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1aydan

Defenders,

This post will provide an update on development in general, the next update for Dungeon Defenders 2, and the upcoming in-game Halloween event.  The event will start this Friday, October 14th, and the event will go until November 4th.

Halloween Event

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The spooktacular theme is now back to DragonFall with all the spookiness you know and love.

 

Ol Peeper's Daily Gift

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Ol Peepers is now selling a spooktacular crate along with a green defender pack every day during the spooktacular event.

The spooktacular crate contains :

  • New Chaos 10 Shard

  • Festive Carnival Fireworks

  •  Dragonfall Popcorn Machine

  • Trust me Disguise

  • Lucky Bunny Mask

  • Rainbow ‘fro

  • Snow Liger

  • Imperial Grin

  • Hastening Salve

  • Strongman Salve

  • Enduring Salve

  • Spellcasting Salve

  • Tower of Power Salve

  • Enduring Salve

  • Impactful Tower Salve

  • Impactful Hero Salve 

  • Lucky Tower Salve

  • Lucky Hero Salve 

 

Spooky Pumpkin Head - One-time reward cosmetic Flair.

Screenshot 2022-09-19 150641.png

Black Market Dealer

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The Black Market Vendor now has another limited-time Flair: The Golden Spooky Pumpkin Head!

Emporium

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The mask factory was over stocked with old masks from a previous spooktacular event so we decided to bring them back for everyone to enjoy.

Development Update

I wanted to give a general update on all things DD2 development. It has been a pretty hectic few weeks with leadership changes, random back-end issues, internal build issues, and more recently the Xbox login issues that affected some of the development of the new patch. These hurdles also have impacted some of the transparency the game needs and hopefully, it can now change for the better. As all these hurdles have now been pretty much gotten over, the development effort for the next patch will start ramping up again to get it out as soon as feasibly possible.

What’s Next?

So as the title suggests, what is exactly next for dragonfall? It exactly hasn’t been a secret that Chaos 10 is coming toward the next update so how about we show / say some stuff that has been a secret. The next update is named “Mines of Etheria.”

Chaos 10

Chaos 10 is going to take a different direction this time compared to the other chaos tiers. While Assassins will be absent this time around, there will be three new enemies to take on instead of just one. We won’t be going into much detail about chaos 10 for now as it will be explained further at a later date. 

Hidden Caverns Region

Along with C10 this next update will be introducing a new region to the game with 2 new maps.

New Map : Crystal Mines

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Inside the mountains of Dragonfall, there is a long-abandoned mine full of precious crystals and gemstones waiting to be excavated.

New Map : Lava Caverns

Lava_Caverns.png

Deep below the ground lies a treacherous ancient lava cavern with mysterious crystals and signs of ancient magic.

???

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A strange new individual has come out of hiding to aid in the heroes’ defense against the enemies of Dragonfall.

 

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] Philip

DEFENDERS,

The long awaited Episode 2 Part 1 update has finally arrived! This update features a ton of new features and content such as The Summoner, Runes, Trading, New Defense Changes, 2 New Maps and more! Get ready as this is gonna be a long post! This update is currently out on PC Steam, Xbox and PlayStation! Unfortunately Switch will lag behind quite a bit until a later date.

 

The Outcast Summoner

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The Outcast Summoner, One of the most iconic heroes joins the battle for etheria! You’ll be able to create and try out the new hero along with all their abilities and minions for free.

 

General Features

Before we cover Hero Abilities, let's talk about some of the general features that the hero has first. The hero doesn’t have weapon slots and as such doesn’t have an actual attack. Instead the hero will be allowed to equip 2 pets at once. Additionally the Summoner will be able to equip Tomes and will be able to complete a weapon set using a single tome.

Regarding Minions we also have opted to not have Minion Units but instead use DU for the defenses. This solves 2 issues, the first being that players felt that they were missing out if they didn’t take advantage of having double the “DU” and additionally it would require we balance every map both past and present around having this feature. As such we’ve made sure that the DU of the minions is very light so that you can have more of them and fit them better into existing builds.

Finally the Summoner has the ability to hover by pressing and holding the jump key at any point while the hero is falling. They will still be able to take advantage of the double jump as any hero can.

 

Abilities

Primary - Minion Select

  • Since the hero doesn’t attack, his primary will be used to select his minions. You are able to do single selection by pressing once or you can do a multi select by holding the input and dragging around the ground reticle to select multiple minions. Additionally if you click and hold when telling them to move you can tell them to evenly space out on a line between 2 points.

Secondary - Overlord Mode

  • A big feature of the Summoner was his ability to go into overlord mode and have a more top down RTS style camera. This ability will allow the Outcast Summoner to pan around the map and place minions remotely as well as move them as necessary.

Active Ability - Flash Heal

  • Flash heal offers the ability to heal nearby heroes, Minions and defenses by a percentage of their max health, scaling off the hero's Ability stat.

Buff Ability - Pet Boost

  • While active the hero's pets will be buffed increasing attack damage and attack speed, scaling off the hero's Ability stat. This was a redux addition that we felt added a lot of potential to the hero being used as a DPS and playing off the ability for the hero to equip 2 pets.

 

Minions

Minion 1 - Archer (2 DU): Summons a Crystalline Dark Elf Archer. Shoots non-piercing arrows at enemies. 

Minion 2 - Spider (3 DU): Summons a Crystalline Spider to the battlefield. Flings webs at nearby enemies, slowing them down and doubling all damage they receive.

Minion 3 - Siren (4 DU): Summons a Crystalline Siren to the battlefield. She casts protective shields around defenses reducing incoming damage and also attacks offensively with her ranged attack.

Minion 4 - Dark Elf Mage (4 DU): Summons a Crystalline Dark Elf Mage to the battlefield. Casts fireballs and periodically heals themselves and other nearby minions, as well as heroes.  

Minion 5 - Ogre (5 DU): Summons a Crystalline Ogre to the battlefield. Crushes enemies within melee range and occasionally fires poison snot balls from a distance.

 

Runes

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Runes are a new feature that allow players to augment their defenses in new ways! These can range from simple additions to completely different abilities. Runes can drop from normal enemies at all levels of play as well as from victory chests. Each act has its own pool of which runes drop from enemies, and each map has a smaller subset of that act pool that drop in the form of a guaranteed drop from the victory chest. You can view where a rune drops on the rune UI itself, displayed as “Favored Map”

Since the Episode 2 Part 1 post we have since changed our minds about having generic runes in the game. This is mainly because we want players to feel like they can use the special runes designed for each tower without feeling punished for not using a generic rune that just gives them more power. We just think this provides a more fun opportunity to players and lets us continue to create more unique runes rather than balance the battle between unique and generic runes.

Currently there are about 53 runes in the game to playtest, some heroes and defenses are missing runes and we will be working on getting those in over time in smaller updates.

 

Trading

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The long awaited feature is here. As described in the Episode preview post, players are able to send trade requests with one another using the party bar in the top right of the pause menu. Once a player accepts a trade request, the two players may offer up items and gold between each other and then confirm the trade once they feel like they are happy with the trade.

 

Act 5 - 2 New Maps

With the first part of Episode 2 comes 2 new maps to kick off Act 5. After defeating the Lycan King, the heroes traverse a great desert uncovering forgotten locations along the way. The first 2 maps are available and can be played. However they drop the same quality of items that would be seen on the keep, as the increased item quality of act 5 will come with Act 5 boss map. 

 

The Bazaar (100 DU)

You’ll have to fight your way through the Bazaar in order to progress deeper into the secrets this desert holds! As a reward for completing this map on Survival, you’ll be able to obtain a pet version of Hammel!

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The Lost Metropolis (130 DU)

Defend your core from threats old and new in the shadow of structures from a forgotten civilization. This map doesn’t yet have a pet reward but will be added in the near future so stay tuned!

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Wave Progression Updates

We’ve seen a lot of feedback about how waves feel like they sorta just trickle out and don’t feel very lively. As such we’ve done some investigating and made changes to the way waves come out of their spawners. Players should see more enemies coming out of the spawners at a faster pace. Additionally because of this we’ve increased the total mob counts for the maps to ensure a balance with wave times.

 

Defense Changes

Squire - Sniper Tower

The Sniper tower offers the squire a new single target defense that will be very strong at defeating tanky enemies. It will use a special enemy targeting priority. This tower will replace the Bouncer Blockade as we felt the blockade was often overshadowed by the other blockades in the game.

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Huntress - Poison Dart Tower

The Poison Dart Tower is the first addition of a defense to the Huntress’s kit. The PDT will shoot 3 individual projectiles. These projectiles are fanned out so that they spread out and hit multiple enemies down the path. It will use a fodder targeting priority. This tower will replace the Darkness Trap, as it was the most unused defense in the game, the alternative was the Thunder Spike Trap which we felt could have more use cases.

