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:
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.
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*
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.
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!