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Gameplay Questions

What is the game premise?

Due to the events of the tutorial, you are trapped in a time loop. Every 30 days the Reactor melts down, releasing an enormous wave of energy that restarts the loop. Only a few lancers are aware of the loop at first, and to stop it they’ll need to get back to the Reactor (or die trying).

Unfortunately, only the 3 Trusts -- OmniTrust, Evolution Solutions, and Hyperbotics -- have access codes to the Reactor’s AI brain, and they won’t give up these “keys” willingly. You’ll need to complete freelancing missions in order to acquire enough intel to find the Trust strongholds, and enough loot to defeat them.

Depending on how many keys you obtain, the final boss fight at the Reactor will be different. The more keys you bring, the more progress you will make uncovering the mystery behind the Reactor’s corruption.

But if you run out of rez tokens and meet a grisly end, you’ll awake again at the start of the loop, with only your lancer XP and completed challenges (unlocks) persisting.

 

How does Co-op work?

You can play Atlas Rogues with 1, 2, 3, or 4 players.

This first iteration of co-op is barebones and uses a link to help friends join the same game.

Once joined, the host has final say over which players control which lancers.

During a match, the first player to input an action will be the first to fire. If another player attempts to use an action while the first player is still animating, then the second player’s action becomes “queued”. A queued action can be quickly executed with the tap of the spacebar once no other character is animating.

You can have one solo run and one co-op run going at the same time. You’ll have to quit or complete one to start a fresh run. However, you can have new friends join your in-progress co-op run, even if they didn’t start it with you.

Challenges and Freelancer XP is still earned during co-op, whether you are the host or not, although we have a couple design and technical hurdles still to clear to make this flawless.

 

How long are combat missions? How long is a run?

Every mission starts in the middle of the action. If your objective is to assassinate a specific Trust Lieutenant, then the mission will start with you about to battle their squad. The day cost of a mission is the time it takes for you to track them down and call them out.

Combats are quick and punchy – the easiest mission is winnable in 3-4 turns, while a hard mission might take 9-12 turns.

Strongholds take a little bit longer, roughly equivalent to 1.5-3x the size of a hard combat mission.

Completing a successful run is targeted to take 1-2 hours, but this depends on the number of strongholds you go after.

 

What are Recon Missions?

Recons are random events that the player can choose instead of combat missions. Recons offer a quick bit of dialogue followed by a choice (often with a cost). The consequences of the choice are often, but not always, told to the player before picking.

Some recon choices are available only if a certain freelancer is in your crew, and discovering those hidden options is the key to unlocking all the content in the game, including story fragments.

We can also use the game’s content tag system to create quest-like chains with Recons, which is when one Recon triggers another to spawn. The player then has the option to continue following the chain or choose other missions instead.

Recon missions are relatively easy to add and revise, which makes them another great section of the game to improve with plenty of player input, especially if you want to see character stories develop.

 

What is the Doomsday Clock? What are Escalation Events?

The Doomsday Clock is located at the top of the map screen in the image above. When you consider which mission to take next, you must consider its days cost and days left. The cost tells you how many days you will lose to take that mission, while the days left tells you how many days that mission will wait around to be picked before disappearing.

The skull icon on the last day represents the meltdown.

The red ribbons on the clock are Escalation Events that trigger when you reach that day during a run. Each Escalation upgrades all enemies with some passive stats, as well as granting two specific enemies some special new abilities. The current total of Escalation Events you have triggered determines your “notoriety” or “wanted level”, which isn’t used for anything now, but will eventually be another way to increase reward quality.

 

How does the turn-based combat work?

Like many other turn-based tactics game, Atlas Rogues alternates between player and enemy turns, with individual characters acting one at a time, as soon as they receive a command.

The action budget is the same as the original Atlas Reactor: 1 move action & 1 ability action (which can be spent to sprint) per turn. The lancer kits are very similar to their Atlas Reactor origins, but most have been modified for the new style of play:

Let’s use Lockwood as an example, since without dodges, his gameplay would theoretically change a lot:

  • Trick Shot is unchanged.
  • Light ‘em Up is unchanged
  • Trapwire is now a free action that detonates on the first target. Very useful when you know where respawns are coming from.
  • Back Up Plan is now a free action, which is a surprisingly simple change that really ties the room together. Now Lockwood can put himself in risky positions to take better shots, and then dash back into cover before the enemy turn.
  • Run and Gun is also basically unchanged, as it still feels great to be able to shoot and move with one ability.

 

How do you hit or miss now?

Abilities now have accuracy stats which determine their base chance to hit, and is then modified by things like cover, distance to target, and stats on the target like their Defense.

