When the creators of one of the biggest open-world survival games deliver news of a new pirate-themed survival game, you just have to sit up and listen. And that is what we are doing today with the announcement of ATLAS for Xbox One and PC.
From the team behind ARK: Survival Evolved comes ATLAS, a massively multiplayer first-person fantasy pirate adventure, which is being led by industry veterans Jeremy Stieglitz and Jesse Rapczak, and promises to host up to 40,000 players exploring the same globe simultaneously, leading to an unprecedented scale of encounters and conflict!
ATLAS will see you attempting to stake your claim in the endless open world as you construct custom ships, search for buried treasure, siege and conquer fortresses, plunder travelling merchants and recruit a crew to join your powerful Armada as you engage in the ultimate quest for fortune and glory.
But when will all this be happening? Well, ATLAS will launch on 13th December 2018 on Steam Early Access, with the game then also dropping into the Xbox One Game Preview program in early 2019.
“From the very beginning of ATLAS’ development, we wanted to create a world on a massive scale to facilitate a new paradigm in emergent online gameplay scenarios.” said Jeremy Stieglitz, Lead Designer, Grapeshot Games. “We’re incredibly excited to finally bring players into the ATLAS and witness their fantastic adventures!”
What will be included in ATLAS on Xbox One and PC? Well, the following features are set to drag us in to the most wonderful pirate adventure yet:
- 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, with recipes, 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 will set you back $24.99 when it arrives on Steam Early Access come the 13th December. Will you be giving it a shot, or are you going to hold out for the arrival of the ATLAS on Xbox One? Let us know in the comments down below.