The Defiance team at Trion Worlds is on fire. The folks have been pushing out patches, fixes, and DLC at a much quicker pace since the team all consolidated to San Francisco when Scott Hartsman took over as CEO late last year. Hot on the heels of the 7th Legion DLC, new outfits and weapons, new factions, and incursions, Trion is prepping The Gunslinger Trials: it’s first major story-focused DLC. We caught up with Creative Lead Trick Dempsey to chat about the Trials and all the new stuff it’s bringing to Defiance when it launches in March. There will be some story spoilers ahead, so be warned!
The Gunslinger trials opens up the story after both the 7th Legion, and after the disappearance of Von Bach. The main point of the tale is to introduce the players to three new up and coming executives in Von Bach Industries that hope to take the main man’s place. There are a dozen new story missions, three new arenas for each executive (nine total) and each of them is a co-op arena for you and your friends to take on together. There’s also a brand new scoring system for all of the events throughout the game, and of course nine new weapons (three for each of the executives’ styles), and new outfits to boot.
One of Trick’s favorite new weapons is the Calvary Repeater Pistol. It’s like a magnum, but not as slow to use. Meanwhile there’s a new sniper rifle that procs stealth on a chance when you kill someone with it. It’s not a long-term stealth, but enough to change location and keep your enemies guessing. All of these are purchased via the VBI vendors, and can be earned through completing the new Arenas for reputation.
Azumi Yoshida, Uvan Joharr, and Raizar Zandijur are the three new VBI execs looking to get an edge and take over the company. Azumi is the daughter of the founder of the 7th Legion, and her story focuses on the relationship between the ERep and VBI when it comes to the ecological changes to earth. Uvan, an Indogene, is the head of research for VBI and her story focuses on the Biodyne Project and why it’s on Earth in the first place. Lastly, Raizar’s an Irathient consultant to the Earth Republic, and his story deals a lot with the Irath race and where it’s headed. All three big things that will help a give a lot more back story to the show and the game, leading into this summer’s season 2.
The other big draw in Gunslinger, aside from the several hours of new story and brand new co-op arenas, is the whole new scoring system that’s coming to the game. It’s not been messaged well in the past what players are doing well or badly in the game’s many events, other than who “tops the damage meters”. Trick and his team have been trying hard to change this, like all other niggling troubles in the UI. But this problem went a lot deeper than the UI, and the new scoring system should drastically change how people play the game and work together in the future.
You’ll now know who’s out there healing, bringing players out of downed states, working with others on the same targets, taking advantages of enemy weaknesses (smelters’ backpacks, for example). All of these things will net you a bonus to your score. There are penalties too, like getting extracted from a fight will take points away. Getting incapacitated does as well. Rezzing someone gives those exact same amounts of points back, so you can’t just hang out on the edge of battled dying and rezzing to cheat the system either. This whole new system applies to arenas, arkfalls, arkbreaks, and other places that didn’t already have scoring in place. You’ll get scrip, XP, and lockbox keys for pretty much everything you partake in now.
There are also the requisite new shop items coming up, new outfits especially. Rarer outfits from Gunslinger will be available in the shop so you don’t have to wait for them to drop, if you don’t want to. The team’s also adding a new weapon back for purchase in the store that has a chance to drop rare outfits from across the game. Outfits being one of Defiance’s biggest cash shop draws, this makes sense. There are also new pursuits, achievements and levels of polish across the game as well.
What’s probably coolest about the way Defiance handles DLC? You won’t have to buy the DLC right off the bat to experience what it’s all about. You can group with friends who have the DLC, and do the arenas, tag along on the missions. But you’ll miss out on the VO, the cinematics, and can’t use the weapons that come with the DLC. But that’s the idea… it’s to be able to taste what the gameplay changes are like, and then decide if it’s worth your $10 to buy into. The whole goal for Defiance since the move to San Fran has been to refine and polish the game into an overall more social and interactive experience. The chat’s been fixed, the voice chat has been greatly improved, scoring and group benefits are getting more weight, and Defiance seems to be coming into its own as it heads into its second year of existence.
Be sure to look for more on Gunslinger Trials as the DLC nears its March release.
Bill Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, and all around goofy dork. He likes his peanut butter chunky and his coffee from Dunkin Donuts. You can follow him on Twitter and shake your head at all of his inanity @TheBillMurphy.