Defenders, it’s finally time. Protean Shift is launching and we could not have done it without you.
We set out with some lofty goals, but with your help we were able to make some significant changes to Dungeon Defenders II. We wanted to give you greater attachment to your items, but also more options to share those items with your friends. We wanted to give you map choice while progressing through Trials, but also give you more ways to progress your gear while advancing through the tiers. We also wanted to give you some better options with your existing items so we added Shard Dusting and Gilding. We also hear your concern about Gilding and we’ll keep an eye on it for iteration.
We’re constantly tweaking and improving our game that we share with all of you, and we hope you will enjoy our enhanced direction for year two of this wonderful game.
From everyone here at Trendy Entertainment, thank you for supporting Dungeon Defenders II and helping us continue to move the game forward. We’re a small team in Gainesville, Florida and we appreciate every bit of excitement and support that you give us.
We hope you enjoy this “Shift” in our game, and we can’t wait to focus on what we’re working on next.
We know you want more maps, Onslaught changes and Ancient Power enhancements.
We’re on it.
It’s finally here, Dungeon Defenders II: Protean Shift is live on all platforms! Professor Proteus is now in Dragonfall and started a technomagical evolution throughout all of Etheria. Now the Defenders of Etheria can obtain new ways to fight off enemy forces, choose where they fight, and what equipment they want to use in order to ensure victory!
The Protean Shift brings a slew of new features that Defenders can use to empower their defenses and Heroes, as well as choose the way they want to play. M.O.D.S. allow for custom builds to take on any foe that comes your way, Expeditions give Defenders the choice to play any map they want in any Chaos difficulty, and Player Shops let you buy and sell items with other Defenders. There’s so much more, let’s get into it!
This is our most foundational change in the expansion. Now your gear’s stats looks much different than before. The first change is making the damage from critical strikes scale off of the base damage for both your heroes and your towers. Critical Damage is no longer a secondary stat, but is a percentage that starts at +30% damage and increases through Gear, Shards, and Ascension Levels. Because of the change to Critical Damage, the Critical Chance cap of 33% has been removed — the sky’s the limit now!
One of the goals of the Critical Damage change is to make damage more reliable. Critical Damage builds are still fun, but other playstyles should feel just as rewarding. Every hero and tower’s base damage has been increased to account for the changes made, making damage more consistent and allowing for even more unique builds!
Since we changed how Critical Damage is understood, we decided to tackle another confusing area for players: Defense Speed. The stat is now a percentage instead of being numbers that go into the thousands with no clear meaning. This change allows players to understand exactly how much faster their defenses attack rate will increase.
Defenders now possess the opportunity to build however they want to fight off their foes. Gear is meant to feel more unique, instead of receiving a legendary that gives every stat. Your gear now provides choice and lets you decide how you play!
Gear now has a primary and secondary stat. Your heroes maintain similar power as they had before the expansion, both offensively and defensively. This balance is a result of increasing base stats and the scaling of those stats. Here’s what you now find on gear:
Helmets, Gloves, Chest, and Boots
Primary Stat: Hero Damage
Secondary Stat: Armor, Health, or Ability Power
Medallions, Marks, and Orbs (if you have them still, you pack rat!)
These changes allow players to customize their builds even more than before. If you want to maintain a similar amount of balance with damage output and health on your heroes, you can do that easily. However, if you want to make an unstoppable tank that requires an army to take down, or want a glass cannon that can obliterate every enemy on the map, that option is now yours as well!
For relics, we wanted to make sure that defenses were reliable and also strong. These changes now make it so building auras and traps early do not feel punishing because they now have guaranteed Defense Health to keep them up much longer. Having Defense Power as a guaranteed stat also make damage more consistent and less frustrating when you don’t critically strike. This is just the baseline, with M.O.D.S., Shards, and Ascension Levels, you can radically change the type of damage you deal. All these changes are a shift to make Defenders stronger through the power of customization!
