Atlas shuts down the Empire server in favor of an NA PvE server and announces Easter plans


Hot on the heels of update 1.5 to Atlas comes this week’s Captains Log dev blog, which provides word of the Empire PvP server’s shutdown, details on in-game Easter, and a quick sneak peek at what’s coming in future patches.

Let’s get to the server stuff first: As the headline stated, the Empire server is being shut down this Friday, April 19th, at 7:00 p.m. EDT to make way for an NA PvE server that uses the Colonies system. This is due to the fact that the Colonies and Settlements system is much more favored with players — a fact the devs assumed was the case, but felt needed testing just to be sure. That said, there still is a place for PvP in Atlas according to the devs:

“We still believe that there is a place in the game for ambitious PvP players, and we believe that open-ended PvP is a really important and fun part of ATLAS. We want to find a way we can still support those goals whilst still keeping our more controlled and rule-based PvP.”

On the content side of things, the Hoppening — Atlas’ form of Easter — is happening this weekend, granting players the chance to find Easter Eggs that can either be traded in for blueprints to craft a bunny ear hat or thrown at creatures and players. The patch that adds the Easter event is also making some small tweaks to the game, which are detailed in the patch notes.

As for what’s coming down the pipe, the dev blog offered a number of tantalizing screenshots. In April, players can expect an update similar in scope to 1.5 that will bring a new dungeon, changes to combat, and new weapons including a crossbow. Then, sometime this summer, players can look forward to some brand-new islands.

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Focusing on PvE. How novel.


Apparently they had two official US PvP servers under different rules, and no PvE US server. This is basically removing the least popular PvP rule (the one that allowed more freedom to engage in PvP) and using the hardware previously assigned to it to make a PvE server.

This, to me, reads like the studio trying to backtrack from its exclusive PvP focus in the US before it blows up in their faces. To the best of my knowledge the devs are unapologetic PvPers faced with the reality that most of their players prefer to never engage in PvP, and choosing to cater to them rather than torpedo their chances of success.

Jeremy Barnes

Shady Developer. Surprised there hasn’t been an expansion yet.


No expansions mid development, they learned their lesson last time.

The lesson they learned is going to be microtransaction skins instead mid development.

John Kiser

Come on now while it was questionable it doesn’t make them a shady developer either.

Jeremy Barnes

Umm…are you aware of their history…like…at all?

John Kiser

More than you are apparently. You call them shady because they decided poorly to release an expansion while the game was still in early access. That doesn’t make them shady Nor does the crap with trendy where they accused the creative director or breach of contract saying he worked on the game in secret since he left trendy. Shady would be taking money and splitting town. Not continued support for all expansions of the game etc.

Atlad has problems largely stemming from too much a focus on pvp and not as much care put in

Jeremy Barnes

Ahh, a fanboy.

John Kiser

Nope not a fanboy at all. The devs simply aren’t shady just because you want them to be. I can list a huge amount of issues with around that prevents me from actually playing it more often. The development of it and some choices have been bad choices and bad ways to go, but that again doesn’t make sense company of dev/publisher shady. The trendy lawsuit was ridiculous simply because any sort of contract that stipulates non compete shit after leaving a company is stupid.

The devs need to do some lot of things to bring me back at all at this point. Just because you can’t actually debate someone with actual facts doesn’t make them a fanboy as an aside. Maybe pull your head from your ass and bring up an actual fact of something shady they did and not just a questionable release window time for an expac.

Jeremy Barnes

Simply because you’ve decided that the shady things they have done aren’t shady doesn’t make it so.

What a ridiculous notion that violating an agreement you signed because you think it’s dumb isn’t shady. That’s not how it works.

I’m not sure why you decided to prostrate yourself to defend them..

Their support is a joke and it takes days/weeks to get a response if they bother to respond at all.

They have an F BBB rating.

Jeremy Stieglitz has been accused by employees of gender discrimination and publicly berating employees. There are chat logs of inappropriate comments about females and demanding that female characters “look sexier and under 18”. He’s been called out by the IGDA for not following their recommended standards.

