PAX Prime 2015: Trion tries turn-based strategy with Atlas Reactor

Trion, the creator of Trove and RIFT, has turned its attention to the online PvP market with its new game Atlas Rector. At its core, Atlas Reactor is a turn-based strategy game. But unlike X-Com or even Pirate101, Atlas Reactor is PvP, and so far, only PvP.

On the surface, it has the makings of a thinking-man’s PvP game. As of right now, the PvP market is flooded with fast-paced MOBAs and team-based shooters, so Atlas Reactor takes a different path, making the action more strategic and measured. But like its twitchy cousins, the cast of characters is meant to foster a sense of ownership and empathy in players.

The demonstration at PAX Prime centered around a character named Lockwood. He is the typical gunslinger with a sly mouth and an itchy trigger finger. He also likes to hide behind cover and take pot shots at enemies. On his team was another character with her own distinct personality and playstyle. Her name was Asana, and she was a melee/tank character. Those two faced off against the stealthy robot dog Pup and the bazooka-toting Zuki.

If you are familiar with turn-based strategy games, then you’ll know that much of the time is spent trying to decide what to do next, or waiting for the other player to decide what to do. Atlas Reactor eliminates that by making everyone take their turn simultaneously and on a timer. With the game still being in alpha, the developers haven’t finalized the timer settings. Currently, though, they run matches that give players between 5 and 30 seconds to make a move.

The mechanics of the game are straight-forward. There are four phases in each turn that Lead Designer Will Cook described as “prep, dash, blast, and move.” Prep is the buffing period, where you can set up defenses or debuff tactics. Dash is were you can dodge or attempt to avoid an enemy’s blast ability. Blast is your offensive maneuver, like shooting your enemy’s face with your pistols. Lastly, move is exactly what you’d think it is: You can move your character into position for the next turn.

During the demonstration, press didn’t get to play the game, so determining the overall fun factor is difficult. But what can be said is that there’s no game like it. If you wish that chess had more laser guns and explosions or if you like the idea of team-based shooters but would rather they be more tactical, then you’ll want to keep an eye on this game.

Trion has already published a website for alpha signups, and it will be in your hands very soon.

Massively Overpowered is on the ground in Seattle for PAX Prime 2015, bringing you expert MMO coverage on offerings from NCsoft, Trion, PWE, and everything else on display at the latest Penny Arcade Expo!
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97 Comments on "PAX Prime 2015: Trion tries turn-based strategy with Atlas Reactor"

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RyanMahaffey
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RyanMahaffey

Trion is great, Trove is really good, RIFT is good, this looks really fun, Defiance is pretty decent.

But Archeage sucks..

to some people I guess haveing 4 good games vs 1 bad game means the company sucks…lol

Scarecrowe
Guest
Scarecrowe

peyo01
Yeah, pretty much this. I loved Rift and the first expansion. I even enjoyed Defiance although it was pretty much just a single-player or co-op game by the time I found it. But Rift’s last expansion, Trove, Archeage, and now Atlas Reactor (so generic a name that I had to scroll up to re-read it) don’t have anything worth my time much less my money.

Lights_andMusic
Guest
Lights_andMusic

Any word on F2P vs B2P ?  Could give this a shot for sure, but if it’s like $60 and then the servers are empty in 6 months I’ll pass.

Lights_andMusic
Guest
Lights_andMusic

A Dad Supreme  “I also am not a big fan of  …Jet Set Radio”

You’re dead to me.

PawnInTheGame
Guest
PawnInTheGame

Very cool!

SwobyJ
Guest
SwobyJ

Neat!

Qlippoth
Guest
Qlippoth

I’m starting to assume that all the programmers able to develop a decent AI are dead, just like Hollywood movies good screenwriters.

Muspel
Guest
Muspel

HumanoidTyphoon From what I understand, Frozen Synapse also has simultaneous turn-taking, so that might be a way to try out something similar.

