Founder's Alpha Wrap-up

news, phoenix labs


A huge thanks to all of the Founders who participated in the Dauntless Founder’s Alpha. We welcomed new faces into Ramsgate, held the Behemoth menace at bay, hit the top five on Twitch, and had a great time doing it.

We knew that the Founder’s Alpha would be a huge boon to Dauntless in the form of information and data that we would use to improve the game. But we are truly awed by the turnout and response to these early efforts. We’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with Slayers from around the world and watched as you’ve pushed the game, achieving more than we thought possible.

Four brand new large-screen TVs were hung up so that we could watch streamers while we worked. This is both a window into direct player feedback and a chance for us to enjoy the game with you. But, as we stood transfixed by Slayers tackling Shrowd and marveled at the dozens of streamers who found new audiences, we soon knew that the Dauntless community was shaping up to be something truly special.

Lessons Learned

We took some time to catch up with some of the Dauntless leads to get their perspectives on what inspired and informed them during the Founder’s Alpha.

We learned (and relearned) that players will always find a way to optimize and out-math you (which we love); especially as they make a beeline for “end game” Behemoths. This is all fuel for new experiences and even deeper challenges. If you think you’ve got Dauntless mastered, we’ve got something special waiting for you!

Chris “iClorox” Cleroux — Design Director

We threw a ton of challenges at new players and were happy to see them optimizing strategies quickly and on the fly. It’s great to see people pushing the limits of what we thought was possible. Watching people tackle the Crimson Blade Challenges inspired us to work on new big ideas and content that will compel teams to consistently communicate and cooperate around more sophisticated mechanics.

Ian “subninja” Holowka — Behemoth Design Lead

Behemoths need to sound unique and characterful, rather than just having generic ‘big beast’ voices. I spent a lot of time in R&D with new audio techniques for the Behemoth vocalisations. Players really seemed to enjoy Shrowd, which was actually the most unconventional sounding. So, this is really encouraging us to continue pushing things even further.

Rob “VectorWarrior” Blake — Audio Design Lead

We set out to really nail down the core of combat with the Founder’s Alpha. With a firm foundation we’re excited to move forward with new mechanics like aerial combat and larger variety in each weapon. It’s great to see people nailing down the basics of combat and giving us feedback that helps shape the next phase of combat depth.

Chris “MuckyBarnes” Fox — Combat Design Lead

The Founder’s Alpha has been an awesome learning experience for us. We beat the heck out of the patcher, pushed our ability to filter the data that killing a million Behemoths generates, and dug into amazingly nuanced feedback. We found holes in our testing strategy (especially around drop tables and crafting) and revisited systems we thought were rock solid but needed an overhaul (looking at you, chat system!) So, we dug in and patched four times in two weeks — and we can’t wait to continue improving the game. Keep the feedback coming!

Jesse “GTez” Houston — Executive Producer

Kicking off the Beta!

Anyone who owns or purchases a Dauntless Founder’s Pack at any tier will be able to participate in the Dauntless Closed Beta. This means that we are looking forward to an unprecedented number of Slayers joining us in the Shattered Isles.

The Closed Beta starts September 1st at 12 PM PDT and will run until the Open Beta (date TBD). While we may admit players who have signed up at PlayDauntless.com at a later date, the early stages of the Beta will be entirely populated by those who have purchased any of the Founder’s Packs.

We’ll be celebrating the launch of Closed Beta at PAX West. Swing by the booth, say hi, check out the new Dauntless merch, and see if you’ve got what it takes to win an exclusive Dauntless pin!

The Path Forward

One of the goals we set when starting Phoenix Labs was having a transparent and productive dialogue with our players. We’ve enjoyed the productive conversations on our forums, Reddit, and everywhere Slayers are congregating.

We’ve used your feedback to improve the game and shape our plans for the future. Dauntless is a living, breathing experience that will continue to grow and change over time, and your feedback is a primary motivator and guide for that change.

It’s an exciting opportunity, and we look forward to the transparency it requires on our part. We can chart our course when we can all see the path ahead of us. That’s why in the coming weeks we will be presenting the Dauntless Road Map which will outline our plans for the future in features, technology, expansions, and events.

Dauntless will have dozens of additional Behemoths, more weapon variations and classes, new islands to explore, major upgrades to UI and the player experience, stories to discover, and social features to organize and engage your friends.

We’re excited to continue working with every player to improve Dauntless. This is only the beginning, Slayers, and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come. Thank you for your continued support. It means the world to us.