Development Manifesto: The Atlas

The Atlas system introduced in Atlas of Worlds has been a huge success. Players in both permanent and challenge leagues have enjoyed exploring, unlocking and crafting the Atlas.

When any big system is released, it is hard to get everything right in the first pass. This manifesto post outlines changes we want to make to the Atlas in the near future.

Most of these features will be released in a numbered patch like 2.4.1 or 2.4.2. These changes will need to go out regardless of where other features (like the new channelling skills) are at, so they may be released before the skills if they are finished earlier.

Firstly, Cartographer's Sextant mods have not been rewarding enough for players. We want them to be seen as worth rolling, so we will rework the sextant mods a little. We are also looking at the rarity of the Sextants. We will be adding a vendor cubing recipe to the Sextants themselves, and may increase the drop rates of the Apprentice Sextants along with it. In general we'd like to focus on the reward rather than making them more common. There is little point making something more common if it's not valued.

The next three things we will discuss are all related, as they are side content that either currently bypasses the need to unlock the Atlas, or doesn't and perhaps should.

The Hallowed Ground Unique Map drops maps based on Atlas progression you have. It has no restrictions on what tier of map can drop, so that means that a player with a mostly-unlocked Atlas can easily get very high level maps from this low-tier unique one. The combined high experience and map drops make this map far too rewarding. It is important that unique maps are rewarding, but we have over-pitched the rewards for this map. We will examine the rewards available on this map and make some reductions. The likely solution is locking the maximum tier of maps that can drop.

Atziri and the Uber Atziri areas obey your Atlas progression when dropping maps. This makes them less valuable than they used to be for players and guilds focused on this content. If you do Atziri-based play, you will fall behind on map progression, and will no longer have the value of dropping high tier maps that was a part of the value of being an Atziri runner.

Allowing map drops here to generally ignore your progression would short-circuit Atlas progression too much, and also allow massive economic advantage for those running Atziri early in leagues. As you can run Atziri without any interaction with the map and Atlas system, this is too dangerous a change to make.

We do need some way to make up for not running maps normally when you choose to run Atziri. We have added an additional drop to Atziri, where she will drop a map in a way that ignores your Atlas progression. This allows Atziri runners to get some map progress by default, or trade value if they prefer, but does not allow too much in the way of map drops ignoring progression.

The Endgame Labyrinth allows for some bypassing of Atlas progression with special chests that ignore what you've unlocked. Currently we are pretty happy with where this sits as a reward. It requires several key runs to be a reliable payoff, and the Endgame Labyrinth requires active participation in the map and Atlas system to get started running it.

The Atlas UI will also get some improvements soon. Firstly, the bonus completion signifier on the Atlas currently shows when you have unlocked the map, rather than when you have completed the bonus objective. The subtle spikes/triangles around the maps were intended to show when only the bonus objective had been completed. We will also improve the graphic to be more distinct.

As well, we will be adding some features for finding maps on the Atlas UI. Hovering over a map in your inventory will highlight it on the Atlas, and right clicking a map in your inventory with the Atlas open will center your view on that map.

The update of Sextant mods, the Sextant cubing recipe, adjustments to the Hallowed Ground unique map, the additional map drop from Atziri and the UI improvements will come out in the same patch. We'll announce more information on the exact timing as it is ready.

Last bumped on Oct 18, 2016, 9:19:23 AM
Awesome!
In-game: leonid
All Challenges Done! (Ana/Ons) 9/9/2013
All Challenges Done! (Dom/Nem) 1/30/2014
All Challenges Done! (Tor/Bld) 3/10/2015
All Achievements Done! 9/28/2016
Rip hallowed ground
Very good news. If only the performance issues are fixed, this expansion would be perfect.
IGN: JerleEleven (Jerle's Eleven ;))
Harvest is the BEST league EVER. Deterministic crafting ftw.
Ripped 760pdps bow 16 Aug 2020 - 16 Aug 2020
nice
fix ur game

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I am excited to see what the game looks like in the coming weeks. It's already been such an improvement; keep it up!
Remove: 3 portals, random extra mod and creeping agony as part of sextant reworks, please.
Casually casual.

Last edited by TheAnuhart on Sep 15, 2016, 8:02:56 PM
Great stuff, thanks for the hard work.

Please look into a way to see what maps will be covered when you want to apply a sextant to a map. At the moment, it is pretty difficult to tell.
Last edited by Clutch_Perry on Sep 15, 2016, 8:06:28 PM
still hoping for a search function on the atlas

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