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[CG] Brittani

KeyArt_Episode1_logo-only.png

 

DEFENDERS,

The time has come… Dungeon Defenders: Awakened passed Nintendo’s Lot Check process and is ready for release on the Nintendo Switch! Thanks to all of the great feedback from our PTR testers, we’re now at a place where we feel ready to announce more details on the release of The Lycan’s Keep update (formerly known as Episode One) as well.

The official release date for DDA on Nintendo Switch is August 4, 2021. But that’s not all... The highly anticipated free update “The Lycan’s Keep” will launch simultaneously on PC via Steam, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on August 4th, too; this update will be available on or soon after the launch of Dungeon Defenders: Awakened on Nintendo Switch.

Pre-order for Dungeon Defenders: Awakened on Nintendo Switch will be available on July 28, 2021.

Qualifying Kickstarter and Xsolla Backers who chose Nintendo Switch as the platform for their Game Key reward will receive their digital game key in their emails prior to the launch time on August 4th.

While you’re here, check out the official trailer for the release of DDA on Switch:

PlayStation Update

For PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 ports, we don’t yet have a release timeline. We previously announced we’re aiming for DDA to be out on all consoles by the end of the year. That will still be our goal, but we need some more time to figure out what tasks we need to complete to get DDA through Sony’s certification.

Social Defenders

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from Chromatic Games and the Dungeon Defenders franchise, follow us on all our social channels:

For Etheria!
Chromatic Games

[CG] Brittani

DEFENDERS,

The Public Test Realm (PTR) is out now and there’s a lot for you to test (click here to find out how to get in). We’re going to be gathering feedback on and updating based on that feedback as we go! You may notice there is more in this update than what we have already announced (and we plan on adding even more as we get closer to launch), so we will frequently be adding to this list in order to get your feedback on additional elements and changes.

DISCLOSURE

This is a PTR build. That means that things are going to be in a rough state, not finished, maybe a bit buggy, etc. It’s by no means a perfect representation of the game, or final in any means. Please take this into consideration when providing feedback. We’ve spent a lot of time working hard on getting this massive update going. We ask that you be respectful when providing feedback and understand that actual people put a lot of time and effort into everything you’re testing.

Feedback

Through the escape menu, there is a link to a survey. You can fill this survey out and edit it over the course of the PTR.

REWARDS!

For your time spent testing the PTR (we ask at least 30 minutes if possible) and filling out our survey, you will earn a brand new reward, Tester’s Eagle Wings:

Wings PTR.png

We are able to track your account, so don’t worry about adding any identifying information, we’ll get the reward automatically unlocked on your account when Episode 1 launches. To ensure it gets unlocked, there is a question on the survey that has your “PlayFab ID” (this is what we use for cloud storage and account saving). Do not edit whatever is in that field, otherwise the rewards will not be able to be applied to your account.

In future PTR tests, we will have additional rewards for your time. We really appreciate your feedback and constructive criticism, and our goal is to give something back. :)

Defense Rate Changes

Before we get into everything else, we want to talk about Defense Rate changes. Through our development with the Switch, and throughout our certification process, our game was not able to perform with the speed at which towers were attacking, effectively making releasing on the Switch impossible (due to how towers calculate enemy positions, priorities, tons of AI tracking, VFX being played, damage calculations, etc.) because of how many resources they took to make those processes work. As a result, we’ve provided a cap for Defense Rate that caps most towers at 0.50 shots a second.

This brings in Defense Rate overflow. Basically what this means is when you pump Defense Rate into a tower, that stat is rolled over into Defense Power instead. This means that while some towers will be attacking slower than before, they will be hitting harder to compensate for the Defense Rate cap (so the stat is not wasted). This includes any Defense Rate increase that you would get from boosting a tower using Overcharge or Speedy Gemstone for example.

We had to act pretty fast on this to ensure we can release it on Nintendo Switch. We discussed having two different versions (a Switch version with the lowered rates), but that just isn’t possible for us to maintain with a team of our size. Balancing it and making it fair would be impossible, and there might be metas where playing certain content on one platform may be easier than others, which is something we want to avoid entirely.

We’re looking to get as much feedback as possible here to make sure this change feels good while allowing us to fulfill our promise of releasing on Nintendo Switch.

Heroes

The Rogue and The Warden are now available for testing!

Maps

The Mill, The Outpost, The Keep, and Foundries and Forges are all available for testing!

Item Effects

Our new system dubbed “Item Effects” have been added to gear (lower level pieces do not contain them) and are available for testing!

New Set Bonuses

New Set Bonuses have been added to gear and are available for testing!

Boss Tests

Test of the Demon, Mech, and Ancient have been added in a new game mode called Tests and are all available for testing!

Bonus Waves

In Nightmare and Massacre Survival, Bonus Waves are now available for testing (unlocked after beating Wave 25 Survival of each difficulty on Alchemical Labs, Throne Room, The Summit, and The Keep)!

The Lycan King

The Act IV boss, The Lycan King, is not available for testing at this time.

Rift Portals

Selecting Rifted and playing the new Act IV maps will have Rift Portals appear and is now available for testing!

Rifted Changes

Rifted enemy schedules have been changed to not include non-Rifted enemies and are available for testing!

Level Cap Increase

The level cap has been increased to 105 and is now available for testing!

New Accessory: Wings

Wings have been added to the game and are now available for testing! (you must complete one of the Boss Test maps)

Offhands

Offhands have been added to drop tables and are now available for testing!

Hero Deck Changes

The Hero Deck size has been increased to six, as well as providing additional bonuses for heroes in the hero deck. This is now available for testing!

Crit and Crit Bonus

Critical chance and critical bonus have been added to swords and polearms and are now available for testing!

