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iamisom

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Here are the notes for Patch 10.7 on Steam!

Features

  • Pings are now on a 5-second cooldown.

  • Added Pet Affection Consumables to March’s Monthly Mission rewards.


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where gold was being gained on a Wave One loss.

  • Fixed an issue where the Pet Mega Jackpot boxes from the Monthly Mission had incorrect tooltips.


Known Issues

  • If you’re experiencing a crash, black screen or constant server disconnect issue, please head to this thread and follow the instructions.

  • Pings can still appear in the chat while the ping is on cooldown. We’re hoping to change this in a near-future patch.
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


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Elliot Cannon, Creative Director

Looking forward to the community playtesting the Abyss Lord this week. (See Jason Yu’s post below.) I’ll be jumping in on that after hours late at night. The more tire-kicking on this dude the better. Feedback on his active defense playstyle will help us make him rock. We want to know about the subtleties and things you like and don’t like, especially minute details. Everything else is percolating along and I don’t want to steal anyone else’s thunder in the Dev Log, but I do want to squeeze in an off-topic: go, go, Connor @TheNotoriousMMA.


Jason Yu, Associate Producer (urfyness)

If you want to get involved in the Remote Playtesting Group and help us test the Abyss Lord, send an email to dani.moore[at]trendyent[dot]com! Just let Dani know in the email that you want to be involved, and he'll be in contact with you shortly.

Working really hard to get the Abyss Lord out to our community playtesters so they can give us their first impressions on him. The build is somewhat unstable right now, but we’re working really hard to get one together. Thanks for your patience. 

Also, I can tell this week is going to be crazy already. This morning, our lead programmer, Javier, tells me that he worked all weekend to put in the first-pass implementation of account leveling and committed it into the build. He also worked on optimizations when first loading into the game. That’s some dedication!

It’s almost guaranteed that these changes have broken other systems in the game, so our designers and QA will be working with Javier throughout the week to fix and document these issues. Changing our leveling system from individual heroes to account wide will be an interesting experiment!


Tim Shannon, PS4 & Live Producer (TimmyTrashTier)

In the PS4-verse we’re moving forward on the Harbinger and Carnival work. We’re focusing on UI engineering and memory optimization that will make your heart skip a beat and give you that sensation of butterflies in your stomach (well… it would if you could see it, honest.)  

On the live team side of things we have a brand-new patch that is all kinds of shiny and chrome. We've heard your feedback so far on the new Monthly Mission. We're trying to find rewards that aren't new pets for the Monthly Missions, so please head to this thread to let us know what you think would be rewarding for future Monthly Missions! We’ve turned on client logging so we can get some better information on some of the core technical problems with the game. Onslaught rewards should now have proper iPWR ratings. Finally, Poison Tips should no longer cause server stability issues.


Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)

Moving forward with some prototypes on enemy and tower adjustments. This is part of the way we want to introduce more strategy to the game so cookie-cutter builds are less desirable ways to complete maps.


Joshua Javaheri,Lead Do-Er-oF-All-The-Things (Javahawk)

The last few weeks, the art and features teams have been working hard to redesign a few systems - and in the process, the visual design of our user interfaces to be simpler and cleaner.  


James Reid, Software Programmer (Driscan)

It’s been an intense last couple of weeks hammering out these new UI flows. I can give you a quick tease here, but if you want to see the full direction we’re going, you’re gonna have to tune into the Devstream on Friday. Now that the design/flow is mostly hammered out, the implementation should really take off and by the Devstream after this you should really see it come together.

Here it is in all its glory! It’s so pretty! Remember this is nowhere near close to final art, style, or information. This is the wee beginnings of the implementation stage.

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Super early work on the new UI. Check out the Devstream on Friday to see what it'll look like when it's finished!


Chris Flores, QA Lead (likethatwhenigothere)

So this week we’re continuing to work on the hotfixes as they come out. But more importantly we’ve opened the testing floodgates on the Abyss Lord and some very, very early prototypes of the Account Leveling. So we’re gonna evaluate the Account Level stuff, learn how it works and then get ready to test it when it’s available -- all while poking fun at the Abyss Lord so he feels bad about himself and gets in shape before he releases. (Hit the gym, fatty!)

The PS4 is also in our hands now, and we’re working on MS21 (the Dragonfall Carnival + Harbinger update) so that it can ship on ********** (that’s a secret). [Ed. Note:  Secret as in we don’t have a date yet!]

Also, I believe O’ Irish Dani Moore is getting some playtest builds and groups together to get some earlier feedback and sneak peaks at the Abyss Lord. Contact him for details if you’re interested. And if he’s not the person to contact, screw it. Bother him anyway.


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

We’re almost done with our first Dungeon type level, so at this point we are adding some final touches and waiting for some feedback.


Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

We can't describe the fun we are having working on the dungeon level! It's coming pretty fast and there are more to come!


Dani Moore, Remote QA Manager (Dani)

I can already feel my inbox burning from your emails. Oh my.


Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

Poor Dani.
iamisom

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Here are the notes for Patch 10.6 on Steam!

March Monthly Mission

  • Requirements:

    • Earn the Super Win of the Day 7 times

    • Collect 1,000 prize wheel tickets

    • Win without losing a sub-objective 25 times

  • Rewards:

    • 1 Carnival Admission Pass

    • 300,000 Gold

    • 7 Mega Pet Jackpot Boxes

    • Title: Lucky


Bug Fixes

  • Nightmare IV Onslaught loot drops now grow to the current max iPWR as intended.

  • Fixed a bug where item tooltips would sometimes not appear in the Inventory.

  • Fixed an issue where Poison Tips was unintendedly buffing player towers and causing server stability issues.

  • Lane wisps on Throne Room are now displaying the correct color.

  • Pings should now work correctly.


Server Updates

  • We’ve made some changes to our servers that may help with the initial login to the game and initial requests for matchmaking. It may also increase the speed of loading a profile.

  • Improving server stability and fixing technical issues are at the top of our priority list. We’ve added new logging in this patch to help us determine the cause of these issues, which will lead to us squashing them with the fury of a thousand disappointed mothers. If you’re experiencing crashing or other technical issues, please visit our Support page.


Main Menu


Note

  • The tooltip on the pet box rewards for the Monthly Mission say “"Mega Pet Box x7." Each box only contains 1 Jackpot, not 7.
iamisom

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where lockboxes were consuming gems instead of keys.


Monthly Mission Reminder

  • The new Monthly Mission is live! Login and complete the Monthly Mission to get a new pet!

In case you're wondering, most of our PS4 bug fixes will be delivered to you through our major updates (like the recent Ascension update). As for news on the next major PS4 update, we're currently hard at work on the Harbinger + Dragonfall Carnival 2-in-1 update. We don't have a release date just yet, but as soon as we have one, we'll sing it from the mountaintops.

iamisom

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Elliot Cannon, Creative Director

This week is critical details week. Production locked the detailed milestone feature list on Monday and everyone is cranking around that. It’s very cool to have them lining up every hour so we can achieve realistically. Special thanks to Marco and Jason for owning this part of the game’s development. The Abyss Lord is going through team wide playtesting, feedback collection, and refinement. This fast type of iteration is something most AAA development studios can’t wrangle due to size and complexity. With a small studio, everyone can join in on playtests and give feedback. It’s much better that way in my opinion. Every person has a stake in what we’re doing. Anyone can express an opinion with the good of the game for you in mind. The Abyss Lord is in that phase where Dan is wrangling the team’s feedback and working with Derek, Abe, John, Brett, Collins, Jason, Brian, and Josh to bring him to the finish line.

