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iamisom

Our team worked over the weekend and into today to fix the server issues occurring on Steam. We have a solution that will go into a Steam patch targeted for Wednesday. As thanks for being patient while we work through our Open Alpha growing pains, we’re giving everyone 100 free gems! You rock, and we can’t wait to keep squashing these bugs together. 

In order to receive your gems, you’ll need to login to the game on Steam between Wednesday (after the patch goes live) and Tuesday, Oct. 27th. 

Since we’re in Early Access, here’s a little more information on what happened with our service: 

It wasn’t the actual servers (we have plenty of those). The problem was our matchmaking service bottlenecked while handling the requests for new server instances. And oh boy, there were a TON of requests for new instances coming in very fast. We tested for this before launch using way higher numbers than what happened over the weekend, but the organic behavior of live players is unpredictable and exposed bottlenecks our testing didn’t show. What we’re releasing should solve the immediate problem, but there’s more work to be done, so expect further improvements in the future.

iamisom

Greetings, Defenders!

We're now on The Journey to Release -- a four-phase plan to bring Dungeon Defenders II out of Early Access. The journey began with the The Journey Begins update (shocking, right?), where we took a deeper look into the early game. Next up is endgame, UI improvements and bug squashing!

Our #1 priority for Dungeon Defenders II is to create a rewarding hobby with the longevity to keep you entertained for a long time. That means improving core gameplay, fixing bugs and adding polish, polish, polish.

Elliot has more details on the next three phases:


Elliot Cannon, Creative Director (Myscha_Sleddog)

We’re mid-stream in our four-phase plan to launch out of Early Access. Phase I was the campaign revamp, setting the stage for Phase II, which I like to call “The Big Thing.” You may remember us laughing about this name during Devstream 66. The goal of “The Big Thing” is to get more new players into the game to help test out our Phase I changes. It’s also just really awesome. The marketing team has a media roll out plan, which has been a secret since February, so keep your eyes peeled!

After “The Big Thing” is Phase III. Phase III contains our endgame updates and improvements, which I’d like to go over at a high level here for you today. We’re designing and working on our Phase III features now, but they won’t be ready for a few months. It’s our goal to give them as much polish and iteration time as possible -- you’ve been eager for these changes, and we want to make sure they meet your expectations and meet ours, too.

We won’t share details now, but here’s a snapshot of Phase III:


  • Nightmare Refactor

  • New Tier of Gear

  • Eternia Levels

  • Improved Item Generation

  • Power Rating

  • Improved Inventory UI and UX for cross platform

  • Smart Loot System with Hero Specific Gear


Phase IV is another big surprise, which we’ll reveal over time and only after we’ve nailed Phase III.

We’ll share more details on these bulleted items over the coming months. This week, let’s dive into the Improved Inventory UI we’re working on. I’m going to let Joshua Javaheri tell you more about it. He has a superb redesign of the game’s inventory system, which includes more space, tabs, filters, cleaner interaction, and much more.


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Joshua Javaheri (Javahawk)

Here at Trendy Entertainment, we are super well known for our groundbreaking UI design.

Just kidding, it’s not the best.

Don’t worry though, we’re workin’ on it.

Well, a few of us are.

(The ones who make UIs).

Anyway! With all these plans to improve the overall experience for early-to-mid-to-late game players, we knew we’d have to revisit how players experience and interact with loot. So what I’m talking about today is the Inventory Revamp! Or as I like to call it:  Inventory 1.4. (Just because it makes everyone internally so mad. It’s really more like Inventory 2.0 and 3.0 in one.)

The idea behind revamping the inventory soon is super important for several reasons, many of which players are passionately (and perhaps somewhat painfully) aware of already. DD2 is a loot centric game. For me, the loot I earn defines my experience and validates my time spent in DD2. (It's also like... the reflection of my hard work...!) So it goes without saying that we should do whatever we can to make the experience of loot and what surrounds loot from a UX perspective as pleasant and obvious to our players as possible.

Right now, inventory management is a little rough. I know I just spent several grammatically correct paragraphs saying that. But here’s what I mean when I say that. It’s not good. It’s very not good. The UI is different on PS4 and PC. You can’t sort items. You can’t see what’s in all of your bags at once. The physical space we give you to navigate the Inventory is really small. In order to view the contents of a bag, you have to unhide and open them, which isn’t very intuitive. Moving items between bags is unintuitive. Bags come in different shapes and sizes. (Good for dating, bad for UX simplicity.) On PC, players cannot ‘lock’ or protect items. (I guess... from themselves?) Bags themselves are too small. And let’s not even talk about that scroll bar...

So what are we doing to solve these problems? Here’s what we have right now:


  • Unifying the UI on both PS4 and PC -- both versions will have the same Inventory system!

    • This means making an Inventory system that works for both mouse/keyboard and gamepad, which is great news for PC players who prefer using the gamepad.

  • Adding a display (called “All Bags” in the image above) that shows you all of your loot from all of your bags in one location.

    • Adding filters in this section so you can see:

      • All of your items at once, or

      • Just your weapons

      • Just your armor

      • Just your relics

      • Just your pets

      • Etc.

    • Adding additional sorting selections so you can see, for example, all of your weapons from highest iPWR to lowest iPWR

  • Creating a tab system so you can move between bags more easily.

  • Increasing the number of visible slots so you can see more of your Inventory at once.

  • Easier ways to auto-collect and group up trash loot for faster cleanup.

  • Making it easier to move items from one bag to another.

  • Oh and we’ll probably consolidate your bags into larger bags with significantly more space... by like... 2-4x.

    • Most players will probably end up with a bit more space than they had before, as all bags will now be 64 slots.


Anyway, there’s more, but I need to get back to working on it. Hit us up on twitter @javahawk or @trendyent if you want more information!


Dani Moore, Remote QA Lead (Dani) & Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

In today’s update, we released a new community bug reporting site! You can find it at bugs.dungeondefenders2.com. We’re going to direct players who’d like to report a bug to this new site.

This new system replaces the current in-game bug submission form (you’ll be able to access it from inside the game at the Tavernkeeper), and you’ll also be able to find it here on the site.

Why the new system? Well, the old system had a bunch of flaws, some of which we couldn’t find a good way to fix. One of the biggest flaws was updating and tracking bugs from the public and player perspective. Once you submitted a bug, it would be gone and you’d rarely hear back from us unless we needed more information - this sucked because other players would submit the same bug, and with big issues, we’d see multiple submissions over multiple days and weeks, and with everyone reporting the same issue it’s easy to ignore little details that could be unique in each case or get lost in the pile.

Speaking of lost in the pile, it was very difficult to track all of our community bug submissions and difficult to understand which bugs required the most immediate attention. We receive reports on our forums, Steam forums, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, old bug reporting form, Twitch chats, private messages, support emails...it’s a lot to stay on top of, especially for our small team. It’s our hope that a public, more accessible site will allow us to gather bugs in one place and give us greater visibility into which bugs are currently causing the most frustration. It’s our goal to fix as many bugs as possible, but with your help, we can prioritize the most devilish ones first.

So this new system works a little bit like Reddit. You submit a bug, you provide the details and then it’s posted for everyone to see. You can upvote bugs that you think need the most immediate attention. You can also reply to a bug and add more details. This way other players can add their unique details all under the one umbrella.

An important point about this new system, along with transparency and reduction of redundancy, is that you’ll have Trendy QA folks look at and confirm your issues. Sometimes we’ll reject bugs, but most of the time we’ll verify your submission and put that issue into our internal bug tracking workload.

We wanted to open up the entire bug cycle - from finding, reporting, fixing and shipping - and give everyone more reassurance that we take all issues seriously and that submitting bugs is never a waste. It all matters, and we appreciate it each time folks take the effort to help us make the game better.


Tim Shannon, Live & PS4 Producer (TimmyTrashTier)

A new bug reporting site rolled out today that we’re hoping will allow us to better gather information on the scope and impact of issues that you all are experiencing. It’s going to be a site that is as useful as we all make it, so please take note of Dani and Josh’s entry above where they explained how it will work in more detail.

On a different topic, the old monthly pets are back! They’re in the Defender Medal shop with some notable updates to their effectiveness.

The thing I’m most excited about though, is that we are about to set series of fixes live that should address some of our longest standing crashes on PS4.  To give you some context, one of our most common client crashes on PS4 was the result of functions on two separate rendering threads trying to access the same memory.  This sounds simple enough at face value, but because of how multi-threaded rendering works, finding the exact moment when this occurs and the exact line of code that is causing it is quite the daunting task.  These crashes have absorbed man-months of time since launch, with the most recent effort taking almost two uninterrupted weeks of Matt’s time.  Interestingly enough, the only reason we were able to find this at all is that some other changes we did around improving our render pipe, exacerbated the problem to the point where we could gather enough data to track the problem to its source (in this case, two short lines of code).  We’ll be monitoring the crash report server closely once the patch comes out to track the impact of these changes, but assuming all goes as expected, I’ll be excited to scratch this line item off my list.


