At PAX South this past weekend we got a full hands on preview with the new weapon and new boss. There are several additions that have been updated in the game and so during our demo we decided to try out the War Pike. This weapon type brings piercing attacks to the game, which we will discuss later. Of the two new behemoths they were demoing we chose the harder fight against Kharabak. This giant insect is fast and has a bag full of tricks which can really frustrate our heroes.
The War Pike
This giant spear served us well in the battle against Kharabak. The weapon has more freedom in how you work on combinations. It can move through simple piercing attacks or switch to slashing for a more powerful swing. Using both attack patterns in tandem was easy to get the hang of. In close up combat you can target to either side so if the behemoth shifts you still keep it on point, no pun intended. Getting close is always dangerous. But the piercing attacks are fast and allow for quick dodges when needed.
The slashing attack spins in and hits hard. Building a combo is easy because you can string them off of four piercing strikes or two slashing spins. These are more freeform for the player. The slash attack does put you at risk so use it accordingly and time with your fellow Slayers. The more attacks you do the more power builds up on the War Pike.
The real benefit of the war pike is the aether cannon. As you build energy you can get back at range and blast from a distance. If you find your friends in a tough spot or you are struggling to keep the beast at bay, this is your opportunity. Make sure you time it well. The only downside to the war pike is using it against heavily armored creatures, that is when you slayers with the hammers come into play.
Kharabak was billed as the difficult behemoth on the show floor. The giant insect surprised us with a host of challenges. The first being his movement. He is quick and can fly around the field choosing directions at random. Keeping up with him can be a challenge for newer slayers.
Next is his swarm attack. He summons a swarm of bugs which can get on you. You’ll have to take the time to get away and attack the swarm off your character. This is a pretty disruptive issue for slayers as you have to pull yourself away from the main fight to deal with the swarm.
Next was his stealth which kicks off randomly in the fight. You can follow him from his vapor trail and the shimmer he gives off. The first time he stealths though it is a problem. You have to then scan the battlefield to find him. Once we got the hang of tracing his vapor trail it became easier.
Finally, his slice attacks and slams were difficult. You can try to slow him down, but Kharabak’s speed continues as the fight goes on. We could not bring him down during the demo as he was just too fast and threw too many slice attacks from afar. Despite successful dodges and revives from our team, the bug won the day.
Dauntless continues to add polish and more features to their game. The combat is very exciting and having the war pike added a new toolset to the arsenal of weapons. Making sure the team was diverse in damage types and skills made for a great combination in the fight. We just had to get better at timing our dodges. As Dauntless adds in these new features the game played even better than the build we saw at PAX West. Excited to see how far they take it into development as the game goes through stages. We will definitely be back to try out more war pike skills.