Secondary Ability Changes

The Huntress’s secondary is a grenade toss, and the Monk’s secondary now scales off level instead of weapon. Both are now available for testing!

Ammo and Reload

Ammo and reloading have been removed from the game and replaced with an exploding secondary on crossbows (you can rocket jump with it). This is now available for testing!

Projectile Speed

Projectile speed has been adjusted across the game and is now available for testing!

Build, Upgrade, and Repair Speed

These speeds have been adjusted across the game and are now available for testing!

Pet Changes

All pets have been updated, except “Giraffe on a Treadmill” and “Mista Mine” (these will get updated in a later PTR patch).

Known Issues/Work-in-Progress List

Work-In-Progress

  • The Outpost
    • Combat/Build phase music
  • The Mill
    • Combat/Build phase music
    • Needs wisps
  • The Keep
    • Combat/Build phase music
  • Lycan
    • Tacmap image
    • Billboard image
  • Warden
    • Create-A-Hero select sound (currently same as EV)
    • Roots of Purity tooltip does not display a correct range
    • Roots of Resonance tooltip does not display correct range
    • Wisp Den tooltip does not display correct range
    • Shroomy Pit tooltip does not display correct range
  • Rogue
    • Spellbook
    • Create-A-Hero description
    • Create-A-Hero select sound (currently same as The Huntress)
    • Unfinished SFX on some Rogue abilities
  • Cinematics
    • Missing audio in Cinematics
  • UI
    • Stats panel isn't in its final form
    • Spellbook is missing some information
  • Pets
    • Mista Mine is not up to date
    • Giraffe on a treadmill is not up to date

Known Bugs

  • The Outpost
    • Gas/sludge can be inconsistent with dealing damage to the player while moving through it.
  • The Mill
    • Collision issues
    • Boundary issues
  • The Keep
    • Collision issues
    • Boundary issues
  • Endless Spires
    • Enemies getting stuck
  • Lycan
    • Subsequent howls are not faster than the original
  • Rogue
    • Melee attacks are missing when it should be on target and hitting.
    • Cannot sell / upgrade / repair on Keyboard and mouse
  • Weapons
    • Flamethrower doesn't continue firing if double clicked and held
    • Certain weapons appear too dark in game
  • UI
    • Ctrl+Shift does not work for assigning points
    • Stat tooltips on Clients may not always show
    • Defense Ability Bar will sometimes disappear on Clients when swapping heroes quickly
    • Ability cooldown countdown visual freezes after entering an menu
      • Countdown is still completed and ability is able to be activated
      • Icon resets after swapping heroes
    • Item Effects on Weapons might not show on tooltip for Clients
  • Other
    • Repair speed is taking longer than it should

What’s Next?

We’ll be updating the PTR based on feedback and bug fixes. Meanwhile we’re also still working on Nintendo Switch certification, as well as a DD2 update. We’re plenty busy at Chromatic, and are super excited to share with you this newest update coming to DDA!

Social Defenders

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from Chromatic Games and the Dungeon Defenders franchise, follow us on all our social channels:

For Etheria!
Chromatic Games

[CG] Brittani

DEFENDERS,

We’ve shared a lot with you over the last few weeks about all of the exciting additions and revisions coming to Dungeon Defenders: Awakened with the release of the Epsiode 1 update. It’s been a blast showing off our two new heroes, the Warden and the Rogue, along with introducing new maps and our new inventory and stats system on our Twitch dev stream each week. For this week, we shared some more goodies that will add to Defenders’ experiences.

Enemies in Rifted

After our last update where we reduced the number of enemies across the board to boost game performance, the experiences in Rifted mode were impacted more than we (and Defenders) wanted. Rifted was designed to challenge the most dedicated Defenders, but as the enemy counts reduced, this mode kind of felt like a punishment rather than an exciting challenge. The longer runs that resulted weren't an intentional design choice and we’re fixing that to make Rifted all it was meant to be.

How are we doing this? Rifted will no longer spawn any normal enemies! Only Rifted enemies will show up when you choose Rifted mode. The Rifted enemy counts, attack damage, and HP are staying exactly the same as they are now. You just won’t need to bat off the normies anymore. This means fewer enemies overall with the increased challenge from Rifted enemies, achieving our goal of having Rifted require more skill but less time out of Defenders.

Hero Levels

For all of you who feel reaching Level 100 wasn’t difficult enough, we’re increasing the level cap for all heroes with the Episode 1 release to 105. The best items in Episode 1 require level 105 to equip, meaning you’ll need to conquer many foes on your journey to utilize the strongest gear available!

What Else?

If you’ve been keeping up with our news, we’ve spilled a lot of beans over the last month. We’ve been paying attention to your feedback and can’t wait to show off all of our hard work to our GLORIOUS Defenders. We haven’t announced a release date for Episode 1 yet, but know that we’re working hard to get the awesome and exciting updates into your games as soon as possible. We promise we’re as giddy as you are to see and try out these changes!

Another important topic to Defenders is updates on console development. We want to reassure you all that DDA ports for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 AND PlayStation 5 are still very much under way. We’re working hard to get Nintendo Switch through the Lot Check process, while fixing bugs and prepping it to be live for you all while also knocking out Episode 1. The Switch version will be completed and released before PlayStation, and we are aiming to have DDA on all consoles by the end of the year.

Finally, we’re also working on an update for Dungeon Defenders II. We’ve got so much going on at Chromatic Games and we are making sure this stuff is ready to go before we ship it out, but we promise it’s on its way!

Social Defenders

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from Chromatic Games and the Dungeon Defenders franchise, follow us on all our social channels:

For Etheria!
Chromatic Games

[CG] Brittani

DEFENDERS,

With all the news on gear upgrades from last week, it may feel like we can’t possibly give away any more Episode 1 news, but you’d be wrong. Here we come with even more reveals with a brand-new game mode and some spicy additions to current play.

