Behind the Curtain
It’s easy to forget that we’re in Open Beta. Sometimes. But behind the curtain, our great and powerful devs are still experimenting on the core systems that power Dauntless. As a player, you can see the results of those experiments in our weekly patch notes. Sometimes it’s a brand-new system – like cell crafting – and other times it’s a refinement of existing systems.
This time, our focus is turning to combat. Working on our newest weapon – the Ostian repeaters – got us thinking about ways to improve our other weapons. How could we make each weapon feel better? How could we improve on combat? What would make Dauntless even more fun to play?
Change is inevitable. In life and Open Beta. As we start to experiment with weapons and combat over the next several months, we ask that you keep an open heart, mind, and browser window pointed to the Dauntless forums. Your feedback during this period will help inform and shape the future of combat. (And we always like hearing from you.)
Here are some of the areas we’ll be focusing on as we revisit our combat system:
Every weapon in Dauntless should feel unique. As we move forward, we’ll be revisiting the role and actions of each of our weapons to ensure that each one feels special. When you pick up the sword, for instance, you should feel like you’re making a specific, strategic choice – not just grabbing your favourite blade.
Our first set of experimental weapon changes went in with Patch OB 0.5.7. We removed the war pike’s sidestep entirely, changed its secondary attack type from piercing to cutting, and increased its damage across the board. You can look forward to similar reforging in the future – not just for the war pike, but for all of our weapons.
Mastering combat in Dauntless requires both strategy and skill. You need to choose the right gear, master your combos, watch your stamina, and time your movements. By improving on mid-combat decisions – like which attack to use at any given moment – we’re taking that strategy even deeper. You can already see some of this at work in the OB 0.5.7 war pike changes.
In that same patch, we gave Slayers the option to dodge cancel out of the war pike Aether Harvester combo finisher. What does that have to do with combat decisions? Instead of being locked into a single outcome (“Finish the combo”), war pike users now have a strategic choice (“Finish the combo but risk taking damage” or “Cancel the combo and play it safe”). There’s more flexibility, more choice, and more ways to play the way you want to.
Ever wished you had more control over status effects? Same. That’s why our third area of focus is on damage types and statuses.
The war pike’s wound damage is a good example of something we might revisit. Right now, wounding a Behemoth feels a little too random. You don’t have a ton of control over where the wound lands, it’s tough to aim at the wounded area, and it’s just all around difficult to see when a Behemoth is wounded. By improving audio and visual cues – larger and more visible wounds, special sounds that indicate wounding – we can make wounding a Behemoth more useful and satisfying.
How to Help Us
As we mentioned before, your feedback is going to be a key part of making this work. Keep an eye on the patch notes going forward, give new changes a try, and let us know what you think either on our forums or on the Dauntless subreddit. We are constantly reading through threads and comments.
Another thing you can do – and encourage others to do – is focus on giving good feedback. That doesn’t mean “tell us only good things.” On the contrary, we want to hear your critical feedback – as long as it is delivered respectfully. Compose yourself, compose your thoughts, then compose your message. The more cogent and calm your message, the more likely we are to absorb and share it.
Please also keep in mind that combat changes can be one or more of the following:
Be patient, try not to speculate too much, and work with us to make Dauntless a better, more fun, more satisfying game.