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Dev Log 93 – Happy Holiday Hints

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Elandrian

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Happy Holidays from everyone here at Trendy Entertainment!  Thanks for a great 2016 and we can’t wait to share what’s coming up in 2017.  Here’s some tidbits about some of the things we’re working on in the game.


Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)

There are no holidays in the camp of Blacksmith. We’re working on three huge changes coming to Dungeon Defenders II very soon. Today I am going to talk about 1.5 of those changes.


While we were working on the Terraria crossover, our back burners were burning away thinking about what we can do to DD2 to make it a more entertaining experience and help empower the end game. While I was playtesting the bloodmoon incursion, one of the answers was staring right at me the entire time. Do you guys see what is wrong with this picture?

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Even though we give you the option to carry four heroes in your hero deck, in order to achieve the full fantasy of a hero, you need three of that hero. In the image above, I had:


  1. Defense Health Dryad dedicated to building tanky trees

  2. Defense Power Dryad dedicated to building damage dealing defenses

  3. Hero Damage/Ability Power Dryad dedicated to wrecking face during the combat phase


We are all used to this by now and it’s funny that this has been staring all of us in the face for years now, and we never realized how obtuse it feels. In order for a player to achieve the fantasy a hero promises, that player needs to level 3 of the same hero and farm for at least 18 pieces of gear.


While thinking about this seemingly obtuse problem in DD2, I started thinking about how players interface with loot and realized that loot itself is also currently obtuse. Imagine you are a hero. Imagine you are wearing a full legendary ipwr 800 set of armor. You’d feel powerful right? Protected? Safe? That is what armor is for right? Not in current DD2, if that armor had defense stats on it, well, you will get 1-shot in nightmare… What about if you have an iPwr 800 legendary weapon! Surely you can deal great damage to your adversaries right? Well, not entirely … you more like tickle them to death if that weapon had the wrong stats… Similar to how you interface with your hero deck, there is a lot that does not make sense about DD2’s loot.


To fix these problems I proposed one simple rule. “Whoever equips an item, is affected by that item”. What does that mean? Well, if a hero is equipping a piece of gear, only that hero is affected by that gear. This allows us to make armor and weapons make sense once more. You will no longer find a weapon with Defense Stats nor will you find Armor with Defense Stats.


“What the ploop Blacksmith! What are you doing!? You know this is a Tower Defense game right! Why are you taking tower stats away this is garbage!”


Aha! But wait! There is more! Heroes can no longer equip relics and the game is going to have a total of 5 relic types:

  • Medallions

    • Primary Stat: Defense Power

  • Totems

    • Primary Stat: Defense Health

  • Rings

    • Primary Stat: Defense Range

  • X (not sure what this will look like yet)

    • Primary Stat: Defense Crit Damage

  • Y (not sure what this will look like yet)

    • Primary Stat: Defense Attack Rate DekJnRt.png


Each one of your towers will now have an equipment slot in your equipment belt that can equip a single relic. So for example, on the Squire you will see:

  • Weapon Slot

  • Shield Slot

  • Helm Slot

  • Chest Slot

  • Gloves Slot

  • Boots Slot

  • Cannonball Relic Slot

  • Blockade Relic Slot

  • Ballista Relic Slot

  • Dummy Relic Slot


Each tower is now only affected by the relic they equip. What does all this mean? Well this change allows us to combine those 3 heroes you did before into a single hero. Your hero deck of 4 heroes can now literally be 4 different heroes (or 4 squires if you really want to, you can do what you want, you’re all grown…). Each hero can now fulfill the fantasy role in its entirety.


But Blacksmith, what about hero diversity? At least before you had 3 different Squires… It now sounds like all Squires are going to be the same!


Nope! They won’t be, and here is why. If you think about it really, the 3 different Squires you had before were not at all very exciting differences. The next two changes (that I cannot yet talk about) are targeted at adding customization and diversity to each hero type so that you can have different sorts of Squires, Apprentices, EVes (EVii?) and so on.