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

I've been working on the Heroes Marketplace doing something I can't talk about and fixing some collision issues. Last but not least, I returned to work on the Hot Springs level (an old level which hasn't been released yet), this time doing a collision pass.


Daniel Diaz, World Builder(@Danimix1983)

We've been working lately on some new/old levels doing some optimization/collision passes. We’re also working on Heroes Marketplace, so expect some cool changes and new visuals/atmosphere. Hope you like it!

iamisom



On July 19th, the Power Surge update releases on Steam and PlayStation 4! Tune into the Devstream Friday at 5PM EDT to see the update in action!

The Power Surge update includes:


  • The Power Surge Challenge

    • Storm’s a-brewin’ at Dragonfall Bazaar! While the storm rages, towers gain supercharged attack speed, instant upgrading and instant build time during Combat Phase, but the intensity causes towers to explode after a short time. Can you survive the storm?

  • Glaive of the Storms Monk Weapon 

    • Ride the lightning with the Glaive of the Storms! The alternate attack lifts the Monk into the air and lets him ride in style on his own personal cloud. With the power of the cloud, the Monk can synergize and maximize his damage output for peak fiscal performance.

    • Uhh, we mean, become a lightning god! His cloud corvette drenches enemies that walk underneath it and periodically strikes them with lightning.

    • The main attack unleashes a powerful lightning attack!

  • Mark 3 Costume for Series EV2

    • Remember the days of dressing up like a Bounty Hunter? EV2 remembers.

  • Balance Changes

    • This update brings additional balance changes, including an Earthshatter buff, Skeletal Ramster buff, Skeletal Archer nerf and a Poison Dart Tower nerf.

  • And more!


Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)

I had something pretty cool planned for this week’s Dev Log but then I forgot what it was… I’m focused on getting the Monk’s new legendary weapon ready and doing some balance changes to the Ramster, Archers, and the Poison Dart Tower. After that, I’ll be working on the Lavamancer primarily. Also working on the enemy changes and future hero balance whenever I can. The enemy changes are going to take awhile to complete, but I’ll have more to show you soon.


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

This week I'm having some great fun working on the new level, a wild west themed one this time!

At this moment we are currently world building the city, which means creating all the big stuff like the buildings, walkways, terrain and the small props such as windows and doors. We are trying to have a lot of player-only paths for this level so expect to be able to walk along rooftops, jump from one roof to another and snipe enemies from there!

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Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

Hey, Defenders! It's time to show you some details about the new level we're cooking now. This remake level will make DD2 feel like a western! You'll be able to enter into some buildings and explore around.

And here are some pics of stuff I've been working on:

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What remake from DD1 do you think we’re bring back for building a western level? Not an easy question. (Hint: is not Aquanos.)


James Reid, Software Engineer (Driscan)

Working on fixing some bugs as well as iterating on the Game Browser. Phase 2 of the Game Browser is shaping up nicely! Can’t wait to get it into your hands!


Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)

Glad to see everyone Vroom Broom’in around! Challenge work continues on Molten Citadel, and I haven’t forgotten about secrets…

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Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

Xenogenics posted a great thread on the forums about the state of the Official DD2 Wiki. In short, the wiki is wildly out of date and difficult to update. People are resorting to Google Docs to share information, which is just ridiculous.

So Ice and I are strapping up and diving in to fix the wiki. Our goal is to update the wiki with the most accurate information possible, make it easier for you to create edits and give you the tools to help keep it updated.

Broham

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As part of our visual overhaul for DD2, we wanted to take a look at the destruction of Crystal cores and see how we could improve them. Originally, the cores in Dungeon Defenders played one simple explosion animation once they were destroyed, but since we're moving away from static Crystal cores in DD2, we wanted a way to give meaning and context to the objectives.

To this end, we decided to have a full destruction animation along with VFX for main-objectives, sub-objectives, and some environmental sequences. Many of these animations are unique and tailored to the map, like the water tank in Siphon Site D. Some are what we call modular, or reuseable, such as the East Gate Lock in Greystone Plaza. Let’s talk about the process of completing one of these animation from an initial concept to the final, in-game implementation.

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Creating Destruction

Once the concept for a destructible object (like a main objective) is created, it goes into the modeling and texturing phase. This stage is crucial, since it is where the modeler and I decide where and/or how the object will be broken apart according to the concept. In some special cases, we have the luxury of having storyboards for the destroyed animation and VFX, which makes it much easier for us to plan out each stage of the animation.

Once the modeling is done, the object goes to the animation team where that plan is brought to life. The art director sits with me and we decide exactly what is going to happen for that respective destruction, always sticking to the main concept and style.

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After the environment, objects, and different broken pieces have been set up in the 3D application (eg; Maya, 3DS Max), it's time to simulate a destruction. Time spent on the simulation varies from object to object. Some are very complex, containing rigid bodies such as pieces of wood or shards of crystal as well as cloth physics that involve several layers of simulations. Others can be rather simple and quick.

When it comes to simulations, there are many techniques that we use including Maya's native Dynamics, Ncloth, Hair systems, deformers, etc. We choose the tool according to what is needed. And if we don’t have the tool we need, we create it. As a technical animator, I've created several tools to aid our process -- especially when it comes to scene setup. This makes the whole process faster and more efficient, saving us precious time.

The Final Touches

After the simulation is at a decent stage, it goes into review. If approved, it enters the polishing state and gets imported into the editor, giving the VFX artists a chance to work their magic. Once both the simulation and its VFX are in the editor, a final review is made just in case further tweaking is needed. The level designers then implement the destroyed objects into the game, setting up the triggers and logic behind where and when these objects should blow up.

In the end, everything ties together to create a spectacular explosion that gives significance to the object and its impact on the space around it. The simulation of the larger chunks lends real weight to the destruction, VFX add power, and sound brings in that last, crucial component that makes it believable.

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The random winner of our PAX East 2014 Recap blog is ssjtrunks15!

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!

Want to see more destruction GIFs? Check 'em out!
LaurawantsaCow

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We’re giving away a custom Dungeon Defenders II PC to one lucky fan! Just visit our Facebook page and follow the instructions to enter. That’s it. So easy an Ogre can do it.

One grand-prize winner will receive a prize pack valued at more than $1,300 that features a limited-edition Dungeon Defenders II PC courtesy of Avatar Gaming! Custom built to give you the optimal DD2 experience.

Other goodies included with the new computer are:

  • Razer Naga Hex Mouse
  • Razer Black Widow Mechanical Keyboard
  • A Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha code
  • A Dungeon Defenders II lanyard
  • A Dungeon Defenders II poster, signed by the Dev Team
  • A Dungeon Defenders II T-shirt of your choice
  • A Dungeon Defenders II mousepad of your choice

In addition to one grand-prize winner, we will be giving away 20 seats on the Defense Council, where you will access the pre-alpha and work alongside the developers to create the best DD2 possible. The first 10 seats will be given away on the Facebook wall post, and the other 10 seats will be given to those who enter the giveaway. Giveaway winners will be selected on March 21st, and Facebook wall post winners will be selected February 28th.

From everyone here at Trendy, have fun and good luck!

The random winner of our Relics blog is Dagarath!

After you stop by Facebook, leave a comment below for an extra chance to win a Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha code! We’ll announce a random winner in our next blog post. We're also giving away a DD2 pre-alpha code on our Twitter page. Good luck!
I_PASS_BUTTER

Daniel Haddad, Creative Director (Blacksmith)

Been working insane hours for the past three weeks (including weekends) with most of the design team to make sure all the changes we are introducing in MS16 go down swimmingly. Making some adjustments to Crit Damage and Crit Chance as it turns out Crit Damage was insanely insanely powerful across the entire game, and we want there to be a more meaningful choice… So yeah, stuff like that and other such cool things...


Jay Twining, Senior Game Designer (TrendyJayT)

There’s a magical time in game development where we see all the awesome Ideas and Effort coalesce into a game/patch/release. Game development is an exciting and intensive process. We regularly take imagination, hallway conversations, images, UI docs ,and paragraphs to convert them into hours and hours of game play. This week is specifically that polish time where we’re crossing our Ts and dotting our Is. Everyone has their nose to the grindstone. Excitement and anticipation are the descriptors for this week.

Specifically I’ve been focused on the final touches to Economy Rebalance (making gold great) and iterating on the Pet UIs. There are some quality of life improvements that we’re adding to the Stable and Hatchery that we think you guys will really enjoy.

This is an exciting time for everyone. New Items, new stats, new pets, new map progression, and more. I can’t wait to see what you guys think!


James Reid, Software Programmer (Driscan)

Fixing all the things. (At least trying to!) Lots of things coming in hot….so this week is trying to put out all the fires that we can!

Sorry I don’t have any pretty pictures ::puts on his fireman’s hat and heads back into the fray::


Javier Barreto, Lead Software Programmer (javo)

Stabilizing and wrapping up … one of the tougher things about game development.


