Beta has been out for a few weeks now, and what a ride it has been! As a studio, it is incredibly exhilarating to have a ton of the hard work that we’ve been hammering away at as a studio out into the wild. Between watching streams and youtube videos; discussions on the forums, Twitter, Facebook, Steam, and Discord; the plethora of feedback that’s been provided; and just playing the games ourselves with friends and family, it’s been an incredibly awesome experience. So let’s start with Beta in general!
Beta, What is it Good For — Absolutely A Lot
Our Beta launch was something that we were incredibly happy with. When putting something as complex as a game out into the wild has developers putting on a helmet, and strapping down everything, for the potential chaos that can come with a Beta that just aren’t able to be tested in an internal environment. We launched with relatively low issues: gameplay was working at a very high degree with little bug issues; crashes were low and easy to identify; lanes performed with little issues, and our testers computers didn’t burst into flames (that was a super huge one). We were able to address crashes and tweak some things to improve the Beta experience pretty quickly, releasing four patches in a very short amount of time — SIX DAYS!
Betas over time have taken a turn in the industry to have a large range in what that actually entail. Our version of Beta was the original approach, that is getting a functional build that is very representative of the final experience regarding the core gameplay loot: build, defend, fight, and get sweet loot. A lot of things performed correctly, and the gameplay, for a Beta, could not have been better for us! That said, we have received a lot of the feedback, and are still parsing through a lot of it. Things like UI art, character visuals/faces, Survival scaling, hero and tower balance, and more are on our radar. There’s a lot of feedback that we’re getting that was anticipated, so we’ve had plans to address these things for the most part. We received a ton of feedback regarding UI visuals, and we are going to be making sure to give it that Dungeon Defenders feel. What was in the Beta was focused on functionality, to ensure we didn’t waste any work making art that could lead to wasted work. Needless to say, there’s a lot of improvements that we’re going to be making, and your feedback has been incredibly helpful to validate our plans moving forward!
Pre-order and Backing
We’ve had multiple ways that Defenders have been able to get Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. Starting with Kickstarter, which then transferred to BackerKit, and finally ending on our current store. There were bumps along the way, many we are still sorting through (note: if you preordered through Kickstarter and BackerKit, with any issues, please reach out to email@example.com, DO NOT if you purchased through our current store, that should be done through firstname.lastname@example.org). These three phases were part of our total plan, but the bumps were a very large learning process and we are working diligently to make sure we provide everything we can to our supporters.
One of the things that we’re going to be doing is sending out beta keys to our BackerKit supporters who purchased the $25 copy of the game. The store outlined what was included, but there was some confusing messaging going out about the BackerKit store. Our higher paying backers have had access to the Beta for a while, giving them exclusive access, and now we want to open it up to show our appreciation for your support, and also to make up for any confusing messaging that may have been sent.
We’re also offering more rewards through our newest storefront. We don’t want to exclude people who backed early from these rewards, so we’re going to be doing our best to be as inclusive as possible:
First, anyone who purchased through BackerKit will be moved over to our current storefront in the coming weeks. We'll let you know when this change is made. This means that you’ll get what’s at the $40 tier, but also have the option to upgrade to a higher tier if you want to, instead of having to purchase an entirely new copy.
- Second, anyone who backed on Kickstarter at or above the purchase tiers on the new storefront will receive the rewards included in the new packs. For example, did you purchase the $75 tier on Kickstarter? You’ll receive everything included in the Prestigious pack, the costumes, titles, everything!
Our goal is to make sure that when you’re purchasing Dungeon Defenders: Awakened, you feel good about the purchase, and that you’re getting awesome rewards with an awesome game. You guys help make the game, and we want to make sure you know you’re valued.
Beta Late Than Neva
We’re sorry for that pun. It’s terrible, but it had to be said. With preordering and getting beta keys, the vast majority got out, but there were some keys that weren’t properly transferred over, surveys were submitted late, etc., that lead to people not receiving their keys on time. One thing we’re going to do is extend the Beta into January. Here’s why:
You have provided a ton of feedback and we want to increase the window so that every nook and cranny is covered. We want Dungeon Defenders: Awakened to be the best game it can be, and a lot of the feedback you’ve provided has been instrumental in making sure that’s the destination we reach.
- We’re opening the beta to the $25 purchases, and some people didn’t receive their keys on time, or are still in process (please reach out to email@example.com if you haven’t already), we want to make sure that players have enough time to experience the beta and provide their feedback.
