FAQ & Gameplay Guide for Atlas Test Weekend #3
Project Atlas FAQ/Guide
There are three primary resources available in the game -- Stock (Red), Population (Orange), and Scrap (Green).
Stock is used to purchase units. Players begin with 200 stock and gain extra Stock by destroying one of three enemy Stock Wells. If at any point, you are close to empty on Stock, you will trigger "emergency mode" and you will generate Stock extremely slowly. As you spend stock, you will fill your Population.
Population, or "Pop," is a representation of how much total Stock of units you may have on the battlefield. For instance, you begin the cap with population cap of 12. Therefore, you could build three units that cost 4 stock each or six units that cost 2 stock each. The population cap slowly increases over the course of the game.
Scrap is spent on the researching of Tech Levels, Items, and Upgrades, and used to construct Expansions and Towers. Scrap is collected from expansions, and is rewarded when a player destroys enemy units or collects Gems.
The first screen you'll see when you enter a game will be the Selection Screen where you choose a Squad and Mercenary faction.
Here, you will choose one from a set of 8 unique sets of units, called Squads. A Squad is composed of a Hero, a basic unit (often referred to as "Tier 1"), and two advanced units (often referred to as "Tier 2" and "Tier 3," respectively named after the tech level at which they become purchasable). Squads will be your core fighting force.
After selecting a squad, you will be presented with a full set of descriptions of both the units' properties, as well as overviews of the abilities you'll have access to.
Mercenary factions are selected atop the second column. There are currently four factions, each offering a different set of units. These Mercenaries are a choice independent of your Squad. Mercenary factions are there to both support your playstyle, and give you different ways to get advantages in the game. For example, some Mercenary factions provide flying threats, while others have access to powerful combat or siege units. Each Mercenary faction also has access to an anti-air unit (the Shrike or the Orion), and the Sentinel (a flying, invisible scouting unit).
For more information on Mercenary factions, please visit Mercpedia
Once you've selected a Squad and a Mercenary faction, Confirm your selection and you're ready to start the game!
Production and Construction
The first thing you'll notice when you enter the game are your primary structures. You are immediately presented with a few important structures. You may assign these to selection groups for easy access.
Your primary production building is the smaller of the two primary structures. This structure controls the production of your squad units, as well as the upgrades for your squad's units. You will also purchase tech-level upgrades here, allowing you to create higher-tier units and unlock new mercenary add-ons. This is also where you will control where your units Rally when deployed (right click while selected to set a new rally point). Please note, when producing units, that the number of units of each type that you can produce has a limit -- much higher for basic units, much lower for advanced units.
Most things you produce from your main base will cost Stock.
Produces mercenaries at the cost of Stock.
A structure in your main base with a very powerful attack, meant to prevent opponents from invading your main base and “spawn camping.” Also has a very potent healing aura, giving you a safe place to bring your units and heal them up before getting back into the fight!
This is where you will purchase Items.
To the right of your selection panel UI in the bottom left corner of your screen, you’ll notice a 3-by-2 box with two items in the top two slots: Ground Wards, and Air Wards. This is your hero’s Inventory, containing your Items. Some items are usable, while some only provide passive bonuses to your units. Use these items by selecting your hero and using the corresponding hotkeys. These hotkeys, by default, are on a grid starting at Alt+Q (Alt+QWEASD).
Items purchased from the charm shop are automatically and sequentially slotted into the two empty slots of this hero Inventory for repeated use.
Ground and Air wards have no cost associated with them, but can hold charges and will regain charges over time.
At 2:00, three Gem Geysers will spawn on the center-line of the map. You will see two colors of gems -- Blue (friendly); and Red (enemy). Use your hero's Build (T) ability to place a gem collector on a gem. If the collector survives for several seconds it will harvest the gem, causing both to disappear, giving you Scrap. You can destroy your enemy's gem collectors.
Collecting 10 Gems near a Geyser rewards a player with a Guardian Aspect and deactivates that Geyser for 5 minutes. This Aspect is controlled by the player that collects the 10th Gem, and will Taunt enemy structures. These Aspects may only attack enemy structures, and their health and damage improves dramatically, scaling up with Hero level.
