Playtest 203: Scrap/EXP rework; Gem Spigots; New Squad Upgrades!

TreiskTreisk Member, Administrator
edited April 7 in Patch Notes

Playtest 203: Scrap/EXP rework; Gem Spigots, New Squad Upgrades!

TL;DR - Scrap and EXP have been reworked; Gemming regions have been reworked; squads have new inflection upgrades; more squad balance and design adjustments

General Gameplay

  • Neutral Titan health values have been adjusted

    • Medium, Hard, and Brutal camps now (somewhat) deserve their titles.
  • NPC structure health and damage values have been adjusted

    • Pre-built structures now escalate in durability and lethality as you near the Nexus.
  • Reward Titan bounty: 2 Medium ⇒ Small gems


Collecting Scrap

  • Scrap is now gained gradually from Expansions
  • Collecting a Gem now rewards the player with Scrap

    • A small Gem is worth 10 Scrap
    • A medium Gem is worth 20 Scrap
    • A large Gem is worth 40 Scrap
  • Players will receive bonus Scrap when leveling up
  • Any action that grants you Scrap will also grant you Experience (other than, of course, gaining bonus scrap from leveling up)

Spending Scrap

  • Players begin with 150 Scrap.
  • Expansions now cost 50 Scrap and no longer incur a 40-second cooldown on the (T) ability.
  • Tower-building has been reintroduced, and constructing a Tower from a Worker now costs 10 Scrap!
  • Tech Levels have been reintroduced to the game as Scrap-based purchases!
  • Scrap values have been reassigned for all purchases that previously required Scrap.

    • Tech levels cost 100, 175, and 250 (respectively) for Tech Levels 2, 3, and 4.
    • Items cost 100, 175, and 250 (respectively) for item levels 1, 2, and 3.
  • Items are no longer gated by Tech Level.
  • Squad "inflection" upgrades now cost 200 Scrap each and are gated by Tech Level.

Gem Spigots

  • Gem Regions have been replaced with three neutral Gem Spigots.
  • When a Gem Spigot spawns, it will immediately spawn with four gems for each team near it.
  • At set intervals, Gem Spigots will spawn one gem for each team (spawn locations obey linear symmetry)
  • If a team collects 10 Gems within a region, the spigot stops spawning new gems.
  • The player that collected the 10th gem will get control of a Juggernaut Aspect for a set time.

    • This Juggernaut has similar properties to the Mercenary Juggernauts. The primary difference is that these Juggernauts become more powerful throughout the game.
  • After a period of downtime, the spigots will respawn anew and the process will repeat.


  • All Squads have received new squad upgrades! There are too many changes to list here, so feel free to check them out in-game or on AtlasPedia (in the Learn tab of the client!


  • Seedbot

    • Attack damage: 20 ⇒ 15
    • Damage type: Piercing ⇒ Projectile
  • Sapling

    • Attack damage: 18 ⇒ 14
    • Damage type: Piercing ⇒ Projectile
  • Bramblethorn Goliath

    • Re-Cycle (R)

      • Needlefern bonus: +2 range, +1 per additional stack ⇒ +30% bonus Attack Damage per stack


  • Wisp

    • Health: 90 ⇒ 105
    • Attack damage: 10 ⇒ 9
  • Purifier

    • Sieged splash radius: 1.25 ⇒ 2
    • Sieged splash damage: 70% ⇒ 50%
  • Precognitor

    • Blinding Smoke (R)

      • Radius: 3 ⇒ 4
      • Duration: 6 ⇒ 7 seconds


  • Sandstinger

    • Health: 85 ⇒ 100


  • Grath

    • Stone Form (D)

      • Can now only be cast on your squad units.
    • Rocket Rush usability has been drastically changed.

      • No longer moves the maximum distance
      • Will now (mostly) collapse towards your target
      • Has a limited duration of 3 seconds (no longer gets "stuck" in rush mode forever)
  • Howling Commando

    • New Ability: Energy Shackles (W): Bring an enemy Flying unit to the ground and prevents its movement for 6 seconds.