These two reasons alone make it very important for us to keep with our goals of being inclusive to all Defenders, and making the best game possible. We want and encourage you to continue to provide feedback. Maybe later this month, there maybe an update, maybe that expands on some stuff, and maybe fixes some issues you've reported, maybe probably maybe. As for January, we’re currently discussing adding more for players to experience, with there being a reflection of change via the feedback all of you have provided.
Another thing that should be in your inboxes in the coming week is a survey to those who have taken part of the Beta. While digging through all the feedback you’ve provided, we also want to get general sentiments and feedback about as many facets of the game as possible. To that end, to make sure we’re doing the best we can, we’re going to send out a curated survey for our Beta players. By completing the entire survey, we’ll be drawing 10 WINNERS to receive our Prestigious pack, giving you another copy to use for another platform, give to a friend to join you on your adventures in Etheria, or whatever you want!
Dungeon Defenders: Awakened isn’t just some simple port or remake. We’re adding a lot of content, and have some big plans for future content. People have seen some of the new rewards from the Beta, but we wanted to give you a quick sneak peek at some of the awesome weapons and pets that are coming your way:
New Weapons — Tech Rewards
With new rewards coming in, we want them to feel awesome. We also want them to feel awesome for ALL heroes. This is the Squire’s sword that you’ll be able to hunt down, alongside getting weapons for the Huntress, Apprentice, and Monk that are part of the future tech-based set.
We have familiar pets coming back that many Defenders love, but we also have new pets to be earned. Currently called the Etherial Ancient, they are just one of the new pets that’ll help boost your character and pack a punch when fighting enemies.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
We've added an FAQ section to help address questions for current and returning Defenders. We'll be updating this overtime as more questions come in!
We’re going to keep polishing systems and working. There’s a ton of feedback we’re actively working through, and are going to keep up to really make the game for our GLORIOUS Defenders. Keep throwing feedback our way, and know that even if you don’t get a response, it has been seen and that we’ll do our best to address it.
When it comes to communication, as we’ve acknowledged, have not been the best. We’re working on a few initiatives internally to help bridge the gap between our community and development. We’ve also been working through bringing on a full-time Community Manager, working with some fantastic candidates. Current plans have our new Community Manager joining Chromatic Games in January, and we can’t wait for you to meet her!
Chromatic Games is going to continue to work on doing things to the best of our ability. There have been bumps along the way, and while they can be frustrating, we want to thank you for sticking through it with us, as we grow into this new studio and are able to make awesome games for YOU! <3
To get reliable updates on what’s to come, be sure to check out our social platforms for the latest juiciest beans to be spilled:
The entire team thanks you for trying to destroy the Beta. We’re grateful for all the tremendous feedback we’ve received so far (and more to come), and want to thank you for joining us on this journey!
It’s time. It’s FINALLY time. Oh good golly gosh, it’s finally time… BETA IS HERE! Today we launched the Beta, getting Dungeon Defenders: Awakened into the hands of Etheria’s brave Defenders. There’s so much to cover, that we’re not going to cover it all. We want you to discover all the beta has to offer on your own. Let’s get into it!
The current Beta is available to our Kickstarter Backers first. This is a promise that we made during our Kickstarter, and are going to make sure to uphold. Kickstarter Backers currently have advanced Beta access. On Friday, November 22nd, we are going to open up the Beta to everyone who has purchased the $40+ preorder packages.
Beta is currently scheduled to run for roughly three weeks! Starting on November 22nd and ending on 13th, this gives us a great window to gather feedback and be able to make necessary changes before launching in February.
Progress and data from the Beta does NOT carry over to the release of the game. Beta is used as a testing ground to make sure that the game is in the best possible state. Keeping data from Beta (ha, it rhymes) can cause major issues when updating to the release version.
If you did not receive a Beta key, and are a Kickstarter Backer, make sure you have filled out the surveys that were sent to your registered Kickstarter E-mails from "Backerkit". If that survey is not filled out, then the Beta key is not sent.
All pre-order and Kickstarter Backer keys have been sent out. If you are missing keys, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the e-mail you used for Kickstarter and/or BackerKit.
Remaining pre-orders will be handled through our new store located here. If you run into any issues getting a key ordering from this store, contact support the new support here or using the link on the receipt of your purchase.
Streaming and Content Creation
During the Beta, you are free to stream, make videos, or whatever content you want. We want Defenders to enjoy and share as much as they want when it comes to Dungeon Defenders: Awakened!
There’s a lot to cover what’s in a game. Patch notes usually say what’s new, but with so much of the game being new, we’re going to let you explore the game. Instead, we're going to outline what may not be in the Beta that we are currently polishing and iterating on to get in for release (we may be missing some things from this list as well):
This is currently in a functional state. We’re going to be updating the map images, and make sure it’s a lot prettier come release.