Zariarn
Guest
Zariarn

Xijit Zariarn Valkyriez Yep, the hate blinds the eyes, lol.

Zariarn
Guest
Zariarn

Valkyriez All the items in the store are 100% optional.  I’ve been playing since before F2P.  I play nearly every day and I’ve never bought anything I needed from the store.  I’ve never been restricted by other players or had any unfair advantages against because some player used the store.  All my dimensions, gear, loot, coin, and xp came straight from the world and not from the store.

I can name a lot more MMOs with greater restrictions and a more costly gameplay experience versus RIFT.
It’s not tricks.  It’s not traps.  It’s just optional convenience.  Nothing unusual to any other F2P MMO.

Muspel
Guest
Muspel

Qarran Turn-based doesn’t necessarily mean that teams don’t act at the same time. Look at Frozen Synapse. Or even Pokemon.

chosenxeno
Guest
chosenxeno

Trion is awesome. Yea. I said it.

LeConchRepublic
Guest
LeConchRepublic

Hmm not what I expected…but I’m intrigued to know more. Maybe the third outing is the charm…or is that the fourth?

Qarran
Guest
Qarran

Looks interesting.  One questions though, if it is simultaneous turn-based, isn’t it by definition not a turn-based game?  I’m intrigued by the prospect but to need to know more about the mechanics.

Now… where can I drop my obligatory Trion scarred me for life with AA?  Is right here good?

A Dad Supreme
Guest
A Dad Supreme

paragonlostinspace 
Yeah Lori Petty-like.
It does remind me of WildStar but only because of all the ‘taunting’ the NPCs there seem to be doing, “cupcake”!

Celestia
Guest
Celestia

When a Wildstar and a Borderlands love each other very much, they share a special hug, and then the Borderlands puts his cell shading into the Wildstar’s concept art.

Celestia
Guest
Celestia

UnderWatch.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

A Dad Supreme Reminds me of Wildstar which is an art style that I’m not overly fond of. That said I find the concept of this type of pvp game. Not enough to get over the air style. Side note, does the voice and the way the female character acts remind anyone else of Tank  Girl?

dragonwhimsy
Guest
dragonwhimsy

Wow, this actually looks interesting. I shall keep my eye on it and hope the business model doesn’t ruin it.

squidgod2000
Guest
squidgod2000

ManastuUtakata squidgod2000 Omedon
AA wasn’t theirs to polish.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

squidgod2000 ManastuUtakata Omedon 
After a polished and exceptional Rift, they knew better not to release AA the way it was. But they did.

woolydub
Guest
woolydub

Man, did they rip off their art assets from Borderlands screen caps?

SoMuchMass
Guest
SoMuchMass

Good for them for making something unique, we didn’t need another FPS.

jonnysage
Guest
jonnysage

Nice. Where do I send my $199 for the founders pack?

GabeNewellFetish
Guest
GabeNewellFetish

“The art-style we’re going for is runs on a tablet.”

Koshelkin
Guest
Koshelkin

Interesting <.<

Devil Olive
Guest
Devil Olive

bleh, pvp.

A Dad Supreme
Guest
A Dad Supreme

Almost three days ago, Justin asks this question here:

The Daily Grind: What MMOs do you avoid based on art design?

My response: “I also am not a big fan of cel-shaded type MMOs or games like Firefall, Borderlands, Rusty Hearts, Jet Set Radio and Sunset Overdrive.”
Sorry Trion. You consistently zig when I zag regarding games. Skipped Defiance, Trove and ArcheAge. Keep trying though… one day you’ll have something I’m interested again like I was during Rift beta.

annoyedbadger
Guest
annoyedbadger

I like this type of game, not sure about the only pvp thing, but I really like to see companies try new things and offer diversity.

I think Trion is good at this. Not everything succeeds, but I’d rather they try to be different, than just churn out more of the same as too many game studios do.

Pepperzine
Guest
Pepperzine

Looks like alright game, interesting spin on the gameplay style, but not my cup of tea so I’m going to have to pass on this one.