Jeffrey Bickel, Technical Level Designer (TE_Jeff)

Content lock is on, so it’s fixing bugs from now until this patch hits. I’m very excited to see how you all enjoy everything we’ve been working on!


Steven Collins, Level Designer (Esorath)

Bug fixing time! I’ve been over to the buffet of bugs and filled my plate to the brim. Time to take a dive into the bug list and start fixing away.


Chris Flores, QA Lead (likethatwhenigothere)

We’re at content lock for the next update so QA is pounding away at all the new features and difficulties. Bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs. Oh did I mention bugs already?


Adam Stow, Associate Producer (TE_Stow)

On the front lines as we approach the next major patch, ensuring we don’t break too many things as we add things is priority one. This is probably the biggest patch that isn’t Pets & Dragons yet -- so brace yourselves. There will be some bugs. But it’ll be glorious.


Jason Yu, Associate Producer (urfyness)

Putting out as many fires as possible. Huge patch. There will be some bugs. Gotta run, kthnxbai.


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

After adding the final touches to the “Wartable” level, now it’s time to revisit previous levels in order to fix some visual elements. Also this week I’m going to start polish the social hub level!


Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

I'm doing a visual pass to some of our levels. There are some visual elements that don't fit anymore. In addition to this, I'll start polishing the social hub in the next few days along with Jesus!


Dani Moore, Remote QA Manager (Dani)

Advising, playtesting, eating, bug-hunting, replaying, reporting, sleeping, updating, verifying, checking.


Philip Asher, Marketing Director (pmasher)

Getting everything ready for Loot & Survive. I’m so excited. Props to the whole team to really improving the game over the last couple of weeks. It’s coming in hot (and there will be bugs [[4884,hashtags]]), but I’m really excited for everyone to get their hands on all the new stuff on 7/28 and provide us feedback while we continue to work on it all. Now to finish this update video...


Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

Making sure that as many of your reported bugs and balance concerns get fixed as possible. Devising cool ways of making a “progression” flow through the official Dungeon Defenders community site. We’ll see what happens. :)

My Favorite Threads This Week:

  • Another Amazing Devstream Recap:  It’s Super Effective posted another fantastic Devstream recap video. I dig the effort he puts into visually demonstrating our discussions, like his Daily Mission visualization. Nicely done. Keep up the great work!

  • Sara Strikes Again:  SaraNeko continues her amazing fan art streak with this rainbow-wielding Huntress!

  • Complete Noob - Where to Start Learning the Basics:  jmac started a thread asking for information about the game, and our community went above and beyond on helping him out. This thread plus another started around the same time helped us decide to create a Players Helping Players subforum. This will be a place where players new and old can ask questions or find help in a safe, judgment-free environment. What do you think? Would you like to see that on the forums?

Luska Arco

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Defenders! Welcome to another edition of QA’s bug blog: Ninety-Nine Problems But A Bug Ain’t One [working title]. We’ve got a great bug this month: A mysterious, truly awe-inspiring issue that seemed to affect players at random!

Fire in the Dungeon! Fire in the Deeper Well!

For seemingly no reason, players began to burst into flames. We’re not talking a little spark, either. I mean this was undeniably, spectacularly broken and unignorable. This happened so infrequently that for a long time we couldn’t reproduce it with any reliability.

Let me put it into perspective. You’re playing the game with friends, having a good time. You notice one of the sub-objectives is being swarmed. The exchange goes something like this:

"We need a hand by the East Gate Lock," you say, pinging the map.

"I'm on my way," they answer, rushing to your side. "Incoming Heroic Wave!"

As the horde falls at your feet, you celebrate your hard-earned victory. "Yeah! We rule. Towers for days. Orcs got no game."

And while you're taking a victorious swig of your brand soda of choice, you turn back towards your monitor and see...

[video=youtube_share;Ix4Nr76q40Y]http://youtu.be/Ix4Nr76q40Y[/video]



...And so you say something to the effect of: “Sweet sassy molassy! щ(゜ロ゜щ) What’s happening?!”

Just as quickly as it appeared, it ceases. Not only was this bug very rare, occurring maybe one in every thirty games, but it was such a distraction that it completely captivated us, even though the fire visual effects only lasted two or three seconds at most. We gathered no new information as to what caused it or any steps to reliable see it again, so it slipped through our fingers for a while.

We had to extinguish this bug. We focused up, and after some time, we managed to get it to happen again. We found out it was due to a specific part of our Town Square map, specifically an animation, or what level designers call a “cinematic event,” that played as part of the background.

Bug Type: VFX
Time Spent On 100% Reproduction Rate: 4 months
Time Spent On Fix: 3 hours


After I saw the bug and began eliminating possible explanations, I remembered browsing through the internal build when I first started working here and going down each letter of the alphabet to find console commands. I found one for castleseige2 -- yes, siege is misspelled in the actual command line -- that made me catch on fire randomly, but I didn’t link the command to the bug since the fire didn’t happen right away. I had to do a lot of experimenting once I found the command, because using it once didn't give any results. It only made me burst into flames maybe once in every dozen times, so I used another command to keybind the castleseige2 cinematic event. Spamming the bound key made the bug happen within seconds, which gave us a reliable way to see it and fix it.

What happened was this: There’s an animation of cannonballs striking the castle in the background of that map on the northeast side that helps visually communicate the siege. This animation has different parts to it, like say, a fire visual. The frequency of the animation sometimes meant that the fire visual would sort of “overflow” and wouldn’t know where to go. For whatever reason, it went to the last thing that was affected by something with a particle effect, like fire from a goblin’s bomb, for instance. The end result was that it transferred to enemies and sometimes even heroes.

This bug is easily my new personal favorite. Easily. ( ̄︶ ̄)

Let us know what you think in the comments. This bug is fixed, but we’re interested in hearing how you might use this awesome superpower of random self-combustion. Maybe to roast a few marshmallows during your victory celebration? Tell us below, and you could win a seat on the Defense Council. Until next time!

The random winner of our Press blog is HPTSparky!

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!
LAWLTA

Greetings Defenders

Our pledge with this gigantic update is to increase and improve communication. This is our first DevLog in a series of DevLogs coming your way! We recently teased big changes to two very important stats:  Critical Chance and Critical Damage. There is so much coming with Professor Sebastian Proteus, here’s what he’s bringing in this DevLog:

Stats: Critical Chance, Critical Damage, Speed, and more are getting their impact cranked up!
Gear:  Stats aren’t the only thing changing. Gear now has a primary and secondary stat, as well as unique magical properties to really amp up your playstyle!
Properties:  Now a part of gear and relics, properties lend a much needed helping hand into bringing interesting builds to the Defenders of Etheria!

There’s a ton of information to cover here. These are the foundational changes that affect everything else you are going to see in future DevLogs. These changes open the door for a lot of features we are wanting to add. It’s a lot to take in, so let’s begin!

Stat Improvements!

Jose Villegas, Technical Designer

Hey Everyone!

I’m excited to tell you that big changes are coming soon to DD2. We have been paying close attention to the balance of the game for a while, so we took it upon ourselves to tackle  several of the core systems of DD2, and how to improve them.

Similar to the recent changes to Shards and Gear Progression, the goal of these changes is to enhance your DD2 experience by making things as clear and simple as possible. To this extent, we modified and improved how stats work:

  • Hero and Defense Critical Damage: This was my biggest source of concern by far. Previously, Critical Damage was a separate stat that increased damage from critical strikes independently from your regular non-critical damage, which meant that one had no relation with the other. We felt that this directly conflicts with what most players would expect from a normal critical damage system, where your critical damage was a multiplier that affected your regular damage. So, we made precisely that change. With this update, your critical damage is a percentage that affects any source of damage. Whenever you trigger a critical strike, your regular damage is multiplied by your critical damage stat. Revolutionary!


  • Hero Damage, Defense Damage, and Ability Power: Since the overwhelming majority of your damage in DD2 came from critical damage sources, we are increasing how much damage your regular attacks, abilities, and towers deal. So whenever you login  after the update, your base damage is now stronger than ever!


  • Hero and Defense Critical Chance: Now that your normal and critical damage pulls from the same source, we decided to also remove the 33% Critical Chance cap previously used. In order to encourage people to make whatever builds they find the most fun, we opened the floodgates and removed the crit cap!! Our goal is to make crit builds an option for players, and an actual choice rather than the only way to play the game.

  • Defense Speed: This is an obscure stat in the game. Each Defense currently has a Defense Speed stat that affects how fast it attacks, however, it was not very clear how much you gained whenever you increased it. Due to the fact that it was a numerical stat instead of a percentage, making the conversion between that number and the attacks per second is very difficult, since each tower worked differently. For example, the Defense Rate Shard increased your Defense Speed by 33%, but that percentage changed the stat, and not the actual attack rate, so it affected different towers in different ways. In this update, Defense Speed is also a percentage, and is directly tied to the actual attack rate of the Defense. Whenever you raise the Defense Speed you will know exactly by how much you are increasing that tower’s attack frequency.

