Fans of Dauntless can rejoice for the game’s latest patch, which finally adds the last batch of warpikes for all of the game’s current Behemoths. This means that there are no more placeholders for weapons in the game, and players who like sticking stuff with the pointy end of a stick have more choices. Similarly, axe fans will have a number of new options and game mechanics to use when taking down a charging beastie.
Considering that both Shrike and Moonreaver have been improved and overhauled as fights, you’ll probably have good reason to put these other improvements to the test. There are also new bits of gameplay to be found on islands and a variety of stability improvements and backend fixes, to boot. Check out the full patch notes and get ready to start slaying more effectively, however you prefer to take on the big critters.
Think you know Dauntless? Think again. The behemoth-slaying fantasy game is undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts as the developers prepare some rather significant changes and content additions for the test build.
These changes include reshaping the server infrastructure so that players across the world can game together, enriching the islands that players will visit, revisiting the axe combat style, and improving the challenge of behemoth encounters. All of these will be bundled together in an upcoming update for testers to evaluate.
Composer Cris Velasco announced on Twitter that he is getting ready to record the soundtrack for the game, which should add a nice audio element that has been missing from the game so far.
It is probably safe to say that Dauntless will live or die based on the strength of its multiplayer component. Ergo, it is in the studio’s best interest to facilitate matchmaking and empower player connections from all across the world.
To assist with this, Phoenix Labs is going to remove regional access to create “truly worldwide play.” While you’ll be automatically placed on a server that’s geographically close to you, you won’t be restricted from teaming up with others in different countries and continents. This is thanks to additional dedicated servers around the globe and an improved friends list to help you keep track of those helpful chums you encountered along the way.
If you’re carrying around an axe in Dauntless, you want to be the kind of fighter who waits for the perfect moment before hacking something in half mid-charge. That’s the playstyle that the developers want to encourage, and it’s why the game’s update to the weapon’s mechanics are adding the possibility for a special ‘super armor’ ability when timing your attack right in response to a charge. You’ll still take damage from the charge, but you won’t be interrupted or knocked down, able to fully bury your weapon in your target’s body.
Players will also be making a more conscious decision about whether to use more mobile attacks with an axe or set up for a big high-damage swing while remaining stationary, along with a new option to exhaust your stamina completely with a flurry of blows that only runs out when your reserves do. You can check out all of the details on the changes and look forward to playing with them personally later this month.
It seems as though some players’ attention has shifted back to Elder Scrolls Online this spring, especially with the recent Dragon Bones DLC drop. Telwyn over at GamingSF documented a bit of fun in which he enjoyed infiltrating a camp in disguise versus having to do it in stealth mode.
“I find ‘disguised’ gameplay is more relaxed and better paced (since stealth is slower movement),” he wrote. “It’s especially nice in ESO when you need to take time out of fighting-all-the-things in a hostile to read the many books and quest-related texts – having a pause in the action makes it more enjoyable to read these.”
It isn’t all rainbows and puppies, however. Roger from Contains Moderate Peril expressed some frustration at ESO’s leveling gear, or lack thereof: “The One Tamriel Update removed the level restriction on content, scaling everything according to the player, which obviously didn’t help the gear situation. With delves and story quests scaling to your level, there isn’t the surplus of gear generated by content fixed at a specific level. The lack of a server wide auction system is also a major contributor.”
When you’re exploring islands in Dauntless, you are looking for fun. Part of that means looking for the game’s huge behemoths to fight, but part of it is also about finding the weird stuff off the beaten path, exploring more and learning more about the world. The next set of changes to the islands is about improving that experience, starting with destructible environments that allow behemoths to just clear through and smash the crap out of you regardless of any trees or hillocks in the way.
The changes aren’t limited to when you’re fighting, though. Players can find more points of interest scattered around islands, as well as new traversal options to give you more ways to get from place to place within that same island. There are also entirely new islands coming, if you feel like you’ve already seen the existing islands to the point where more make you want to scream. Check out the full rundown to see the upcoming changes, and strap on your exploration and hunting gear for when they arrive on the live game.