Developer Note: All of these things are subject to change by the release of Episode 1.

“Tests” Boss Challenges Game Mode

We’ve got a NEW GAME MODE! We’re calling this the “Tests” mode because it’s one defender being tested against one big baddy. The “big baddy” can be any of DDA’s infamous bosses, and you fight one-on-one to defeat them on their own map. One more small detail—you fight the bosses with zero defenses. Wait, there’s one more small-ish detail to add to that. You can’t use your heroes. You must choose to fight with one of two predetermined heroes. Don’t worry, they come with their own gear, too.

Guess it's time to hone those combat skills!

Now for the details of the fights. Each fight has a 3-minute timer, so you need to be skilled and quick. These fights should be difficult, but not impossible to beat. To help with this, you have one extra life during the fight. That means you can die once and everything is peachy. If you die twice, though… That’s the end of the fight.

Along with the extra life, each boss has three difficulty levels for you to choose from: Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Each boss is also equipped with a “deadly” mechanic that deals some serious damage. This should go without saying, but you definitely need to avoid being hit by the deadly mechanic at all costs. We warned you.

We’re sure there are lots of questions running through your head right now. What heroes can you use in these fights? What is this “deadly” mechanic you should avoid? What else did we leave out because we love keeping secrets? Well, here’s the breakout for each “Tests” battle.

Test of the Demon

  • Available Heroes:
    • Huntress Series
    • EV-A, with staves
  • Demon Lord specials:
    • Demon Lord is immune to damage unless stunned by the Generators
    • When Demon Lord is stunned, goblins and/or orcs rain from the sky
    • Deadly mechanic: Fireball

Test of the Mech

  • Available Heroes:
    • Apprentice
    • Series EV-A, with bows
  • Goblin Mech specials:
    • Mech has increased movement speed
    • Mech takes reduced damage from hits that don’t hit the weak point
    • Dark Elf Warriors periodically spawn
    • Deadly mechanic: Melee attacks

Test of the Ancient

  • Available Heroes:
    • Monk
    • Squire
  • Ancient Dragon specials:
    • When flying around the map, the Dragon can only be damaged by the Ballista
    • Wyverns spawn after Dragon is shot by the Ballista
    • Deadly mechanic: Fireballs

You’re probably asking yourself what the rewards are like for this new game mode. That’s a great question! Since we want to keep some of this a surprise, the answer to this is kept simple for now. For defeating each of the bosses at each of the tiers, you can earn unique rewards that are only available through Tests. With three different bosses at three different tiers in this game mode, there are 9 unique rewards up for grabs.

This type of game mode that gives Defenders a way to just fight bosses with only a hero is something we’ve seen people asking for. This is also something that’s easy for us to add and test out. It is a bit of an experiment for DDA, and if you all enjoy it, we’ll be sure to include it in all of our future episodes.

Speaking of other fun experiments… Our next section goes over the fun we’re adding in for fans of Rifted.

Rifted Portals

Another fun addition to DDA in Episode 1 is Rifted Portals. What the heck are portals?!

Rifted Portals are alternate spawn points for enemies that appear at set locations and times on Rifted Episode 1 maps. Enemies are removed from their original lane and ported to the alternate location. What defenses they miss along the way, nobody knows.

How do you deal with these pesky portals?? Lucky for Defenders, these can be destroyed by your hero. There’s a catch, of course. Portals cannot be destroyed by your hero’s defenses. So, choose your hero wisely!

An added benefit to destroying a portal is the loot that drops once it’s gone. There’s always that incentive to take it down. If you don’t destroy it before the wave is over, it will quietly disappear and a fresh portal will reappear on the next wave, but you won’t receive any loot. Gotta work for the goods.

Bonus Waves

Finally, let’s talk about Bonus Waves. These are one of those spicy additions we’re adding for late-game defenders who are itching for that extra challenge. With an extra challenge comes extra rewards in the form of a chance to get max quality gear from EVERY MAP. What’s the point of a Bonus Wave? To earn extra awesome gear, of course! And you should believe us when we say these rewards are extra awesome.

What Are Bonus Waves?
The basic explanation for these are extra waves that can be unlocked once defenders complete Wave 25 on any Boss map in Survival and Mixed modes at Nightmare and Massacre difficulties. All maps have their own Bonus Wave that unlocks once you defeat the boss within its respective Act. As you can imagine, enemies in this extra wave are faster, stronger, and tougher, but as we said, you’re rewarded for your hard work.

These Bonus Waves are purely opt-in, meaning you can choose to complete them on each map if you want — you don’t have to complete them to finish the map, though. Oh! Here’s a fun fact: Bonus Waves for Boss maps also feature the boss! Sorry, not sorry for that goodness. To note, Bonus Waves for Boss maps only appear after defeating the next boss. For example, you unlock a Bonus Wave for Alchemical Labs once you’ve defeated the Throne Room Nightmare/Massacre Survival Wave 25. We’ll spend the rest of this section going over how to actually access the dang maps and what goodies come from completing them.

Unlocking Bonus Waves
The tricky thing here is that defenders can only unlock Bonus Waves in each Act after completing Survival Wave 25 on the Boss maps on Nightmare and Massacre difficulties. We want to make sure Defenders are rewarded for attempting (and completing) more difficult maps, too. So, once you complete a Boss map, that boss’ named Bonus Wave is unlocked for all prior maps. For example, defeating the Goblin Mech at the end of Act 2 will unlock the Goblin Mech Bonus Wave for all Act 1 and Act 2 maps (minus the Throne Room and Endless Spires).