Professor Proteus sent a shockwave out across all of Etheria upon his arrival, using his inventive intellect to alter every piece of gear! Magically Offense/Defensive Subroutines (M.O.D.S., or even simpler — Mods) provide the pathway of making gear your own! Mods come in a variety of power! Some are pure stat increases, from the stats you get on gear, to newly changed stats such as Critical Damage, Critical Chance, and Defense Speed. Some add elemental damage to physical damage towers, and have unique VFX depending on the element! Others offer the chance to change how your Defenses overcome specific Chaos enemies. Want to:
Have towers immune to Hex Thrower curses? You can do that.
Pierce a Shield Geodes shield? You can do that.
Make your Traps, Auras, and Nodes, immune to Cyborks?! You can do that!
Mods bring a lot of additional power and customization that many Defenders have wanted for a long time. There are over 100 Mods to discover, with more coming down the road.
Now that you have an idea of what Mods do, it’s time to discuss specifically where you have them. Mods are an extension of your gear, and are a brand new addition to various tiers of your equipment. They are an additional property to gear similar to Shards, and unlock in a similar fashion:
These changes make Legendary items contain two stats, three Mod slots, and three Shard Slots, and increased stats, making them truly legendary. These Mods are just the first of what’s to come. In future updates, we are releasing additional Mods. Have an idea for more, let us know by posting on our forums, we’d love to hear your ideas!
Also, as a side note, Mods make things easier in Mastery, though they are scaled down to the appropriate Chaos tier.
Professor Proteus, in his astounding intellect, wanted to really provide customization and options to not only the power of gear, but also to keeping the gear and/or Mods that you’ve obtained. That’s where Tinkering enters into the mix! Tinkering is the ability to move up to three Mods at a time from one piece of gear to another piece of gear at the same time. In order to take advantage of Tinkering, certain criteria needs to be met:
Must be the same type of gear.
Gear that the Mods are being moved to must be the same Chaos tier or higher than where the Mod is coming from.
Cannot add Mods of the same type, but can override Mods of the same type.
Have the materials and currency to complete the transfer of Mods.
Tinkering allows you to continuously mix and match your Mods to create the build you enjoy the most. The amount of customization that Tinkering offers truly lets you play how you want. It doesn’t stop there. When combined with our new Upgrading and Evolving features, even more choices await you, even potentially choosing the look of the weapon you want!
Upgrading gear is something that’s been a standard feature of Dungeon Defenders II to get additional power out of the gear you find. But this is Protean Shift, so we’re UPRADING THE UPGRADE! Most gear now has the ability to be upgraded 10 times. The cost for upgrading is greatly reduced from what it previously was, but now requires you to use materials that you find throughout your journeys in Etheria or that you bought from other Defenders through Player Shops. If you have a non-legendary piece of gear, through the genius of Professor Proteus, you can Advance that gear to the next quality!
Remember that low quality flower staff we mentioned earlier? If you upgraded it to its highest level, you can now advance it to the next quality. All gear can now be upgraded from one quality to another, taking items from the lowly Worn quality all the way to Legendary status. This isn’t the only form of improving gear, Evolving allows even more power!
Evolving is icing on the gear permanence cake. Independent of an items quality tier, if it is upgraded to it’s maximum Upgrade level, it can be pushed to the next Chaos tier. This allows you to take even the first items you find in the campaign to be Evolved all the way to Chaos VIII strength! It’s all about choosing the gear that you want to keep with you.
Upgrading, Advancing, and Evolving applies to every piece of gear that drops — weapons, armor, and relics!
New materials are added to customize your gear. With the introduction of these materials, we lowered the currency cost of upgrading gear. In your inventory, these materials are included under the current “Materials” inventory sorting option. There are some mats that drop on every map, but then there are also map-type specific materials that drop too. Here’s where you can find the materials you need:
Weapon Materials: Sewer Maps
Helmet Materials: Castle Maps
Chest Materials: Forest Maps
Glove Materials: Town Maps
Boot Materials: Ruins Maps
Relic Materials: Dungeon Maps
Materials are shown on both the map listing and under the open sessions for specific maps. Don’t want to farm a specific map-type for a material you need? You can visit our Markets to find Player Shops selling the materials you need!
