Combat Update: Axe Revisited
Combat Update: Axe Revisited

“Well. Then I’ll move. And then I’ll hit it.”

“No, Goat. That’s not– Look, what did the Farslayer say?”

“Said it was fast. Faster than–”

“Faster than anything we’ve ever fought before, Goat,” sighed Rasch, “And I’m not saying that you’re not – I just mean, do you think an axe is maybe just a little… heavy? What if we went to the smith and we got you a new sword made, mate?”

“Not really interested in a sword, Rasch. Been socking archonite away. Got plans for a new–”

“Axe. Yeah, another axe. Look, just promise–can you promise me something, Goat? Can you please just promise me that you’ll get out of the way if it – when it – charges?”

“You worry too much, Rasch. Spin those fancy blades of yours. Keep it distracted,” grunted Goat, “And I’ll hit it so hard we’ll be the only thing moving out there.”>

The axe has been a favourite weapon of Slayers who love to hit hard and heap on the pressure to maximize damage. As with recent changes to the hammer, we’re committed to routinely revisiting every weapon and enhancing its capabilities. As Dauntless evolves, so too will the weapons you wield.

Mastering a weapon is about more than just knowing which combo offers the most damage. It’s knowing the ins and outs that allow you to adapt to every situation, slide into the perfect position, and adapt on the fly.

That’s why we’re enhancing the axe and its mechanics to empower players to dig in and hit harder. Axe masters can expect better rewards for the skills. And that starts with making you a more uncompromising force in the hunt.

Hold Your Ground

Any Slayer who’s ever hefted an axe knows the tension of charging up for a top-level attack when a Behemoth is moving to strike. Will you be able to land your maximum-damage blow or will the Behemoth interrupt you and send you reeling? It takes grit to dig in and perfectly time these attacks, and we’re making these moments more rewarding.

Perfect axe swings (those executed at the right moment during a third-level charge) and special attacks will now give the players “Resolve”. Resolve is temporary protection that makes these attacks uninterruptible (akin to what is sometimes called “super armour”). You’ll still take damage, but your attack will not be interrupted.

Resolve rewards Slayers that have a deep knowledge of Behemoth behavior and are invested in mastering their weapon. We can’t wait to see Slayers making split-second decisions to risk it all for a killing blow.

Get a Grip

The approach to date for differentiating primary (Left Click) and secondary (Right Click) attacks has been vertical and horizontal strikes, respectively. This axe update will introduce a more nuanced and versatile approach to these controls.

Attacks and charged attacks mapped to LC now deal out damage from a stationary stance. While combos based on LC attacks will move you slightly forward with your swings, their utility is dishing out damage once you’re in the right position. Attacks, charged attacks, and combos based on RC are more mobile, useful for getting your Slayer into the right spot as you’re bringing down your blade.

This isn’t to say that you’ll have to overcommit to your first swing, though. Slayers will also be able to mix and match stationary and mobile attacks midway through combos. Our goal is to reward master Slayers with the ability to respond to Behemoth attacks and create new opportunities on the fly as combat unwinds. For new Slayers, this means having enough slack in combo chains to learn before having to fully commit to a multi-hit combo.

Killer Combo

We’ve been closely following community conversations regarding the “max damage” combo available to Slayers with axes. And as we’ve been known to min-max ourselves, we’re excited to challenge players to go outside their comfort zone.

Coming to the axe’s arsenal is a new combo finisher that will give you the option to unleash all of your fury and power into a series of blows that only stops when you deplete your stamina. Hit after hit will rain down on your target, accelerating in both speed and damage. It’s tempting to go all out, but be sure to keep an eye on your stamina bar in case you need to make a quick escape.

We’re excited to see how Players will use armour perks, weapon bonuses, and cells that augment stamina, attack speed, and power to pour more power into these combos. Finding ways that you, the Dauntless community, challenge our assumptions is one of the best parts of the job!

Well-Rounded Arsenal

You can look forward to getting your hands on these axe improvements in March.

There are big benefits coming for Slayers regardless of the weapon you’re wielding, too. We’re looking at a completely new elemental system, a revamp that will make lantern abilities more active, cells more diverse, and (by community request) a refactoring of buffs, debuffs, and status effects. If you’re a Chain Blades user, we’re also going to be making a pass to improve balance, integration with elemental damage systems, and more compatibility with teamplay. We’re hard at work on these improvements, and you can expect them at a later date.

These changes and improvements are directly driven by our conversations with the Dauntless community and what we are learning during the Closed Beta. Your feedback motivates and empowers us to make Dauntless better in countless ways, and we are endlessly thankful to everyone who has supported and played thus far.

Until then, thank you from all of us at Phoenix Labs. We can’t wait to show you what’s next.

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