Continuing the stream of regular free updates, Phoenix Labs has updated Dauntless with a complete redesign of Ramsgate and also given the sword a complete overhaul. It might not sound like it at first, but this is a considerable update not only to the game itself but to the story, which started with the Umbral Escalation update.
Old Ramsgate was straightforward and understated. It was mostly one big square cut into smaller sections. While the layout was great for quickly running around to collect the daily collectibles, there just wasn’t much to it. There were a few areas to explore, but the exploration area was minimal. Also, aside from talking to quest givers, crafting gear/weapons, and looking at leaderboards, there wasn’t much to do in Ramsgate. Most of the time I was there, I’d be looking to go somewhere else asap.
New Ramsgate is a complete 180 from old Ramsgate. I’ve spent the last week wandering around the new town, and I think I’m only just now sure of where everything is and how to use the jump vents to get around effectively. Yes, there are jump vents to move from area to area more quickly. It’s that large and spread out. Which, as much fun as it is and as cool as it all looks, does make running around to collect the daily collectible a slower process. I’m sure after doing it a bunch I’ll get quicker at it, but I don’t think it’ll ever be as fast as it was in old Ramsgate.
In addition to everything which was in Ramsgate previously, now there’s a ton of new areas to explore and exciting lore items to find. Sometimes it felt like everywhere I looked was something new, and I kept finding new things throughout the week. This isn’t to say no one will find everything their first day, just that if you don’t focus on that, you’ll probably be finding new things for a while. My suggestion is to try to interact with everything; there are a few new daily activities that might surprise you.
One of my favorite new additions Dauntless is bringing to Ramsgate are the races. Three different routes are randomly picked when the race starts. Players follow a path of purple wisps, which they have to collect, and the first one to get all of them wins. Seems pretty straightforward, right? The route wasn’t always entirely obvious the first time through. There were a few times where I thought the path went off in one direction only to realize later that it had diverted and then came back around to where I diverted to. There’s also a time limit, and if no one gets all of the wisps in time, no one wins. There didn’t seem to be any reward for this; it was just fun. Hopefully, over time they’ll add more routes and variations to the races as well.
The sword was a weapon I never used except when I first started playing because I had no other choice. I’m sure there was some stigma in my brain about it being the “starter” weapon, but it was also not at all fun. There was no real depth to it, and it also felt much slower than it seemed like it should be. I tend to like fast weapons the most, but the sword was a weird amalgamation of fast and slow moves, which just made it feel weird. Thankfully, the sword overhaul has addressed all of these issues.
The sword still functions well as a starter weapon, as you can pretty much pick it up and button mash your way to victory reasonably easily. Where things get interesting is understanding the two new meters the sword has. The first is a six-slot valor gauge, fills up as you finish combos. Three quick strikes gave me one charge while doing more advanced combos gained more charges more quickly. These charges can then be expended to supercharge attacks. There’s also a special bar that charged my equipped special, and it can be used when it’s full. The bar slowly lost duration while it was activated, but the duration slightly extended every time I finished a combo.
Even more important than the skills are exciting to use, the sword is a fun weapon to use now. I still felt mobile enough that on all except the fastest behemoths, I felt like I was able to hold my own easily. Additionally, the abilities look amazing now. A lot of the animations and effects are just a joy to see. I can easily see myself switching between swords and chain blades, which is a complete change from my mindset previous to the update, which was pretty much chain blades or bust.
Overall, this update is a blast, and I can’t wait to see everyone posting about all the random things they’ve found in Ramsgate and about the sword updates. I hope people who liked it previously will also enjoy the changes. Phoenix Labs did a great job of walking the line between making it easy as a first weapon but adding some interesting depth to it as well.