If I Was Product Manager for a Day With Dauntless

Sean L Adams
4 min readDec 28, 2020


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When you’re a product manager, you often think about enhancements to everyday experiences, apps, games, and websites. Now and again, I’ll submit an enhancement or bug to a game I enjoy playing. This is an excellent reason that Product Managers should use their products regularly, and if you can’t use your product, say your product is specialized for healthcare clinicians, and you’re no doctor. Then stay in close contact with multiple users to watch them use the product and hear their ideas for fixes or enhancements, or watch silently and get that heuristic detail you might be missing.

I play Dauntless regularly. Dauntless is a free-to-play co-op action RPG available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on the Epic Games store. It’s a fantastic game! I encourage every gamer to check it out. If you’re not familiar with the game, there will be some unfamiliar terminology in this article, but if you are a gamer at all, you’ll catch on.

Dauntless, which Phoenix Labs developed, recently completed one of their most ambitious updates to date: Reforged. While change is challenging for gamers faithful to a specific experience, I think it was a raving success. I can hang glide, people! You should go check out this game. I know that the product people over at Dauntless are doing great work; you can see it in their commitment to their users.

So what enhancements are on my mind? Quite a few, actually, but I think we’ll limit this article to one, the +6 Cell. Cells are placed in the slots of weapons, armor, and lanterns to provide additional perks for slayers.

CAUTION: (This is just my opinion/idea) Very few people will like the idea of a +6 cell because the power-ups from it make it TOO POWERFUL. Power Creep is a big deal in a leveling game. But I’m just sharing my idea because I like the idea of using 1 slot and getting the power of 2 cells.

+6 Cell Creation

User Story:

As a slayer
I want access to +6 cells.
Such that my slot usage can be maximized and my valuation of low-cost cells and materials increases drastically.


  • Currently, cells max out at +3.
  • Many longer-term players do not open daily cores because cells hold little to no value for them as such many longer-term players do not value +1 or +2 cells.
  • Cell formulas seem more RNG than formulaic when mixing different cells from different families.
  • The new +6 Cell formulas are an opportunity to take lower-tier currency and valuables and make them drastically more important.

Acceptance Criteria

  1. +6 Cells are gated by Slayer Level/Slayer Path
  2. Each +6 cell requires 50 +1 Cells, 50 +2 Cells, 20 +3 Cells, various ores, behemoth materials, Aetherdust, and perhaps Platinum (Platinum is real money, which is not always welcomed by gamers because they think the game becomes pay-to-win, removing competition and strength by growth and investment in the game. So Platinum is probably a bad idea here).
    One Reddit user suggested using in-game currency like “Rams or Merits” instead of real money.
  3. Each +6 cell requires the slayer to access the formula before the Middleman creates the cell.
  4. Each +6 cell has a specific formula.

Story: Every element of a game has a story behind it. Here’s a swing at this one.

The Middle Man, a mysterious NPC who sells and fuses cells, is selling formulas for some of the most powerful cells known throughout the legends of Ostia or wherever he’s from. He wants to share those cell formulas now that new behemoths are showing up and threatening new Ramsgate.

Unfortunately, everything has a price, and as the Middleman says, “Some things shouldn’t be negotiable. Like prices. Or promises. Or gravity.”

Formula Distribution and Discovery

The Middle Man will mass distribute 3 to 4 formulas. The remaining formulas should be found in the new Hunting Grounds or rewarded after quests and missions from Ramsgate vendors.

These are just ideas–that lead to other ideas, but that’s what Product Management is. It’s experiencing for yourself a product, service, game, app, or website and putting on your user hat to think through how that experience can be elevated and then putting on your business hat and thinking through whether that elevated experience is worth the time, effort, funds, and energy to make it a reality.

If such an experience checks off all the boxes, then you have a go-ahead from the real boss of any organization; it’s customers. With that kind of backing, all product people can truly be dauntless.

Hi, I’m Sean; I’m passionate about CX and Products. Over the last decade, I’ve been privileged to lead product organizations at some of the most impactful companies in the world. Mainly in the healthcare space and most recently focused on an internal platform managing work for hundreds of clinicians and care for millions of patients. SeanLAdams.com is my little corner of the internet; stop by anytime.