  • Aquadillo

    • The Aquadillo once has the Vindication passive

      • Vindication adds one Plate to the Aquadillo for each target within its attack's splash radius


  • Glacial Ranger

    • Attack damage: 28 ⇒ 24
    • Cold Snap (Q)

      • Slow duration: 5 seconds ⇒ 2 seconds
  • Ancient Ice Frog

    • Icy Breath (R)

      • Range: 6 ⇒ 5
      • Cone angle: 75 ⇒ 50
      • Fixed a bug that prevented the Ice Frog from being properly slowed while channeling
      • Fixed a bug that prevented Icy Breath from chain-freezing a target


  • Martyr

    • Health: 200 ⇒ 120
    • Martyrdom duration: 10 seconds ⇒ 5 seconds
    • No longer casts Martyrdom as a group
    • Redirect visuals made more significant


  • Tri-Star (Level 3)

    • No longer reduces Physical Resist (still reduces Magical Resist)

User Interface

  • A "Stock Killed" counter per team has been added above the minimap
  • There is a known issue where some post-modification abilities erroneously show up in Squad Select.
  • There is a known issue where some upgraded spells (such as Energy Shackle and Frostbolt) will not show up in the command card. The hotkeys for these abilities will still work, just will not be displayed.


  • A new audio handling system has been implemented. Please report any bugs you might find!


  • What was your experience with the collection and spending of Scrap throughout the game?
  • What was your experience with Gem Spigots?

    • What was your experience like fighting over them?
    • What was your experience with their deactivation/reactivation throughout the game?
    • What are your thoughts on the Juggernaut Aspect reward mechanic?
  • What was your experience with the new Inflection upgrades?

    • Favorites?


  • wondiblewondible Member
    edited April 7

    Light experience so far - one bot and one PVP

    @Treisk said:
    - What was your experience with the collection and spending of Scrap throughout the game?

    Tough decisions. Doesn't feel like I'm getting to buy as much stuff, but maybe I'm doing bad on the gathering side.

    • What was your experience with Gem Spigots?

    First game got wrecked by bot taking out a lane, then took one out myself, then kind of forgot about it.

    • What was your experience like fighting over them?

    Some good fighting in PVP, or taking uncontested points. Good places for using wards while farming. Usually lost all-out fights, but that might be me.

    • What was your experience with their deactivation/reactivation throughout the game?

    Don't always think of it; happened to notice gems on the minimap. On the upside it's possible to get uncontested spigots that the other team overlooked. We'll see if that's still possible as people get used to it.

    • What are your thoughts on the Juggernaut Aspect reward mechanic?

    Makes the front towers an obvious target, on the way to coin tower. Forgot about endgame use once, and lost the other game.

    • What was your experience with the new Inflection upgrades?

    Going to take more experience.

    Hit the invisible ability icon issue with apprehend (upgraded energy shackles)

  • AneesAnees Member
    edited April 7

    What was your experience with the collection and spending of Scrap throughout the game?

    I found myself consistently banking tons of scrap, but that was mostly just not being used to the new pacing I think. Collecting scrap via gems didn't feel too meaningful but I think that's also just because I'm used to them giving gems or big chunks of experience.

    What was your experience with Gem Spigots?

    They seemed to take the focus away from expansions which is personally a little disappointing, but...

    What was your experience like fighting over them?

    The battles were definitely fun. However, it's easy to lose control off of a tiny mistake and then you have to keep fighting a losing battle or you face a juggernaut right off the bat which really sucks.

    What was your experience with their deactivation/reactivation throughout the game?

    I think they could spend a longer time being deactivated. I felt like I had no time to go grab expansions because I had to keep rushing over and contesting the spigots.

    What are your thoughts on the Juggernaut Aspect reward mechanic?

    It felt way too punishing early game considering how easily you can end up in a bad squad matchup or just get screwed off of a small mistake. I would need to play more games to see how effective they are late game.

    What was your experience with the new Inflection upgrades?

    From what I saw, they all seemed like meaningful and interesting upgrades(more of these and less boring stat upgrades please!).


    Double charge on precognitor shield is pretty sick.

  • CycleCycle Member, Moderator

    Sean thought I was just being positive when I said my initial reaction was that this build has a huge depth of decision-making and lots of cool awesome things, but even after the handful of games I played I see myself needing many many more games to really get a grasp of all the things I could try. This build has the most strategic potential of any previous Atlas build. I feel like there are tons and tons of options, and this is only from the perspective of one squad.