Denice J Cook
Guest
Denice J Cook

Sounds cool.  Looks like a cel shaded Wildstar.  We’ll see.

JCSmith
Guest
JCSmith

Sounds like an interesting idea to me. Always good to see MMO developers trying new things.

Ayran
Guest
Ayran

It will be interesting to see how this turns out, I’m a huge fan of turn based combat. Fire Emblem really got me into it. I’ll definitely give it a try.

goldstariv
Guest
goldstariv

ArbsX Honestly I wish it were more like X-Com, with more tactical options like cover and terrain.. But no, it’s more like a game called Frozen Synapse, turns are simultaneous and sometimes can feel more like a puzzle game than a true tactical action.

Pashgan
Guest
Pashgan

> But like its twitchy cousins, the cast of characters is meant to foster a sense of ownership and empathy in 12 years old players.
FTFY

squidgod2000
Guest
squidgod2000

wahnsinnicK
I’d be pretty surprised if Trion was losing money.

squidgod2000
Guest
squidgod2000

ManastuUtakata Omedon
Have they really had a miss, though? Sure, games like Defiance may not be what people wish they were, but they’ve still got plenty of players.
I’ve spent considerable time in Rift/Defiance/ArcheAge and AA is the only one that disappointed me. I know Trion didn’t have control of much, but what they did have control of (CS, cash shop, etc) was godawful.

squidgod2000
Guest
squidgod2000

Cambruin
That’s ArcheAge/Hackshield fuking up.

Sorenthaz
Guest
Sorenthaz

ArbsX  Well they tried to shoehorn EoN into a MOBARTS of sorts.  And it sounds like initially this Atlas Reactor game was going to be a MOBA or something hero-oriented initially.   Going from MOBA to a Turn-based strategy PvP game could’ve been an idea that came up because they couldn’t get the EoN MOBA to work but wanted to do some sort of strategic hero battle thing.

I dunno.  Could be that they simply scrapped EoN altogether or still have it lying around somewhere.  But I get the feeling that they might’ve been working on it and then decided to take a completely different direction with it which led to Atlas Reactor.

squidgod2000
Guest
squidgod2000

Xijit MinionDave Ket_Viliano
And Rift and Defiance did and are doing pretty well.
Bash Trion all you want, but they’re definitely making money.

squidgod2000
Guest
squidgod2000

Xijit
That’s nice, but we’re actually talking about something else.

squidgod2000
Guest
squidgod2000

cures
Maybe that gap exists for a reason.

hardy83
Guest
hardy83

Karl_Hungus ToyFuzion Yeah. Borderlands was the first game to have an art style like that *rolls eyes*

peyo01
Guest
peyo01

*10-foot pole
I hate when I make this kind of mistake.

SamVenice
Guest
SamVenice

Well that’s an interesting twist. I’m not saying I’m hyped (I don’t get hyped about any game announcement nowadays, this industry does not deserve the hype anymore), but they got me curious.
Multiplayer frozen-synapse-like moba-ish? curiouser and curiouser

peyo01
Guest
peyo01

Sorry but I’ve been burnt so much by the lack of respect of Trion toward their customers in Rift and even more in ArcheAge that everytime I see the name “Trion” linked to a game, I write the game down in my “not to touch with a 10-feet pole” category.

StranaFA
Guest
StranaFA

To me it seems like TCG gameplay in a shooter. I just don’t see it happening.

En_grosse
Guest
En_grosse

At least a better game than ArcheAge ^^

Valkyriez
Guest
Valkyriez

Least restrictive? When they put gear, upgrade parts and gear slots in the store, that’s thievery and P2W or P2-SkipAGrind in my book. They needed expert dungeon drops and currency sets to make thier store the more appealing option.
No thanks. Just all trips and traps from Trion.

Ceder
Guest
Ceder

ManastuUtakata Omedon  They’re more miss than hit. Roulette as better odds.

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