by Andrew Skelton (Outfoxed)
Atlas Reactor is garnering quite a bit of coverage lately. In fact, I covered the Alpha testing not too long ago. Well, today marks the opening of the game’s Closed Beta testing, showing solid progress towards its inevitable launch. Once again, I sat down with James Karras and William Cook to discuss the upcoming build and everything players could expect from the closed beta as it develops. There’s plenty to look forward to, such as seasons, new inventory, rewards, lore, and more!
There have been several changes made from alpha to beta, mostly centered on improving things the community thought could use some tweaking. The various movement, attack, and dash lines are all color coded according to what phase they’re utilized in (yellow for dash phase, blue for movement phase, etc). You can also mouse over your allies to get an idea of what actions they’re going to be taking, or press alt to see all allies at once. This allows even more tactics to be utilized, such as focusing on a single target, or even coordinating buffs and debuffs. Speaking of which, there are no icons displayed next to the character names for said buffs and debuffs, giving you an at-a-glance indication of what’s affecting everyone.
Of course, one of the biggest additions to this beta phase is the introduction of a brand new hero: Elle. Not only is she a gruff and vicious assassin, she also has several new mechanics in her abilities to make her stand out. For example, her basic attack has a frontal cone AoE that has a wide close range spread, but narrows significantly as you target further away locations. This opens up various possibilities with your teammates to deal high amounts of damage. Her dash is limited to one square, but she can also attack during her dash, giving several tactical advantages. It also has two charges, meaning she can utilize it two turns in a row if needed. She has an overcharge that boosts her damage, which is permanent until you use an attack. This includes her ultimate ability, which knocks back any enemy hit, as well as Elle herself (which opens up even more tactical uses). Finally, her free action unleashes a lurker mine that’s completely invisible to enemies, but will attack anyone of them that steps in its path.
The addition of seasons to the game is also a huge inclusion. Once you reach level 10, you unlock seasons and can begin to earn seasonal experience. Not only does this provide a whole new content layer for players to enjoy, it also gives a chance for free players to earn some of the skins and items paid players receive. Various tasks are available to complete, gated by several chapters. Unlocking various chapters gives a whole new insight to the lore and story behind the game. Additionally, there are daily challenges that will earn you a variety of great rewards. New chapters will unlock periodically, but you will need to complete each chapter in order.
A lot of the rewards for the seasonal tasks reward crafting materials. You can use these materials to create loot matrices for chances at a variety of rewards, such as banners, titles, and emoticons. Each new season will also offer fresh, new rewards. You can also earn matrices from earning seasonal experience. You don’t gain any advantage over another player by having a higher seasonal reward though. If you don’t want to wait to unlock these rewards, you can spend money in order to unlock them, but keep in mind, you cannot pay to skip season chapters. Another thing to note: some of the matrices are crafting exclusive, so you’ll want to hold onto your materials for those!
Thankfully, instead of a schedule for testing like before, servers will be available at all times for the closed beta (barring any maintenance and emergencies, of course). The team also has several plans for updates during this time, such as new freelancers, a brand new map, new skins, and even spectator mode! A lot of information is also teased through Twitter, where the various freelancers have their own accounts set up. Monetization will also be tested in this phase, and the season that will be running is specific to closed beta. A huge variety of community events will be ongoing, with tasks designed to get players excited, even those not in the current testing phase.
Excited? Wondering how to get in? Well, anyone that was in the alpha phases automatically has access to the closed beta. Additionally, pre-sale packs will be available that will also grant access for testing. You can also use the tried-and-true method of signing up on the Atlas Reactor website; invites for the event will be sent out periodically for anyone who has signed up. Closed beta starts now, so enjoy!