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I_PASS_BUTTER

The final Beastmaster contest of the season is upon us, Defenders. Flickerwicks! The players with the highest DPS Flickerwicks will win an in game Beastmaster title! Bring us all of your cute little Creepers! Post a screenshot of it in the comments below with a link to your Steam account. Remember, only entries with screenshots and Steam accounts will be eligible to win. The deadline for entries is July 16th, 11:59 PM EDT. 

Now that the final contest has begun, allow me to introduce the Purrpeller Beastmasters:

Congratulations, Beastmasters! Thank you all for your participation! Keep an eye on your PMs for your prizes!

I_PASS_BUTTER

Everyone in Etheria can find a new furry (scaly or creepy) companion, but only 6 of you can become a true Beastmaster.

For the next six weeks, search high and low to find the strongest pet in each class. Whoever wins that week will be awarded the exclusive in-game title of “Beastmaster." 

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This week, you’re looking for Growld! The person with the strongest Growld wins!

In order to participate, you must take a screenshot of the pet’s stats and post it in the comments along with a link to your Steam profile page. You are allowed to submit multiple entries during the course of the contest. At the end of the contest, we’ll verify who had the pet with the highest DPS. This person will be claimed the Beastmaster.

Any pet that has hatched since launch will be eligible for the contest, so keep all of the pets that you hatch -- it may help you win the next week’s contest. We’ll reveal the next contest next week!

If you win, you will not be eligible to participate in another Beastmaster contest in this series. Yes - only one of you can be the very best. I mean six. Six different of you.

This week’s contest begins now and runs until next Wednesday at 12 PM EDT. The winner will be selected and revealed at the bottom of the next contest post on Thursday.

Good luck!


LAWLTA






Greetings Defenders,

The Barbarian’s Wrath, Update 2.3, is available now on PC and PlayStation 4, with the Xbox One update coming soon! This update heralds the arrival of the Barbarian, a pure damage hero powerhouse; huge changes to item progression and gearing; shard changes to get you out of the inventory and into the battle; and updates to many important systems. Grab your axes, it’s time to slash through some barbaric patch notes!

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NEW HERO:  THE BARBARIAN!

“Hailing from the mountains of Etheria, the Barbarian is a notorious warrior king that can wield the powers of Wrath and Fury to crush his enemies. Becoming an unstoppable flurry of muscle and steel, the Barbarian can hurl himself into battle becoming a whirlwind of death. His foes tremble at the mighty shouts of this tremendous warrior leaping in to crush his enemies.”

The Barbarian is the first hero to have two unique resources: Wrath and Fury. Wrath is gained whenever the Barbarian deals damage, and Fury is gained whenever damage is received. In order to put out the most damage you are going to be in the fray constantly. Stance dancing and balancing your Wrath and Fury are your keys to being an unstoppable force!

The Barbarian is a hero with only damage abilities — four abilities and four stances that modify his play style:

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Furious Slash

  • A mid ranged Fury resource spender that pierces enemies but does not trigger weapon shard activation abilities.

Staggering Shout

  • A mid ranged frontal cone debuff ability whose effects are modified by the Barbarian’s primary active stance.

Whirlwind

  • A powerful persistent AOE damage ability that gains different abilities based on the primary active stance.

Hawk Strike

  • A high damage short ranged attack that consumes all the Barbarian’s Wrath resource when used.

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Tornado Stance

  • Increases movement speed, attack rate, and jump height, but primary attacks deal less damage. With Tornado Stance active, Staggering Shout and Whirlwind will slow.

Turtle Stance

  • Reduces attack speed and less mobility, but takes less damage and become immune to crowd control. Staggering Shout gains a stun and Whirlwind withers enemies.

Siphon Stance

  • Turned damage dealt with primary attacks into self-healing. Siphon Stance causes Staggering Shout to apply a lifesteal debuff to affected enemies, converting Whirlwind damage dealt into self-healing.

Lightning Stance

  • Gain bonus storm damage to primary attacks and chain storm damage every third attack. Each hit causes self-inflicting damage. Staggering Shout causes enemies to take more damage and Whirlwind gains chain storm damage.

Along with the Barbarian are a lot of visual additions. There are the four material effect costumes and the terrifying Blood Reaver costume with five additional accessories, twenty-seven different axes, and custom enemy death animations for smaller enemies. Send them gobus flying!

Limited-Time:  Barbarian Complete Pack and Barbarian Cosmetic Pack

We have included a new type of package that includes his Blood Reaver Costume, as well as all of the Costumes and Accessories that are available normally through Defender Packs. This pack is located on the Feature section of the in-game shop!

And if you've already purchased the Barbarian and/or Blood Reaver Costume separately, you can purchase the Barbarian Cosmetic Pack and get his Accessories and Costumes that are normally only available in Defender Packs.

These packs do not include the new flair added with this update.

Loot Revamp

Item Progression

Items and upgrades produced a lot of issues for players as they progress through Onslaught and Chaos Trials. With this update, we took a good hard look at items and progression. Players wanting to progress the fastest used a system called “muling” to have a steadier stream of gear upgrades drop. Now, mules are a thing of the past! Every piece of equipment that drops is now based off of the highest gear score you’ve seen drop. Not picked up, not equipped, but dropped. All of this is tracked behind the scenes, taking all of the spreadsheet calculating and muling away, so you can get into the action sooner!

Gear Score

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We mentioned above that gear is tracked off of the highest gear score item you’ve seen drop. Gear score is a new take on a previous system used to display an item’s power — iPwr. This system previously did not reflect the strength of an item correctly, causing items that may not be upgrades to have a higher iPwr than equipped items. This affected item progression and the general flow of how players were intended to progress.

Hero and Champion Score

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Hero and Champion Score are additional ways to help measure the strength of your heroes’ gear! Hero Score is the average of all the gear equipped to any specific hero, and is shown on your hero cards as shown above. Champion Score is the highest Hero Score among all of your heroes, indicated with a crown above your hero cards (and a smaller one on the hero with the highest Hero Score). These scores are used to let you know when you’re ready for growing challenges you encounter as you progress. To better smooth out progression, different Chaos Trials are unlocked once you reach the appropriate Champion Score.

Auto-Equip Gear and Shards

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There is a lot to learn in Dungeon Defenders II in order to become the greatest Defender of Etheria! While gear maketh the Defender, it can be a lot to manage when learning the intricacies of every hero and enemy. To help through this process, we’ve created an Auto-Equip feature for both gear and Shards. Both buttons (located below your relics) have you confirm if you want to use this feature, and if confirmed, equips the highest Gear Score for every slot. For relics, it will discern between a blockade and towers, focusing on equipping Totems for blockades and Medallions/Marks for all other towers.

If you wish to only Auto-Equip the highest gear score per slot, you will be able to select the slot and “Auto-Equip Slot”. On PC this is bound to "U" by default; on PlayStation 4 by pressing “”; and on Xbox One by pressing “”.

Shards

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Previously, Shards were placed into Shard Slots located on equipment. This system caused Defenders to spend more time in their inventory, moving shards around any time they received an upgrade or wanted to change their build than we liked. When progressing for the first time, or after gaining Ancient Power, this meant a lot of time spent managing your inventory.

In this update, Shard Slots are now equipped on equipment slots directly to your heroes! This means as you receive upgrades, you equip them and your shards stay put. You can still equip up to three shards per slot. However, all three slots will be active only if you have the appropriate tier equipped. Slot activation follows the same conventions it previously did, with Uncommon activating the first slot, Epic activating the first and second slots, and Mythical and Legendary activating all three.

In this update, shards that are on equipment already equipped to your heroes are automatically migrated to those heroes. You login and continue playing without having to manage the shards they were previously wearing. However, shards slotted into equipment that is in your inventory will be removed from the gear. If your inventory is full, the shard(s) are placed into Shards of Containment and sent to the Scavenger.

Incursion Weapons

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Incursion weapons are very unique items in the game as they each contain unique passives that previously took up a Shard slot. With this Shard change, we wanted to make sure that Incursion weapons were still something players wanted to acquire. Now, all Incursion weapons will retain their passives AND have three Shard slots. We took a balance pass at these weapons as well, which we’ve included below.

What Happens To Stored Shards?

For users that do not have enough inventory space to hold all of the shards that was previously attached to gear, we've created the Shard of Containment. This Shard is a tool used to segue Defenders into our new Shard system while reducing stress of losing items many of you have farmed. Any shards previously in equipment that cannot fit in your full inventory with the Shard migration are placed into a Shard of Containment and sent to the Scavenger.

The Shard of Containment holds up to 16 shards before another one is created. These are located on the Scavenger and NEVER expire. Shards will be grouped by their upgrade level, bundling the highest Shards together, and the lowest Shards together. This makes it easier to decide which Shard of Containment to open in order to get all of your most used shards.

In order to use a Shard of Containment, you must have the amount of inventory slots open equal to the number of Shards located within the Shard of Containment. If you have 8 Shards, in order to open a Shard of Containment you’ll need 8 inventory slots.

Shards of Containment are a tool we’re using as we bring in our new Shard equipping system. There are more inventory management changes coming down the road!

New User Experience

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There’s a lot for new Defenders to learn in order to properly defend Etheria, and it is not an easy undertaking! This update introduces a New User Experience to help acclimate new players understand the basics of the game without getting bogged down on reading tons of details and instructions.

There are a myriad of changes that go along with this:

  • New floating instructional text!

  • Tutorial level replaced with new animated interactions with Betsy!

  • Huntress available immediately

  • Ascension UI locked until 50

Mananode Changes

Green mana allocation is now completely different! Mananode chests are a thing of the past, here’s what you see now:

  • Green mana is now automatically distributed by Mananode itself at the beginning of the Build Phase!

  • There is no longer a green mana cap. There is a green mana bar that goes to 2000 green mana. If you go above this amount, the bar starts to fill again!

  • Mana and gold collection radiuses are TRIPLED during the build phase. No more pesky out of reach mana!

These changes are an additional measure to allow Defenders to do the things they enjoy the most:  building and fighting!

General Changes

  • When you create a hero, you can now choose to create them at your highest hero’s level or at level 1.

  • On gamepads, hitting Right Button + D-Pad Down will open the Inventory.

  • The D-Pad can now be used on gamepads to navigate the left side of the inventory.

  • Added East and West descriptors to subcores for Throne Room maps.

  • Added new Loading Screen text:

    • “Mastery provides some of the toughest challenges in all of Etheria but rewards you with powerful Hyper Shards, golden pets, flair, and more!”

    • “The stars you earn across different Chaos difficulties in Mastery pool together.  Tackle maps in any order that you want to unlock rewards!”

    • “Defender Packs contain costumes, accessories, exclusive flair, and much more!  Earn them by achieving victory on your current highest Onslaught floor!”

    • “Feeling lucky?  Rerolling Defender Packs gives you another chance at earning rare rewards!”

    • “Beating Incursions allows you to purchase exotic weapons from the Wayfarer.”

    • “Got eggs?  Visit the Stable Boy in the Town HUB or Tavern to hatch new pets!”