Now, you may be asking, if Defense Speed and Critical Damage are changed this much, how does that affect gear? Well, we are improving the gear in the entire game! We know that right now gear is a little bit stale and lacking in variety, so we are introducing our new “Magical Property” (work-in-progress name) system on gear that is going to shake things up quite a bit. These new properties are all about gaining power in new ways, including Defense Speed and Critical Damage. We are going to update you with more info about the changes to gear sooner than you expect =).

Anyway, that’s all from me for now. We are listening to your feedback, and all of the changes we are doing are with the goal of making DD2 a better game for you. Thanks for enjoying our game, and please let us know how can keep doing better!

Essentially,

Jose

Magical Properties!

Mark Telfer, Technical Designer

Hey Defenders!

It’s been a while since I last checked in with you all, and boy, do I have a ton to share!  We’ve been hard at work making some gargantuan additions to Dungeon Defenders II over the past few months, and I am excited to say that I can finally spill the beans on some of what the team has been working on. Hang on to your CatHatters, because gear in DD2 is in for a wild ride.

The Current State of Gear

As we were wrapping up the Barbarian’s Wrath update, I sat down with the team and we all took a hard look at gear.  There were many things we saw as opportunities to improve upon. At its heart, Dungeon Defenders II is a loot-centric game. Conquering enemies and beating down precocious little gobus gives you a bonanza of gear drops on each map. Getting a piece of gear should be an exhilarating experience! That dropped piece of gear should represent potential untapped, possibility incarnate, and the spoils of victory well earned. It should inspire creativity in builds and a diversity of outcomes. In essence, gear equipping should be a meaningful and gratifying choice that lets you define your identity as a hero of Etheria.

Unfortunately, the current gear of DD2 falls a bit short of this goal. As most of you know, gear currently has a primary stat, a varying number of secondary stats, and a differing amount of shard slots (depending on its tier). There is a very limited number of secondary stats in the game, and this hampered the amount of unique stat combinations we could drop for you to play with. For example, a legendary medallion has every single defensive secondary stat on it.  That means there is only one type of legendary medallion in the game! That’s the antithesis of giving players meaningful choices. 

Exacerbating this issue, there was one particular stat that was of supreme significance - Critical Damage. If you’re not building for maximum Critical Damage right now, then what are you doing!? Critical Damage accounts for the vast majority of damage output a player can potentially do. This meant everyone was essentially building in a singular way. Boooooring! Needless to say, the design team knew we could do better.

Jose worked hard to bring order to the Critical Damage system (outlined above), and brought sanity to critical damage output; it will no longer disproportionately affect DPS. Because of this adjustment, we now had a ton of wiggle room within the game balance to introduce new ways for you slay enemies. That’s when things got crazy. The design team made a pot of coffee, locked themselves into a room, and started imagining unique, fun, and crazy ways that we could let the heroes of Etheria dispatch the goblin legion. The time has come where I can (finally) let you in on where we landed.

Magical Properties Everywhere!

With great excitement, I can announce that all gear in the coming update will have the chance to roll new, unique, game-changing properties that allows you to creatively concoct entirely new strategies in DD2. These properties are affixed to gear that drops and defines playstyles, empower creativity, and engender build diversity to the likes that Etheria has never seen. These aren’t your Grandma’s old gear passives!  What are some of the insane things properties can do, you ask? Well, my friend…

Have you ever wanted to make goblins explode upon death and have that explosion ripple out onto the luckless enemies in near proximity? You can do that! Oh, did I mention that if you’re smart then you create a chain of explosions?

Have you ever wanted to make your cannonball tower deal elemental water damage?  You can do that! Would you prefer a different element? Pandora’s Box has opened when it comes to elementally attuning non-elemental towers.

But despite how awesome both of those are, I must confess that I have a favorite. I’ve always had trouble with those pesky Shield Geodes. I love building Cannonball Towers and Poison Dart Towers, but those knuckleheads always reflect my projectiles. Well, they used to... until I found a property that makes projectiles penetrate shields. Just don’t tell Lawlta that I told you*. ;) (*Lawlta note: I see everything!)

These awesome properties, and many many many more, have a chance of dropping on the gear you earn while playing. The better the gear (mythical, legendary, etc.), the more properties there are. There will be properties for both your towers and your heroes, and they can be combined to glorious effect. And did I mention properties get crazier and more powerful the further you push in DD2?

These new properties will come to replace many of the secondary stats currently on gear. Don’t get me wrong, secondary stats such as Hero Health are still on gear, but there are less of them. Gear will soon only have one primary and one secondary stat.

Properties fill in the gap that the removed secondary stats left, and gear is vastly more interesting because of this. Instead of being forced to see and use the same four secondary stats, you now have a myriad of choices in which properties you want to play with. With all these changes to gear and items, one thing we did not change was shard equipping. Prepare to make some serious decisions on property combinations and how confluences of different properties that best compliment your playstyle!

I’d love to tell you more, but Lawlta is breathing heavily over my shoulder and I fear for my safety. However, I can tell you that this isn’t even half of what we are working on for this upcoming update. Seriously! This isn’t hyperbole! There is way more coming your way, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Until next time, Defenders!

Love,

Mark

A Quick Note From Elan!

Colin Fisher (Elandrian), Associate Producer

Hey everyone,

I hope that gives a little more information about some of the systems that are coming up in this expansion. I hope people get excited about our new Magical Properties (the name is a work in progress) and the other statistical changes on gear. In our playtests, we’ve seen that it’s provided some new defensive options that were otherwise unviable.

We’ll be releasing more information in the coming weeks to let everyone know about the plethora of system, balance, and content changes that are part of this expansion.

If you’re interested in checking out the changes early, you can join our playtester groups, the Remote Playtesting Group (RPG) and the Remote Quality Assurance (RQA).  These groups have access to a test build of the upcoming changes and have been instrumental in providing feedback while we flip our balance on its head. If you’re interested, make sure you’re 18 or older, can test on PC (rewards are available to every platform though!), and contact our RQA Manager, Dani Moore!  

(It’s dani dot moore at trendyent dot com. Why don’t links work well? I don’t know. We’ll fix it one day… Game systems are more important.  Right? RIGHT!? PLEASE CONFIRM FOR ME.)

Lovingly,
Elandrian

A Look To The Horizon!

Alec Saare (Lawlta), Community Manager and Bean Spiller Extraordinaire

Hey All,

We discussed quite a bit of information here, but this is only the tip of the controlled burn and frosty mutated gobu-berg. There is so much more coming on top of this that we are going to get EVEN MORE information out soon. The bean spillage that occurred here will continue to flow!

The systems we are going to talk about continue to build off what’s discussed here, they're real game changes. All stats are being changed and rebalanced, new magical properties (work-in-progress name) are being added to really empower your gear. Seriously, some of them are crazy, and we took good care in making sure they also address some of the great feedback many of you have provided (thank you for all your efforts on that front). These changes really offer us a lot of opportunities to continue creating awesome and rewarding systems and features! As we release information, you’ll see how everything builds upon the previous post. There might even be some information about how game modes are affected or even more information about your gear coming! ;)

If you want a sneak peak (as well as helping us polish things before release), as Elandrian outlined above, our testing groups are just for you! There’s so much coming, and every bit helps to make this expansive update great.

XOXO,
Lawlta

Want More Info On What’s Coming?

Check us out on social media for additional updates and game discussions with our awesome community:

We’re going to give even more details very soon! Our designers are excited to continue sharing what they are working on and explain what changes are coming and why. Stay tuned!

For Etheria!

The Dungeon Defenders II Team

iamisom

Patch 9.5 for Steam

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Here are the notes for Patch 9.5 on Steam!


Features

  • Loot V2: Build Weapon Update

    • Build Weapons are now in line with Loot V2. They will now generate with only Hero- or Defense-focused Stats.

      • Build Passives that enhance defenses should generate only with Defense-focused Stats.

      • Build Passives that enhance combat/heroes should generate only with Hero-focused Stats.

  • The Winter Event has been turned off.

  • The “Ready Up” sound effect will play inside the Inventory/Forge when other players ready up. Thanks for the suggestion, u/capSAR273 and many others!

  • Players can now skip the final build phase on the Harbinger boss battle.


Balance

  • Nightmare IV difficulty reduced for 1-, 2- and 3-player matches. This change affects Nightmare End Game and Nightmare Incursions.

  • Increased the drop rates on the Ramparts Incursion weapons.

  • Heroes using weapons with splash damage were gaining the full Critical Damage bonus for every target hit, even if the initial hit only did 1 damage due to falloff. Crit Damage is now a % bonus so it proportionately scales all Hero Damage. The splash damage from crits now also falls off the further away an enemy is from the point of impact.


Bug Fixes

  • The Defense Preview (when a defense is selected but not yet placed) will now display a defense’s true range, taking into account any Skill Spheres, passives or stat points that affect range.

