The Maelstrom has arrived to Atlas – check out the new trailer

    
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I'm on a boat.

Storm’s here, Atlas players (however many of you are still around). As of this past Friday, the Maelstrom update has arrived to the piratical sandbox, along with some fresh patch notes.

As promised, this update has added an all-new map to the game that features centralized Golden Age islands for a clearer path to completing the compass, centralized high-density servers to reduce the distance between conflict areas, and the removal of most unique discoveries in order to ease the grind of getting to level cap.

There’s also been some changes as part of an economy balance for this update: Army of Dead on Golden Age Islands gold drops have been reduced by 62%, Island Claim upkeep costs are reduced by about 75%, and NPC crew upkeep costs have reduced by about half on sea and 84% on land.

The update has some other changes as well as a list of removed islands for those who run their own custom servers, so it’s worth a peek at all of the updates.

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EmberStar
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EmberStar

I’ve got patches turned off for this on Steam. Not to the point of uninstalling it (I have nearly a terabyte of free space.) But also don’t really care to try to play it. I’ve also seen a couple of posts and videos that seem to indicate that this most recent patch is doing *something* that’s corrupting single player savegames. I’ve seen at least one video where the player claimed she had to create new characters several times, and it ended with her getting killed without any option to respawn.

Honestly, aside from the ships it’s *so much* just Ark with less creatures and worse survival mechanics. Unless they’ve changed it, there were daily heatwaves where the temperature would shoot up to above the temp of boiling water, which would kill starting players in less than a minute.

They wanted to include the “flavor” of getting scurvy I guess, so there are like *four* different hunger meters. If any of them hits zero you take damage. If any of them get too high, you take damage. If any of them get too far apart, you take damage. And if you eat too much to try to keep one from bottoming out, you *also* take damage. I’m pretty sure most people deal with the hunger and malnutrition mechanics by ignoring them until they get irretrievably out of whack. And then they take off all their gear, jump in the water, and punch a shark. Once you have a bed respawning is *way* less hassle than dealing with the idiotic vitamin system.

Really, the singleplayer mode felt like even more of an afterthought than in Ark. (It wasn’t even added until well after launch, and I suspect only because they were desperate to increase player count.) Stuff doesn’t work, or breaks, and is unlikely to be fixed. If you cross a zone border with a shoulder pet on your shoulder, it will cease to exist. If you have NPC crew on a ship or fort and leave for another zone, there’s a good chance they’ll *also* cease to exist. (I’m sure it’s not that they quit due to lack of gold, I’d placed hundreds in the structure that distributes food and pay.) The Armada of the Dead ghost pirate ships spazz out and self destruct the moment you get in range. If they don’t, there’s often one in the group that spawned at some insanely high level and will totally wreck you if you try to fight them.

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laelgon

Went back for the first couple days, because I’m nothing if not stupid. It’s the same as always. Mindlessly grinding resources for hours to gear up for fights that quickly degrade into nothing more than sitting around blasting into bases to break beds and protect flags from swarms of naked character models so small they’re near impossible to hit. PvP is just a matter of numbers, and knowing the best glitches, exploits, and cheese mechanics.

Last night I opened up Sea of Thieves for the first time in ages, found 3 other players on Discord, and spent 5 hours having fun pirate adventures. No smacking trees for hours to build a ship that would be sunk in ten minutes. No hitting rocks to build a base that I’d need to spend 8 hours a day protecting from attacks. Just sailing around, getting into fun fights with players and NPCs, and all without it feeling like a 2nd job.

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Arktouros

Every time I see a video from Grapecard (ARK or Atlas) and it doesn’t have misshapen carnival freak proportions on every character I know it’s entirely unrealistic to the actual experience.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

The character creator in this and in Ark makes me sad. You can barely change faces at all… but you can make your butt six feet wide, your legs so short they’re barely visible, and your arms so long they’d clip into the ground even if everything else was normal. :(

Fisty
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Fisty

Every time Id play I would end up losing my ship. :(