    • “Pet eggs that expire in your inventory will turn into resources that you can use to evolve your pets.”

    • “Get your style on!  You can access the Cosmetics Manager from the Inventory.”

    • “Climbing higher in Onslaught and earning Ascension Levels allows you to unlock your Ancient Power!”

    • “Need a boost?  You can spend gold and Defender Medals to upgrade equipment and shards!”

Defender Packs

We’ve added a slew of new costumes and flair to our Defender Packs:

Flair (crowns):

  • Ebonfire Blaze

  • Winner’s Crown

Flair (Wings):

  • Gilded Honorwings

  • Earth Drake Wings

  • Great Eagle Wings

  • Hive Strike Wings

  • Gargoyle Wings

Flair (Sets):

  • Bonemancer Set:  Bonemancer Crown and Bonemancer Wings

  • Bramblewood Set:  Bramblewood Crown and Bramblewood Wings

Costumes:

  • Gilded Chrome EV2

  • Rosen Chrome EV2

  • Amethysium Chrome EV2

  • Verdanite Chrome EV2

  • Carbide Chrome EV2

Incursion Weapons

Incursion Weapons maintain their previous effects as passives with the new Shard changes. With maintaining these passives, we took a balance pass to adjust some slightly overpowered passives, while buffing underperforming passives.

Molten Tome

  • Now deals:

    • 1000% (previously 950%) Ability Power per Meteor.

    • 850% (previously 650%)  Ability Power per Lava Fissure.

    • 200% (remains the same) Ability Power burning over 5 seconds.

Haunted Halberd

  • Summons up to 5 (previously 3) Halberds that deal 250% (previously 150%) Ability Power.

North Pole

  • Secondary Projectiles now deal 350% (previously 1000%) Hero Damage.

Shadowflame

  • Now hits up to 4 targets dealing 75% (previously 135%) Hero Damage.

Glaive of the Storms

  • Storm deals 1000% (previously 1500%) Ability Power as Storm Damage.

  • Bolts deal 350% (previously 500%) Ability Power as Storm Damage.

All Incursion Weapons not listed here will have their max upgraded shard values applied to their new passives. For instance, Terra Blade’s passive will pierce up to 3 targets dealing 100% Hero Damage.

Hero Updates

Barbarian

Abilities

  • Furious Slash: Mid-range attack that pierces enemies.

    • Cost:  5 Fury

    • Cooldown:  2 seconds

  • Tornado Stance: Hit faster, move faster, jump higher, but deal less damage.

    • Cost: 6 Fury per second.

    • Cooldown:  None.

  • Turtle Stance:  Take less damage, become crowd-control immune, but move slower.

    • Cost:  6 Fury per second.

    • Cooldown:  None.

  • Siphon Stance:  Gain Health Points while attacking.

    • Cost:  6 Fury per second.

    • Cooldown:  None.

  • Lightning Stance:  Attacks gain additional lightning damage, but self-inflict damage.

    • Cost:  10 Wrath per second.

    • Cooldown:  None.

  • Staggering Shout: Debuff enemies in a frontal cone.

    • Cost:  15 Wrath.

    • Cooldown:  5 seconds.

  • Whirlwind:  Deal Area of Effect damage to enemies within melee range.

    • Cost:  26 Wrath per second.

    • Cooldown:  None

  • Hawk Strike:  Deal massive damage in a small area. The more Wrath consumed, the higher the damage.

    • Cost:  All Wrath.

    • Cooldown:  10 seconds.

Shards


  • Zephyr’s Warpath:  Increase movement speed in Whirlwind by 5%-105%.

    • Found in Campaign.

    • Equipment Slot:  Boots

  • Full Shell Ahead: Increases movement speed while in Turtle Stance by 25-525.

    • Found in Chaos I.

    • Equipment Slot:  Boots.

  • Turtle Power:  Increase Damage Protection while in Turtle Stance by 1%-21%.

    • Found in Chaos II.

    • Equipment Slot:  Chest.

    • Cowabunga!

  • Echoing Shout:  Increases the duration of Staggering Shout debuffs by 0.5s-4.5s.

    • Found in Chaos III.

    • Equpment Slot:  Helmet.

  • Draining Strikes:  Increase the healing from Siphon Stance by 5%-25%.

    • Found in Chaos IV

    • Equipment Slot:  Helmet.

  • Maelstrom:  While Lightning Stance is active, the Barbarian's attacks have a 5%-25% chance to drench enemies, stunning them for 1.5s-3.5s.

    • Found in Chaos V.

    • Equipment Slot:  Weapons.

  • Talon Strike:  Hawk Strike now stuns for 2s-4.5.

    • Found in Chaos V.

    • Equipment Slot:  Weapons.

  • Boiling Blood: Causes the Barbarian to take 20%-2% of his Max Health as damage, every 5s during combat phase gaining Fury.

    • Found in Chaos VI.

    • Equipment Slot:  Chest.

  • Shellshock: While Turtle Stance is active the Barbarian's attacks wither enemies hit for 3-13 seconds reducing their damage to 75%-35%.

    • Found in Chaos VI.

    • Equipment Slot:  Weapons.

  • Ride the Lightning:  Increase the damage bonus of Lightning Stance by 1%-21%.

    • Found in Chaos VII.

    • Equipment Slot:  Gloves.

  • Wreckless:  The Barbarian deals up to 0.5%-20.5% bonus damage based upon current Wrath.

    • Found in Chaos VII.

    • Equipment Slot:  Gloves.

Bug Fixes

  • Adjusted Dark Arts Apprentice green clouds effect.

  • Fixed issues causing floors to appear black.

  • Fixed an issue causing crashes when opening extremely large numbers of Defender Packs.

  • Adjusted the material on the Yesteryear Nymph costume.

  • Fixed an issue on Nimbus Reach with the Victory Chest always being Powerful (green).

  • Fixed an issue on Dead Road in death areas where character models would fall through the map.

  • Fixed an issue with Direct Command not castable on multiple Skeletal Orc towers.

  • Fixed an issue where Slime Pits were not dealing damage to enemies affected by the Power Block mutator.

  • “To HUB” now says “To Town”.

  • Fixed an issue being able to play as a deleted hero.

  • Fixed an issue where Haunting Shard was not showing the correct VFX.

  • Fixed an issue when using a controller that would lock NPC/Object interactions.

  • Fixed an issue when multiple cores are active and one dies, it would show a dead core with 75% health value.

  • Fixed a split screen issue where core health bars were not displaying correctly.

  • Fixed a frame drop issue when inspecting a billboard and then looking away from it.

  • Fixed an issue with Betsy’s Curse zones disappearing when switching heroes.

  • Fixed an issue with The Abyss Lord’s primary attack SFX.

  • Fixed a split screen issue where health bars for Player 1 were appearing much larger than intended.

Known Issues

  • Inputs were reset for all platforms.

  • Sometimes you have to hit “Auto-Equip Relic” a few times before it works.

  • When using the All Bags option in the inventory and sorting items by Weapons, it will cause all items in the inventory to disappear. Purely a visual issues and toggling inventory bags will refresh the inventory screen and they will reappear.

  • Occasionally the Auto Equip function doesn't prioritize the highest gear score items first.

  • Occasionally players will get stuck on a black screen when trying to load into the Outdoor HUB. Restarting the game will fix it (or if you know where the menu options are in the escape menu you can click the Leave game button which will still work if you can find it).

  • Occasionally when booting up the game with the controller already active, the navigation focus will be on one of the social media links to the side instead of the main menu options.

  • The keybindings that appear throughout the tutorial maps don't show the correct button icons with custom keybindings set.

  • The icons of the towers on the mini-maps of the tutorial maps are different colors.

  • Some of the weapon firing rates did not carry over correctly.

LAWLTA

DEFENDERS!

Today is a big day for Dungeon Defenders: Awakened and Chromatic Games! Earlier today we were featured as part of the Nintendo Indie Showcase, which if you haven’t seen, click HERE to check it out. This is HUGE for our game and studio, helping us bring the world of Etheria to many future Defenders.

This showing also revealed something very big: A RELEASE DATE! Dungeon Defenders: Awakened releases February 2020, and there’s a lot of reasons for this, so let’s get into them by answering some questions we’re sure you have!

Release

Why is it not releasing in October 2019?

Dungeon Defenders: Awakened is meant to be a showing to our loyal fans of what we’re capable of as Chromatic Games. This isn’t a simple remaster/remake, but bringing back the soul of the original Dungeon Defenders into modern day. Building the game from the ground up is no simple feat, and we’re pulling out all the stops to really blow your socks away. Half of the maps in DD:A are new; Assets in the game are new; all of the UIs are new; and a slew of new features to make for an enjoyable experience. Releasing in October would lead to two things: an unpolished and unrefined gaming experience, or tons of crunch that can burn out developers. As a studio, we absolutely REFUSE to release DD:A as half-baked, and as a business we don’t want people working unbearable hours (we love all our employees, they already kick a ton of butt). This meant pushing our release date to accomplish our goals, and give you the game you deserve!

“A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” - Shigeru Miyamoto

Why February 2020?

In short, It’s the best time for us to release the game. In long, there’s a multitude of reasons. We’re able to keep cranking out content without overworking and breaking developer souls; we can release a beta that allows us time to make iterations as they’re needed; we don’t have to compete with AAA releases that would drown our marketing efforts; it’s after the holidays, giving Defenders a chance to get back to post-holiday life-ing and get hyped for DD:A release; and we could keep going. Overall, it’s best for us as a studio and better for those of you wanting a great DD:A experience. For those of you wanting a bad DD:A experience, we apologize, but we are unable to provide that.

Beta? BETA?? BEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTAAAA??!??!?!?

We’re currently going over the best time for beta and letting you sink your teeth into this meaty game. DD:A PC Beta will be available Early November 2019. This Beta allows us to monitor all the systems we’ve been working tirelessly on, and getting any fixes out before the release. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated during these testing periods, together it we get to make an AWESOME game.

Nintendo Switch Console Timed-Exclusive?

This means that we’ll be releasing on Nintendo Switch and PC right out of the gate in February 2020 at the same time. What does this mean for our PS4 and Xbox One backers? We’re going to be spending extra time polishing up the builds for your platform. The release for these platforms is not very far off from the initial release, with a concrete release date coming in the near future. Or maybe we’ll NEVER release on those platforms, MUAHAHAHA (just kidding, we love all our consoles Defenders and could never hurt you like that).

New Content?

Well I guess… So far we’ve been showing off some of the hotness coming in the forms of complete maps, concept art, and goblin animations. Everything here is still considered a work-in-progress, but everything is until the game’s released! First we want to show off our new Dungeon Defenders: Awakened logo and cover art (it’s freaking amazing).

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Let’s take a look at the new Squire in 3D, with his animations in-game!

Attack 1

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Attack 2
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Attack 3
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Blood Boil
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Circular Slice
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Healing
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Death
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Also how about our first boss map, Alchemical Labs!

