider xp for wings in PVP attacks - not thousands, but something. They are there, they help.

Make sending a certain amount of rss to a teammate easier, I don’t really want to go out clicking on send “50k food” 3x per bank, x how many islands x how many zones

Garrisons - specifically attacking them. Or anything for that matter. Need to create a lockout scenario of some sorts so that 50 ppl don’t hit the same person at the same time. Either show that they have a pending attack already, or a number to show 2-3-4-50 attacks.

When attacking garrisons, same story - although this might buy defenders time which is good.

5 Alliance tools
More on this later, but we need it. Fast.

Atlas is about alliances, please create some decent alliance tools — passage grants, passage tolls, friendly fire settings etc

6. And while we are at it, Officer tools

Need the ability to:
tax troops setting
summarize in/out balance per member for banks (total) red is -, black is +
— eg Gox1201 400k food(red), 1.1mil lumber (black), 4 mil gold (black)
On a weekly and lifetime basis
Better activity stats for members
Allow officers to check gold activity, shards activity, troops built, etc etc

Ok so just some ramblings off the top of my head, not super structured. But needs some help please.

Pretty please.


#2

Can I ask a simple question. Regardless if d1 or platinum. Throwing any team in against teams that have been here for a year is absurd. You do t start this game in d1. U start in bronze. How the hell are u supposed to get a foothold in a world that has had a year to learn what to do. Honestly this is bullshit and super frustrating. You talk about sending 40k troops out for some fun. That’s half the troops I built in total … infrastructure for home has to be built. Getting wiped out regularly by guys having “fun”. Is no fun at all for the new guys. It’s absolute bullshit and unfair gameplay. I worked up to d1 status. I didn’t start here. But that’s exactly the predicament we have been put in. I’m not spending a dime on atlas as it’s not the game I downloaded to play. But I am being forced into a super competitive land grab and people having “fun” as my whole team struggle to try and understand what atlas even is.

Think about that for a moment …


#3

i agree am in D1 and we just joined Altas when it was released to us couple weeks back, cant speak for everyone tho for me i now hardly ever go into atlas to play, my thoughts are whats the point in building some troops then go out to have some fun to lose them within an hour 1 by attacking someone around the same lvl as i am and getting wipeout even tho i get 5 flames while they lose like 2k troops or someone comes and attacks me and its back to square one again haven to find gold to heal troops. Question has to be asked why let teams that have been playing for a year or more mix with teams who have just started, the new maps open and the older teams are over like a shot known what to do while everyone else sits there trying to work out whats going on. best idea would off been open the new maps but have them locked as gox already stated for a time let others fight it out for a few months learning how to play attacking people with the same amount off troops to me that would off been fair if i got my ass handed to me by someone who has more troops than what i do after 2 weeks well played good job, tho for teams who have played for a year or more to come after teams who have just started is pretty low why not back off understand how would they feel if the shoe was on the other foot yeah within game we have enemy’s tho if the shoe was on the other foot and they had only joined altas i would off been very strongly against attacking them for a period off time to give them a fair chance to grow then go to war with them or as i know what our enemys are like they would come for us when ready


#5

That means you have more troops than I do.
The misconception is that because we have had beta for a long time we have never warred. Or that the current babysitting mechanism where you revive everytime you lose was there - it wasnt. However, there are players with hundreds of thousands of troops. Funnily enough a lot of them started last week.

Back to the topic, as I’ve stated elsewhere I’m not in agreement that the current system is fair - power wise is not an issue for this release - most teams that were added are as strong or stronger than existing teams, the issue is the mechanics are tricky, getting it wrong are schoolfees we had to pay, but itnwas against others in the same year. Current crop are playing against teams that are generally equal in power except a few exceptions, but who have the art of war down.

Im worried about adding teams that are small into this. They didn’t get it right the first time. I’m trying to get some ideas going on how to get it right the next round.