Josh Javaheri championed the Hero Deck UI mockup iteration and what he has going is freaking awesome. He’s solved a ton of issues on flow between PC and PS4 in a smart way. The whole studio is chiming in on these, once again, something only small dev teams can do.

Brett and Collins are working on long-term game balance changes that will get us where the game needs to be once-and-for all in terms of how you play. You’ve heard me say multiple times that how you win needs to be up to what you put together, not just one crossword puzzle formula. That’s their marching orders and they are nailing it. The two of them working together is brilliant. I’m impressed and you will be too. Don’t forget, Collins is also cranking on new map designs to challenge your DD2 skills in ways different from the traditional defend the cart multi-lane configuration. That’s a lot! It’ll take time, but that two-prong approach will make it more fun for you in the end.

For me, I’m involved in just about everything. My job is to empower people, help them get the ideas into action, and as a veteran, enable them with feedback that comes from experience. This week, the details around account leveling need mega brain power on it as it touches on multiple areas of the game in different ways. It’s one of the trickiest ideas for DD2 that came from a brainstorm session last Monday, but I know we’ll figure it out.

I want give a special shout out to Argick for all the kind words and support for DD2 and Trendy in his Twitch stream last Friday from The Casters Guild. I appreciate the fact that fans and players make time to vocalize their opinions in fun, positive, and useful ways to make the game better. My wife and I watch these and actually take notes. At the end of the day, a fun game is what we all want and we’re working on it! We need a closet here at Trendy like the one in the back of Al’s Diner in Stephen King’s book, 11.22.63. That way we can get all the awesome stuff done in less than 2 minutes.

[[10279,hashtags]]


Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)

Working with this here awesome team to complete this here Abyss Lord for you all to enjoy. We had a playtest that involved the majority of the studio and the reception was surprisingly positive. We still have plenty to do before I feel satisfied that he is ready to jump into your adoring hands but it was certainly a good sign! In the back of my mind I’m also churning out more ideas for heroes.


Tim Shannon, PS4 & Live Producer (TimmyTrashTier)

MS21 has kicked off this week for the PS4 and we’re digging into better UI coding practices and memory allocation (our main source of crashes) - which I know is the super sexy stuff you come to me for. This release may take a little bit as we set ourselves up for developing on both platforms simultaneously, but rest assured we’re going to deliver.

On the live team side of things, Patch 10.5 came out this week with the Bow-Blaster for the Huntress added to the game to celebrate the Steam Group hitting 175k members! If you haven’t joined yet, join here and help unlock the Apprentice’s Blaster-Caster for everyone.


Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)

Taking a good look at our current enemy/tower/hero relationships we have in the game. Currently there is a lack of yin/yang or push/pull enemies that get you to use different towers in different situations. Finding a way to encourage and empower players to experiment with different defense setups to deal with the challenge that's coming down the lane. As well as still exploring different gameplay elements that can make new maps fresh experiences!


James Reid, Software Programmer (Driscan)

Yet more meetings regarding UI, at least they’ve been extremely productive. I believe our UIs are heading down the right path. The big focus is to make sure everything works with both the gamepad and the mouse/keyboard. This allows us to develop one UI that works on multiple platforms.

Next week should see some significant progress on the implementation of these UIs. Can’t wait to share the WIP photos with you all!


Jason Yu, Associate Producer (urfyness)

The Abyss Lord is undergoing some final tweaks in the mysterious world of design land. The plan is to get him out to our playtesters sometime next week, and we’ll make any final adjustments based on feedback. We’ve had one office playtest with him, and he’s been well received so far. I’m anxiously waiting to hear the feedback once a larger group gets to play him.


Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

Speaking of Abyss Lord playtesting, we’re looking for volunteers for our Remote Playtesting Group. RPG members will get their hands on new heroes and content before anyone else! Of course, it’s not all fun and games -- we’re looking for people who will provide constructive feedback and spend a lot of time playing work-in-progress content. If that sounds like you, then email dani.moore[at]trendyent.com!


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Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

Working along with Daniel Diaz to bring some new levels. This week we are focusing on a Dungeon type level. 


Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

We're working now on some 'dungeon' type levels. Hopefully they'll bring back old memories for you. :)
iamisom

Devstream 52 Recap



On Friday, Phil and Elliot revealed new information regarding the Abyss Lord and how you’ll be able to unlock him (and all future heroes) by playing. Here’s an overview of the stream courtesy of CharrLegion on YouTube.


  • Defender Medals (11:25)

    • Defender Medals are a new currency earned by winning or losing matches. It will be used to buy heroes, gear sets and other gameplay items and be available in the next update.

  • Hero Unlocks

    • Heroes can be earned with Defender Medals or purchased with gems. All Hero unlocks come with a free Hero Creation slot to, yanno, play and such.

  • Abyss Lord (20:20)

    • The Abyss Lord, like the Summoner from Dungeon Defenders, summons minions to aid him in battle.

    • The Abyss Lord is our first ‘Active Builder.’ Using his ‘Direct Command’ ability, the Abyss Lord can control his minions to do special abilities at the cost of blue mana. This will greatly increase your minions’ damage potential during the Combat Phase.

    • The Abyss Lord will release with the next major update.

  • Abyss Lord: The Colossus (26:42)

    • The Colossus is an oh-*** defense, and as such, you’ll only be able to build one of him on the map. He can be moved around the map by “rebuilding” him at no green mana cost. This is part of the Abyss Lord’s ‘Active Builder’ gameplay. Tune into the next stream for more minion reveals!

  • Q&A (31:15)

    • In the final part of the stream, we discussed a number of your balance questions. Improving and refining the game is a major priority for us this year, and in the coming major updates, you’ll begin to see refinements to existing heroes, systems, builds and more.


If you like the new Recap-style post, please let us know in the comments!

iamisom

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Here are the notes for Patch 10.5 on Steam!


Huntress Bow-Blaster, New Steam Group Milestone Added

  • Thanks to you, we’ve reached 175,000 Steam Group members! That means the Huntress’s Bow-Blaster is now a permanent drop in the game!

  • To unlock the Apprentice’s Blaster-Caster, the next Steam Group milestone is 200,000! We’re at 180,000 now, so you’re almost there!

  • Join the Steam Group here!


Features

  • Individual tower range is now shown while inspecting a defense.


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where players would lose premium items they received right before a disconnect or server crash.

  • Fixed an issue where the Shielding Guard Uber was not functioning.

  • Fixed an issue where Ogres were getting stuck inside of the Jester Boxes.

  • Mr. Skwish is now affected by Thunder-o, Bearkira and the golden Possessed Sword’s special abilities.

