Dauntless: A Quick First Impressions


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I’ve been hitting Dauntless hard during last few days. I think I put in about 10 hours (2 per day), and I enjoyed most of them. I even purchased an Intro Bundle with a cool Ninja transmog (it makes any armor look like a badass ninja). For a while, I enjoyed the mindlessness of popping into an island, hunting down a monster with three other players (ok, more like wondering around until I found the monster), and then battling it to victory and then upgrade my weapons and armor.

Recently, however, I noticed something that made me enjoy the game far less.

I had unlocked a new armor set (Pangar) that looked really great. Because the behemoth was the latest one to be unlocked, I expected it to be stronger than my +6 Gnasher armor (this is the second armor). However, it was weaker. It was at this point that I decided to {really} look at weapons and armor stats, not just their aesthetics, and I found that all armors have the same stats. All armor sets, regardless of how strong the behemoths players get the materials from are, start with a base defense of 100 and max out at 550. Likewise, all weapons start with a base attack strength of 100 and max out at 550. The only difference between weapons and armors is that some of them are more efficient against ice behemoths or flame behemoths, and so on. The weapon’s elemental affinity is what differentiates it from others.

This made me wonder… what’s the point of the game? If the point is to become stronger, I can just hunt Gnashers (the first monster) endlessly until I max out the Gnasher sets.

Maybe, the point is for me to max out all weapons and armors so that I can “be strategic” when hunting behemoths. This would let me use an ice armor and a fire weapon when hunting an ice behemoth, and then I could switch to an earth armor and thunder weapon when hunting an earth behemoth (elemental relationships are pretty simple). But is there a point to doing that when the neutral weapon and armor sets are more than strong enough?

Not really.

Some might argue that the game’s community might be a positive, but there is no game community. As I played, I aimlessly wondered through the mostly deserted streets of the town hub, was randomly matched with people to go on hunts (none of whom spoke), we would hunt down the monster, then I would be warped back to town to do it all over again. It quickly became a pointless pursuit.

But hey, I got a good 10 hours (or so) out of it and it’s free so… I guess that’s ok.

Seriously though, I expected something like an open world MMO type game. Instead, I got a Monster Hunter alpha build. If you’re someone who hasn’t played Monster Hunter World, you might like Dauntless. As for me…

… disappointed.

About Quijano

Johansen Quijano is a professor of English in The University of Texas at Arlington, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Development focusing on TESOL, and a Master’s Degree in English Literature. He has published and presented on a variety of topics including video game studies, popular culture studies, education, teaching methodology, language acquisition, romantic poetry, and victorian literature. His research interests include the above-mentioned topics, narrative, interactivity, simulation, new media in general, and 18th century literature. He also enjoys creative writing (fiction, historical fiction, and poetry), and reading all kinds of epic literary works - from the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

Posted on June 11, 2019, in Video Game Commentary and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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