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iamisom

Devstream 1

In our first Devstream, I spoke with Senior Producer Brad Logston about the current state of the game and asked him some of your burning questions. Then, I spoke with Lead Level Designer Chris James about our upcoming maps and the process of making a map!



iamisom

In our first-ever Influence Report, we talk about some of your biggest topics so far. We'll talk about more topics in future videos! Keep your feedback coming! Plus, read our new Dev Log after the jump.



Here's what we're working on this week:


Danny Araya, Creative Director (DannyAraya)

Recovering from the Game Awards and PSX. Taking a look at the community feedback since EA release and reassessing some of the aesthetic decisions we’ve made. Thinking of some of the next steps steps to take with codexes, environmental easter eggs, and other small narrative elements. 


Jay Twining, Senior Game Designer (TrendyJayT)

We’re testing improvements to the long-term health of our progression and combat balance. We have lots of plans to make the leveling, itemization and end-game experiences super engaging. I can’t wait to show you guys what we’ve got up our sleeve! Here’s a hint: expect leveling from 1 to 25 to be a much better experience very, very soon. 


Joshua Javaheri, Lead Technical Artist (javahawk)

Catching up a bit after PSX and the Game Awards. Prioritizing milestone tasks and working alongside our talented VFX team to art up one of our newer creepy maps in production.


Chris Flores, QA Lead (likethatwhenigothere)

Now that the hotfix is released, we’re continuing to look into the issues being reported by the community and helping to resolve those issues. Also, we have some lingering issue that have been sitting on the shelf for a bit now so we’ll go back to those and try to figure the out. Finally, we’re doing another sweep over the Special Stats as some of them are still causing issues or need some balancing tweaks.

Some of the issues we’re looking at right now (as in right now right now):

  • Players loading into a Black Tavern with no collision. We now have 100% repro for it and a fix will be in the works soon.
  • Much like you guys, we are also eagerly awaiting a fix for the Inventory bug in which it appears as if items are disappearing from the inventory when swapping out equipment. We know what’s causing it and just waiting for a fix to come down the pipeline.
  • We are actively investigating the numerous crash reports involving the game crashing after pressing Play on the launcher. These are machine specific-crashes so our programmers are working out ways to get better crash reports to help narrow this down. Stay tuned!


Abraham Abdala, Lead Technical Animator (Broham)

Working on new traps and subcores for the spooky maps… eight-legged freaks and stuff.


Eduardo Lev Guerra, Engine Programmer (EdLev)

Trying to solve the most commonly reported crashes, and starting work on some cool new matchmaking functionality.


Adam Stow, Associate Producer (@TE-Stow)

Sadly cannot rest after PSX! Making sure the new map’s trap design is communicated and vision clear as it goes into art, and making sure that the newly announced (You did know that, right?) PS4 version is humming along.


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

Working on a new level, currently creating the large pieces such as grounds and walls and making sure that these pieces are close to the original blockout.


Philip Asher, Marketing Director (pmasher)

At home recovering from post PlayStation Experience and The Game Awards flu. Approving all sorts of awesome stuff our community and marketing teams are creating for you guys these next few weeks.


Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

The feedback. Oh god, the feedback! We’ve gathered up every single Steam forum post, official forum post, Tweet, Facebook comment, review, article and article comment since we dropped the Steam Early Access version (and the PS4 announcement!) on Friday. Phew! My brain hurts. 

There’s so much ridiculously amazing feedback, and we’re diving in to tackle the biggest points of feedback. Brad and Daniel mentioned a few of the biggest points in the video above. We’ll talk about more points in our developer livestreams (every Friday at 5 PM EST on our Twitch channel) and in future Influence Report videos!

iamisom

Update 1.1 Released

Thanks for all of your feedback and bug reports! We will be addressing some of your biggest feedback in a video later this week. We’re incredibly excited to work with you to build the best Action Tower Defense game possible. 

This patch primarily addresses bugs that have been sent to us through our forums and our bug reporting form. Keep sending those bugs in to the Tavernkeep! 

Features

  • Several actions have been added to the controls in the Options menu. Activate, Alt. Activate, Ready Up, and Suicide can now be rebound to any key. Additionally, this implementation fixed a bug where rebinding other keys to the ‘e’, ‘f’, ‘g’, and ‘l’ key would prevent these actions. 
  • Pressing left-shift with the item comparison tooltip will now display the currently equipped item.
  • The AutoReporter has been added to help us debug crashes.


Bug Fixes

  • Several users were reporting that transitioning from a gameplay map to the entry tavern would occasionally delete their profiles. This issue should now be resolved.
  • Resolved a UI-related crash. 
  • The ‘Right Arrow’ key can now be bound.
  • Combo Feats no longer reward currency and experience due to an exploit. These rewards will be re-added when the Combo Feats are reworked in an upcoming patch.
  • Skyguard Towers will now attack enemies that are close to the ground.
  • The Squire's Powerful Spears Spec was not dealing the full damage to subsequent targets. This should now be working as intended. 
  • The Huntress’ Long Range Spec no longer affects her Oil Flask and Concussive Shots abilities.
  • The Apprentice’s Reduce Cooldown Spec now displays the correct percentage in the Spec page.
  • Special Stat Procs, such as Drenched, now only apply to hero attacks and not defense attacks.
  • Mana Nodes no longer start out in the activated state if a player joins the match after the build phase started.
  • The item comparison tooltips with special stats no longer clips off the screen.
  • The scroll bar for the Codexes page now functions properly when the arrows are pressed and the scroll bar is dragged.
  • Removed the green glow from the War Table in the Group Tavern.
  • The Crystal Cores in the Gates of Dragonfall and The Throne Room are no longer brighter than the sun.
  • Resolved an issue in The Ramparts where the air lanes would fail to spawn. This was preventing the players from finishing the match. 


Known Issues

  • We are still investigating several known launcher crashes and issues. If you’re experiencing launcher issues, please go to this page, try the possible solutions listed, and if you’re still having issues, follow the instructions listed at the bottom of the page.
  • If you’re experiencing lag, please go to this page and follow the instructions listed.
  • If you’re getting stuck on the Searching for Session screen, please wait a few minutes and try again. If you’re unable to get past this screen, please email supporttrendyent.com!
  • Players have reported entering a black tavern and falling through the game world. This is hilarious, but we’ll fix it.
  • We’re aware that players’ in-game name is different from their Steam name. We’re looking into this issue. For the time being, we can change your name for you! Email supporttrendyent.com with the name you’d like and a link to your Steam profile page.
  • Some players are reporting that items purchased in the tavern are not appearing in their inventory. Be sure to check every bag that you own. Sometimes, leaving the tavern or entering a map will make the item appear. We’re investigating the issue.
iamisom

Greetings Defenders,

We've had a bunch of players from the Oceanic region join DD2 in the last few days, so we've just spun up a new set of Oceanic servers for you to play on. These servers are located in Sydney, Australia. If you're an Oceanic player, you can now test the servers by simply launching DD2. The game will automatically select the new servers for you. Please let us know in the comments and on the forums how your experience differs on these new servers!

We've also just pushed out an update to our online services. This update fixes a rare edge case with profiles not saving at the end of a match. This update does not require an additional download. If you experience this issue after this update, please email support[at]trendyent[dot]com.

Every time we expand access to Dungeon Defenders II, we gain a wealth of new information about the game. We thank everyone who's submitted bugs to the Tavernkeep since launch. We've combed through these reports over the weekend and will have a patch addressing some of them later this week! We've also been compiling all of your feedback on the Steam and Official forums. We will have a video response addressing some of the most popular feedback later this week. 

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!


iamisom

Dungeon Defenders II is available now on Steam Early Access! Get it here!



We can’t wait to dive into all of your new feedback. After you’ve played, please let us know what you think on our forums! And remember, after you’ve played, use your Influence Points to vote on the upcoming Daily Mission system here. If you didn’t catch our forum post about Influence and what it is, check it out on this thread. We’ll be posting more about this system (and possibly re-posting that thread!) to this blog as we continue development on it.

