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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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
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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
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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
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Lights_andMusic

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

You’re dead to me.

PawnInTheGame
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PawnInTheGame

Very cool!

SwobyJ
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SwobyJ

Neat!

Qlippoth
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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
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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
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Zariarn

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

Zariarn
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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.