You Zig, I Zag.
It feels like the gaming and blogging world is playing one thing and I am doing the opposite. Far from being a hipster but it just feels like when the community is going one way I am going the other. There is nothing wrong with that I just can’t relate to the common experiences in Blognation right now. Many people are playing (or back playing) World of Warcraft with the pre-order up and new races to play new alts with. I can’t be bothered right now. I suspect I will at some point but I am too busy leveling characters in EQ2.
With most of the world playing Overwatch I was smitten with Paladins (until they imploded) and I only played Fortnite for the PVE part of “Save the World”, not for the far more popular and populated Battle Royale mode. I suspect much of you are just nodding your head saying “yeah well, we have been trying to tell you you are out of touch” but that is just age, of course. Mine, not yours. Get off my lawn.
Which leads me to my next grand experiment. In a world utterly captivated by Monster Hunter World I am trying the Dauntless camp.
This wasn’t done fully on purpose. I have been humming and hawwing over Monster Hunter World but do not want to compete with my 12 year old for PS4 time. I do prefer my gaming on PC and that version isn’t out for a long time. I checked into Dauntless Reddit, knowing that it was nearing Open Beta and learned a quick, easy tip there. Keys are currently free through a promotion with a streamer (Light it Up Dan!) if you subscribe. The subscription fee is $4.99 (much cheaper than buying one from the Dauntless website) BUT you can also get a free subscription with Amazon Prime – of which I am one – so I ended up getting my key free. It was easy – you link Amazon to Twitch, subscribe to Lightitupdan, type in !keys in the chat, go to his Discord, connect your Twitch to Discord, and a moderator sends you a key in chat. Took me all of 10 minutes (after the hour it took for Discord to refresh the connection to Twitch) and finally I was a Monster
The tutorial drops you in with a base “training” sword and an immediate quest to collect some items and kill a Rogue beast – the name I already forget. The art style is very Star Wars the Old Republic. Character creation was kind of fun – you pick a Mom and a Dad from some presets and then use a slider to represent which one you look more like post gene-merge. You can still then personalize, but found it fun seeing the hint of features between the two parental units. The graphics are very crisp and clean and the forest felt alive.
Combat was.. slow. I think that is the best word. You hit a button, your character reacts quickly but the act of swinging a big sword takes time. You can’t stop or dodge mid-swing and you really have to understand the
Monster Beast’s tells otherwise he is hitting you and interrupting your big, prepared swings. I didn’t love the delay but I do realize it is part of that specific weapon. Killing the Beast wasn’t too hard but I definitely couldn’t see a health bar or any obvious visual clues that he was hurting. We were just fighting, I got low, ran away until I could sort out how to use a potion, came back, worked on my timing for hits and dodging and then he was just dead all of a sudden. Victoire!!
The city was alive and plenty of quest givers and crafters to help you upgrade your weapons and armors. I explored around a bit and even had a couple of lootbox style items to open in a nearby machine. Since this game will be Free to Play there will be a loot box mechanic at some point. I was always in love with the idea of the Pike weapon and sure enough I had one in inventory (one of each weapon, actually) so I equipped it, upgraded a few things, and decided to go on another hunt – still solo, although groups are recommended.
I wasn’t able to pick which Beast to go for – an NPC mentioned to me to go practice against a similar difficulty challenged monster but in the area I found to pick a hunt I only had one option and several beasts were listed there. I picked it anyway to go see what I could solo / sort through and ran into this turtle-like fire creature. It was really interesting when I first approached it – it didn’t attack, but stayed focused on me and as I moved closer it slowly backed off. Timid to attack me but aware I was there and worried of my intentions. When I got too close he did attack.
It was a good fight. I keep forgetting to check my health and there weren’t any obvious warnings and I ended up dying and getting dumped out of the zone for a failed hunt. I am not sure if I was able to keep the items I had found around the forest or not.
It was fun. It does not have nearly the content or world building that exists in Monster Hunter World – at least not the parts I have read about or experienced on my first play through. I did get a bit of killing giant beasts out of my system and will play it a bit more for sure. If you are holding off on MHW until the PC launch and have Amazon Prime then you really have nothing to lose (and no word how many keys LightitupDan has or how long he is giving them away) so go grab one, and check it out, if slaughtering innocent creatures floats your boat. (That’s a whole separate post!)
*final, interesting note. My Nvidia Experience allows you to take screenshots of games (and videos, but i normally just use screenshots) and it automatically saves the screenshots in a folder of the same name, and names each picture starting with the name of the game. For some reason Dauntless is tagged “Archon” in both of those instances. I wonder if that is a name of the build?