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EV - Heat Cannon

The Heat Cannon provides a unique defense to the game. It’s a short ranged flamethrower defense that hits all enemies within its range arc. While this defense is limited in range it will more than make up in defense power. This defense will have a fodder targeting priority. It will replace the new empty slot where Reflect Field was.

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EV - Plasma Defense System

The Plasma Defense System or PDS is an omni-directional sentry that can target and attack up to 3 separate targets at once. The defense does have one major flaw in the form of a deadzone. The dead zone prevents the tower from attacking enemies that are too close to the tower. This defense will have a modified version of the special enemy targeting but instead prioritizes Djinns, Copters, and Wyverns before targeting other special enemies. This defense will replace the Shock beam, as we felt that the crowd control it provided was just outclassed by other crowd control oriented defenses regardless of balance.

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Auto Loot 2.0

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Make sure to take a look at your Auto Loot filters as they will have been reset. You’ll want to take some time to play around with the new system and make auto loot profiles for the different kinds of items you want to be picked up. As long as an item matches 1 of the filters in the list it will be picked up. Do note you can only have 8 filters currently.

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Auto Loot Filters also determine what Items get shown on your tactical map. We’ve even added a special icon for Runes, and a purple glow for any Fusion items. So make sure to be on the lookout for those.

Pet Balance

 

  • Pets
    • Monkey King
      • Damage stat scalar increased from 100 to 150.
      • Damage base increased from 25 to 50.
    • Mista Mine
      • Slow reduced from 50% to 40%

 

Hero Balance

  • General
    • Hero Abilities
      • Due to implementations for Runes and how those interact with abilities most abilities will have updated scaling which should be equivalent or a slight buff in power.
    • Stat Scalar Changes
      • Squire, Huntress, Monk, EV and Rogue all have a increased tower attack Rate stat scalar match Apprentice and Warden, The following towers should be buffed because of this change, some more than others:
        • Harpoon, Bowling Ball and Slice N’ Dice, Explosive Trap, Thunder Spike Trap, Electric Aura, Healing Aura, Proton Beam, Overclock beam.
  • Squire
    • Slice N’ Dice
      • Can now attack Sirens.
  • Apprentice
    • Flameburst
      • Starting damage increased from 192 to 250.
      • DU Reduced from 5 to 4.
  • Warden
    • Sludge Launcher
      • Base Damage reduced from 450 to 425
      • Tower Damage Stat Scalar reduced from 1.6 to 1.45
      • No longer slows by default, which can be reintroduced as a rune.

 

Map Balance

  • All Maps
    • All maps now have the same enemy caps as The Keep of 55, which is determined mainly by performance. This should decrease wave times on earlier maps that were being limited
  • The Keep
    • Added tower prevention volumes to the top of the walls as these were often used as safe spots and provided line of sight that was unbalanced for the intended map design
  • Alchemical Labs
    • Reduced amount of fodder enemies and spiders
  • Ramparts
    • Reduced amount of spiders on Ramparts 

 

 

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue with Halloween Copter Ogres spawning.
  • Fixed issue with Upgrade / Repair item effects weren’t stacking duration properly.
  • Fixed potential crash with damaging emitters.
  • Fixed issue with aiming past dead enemies would cause projectiles to shoot up into the sky.
  • Fixed issue with Loot not showing on the tactical map.
  • Fixed issue with Decoy not showing nameplates.
  • Fixed issue with Rift portals having 0 HP in mixed mode.

 

Misc.

  • Training Dummies have more health.
  • Training Dummies now can display DPS values above 2B without going negative.
  • Siren drops were dropping at much higher than expected levels.
  • Skeletons now take 1 second to respawn instead of 3.
  • Tavern difficulty scaling should line up with gameplay maps more closely now.


What’s Next?

Well now that Episode 2 Part 1 is out, the next focus is on getting the remaining Part 2 additions done. Currently looking at releasing that sometime early next year as with all the holidays coming up it will limit work capacity. Besides the remaining Episode 2 work, we may look at doing a smaller Winter Holiday update / event but let you know as that progresses.

 

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

1aydan

DD1 Update 9.0.0


News

DEFENDERS,

With great anticipation the new Dungeon Defenders 1 patch 9.0.0 update is now live! We are excited to hear about what the community thinks of this new development and the patch itself. A special thanks to the community member that helped make this new Development possible : Thales, Escev, Jeol, Tbolt, Moose, bee, Harry, Gigazelle, Alhanalem, Sam, and all previous CDT efforts in the past. A huge thank you to the community testers and anyone that participated in the beta!

WARNING -  

This update has changes in the save file format and upon loading this update your save file will no longer be compatible with older game versions.

Patch Notes : 

New Maps

All new maps have trophies that you can unlock for your tavern, with a second trophy for completing on Nightmare.
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The Striking Tree

  • Campaign Rewards - Staff of Flowers, Forest Rifle, Turtle Shell Polearm, Leaf Blade and Elf accessory set

  • Survival Rewards - Jade Serpent, Fairy and Jade Island. 

  • Generic versions of all of this map’s weapons drop on survival for the map, the same way as Eternia Shard maps

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Spooky Buccaneer Bay

  • Campaign Rewards - Demon Sword, Devil’s Spine and new Spooky accessory set

  • Survival Rewards - Little Wizard, Evil Eye and Pumpkin Skeleton on a Treadmill

  • Generic versions of all of this map’s weapons drop on survival for the map, the same way as Eternia Shard maps

Challenge: Halloween Invasion

  • Rewards - Moon Staff, Witch’s Broom and 2 accessories from the new Spooky accessory set. 1 set of rewards per account

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Challenge: Tavern Incursion

  • 6 Player map in the style of Temple of Polybius.

  • One extra life per player on Hardcore up to 3 lives, with a button at the start to remove the lives for an extra reward

  • Rewards - Jeweled Bident and Calamity Blade. 1 set of rewards per account

 

Balance

Akatiti

  • Added a new mask drop to the map rewards

Arcane Library

  • Added Fedora accessory

  • New accessory set bonus for Fedora and Librarian Glasses

City in the cliffs

  • Changed survival quality to Aquanos quality

Challenge: Temple of Polybius

  • Polybius pets drop at map completion. They work like guardians but can be upgraded to boost up to 6 towers

Crystalline Dimension

  • Buffed accessories to max accessory quality to be on par with other maps

  • Made accessories drop twice for everyone, even split screens

  • Made shields drop like on Omenak, where they are a random additional drop

Crystalline Resurgence 1-3

  • Changed survival quality to Infested Ruins quality

Embermount Volcano

  • Buffed accessories to max accessory quality

  • Changed survival quality to Infested Ruins quality

Emerald City

  • Added Emerald accessories with it’s own set effect

  • Sandstorm effects now are disabled on ultra low and low graphics qualities 

Flames of Rebirth

  • Buffed accessories to max accessory quality

  • Added Sword of Embers to challenge reward

Infested Ruin

  • Removed melee attack from Mini Wasp Queen Pet

Karathiki Jungle

  • Changed survival quality to Infested Ruins quality

Magus Citadel

  • Buffed accessories to max accessory quality

 

Talay Mining Complex

  • Changed survival quality to Infested Ruins quality

Tavern Defense

  • Added Party Horn with the same quality as Librarian Glasses from Arcane Library

  • Buffed Party Hats to be on par with Fedora acc from Arcane Library

  • Confetti set bonus now needs party horn and party hat

The Tinkerer’s Lab

  • Changed survival quality to Infested Ruins quality

Tomb of Etheria

  • Added missing 10% bonus movement speed to Spear of the New Kingdom

Winter Mire

  • Made Ban Hammer give a 10% movement speed bonus

  • Made Candy Cane give a 10% movement speed bonus

  • Made Winter Flame give a 10% movement speed bonus

Huntress, Apprentice, Squire and Monk Guardians can now be upgraded to boost up to 6 towers.

 

QoL

  • Added Inventory Quality Sorting button

  • Ultimate Crystalline Defender and Experience Orbs are now both tradeable and droppable.

  • Added a Damage Number Size Slider

  • Improved Graphic Settings 

    • Native support up to 4k (3840 by 2160)

    • Support for changing graphic settings in-game (Low, Medium and High)

    • Option to disable outlines

    • Ability to change the size of damage numbers across the entire game

  • Added item recovery on all maps

  • Players can send much longer messages now, up from 64 characters to 320

  • Added a built-in emulator to the game. Old emulators still work, so you can just keep using your current input settings.