If you aren’t still busy playing Dungeon Defenders II later tonight, be sure to tune into The Game Awards tonight at 9 PM EST for a special announcement! 

iamisom

Dev Log 2: Dec. 3, 2014

Daniel Haddad, Creative Director (Blacksmith)

Working on Pets! Also working on adding some retention mechanics to Dungeon Defenders II.


Danny Araya, Creative Director (DannyAraya)

Working on sketching out the needs of our Intro cinematic!  


Chris James, Lead Level Designer (ceejeh)

Working on new maps! Looking forward to sharing what will be some very exciting Dungeon Defenders II experiences.


Joshua Javaheri, Lead Technical Artist (javahawk)

Setting up some documentation on standardizing UI Icons and streamlining some simple UI shader functionality.


Chris Flores, QA Lead (likethatwhenigothere)

Helping to verify the next bug-fix update and research some of the performance issues that have popped up since the release of the last update.


Abraham Abdala, Lead Technical Animator (Broham)

On vacation!


Javier Barreto, Lead Software Programmer (@javo)

The end of the year is time of reflection… and release. =)


Philip Asher, Marketing Director (pmasher)

All sorts of trailer, website, PR, asset fun getting ready for Early Access this Friday (and The Game Awards!). Also reviewing the Defense Council’s suggestions for our Steam Early Access description to see what changes we should make before launch.


Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

Like Phil, I’m getting everything ready for Early Access -- making sure our community support processes are in place, answering tons of great questions and gearing up to help out the newbies in Etheria throughout the weekend. It has been an exhausting week so far, but we’re almost there. I can see the light. It’s so beautiful.

iamisom

Greetings Defenders,

This Friday, Dungeon Defenders II will be available on Steam Early Access! We’re excited to welcome all of our new players into the game and continue to make the best Action Tower Defense experience possible!

Steam Early Access will be available for $24.99. This will include access to Dungeon Defenders II, $30 of in-game currency and a set of 4 exclusive hero embellishments (currency and embellishments will be given to players as they are created/implemented into the game). We expect Dungeon Defenders II to remain in Early Access for at least a year. All of our Defense Councillors will also receive these new embellishments for free.

We will also have an upgrade pack available. This upgrade will be $49.99 and will include $100 additional currency, 4 exclusive Hero Skins, an exclusive title, the 4 Tower Skins our Defense Councillors are designing, and an exclusive tavern decoration (goodies will be given to players as they are created/implemented into the game). All current Co-Op pack Defense Councillors will also get these new goodies. The rest of you will be able to upgrade to this pack on Steam to get all of those in-game extras and the new ones. For an updated list of what your Defense Council packages include (we’ve added a lot!), click here.

Both of these will be 20% off for the first week Early Access is available on Steam!

We want to thank all of you for your feedback in our last survey and blog post about our Steam release. This feedback really helped us decide the pricing and awards in these new bundles. We’re excited to be able to provide new goodies for all of our new and old players, while keeping the Defense Council exclusives… exclusive. :)

We look forward to seeing you in Etheria on Friday! And remember: Tune into the The Game Awards on Friday at 9 p.m. EST for a world-premiere DD2 announcement!



Edited 12/4/14:  Clarified that some of the goodies will not be made immediately available upon purchase. They will be given to people as they are created/implemented into the game. Sorry for the confusion!

iamisom

Regarding the Website

Dear Defenders,

As many of you are aware, there was an outage of the Dungeon Defenders Community Site from 11/14 to 11/25. While we have been able to recover from the outage, unfortunately there has been data loss suffered. This was data corruption, not a data breach. No information was compromised to any outside parties. We’ve been working closely with our website partners, Duxter, to determine what happened.

What Happened:

  • There was a website outage from 11/14 to 11/25.
  • We were able to restore a forum backup from 10/14.
  • We were able to reassociate Defense Council forum access with information from our payment processors and Steam.

What This Means For You:

  • If you created a Community account before 10/14, simply login! You will have to relink your Steam account and remake any changes to your account since then. If you created an account before 10/14 and are having trouble logging in, please reset your password.
  • If you created a Community account after 10/14 you will have to recreate it.
  • Anyone who recreates an account or logs in to the site for the next two weeks will automatically receive +500 forum posts to their account's forum post count. In the future, we will also be rewarding all pre-existing members and users who register over this time a code for an exclusive in-game title (help us create that here!)

How to Regain Access to the Defense Council:

  • Please use the email address you purchased to recreate your Community account. This will automatically reassociate access for most of you.
  • Relink your Steam Account to your profile. If your profile is set to public and DD2 is in your recently played games you will receive access.
  • If all else fails email support[at]trendyent.com with your account name, Steam ID, and purchase confirmation and we’ll get you relinked up right away! 

We’re terribly sorry for this inconvenience. Community is our life at Trendy and we find this loss of data unacceptable. We have been working closely with Duxter to discover why this happened and to ensure it never happens again. For those of you interested, I’ve included very detailed information of what happened below and the steps we have taken to ensure it never happens again:

Root Cause Analysis:

  • There was systematic filesystem level data corruption on the primary database server.
  • This scrambled data was replicated to the secondary database server and into offsite backups.
  • This data corruption was not detected until the system outage.

Future Prevention:

  • We’ve created multiple offsite backup locations to store forum data.
  • These data snapshots are now taken several times per day.
  • Full backups are retained indefinitely on different storage media.
  • Backups are tested for data integrity and verified through successful restores in a staging environment.

If you have any outstanding issues, please send an email to support[at]trendyent.com or send me a private message. We’ll help you as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, I’ll be working closely with all of you to help rebuild what was lost. If you lost a guide, suggestion, feedback thread or a sticky thread and do not have a local copy, please email josh.isom[at]trendyent[dot]com, and I will work with you to rewrite it. If you would like to help the community with the rebuilding process, reach out to those who lost something and give a helping hand. We’ve created a thread here for players to offer their support. 


iamisom

Update 1 Patch Notes

After weeks of hard work, our team is ready to release the first major content update for DD2 since the Council Expansion. This update contains some huge changes thanks to your feedback, so let’s break it down:

Armor and Relics

HonestWaryGnatcatcher.gif


Armor is back! Helms, chest plates, gauntlets and boots -- these familiar treasures will drop from the bodies of your fallen foes. Players can equip one of each armor piece, along with one weapon and one relic (and one shield if you’re a Squire). There are six rarities of armor to discover, ranging from the raggedy Worn pieces to the awe-inspiring Legendary gear.

As for relics, these have been delegated to a single slot, and their purpose has changed dramatically. Relics are now used to amplify a specific playstyle. Each relic type has a specific primary stat:  

  • Totems: Defense Health
  • Medallions: Defense Power
  • Rings: Ability Power

Relics offer a significant stat bonus to their respective primary stat, similar to how weapons offer a significant Hero Damage bonus. We’re sure there will be many more changes to the loot system in the future, and look forward to your feedback on this new system!

Victory Chests


LegitimateUnfortunateAfricanmolesnake.gi

We still have a ton of work that we want to do to make victories in Dungeon Defenders II satisfying and meaningful. We’ve just completed the first phase of that work -- Victory Chests. These chests appear at the end of a map and reward you with awesome loot.

There are four different rarities of chests: Powerful, Epic, Mythical and Legendary. Each chest contains one piece of loot associated with its rarity and a TON of gold. There’s also a small chance something awesome will happen when you open one!

Stats and Special Stats Changes

ImmaterialUnknownBug.gif

Stats now roll in weighted combinations to help you get sets of stats that make sense for your hero. This means that Defense stats and Hero stats are more likely to roll together! This also reduces the amount of totally useless gear that drops, making it more likely that you’ll find the gear that you want to find.

We’ve also made a bunch of changes to special stats. These special stats now scale with rarity and item level. In addition, some of these stats are now tied to specific slots. For example, only boots can roll the special stat which has a chance on hit to double your movement speed!

We’ve added 9 new special stats and 3 legendary special stats to the game. Please note: Balance for these new stats is absolutely not final :). Have fun!