The middle area tends to be where the majority of combat occurs in the game when gems are present. Uncollected gems will eventually expire. Gems that spawn in the middle of the map increase in value and correspondingly in physical size as the game goes on.
Titans & Expansions
Titan camps on the map are holding gems, or guarding resource pools. Each resource pool has a nearby Expansion slot that your hero can use its Build (T) ability on to construct an expansion. Once the titans defending that pool are defeated, workers will begin auto-producing to collect from those pools just like in the main base.
Titans currently have two unique combat mechanics.
- All ranged Titans have the Mine mechanic.
- Occasionally, while attacking, the Titan will spawn a mine near a unit, surrounded by an orange circle. After several seconds, the mine explodes, dealing heavy damage. This mine is deactivated if attacked.
- All melee Titans have the Smash mechanic
- Occasionally, while attacking, the Titan will focus on a unit. When this occurs, it will direct a bright-red laser at its target, and a red circle will appear around the Titan. If the channel completes, it deals heavy damage to that target. This attack can be avoided by walking out of the red circle.
There are three things in the game that can be constructed: expansions, towers, and ion cannons.
Construct an expansion by selecting your hero and using the Build (T) ability on an empty expansion slot.
Construct a Tower by selecting a worker and using one of its Build Tower (Q, W, E) abilities within a power zone, centered around a friendly expansion.
Construct an Ion Cannon by selecting an engineer and using the Become Ion Cannon (G) ability. Doing so will consume the engineer as he controls the ion cannon!
On-Map Towers & Progress
There are four types of pre-constructed structures in the game which will attempt to slow your progress into enemy territory.
The first, near the center-line of the map, are Reward Towers. Reward towers have a regenerating shield, high health, and a very potent attack. When destroyed, these towers emit gems which you can collect with your hero (T).
The second, beyond the Reward Towers, are the Stock Wells. Stock Wells are powerful forward healing points for units, and have no attack. When killed, each player on the killing team gains 50 Stock.
The third, near the Nexus, are Mega Nodes. Mega nodes prevent you from attacking the nexus directly, and, similar to reward towers, have very high health and potent attacks. Destroying these enable you to attack the Nexus!
The final pre-built structure on the map, located in the center of each team’s collection of bases, is the Nexus. If a team destroys the enemy team’s nexus, that team is victorious!
2v2 and 1v1 Regions
The map is split into two separate regions, joined at the center of the map. The 2v2 region, located in the top-left half of the map, is occupied by the two players listed first on each team in the lobby and in selection. The 1v1 region is located in the bottom-right half of the map, and is occupied by the players listed last on each team. The objectives on each half of the map are the same as its counterpart, but the difficulty level of titan camps and are adjusted to match the number of players allocated to either region.
Beginning the Game
You will start with enough Population to create a few basic units from your main base, and may then deploy (V) your hero onto the battlefield several seconds later. A scrap pool guarded by a weak, neutral creature called a Titan is located next to your main base. Once the titan is defeated, your main base will begin automatically creating workers to harvest the scrap from the pool.
Damage and Armor types
You'll notice that when you select a unit, your Damage stat reads a number, followed by a damage type; similarly, your AR (Armor or Physical Resist) stat is followed by an armor type. Different damage types deal different values of damage to different armor types. It works like this:
- 100% damage to Heavy
- 75% damage to Normal
- 50% damage to Light
- 100% damage to Light
- 75% damage to Normal
- 50% damage to Heavy
Normal damage deals full damage to all armor types.
Physical and Magical, and Resists
Everything in the game that heals or does damage has a basic Effect Type, and it works fairly simply.
- Physical effects consist of things tied to basic (auto) attacks. If something has a basic attack, that attack almost-certainly deals Physical damage.
- Magical effects consist of things tied to abilities and spells. If something is cast by an ability, that ability almost-certainly deals Magical damage or healing. There are some exceptions; if you're ever unsure, the ability's tooltip will define whether it deals Physical or Magical damage!
Resistances reduce the amount of damage a unit will take from those sources. As you may have guessed, Physical Resist reduces the damage taken from Physical effects, while Magical Resist reduces the damage taken from Magical effects.
Damage reduction is calculated as such:
x = Resist; Reduction% = x / (x + 100)
For example, if you have 100 resist, this creates 100/200, or 50% reduction in damage taken from that source!