  • New assignable bindings for controlling the built-in emulator. By default, they are:

    • Bindings=(Name="F2",Command="ControlEmulatorPlayer1")

    • Bindings=(Name="F3",Command="ControlEmulatorPlayer2")

    • Bindings=(Name="F4",Command="ControlEmulatorPlayer3")

    • Bindings=(Name="F5",Command="ControlEmulatorPlayer4")

    • Bindings=(Name="F6",Command="QuickAddSplits")

    • Bindings=(Name="F7",Command="KickAllSplits")

    • Bindings=(Name="F8",Command="ToggleSplitScreen")

  • Added dropped armor Icons to minimap

  • Added difficulty based coloration to the Harbinger mob

  • Added item censoring feature. It can be turned on or off in the options menu or with the default binding while in your item box / item info screen:

    • Control + C

  • Added boss timer skip feature. It can be used with the default binding:

    • Bindings=(Name="V",Command="BossTimerSkip")

  • The game now unpauses all emulator characters if anyone resumes while an emulator character is present to avoid getting stuck at the pause screen.

  • Reduced save frequency for redundant data, such as scores causing a save whenever an enemy is killed during a wave.

  • Added simple damage numbers feature

  • Overall game engine upgrade that should improve performance

  • Changed Siege Mech (Omenak) enemies to have four equipment drop chances

  • Changed Magic Missile enemies (Magus Citadel) enemies to have two equipment drop chances

  • Guardians now won't try to boost an already boosted tower (unless their boost is better)

  • Ability cooldowns reset on entering build phase

  • Added keybinds to select heroes on the main menu hero selection screen (0-9)

  • Lowered poly teleporting trigger volume's retrigger delay

 

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issues with Wasp pet, Spear of the New Kingdom and Winter Flame on certain bosses

  • Fixed some spots that mobs end up stuck on infested ruins

  • Improved default network bandwidth and lowered network update intervals

  • Made Enchanted Bishop colorable

  • Removed double dropped equipment circle color on Spare Christmas Lights, Rudolph’s Spare Nose and Rudolph’s Spare Antlers 

  • Fixed a bunch of invalid enemy entries in the player stats UI

  • Fixed an issue where the map list snaps to another location

  • Fixed Crystalline Dimension only dropping 1 accessory for host

  • Control + T no longer adds untradeable items to trade

  • Fixed Wasp enemies taking more damage than intended from Lightning Towers

  • Placed Crystalline Dimension back on Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards

  • Fixed black screen issue on poly

  • Fixed Ogres spawning slowly at the end of wave in Wintermire survival.

  • Fixed an issue where the omenak brooch showed up as bracers

Misc Changes

  • Removed Discord integration to improve game stability

  • Changed the ranked home screen to have more useful links


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:

[CG] Philip

DEFENDERS,

For the first time ever in DDA’s history we are doing an in-game Halloween event. This event will feature some new cosmetics for both login rewards and in-game rewards from the new Halloween version of Ramparts. In addition to this every enemy across the game will receive a special Halloween theme for the duration of the event. This Halloween Update is live now on PC, Xbox and PlayStation and will go until November 4th, 2022.

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Login Event

If you login between the dates listed above, you’ll unlock the following transmogs:

 

  • Hallow's Evil Grin Mask
  • Fish in a Jar Mask

 

Halloween Spooktacular Map

With the introduction of the in-game Halloween event we have remade Halloween Spooktacular from the original game. This map will feature the new Halloween variants of the enemies permanently even after the Halloween event is over. It also has new lanes and an additional core to defend.

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Map Rewards

Completing the map will give you a Brain in a Jar Mask Accessory as a guaranteed drop, but for those out there that prefer a bit of gold to their look there will be a very low drop chance version that allows you to unlock the golden transmog variant of the Fish in a Jar, Brain in a Jar and the Hallow's Evil Grin Mask. The golden variants will only drop on Massacre though, be warned it can be very challenging for those just breaking into to Massacre.

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Halloween Enemy Skins

This Halloween event brings spooky variants of each of the enemies in the realm of Etheria. All across the game these enemies will spawn for the duration of the Halloween Event. Afterwards the enemy skins will only be present on the Halloween Map which will stay once the event ends.

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What’s Next?

Well with the Halloween Event now released, our next stop is the Episode 2 Part 1 PTR which will begin on October 28th. This will feature the Outcast Summoner Hero, 2 new maps, Runes, trading and more! Check out the full post talking about these features. Additionally if you are looking for DD2 news, check out the DD2 Halloween Event and Development Update Post coming out later today.

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

 

 

drod1000



Greetings, Defenders!

My name is Darrell Rodriguez, and I am the new CEO of Trendy Entertainment. I’ve worked in the entertainment industry for the vast majority of my career, where I have been privileged to work with some of the foremost creative and tech leaders around at companies such as Disney, EA, LucasArts, and now Trendy Entertainment.

I am here to empower the developers at Trendy to achieve their amazing vision, technology, and creativity. I am here so we can continue to build games you will love and create technology that will empower other independent developers to take their games to a place they could not have otherwise gone. Like everyone at Trendy, I am a big believer in collaborating with you, our community. So I’m also here to build systems to empower, to better listen to you and to make your input a reality in the games we make.

I, like you, have been captivated by Dungeon Defenders’ unique gameplay and pledge to bring more of that to you in the future. Both in the form of Dungeon Defenders II, whose evolving art style and gameplay continue to impress me every day, and other (more secret) projects for Dungeon Defenders lovers. I ask for your patience and trust as I help guide your beloved Dungeon Defenders. I am human, and like us all, may stumble. But through listening and learning from you all, I am confident we will work together to make Dungeon Defenders future as bright as possible.

As an independent developer, funding is tight and decisions need to be made that enable survival and empower developers to make games you will play and love. So to start, I have a question for you. The Kickstarter concept of voting with your wallet to fund products you would like to see built has been popular for many independent studios so far. What are your thoughts on using this concept, not to fund a game, but to grow and expand one? For example, would you chip in with other players to help create new features or content for everyone to play as opposed to just buying content for yourself?

The random winners of our Wyvern blog are Baxter and Beorn424!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
Blacksmith
idea-Blog

Hey Defenders,

It’s finally back to your weekly Dungeon Defenders II programming! First up, we have a new DD2 teaser for you. We created this for a partner last week and wanted to share it with all of you:



But more importantly, we have a question for you. When developing a game, there are often many different ideas that get pooled together. Sometimes the ideas are awesomely obvious, like the new combo system we’ve developed in DD2. Other times, ideas take a good amount of iteration to get right or are pretty clear to stay away from. For us, being a sequel to a beloved game, we’re always careful about big changes to something core to the game, and we have an idea that we’re really excited about and want to see if you will be, too!

In Dungeon Defenders II, we’ve been talking about changing it so that, instead of having individual heroes you level up, you level up your hero deck instead. This means as you level up your deck, all the heroes are the same level. This idea came around because, internally, we’ve been playing the game this way since the beginning of development, and we often find it a lot of fun to switch between heroes seamlessly.

We want to add a lot of fun aspects to leveling up your hero deck to give you more options for how you manage your heroes. For example, you’d receive a pool of stat points that you could place amongst all of your heroes, allowing you to focus your stat points in heroes you like the most. Also, when your deck reaches max level, you’ll have an option to reset your progress, like a prestige system. Each time through will give you exciting rewards, like additional stat points, magic find bonuses, special visual customization options, or maybe even a new gear slot! This gives almost limitless replayability and helps with solo play a ton, too.

Why we want to do this:

1. More Even Progression Curve: If you level up multiple heroes at a time in your hero deck with the old system, you’ll constantly be bouncing back to lower matchmaking brackets to get hero experience. With the new system, you get to choose how you spread your stat points amongst your heroes (making them powerful), but you can also use any of the heroes whenever you want without XP sharing concerns. If you're a hardcore player, aiming to max stats for all heroes, you still have to play multiple times just like you would before. However, now you can use all the heroes as you go!

2. More Replayable: Quite simply, this system allows us to make Dungeon Defenders more replayable. If you prestige your hero deck, you can replay the experience for better rewards, or sync up with a new friend who just started the game. It works kind of like a New Game+ feature, and many members of our team talk about liking these types of systems in other games.

3. Awesome Matchmaking: Though we have some cool ideas on how to make matchmaking work well with hero levels (i.e. no more lvl 2 Squire mooching off the 30s doing all the work), the new hero deck leveling system keeps matchmaking very simple. Instead of having to manage your hero deck to guarantee you have the right hero levels for the content you want to play, you can just pick a level range and go. We think this is faster, easier, and gets people playing together in positive ways.

4. Encourages Play with New Heroes: When new heroes come out, you can play them instantly, having a good time experiencing the content without having to grind up hero levels to make them viable. We really like this idea, that when we release new heroes players aren’t forced to grind from the beginning to enjoy the new experience. Maybe you choose to respec to give points to the new hero, or maybe you just prestige to play from the beginning anyway, but now the choice for how to play is yours.

5. More Flexible Solo Play: Each hero has their own unique role in Dungeon Defenders II as we’ve worked to expand the cooperative elements of the game even further. This means having access to multiple heroes in solo play, and leveraging interesting strategies without having to excessively grind is a big positive. You’ll still need to prestige to unlock enough stat points to fully empower multiple heroes, not to mention finding good loot for them too, but all heroes will be at the same level regardless, and can be used effectively with or without stat point bonuses.