  • Fixed a bug where the Dragolich debuff stacks across multiple players. There is another debuff stacking bug associated with the Dragolich that we have planned to fix in an upcoming patch.

  • Fixed a bug where pets would gain pet affection if you lost a wave. You will need to win the wave to gain affection.

  • Pet-based attacks and abilities will now target the Harbinger.

  • Fixed a bug where players could spam G on a phase transition to immediately skip the Build Phase.

  • The Prince's ship cannons will now damage the Harbinger’s cannons.

  • Fixed a bug where players were able to damage the Harbinger before Phase 1 starts by looking through at his health bar that is visible.

  • The Harbinger will no longer lose his arm if you send him into Build Phase while knocking him off his cannon or destroying his cannon.

  • Air enemies no longer get stuck (or taking very long to exit) inside the northeast air spawner on Greystone Plaza.

  • Changed the description of the Fight Me Not Sphere to say X% Damage instead of X% Extra Damage.

  • Fixed an issue where occasionally a player’s gem total would not load when loading into the Social Tavern.

  • Fixed a bug where players were able to build on top of the Prince’s cannons.

  • Fixed a tooltip issue with the currently Monthly Mission.

  • Fixed an animation issue with the Harbinger in the final Combat Phase.

  • Fixed an issue that could stop players from readying up in Onslaught.

  • Damaging the Harbinger’s cannons now has an associated sound effect.

  • Fixed an issue where the “Transform Egg” button did not indicate a sale if one was available.

  • Fixed an issue where Orc Skeletons were falling through the ground in Temple of the Necrotic.

  • Fixed a collision issue with pet attacks.

  • Fixed a bug where the sellback value of items for sale in the Blacksmith and Relic shops was the same as the purchase price.

  • Fixed an issue where the Crystalline Saber and the Harbinger Weapons were not displaying their names properly.

  • Fixed a text issue with the Player Kick menu.

  • Fixed a text issue with the “Get More Pet Slots” button.

  • Fixed a VFX issue with the Steampunktress’ foot rocket in the Costume Shop.

  • Fixed a VFX issue with the Harbinger Apprentice weapon.

  • Fixed an animation issue with the Harbinger’s cape.

  • Fixed a text issue on the Prince’s cannons.

  • Fixed a collision issue in the Tavern.

  • Adjusted SFX and VFX when you knock the Harbinger out of Meteor Strike.

  • Fixed a UI issue when purchasing a new Inventory Bag.

  • Fixed an issue where when Defense Crit Damage was the 2nd or 3rd stat on an item, the text extended beyond the frame of the tooltip.


Other Notes

  • We'd like to try something new this week. If there's a bug or an issue you'd like to see fixed in an upcoming weekly patch, please head to this thread on our subreddit and let us know!
iamisom




The Herald of Embermount update is out now! Here are the patch notes:

Features

  • New Hero: The Lavamancer

    • Utilizing his Molten Power and the ability to quickly traverse the earth, the Lavamancer wields the power of magma and fire.  With new abilities and towers, the Lavamancer is ready to rumble!

    • For more information, see his full ability/defense reveal trailer.

    • The Embermount Bundle includes the Molten Juggernaut costume.

  • Daily Mission Cooldown Timer

    • Added a timer to show you when daily missions will reset.

  • New Coalescing Combat Text

    • Optimized combat text to reduce the spam and make your DPS more readable.

      • Damage types should now coalesce together.

      • I.e. Fire damage groups with fire damage, physical damage with physical, etc.

    • Crits should still be highlighted individually from other damage numbers and have increased size.

    • If you still want to see individual damage numbers, you can either fire at a slower pace, or turn off coalescing damage numbers in the Options Menu.

  • Added the Betsy Egg to the Defender Medal Store

    • You can now buy the Betsy Egg for 10,000 Defender Medals.

  • Lockbox Update

    • Lockboxes do not drop duplicate items anymore.

    • If you have everything unlocked from a lockbox, a message will appear letting you know that when you try to reopen it.

  • Other

    • Life Leech can now spawn on Guns, Canisters and Lava Arms.

    • Changed some inspect tooltips to show relevant stats now.  For instance:  The Skeletal Orc and Colossus now show DPS.

    • Moved Alpha watermark to just the Main Menu so that it won't get in the way of gameplay or clutter the screen.


Balance

  • Flamethrower and Flameburst Towers

    • Extra Flame Damage Skill Sphere now has a 20% chance to hit for 100% extra damage.

    • Flameburst Tower Defense Power ratio increased from 3.5 to 4.1

    • Flamethrower Tower Defense Power ratio increased from 0.625 to 0.7

    • The overall result of these changes is that the Flameburst and the Flamethrower deal more damage.

  • Other Changes

    • Black Arrow passive scales between 21% and 30% instead of 2.1% and 3.0%.

    • Karma Vortex can now roll up to 60%.

    • Fixed Frostbite Towers re-fire rate to work as intended. They were firing much faster than they were supposed to be. Maybe they were just excited.


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed some Inventory and Escape Menu memory leaks.

  • Fixed the "Game Is Already Running" launcher bug that prevented some players from playing.

  • Fixed an issue when you would re-bind the E key for tower placement. Now you can move AND it will work with EV node placement.

  • Fixed the Spectral Knights increasing the attack speed stat instead of stunning towers.  Improved the tooltip’s communication of this effect.

  • Fixed an issue where tooltips would stick around visually if you had a controller enabled but were still using mouse and keyboard.

  • Fixed an issue where you had to press E or I twice to open the Inventory screen.

  • Fixed the enemy health numbers not respecting the choice within the Options menu.

  • Fixed the Thorns spheres.

  • Fixed the Molten Citadel map icon.

  • Fixed the Demon Lord sticking around after winning or losing the Molten Citadel Incursion.

  • Fixed the dialogue text staying on screen for the duration of the Buried Bastille Incursion.

  • Fixed tooltips not refreshing on Hero Swap and Level Up.

  • Fixed the intro cinematic that plays on Ramparts Siege map.

  • Fixed some Incursions showing up as “Defense” maps on the Pause screen.

  • Fixed Sticky Grenades and Concussive Shots not damaging the Harbinger.

  • Fixed a grammar error with the Proton Charge Deflect skill sphere.  We change “it” to “its.”  Gamechanger.

  • Fixed the Power Surge Incursion Combat Phase timer craziness that was going on with multiple players pressing G or not pressing G.

  • Fixed the Skeletal Archers description in the Create Hero screen.

  • Fixed the issue where pressing Esc while sniping with a Gun Witch and changing weapons would break the Gun Witch.

  • A fix for inspected defenses not showing stats on the tooltip pop-up.

  • Earthshatter towers no longer appear to fire twice.

  • Fixed victory chests bloom levels so they will stop glowing at supernova levels.

  • Fixed an Abyss Lord tome that dropped as “Default Tome”

  • Removed all default weapons from being able to drop as a regular item.

  • Fixed the Character Stat screen to stop displaying decimals so that numbers stop overlappying each other.

  • PC - Players can now browse the What’s New screen with a controller.

  • PC - Fixed some overlapping HUD text issues when using a controller.

  • PS4 - Fixed some client crash issues.

  • PS4 - Fixing broken re-roll gear to roll with improved stats. Hopefully this will fix any gear that was previously broken.

  • PS4 - The green bar on health bars should now fill the entire bar when the bar is supposed to be at 100%.

  • PS4 - Fixed the Vote to Kick a player from a public map.

  • PS4 - Added text for when you fail to meet the requirements to equip gear.

  • PS4 - Fixed the Kill All Enemies timer on the Buried Bastille Incursion. It should not reset now when you enter Combat Phase for the first time.

  • PS4 - Costume Shop screen now shows the function of the X button.

  • PS4 - Shortened the message that shows when a splitscreen player tried to join a full map.

  • PS4 - Fixed an issue with Skip text remaining on screen after enhancing an item.

  • PS4 - Fixed UI navigation bug with the Costume Shop

  • PS4 - In splitscreen, if a player fails to join while another player is loading, they can now try to re-join the game after a failed attempt.

  • PS4 - Cleaned up some of the tooltip positioning logic so tooltips don’t get cut off in splitscreen.

  • PS4 - Gear tooltips within the Inventory and Skill Sphere tabs now function for solo players.

  • PS4 - Fixed the color of the beam on the mana chests to be the proper green color.

  • PS4 - Received Skill Sphere fixes from the latest Hotfix. See details here.

I_PASS_BUTTER

Our next patch, Pets & Dragons, drops on April 28th! Are you ready? In this Devstream, we reveal a new map, Skill Spheres and Betsy. Want to see Betsy in action? The Casters Guild is going to play the patch in its entirety this Sunday and Monday! Read on for the full schedule:



What’s in the update? The major highlights include:

  • Pets
  • Dragons (Actually, she’s a wyvern…)
  • Skill Spheres, our new character specialization system
  • 3 New Maps
  • 3 New Incursions
  • Costumes and Accessories
  • New Legendary Weapons
  • Tons of Bugs (seriously)
  • And so much more!