    Finally expansions once again cost the resource they mine. This really makes sense to me. Now that I have to split my scrap amongst expansions, defensive towers, items, tech tier, and inflection upgrades (which I guess are now the only upgrades in the game), I really feel like every decision I make matters. This to me is probably the greatest feeling in a strategy game. What I choose to do will impact the rest of how the game goes. My decisions matter.

    Not only this, but with the new scrap system there is no way to get everything reasonably. I now have the itch to play more games because I just need to try out different openings and different mid-games. I can't do everything in one game, and with the current level of complexity it doesn't feel like I know exactly what the right thing to do is after the first game played. I'm really pumped.

    Gem Spigots

    First I actually really like that the name "Spigot" alludes to machinery, rather than just calling it a "fountain". Maybe "spigot" is an ugly word but I like thematic nomenclature.

    For the actual mechanic, what I loved the most was that 3v3 fights actually occurred. I finally had a reason to interact heavily with my teammates, wander up from bottom, and really really fight for zones. Gems mattered, not just for the resource, but also for the flow of the game. Not only this, but for the first time I felt like I was part of a team working towards an accessible goal. I wasn't isolated. We had a thing to do. And after we won the Spigot, getting a controllable Juggernaut opened up more possibility. Do I go for the Nexus mega node? Harass an expansion? Attack point A while my team pushes point B and I expand to take my third? There's so much space to try and optimize that I'm really excited to try out a lot of different things.

    Spigot pacing was also really nice. I didn't even notice it really - it just felt right. Didn't feel like I was waiting for Spigots, and it didn't feel like I was missing the waves either.


    GOD I love BasicAbility++. Super cool idea. And of course as Alder I feel really strong with it. The nearly-prohibitive cost to tech up to it makes me weigh my options on when to rush it or wait til I'm rich.

    In fact, now all the upgrades for Alder are dope. Of course sapling range and Tree of Life power are amazing, but the new Needlefern CD reduction is interesting too. Re-cycle's repurposed upgrade also feels really cool, as well as its respective interaction with Needleferns. Now everything feels meaningful, and certain upgrades will probably tend towards different play styles, or certain game situations will call for certain builds. I'm really, really excited to play a lot more games.

    Other Thoughts

    Just give me more games. Invite more people. I want to play way way way more and explore these new tools.

    Mercs feel incredibly underwhelming, except for a couple. I personally love Shielders because they combo so well with the Deeproot Terror. Other than a couple of those, I'm not sure what else would be worth it. I could even imagine limiting mercs to 2 per player and making them super super strong, but I dunno. Just gimme more games.

  • SpideyCUSpideyCU Member

    Holy shit cool update omg I feel better this is great (or maybe it was just because @statico built too many Quadrapii and thus I was at an unfair advantage on engagements) but still rant rant rant!

    • What was your experience with the collection and spending of Scrap throughout the game?

    I didn't so much notice the scrap collection mechanism, it was just in my periodic "let me check my resources" instinct to look back and buy something as needed. I was collecting gems to contest my opponents from getting their mini-Jugg, the scrap thing was kind of ancillary.

    • What was your experience with Gem Spigots?

      • What was your experience like fighting over them?
      • What was your experience with their deactivation/reactivation throughout the game?
      • What are your thoughts on the Juggernaut Aspect reward mechanic?

    It was great because they weren't named Gem Fountains kappa.

    I found one aspect of them annoying because their grey status bar would cover up the actual gem count depending on your perspective (one moved relative to the other if you had the spigot at the bottom of your screen vs the top). Also, I would like for them to either actually show the collection status through fog of war, or not show the #'s at all. Right now since the #'s don't update through fog of war, even though they're visible, I'm given the impression that what's shown is accurate when it's not.

    Other than that! felt a lot less like busy work. In ages gone by, I'd gem because "well, there's nothing else to do, I better do that". Recently, I'd gem because "oh shit don't fall behind in level because then the snowballing starts and OH THE PAIN". Now, I gem because the dance to deny my opponents something very TANGIBLE is present, not just "well if I destroy this gem they're collecting it will mean they're a tiny bit behind exp where they would have been". Now, it's "they're one gem farther away from getting a mini-Jugg" and that's motivating as hell since it's a much bigger chunk - sometimes one gem makes the difference in that mini-Jugg which could mean a tower down much sooner. Previously, one gem was kinda "meh" and I doubt any games were decided by it.

