Dauntless first caught my eye 2 years ago at PAX East. I tracked down one of the developers working the booth to see what this game was all about. He asked me what kind of games I played. Naturally I told him that I was big into MMOs like World of Warcraft. He went on to tell me that this game took your traditional MMO dungeon run and slimmed it down the fun part: Boss Fights! Instead of spending time tediously killing the grunts blocking your path, you are faced with one brutal enemy with interesting and challenging mechanics.
Combat in Dauntless is an action system where you learn the best way to mount your attack and the best time to get the eff out of the way (ehem enrages). The zones remind me of the 3 man quickie instances in Skyforge where you are dropped in and have a quick run to the final boss. The zones are lush and there are plants that you can gather for crafting. Some of the behemoths that you fight become familiar, and as you work your way through to the harder monsters they become more sophisticated versions of the owls and lizards that you fought in your first few adventures.
My first impression of character design was that it seemed to be a mix between Wildstar and Fortnite. The armor sets that I’ve seen so far range in aesthetics from ninja turtle to hungry viking. This game is free to play and the cash shop offers a multitude of different emotes and cosmetics for your character. The crafting system is sleek and make sense for the newbie (me). It’s a refreshing change from the sometimes overwhelming systems in your typical MMO or dungeon crawler.
The character progression systems is based on craft your armor and weapons using the skins of the behemoths that you kill. Later you get cores which grant special abilities and resistances to your armor and will be more important as you skill up. You can select 4 different special items to use during each fight. These items include healing potions, items that buff you for a period of time, grenades, and probably much more than I have access to at my current level 7.
Fighting style depends on the weapon that you are welding and can be switched quickly through your Loadout interface. This means that you are not locked into a specific play style and are free to experiment with the different weapons. I’ve come across a few bugs so far, which is to be expected since the game is currently in Open Beta. Overall I’m having a blast hunting monsters and look forward to exploring the later game, social systems and see how far my dollar goes in their cash shop. Happy hunting and see you in game!