New Game Modes
We’ve added additional ways for both new and veteran Defenders to fight off the evil forces that encroach on Etheria’s safety! Adventures are new ways for up and coming Defenders to fight their way through the Campaign, while Expeditions are replacing Trials and providing map choice where previously there wasn’t!
Adventures are aimed in giving new Defenders the choice of playing different stories after defeating Betsy. You can choose to take on the Bling King, or go knock down the Harbinger down a peg or two! Maybe you feel strong enough after beating Betsy, if you’re up for the challenge, you can go straight into Onslaught or Expeditions.
Map choice, map choice, MAP CHOICE!! Something many of you have wanted is finally here! The Chaos Trials are finished, and Defenders can now go on Expeditions through various Chaos difficulties, choosing to play whatever map you want. The choice is yours!
The Champion Score gating for various Expedition levels is different as well, they are now:
Chaos II: 580
Chaos III: 1050
Chaos IV: 1740
Chaos V: 2750
Chaos VI: 3800
Chaos VII: 5300
Expeditions also provide the ability to acquire different materials needed Upgrading, Advancing, Evolving, and Tinkering. As noted above, different specific materials drop depending on the map-type your playing. These materials are earned both as you play a map and as you achieve victory!
Player Shops and Markets
Gear is no longer magically locked to each Hero Deck. Professor Proteus slightly alleviated the restrictions that existed previously on gear. As a result, Player Shops and Markets are here!
All Defenders are now able to list their items for sale on their own personal Player Shops. Each Defender starts off with two slots to sell gear and can expand the amount of slots they have if they want to. Most items that have not been altered in some way (Upgraded, Advanced, Evolved, or Tinkered) are able to be added to your shop! You are not able to buy gear for a Chaos tier that you are not currently on (i.e. being Chaos III, you are not able to purchase Chaos V gear from other players). To make browsing easier, you can view player shops through the Player List in the Pause Menu, or by walking up to players in the Markets.
Markets are a new area for players to gather in order to browse Player Shops. Head on over to the War Table and browse the list of active Markets! Markets are themed for various types of items that can be sold, but you can freely sell any item of choice regardless of the Market you’re in. If you don’t see a Market of the item type you’re looking for, you can always just Quickmatch and it automatically creates one for you!
Our new Shard systems were primarily focused on giving players more choices with their Shards. For Shards that you don’t want to keep anymore, you can now Dust them to get a chance at more Shards of that type. For Shards that you feel have more value, we wanted to provide a system to Gild and upgrade them a little bit further and protect them from Ancient Power resets.
Shards are a great way to really increase the power of the Heroes you play! Some players enjoy playing on a few select Heroes, and you can get Shards you aren’t interested in using. Instead of selling Shards for a little gold, you now Dust them instead. This creates one Shard dust of it’s equivalent Chaos Tier. You can take 10 Shard Dust of the same tier, and visit the War Recruiter to purchase an additional Shard container similar to what you receive at the end of winning a map. This process is to offer an additional chance to get the Shards you want, while giving an additional function to the ones you do not.
With gear getting pushed past its limits and receiving some nice improvements, it’s only fitting that Shards receive similar treatment! Gilded Shards provide additional upgrade levels to squeeze out more power, but most of all they are immune to being reset when you Ancient Power. In order to gild a Shard, you need to upgrade one Shard to its maximum upgrade level. You then have the option to Gild it by selecting 10 Shards of the same type, regardless of upgrade level, to fuse into your fully upgraded Shard. This is a focus for end-game players to grab additional power in order to take on the challenges in Onslaught, and also protect Shards from being reset when attaining Ancient Power!
Professor Proteus is a man of intellect, sophistication, and style. In Protean Shift every hero is receiving their own special weapons, with their own special appearances! Some of these weapons not only look legendary, but contain legendary power in the form of unique Mods. These Mods are found on the Prestigious weapons gained from attaining Ancient Power!
We’re now also selling Proteus weapons that have unique models and affects. When killing an enemy with any of these weapons, they are shrunk into oblivion! These new Death Animation VFX are indicated by a skull and crossbones icon on the weapon tooltip. These items start at Campaign tier and are Legendary quality, allowing you to put three mods into them. They do require Upgrading, Advancing, and Evolving in order to reach higher tiers. These unique weapon models can also be bought and sold on the Player Shops as long as they haven’t been altered (Upgrading, Advancing, Evolving, or Tinkering).
