Before the next devlog comes out this Saturday, ATLAST wanted to review the last devlog and answer some of your questions! All the new changes announced in this one are quite radical and very exciting. The devlog featured the resource pack and enchanting. You can read the original devlog here, but keep reading for all you need to know in addition to exclusive new information.

Resource Pack

Custom blocks on Atlas? Inconceivable, but man did they do it! The programming Elder wizards were able to bestow upon us new blocks to play around with. Showcasing new block types, Athera is going to be quite the remarkable world and will stand out from all the others who try to rival it.

The screenshots above from the devlog feature 9 new block types. Please note that these are unofficial names that we assigned to describe them.

  1. Oak logs with border detail
  2. Spruce logs with border detail
  3. Vertical oak planks
  4. Vertical spruce planks
  5. Stony brick
  6. Mossy stony brick
  7. Blue redstone lamp
  8. Cracked dirt
  9. Crossed smooth stone

Vertical planks were spoiled back in January by Tyrriel in the Atlas Discord.

Vertical planks of all wood types

Tyrriel, one of the elders, tells us that there are currently 23 custom blocks that they have developed, but that there will be hundreds of them by the re-release of the server.

Most custom blocks can be obtained through vanilla items. For example, many stone blocks will make use of the stonecutter, and players will be able to craft vertical planks from vanilla wood. Some custom blocks of varying rarity will exclusively be rewarded through dungeon loot. Tyrriel assured us that if a player is rewarded custom blocks from a dungeon, it will be a “decent amount” of blocks to build with.

Another custom block that is not featured in the screenshots are crop crates. Tyrriel explained how players will be able to craft crates of carrots for example by combining 9 carrots in a crafting table, comparable to how wheat can be crafted into a hay bale. The block texture will appear to be a basket full of that crop. These crates can be used to compress crop storage and also to decorate, but will serve no other mechanical function in the game.

Have an idea for a custom block? Submit it to this poll. In addition, the dev team is still need a dedicated texture artist! If you’re interested, apply in the #dev-applications channel of the Atlas Discord.

Enchanting

Vanilla enchanting is boring. There is nothing spicy about the monotonous task of putting a book in a table, getting frustrated when it’s not good and running straight to the grindstone to repeat the process. Atlas aims to change that.

With the new system, each enchantable item has a stat called “enchantability” within the Attribute API which determines the number of total enchantment slots. For each enchantment slot, there will be 3 possible enchantment options to occupy that slot. The available options are predetermined for each item.

This major change in the enchantment system also comes along with a huge quality of life feature. Items with durability will no longer break when the durability is completely depleted. Instead, they will remain in your inventory in a broken state. Players will not be able to use broken items, but they can be repaired.

We had a lot of questions about the new system, so we asked the programmer behind the system, Elder Tyrriel. The following answers are paraphrased based on a conversation in voice chat.

Does enchantability mean that different items will have a different number of enchantment slots? What is the range of the possible number of enchantment slots?

We don’t have specifics on the range just yet, but it’s not going to be more than 5 or 6.

Will enchanting tables still be utilized for enchanting?

You will still use enchanting tables but the UI will be different. In the UI, players will be able to select a slot and choose an enchantment. For each slot, there are three assigned enchantments which will be the same three options every time for a specific slot. Some options will overlap between slots. For example, slots one and two of a sword may both have options for sharpness.

Does this mean that the effect will stack if the same enchantment is in more than one slot?

Some, such as sharpness or smite, will be stackable but very few enchantments will be.

In the vanilla Minecraft enchanting system, the level of an enchantment is random. For example, a player has a chance to get Efficiency V or Efficiency III. Will the level of enchantment be randomized in the Atlas system?

We are not sure yet.

What will experience costs to enchant be like? Will enchanting still cost lapis lazuli?

The cost to apply an enchantment on an item will be very similar to the vanilla system. However, unlike the vanilla system, the cost will be dependent on how good the enchantment is rather than the 3 tiers. Additionally, there will not be a minimum experience level requirement to enchant the way there is in vanilla. The lapis lazuli cost will most likely be a static cost of 3 per enchantment.

Will there be any changes to repairing compared to the previous system on Atlas?

The experience cost to repair may be reduced or standardized because we want players to repair. It seems cruel to make you guys work really hard for the perfect item only for it to become too expensive to repair. However, experience isn’t super difficult to get, so don’t expect the cost of repair to change much if at all.

How will enchanted books work with this change?

Enchanted books will essentially no longer exist.

Can you tell us more about custom enchantments?