These are only the choice aspects of this new feature we love, and we have a lot of details to get sorted. At its core, we feel this can make Dungeon Defenders II a deeper, more approachable game, which meets up with many of our pillars we talked about when we started this journey together. However, we know this is a big change, and we want your feedback before we commit and start figuring out the specific bits. As we get closer to Early Access, we’re excited to build this game together, feature by feature, and your input is absolutely critical to us making the game you want to play.

So what do you think? We’re eager to read your feedback and help make the choice on where we go from here. Love it, hate it, we’re all ears, so head to the comments section and let us know!

The random winners from our Ambient Sounds of Etheria blog are The Osamodas and IGN_ejfaro!

Share your honest feedback in the comments below, and you could win a pre-alpha code for Dungeon Defenders II! We’ll pick TWO random posters and reveal the winners next week. You have a full week to leave a comment. Don’t have a forum account? It takes less than a minute to join the community!
JBrawley

air-Blog.jpg



Balancing the roles, quantity, and power of enemies in DD2 is no small task. The enemies we place in a level affect nearly every vector of difficulty in the game. This is one of the reasons it is imperative that we experiment not only with different types of enemies, but how we use those enemies, as well.

Wyverns were a staple of the original Dungeon Defenders’ gameplay, but it was clear the role of air units in DD2 needed to evolve. Fundamentally, an air unit poses a different tactical question than a ground unit. Units on the ground can be blocked using a barricade, permitting time to react to their presence. Wyverns required players to develop different strategies that were based around anti-air defense.

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The Trouble With Wyverns

But DD1’s Wyverns had numerous shortcomings, and in order to make Wyverns more interesting to engage in DD2, we had to resolve two main problems:

  • There was little variety in their behavior, making any gameplay that involved them monotonous and predictable.
  • They utilized extremely basic AI, flying straight for their objective without deviation.

Fixing these problems in the long term was going to take time. But there was nothing stopping the intrepid level designers from hacking their way around these problems. Early on, it was clear that we needed different types of Wyverns.

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Creating Different Behaviors

Initially we developed the Heavy Wyvern by creating a copy of the standard Wyvern, making him larger, and changing him to a rich purple hue. The Heavy Wyvern was a bit slower, but could take a much larger amount of abuse. We coupled this change with making the standard Wyvern much faster.

The difference was immediately noticeable in terms of strategic consideration. The heavy Wyverns did a fantastic job of diverting the attention of players, and when they appeared in early prototypes, everyone reacted to their presence. Internally, we had to devise new ways of counteracting the presence of the Heavy Wyverns. Players devised new defense setups to combat the Wyverns, such as groups of Frostbite Towers that would freeze and then shatter them when they hit the ground, or Cannonball Towers placed in positions that were advantageous to attacking air units.

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In another playtest, we created a small, fast, black Wyvern that could bombard players and their defenses from a long range. These opponents created a different type of player reaction: If not controlled quickly, the black Wyverns could severely disrupt the team’s defensive layouts.

Tweaking the Flight Path

Resolving the Wyverns’ flight paths was actually surprisingly easy. With a little manipulation, we were able to create a chain of flight waypoints that forced the Wyverns from a specific lane to follow a tightly controlled path. This allowed us to create predictable air lanes (making it much easier for players to position anti-air defenses) instead of having Wyverns simply spawn on the outside of the space and fly directly towards their targets.

The result of these two initiatives was much stronger aerial gameplay, allowing air units to play a clearer role in the combat space. But we continue to iterate on our air units with new ideas and new prototypes, so if there are any air unit types you might like to see in the game, leave a comment below and you could win a seat on the Defense Council.

The random winner of our QA blog is Ikulity!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We're going to be at PAX East this week so there won't be a blog this Friday. That's why we're going to pick two posters from this blog and reveal the winners in next week's blog post!
I_PASS_BUTTER

Defenders, our first Beastmaster Contest has come to a close, but a new contest begins now. Our next Pet: Purrlin. Go find those magical little gatos, Defenders! You have until May 13th at 11:59 PM EDT to submit your Purrlins in this thread.

There was a lot of awesome participation for the Growld contest. Thank you to everyone that participated. We understand that getting Growld in the timeframe was a little difficult, and we are adjusting the rules accordingly. Starting with this contest, we will pick the top 3 pets as winners, and their owners will all receive the “Beastmaster” title.

Without further ado, the winners of the Growld Beastmaster contest are:


Thank you to our winners for being such good sports and a huge thank you to Mapatti for making handy-dandy charts! We love data! Winners, keep an eye on your PMs early next week for your title code. 


For full contest rules, see the previous post.


I_PASS_BUTTER

Want to win an exclusive “Snapshooter” in-game title? We’re looking for the funniest screenshots! If yours is funny enough, that title can be yours!

From now until August 19th at 2 PM EDT, go on a quest for the funniest in-game screenshot you can take and submit it in this blog! We’ll pick three winners on August 20th!

To enter, take an in-game screenshot and upload it to Steam. Embed the Steam image in a comment below along with a link to the image on Steam. You may submit as many screenshots as you want, but please only submit one image per post.

The Snapshooter Contest is judged by a panel of Trendy community team employees with zero sense for good taste or art. Here is a loose guideline on how we’re judging the screenshots:

  1. G.U.T. -- Genuine, Ultimate Tummy-feeling. If the screenshot tickles something inside our abdominal food synthesizers that makes us say “wow” or “good gravy,” chances are we’ll pick it as a winner.

  2. No HUDs -- Screenshots with the Heads Up Display activated will score lower than HUDless shots. Press “H” to let the game shine.

  3. Originality -- Don’t steal from other players. We’re watching you.

  4. Terminus -- If you can incorporate Terminus, the Roman god who protected boundary markers, into your photos, you’ll earn extra points. How you’re going to do this with an in-game screenshot is beyond us, but we like to be surprised.

You must have your Steam account linked to your forum account. All screenshots must be taken by the Steam account that’s linked to the forum account. Any entry that is stolen from another player will result in the permanent removal of your forum account.

Happy Snapshotting, Defenders!

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Blacksmith

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When it comes to loot in Dungeon Defenders II, there is simply so much I could talk about. I honestly felt a bit overwhelmed when I was asked to write this blog. But there is one thing that stands out. Something a little special…

Stat Progression vs. Visual Progression

The earliest versions of armor in Dungeon Defenders were purely stat-based, with no cosmetic benefit. When we first approached loot design in Dungeon Defenders II, we wanted to find a way to balance this. To do so, we developed the following philosophy:

Players should never have to make a choice between the best stats and the coolest looking gear. They should have access to both! From a gameplay perspective, armor should give players stats that allow them to progress heroes, abilities, and defenses to fit their playstyle. But aesthetically, that armor also needs to feel satisfying; to become more and more awesome as you progress within the game.

To accommodate this we decided to separate the two concepts. Instead of being stuck with a set of gear you hate just for the benefit of good stats, you now have the complete freedom to mold and shape your heroes’ look as you see fit.

So how do you improve your character’s stats? To keep the visual progression separate from the stat progression, there will be two types of armor in Dungeon Defenders II:

  1. Armor that provides visual progression: This allows you to change the way your hero looks based on your playstyle. (Lots of exciting things I can’t talk about just yet!)
  2. Armor that provides stat boosts: Stat pieces that drop in the world and can be equipped. We call these pieces Relics!

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Relics: Applying Stats to Cosmetic Pieces

Relics are powerful, enchanted artifacts that drop from enemies and chests. At this time, there are three main Relic classifications: Tomes, Medallions, and Totems. Tomes represent intellect and magical affinity, Medallions represent courage and strength, and Totems represent fortitude.

Each hero will have four Relic slots: Boots, Hands, Chest and Head. Additionally, heroes are restricted in which Relics they can equip based on their role. For example, the Squire can only equip Totems and Medallions in any of the four slots. We’re currently testing Relics with this distribution in the Council build.

When a Relic is dropped in the world it will have four main components:

  1. Relic Type: This can be a Talisman, Tome, or Totem.
  2. Who Can Equip It: The item info will display which heroes can equip the relic.
  3. Where It Can Be Slotted: This is indicated by corresponding visuals.
  4. And all of the other things you've come to expect from loot: Stats, tiers, etc.

DD2_relics.gif



Speaking of tiers, you’ll be pleased to know that Dungeon Defenders II will have 6 tiers of loot! From worst to best, the new tiers are:

  1. Worn
  2. Sturdy
  3. Powerful
  4. Epic
  5. Mythical
  6. And the much coveted Legendary!

This is only one small part of a very large, complex, and rewarding system that is loot in Dungeon Defenders II. I look forward to sharing even more exciting loot news with you in the future, but until then, leave a comment below and let us know what you think of the Relic system so far.

