After collecting player feedback, Phoenix Labs has announced that solo hunts for Slayers in Dauntless will soon return in an upcoming patch. There was no firm date listed for the change, but the developer has stated that the goal is to have the patch live around the end of March. This is great news for players who prefer to venture onto islands hunts by themselves rather than with a group of friends or random players.
Phoenix Labs went on to explain that following the launch of Dauntless Reforged in patch 1.5.0, solo hunts were removed due to an overall development theme of wanting to make the game a “social experience that relied on teamwork.” However, feedback from the player base since the launch of Reforged has shown that this “didn’t alight with what players wanted.”
The initial decision to remove solo hunts was an interesting one, to say the least. While those who wanted to play solo were vocal in lamenting the removal of their preferred mode of play, it would be useful to know how the statistics for percentage of active players who mainly hunt in groups. As a player from the early beta stages of the game until now, this writer has only ever played with full groups of random players, and it has always been enjoyable, regardless of skill level. we are all there to slay some behemoths, and learning is all part of the game.
This is not to say that playing solo is a bad thing, because there are several reasons for wanting to hunt alone. Practicing your combos with unfamiliar weapons and builds, learning the moves of a particular behemoth, speed farming break parts, and being efficient without worrying about the skills, or lack thereof, of other players are luxuries available when going at it alone.
While it is good news that solo hunts are on their way back, there is another point to consider for those who prefer to play alone. If content and design philosophy over the past months was made with the explicit goal of removing solo hunts, again with that mindset of creating a social experience, will future content also be designed in this way, with solo content simply enabled as an afterthought? There is a major difference between content made for single and multiplayer experiences, and content made for multiplayer that still allows solo players to go at it anyways.
The point may be moot in the end, because if Phoenix Labs has had this social experience in mind since the beta testing phase of the game, then solo players should expect the same type of content from before, which was made for a party, but still enjoyable alone.
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The Fantastic, Science-Fiction, and Horror are Patricio’s go-to genres for literature, film, and gaming. Dead by Daylight is his daily bread and butter as he writes for TheGamer. He teaches Spanish at McGill by day and writes next to his Staffy x Boxer rescue from the SPCA by night.
Patricio graduated from the University of Alberta in 2006, 2012, and will have one more degree in hand by 2020. Innovation in game development, the economics of making games profitable, and the downward, decadent spiral of former great gaming companies fuels his soul to write daily. Will Blizzard Entertainment do something controversial often enough to keep this reference relevant? Patrick certainly believes they will.
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