New Areas and Target Dummies
With a lot of customization here, and a gigantic wave of changes to stats, there are some improvements to our Target Dummies. In the Town hub we expanded the size of our Target Dummy area by quite a lot. There are also a new type of Target Dummy: Aerial Target Dummies! These can be hit by any anti-air towers, so you can test the damage done by towers that you previously weren’t able to.
Aerial Target Dummies are also in your Private Taverns! You may also notice that there are some new Dummy names in the mix.
Transferring into Protean Shift
There’s a ton going on with the Protean Shift, and you’re going to notice a bunch of changes to your Heroes. We made sure that you are more or less as strong after Protean Shift as you were before it. As we mentioned earlier, base stats were raised and adjusted to compensate the removal of certain secondary stats. Here’s how things will transition as you load in with this expansion.
For the gear you are wearing before Protean Shift, the Primary and Secondary stats follow the conventions mentioned above after the release. Your gear should look like this:
Relics are all going to be uniform across the board as outlined above (Defense Power and Defense Health only, the primary and secondary versions dependent on if it’s a totem or not).
Your current gear receives Mods depending on its quality, as an additional compensation for removing secondary stats. You receive one Mod for Epic and Mythical gear, and two Mods for Legendary gear. The Mods that are put onto this gear cannot roll the highest roll possible, but are going to make you stronger regardless of the roll. Transferring also provides some diversity with the Mods provided to your current gear, as the ones you receive pull from 60%+ of the total Mods added in Protean Shift.
Every tower and Hero were affected by the changes brought in Protean Shift. As a result, base damage, speed, range, etc. were increased to compensate for the lack of additional secondary stats. Scaling was also greatly affected, meaning not only were the base stats increased, but also how much benefit a stat provides was also increased.
Writing the notes for all of these would have resulted in an encyclopedia, and it may have broke the forums. TL;DR things are stronger and you have the potential to be much, much stronger.
Shards follow the same idea as the Hero changes. While most shards remain the same, the amount of changes that Gilding offers affects every Shard. However, there are few notable Shards that have additional stats or were change to fit our new system (that we teased for a while):
Fixed an issue with Gorbstock not able to hit walls.
Fixed an issue where the Abyss Lord's Direct Command was not dealing critical damage.
Fixed an issue where one Deadly Strikes shard could be equipped to multiple defenses.
Fixed an issue where mobs with the Frosty mutator were not dropping green mana.
Fixed a bug where Hero Health was not maintaining the same ratio when changing equipment.
Fixed an issue with Beacon of Storms proccing when the Squire blocks melee or physical damage.
Fixed an issue with UI overlaps when splitscreen users joined a session.
Fixed an issue with additional pop-ups in the Emporium.
Adjusted the orc miniboss name in Wave 2 of Greystone Plaza of the New User Experience.
Fixed an issue with a huntress drap being destroyed in Greystone Plaza during New User Experience.
Updated old consumables to award +20% critical damage and critical chance instead of previous values.
Fixed an issue where tooltips occasionally stuck together.
Fixed an issue with new players not being sent into New User Experience maps.
Fixed an issue when trying to delete a hero that is assigned to your Hero Deck.
Fixed an issue where Broomnado was slowing enemies that were immune to slows.
Fixed a bug where EV2’s Cosmetic Manager lighting was darker than intended.
Added a warning when Defenders are matchmaking into a tutorial level.
Improved messaging on errors when not able to join a game mode that hasn’t been unlocked.
Fixed an issue with long enemy spawn times on the first tutorial map.
Clarified wording on the Serpent God’s Protection Shard.
Fixed an issue with Lavamancer’s Maw Petrify Duration talent not working.
Fixed an issue with the Hotsprings map on Floor 3 dropping a lot of sturdy or worn quality loot.
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Protean Shift is a giant endeavor that the entire team hope you enjoy. Thank you for defending Etheria with us, there’s only more to come. Stay tuned!
The Dungeon Defenders II Team