This gives Defenders freedom to choose the battle that’s appropriate for your style of play. If you want to skip over the Demon Lord and Goblin Mech maps, heading straight to Ancient Dragon to open the Bonus Waves for all three Acts, you’re able to do that. Here’s a handy example explaining how Bonus Wave unlocks work:

You, a glorious defender, complete the Alchemical Laboratory on Massacre Survival. With this great takedown of the Demon Lord, you unlock access to the Demon Lord Bonus Wave on all prior Act 1 maps.

If you, our GLORIOUS Defender, go on to complete Tornado Valley, you don’t yet have a Bonus Wave for that map. Quickly realizing this, you defeat the Throne Room on Massacre Survival, and this unlocks access to all prior Act 2 Goblin Mech Bonus Waves at Massacre difficulty, plus Goblin Mech Bonus Waves for all maps in Act 1.

There’s more we want to add that may make it into Episode 1, if not a future update. We want you to have multiple Bonus Waves to choose from (e.g. Demon Lord and Goblin Mech), where you’re only able to choose one of those waves to complete. So, in the case of the example above, when opting-in to the Bonus Wave on Deeper Well, you must choose to complete the Demon Lord Bonus Wave or the Goblin Mech Bonus Wave. Not both, or at least not in the same session.

You may be asking, “Why bother with these extra waves if they’re just tougher challenges?” Well, we left out some important pieces of information…

Loot Drops
We hope you’re ready for some AWESOME rewards because that’s what defenders are getting from these Bonus Waves. Many of you already know this, but it’s worth explaining again just in case some of us need a refresher. The quality of the loot drop from a map’s chests are dependent on a number of factors, including the game mode, selected difficulty, whether or not you’re playing on Hardcore and/or Rifted, and, of course, RNG.

These Bonus Waves are no different, but there are some small-ish differences to ensure the reward is equal to the work. We do this by increasing the loot quality of every Bonus Wave according to the level of the boss associated with the wave. Basically, Act 1 Bonus Wave loot drops will increase in quality after you defeat Demon Lord, and Act 1 and 2 Bonus Wave loot drops will increase (again) after you defeat Goblin Mech. Activating Hardcore and/or Rifted further adds to the quality of Bonus Wave loot drops on all maps.

That’s Bonus Waves, Defenders!

Summary

Like we revealed on our Friday Funday stream, Episode 1 ramps up DDA’s difficulty with a new Tests game mode, Rifted Portals, and Bonus Waves that reward you for your hard work. Once we have this content in place, we’ll be able to expand on it in future episodic content. This is just the beginning!! We can’t wait for you to try it all out and pick up some awesome gear at the same time.

We haven’t announced the release date for Episode 1 yet that includes all of these additions, along with the new heroes, new maps, and an overhaul of gear, but be on the lookout on our social pages. We love sharing that kind of exciting news on those pages first!

Console Update

We want to reassure you all that DDA ports for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 AND PlayStation 5 are still very much under way. We’re still working hard on getting Nintendo Switch through the Lot Check process, fixing bugs, and prepping it to be live for you all while also knocking out Episode 1. The Switch version will be completed and released before PlayStation, but we are aiming to have DDA on all consoles by the end of the year.

Social Defenders

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from Chromatic Games and the Dungeon Defenders franchise, follow us on all our social channels:

For Etheria!
Chromatic Games

[CG] Brittani

DEFENDERS,

On the May 14th stream we continued our string of reveals. Previously we’ve shown off the new Maps (The Mill, The Outpost, The Keep, and Foundries and Forges), the new heroes (The Warden and The Rogue), some new weapons (The Woodland Set), and even the new enemy (The Lycan). Those are just some of the things being added to the game, but now it’s time to get into some of the new features coming to Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. Let’s start with a big one — GEAR!

GEAR UPGRADE

Gear is getting a major face lift in Episode 1, and for a lot of reasons. We’ve been taking a heavy look at what players are doing with gear, how well they understand it, and what that means for metas. Currently, the meta is boost-only to succeed. Boost builds are fun, but they shouldn’t be the only way to experience the game. We’re going to keep boosting viable, but we’re also going to add options to help give our ever-expanding roster of heroes and content more ways to be enjoyed and conquered (respectively).

Stat Changes

There’s a lot to unpack here, so first let’s get into the changes that are coming. We’ll focus first on what’s being removed, what’s being added, and last the additional systems that are added that are built off this new foundation.

Stat Removal

On our May 7th stream we talked about removing Ammo and Reload from the game as a concept so that heroes using Crossbow weapons weren’t hindered when choosing to play with a crossbow wielder. Here’s a total list of what we’re removing from items, and what’s going to happen with them:

Ammo and Reload Speed
As previously mentioned, they just weren’t fun mechanics. They punished early players and scaled so high they didn’t matter to late game players.

  • New: The Huntress gains the ability to shoot an arcing explosive that deals damage to enemies hit. If the Huntress is in the explosion radius, she gets launched based on her orientation to the explosion. Rocket jump!

Agility
This stat capped out at 100, meaning that a lot of players with 1000’s of agility because of gear rolling all the stats were getting punished for every decent agility roll on gear.

  • New: Agility cannot be upgraded, but instead scales from levels 1 - 50, with 50 giving the player the equivalent movement speed increase of 100 agility from before Episode 1.

Block
Not all heroes who use swords block.

  • New: Block is an ability that statically scales based on the source of the attack, with smaller enemies taking less block resource and stronger enemies taking more.

Casting
Another stat that caps out pretty quickly and ultimately takes power away from gear.

  • New: Casting now scales based on your hero level up to a cap. The higher your level, the faster you build, repair, and upgrade defenses.

Charge Rate
Another stat that was a little too complicated to understand.

  • New: Now is baked into abilities that charge (i.e. Apprentice Secondary Attack)

Knockback
More stats that people weren’t upgrading or cared to receive.