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The core will be in the middle, we just wanted to show off the art!

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There’s that core, get back to the middle of the room!

How about a look at your favorite homestead, a place to kick up your feet and admire your loot, THE TAVERN!
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That’s Sir Bubbles himself there on the wall.

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Here’s old George, on patrol. Kind of.

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And last but not least, while we’re finishing up the work on his encounter, how about a look at the NEW Demon Lord?

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What’s Next?

We’re going to keep working incredibly hard to get DD:A into your hands, duh! This is a giant passion project for all of us, and every day is a blast, even when we’re squashing bugs (ty QA, we love you). Regular updates are going to continue, and we’ve even brought on board some awesome help to get this info out to you! Speaking of…

Social Defenders

To get reliable updates on what’s to come, be sure to check out our social platforms for the latest juiciest beans to be spilled:

The entire team is having a blast working on DD:A, we cannot wait for all of you to get your hands on it. Stay tuned for more info!

For Etheria!

Chromatic Games

CKeene

At the Gates of Dragonfall

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Greetings, Defenders! This month we wanted to try something a bit different to show you how our four heroes have come face-to-face with the Old Ones’ army. Check out our first DD2 short story -- told from the point of view of everyone’s favorite Knight-in-Training -- below, and keep an eye out for teasers from one of our upcoming maps! Please note that this is a lore exploration, and the specific sequence of events could potentially change as we continue development.

---

The Squire woke with a start, his helmet grazing one of the metal supports as he propelled himself out of bed.

“It’s here!” His palms pressed firmly into the mattress above him and he used the leverage to bounce on the balls of his feet. “Come on, get up! It’s here!”

The figure in the bed groaned and turned over, shielding his eyes. “What?”

“The Crystal!” As far as the Squire was concerned, they both needed to hurry, or they were going to miss it completely.

The Apprentice’s eyes widened. “Already? It’s not supposed to be here until tonight. Are you sure you heard the horns?”

“I don’t need the horns. I can feel it.” Honestly he was surprised the Apprentice couldn't feel it too, considering how much time they’d spent around them when they were younger. They definitely gave off a strong sort of energy.

The Apprentice sighed, but finally pushed himself into a sitting position. The Squire fetched his bunkmate’s hat from a nearby table, tossing it to him. A distant horn sounded, and he grinned under his helmet. “Hurry up! I’ll meet you outside.”

---

It wasn’t long before the Apprentice met him, wearing all of his gear as he stepped out of the inn. He looked like he half expected the courtyard to be filled with Orcs, but Dragonfall was safe. That’s why the Crystals were being brought here.

The Squire led him to the Gates, breaking into a jog at one point while the Apprentice remained tense, searching every alleyway. By the time they reached the entrance to the town, the Huntress and Monk were already waiting.

He leaned over and gave the Monk a nudge with his shoulder. “You sensed it too, yeah?” He nodded toward the Apprentice. “This guy didn’t believe me.”

And then he saw it, cresting the hill. A bit of the protective casing peeked through a cloth. His whole face lit up. This was one of the last Eternia Crystals, and he was going to escort it. He was sure they’d start winning this war once it was safe.

A grin split the Squire’s features, broadening as it drew closer. The cart hauling it looked a little rickety, and the yak hitched to the front seemed only interested in the carrot dangled in front of it, but if it got the job done, the Squire supposed that was all that mattered. The driver urged the yak onward, but a horrible crack made the Squire’s expression fall. The cart lurched, and he leapt into action.

“What happened?” he asked, bounding up to the cart driver.

“The wheel is broken,” the Monk said.

“But the Crystal needs to make it to the castle!” It was the most important thing by far. His friends didn’t seem to understand. They were too busy looking around the town’s entrance.

“And it will, lad,” the driver said. “Stay here with the cart, I’ll go see about getting a new wheel.”

“You don’t need one. We can carry it.” They’d just have to be extra careful.

The cart driver opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out. His gaze fixed on something above them, and after a moment, a huge shadow streaked across the ground. The Squire brandished his sword, searching the skies. A Wyvern. A huge one, speeding off toward the towers in the Plaza. A real, live Wyvern. He hadn’t seen one of those in years.

Not wasting a moment, he thunked down two Spike Blockades and readied his stance, shifting his weight to the balls of his feet. The Apprentice, Huntress, and Monk built their defenses, and the Squire grinned broadly as a horde of goblins broke the treeline.

Finally something to defend.

---

So what do you think? Can our four heroes keep the Crystal safe once more? This storytelling format is something we hope to expand upon in future blog posts, so let us know what short stories you’d like to see in the future!

The random winner of our PC Giveaway blog is Omm!

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

Ascension Patch Notes



One week until Open Alpha. One week until you can run around and tell your friends about that cool game you’ve been playing. And once you stop telling them about Rocket League, could you maybe throw in the good word about Dungeon Defenders II being available for anyone to download for free, yeah? That’d be awesome.

All jokes aside, until that beautiful moment comes next week on October 13th, here’s an update full of delicious new features and balance! There are some things in this update that are experimental. You can find these things with our super-subtle EXPERIMENTAL marking. There’s also some things in this update that are AWESOME. We didn’t tag those, but we should have.

Also remember, this patch comes in two parts! Part II [AWESOME] will be releasing October 27th and launch with two new Spooky maps, Incursions, new minibosses, new build items and other awesomeness.


Features


New Stat Points System!

  • This is an early-game system to improve investment, choice and progression for early-game players. We’ll be looking into ways of improving the system for endgame players in a future update.

  • When you level up, you’ll get points to invest into stats! The stat screen opens up whenever you level up. Clicking the plus button next to a stat adds 1 point, shift-click adds 5 points and ctrl-click adds 50 points!

  • Clicking feels good, right?

  • Added Defense Speed and Defense Range as stats you can invest in when you level up.

  • You can respec your stats for a flat gold cost.

  • You can close the window and choose to invest your stat points at a later time.


EXPERIMENTAL:  Larger Blockades, Ranged Towers and Auras

  • Blockades and Towers take up more space. Size increased by about 30-40%. Collision increases vary between 10-20%.

  • The defense footprint was increased by about 3x what it used to be, cutting the amount of defenses you can place alongside one another by about half in a 2-3 blockade lane. Damage was increased as a result (you can find these changes in the Balance section).

  • Adding a note to make sure you saw that damage was increased with those changes. [[7012,hashtags]]

  • Auras are just visually bigger. Kappa.

  • Traps were not affected by these changes (trap changes were reverted based on playtest feedback).


Melee Weapon Modifications for Squire & Monk

  • Newly dropped melee weapons can now roll as 3 stances - light, medium, and heavy.  Some weapons can roll as an either/or (ex. Light or Medium)

  • Each stance has a different ground attack pattern. The monk still has his same Chi shot, though. He’s been studying kung fu films -- not ninja anime about becoming a hokage or anything.

  • There are now random rolls for attack speed on most melee weapons in the game. Two medium swords may not have the same attack rate. Two heavy polearms may have wildly different attack rates.  

  • Air attacks are unaffected by stance.

  • New tooltip added to compare melee weapons.


Ranged Weapon Modifications for Apprentice & Huntress

  • Newly dropped ranged weapons now have vastly different behaviors!

    • Burst Fire - multiple shots per click, straight line.

      • For those sweet MLG noscopez.

    • Spread Fire - multiple shots per click, spread fire.

      • Can vary wildly.

      • Landing the entire spread will deal higher damage than normal, but harder to headshot.

    • Shotgun Fire - a LOT of shots in a click, low distance, low accuracy.

      • We don’t need to tell you how to use this. Go look up Evil Dead clips or something.

    • Homing Fire - Will gravitate towards your crosshair. Never miss a flying kobold suiciding on your core again!

    • Arc Fire - Rains death over an arc. Some may have Area of Effect impacts.

    • Not new, but slow firing single shot weapons now deal a LOT of damage...

  • Certain legendary weapons have unique behaviors. Find them!

  • Fixed attack rates will now roll on new weapons. We’ve balanced it such that you can find the weapon you want and succeed more than likely. So take that 40 projectiles a second weapon and go have fun, or the 1 projectile rifle and be precise for big damage.


New Passives and Skill Spheres

  • PDT Health (Passive):  X% extra Poison Dart Tower health based on your Defense Health stat.

  • PDT Speed (Passive):  Increases the Defense Speed of the Poison Dart Tower by +X.

  • PDT Explode (Passive):  When a target affected by the Poison Dart Tower’s poison dies, it explodes, dealing X% of your Defense Health as damage in an area around it. Also adds a stack of the PDT poison to targets hit by the explosion.

  • PDT Range (Sphere):  Poison Dart Tower’s range is increased by X%.

  • PDT Stack Increase (Sphere):  The Poison Dart Tower’s poison can stack X more times on a target.


Partial Controller Support

  • Partial Controller (Gamepad) support is in!

  • Use Controller must be manually enabled with the new checkbox at the Options -> Controls screen (scroll down and look right).

  • For the time being, enabling Use Controller will reset your keybinds. There’s a warning for this, and a future update will remove this limitation.

  • Note that many screens still do not support the Controller (yet). You’ll still have to keep your mouse handy for the cursor!

  • Future updates will allow for alternate control schemes and changing of stick sensitivity.


Daily Mission Changes

  • Daily Missions are now introduced after Dragonfall Sewers in the campaign. Some new, introduction-type missions accompany this earlier introduction, at least until you have a hero high enough to tackle the core daily mission set.

  • Added a new quest where the Knight Commander introduces missions between Dragonfall Sewers and Forgotten Ruins.

  • Monthly missions are still introduced in their old place after players complete the campaign.


Content


Little-Horn Valley Updates

  • Little-Horn Valley has received an overhaul!

  • Realizing having 3 entrances to the pub is bad for security, they’ve removed one on the lower level. No bouncers’ jobs were compromised in the process.

  • A couple of the neighbors have renovated and are allowing you to build towers on their new lawn space. This means new defense opportunities! Just don’t stomp on the grass with your heavy toes, people.

  • Spring cleaning happened to the primary overpass, so tipsy patrons can now see through the level a little clearer/not like they’re drunk.


New Costume:  Valhalla Knight!

  • 1200 Gems

  • 3 Mythic Accessories

  • 3 custom animations:

    • New Heal Animation

    • New Spawn-In Animation

    • New Death Animation


New Premium Pet:  The Headless Horseman!

  • 400 Gems

  • He comes with 1 “Fiery Pumpkin Head,” 1 “Shiny Axe” and 1 “Evil Laugh”...can you handle the spookiness?

  • Can come with the unique ability skin: Tormented Thoughts

  • What is “Tormented Thoughts” one might ask?

    • Fire your fiery pumpkin head at your foes causing them to panic and move faster while taking damage over time, if you kill your target within the DoT, they will explode doing AoE damage to nearby foes!


New Monthly Quest for October! Teddy Bear Nightmare!

  • Conditions

    • Kill 75 Skeleton Special Enemies!

      • Kill events for monthly quests are now shared across the party meaning no more last hitting for credit.