Thats in another thread, this was just a thread on some other things


#6

Can we not turn this into an “attack beta teams” thread? Many of us argued for testing to take place on a separate beta server so that when beta was released everyone would be starting from the beginning in terms of resources. Difference in knowledge is more difficult to address but to me that’s a benefit of putting in the time to beta test. As for beta teams targeting new teams, I don’t think there should be any blame on the players either. And if the reverse were true and I was part of a new team I would expect to be attacked if my team presented an easy target. This is a function of the game mechanics, not a lack of morals on the part of beta teams. Anyways, back to the intended topic

  1. Giving access to any group earlier is unfair imo. If we reversed things and started with plat that would be punishing diamond and sapphire teams for being of higher rank. No easy answer to this one

2a. Yes, please. I’ve gotten decent at estimating battle outcomes but for most players there’s a lot of confusion and frustration. Most people don’t want to spend their time calculating things. I do enjoy reverse engineering formulas personally but I don’t like calculations interrupting my “kill shit” time

2b. This is what I keep saying. Combat is technically balanced in that you can recover your troops but when you look at battle results it looks awful and I pity anyone who has to level a primarch or rider now (my poor mini). Games need to be accessible to players. We shouldn’t have to stalk the forums to understand basic mechanics

  1. Don’t know what a Hearthstone is but holy shit anything to keep officers from having to walk people through going somewhere one castle at a time or waste hours trying to negotiate and free blockaded teammates. Right now people people have a tendency to just go to their destination and hit “move now” and get stuck at 7 allies and 5 enemies on the way. For officers it’s a hell of a lot of work. For people just wanting to play the damn game it’s driving them away

  2. Yes the small banks are rather unwieldy. Lots of chat spam lol. Would it be possible to cap the total amount of a type of rss that can be sent at the amount 3x transfers is now and allow all that to be sent in one and keep max # of transfers at 3? Like for starting bank 50k is max per transfer for food/wood so you could send up to 150k of a rss in one transfer or 100k + 50k

  3. Ahh the thing I hate most about Atlas. If you’re going to make alliances necessary to survive outside neutral, for the love of whatever you hold sacred please give us the tools to do so. Alliances have grown so large most members don’t have the whole list of 20-something teams memorized. Lots of friendly fire everywhere. Trying to keep the power of the mega alliances in check shouldn’t be by denying leadership the tools to run an alliance. If anything I would think this would increase the gap between the mega alliances and smaller ones. Managing an alliance is a lot of work and the lack of tools means more friction. It’s easier to join an existing alliance than to make a new one. It also means many officers such as yours truly who, as a result, need to spend all their time keeping the team in check, hate this part of Atlas with a passion. Giving a way to visually mark allied teams or those that should not be hit would go a long way towards cutting down the amount of time leadership is currently wasting on chasing rogue players. Other issue is safe passage. Currently safe passage has limited slots based on fort level. Things tend to go better once fort level is 2 or 3 and even 1 is manageable but not having a fort sucks because all your allies get trapped. And then your team gets grumpy, you can’t use the bank, players can’t summon, and it’s just not fun. Or maybe it’s some big scary lv500 who is headed somewhere else and would just pass through if you let them. Oh but you have no fort and can’t so they gotta wipe you out so they can get a move on, sorry. Can we get a safe passage slot not connected to fort? Would not give combat bonus, it’s just to let people you don’t want to fight get the fuck off your damn island. I got more complaints about alliance stuff lol but those are the big two that drive me nuts

  4. Yes yes. Ooh and when someone sends transfer from bank it should be linked to the recipient, not just the person initiating the transfer. Also add back ability to jump to the location of a teammate’s primarch and include gold stolen from players in contributions

Yes I accidentally hit post before I was done shhh


#7

Hearthstone is basically a im stuck take me home button.

It would have a windup time, say 10 mins. You activate it and 10 mins later you teleport home.