  • New: Now scales off specific weapons innately.

Melee Attack, Ranged Attack, and Elemental Attack
The difference between these has always been confusing as to which ones to upgrade for players. Veterans might understand what to do here, but it's not really clear. As a result:

  • New “Damage”: We’ve decided to just merge these into one type “Damage”. That means if an elemental weapon drops, there’s one source to upgrade that guarantees you’ll be doing more damage. This new approach will keep damage scaling the same as before.

Projectile Count (Polearms)
We removed this stat as it pretty much locked polearms to only the Monk, unless any hero we made in the future used ranged fire as their secondary stat.

  • New: Projectile Count for the Monk now scales with their level. Early in the game you have a single projectile, and then after a continued progression it’s permanently set to 7 projectiles.

Projectile Speed
Upgrading this actually made some weapons unusable because their projectiles moved so quickly that they would not hit enemies.

  • New: Now this stat is set on a per weapon basis, meaning some weapons shoot faster or slower than other types.

Skill and Boost
These two have been pretty hard to describe what they do for a lot of players, and they also lock us into this idea of new heroes always having both, or having to disjointedly say “ability two is for boost” or “Carnage on the Rogue scales from boost”. There’s a lot more we could get into here, but the TL;DR is that they weren’t intuitive.

  • New “Ability” stat: Ability is just Skill and Boost combined and are incorporated into the scaling of any ability a hero uses. Previously playing a boost Apprentice? Well now you can go drop mana bombs that pack a punch while keeping your boost build going.

That’s a lot of changes that were made as the result of us heavily investigating gear, looking at player profiles, watching streams, watching video guides, and surveying players. We really dug into what players want and the best way to provide that. We’re not stopping there. We’re going further. Let’s talk about some new stats that are coming.

New “Crit” and “Crit Scaling” Stats - Melee Only
This stat is not a new concept to players, but the way it's implemented might be. We wanted to give melee heroes a chance to compete with ranged heroes. Ranged heroes have projectile count that deals multiplicative damage that’s not split amongst projectiles, and get to send a barrage of attacks to enemies while not having to worry too much about taking an axe to the face. Melee heroes however have to focus on avoiding too much damage, getting in and out, and not having as high uptime on dealing damage.

Critical strikes help bring balance to this difference. Melee heroes do have the advantages of cleaving, but in the late game projectile counts more than make up for that bonus. Critical strikes are a chance for us to make playing a melee hero a lot more fun. Critical strikes only apply to primary attacks and not abilities. As this is a new stat coming in with a lot of changes, we want to make sure it's powerful enough to balance the scales. Wow, okay, that was a lot to write about stats, but these are huge changes coming to items that we really need to explain as a foundation. But wait, there’s even more — let’s get into some item changes!

Item Changes

Now that we have stats laid out, the presentation of these stats is going to change. As previously mentioned, a lot of players felt forced to only play with their defenses. We think that’s a great way to take on challenges in DDA, but it shouldn’t be the only way to play. Instead of forcing players to choose between a defense-focused hero only and a damage-focused hero only, we’re going to let you do both.

Stat Locations

Where stats show up changes within this update and we wanted to provide a breakdown of their new homes:

Hero Stats

  • Damage: Weapons, Pets
  • Attack: Weapons, Pets, and Offhands
  • Ability: Weapons, Pets, and Offhands
  • Vitality: Weapons, Pets, and Offhands
  • Armor: Helmets, Gloves, Chest, and Boots
  • Firing Solution: Crossbows, Staves, and Pets
  • Projectile Count: Crossbows and Staves
  • Critical Chance: Polearms and Swords
  • Critical Severity: Polearms and Swords

Tower Stats

  • Fortitude: Helmet, Gloves, Chest, Boots, Masks, Bracers, and Brooches
  • Power: Helmet, Gloves, Chest, Boots, Masks, Bracers, and Brooches
  • Def. Rate: Helmet, Gloves, Chest, Boots, Masks, Bracers, and Brooches
  • Range: Helmet, Gloves, Chest, Boots, Masks, Bracers, and Brooches

One thing we noticed was people were managing a lot of heroes to do multiple things, sometimes the same hero to build and another version of that hero to damage. There was so much that required you to have to set up and maintain, keeping you from taking down enemies for that sweet, sweet loot. This now gives you two options to play with at the same time instead of one. The note we made earlier with Ability letting you drop a Mana Bomb while also tower boosting? This lets that happen more.

The end goal of all of this results in us balancing these items so you have the same tower or hero strength that you had before Episode 1, but now having the both. Your individual character’s strength doubles as a result of this, which is why you may have noticed “offhands” as a term describing where certain stats would appear.

Offhands
This is a new item slot type that’s also kind of... not new. In order to really pack a lot of power into heroes and not bloat the strength of weapons, we decided to use a slot we have and make it more impactful. The Squire has a unique slot that has made it a little harder to balance him, and so looking at him we decided to unify this slot across all heroes. Now all heroes that do not dual wield weapons (Series EV-A and The Rogue) have an Offhand slot. These are as follows:

  • Ammo Pouch: Crossbow heroes
  • Shield: Sword heroes
  • Tome: Staff heroes
  • Whetstone: Polearm heroes

This is a lot of changes and balancing to improve player experiences and to open things up a bit when it comes to playing your hero in multiple ways. A lot of this is built upon a goal of ours: make gear more interesting. You may be wondering how removing stats, combining stats, and making stats native to heroes makes them more interesting. That part makes it simpler to understand what gear does and more ways to play for sure, but doesn’t really mean things are interesting. That’s where Item Effects come into play.

Item Effects

This is a new system that is coming to all gear in DDA. Item effects are unupgradable additional stats and effects that are applied on all your gear. For Episode 1, our goal is to lay it out as a foundational system that we are going to continue to build upon. The first iteration will be a bit simpler, with more complexity coming in future episodes.