      • Triggers on all people in match when either Plaguing Hulk or Skeleton are killed.

    • Find 75 Legendary Items!

    • Win 25 Incursions!

  • Rewards

    • Monthly Pet: Bearkira

    • 40 Wyvern Tokens

    • 30,000 Gold

    • Hero Title: “The Awakened”


Miscellaneous

  • Added tooltips to Daily Missions, Monthly Missions and Quests so you can now see how much of a reward you’ll receive!

  • Made changes to damage numbers. Damage numbers are now more readable since they linger longer and the magic damage color has changed to a more bright purple rather than a dark purple because dark purple was very difficult to read.

  • Rearranged interaction icons to sit to the right of the reticle

  • Increased interaction icon display time for towers to 2 seconds while in Combat Phase

  • The Eggs you’re protecting in Liferoot Forest and during the Betsy fight have changed slightly.  Foreshadowing?!

  • Lightning Rod Uber has been renamed to “Concentrated Cyclone Uber.”

  • Swapped currency and premium currency positions on the UI; expanded the Add Currency button to say “Add.”

  • Implemented Alienware FX lights support.

  • Removed the “Take Damage” section of the tutorial level.  We’re pretty sure you’ll figure that out.

  • Made improvements on camera fade-in/fade-out when objects get between the hero and the camera.


Balance


Enemy Rollouts

After reading many fantastic threads about enemy rollouts, we have made some updates to the way enemies will come down the lane. We updated the lanes so that players will be letting towers do a bulk of the work while players are taking down specific support enemies. To do this, we divided our enemies into different groups.

  • Standard Group

    • The standard group will be composed of Goblins (Melee and Bomb Lobbers), T1 Orcs, as well as T1 Warboars. These guys are going to be present in just about every lane. However, they should be taken down quite easily with a decent tower setup.

  • Support Group

    • These guys are gunna be the ones you as the player will need to take down. We have updated their minimap icons so they stand out and let players know where they need to go. Sometimes there will be more than one lane that has some of these support enemies in them, so player movement is going to be really the key to victory. The support group is made up of:

      • Kobolds

      • Witherbeasts

      • Lady Orcs

      • Javelin Throwers

      • Drakin

      • Dark Mages

  • Air Group

    • The air group remains the same enemies as before. Players will have more time to take down air enemies as well due to not needing to hold off an entire lane of Drakins.


Enemy Balance Changes

  • The health of most melee enemies has been noticeably reduced. This includes Goblins, Warboars, and Orcs. Bomb Goblins too, even though they’re not melee.

  • Meanwhile, Kobolds have gained both health and damage. Get ready for the era of boom-shaka-laka!

  • Dark Mages and Witherbeasts, annoyed at the Kobold, have been working out and have gained some health as well.


Small Skill Spheres

With the new Stat Points System in place, we’ve made changes to the Small Skill Spheres. The goal here is to make Small Spheres about specific specialization on a tower. For right now, we’re starting off with Defense Range. We also left in some of the old quest sphere rewards for funsies. Here is the new list:

  • Defense Crit Damage I

  • Defense Crit Damage II

  • Defense Crit Damage III

  • Hero Crit Damage I

  • Hero Crit Damage II

  • Hero Crit Damage III

  • Defense Crit Chance I

  • Defense Crit Chance II

  • Hero Crit Chance I

  • Hero Crit Chance II

  • Defense Power I

  • Hero Damage I

  • Defense Health III

  • Hero Health III

  • Hero Damage V

  • Defense Health V

  • Defense Power V

  • Defense Attack Rate V

  • Cannonball Range I

  • Heavy Cannonball Range I

  • Heavy Cannonball Range II

  • Harpoon Range I

  • Harpoon Range II

  • Flameburst Range I

  • Flamethrower Range I

  • Flamethrower Range II

  • Earthshatter Tower Range I

  • Earthshatter Tower Range II

  • Frostbite Tower Range I

  • Frostbite Tower Range II

  • Lightning Aura Range I

  • Serenity Aura Range I

  • Lightning Strikes Aura Range I

  • Lightning Strikes Aura Range II

  • Boost Aura Range I

  • Skyguard Tower Range I

  • Explosive Trap Damage Range I

  • Blaze Balloon Damage Range I

  • Poison Dart Tower Range I

  • Elemental Chaos Trap Range I


Defense Balance Changes

  • Defenses that fire projectiles have had their damage substantially increased to accommodate for larger size. In addition to this base increase due to the size changes, we’ve also made the following additional base damage increases:

    • Flamethrower Tower base damage increased substantially

    • Cannonball Tower base damage increased substantially

    • Earthshatter Tower base damage increased substantially

    • Poison Dart Tower poison damage increased drastically

    • Heavy Cannonball Tower damage increased substantially

    • Ballista base damage increased substantially

  • Arcane Barrier health brought up to match base Spike Blockade.

  • Training Dummy:

    • Damage is now based off of Defense Health rather than Defense Power

    • Health values adjusted ever so slightly

    • Range is doubled

    • Mesh/Collision increased in size but not height so 3 dummies can cover what 2 blockades cover

    • [[5924,hashtags]]

  • Increased the Heavy Cannonball Tower's projectile movement speed by 50%

  • Note:  We will be taking another pass at trap/aura balance in the future. This update mainly focused on ranged tower balance.


Defense Range Changes

Players can now increase Defense Range by investing in Defense Range using the Stat Point System and equipping Small Skill Spheres that increase a specific defense’s range. All towers should have a larger max range than before through these changes.


Hero Balance Changes

  • Hero base health, base damage, and base ability power was reduced as now the majority of your progression should come from SAS points. You should hit a higher max than before this system, but this is still a work-in-progress.

  • Hero Health Stat Point System scaling varies based on the hero. Melee heroes scale substantially better than ranged heroes.

  • Apprentice's Mana Bomb damage mitigation buffed - when you are channeling you now only take 10% damage instead of the old 30%.

  • Reduced mark increase from Apprentice’s Arcane Mark Skill Spheres from 2.0 / 5.0 -> 1.0 / 2.0.


General Balance Changes

  • Removed resistances from miniboss lanes in Onslaught and Incursions


Bug Fixes

  • Improved performance on high-end machines based on community feedback by defaulting bSmoothFrameRate to false. Be smooth, framerate. Be smooth.

  • Potentially fixed a server crash.

  • Fixed an issue with nervousness for next week’s Open Alpha by purchasing a gigantic bottle of...of root beer. Yeah, root beer. Totally clams the nerves.

  • We meant calms the nerves, but clams sounds so much cooler.

  • Fixed an issue where pet stats can reroll their current stat value as both options.

  • Fixed an issue where the timing of Ogre spawns was causing infinite waves in Incursions. Because Incursions are hard enough, amirite?

  • Fixed an issue where, while playing in Windowed Mode, the Steam Overlay would not resize correctly if the user maximized or minimized the window.

  • Fixed an issue where enemy kill events weren’t triggered when a player’s pet killed the enemy.

  • Clammed down the map music on Campaign Gates so it no longer plays behind the introduction cutscene.

  • Fixed an issue where Betsy would immediately fly away after one egg volley attack from her nest. She will now stick around for a bit and attack any players in her vicinity. After a number of attacks from her nest, she will fly off to do her next air attack.

  • Fixed an issue where the Incubate button would incorrectly disappear.

  • Fixed a collision issue with a tree on Forgotten Ruins.

  • Fixed a bug where Daily Missions were not filtering in correctly.

  • Fixed an issue where the Dragonfall Tourist Daily Mission was causing the Victory Chest to generate more gold than intended.

  • Fixed an issue where wave completed experience was not sometimes given to the hero.

  • Fixed an issue where the player’s gem total wouldn’t update after purchasing an item with gems.

  • Fixed an issue with collision near the subobjective area in Forgotten Ruins that was stopping enemy pathing.

  • Fixed an issue with a spawn point in Nimbus Reach.

  • Fixed a bug where the Daily Mission icons would move when the progression was updated. Now it's perfectly aligned.

  • Implemented a potential fix for the dark towers bug.

  • Fixed an issue where the pet evolution popup would display the wrong color.

  • Implemented a potential fix for a Blaze Balloon decal issue.

  • Fixed an issue where the Monk’s Onslaught polearm was missing its stats on the tooltip.

  • Fixed an issue where players couldn’t click on the purchase button for the first item under the Featured section without first clicking on a different item.

  • Fixed an issue where some Squire Shields had a graybox texture within the tooltip.

  • Fixed bugs with incorrect Skill Spheres being rewarded from a Gran’Masta quest.

  • Fixed an issue with an Oil Flask decal.

  • Fixed an issue where objects wouldn’t fade in properly.

  • Fixed an issue where intro matinees were not adhering to custom audio settings.

  • Fixed an issue where the Forge icon was rendering incorrectly on the minimap.

  • Fixed an issue where Orcs were not appearing properly on the minimap.

  • Fixed a texture issue in the Social Tavern.

  • Fixed a bug where the Purge Evil updated passive was referencing the old passive.

  • Fixed an issue where the pet egg given for the “Visit the Stable Boy” quest would go to the Scavenger and be automatically destroyed 30 minutes later.

iamisom

Ascension Part II Notes

Ascension Part II is here for Steam! Here are the notes:



Features

Two New Maps!

  • The Deadly Road:  Enshrouded in tales of ghost sightings and vanishing caravans, the Dead Road has been actively avoided by travelers since its discovery. Many brave souls have tried exploring the ruined catacombs in search of treasure, but none have emerged alive.

  • Temple of the Necrotic:  Deep in the woods of Etheria, there exists a temple built in the space between life and death. A powerful artifact has appeared inside of the structure, throwing the forces governing the living and the dead into total chaos.


New Event:  Spooky 2015

  • Cut a hole in your chair and grab a bucket because you’re gonna s*** yourself with our first Holiday event. Maldonis the Dark has invaded Etheria, and he brought some ghoulish new friends with him. Be on the lookout for some seriously spooky secrets in each of the new maps!


Steam Trading Cards

  • Added 15 Steam Trading Cards. Collect them all for Steam badges, emoticons, profile backgrounds -- the whole shebang. (That word seems a lot dirtier when you see it on paper.)


Spooky Challenges

  • Complete the 8 new Challenges for a spooky surprise. You’ll need to act fast as these Challenges are only available for a limited time!


Four New DPS Weapons

  • Added four new weapons, each with a unique DPS-focused passive.


Auto-Collect Filters

  • Become the Bag Master. You make the rules now.

  • Tell your bags to filter in certain types of loot automatically during Auto Collect. For example, tell a bag to filter in all Legendary loot. All Legendary loot that is Auto-Collected from the ground will automatically go into that bag. That’s right, Champ. You’re the boss. The Bag Boss. That’s higher than Bag Master. You were promoted just by reading the patch notes.

  • Added 13 Auto-Collect filters to bags. The sky's the limit within these 13 specific filters.


New Tavern Decorations

  • The tavern has been spookified. The Grumpy old man isn’t too pleased, but what do you expect.