  • Fixed an issue where Mr. Skwish can spawn in the ground if towers are built too close to the stage. All towers are now destroyed at the start of the phase in the area where Mr. Skwish spawns.

  • Fixed an issue where the Harbinger had a chance to not spawn on Wave 4 Free Play Easy.

  • Fixed an issue where Tutorial matchmaking from the Main Menu didn’t have a “found session” UI.

  • Fixed the Ruins water issue. Crisis averted, people.

  • Fixed a VFX issue with the Liferoot Incursion Ranged Goblin.
iamisom

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Elliot Cannon, Creative Director

The Abyss Lord is entering that phase where all his functionality and visuals are in and now he goes into critical playtesting and iteration to deliver wanton destruction and goblin obliteration. That cycle is going to repeat until he’s awesome. At the same time, art is jamming on our next hero, who I’m surE you’Ve guessed who 2he is. Stay tuned for visuals. Peeking over Jordan, Robbie, Pingston, and Rusty’s shoulder over the last few days was like looking into Santa’s Bag of character awesomeness. In the studio, everyone shook out the dust and set up shop on the floor, reorganized, and refocused. The creative force is strong, but I think Jason is having scheduling aneurysms trying to keep up! “These aren’t the spreadsheets you’re looking for…”

The hardcore work now really kicks into high gear. The Hero Deck UI is in visual design and programming wiring development, the PS4 content is lining up to get the Harbinger Awakens content and the Dragonfall Carnival in the game, which is awesome as that will put us closer to our ultimate plan of developing for the game with one unified codebase and content pipeline. Early work is starting on gear sets, hero role refinements, a refactoring of character vs account leveling to remove the new hero grind and the Diaz brothers are working with Jordan on some classic inspired dungeon maps. (Finally Dungeons to defend!)

Collins is expanding the game with new map designs to challenge your DD2 skills in ways different from the traditional defend the cart multi-lane configuration. This is awesome because I’m an old-school level designer myself, and a major part of any game’s magic is the level designer’s innate application of his instincts. Although we’re pushing forward with our 2016 plans, we’re not forgetting about the things you’ve been telling us. We’re revising many aspects of the game to remove excessive complexity and convoluted systems that were awesome experiments last year, but buried the fun too deep in the mud, especially pets and how you level your heroes. We’re working towards less grind, better balance, better role definition, more fun, and more ways for your skill and smarts about how to play to shine as opposed to a single answer. Keep the faith. Gotta keep pushing. More soon.


Daniel Haddad, Design Director ([[48971,users]])

Working with everyone to plan out some quick prototypes for different parts of the game; hero deck, swapping heroes, ipwr, experience, leveling, hero unlocking, and so on. Getting distracted by a good bit of meetings but still also trying to wrap up the Abyss Lord and plan out future heroes in the meanwhile.


Tim Shannon, PS4 & Live Producer ([[77554,users]])

Getting spun up on Live team process and working on keeping the hotfixes coming. We think yesterday’s hotfix could have improved some black screen behavior - if you’re seeing any change please post to this thread on the forums.  

I’m also getting the gears turning internally on the next update for the PS4. Nothing solid yet on timelines, but we’re definitely moving forward full speed this week.


James Reid, Software Programmer ([[56071,users]])

Lots and lots of meetings going on. I’m currently working on cleaning up behind-the-scenes code in regards to the Hero Deck. Now that that part is finished, I’m working on UI improvements and additions regarding the Hero Deck. I thought I’d have some WIP pictures to show, but not yet.  Hopefully, next week I can show you all what I’m doing.


Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer ([[48993,users]])

Having some good meetings about what we can do to create some new gameplay for our maps. We’ve heard a lot of feedback about making larger and more complex maps to really push players on choosing solid points to put their towers. So looking into how we can do those things with any up-and-coming layouts we create.

Chris Flores, QA Lead ([[59727,users]])

Bug fixes, can i haz them? We sure as heck keep finding them >.<


Abraham Abdala, Lead Tech Animator ([[59787,users]])

Working on lots of setup for a new hero. Lots of meetings planning lots of exciting things. Finalizing everything for the Abyss Lord.


Jason Yu, Associate Producer ([[56534,users]])

We are refocusing ourselves by really sitting down this week and discussing all the things we’ve been working on. Once we get a better understanding of what we want to accomplish for the next patch, we’ll start looking at what we can accomplish. We’re still working towards finalizing the Abyss Lord. We’re at the stage where he’s fully functional and undergoing initial balance tweaks which includes cooldowns, mana costs, and damage numbers. We’ll be implementing passives and skill spheres, and afterwards, we’ll do another final balance pass. Can’t wait to see what you guys think!


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Jesus Diaz, World Builder ([[39450,users]])

While I wait for the Abyss Lord level whitebox to be finished & approved, I'm working on a visual test for an upcoming level. 


Daniel Diaz, World Builder ([[33096,users]])

Same as above. I’m doing a visual test for a dungeon level. (It's the one at the top of the post!)


Dani Moore, Remote QA Manager ([[25251,users]])

I've begun a re-organisation of the Remote Playtesting Group with the intent to allow the grow more freedom and time in terms of their playtesting sessions, and allowing us to get more chances at feedback from the group members. Hoping to start getting new testers on board in the coming weeks.

iamisom

Patch 10.4 for Steam

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Here are the notes for Patch 10.4 on Steam!

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a server crash. This may also solve the black screen issue. If you’re still experiencing the black screen issue, please go to this thread.

  • Fixed the “A” button issue on controllers where players were unable to correctly interact with objects.

  • Fixed an issue where the window for winning the 5 Lockbox Keys doesn't display the x5 multiplier.

  • Fixed a Forge issue in the Carnival where the player could be killed if the Forge is accessed during the opening cutscene.

  • Fixed an issue where the Mana Node minimap icons would not disappear after use.

  • Fixed an issue where the “Alpha” watermark disappeared in the last update.

  • Fixed an issue where NPC dialogue couldn’t be skipped using a controller.

  • Made minor adjustments to the Monk’s Shadow Costume.

  • Fixed an SFX issue in the Heroes Marketplace.

  • Fixed some visual issues in the Gates of Dragonfall.


Known Issues

  • Some players are reporting disconnects from the game. We’re trying to identify the issue. If you’re experiencing disconnects, please post in this thread.

  • When using a controller, you can’t speak to NPCs in the Hub/Tavern if they are still locked. Can speak to them once they are unlocked.

  • The water in Nimbus Reach is black.

  • The water in The Forgotten Ruins is missing.
I_PASS_BUTTER

Here are the notes for Hotfix 10.3 on Steam!

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where players could not properly feed their pets.

  • Fixed an issue where the Carnival Map was consuming Daily Win bonuses.

  • Fixed a tooltip issue with the Popcorn Machine buff.

  • Fixed a mesh issue with the Squire’s Carnival costume.

  • Changed a text issue with the Carnival Ogre Boss’s HP Bar.

  • Fixed an NPC lighting issue.

  • Fixed a collision issue in the Heroes Marketplace.

  • Fixed a debug text issue at the Enchantress.


