Are early access games for me? Are they for you?
We’ve been warned, the early access label means a game is under construction, barely beta. Think twice. Expect delays, outages, and other unpleasant surprises.
How many Atlas adventurers have given up? Asked for a refund? Determined that Atlas is nothing more than a cut and paste of Ark?
I’ve never experienced the opportunity to get in on an early access game, until this past week. I witnessed emotions ranging from frenzy excitement to the depths of gamer hell. Some wore their defeats as badges of honor, some sat in their gamer thrones glad they didn’t comment, some threw public tantrums in front of their Twitter twerps.
Hours before Atlas was expected to be made available, December 19, 6 pm EST, I had Steam up and the Atlas game page selected. Would I get through the checkout line? Pre-pay wasn’t an option. Visions of Black Friday stormed through my imagination; people pushed against phantom glass doors waving their credit cards to make a purchase. This wasn’t going to end well.
DM21 Gaming’s (a Mixer.com channel) countdown party turned into a frenzied hype zone when the Atlas countdown clock ended. Sparks, chat, and beach balls flooded the channel. But as the minutes passed the promised hour, it was apparent; the game was delayed.
The official Grapeshot Games’ announcement concerning the new availability date was announced later. But not to worry, it was going to come out, soon.
When Atlas was released, it was with a caveat – a selected number of Streamers would get a key. After a couple of hiccups, we gamers lived vicariously through our favorite streamer, mine being DM21 Gaming’s Bicycle Walrus, as he gained entry into the forbidden realm.
Watching dueling ships battle with cannons, and flamethrowers was a fantastic demonstration of game play. Bicycle Walrus took a break from survival mode to play the accordion and the drums. As well as climbing up the crow’s nest to try out a glider. It landed him in the briny-green seas, twice. Death by jellyfish seemed a relief considering the large shark looking for a snack, but not before he and his shipmates set the opposing ship on fire.
Purchasing the game was not without issues. Success through that gauntlet only meant you got to listen to Atlas’ theme song while attempting to log in – for several hours.
With high hopes, I downloaded the latest version of the game. It didn’t fix the connection issue, but, it wasn’t all bad. While waiting, I chatted with my streaming buddies who were also stuck at the map that taunted us by displaying multiple points of entry. We talk about our favorite pies and learn that in other countries, pie means something totally different.
Last night, swashbuckling adventures, carving out a homestead on an unclaimed island, teaming with cohorts and taming exotic creatures filled my dreams.
Early this morning, I made another attempt and was surprised by my success. I took the time to design my pirate self. My newly spawned character acted drunk. Without a sip of grog, she staggered past the same slumbering, snoring Sailor four times. Later, I heard this referred to as rubber-banding.
I witnessed an elephant walking high above the water without a tight-rope while swimming to a nearby shore. Moving farther from the safe zone cleared up the two-steps forward, one-step back mode of travel. I gathered wood, flint, stone, berries, and thatch. I leveled up and crafted a tool, and manufactured a hat. Feeling smug, I clicked to create a campfire.
Wow, this is fun.
A message flashed across my screen – You’re disconnected from the host server. After fruitless attempts to regain entry, I decided to write this blog.
All in all, I’ve enjoyed the experience. As part of DM21 Gaming’s Atlas-Armada in Discord, we formed 6 person teams. It was a hoot getting to know my new comrades in the voice channel. One of my mates designed a dragon banner for us, another created us a home on his discord channel to plan and plot our future plundering exploits.
Lurking in Discord, I learned of giant snakes, wolves, and which keys to push for what actions. Best of all, they, like me, were experiencing similar problems. A feeling of camaraderie with new companions is making Atlas a quick favorite, despite the issues.
A big thanks to the developers of Atlas for continued updates throughout the holiday season.
A new message from Atlas, the official server network will go offline for 3 – 4 hours of maintenance. Guess I’ll watch Mixer’s Channel One to mine some sparks and practice my pirate brogue.
See ya on the high seas,
Pirate Moogie Moo