The Shattered Isles Dev Blog:<br/>Weapon and Gear Progression The Shattered Isles Dev Blog:<br/>Weapon and Gear Progression
The Shattered Isles Dev Blog:
Weapon and Gear Progression

Hey Slayers!

Welcome to the fifth installment of our Shattered Isles dev blog. Today, we share more details on how weapons and gear progression will change to create more unique gear options in Dauntless. Let’s get into it!

Where are we now?

Today in Dauntless, each weapon has a small amount of progression (through reforging), but improving your slayer’s capabilities comes mostly by crafting new weapons with different perks and cell slots.

Additionally, each weapon of a particular type (sword, hammer, etc) functions nearly the same. The embermane sword and the hellion sword, for example, aren’t very different in terms of gameplay experience. This has led to a couple of issues: limited playstyle options and a clear best choice in almost every scenario. Every time we release a new sword, it has to be better than all of the previous swords, otherwise there’s no reason to craft it.

Where are we going?

We want gear choice to be about how you want to play. The weapon you choose as a Slayer should have a noticeable impact on your Slayer’s kit. Each individual weapon should have its own approach to combat, character, and place in the world — a lot like the current Exotic weapons.

So, with the major update later this year, we are investing in deeper individual weapon progression, so that each weapon you craft has a unique set of attacks, combos, abilities, and talents. In return, lanterns will no longer have their own ability, but will instead house your equipped Omnicell.

Let’s look at two familiar examples:

The Silver Sword

The updated version of this weapon can deal large amounts of AoE damage with icy attacks and generate shields for teammates within reach of its frosty abilities. The Silver Sword is all about applying consistent pressure and resistance.


  • Element: Frost
  • Special: Silver Wind (Spin, dealing damage to nearby enemies, reactivate for a final slash)
  • Passive: Warden’s Protection (shields you generate are stronger)
  • Active: Frozen Shrine (create a broad patch of ice that deals continuous damage)

The Hunger

The updated version of this weapon is high risk, high reward. Feast Mode keeps your own health low while empowering the Verge of Night passive effect. This weapon’s reactive portal ability allows wielders to escape danger at the last second.


  • Element: Umbral
  • Special: Feast Mode (lose health over time and gain lifesteal on all attacks)
  • Passive: Verge of Night (gain 2 Might at low health)
  • Active: Portal Dive (teleport into the air, then crash downward)

You’ll notice some familiar and some new abilities in these kits. Some weapons use existing abilities that we thought were important to keep in a Slayer’s arsenal while others will introduce brand new ways to slay. So, stay tuned for more updates!

Talented Slayers

To further customize your new weapons, each one has an array of available Talents. Each talent can offer a bonus to that weapon’s abilities or a permanent bonus to the Slayer’s Buffs. For now, Slayers can unlock one talent in each line when that weapon reaches level 10, and additional talents on each line at level 20, 30, 40, and 50. Unlocking a talent will require a variety of Behemoth parts, but once it’s unlocked, you can switch to it freely while in Ramsgate.

While it’s possible to unlock every talent, only three talents can be active on each talent line at a time. Let’s look at that Silver Sword again.

Talent Type Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4 Option 5
Defensive Posture +1 Defense +10s Defense Duration +1 Defense +10s Defense Duration +1 Defense
Silver Wind +30% Move Speed during Silver Wind Activate: generate shields for self and allies -20% damage taken during Silver Wind Increase the exit hit’s damage by an amount equal to remaining special meter +20% Silver Wind damage
Strength Stance +1 Might +10s Might Duration +1 Might +10s Might Duration +1 Might
Warden’s Protection +10% Self Shield Strength Self Shields grant +1 Might Shields you grant to allies get the same bonuses as shields you grant to yourself Self Shields grant +1 Endurance +10% Self Shield Strength
Frozen Shine Frozen Shine also deals stagger damage Frozen Shrine area also grants shields to allies Frozen Shrine area also grants +2 Speed to allies +30% Frozen Shrine Radius +5s Frozen Shrine Duration
Above: talent unlock screen design with placeholder costs and text
Above: talent unlock screen design with placeholder costs and text

Level Up

While level 50 gives you access to all of a weapon’s talents, each one can reach level 60 for ultimate power. That’s higher than Dauntless weapons have ever reached before. Plus, each weapon levels individually, not as one of seven archetypes, so Slayers will need a reliable way to boost newly crafted gear.

