The Dark Altar update arrives on Tuesday, September 13th! Watch the trailer above, and then read this week’s Dev Log below to learn more about our haunting new update:
Elliot Cannon, Creative Director (Myscha_Sleddog)
Altar of the Athame Incursion
Next week we have something especially evil heading your way, laying the groundwork for the arrival of the Mystic. In this Incursion, Altar of the Athame, you’ll find yourselves in what may remind you of the Ramparts map from Dungeon Defenders; however, the Diaz brothers, Daniel Diaz and Jesus Diaz, reimagined this place as Steve Collins created the latest Incursion on the new map, the Crumbled Bulwark. I want to share some inside information on this map as it is actually insane to play and things can get out of control VERY quickly. Bring your “A” game for sure.
Once the base of operations for a mysterious order of Old Assassins, the location appears empty. Don’t be fooled. Eons ago, they took part in a ritual that ascended them into an ethereal and almost ghostlike state, making them powerful additions to the Old Ones’ army. The altar where that ceremony took place, Altar of the Athame, stands before you now on top of a magnificent and evil fortress overlooking dead valleys. Two Eternia Crystals rest here, unprotected. Take a look around: Rumor has it previous cavaliers, perhaps hoping to stop the ritual, tried and failed. Perhaps they left clues as to what to expect.
What DD2 session is complete without hordes of baddies? After all, Eternia Crystals hanging around in unprotected spots simply won’t do! Be sure and set up your best defenses, but be prepared because your arrival will not go unnoticed.
Your presence is an affront to the assassin order. The Altar Assassins will rise up and come for you. That’s right, you! Not your defenses, not the Eternia Crystal. Your presence must end, and they will pursue you slowly and relentlessly. At times like these, mobility and player control is king. Be aware of where you are as you defend the crystals and keep a mental note of where the assassins are or you may find yourself in a world of hurt. There are bells in the map that when you ring them, send out a shockwave that stuns all the Altar Assassins in the map, but that’s only temporary in case you need to catch your breath. There is a way to defeat them, but that requires you to use their power against them. Read on.
Dark Prophets Have the Key
Amongst the hordes of enemies are servants of the Old Assassins, the Dark Prophets. These fanatical Warboars are evangelists of the Altar of the Athame, and they know the secrets to the ritual that carried the Old Assassins over from the world of living and into the ethereal realm. Wipe the Dark Prophets out and loot their Dark Tomes. Only upon placing the right number of Dark Tomes on the altar will you be ready to activate it, but before you do, gather your allies on top of the altar because a DPS race is about to begin.
All Guns Blazing
You’ve placed the right number of Dark Tomes on the altar and gathered your allies together. Stand on the altar and activate the ritual. As you do, you’ll enter their distorted world so watch for which of the ancient statues emanates the ghostly image of the Old Assassins and destroy it! Do so quickly because the ritual does not last long. Watch the timer! It may take a few tries unless your power and skill is true. Once the statue crumbles to rubble, the ethereal Old Assassin become corporeal again. Kill them all to win the wave.
The Inside Peek for a Laugh
Playing this reminded me of raiding in World of Warcraft back in Wrath of the Lich King. Ever jump into a raid with your crappy guild, when half the people are clueless ding-dongs and you wipe horribly on a new fight you’ve never done, mostly because no one bothered to read up on how to do beforehand? Hey, it’ll be fun, let’s just wing it! The raid leader’s yelling instructions he got from the web, some goofy hunter never misdirected, half the dpsers are padding the meters on trash, the tank doesn’t turn the boss, or some silly healer stands there and gets beaten on by adds, or better yet, stands in black stuff! That’s what this Incursion is like the first time. I was laughing myself silly as Steve yelled out what to do over Skype as literal twenty Altar Assassins started pulverizing us swarming the Altar. Get on the altar he said! Press the button he said! Splat!
Once the laughing died down, we settled in and focused. Not only do you have to defend two cores, but picking out Dark Prophets from the crowd, snatching up Dark Tomes and running them to the altar is a riot. Communication is key. If you play this one with friends, use VOIP! Once the tomes are in place, don’t activate the ritual until everyone is ready, hot swap to your best single target DPS, and burn the RIGHT statue down fast. Once you crush that, you can blast all the Altar Assassins, as they will no longer be immune.
Sounds easy, right? Now imagine you and your buddies all jumping on the altar ready to go but 10-20 Altar Assassins are buzzing round two-shotting people, like our VFX/Technical Artist Brian Goodsell. Once you figure out how to kite them away and use a little teamwork, you’ll be slaughtering this Incursion with tons of moment-to-moment improvising for your movement and shooting skills. What’s so fun is learning all the little tricks and playing with different people and using different heroes. The locations of the new enemies changes everything as they constantly track you.
The Dark Ritual Blade: Mystic Dagger
The Mystic is just around the corner, so this time around we wanted to give players a chance to snatch up a cool weapon for her before she goes live. We’ve got a proc-style effect on a very evil dagger lined up for her. The effect is serpentine to say the least, dominating the crap out of mobs in an AOE near her. I won’t spill the beans too much more on weapon so the other folks can show off the deserty-cobra-coolness.
We’re still shooting for our Mystic release in late September, and with that comes the Campaign Revamp and UI Improvements we’ve been chatting about. After these two releases, we’re digging in deep to many long-term goals to get this game done!
John Muscarella, Digital Puppet Master (Muskie4242)
Speaking of the Mystic: While she’s not in this update, here’s a little sneak peek at some of her animations.
Hero run cycles are built from two base runs. Forward and Back are then adjusted to fit the other directions.
Make sure to keep your snake god appeased, because if not, then this may happen to you…
Snake gods are not known to be very forgiving.
Tim Shannon, PS4 and Live Producer (TimmyTrashTier)
UPDATES! GET YOUR UPDATES! It is update-a-palooza. Last week we put out the first patch since the Lavamancer release on PC and PS4 + an additional patch for PS4 that fixed a problem with the campaign. This week’s patch hopefully improved client/server communication, which we’re hoping to get more updates on soon. Then, next week, we’re releasing another content update with an Incursion that will straight one shot your core. Then, two weeks after that we have another major update scheduled that will totally, like, change the way you see the world and yourself and… like… reality… bruh?!?
In between all these releases we’re working on all sorts of secret projects the government doesn’t acknowledge the existence of (Thanks Obama!) and assembling our grand plan for world domination and happy hour from 7-9pm each day because, seriously, who gets off work 3 each day?
Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)
Coordinating some serious polish on the updated campaign flow. I’m having a blast playing through each new iteration. Alongside campaign polish, we are also pushing forward on the latest Crumbled Bulwark Incursion. This one is going to be pretty intense and more complex than previous versions.
Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)
Really excited with the new level we are working on! Prepare yourself for exploring a vast land full of player-only paths!
Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKami)
Working on a fresh new level! We started it last week so right now we have all pf the layout blocked out and have just started to decorate it like there's no tomorrow!