The random winner of our Conceptual Level Design blog is Olot!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
LaurawantsaCow

press-Blog



One of the hardest parts of working on a video game is figuring out when it’s ready to be shown. While it’s twice as much work to maintain a stable “live” build alongside a development build or create a completely separate build for an event, the feedback we receive -- be it from comments, surveys, or previews -- is invaluable to the process. That’s why we’ve committed ourselves to showing Dungeon Defenders II at every opportunity, whether it’s to our community, the press, or even students at the local university.


Level Designer Steven Collins hard at work making a PAX specific build of the game.



DD2 Makes the Rounds
We’re constantly adding new features to our development build so that we can “fail” quickly and learn what content is fun versus what needs major retooling. When we show the game, there are even more features we need to add for each specific event. This past press tour, we decided to demo the mid-game experience of Dungeon Defenders II, along with one of our newest features: the elemental combo system. With that experience in mind, we created a build and balance for level 18 heroes and took it to San Francisco and New York City.

We assumed everyone playing the game had been a part of our first press tour in February, so we dove straight into stats, elemental weapons, combos, enemy tiers, advanced maps, and more. Unfortunately, we forgot that some of the journalists playing hadn’t had the opportunity for a hands-on before, so for them it was a bit overwhelming. And of course, like any early build, there were bugs aplenty:

ogreDumb2_1
Surfing Ogres made it even more difficult!


All that aside, the response was very positive. Below you can see some of the writeups, livestreams, and videos that came out of the press tour. And we’re still expecting more!





  • Game Informer: “There Are Even More Reasons To Team Up In Dungeon Defenders II”
  • GamesRadar: “Rube Goldberg machines of death abound in Dungeon Defenders 2”
  • Digital Trends: “Dungeon Defenders 2 grows up with a new focus on colorful loot.”
  • Buzz Focus: “Hands-On with ‘Dungeon Defenders II’ – Promise in Pre-Alpha”
  • GameSpot: “Dungeon Defenders II - Now Playing”
  • Joystiq: “Teaming with Trendy in Dungeon Defenders 2”
  • Destructoid: "Dungeon Defenders 2 Pre-Alpha Gameplay with Max Scoville"

The Road Ahead
Now it’s time to create the build for PAX. Luckily, this past press tour allowed us to “fail” quickly enough to learn a lot for our biggest showing thus far. To satisfy new players and veterans alike, we’re preparing two maps for the PAX East show floor: Dragonfall Gates and Nimbus Reach. Players of the first map will have two defenses and two abilities unlocked, and players of the second map will have three of each. We’re hoping the first map will serve as a good introduction to the new game mechanics and the latter as a challenge for hardcore DD1 fans. Even then, we still have questions to ask ourselves, the biggest being: How can we make loot relevant in just a 20-30 minute demo?

What do you think is the best way to demo the full experience of Dungeon Defenders? Is it even possible in a short session? Let us know in the comments below!

The random winner of our Apprentice blog is a474247132!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
PutmickJ

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Greetings Defenders, and welcome to this month's QA column: Bugglemania! [Working Title] Today I present to you a fun bug and another silly video. Without further ado, let's get started on slugging those bugs!

The Squire’s Super Shield

If you enjoyed the recent blog post about the Squire and always dreamt of using two shields at once, then this bug’s for you! Recently, while testing the loot drops on each character, we noticed something a bit odd about the Squire when he switched shields. Instead of swapping out for the old shield, the new one would stack on top of it, doubling the stats! Even better, in a feat of Squire engineering, the shields appeared on top of each other, leading the Squire to carry some ridiculous-looking combinations. Here's just one of the over-the-top shields donned by our lovable Squire:

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Rise of the Ramsters

The Squire bug came up fairly recently, so I already had another thing to share with you guys, just in case we didn’t have a great bug we could get behind. I spent my free time working on something I thought would be funny, something you would all like, so I present to you: Rise of the Ramsters!

[video=youtube_share;vTA9tOHoHN8]http://youtu.be/vTA9tOHoHN8[/video]



Using one of the assets we had in the editor, I placed the skeletal mesh of the ramster onto the wyvern and a couple of other enemies. The results speak for themselves.

So there we have it, a fun bug showing the Squire's adeptness at shield-building, and the cutest thing to ever attack your core! What did you think of the mesh swap, or the Squire's ingenuity? What would you guys like to see or learn more about when it comes to QA? Let us know in the comments, where I’ll also clarify how the Squire bug came to be!

The random winner of our Monk blog is Uchihia!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
Blacksmith

Combat Improvements



Greetings Defenders!

Do any of you remember our Five Pillars of Design? The Fifth Pillar talks about the unique, symbiotic relationship between the three different aspects of the game: Tower Defense, Action, and RPG. Our Fifth Pillar demands that we make sure these three sides of the game work well together.

We’ve shared some of the new Tower Defense features of DD2, but how are we integrating that with the other two? I’ll be focusing my blogging efforts on this very question, starting first with Combat and how it came to be what it is today.

DD1’s Combat - The Good, The Bad, and the Floaty

When developing a hybrid game like Dungeon Defenders, it’s important that we keep in mind all the different sides of the game. We have to evaluate their strengths and their weaknesses. Most importantly, we have to isolate and identify how those sides can work with -- and not against -- one another. The first Dungeon Defenders featured a simple, yet entertaining combat system. It supported the Tower Defense side of the game and was improved by a rich loot and stat system coupled with unique character progression. But it wasn’t without its problems.

When development began on Dungeon Defenders II, we decided to take a good look at all three sides of the game and see where we could improve them. While DD1’s combat was entertaining and symbiotic, it felt a little too “floaty” in that it didn’t give you solid and powerful feedback. Internally we refer to this as the Lawn Mower Effect since it basically had you mow down loads of enemies without providing you with any sense of contact.


Dungeon Defenders Lawn Mower Melee



Building and Testing Combat Prototypes

Over the course of one week, Trendy’s development team split into three teams, each eager to prototype and showcase their vision for combat in Dungeon Defenders II. While two teams focused on refining DD1’s approach and pushing it further, the third team cooked up something rather special.

Their prototype featured the Barbarian stomping heavily on the battlefield. He slashed his famous axes through the air with monumental force, cleaving through his enemies before slamming his weapons into the ground. Each attack propelled the Barbarian toward his enemies, and each could be chained with another attack. His full body was animated, opening up the potential for attacks that looked both complicated and impressive. With every swing he gave a loud roar, and his axes shook the screen as they pummeled enemies and terrain alike.

When it came time to review all three prototypes, it was obvious which one we were most excited to move forward with. The third prototype was simple, but it very clearly showcased the type of weighty, visceral combat we wanted to give our players.


New-and-Improved Melee in Dungeon Defenders II



Since then, we have been hard at work on this new combat system. In the future, melee heroes will utilize an action chaining system that allows them to combine different actions seamlessly. Your Squire will be able to jump into combat. unleash a flurry of light and heavy attacks, turn and fire a few abilities, repair a defense, and then jump out of combat, all in quick succession. By the time we are through with our system, players will be able to fluidly chain actions together in the heat of combat.

Refining Ranged Combat

We are also improving how Ranged Combat feels in Dungeon Defenders II. One of the simplest (yet coolest!) additions I can talk about is the Hot-Spot mechanic. This allows Ranged heroes to target special spots on enemies and deal even more damage than normal. The prototype was first tested by adding headshots on a single enemy type, and we are continuing to apply this system to different parts of our game. For example: When hit on an unarmored spot, our Ogre will suffer more damage from attacks.



This Hot-Spot system can be used in a lot of interesting ways. What do you all think? Should we invest the time into implementing a full-fledged Hot-Spot system for our Ranged Heroes?

It is important to keep in mind that this is just the beginning for our Combat Systems in Dungeon Defenders II. There are still plenty of things we are working on that are hidden away deep within Trendy’s lair. You can imagine how the Squire’s combat plays out now, but what about a hero that wields two weapons? How do the weapon choices influence the combat?

That’s a conversation for another time, but until then, your feedback is vital! Be sure to leave a comment and let us know some of the things you are hoping to see improved in DD1’s combat system.

The random winner of our Community Feedback blog is papafhill!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
Blacksmith

Assasin-Blog



Greetings Defenders!

So far the Old Ones’ army has been primarily focused on taking down whatever stands between them and the objectives you and your friends are trying to defend. This month, I’d like to share one of the more sinister additions we have planned. This new enemy is only concerned with isolating and eliminating players. We’re calling it the Dark Assassin for now, and it’s still in early development, so please let us know what you think of the design!

FlyingAssassin
New enemies go through a lot of iteration, including names!



An Old Terror With a New Face
The Dark Assassin replaces the Dark Elf Warrior we had in DD1. We know he wasn’t a fan favorite, but he fulfilled a very important role: Providing a real threat for heroes that could otherwise stand back and avoid the thick of battle. Without him, high-damage ranged characters rarely faced the fear of death.

