Town control in Atlantica Online, another winning system.

My guild in Atlantica Online (Hunters on Argos, if you play, recruitment is open) recently won the bid for a town, which has opened up some interesting game systems I’d like to talk about. As with my previous AO posts, the overall feature that AO really nails is community and player interaction, and controlling a town fits directly into that as well.

I want to start by saying I’m not an expert on towns in AO, I only know what little I’ve asked while playing. The whole system seems somewhat complex, and certainly has a lot of layers. The basics is that once you win a town by outbidding other guilds using guild points, you gain control of it and it’s functions, including the tax on listing items for auction or the fee for using the bank. At a set schedule, your town goes up for auction again, and the cycle repeats. Each town has a different cycle, so there is always something come up for auction.

Each town has a population number, and I believe this ties into the amount the guild earns from taxes. You raise this population in an interesting way. Various NPCs walk around the game world along the roads, and these can be ‘persuaded’ to join your town if you have 100 will. If the persuasion is successful, they will start walking toward your guilds town, and if they make it everyone online gets an XP bonus and your town earns however many population points that NPC was worth (between 50 and 200 from what I’ve seen). What’s really interesting is anyone else can try to persuade that same NPC as he walks toward your town to join theirs, and they can in effect ‘steal’ your NPC. If you have a rival guild that controls a town, camp out in front of it and persuade their NPCs away as they come in. It’s not devastating, but it can have an effect, without direct combat. Having a few guild mates spend some time doing this is a nice leisurely activity, and gives you time to chat while helping your guild.

Towns can also be improved with additional factuality, such as a training center or travel agency. As I understand, these upgrades are costly, but once complete bring in additional revenue. This encourages the guild to go out and earn money for the guild, which later will help everyone else. Guild training runs and dungeons play into this, as they are an excellent source of guild points and funds. The location of the town is also very important, as high traffic town obviously generate more revenue, and in turn are bid on by the more powerful guilds. Access to the guild dungeon is also determined by which town you control, with the better dungeon towns again being highly sought after.

The town system adds a nice, complimentary layer to AO, which basically describes most of the games systems. Unlike most other MMOs, AO takes a simple combat grind base and throws in enough systems around it to keep the overall product interesting. As I’ve stated before, if you are looking to take a break from the WoW-clone MMO model, Atlantica Online is a good place to start. The F2P model might hurt it when you get into the upper power levels, but outside of those it’s a very enjoyable, and free, MMO experience.

31 Responses to Town control in Atlantica Online, another winning system.

  1. Werit says:

    That is pretty neat. Is there anything you can do to prevent your soon-to-be citizen from being stolen?

  2. syncaine says:

    Other than persuade them back, no. The thing is, NPCs are very, very common, so it’s not like a major hit when one of them gets counter-persuaded.

    The really limiting factor is Will, which naturally ticks back over time (10 min or so from 0-100 maybe). Will is also used for teleporting, xp books, monster info sharing, ect. So if you persuade an NPC, you won’t be able to teleport into a dungeon right away, or share monster info with a guild mate. The way the systems interact is subtle, but works really well.

  3. Wilhelm2451 says:

    I like it. I’d have to really see it in operation to grasp it fully, but the idea of town ownership as a short term cost but long term revenue and benefit opportunity is, as Werit said, interesting.

  4. Garumoo says:

    You can’t PvP the camping rival guild?

  5. Ysharros says:

    Stop. Tempting. Me. :D

  6. Anton says:

    Sounded like fun so I downloaded the game to try out for a little while. What’s your character’s name?

  7. Werit says:

    I may download it soon. I just need to hit 40 in WAR though first.

  8. Werit says:

    I took the plunge. I am on Argos, you can guess the name ;)

  9. mbp says:

    That town system sounds very clever. If I understand correctly this means that if you are in a “good guild” you will be rewarded with more XP, more cash and access to better dungeons. Does that foster a greater sense of guild commitment than the revolving door model of WoW guilds?

  10. mbp says:

    I had a quick look at the Atlantica Online website. The first place I stumbled across was the item mall. $5 a month to see an opponents health bar, $5 a month to have auto attack and so on. I know the game has to get its revenues somehow and I know that you can play without any of this stuff but I can see that you could quickly end up spending quite a lot of cash if you want to be competitive in the pvp game. What upset me the most though is the “boxes” that cost about $10 and contain a random reward – usually a $2 consumable but just maybe a fancy piece of armour. Buy ten get one free for the bargain price of $100. Are there people spending $100’s each month to be competitive in this game?

  11. syncaine says:

    Only one person has left our guild that I know of, and he went to join his brothers guild which has a minimum req of lvl 75.

    The thing that really fosters community though is that everything works to reward being nice, and there are zero penalties to helping people. That sounds basic, but when you consider that the game also has a harsh PvP side with item loss, it’s actually really impressive.

    Garumoo: Only Nations (collection of guilds) can be at war (open PvP), at which point yes, you could attack your enemy. The end event in a Wwar is actually a fight over the Nations capital city, and if successful, you inflict a heavy penalty on that city (population loss). A guild without a Nation however can not be at war. My guild was in a Nation that had a war, and now we are running solo as just a guild. We have plans however to join a Nation and get back into the war aspect soon however, as the PvP really makes the game more fun.

  12. syncaine says:

    MBP, yea people do spend money, but so far, it’s not overpowering stuff (at least what I see, I don’t play at the super top level)

    The only licenses you ‘really’ need are the teleport and healthcheck license. auto-battle is bla (the AI is dumb). One of the early quests in the game actually gives you all of the licenses to use for 7 days or so. After that you either item shop to get them (tele and healthcheck for 30 days is $10), or just go without, which is what plenty of people do. Some of the license can also be purchased using in-game money, although I know the tele license is very expensive and only lasts 1 day.

