Atlas rains whales, again

Pirates have once again proven themselves incapable of civil behaviour, as salty early access survival sandbox Atlas has been hit by ne’er-do-wells dropping terrible whales and other oddities all over the world – for the second time in a week. While Thursday’s whale of a time was down to a “compromised” admin account, according to developers Grapeshot Games, Sunday’s cetacearama was down to “a technical exploit” they say they’ve now closed. Once again, Grapeshot took all the official servers temporarily offline and rolled back the North American PvP servers to an earlier backup. Naughty pirates.

The weekend’s shenanigans were a lot like Thursday’s tomfoolery. Monstrous whales rained over land and sea, smashing onto ships. Many dragons circled overhead. Foolish announcements were broadcast as the voice of the server.

Twitcher “StreamerHouse” captured an encounter with whales and firelizards:

As well as a daffy fake sever message (and a hoverwhale):

“The damage done was caused by a technical exploit which we have now protected against, no administrator accounts were compromised in this situation,” Grapeshot said in their announcement after tidying up the mess. “We apologise for the inconvenience and we thank for your patience and understanding during this time.”

They ended up rolling the NA PvP servers back about three hours to undo the damage. They’ve also extended double Bonus Rate rewards until Wednesday, to make up for it a little.

But only a little. Every multiplayer game will be a target for hackers, especially popular ones, but it’s rare for them to have this kind of power. It does happen, mind – Grand Theft Auto Online still has a similar hacker problem after several years.

“Please be assured that this is a priority for the team and we are working extensively to ensure that it does not occur again,” Grapeshot said.

They say “multiple” accounts have been banned over this, both by themselves and the BattlEye anti-cheat software the game uses. As for who these cheaty cheaters are, Grapeshot say “the evidence and our extensive logging indicates that this group does not have any specific ties to any one company, but are instead targeting streamers and large or well-known companies.” MYSTERIOUS.

The salty spin-off from Ark: Survival Evolved has sold a lot since entering early access in December 2018, riding high in the Steam charts for several weeks, but the hackers and general bugginess are real big problems.

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