Atlas, a pirate-based, massively multiplayer online game just received what publishers are calling a “mega update,” and they aren’t kidding. The online world currently serves as a digital home for more than 40,000 players, and it now has more room for them to roam thanks to this update that brings “40-percent” more islands and unique land masses. The layout of the map has even changed for the better, and new deep-sea environments are perfect for the new submarine that you’ll use to explore. You even get to battle giant grabs and tame them for yourself.

The update also includes something a little more important. If all of the things we listed already wasn’t enough to prove that developers have listened to players over the last few months, this will certainly change your opinion. A new game mode, called “colonies” is now available, and it actually encourages more cooperation instead of fighting. The official description:

“In ‘Colonies,’ hosted on a fresh new network, players claim ‘Island Settlements’ where they can set customized PvP hours to have the much-coveted ‘offline raid protection.’ Anyone can build – with specialized rules – on other settlers’ islands, and players benefit from cooperating with other settlers within an island to reduce its ‘upkeep’ cost.”

Of course, this might not mean much to those of you that team up with your real-life buddies, but if you’re someone that plays solo, this has huge implications as for your quality of gameplay, and you might even make some new friends too. After all, it won’t be as likely that you’ll be completely overwhelmed and taken advantage of by larger pirate collectives and groups of players. Of course, if you prefer to kick it old-school, the original PvP mode is still available, however, it now goes by the name “Empires.”

Atlas Meda-Update 1.5 Trailer

Atlas Gameplay Gallery

Atlas Mega-Update 1.5 Official Patch Notes

New Features and Content

– Redesign: ATLAS World – 40% more islands/landmass & new world map layout.
– Redesign: Claim System – Colonies: Freeform building, with more progress-protecting and time-enforced PvP rules creating a cooperative atmosphere, and limits to ensure the game is more oriented towards single players or smaller groups. Previous mode now known as Empires and PvE will be a modified version of colonies.
– New Environment: Deep Ocean Trench. A new area to explore, guarded by powerful underwater creatures and home to the new Giant Crab
– New Environment: Eastern Tundra now has its own visual design, no longer using the Western Tundra style
– New Weather: ‘Snow’ weather systems for Polar and Tundra
– New World Phenomenon: Aurora Borealis light display which will result in a harvesting bonus, visible in particular regions.
– New Vehicle: Submarine. Explore the depths of the ocean in this small scouting submarine. Use the claw arms to help harvest the ocean floor and explore (demolish) player shipwrecks. Also equipped with a harpoon (uses ballista bolts) as a new underwater weapon which will ramp up oceanic combat.
– New Creature: Giant Crab. It can carry heavy loads, along with players, tames and wild creatures
– New Item: “Guillotine”. Hanging your foes in a noose taking too long? Off with their heads! 
– New Item: “Large Wall”. Equipped with parapets and ladder snaps so you can now build a proper defensive perimeter!
– New Item: “Small Gates”. 2-wall high gate structures for wood and stone.
– New Item: “Player Shops”. Players can set up automated shops, listing loot for sale and naming their own gold coin prices.
– New Item: “Settlement War Declaration”. Tied to the War System. Drag over a settlement on the ATLAS map to declare war on them!
– New Item: More tame tokens for more mythical creatures! Allowing players to have limited-time tames of the Fire Elemental, Rock Elemental and Cyclops. BONUS: Rock Elemental and Cyclops are rideable!
– New Feature: War System – Declare war on your enemies!
– New Feature: 1 ‘Mainline Quest’ involving gathering 9 trench stones and defeating the hardmode Kraken!
– New Feature: 7 more ‘Quests’ which upon successful completion will provide their own unique Skill unlock
– New Feature: Curses. Tied to the execution of players
– New Feature: Player-to-Player secure trading system
– New Feature: Procedurally Generated Shipwrecks which players can explore for items and blueprints. They can be found by diving deep into the ocean, or looking out for their visual indicator on the surface of the water, or successfully completing the sextant mini-game which will point you in the direction of nearby shipwrecks.
– New Feature: Human Catapult. Player characters can now be deployed into battle using a catapult.
– New Cosmetics: Peg Legs, Hook Hands, and Multiple Armor sets to customize the look of your company and crew! Can be purchased at the cosmetics vendor.
– Redesign: Squads (Ship) of the Damned will now come in multiple size variations with different stats and difficulty levels.
– Redesign: Grappling Hook has been revamped, better physics & rappelling mechanics, and players will be able to realistically swing using them.
– Redesign: Explosive Barrels. Can now be carried in hand, thrown overboard to sink and will explode when they collide with anything underwater (Depth Charge!).

Balance Changes

– The higher quality shipyard used when building a ship, the more level ups a ship will be able to obtain.
– Ships can now level up their total damage output (which effects all cannons on a ship) and their total resistance, as new upgradable stats.
– All tamable creatures made breedable, with no exceptions except for Mythical Creatures.
– Various spawner adjustments & fixes across all islands
– Reloading now changed to have the mini-game appear back to back, rather than through various points of the animation.
– Vitamin debuffs have been removed and will only cause health loss when a player has a vitamin surplus or deficiency.
– Increased smithy inventory slots to 150.
– Increased weight of catapult from 12 to 84.
– Adjusted the crafting quantities on higher tier blueprints so they don’t require as many resources as before.

QOL Changes

– Territory map will now display allies as teal-coloured
– Character creator now has a Height slider to make it easier to set your character’s desired height
– Any dead ships (shipwrecks) from your Company appear with a unique icon on your map now, so you can find the wrecks
– Global territory message updating
– Currently contested claims will be indicated on the minimap
– Players can now mount a sail to directly control the sail’s open/close amount and rotation settings in a more intuitive way.
– Toggle ladders button for ship captain, defaults to L key. 
– Company Groups have been increased to 10
– Players cannot accept alliance invites unless they’re an admin
– Company Log can now be sorted
– New group permission which acts as an effective ‘company owner’. Only the true company owner can set/unset that specific group rank.

Misc

– Improved Server and Client performance
– Visual feedback for players being unable to board unallied boats on PvE
– Full body animations for harvesting
– More realistic old age wrinkles
– Additional face sliders for character customization
– Dive suit overlay has been adjusted so it’s easier to see when underwater
– Commodities trader can only be found on the Merchant Ship on PvP servers
– Respec potion has been moved to the Crew Recruiter on Freeports

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