Currently, there are 30 new custom enchantments that will be added to Atlas. Some of these will be specific to certain types of weapons or tools. For example, life steal will be exclusive to melee weapons. We will be adding more enchantments for bows. Infinity will be replaced with Infinite Quiver, which gives bows the chance to not use an arrow. Another custom enchantment for bows and crossbows is Charged, which stuns targets that are hit. We will also be adding enchantments specific to shields.

Previously, vanilla protection was capped to two levels because it was overpowered. We will be removing protection entirely, but Blast, Fire, and Projectile Protection will remain. In addition, we are introducing Magic and Melee Protection. Currently, the plan is to make the protection enchantments mutually exclusive.

What motivated this change away from the vanilla system of enchanting?

In development, we couldn’t introduce new enchantments with the system, so we had to make it custom. As a result, we changed the whole thought process. The enchanting system in Minecraft didn’t allow for much creativity; there’s a set meta. On Atlas, we want players to have more situational armor.

Our Thoughts on the Changes

In the first resource pack devlog, we saw the resource pack creatively used to customize the player UI. In this second resource pack devlog, players have been given the ability to further customize their builds in the world of Athera with a large variety of new textures. I am quite excited to play around with the new blocks, I believe that they will breathe new life into building. The blocks will be especially integral to texturing all of the great builds of Atlas. The goal of having hundreds of blocks by the end of the dev period is a ambitious, and I’m excited to see all of the new options that we will have to build with. Personally, I hope that we get Terryn body pillows 2.0.

The enchanting devlog introduced huge changes to enchanting compared to the previous vanilla system. The new system brings a high level of customization, especially in addition to the tannery and smeltery systems. It could also eliminate much of the RNG grind of the vanilla system. I’m interested to see what sorts of metas emerge from the change, and if players will actually create multiple sets of armors, tools, and weapons for different situations as the developers are trying to encourage players to do.

The new broken state is a huge quality of life change for me. I have broken brand new diamond tools with optimal enchantments too many times to count because I wasn’t paying careful attention to my remaining durability. Not having to constantly watch durability is an update that I’m very excited to see.

Dev Devlog

Atlas is not a one man show, there are numerous volunteers who aren’t the Elders that give their time and work to make it the best playable experience that it can! In this log, the Elders shout out to all these people, and so will we. Each one deserves recognition for their hard work! 

BuildersProgrammersArtistsWritersMarketing
clckwrkGhostAestrusFalksiIyoforeayoBorkMork
Desertdweller_ChiliwingMisterGriimmRaiyoku
Diggerdoge99Desertdweller_ShardianPreston
Herald_KingsourmissyWizardteepot
Noahjsc
teapressed
Terryn

To learn more about their work, we reached out to some of the people on the development team!

teapressed

How long have you been building for Minecraft?

Oh for at least 5 years now, I think? I first started taking building seriously in 2017, which, y’know if I’m honest I was really not that good at building. Like with anything though I’ve improved a lot over the years, especially this last year with me joining the dev team.

What builds have you worked on that we’ve seen on Atlas?

Well, if you look at our Twitter (@AtlasProjectMC) you’ll see some of the builds that I’ve worked on, specifically some New Nauru content. You’ll definitely get to see more as we release future devlogs winkwinknudgenudge :^)

What do you enjoy most about building in Minecraft?

I love the whole creative process behind it. I love being able to think “I wanna build this thing” and then actually go build it. It’s so fun. It’s also a forever project, meaning I can only improve and get better at it.

Can you take us through your process for when you start a brand new build?

Ooh, I think I tend to start with choosing the colour palette. Colour is really important to any build, especially if you want a build to have a certain atmosphere to it. I’ll also look for some reference images to help me picture things a bit better. If I’m stumped for inspiration I tend to go on building subreddits like r/detailcraft, which has been helpful in giving me the push I need.

What’s the best part of building for Atlas?

I’d have to say it’s the fact that building for Atlas is a good challenge for me. It’s the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to build cool stuff for a community that is (hopefully!) excited about what we’re going to be releasing in the future. It’s kept me motivated to keep on going if that makes sense.

What is your favorite Minecraft block?

Will I be murdered if I say I like acacia planks? Like a lot?? They’re such a vibrant colour, I love them so much.

Build by teapressed featuring custom blocks

Aestrus

You have been a programmer for Atlas before. Can you tell us about some of the work you did?

While I have coded for Atlas before, it wasn’t too much. I originally was on a more community management track since I was a fresh programmer at the time and didn’t have as much experience to build the core systems for Atlas, but I did work on small things like removing the ability to use boats on ice (something that was easily abused for both trade and PvP). Aside from that, I’ve always tried to put my ten cents into any concepts/ideas for the server, and have kept my eye on the development of the server through the years.