Mana Nodes


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This is our long-awaited change to the Chest & Keys system. In the same four spots where chests were located before, you’ll now find mana nodes. Unlike chests and keys, mana nodes are linked together via magic that lets you know when and if mana is available for your hero! You only have to activate one mana node to get your portion of mana from a map. Once you get your mana, the remaining nodes on the map will deactivate. If a player drops or leaves the game, the mana nodes will reactivate to distribute the remaining mana to your team.

There are also some HUD changes associated with this new system. Most notably, you’ll now be able to see how much mana other players are holding on their portrait on the HUD!

Codexes


You may have noticed that tomes were absent from the relics list above. That’s because tomes are now being used as… Codexes! These are unique lore items scattered throughout the world, containing stories and key information about the world of Etheria. We’ll be creating more of these stories in the future and some of the ones in the game right now are placeholders. Let us know what you think!

Part of this change has also affected the inventory. You’ll notice there is no longer a Costume tab on the inventory. This tab will be making a reappearance when we widen the inventory screen.

Feats


It’s our long term goal to create an awesome summary screen and score system that will let you know how you do in a match and incentivize you to play better (or differently) next time. There a lot of features needed to get this score system in, and we’ve just implemented the first--Feats!

Feats are awards you can earn during a match for performing specific actions like setting off environmental traps or repairing a bunch of Defenses in a row. Successful completion of these Feats will help you score bonus currency and XP in your matches, and will eventually become an important part in how we measure your performance in-game!

Titles


You can now earn player titles in Dungeon Defenders II. Check out the Collections tab to select these titles. In the future, we will be giving all of our Defense Councillors a code to redeem for a Defense Council title!


Full patch notes below:

Major Features

Armor System and Loot Changes

  • Weapons & Relics can only have 2 stats:
  1. 1 Primary 
  2. 1 Secondary
  • Armor was added to the game
  • Four additional equipment slots were added:
  1. Head Slot
  2. Chest Slot
  3. Hand Slot
  4. Foot Slot
  • Armor now carries your physical and magical resistance stats as its primary stat
  • Armor has two secondary stats that it will pick from
  • The number of Special Stats per item tier was adjusted
  • The number of Stats on items also was slightly adjusted
  • Players now have only one Relic slot
  • There are three types of Relics:
  1. Totems
  2. Medallions
  3. Rings
  • Each Relic has will spawn with a specific primary stat
  1. Totem: Defense Health
  2. Medallion: Defense Power
  3. Rings: Ability Power
  • Tomes are no longer used as Relics they are instead used as Codexes 

Victory Chests

  • When you win a map, a victory chest will now spawn
  • Each player will get one victory chest
  • There are four tiers of victory chests
  1. Powerful
  2. Epic
  3. Mythic
  4. Legendary
  • When you activate your chest it has a chance to upgrade to the next tier
  • Each tier of chest will guarantee one item of that tier and a lot of gold based on the level range you are in

Mana Nodes

  • Chests & Keys are now replaced with the new Mana Nodes
  • Mana nodes will occupy the same positions in all the maps
  • Players now need to activate only one mana node to get all their mana
  • Once you get your mana, all the remaining mana nodes deactivate. If a player disconnects or leaves without opening the node, the mana will be split among the remaining players and an additional node will activate

Feats

  • Feats are a new addition to Dungeon Defenders II
  • Feats are small repeatable challenges you can acquire while you play a map
  • Example: 8 enemies defeated with your hero in a 3 second window
  • There are a total of 24 feats in game right now
  • Some feats have minor rewards tied to them 

Player Titles

  • Titles are a new reward system for Dungeon Defenders 2. They are a great way to show off your accomplishments to other players! We’re looking very closely at how players are playing our game and designing rewards around those play styles. We hope you like them as much as we liked designing them.
  • Completing challenges unlocks titles. Titles display in front or following your name.
  • We provided an initial set of 6 titles. What titles can you earn? What titles would you like to see in the future?
  • Titles are accessed through the Collections menu. Goto your local forge, select Collections, next to your Hero Deck, and look through the list!
  • Select your title from the list then click Set Title.

Codexes

  • Tomes are now used as Codexes
  • Codexes are small snippets of lore that we intend to use to provide some backstory on different characters and locations in Etheria
  • We have four volumes of codexes each having a variable number of them to collect
  • The four volumes will drop across the entire game at different level ranges
  • Note: some of the text is still a work in progress
  • Codexes can be picked up like ordinary loot and can be read under the new collections menu in the Forge

Loot Tier Feedback

  • We added additional feedback for different tiers of loot
  • This includes:
  1. Spawn In Sounds and Ambient Sound Effects
  2. HUD Indicators 
  3. Minimap icons
  4. Light
  5. Camera Shake
  • The intensity of the feedback varies based what tier of loot it is

More Features

  • Inventory items can now be moved to different slots within the same bag. This gives the player more control over where items are placed in bags.
  • Added functionality to support variable death animations for enemies. Enemies can now play different animations when slain.
  • Added a 1360x768 resolution for users on older HDTVs.
  • The Group Finder now notifies the player when a hero in the Hero Deck is not the appropriate level for the bracket. After displaying the popup, the Group Finder will automatically remove any restricted heroes from the Deck prior to entering the queue.
  • Added notifications about new level ranges when joining the Entry Tavern.
  • Added a button to transition the next level range on the summary screen after a completed game match.
  • The end-game timer has been increased by 25 seconds to accommodate the new end-game chests feature, 
  • Added a 250 denomination for currency in game.
  • The Weapon Shop is now a Blacksmith who sells weapons and Armor.
  • The Relic Shop sells relics only.
  • Updated loot profiles for relic drops.


Balance

  • Added a 1 second cooldown to the Heal ability.
  • Reduced the max number of Orc Skeletons per Dark Mage from 5 down to 2.


Content

Heroes

  • Updated the Huntress’ terrain impact sound for bows.
  • Updated lighting on the Huntress’ bows.
  • Tweaked the Huntress’ secondary attack animation.
  • Adjusted idle ground impact VFX for the Monk’s Lightning Aura.
  • Updated VFX for the Monk’s Lightning aura.
  • Updated VFX for the Monk’s Boost aura.
  • Tweaked art assets to prevent the Napalm Balloon's decal from popping out and fading properly as intended.
  • Slightly tweaked the Squire’s hand textures.
  • Tweaked the total frame count on run animations.
  • Tweaked the Apprentice’s secondary attack animation.

Enemies

  • Updated the Skeleton Goblin’s SFX.
  • Updated the WarBoar’s SFX.
  • The Warboar’s VFX is now disabled when at full health. All regenerative VFX should function in this manner.
  • Revised the SFX for attack, death, and hurt animations for the Lady Orc.
  • Updated Ranged Goblin’s animations. 
  • Tweaked the Dark Mage’s various death animations.