We’re currently wanting to make sure that balance feels good across the map in general. Challenge Maps are coming your way on release!
There are a total of 15 maps in Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. Not included in the Beta is Act II, Act III, and the Bonus Maps. Act I is the big focus for our beta test, helping us set the foundation so the rest of the maps bring the right amount of challenge.
Nightmare and Massacre are not going to be included in the Beta. We don’t want people beating all the hardest content during testing. Gotta have something scary hard for you to master on release!
With Nightmare not in the beta, Sharken, Djinn, Spiders, and Goblin Copter will not be spawning in a lane near you.
All of our weapons are not in the game. We have a pool of roughly 5 different weapons per hero to simulate the amount of weapons you would see during your playthrough of Act I on release. Weapon random colorization is also not reflected in the beta build, but will be implemented for release.
We’re going to be adding various improvements to the HUD. Currently we have it setup for beta to be functional. There’s a ton of work that we’ve done not in the Beta, but expect improvements on launch.
Currently we have placeholder armor models in. The final models are currently getting a last pass and will be sparkling and shining on release.
Set bonuses are working but may not currently be showing up correctly.
We’re testing base functionality currently, so split screen is not available during the Beta.
Enemies are immune up until a certain point in spawn doors. Indicators are not included in Beta, but will be here on release.
We’re wanting to make sure that getting your friends into a match is as easy as possible, give hosts control over their sessions, and showing who’s in your party. These are currently not in the beta, and can be expected on release.
Currently not in Beta, coming on release.
Currently being developed, it will not be in the Beta.
In the Beta we have Campaign and Survival. Other game modes are coming on release.
There are a total of four pets that are available during the Beta. On release, there will be much more!
Some weapon elemental affinity visuals may be disabled, as we’re making sure performance comes first. Your weapons will be shooting flames and electricity during release.
Kickstarter rewards, such as exclusive skins and portraits, are not available during the beta.
Mana from the original Dungeon Defenders is being split into three different categories. Currently in the game is ability and defense mana. Ability mana regenertaes over time, and Defense mana is gained from defeating enemies and completing waves. Currency in the form of gold is what will persist outside of maps, being used for trading between players and upgrading items.
Trading is currently not enabled during the Beta.
With currency not in the Beta version, you are unable to upgrade items.
Boss fights are coming with release. These are big epic moments that we want to make sure are special for release.
The beta is only available on PC, so Cross Save functionality is not part of the beta.
Currently you are unable to build defenses in the Tavern. As such, there are not any training dummies for you to beat up.
We’re testing for functionality currently with our Inventory and Hero Deck systems. The Defender Forge makes its glorious arrival on launch.
New User Experience
This is something we’ve spent quite a bit of time on, and are going to refine. It is important for new Defenders to understand how to protect the world of Etheria, but it will be available on release.
A step up from what was offered in Dungeon Defenders II, tower inspection shows you the most pertinent information for your currently placed tower. This is currently disabled, and will be available at release.
Another feature brought over from Dungeon Defenders II, where you are able to hold a button/key and see what the range of your defenses are. This is currently disabled, and will be available at release.
This is disabled for the Beta currently. We’re actively polishing the gamepad experience and did not want to provide it in an unpolished state.
During the beta, the heroes will not be able to be customized in regards to color changing and costumes.
This is a feature we are providing for Defenders who don’t understand the item system right away. This will come during release.
During beta, there are no level requirements for gear. What you get is what you can use. Since we’re not having trading, we wanted to make sure getting gear was as fun as possible for testing.
Mana chests are gone-gone-gone. Keep an eye out for end-of-wave loot chests.
The options menu is currently in a beta state and does not reflect every option that will be available upon full release.
The in-game cinematics are not part of the Beta.
A lot. It's beta, so there's a ton we're still working on. Music not playing correctly, audio playing from different parts of the map instead of where you are, UIs not working properly. There's a ton, but we're knocking them out super quick. Be sure to leave feedback in the DD:A Beta Discussion Forum.
We’re going to be monitoring gameplay and feedback that all of you provide. While polishing and finishing remaining systems for our February launch, we’re also going to be scouring feedback to make sure that we get the game into the best state possible. Nothing in the Beta is guaranteed to be final, and is going to be scrutinized heavily.
From now until release, we’re going to keep churning away to make sure DD:A is the best it can be!
To get reliable updates on what’s to come, be sure to check out our social platforms for the latest juiciest beans to be spilled:
The entire team cannot wait to see you tear apart the Beta. We’re excited for release in February and thank you for joining us on this journey!