What are Item Effects?
They’re additional effects that roll on your gear. There are a ton of these (with more added each episode) that should help boost your strength. Some only roll on specific item types, but this is something that’s easier to explain with examples than get into the weeds of it, so let’s look at a few types:

  • Stat types: These roll additional stats on pieces of gear that those stats could appear on.
    • Example 1 - “Increases your Power by X” rolls on armor and accessories.
    • Example 2 - “Increases your Attack by X” rolls on weapons and offhands.
  • Elemental Increases: These roll additional elemental damage increases.
    • Example 1 - “Increases your hero’s Fire damage by X%” rolls on weapons and offhands.
    • Example 2 - “Increases your defenses’ Fire damage by X%” rolls on armor and accessories.
  • On Attack: When using your Primary Attacks, these have a chance to activate.
    • Example 1 - “Your Primary Attacks have X% chance to Enrage enemies for Y seconds”.
    • Example 2 - “Your Primary Attacks have X% chance to explode, damaging all enemies in range. Y seconds cooldown”.

This is just a brief look into what item effects are, but this doesn’t even come close to encompassing all of them. Item Effects allow us to now drop gear that lets players continue to progress playing through with less random base stats, but then have the ability to fully customize heroes by hunting down the right effects that bring a lot more unique power.

How does this affect my current character?
Going into Episode 1, we will be updating everyone’s gear to fit within this new system. Your current hero strength and setup should be maintained very similarly to how you currently perform, with the added bonus of your damage heroes being able to build and your builder heroes able to deal damage. We’re also working on having some specific item effects be included on this new gear as well, setting you up for a ton of success when Episode 1 launches.

To make sure everything scales correctly, upgrades are going to be changing since stats are being altered. As a result we’re going to be refunding you a plethora of gold based on your upgraded gear and removing the upgrades from this gear. This will let you then choose where to spend your upgrades within this new system. While it might take some time, we’re doing what we can to make sure it’s as easy and doesn’t make you feel that your previous decisions lock you out from taking part in all these changes.

Oh, you think this post is long? That’s too bad, because there’s even MORE. Let’s talk Set Bonuses. We’ve got them, you want them.

Set Bonuses

This shouldn’t come as a surprise entirely, as we’ve talked about adding more set bonuses in the future, and that’s what we’re doing here. Set Bonuses are additional stats and functionality that you get out of wearing pieces of a specific set at the same time. Previously in DDA, the only set bonuses gave item stat increases or turned specific defenses into Fusion towers. They still do, but now there’s more!

New Set Bonuses
The ones you’ve collected so far are still included, but we wanted to add some additional opportunities for you to build sets and customize your characters. We’ve got these broken into two different types that either increase your hero power or your tower power. Here’s two examples:

  • Erupting Defense: Increase your defenses’ Fire damage by X%.
    • Armor Set, 4 Pieces
    • Like Fusion gear, your item stats are still increased, but by a lesser percentage.
    • This increase will make your Fire defenses your strongest defenses for this hero.
  • Thundering Assault: Increases your hero’s Lightning Damage by X%.
    • Weapons, 2 Pieces (Weapon and Offhand)
    • New to weapons, but plays off elemental weapons you acquire.

There are more set bonuses that are thematic to what we’ve laid out here, and even a few that aren’t. However, since set bonuses have been focused on towers primarily for a while, we’ve decided to add a bit more fun and flair with Hero Weapon Sets.

Hero Weapon Sets
We wanted to offer new sets that allowed players to take advantage of how active they can be if they choose to. These new weapon sets only work on a specific hero, and aren’t specifically aimed at changing their gameplay, but instead provide some more utility to their abilities. For now, we’ll give you a taste of one:

  • Protean Cannon MK II: Protean Surge deals X% increased damage and ensnares enemies by Y% for Z seconds.
    • Weapon Set, 2 Pieces (Crossbows and/or Staves)

This is something experimental that we wanted to put out there. They’re a ton of fun to use and let players come up with even more unique builds and choices on how they play DDA. We’ll be looking to expand this system as we release additional episodes.

How you see and interact with all of these new additions is incredibly important. So without further ado, let’s start talking Inventory improvements.

Inventory Update

DDA has a lot of stats and things going on when it comes to items, stats, set bonuses, characters, etc. It’s a lot to take in and isn’t currently explained in the best way. That’s where Episode 1 comes in.

New Layout
We’ve optimized our layout so that everything is together, making it easier to understand what you’re doing within your inventory.

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Just from this image alone there’s a lot to see. One of the first things we’ll note is that items and equipped gear are now next to one another making it easier to equip pieces both with mouse and keyboard, as well as gamepad.

Next you’ll notice at the top there are a plethora of bags. We’re adding additional iconography that allows you to change the visuals for your bags, making it easier to know what each contains based on your personal preferences. That means that you need to have specific filters for specific bags. We’ve got you covered:

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Now it’s easy to customize your bag, setting the name of the bag, the image, the quality of gear, elements tied to gear, weapons, armor, accessories, and more!

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Oh did you want better sort options that are easier to navigate? YOU GOT’EM

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The fun doesn’t stop there. We’ve just begun to pull back the curtains that are the wonders of the new Inventory. Want the ability to select multiple items and choose to lock, unlock, or sell them? BEHOLD, MULTI-SELECT:

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Want better ways to inspect pieces of gear? LOOK A FEW PIXELS DOWN:
Developer Note: Crit and Crit Bonus are only applicable on Swords and Polearms. Grenade Launcher listed here is incorrect and will not be able to roll those stats.

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“Irradiate and Detonate? That’s not straight forward, what the heck do those even do?” PAGE OVER TO ACQUIRE THE KNOWLEDGE YOU SEEK!

