An Atlas bug gave NPC ships rapid-fire cannons that obliterated players in seconds

Yesterday evening, Atlas developers Grapeshot Games released their 10.71 patch which contained a few minor tweaks and one very fatal—and hilarious—bug (which is now fixed). Upon logging back into the game, players who engaged the hostile Ships of the Damned quickly realized something was very wrong. Normally, these NPC ships prowl the open sea and are a great target for higher-level players looking for a ship battle. But after patch 10.71, these ghost ships were incidentally equipped with rapid-fire cannons with an infinite ammo supply. Players who got too close were quickly slaughtered in a hail of rapid cannon fire.

Within minutes, the Atlas subreddit became flooded with players sharing their fatal encounters with these now super-powered Ships of the Damned. In the video above, for example, Youtuber BattleNex and his crew fight helplessly against a measly level one Ship of the Damned. I love the bewilderment in their voices as cannons shred their ship to pieces, and I'm amazed they were able to kill the ship before being completely destroyed themselves. Other players didn't have the same sense of humor.

"It's fucking stupid," says YouTuber 50ten out of frustration as his galleon is obliterated in seconds by another level one Ship of the Damned. The rates at which players gather resources was more than doubled in a recent patch, so rebuilding isn't as painful as it once was. But 50ten likely lost hours of work due to this bug.

If you want a closer look, I also love Culparex's video of his crew engaging one of the ghost ships and being quickly overwhelmed.

Fortunately, Grapeshot Games was able to fix the bug relatively quickly. At some point last night, patch 10.75 was released that fixed the glitch so that Ships of the Damned no longer had rapid-fire cannons. While it was a short-lived (and very funny to watch) glitch, I'm sure that's little consolation for the unlucky sailors who lost their ships last night.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.