Phoenix Labs’ not-Monster Hunter monster-hunting game Dauntless is obviously standing in a big shadow after E3 2017. I wasn’t yet fully aware of what Monster Hunter World was doing, but I’ve seen solid games lose to their larger rivals who are slower to innovate in the past. Capcom, while constantly disappointing Mega Man fans, is generally quite good with its co-op hunting series. RaiderZ, a Perfect World published not-MH game that also tackled the monster hunter genre, made minor changes to the formula and came as an actual MMO but still shut down. Though the Phoenix Labs guys weren’t aware of RaiderZ‘s failure, they seemed barely fazed by Capcom’s announcement, and maybe they’re right. Surprisingly, they’ve innovated a few things Capcom itself is doing while also adding a few things Capcom isn’t.
Official Site: Dauntless
Studio: Phoenix Labs
Genre: Multiplayer Online
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Monster Hunter World‘s reveal caught me completely off guard during its E3 2017 reveal. We’d already had a title announced for the Nintendo Switch, and I’d figured that was our usual non-spinoff MH entry for the year. I’ve admittedly not finished or heavily invested in the series since leaving Japan, but part of that is because the American mobile gaming culture doesn’t really have the fanbase Japan does. In fact, I got into Monster Hunter Tri in a bad way because it was a console title. While the portability of the series really helped me to explore Japan’s gaming scene and meet fellow gamers face-to-face, my gut feeling upon seeing MHW’s console and PC plans was that Capcom might really be able to catch the western audience this time. And that was before seeing Monster Hunter lead designer Yuya Tokuda play the game in real time.
E3 is drawing to a close, with its reveals over and done with — all that’s left is processing our interviews and hands-on pieces. But in the meantime, we decided to take this week’s Overthinking to consider the field. MMORPGs haven’t shined brightly at E3 in a long time, so our expectations are usually low — the con is interesting to us more for what’s happening on the multiplayer front.
So that’s what we asked our staff: What’s the most interesting or grabby-hands MMO or MMO-ish thing from E3 this year? Which game would get your best in show and why? There’s also an extra bonus section on the con itself courtesy of our writer on the floor.
At E3 today, Phoenix Labs announced that Dauntless’ founder’s alpha will begin on August 18th, not coincidentally the same day the NDA drops and player streaming is a go. How do you get into the founder’s alpha? With a founder’s pack, of course. The cheapest one will run you $39.99, on up to the top tier at $99.99, which is the one you’ll need to get into that alpha. (Do note that to see the founder pack details, you have to create an account on the official site first.)
The studio is also putting together a “Partner Program” for content creators, so streamers should keep an eye out for that. The E3 trailer is down below.
The other day I was reading up on how the upcoming Dauntless will feature a social hub where players congregate en masse and do their business before heading off for much smaller co-op missions on instanced maps.
It’s certainly not the first game to do this sort of lobby multiplayer setup; Destiny, Hellgate London, and Guild Wars are just some of the other online games that use this format. Heck, Secret World Legends is about to reshape and reboot the game to be just that.
It got me thinking: Is this enough for my MMO needs? If I have a social hub and a chat window wherever I go, do I really need maps with dozens of random players possibly crossing my path? Honestly, I kind of like that massively multiplayer world experience, but as long as I’m connected to other players in some respects, I can still enjoy these more limited multiplayer games.
What do you think? Are social hubs and chat windows enough for your MMO needs?
Dauntless, the monster slaying co-op game made by former Blizzard and BioWare devs, is pushing forward with its technical alpha. This past weekend, 2,000 new players were invited to join the test. Didn’t get in? Your luck should improve over the summer as Dauntless transitions into closed beta testing, followed by an open beta this fall.
The official FAQ for the game was recently expanded by the team to answer more questions from the community. This includes an explanation of how the game’s social hub works: “Ramsgate is the social center where you meet fellow slayers, enhance and craft gear, select missions, and interact with other slayers. It’s a living, breathing place that we know you’ll love spending time in.”
The studio released a new trailer to provide a better understanding about the game’s basic concept (which is “hunting really big monsters”) and how it pulls this off. Watch it for yourself after the break.
Ramsgate is not the sort of city you would choose as a vacation destination. It’s cramped. It’s built in a terrible spot. It’s right on the boundary of territory filled with enormous monsters who want to stomp you into paste. But for the player characters of Dauntless, that’s exactly what makes it home. It’s a place to rest up, restock, and get ready before heading out to kill some more titanic monsters because it’s located right on the boundary of their domain and it stands as a metaphorical slap in the face to the creatures.
Also, it has dye vendors.
Obviously, players will need to be familiar with the city’s armorsmith, weaponmaster, and aethersmith. They’ll also want to visit the Stormchasers, the Crimson Blades, and the Orrery, the three factions that have set up bases within the city while jockeying for allegiance from the various monster slayers. It might not be a luxury resort, but it’s exactly the sort of city you need if you want to hunt big monsters in Dauntless… and seeing as how that’s what the actual game is all about, your options are fairly limited.
