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Atlas Q&A with Atlas Lead, David Underhill

Ahead of the launch of Atlas, we spoke to the Atlas Lead, David Underhill, about the project and what players can expect. Read on to learn more about this expansive world that will be rolling out players over the weeks ahead!

What is Atlas (for the players that are unsure)?

[A]: Atlas is a persistent virtual world where teams compete for territory, glory and unique loot.


What about Atlas do you think would be most appealing to players?

[A]: Players already build incredible bonds with their teammates. Atlas is a deeply social experience where players capitalize on those bonds in order to carve out their very own empire.


How did you come up with the idea for Atlas?

[A]: Atlas was inspired by players’ unyielding team loyalty, like that of Gary72 whose monumental 550-war streak helped his team rise to the pinnacle of War Dragons. Atlas is a world where players drive the story. Novel gameplay emerges from the rich social dynamics that arise from the large, diverse population of Dragon Lords inhabiting the shared space we call Atlas.


What is your favorite feature or mechanic in Atlas and why?

[A]: My favorite mechanic isn’t one we built — it’s the ever-changing social ramifications of actions in Atlas. For example, there’s no art or code to support espionage ... but one of the biggest conflicts to date was decided in large part due to the counter-intelligence efforts of the aggressed team.

If I had to pick a mechanic we explicitly created, I’d have to go with Primarchs. Atlas basically only has the “red tier” equivalent of Primarchs so far, but there’s already the beginnings of some very interesting combat tactics — we’re working with the community to add new abilities and provide deeper tactical options and I can’t wait to see where that collaboration goes!


How will players gain access to Atlas?

[A]: Teams will gain access to Atlas based on their league standings. Higher standing teams will be invited first. Invites will be awarded gradually to make sure we have time to learn from new players joining Atlas and incorporate those learnings for the benefit of all future Atlas players.


If a team drops below the league requirement to access Atlas, what happens to their access?

[A]: Unlocking access to Atlas is permanent (for a team). If a player switches to a team which has not unlocked Atlas, they will lose access to Atlas (though their progress will be retained and be waiting for them when their new team eventually unlocks Atlas, or the player joins another team which has unlocked Atlas).


Events have become a central piece of the core War Dragons experience. Will Atlas have any similar experiences or challenges?

[A]: Absolutely — Atlas already features 6 new events with their own unique prizes. Future Atlas-based events are planned and will capitalize on the unique geographic and social properties of Atlas!


How will Atlas tie back into the current War Dragons experience that we have come to know and love?

[A]: First are foremost, your dragon flying skill and base building prowess are paramount in Atlas. It offers unique loot including Dragon Rider Gear, as well as other valuable items to help you breed more dragons, unlock more towers and level up.


What about Atlas are you most excited for players to get to experience and why?

[A]: I’m excited for players to get involved in the social fabric of Atlas. For many players, I expect this will happen early on as they carve out territory for themselves ... combat forms strong relationships (both friends and enemies)!


If you could give one solid piece of advice to a player experiencing Atlas for the first time, what would it be?

[A]: First, take a little time to get to know the basics (e.g., building up your army, defeating dragon poachers and how to move around the world). In parallel, try to forge an alliance with an established team — maybe you can even get some territory from them as well as a friendly neighbor. Ideally, you’ll be able to forge an alliance with a team near to your starting location. Once you have a foothold in Atlas, it’s time to plot world domination ...


Which of the many dragons in the game is your favorite and why?

[A]: I have a special spot in my heart for Amarok (renamed Bossarok in my game) because he was my primary dragon for quite some time. My current favorite is Kinnarus — her Dodo and earthquake make for a nice one-two punch. Hauheset is at the top of my most wanted list ... I’m close, I just need another breeding event or two to get there I think!


Our whole Dragons team is excited for players to get to experience Atlas for themselves. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for other Atlas related content coming out, including our livestream of the launch event on October 27th!


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