ATLAS - Ark with pirates, monsters, and a lot of baggage.

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  1. Post
    #1

    ATLAS - Ark with pirates, monsters, and a lot of baggage.

    After reading a lot of comments from various corners of the internet as well as a few comments in the Ark thread I thought we need a dedicated thread for the game, which despite claims to the contrary is a separate title and distinct from Ark.



    This is the short list of what Atlas is... or is planned on being once it's is complete and released.

    From the creators of ARK: Survival Evolved comes ATLAS - a massively multiplayer first-person pirate adventure.
    1. Atlas, a massively multiplayer online game featuring pirates.
    2. 1,200 times larger than Ark: Survival Evolved.
    3. Up to 40,000 players in the same game world.
    4. Wildcard the developer of Ark: Survival Evolved set up a sister studio, Grapeshot Games to develop the game to ensure that development on it was not coming at the expense of Ark: Survival Evolved.
    I have played maybe 20 hours of ARK and none of ATLAS so this is mostly from commentary I've read and videos I've watched. So my opinion here is not first hand and if I get anything wrong please let me know.
    My experiences in ARK were underwhelming, but I only played it as research for Fallout 76 a few months ago so I would have some actual context for the (potential) core game loop for that game. I found ARK to sparse and poorly optimised (so a pretty good warm up for 76 it turns out). This is not a genre I care much about, but have found many hours of fun with other games in the Survival genre, but most were single player focused (Dont Starve, The Long Dark, Subnautica, etc). So ATLAS is not my thing, but I am going to attempt to recontextualise the conversation as what I am seeing seems like yelling from people who either don't understand the reality of game development, or really don't understand Early Access. Please note this is not a defense of Early Access at all, as I personally find it for the most part problematic and best avoided.

    There seems to be two main complaints about ATLAS:
    1: It's a paid mod packaged as a full game
    2: It's broken, buggy, and incomplete.

    In my opinion both of these complaints are more or less baseless. Or at least the former is, the latter is far more complicated.

    I've seen the videos and screenshots that people have posted showing that ATLAS is built out of ARK, and the various pieces of info seemingly showing that the game was planned as DLC, or more accurately some of the ideas in ATLAS were potentially planned as DLC or an expansion. This does not make ATLAS paid DLC. It merely demonstrates that the idea of the game was likely planned as expanded content for ARK. That idea was then expanded on and became a new game in a new game world. There is next to zero chance that all of the content planned for ATLAS was ever planned for ARK. Based on the information and the demonstrated content ATLAS is far more than the ARK DLC it may have once been. A lot of games started off as dropped content, expansion ideas, or even planned DLC. Over time the developer sees more potential in building out on the core design and making it a separate game. Surely the only thing that matters is if the game actually delivers the goods, not where the idea stemmed from. This criticism is ignorant and holds very little water in my opinion. The fact that ALTAS is built directly off the ARK engine should also not be surprising. Of course it is. The fact that it uses so much of the frontend and is still using ARK ui legacy code and assets is stupid though. Of course ATLAS uses the same engine. Did anyone think it would be brand new? The promise was for a new game experience, a new world, and pirates. The fact it's built on ARK code, or the ideas for ARK DLC is irrelevant. ATLAS is being developed as a full-featured and separate product with a lot of content that if delivered is well worth the asking price. From the look of it the scope of ATLAS far exceeds that of any Expansion or DLC.

    The second issue is one that is actually far more complicated and demonstrates a trend I personally have a lot of issues with. Early Access. When you ask for money upfront for a product the expectation is that it will work. No caveats, disclaimers, or warnings are ever going to completely mitigate push-back when your product does not work as expected. Therein lies the rub with Early Access. The game is unfinished, unpolished, likely fundamentally broken in places, with massive areas unbalanced, and with almost no time spent on optimisation or stability. IMO the complaints about the quality of the game from a purely technical standpoint are completely invalid. Anyone expecting a functional game clearly don't understand what early access is, and wanted a game they could play now. Sorry, that is not reality. You've purchased a game in at best Alpha status. Something that is usually an internal "playable" build used for feature and contact testing. Not a finished product. To be clear here, in my opinion anyone pitching a fit over the games bugs, performance, or any other technical issue has no right to. That is what you agreed to. Likewise anyone complaining about feature x being missing, or some game element not being present, you too have no right to complain. In both cases these people should be communicating with the developer about these issues as constructive feedback. This is how Early Access is supposed to work. You pay to access an unfinished product and get to provide feedback to the developer in order for them to make a better game for when it is actually ready for release. Anyone complaining about the quality of the game did not understand what they were buying, and in this case that is their own fault. If you want a complete game, wait for the retail release. Anyone buying Early Access is literally paying to be a bug/ QA tester. Something that people are generally paid to do. In essence you're paying for the right to work for a developer for free. Which is quite silly.