Known Issues

  • Some players are reporting a black screen in the Tavern. We think we have a memory leak somewhere and are looking into it. 
  • Defense icons on the Minimap are blinking when they shouldn’t be blinking. Stop blinking! Why won’t you stop blinking? *cries*

  • The "A" button on the Controller is not properly interacting with objects.

  • Enemy icons on the minimap are not using the proper colors.

  • The Harbinger’s death touch has infected the water in Nimbus Reach,  turning it black as night. Drink up!

  • In the Forgotten Ruins, the Harbinger’s infection is so bad the water is just flat out gone.

I_PASS_BUTTER

Elliot Cannon, Creative Director

Hope you guys and gals are enjoying the Dragonfall Carnival! Keep your eyes peeled for an influence vote on Fun vs Power later this week. We want to hear what you think about the prizes so when that event circles around again, we can make it better. Right now, we’re midstream working on future hero content, (she’s mechanically awesome) <-note the word choices. Working on UI look, feel, and flow improvements for PC and PS4, solo and group play scoring systems, forming groups, better social hub UI, progression gear sets, new hero experience, hero deck interfacing that works better for all platforms. (Notice how we extracted the core intellect of James Reid’s brain and duct taped that to a super robot using a laser focus modulator that’s part bionic, and organic, but not a cyborg.) Tons of work kicked off, with both short and long-range goals to make the game better.

This past week was crazy large. QA tested like fiends and our programmers burned mega brain cells making sure things were tight. Incredible effort. Amazing commitment levels like that is what makes game development a passion. The developers here prove they’re brilliant - constantly. Even the sleddog family game rigs ran testing long into the night to try and help QA. (My wife is a hardcore Huntress DPSer, so her HD TV is bigger than mine.) There’s tons of magic happening here. Gotta keep pushing. More soon.


Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)

Working on two new hero designs and wrapping up the Abyss Lord. Also writing up some designs for set items, a means for free players to earn heroes, and some enemy redesigns for the far future.


Danny Araya, Art Director (DannyAraya)

Working on concept art for awesome new heroes!


Tim Shannon, PS4 Producer (TimmyTrashTier)

Hammering out the plan for getting the Carnival on PS4 and other stuff. Super hype about the new global submission set-up Sony is creating!


James Reid, Software Programmer (Driscan)

H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K

H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K

I’m beginning work on the H E R O D E C K. Lots-o-neat-stuff coming down the pipe. Not a lot to show at the moment, but tune in next week for some WIP pictures.

H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K

H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K    H E R O D E C K


Jeffrey Bickel, Technical Level Designer (TE_Jeff)

I’m doing a lot of work this milestone on enemy scaling and progression through our game. Right now, leveling as a Monk or a Huntress solo is a pretty awful experience, and I’d like to change that. On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of our enemies aren’t where we want them to be in NM4, and those changes need to happen as well. So, lots of math (or, for our UK fans, lots of maths) in my immediate future.

I’ve also been storming some brain on how Onslaught should change this year and have put together a pitch. It’s still in a very early stage and scheduling concerns might take us elsewhere, but it’s something I’d like to see happen.


Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)

Glad to see some Nightmare IV Carnival runs being successful! The Abyss Lord is in full swing now. ;)


Chris Flores, QA Lead (likethatwhenigothere)

Helping to take care of some of the issues affecting the live game (can anyone say memory hog??). We’re also working on getting some hotfixes out this week and next week. Hopefully by the end of next week, things will have slowed down enough so that we can clean up our database a bit and get started on the Abyss Lord. At the same time gotta start factoring in the PS4 into our day-to-day shenanigans.


Abraham Abdala, Lead Tech Animator (Broham)

All kinds of prepro and prototypes for a new hero, maybe some new pets. When time allows, I’m also creating V2 of our most important animation and rigging tools, expanding them with more features and such.


Adam Stow, Project Manager (TE_Stow)

We hope you enjoy the carnival.  Hope you’re not afraid of (dying to) clowns! The team is switching gears to the next patch’s content now, and we’re accelerating in a new direction. Please look forward to it--and check out the Devstreams if you haven’t since we’re talking about these things before you see them written here!


Jason Yu, Associate Producer (urfyness)

We worked through the weekend to wrap up the Carnival. There’s always much more we want to do, and not enough time to do it. Still, I’m extremely proud of our team, and we all hope you guys enjoy it.

This week, we’re kicking off the new milestone for our next release. The major points are the Abyss Lord and a ton of UI work to help the flow. He’s going through final VFX and Audio passes for the content team and final balance pass for the design team. We’re also starting work on features that will go beyond this milestone and into the next. It’s going to be an exciting few weeks!


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

Working on a new level that will be used as a training level for the Abyss Lord!


Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

This week we're starting to work on a tutorial level for the Abyss Lord!


Dani Moore, Remote QA Manager (Dani)

Whilst folks are resting up from the Carnival prep and setting the gears in motion for our next big thing/s, I just wanna say thank you to all the folks in both the RQA and RPG teams that have put in a lot of time and care in helping make the Carnival that extra bit special.

We will also be opening the recruitment doors again soon, but we’re taking some time to do some planning and making some changes. More details shortly!

Really excited about some of the love and care going into planning our next content. It’s really inspiring and exciting for me to see what’s coming up. The awesome folks here at Trendy that will be diligently making it all happen, are some really talented folks.

iamisom

Hotfix 10.2 for Steam

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Here are the notes for Hotfix 10.2 on Steam!

Bug Fix

  • Fixed an issue where the February Monthly Mission pet affection consumable rewards were missing after the Carnival update.

Known Issues

  • The Feed x1 button for owned Pet Food does not work.
  • The Feed x10 button for owned Pet Food only feeds 1 item at a time.
  • The "A" button on the Controller is not properly interacting with objects.
iamisom



The Dragonfall Carnival is here! Login to experience the whimsy and wonder of the Carnival before it disappears.


This update includes:


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The Dragonfall Carnival Map

A silly map filled with weird enemies, zany traps and a jesting ringmaster! You can play the Carnival for free by Sneaking In, but if you purchase Admission Passes, you’ll get to spin the Bling Wheel at the end of the map!



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The Bling Wheel

The Bling Wheel contains 16 exclusive rewards, including the Harbinger’s Veil Costumes, the Shadow Costumes and golden premium pets! Get all of the rewards to receive the grand prize:  the Carnival Costumes!



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Heroes Marketplace

Thanks to your Influence Vote, there’s a brand-new social hub:  the Heroes Marketplace! Access the Dragonfall Carnival from this sunny locale.



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Carnival Prize Wheel

While the Carnival is in town, you’ll earn red Wheel Tickets from any map in the game. Gather those tickets, and then head to the Carnival Prize Wheel located in the Heroes Marketplace to win temporary stat buffs, masks, fireworks and more!


For the full patch notes, head to the Dragonfall Carnival landing page!


As for the next update, we’re tentatively working on:

  • New Hero:  Abyss Lord

  • Hero Deck Changes

  • And so much more!


We’ll have more information on those new changes in the next few weeks. This year, we’re going to improve existing features, add lots of new heroes, make more fun content for you to enjoy and get out of Early Access. Stay tuned, and enjoy the Carnival!