Environments

  • Optimized graphic assets throughout the Entry and Group Taverns.
  • Updated the new SFX to the Forge.
  • Increased the volume of idle Forge sounds in Dragonfall Bazaar to match normal levels in other maps.
  • Updated the placement of the Forge in Nimbus Reach.
  • Updated the placement of certain chests in Nimbus Reach.
  • Adjusted fade-out times for combat and build phase music tracks in Nimbus Reach.
  • Repaired a wall in Nimbus Reach that was missing collision. 
  • Tweaked VFX in Nimbus Reach to resolve a few minor graphic bugs.
  • Resolved various issues with lighting in The Gates of Dragonfall.
  • Tweaked fade-out time of in-game music in The Gates of Dragonfall.
  • Tweaked ambient sounds in the Gates of Dragonfall.
  • Updated map music in Greystone Plaza.
  • Updated fadeouts of map music for the build phase and combat phase in Little-Horn Valley.
  • Updated shadow and lighting in Little-Horn Valley.
  • Resolved an issue where various ambient SFX were not playing correctly in Little-Horn Valley.
  • Tweaked minimap brightness to increase contrast, improving readability.
  • Updated shadow and lighting in Dragonfall Bazaar.
  • Tweaked fade-out times for map music in Dragonfall Bazaar.
  • Updated shadow and lighting in Dragonfall Sewers.
  • Tweaked fade-out times for map music in Dragonfall Sewers.
  • Increased the fade-out of build phase and combat phase music tracks on Siphon Site D.
  • Updated environment assets to improve lane readability in the Forgotten Ruins.
  • Updated textures and lighting in the Forgotten Ruins.
  • Tweak various VFX in the Forgotten Ruins to make them more consistent with DD2’s overall aesthetic.
  • Updated art assets in the Forgotten Ruins to increase lane readability. These changes affected lane decoration assets and color.
  • Updated lighting on trees in the Forgotten Ruins.
  • Updated map lighting on the Forgotten Ruins.
  • Tweaked the fade-out times of build and combat phase music tracks in the Forgotten Ruins.
  • Tweaked fade out times of combat and build phase music tracks in Battle for the Ramparts.
  • Resolved an issue where the East Dock spawn point lane wisp was missing in The Battle for the Ramparts.
  • Slightly reduced the volume of ambient SFX in Battle for the Ramparts.
  • Cleaned up collision on the War Table in the Group Tavern.
  • Optimized art assets in the Group and Entry Taverns.
  • Updated names of certain characters in the Entry Tavern.
  • Updated VFX for the core cart in Dragon’s Fall.

Items

  • Updated lighting for all fire and storm elemental weapons.
  • Tweaked staves that have gems attached to them. Gems now light up to match their elemental attribute.
  • Tweaked art asset colors on elemental earth and ice staves.
  • Updated SFX for tier 3 and 4 items.
  • Tier 6 items now have a camera shake effect when dropped.
  • Updated the large piggy’s art assets.
  • Inventory bags names now have a max character limit of 40. 


Bug Fixes

  • Resolved an issue where playing in maximized windowed mode severely lowered the game resolution.
  • Fixed a bug where dying while viewing an item comparison tooltip caused the tooltip to linger on the player's death screen until respawn.
  • Removed the word "bigger" from the profanity filter.
  • Resolved an issue where shop items were not being refreshed.
  • Resolved an issue where Hero walk animations would continue while tutorial videos were being played. Players should no longer hear Heros walking during the tutorial videos.
  • Resolved an issue that occasionally prevented tutorial videos from being cancelled.
  • Resolved a crash that occurred while interacting with tooltips. Players would see this the most in the Item Enhancement Shop.
  • Fixed a bug where, while in tower placement mode, scrolling the camera upward while facing a spawn point resulted in the tower preview appearing behind your character.
  • Resolved an issue where enemy units would trigger the red targeting reticle through walls or when otherwise invisible.
  • Resolved an issue where exiting the Hero Creation UI while still spawning in a new Hero would cause the controller to get stuck.
  • Resolved an issue where players on steam were not consistently being placed in the correct Tavern after being invited to play with friends.
  • Resolved an issue where non-widescreen resolutions were being displayed incorrectly.
  • Resolved an issue where logging out with a full inventory allowed players to buy more things than they could hold.
  • Resolved an issue that caused sell costs to be calculated incorrectly when changing the premium bag's icon while selling.
  • Resolved an issue where selling a tower that was built by a disconnected teammate displayed an incorrect message.
  • Resolved an issue with the inventory UI that prevented clicking and dragging of the scroll bar.
  • Resolved an issue where the Apprentice's projectiles were colliding with dropped loot.
  • Resolved an issue which prevented the Dark Mages from summoning the proper amount of skeletons.
  • Resolved an issue where Goblin skeletons had no collision and were invulnerable.
  • Resolved an issue where air lane wisps would change from blue to red when sub objectives are lost in The Ramparts.
  • Resolved an issue where the Monk’s Boost Aura would sometimes lose health during the build phase.
  • Resolved an issue where the Monk's Pole Smash ability when used while standing on certain edges resulted in a momentary slowfall effect.
  • Resolved an issue which doubled the VFX on the flameburst tower and arcane barrier when upgrading. 
  • Resolved an issue where using Seismic Slam directly after using the Squire's Provoke would cancel the Provoke buff's effects.
  • Fixed an issue with destroyed subcores not playing idle spark sounds if a player joined the match after the subcore was destroyed
  • Increased fade out time of build and combat music tracks by 1 second
  • Resolved an issue with the lightning spec node which prevented it from correctly scaling player damage stats.
  • Resolved an issue which caused players to receive extra mana when a teammate left the game session.
  • Resolved a bug that allow players to fall outside of the Nimbus Reach map.
  • Resolved an issue where allowing a sub core to be destroyed triggered the defeat music theme in Nimbus Reach.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the main core's idle sounds from playing in Battle for the Ramparts.
  • Fixed an issue with core barriers not playing idle sounds in the Forgotten Ruins.
  • Fixed an issue where the Sentry Crystal was no playing idle sounds in the Forgotten Ruins.
  • Resolved an issue where endgame music and text messaging was missing from Battle for the Ramparts.
  • Resolved an issue where the Water trap wasn't working as intended in Dragonfall Sewers. Players should now always slide and (eventually) die if they fall or jump into the water.
  • Resolved an issue where players were able to climb a lantern in front of the Echoing Tunnel spawn point in Dragonfall Sewers.
  • Resolved an issue where players were able to build defenses in unreachable areas of The Gates of Dragonfall.
  • Resolved an issue where the "New Level Range" popups were showing up every time the player changed heroes.
  • Resolved an issue where players were able to get behind spawn points in Battle for the Ramparts. 
  • Fixed a bug that prevented subobjective SFX from playing after the subobjective was destroyed.
  • Resolved an issue where player counts in the Summary Screen were incorrect after a player left a match.
  • Resolved an issue where a leader selection warning was appearing in gameplay maps.
  • Resolved an issue where incorrect billboards were being displayed in Greystone Plaza.
  • Resolved an issue with certain old one eyes layering their sounds incorrectly in Dragon's Fall.
  • Resolved an issue where players would receive no game options if the group leader left the game during the summary phase of a private session.
  • Fixed a typo on the Monk's Serenity Spec.
  • Resolved an issue that prevented items from being deposited into the temporary item bag (TIB).
  • Resolved an issue where new players who had never played a game or created a character were unable to confirm their invitation to a game currently in progress.
  • Resolved an issue where upgrading the Boost Aura did not properly increase the damager per upgrade on nearby towers.
  • Resolved an issue where relic slot icons were not appearing in the appropriate place in the Inventory UI.
  • Resolved an issue where the clear button on the item upgrade UI was not clearing all items.
  • Resolved an issue where the ""Retry Map"" button was not working as intended.
  • Updated the "continuing in" message on the summary screen to read, "Returning to Entry Tavern in."
  • Resolved an issue where players who were invited to maps with a hero that did not meet level requiremnts failed to transition back to their Entry Tavern.
  • Resolved an issue where special stats would stop working when a player swapped heroes.
  • Resolved an issue where attempting to join a map during seamless travel would crash the game.
  • Resolved an issue with the forge idle SFX across all maps.
  • Resolved SFX issue in Siphon Site D that prevented subcore waterfalls from playing.
  • Resolved an issue where idle gas trap sounds were not playing in Siphon Site D.
  • Resolved an issue with the Old Man idle voice over not playing before he leaps onto the cart in Dragonfall Bazaar.
  • Resolved an issue that prevented Wyverns in the center lane of Greystone Plaza from remaining in the correct lane.
  • Resolved an issue with Bell toll sounds not playing in Dragonfall Bazaar.
  • Fixed an issue with creepy monster sounds not playing in Dragonfall Bazaar.
  • Fixed an issue with forge idle sounds not playing in Dragonfall Sewers.
  • Fixed an issue with Twisted Metal ambient sounds not playing in Dragonfall Sewers.
  • Fixed an issue with the Main Core Water Tank idle sounds not playing in Dragonfall Sewers.
  • Fixed an issue with Subcore Waterfall sounds not playing in Dragonfall Sewers.
  • Resolved an issue where the Yak's SFX were not playing as intended in The Gates of Dragonfall.
  • Resolved a bug that unintentionally produced a light beam in the Tavern.
iamisom

Dev Log 1: Nov. 12, 2014

Greetings Defenders,

With more and more players getting their hands on Dungeon Defenders II, we’d like to start a new weekly series where we share what we’re working on each week! 

