This is the fourth and final week that we’ll be giving you all some insight into Trion Worlds’ Defiance, the EGO skills available to players, and some basic beginning builds you might start the game with when it launches in April. Defiance is a classless game, and players are free to build their character however they want, with limitations only being how many skills and perks you can have active at any given time. As we have with each successive article, let’s first start with how progression works in Trion’s persistent online shooter. Then we’ll get into the fourth and final EGO skill: Blur.
Ark Hunter Progression
In Defiance, players assume the role of an Ark Hunter, essentially a gun for hire, bent on reclaiming alien Arks for fame, profit, and of course... more profit. For those that may not know, character development is not the same “pick a class and go” action you’re used to in many MMOs. Instead, Defiance uses a classless system that instead has you pick a main skill to use (and you can learn all four) and then flesh them out with perks as you progress through the game. At character creation you’ll pick an Origin, which gives you a basic starting look and a little character back-story, but you don’t pick a class. As a shooter, there aren’t really strict roles to fill. Everyone is going to be shooting something, in some fashion or another.
It’s important to note that once you start playing the game? You can change your build, create your own, and share with others as you go. It’s going to be up to you to choose your favorite EGO skill and what perks synergize best with your chosen weapons and gear. As you play the game, you don’t gain “levels” as you’d normally know them, though you will progress in terms of how many EGO skill points you have, and earn better gear as well. All of this contributes to your overall ranking, which begins at 10 and scales up as you dive into the content and earn perks and items.
Since each player can choose whatever progression path in the game’s EGO (skill) tree they like (there are four beginning skills to pick from at launch), they’ll eventually wind spreading points across the board as they play through the game world. EGO Skills have about a 30 second recharge rate, but this can be shortened by picking appropriate perks in the skill tree as well.
This week it’s all about Blur. Blur is the skill for players who like to run up and get in the fact of their enemies, whether with a close range weapon like a shotgun, or in melee with the F-key. Almost all of its perks are built around running in like a madman and scaring the bejesus out of the enemy. I like to imagine that Blur comes with a lot of hooting and hollering and speaking in tongues, but that’s just me.
EGO Skill: Blur
Blur may have only one really active effect that you’ll notice by seeing it in action (your character gets a huge boost to movement speed), but it also does have a seriously beneficial side effect: it does full damage to shields, meaning any mobs that have shields are cut down even faster. Add in the fact that further skill ranks increase the duration by a ton, and you have a very powerful skill that looks cool to boot.
Perks are the “supplemental fiber” to an Ark Hunter’s diet. Your EGO skills determine what you literally do on the battlefield, but Perks serve to make what you do more extraordinary. As you gain experience in the world, you’ll unlock points to spend across the EGO tree. There are synergies and it’ll behoove you to eventually unlock all four main EGO skills so you can mix and match perks across the tree. Here are some sample perks that are unlocked when you choose Blur as your main EGO skill.
Escape Artist: This is the kind of Perk that’s handy for anyone. Once you’re able, even if you don’t plan on equipping Blur, you might want to get it. Escape Artist allows you to move faster as soon as your shield breaks, so you can run for cover if needed. Definitely worth an EGO point.
Nothing to Lose: Hand in hand with Escape Artist, Nothing to Lose makes you deal progressively more damage in melee when your shields are down. 10% with the first point, and 10% more with each additional point. It’s really well used in groups where you can be revived, and close encounters where you find yourself in tricky situations.
In the Trenches: In the Trenches may not seem like a major benefit, but once you start taking part in Shadow War or PVP, you’ll find that taking less damage from people who try to get the height on you is going to come in handy. Damage is reduced point after point, so it’s worth at least dropping one into early on. The 10% reduction will save your life when you’re stuck in the open.
These are just three of the early perks, and as you can see in the screen above, there are dozens to unlock and add to your character. You can only slot so many at one time, and only one EGO skill at a time to boot, but the mixing and matching if each is going to be where the fun happens. That does it for all four EGO Skills in Defiance. Hopefully it’s shown how the game’s classless system allows for a decent variety in different builds, even if the amount of active skills are limited. It’s all about the details, folks.
What do you think of Blur? Is it the skill you’d choose in Defiance? Let us know in the comments!
Bill Murphy / Bill Murphy is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.