I won’t lie: The Monster Hunter World beta on console last weekend isn’t going to give you the best sense of the full monster hunting experience. It won’t let you explore the world like Link in Breath of the Wild. And it won’t scratch the full MMO-experience itch.
That being said, as someone who’s played multiple iterations of the series and deeply exploring the gaming genre as a whole, I found that MHW still surprised me with its freshness.
Old dog, new tricks
When I first heard about Dauntless, MH’s closest cognate, I was impressed. Simplifying certain parts of the MH experience for a broader audience sounded like a great idea. The game’s execution experienced at E3 and on my own made me feel like it has a potential audience. However, post-E3 MHW leaks had me geeking out hard. While Dauntless has its own weapon combos, art style, and direction, a lot of the more palatable and streamlined design is going into MHW instead – and it’s launching sooner.
After several weeks of previews, the latest update for Dauntless has arrived, and it’s aiming at making a better hunter out of you. Sharpen Your Skills will allow you to do just that with the new hunt progression system and the addition of cells, both of which augment your progress through the game and allow you to become far more lethal as you play. There are also new combat enhancements and damage types, so you’ll have even more reason to make your skills as sharp as they can be.
You’ll need sharper skills to take on new challenges, though, including two new behemoths to hunt. Perhaps you can do so with the game’s first ranged attack weapon, the war pike. Check out trailers for the update just below, and get ready to leap in and start getting better at slaying huge monsters. Or turning into a smear on the rocks for a few rounds before you actually sharpen your skills a bit, it’s a fine line.
The next big update for Dauntless is going live this month, and there’s a lot of stuff in it. A new weapon, two new behemoths, new combat mechanics, the cell system… plenty of good stuff for players to experiment with. This is, of course, why the developers have spent a lot of time writing updates about the new systems for the patch. But if you prefer a video explanation and preview? Got you covered there, too.
Yes, you can check out a video overview just below showing off the new behemoths, new combat upgrades, and so forth. It’s just a quick overview of all the things coming for the patch, but if you aren’t already excited it should serve to whet your appetite for when the patch does come out. Check out all five minutes of overview just below, which is lengthy enough that you should get a fairly good idea of what’s going into the patch.
Maybe not on the subject of the gear-enhancing cell system, that’s hard to explain visually, but the idea is there.
The next major Dauntless patch will bring new ways to play with the help of cells. Other games might call them sockets, but here they’re called cells, and they’re what allow you to change your weapons and armor into being more specific improvements for your preferred playstyle. Sure, they can just boost your attack power or whatever, but the article on these new additions makes it clear that flat bonuses are the least of what you can get.
Want to run faster every time you dodge an attack? That’s in here. An increase to stagger rate? Also there. Like smacking things for long combos? You can unlock bonuses for that. It promises to provide lots of opportunities for big gains to capitalize on each individual player’s quirks; you can check out our hands-on piece on the game from the other day if you’re curious about how effective the game is at letting you develop those quirks in the first place.
The end of September marked a major milestone for Dauntless, the upcoming monster-slaying action-MMORPG from indie developer Phoenix Labs, as it officially concluded its Founder’s Alpha event and made the jump into closed beta. Since then, legions of would-be Slayers have stormed the Shattered Isles, taking up arms to defend the last bastions of human civilization from destruction at the hands (and talons, fangs, or similarly sinister appendages) of the marauding monstrous beasts known as Behemoths.
And as it so happens, I was one of them. As a long-time fan of Capcom’s venerable Monster Hunter series, which pioneered the “kill-carve-and-craft” action-RPG subgenre upon which Dauntless aims to build, I’ve been eager to check it out for some time now. So when closed beta rolled around, I shelled out for a Founder’s Pack and joined my fellow prospects in the frontier settlement of Ramsgate, where I hoped to prove worthy of the Slayer mantle, or failing that, then at least to avoid dying horribly.
The controversy over lockboxes and their legal status continues to draw more attention from governments, with Australia now weighing in on the issue. Not the whole country, mind you, but the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), which wrote a letter stating that lockboxes were considered gambling under the country’s laws.
While the VCGLR doesn’t typically oversee video games, its opinion does carry weight in the government and could prompt action on the proliferation of lockboxes in online games. The problem? The government body says that it’s very hard to regulate and that “there are a lot of variables at play.”
“What occurs with ‘loot boxes’ does constitute gambling by the definition of the Victorian Legislation,” wrote VCGLR Strategic Analyst Jarrod Wolfe. “Unfortunately where the complexity arises is in jurisdiction and our powers to investigate. Legislation has not moved as quick as the technology; at both State and Federal level we are not necessarily equipped to determine the legality of these practices in lieu of the fact the entities responsible are overseas.”
If you are going to make a living out of taking down oversized beasties, you are going to need some serious tools to do the job. While Dauntless isn’t lacking in its closed beta arsenal, it does see room for improvement. Ergo, enter the war pike.