Daniel Haddad, Creative Director ([[48971,users]])

Working on some heavy redesigns for two major systems: Loot (relics, armor, weapons) and Special Stats.

Danny Araya, Creative Director (@DannyAraya)

I’m working with our writer on super secret lore things!

Javier Barreto, Lead Software Programmer (@javo)

I'm solely working on end-of-match awards, making sure it matches what the designers want. Other than that, I'm helping programmers on systems designs and consultations.

Eduardo Lev, Engine Programmer ([[57155,users]])

Smoothing out the matchmaking flow and adding messaging to make the progression between level ranges clearer. Improving our metrics functionality so we can get better statistics about what players are doing in the game. Adding cool new functionality for our artists and designers. SMASHING PUNY BUGS.

Chris James, Lead Level Designer ([[63955,users]])

We are creating new maps! There are some really fun experiences coming down the pipeline, and we cannot wait to share them with the community. Stay tuned fellow Etherians.

Abraham Abdala, Lead Technical Animator ([[59787,users]])

Costume embellishments test. Trying to setup and implement embellishments with independent animation sets. Fixing a bunch of animation related tasks. All our flying enemies were calling the wrong death animation. And organizing our Content Repository Concept Art folders.

Joshua Javaheri, Lead Technical Artist ([[23,users]])

Finalizing a first pass of our new end-of-match reward loop. Being sick, too.

Chris Flores, QA Lead ([[59727,users]])

QA has been spending time reviewing the bugs the Defense Council has been reporting. Trying to repro them and then input them into Jira if needed. We’ve also been doing some Tech Support for some users and trying figure out why the game won’t work for them. Finally, we’ve been keeping up with the new content/features that have been/will be coming in and getting those verified. 

Philip Asher, Marketing Director ([[14,users]])

We’re hard at work on writing the Steam description for Dungeon Defenders II Early Access and sorting through all your feedback on our last blog to determine the awards and pricing for Steam Early Access. Special shoutout to [[59367,users]] for helping aggregate the information!

We’re also hard at work creating scripts for a few new Dungeon Defenders II Developer Diaries and getting together all the media for our special reveal at The Game Awards on December 5th!

Josh Isom, Community Manager ([[4370,users]])

I’m working with our two wonderful wiki admins, [[63276,users]] and @eonswrath, on getting the DD2 wiki setup! They’ve been doing a wonderful job so far. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the wiki so far. If you’d like to help out with editing or creating content for the wiki, head over to the wiki and edit away! If you need help or would like a task, send a private message to [[63276,users]].

I’m also getting the ball rolling on more community content like this blog post. If you enjoyed this post and want to see more, please let us know in the comments!


iamisom




One of the biggest questions we’ve heard from you since the Defense Council expansion is, “When will Early Access be available on Steam?” Today, we’re proud to announce that DD2 Early Access will be available on Steam on December 5th!

UPDATE 1: Armor and More!

Before we release Early Access on Steam, we will be releasing our first major update for DD2. This update will include a number of exciting new features, but today we wanted to highlight one important feature that our Councillors had a direct, major impact in deciding -- Armor! 

We have been debating Armor and its role in DD2 for a long time internally, and the recent Councillor feedback has helped us make our choice. With this next update, we’ll be introducing our first phase of stat-based armor. 

This will include a major revamp for how the current relic system works, as well as the beginnings of armor loot dropping in the world. While this armor will not visually change your hero, we’re still hard at work on our costumes feature that will be released in a future update. We’re really excited to share more information with you about costumes, which will not only give you choices in how you look, but will also allow your look to evolve as you progress through the game. 

A special thanks to Gutu and benjamminlaner for their threads on the subject and to everyone who spoke up there and in the survey. You all were a huge help in influencing this path, and we can’t wait to get even more feedback on everything we’re cooking up for you in this first update. We’ll have more information as we get closer to its release, which is currently slated for the end of November.

A Question For You!

And finally, we have a question for you: When we bring Early Access to Steam, should we extend the benefits of the Defense Council (forums, exclusive goodies) to the Steam audience, or should those remain something limited to our site? 




iamisom

Greetings Defenders,

The response to the Defense Council has been amazing! Defense Council access is selling quickly, and the sheer quantity and quality of feedback we’ve gotten so far has been incredible! We’re buckling down in the studio now to focus on some of the feedback we’ve received and will have a blog on some of our learnings next week.

In the meantime, we want to know: What can we do to make the Defense Council even better? So far our largest requests have been:

  1. Add PayPal
  2. Add Premium Currency Rewards
  3. Add an Upgrade Option
  4. Sell Dungeon Defenders II on Steam

So, without further ado.

  1. PayPal support is here! You can purchase Defense Council access using PayPal here!
  2. We’ve added premium currency rewards to the packages! Everyone who has already purchased access will receive this retroactively. Of course, it may be a while until we implement cosmetics and premium currency into the game, since we’re focusing on gameplay first! Shoutout to Reddit users Fliksan, Jarstult, Momochichi, & MrSmeeb for making us realize the importance of bundling these with the packages sooner rather than later.
  3. We’re looking into an upgrade option and want to provide this option for you in the future.
  4. We hear you! For now, even though the Dungeon Defenders II Pre-Alpha is played on Steam, our limited access Pre-Alpha is only available from our site.


iamisom



Greetings Defenders,

Our weekly livestream series is back in action! Join a variety of developers from Trendy each week as we talk about and play Dungeon Defenders II. This week, join Community Manager Josh Isom, Senior Producer Brad Logston and more as we show off the game and answer your questions! We’re also giving away signed DD2 poster packs throughout the stream! 

Today’s show will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT on our Twitch channel. We’ll see you there!

iamisom

Our Commitment To You

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As we get closer to expanding our Defense Council (which you’ll hear more about very soon!), we wanted to reiterate our commitment to you: Dungeon Defenders II will never offer gameplay advantages for real money. You will never be able to purchase shortcuts using real money. You will never be able to pay for power or stats in the game.

We will be working closely with all of you as we develop the kinds of microtransactions that will be available. We want our F2P model to be spoken in the same breath as other praised models, and with your help, we will achieve this.

What games do you think do F2P right? What types of monetization would you like to see in DD2? What types should we avoid at all costs? Please let us know! We’ll have more info on the Defense Council expansion for all of you next week!

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The winners of our last blog are mblitzp and Scellow! Winners, keep an eye on your forum PMs for more information.

Answer the questions above about F2P monetization, 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!
pmasher

Dev Blog: Our Online Future

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Greetings, Defenders! With the upcoming Defense Council expansion, we wanted to kick off a series of blogs highlighting our vision of the future of this community and Dungeon Defenders II. So without further adieu...

A New Community Site

First, in the coming weeks we will be launching a new community site! This site will help prepare us for the future -- complete integration between Community and Game accounts for Dungeon Defenders II. And that future is on...

SteamPowered.jpg


Steam! Starting soon, Dungeon Defenders II will be accessible only through Steam. There will be no additional login required for the game. In fact, you’ll even be able to log into the new Community site directly with your Steam credentials. If you already have a community account (I hope I’m looking at all of you), you’ll be able to directly link your Steam account to your existing Community account when the new site launches!

This new community site will also help facilitate better communication between you and us. We have a ton of exciting features in the pipeline for you to influence Dungeon Defenders II directly through the Community (and soon, the game itself!).

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Here are a few of the new site features:

  • Steam Integration
  • Twitch & Youtube Integration
  • Dedicated Community Guides Section
  • Mobile-Friendly Scaling
  • ...and a ton more!


To accommodate this switch, at some point in the next few weeks, all of the Dungeon Defenders sites we’ll be down for maintenance to migrate all of your data and make the switch.