..and that’s without the stuff you could say is subjective.

Ark, Pixark and Atlas all have terrible updates often introducing major bugs and patches will be released minutes after another patch. Then you have the near constant false promises, delayed content and all three games are poorly optimized.

The developers throughout the cycle of all 3 of those titles are very active on twitter promising bug fixes 2, maybe even 3 times a day yet the the core game breaking issues were addressed rarely despite promises. They banned youtubers who exposed bugs.

John Kiser

Non compete clauses are shady on the other side not the side of the person that breaks them. Trendy was shady by making an employee sign a non compete period. Breaking those agreements is LEGAL in many areas because the agreement itself is considered to be illegal or unenforceable.

The stuff with Jeremy Stieglitz makes him creepy, but it doesn’t make them a shady developer either so come off that. Nothing you mentioned makes them a shady developer. It just makes them crap at what they do and lacking optimization while shitty isn’t what makes a developer shady. Shady developers cut and run and aren’t just shit at what they do.

Why bring pixark into it at all. Pixark is a product simply licensed with the ark name that is not developed in any way shape or form by any of the actual studios involved in ARK. In fact Pixark is made by Snail games the same folks behind dark and light which has its own problems.

Their support is shit, but again that doesn’t make them shady. Learn the difference between shady and shitty. They are without a doubt a shitty developer, but they aren’t shady.

You bring up the banning a youtuber, but fail to mention that they further assessed the situation and reversed course on the ban. The BBB rating is horrid to go by as a by the way. Studio Wildcard aren’t an accredited business and unless complaints are taken to them and handled through them with the person closing things they won’t really have a proper rating. EA is rated lower than them based on customer reviews as is Ubisoft who has an A+ rating and is an accredited business.

I get studio wildcard and their multiple dev teams working on ark are shit (I agree wholeheartedly that they have a massive amount of work to do and are crappy), but again none of that shit makes them shady. Many game publishers take days/weeks to respond and the question becomes once they do is the thing you contacted about resolved well or not.

A large problem stems from a support ticket situation with an irresponsible player base as well. You’ve got whole tribes submitting tickets and people that just spam the ticket system for bug reporting and support etc. It becomes problematic to go through them all and you end up having to close a bunch of bug reports that are say duplicates of one another and a whole slew of other crap. I’d wager you’ve never done any sort of software/game support and seen how crazy the back-end ends up particularly if thousands of people all spam the same crap and then opt to if they don’t get a response spam it again and again. It piles up and the more it happens the longer it takes to get to newer support tickets and bug reports. If anything you are better off trying to reach devs through twitter or reddit these days if you actually want support as they will usually contact much faster.

In general regards nothing you said makes them a shady developer. You listed off things that make one guy at the company creepy and a slew of other stuff that makes them a shitty developer/publisher, but not a shady one. They aren’t taking money and running and while things aren’t where many of us want them to be development wise (again because they are shitty devs) it doesn’t make them shady.

Also stop supporting companies that do non-compete clauses in contracts. They are illegal/unenforceable in several states because they are highly questionable/shitty. While he settled out of court for 40 mill it was ridiculous in the first place that he had a non compete clause at all. Also to add a bit of good news about trendy. The original co-founder bought them out and reformed into Chromatic Games and they are dong a new dungeon defenders. Insight Venture Partners are the ones that really pushed shitty non-competes onto people and they simply moved Stieglitz around the company to work on an MMORPG at first. Let’s remember that Stieglitz was accused of the stuff he was while he was with Trendy not studio wildcard. The worst he has been accused of while at studio wildcard was breaking his non-compete clause which again he settled out of court instead of fighting a venture capitalist company.

To further add any of this type of game are best played on private servers that have active admins that try and watch for people using exploits etc. The best of the lot currently is conan exiles which while it has its own issues is worlds above and beyond ark and is developing into something that seemingly is getting even better. I’d love to see ark get better, but they really need to focus on bug crunching and optimization hardcore instead of adding new content.

And I’ll leave it here at the bottom. They are shitty not shady devs.