|Developer||Grapeshot Games & Instinct Games|
|Early Access||December 22nd, 2018|
ATLAS is a multiplayer adventure game set in the age of pirates from Grapeshot Games. Build, customize, and sail your own ships with a crew of other players, team up or fight with other ships and crews, fight skeleton pirates, and uncover buried treasure!
From the creators of ARK: Survival Evolved comes ATLAS - a massively multiplayer first-and-third-person fantasy adventure set in the golden age of pirates. ATLAS will host up to 1,000 players exploring the same Globe simultaneously, with an unprecedented scale of cooperation and conflict! Stake your claim in this endless open world as you conquer territory, construct ships, search for buried treasure, assemble forts, plunder settlements and hire crew to join your powerful growing armada. Start small then expand your spheres of influence from a small island, up to an unstoppable pirate empire that spans across the oceans. Wage battle against enemy fleets as you single-handedly command large ships of war using the captaining system (or divide up to the responsibilities among your trusted lieutenants), or take control of any weapon directly with your own character. Dive deep into the briny water to explore permanent sunken wrecks and recover salvage, unearth the loot from procedurally-generated Treasure Maps and challenge zones, or complete challenging main questlines. Team up with other aspiring adventurers and sail into the vast ocean to discover new lands rich with region-specific elements, tame exotic natural and mythical creatures, raid forgotten tombs, confront powerful ancient gods and even build and administer your own colonies, cities, and civilizations to dominate the ATLAS in this ultimate quest for fortune and glory! ATLAS includes the following features:
- MMO On the Grandest Scale – Physically sail in real-time across the vast oceans with the proprietary server network technology. Explorers will voyage to over 700 unique land masses across 45,000 square kilometers, with thousands of Discovery Zones, and ten distinct world regions each having their own unique resources, creatures, secrets, and environment hazards!
- Construct the Ship of Your Dreams, Plank by Plank! – Build drydocks and start with a dinghy rowboat, basic raft, tiny sloop or nimble schooner, moving on up to your own versatile brigantine or titanic galleon capable of transporting hundreds of crew and extensive cargo. Name your ship in big bold letters, paint and copy your own pirate flag and custom-place all the pieces of your ship –which sails and where, planks and gunports, every single structure piece has physical material and weight –to function exactly how you want.
- Captain your Crew! – Recruit real players and AI crew from freeports or rescue them from destroyed “Army of the Damned” shipwrecks to man distinct stations on your boat! Set sail and explore the ATLAS with them to gain experience and level up their stats or gear, as well as levelling your ship. Your crew members are versatile! Whether on land, or ship, or even riding behind your animal companions on emplacements, they can man weapons of all kinds –cannons, swivel guns, siege engines, turrets, and even gigantic mortars, many with dynamically swappable ammo types including grapeshot, chainshot, spikeshot, liquid fire, and more! Instruct them to board enemy ships and help you conquer the seas! Keep their stomachs fed and their pockets full of gold lest you want a mutiny on your hands! Take on the captain's when or divide up the command responsibilities via Lieutenant Podiums to direct the Ship's assignable weapon systems, sails, and stations, including standing-orders or manual grouped fire. Or, walk up to any station and take control of it yourself!
- Pirate PVP to the Limit – Everything is up for grabs including player's ships, crew, pets, forts, land, and booty. If you can get your hands on it, you can take it. A ship's permanent logbook tells the tale of their legendary travel, exploits and ownership
- Be the Hero or Villain You Were Meant to Be – The MMO-scale character progression systems include more than 15 disciplines, over 300 skills, in a vast unlockable tree. The "Feat" system allows for active and passive bindable character abilities, while the stat-buff system allows innumerable abstract statistics to be modified by skills, items, and armor. Everything, including structures, has scalable stats and can be progressively upgraded!
- This is Who You Are – Extensive character visual customization enables an endless range of realistic (and not-so-realistic) characters, with a vast array of sliders, morphs, muscle tones, and tweakable values. You can even per-pixel design your own permanent tattoos (and then draw warpaint on top of that!). If someone exists in the real world, they can be created in ATLAS! The best-in-class dynamic hair growth and real-time aging systems allow you to get old and... pass on your legacy? (Or find a fountain of youth!).
- Endless Adventure – Full quest and waypoint systems, with sub-quests and rewards, for major goals. Procedural treasure maps and challenge zones ensure there's always something new to find out over the horizon.
- Intense Action – The tactical melee combat systems include blocks, parries, dodges, character motion, optional shields, stunning and strength-varying strikes, directional attacks, and more for use in either first or third person perspectives. Fists, swords, maces, blackjacks, daggers, and much more give you numerous options to pick the right weapon for the job. Period appropriate weaponry with skill-based active reload systems include flintlock pistols, muskets, blunderbuss, and more –just be sure to keep your powder dry!