    The whole ‘boxes’ thing at the shop are a joke imo, but that’s fairly standard stuff for a F2P Asian MMO.

  13. Man, that Hunters guild on Argos will let anyone in. ;)

    Didn’t know exactly which server I had rolled my AO character on but when I saw it was Argos, I couldn’t resist. That makes two guilds I’ve joined now because of you, Syn.

  14. syncaine says:

    I should start charging for that…

    Are you 30+ yet? If not, let me mentor you, and I’ll give you 250k of the 300k bonus when you hit 30. Just send me an in-game mail.

  15. 21. Somebody already mentored me when I was like level 3-4. Can you have multiple mentors? If not, let me know what I need to do to dump his ass and get that big paycheck.

  16. syncaine says:

    Yea you can drop him, and I can just tag you when we are both online. Not sure if I will be tonight, but this weekend at some point I will be for sure. Or just xfire msg me (Syncaine) and I’ll hop on to tag you, since I’m guessing you will be 100+ by the weekend…

  17. Haven’t hit a comfort zone yet with this game. Too many new concepts for my newbie brain to wrap around yet. Hit a wall with stoopid Evil Margos Archer that keeps kicking my ass and wasting too much time trying to take her down instead of just grinding methinks. So I don’t think I’ll be 100+ by this weekend.

    But maybe by the next one…

  18. syncaine says:

    Yea you hit the first shadow dungeon, which is designed for group play. At that level though grinding an extra level or two is quick, and the gear improvements are noticeable, so you should be ok after a bit to solo it.

    I agree there are a TON of new concepts to learn, but feel free to bug people in Hunters about it, they are all friendly (and on all the time…)

  19. Didn’t notice it was a Shadow Dungeon. I might’ve skipped over that warning. I thought this was part of my main questline, though, as there weren’t any other quests available to do at the time.

    Went in with that scroll to recruit monsters to party with you. It looked like it was working as I got 2 mobs following me around the dungeon and the party interface said 3/3 so I had visions of my combined army crushing that annoying NPC.

    So I finally started combat and then found my monster friends were nowhere to be found. What the heck? Got crushed again but lasted a bit longer as I had grinded up my mercs a bit since the last attempt.

    I might change up my lineup and go with an Archer or 2 to silence that boss mob. (I guess it’s a boss mob not really sure).

  20. syncaine says:

    Yea it’s been a minute since I did that part. I ‘think’ you are talking about the monk quest? If you check your quest log, and click on the name of the npc, it will tell you what the overall goal of the quest is, like monk-recruit quest, or Yellow River Ruins quest (the main quest).

    I though the shadow dungeon part was ONLY for the monk quest, but again you will have to check your log. Also, the witch scroll works well, but the monsters don’t change zones with you (despite the interface still showing it)

    Having an archer is huge, silence is awesome in PvP and helps in certain PvE situations. Wait, do you have a viking yet? I don’t remember if you get the viking or monk first, you might be on the viking recruit quest (viking is also awesome)

  21. Yeah, I got a Viking at 20 and goes really nice with my Axe main.

    I do remember seeing the Monk as a reward for one of the quests in my logbook. But I think that one had the Shadow Dungeon warning clearly spelled out in red. Evil Margos Archer is for the Yellow River Ruins quest.

  22. syncaine says:

    Ok yes, now I remember a bit more. Evil Margos Archer is the boss in that place right? So the issue is with just that fight, and not the fact that you are being jumped by 3 groups at once in a single fight (that’s what happens in a shadow dungeon)

    In that case, you just need more xp/gear it sounds like. Can you not freeze the archer boss? I know some are immune, don’t remember if she is. What is your current merc setup? If you main is axe (good choice), the viking might be overkill since you don’t have all 9 spots available yet.

  23. Good point. My issue is just this encounter not with random groups jumping in. The boss mob is the one that messes me up all the time with her overpowered range that can one-shot anyone in any rank. The trouble is, I can’t get past her front-line tanks to get to her before she rips my party apart.

  24. syncaine says:

    Yea if she is one-shotting you, you are under-leveled. Work on the monk quest, or check your quest log to see if any other NPCs have available quests. I know at the start you have a few side things you can do, mostly tutorial-like stuff that really explains some of the systems.

  25. Yeah, doing some research online while at work here, it seems some I need to grind out some levels on my mercs and also get better gear before tackling this boss again. I only have one merc level 20 and having a level 7 Viking probably doesn’t help. Also, I’m still in Spirit gear as I haven’t come across any mobs that drop Sea King boxes yet.

  26. syncaine says:

    Sea King gear is the next dungeon, spirit gear is fine, just be sure to upgrade it as much as you can. That lvl 7 merc is not doing much, no :)

  27. Vortex scrolls and just plain grouping with others were also suggested. I think I have plenty of Vortex scrolls as I don’t use them that often. What’s the grouping etiquette like in this game? Is it possible to find a quick PUG just for this miniboss and then just go on your merry way? Or are you somehow obligated to then grind with them for a while?

  28. syncaine says:

    Yea scrolls help big time too, use them if you got em, especially the ones with a level cap.

    Grouping as come and go. Just ask in peer chat if anyone can help you kill the archer (and perhaps do the shadow dungeon part of the monk quest as well). Outside of bailing on a group mid-quest, it’s not a big deal.

  29. Gimme mah moneh!!!!!1

  30. syncaine says:

    I’ll log in tonight and send it. Been busy and not have much time for AO lately, sorry man.

  31. Don’t worry. I’ve been playing it plenty for the both of us. :p

    And thanks.

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