The following is a reprinting of one of my Defiance updates. Read the original here:



Alcatraz Preview: Expeditions

Expeditions are new, evolving co-op matches that pit players against increasingly tough enemies for ever-increasing rewards. Our first three expeditions – The War Below, Stolen Purpose, and Hellbug Hunt – will debut with the launch of the Alcatraz update!

Read on to learn more about Expedition challenges and mechanics, and stay tuned for in-depth coverage of their rewards in our upcoming Alcatraz Preview: Cyber Rigs post.

Expedition Tiers and Rounds

When you start an Expedition, you’ll be placed into a series of matches based on your EGO rating. These matches are broken up into difficulty “Tiers” to best challenge all ark hunters who participate. For example, a rating 700 hunter might enter a Tier 3 Expedition while a rating 5000 hunter would enter at Tier 19.

Expedition Tier rating determines the power level and rank of the enemies you will face, as well as the quality of the gear you will discover in Expedition reward rooms (higher Tiers lead to greater potential rewards). The Tier you will start with is determined by the EGO rating of your group leader, so be mindful of the challenge you will face before entering. A word of warning: ark hunters are not boosted up in power to match the dangers presented in Expeditions, but high-powered ark hunters will be scaled down to face the challenges of lower Tiers!

In addition to Tiers, a new “Round” tracker shows how many Expeditions you’ve completed in a row. After completing an Expedition, you will be transported back to Alcatraz to rearm, regroup, and purchase gear. But don’t dawdle! Once returned to Alcatraz, you only have five minutes to resume your Expedition run and continue your streak. Defeating your current Tier gives you access to the next while incrementing the rewards you’ll receive. The best gear in Expeditions can only be found on the third Round or higher, so be sure to return to the Expedition quickly or you will miss out!

Hunter Requisitions

Expeditions are not to be undertaken lightly. Joining an Expedition costs a Hunter Requisition – or “Hunter Req” for short – which are available both for Bits and as login rewards.

If you’ve fallen in combat without an available revive, you can spend a Hunter Req to refresh your cooldown and continue the fight. Choosing to Extract, on the other hand, returns you to Alcatraz and ends your Expedition (though you can spend another Req to start a new run).

Note: In Expeditions, reviving your fellow players now requires – and consumes – your own self-revive, which dramatically increases the risk, tension, and mounting difficulty of each encounter!

Mutant Captains and Commanders

Mutant battalions roaming the Badlands have seized valuable technology and deployed it to the field. You’ll need a mixture of resistances and shield-breaking attacks to face the Captains of their horde – terrifying variants equipped with an array advanced weaponry:

– Scorcher: A specialized Cleaver armed with flaming knives and a deadly flamethrower attack. This is, by far, the deadliest melee enemy in the Badlands; equip fire-resistant gear to survive.

– Fireteam Leader: These advanced riflemen use damage spikes to boost the offensive power of the mutants around them.

– Engineer: As deadly as they are cautious, engineers deploy special shield spikes to boost defenses around their fellow mutants.

– Incinerator: Some units operate with subtlety, but not the Incinerators – they are Bioman grenadiers who have traded their usual fragmentation munitions for incendiary rounds.

– Battle Master: The most dangerous of the mutant Captains, these units specialize in defensive techniques much like Engineers, though they prefer shield boosters to spikes.

In addition to these Captains, two new Mutant Commanders have arrived in the Badlands. Will your team of have what it takes to outwit the wily Engineer Marshal and defeat the indomitable soldiers of Jackson’s Chosen?

Raider Captains and Commanders

The Raiders have been learning new tricks, too. Unlike the mutants, Raiders take no pains to defend themselves, so focus on damage bonuses and kill or be killed!

– Pyromaniac: A Blitzer got ahold of a plethora of incendiary grenades and now all hell is breaking loose.

– Plagueblaster: Armed with infector rockets, Plagueblasters unleash hordes of infector bugs to savage their enemies.

– Electrocutioner: Tankers armed with Votan rocket technology can not only blanket areas with cascading explosives, they can destroy shields with a powerful underground attack.

– Anarchist: Rioters armed with Couriers blast bombs onto unsuspecting opponents.

The Raiders have also promoted deadly Commanders from their ranks. The Badlands now suffer under the boot of Dekuso’s Offspring – younger descendants of their dreaded Gulanee crimelord – and riotous, adreno-laden Raging Hulkers.

Hellbug Advanced Mutations and Bosses

Badlands hellbugs have continued their process of rapid evolution and metamorphosis. In the latest hive expansions, horrific new hellbug warriors – Irradiated and Electrified Conquerors – and intimidating new archer breeds – Incendiary and Plaguebringer Artillery – have been spotted accompanying colonization hordes to their destinations. Even worse, Burrowing Hellions and Monarch Hivelords have destroyed settlements previously thought to be impenetrable!

Join the Expedition

Expeditions provide an opportunity to gain power never before seen in the Bay Area. Keep an eye on the Defiance blog for more details on Cyber Rigs, the exciting new technology ark hunters will find in Expeditions. It’s survival of the fittest out in the Badlands, and it’s time to see who makes the cut!

Good hunting,

Trick Dempsey
Creative Lead, Defiance