Dauntless Struggled With Online Issues In Its First Week, But Things Are Finally Improving

Dauntless, an online multiplayer game inspired by Monster Hunter that officially released earlier this week, has been slammed with matchmaking issues and server problems in its opening days, but its developers say things will get better.

After launching in alpha in 2017, Dauntless finally came out of Early Access on May 21, arriving for the first time on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in addition to PC where it is currently — you guessed it! — an Epic Games Store exclusive.

Much of it revolves around going out on hunts with other players online, fighting big monsters in real-time combat, and using the loot and experience gained to grow strong enough to take on tougher beasts. It can be a lot of fun when it’s working, but almost immediately there were problems.

Dauntless’ store began experiencing problems early the next morning, and developer Phoenix Labs temporarily took it offline to test fixes. A few hours later, wide-spread service outages began.

The issues continued into Thursday. “Servers are hurting, but we’re working to get them patched up and back into shape,” Phoenix Labs tweeted at 5:19AM AEST on May 23.

Dauntless was then temporarily taken offline for server maintenance before coming back an hour later with a stricter limit on how many people could play. “Good news: Servers are coming back online!” the developer said. “Less-good news: We’ve had to limit the number of people that can play at once, which means that queues will be longer (for now).”

This led to much longer wait times. At one point, an in-game timer displayed “180+ minutes” for some players. But for those in the game, it was a more stable.

Beyond connectivity issues and long wait times, Dauntless also struggled early on with player purchases not immediately showing up on their accounts, a big deal for any game but especially one that’s free-to-play and relies on a sprawling microtransaction economy.

Some players have also been encountering a bug that causes a crash, something Phoenix Lab has also acknowledged and said it is working on a fix for.

“Realistically the problems that you’re siting are kind of true of any live game and it’s not for lack of planning,” Nick Clifford, Phoenix Labs’ head of publishing, told Kotaku during a phone interview. “A lot of these problems you don’t know you have them until players show up.”

While he didn’t go into detail on the technical challenges that held Dauntless back during its first week, Clifford said that while the influx of new players alone wasn’t an issue, it exposed flaws that needed to be addressed. “Until the moment happens it’s hard to triage and solve those problems,” he said.

According to a press release by Phoenix Labs, Dauntless gained 500,000 additional players on its first day of release. The studio wouldn’t specify the concurrent number of players peaked at this week, but told Kotaku it was somewhere in the five-digit range.

Following the server maintenances earlier in the week, Phoenix Labs tweeted that player capacity in the game has doubled since Thursday, something made possible in part due to Google’s data centres, which are where online matchmaking occurs.

Dauntless has cross-platform play, meaning that players can carry their characters’ progression seamlessly between PC, Xbox One and PS4, and eventually on Switch and mobile as well once it arrives on those platforms. This feature, Clifford said, was not causing the game’s problems.

While some game developers have reportedly had their attempts to implement cross-play in their games stymied by Sony, most notably in the case of Chucklefish’s Wargroove, Phoenix Labs said there were no such challenges with Dauntless.

This is possibly in part because it is published by Epic Games, whose Fortnite was the first game to have cross-play between PC, PS4 and Xbox One. “I know that Fortnite helped really make something like this happen,” Clifford said.


Comments

    An awesome game ruined by how grindy its F2P model has made it.

      Not really.

      It's essentially the same progression path as regular monster hunter games.

    I’ve downloaded this on PS4 and am looking forward to checking it out.

      I tried to check it out on PS4 late Saturday night and was told I was in a queue of 20000. I didn't bother sticking around to see how long it would take for me to get in.

        I got that message and then I was in in about 3 minutes. I'd try again, those messages are misleading.

    Anyone tried this? when i see "servers" i automatically assume it's bad for AU

      I played it a bit on Saturday for a couple of hours and had no trouble. I didn't notice any lag.

    I tried the open beta after getting hooked on MHW and found it very underwhelming. Definitely a much better game now and a different experience to Monster Hunter.

    Here's hoping cross-platform play and progression becomes a thing across the board.

    I go back to check in on this game anytime people go on about how much better it has gotten, and come away disappointed every time.

    There's no feeling of finesse or skill, or accomplishment, from any of it for me... Hell in groups a lot of the time I don't even feel I'm actually doing anything, but then I can get to the end screen and see I ranked above my group's average and all I can think is, "Now if only I got the feeling I was contributing when I'm actually playing the game."

    The lack of any real feedback from weapons and their attacks boils down to 'mash attack buttons until monster dies' with pretty much all of them. Over and over. It all feels very... simple. While I know some will say that is a good thing, I'd argue that simplicity is to the point of critical failure. Add on top of this combat that these hunts take place in bland and uninteresting environments, reused to no end, and it all just comes off feeling very underwhelming.

    Every time I play it I just want to go play a Monster Hunter game instead, and I'm far from someone who adores the Monster Hunter series... Yet the impression I get is that I'm apparently supposed to give Dauntless a pass and like it anyway, almost purely because it's free to play.

    I have jumped back into this after playing ages ago. I still have lots of fun bashing up random monsters, I do agree with a post above that it needs some more feedback, but still feels fun jumping in and out hitting random big monsters.

    I haven't really jumped too much into it though, so haven't hit that F2P wall yet (I don't even know if it really exists)

    Gave this a go over the weekend, as I'd heard it released on the 21st and expected the majority of server issues to have been resolved by now. Got put into a queue of ~6000 on Sunday morning, but got in within a minute or so, so not a huge concern. However, getting network timeouts and kicked out of hunts after 20+ minutes was not a good experience - this happened a couple of times yesterday, and made me wonder why it forces a private (single-player) hunt to be online.

    Having said that, the monsters are thus far pretty good (tho from what I've read, there's fewer monsters in Dauntless than even MHW - I'm rank 10 after half a day's play, and feel like I've seen half the monsters the game has to offer), combat is very MH (though the movesets seem extremely simplified by comparison, and the weapon selection seems extremely limited).

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