In case you hadn’t heard, Dauntless is a fun little gem where you get to tackle powerful Behemoths to prove you are the greatest Slayer in the Shattered Isles. Phoenix Labs have developed a wonderful update, known as Sharpen Your Skills. Bringing a new customisation system, new weapons, revamped matchmaking and two brand new Behemoths to hunt.
The best thing to start with is definitely the new monsters we will get to hunt when we enter the Shattered Isles on December 8th. The Skarn, which gets its name from an old Swedish mining term is tough rock-based Behemoth which is covered in damage-mitigating rock armour. This armour can be stripped away by relentlessly hammering away at it (not just a fun way to phrase that but I will get to it soon). The Skarn can hurl a storm of large rocks at Slayers, or more likely, the poor Slayer who drew its attention. This stone beast can also create a barrier of floating stones so to block escape routes and manufacture a deadly arena.
The Kharabak, on the other hand, is an incredibly fast, airborne Behemoth which is going to be an unpredictable foe and a big challenge for even seasoned Slayers. The Kharabak uses its quick and decisive movements to cut Slayers to ribbons. Featuring a basic claw slash attack and a ranged air slice, the Kharabak will keep you on your toes.
While each weapon at the moment offers unique playstyle changes and a fair amount of aesthetic considerations this next update will be bringing damage types for each weapon type that exist in the game as well as all weapons to come. Tactical considerations will need to be kept in mind before going out on a hunt, as well as providing a chance for greater team coordination.
The brand new War Pike will be dealing Piercing Damage which, when repeatedly inflicted on the limbs of a Behemoth, will cause a Wound, which in turn will allow it to be severed by a Slashing weapon like a Sword. Hammers play a special part in this update due to the arrival of the Skarn, being bestowed with Blunt Damage, able to stagger as well as break away the rocky armour of the Behemoth and any other armoured foe.
The War Pike will make its appearance in the Sharpen Your Skills update, combining a powerful piercing weapon combined a tactical RPG mounted on the back. The War Pike requires a little bit of skill to use with the charge meter for the ranged blast being reset if you are struck by the Behemoth. It is a high-risk high-reward weapon that will pay out for skilled Slayers.
Weapon Damage types are one way to customise your playstyle as a Slayer and a Cell System is another. The Cell System involves you collecting special Cells that can be installed on weapons and armour in exchange for special bonuses. Defensive bonuses, team benefits and damage modifiers are all on the table.
In fact, you can see above that the Fortress Cell provides a small shield as a reward for not taking damage for 10s, which could be paired quite well with the Chain Blades or the War Pike.
The last major change in this patch affects one of the backbones of Dauntless, which is the matchmaking system that allows you to complete hunts against Behemoths in the first place. The way the old system works and still does for a few more days is that you select a particular Behemoth to chase down either Solo or in a Party. One of the drawbacks is that at times there are no players for your particular hunt, forcing you to attempt it solo, which can be a tough and “daunting” task (bad joke #305).
Matchmaking has been streamlined with Patrol Hunts sending you into a specific area with a roster of Behemoths that you can discover, which will not only streamline the farming process but will merge the hunt pools filling it with more players.
There will also be the additions of Daily and Weekly challenges which will throw powerful Behemoths at you with additional hunt modifiers with the promise of extra loot if you can rise to the occasion.