- Claim What's Yours – Form a company, claim territory and apply taxation and behavior rules to that which you own – be a benevolent governor, a feudal lord, or a ruthless dictator. Territory ownership is visualized on your dynamic zoomable world map, with Fog of War obscuring uncharted regions and Shroud of War hiding enemy territories out of sight range. Contest other government's ownership of land, structures, or ships to expand your empire! Top Spheres of Influence on the Official ATLAS' are visualized in real-time the PlayATLAS.com. Design your own custom flag per-pixel and apply them to your claims, to become famous (or infamous)!
- Creatures Great and Small – More than 50 creatures at launch varying from breedable utilitarian farm animals and shoulder mounted parrots and monkeys that offer unique buffs, all the way to magical mermaids and gigantic sea monsters of legend. Creatures can be found in their logical regions, but take skill and tactics to tame using new mechanics, while gaining the most benefit and fertility from their natural biomes. Ferry these temperamental creatures across the vast oceans to trade in exotic locales in a virtual Noah's Ark.
- Freeports to Meet and Greet - Level-capped starter zones allow you to learn the ropes and meet new players in a safe space before you venture out into the great unknown. Where the wind and destiny takes you beyond that, is up to the gods!
- Build Your Empire – Overhauled building systems include automatic foundational elevation adjustment, dynamic tile type swapping, improved snap detection and previewing, integrated plumbing systems, per-pixel-paintable everything, beast-of-burden harness attachments for field-gun and carriages, and much more! Survival systems include, among other things, vitamins benefits and deficiencies, withrecipes, cooking skills, and varying ingredient qualities.
- Powerful Mod and Server Functionalities – Want to build a World War II Spitfire? Or a Flying Fortress bomber with fully walkable interior and gun stations that carries troops loaded with machine guns and rocket launchers? How about a tank? An aircraft carrier to play out the Battle of Midway on an expansive scale? How about an Arcadian Steampunk airship floating through a cloud-world? These examples, and much more, are provided with the ATLAS Dev Kit, where you can effectively make whatever large-scale MMO action game you want to see happen, all supported by the database-driven network technology that powers ATLAS. Unofficial ATLAS' can be of any size and configuration, while a visual map tool lets server hosts lay out their own complete custom world of islands, continents, terrain features, spawns, resources, hazards, underwater zones, dynamic weather, biome configurations, and ecologies. There is an infinite number of other configurable features, all dynamically streamed to the client during gameplay. The possibilities are endless.
- Far, Far More – Stay tuned for more details on the extensive features and content of ATLAS. This is just the tip of the iceberg (though be sure to watch out for those in the polar regions, as they're extremely dangerous to ship hulls!).
- Atlas has often been publicly criticized as being "An Ark Expansion released as a standalone title" for reasons listed below. However, this accusation comes from a fundamental lack of understanding of the processes involved in game development, specifically including but not limited to the processes of prototyping and greyboxing. Atlas was designed as a standalone game, but for the sake of releasing it in 2018 instead of 2020 or beyond, its early concept stages were tested and iterated as a sublevel of an existing IP of the developers. This is a process that is not only common in franchise development, but nearly universal, as a mere spoken concept will not keep an entire team coordinating in unison to visualize the same final concept, so early development iterations of established studios make use of other properties they own in order to lay down a prototype or framework to get the team members on the same page. Atlas made the mistake of leaving those assets in the game and not cleaning up properly. But the notion that Atlas is an expansion pack deceptively released as a separate title is one resulting from a fundamental lack of game development insight and further from individuals having not played the game, as Atlas' primary limiting factor to its success can be attributed to the fact that the playerbase of Ark: Survival Evolved, upon hearing of Atlas, became wound up in widespread hype about "Ark 2.0" but upon entering the game, widespread public disappointment was expressed resulting from how dissimilar to two games played.
Below I have left the conjecture often used to claim "Atlas was an Ark Expansion." From here, the decision making process of whether it was or was not, is yours to pursue.
- There used to be a hidden menu in the game which would show the Ark menu showing all of its maps and one called "ocean".
- there are many creatures that share similarities with the Expansion Pack Aberration suggesting it was originally intended to take its place.
- The Drake is in Aberration albeit called the Rock Drake and is far more accurate to its mythological counterpart.
- The Giant Crab is clearly based on the Karkinos from Aberration with similar mechanics and attacks.
- The Kraken is a near carbon copy of Rockwell sharing similar attacks, animations and model.
- The Gorgon has a similar snake like creature to compare in Aberration as well, as Aberration has the Basilisk.