#8

Will use your responses as a launching point for mine so I don’t have to scroll up to Gox’s OP (#lazymode)

  • Yeah, don’t have a great answer for this either. Some of the newly added diamond teams were pretty dispirited being thrown into a bloody tank with starving sharks, can only imagine how a platinum team would feel if everything were handled the exact same way with this expansion except it was Plat that got added. As kind of a side but related point, I pretty much agree with Gox that for the most part the biggest advantage early entrants have is knowledge of mechanics, and by far the most unbalanced aspect is actually pay troops, not sequencing of entrance. There are newly added players who already have more troops than some teams who have had beta for a year, and certainly some existing beta teams with players who also have their own private armies. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about beta stuff, but I have no answer for 2 players with max everything and 5 million troops between them. (1)

  • Yes. I am also one of those weirdos who enjoys reverse engineering this, but this is a distinct minority view in my experience. Maybe something as simple as best case (100% 5 flames), base case (70%) and worst case (0%) outcomes could be even more helpful than a broad range of numbers. (2a)

  • This is one of my biggest gripes at the moment. I pretty much get Dave’s explanations, but what I don’t get is why everything seemed to be pretty good before 3.70 (more hats attacking, revives defending) and it was upended without discussion in 3.70. If it was done purely to rebalance rewards using fully realized glory as a peg value, I would say that the reward tiers need to be significantly altered (i.e., reduced). Also, new entrants will be even more disadvantaged in that it will take non-whales forever to level prims. Final point: it is absolutely ridiculous that attacking and defending well is actually punished as far as rewards go. Loading up my taunter, starting an attack and immediately quitting should not be the fastest path to rewards to say the very least. (2b)

  • Yep. travel has improved greatly and the warning pop up before traveling to an enemy blockade was a great addition, but these ideas would help even more. Most critical is some sort of follow the leader function, playing amateur Magellan to flummoxed teammates is not fun at all. Would need to think about the near instant zoning across owned territory, would make it even easier for the people who already control a lot of territory to hold it. (3)

  • Returning some amount of rider XP for followers would be a nice addition. Also need some way to easily deal with the 1 troop troll prims that serve no purpose other than to waste 2-4 minutes attacking it, which adds up with lots of troll prims in a location. (4)

  • Until someone actually comes up with another way to add downsides to mega alliances, I have to vote for keeping them unwieldy through mechanics. Choices should be meaningful and interesting, and right now the unwieldy mechanics are the only significant drawback to mega alliances. (5)

  • Yes. Most important to me is to see who is being active and hitting poachers and getting gold, etc. Would like an “at a glance” screen that accurately shows beta activity, gold inflows and outflows, troops built/lost weekly, etc. (6)

Good discussion here Gox, thanks.


#9

Nice Post Gox,

I particularly want to stress the point issue for this current event. I destroyed thousands of ships Friday night and got almost no event points. Eventually i got bored so I ended up just sending my highest D prime into enemy territory and logging off. Seemed easier than actually fighting. Whats sad is it worked, sure i lost 20k ships but i got more points then when i spent hours attacking.

It is a battle event and it didn’t actually reward going into battle. Points should have been based on enemy boats destroyed per battle, not glory. The current system for points was just plain dumb.


#10
  1. I commiserate with the feeling that giving weaker players a head start is attractive for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, we invited our strongest players first because it seemed more fair to reward players for playing hard to get the top of the ranks than offer other players a handicap. Also, I’ve been spoiled by the amazing discussions we’ve had here with original crop of beta users … players who understand our game better than anyone else … and since adding new players to Atlas was risky (tutorial needed at least as much iteration as expected … and the integration of new teams has also been a learning experience as expected) and having very talented players to help us understand the flaws is something of a boon, imo.

  2. Adding a battle outcome prediction is interesting. If we did it. I think it’d make since to show the upper bound (i.e., 5-flame result). We do show loot potential already (food/wood) and points for core events … so there is a strong precedent for it in our game. I guess we’d show this on the dragon selection screen? We already don’t have enough space for what we show on the Primarch list page (it’s getting a revision), and I don’t think putting another popup in between clicking attack and the dragon selection screen would be great either. What do you think about putting more intel on the select dragon page? It is a bit slow to go back and forth from, but it will make it easier to get a feel for the system (so more players can ‘do the math’ or more likely intuit the results before even going to the battle screen, over time).

  3. I think we need to either increase glory payouts or lower prize requirements. But I need to pore over the data when the event finishes to really know. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t feel right anymore … it was fun before, but it seems off atm. I expect I’ll make a specific proposal in the coming days. We have a little over a week before the poacher glory event, and I intend to make changes before it starts.