You there! When you play World of Warcraft, are you just focusing on Nether Portal Disruptors on the Broken Shore? Well, stop that; do other stuff too. And to make sure that you don’t want to do that any more, the latest round of hotfixes for the game adjusts the rewards for said disruptors, adding in lots of war supplies and dauntless tokens while removing any and all Netherchunks and Sentinax beacons. So hopefully now it’s just something you’ll want to do when it’s up, not something you wait around for.
The hotfixes also make Witchmatron Magora far more sturdy while adding in significant damage buffs for Fire Mages, Enhancement Shamans, Outlaw Rogues, and Marksmanship Hunters. You can check out the full list of hotfixes on the official site, although you probably shouldn’t do so while waiting around for Nether Portal disruption to take place. That’s not as rewarding any more, remember?
How rock and roll is the upcoming co-op monster hunting game Dauntless? You don’t even have to use a keyboard and mouse if you want to, as the game will also support controllers. The news comes to us in a preview video in which a developer fields the question of whether or not the game will allow this: “Oh yeah, Dauntless supports controllers, baby!”
Players have been cobbling together other scraps of information about this 2017 title as founder’s alpha is heading to us soon. The devs also revealed some details about the game’s founder’s packs and free-to-play model. “Ultimately, because we believe that the best games are played with your friends, we decided if we kept our player hats on and stayed true to our vision, we could bring this game to more folks through F2P,” the team wrote.
Check out all of the news for yourself in the videos below.
Admit it, you knew that Dauntless would have Founder’s Packs. That’s just the nature of the beast these days, even in a game all about slaying enormous beasts and using their body parts to slay larger beasts. So what really matters is what you get when you purchase those packs, and the development team has helpfully put together a breakdown of what you get when you buy into the game ahead of time.
At the lowest tier, you’ll be getting beta access, 90 days of Champion status (getting you more materials from each behemoth you slay), a care package with potions, a special flare, and unique icons for the forums. The next tier up also includes dyes and transmog stones for costuming purposes, while the highest tier includes pre-beta access, Patron status instead of Champion status, and your name in the credits. It’s up to you if any of this is enough to entice you into paying for the game when you haven’t yet played it.
You are not slaying giant monsters in Dauntless for your health. Sure, it’s probably a great full-body workout, but there are ways to do that which involve neither claws nor fangs. No, you’re slaying these monsters to get stuff out of them, which you can in turn use to forge more powerful items to hunt even bigger monsters. The most recent post on the official site goes into detail about how players can collect both monster bits like fur and bone along with crystalized aether called archonite; the former is just naturally potent, while the later will instill equipment with some of the essence of the monster slain.
Players will also probably want to take at the game’s cash shop for two monster-looting buffs on occasion. Champion status and Patron status both allow you to carve more loot off of a monster’s body, but the latter stacks for your entire party and gives you a small chance of receiving cosmetic items, thus making it a bit more desirable (especially in a group). You’ll still have to do the hard work of taking down the monster, of course, so get out there and harvest some animal parts.
Will you be among the first members of the public to pick up your oversized weapon and go monster hunting in Phoenix Labs’ co-op RPG Dauntless? You might have a chance if you sign up for the alpha, which you can go ahead and do right now.
As the game eyes a 2017 release, there’s a lot of testing that needs to be done between now and then. First up are a series of invite-only alpha tests (covered by an NDA) that will take place over the next few months. These tests should begin in late April. After that will come the open beta “later this year” that will allow players to stream and discuss the title.
“Much like the floating islands of the Shattered Isles, Dauntless will shift, grow, and evolve over time,” the studio said in a press statement. “We will be rolling out our closed, invite-only alpha tests over the coming months to help us deliver the best experience possible to players later this year. As a prospective slayer, this is your chance to play Dauntless early and contribute to its development. We can’t wait to jump into the thick of battle and take down behemoths with you!”
Dauntless received Massively OP’s PAX East 2017 award for “Best Multiplayer RPG.”
Even hulking, skilled, or savvy beast hunters have a weak spot, and that weak spot is the inner need to preen and show off for the rest of the crowd. To show that they are the special peacocks with the brightest and shiniest of tail feathers. To fly into the imaginations of… OK, this metaphor got away from me.
Anyway, this is just to say that the fantasy co-op game Dauntless will feature a robust cosmetic system complete with transmog options: “Slayers with an eye for fashionable accessories will also discover rare cosmetic equipment. While these items don’t have the combat prowess of behemoth-forged armour, they do make a great impression.”
Customization in Dauntless doesn’t just end at armor, however. Players will also have the opportunity to select different kinds of banners and flares to make their mark on the world as they journey through it. Some of these will be available through in-game activities, with others sold through the cash shop.