An Online Experience

As all of you know, Dungeon Defenders II has been built from the ground up as a free to play, online experience. This is a growing space, and there are very right and very wrong ways to approach it. We recognize this and are working night and day to do this the right way. We’re developing Dungeon Defenders II with a gameplay-first approach, and as we get deeper into some of these elements we will be including all of you to make sure we do it right. We will not compromise the gameplay experience for anything.

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To that end, there will be no alternate overlay present in Dungeon Defenders II on Steam. Social interactions will be done through Steam. How you interact with other players is essential to your enjoyment of Dungeon Defenders, and you will be able to do that in the way most comfortable for you. At a later date, if we bring Dungeon Defenders II to other platforms, we will be assessing very carefully how you can interact with these other players.

We’re planning to distribute content for Dungeon Defenders II directly through Steam. Additionally, we will be testing multiple region support to improve the experience of players from various regions around the world. This is a feature that we will be testing throughout the Defense Council and Early Access periods of the game to see how well it works with our early matchmaking pools.

Just The Start

As always, all of this is just the start. We will be iterating on each of these features with your help. We’re sure there will be plenty of room for improvement once we go live, and we’re excited to work with you on all of these features as we work on Dungeon Defenders II.

Are you excited for the new Community site? Do you like the idea of logging in with your Steam account? Let us know what you think below!

The DD2 pre-alpha code winners from our previous blogs are:


  • DD2 Tavern Blog: Venaien
  • DD2 Tavern Blog: panqz
  • Spec Nodes Blog: Mashka (Idea: Tesla Stance -- While the monk is in the field of an electric aura, he inflicts extra electrical damage.)
  • Spec Nodes Blog: Arkoonius (Idea: Martial Foresight -- The Monk's experience in martial arts have trained the reflexes of his body and reaction time of his mind. He has a chance to dodge attacks that are done to his front (he has no chance at dodging attacks that he is not facing). More points will result in a high chance of dodging.)
  • Spec Nodes Blog: DrFruitsalad (Idea: Flameburst Crowd Control -- Each time it hits an enemy, the projectile splits in two and hits two nearby enemies for reduced damage. Higher levels of this spec would increase the secondary projectile damage and/or allow the secondary projectiles to split.)
  • We’ll explore the potential of adding these spec node ideas into the game, but no promises!


Answer the questions above about the new Community site, 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!
pmasher

New Reveal: The DD2 Tavern!

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Welcome back, Defenders!

You may have caught a sneak peek at the Tavern in our one-year of development anniversary post. Well, we’re finally ready to reveal the whole thing! There’s still work to be done, but we’re off to a good start:

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Matchmaking

One of our major goals while creating the DD2 Tavern was to provide a robust matchmaking experience that allows players to enjoy the game how they want, whether it’s playing with your friends, by yourself or with new people you haven’t become friends with quite yet!

When you first load into the Tavern, you’ll see the War Table. From here you can launch a private game that you can control or use the group finder to find new players in your level range to play with. As you progress, you’ll unlock new group finder tiers that include fresh missions and difficulties you can play. If you like, you can stick with your group as you play mission-to-mission, and for public games, the matchmaking system will bring in fresh players to fill open spots as they leave to do other activities. Public games also have a leader that is selected each round who can decide what map the group plays. The leader rotates, so as the group continues, everyone gets a chance to select what is played.

We know it’s going to be quite a task to make public games fun in DD2, and we’re just starting down this path. We’ve prototyped a few other features to help encourage positive public play, like upvoting, downvoting and MVP voting other players at the end of a match. Our goal is to experiment with different ideas, refine our implementations and add new features to create the most positive, fair and engaging experience we can. We look forward to working with all of you to create the best matchmaking and map progression system for a Dungeon Defenders game.



Hero & Item Management

Yes, hero and item management is back and better than ever! You can create new heroes, edit your Hero Deck and swap heroes in the Tavern. You can also access the Forge for all your loot management needs. Right now you can only edit your Hero Deck at the hero management table, but we may introduce this functionality to the Forge in the future.

Upgrading

And DD2 wouldn’t be a Dungeon Defenders game without some serious item upgrading. Just like the original, every item spawns with a set of upgrade levels. This time around, we wanted to put a new spin on things. Instead of just dumping mana into your items, you can fuse other items with them, too! We really wanted to make every item have a purpose in DD2, even the “trash loot.” So depending on the class (weapon, relic) and type (swords to swords, medallions to medallions), you get different XP bonuses. Now that low-stat sword can do you some good!

Right now we only have the most base functionality of the upgrading wheel in place. We have a lot of other cool ideas we are going to add in the future, and we’re currently getting feedback from the Defense Council to polish and improve what we currently have to be as fun and easy to use as possible.


Yes, you can skip it if you want. *click*


Shops

A bunch of interesting characters have moved into the DD2 Tavern. So far only two have set up shop, but as we continue development you may notice some NPCs leave their cozy barstools and set up shops of their own.

Right now, there’s both a weapon and a relic vendor to purchase loot from. Their shops refresh on a timer, so you can always see when to come back for new options. Each shop will also have an extra rare bonus item that’s often great AND expensive.



What’s Left?

As you can see, there’s still a ton of work left to do on the Tavern. After we’ve set up all the shops and spent significant time improving the matchmaking flow and map selection process, we hope to move on to some of the fun (and more memorable) aspects of the Tavern… like super-awesome-dope-fantastic Tavern customization. We’d love to hear all your thoughts about the Tavern in its initial state, and more importantly, we have a very specific question for you:

Do you think public Taverns (or a different, visual hub area) have a place in Dungeon Defenders II? We are very split in the office but would love to introduce some way for more than four defenders to interact. Right now some of us think it would be cool to start everyone in a social tavern type area and then give players the option to enter their own private tavern or join a group. What do you think?

The DD2 pre-alpha code winners from our previous blogs are:

  • DD2 Status Update Blog: FlamingTomato
  • DD2 Status Update Blog: Dawnchaser
  • NVIDIA Winners Blog: ToxicCaterpillar
  • NVIDIA Winners Blog: Tdarnok
  • The winners of the Spec Nodes blog will be selected next week!


Answer the question above about public Taverns in the comments, 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!
Blacksmith

New Reveal: Spec Nodes!

Spec-Nodes-Blog

Greetings Defenders,

In last week’s blog, we teased a new feature in the game called Spec Nodes. You may have asked yourself, “What are these mythical nodes? What do they do?”

A New Way to Upgrade Your Hero

The Spec Node system is our new hero upgrading system in Dungeon Defenders II. Spec Nodes allow you to pick and choose which aspects of your hero you want to empower and build around. You can change how a defense operates (a Flameburst Tower that shoots double fireballs!), how an attack works (stun enemies with the Monk’s ranged attack!) and much, much more.

UI

Improving Player Choice

Putting points into individual stats was nice in DD1, but the system didn’t provide any choice beyond, “Which stats do I want to increase?” For DD2, we wanted to make a leveling system that provides meaningful, interesting choices for players from the first hour to the thousandth hour of play. We hope this system will provide a diverse set of options that will encourage alternate playstyles. Most importantly, we wanted to put the meta of the game in your hands so you can discover how Specs combine with different stats and special stats (see, future blog) to achieve a unique build for a hero.

How It Works

Starting at level five, you’ll earn at least one point to invest in these Specs. Every point you spend makes the Spec stronger based on a diminishing returns formula. You can perpetually put all your points into one Spec or spread them around. Going back to a previous example, imagine a Spec that has a chance to make the Flameburst Tower shoot two fireballs. Every point you invest increases that chance.

We will be introducing the system to the Defense Council with six unique Spec Nodes per hero. For example, the Apprentice has a Spec to improve his Earthshatter Tower. This is a long-range, area-of-effect tower, but if you invest points into the Earthshatter Spec, you’ll gain a percentage chance to knock enemies into the air. By knocking up enemies, you can slow their progress to the core and combo it with a frost + geyser freezing combo to shatter frozen enemies, dealing tons of damage. Or you could place Skyguard towers to destroy enemies flying in the air.



