The Dauntless alpha started yesterday, and thanks to server issues, Massively OP’s MJ had difficulty getting in. But today she is determined to check this new game out! Will she be impressed like Andrew was during his E3 play test? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 19th, 2017
We’ve been keeping an eye on Dauntless
, the sci-fantasy online co-op action RPG from the former BioWare, Riot, and Blizzard devs now fronting Phoenix Labs
, ever since its first reveal back in December
. Today, regular gamers can leap in themselves
— at least if they’ve ponied up the
80 bucks needed for a founder’s pack with access to the alpha. [Thanks for the clarification, jinarra!] Otherwise you’ll be waiting until the game launches later this year, at which time it’ll be free-to-play.
Following his E3 hands-on with the game, MOP’s Andrew Ross said the game was surprisingly solid and natural, impressive even, though he worried over rival Monster Hunter World.
Gamasutra has an unusual piece from an Ubisoft developer this week arguing that co-op gameplay is the industry’s rising midcore trend, one that he believes will ultimately outstrip team competitive games. “It’s all about all the big data and stats that are finally available and can be mined,” author Andrii Goncharuk says, “and no surprise that it’s showing that players who played co-op mode have much more play hours, and players who played co-op with friends have even more play hours.”
He may be right, though first you’d have to believe co-op ever went anywhere to begin with (and console players would probably tell you nope!). But as I read the article, I couldn’t help but see MMOs in most of the arguments he’s making about what makes co-op games sticky, and yet MMOs are being edged out all the same. And while I don’t like to think of the MMO genre’s space in the industry as a zero-sum situation, the reality is that when people tire of MMORPG baggage but still want social play, co-op is exactly the sort of game they retreat to.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to reflect on the rise of co-op PvE games outside the MMO label. Do we play them? Do we prefer them, and when? How can we learn from them? Is the popularity of smaller-scale co-op hurting MMORPGs?
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 Gloria Victis, Path of Exile, Breakaway, Dauntless, Splatoon 2, DarkEden Origin, EVE Online, World of Warcraft, Ultima Online, Skyforge, Trove, Final Fantasy XI, Elder Scrolls Online, Overwatch, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!
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.
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.