  4. Basically hearthstone = teleport home? Probably needs some cast time if we add it. Maybe better to make this a new Primarch ability (help allies teleport home / open a temporary portal or something). Anyway, I’m not sure about the motivation behind being able to teleport home quickly. Maybe you could elaborate more? || The system chooses shortest routes right now. Safest routes could be wise, but you’ll need to craft them by hand (with ‘move next’). || Working on fixing the circles so they always show up / you can always quickly pan to your offscreen Primarchs / home.

  5. Banking stuff is generally a bit hard. One universal page seems like a good idea. Probably not something we can squeeze in this year though. || Lockout is something that might be nice for war too … but for now teams will need to coordinate via chat. On the plus side, if someone else wipes it out before you finish your attack, you’re only out some boosts and heals … relatively minor.

  6. I agree that the time for alliance tools is fast approaching. But I’m not sure it’s quite time yet (there still aren’t many teams) and anyway I don’t think we have bandwidth to do this for December’s fast approaching submission to the app store deadline. But maybe we could kick this off for the Jan update? I think we’re still figuring out what the right tipping point is to start helping alliances organize vs mega-alliances being too easy to operate and dominating everyone who isn’t in one (see Spooky’s comments).

  7. Why would you tax troops? Kind of like forcing players to use their daily donation quota?

Re Dan – As gox pointed out, though existing teams may have built up some infrastructure the troop advantage is much less than you seem to expect. Troops fight and die … and troops have been historically much harder to train than they are these this. This means that new teams are actually catching up in troop power quite nicely. And keep in mind that the world is still small … as sapphire and platinum join the world will expand quite dramatically. This will give everyone more space. And I suspect you and some other strong but new-to-Atlas teams will quickly find yourselves in a strong position.

Re Shimo on blockading – We’ve been toying around with the idea of dramatically reducing or even eliminating blockades from forts. My thinking is that passive blocking may be detrimental to the game, in parts for the reasons you point out. Maybe trapping should be a purely active ability (of rushers). Originally, blockading was introduced so teams could specialize their borders to be extra good at defense, and specialize their inner territory in economic or other things. This direction didn’t really pan out, yet we haven’t removed the long blockade times at borders yet. It may be time to do … thoughts?

Re Mikes – A downside of rewarding points for troops killed is that it makes the optimal strategy to attack players much weaker than you. Glory has the upside that fighting equally strong players will earn just as much as attacking someone far weaker. I don’t think we want an event where we encourage the strongest players to beat up on the newest players (even more than now).


#11

I think removing blocking is risky as this also removes the option to strategically place primarchs. For instance I keep my sieger on the interior because its defense is awful and I don’t want it getting hit while my taunter stays on the fringe. You would have to upgrade and place troops on every single castle if no blocking because an enemy can go hit you in the middle of your territory. I’d also be afraid that no passive blocking would up the importance of staring at the map 24/7 even more. I know I already spend a lot of time waiting and watching these days and it really reduces my enjoyment of the game. I feel like I don’t get to play anymore. Perhaps block time could be shortened significantly but I’m not keen on removing it entirely atm

RE event points: I suppose what could be done is give a bonus to points or even glory based on the target’s level. That would bring point distribution in line with the main game major events. More points for hitting tougher targets but doesn’t result in more troop losses for higher level targets in a given attack. I’m not sure of the overall impact on this though


#12

Just reacting to a couple of the points so no sequential numbering.

Yes, I’d be in favor of adding best case battle outcomes to the dragon select page, if that is the most optimal place given space constraints. We can let our teams know where to find it.

Not in favor of totally removing blocking, that would be a radical change and invalidate our building choices. Could be persuaded probably that a significant reduction in blocking time could be interesting. What do you envision?

I’m going to confess that I don’t quite understand the glory formula vis a vis anti-griefing (“I was promised there would be no math”). I get just as little glory if I make an optimal primarch vs primarch choice and 100% a level 360 50 levels above me as I do if I squash a level 100 with the same parameters. I actually optimize glory (not troop building, I understand that) by loading up my rusher, sailing it into enemy territory and logging off. So as far as I can tell, this system neither rewards attacking tough opponents nor really deters griefing low levels since the rewards are similarly meager for both. What am I missing?