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“All these new items are great, but I wish I knew what I was upgrading and what it did.” WISH NO LONGER, FOR IT IS A REALITY WITH THE INSPECT BUTTON:

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Wow that’s so much for the Inventory! But wait, maybe you’re asking “Weren’t there other tabs?” and you’d be right. The way character stats are displayed and upgraded are all in one convenient location on the Stats Tab:

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And last, but certainly not least, is the Abilities tab. This explains what your abilities and towers do for your selected hero. We’ll continue to expand on this feature in the future, but for now it should be made more clear what your heroes can do:

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Alright we’re exhausted, there’s no way there’s more. Oh wait. There’s so much to take in here, a lot of things changing, and a lot of things being added. Previously we were asked about having limited choices in the Hero Deck that make all the new things we’ve shown before this post somewhat harder to desire. Then the next topic shall be HERO DECK CHANGES!

Hero Deck Changes

We anticipate the need for the amount of heroes needed to go down compared to what players use now (with a lot of these item changes), but we also want to make things a bit more open and diverse. As we talked about it, and with the plan to add more heroes, we knew we needed to make some changes. First, let’s talk size.

Hero Deck Size
Now four heroes is great and all, but based on survey results, 95% of our players use 6 heroes at most. As we said, we expect the amount of heroes to go down (by at least 1), so when choosing a max, we wanted to accommodate adding new heroes alongside what players use. This made the decision pretty easy for us. So, in Episode 1, the new Hero Deck size is going to be SIX HEROES!

Hero Deck Incentives
Currently there are three hero deck incentives that affect players:

  • XP Shared across all heroes in the Hero Deck (this is on the UI)
  • Active Hero towers’ gain 33% increased damage (mentioned in the tutorial)
  • Fusion Set bonuses activate (not mentioned in game).

We surveyed players asking if they’d like to have more incentives to use the Hero Deck, and so here’s what is changing in Episode 1:

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Experience points being shared among all heroes in the Hero Deck is nothing new, except you have 50% more heroes now that will benefit from it.

Active Set Bonuses and Item Effects accomplish two things. The first is that we wanted to provide a space for players to make unique builds with specific customization. We’re adding a lot and by having this in place we make sure players don’t feel pressured to have every hero with every combination incorporated into a single build. The second is that we are going to be working on additional systems that take the item effects system and turn it from 10 to 11. If we did not place this restriction, we would be locked in with only the item effects in this first iteration.

Lastly, for Episode 1, we’re removing the restriction of “Active Hero” gaining increased Tower Damage. This means that all of your Hero Deck towers will be gaining a boost to damage. We’re currently working through the balance of what that percentage is, but the goal is to give you more power, try more diverse builds, and give you more ways to win.

Summary

There was a lot covered here and a lot of this stuff is subject to change until we have it out the door. We’re excited to get all of this tested and out to you, OUR GLORIOUS DEFENDERS. This is the standard of what you can expect with Dungeon Defenders: Awakened development and our episodic releases. A lot of this work is going to be expanded upon with future Episodes that we’re excited to work on and share with you!

What’s Next?

Believe it or not, this isn’t everything. Next week we’ll have even more reveals for the stuff coming into Dungeon Defenders: Awakened Episode 1. There’s even a new update for Dungeon Defenders II being worked on. We’ve got so much going on at Chromatic Games and we are making sure this stuff is ready to go before we ship it out, but we promise it’s on its way!

Console Update

We want to reassure you all that DDA ports for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 AND PlayStation 5 are still very much under way. We’re still working hard on getting Nintendo Switch through the Lot Check process, fixing bugs, and prepping it to be live for you all while also knocking out Episode 1. The Switch version will be completed and released before PlayStation, but we are aiming to have DDA on all consoles by the end of the year.

Social Defenders

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from Chromatic Games and the Dungeon Defenders franchise, follow us on all our social channels:

For Etheria!
Chromatic Games

[CG] Brittani

DEFENDERS,

During our dev stream last Friday, we mentioned this week would bring the biggest news yet. We weren’t joking! We’ve finally made it to the reveal of the brand new, never-before-seen hero coming to Dungeon Defenders: Awakened in Episode One. A couple of weeks ago, we revealed the Warden, who happens to be the spiritual successor of the Dryad. Who will be joining her in Etheria? The second hero goes by… The Rogue!

Now that you have a name (which some of you correctly guessed on our Twitter and Instagram posts), guess we need to tell you more about this new hero. Have we built up the excitement enough? We sure hope so. Let’s get to the learnin’!

New Hero: The Rogue

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As some of you super sleuths guessed (was it the ears??), the Rogue is a highly trained elven soldier. The catch—he’s the last remaining elite warrior from an ancient elven army, meaning he comes ready to battle enemies head on as a melee and ranged dual-wielding hero. As a combat-only defender, the Rogue is agile, dashing in and leaping out of battle as he sees fit.

A lack of defensive towers does not mean the Rogue is without protection. Going Stealth activates invisibility and his arsenal of devices combine to disable, enfeeble, and slow your enemies’ advances. Let’s dive into the details of these attacks, abilities, and devices.

Attacks and Primary Abilities

Developer Note: All of these things are subject to change in regards to balance, functionality, and visuals.

Weapons of Choice: Dual-wielding: Melee (Right hand) and Crossbow (Left hand)

Primary Attack - Melee Attack: The Rogue swings his equipped sword, dealing damage based on the weapon’s stats.

Secondary Attack - Ranged Attack: The Rogue fires his equipped crossbow, dealing damage based on the weapon’s stats.

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Primary Ability 1 - Swift Assault: Dashes forward and deals AoE damage once reaching his destination.

  • From Stealth: Hero throws a single deadly knife at an enemy, dealing massive single-target damage.

