Atlas Reactor is ready to blast off into the stratosphere that is closed beta testing later today. We had the chance to preview some of the new things players can expect to find when entering CBT and to chat with Senior Producer James Karras and Lead Designer William Cook to learn even more.
Today marks the commencement of the Atlas Reactor closed beta test that will bring a number of new features and some small, but meaningful, improvements to the game. Closed beta is accessible to all previous alpha testers as well as to any who have purchased a Founder's Pack. Others who might be interested in participating what is anticipated to be a several weeks' long test can sign up on the game site for a chance at a beta key.
Servers will be up and running 24/7 throughout the test and community feedback will be integral as many of the new features and improvements coming in the CBT client have been suggested by players themselves. Testers will have access to all of the currently implemented freelancers throughout the event.
So what's new for CBT?
Elle - A Shotgun Toting Assassin
Elle is the newest freelancer to be introduced into Atlas Reactor. As mentioned, she is a shotgun toting assassin with some of the game's most unique skills. As of now, Elle is the only one with the ability to chance the shape of her attack template. She can shoot in a long narrow cone or in a short range wide cone....or anything in between. In addition, her ultimate attack allows her to dash and fire a powerful blast that not only knocks her opponents back with high damage, but knocks her back as well. She can also store two dash attacks.
Elle is, however, somewhat vulnerable to AoE attacks as she can only move a single square at a time making it easy for opponents to spam a big attack on any of the squares into which she could appear.
Another neat feature coming in for testing during CBT is the new Seasons System that allows players to earn cosmetic rewards either through direct drops from matrices (treasure boxes) or through obtaining crafting materials to create more matrices. In fact, some of the treasure boxes can only be crafted and can contain unique rewards not found in cropped loot. Unwanted loot can be recycled in order to retrieve materials that can be used to make more boxes and so on.
Season play is available beginning at account level ten when players begin to earn season experience over account experience. Seasons are divided into 'chapters' that are specially designed to provide players with lore and story elements about the game and its freelancers. Chapters are unlocked upon completion of several objectives that might include playing a match every day for a certain period of time; winning a match every day over the course of several days; or playing matches as certain freelancer types. Each chapter will last a few weeks before the next is opened. Once the season ends, however, those chapters and many of the attendant rewards are retired but could be reactivated at a later time.
Rewards include matrices, ISO (in-game currency) banner pieces, special emoticons, etc. There are no rewards given that enhance power or that unlock competitive advantages.
Other Cool Stuff
The Atlas Reactor player community and the developers, both those on AR itself and other Trion team members, will be able to unlock some cool rewards through participation in activities designed to build support for the game and to spread the word about it. For instance, the community might be asked to submit five pieces of fan art that will unlock the next tier of rewards and is designed to raise awareness and enthusiasm for the game.
Spectator Mode will also be incoming, something both the development team and the community have wanted to be included since alpha launched.
All in all, it looks like Atlas Reactor's closed beta will provide a lot of fun new experiences for those who have previously played in various alpha tests and will give some cool things for all players, new and old alike, to try out. With the emphasis on community feedback, CBT looks like it's going to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone.