Endless Potential in Dauntless

written by Fyren

 

Dauntless has quickly become one of my favorite games. The fluid, satisfying and rewarding combat crafts an experience unlike any other. It truly makes you feel like the greatest of all badasses when you land the perfect combo, while weaving in between the legs and dodging the tail swipes of some impressively massive behemoths. Granted the game is still in a beta phase, which if we’re being honest is synonymous with an early release at this point, people are already asking for additional content. So where can Phoenix Labs, the developers behind Dauntless, take their lovingly crafted game from here?

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The first and most obvious place to add more content, would be in creating additional behemoths for the players to take down. Recently, at E3, it was announced that a new behemoth would be coming to the game in August. No details have been shared on what it may look like or play like. I do have a few suggestions for what future behemoths might be though. The most exciting one, I think, would be a behemoth that walks upright on two legs and has a design somewhat reminiscent of a satyr or minotaur from Greek mythology. Either one of these could open some interesting mechanics as well, such as impaling a player on their horns. Speaking of interesting mechanics, many of the islands in Dauntless are covered with trees. Yet, we don’t really see them play into the fights at all. A behemoth that could climb these trees and leap around them could add some verticality, making for some impressive and dynamic combat. We must remember however, that implementing brand new mechanics and modeling new behemoths can take awhile. In the meantime, I would also like to see additional elemental types added to some of the existing behemoths. For instance, the owlbear type monster, known as the Shrike, is available to fight in it’s base version as well as an ice elemental version, known as the Skraev. I could easily see a fire elemental version as well. On the topic of elements, a poison or venom type element could be added as well, giving players more options.

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Options is really the name of the game here, as I want to talk about additional biomes for the game next. There are already a few types of floating islands that players will find themselves on; rocky desert, forest, and frozen tundra. The potential here should be obvious. Tropical reef or beach like islands could make for some great backdrops, and could also inspire more behemoth designs. A jungle or rain forest type island would be a great addition as well. Thinking beyond the islands though, the airship that it is currently used only as a lobby could provide not only a stunning backdrop but could also inspire some new fight mechanics. Imagine flying along in your ship, when a Behemoth drops out of the clouds above you and attacks the ship directly. Now, the band of 4 slayers that were going to hunt the monster become the hunted and must defend themselves as well their flying vehicle.

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Now, that sounds highly entertaining! A key piece to what makes this game so entertaining though, is the weapons. Each has a unique combat style and their own set of combos and abilities. This system can be further expanded, and Phoenix Labs is already doing so. During their time at E3, while they announced that a new behemoth is on the way, they also mentioned that a new weapon is coming with the very same update in August. What’s more, is that this new weapon will be “entirely ranged”. This opens many doors for all sorts of fascinating weapon combinations to come in the future. I’ll save ranged weapon speculation for later until we see where the developers intend to take the ranged combat system. For now, I’d like to see a cestus or some sort of fist weapon. Maybe even a claw type of weapon! It could be something with incredibly short range, but fast. This would be the exact opposite of the current axes and hammers that are in the game today. There is also opportunity, using the game’s consumable system, for single use weapons to be used by slayers. A single use trap or net of some kind could add a little more strategy to our behemoth hunts.

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The systems that Phoenix Labs have developed already are incredible and provide a great base for them to build upon in the future. We can only hope that going forward they continue to deliver content with same level of care, attention to detail, and love that the game currently shows in every facet. If you are one of those few unfortunate souls that have not played Dauntless yet, do yourself a favor and go do that.

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