Love,
The Trendy Team

I_PASS_BUTTER
Here are the patch notes for today's hotfix!

  • Skeleton costumes purchased prior to Ascension Part II should now properly display when equipped.

  • Premium Pets now actually deduct Gems when purchased.


REMINDER:  The "Scavenger Retrieval" slider in the Options menu will set the minimum quality level of loot that is automatically picked up by the user. Everything below that quality level will be sent to the Scavenger.


iamisom

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The Dragonfall Carnival update comes out on Tuesday! This week, we’re polishing the update and looking ahead to the next one:


Elliot Cannon, Creative Director

We’re wrapping up the Dragonfall Carnival, checking every detail we possibly can. Art and Level Design knocked this event out of the park! Collins took the map from multiple blockouts to fun-ready with uncanny speed and passion. Everyone on the art team rocked with tons of amazing details and flair. So much fun stuff in this release. Can’t wait to see new folks trying Normalized Play. Right now, it’s polish, polish, play, polish, play. Behind the scenes, we’re working on detailed plans and schedule for future releases, estimates, gear sets, and hero designs!

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Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)

Helping with the wrap up of Dragonfall Carnival but mostly focused on the future. I’m working on figuring out our upcoming lineup of Heroes. What makes them special? Why would you all be excited about them? How will they make the game better? Also spending a bit of time looking at other aspects of our game that need help and writing proposals on how to fix them, namely pets, enemies and the like. We finished building the Abyss Lord’s functional bits and now we’re playing around with him as the content team continues to work on his aesthetics and VFX.


Tim Shannon, PS4 Producer (TimmyTrashTier)

Working on cleaning up the remaining major issues with the Ascension patch and getting the new dev team spun up on Dragonfall Carnival. Also looking at how we are handling and displaying text on item descriptions. If you are confused about auto-collect and the scavenger on PS4, check out my posts on the forums (bruh, it's fiyah)!


James Reid, Software Programmer (Driscan)

This week is all about polishing everything up.  So my UIs look prettier now (yay)!  Now it’s all about that bug fixing.

PRICES/DETAILS ARE NOT FINAL AND ARE TEMPORARY PLACEHOLDERS TO SEE HOW EVERYTHING LOOKS!

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Jeffrey Bickel, Technical Level Designer (TE_Jeff)

Came back from vacation feeling refreshed and energized, putting that energy right back into the game. This week I’m squashing bugs and polishing as much as possible - not much time left before we’re putting this Carnival into your hands!


Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)

It’s bug fix week here at Trendy. Going through and making sure all the wires are hooked up properly for the carnival. Can’t wait for everyone to jump in and win some sleek prizes on the Bling Wheel.

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Chris Flores, QA Lead (likethatwhenigothere)

Testing everything about everything and hoping it works when it comes done. Finito!


Jason Yu, Associate Producer (urfyness)

Making sure all the pieces fit together, adding bugs to the database, assigning those bugs to people, and prioritizing the bugs for the first couple days of my week. The next few days are spent planning for the next milestone. I spend time going through the design docs, breaking these down into individual features, and assigning rough estimates. When we get this close to the patch, I continue assigning bugs and playtesting the build when I go home.


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

Finalizing everything world building related for the Carnival and Heroes Marketplace level.

We’ll start to work on a new level soon.


Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

I have been working mostly on fixes and new stuff for the incoming Heroes Marketplace level!

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 (Psst. The Abyss Lord isn't in this update, but it looks so cool in the Marketplace!)

iamisom



The Dragonfall Carnival comes to town on February 9th! The update includes the eponymous Dragonfall Carnival, which is a brand-new, limited-time event map full of whimsy, wonder and wmiracles. (That’s a word. Google it.) The update also includes a new social hub called the Heroes Marketplace, crazy prizes and more!

For more details on the update, check out our new landing page.

We hope you enjoy the Carnival! For more details on what’s coming out this year, check out the 2016 Roadmap blog.

Love,
The Trendy Team

iamisom

Patch 9.8 for Steam

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We’re one week away from the Dragonfall Carnival update! Next week’s update includes the eponymous Dragonfall Carnival, the new Heroes Marketplace outdoor social hub, bug fixes and more. While we focus on getting the update ready, here’s a quick patch that includes the new Monthly Mission, a few bug fixes and a sale.


New Monthly Mission (Begins at 11AM EST)

  • Show the dwellers of Etheria your love! Save the Kobolds and Quab from a horrible demise and give your pets some attention!

  • Requirements:

    • Gain 50 Pet Affection Levels!

    • Help stop 500 Kobolds before ignition!

    • Defend the Quab 5 times!

  • Rewards:

    • Big Bundle of Pet Love (New Consumable:  Increases Pet Affection)

    • 300,000 Gold

    • 40 Wyvern Tokens

    • Title:  The Lover


Bug Fixes

  • Player towers are no longer removed from gameplay maps when a player leaves.

  • Fixed an issue with enemy pathing on Ramparts Siege.


Moving Day Sale

  • In preparation of next week’s move to the new outdoor Heroes Marketplace, the Costume Shop is having a sale!

  • Get 25% off these Costumes!

    • Farmboy Apprentice

    • Academy Apprentice

    • Dryad Apprentice

    • Goblin Infiltrator huntress

    • Tiguar Monk

    • Capt’n Monk

    • Sweet Dreams Squire

  • Get 10% off Inventory and Pet Bag Space!

  • Get 10% off these Costumes!

    • Magma Mage

    • Ramster Knight Squire

    • Red Riding Huntress

  • Get 10% off these Pets!

    • Table Flipper

    • Shinobi Kitty

    • Evilwick

  • Hurry! These discounts disappear February 9th!


Remember:  The Dragonfall Carnival update comes out on February 9th! You might hear more about the update very soon. Perhaps in some sort of update page or video.


Love,

The Trendy Team

I_PASS_BUTTER

These are the patch notes for the PS4 Content Update 2: The Ascension update. The patch is live as of 9:30 AM EST, and is absolutely massive. It includes a ton of new content, balance changes, bug fixes, crash fixes and so much more.

Thanks to TimmyTrashTier and all of the work he's done, the entirety of the patch notes can't fit in this blog post. Check out the PS4 Section or the Patch Notes Section for the full read. Enjoy!



UPDATE 1/30 12:36PM EST

The Ascension update is now live! Thanks for your patience!

P.S. Don't forget to unequip your Skeleton Skins!


UPDATE 1/30 11 AM EST

Good news, Everyone! We've breezed through Sony's verification process and are ready to push out the Ascension patch. This update will be Version 1.07 on the PS4 and we expect it  to go live within the next couple of hours. Remember to unequip your Skeleton Skins!

-Butter


UPDATE: 1/29 11:30 AM EST

Got some news and clarification for you, Defenders:

  • We've reverted to the latest pre-patch version of the PS4 service, and have resubmitted the Ascension patch to Sony.
  • Players who have played the current version this morning have had their profiles restored to the last saved version. 
  • Players who spent gems in the Ascension update will lose what they bought, and have their gems refunded. 
  • Players who unlocked anything will have to unlock it again once they log in. 
  • We will be giving anybody who logged in between the time the patch went live  to when we reverted 100 gems for their trouble. 
  • Anyone who updated to the Ascension patch will need to delete their current installation and reinstall through the library in order to go back to the current version of the game. 