That said, the Dark Assassin isn’t a 1:1 replacement. He differs from the Dark Elf Warrior in a few key ways:

  • He has absolutely no interest in your defenses or the map objectives, he will never attack them
  • He’s a flying melee enemy.
  • He has lower health and higher damage compared to other enemies.
  • There are clear tells as to when he’s approaching.
  • Higher tier versions of this enemy are initially cloaked, but savvy players can initiate combat with him first.

Once a Dark Assassin spawns into a map, it picks out a player based on a set of criteria favoring:

  • Ranged heroes, like the Huntress or Apprentice.
  • Weakened heroes that are low on HP.
  • High-priority threats, like heroes with a high damage build.

Dark Assassins have the potential to do a lot of damage to their target if they aren’t dealt with quickly. They’re relentless and will stick to the hero they’re pursuing even after they’ve killed them, waiting for the next respawn to charge again.

The Cloaked Assassin
The Dark Assassin comes in three tiers. Starting from the 2nd tier, he gains the ability to Cloak himself and disappear as he moves toward a target. While Cloaked, the Dark Assassin cannot be damaged by any defenses. Perceptive players can spot the Dark Assassin from a distance by the Cloak ability’s distinctive shimmer, and those with particularly sharp ears will hear him approach. The Dark Assassin can be damaged while in cloaked, and a quick attack will disrupt its Cloak, making it visible to all players. But should you ignore the signs and fail to stop him, you’ll be subjected to a massive attack before the Dark Assassin even reveals himself.

What do you think of the Dark Assassin’s design? Will he make a good addition to the Old Ones’ army? If you have any comments or suggestions, leave them below!

The random winner of our World Building blog is Tedion!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
iamisom

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In the first Dungeon Defenders, players could swap between an unlimited number of heroes during a match. This had several benefits, including the ability for individuals to access more than just one set of defenses. It also encouraged players to create multiple heroes -- and sometimes specialized versions of the same hero -- to use in a single match.

But this system created a few issues. Leveling multiple heroes became the only way to play -- you couldn’t complete the late-game content using a single hero. In addition to this, it discouraged true, four-player co-op in which every player has the chance to contribute to the build strategy. Instead, designated builders would bring in their heroes and tell other players not to take part in the defensive setup.

Ultimately, we want players to embrace the strengths of their teammates. We also want to make it possible to complete the entirety of the online co-op game with a single hero, if that’s what you desire. To facilitate this, we’ve created the Hero Deck, which plays up the positives of the DD1 system while fixing some of the key issues.

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The Hero Deck lets you bring a selection of heroes into battle. At the moment, players can add three individual heroes to their deck. Just like the first Dungeon Defenders, you can go to the Forge to swap between these heroes during the Build Phase. And your ability and defense mana now transfers between heroes when you swap, so no more dropping mana on the ground and cursing when someone walks by and swipes it!

The Hero Deck has encouraged teams in our Defense Council to develop strategies that involve all players, not just a designated builder. We’ve watched players use our revamped Ping system to ask each other to build blockades, auras, towers and traps, which is something that was rarely seen in DD1 public matches.

The Hero Deck is still in the early stages of development, and it’s already sparked some great discussion among our Councillors. For example: What if you’re playing solo and you want to access every defense and hero combination? Or what if you’re playing with friends, and you want one person to build everything like in DD1? We’re still working on how the Hero Deck system will address these concerns, but this feedback and perspective is invaluable to us as we move forward with development, so keep it coming!

How do you feel about the Hero Deck system? Let us know in the comments below, and you could win a seat on the Defense Council and a chance to try out the Hero Deck for yourself!

The random winner of last week's Ping System blog is MasterElodin!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha! You have a full week to leave a comment. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner next Tuesday. Don’t have a forum account? It takes less than a minute to join!

Also, the random winner of our Javelin Throwers blog is going to be chosen on Friday, so there's still time to enter!
iamisom

ping-Blog.jpg



O-A! Pings are back in Dungeon Defenders II, and we’ve made several improvements to their design and functionality to help you communicate with ease.

In the first Dungeon Defenders, pings were only on your person, and only the basic “O-A” ping existed. This was great if you needed help, but these limitations could not account for situations where you might want to instruct other players in more detail. For example, if you needed a Spike Blockade placed in a specific location, or if you wanted someone’s attention in another lane, you had to walk over to that spot, press the Ping Key, and then type in the chat what you pinged for. Not exactly intuitive.

With these issues in mind, we’ve made two major changes to the ping system: separating pings from the player, and creating context-sensitive pings.

ping_gif2



We Claim This Land!
Pings are no longer tied to your location. You can ping as near or as far away from yourself as you want! Press the Ping Key to activate a preview of the ping, then select where you want to place it -- just like a defense.

At the moment, pings are represented by flags that slam down from the heavens and pierce the ground, which -- let’s be honest -- is pretty cool. But it isn’t as intuitive as we’d like. Some new players have been understandably confused by the sudden, repeated appearance of a flag, which ultimately defeats the purpose of the system.

We’re thinking about going back to the graphical display from DD1 to better communicate the purpose of the ping. This goes hand-in-hand with our new context-sensitive pings!

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This menu is in-progress and temporary.



A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action
Now you can use hotkeys to give more in-depth information about your ping. When you press the Ping Key, a menu of ping options will appear. You can activate the Basic Ping from here, or you can navigate the menu with keyboard shortcuts to select an Action Ping. There are now Action Pings for building defenses (including what type of defense you need), repairing and upgrading defenses, and defending/attacking specific lanes. Both the Basic Ping and the Action Ping will create a line of text in the chat that corresponds with the ping -- for example, “Need a Blockade here!”

The contextual ping system maximizes communication between players, so that even if you’re in a game with someone you’ve never met, you’ll know exactly what they need the moment they ping the map. This feature has already seen a ton of use in the Defense Council, and the feedback has been extremely positive on the conceptual level.

There’s still lots of work to do on the system, of course. Players are having problems noticing the pings on the minimap, and in some levels the flag is hard to see. But we plan to address those concerns and try out new things to make the ping system easy and rewarding to use.

What do you guys think? Should we change pings back to the simple icons we had in DD1? Should context-sensitive pings use different art? Would you use this system instead of voice chat to communicate clearly and effectively? Let us know!

The random winner of our Dark Assassin blog is Sinamoi!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. This time, you have a full week to leave a comment! We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner next Tuesday!

We have two other Defense Council code giveaways: one on our Facebook page and the other on our Twitter. That's three chances to win!"
Blacksmith

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The life of a young Javelin Thrower in the Old Ones’ army is hard work. Since birth these adorable-looking critters are told to focus on one thing and one thing only -- beefing up the strength in their right arm. All in hopes of being drafted into the army to get that one throw that might pierce through the Heroes’ defenses and shatter an Eternia Crystal. Or at least that’s how I imagine it.

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“Just Like Brad Pitt in Troy”

The Javelin Thrower is designed to be a medium-to-long range Artillery style enemy. He bombards your defenses with a massive, high-speed Javelin that can pierce several targets in one throw, depending on the tier. The Javelin is weakened by each target it impacts, doing less and less damage until it finally shatters.

But the Javelin isn’t just designed to slice through defenses. The Javelin Thrower can hurl his weapon from a very long distance, and if there aren’t enough targets for the javelin to pierce through, he could easily damage your cores.

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Bringing Out the Whimsy

The Javelin Thrower is certainly one of our more whimsical creatures, and thanks to the art team, it shows. They really wanted to push the goofy and lighthearted nature of the Javelin Thrower, from its disproportioned figure to its facial expression, animations, and even sound effects.

What do you think about the Javelin Thrower? What sort of name should we give him, and what do you think happens to the poor young Javelin Throwers who don’t make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!

The random winner of our Pings blog is going to be chosen on Tuesday of next week, so there is still time to enter!

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LaurawantsaCow

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So far we’ve given you a preview of the Squire, the Huntress, and the Monk. Now it’s time to introduce the Apprentice!

After the events of the original Dungeon Defenders, the Apprentice finally proved he was ready to attend the Magic Academy and further his studies. While his dedication to the magic arts troubled his father, his pursuit of knowledge never wavered. He channeled that resolve into perfecting his craft, and although he’s not the strongest hero physically, he makes up for it by having a devastating and diverse toolkit of elemental defenses and abilities.

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Get Lifted
Have you ever wanted to rock someone like a hurricane? Well, the Apprentice can make it happen! With a swift flick of his wrist, he conjures up a cyclone that spirals toward enemies. The Cyclone sweeps up any foes in its path, suspending them in the air while its lightning deals Storm damage over time. While suspended, the enemies are vulnerable to any anti-air defenses, and take extra damage if affected by water debuffs. Once the Cyclone disappears, they crash to the ground taking smashing damage, which leads us to….

