I was an early adopter of Atlas. I can attest to it’s less than perfect launch. In fact, I had a terrible time with it. I joined an official server, but couldn’t hardly get any frames per second. It turned out that there were very many players in the world, but most of them were sleeping (they were offline). This caused serious issues which was later resolved.

I didn’t play the game for too long. I enjoyed the beginning of it, starting out, collecting resources to make my first set of cloth armor and tools. Then I had to collect resources so I could build a raft and set out to sea, I had to make sure I had enough resources, including food, for my travel. What makes this game kind of complicated, regarding food, is the need to monitor your vitamin values and try to keep those up. There are four types of food, each corresponding to a vitamin. Vitamins are A, B, C, and D which are (in no particular order) fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat. This meant you needed a stack of each kind to keep your vitamin levels in check and keep in mind that food spoils. You also had to be prepared with fresh water, as you can’t drink sea water. Luckily, the Freeport that you spawn in has a pool of freshwater that you can drink out of and use to fill your water skins (which will leak over time).

I restarted multiple times, but didn’t get very far with progression. I tried to find land, but it was all taken, so I couldn’t build any where. Eventually, I gave up. You can read my original post on the game (https://cheerfulghost.com/GregoPeck/posts/3971/the-most-ambitious-and-most-improved-early-access-game-of-the-end-of-the-year ). However, Grapeshot released a single player mode for the game and I’ve returned to check it out.

It’s a lonely world. Luckily, I don’t actually have to claim any land to build, I can build pretty much where ever I want. I’ve restarted a few times, but ultimately, I found a nice island with fresh water, metal, and other good resources. I kind of feel a bit lucky for finding this island. I started building, but ran into a problem. If you place something like a workstation, or just about anything on top of a wood foundation and then decide to upgrade to a stone foundation, you have to destroy whatever you placed on top of the foundation, before you can place the stone foundation. I’ve submitted this as a bug. This doesn’t happen in Ark, which is pretty much what this game is based on with the same engine, same files, and a lot of other similarities other than being a pirate game. This made me look for a mod like Structures Plus for Ark, which allows you to pick up anything any time. I found one similar called Atlas Architect, which has some stations which are smaller and it allows you to pick them up any time.

I would like to tame something, but I haven’t found anything at a high enough level that I want to tame. I think my single player settings will give me a max level of wild creatures that I can tame of 150 and I haven’t seen any yet. Some have been close, but not close enough for me. However, I was able to get started on building ships. I like the raft, but you have to go in the direction the wind blows and it doesn’t contain much space for anything, nor any way to defend yourself from Ships of the Damned (SOTD). Speaking of them, they are intimidating now. They now can be found in fleets, usually about four, but there could be many more in a single area of the map. I wish there were individuals (as it was earlier in the development of the game), which would let me practice fighting them and be less intimidating. Taking on a fleet of them by myself is definitely a challenge.

I built my first Sloop. It took some time to get used to having to manage sails and a rudder by myself. I really needed some crew. Luckily, you can recruit crew members at a Freeport for just 5 gold. Then they’ll want 1 gold every few hours or so. You can also get them by destroying SOTD, they’ll be swimming with the debris of the ship and you can swim up to them, press a button to give them gold, and take them back to your ship. Usually these crew members are at a higher level than the ones you can recruit in a Freeport (which are all level 1). So, I found my way to a Freeport and recruited a few crew. Then I returned to the island where I made my home and built my first Schooner.

I can’t recall at the moment, if my Sloop had canons on it, but I think the Schooner did. I don’t think I used them though, maybe I did try at least once to destroy a fleet of SOTD. If I did, it didn’t go well and I restarted from a backup. I use the same system of backing up my saved data and restoring it when I want, like I do for Ark (just by copying certain files to different directories). After I built the Schooner, I once again traveled to the nearest Freeport to recruit some more crew. Then I traveled back to the island where I made my home and started to build my Brigantine.

It was around here, I think, that I found and added another mod. In Ark, I use one that significantly decreases the weight of items and increases stack sizes. I found one for Atlas and was able to collect and carry a lot more resources, which was very important as each new ship requires even more resources. The mod is called Custom Item Stacks. I also had trouble keeping my vitamin levels maintained, so I began using a mod called MultiVitamin, which lets you craft a multivitamin which will raise your vitamin levels to normal. This takes food of each kind and a medicinal herb, but is well worth it. Having a vitamin deficiency will cause you to lose health and eventually die (which will reset your vitamin level, making death actually kind of helpful w/out this mod).

After I constructed my Brigantine, I once again headed to my local Freeport to recruit more crew. It was either during this trip or the next that I was unable to recruit any more at one point. Luckily, finding out why wasn’t too difficult with a simple Google search. You can only have a max of 10 level 1 crew members. So, I simply just had to level up the ones that I had, which I didn’t bother with before. They got levels easily enough and didn’t take long to get their first one. I can’t recall now whether or not I tried to fight the SOTD with the Brigantine. Once again, I headed back to the island where I made my home and started to build my Galleon.