What do you do as a programmer for Atlas?

Currently since I’m freshly back on the team, nothing too crazy. The achievements changes teased in the last devlog is something I’m working on, and I’ve already been offered some other work that has to do with the February devlog. It’s mostly additions to the game and new content, as a lot of the reworks and major gameplay changes are already being worked on by the other programmers.

Now that you’re back, what are your plans for the future?

For now I just want to put a good portion of my time into developing Atlas, and I’m very excited to see the result of everybody’s hard work whenever the server gets re-released. For now I’ll keep working on the achievements changes, but something I’ve always wanted to be able to work on for Atlas was combat, as I am an avid PvP’er in any game I play.

sourmissy

Can you tell us about what you’re working on for Atlas?

As a programmer, I am helping to reconstruct the Atlas website and after the dev period is over I’ll be helping to keep the website updated. Our goal for the website is to create something modern and pleasing to look at while being easy to navigate and informative. We want the website to pull people in and give a good experience. As far as features, can’t release too much but many of the features we previously had will be there but updated and easier to use.

Falksi

As a part of the art team, what do you do for Atlas?

I draw, both fine art stuff and anything related to art that the server needs.

BorkMork

How long have you been part of the marketing team?

Ever since a dev member asked if I wanted to advertise with them, haha. That would be four or so years? It’s been a wild ride to see how much the server has developed and changed over time. Since I’m part of the marketing team I watched a lot of players come and go, and being part of the project has given me a lot of earnest respect for people who are able to market servers so well, because it’s really hard. 

What do you work on as the marketer for Atlas?

As a marketer, I basically work with the devs to make the server seen to other people. I go to different server lists, forums, and platforms such as Twitter and YouTube to see if there is a potential for us to create an audience there.

What marketing strategies have you used in the past and what are you planning on doing for the future?

A few marketing strategies we used were YouTubers, Reddit, and server lists. YouTubers came onto the server due to being intrigued by what the server is about, we find Reddit forums that are open to recommendations, and we use the server list algorithm each month to garner more awareness over the server itself. Currently, with the help of a few fellow dev members, we’re seeing if we can work with YouTube and a few new platforms like TikTok to see if there is a potential for an audience.

What is your favorite part of the position?

That would be the amount of ways you can advertise, and the fact you can see how your methods affect how people find one’s server. Over time I had done polls, usually to see how people were able to even hear about this place, and since I varied my methods a lot over the years, it’s shocking to see what sticks and what doesn’t. You get to see factors like budget, viewership, and community engagement become a major role in how people find Atlas. Out of all things, however, the most effective form of advertising came from word-of-mouth. It’s such a delight to see how the simplest things can get people intrigued on something such as a videogame server, and since I’m a very stimulated person it allows me to keep engaged a great deal of the time!

The Elders

And last but not least, while the Elders are too humble to shout out themselves, we felt this list was incomplete without them.

The Elders: Tyrriel (left), Ajaxan, Wizardteepot, Iyoforeayo

So we will brag for them! Here at ATLAST, we love the Elders. They created such an addictive, immersive, and unique Minecraft server that is impossible to beat. Atlas is such a hidden gem, and it couldn’t have been cultivated by a better group of people.

Without our Elders, there is no way Atlas could be as vibrant as it was and how incredible it will soon be, after this Dev Period. They are truly incredible, and pour all of their talent into a platform of which us players have used as our creative outlets, social spaces, and happy distractions from the real world, especially with the ongoing pandemic.

We have huge respect to the Elders for not implementing pay-to-win systems on Atlas. They continue to engage with the player base, responding to criticism and suggestions. Atlas is a server made for players by players, something sadly uncommon with most games and servers.

Personally speaking, Atlas has been a space for me to forget about the stress of life and meet some great friends who have taught me invaluable lessons, and I believe that I owe that to the Elders for creating this beloved platform.

Ajax, Tyrriel, Wizard, Iyo, I speak for all the players when I say that you have absolutely nailed the Minecraft server game. Thank you for working on Atlas, and sticking by it for all those years. We appreciate all you do and cannot wait for this Dev Period to be over to experience it all over again!

If you missed our article on last month’s devlog, check it out here.

You can get notifications for ATLAST content in your own Discord by following the #📢-atlast-announcements channel in the Rivia discord here.

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©️ 2021 Atlast Magazine
Created by Chiliwing (Parker Bergen) under the Atlast Team
Photos provided by Tyrriel (Arnhav Iyengar) from the Atlas Dev Team

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