A Tale of Two Games

Anthem somehow lost internet connectivity a few hours before their first livestream in a few weeks.  May as well go buy lottery tickets with that type of luck.  Not surprisingly, the Reddit forums are a damn salt mine.  Also, a few days ago BioWare put our some job postings for game designers – specifically for loot.  I can only imagine how it must feel within the walls of that company right now – you need to do a 180 and no step you take is going to be seen as enough.  It’s like a Bad Luck Brian meme.

I could compare this to Division 2, who are more than vocal, and are delaying their raid for QA purposes – plus opening a PTR).  It should be fair to compare two large companies in the same genre.  But one clearly has much more experience in this field – and their walls are not on fire.  So let’s handicap this a bit.

Phoenix Labs runs Dauntless – rag tag group for the most part.  Dev-wise, I see a whole lot in common with Digital Extremes (Warframe), where they have a clear roadmap and consistent communication with the player base.  There aren’t a bajillion dollars running the company, they aren’t under the microscope of big-budget hype, they made their own timeframes, and they clearly have a passion and understanding for their genre.

They release a patch every 2 weeks, with some fairly significant changes in each.

Next week sees a large patch, OB 0.7.  The core mechanics of fights will stay the same, but the “game” part around it is undergoing some major changes.  High level

New mastery system.  Complete specific tasks (per weapon type or creature type) to gain some rewards.  Could be cores, HP, stamina, more drops, carry capacity.  This is going to be the long game for a lot of people, since it allows for a significant amount of horizontal progression.

Path of the Slayer.  This rejigs the leveling process in order to provide clearer information to the player base on game mechanics.  I learned about Wound damage from Reddit.  Or how Hammers can break parts but not tails.  Or why Koshai is so much harder than Gnasher.  Players will be exposed to more mechanics while leveling, and be better prepared for the later parts of the game.

Season 4.  Lasts a month, gives cosmetic perks to free players, and about 10x the perk to people who buy a pass for $10.  Tightly related to the daily/weekly quests that provide progress for the season.  Theme is arid desert.  I do like the art style here, and I think I could complete all the activities this season.

 

Clearly, I’m rather enjoying my time in Dauntless.  It does a solid job of scratching that looter combat itch, and in combat bites that are reasonable.  Even more fun when you realize that the devs a) know what they are doing, b) have a plan to do it, and c) communicate that plan.

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