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Ice Ice Baby
Alright stop, collaborate and listen. The Apprentice is back with a brand new invention: The Frostbite Tower. This tower shoots a beam of frost that damages an enemy and freezes them over time. Once frozen, the enemy can be shattered and killed instantly by defenses and abilities that deal smashing damage (see above). Not all enemies are built the same, though: Smaller enemies freeze much faster than larger enemies, so keep that in mind when lining up a combo for this tower.

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Momma Said Knock You Back
Don't call it a comeback. This wall has been here for years. What used to be the Magic Blockade in the original Dungeon Defenders has evolved along with the Apprentice, turning into the Arcane Barrier. This defense blocks the path of enemies and uses magic to periodically knock back any that try to get past. Taking a page from the Monk’s book of tricks, the Apprentice can position this barricade so that it points toward a nearby ledge, knocking enemies straight to their demise. It also does great when paired with high-damage, low-health defenses, as the knockback gives them more time to unleash their power without fear of being damaged in return.

Now that you’ve seen Hero Previews for all four of our main heroes, tell us what you think about them in the comments below and you could win a seat on the Defense Council!

The random winner of our PC Giveaway Winners blog is CBlue413!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
Guest

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The visual style of the original Dungeon Defenders was quite memorable, but not really for the right reasons. More in the “Wow those colors sure are… Noticeable!” way. The running joke was that the visuals of the game sometimes reminded everyone of a bag of Skittles that had materialized out of one of those jet-powered blenders. Part of this was because the development cycle only allowed for time to create and commit visual effects (VFX), not necessarily polish them. While I’m extremely proud of my work, I felt the finished product could have been more cohesive overall.

For DD2, we’re taking the extra time to ensure the highest possible quality in our game. Even before the pre-production phase started, our artists were determined to deliver visual effects that were extremely stylistic, elegant, and polished. VFX in DD2 would be unique and recognizable, acting as an accent to the art and immersing players in the experience.

Creating Visually Satisfying Combos
When it came time to develop DD2’s combat, we wanted players to seek out and look forward to complex interactions. To do that, we created a combo system for devastating enemy minions that was both visually rewarding and fun to use.

Our first challenge was to conceptualize how these interactions might look. My personal favorite is the water + electricity combo. In this combo, once a minion is hit by the drenched debuff, it becomes vulnerable to electric-type damage and is stunned while lightning arcs through it.

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Yes, that’s a lightning elemental sword. And yes, it actually does something cool now!


In this particular example, our FX team had to come up with a solution for not only an emitter-based electricity effect that would play on the enemy, but also a material-based electrocution overlay, as depicted in the GIF above.

Our minion materials were already designed so that when an enemy is set on fire, oiled, drenched, or poisoned, you see the effect on the character model itself. Because we wanted a similar debuff effect for electrocution, we needed to add that state for each minion’s material.

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This orc is just doomed to die a horribly painful death.


This material effect went through two iterations. Initially, we decided to depict it so that lightning played over a dark ‘scorched’ enemy, but in our first FX review, we realized this was too subdued and wasn’t giving enough incentive for players to activate the combo. So we decided to add a pulsing electric overlay to the minions. That coupled with particle-based glow and lightning beams allowed us to reach something pretty cool and immersive.

This process was a great example of a multidisciplinary effort coming together successfully. With everyone on the team dedicated to polishing the visual effects, we achieved something we feel is a great example of what’s to come in Dungeon Defenders II.

We can’t wait for you to experience the immensely satisfying combos we’ve got in store for you. Leave a comment below and tell us what combo you’d most like to see and you could win a spot on the Defense Council!

The random winner of our DD2 at PAX East blog is abbazabba!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
Blacksmith


Greetings, Defenders!

The Old One’s army is full of diverse enemies, each fulfilling a unique -- and sometimes specialized -- role. This week’s reveal introduces an enemy that’s completely different from anything we’ve shown you before. So far, it’s the only enemy that doesn’t directly attack you or your defenses at all. Let’s take a look at the Witherbeast!

An Enemy With a Very Specific Purpose

The Witherbeast is designed to reinforce the principle that the player’s attention is the most valuable resource in Dungeon Defenders II. He’s a menacing, bulky creature that moves quickly and has low health compared to our other enemies. Instead of attacking outright, this beast rushes your clustered defenses and begins to burrow.

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As soon as he starts to dig, he becomes harder to kill, gaining a large boost to his health and armor. But that’s only the beginning! If you don’t manage to kill him before he’s fully burrowed, you’ll soon understand why he’s called a “wither” beast.

Withering Your Defenses One Dig At a Time

Once he’s fully burrowed, he plants himself into the ground and emits a pulse that cripples any defenses around him, causing them to take more damage.

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While he’s busy making it much easier for enemies to smash through your defenses, he becomes even harder to kill. His health regenerates so much that in our internal co-op games he often requires a focused effort to take down. Once the Witherbeast burrows, he will never resurface. To avoid players hunting for them at the end of the Combat Phase, we plan to have them self-destruct if they’re the only enemies left, damaging nearby defenses in the process.

Everything about this enemy is designed so players will react to it immediately. When these creatures enter the battlefield, we want you to be faced with a very clear choice: Do I stop what I’m doing right now to deal with this threat? Or do I set up defenses that can delay his ability to burrow? That’s a question only you can answer, and it will change from game to game--maybe even from moment to moment.

We’re still working on the specifics, though -- especially in regards to his detonation -- so if you have any comments on this new enemy, leave them below! We’re also looking for ideas on what to name him, and where this creature might have originated.

The random winner of our Core/Subcore Destruction blog is Ioxp!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
LaurawantsaCow

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Environmental Traps are a fun new feature in Dungeon Defenders II, and one that we're continuously fine-tuning as we create new levels. When we first started building levels for DD2, we wanted to provide interesting motivations for players to move around the map during combat. We also wanted to think about how players could place defenses that synergize with the maps. We decided to try out a concept of traps built into the level's construction that players could use to their advantage.

Traps that are pre-built into the maps:

  • Encourage players to learn the traps and, by extension, to learn the map.
  • Encourage players to move around the map to use them.
  • Provide a wildcard to help players regain control in an emergency.
  • Add choice to the action gameplay and to defense placement.


Our First Attempts

We tried a number of different concepts for how traps could work mechanically. An early version of Greystone Plaza had a group of archers across the top wall and the player could switch which lane they were firing at. This trap didn't work so well because it wasn't that gratifying to use. Another early draft had steel floor grates that could be shot out, dropping enemies into the lava beneath -- but this didn't work because players spent more time using the grates to kill each other than enemies. In the end, the most satisfying traps tended to be those that had a lot of punch to them and those that encouraged tactical timing or positioning.

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After we had built a few levels with compelling traps in them, it became clear to us that traps weren't quite powerful enough. When players disengage to fire a trap, they are giving up their own DPS in order to use the trap -- so without sufficient lethality, players didn't want to disengage and risk losing control of a lane.

For example, given the choice between these two traps:

  • A trap that can be used frequently to low effect, or
  • A trap that can be used infrequently to high effect


Players almost always preferred the latter trap because its use was more engaging, less tedious, and felt more powerful and fun.

In another example, given the choice between these two traps:

  • A trap that fires a constant, high-DPS stream while the player holds down the attack trigger, or
  • A trap that fires a single, high-damage explosive burst when triggered


Players generally preferred the second type of trap in this case, as well, even if the first trap was actually more powerful. The fire-and-forget trap allowed them to be in control of the situation instead of pinned in one location.

Refining the Idea

One of our most engaging traps is the water trap in Siphon Site D, which blasts enemies off the walkway with a high pressure shot of water. This trap was a lot of fun to use in early tests, even though the visuals were extremely basic when it was first built. Like many of the other successful trap designs, it is quick to activate, slow to recharge, and has a very high impact effect with rewarding visuals. And, as a bonus, you get to watch enemies plummet to their deaths.

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Greystone Plaza now features a dynamite trap that sets off multiple, high-yield explosions and starts fires in the nearby area. This trap was also selected for its high impact and larger recharge times. When properly timed, it can wipe out dozens of enemies and belch out a sea of damage.

Most of our levels now contain traps that have a long cooldown time, but a high payoff. We're looking to make traps that are both spectacular to watch and fun to use -- nothing beats the excitement of seeing what a trap does to enemies the very first time. The Valley's gate trap is another great example of this and a favorite conversation topic at our first internal playtest for the Valley map.

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As we continue to build traps, we’re keeping these fundamental design principles in mind. We can’t wait for you to try them out and feel first-hand how satisfying it is to bombard a horde of Orcs and Goblins with dynamite, or to freeze and shatter a group of Wyverns. Do you have any ideas for traps that you’d like to see in the future? Let us know in the comments and you could win a seat on the Defense Council!