That's the latest update as of this morning. I will continue updating this thread throughout the day. Thank you again for all of your patience, Defenders!


UPDATE 1/28 9:49 PM EST

We will be bringing PS4 services back online shortly to the most recent pre-patch build. This is temporary, until we can debug and bring Ascension back online. 


UPDATE 1/28 1 PM EST

We've spun down the PS4 service while we work to resolve these crashes. We think the problem has been isolated, and will post more info as it becomes available. 

Again, thank you for your patience with us. 



I_PASS_BUTTER

Elliot Cannon, Creative Director

Hey all! We’re pushing for content lock for the Dragonfall Carnival where all the pieces come together! Everyone is working mega-hard and folks are jamming and coordinating with lightning speed to maximize coolness for you. The amount of passion and talent here is staggering. You need a seatbelt or you’ll fall off! In addition to this, we’re scoping out the next few milestones from our big picture roadmap for 2016. Seeing the Hero’s Marketplace outdoor hub wrap up, the new map, and the Abyss Lord coming together is amazing. Brief update from me for now. Every second counts! Back to it.


Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)

Continuing to work on the Abyss Lord with the rest of the team. Writing several design documents for things to come including hero deck improvements, something new with currencies, investigating how free players can unlock heroes… etc Also continuing work on matchmaking with Brys and planning out more heroes beyond the Abyss Lord. It’s going to be a year of heroes everybody!


Danny Araya, Art Director (DannyAraya)

TONS of map fixes, tweaks, dialogue revisions and paintovers to try to get everything as awesome as possible!


Tim Shannon, PS4 Producer (TimmyTrashTier)

Getting used to being back in Florida and finalizing everything for Content Update 2 (which drops tomorrow at ~9:30 AM EST) is my primary concern this week.  I’m also diving more deeply into how the next month will play out from a PS4 dev perspective now that we’re doing everything internally.  Then there’s some other stuff I’m spinning up on that has not been announced yet (queue ominous music).


Jay Twining, Senior Game Designer (TrendyJayT)

Wrapping up polish on the festive items. I’m excited to see your reactions to them, and the power items. The Prize Wheel has rewards for all players at all levels of play. Ride the train of Carnival awesome!


James Reid, Software Programmer (Driscan)

This week I’m hard at work on everything Dragonfall Carnival related.  I’m focused on getting the player access to the carnival and setting up normalized play.  For those that don’t know, Normalized Play allows you to grab a level 50 character and join the frey with your friends.  No need to worry about getting your character high enough  level to join your friends or any of that jazz.

(These are WIP images and may change)

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Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)
Working hard on getting the carnival map balanced out at each of the difficulties. Making sure all the wires are connected on our little Jester Box surprises and putting the finishing touches on what comes out of the box.

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Chris Flores, QA Lead (likethatwhenigothere)

Stuff works, and then it doesn’t work. Stuff works again then it again doesn’t work. I hope when we release this we land on the stuff works side.


Abraham Abdala, Lead Tech Animator (Broham)

Finalizing everything animation related for the Carnival Map, finalizing a lot of other stuff for the Abyss Lord.


Adam Stow, Project Manager (TE_Stow)

It’s a beautiful day for those of you looking for clearer UIs, and I’m not talking the carnival.  I really hope we can get to some of the stuff we’re discussing sooner rather than later.  Oh wait, that’s my job to assess & determine! >.<


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

Been adding the final touches to the Carnival level, now I’m focused on adding/creating some cool carnival stuff to the Social Hub level.


Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

So now that we're mostly done with the carnival level, polishing a little more the social hub with new cool stuff!


Dani Moore, Remote QA Manager (Dani)

Whack-a-mole. Replace moles with bugs. And the hammer with a bug report form.

iamisom

Patch 9.7 for Steam

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Here are the notes for Patch 9.7 on Steam!

Features

  • Added toggle in the Options menu to disable already-viewed skippable cutscenes!

    • This means any intro/outro cutscenes (like the Liferoot Forest victory cutscene) that you have already seen won’t appear again. The exception to this is any cutscene that occurs mid-match (like the Betsy intro on Wave 5) as this operates differently from the other cutscenes.

  • When players leave a tavern, their towers are now automatically sold.


Optimization Bug Fix

  • Fixed a bug where the game would use an integrated graphics card instead of a dedicated card if both were available. This should increase performance for some players with high-end PCs.


Balance

  • Towering Poison Health Update

    • Increased Defense Health bonus of Towering Poison passive.

    • 80% Increase -> 130% Increase (Max).

    • Minimum values increased to maintain parity with new maxes, which should retroactively buff all existing Towering Poison items.

  • Crystalline Saber now follows the Loot V2 stat/passive rules.


Bug Fixes

  • Added a tentative fix for minibosses (like Ogres) getting stuck in spawners. Please let us know if you’re still seeing stuck minibosses and be sure to include information on spawn location, map, mode and difficulty.

  • Zen Monument now decreases time between healing ticks as intended.

  • Fixed a bug where the Crystalline Saber was dropping way more than intended. Now other build weapons should appear more often.

  • Fixed a Daily Mission issue where certain Daily Missions that were supposed to reward lockbox keys were, surprise, not rewarding those keys.

  • Fixed an issue where Fuse Initiate didn’t give enough gold. Now it does!

  • Fixed a bug where item tooltips wouldn’t display in the Inventory if a player opened and closed the chat window while the tooltip was on screen.

  • Fixed an issue where dragging the Scroll Bar down to the Pet Bag would cause the Scroll Bar to pop back up to the top of the Inventory.

  • Fixed a Daily Mission tooltip issue where the tooltips for the Random Consumables displayed only a few of the possible rewards (the pet eggs). The other consumable possibilities were omitted.

  • Fixed a text issue that would happen if a player rebound the Ready Up key.

  • Fixed an issue where the Holy Buff would stack on Temple of the Necrotic.

  • Fixed an issue where the Scourge Dragon’s projectiles would arrive after the enemy has already been damaged.

  • Fixed a War Table text issue where it would display “Knight Commander” instead of “War Table,” causing general confusion.

  • Fixed a tooltip display error.

  • Fixed an issue where the Betsy icon was displaying on the Harbinger HUD.


Other Notes

  • EU server is now located in Ireland.

  • Oceanic server is now located in Sydney.


I_PASS_BUTTER

As we mentioned in yesterday’s Looking Ahead post, we have a new creative director -- Elliot Cannon! We’re super excited to have him on the team. Some of us also have new job titles. In this week’s Dev Log, we share what those new titles are and talk about what we’re working on this week:


Elliot Cannon, Creative Director

Hey everyone! This year is going to be tons of fun for you. We’re unifying the game, getting PS4 and PC on the same content and release rhythm, refining what’s rough around the edges and finishing up those missing elements every game deserves. We’re expanding the game’s hero library to give you more ways to play DD2 with a deck you create that suits your play style with greater options. We’re improving matchmaking so it’s easier to play solo or with friends, and creating ways to measure your success for yourself, against your friends, and the world. Right now, everyone is cranking on the Dragonfall Carnival while design, art, and programming are designing and building new heroes. I’m working through all the details of this, the UI, the game loop, balance, community requests, and everything under the sun, all driven by the goal of elevating DD2 from its awesome foundation into something even more fun and addicting.   


Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)

Hello everyone! I’ve now successfully transitioned to my new role as the Design Director. This allows me to focus all my efforts on the design aspect on DD2 and work closely with Elliot. My primary goals right now are focused on designing and implementing our first new hero, the Abyss Lord! I’m working with Derek (programmer), John (animator), Joseph (vfx artist), and others to ensure we make a strong first impression with this new hero. Additionally, I am working closely with Brys to revamp our matchmaking flow with a lot of new and exciting changes that should be a drastic improvement. While I’m not juggling those two watermelons, I’m also working a lot with Elliot to formulate a plan of action to execute a lot of the ideas we have for 2016. It should be a fun year full of blood, sweat, and tears (hopefully joyful ones!).


Danny Araya, Art Director (DannyAraya)

I am now Art Director! My responsibilities will be focused on working with the art team to maintain and continue improving the visual style of all future content for DD2. I’m also working closely with Elliot on all writing tasks and churning out tons of concept art!

This week it’s dialogue, dialogue, dialogue! Working with the world building team to solidify the aesthetics, lighting, and the color pallette for the new map! Also working with Afshin as he composes (IMO) one of the best tracks we’ve seen so far in DD2!  

Tim Shannon, PS4 Producer (TimmyTrashTier)

Getting everything set up for a big February and March for our PS4 users and trying not to freeze in Wisconsin.  The next couple months will be pretty busy as we move to catch up to the PC version and release some five milestones worth of content in the process.  Make sure to check out the PS4 subforum on an ongoing basis for regular updates and discussion on the direction and future of the platform.


Josh Isom, Community Manager (iamisom)

You’ll notice a few new titles in this Dev Log, but we’ve also reorganized to open up more resources for our weekly patches. So what does this mean? We’re hoping to get more community-requested feature/balance/quality of life changes into our weekly patches along with our bug fixes! Did someone say cutscene skipping?


I also want to give a special shoutout to u/shadowlaunch on Reddit for creating a Dungeon Defenders II Planner! If you want to share your builds with other players, check it out.


P.S. While our Dev Logs are primarily about DD2, I want to give an extra special thanks to the DD1 Community Development Team, whose efforts were recently showcased by MMORPG.com! We’re so grateful for their passion and dedication. I’ll leave you with this choice quote from the article:


“Most games and companies would kill to have this sort of devotion. Most players would kill to have the developers take them this seriously.”


James Reid, Software Programmer (Driscan)

Lots of work on UI and flow for thing #1 and it’s coming together nicely. Lots of meetings about thing #1 and thing #2. Still doing some minor work on thing #3 as well. Hopefully soon I can replace thing with what it really is.

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Jeffrey Bickel, Technical Level Designer (TE_Jeff)

This week I’m ensuring all my work’s in a solid place to use some vacation days and take a short trip. It’s looking good so far, and I’m excited to do some battery charging and sip some fruity drinks on a beach. I’m really excited for the new direction DD2 is headed in - this year should be a fantastic one for Defenders!


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Steven Collins, Lead Level Designer (Esorath)

The new map is coming along nicely! Setting up all the difficulties we want this map to be located at. Also moving forward with any extra little hidden items located in this map!


Chris Flores, Supreme Warlord and Commander (likethatwhenigothere)

A bit later in the week we’ll get started on Patch 9.7 builds, but currently we’re hacking away at getting the PS4/PC projects together in one mamma jamma project. Should make development on both platforms easier. As soon as that’s done and merged, we’re full steam ahead at testing the new update as it comes in.


Abraham Abdala, Lead Tech Animator (Broham)

Lots and lots and lots of prototyping for… the Abyss Lord, new towers, abilities, animations, simulations, you name it. A super awesome hero awaits!


Joshua Javaheri, Art Producer (javahawk)

Carnival!


Adam Stow, Project Manager (TE_Stow)

A new title for a new year!


Managing a whirlwind of development in production for 4 years here at Trendy (seriously!) has made me want to aspire to something more holistic. I’m glad I’m being given that opportunity, and I hope I can provide for you all in time a holistic view of where we’re going.


Jason Yu, Associate Producer (urfyness)

The focus this week is to finally start putting all the pieces of the puzzle together so we can see what we’re building. The goal is to have all the big features in place so we can understand how it’ll feel and make any adjustments before polishing. The pieces this week are fun prizes, the Carnivall, the outdoor hub, normalization, a buff bar, and more!


Javier Barreto, Lead Software Programmer (javo)

And they are gone; my parents that is. They’ve been staying at my place for about a month and man that was fun… and somewhat exhausting… but a good exhausting. =) [Ed. Note:  Javo, man, you gave me a heart attack.] My parents got to bond with my daughter pretty nicely (which was the original purpose of their trip). While doing so she learned to stand (definitively), wave her hands saying goodbye, say “hola” (we believe... ) Yeah, lots of fun, lots of driving.


And so a new year begun and with it some changes; we are bringing the PS4 project in-house! We hope that by doing so we will get feature parity faster; it’s almost a must as we are consolidating the code between the two SKUs. The immediate target is to define and get the cross-platform development wheel spinning once and for all (in this case, cross-platform means working on two platforms at once). A lot of challenges open up with this change in the process (UIs, controller support, stores, etc.), but we are confident and excited about this; in a way we’ve been waiting for this to happen for a while now… and the time has finally come. =D


On a personal note, I feel like I’m doing more code reviews than ever. I want things to go as smoothly as possible when we fully switch to cross-platform development for which I (we) need to know with a lot more detail how things are wired across both platforms: where could they break, what should we be looking out for and where should we make exceptions and why… find a good balance between “make it work” and “that should be abstracted/refactored/generalized.” We are running a live game here. We need to deliver.


Well, it wasn't my intention to write a long post. I don’t have a banana to share (nor a potato); sry =P


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

Been working on the Carnival -- most of the time in the out-of-bounds areas.

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Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)

It's been a week since we've started the world building on the Carnival. Everyone is doing great efforts to have it finished very soon. I think it's coming out quite fun!


Dani Moore, Remote QA Manager (Dani)

Fumigating the Carnival area for nasty bugs. Trying really hard not to be distracted by the shiny lights.

iamisom





Steam Early Access. Those three words inspire so much discussion. It’s no longer just the finished product that matters -- it’s how you get there that makes all the difference.

Since our Early Access launch in December 2014, we’ve released 9 major updates and 51 patches. We’ve added, removed and tweaked major systems thanks to your feedback. We’ve revealed the behind-the-scenes workings of our studio through weekly Development Logs and Devstreams. And many of you have dedicated your free time to help development in a variety of ways. It’s been an incredible experience working with you so far, and this year, we’re taking it to 11!

Here’s our big 2016 plan for Dungeon Defenders II on PC and PS4!