The Casters Guild Schedule

Join the Casters Guild as they preview the Pets & Dragons patch. They'll be looking at costumes, playing new maps and trying to defeat the Wyvern Mother herself, Betsy!


Sunday, April 26th

Dagnom, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT

djbouti_dan ft. LovinDaTacos, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT

LovinDaTacos, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT

PhoenixHydra, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT

Elandrian, 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM EDT

oISketcHIo, 1:00 AM to 3:00 AM EDT


Monday, April 27th

Kiraeyl, 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM EDT

Dagnom ft. Victoryoftheppl, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT

LovinDaTacos, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT

Kraith88 ft. Piggyteehee, 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT

Piggyteehee ft. Kraith88, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT

VitamiinB, 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM EDT



iamisom

Greetings, Defenders! We hope you’ve been enjoying The Loot Update! These two patches on PC & PS4 fix the issues we’ve seen since the update came out:

Patch 21.2 (May 30th, 2017)

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a server crash related to the Tsunami bow.
  • Fixed some issues with scrolling and selecting on the Game Browser.
  • PS4 - Sell All now works properly.

Patch 21.1 (May 26th, 2017)

Max Loot Stat Range Fix

  • Loot wasn't rolling up to the intended Chaos stat ranges. This is now fixed. You should now find loot with higher stats in every Chaos tier!

    • In all Chaos tiers, loot will now roll up to a higher maximum stat number than before The Loot Update.

    • If you had max Chaos 7 loot from before The Loot Update that was boosted with the update, you should now find loot that’s equal or slightly higher than that. Everyone else is able to find this same loot when they reach the top end of Chaos 7.


Love,

The Trendy Team

iamisom

Ikju9WW.jpg

Before we begin the Dev Log proper, we’re excited to announce our next two updates for PC!  

  • June 7th:  The Bling King Update

  • Late June:  The Buried Bastille Update


The Bling King Update includes:

  • The Bling King Incursion:  The Kobold King is extorting Little-Horn Valley, and it’s up to you to meet his demands for gold or he’ll destroy the Inn!

  • New Huntress Weapon, Bling-O-Midas:  This iPWR 750 bow drops exclusively on the Bling King Incursion. This weapon slows enemies and turns them into gold! 

  • Bonus Missions: As part of our effort to increase the earn rate of Medals, Monthly Missions are becoming Bonus Missions. Get a new Bonus Mission every week. Bonus Missions are completable in 1-2 play sessions and give more Medals per playtime than our previous Monthly Missions.

  • iPWR 750 Gloves:  Similar to the Spectral Knight Incursion, an iPWR 750 loot piece will drop from the Victory Chest!

  • EV2 Medal Cost Reduction:  When the update comes out, Series EV2 will go down to 10,000 medals!

  • New Abyss Lord Costume:  The Depth Lord!

  • And other bug fixes and changes!


Learn more about The Bling King Update on our Devstream this Friday at 5PM EDT! We’ll have more details on The Buried Bastille Update soon. Stay tuned.

Also, beginning this weekend and running every weekend in June, we have a new Weekend Event:  3X Medal Weekends! Earn triple the amount of Defender Medals for every wave and match completion. This event will give more medals overall than our Mission Madness event for players who login and consistently play during the weekend.


Here’s what we’ve been working on this week:


Elliot Cannon, Creative Director

The Monthly Mission is now Bonus Missions. We’re in the process of adding additional ways for you to earn larger pools of Defender Medals, and one of those is by shifting the previous Monthly Mission to a Bonus Mission. This gives us the flexibility to add these types of missions whenever we wish without irritating some antiquated calendar or the ghost of Pope Gregory the XIII. Our goal is to make these available for you once a week at a minimum and then shift them to something relevant to our current release like a new Incursion or updates to loot or enemies. We’re also shifting away from some of the more obscure requirements and back to simpler things that build up your Defender Medal pool.

Speaking of enemies, a few months ago, we challenged ourselves with trying to improve the core gameplay of Dungeon Defenders II, something we feel is way overdue, and especially now that the game is no longer just an ensemble cast of four default characters. We started by having Steve and Brett tackle this with no programming support. They developed some very interesting changes to how enemies behave, group, and a rock, paper, scissors method to some degree on how the towers work against those groups. We took this to extensive testing and soon realized that a lot more is needed to really reach our goal. The great part was with what they did, we got to play with how that would feel for many weeks and that helped us start brainstorming a LOT of areas to make the game much cooler by focusing on depth. Here’s a snapshot of one of those sessions for fun.

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Right now, Dan is tackling what we can do with enemies with a deeper dive into the menagerie (be sure and read his posting below.) The long-term plan goes beyond this but know that one of our big goals internally is to improve the core gameplay to be more fun, provide more tactical options for your Hero Deck, with harder challenges and greater rewards. A game like Dungeon Defenders II must provide fuel for the player-driven goals, and those goals must be never ending. Beyond more heroes, Incursions, and UI updates, know that we are working towards big picture goals, too!


Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)

ih7BeTr.jpg

Did you know we had 60 enemies? Even if I remove some of the enemies we have not released yet, we still have more than 50 enemies in Dungeon Defenders II. As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, I’ve taken on the Strategic Revamp. Before I came up with answers, I wanted to make an investigation across the entire game. One thing I did recently was grab every single viable enemy in DD2 and put them in a test map. When I realized we actually had that many enemies but they all feel the same to fight, the answer became clear. I then took about half of them and redesigned their functionality. As an example, if you notice in the top right section, the Dark Mages have shields around them. What if the Dark Mages have a shield that neutralizes projectiles? They spawn in the middle of a squad and protect them from your defenses. This is where melee heroes can shine by charging in and taking those Dark Mages out so your defenses can deal with them! What if the shield also disabled nearby traps and auras?

I’ve done about 30 enemy redesigns so far, and the goal is to take each enemy and give it unique characteristics and integrity. If we succeed at doing this, we will then start designing squads of enemies! Higher Nightmare difficulties will combine enemies in much more difficult and challenging ways! Each squad then poses a unique encounter and challenge, and I hope that the game starts to feel a lot more entertaining and exciting. This is still a ways away and we are still figuring out if this is what we want to do but overall it is what I’m most excited about.

RK8zD1p.jpg

I am also trying to figure out what a mage would do with a Halberd. Leave your ideas in the comments below! Look at how sad that ghost is on the right… Isn’t he sad? Must have had a hard afterlife.


Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

As I mentioned in my last Dev Log, I’ve been working on a thread that showcases our recent development and offers a look ahead to what’s next for the game. That post is now complete! You can check it out here.

This regularly updated post provides a look into the near-future of the game and a list of our recent updates. This is not a comprehensive roadmap but a look behind the veil into our current development. Of course, everything on it is subject and likely to change, but now there’s a one-stop shop to find out everything we’ve been talking about in our Dev Logs, Devstreams and other communication. I hope it’s helpful. If you have any feedback on this post, please let me know in the comments!

I’m also working on some forum organization to bring the conversation together. Sometime in the next week or two, we’re combining the Suggestions, Game Feedback and Looking For Group subforums into General Discussion. To be clear, we absolutely want to hear your suggestions and feedback. You’ll just share them in the General Discussion sub now. Most of our forum community visits General Discussion and stays away from the other subs, so we want your suggestions and feedback to get the most visibility possible (which is very helpful in listening to a greater portion of our community). We’re also going to make the Game and Community News sub visible on the forum homepage because I bet most of you didn’t even know that existed.


Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)

Got a solid test in on our latest Incursion. Thanks to some awesome feedback, we are making some pretty good changes to improve the experience as a whole. We are also moving forward on updating another map, and I can't wait to share the theme of this new map. :D


Brian Goodsell, Technical & VFX Artist (bgoodsell)

Finishing up the Depth Lord skin. Same old death, brand new VFX.

e8LhfO8.gif


Tim Shannon, PS4 & Live Producer (TimmyTrashTier)

A lot of hours have gone into PS4 since last week, and it looks like we’re going to be releasing Calling all Heroes on PS4 this coming Thursday! (Unless something awful happens.) There are some definite rough spots in the build, but rest assured that we’re already mobilizing to get an improved build out the door.

Live Team is working on weekend events and crashes. I know things have been a little crashy recently. We have a hotfix coming out on Thursday that should improve the stability of the game (hopefully) drastically. In the meantime, keep sending client logs, crash dumps (if you have them) and repro steps for crashes to supporttrendyent.com so we can get to the bottom of the major remaining issues.


James Reid, Software Programmer (Driscan)

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to (and successfully) fix crashes on the PS4 build that were related to UI.

Also continuing work on the Midas bow with Brian and Derek to make this thing awesome!

I’m also collaborating with Javahawk, Haddad, Phil, and others on how to improve inventory management. I think some good changes are going to be coming down the pipe real soon.  Can’t wait to dig my hands into that!