Dark Arts Apprentice Costume

  • 1600 Gems

  • 4 Mythical Accessories

  • Unique Heal, Spawn, Death and Mana Bomb Animations


November Monthly Quest Going Live on 11/3/15

  • Title: An Etherian Pilgrimage

  • Description: This month's mission is stuffed with adventure! Go forth and gobble up tokens and pet food to get this month's pet!

    • Condition 1: Win 30 maps without losing a sub-objective!

    • Condition 2: Find 40 Turkey Legs From Pet Food Boxes

    • Condition 3: Earn 50 Wyvern Tokens!

  • Rewards

    • New Monthly Pet: Narwhagon!

      • Type: Dragon

      • Ability: Unified Defense - Create a shield that does damage to nearby and attacking foes.

      • Tier: Legendary

    • Wyvern Tokens: 40

    • Gold: 30,000


New Premium Pet:  Autumeow

  • Available on Thursday!


New Main Menu w/ New Music

  • Updated the Main Menu to reflect the current festivities.


Updated War Table

  • We’ve added some quality of life improvements specifically for events.

  • New Quick Jump event icon found in the top right hand corner of the War Table. Click the Quick Jump to the event playlist.

  • New Spooky Event difficulties for the new Spooky maps.


Skip Tutorial

  • Players now have the choice of skipping the tutorial on the first playthrough.


Extra Notes

  • Pet Reagent Boxes now have proper mesh and texture representation in world. Still no loot beams.

  • Costume shop mannequins have new costumes displayed.

  • Changed costume shop lighting.

  • Renamed Lightning Rod to Concentrated Cyclone.

  • Renamed the Tower Range stat to Defense Range.


Balance

  • Rebalanced the Squire Provoke Duration Skill Sphere to 2.0 / 4.0 seconds

  • Thorns Skill Spheres are now unique.

  • Mark Targets Skill Spheres now increase mark target maximum by 1 / 2.

  • Updated Steiner’s health in the Incursion.


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where sometimes the Lane Billboards were showing the incorrect information or were placed onto the wrong lane.

  • Fixed an issue where the Immediate Message for server/patch maintenance caused the whole screen to blur.

  • Fixed an issue where pressing K wouldn’t change the message at the top of the screen.

  • Fixed an issue where the Flamethrower Tower caused less loot to drop from Special Enemies.

  • Fixed an issue where the Losing Social Score message would appear when a player attempted to leave after Victory or Defeat on a map.

  • Fixed a bug where cutscene sound wouldn’t play after the first play.

  • Fixed a render thread crash.

  • Fixed a crash related to a missing sound notification.

  • Changed the wording on Error 2003.

  • Fixed a few typos and reduced the length of Empowering Beam description.

  • Fixed an issue where some pet eggs that were hatched weren’t being removed from the Inventory.

  • Polished up some map collisions to make sure walking through the lanes is an easy and enjoyable experience.

  • Fixed an issue where some Ranged impact sounds were playing inconsistently.

  • Fixed an issue where the Mana Node interaction collision didn’t cover the little green spirit dude who floats above it.

  • Spelled reservoir correctly in Siphon Site D. Now you defend the RESERVOIR in Siphon Site D. That’s right, THE RESERVOIR. The RESERVOIR needs defending people….

  • Fixed a hole in Forest Crossroads.

  • Skeleton Goblin now has correct iconography in game.

  • Fixed an issue where heroes wouldn’t play their full spawn-in animation after death.

  • Resolved an issue with Griblok's "I'm out" animation not playing.

  • Resolved a bug where the Liferoot Forest Incursion Special Enemies would not spawn.

  • Fixed and updated several Skill Sphere descriptions.

  • Fixed an issue where there were duplicated stats in the stat manager.

  • Fix issue where some decals were not being applied to meshes.

  • Fixed an issue where the glow on the proximity mine was too dark in its deactivated state.

  • Fixed an issue where the outline effect when targeting certain objects was displaying incorrectly.

Elandrian

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Hey Fellow Defenders!


It’s about that time again.  Time for another Check-In with ya boi, Elandrian.  We hope everyone has been enjoying the Barbarian and the changes that came out with our last large update. We’ve been hard at work on a ton of new content for Dungeon Defenders II, and I wanted to talk a little bit about what’s coming next week to the game and some stuff that’s coming around summertime.


Next week is going to feature the Sky City Bank, Inventory Stack Splitting, a huge performance improvement with loading times on all platforms, and an assortment of bug fixes.


Sky City Bank


The Sky City Bank will be arriving in Dragonfall next week, and will be bringing some additional storage to everyone.  Every player will get at least one Bank Vault for free when they first log in. In addition to the one free Bank Vault, we’re going to be running a limited time promotion where you can get another free Bank Vault and unique Shutter Shades Flair for your heroes.  This will only last two weeks, so make sure to tell your friends to get the free space and cosmetic!


For people that have purchased the old Inventory Pack or the newer Bag Booster Pack, there will be some slight changes to where your inventory bags are now.  The bags that were activated from those bundles will become Bank Vaults now. We saw that there was some regular confusion usually in the form of: “Why do some players have 10-11 bags and I can only buy 8?”  So we’re standardizing what everyone can get.


Tl;dr If you’ve bought the Inventory Packs, you’ll keep all the space that you’ve purchased, and it will just transition into free Bank space when the update comes out.


So here’s what the new “Max Space” will look like:


Old Version:

8-11 Possible Maximum Inventory Bags

0 Bank Vaults


New Version :
8 Inventory Bags

12 Bank Vaults


We wanted to give everyone enough space so that they can just completely empty out their current Inventories into the Bank immediately once you log into the new update and roll out with an empty Inventory!


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Stack Splitting


The Sky City Bank will also release with a couple smaller item management features.  The main one that we’ve introduced is Stack Splitting. I don’t think I need to explain how that works, but I will anyway!  If you have a stack of 99 pet food, you’ll be able to split it into two stacks if you so choose.  So maybe you want to just store a portion of our consumables, you can do that now!


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Transfer All


The other management feature is the ability to transfer an entire bag with one press.  There will be a new “Transfer All” button that will move all your unlocked items into the Bank Vault that you have selected.  Locked items can be moved as well, you just have to manually move each one and they won’t be moved by accident with the “Transfer All.”  If you have several stacks of something that is able to be stacked, “Transfer All” will automatically stack those together when used.


Load Time Optimization


Our programmers have made an awesome performance breakthrough with how we load player profiles.  With the introduction of the Sky City Bank, we were aiming to improve all aspects of our item systems in some way, shape, and form.  Our lead programmer looked into how we were loading our save profiles and found several optimizations that we could make when we introduced the Bank for the first time.  


In one of our test cases, we saw a 60 second load time fall to a mere nine seconds.  Results will be varied for all our users, but this will be an improvement across all our platforms on how our save profiles are loaded, and I’m legitimately excited for this change to go live for all of you.


But What Else?


I know it wouldn’t be a good Check-In without some juicy tidbits, so I guess I’ll start sprinkling out some information.


I keep seeing a lot of new things popping up in our development build of the game, and all of it has the name “Proteus” attached to it.  I’m not quite sure what that means, but these new things LOOK amazing. There was even this new “magical property” thing that I found when messing around on my Barbarian that made me gain additional damage buffs each time I switched stances.  When I first looted it, one of our QA members told me I could do this new thing with it. It was this weird word too… I think it’s pronounced “Trah-Deah-Bluh,” but I’m not sure. I could be saying that wrong.


There was also another spaceship parked in the Heroes Marketplace, although I’m not quite sure what that’s about.  Everything seems so different. A bunch of game modes are different now too. Curiouser and curiouser...


I’ll keep investigating and report back to everyone with my next Check-In!


Thanks everyone, can’t wait to see you in Etheria!


Colin “Elandrian” Fisher

admin








Were kicking off our weekly Hero Showcase series with the Apprentice. Watch the video to see how his new abilities fare in the tournament. But what about co-op? Well, youll have to wait for a future trip to the Archives to learn more about the towers hes learned to conjure since he defeated the Old Ones. Spoiler: Some of the abilities in this video might appear in the co-op mode, too. Hint, hint.



Speaking of our co-op mode, were looking for feedback. Want to make the tower defense mode brilliant? Please take our first co-op survey! We are going to release weekly surveys to get feedback while were working on the co-op mode. Be sure to leave your email address at the end of the survey for your chance to win a DD2 beta code!



Oh, and if you want to see anything again just click on one of the icons in the video to relive a previous section.



What do you think of the competitive mode in action? Keep in mind everythings beta, so all feedback is good feedback. The most constructive comments will receive a DD2 beta code! Forum winners will be chosen on Monday, May 13, and survey winners will be chosen on May 15.
Muskie4242
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All art made for games is super easy to create and we, as artists and animators, can speed through pretty much everything. We are guaranteed that anything we do will always work with the tech, design, and overall style the first time, every time.

...Yeah, right.

The reality is that solid, polished art takes time. So much so that terms like “polishing” or “fleshing out” are extremely commonplace, and it is not unheard of that production deadlines be missed because of it. Thus it’s out of necessity that game animators find ways to make fast and simple versions of each and every one of our assets before we devote ourselves to the lengthy process. This is known as “iteration.”

So Many Questions. So Little Time.

When I first begin an animation, a wide range of people may be required to add their input. This is where the iterative process is most important. Designers, programmers and artists all have specific needs and desires for what they want the animation to achieve, and the number of potential problems that each individual's expertise can reveal is virtually limitless. This inevitably requires dozens of changes all around. My ability to quickly and efficiently implement those changes -- or “iterations” -- in my work can be the difference between meeting or missing a deadline, and subsequently ruining or making the day of the people further down the production pipeline.

Of course, it’s always a fun day when art, design, and tech requirements clash.

WouldDevelopeAgain.jpg
Every day is a fun day in the Game Dev business.

This is why I adopt so many different workflows, so that I always have one I can utilize depending on each scenario. In most cases, though, the process can be broken down into three steps of development: blocking, fleshing, and polish.

Where to Begin?

The blocking stage is where I establish the main poses and the timing they play on, which sets the stage for everything that follows. When an animation is blocked out, we focus on the broad strokes concept -- the essential components that communicate the desired movement.

monkSTART_FINAL.gif
“Too simple.” / “Nah, I don't like it.” / “I changed my mind. Go back to the other one.”

Blocking is traditionally the most preferred way of starting an animation, being that it generally allows us to work quickly while still showing off the full range of movement. However, it might not be the very best approach every time. If I don’t have a completely clear direction from my supervisors, for example, I might take a more broad approach for some animations, using nothing more than a couple of individual poses just to set a specific tone.

image_Stealth1-1024x206.jpg
“It can’t be a strike. It has to be a slash.” / “Tone the arc down a little so it stays tight to the lane he is in.” / “The attack should come from a low point or a high point. Not across.” / “Thats the one. Build from there.” (Dark Assassin animations are a work-in-progress.)