New Year, New Us


We’re super excited to share that Elliot Cannon is our new creative director! Elliot is a video game industry veteran with over twenty years of design leadership experience. He was one of the original designers on Unreal and Unreal Tournament, titles that launched Epic Games and the Unreal Engine as the most successful licensed game engine in the world. Elliot led multiple projects at Crytek Germany and Crytek Budapest during the development of the Crysis franchise and was the creative director behind Crysis Warhead. He has also worked as a lead designer on multiplayer titles such as Warhammer 40k – Dark Millennium Online and Steam-focused live update titles such as Killing Floor, Killing Floor 2, Red Orchestra 2 and Rising Storm. Prior to joining Trendy, he was the design director at id Software on Doom and an adjunct lecturer on video game design at Southern Methodist University’s Guildhall, one of the premier graduate video game education programs in the United States.

His experience brings a much-needed perspective to our team, and the impact since his arrival in early December has been incredible. Together, we’ve refocused the vision for Dungeon Defenders II, and it’s awesome.

So what’s the refocused vision for Dungeon Defenders II? Focusing on what makes our game great:  Tower Defense and Heroes. Let’s use that foundation and build upon it. Let’s improve the systems that aren’t up to par. Let’s get the PS4 and PC versions on the same update cycle. Overall, let’s finish the damn game, and then continue to build on it.


Our New Roadmap


With our refocused and reinvigorated vision, we needed a new roadmap for 2016. We’re still working out the details, but we wanted to share the big items with you right away.


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Get the PS4 version in sync with the PC version.

In 2016, the PS4 and the PC will be on the same major update. It’s important that our PS4 players are right there with our PC players as we release new content and changes.

To do this, we will release the remaining updates that separate PS4 from PC in a shorter window. We’ve tentatively scheduled the next PS4 update for the beginning of February, which includes 3 major updates -- Alpha & Beyond, Ascension Part I and Ascension Part II.Then, we’re hoping to release The Harbinger Awakens update along with the current milestone together shortly after that. From this point on, the two versions will be in-sync. We’ll develop new updates for the two versions at the same time, and we’ll release the updates simultaneously.


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Our first new hero... the Abyss Lord!


Make new heroes -- lots of them.

Our biggest goal for 2016 is to build a deep Hero Library. In fact, we’re working on our first new hero right now (tentatively called the Abyss Lord)!

We don’t plan to just make one or two heroes this year. We want to make lots of them. Right now, our team is doing pre-production work to get the design and play of our first hero right. We’re starting designs for more new heroes, too.Our goal is to release new heroes and expand your choices early this year, and we can’t wait to share more details with you.


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Improve features. Adjust balance. Fix bugs.

Another big goal for us in 2016 is to improve what’s currently in the game. Just like our first hero, our design team is doing pre-production work right now to flesh out what changes they’d like to make to existing systems.

Our focus for early 2016 is refining the Hero Deck with a unified theme and new UI across major parts of the game. (Note:  The UI above is temporary and does not reflect any final changes to the system.) We also will be improving Matchmaking so you can play with your friends and others much easier, with greater control and cooler rewards. Our designers are knee-deep in figuring out the nitty-gritty details of the changes to these systems, and we’ll provide those details after the release of the current milestone.


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Make new content.

While our designers and programmers are busy designing new heroes and changes to core features, our level designers and art team are working on some fun new content for you to play!

In our next major update in February, we’re releasing the Dragonfall Carnival. The Dragonfall Carnival contains a brand-new, limited-time event map full of madness and wonder. Don’t miss your chance to win exclusive costumes!

Along with the Carnival, we’re introducing a brand-new outdoor social hub called the Heroes Marketplace. It’s time to embrace the open air as you mingle with other players. The Heroes Marketplace gives us more flexibility in real estate expansion to include...well, you’ll just have to wait to find out.


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Finally, let’s finish the damn game.

It’s our plan to leave Early Access this year. Really, Trondo? Really really. Everything we do this year will move us closer to this goal. You can expect more polish and higher production values to come on top of the new heroes, system changes, balance adjustments, bug fixes and new content that’s coming your way.


Our Progress So Far


To wrap things up, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on how the game has changed since our Early Access launch. Here’s a refresher on the major changes we’ve made to the game:

February 2015 (Foundation Part 1):

  • Campaign Mode

  • Daily Missions

  • Incursions

  • Social Tavern

  • Challenges, Titles & Steam Achievements

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


March 2015 (Foundation Part 2):

  • Hard Mode

  • Player Kicking

  • Forge/Inventory Overhaul

  • Removal of Downleveling (and Associated Changes)

  • Matchmaking Improvements

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


April 2015 (Pets & Dragons):

  • Betsy, Our First Boss Fight!

  • Three New Maps

  • Three New Incursions

  • Pet System

  • Skill Sphere System

  • Costume and Accessory System

  • Daily Quest System

  • Four New NPC Shops

  • Early Access Rewards

  • Lockboxes

  • New Challenges & Titles

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


July 2015 (Loot & Survive):

  • WIPEAGEDDON

  • Pets 2.0

  • Fourth Hero Deck Slot

  • Loot/Item Overhaul (including Item Power System)

  • Major Matchmaking Overhaul

  • Onslaught Mode

  • Nightmare I, II, III and IV

  • Lane Trait and Resistance System

  • Tutorial

  • NPC Dialogue Boxes

  • Daily Mission System Overhaul + New UI

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


September 2015 (Alpha & Beyond):

  • Went Into Alpha (obviously)

  • Daily Map Bonus System

  • Build System

  • Inventory 3.0

  • New Onslaught Maps

  • Enter Private Tavern From Main Menu/Move Between Taverns In-Game

  • Skill Spheres UI Update

  • Difficulty/Loot/Pet/Passive/Skill Sphere/Defense/Hero/Economy Balance Changes


October 2015 (Ascension Part I and Part II):

  • Two New Maps

  • Spooky Event 2015

  • Steam Trading Cards

  • Auto-Collect Filter System

  • Stat Points Systems (stats on level up)

  • Increased Defense Size (+ Defense Balance Changes)

  • Melee Weapon Variety System

  • Ranged Weapon Variety System

  • Partial Controller Support

  • Enemy Rollout Changes (“Support” vs. “Standard” Enemy Changes)

  • New Passives and Skill Spheres

  • New Builds

  • Skill Sphere System Update

  • Defense/Hero Balance Changes


December 2015 (The Harbinger Awakens):

  • New Boss:  The Harbinger

  • New Map, Two Redone Maps

  • Loot V2

  • Endgame Progression Changes

  • NPC Shop Item Generation Changes

  • Accessory Progression Changes

  • New Challenges & Quests

  • Improved Controller Support

  • War Cache + Galactic Weapons Event

  • New Builds

  • New Cinematics

  • Difficulty/Loot Progression Changes


By the way, this list doesn’t include the hundreds of bug fixes, balance changes and quality of life improvements from our weekly patches.

2015 was a busy year, and this year is going to be even busier. We hope you enjoy the ride as much as the result. In the comments below, tell us:  What are you more excited to see in 2016?

Love,
The Trendy Team

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