As Phoenix Labs powers toward Dauntless’ open beta later this year, it took a few minutes to tally up some Big Numbers from its closed beta testing period. The team compiled all of these in a mighty infographic (which is available after the break in case you need to wallpaper an especially tall room).
So far, over 100,000 testers have dipped into Dauntless’ beta, creating 869,000 characters in the process. Amusingly, the giant behemoths of the game are winning: Only 4 million of them have been slaughtered, whereas they have managed to stomp out 7.5 million characters.
Phoenix Labs also shared the growth of its studio over the past five years. Following the foundation in 2014 with three leaders, the team has grown to 58 with 12 new hires this year alone. The studio is planning to expand from Vancouver to San Mateo, California.
It might be tempting to think that the industry is doomed and that no studio will ever be able to ignore the siren song of easy lootbox, but the parade of MMOs and online games that are bucking the trend just keeps coming. The parade now includes Dauntless, which just closed out a Series B investment round. And money helps – but that isn’t the whole story of why. As Phoenix Labs CEO Jesse Houston told GIbiz, who the heck enjoys running a company specializing in squeezing cash out of gamer wallets?
“I would rather run a business where we are 100% focused on delivering awesome player experiences and building a game for a community than trying to find the best way to optimize every dime out of them,” he says.
Moreover, lockboxes change the way players actually play.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Vendetta Online, Worlds Adrift, Monster Hunter World, Hellion, Rust, Skyforge, Blade and Soul, Portal Knights, Final Fantasy XI, Dreadnought, PUBG, Hyper Universe, Crossout, Black Desert, Dark and Light, H1Z1, Dauntless, Robocraft, Fortnite, War of Rights, Cosmos Invictus, Ultima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!
At long last, ECO has moved from alpha into beta and Early Access on Steam. Drop a little money on it and you can get into testing this blocky ecological simulation sandbox. Yes, it’s along the lines of Minecraft, but the goal here is simulating the influence you can have on ecological simulations. So you can insist to others that it’s educational and actually be right.
We’ve also had some other beta news this week, and as we do every week, we’ve assembled some highlights below in easy-to-read list format.
All of the questions above, I promise, were purely rhetorical. You don’t need to answer them down in the comments. You can, however, let us know if something is wrong with the list below where we keep all of our important beta news. You can also let us know about betas you’re involved in testing, or talk about this week’s stories, or whatever you so desire. We’re flexible that way.
With a year of alpha and closed beta testing behind it, Dauntless turns to 2018 with an eye toward grander things. Namely, open beta and release.
The team took a look at the future horizon of the multiplayer fantasy game’s development and tagged seven elements that it wants to improve in order to prepare for open beta. These elements are: user interface, evergame, island gameplay, slayer expression, combat, tutorials, and performance and scale. The “evergame” section is perhaps the most interesting, as the team desires to create compelling content and additional activities to keep players interested in the long run.
“You can expect more details, in-depth articles, developer interviews, and previews of what’s to come. The goal of open beta is in sight and we are excited to bring to life the game that we’ve been waiting for and that you’ve supported,” the team promised.
Dauntless is doubtless eyeing Monster Hunter World’s launch at the end of the month with trepidation, but the plucky indie dev team is forging ahead with its own take on the genre. That’s the gist of the letter the Phoenix Labs team posted to the community on Reddit earlier this week, anyway.
Of note, the studio says it’s working on a number of systems in the short- and long-term thanks to player feedback, including hunt modifiers, better events, beards, bulk crafting, new hunt and exploration activities, war pike tweaks, better cells, better grouping tools, improved multi-behemoth hunts, and less-annoying bleed damage. Oh, and the tutorial is getting love.
“Based upon the questions we see from players across platforms, data that we’ve gathered from your play time, and our eyes-on experience at PAX — we know that we’ve got some work to do when it comes to teaching the ropes in Dauntless. We’re excited to dig into this process!”
A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.
There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!