Or no posing at all, but rather a path of action that the character takes, complete with the timing of their major movements. It can also mean that I have to use placeholder animations in the engine while smarter people figure out if it will work properly.

scurrySTART.gif
“Neat, it doesn’t crash. Now make him do squirrel stuff.”

The Illusion of Life

From these individual starting points, I can begin to develop the animation further until it is the asset you see in game.

javThrower_gif.gif
“Blocking” / “Fleshing” / “Polish”

Above you can see the full process behind one of our new enemies, the Javelin Thrower. In the blocking stage, I was directed to push his style to a more fun place than other characters, so the movements are more exaggerated than some of our other enemies. Once it moved into the next stage, I fleshed it out by smoothing his movements into something more refined. Then I spent a lot of time polishing all the little details until he reached the point where he can feel alive on your screen. (Though not for long.)

While it may seem like a long process, the multiple levels of iteration each animation goes through are crucial to getting the final asset at the quality you've come to expect from DD2. It’s always important to maximize the conveyance of important information early on, while minimizing the time spent on it. We can never foresee all of the potential problems, but we can find ways to address them faster.

Thanks for reading! Let us know in the comments which animation you enjoyed the most and you could win a seat on the Defense Council! Want to see the finished/near-final versions of each animation presented in this blog? Check ‘em out in the comments below!

John Muscarella
Virtual Puppet Master (Animator)

The random winner of last week’s Elemental Weapons blog is Lord_DaS!

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 Enemy Lane Balancing blog is going to be chosen on Friday, so there’s still time to enter!
LAWLTA

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The Isomicon reveals its first secrets! While you’ve been defending against the evil that threatens Etheria, Gran Ma’ster found a way to imbue certain shards with incredible power. These hyper shards contain a very unstable power so she is only providing them to defenders that prove their mastery of the defensive arts. At the Gran Ma’ster’s behest, the Defense Council devised a set of challenges for the heroes to overcome.

With the aid of the Abyss Lord, Gran Ma’ster continues to delve deeper into the forbidden knowledge contained within the Isomicon. There’s still much more to decrypt, but there is a growing concern from what’s been revealed — dark forces are coming, and we are NOT ready. Go forth, Defenders! Prepare yourselves, and PROTECT ETHERIA!

Greetings Defenders,

It's time to take a look at the future of Dungeon Defenders II by talking about our upcoming 1.2 Update, Ancient's Prelude. This is a monster of an update, introducing some amazing features that will push your limits. Not only are you getting some awesome new content, but you’re also getting numerous bug fixes, balance changes, quality-of-life fixes and more! Thanks for giving us feedback as we continue to evolve the game into its final form!

In Ancient’s Prelude, we are introducing Mastery, a game mode that challenges your ability as a defender and rewards you with great power. In addition to a new game mode, we’re introducing Flair! Flair is another cosmetic system that will take the look of your heroes to the next level. Shards and Flair aren’t the only rewards though.  We’ll be handing out rewards such as golden pets, Ascension levels, gold, and more!

This is only the beginning of some serious changes in the world of Etheria and we can’t wait until the Isomicon reveals more information about what’s to come. There have been whispers of an endless level of challenge on the horizon.

New Game Mode: MASTERY

The new game mode, Mastery, provides access to all Chaos maps, allowing you to choose where and how you progress. Gran Ma’ster requires you to complete up to five challenges per map, each indicated with a star on the Mastery progress bar. She’s not going to be making it easy either. In order to earn the full five stars on each map, you’ll need to complete all of the challenges together. All stars are earned one time, so once you’ve five starred a map, you have mastered the challenges presented and will have earned all the rewards it has to offer. The power contained within the Hyper Shards is unstable, so only Defenders that prove their might may equip them.


Mastery is intended to be a challenge for all levels of Defenders, both those climbing the ranks and seasoned veterans. Each challenge will bring your item level down to the appropriate level of the Chaos difficulty that you’re in, so there’s no way to just waltz right through these challenges. You’re going to fight tooth and nail to prove you’re worthy of the power that awaits you!

When conquering the Mastery game mode you’ll receive great rewards as you progress. Here’s what you can expect to earn as you decimate challenges:

  • Hyper Shards

  • Exclusive Flair

  • Golden Pets

  • Ascension levels

  • Defender Medals

  • Gold on gold on gold

To achieve absolute mastery, you will have to experiment with new builds to overcome the tasks set before you, pushing your limits as a Defender. Over the coming weeks, the Defense Council will work diligently with the Gran Ma’ster and Abyss Lord to continue deciphering additional levels of challenges and rewards for heroes capable of proving their mastery. The amount of time needed to decipher and develop each new Hyper Shard is about a week.

New Shards:  HYPER SHARDS

Exclusive to the Mastery game mode are Hyper Shards, unique shards that you’ll only be able to claim if you are able to conquer the challenges Gran Ma’ster has provided for you. Hyper shards will be reminiscent of some of your favorite shards, except cranked way up in power. Each type of these shards will only be earned one time, and don’t worry — you can’t sell them.

New Cosmetic System:  FLAIR

A new cosmetic system, Flair, was created that allows your heroes to look even more legendary! Flair can be equipped over any existing costumes or looks on a hero and there’s currently four categories of flair:

  • Head (Halos, masks, and auras)

  • Back (Wings)

  • Waist (floating objects and auras)

  • Feet (auras, fire, and other effects)

There’s more than one way to acquire this new cosmetic so you can look even more heroic on the battlefield. Flair will unlock as you collect more stars through Mastery, future game content, and available through our various store fronts. One of the packs will be available outside of the game for a particularly demonic look, but we’ll discuss later in the blog. With such a wide variety of customizable ways to mix and match flair, you’ll be sure to stick out in the Heroes Marketplace!

New pets: GOLDEN PETS

Golden pets are BACK!  Well… some of them. Golden pets are pets that you will receive while playing through the Mastery game mode. It’s another way to show off just how great of a defender you are to those around you. With golden pets and the new flair system, you’ll be the envy of all that see you!

Halloween in Etheria


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You’ll notice that your Private Tavern and the Heroes Marketplace have been decorated to celebrate Halloween. To add to the celebration, you’ll now be able to acquire Halloween-themed seasonal flair through sales on Steam, Xbox Live, and the PlayStation Network. This flair will be our first iteration of seasonal-themed flair, but it most definitely will not be our last — you have to look amazing year-round, right? With the Halloween set in particular, you’ll not only terrify your enemies on the battlefield, you’ll also be their worst nightmares!

Bug Fixes

Besides submitting terrific feedback and suggestions, you all have helped us by finding various bugs that we’ve been able to fix with this patch. Thank you for the help in getting them fixed!

Even More On The Way...

Mastery is just the tip of the iceberg for you, Defenders. While Gran provides difficult challenges and tests, they are required to attain the strength needed to protect Etheria and the citizens of Dragonfall from the darkness that lies ahead. We’ll learn more as Gran, the Defense Council, and the Abyss Lord decipher the Isomicon in the weeks to come!

We are eternally grateful for your support, Defenders, and will be providing more information on Ancient’s Prelude and sharing more knowledge of the upcoming power of the Ancients.

For Etheria!

The Dungeon Defenders II Team

LAWLTA



wp6ZEQC.png

The Isomicon reveals its first secrets! While you’ve been defending against the evil that threatens Etheria, Gran Ma’ster found a way to imbue certain shards with incredible power. These hyper shards contain a very unstable power so she is only providing them to defenders that prove their mastery of the defensive arts. At the Gran Ma’ster’s behest, the Defense Council devised a set of challenges for the heroes to overcome.

With the aid of the Abyss Lord, Gran Ma’ster continues to delve deeper into the forbidden knowledge contained within the Isomicon. There’s still much more to decrypt, but there is a growing concern from what’s been revealed — dark forces are coming, and we are NOT ready. Go forth, Defenders! Prepare yourselves, and PROTECT ETHERIA!

Greetings Defenders,

It’s time to prove your strength, Ancient's Prelude (Update 1.2) is live! This is a monster of an update, introducing some amazing features that will push your limits. This patch has some awesome new content, a new additional cosmetic system, quality of life changes, balance, bug fixes, and kicks off the beginning of our seven week progression event. Let’s dive in!

New Game Mode: MASTERY

The new game mode, Mastery, provides access to all Chaos maps, allowing you to choose where and how you progress. Gran Ma’ster requires you to complete up to five challenges per map, each indicated with a star on the Mastery progress bar. She’s not going to be making it easy either. In order to earn the full five stars on each map, you’ll need to complete all of the challenges together. All stars are earned one time, so once you’ve five starred a map, you have mastered the challenges presented and will have earned all the rewards it has to offer. The power contained within the Hyper Shards is unstable, so only Defenders that prove their might may equip them.

When conquering the Mastery game mode you’ll receive great rewards as you progress. Here’s what you can expect to earn as you decimate challenges:

  • Hyper Shards

  • Exclusive Flair

  • Golden Pets

  • Ascension levels

  • Defender Medals

  • Gold on gold on gold

With the Mastery game mode, we’ll be releasing a new tier every week, for the next seven weeks at on Wednesday at 9 AM EDT! It’s a lot of content to conquer, here’s a look at the schedule:

  • Mastery 1:  October 11th (TODAY!)

  • Mastery 2:  October 18th

  • Mastery 3:  October 25th

  • Mastery 4:  November 1st

  • Mastery 5:  November 8th

  • Mastery 6:  November 15th

  • Mastery 7:  November 22nd

The cap of earn-able stars will start at 105 with Mastery 1. Every additional tier will add an extra 105 stars to be earned, with the last week providing a total of 735 stars to be earned.

To achieve absolute mastery, experimentation with new builds is required to overcome the tasks set before you, pushing your limits as a Defender. Over the coming weeks, the Defense Council will work diligently with the Gran Ma’ster and Abyss Lord to continue deciphering additional levels of challenges and rewards for heroes capable of proving their mastery. The amount of time needed to decipher and develop each new Hyper Shard is about a week. To fill that time, we’ll be providing a little competition to celebrate this new discovery!

Special Event:  PROVE YOUR MASTERY

We’re running a special event:  PROVE YOUR MASTERY over the next SEVEN weeks! This provides time for Gran and company to conjure the Hyper Shards that each tier rewards. The event showcases players on special weekly Mastery leaderboards. It lists the first 10 players to reach 105 stars per Mastery tier, per platform (PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4). If there aren’t 10 people to reach 105 stars at the end of the event, it ranks the furthest progressed players.

The Mastery leaderboards will update every 15 minutes, and require defenders to reach at least 10 stars before appearing on the leaderboard. Click here to check out the Mastery leaderboard.

The event starts at 9 AM EDT, and lasts until 9 AM EDT the following Wednesday. As the previous week-long event ends, the next event starts immediately after. Special prizes will be revealed soon after the event launches! These prizes do not give any powerful benefits, but provide visual bragging rights that spotlight defenders conquering the content the fastest. Teaming up is a huge benefit to dominating these challenges. If a team of two to four players claims the first spot, they’ll all be listed as first place. This means that second, third, and fourth place are still up for grabs. We’ll be sharing more information on the rewards soon!

