Dauntless First Look – Cell Vendor, Matchmaking Updates

The upcoming 0.5.5 open beta update for Phoenix Labs’ co-operative action-RPG Dauntless that should be arriving next week will introduce a new NPC to the game – the cell vendor. This new NPC will combine your existing cells and even sell you some new ones in order to help you better customize your build. This post on the official website tells us all about the specifics of the cell vendor. Check it out:

The long-awaited “cell vendor” is finally coming to Dauntless! This week, we’ll be introducing a brand-new NPC – the Middleman – who will let you purchase and combine cells. Two new, related currencies are coming as well: aetherdust and ace chips.


The first of the two new currencies, aetherdust, can be acquired by breaking down unwanted cells in your inventory. Simply open up your bag, select the cell you want to target, and hit the Salvage button.

Once you’ve got some aetherdust in hand, take it to the Middleman. He offers three new cells for sale every week – one epic (+3) cell and two rare (+2) cells. Use your newly-acquired aetherdust (or platinum) to make a purchase. Don’t worry too much about cleaning out his shop, but do act quickly if you see a must-have cell. The Middleman’s weekly stock rotation means that old cells get replaced when new ones arrive.


The Middleman is more than just a “vendor” of cells – he’s also versed in the arts of cell fusion. Hand him two cells and give him some time, and he’ll combine them into something even better.

But which cells should you hand over? Two random +1 cells will give you an equally random +2 cell as a result. Two identical +1 cells will give you a +2 cell of that exact type. And two +1 cells from the same family (Power, Utility, etc.) will produce a random +2 cell from that family.

+1 cells aren’t the only ones you can fuse. Putting two +2 cells into the mix will spit out a +3 cell. Just don’t try combining a +1 cell with a +2 cell; the Middleman won’t explain why, but he says it would break his “proprietary cell conversion process.”

What about +3 cells that you don’t really need? If you don’t want to turn them into aetherdust, take them – and your notes – to the Middleman. For a fee, he’ll turn your +3 cell into another, random +3 cell. Maybe you’ll get lucky and score that +3 cell you really want.


Combining cells via the Middleman is free, but it isn’t instantaneous. It takes our shadowy salesman about 24 hours to fuse two +1 cells. Combining rarer cells takes even longer. Of course, you can always speed things up with some aether concentrated extract modules. These “ace chips” – available in the in-game store – reduce the amount of time it takes for the Middleman to do his thing.

You can also get things cooking by opening up two more fusion slots.

Each additional slot requires a one-time fee to unlock, but once you pay the platinum it’s yours to use. With three cells cooking at once, you’ll be on your way to your dream build in no time.


While any Slayer can use the Middleman’s services, only those who have reached the Yonder Keys will be able to pick up the “Man in the Middle” quest. Swing by the bosun and look for the golden exclamation point next time you’re in Ramsgate.

You can also check out this post if you’d like to learn a bit about the matchmaking improvements coming to the game in the same update. A bit on that:

The Cell Vendor isn’t the only thing Slayers can look forward to in patch 0.5.5. We’re also putting your feedback to work in the form of major improvements to matchmaking! We know that Slayers want faster load times, more customization flexibility, cohesive parties, and reliable hunt scaling, and we’re delivering on all fronts.


Slayers will no longer need to hang out in their airship while they’re waiting for other players to join their hunt.

Instead, you’ll be able to roam around the city as we match you with a party. Get slicked up with Gregario, embark on a rooftop adventure, or make a few improvements to your gear! The game will inform you when a match is ready. Then, you can choose whether or not you’re ready to leave for the hunt. Additionally, Slayers will no longer launch into solo hunts unless they specifically choose to skip matchmaking.

We’re also reducing the amount of loading that Slayers will need to do. This ultimately translates to more time slaying and less time waiting.


Every player brings their own distinct combat style and customizations to the hunts they embark on. Expressing yourself and showing off what you’ve accomplished are a big part of Dauntless. But what if you want to coordinate your arrival animations so that you look more like a radical squad of teenage turtles bursting onto the scene? Or sync up your banner colours before you hit the island?

Good news: You will now be able to transmog your gear, change your cells, and tweak your cosmetics in the airship before dropping into the hunt. Give it a shot!


One of the reasons that we focus so much on cooperative play is that we believe in gaming’s ability to bring people together.

Partying up with friends is a great way to slay, and we’ve been working to ensure that those parties stay strong. With OB 0.5.5, pre-formed parties will be able to use /party chat during hunts without alerting pick-up companions. We’ve also addressed some issues that caused parties to fall apart after hunts or encounter difficulties when trying to reform. We will continue to smooth things out going forward.

Additionally, we’re stomping out some of the bugs that caused problems with Behemoth scaling. The difficulty of any encounter changes to suit the number of Slayers who load into a hunt. Prior to this week’s update, if Slayers disconnect during matchmaking or as they’re loading into a hunt, it can throw this balance out of whack and result in lopsided fights.

Improvements to our systems should prevent this from happening in OB 0.5.5 and onward. We know that internet connections aren’t always stable things, and we’re always working to mitigate the impact that this can have on Dauntless players.


The gremlins that make their home deep within the internet’s dump trucks tubes are fickle creatures. One moment they’re delivering pixel-perfect combat between continents and the next they’re dropping packets into a cyberspace woodchipper.

After a strict feeding schedule (so, like, if Dauntless operates in every time zone then which midnight can’t they eat after?) and a strict abstention from water, we think we’re making headway in getting these glitchy critters corralled. But when it comes to things of this nature, there’s just no being sure.

Let us know if you hit snags while playing or if your experience improves. We’d also love to hear your feedback on the new matchmaking flow.

Our work here isn’t done, but we’re happy to be hard at work making Dauntless a better online game. Thanks for being a part of it.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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