Or say you’re building a more tanky, damage-focused Squire (which is my go-to build at the moment). You can invest in the Riposte Spec, which grants a chance to hurt enemies when they strike you. Or you can invest in the Fight Me Not Spec, which gives defenses an extra bonus damage to enemies who are currently fighting you. This is great to use in concert with your Provoke ability, which taunts nearby enemies, to kite enemies around while your defenses wail on them. Or, why not both? The choice is up to you! (The names of these Specs are temporary. Our creative director/lead designer pulled them out of his butt on a dark and stormy night.)

Squire_knockback

The Rest is Up to You (and Us)

This is only the beginning for Spec Nodes. We still have a ways to go to achieve our goals. We are constantly adding new specs and removing unpopular ones. We still haven’t decided the final number of Specs for each hero. There are also many other systems that will tie into Specs (item upgrading, rare loot drops!) that we will be working on in the future, along with some other neat ideas that we’re still mulling about. One such idea is to give players a large pool of Specs to choose from and let them choose which ones to give to their heroes.

So, leave a comment here with some Spec Nodes ideas you would like to see in DD2! Danny and I will review all your posts and pick out our top 3 favorite suggestions. Not only will we give the top suggestors Defense Council codes, but we’ll also explore the potential of adding the suggestions into the game! No promises, though.
iamisom
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Drumroll, please!

The Grand Prize winner of our NVIDIA® SHIELD™ Giveaway is April C.! April will receive not only the NVIDIA® SHIELD™ portable, GeForce GTX 760 graphics card, a DD2 T-shirt and a DDE mousepad, but as the Grand Prize Winner, she has also scored the the NVIDIA® SHIELD™ tablet, NVIDIA® SHIELD™ controller and gets her mousepad signed by the Dungeon Defenders Eternity dev team, Nom Nom Games! Congratulations, April!

The four runners-up who won the other NVIDIA® SHIELD™ prize packs have been contacted by email. Check your inbox to see if you won!

A big thank you goes out to the thousands of people who entered the contest and to our generous friends at NVIDIA® for helping us do something awesome for our fans!

What did you think of the giveaway? Do you have any ideas to help grow the Dungeon Defenders community? Do you have a cool idea for a contest? Is there something you’d like for us to giveaway? Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We’ll pick TWO random posters and reveal the winners next week!
TrendyBrad
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Just over a year ago, we left the MOBA behind and restarted development on Dungeon Defenders II.

We’ve had a blast, with over 750 Councillors enjoying our in-development game and guiding us on decisions big and small. We missed putting up our anniversary post last month, but we’d still like to take this opportunity to revisit the pillars we’ve built our game around and discuss a few updates on how we think we’re doing on each.

But before we dive into that, thanks for your detailed feedback on account leveling! We’ve been reading through the posts and are really excited by the positive reception. We also gained valuable insights on issues we need to carefully consider when creating this type of system. With all of this in-mind, we’ve decided to move forward with the concept.

To that end, we’re taking a few steps to ensure we get the best feedback on what we build. This fall, we’ll unveil new opportunities for players to become part of the Defense Council. Then, we’ll introduce the account leveling feature in a Test Realm of sorts, allowing us to get feedback at an early stage before committing to the feature. We want to ensure that changes of this scope are what you want, and we will provide many avenues for you to influence our development process in the near future.

Now, on to our pillars! If you all remember, we defined five core pillars at the onset of development last year. We’ll walk through each one and grant some insight into where we are right now.

The Pillars: One Year Later

Accessibility


This is a major, active focus for our team. Over the past few months we’ve been evaluating our features and overhauling our UI to make them more intuitive. We’re still in the first phase of our UI revamps and are fixing bugs and improving functionality.

We’ve also started adding the first tutorials to the game, including enemy introduction and tutorial videos. These give brief explanations of enemy behaviors and game features as players are exposed to them. We also have a very exciting (non-video) tutorial experience we’re planning to do in the future, once we’re happy with our core features and interfaces!

To help you see some of what we’re doing, here’s an evolution of one of our UIs. You can see how far we’ve come till today, and trust me, we’re not done yet.

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Replayability

We’re always talking about replayability at Trendy. It keys into one of the core tenants of game design: small, medium and large rewards. We finally have some of these reward systems in-place, and we’re iterating on them as we speak. These systems define and create the game’s replayability (awesome loot!).

We also have some new ideas that will encourage replayability, like the prestige and account leveling systems we mentioned in the last blog post. These are currently in the design phase.

Here are some other things we are currently working on to encourage replayability:

  • Creating an engaging balance for our maps
  • Adding more depth into character leveling with the new Spec Nodes system (which we’ll talk about in more detail later!)
  • Evolving our item enhancement system
  • Creating special stats for loot (also, more info coming soon!)

We’ll be talking with you often on how we improve the replayability of DD2 as we go. We’re not there yet, but we have created good building blocks for us to expand on, and we can’t wait to get your input on where our efforts will be best focused.

Well-Paced Rewards

This too has finally started to come together in the last few weeks. We’re constantly working to refine our reward loops so they create a sense of progression and excitement. We’re also constantly working to empower players with meaningful choices they can make throughout the game experience.

Right now, we’re iterating on how and when specific tiers of loot drop in our maps so players are always engaged, excited and getting good upgrades. We’re also iterating on our Spec Nodes feature for character growth (I think we’re on version 3 right now!) so that you have engaging decisions to make throughout the progression curve.

Our current goal is to get all of the reward systems we’ve implemented working in concert together. After that, we will look into adding in new layers on top, like daily missions and better in-match goals. Once we expand the Defense Council, we look forward to gathering feedback on which reward systems we can improve and introducing the reward systems that you want first… first.

Action_Pillar_ScreenLEVELS-1024x576.jpg

Gameplay Depth

When we first started working on DD2 over a year ago, we were exploring how we wanted heroes to work in the sequel. We created a set of defenses and abilities, iterated on them, and, more importantly, played with them a ton. We’ve learned quite a bit since then about what works and what does not. With that knowledge, we will be doing major passes on each of the heroes to better focus all aspects of their gameplay, including regular attacks, abilities and towers.

Our goals here are to increase the gameplay depth of each hero individually and to expand the interactions among heroes. We’re calling these passes Hero Revamps. We’ve already completed the first revamp, for the Apprentice, and over the coming months will be working through the rest of our heroes, leveraging your feedback.

We have many other irons in the fire too, like adding a renewed focus on magic and physical resist enemies, iterating on our hero spec nodes for better choices, and much more.

Action, Tower Defense and Role Playing Work Together

One of our biggest challenges as developers is creating fun new ways for these three elements to synergize while maintaining an equal emphasis on each of these elements.

When we started developing DD2 we identified action as one of our weakest components and put a lot of effort towards making combat feel more visceral and making abilities more exciting to use. This is also why we enabled player movement while executing defense interactions like repair, upgrade and build.

However, as we continued forward we continuously received feedback from the Council that the tower defense component of DD2 seemed to take a second stage. So recently, we’ve put a lot of effort into bringing the tower defense aspect of gameplay back into focus. The game feels much more satisfying when both you and your defenses are devastating the Old One’s hordes.

Finally, this is also a big inspiration for the Hero Revamps. We’ll be fixing defenses that are broken, throwing out bad ones while replacing them with new options with better strategic choice, and creating new interactions between the tower defense, action and role-playing elements of the game.

Final Thoughts

It’s been quite humbling to look back over the past year as a team and see how far we’ve come. The great experiment of the Defense Council has been extraordinary, from the live streams to the forum posts, and even though it might not always seem obvious to our Councillors, we talk about the notes often and use them every day to influence the decisions we make. As we get ready to expand the Defense Council, we can’t wait to see what new perspectives these players will bring to the table.

So as we continue to work hard at creating the best Dungeon Defenders experience we can, jump into the forums and give us a few of your favorite moments from the past year for inspiration! We’d also love to hear what you’re looking forward to the most, and here’s to another great year of Dungeon Defenders II!