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Primary Ability 2 - Disengage: Throws a spread of daggers forward dealing AoE damage and applying Rogue’s Mark to all enemies hit during attack. The Rogue leaps backwards out of the danger, providing a gap between him and his foes.

  • From Stealth: Daggers deal more damage and pin enemies to the ground, immobilizing them for a short period.

Devices and Utility Abilities

The Rogue has been specially trained for direct combat—a “fighter” some may say—and brings a preference for battling enemies with some very powerful tools. With this battle style, the Rogue does not build defenses, but instead this lone warrior comes equipped with devices that act as mobile traps that deal elemental damage and apply debilitating status effects to all Marked enemies during combat, regardless of the distance between defender and enemy. The Rogue’s Stealth also comes in handy for those moments when defenders want to surprise their foes, escape danger, or mark enemies from afar.

Developer Note: We wanted the Rogue to play like no other pure damage characters that we’ve made in other Dungeon Defenders games. We wanted him to feel like there was strategy in his abilities, similar to placing towers. He’s designed to fill the role of a special enemy killer, focusing down the strongest foes with both consistent and burst damage when you focus a specific enemy (with nearby enemies taking some hits being an added bonus). For our first non-building hero, he’ll have a lot of big moments and strategies similar to when a tower is beating down enemies, except you’ll BE that tower!

Passive - Rogue’s Mark: Marks are applied to a maximum of 8 enemies while using Swift Assault, Disengage, or attacks from stealth. The Rogue can then activate debilitating Devices on Marked enemies.

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Device 1 - Arcing: Snares Marked enemies with nets of lightning, disabling their attacks and abilities, while causing attacks against them to deal additional lightning damage.

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Device 2 - Napalm: Incinerates Marked enemies, dealing a large amount of fire damage over a short time. Enemies also take increased damage from other attacks and abilities from The Rogue while Napalm is active.

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Device 3 - Noxious: Injects Marked enemies with a highly potent toxin that slows movement and deals poison damage while Noxious is active.

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Utility Ability 1 - Stealth: The Rogue becomes invisible for a short duration. While invisible, the agile hero can Mark enemies with primary attacks, secondary attacks, and empower non-Device abilities. He cannot be targeted by enemies, but he can still take damage from their attacks if he gets within damaging range.

  • Riposte Buff: Using a non-Device ability breaks invisibility and applies a buff to the Rogue. This buff reduces incoming damage from all sources and deals his melee weapon damage back to attacking enemies for a short period.

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Utility Ability 2 - Carnage: The Rogue throws a flurry of deadly piercing daggers, dealing AoE damage every half a second throughout its duration. Defenders can move while this ability is activated and it can be channeled until you’re completely out of mana.

  • From Stealth: AoE damage radius is increased and it breaks invisibility.

New Map: The Keep

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Throughout the month of April, we’ve revealed one new map each week that’s being added to DDA in Episode 1 on our Friday Funday dev streams on Twitch. You’re definitely missing out on some of the best beans if you haven’t made it to a stream yet, but we can’t keep all the secrets to ourselves. So, LOOK AT THIS BRAND NEW MAP. It’s called The Keep and it’s as spooky in game as the picture suggests.

With the other three maps we’ve revealed as remakes of fan-favorites from other Dungeon Defenders games—The Mill, The Outpost, and Foundries and Forges—we wanted to save the best for last. These cursed grounds form a gigantic map. We mean that. It is HUGE. Don’t believe us? Watch the live playthrough from last Friday.

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The Keep’s sheer size is a challenge in itself. Do you focus on pushing enemies into tight lanes to maximize AoE damage? Do you find the perfect hiding spot for your DSTs? Guess we’ll have to wait and see what The Keep has in store for defenders.

New Enemy: Lycan

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Another big bean we revealed last week is the new enemy, the Lycan. As you can see from the picture, they’re certainly looking to bring more destruction to Etheria. Using the werewolf’s signature ability, “Howl,” the Lycan empowers himself and nearby enemies, while reducing the effects of incoming attacks.

Lycan enemies show up on each of the new maps, but they show up in earlier waves as you progress through Act 4. Are you up for the challenge? We sure hope so because Etheria needs you!

What’s Next?

We still have lots of exciting changes and updates coming to DDA that we’ll share with you all during our Friday Funday dev streams, including showing off the Rogue this week! We’ll post a reminder on social media, but make sure to head over to Chromatic Games’ official Twitch page this Friday at 3PM EST to hear all the juicy B E A N S we can’t wait to spill.

Social Defenders

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from Chromatic Games and the Dungeon Defenders franchise, follow us on all our social channels:

For Etheria!
Chromatic Games

[CG] Brittani

#MayThe4thBeWithYou, Defenders!

We know the power of the dark side is a constant temptation. To help you continue choosing the light, we’re giving defenders a FREE downloadable far-far-away themed wallpaper! Our heroes want to send a galaxy-sized “Thank You” for all your support in keeping Etheria safe through the years.

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We’re feeling extra generous, so for a short time, all galactic-themed DD2 costumes (including the Very Far Away Bundle) are 50% OFF in the Emporium! The sale starts today and runs until May 5th at 8:00PM EST. The Emporium is the way… to great deals.

On top of these marvelous deals, one defender will win a code for DD2’s Very Far Away Bundle through our retweet giveaway! This galactic bundle features four costumes for our four original heroes: Dark Disciple Squire; Arcanatrooper Apprentice; Galactic Assassin Huntress; and Dark Shawl Monk. Make sure to head over to our Twitter post to “like” and retweet to be entered in to the giveaway.

Social Defenders

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from Chromatic Games and the Dungeon Defenders franchise, follow us on all our social channels:

For Etheria!
Chromatic Games

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