    I personally find Early Access inherently problematic. People are buying in on a promise, and are paying money for that privilege. There should be some consumer protection here, and a far more robust, unskippable, and EXTREMELY highlighted disclaimed about what they're buying. That sadly does not seem to be the case. While I do not buy the argument of gamers being taken advantage of because caveat emptor should always be heeded, there does need to be some actual set in stone rules about how Early Access should be used, and some sort of contractual agreement outlining obligations from the developer. Many great games came out of Early Access. Games that literally could not have been made without the capital injection it provides, as well as the player feedback needed to make the game as good as it could be. That being said there are games that seem to sit in EA for a long time using the status as a buffer or blanket defense against criticism. This is not the case here as the game literally just came out, but if there is little or no movement on addressing the issues then things become more complicated. I will be interested to see where this project is in 12 months time. There is a lot of potential here. the hate and vitriol being thrown at them is unfair, and unfounded but that does not mean it never will be.

    I will never buy Early Access, I even refuse to review games in Early Access because I have no interest in playing an unfinished or incomplete game. I think people need to be more aware of what Early Access is and developers/Publishers need to be made to make it abundantly clear what customers are buying. I dont think either of these things are being done and it's damaging the industry.

    If I've missed anything, gotten something wrong please let me know. I've not spent as much time as I usually would have researching the various arguments mainly because I saw so many I found to be utterly baseless. So it is entirely possible that I did miss some or even a lot of perfectly valid complaints, or a piece of important information.

  2. Post
    #2
    Doesn’t deserve a thread with the amount of lying

    The game looks nothing like the gameplay videos they put up before launch
    It looks like a totally different game to the videos and pictures on the steam store page

    Even people with rtx 2080ti are struggling to hit 60fps

  3. Post
    #3
    SirGrim wrote:
    Doesn’t deserve a thread with the amount of lying

    The game looks nothing like the gameplay videos they put up before launch
    It looks like a totally different game to the videos and pictures on the steam store page

    Even people with rtx 2080ti are struggling to hit 60fps
    I've seen gameplay videos as well as a couple of streams so as usual you're posting lies, or at least parroting something someone else said without bothering to check if it was actually true. It does need a lot of work though. It's also early access.

    The game is a mess. It's also Early Access. If you don't understand that then I suggest you educate yourself. Of course there has been no optimisations passes, or likely not much in the way of stability work. Again it's early access. Shit will be slow, buggy, broken, assuming it even works at all.

    Did I mention its Early Access. Not only that its been available for a week.

    If this was a final release then you would have a point. It isn't. You don't. I though I had explained all of that in the original post.

  4. Post
    #4
    Steam needs to stop with the early access crap
    Have some standards

    Last edited by SirGrim; 26th December 2018 at 12:53 pm.

  5. Post
    #5
    They're basically printing money at this stage. I don't think they really give a **** anymore

  6. Post
    #6
    Early Access is fine in theory, but yeah it really does need to be managed a lot better.

    Paying to test an unfinished game is problematic and where I think a lot of the issues come from. People have expectations because they've put down money despite the fact that the game is upfront about being unfinished. I think better explaining what EA is, and having some sort of Code of Conduct, or agreement from the developer would help.

    I like the idea of Early Access in theory and it has been used exceptionally in the past. So many great game could only have been completed with it.
    To name just a few:
    • Divinity Original Sin 2
    • Darkest Dungeon
    • Subnautica
    • Prison Architect
    • Slay the Spire
    • Dead Cells
    • The Long Dark


    I am sure there are many more I am missing.
    I don't think Early Access is the issue. I think more needs to be done to define it, and ensure its being used constructively and responsibly.
    Complaining that a game in Early Access is buggy, missing content, or poorly optimised is utterly laughable though... unless it's been in EA for literally years. Then things get more difficult.