The Galleon is huge! The max amount of gun ports on it is 52! It’s definitely a behemoth, which obviously took a while to build. I had some trouble with previous ships where I built the shipyard in water that was too shallow and therefore couldn’t get them out easily. Each ship, by the way, has it’s own size of ship yard. You have tiny, small (I think), medium, and large ship yards. You need to build each to build each ship. This will let you build the skeleton of the ship.

The Galleon has six large sails, but doesn’t feel faster than any other sea craft (ships and raft). Maybe this is because I haven’t seen each craft sailing together (which I obviously can’t do in single player mode). However, more sails are supposed to make crafts faster and the Galleon is the fastest (and biggest) ship in the game. After I completed this build, I once again headed to my local Freeport to recruit more crew. I ran into an issue with the dinghy. You can build a dinghy dock on your ship. When you get close to your ship with it, you can select the option on the radial menu to have it return to your ship. This will pull it up and put it back where it belongs. There were a few times where I had crew with me when I did this and they disappeared, or seemed to, I may have later found a couple of them. It took a while to hire the remaining crew members I needed to fill my ship. It has a max crew limit of 59, but you can increase that by leveling up a certain stat (ships get experience and level up, too, maybe I should have mentioned that earlier).

This time, I did not return home. I set sail with the wind (if I have no destination, I like to travel in the direction the wind is blowing). It wasn’t long until I ran into a fleet of SOTDs and I started shooting at them. The first time, I beat all four of them, but my ship was damaged and was sinking. I ran out of wood to repair it, so I was heading back to the island from which I came so I could gather more wood. On the way, I ran into a ship wreck and decided to go after it. You can see floating debris every now and then indicating that a shipwreck is below the debris. I had installed a diving dock on my ship as I did before on the Brigantine. So I hopped in my diving suit and went down. Unfortunately, it was night and I couldn’t hardly see nor find the entrance to the treasure chest. I later learned that you can make a lantern to attach to your belt. I started dying and realized that I was freezing to death. I died, but was able to respawn on my ship and go back down to collect the items I had on my body, but I couldn’t find my body, so I restored the files to the backup I made just after hiring all my crew and before setting sail the last time. I ran into the SOTDs again, but I destroyed them all and I’m not even sure if any of them hit me. This was impressive, but it also takes quite a bit of time and effort to circle back around and against the wind after you’ve sailed passed them. Once they were destroyed, I was able to collect the debris they left behind and rescue one person, because I had one more slot for a crew member. She was level 27, I think, but she disappeared when I brought her aboard via the dinghy. She’s still counting as part of my crew, so I’m not sure where she is. This is where I have finished so far.

Since I’m done building ships, I have a little less to do. I can tame creatures and collect treasure from shipwrecks, flotsam, and the SOTDs I destroy. I can (and have tried to) also find buried treasure using one of the many maps I’ve found, but the Damned (soldiers of the damned maybe?) are very over powering. I need to tame a good high level bear to help me take them on. I would like to build a submarine, but it requires me to make three different kinds of alloy (which are basically metal ingots). I have iron and thought I had copper, but don’t and so I need to find more. I know there is an underwater trench you can go to with your submarine. I think one or more of the power stones is there. I think these stones allow you to fight the boss, the Kracken.

There are mythical creatures, too, like the Cyclops. There’s also a dragon and some more things you can actually tame or purchase (in-game not w/ real money). These tames will only last for a limited time though. However, if you defeat them, you can collect something called mythos, but I’m not entirely sure what that’s for.

There is also a DLC map. I think it was not made by Grapeshot, but another individual. I know it’s much smaller than the single player map (which is huge). I haven’t tried it out yet, but I think I’m getting nearer to feeling ready to do so.

A lot of this game was pretty much nearly impossible to do alone before single player mode came out. Although single player mode doesn’t exactly make things easier, you can use mods, which makes things a lot easier. SOTD and soldiers from treasure maps are still numerous and intimidating, although I did find out I can defeat fleets of SOTD with my Galleon. There are videos on YouTube that can show you how to build a good ship to beat them as well.

I’m glad they released single player mode, although I wish a few things were adjusted to make things easier (or less intimidating) for the single player. The map is huge and in multiplayer mode (the base mode of the game), each section is run by a server. So the map is actually a cluster of servers you can travel to. Surprisingly, it takes as much time to travel to different places on the grid at the same speed in both game modes, although it doesn’t take very long at all. I think this is impressive, that you can travel to a new server and the switch happens very quickly.

So now that single player mode is out, do you think you might give this game a try? I might actually recommend it now, especially if you like building/crafting, taming, and pirate stuff like building ships, sailing, and sea battles. It’s also a good game for exploring, although it can get boring out there in the open sea. Have you tried to play the game in it’s normal multiplayer mode? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments, if you want to talk about this.

I may update this in the future as I play more, or write a new post.

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