The random winner of our Q.A. blog is mordyo!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
Luska Arco

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Defenders! Welcome to another edition of QA’s bug blog: Ninety-Nine Problems But A Bug Ain’t One [working title]. We’ve got a great bug this month: A mysterious, truly awe-inspiring issue that seemed to affect players at random!

Fire in the Dungeon! Fire in the Deeper Well!

For seemingly no reason, players began to burst into flames. We’re not talking a little spark, either. I mean this was undeniably, spectacularly broken and unignorable. This happened so infrequently that for a long time we couldn’t reproduce it with any reliability.

Let me put it into perspective. You’re playing the game with friends, having a good time. You notice one of the sub-objectives is being swarmed. The exchange goes something like this:

"We need a hand by the East Gate Lock," you say, pinging the map.

"I'm on my way," they answer, rushing to your side. "Incoming Heroic Wave!"

As the horde falls at your feet, you celebrate your hard-earned victory. "Yeah! We rule. Towers for days. Orcs got no game."

And while you're taking a victorious swig of your brand soda of choice, you turn back towards your monitor and see...

[video=youtube_share;Ix4Nr76q40Y]http://youtu.be/Ix4Nr76q40Y[/video]



...And so you say something to the effect of: “Sweet sassy molassy! щ(゜ロ゜щ) What’s happening?!”

Just as quickly as it appeared, it ceases. Not only was this bug very rare, occurring maybe one in every thirty games, but it was such a distraction that it completely captivated us, even though the fire visual effects only lasted two or three seconds at most. We gathered no new information as to what caused it or any steps to reliable see it again, so it slipped through our fingers for a while.

We had to extinguish this bug. We focused up, and after some time, we managed to get it to happen again. We found out it was due to a specific part of our Town Square map, specifically an animation, or what level designers call a “cinematic event,” that played as part of the background.

Bug Type: VFX
Time Spent On 100% Reproduction Rate: 4 months
Time Spent On Fix: 3 hours


After I saw the bug and began eliminating possible explanations, I remembered browsing through the internal build when I first started working here and going down each letter of the alphabet to find console commands. I found one for castleseige2 -- yes, siege is misspelled in the actual command line -- that made me catch on fire randomly, but I didn’t link the command to the bug since the fire didn’t happen right away. I had to do a lot of experimenting once I found the command, because using it once didn't give any results. It only made me burst into flames maybe once in every dozen times, so I used another command to keybind the castleseige2 cinematic event. Spamming the bound key made the bug happen within seconds, which gave us a reliable way to see it and fix it.

What happened was this: There’s an animation of cannonballs striking the castle in the background of that map on the northeast side that helps visually communicate the siege. This animation has different parts to it, like say, a fire visual. The frequency of the animation sometimes meant that the fire visual would sort of “overflow” and wouldn’t know where to go. For whatever reason, it went to the last thing that was affected by something with a particle effect, like fire from a goblin’s bomb, for instance. The end result was that it transferred to enemies and sometimes even heroes.

This bug is easily my new personal favorite. Easily. ( ̄︶ ̄)

Let us know what you think in the comments. This bug is fixed, but we’re interested in hearing how you might use this awesome superpower of random self-combustion. Maybe to roast a few marshmallows during your victory celebration? Tell us below, and you could win a seat on the Defense Council. Until next time!

The random winner of our Press blog is HPTSparky!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
LaurawantsaCow

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Last month we took you a bit deeper into the mind and arsenal of the Squire. If you’re reading this, you somehow survived the trip. We hope you’re ready for another, because this month we’re taking a closer look at the Huntress!

When she was younger, the Huntress spent her time learning to use a crossbow and making mischief with all sorts of traps. After making the journey to her destroyed homeland, she traded in her crossbow for an Elven-made longbow. The switch has only improved her marksmanship, as she can concentrate on a precise and well-aimed shot.

But devastating archery skills aren't the only thing she’s bringing to the table. Her toolkit is also equipped with ample crowd control, along with traps and defenses that deal burst damage as well as damage over time.

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It’s a Trap!


In the original Dungeon Defenders, the Huntress’ traps were primarily built for damage and could easily clear out cannon fodder in a lane. Some of these, like the Darkness Trap, helped control the flow of battle. These days, the Huntress is more aggressive in her means of crowd control. Her new Geyser Trap triggers a massive spout of water that blasts enemies into the air, delaying their pursuit of the core. It also makes them vulnerable to anti-air defenses like the Monk’s Sky Guard Tower, and applies a drenched debuff. If a drenched enemy is zapped by a Storm-infused weapon or defense, they’re immediately stunned, taking massive damage as lightning courses through them.

OilFlask


E.V.O.O -- Exceptionally Volatile (certified Organic!) Oil


The Geyser Trap isn’t the Huntress’ only means of control, or even her only tactic for supporting her allies! When the time is right, she chucks an Oil Flask at her enemies. It shatters on impact and coats foes in a thick layer of oil that slows their movement. Did we mention it’s highly flammable? Whether they’re ignited by the Huntress’ Piercing Shot or any other source of Fire damage, oiled enemies spread that fire, taking consistent damage while the Huntress picks them off with headshots as they amble toward her.

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That Girl is POISOOOOOOOON


But being a hero in Etheria means having a well-rounded arsenal, and for the first time, the Huntress has a true tower of her own: The Poison Dart Tower! This defense fires multiple poison-tipped projectiles into enemies, dealing immediate damage and afflicting them with a damage-over-time debuff. It can also tilt vertically, making it deadly to both land and air units, and especially lethal when placed behind a spawn point, allowing the Huntress to take out a good amount of enemies’ health even while they progress through a lane.

These are just some of the Huntress’ new abilities and defenses. True to her nature, the Huntress isn’t showing all of her cards, so you’ll have to be on your toes if you want to discover new tricks!

Now that you’ve seen what the Squire and the Huntress can do, what kind of combos can you come up with? Let us know in the comments section and you could get your hands on a Defense Council invite!

The random winner of our Puzzling Paralleltress blog is reyrey!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
bgoodsell


One of the challenges we faced in Dungeon Defenders II was creating interesting defenses that did not restrict our map design. While many defenses have no problem being placed on bridges, hills, or other sources of uneven terrain in our maps, there are a few that needed some additional tweaks. Today I’d like to discuss some of the steps we’ve taken to help our traps and auras look good on any type of terrain.

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Huntress Traps


In the original Dungeon Defenders, traps were just a decal on the ground. We decided to actually design the physical traps in DD2 so the effects would come from an existing structure. Unfortunately, a physical object designed to lay flat always assumes the ground is level, so it won’t look as good on uneven terrain. This results in object clipping.

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For the Huntress's traps, we were able to fix this problem by aligning the trap to something called a surface normal. What this means is when you place a Blaze Balloon trap (for example) on a set of stairs, it automatically rotates to align itself with the surface underneath it. Once the defense has been adjusted, its visual effects still play in something called world space, which basically means up is up, so you won't have the balloon floating off sideways.

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Monk Auras


DD1 auras were an interesting problem to solve.

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We didn’t want to re-use the domes because of how much it visually overwhelmed the map. After careful experimentation, we re-purposed the dynamic decals we used for traps in the original Dungeon Defenders. This allowed the auras to be projected on and conform to any surface, which was really nice. Problem solved.

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The one issue we ran into was with the Lightning Aura. This defense is meant to shoot bolts of lightning toward the ground, but unfortunately it assumes a flat surface. While everyone on the team loved our initial pass, we had to get creative with our tweaks to make it conform to our design rules.

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We solved this by using another Unreal system called beams. A beam works by procedurally creating geometry between two endpoints, one of which is always at the top of the defense. The other one we fire off into the world to detect the nearest surface it can interact with. Not only does this help simulate how lightning functions in the real world, but it helps the Lightning Aura that understands the surface, regardless of the location it is placed.

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Defenses orienting to and understanding the surfaces they’re placed upon is just the beginning. We have several other cool systems that give defenses more interesting and distinctive effects once they’re placed in the map. I look forward to sharing what we have learned and how we applied it in the future.

-Brian Goodsell, VFX Intern

The random winner of our Environmental traps blog is Ubara-tutu!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner in our next blog post!
iamisom

Hey all! We’re proud to announce that we’ve partnered with Sony to bring Dungeon Defenders II exclusively to the PlayStation 4! In fact, you’ll be able to play the game tomorrow on PS4 at the PlayStation Experience. If you’re going, be sure to stop by Sony’s booth to say hi. We’ll have various people at their booth all day showing off the game.

Stay tuned to our blog for more details on the PS4 version in the future. We still have a ton of work to do, but we’re excited to finally be bringing Dungeon Defenders back to a console. We’ve just completed our first controller pass (it needs a bunch of work!) and are exciting to dig into some other features, like local co-op and a controller-based UI. And yes, all of those features will also be coming to the PC version!


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