In The Shattered Isles, completing island events, escalations, trials, and gauntlet hunts will award players with Aetherite. Patrol chests and other treasure caches may also contain Aetherite. This aether-charged mineral can be expended to increase the level of any weapon. No, there are no plans to sell Aetherite in the Dauntless store.

The Best Defense

A good Slayer can’t focus only on their weapons, however. A good set of armour is the best protection against angry Behemoths. After this update, each individual piece of armour will increase from level 1 to level 20. With each level, the gear will grant improved perks and a stronger bonus to your resistance.

Yes. Weapons will increase your power. Armour will increase your resistance. The damage you deal and the damage you take will be entirely dependent on the gear you equip.

For example:

Fiery Greaves

Level 1:

  • 10 Resistance
  • 2 Prismatic Cell Slots

Level 10:

  • 100 resistance
  • +2 Pack Hunter
  • +1 Sprinter
  • 2 Prismatic Cell Slots

Level 20:

  • 150 resistance
  • +3 Pack Hunter
  • +2 Sprinter
  • 2 Prismatic Cell Slots

Cellular Reconstruction


So, what about cells? These powerful upgrades aren’t going away, but their function is changing slightly.

Right now, cells make up too large a portion of player power. Often, they’re more important than the gear they’re slotted into. In The Shattered Isles, cells will allow Slayers to emphasize different parts of their build rather than completely define them.

The first major change is that cells will only be slotted into armour pieces. Chest and Leg armours have two slots, while helms and gloves have one. All slots can hold cells of any type.

The second major change is that all cells will be converted to the appropriate number of +1s. We’re also exploring new ways for players to earn the cells they want without the randomization from cores or the middleman. Some options include offering low-power cells in the Reward Cache and higher-power cells in the Research Lab and Lucky Break.

Our partners and testers have already provided some good feedback on the consumption of cells and how that can lead to un-fun play patterns. So, we’ll take that feedback into the next phase of development and continue working with the Dauntless community to find the sweet spot.

The third major change is that perks won’t grow in power from level 1 to 6, but will instead have a threshold that activates the perk.

Let’s look at some more examples:

  • Knockout King: +30% stagger damage.
  • Threshold: 4.

You’ll need 4 points of Knockout King to get that bonus stagger damage. If you only have 3, no bonus. If you have 5, it’s still +30%.

  • Tough: +4 Vitality.
  • Threshold: 2.

You’ll only need 2 points of Tough to get the additional Vitality.

To reach those thresholds (ranging from 2 to 8), you’ll want to use creative combinations of armour pieces and cells. Each piece of armour will offer some points by default. Usually, a complete set of armour from a Behemoth will be enough to activate a couple perks, but mixing and matching will allow for even more efficiency.

The Past is in the Future

Legacy Weapons

Of course, many Slayers may wonder what will become of all the gear they’ve worked hard to earn in Dauntless. While we are moving forward with a new design for weapon progression, we are committed to honoring those achievements. So, all existing weapons that aren’t getting a direct upgrade (like the Silver Sword) will continue to be usable, if you already have them. Without talents and the increased level cap, however, these weapons won’t be as powerful as the new ones.

A Deadly Arsenal

With unique weapons, customizable talents, and cell perks

While we aren’t quite ready to give away all of the exciting new weapon abilities for The Shattered Isles, we do love speculation. Here’s a list of all 21 planned weapons for launch, and a small bonus.

  • The Silver Sword
  • The Hunger
  • Thundersoul
  • The Godhand
  • Firestorm
  • The Living Branch
  • Molten Edict
  • The Anvil
  • Skies of Ostia
  • Golden Claws
  • Junkbolt
  • Oathkeepers
  • Reaper’s Edge
  • Fury of the Mountain
  • Eternal Winter
  • Twin Suns
  • Corrupted Moons
  • Helio & Eon
  • Bane & Balm
  • Netherlight
  • To & Fro

And later…

Phoenix Wing

Your Feedback

Thank you to those Slayers who participated in our recent playtest. Soon, we’ll be preparing for a second round of playtests with more content, more systems, and many more players. So, stay connected to the Dauntless Discord to find out more about joining the fun.

Your feedback is critical to making this update a success and we are so grateful for every Slayer who has been part of the Dauntless story so far.

See you in game for another Saint’s Bond celebration in February.

Clear skies, Slayers!