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Some fresh content should be arriving to Phoenix Labs' co-operative action-RPG Dauntless on July 16, 2019 in the form of the Fortune & Glory update and its accompanying new Hunt Pass season. The update will introduce a series of new timed challenges along with a global leaderboard, while the Hunt Pass will bring the usual assortment of new cosmetic rewards. Here's more on that:
Fortune & Glory (Patch OB 0.9.0) heralds a sea change for the Slayers of Ramsgate. On July 16, 2019, new challenges arrive in the form of the Island of Trials and a new Hunt Pass kicks off with High Skies: Fortune & Glory.
THE TRIALS OF LADY LUCK
If you’ve been looking for a way to prove your prowess, take it up with Lady Luck. She and her crew have towed an entire island to the edge of Ramsgate, eager to test the skills of the Shattered Isles’ most veteran Slayers. And you will be tested. These Behemoths are enhanced by dangerous modifiers, making them deadlier than anything you’ve seen in the wild so far. Think Nayzaga with Ragetail Gnasher’s shockwaves and Shrowd’s near-sight vision. Ouch.
Just in case the promise of a good fight isn’t enough to bait your hook, Lady Luck also offers exclusive Trials rewards. New weapon mods, special moves, and “Yes, I am that good” cosmetics can be purchased with Marks – a new currency earned through Trials successes. Spend Steel Marks on combat-enhancing items and Gilded Marks on looking good. Save up enough, and you can even fill in a brand-new cosmetic slot:
Just one more reason to put your skills to the test.
WALL OF CHAMPIONS
For Slayers who lean more toward “Glory” than “Fortune,” there’s another reason to take on Lady Luck’s Trials: the Wall of Champions.
The Wall of Champions celebrates the fastest completion times for each week’s Trial. Work on your approach, master those combos, and calibrate your gear to claw your way to the top of the leaderboards. We’ve even divided the Wall into Solo and Group times, giving you two different ways to approach every challenge. Maybe you’ll even top both one day.
FLAVOUR OF THE WEEK
Like our current weekly challenges, Trials will change up once every seven days. That means you only have 168 hours to master a Trial and dominate the leaderboards. Once the Trial changes, the Wall of Champions is wiped clean.
There’s one more thing we should mention about Trials: smollusks.
These snail-like creatures are the first aggressive fauna you’ll encounter while fighting on the Island of Trials. And while they might not look like much, a few unchecked smollusks can quickly turn a good run into a disastrous dance across miles of ooze. Take them out if you see them. We’ll be cooking up some other critters in the meantime.
Assassins are out. Corsairs are in. With the end of Hidden Blades on July 16, 2019, the season of High Skies officially begins.
High Skies is our first-ever season to include not just one Hunt Pass, but two. Slayers will start with Fortune & Glory – a corsair-inspired Hunt Pass tied to Lady Luck’s arrival – and end (later on) with the Zephyr Strike Hunt Pass. Each pass will feature a full fifty levels, two tracks (Basic and Elite), and a treasure trove of themed rewards. They will also be timed in the same way as previous passes – Fortune & Glory will run from July 16 to some time in August, and Zephyr Strike will begin immediately after.
You may also be interested in this recent Gamasutra interview with Phoenix Labs' head of marketing Nick Clifford and lead game designer Hunter Howe that focuses on the game's cross-platform nature. An excerpt:
So since early on, Dauntless has been a “live game,” even if it hasn’t been open access to the public in the early years. We use a combination of cloud services like Google and Amazon, you know AWS, to do things like matchmaking, player inventories, the game data itself, and progression. These are all kind of like workers running around in the background that are running on servers not stored inside our four walls so that we can offer the game effectively worldwide.
A limitation of having the “data center” is that everyone has to come to you. And it was important to us to go to the players. So we have servers in North America, South America, Western, Eastern Europe, Australia, strategically situated all over the world that no matter where you are you get the good connection to Dauntless and can play with your friends.
In terms of building and scaling I mean we had - and not in a bragging way - we had a lot of players show up in the first week, two weeks. We had a ton of players show up and really stress how we built and architected everything.
We had a lot of partners show up to figure out how we scale the game from where it was a couple months ago to the reality of millions of players today. We did a lot of bot testing and swarm testing to see “what happens if a million people hit the matchmaking API all at once?”
But in reality, like that can only get you so far. It’s not until you have real players doing real behavior against your game on live that you get a true sense of how the platform holds up. A lot of these times it’s not like a problem that you’ll see immediately; sometimes services don’t fall over gracefully, like instantly. It sometimes takes days and weeks for things to kind of unravel.