What to Expect as Open Beta Looms
Since Dauntless launched their closed beta earlier this year the Monster Hunter style MMO has seen more success than even the devs were expecting. The game quickly skyrocketed to the number three most popular title on Twitch and now boasts about 90,000 active players. And this is just the beginning. But even now as we approach the end of the year the team at Phoenix Labs is still hard at work on their next patch, Forge Your Legend (which launches today) and preparing for the Open Beta phase of their development cycle. We got a chance to sit in on vid call with the team to find out what changes fans can expect to see from the update as well as what can expect to pop up in game over the next couple of months.
A New Tutorial
When researching the actions of new players, the team found that most people took off in the opposite direction that they wanted players to head. But, they also found those players who were running off to get to the hunting and killing were actually more involved in Dauntless in the long. With that in mind, they’re now integrating a new tutorial island for newbies to learn the ropes. There’s also a new cinematic opening on the way to help introduce folks to the world of Dauntless.
More Customization Options
Players are going to get some new tools to help them make their avatar their own that will provide more diversity for folks who didn’t feel like the current system let them express themselves enough. Folks can expect a whole new set of hairstyles, makeup, and a healthy selection of beards to help them make the perfect avatar. There’s also going to be an option to hide your helm in order to show off your new looks while still getting the stat boosts from your equipment. All current players will get a free appearance reset and everyone will be able to try a new look out by visiting Gregario while in Ramsgate.
Dark Harvest Event
That’s right, Dauntless is getting its first seasonal event while still in closed beta in the of the Dark Harvest. Players can expect some new hunts, including some particularly challenging ones for experienced hunters. There will be some more accessible hunts as well for new players as well as new lore to go along with it. And you can expect Ramsgate to have a spooky new look for Halloween. You’ll also be able to get your hands on some unique, sigils, banners, and emotes.
Dauntless is moving away from loot boxes to a model more like Warframe’s which allows players to choose what you want instead of relying on random chance. They say it reflects changing interest in the community. You’ll be able to just get your particular emotes or what have you and go. Of course, the core game loop is still not pay to win in any wany. So you still can’t buy your way through the game. The team says this isn’t a reactive move to the current gaming community backlash against loot crate microtransactions, but that they’re also “Not Deaf” to the current climate.
In December Dauntless will be renewing their focus on damage types. Each weapon will be able to stagger, pierce, or break. Stagger damage knocks back or stuns enemies, pierce focuses damage on a specific part to wear it down, and break will destroy armor to expose weak points. Phoenix Labs wants characters to take on different roles in combat and learn to isolate different parts of their behemoths. There’s even a 5th weapon class coming in Dec. that’s going to focus on piercing damage.
Overall improvements are coming to combat as well. Dodge attacks will cost stamina but skip your first attack in a combo and get you into action. Sprint attacks will help you close the distance on your prey. And the dev team is working unique stamina attacks and trying to flesh out aerial moves as well. Sheathing has been streamlined. Player collision and dodging is getting smoothed out. And combat is being made to feel more responsive.
Evolutionary variants of all the old behemoths are on the way! The team wants to teach players more about timing, stats, and party composition through these new variants and flip player’s knowledge on their heads. Mess with their expectations, so to speak. Behemoths will evolve and increase in speed and power and hopefully push players towards certain types of party comps by the time they reach the end game.
Behemoth hunt modifiers coming are coming too and will apply all sorts of additional challenges and tweaks (weather, danger meter, health) some you’ll have control over, and others where you’re gonna get screwed if you’re not up to snuff.
There’s two new behemoths on their way in December too. We got a look at the they’ve named “Scarn” a giant lizard that appears to be covered in a literal mountain of rocks. This beauty of a beast has been designed to go along with the changes being made to combat. Particularly the damage types. You’ll have to figure out a way to smash those rocks, then cut and pierce your way into the soft, fleshy bits as a balanced team if you’re gonna have any hope of being a successful hunter.
You can expect the new tutorial, character customization options, and the dark harvest event to be available in-game as of today with everything else I mentioned coming in December. But, Dauntless has even more in store for the future, including their open beta, which is planned for early 2018 right now. The team is also working on improvements for their current weapons and will have an additional seasonal event coming for folks in December on top of everything else. Be sure to keep it here for more Dauntless deets in the future!