Dauntless Pass Complete

The good thing about Battle Passes is that they make you play the game.  The bad part is that they make you play the game in such a way that your goals don’t always align with what you find fun.  I hit rank 50 in Dauntless a few days ago, it took about a week and a half I guess?  From a pass perspective, there’s nothing more to get.  From a game perspective, I’m full.

Given that this is the first attempt at card draws for the Battle Pass, I do think it had much more positive than negative.  Where I think there are gaps is in the variety of choice.  Selecting a fight is simple enough, you’re always going to need the materials that drop.  Those cards are always useful.  Stagger and Interrupt cards happen all the time.  Wound… not so much.  Only the War Pike does it naturally, you need to slot a specific item in your gear otherwise.  Not too big a deal.

Where things go a bit sideways is on quests that only allow 1 weapon (or sometimes two).  Because it takes such a large amount of material, you’re not exactly running around with one of every top tier weapon until a long ways into the game.  And due to the number mechanics, if you go into a fight with an underpowered weapon, you have a damage penalty to manage.  Might do 100 dmg to a level 8 behemoth, but only 10 against a level 15.  And not all weapon styles are for everyone.  I an not a fan of the War Pike.  The Hammer and Axe are pretty useless against fast moving enemies.

There are some cards that are all but impossible in a group.  Like break all parts before a kill.  I’ve killed the Shroud a few dozen times and only once was I able to break his tail.

Then there’s the item collection cards, used for crafting potions/grenades.  On the surface they seem simple enough, but in practice you’re going to end up not fighting behemoths and instead scouring the map for 5 of the 50 items you need.  It would be like trying to mine ore in a dungeon run, but the ore is 10 miles from where the enemies are.

Still, the fundamentals are there.  These are more wrinkles that can be set about with a few tweaks.  Some need to be removed, others changed in numbers. Frankly, I’m sure they have heat maps of all the cards and the metric around which are top 10 and bottom 10 would be neat to see.  Even more so if that selection was compared to the average item level of the hunters.  New players would certainly favour easier cards than veterans, if they even knew that they were easier.

Still impressed at all this growth from a relatively small group of developers (Path of Exile is similar in my mind).  If a small company can do so much with relatively few assets, really begs the question as to how large studios do so little with so much.

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