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

Since the Ice level is pretty much done, we are working on a new level this week! I can't say much more at this point but we are really excited about the theme of this level. It makes me feel like drinking some "Belize Rum Punch.”

Jokes aside, I'm looking forward to share some pics in the next Dev Log!


Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

As already stated, we’re moving on to a new and really ‘fresh’ level. Really excited with the theme and visuals. Will have some pics for ya next week!

Oh and the level is another DD1 remake. Which one do you think?


John Muscarella, Digital Puppet Master (Muskie4242)

I’m full swing on the Lavamancer currently. This guy is a beast and a half, and I can’t wait to see him shredding through goblins and orcs with fire and lava.  

I also find myself returning to the Gun Witch every other day to make tweaks and small changes as we build her in-engine. She has been, easily, one of my favorite things to work on in a very long time.


Dani Moore, Remote QA Lead (Dani)

We’re helping work out the kinks in the latest Incursion. Whilst it’s still shaping up, the experience so far has been quite been golden. Showers of bugs have gone through in a cleaning of the house for older bugs as we anticipate the need to make room the bugs of the near future.

A big, huge thanks to my wife, Ellen. After eleven or so years, we finally tied the knot, and I just wanted to thank her for putting up with me for so long and lovingly tolerating the obscene amount of Dungeon Defenders that has invaded our living room over the past few years.

PutmickJ

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Greetings Defenders, and welcome to this month's QA column: Bugglemania! [Working Title] Today I present to you a fun bug and another silly video. Without further ado, let's get started on slugging those bugs!

The Squire’s Super Shield

If you enjoyed the recent blog post about the Squire and always dreamt of using two shields at once, then this bug’s for you! Recently, while testing the loot drops on each character, we noticed something a bit odd about the Squire when he switched shields. Instead of swapping out for the old shield, the new one would stack on top of it, doubling the stats! Even better, in a feat of Squire engineering, the shields appeared on top of each other, leading the Squire to carry some ridiculous-looking combinations. Here's just one of the over-the-top shields donned by our lovable Squire:

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Rise of the Ramsters

The Squire bug came up fairly recently, so I already had another thing to share with you guys, just in case we didn’t have a great bug we could get behind. I spent my free time working on something I thought would be funny, something you would all like, so I present to you: Rise of the Ramsters!

[video=youtube_share;vTA9tOHoHN8]http://youtu.be/vTA9tOHoHN8[/video]



Using one of the assets we had in the editor, I placed the skeletal mesh of the ramster onto the wyvern and a couple of other enemies. The results speak for themselves.

So there we have it, a fun bug showing the Squire's adeptness at shield-building, and the cutest thing to ever attack your core! What did you think of the mesh swap, or the Squire's ingenuity? What would you guys like to see or learn more about when it comes to QA? Let us know in the comments, where I’ll also clarify how the Squire bug came to be!

The random winner of our Monk blog is Uchihia!

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

Sad News

Greetings Defenders,

Today is an incredibly sad day at Trendy. Roughly 20% of our Trendy family were laid off. We’re working with an outplacement team to make sure that everyone is taken care of, and we’re providing financial assistance and extended benefits to those affected. You can read more about the news here.

We’re very grateful for their hard work and dedication, which you will forever see in Dungeon Defenders II and the other projects we are working on. We hope to see them land on their feet soon. Wherever they land will be lucky to have them.

Some of you will have questions about this situation that we unfortunately cannot answer at this time. Instead, we ask you to use this thread to say goodbye and good luck to the members of Trendy who are no longer with us.
iamisom

Hotfix 6.1

Welcome to our first Alpha hotfix! Please keep in mind, all items obtained with the bugged Serenity Auras that have an Item Power of 341 or greater were re-rolled to 340 with this hotfix.


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that was causing the Serenity Aura to slow substantially more than intended. Serenity Auras no longer stack their slow effects.

  • Fixed an issue where special stats were displaying as .01 of what they should be.

  • Fixed an issue where players were not receiving the Nightmare accessories who should have received them. Anyone with an item that, unupgraded, was Item Power 241 and above, should now have the accessories.

  • Made a change where Ogres and Special Enemies do not drop loot on Wave 1 in End Game Nightmare. It's our current plan to remove these enemies on Wave 1 altogether in an update very soon.

  • Fixed another server crash.

  • Fixed an issue where Free Play Hard, End Game Insane, and End Game Nightmare had the rounds that would end before Betsy died.

  • Fixed an issue where the music track from Town Entrance would play behind the intro cinematic.

  • Fixed an issue where the Apprentice's charge shot did not activate traps.

  • Fixed an issue where curtains were blocking enemies from getting out of their spawn point. (We got new curtains.)

  • Fixed an issue where Incursion Ogres did not count towards Monthly Mission progress.


Known Issues

  • Players have reported on our forums that some passives are either too low or too high from what they should be. We’ll be addressing this in a hotfix next week.

  • We’ve received a lot of feedback about the Scavenger since the update released yesterday. We've made a post about the feedback on our forums and spoke about it in our Devstream.
  • We're still looking into the issue where players' Xpadder profiles are no longer working. 
JBrawley

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Balancing the roles, quantity, and power of enemies in DD2 is no small task. The enemies we place in a level affect nearly every vector of difficulty in the game. This is one of the reasons it is imperative that we experiment not only with different types of enemies, but how we use those enemies, as well.

Wyverns were a staple of the original Dungeon Defenders’ gameplay, but it was clear the role of air units in DD2 needed to evolve. Fundamentally, an air unit poses a different tactical question than a ground unit. Units on the ground can be blocked using a barricade, permitting time to react to their presence. Wyverns required players to develop different strategies that were based around anti-air defense.

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The Trouble With Wyverns

But DD1’s Wyverns had numerous shortcomings, and in order to make Wyverns more interesting to engage in DD2, we had to resolve two main problems:

  • There was little variety in their behavior, making any gameplay that involved them monotonous and predictable.
  • They utilized extremely basic AI, flying straight for their objective without deviation.

Fixing these problems in the long term was going to take time. But there was nothing stopping the intrepid level designers from hacking their way around these problems. Early on, it was clear that we needed different types of Wyverns.

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Creating Different Behaviors

Initially we developed the Heavy Wyvern by creating a copy of the standard Wyvern, making him larger, and changing him to a rich purple hue. The Heavy Wyvern was a bit slower, but could take a much larger amount of abuse. We coupled this change with making the standard Wyvern much faster.

The difference was immediately noticeable in terms of strategic consideration. The heavy Wyverns did a fantastic job of diverting the attention of players, and when they appeared in early prototypes, everyone reacted to their presence. Internally, we had to devise new ways of counteracting the presence of the Heavy Wyverns. Players devised new defense setups to combat the Wyverns, such as groups of Frostbite Towers that would freeze and then shatter them when they hit the ground, or Cannonball Towers placed in positions that were advantageous to attacking air units.

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In another playtest, we created a small, fast, black Wyvern that could bombard players and their defenses from a long range. These opponents created a different type of player reaction: If not controlled quickly, the black Wyverns could severely disrupt the team’s defensive layouts.

Tweaking the Flight Path

Resolving the Wyverns’ flight paths was actually surprisingly easy. With a little manipulation, we were able to create a chain of flight waypoints that forced the Wyverns from a specific lane to follow a tightly controlled path. This allowed us to create predictable air lanes (making it much easier for players to position anti-air defenses) instead of having Wyverns simply spawn on the outside of the space and fly directly towards their targets.

The result of these two initiatives was much stronger aerial gameplay, allowing air units to play a clearer role in the combat space. But we continue to iterate on our air units with new ideas and new prototypes, so if there are any air unit types you might like to see in the game, leave a comment below and you could win a seat on the Defense Council.

The random winner of our QA blog is Ikulity!

Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. We're going to be at PAX East this week so there won't be a blog this Friday. That's why we're going to pick two posters from this blog and reveal the winners in next week's blog post!
iamisom

Patch 6.3 is here! This patch contains the first of our planned Inventory 3.0 changes that Dan mentioned in his blog last week. Expect more improvements in the near future!

Features

  • Bags can now be marked for Auto Collect!

    • At the end of the match, all items left on the ground will attempt to go into any bags marked Auto Collect.

    • Items of the highest rarity are collected first. Items within the same rarity that have the highest Item Power are then grabbed.

    • When you manually pick up an item, it goes into bags that are not marked Auto Collect until full. When those bags are full, items are sent to the Auto Collect bags.

  • Added HUD elements to display when Auto Collect bags are 70% full, 90% full and completely Full.

  • Added Auto Collect popup messages on the Matchmaking UI warning players if their bags are 70%, 90% or completely Full.

    • Added a “Do not show me again” toggle to these popups

    • Added an option on the Options menu to reset hidden popups.


Bug Fixes

  • Improvements have been made to prevent an issue where players faced long loading screens before erroring while matchmaking. We're still working to fix all of our matchmaking/server issues!

