Playtest 191: Atlas 2.0, easier, and with improved Mercs!
Atlas 2.0, easier, and with improved mercs!
Last wednesday's playtest was our first big step forward towards tackling the "add more strategy" problem with Atlas. Despite many-o-issue, you wonderful playtesters immediately jumped in an brought to light what you felt like the biggest issues were.
We grouped the feedback into two core problems that we hope to address with these set of changes.
- It was really hard to do anything. Playing Atlas was impossible yo
- Mercs felt disconnected from squads or, in some cases, felt better than squad units themselves.
Therefore, we've considerably improved and automated gameplay to try to keep you focused on battling and decision making, and less on things like worker/building management. And, we've reworked and rebalanced several mercs based upon our learnings. Let us know what you think!
Systems & Control
Production & Base-Building
- Reduced production structures down to two.
- Main Base - Handles squad units and upgrades
- Mercenary Base - Creates Mercenary units
- All other structures unlock the production options in the main base or mercenary structure
- Note that tooltips have not been cleaned up for the structures or unit requirements yet
- Base structures are now invulnerable
- Construction is now "Set and forget" rather than channeled. A worker can begin construction, and then immediately resume mining.
Expansions & Workers
- Expansions are now built by your Hero's T ability (as in Atlas 1.x)
- Workers now auto-build for any nearby available resource patch, and auto-respawn when killed.
- This also means they are now free.
- Any idle worker will return to mining after being idle for a few seconds.
- Ctrl + ~" functionality added to exclude units from "~".
- Press ~ to select all units
- Shift+deselect any unit you wish to be excluded.
- Press "Ctrl + ~".
This is now the new "~". Anything that is produced will be added to ~. The units that were excluded will never be selected with "~"
Context: The biggest piece of feedback we got on the Mercenaries is that they felt like they didn't augment your squad, they overrode it. We've replaced a handful of mercenaries in both trees (as well as given both groups access to Engineers) to get some of that feeling of the mercenaries HELPING your squad units in your army.
Another thing we wish to do with Mercenaries is reduce a bit of their control overhead. As such, we've introduced some supportive spellcasters, and an Autocast feature for these! Let us know how these feel!
Also, we'll be giving these more proper, differentiated names in the next couple days. Bear with us as we stick with "A-1," etc., for just a bit longer!
- The Engineer has received a new model and animations!
- Attack speed: 0.4 ⇒ 2.0
- Slow Trapper
- Does not attack; casts Slow Trap.
- Slow Trap (Z) - Drop a trap at a target location. After 6 seconds, the trap becomes invisible and arms itself. If an enemy unit walks over the trap, it springs, slowing enemy units' movement speed for a few seconds.
- Has received a new model and animations!
- No longer has two modes. Is now slowed after attacking.
- Autocaster that casts Chill, slowing the movement and attack speeds of enemy units in combat.
- Leviathan (Finisher)
- Cost reduced
- Casts Absorb (X) - Places a shield on a target unit that absorbs damage and converts it into healing on the target.
- Autocaster that gives Haste to friendly units in combat, increasing movement and attack speed.
- Blinderman (Finisher)
- Casts Blinding Smoke (C) - Places a huge blinding smoke at a location that lasts 20 seconds, dramatically reducing the attack range of enemy units inside it.
Assault Corps (Square)
- Wood Cube
- Now deals heavy damage to structures and titans, and much less damage to units.
- Added to the Raiders!
- Autocaster that casts Auto-Heal, occasionally healing injured allies.
- Aura radius increased
- Activation hotkey moved to Z
- Activating the Martyr now slows its movement speed dramatically instead of rooting it in place.
- Unload hotkey moved to X
- Autocaster that casts Bravery, increasing the physical resist and attack damage of friendly units in combat.
- Siege Titan (Finisher)
- Now only attacks structures
- Autocaster that casts Curse, providing vision of enemy units in combat and reducing their Magical Resist by 35.
- Attack damage: 15 ⇒ 5
- Attack Cooldown: 1.5 ⇒ 0.2
- Teleporter (Finisher)
- Now has an aura that increases friendly units' movement speed by 20%.
- Activation hotkey moved to C
Context: At last, we're putting some touches on Poison Squad! We're starting with the Hero abilities, which were previously fairly dry. We're still ironing out some problems with the squad (particularly the frustration of playing Hydros into it), as well as looking to punch up the Tier 2 in the coming weeks.
- New Basic Ability!
- Epidemic (D) - Fires a line-shot that strikes the first enemy target, dealing direct damage and damage over time. These effects bounce to nearby enemies. (Gains higher periodic damage and bounces to more targets as the Hero levels up)
- New Ultimate Ability!
- Blood Plague (F) - Target an area. After 3 seconds, enemies in the area are afflicted by Blood Plague and will lose 50% of their max health over the next 5 seconds.
- Corrected a bug that prevented Howling Commandos from reaching air units
- If you notice this sort of behavior on other units that "should" be able to shoot air units, please let us know!
- What did you think about the new mercenaries system?
- How did it feel to manage workers and construct buildings?
- Did the new map you feel like you had more options?
- How did you feel about the first ten minutes of the game?
- How did you feel about the new Poison Squad hero abilities?