The war pike is Dauntless’ fifth weapon, giving players a super-charged spear that is deadly both in melee and at range. According to the devs, it “is a precise weapon that rewards a surgical approach and tactical mastery” with all sorts of combos and finishing moves. As it is used, the weapon fills up a power meter that powers a hand cannon that’s built in there somewhere.
With the newest update, the team focused on improving the combat experience with damage types, weapon enhancements, and the feel and sound of fights.
Get a closer look at the war pike in action after the break!
If you’ve been playing Dauntless since it first released to test audiences, you have probably gotten accustomed to having a large number of patches for the game at a pretty rapid pace. December is going to involve something different, though; there’s going to be one big update dubbed Sharpen Your Skills, and it will hopefully make a major difference in the way that you play Dauntless. The team will still be revealing teases of what’s in the patch, but you’ll have to wait a little longer to actually get it.
The first preview on progression is already available, showing off new randomized Behemoths to hunt, new progression mechanics, and new scheduled targets to give players more reason to keep venturing out into the world. The update will also include a progression wipe, so you’ll be starting over from the beginning to see how the game feels with improvements. Hopefully better, although it does mean you won’t want to worry too much about progression until the update arrives.
Continuing its mission to teach people across the world that if an animal is big enough it should be killed, Dauntless has pushed out its closed beta 0.2.8 patch this week.
The patch marks the end of the title’s first holiday event, The Dark Harvest. While Halloween in the lands may be over, the challenge of behemoth slaying continues. Assisting in this effort are three new Archonite weapons, more responsive hammer blast dodges, and improved client performance.
The team is also handing closed beta testers a reset button to use as they will: “All players can now reset their account progression via the My Account page. This will NOT remove any account items, such as founders pack benefits, platinum, flares, emotes, sigils, fabrics, and chroma dust.”
Add Monster Hunter World to the pile of games that are standing against the exploitation of lockboxes and lootboxes. Multiple Monster Hunter devs told Gamespot this week that the game won’t have them and won’t need them. Granted, part of the reasoning is that the game itself already uses actual random in-game loot as a “core gameplay aspect,” something the Capcom team doesn’t want people to skip via microtransactions, gambling or not.
“I think the games that successfully do loot box systems are designed around them completely from the outside and they’re a core part of the gameplay loot, whereas as our loop, it’s more based on the gameplay action itself, then gathering items, then using that to create better gear, and then using that to go and do more action gameplay,” Game director Kaname Fujioka explained. “We would have to fundamentally rethink our gameplay loop. When you’re including loot boxes you have to make them desirable to players and make them want to have them by introducing them in basic gameplay. And then that leads to further opportunities for purchasing to save time or get cooler items. And with our gameplay, we can’t just put them in there and have it work. We’d have to have a substantial re-think, which is not something we’re particularly planning to do at this time.”
Just because it is All Saints’ Day doesn’t mean that that Halloween reveling is over! No, Massively OP’s MJ will continue celebrating the season as long as possible. And Dauntless will allow her to do just that. The Dark Harvest event just started, and she’s hoping to get in on the action. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to get a glimpse of this event; you might even win a code to join the closed beta and try the Dark Harvest for yourself.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
Hey, you folks who say complaining about lockboxes never changes anything? You’re demonstrably wrong.
It turns out that EA, which increased its revenues last quarter chiefly thanks to sports games, has now announced plans to rework the lootbox/lockbox system in Star Wars Battlefront II – the game whose controversy pushed the lockbox conversation into the mainstream and even to the ears of national politics. While the company won’t eschew lockboxes entirely, it will essentially make the system less pay-to-win by removing high-end preorder cards and making them craftable instead.
EA isn’t the only company walking back its lockbox/lootbox policy in order to stay on the community’s good side: Phoenix Labs, which is currently building Dauntless, is dumping the model entirely, citing feedback from players and a desire not to be “a company that is known for being able to extract capital, or some other bullshit, out of [players].”
Closed beta MMOARPG Dauntless is rolling out what Phoenix Labs is calling its first major content update, dubbed Forge Your Legend and bejeweled with “a range of player feedback from the first months of Closed Beta.” Of note, the character customization in the game has received a meaty overhaul, with new hairstyles and makeup, a new barber NPC, and a free appearance reset. (Beards and face paint are still on the way.) Newbies will find themselves treated to a “new introductory player experience” and tutorial island, while all early backers can also jump into the new Dark Harvest events and check out the new armor and weapon art that has finally displaced all the placeholders.
What’s still on the horizon?
“In December, the next major Closed Beta expansion will reimagine the Dauntless story and progression, providing players with more exciting hunting options and activities. Slayers will also be able to master a brand new weapon class and expanded combat abilities, while customizing their weapons and armor in a new gear progression system. Two new Behemoths will also begin stalking the Shattered Isles, providing players with new challenges to overcome.”