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Cloaked and Ready

William Murphy Posted:
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As stated in the first of our four part series, 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.  This series will not only give you a basic background of each main skill, but will hopefully also reveal a bit more about how progression in Defiance is handled. 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.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s talk about how progression works in Defiance. Some of this will be rehashed from previous weeks, so skip to the skill description if you’re familiar with Defiance.

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 up 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, we’ll focus on the thinking player’s skill: Cloak.  If you’re of the mind to sneak around unnoticed, only to pop out when you have the perfect long-range shot lined up, Cloak might be up your alley.

EGO Skill: Cloak

Cloak is ideal for the sneaky buggers out there.  It conceals the player completely for a short period of time, only uncloaking him or her if they fire a shot.  The speedy and strategic player can find higher ground, get a good shot lined up, and open a fight with a rim-rattling noggin buster from an acidic sniper rifle. Nothing like picking off a mutant before the swarm of them are alerted right?  On top of that, it increases shield regen for survival, and can easily be used in the middle of a tense fight to make an escape or find someplace to re-fuel before going at it again.

The Perks

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 Cloak as your main EGO skill.

Longshot: A lot of the early Cloak-centric perks play into the idea that a player with Cloak would be shooting from a farther vantage point than say someone using Overcharge.  Longshot gives you a much higher chance for Elemental weapons to trigger when shooting from a distance.  If your sniper rifle has an acid add-on? This is the kind of perk you want to outfit.  Higher levels of this perk increase the chances of elemental effects triggering.

Sucker Punch: Rogues do it from behind, and so do Cloaked Ark Hunters.  This perk gives you a significant boost to damage on anyone you’re attacking from behind.  In team fights, the Cloaked player should always be trying to get the better tactical advantage, and this perk makes sure you capitalize on having that on your side.

Ambush: Again in line with the idea that a cloaker will wind up shooting from a good distance, perhaps with a nice nasty sniper rifle, Ambush gives the player a significant damage and critical multiplier when firing on an enemy that’s out of combat.  Open up a fight with headshot and get them to scatter... then cloak back into the shadows, wait for them to get confused, and do it all over again.

These are just three of the early perks, and as you can see in the screens 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.  Next week, we’ll take a look at the final EGO skill: Blur.

What do you think of Cloak? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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.  


William Murphy

Bill is the former 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.