    I liked how it forced me to seriously consider my time clearing titans/expanding vs holding map control in the middle. However, I agree with @Anees that the gem spigots have so much uptime that it feels like I couldn't DO the other things that often. I'm unsure if this is a good or bad thing - giving me options and saying "hey, we'll sacrifice this wave in order to get ahead elsewhere" is cool, but I don't feel like abandoning the gem spigots would ever be the right choice in the current setup. Sure, I could get exp/scrap from expansions...or I could get exp/scrap from the gems in the middle, PLUS have the mini-Jugg help us work toward a game finisher.

    As an example, in the game I played yesterday (yeah, I know, not a lot of data points) my side didn't end up taking the brutal 3-person expansion, but the other side did. We won most (perhaps all?) of the spigot battles in the middle and it felt like we were always on the offensive as a result, forcing them to respond to us. Thus, even though we didn't have the super-lucrative expansion, we managed to stay ahead in both levels and general progress. Will need more games to really flesh this out, though.

    • What was your experience with the new Inflection upgrades?

      • Favorites?

    In general I really liked them. First off, thanks for giving the Aquadillo their Vindication back by default - I no longer feel like my T3 unit is worthless unless I spend more resources on other upgrades. The buff to Huge Hammers is also really welcome and is actually a throwback to how I used to play Hydros in Atlas "1.0". This actually ties into why I liked Ebb and Flow so much - when you fully upgrade the Aquas, particularly with Steel Bangles and Vitality tokens, they don't need as much healing as your other units. That works because the Aquas tend to be surrounded by enemy units, not friendlies, and the heal would be wasted on them. Throwing the heal on the Scuttles or Hydros himself gets better value.

    Due in part to this, holy geez Hydros felt great - now disclaimer, it may have been my OP-OP Alder ally up-top played by @Tristan but still, I felt useful in the number of times I was able to surround armies/heroes and let Alder finish 'em off. I didn't feel the need to get the Keep On Rollin' upgrade, but that's because my opponents weren't super-speedy - this looks like a great option to compensate against faster squads and I look forward to trying it out!

    re: @Cycle 's comment about mercs, I didn't feel that way but perhaps that's because of my specific situation. I went Hydros and wanted Motivators as support. The motivators were useful because after a certain threshold of Scuttles, I don't need any more to surround my opponent because the Scuttles just start bumping into each other. Rather, coupled with the two HP upgrades, the motivators added a good amount of survivability and it felt like my units were pretty beefy. It took forever to kill a surrounded enemy hero but that's fine! That's not my role.

    This has me intrigued enough that I'm actually looking forward to playing more games for the sake of playing a game, rather than because I feel obligated to find specifically what feels bad in order to quantify it and have it resolved.

  • MeltCatMeltCat Member

    What was your experience with the collection and spending of Scrap throughout the game?

    Upgrades being decoupled from unit production felt super good and also spending actual macro quantities of scrap on upgrades feels nicer than just spending 1 scrap, for whatever reason. Definitely liked being able to research tech levels again, too.

    What was your experience with Gem Spigots?

    They're a different feel from "usual" atlas gameplay -- having limited-time objectives certainly provides some extra structure to the game that was otherwise missing, and the reward sufficiently helps push the game to an end.

    What was your experience like fighting over them?

    I feel like I spent this entire test too scared to fight properly (I'm not sure if this is because I was squishy or if I'm just that out of practice or if perhaps I wasn't getting proper upgrades). As a result, I lost a LOT of spigots while have a 3-5 gem lead before any pressure was applied.

    What was your experience with their deactivation/reactivation throughout the game?

    The structure and kind of forcing factor the spigots provide is nice. They add a lot of extra required map movement and teamwork. Having all three active at the start seems ...something. It gives you a fallback option when you're losing yours, but losing all three early suuuucks.

    What are your thoughts on the Juggernaut Aspect reward mechanic?

    It feels a little weird for it to literally be the same unit/model as the mercenary juggernaut, and not just some Aspect of Destruction or something, but I'd imagine that's likely just a placeholder thing for testing the mechanic. It seems strong, and adds a huge impact to the spigot fights.

    What was your experience with the new Inflection upgrades? Favorites?

    I only played Eris and Vela. I liked the new cooldown reset upgrade for Vela's T2, but that's unsurprising because that unit has my favourite ability in the game.

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