New Shards:  HYPER SHARDS

Exclusive to the Mastery game mode are Hyper Shards, unique shards that you’ll only be able to claim if you are able to conquer the challenges Gran Ma’ster has provided for you. Hyper shards will be reminiscent of some of your favorite shards, except cranked way up in power. Each type of these shards will only be earned one time, and don’t worry — you can’t sell them.

There are seven different shards that can be earned. Here is a look at the shards and where you can earn them:

  • 50 Stars:    Mass Destruction

  • 155 Stars:  Vicious Strikes

  • 260 Stars:  Radiant Critical Power

  • 365 Stars:  Explosive Shielding Guard

  • 470 Stars:  Thunderstruck

  • 575 Stars:  Destructive Pylon

  • 680 Stars:  Super Fortification

These shards pack an extra punch, and can all be earned once. There is no limit to how many can be equipped at the same time. They are needed to bolster your strength to take on Gran’s challenges!

New Cosmetic System:  FLAIR

A new cosmetic system, Flair, allows your heroes to look even more legendary than before! Flair can be equipped over any existing costumes or looks on a hero and there’s currently four categories of flair:

  • Head (Halos, masks, and auras)

  • Back (Wings)

  • Waist (floating objects and auras)

  • Feet (auras, fire, and other effects)

There’s more than one way to acquire this new cosmetic so you can look even more heroic on the battlefield. Flair is available through:

  • Collecting stars through Mastery

  • Future game content

  • In-game Shop

  • Platform Storefronts (Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network)

Flair will unlock as you collect more stars through Mastery, future game content, and available through our various store fronts. One of the packs will be available outside of the game for a particularly demonic look, but we’ll discuss later in the blog. With such a wide variety of customizable ways to mix and match flair, you’ll be sure to stick out in the Heroes Marketplace!

New pets: GOLDEN PETS

Golden pets are BACK!  Well… some of them. Golden pets are pets that you will receive while playing through the Mastery game mode. It’s another way to show off just how great of a defender you are to those around you.

You’ll be able to earn a single golden pet type multiple times, for a total of seven pets:

  • 90 Stars:    Golden Gato Egg

  • 195 Stars:  Golden Creeper Egg

  • 300 Stars:  Golden Dragon Egg

  • 405 Stars:  Golden Gato Egg

  • 510 Stars:  Golden Creeper Egg

  • 615 Stars:  Golden Dragon Egg

  • 720 Stars:  Golden Gato Egg

With golden pets and the new flair system, you’ll be the envy of all that see you!

Halloween in Etheria

bZHsxNA.jpg

You’ll notice that your Private Tavern and the Heroes Marketplace have been decorated to celebrate Halloween. To add to the celebration, the Halloween-themed seasonal flair is now available! This flair is our first iteration of seasonal-themed flair, but it most definitely will not be our last — you have to look amazing year-round, right? With the Halloween set in particular, you’ll not only terrify your enemies on the battlefield, you’ll also be their worst nightmares!

Our Halloween pack, The Bundle of the Beast, will become available closer to Halloween on Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network.

Quality of Life

Selling Equipment With Shards

Implementing new shards that are acquired only once required some special attention. With this patch, if you sell a piece of loot that has shards inserted, the shards will be put into your inventory instead of being sold as well.

If your inventory is full when you sell a piece of loot, the shards will go to the scavenger for 30 minute. If you close the game, go between the Town, Private Tavern, or a map, the Scavenger will still have it for 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes has past, you won’t be able to reclaim them from him.

Orbs

Orbs have been relics that we’ve received a ton of community feedback on. To keep things balanced and functioning, defense speed has a cap. Orbs specifically were avoided by defenders due to them not being effective in providing optimal stats throughout the entirety of progression. Every relic type should be useful in most levels of play, and Orbs were not able to do this to a level we were content with.

Based off community feedback, we’ve removed Orbs from loot tables. This means that you won’t see orbs dropping, but instead another piece of gear will be dropping in its place. Current orbs will not be removed from your inventory or equipment. With orbs removed, you’ll be receiving more loot that will help you progress!

Hero Changes

Mystic

  • Call To Madness

    • Cooldown increased 10 seconds to 20 seconds.

      • Previously players were able to infinitely confuse a lane when using the inspiration shard.


Series EV-2

  • Weapons Manufacturer

    • Adjusted range scaling with the introduction of Vicious Strikes Hyper Shard.

General

Weapons

  • Shadowflame Dagger

    • Projectile life-time reduced to 2 seconds.

Bug Fixes


PC users will notice a command window opening with the game. This is a window to help us monitor any errors that might come with this update. If you close this window it will also close the game. It's only temporary and will be removed with our next patch.

  • Fixed an issue where comparing items on the ground was not properly appearing.

  • Fixed a homing issue with Shadowflame Dagger.

  • Fixed an issue where Dryad could build a third permanent hornet nest.

  • Fixed an issue with Deadly/Vicious Strikes being removed from a world tree, that allowed defenses to remain outside the reduced range.

  • Fixed an issue where pressing Esc to leave the Emporium or Inventory caused lag spikes.

  • Fixed an issue where clicking To Hub would freeze players and return them to the title screen.

  • Fixed an issue where Power of Storms shard was restoring 56 mana instead of 60.

  • Fixed an issue with the Limit Break challenge not properly awarding score bonuses.

  • Fixed an issue with the Heroic Power shard not performing correctly.

  • Fixed an issue where failing the Kobold Bling King map allowed you to continue playing the map.

  • Removed Consecutive Win row on scoreboard when it would appropriately show “0”.

  • Fixed an issue that disconnected players loading into Forest Biome on Xbox One.

  • Fixed an issue with various shards using incorrect values.

  • Fixed an issue where Join Game and Create Game were placed incorrectly.

Even More On The Way...

Mastery is just the tip of the iceberg for you, Defenders. While you conquer Gran’s difficult challenges and tests, you’ll attain the strength needed to protect Etheria and the citizens of Dragonfall from the darkness that lies ahead. We’ll learn more as Gran, the Defense Council, and the Abyss Lord decipher the Isomicon in the weeks to come!

We are eternally grateful for your support, Defenders, and will be providing more information on the upcoming power of the Ancients over time.

For Etheria!

The Dungeon Defenders II Team


iamisom

Alpha & Beyond Released



Dungeon Defenders II is growing up! Gather around as it emerges from the primordial ooze and turns into an Alpha. With a big bang, the Alpha & Beyond update adds story, a rebalanced Nightmare mode, freaking rocket boots and so much more to the Etherian universe. Okay, we couldn't figure out which "getting better" metaphor to go with, so we went with all of them.

What's beyond? We're going to rapidly iterate on and improve the core feature set of the game. New feature work will still be ongoing in Alpha (insert obligatory controller support tease here), but we will also be focusing on bug fixing and balancing on a near weekly basis. 

Want to know what’s different in Alpha & Beyond? Click here for the all-dressed-up version of the patch notes!

With this update, we get one step closer to Open Alpha when the game is open to everyone. If you’re eager to play the game before the Open Alpha and still get a good value, we’ve added a cheaper version of DD2 to Steam today!


Starter Pack (New $14.99 Version):

  • Access to Alpha (and all of the delicious Alpha ants!)

  • 2000 Gems

  • Four Steam-exclusive Hero Accessories


Defenders Pack ($24.99 Version, renamed from Dungeon Defenders II):

  • Access to Alpha (and its crunchy ant delights!)

  • 3000 Gems

  • Four Steam-exclusive Hero Accessories

  • Two Extra Hero Slots


Thank you all for your support. We can't wait to hear what you think of Alpha & Beyond!

iamisom





Lots of great words start with A. My favorite can’t be posted here without getting fired. My second favorite is anteater because it’s hilariously to-the-point. Somewhere down the list is another great word -- Alpha.

Dungeon Defenders II is going into Closed Anteater, no, wait, Closed Alpha on Thursday! Prepare to stick your two-foot tongue into a hill of delicious new content, balance changes and more. Use your beady eyes to watch our new intro cinematic! Steel your four wobbly legs to re-enter our improved Nightmare Mode! Ditch your furry hide and find some new costumes in the Costume Shop! The Alpha & Beyond update will have all of this and more, so come back here on Thursday for the full patch notes.

With this update, we get one step closer to Open Alpha when the game is open to everyone. If you’re eager to play the game before the Open Alpha and still get a good value, we’re adding a cheaper version of DD2 to Steam on Thursday!


Starter Pack (New $14.99 Version):

  • Access to Alpha (and all of the delicious Alpha ants!)

  • 2000 Gems

  • Four Steam-exclusive Hero Accessories


Defenders Pack ($24.99 Version, renamed from Dungeon Defenders II): 

  • Access to Alpha (and its crunchy ant delights!)

  • 3000 Gems

  • Four Steam-exclusive Hero Accessories

  • Two Extra Hero Slots


Both packages start with four premium inventory bags. For the full timeline on our Road to Free to Play, check out this blog!

Thanks to everyone for your feedback so far. Together, we’ll continue making the best Action Tower Defense game possible!

pmasher

Greetings Defenders,


As we teased a few Devstreams ago, some big changes to Nightmare are coming with the Alpha & Beyond patch. These changes are meant to make Nightmare something both fun and challenging. They will begin a process of making a much larger swatch of Nightmare meaningful, not just Liferoot NM 4.


Nightmare Improvements

Here are some of the changes that will be included in the patch:

  • Free Play & Nightmare maps will be re-organized into 3 blocks. Each block represents a different map difficulty and will award progressively better loot and XP. Map order here is very different from Campaign. For example, Forest Crossroads is in the first block of maps and Liferoot Forest is in the second.

  • Nightmare maps have been rebalanced for solo play. We have reduced the number of threat lanes for solo players on more complicated maps compared to the live version of the game. We have also increased the reduction in enemy level for less than 4 players.

  • Loot will drop from all enemies after Wave 1. On the first wave, loot will only drop from Special Enemies.

  • Nightmare 1-3 will be different than Nightmare 4.Our current goal is that players will be theorycrafting and creating strong builds while playing 1-3 in order to take on the challenge that is Nightmare 4.


Nightmare Rollback

When these changes roll out, there will also be a rollback for Nightmare gear. All gear with iPWR 241+ will be rerolled to iPWR 240. This gear will be the same type (bows will still be bows), but the stats and the passives on the gear will be rerolled and may be different from what you had. Once the patch is live, you’ll be able to take all your gear and start your assault on the new Nightmare modes. We can’t wait to hear your feedback on our latest Nightmare changes!


Nightmare Pioneer Rewards

As a reward for venturing into the depths of Nightmare early, any player who has at least one piece of gear with iPWR 241 or greater before Alpha & Beyond releases* will receive these 4 exclusive accessory variants:

7zolZXc.jpg



Good luck, Defenders! We look forward to hearing your thoughts on these Nightmare changes this September.


