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Dauntless 'Founder's Alpha' will begin in August

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Dauntless is a free-to-play online co-op game about hunting huge monsters called Behemoths, inspired by games like "Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, and World of Warcraft," that was revealed late last year. In March, developer Phoenix Labs began taking signups for a closed alpha test, and the next month began offering Founder's Packs, one of which includes access to an "exclusive pre-beta event" called the Founder's Alpha. All of which leads us to today's news: The launch of the Founder's Alpha, and the lifting of the NDA "for new content," will take place on August 18. 

"First, a huge thanks to all of the Slayers who have become Founders at every tier. With your help, we’re working every day to bring Dauntless to life. We are excited to see the amazing things that we’ll accomplish together," the studio said. "Slayers who have purchased Founder-tier packs will be able to explore the Shattered Isles in this first publicly available version of Dauntless." 

The "Founder" Tier Founder's Pack normally goes for $100 but is currently on sale for $80, and offers access to the Founder's alpha plus a 90-day "Patron Status" stackable bonus that increases Behemoth drops, a "Slayer Pack" of consumable items, a 90-day "Style Hunter" bonus for discovering rare vanity and customization items, game credits, a guild charter, and other such goodies. Two other Founder's packs, "Slayer" and "Hero," are available for $40 and $70, but they only guarantee access to the closed beta. 

The Founder's Alpha will run for one week prior to the start of the closed beta, so while it's obviously more loaded with in-game loot, you're really not gaining a whole lot more in the way of playtime over the other tiers. And there is another way into the alpha, not guaranteed but also free: Sign up to take part here and hope your name is pulled out of the hat. Plan C, just wait for the open beta to start and then give it a go—it will be free-to-play, after all.

You can also have a look at two of the Behemoths you'll be facing in the game, get a peek at the hub city of Ramsgate, and check out Tom's hands-on impressions from January, in which he describes Dauntless as "the PC Monster Hunter game we've all been waiting for,"—though there's now going to be an actual Monster Hunter game coming to PC as well. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.