HOWEVER, there is no inherent chance to miss. As a professional lancer with cutting edge tech, you’ve never missed a shot in your life. If a target is out in the open, you are guaranteed to land the shot, even if it’s just a glancing blow (not counting the powerful and rare Dodge stat).

Cover adds a chance to block the shot entirely, mitigating all damage. If the cover is half-height, then it is destroyed once it blocks a shot.

In addition to Accuracy and Defense, we have several new stats that interact with the Accuracy wheel. Here are a couple examples to whet your appetite:

Armor increases the defender’s chance of a glance result, which is opposed by the attacker’s Armor Penetration.

Dodge adds a chance the enemy will miss when shooting at you. It can be disable with certain status effects.

 

What do Gear and Talents do?

Gear and Talents passively increase the power of your lancers and their abilities.

They both come in 4 rarity tiers: common (bronze), uncommon (silver), rare (gold), very rare (blue/pink). In Early Access, only bronze and silver Talents and bronze, silver, gold Gear are available for now, with more added in the future. Overall Gear is limited and swappable, while Talents are permanent and stackable.

Gear comes in 3 slot types: Weapon, Armor, and Utility. A lancer can swap gear in and out freely outside of combat but can only ever equip 1 piece of gear of each type. Gear most often comes from recon missions that may require ISO or dialogue decisions to unlock. Rarer gear is often found after defeating Trust Strongholds.

Talents are acquired via Talent Points, which is a currency you can get as a reward. When spending a Talent Point on a lancer, you are presented 3 options to choose 1 from. The effects of talents stack on that lancer.

We expect Gear and Talents to be one of the areas of the game that will improve the most with community input during Early Access. We can’t wait to hear requests for new gear and talents that would enable you to pull off crazy new lancer builds. We will implement more stackable effects once we here which combos are the favorites of the community.

 

What are Challenges? What is Freelancer XP?

Challenges is an achievement system that also interacts with our content tags. When a challenge is completed, it is completed forever, unlocking a new piece of content for the game (including Freelancers!).

At the end of a run, XP is awarded to the lancers you played with. Reaching certain levels of XP will complete challenges and unlock new talent options for that lancer.

We know you must have a ton of amazing ideas for challenges and their rewards (y’all up for co-op challenges?), and we can’t wait to hear them. We plan to revise many challenges as more features are added to the game. We plan to hide a large percentage of the game’s content behind challenges so that the players can make progress with every run.

 

What are the different stats?

Health - Total hit points

Move - Amount of squares can travel

Attack Power - Affects damage

Support Power - Affects healing/shielding

Accuracy - Affects chance to hit

Defense - Increases chance to glance/dodge and reduces chance to receive crit

Precision - Affects chance to crit

Resilience - Reduces chance to receive a crit

Piercing - Reduces chance to glance when attacked

Armor - Increases chance to glance when attacked

Foresight - Reduces chance to dodge when attacked

Dodge - Affects chance to avoid hits when attacked

Crit Multiplier - Affects % of critical damage

Energy Multiplier - Affects % amount of energy gain

 

What are the different status effects?

Armor Break = Reduce armor by 125 for 2 turns.

Blind = Reduce accuracy by 100 for 2 turns.

Dodge Break = Reduce dodge by 75 for 2 turns.

Energize = Increases energy gain by 50% for 2 turns.

Haste = Increase movement range by 50% for 2 turns.

Immune = Reduces damage taken by 100% for 2 turns.

Might = Increases damage dealt by 25% for 2 turns.

Plasma = Target and nearby units take X damage (40% of Attack power) at the end of the next 2 turns. This effect can stack.

Resilience Break = Reduces resilience by 75 for 2 turns.

Root = Unit cannot move for 2 turns.

Rupture = Target takes 15% of their maximum health in damage at the end of the next 2 turns. This effect can stack.

Slow = Reduces movement range by 2 for 2 turns.

Unstoppable = Immune to movement impairment effects for 2 turns.

Volt = Target takes X damage (45% of Attack power) at the end of the next 2 turns. Deal 250% damage to shielded enemies. This effect can stack.

Vulnerable = Increases damage taken by 25% for 2 turns.

Weak = Reduces damage taken by 25% for 2 turns.

 

What do the different power-ups do?

Power-ups appear as floating colored orbs that offer a temporary enhancement buff to the Freelancer that acquires it (moves over it or dashes through it)

Green Heal power-up - Gain 75 hit points immediately.

Red Might power-up - Gain Might (25% damage increase) buff for 2 turns.

Yellow Energized power-up - Gain Energized (50% energy increase) buff for 2 turns.

Blue Haste power-up - Gain Haste (50% movement range increase) buff for 2 turns.

Minor green Heal spoils - Gain 25 hit points and 10 energy immediately.