    SirGrim wrote:
    Steam needs to stop with the early access crap
    Have some standards
    Have some standards? The game is not finished.
    You dont purchase an apartment based on the blueprints and promotional material and then rock on up when its still being built and complain that it leaks or is drafty.
    You seem to be one of the people I am talking about when I say some people don't understand what Early Access is.
    Last edited by ChrisB; 27th December 2018 at 12:01 am.

  7. Post
    #7
    ChrisB sounds like you are on the dev team .
    ATLAS is garbage and should be removed from steam and the company should be fined.

  8. Post
    #8
    NOMIS wrote:
    ChrisB sounds like you are on the dev team .
    ATLAS is garbage and should be removed from steam and the company should be fined.
    Fined for what? They done nothing wrong. The attitude from a lot of people who went into an Early Access title without understanding what it was is far more problematic.

    Steam wrote:
    Early Access Game
    Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.
    Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development.
    The game is openly unfinished. All the complaining about it is utterly ridiculous. If the game was ready for release it would not be in Early Access.

  9. Post
    #9
    It sounds like you're wanting to talk about the drama surrounding the game without any actual interest in the game. People are upset because an Ark interface was discovered (https://www.pcgamesn.com/atlas/atlas-ark-reskin), the launch was gradually postponed (https://screenrant.com/atlas-mmo-delayed-again/, https://www.altchar.com/games-news/5...other-two-days, https://twitter.com/sailtheatlas/sta...52327748108288, https://www.resetera.com/threads/atl...21-2018.88208/, https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertc.../#1fcc270b4643), various highly popular Twitch streamers were lured into collectively trying the game at launch and their PR had false advertising (ie. "40,000 players") (https://www.dexerto.com/gaming/strea...h-water-263314, https://clips.twitch.tv/MotionlessSn...yboardRalpherZ).

    A full summary can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-65GtCwfy24

    I don't have any interest in this game either, but making 50,000+ concurrent viewers across some of the biggest streamers on Twitch watch a game launch when it's clearly not ready for it isn't going to leave a good impression.

  10. Post
    #10
    A friendly reminder that Studio Wildcard released paid DLC while Ark was still in Early Access.

  11. Post
    #11
    ALTER. wrote:
    It sounds like you're wanting to talk about the drama surrounding the game without any actual interest in the game. People are upset because an Ark interface was discovered (https://www.pcgamesn.com/atlas/atlas-ark-reskin), the launch was gradually postponed (https://screenrant.com/atlas-mmo-delayed-again/, https://www.altchar.com/games-news/5...other-two-days, https://twitter.com/sailtheatlas/sta...52327748108288, https://www.resetera.com/threads/atl...21-2018.88208/, https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertc.../#1fcc270b4643), various highly popular Twitch streamers were lured into collectively trying the game at launch and their PR had false advertising (ie. "40,000 players") (https://www.dexerto.com/gaming/strea...h-water-263314, https://clips.twitch.tv/MotionlessSn...yboardRalpherZ).

    A full summary can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-65GtCwfy24

    I don't have any interest in this game either, but making 50,000+ concurrent viewers across some of the biggest streamers on Twitch watch a game launch when it's clearly not ready for it isn't going to leave a good impression.
    I know all of that, and as I said I don't think it is an issue at this stage.
    Where the game originated from is irrelevant imo. If the finished product is what they claim it is going to be then it really does not matter. They didn't develop it as DLC but instead increased the scope into a full (and still in development) game. I really don't see the problem. I also covered this in the original post.
    Early Access is Early Access. It's (arguably) pre-Alpha and certainly pre-Beta so a lot of a criticisms are premature and unjustified. If this game releases in a similar state then things change dramatically. But they've stated they have a planned 2 years in Early Access. So if you don't want to deal with this crap buy it when it actually releases sometime in 2020/2021. If it's still shit then, well there is no excuse.

    I am not defending the game in any way, nor am I even defending the developer. I am just saying that complaining about a game being buggy, unfinished, and/or unpolished in Early Access is actually stupid.
    I also don't think anyone should spend any money or time on the game, but that is because I think paying for Early Access is a terrible idea and gives the consumer the worst possible experience.

  12. Post
    #12
    NOMIS wrote:
    ChrisB sounds like you are on the dev team .
    ATLAS is garbage and should be removed from steam and the company should be fined.
    Wouldn't surprise me. I mean they certainly aren't spending all their money on development...