*We will be providing an exact cutoff date and time for these rewards in the future.

niugget

A Very Trendy Halloween

From what Ive gathered around the office in the month of October, I think its safe to say that Halloween is one of Trendys favorite holidays, filled with pumpkin flavored treats, bags full of candy, and spooky costumes. Oh my!
This year we held our first pumpkin carving contest! There were supposed to be two categories, artist and non-artist, but only Rodrigo and Laura entered. The rules didnt mention that the pumpkin had to be real, so it became a battle between the two of them for the gift card.

pumpkins



Lets not forget about the best part of Halloween, the costumes! With all the excitement of Dungeon Defenders II taking up most of our time, some of us opted for more simple costumes like our Associate Producer Ben Craven who dressed up as Ben Craven from 2011. Then there were other people like our Lead 3D artist, Jordan Kerbow, who just didnt have enough time to make his Khal Drogo this awesome.



Halloween group



Last year we added a new Spooktacular challenge to Dungeon Defenders along with a whole bunch of spooky goodies. What would you like to see us make for Halloween next year in Dungeon Defenders II? Let us know in the comments below!



 
Luska Arco
Defenders! (ง ᗒωᗕ)ง Its time for another edition of QAs bug blog: Sluggin Those Smug Bugs Right In Their Ugly Mugs [working title]. So grab your swords and boards, your staves, your polearms, your bows and quivers! Stand tall and sound off!

I present to you my ideal vision of the Huntresss Oil Flask: Introducing the Rainbow Cat Flask.

[video=youtube_share;HSMp-bON3-Q]http://youtu.be/HSMp-bON3-Q[/video]



Note: This video does not in any way represent a feature that has been added to the game.

Ahhh! ( ⌣ `ʃƪ) Its as magnificent as it is effective! Truly the most resplendent display the human eye has ever captured!

This actually isn't a bug at all but more of a messin around in the editor thing. Ive been playing a lot of Huntress lately, using her Oil Flask plus Piercing Arrow combo to coat enemies in oil and then set them ablaze with a burning DoT (Damage Over Time). So far it's my favorite combo -- especially when other fire effects, such as the Apprentices Flameburst Tower, also ignite the oil.

After using the combo so much, I started to look at the Huntress, particularly Oil Flask, and wondered what could have been.

I decided to rummage through our editor program where I found some interesting assets tucked away in a forgotten and unused directory. I was immediately inspired and asked our VFX Artist Brian Goodsell for a favor. He decided to humor me and altered the visuals like the trail that follows the airborne flask as it travels and the sounds of the impact of the flask on the enemy.

I also decided I wanted this new take on Oil Flask to be less about the debuff it provides and more like a bomb -- a pure damage ability. I decided to go into the editor and enable damage on impact. I may have made the number a bit too high from a balance perspective (its pretty much shamelessly absurd), but I regret none of my actions up to this point.

I say let the Orc hordes come. Let the Goblins and the Kobolds barrel down upon our village. Let them bear witness to my new flask. And when the last survivor staggers back to their brethren, broken and defeated, to relay what they saw -- what the defenders of Etheria are capable of -- they will let them know that we have cats!

...Or something like that.

What do you think? Was it great or were you not feline it? Let us know in the comments.

The random winner of our Using Sub-Objectives blog is UltimateJorts!

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

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A Protean Check-In With Elandrian


Defenders Assemble! Sound the horns of Dragonfall! I come bearing beans!


Well, I have some beans, but I also wanted to talk about the recent launch of Protean Shift. It’s been a busy past two weeks for us here at Trendy and it’s great to finally get the expansion into everyone's hands. We’ve been scouring the forums and our various social platforms for comments and feedback, and it’s tremendously valuable for helping us shape what’s coming soon in upcoming patches. I also want to give you guys a glimpse at the future of the game as well, so read everything for all the juicy details.


In response to feedback (and just our planning in general), we have a bundle of changes, new content, and bug fixes coming soon. I’m not going to give any real time-frames… our goal is to get new changes and content out as quick as possible for everyone, but we’re a tiny team and we’re working as fast as we can! Here’s a quick list of some of our targets:


Short Term


  • Bug Fixes (duh.)

  • Buyback Functionality

    • This is currently in testing/iteration and we want to get it out soon. We really want to make sure there’s a way to get back items you’ve sold by accident. It will most likely just save some of the items you’ve been selling until you leave the Town or Tavern.

  • Better Sorting/Filtering of the Inventory

    • One thing we want to improve is your ability to find your good items in an easier way. This will take a little more work, but we’re going to try to give you better sorting of item types, as well as possible sorting by your strong MOD rolls… or should I say “those big 5/5 Qualibeans.”

    • This also might include some changes to help find Shards and manage them better, but that might require additional time as well.

  • Materials Vault Tabs?

    • This is something we’re investigating too.  We saw some players talking about this so we’re looking at making a section of the vault be able to support bigger stacks of materials and connect to all the places you want to spend them. We’re aiming for this to be a “short term” add… but it might end up taking a little longer.


Medium Term


  • Onslaught Changes

    • I’m not going to go into TOO many details, as it’s still being discussed among the Design team… but I will say we have some goals for these changes.  

    • We want to make it easier for players to play and progress together.

    • We want to make the floors more significant to progress between.

    • We want to make it easier to make meaningful progression and less punishing.  (Aka. Three map floors might go the way of Skill Spheres.)

  • Ancient Power Changes

    • These are going to be some changes to make it fit more in line with the Onslaught changes.

    • We’re also looking at making the resets more forgiving as you gain Ancient Power too. Again, not going to go into specifics as this is still an active discussion… but we ARE reading/discussing all the various opinions from the community and our testing teams.


Longer Term (But maybe shorter than you expect?)


  • Better party functionality.

    • We’re trying to add more social functionality here… Things like better party leader knowledge in matchmaking, inviting/kicking from parties, a friends list?  There’s a lot on the schedule to add here, we’re going to get to as much as possible.

  • Increased Multiplayer Incentive

    • We want people to be enjoying Dungeon Defenders together, but we know there’s not a lot of reasons to do so at the moment. We’re aiming at changing this, while still keeping solo-play viable.

  • Better Matchmaking.

    • This is another laundry list of changes, but we want it to be easier for people to play together and stay together.  We also want to make the flow to get into gameplay much easier and with less interruptions and disconnects.

  • Guilds

    • Secrets...


Now all these updates and changes are well and good, but we’ve also seen a certain desire from one or two community members. It’s been spoken of only occasionally… and by so few that we weren’t sure if it was important or not to everyone...


/endsarcasm


Our heroes will be receiving some calls to action to various regions of Etheria very soon. The first region our heroes will be heading to will be a somewhat familiar location. The distress call will come from a certain coastal region...

XyWkgka.jpg


Just for some extra beanage at the end here:  There will be a new region to go to, new things to get, and possibly some new threats to face…

We appreciate all our players sticking with us as we continue to evolve and release our vision for Year Two of Dungeon Defenders II. We couldn’t have done any of this without all of your help.  

Thank you from all of us here at Trendy Entertainment.


Sincerely,


Colin “Elandrian” Fisher

LaurawantsaCow
Overworld4



Our last survey was super effective!



We got to know what our fans liked about our campaignmaps, what they didn't like, and why. It was great to hear from you and we want to hear more. Go take this survey and let us know what you think of the Eternia Shards campaign maps. Let us know what you think in the comments!



You can also contribute by posting your thoughts inCrzyRndm's thread: "Level design and Gameplay. What makes a map fun to play (or not)?"
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!
Joesith

A Bold New World

vfx-Blog.jpg

Recently, we overhauled our visual effects style in DD2. Our old VFX style used the soft shapes and smooth gradients from the first Dungeon Defenders, but it didn't match what the game was currently achieving in its art style. DD2 uses bold colors and hard shapes, especially in the way we design and build our worlds. Our amazing 2D Animator Alexey Mescherin was already using a more hard-edged and bold color style in his animated flipbooks, so we needed our basic particles and accent components to match that same style and feel. Our goal was to emphasize very simple shapes, simple gradients if any, and bold colors in our VFX.

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We went through our library of VFX assets and picked out the textures that no longer adhered to the visual style we wanted to achieve. I selected a group of textures that used soft shapes and gradients to experiment with. I brought these into Photoshop and played with ways to turn these textures into the hard-edged and bold look we wanted. I tried to find the basic shapes and elements of each texture to break them down to these core elements. I also made them uneven and nonuniform to bring more interest to the textures.

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Then I compared the old and new textures side-by-side with a slight blur added to make sure they still had a reasonable enough similarity between the two. Because we were replacing the old textures with these new ones, we didn’t want to completely change the intent and feel of the VFX.

We didn’t change every soft shape and gradient, though. There are some visual effects that we kept in the old, softer style. For example, we kept certain types of smoke and fog -- volumetric fog, candle smoke and distance fog/smoke -- in the old style for places that are more ambient and less volatile.

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Adjusting to this new style of VFX has been a major hit internally at Trendy, and we are continuing to move forward with it. The hard edges add a very nice banding to our VFX that really push the cartoony stylized feel we want to achieve with DD2. We hope you all enjoy this new approach with our VFX as much as we do!

How do you feel about the bold new VFX style? 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 a random poster and reveal the winner next Friday. Don’t have a forum account? It takes less than a minute to join!

Also, there's still time to enter the giveaway on the Javelin Thrower Boogie blog!
TrendyEnt

This is a quick fix for the current issue with daily mission reset and completion, and we’ll have a better fix for this on Tuesday.

Bug Fixes


  • Fixed the daily mission refresh to continue giving new daily missions and map bonuses.


Known Issue


  • Anyone that comes into the patch with three existing quests, and you complete one quest, you’ll get another daily quest that was meant for the following day.  Then ON that following day, you will not receive a new quest.  It’s a little wonky, but we’re working on it.

If you’re playing on PS4, all of these changes will be in the Dark Altar Update on Tuesday.
iamisom



Today, we're putting the finishing touches on our latest Dungeon Defenders II update, The Harbinger Awakens, which you'll have in your hands tomorrow. For you, it must feel like your birthday. There's this great big gift waiting for you. You get to open it, play with the new loot, fight the new boss, and just escape into this weird, wonderful thing we're making. But we're on the other side. We're the gift givers. We’ve spent hours poring over everything you told us so we could find you the perfect gift. And now we have to wait for you to open it. Worry about if it's what you wanted. Wonder how we're going to top it next time. That's a lot of pressure.

But we like being your gift givers. Because you wonderful guys and girls have supported us through our first year of Early Access. That means a lot to us. We aren't a AAA studio with a huge budget. You're not going to see Dungeon Defenders II on some parkside bench or a billboard. We're a small team, and we only get to make these gaming gifts because you believe in us. You support us. We hope each and every one of you realizes that. You are the sole reason we get to wake up every morning, see our children off to school, head into the office and make video games. What an insane, crazy world this is where we get to make fun for a living. Thank you. Thank you so much for that.

We really hope you enjoy your gift. We'll see you online tomorrow.

- Isom

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