Since the delay between blogs, we're selecting 10 winners from our Share Your Feedback blog! The winners are Senacherub, Tammy, Wylbhr, rawrsair, SnakeChips, Sirpennywise, mattster365, tosado, Low Ceiling and Warmonger! Winners, keep an eye on your forum PMs for more information.

Share your honest feedback about this blog 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!
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!
Kim
nvidia-Blog

We've teamed up with NVIDIA® to giveaway a newly unveiled NVIDIA® SHIELD™ tablet and five NVIDIA® SHIELD™ portables! Plus, we have five GeForce GTX 760 graphics cards to sweeten the pot. To enter, all you need to do is sign up for the contest on our Facebook page by clicking here!

One grand-prize winner will receive an NVIDIA® SHIELD™ tablet, an NVIDIA® SHIELD™ portable, a GeForce GTX 760 graphics card, a DDE mousepad signed by the dev team, a DD2 T-shirt and a NVIDIA® SHIELD™ controller -- an $800 value! Four runners-up will receive an NVIDIA® SHIELD™, a GeForce GTX 760 graphics card, a DDE mousepad and a DD2 T-shirt!

That’s not all. Everyone who enters the contest will receive a code for an exclusive in-game Squire “NVIDIA® Shield” for Dungeon Defenders Eternity!

squireshieldnvidiagoblin

 

For your chance to win, click here!

For the full contest rules, click here!

Good luck!
Artorias


Greetings, Defenders!

So far we've given you quite a bit of insight into how our levels are developed visually from start to finish. There is, however, one final element that greatly contributes to the atmosphere of our beautiful maps: audio. Once our level designers have finished building and scripting a map, and our VFX artists have gone through to make sure everything is appropriately shiny, it's finally time to implement sound.

When a map is ready for sound, my first step is to generate an audio asset list for our talented sound designer, Afshin Toufighian. It is during this process that I decide which environment pieces and effects will require an audio element and which areas of the map will require their own stereo ambient sound waves.

Stereo Sounds


Unlike mono sound waves, stereo sound waves utilize both your left and right speakers to create one sound, and as such are not spatialized. This means that they don't seem to come from any one direction in particular, which makes them useful for establishing an ambient backdrop to a given area. Most indoor maps like Siphon Site D only require one stereo sound spanning the entire level. In contrast, outdoor maps like Nimbus Reach can have a variety of environmental settings that each require their own stereo sound.

With Nimbus Reach, we wanted the starting area near the main cores to sound windy and devoid of wildlife. As we imagined the player approaching the forest area towards the back of the level, we wanted the sound of wind to fade out as the sounds of wildlife faded in. Of course if the player were to approach the waterfalls and rivers on the sides of the map, we wanted the sound of rushing waters to fade in. You can see how this was achieved below.

Stereo_Zack-1024x264.jpg
Yep, with circles. Mystery solved.


Here you can see I've placed a stereo sound wave on each side of Nimbus Reach. The inner and outer blue circles surrounding each sound indicate its minimum and maximum attenuation, respectively. When inside the inner minimum attenuation circle, the player will hear that sound at full volume. As the player leaves the minimum attenuation circle, the sound's volume will dynamically fade out as the player approaches the maximum attenuation circle, beyond which the sound will no longer be audible. By fine tuning these attenuation values, I am able to make these stereo ambient sounds fade in and out as the player traverses the level, giving the sounds a sense of 3D placement.

Mono Sounds


After the stereo sounds are in place, it's time to start adding in mono sounds for singular environment details. Mono sound waves only utilize one speaker channel, so I set them to be spatialized. This means a player standing near the sound will hear it travel from speaker to speaker as the they turn their camera and experience a direct audible link to where the sound is coming from. In Nimbus Reach, I've implemented mono sounds for things like rustling grass, glowing plants, and single crickets chirping throughout the level.

Crickets_Zack-1024x529.jpg
All my single crickets, chirp your hands up.


The Big Picture


When used together, mono and stereo sound waves can create a complete and convincing soundscape for the player to experience. For example, while the water areas in Nimbus Reach do have a stereo water sound encompassing them, each individual waterfall also has a mono sound associated with it as well. These mono sounds communicate to the player's ears that each waterfall is indeed making its own sound, while the stereo sound communicates the reverberations of water sounds a player should expect to hear that close to the base of a few waterfalls. To put it simply, the stereo sounds function as my broad brushes, while the mono sounds function as my detail brushes.

The finished product can look a little messy...

AllSounds_Zack-1024x529.jpg
It’s ART, okay?!


...but we think it sounds pretty good. You don't have to take our word for it though. Check out the video at the top of the post for a tour through Nimbus Reach and hear for yourself!

The random winners of our previous blogs are:

Enemy Tiers: Holliewood
Enemy Tiers: xFuNz
The Concept Art Process: MyGoldfish
The Concept Art Process: Alih789

What did you think of the ambient sound process? Tell us in the comments below, and you could win a pre-alpha code for Dungeon Defenders II! You have a full week to leave a comment. We’ll pick TWO random posters and reveal the winners next week. Don’t have a forum account? It takes less than a minute to join the community!
Esorath
tiers-Blog.jpg

In the original Dungeon Defenders, we used different colors to designate enemy difficulties. This was a clear way to show that one enemy was harder than another, but it didn’t allow for variety in the way enemies were presented during each wave.

In Dungeon Defenders II, we've thrown out the color system, and we're now using a tier system. A tier is basically an “upgraded” version of an enemy. We’ve shown you different enemy tiers in previous blogs from Javelin Throwers to the nightmare-inducing Ogres. These enemies and almost every other enemy in the game will come at your defenses in different tiers. Below, you can see a Tier 1 Orc, a Tier 2 Orc and a Tier 3 Orc.

orctiers.gif

As you can see, each tier is not a new enemy, but there is a visible progression between the three Orcs. The first Orc can be pretty threatening when first encountered, but then you meet the second tier of Orc. He’s stronger, hits harder and can withstand more damage from towers and heroes. Then you move on to fight the Tier 3 Orc. Basically a walking tank, this armored foe is no joke. If he’s not dealt with, a Tier 3 Orc can do some serious damage to your defenses.

Using this system, level designers will have more fine-tune control on how the difficulty of the game ramps up. We’re able to introduce enemies early on in the game like the Orc and the Kobold for players to learn how to respond to that type of threat. The higher-tier versions of those enemies allow the level designers to generate harder difficulty late game without needing to send out hundreds of Orcs and Ogres.

wrecking_gifOrc.gif

New Tiers, New Fears


Some tiers aren’t just stronger versions of an enemy. Many Dungeon Defenders fans are familiar with the tower-busting enemy known as the Kobold. He’s back in DD2, and by utilizing the tier system, we can vary the gameplay of the Kobolds to generate different difficulty from one enemy type.

The tiers of Kobolds progress not from the front, but from the middle. We have a standard Kobold or Tier 2 Kobold in the center. This run-of-the-mill exploding menace makes his return as he was in DD1. But his tier setup goes down to a smaller and faster version, the speedy Kobold. Upon setting off his wick, this Kobold skates his way at high speeds towards his target. His speed comes at a cost, though, as he does a smaller damage amount than his medium-sized compadre.

speedy_gifKobold.gif

On the other side of the scale, we have our Heavy Kobold. This third tier of the Kobold is the heavy hitter. He packs a harder punch than the regular Kobold but at the cost of speed. He moves much slower, making it easier to take out before he is able to blast through the towers.

This new tier progression is a way to generate a much smoother and enjoyable ramp in difficulty for players. It also allows a variety of enemies to challenge the players without creating too much confusion when trying to learn new enemy types.

Do you have an idea for an enemy tier? Tell us in the comments below, and you could win a pre-alpha code for Dungeon Defenders II! You have a full week to leave a comment. We’ll pick TWO random posters and reveal the winners next Tuesday! Don’t have a forum account? It takes less than a minute to join the community! Also, there’s still time to enter The Concept Art Process blog giveaway, where we'll also select two random winners!

Instead of our usual two blogs per week, we're going to post one dev blog a week moving forward. Don't worry: We'll still giveaway four pre-alpha codes per week -- two on each blog and two on each Facebook post!
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