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Alcatraz First Impressions

Beau H Posted:
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Defiance, the MMOFPS by Trion Worlds, has been teasing the latest Alcatraz patch for a little while now. They released the content on the test server, giving players like myself a chance to check out the new stuff without having to fully commit. Defiance is one of my favorite MMOs for many different reasons, so I was eager to see how I would do on the test server.

Please note that players can redeem a code that grants them a ton of goodies on test, so I was able to get some really incredible guns and a massive amount (if not unlimited) of Requisitions. These reqs helped rez me in battle many times, something that would not be so easy normally.

In other words, what I did on test would be much harder on the real server. Fun? Yes. But much harder.

So, what was in this test update? There’s a lot.


The main focus of the patch would be the addition of Alcatraz, a very dangerous island that allows players to run through Expeditions; coop missions that feature increasingly tough enemies for ever-increasing rewards. There are three Expeditions on test right now -- The War Below, Stolen Purpose, and Hellbug Hunt – and these will open when Alcatraz launches. Of all three, Hellbug Hunt felt the most challenging, probably due to the aggressive nature of the mobs and the often hard-to-kill critters that stomped towards me.

To start an expedition, you’ll need a Hunter Requistion. These are available for Bits and as login rewards. As I mentioned earlier, I found an NPC on the island that gave them out like candy, so I cannot comment on how common they will or how easy they will be to get on live. These “reqs” can also revive you in combat.

Falling in combat and extracting to a safe area ends your Expedition and you’ll have to spend a new req to go again. Reviving other players in an Expedition will cost and consume your own self-revive. I never had a chance to try this out, as the test server is lightly populated, but I like the idea of the revive becoming more precious.

Expedition challenge tiers are based on the EGO rating of the person leading the group that is going in, or the EGO rating of the nutcase who goes solo. That means that I, as a player with an EGO rating of around 900, would be facing some pretty incredible mobs if I went in with a group leader who had a much higher EGO level. If the group leader has a lower EGO rating than her groupmates, the more powerful players will be scaled down!

The tier rating determines the toughness of the mobs inside and how shiny the goodies will be. The best stuff can only be found on the third round of the tier or higher, so between rounds you’ll need to regroup, reassess, catch your breath and get back in there! You’ll only have five minutes to get to the next round.

Honestly, I did not keep track of what I found and how long it took me. I took my time and ran through many rounds. The content felt familiar but the waves of challenging mobs definitely hit hard. There were times when all I could do was revive myself again and again until I made it to a safer area. I also had some really nice weapons, so that helped.

Cyber Rigs!

One of the other major announcements from this patch would be Cyber Rigs. These are new bits of equipment that enhance normal abilities and can be found on bosses and mini-bosses inside Expeditions. (I also found them on a convenient vendor in the area.) More bonus for your pew, basically. They are designed to connect directly to your character’s nervous system in order to improve performance with weapons, shields, vehicles and “more.” You mount them in a loadout.

Each Cyber Rig holds Cyber Chips (stay with me here) which charge the Rig and add more modifications. The charges power additional abilities that come with the Rig. The more powerful an ability, the more charge it needs. There are five different chips that each enhance particular aspects of your character: how long they last in a fight, offensive power, defensive power, non-combat stuff, and EGO abilities.

Got all that?

Keystone chips, however, can only be fitted once into each Rig. Many Rigs are ready to go as you find them, but you might want to fill the remaining slots on some of them.

So, find a group, go to Alcatraz, suit up and prepare to fight through waves and waves of enemies in the hopes of snagging some incredible gear. There are players who are reporting finishing 30 waves (I didn’t finish that many) and got some really incredible loot for their trouble. It should be noted that the test loot numbers are very generous, on live they will be significantly lower.

Mutants, Hellbugs, Raiders!

The Mutants of Defiance have been busy. They’ve been poking around and sorted out all sorts of new tech to manufacture new troop types. These include The Scorcher, Fireteam Leader, Engineer, Incinerator, and the Battle Master. I think their obvious names give some indication of what they do to you in battle. There’s also two new Mutant Commanders in the Badlands.

The Raiders have been up to no good as well (big surprise!) and came up with the Pyromaniac, Plagueblaster, Electrocutioner, Anarchists and Rioters armed with lovely bombs. You can also expect to face the Commander Dekuso and some charming Raging Hulkers.

Hellbugs haven’t sat back and let all the excitement pass them by. They now feature Irradiated and Electrified Conquerors and Incendiary and Plaguebringer Artillery while the Burrowing Hellions and Monarch Hivelords have made advancements into areas that were previously thought to be bug-proof.

You can also find a long list of patch notes on the test server forum, but I am a bit hesitant to list them all. Things change quickly, so if you want to check them out in full, go on your own. There are a variety of bug fixes, tweaks and major and minor adjustments being made, which is all good news!


Beau H

Beau is a writer, artist, PR/CM, game designer and pro moderator, and he's been blogging since 2002. He lives it up in Austin, Texas with his community manager wife. He's also the author of Anna the Powerful, a sci-fi book about the world's only superhero. Buy it here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/anna-the-powerful