Atlantica Online is a turn-based Free-to-Play MMORPG developed and published by NDOORS Interactive. Atlantica is set in an alternate-universe replete with familiar real-world locations from all manner of time periods and mythology. In the centuries preceding the events of the game, the lost city of Atlantis rose up and sought to take over the world, only to collapse upon itself on the precipice of victory. Fast forward hundreds of years and generations later, and we see the rise of Atlantis once more, with the game’s players faced with the task of finding out just what the heck is going on.
The game launched in 2008 and has seen numerous updates since its release; however, today we’ll be looking at the game’s latest update, which is set to hit live servers this week. The update, which has been aptly dubbed “Troy” focuses on the epic battle between the legendary city and the Greek city-states that threatened its existence.
Troy introduces the continent of Africa to the game, where players will embark on new adventures that make use of one of the updates singular most important features: the new Tactical Battle System. Currently, battles in Atlantica Online play out similar to your typical classic Final Fantasy battle. The key difference between Final Fantasy and Atlantica Online, though, is the fact that the battles feature more than just the player characters themselves, as players can also hire mercenaries to fight alongside them.
The new Tactical Battle System being introduced with Troy can also draw comparisons to the Final Fantasy franchise, except the similarities aren’t shared with any of the numbered entries, but instead with the turn-based strategy game Final Fantasy Tactics. The new TBS allows up to nine other players and a single mercenary (per player) to move around the battlefield along tiles and engage their foes, while also taking introducing new elements to battle such as terrain, weather, and even vehicles.
To provide an example, our hosts set down a fire trap on one of the tiles, and asked us to draw the enemies into the trap. The explosion that followed triggered a massive conflagration that actually spread amongst our foes. Toasty! It’s important to note that the weather changes dynamically, so it may be raining heavily during a certain number of rounds and switch to windy during the next few rounds. Truly tactical players will learn to be mindful of the weather changes, perhaps charging an advance towards fire-wielding enemies during a rainstorm, and being a bit more cautious and spreading out when the wind picks up.
Illustrating the importance of weather on the battlefield, we were reminded that rain in this particular scenario would have put out said fire, while a strong wind may have aided the flames in spreading. Terrain elevation can factor into battle as well, as certain areas of the map can flood when subjected to heavy rainfall for a period of time, instantly wiping out any units present in the affected area, unless, of course, you’ve got a boat! That’s right, as part of the new TBS system players can also deploy vehicles on the battlefield, though only two will be initially available as part of the update. The two vehicles include the catapult siege-weapon and the aforementioned boat, which allows players to cross bodies of water, including flooded areas. Going forward, NDOORS is investigating adding a number of new vehicles, including airships! In addition to vehicles, players can also purchase upgrades from their base camp that augment the player’s important attributes during battle, ranging anywhere from bonuses speed, to sight range, to defense or attack power.
Troy’s second stand-out feature is the new MyHome system, which as its name would imply, adds player housing to Atlantica Online. NDOORS is adding housing to Atlantica Online to foster a stronger sense of community by allowing players to visit and rate each other’s homes. When we were transported to one of the player homes being shown off I found the experience altogether a bit jarring. We’d just come from a sandy battlefield where we cut down enemies and blasted people with cannons, only to turn around and hang out, heavy armor and all, in what looked like a typical suburban home on a typical suburban block.
Leading up to the house was an interactive garden that was being tended to by some sort of rabbit-like creature, and entering the home I was horrified to find a battle-hardened Viking, one of the game’s many mercenaries, serving as a cook in the kitchen, apron and all. Houses can be decorated with all manner of decorations, many of which are interactive. Players can lay out on beds, sit on couches, and even throw tea parties and share food. The aforementioned mercenary cook can actually prepare foods, and another mercenary can be tasked with crafting a variety of items, including weapons and armor.
Three house configurations will be available with the launch of the Troy update, though all of them are variants on the suburban household, though the developers are planning additional options in the coming months. I asked if we could expect anything radically different, you know, perhaps a secret volcano lair? The suggestion was met with hearty laughs all around, followed by the NDOORS people joking about finding out who suggested the idea so that they could properly credit me if they added it to the game. So, if you find yourself decorating your very own secret volcano lair a few months down the line, be sure to thank me (please no ritual sacrifices!).
Finally, NDOORS did clarify that player homes would be a bit of a status symbol, so the full Martha Stewart vibe we got from the example houses we were shown may not be your typical experience, unless you’re sitting on wads of cash. However, you can rest assured that all the associated items can be found within the game itself and so you won’t have to pony up your real cash in the item shop in order to fully explore the feature.