#13

The way it is now, I REFUSE to participate in atlas. Will do my troops for the team, and thats it. No activity what so ever. Its gruesome the amount of glory we gain from the amount of troops we lose in battle.
@PGDave


#14

Its a long term part of the game and it required minimal activity in it. Dont expect to max your riders and primes over night and just play it casually and you will start to enjoy it more. Long term the riders are SOOO worth it. Keep in mind there are only 4 riders, so they are not suppose to be easy to make expert.


#15

Yes I know, and I don’t expect to max them in 1 day. But as of now, its not worth the trouble.


#16

Siegers can be protected by grouping them on a castle which has enough taunters. Your opponents will cause your castle to shield from attacking taunter(s) before your siegers are in danger. Blockades provide another option for protecting them, though it is less robust (if someone breaks through a fort by forcing it to shield, then your interior is suddenly at risk).

@XxSPOOKYxX The extreme vision is to remove blocking by forts. The less extreme version is reducing it to a short time (say something on the order of 5-15min, maybe a bit longer for really high level forts). And then there’s always the option to leave it as is. Just bouncing ideas around atm.


#17

Are primarch troops supposed to count towards shield? Cause in my experience they haven’t been… So then taunter dies and my sieger dies before there is any chance of triggering shield. To protect siegers with primarchs alone would take an awful lot of taunters with a lot of troops on them. It honestly doesn’t take much to put a taunter on cooldown even if the player is high level. If your team doesn’t have a lot of high levels that can fully utilize taunters you’d have to ask some lower level players to take one for the team and use a primarch that will put them right in the line of fire

I don’t see blockades as something to totally stop an enemy. It’s to buy time to recognize an attack and to organize. If a castle with few troops is conquered, causing a message to be sent out in mail and chat, and then you’re able to mount a good counterattack chances are the losses won’t be as bad as if an enemy attacks a castle where you have lots of troops stationed and you’re trying to get an attack together while you’re being killed. I really think my concern about eating up playtime staring at the map needs addressing. This is something that will hit more casual teams a lot harder than highly active ones and already the options of a casual team are limited in Atlas. Also I don’t want to be chasing enemies all over the place because the game is glitching or too laggy to trap or get a hit on them. That’s really really annoying


#18

I must say my 1st question when i finally saw atlas… was WHY? why create a game within a game, is one micro other macro, they don’t seem to be very well connected. Should i stop playing the core game and spend time on atlas only etd. Whats a primarch? Might as well been a spaceship and a 3d space world… why waste developper time and money to create this? I personally am completely lost when it comes to the atlas world… not that i didnt read the instructions or try a few things but i just don’t see the point. I hate the travel time which traps us long in the game to do something… is it tribal wars? Seems any player below 300lv gets an instant kill, great design for the select few… I’d say stop wasting time fix the core game issues and get rid of the unnecessary parts like perches, def dragon ryuu, useless endless runes that need better balancing etc, and atlas.


#19

@Shimo Primarch troops will count towards the shield soon (should be live later this week!). Even a lower level plays the taunter, they can revive losses with the team’s help (e.g., gold donations). Also, though any one player can’t donate too many ships, a whole team in aggregate can donate a very large number of ships. In another thread, gox has suggested making troops taxable so that some troops are owned by a team instead of individuals (going to bump that thread for more discussion in a little bit). For your second point, do you have ideas about how to improve this?


#20

@Yazeck The game serves a diverse group of players, and realistically almost nothing will appeal to every player. But Atlas is exciting for many people (some feedback the The atlas “Update” thread among others), and it’s just getting starting. It still needs a lot of work, but we’re developing it in close collaboration with the community and I’ve seen it make a lot of good strides in the past year as a result … looking forward to seeing where the next year takes us!


#21

Hey, is there a limit on how many continents a team may possibly own? Because the way Atlas is currently developing we will have the 5 biggest teams own everything and all the others spend the rest of their miserable days in neutral zone.