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Atlas tries to grind away some of the grind

Today brings good news for Atlas players who respond to grind with an “Oh no!” rather than the customary “Yo ho!” Reducing tedious grind is a big target of the piratical sandbox survival game’s early access update v10, launched this afternoon, and that sounds welcome. Atlas proudly declares it’s from some of the makers of Ark: Survival Evolved, and its heritage is evident in the UI, the bugginess, the grind… and how popular it’s become despite all that. Like Ark, it dreams a big dream that few games rival, even if it is a mess. So I hope enjoy a slightly less tedious dream, you wild-eyed seadreamers.

Developers Grapeshot Games conceded in the announcement that “at launch, we perhaps made this a bit more difficult and tedious than it needed to be. We love being a bit hardcore but it was clear to us that adjustments were necessary.”

They’re particularly focusing on the tediums around cooking, land ownership, survivalism, and progression, as well as going over creature balance. They list changes including:

  • There are 4x as many trade ships on the seas, and they now also sell commodity types for gold, as do NPC's at Freeports.
  • You can now buy a "Ramshackle Sloop" from the NPC Shipyardsman at Freeports. The "Ramshackle Sloop" is a pre-built sloop which has permanently lower plank HP, carry weight, and crew limit, but is cheaper and faster to acquire if you want to get into sailing faster.
  • Some ship costs have been adjusted, and in some cases reduced by approximately about 50%
  • Farming rebalances to be easier; water can now pipe uphill, region requirements for growing crops are more forgiving, and crop growth & yield is much faster and higher.
  • Reduced shovel stamina cost.
  • Loot stat scaling has been boosted (retroactively) by 60%
  • Sea Monsters' damage has been reduced by 66%

And I shan’t even Google which issue necessitated this change:

  • Eating poop is now instant-death

The announcement also boasted that, since launch, “our crashes have statistically reduced by 97%+” but that’s not much comfort given the state it was in. Crashes have been far from the only bugs, too. Like Ark, it’s a real big mess and people are still buying it in droves. Atlas was the fourth-best selling game on Steam last week. Because what else can aspiring virtuapirates do – play Sea Of Thieves? Some other pirate game that doesn’t let them eat shit and die?

Atlas is in early access on Steam. I wouldn’t.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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