  13. Post
    #13
    Nah, just sick of uninformed gamers pissing about something because they don't understand the reality of the situation.
    I mean how dare an unfinished game be buggy or missing features? How dare a developer take an idea for added content in their existing game and expand its scope and develop it as a large-scale stand alone title. Those bastards.
    The level of childishness from some is pretty shocking. (note this is not a comment about GP but some other parts of the internet)

    Also the personal pot shots are not called for.

    :edit:

    I should add that I am not saying this game will ever actually be good. I am just pointing out that shitting on a game in it's first week (or even first few months) of Early Access is silly. Giving it shit for lack of quality/polish is actually deluded.
    Last edited by ChrisB; 27th December 2018 at 2:19 pm.

  14. Post
    #14
    Never heard of it but that vid that Grim posted was ****ing hilarious

  15. Post
    #15
    If you're accepting money for your product then criticism on par with "finished games" is fair game.

  16. Post
    #16
    CODChimera wrote:
    Wouldn't surprise me. I mean they certainly aren't spending all their money on development...
    They're spending it on "influencers" it would seem:

  17. Post
    #17
    Why anyone would pay $30 for this in its current state is beyond me.

  18. Post
    #18
    Colinnola wrote:
    Why anyone would pay $30 for this in its current state is beyond me.
    This we can agree on! I think buying early access is just asking for trouble.
    But again if you're comparing an Early Access title with a finished released you are being actively stupid. Anyone that buys this is opting into playing an unfinished game. Its signposted all over the place. If you ignore that and complain, you're at fault.

    I will never watch anything by that WAB knob, but if anyone says this is worth spending money on I would be shocked. Then again I am shocked whenever anyone spends their money on an Early Access title. Just seems like the whole Fool + Money idiom in action.

  19. Post
    #19
    99.99% agree with ChrisB, this is very clearly advertised as early access wtf are people expecting here

    There is also steam refunds so again, wtf. I suppose every clickbait youtuber is going to wring this out for a billion 10:01 long videos


    the 0.01% is the early access part, I sometimes take a punt on them if they are in a fun enough state and generally I've had my dollars worth a bunch of times over for a couple of titles (golf with friends I've spent 40 hours on, I got 7 days to die when it was I think less than 10 and have sunk over 600 hours into that). A few titles I've only dabbled in and they havent ended up great but meh its always been pretty negligible money. Kickstartering games has 0 appeal to me however.

  20. Post
    #20
    HELL KNIGHT wrote:
    They're spending it on "influencers" it would seem:
    Yeah and they even managed to bungle that with all the release dates.

    I think it's pretty funny, just like fo76. It's like these developers are trying to see who can release the worst game.

  21. Post
    #21
    fallout 76 is defo worse because it was sold as a full price game and bethesda does not do refunds

  22. Post
    #22
    CODChimera wrote:
    I think it's pretty funny, just like fo76. It's like these developers are trying to see who can release the worst game.
    Comparing 76 to Atlas is interesting, but not for the reason you're pointing out.
    Fallout 76 was released as a full and complete product. It may be a "live service" but it was released as being feature complete and sold to the public as such. The idea here is that more content will come in the future and the game will evolve over time.
    Altas is not even finished and that has been pointed out. Its Early Access and is not due to be released fully for two more years (at least). The idea here is that people opting in early will provide feedback to the developers as they complete the core game. This will include reporting bugs, performance issues, and design choices that need refining, or even pointing out shit that the game needs but does not have. Once that is done it will be fully released and be at the point Fallout 76 was when it released in November. Hopefully not broken and utter garbage.
    If anything this should highlight just how ****ing awful 76 is. It was released in a state comprable to an Early Access title, except it isn't one. It's a full priced game that was sold as being finished.
    Fallout 76's release quality is unforgivable. It's being treated like an Early Access title by Bethesda. That is not even remotely ok.
    Altas' pre-release/Early Access state is expected, and people who paid for it, or were given code for it should have understood this.

    It is important that people understand the difference. Unfortunately it seems some can't grasp that very simple fact.

  23. Post
    #23
    yeahboiwahoo wrote:
    fallout 76 is defo worse because it was sold as a full price game and bethesda does not do refunds
    76 is miles ahead of atlas though.

  24. Post
    #24
    CODChimera wrote:
    76 is miles ahead of atlas though.
    The still in development game is "miles" behind the completed game. You're a genius!

  25. Post
    #25
    ChrisB wrote:
    The still in development game is "miles" behind the completed game. You're a genius!
    *The suggestion that Fallout 76 isn't an early access game*