  • Potentially fixed an issue with the Flameburst Tower VFX.

  • Fixed an issue with the Serenity Aura.


Known Issues

  • Network instability is our #1 technical issue focus. Our team is working to fix the lag, disconnects and loading screen issues. We’ll have more updates in future patches/hotfixes.
iamisom


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Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

The second round of our New Hero Vote is underway! This vote is between the Lavamancer and the Barbarian. So far, we’re on track to surpass the first vote in total points invested. Remember:  It’s about how many points a hero has after all three rounds, so it ain’t over ‘til it’s over! Go vote!

Also:  All of our new heroes will be 12,000 Medals for two weeks only. After two weeks, the Defender Medal cost will go down to 10,000 Medals. :D

P.S.  Next Devstream is on April 15th!

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Elliot Cannon, Creative Director

Abyss Lord! One down another 100 to go! I’m super proud of the team for shipping our first new hero! This is a huge accomplishment, especially after having to streamline the studio, the nasty water flood, plus getting PS4 caught up to the Dragonfall Carnival. We did not really get started until February 16th or so. This is our first stab at the UI Hero Deck improvements since we pitched it on December 20th. Like anything new, it’ll take lots of refinement and constant improvement to get perfect, but it’s a great start and a lot dev team members worked very, very, very, hard on their piece of the big thing to make it cool.

We have unsung heroes in house and remote who don’t always appear here in our dev logs. QA testers, artists, programmers, our one IT dude, Ice (he calls it a department) all of which are either making awesome new stuff or fixing/tracking down complicated issues that would make Einstein’s nose blow a gasket. General Patton once said, "The soldier is the army." It’s true. Here’s a shout out to ALL the Dungeon Defenders II dev team members here for winning this first battle. I’m proud of ya.

I’m stoked so many of you are using hero swapping in combat in cool ways and loving what I’m seeing on streams. Remember, this is a live game. We have a mega-ton of more things to do, fix up, improve, add, and refine. We’re just really getting started. Please keep the feedback coming. Feedback does not have to be happy-happy joy-joy, but feedback driven by a passion for FUN gaming is super motivating for us. We may be a small studio, but we really want the game to be cool for you. That’s why we do this job to be honest.

We’re honing in on the details coming for the next milestone. EV2 is already animated! I just finished playing the Unholy Catacombs map (Foundries & Forges) in Steve’s playtest, and I love the layout and limited visibility. We have plans for a nasty tank, a cool new over-the-top monk costume, a new thematic weapon, more UI updates and improvements, the strategic refactor (This is a BIG one!), the next hero, skill spheres coolification, enchantment awesominjectioness. TONS of stuff! We’re making sure to stage stuff out and want to do so we can get a release to you guys really soon. We know it was a long one since the Dragonfall Carnival, so know that we agree.

We’re watching the New Hero Influence votes like a hawk. Don’t forget that’s a multi-round thing so every vote along the way adds towards the final tally. Long one from me. Check out ‏Elandrian’s picture he drew. Mad Skillz.

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Tim Shannon, PS4 & Live Producer (TimmyTrashTier)

Patches and hotfixes… patches and hotfixes…  I’ve been trying to stay out in front of issues on the Carnival Update for PS4. We have a hotfix coming out early next week that should fix some of the most egregious issues. Other than that we’re just starting in on MS22 planning and development.

PC side, the Live Team is doing its thing and squashing bugs and patching problems. Expect more in the coming weeks!


Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)

Aw snap! Carnival going down on PS4 and Abyss Lord Shenanigans on PC. Tons of cool things incoming.  It’s really awesome to see everyone having fun experimenting with new builds with their new-found resistance freedom.


Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

So finally we are gladly to say that Glitterhelm remake level is coming to its end this week! (In terms of world building.) We’re ensuring it comes with a bunch of skulls, bones, cobwebs and more nightmarish stuff! Also we have some really cool plans for the next two levels. Really excited about them!

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Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

Like Daniel said, we are almost done with the Glitterhelm level. Just adding now some nice touches!

Hopefully next week we’ll share with you some pics of what could be the next level!


Dan Pingston, Character Artist

Glad to see people having fun with the Abyss Lord. Now on to the next one.

iamisom

Devstream 53 Recap



In yesterday’s Devstream, Phil, Elliot and Josh revealed new changes coming to the Hero Deck, new gameplay changes, new Abyss Lord details and some upcoming UI changes! Here’s an overview of the stream (with timestamps courtesy of CharrLegion on YouTube):


  • New Abyss Lord Minion Reveal:  Bone Archers (7:40):

    • Long-range sniper tower that can see and attack in two directions at the same time, allowing it to cover multiple lanes. The Abyss Lord’s Direct Command will make the Bone Archer unleash a rapid-fire volley of death.

  • Abyss Lord Abilities (9:25):

    • Direct Command:

      • The Abyss Lord’s signature move. Use Direct Command on your minions to activate devastating attacks. Direct Command will make the Abyss Lord a powerful ally during Combat Phase.

    • Summon Abyss Stone:

      • Short-term, area-of-effect pulsing mine ability. Place up to three at a time down the length of a lane of stack them in an area -- your choice.

    • Knights of the Abyss:

      • The Abyss Lord summons a fallen soldier from the spirit world to stun, knockback and damage enemies in an area.

  • Hero Deck/Gameplay Changes (23:50):

    • What’s Releasing in the Update:

      • New User Interface, Hero Cards:  

        • We’re starting our UI revamp beginning with the Pause Menu and Hero Deck screens. Hero Cards will display your hero’s iPWR, name, level, title and costume. You can easily view other player’s decks, iPWR and gear. We’ve also made it easier to manage your party.

      • Shared Hero Deck Experience:  

        • All cards in your deck will gain XP together!

    • What We’re Working On:

      • Quickswap Heroes (F1 - F4):

        • Quickswap between your heroes using hotkeys! We’re excited to get this highly requested feature into the game. :)

      • Combat Phase Quickswapping:

        • We’re going to experiment with letting players quickswap between the four decked heroes during Combat Phase.

      • Strategic Revamp (Prototype):

        • Working on changes to defenses and enemies to improve the strategy of the game, beginning with removing Physical/Magical resistances and revamping towers/enemies to have more defined strengths and weaknesses. More details soon.

    • What We Will Be Working On:

      • Swap Into Deck During Build Phase:

        • We're going to experiment with letting you swap heroes in and out of your deck during Build Phase, which will let you bring more than four heroes into a match. Only heroes in your deck will gain XP, get loot and be available for Combat Phase hotswapping. We haven't figured out all of the details, but that's the overall idea.

      • Loot For All Heroes In Deck:

        • Loot will drop for heroes in your deck.


What do you think of these changes? Let us know in the comments below!
iamisom

Influence Report 3

Senior Producer Brad Logston and Creative Director Danny Araya discuss the balance/progression changes coming in the next content update, which is tentatively scheduled for the end of this month. They also discuss potential Commander Incursion ideas and the results of our Lore Initiative! 



admin
Co-op Confidential -- Overworld

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We saw your posts in our forums. We read your comments on YouTube. You want more information on the cooperative tower defense campaign.

We’re more than happy to oblige.

Every Monday, we’re going to slowly unveil bits and pieces of what we’re working on internally for co-op. Sometimes we’ll show returning elements from the first game; sometimes we’ll show off something new for DD2. This week, we want to show you a brand-new feature for DD2 co-op: the overworld.

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In Dungeon Defenders II, levels will be accessed through an explorable overworld. Think of it like this: Do you remember playing Super Mario 64? In that game, the overworld map -- Peach’s Castle -- was a level unto itself. You could explore the castle on a hunt to find portals to new worlds. There were secrets to be found and challenges to complete.

Now imagine exploring Peach’s Castle with 23 other players. That’s what we’re going for.

In our game, there won’t be a random desert world located in the basement. Our overworld acts as the foundation for the levels and for the story. Everything should feel natural and logical.

You’ll discover challenge missions sprinkled throughout the overworld. For example, you might run into an NPC who starts ranting about enemies falling from the sky, which will take you to a certain... familiar challenge.

In Dungeon Defenders, the structure of the game was three levels and then a level with a boss fight. In Dungeon Defenders II, the first area the team completed currently has four levels and then a level with a boss fight.

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Why are we making an overworld map? We noticed that, in Dungeon Defenders, players spent a ton of time in the tavern. The tavern was a multi-faceted area. It was a war room for strategy discussion and rule creation. It was a social hub for events. It was a community marketplace for item selling and trading. But it was cramped, and the space itself wasn’t that interesting outside of collectible trophies. We wanted to take the social experience of the tavern and set it in an area that encouraged and rewarded exploration.

We’ll have far more information on this as we get closer to the end of the year. For now, we’ll just leave you with the images in this post for you to pour over.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your feedback in the Comments section!

Tune in next Monday for the first information on DD2 enemies.
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