One of the two things (that I cannot yet talk about, but I am going to anyway) revolves around how you interface with Passives. Right now passives are a good customization tool but are also a massive pain to interface with. You are dependent on RNG to get you the 3 passives you want in the right combination. We are changing that. We are thinking that passives will no longer spawn on gear. Instead, gear spawns with passive slots and passives drop independently on different maps. We are also thinking that passives will no longer have random values but instead will start at a fixed value and can be upgraded through item enhancement. Instead of finding a passive that says “Cannonball Tower does +15% more damage” you will now find an object, let’s call this object a shard, that says “This shard improves the damage of the tower it is socketed into by 5%, can be upgraded 10 times”. By divorcing loot and passives (it was a doomed relationship from the start), you can now invest in the passives you want to and when you get a higher iPwr piece of gear, simply unsocket that passive and move it to the new piece of gear.


All these changes are highly experimental, a lot may change about them, and are the reason why I will be working through the break to deliver these changes to all of you as quickly as possible. We will talk about all these changes in the future, but I wanted to reveal some of them to you know so we can start gathering your feedback. If you have something to say please comment and include “Blacksmith” in your reply. If you have concerns or even if you like what you hear and want to send a few encouraging words please reply in the comments below!


(Also examine the inventory screenshot below closely, you may see the new equipment slots for each hero)


Joshua Javaheri, Tech Art Director (Javahawk)


First and foremost, Happy Holidays! It’s been a long year and a long journey thus far for us and for you, and we're really glad to be here with you throughout. The last few patches have been relatively quiet as we continue to work on huge system overhauls that will dramatically change the way we play and interface with DD2.


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A few of us are wrapping up our year here with some much anticipated quality of life improvements to the inventory UI. Gone will be the days of the hero's forge soon, as we're shoving a ton of important hero and inventory specific information onto this revamped inventory system. The right side of this new UI will be the inventory management screen while the left side is relegated to dealing with your hero deck, equipment, and various stats.


One of the questions we've been getting lately is "will these inventory changes affect the structure of bags, and if so, how will this affect my previous purchases?" Simply, yes, we are getting rid of the concept of standard and premium bags in favor of a simpler system. All bags will have the previous premium functionality and will consist of 64 inventory slots apiece.


All players who return will get converted to the new system with the same-or-higher number of inventory slots as they previously had (rounded up to the nearest 64 slot bag). So that means a player who currently has a total of 144 slots (9 bags of 16 slots) will get rounded up to 192 slots (3 bags of 64 slots). THIS MEANS THAT IN EVERY CASE, PLAYERS WILL RECEIVE THE SAME OR GREATER NUMBER OF TOTAL INVENTORY SLOTS.


Additionally, all bags will have extensive sorting functionality. More specifically, players will now be able to sort by Weapons, Armor, Relics, Pets/Pet Items, Consumables, and Lockboxes, and our smart after sorting algorithms will also intelligently sort between different types of items. For example, if a player currently has a huntress equipped, when they sort by weapons, the top hits will all be bows, followed by other weapons with similar ranged stats. We also have a second layer of sorting, with tags such as iPWR, rarity, recent, etc, for even more sorting control.


We are also giving players the tools they need for smarter auto-loot collection. Players will be able to specify, on a per bag level, which loot goes where! It will now be possible for a player to throw all legendary huntress bows into one bag, and all garbage low tiered items into a garbage bag automatically. This should help some of the tedious item management pain points we've noticed players experiencing.


Here are some other cool inventory notes players can expect when we release inventory 2.0:

  • Inventory Item locking

  • Sell all in bag feature (Locked items ignored)

  • Unified design across all platforms

  • Full gamepad support


As a parting shot, we are also working on a solution to upgrade gear from the inventory, similar to DD1! :)


What're these!?:

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Colin Fisher, Assistant Producer (Elandrian)


I can’t wait for this next year, and I can’t wait to share all the hype that I have been containing since I started working on DD2. We’re going to be on our holiday break for a while, but we’ll be back in January and grinding hard at some big boy system updates.


I might stream a day or two over our break, and if you’re interested in streaming over the holidays, let me know!  I’ll still be around the interwebs interacting with the community when I’m not sipping martinis (shaken not stirred) on a beach and hopefully hosting some fun people on our Twitch channel!  


Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)


Happy Holidays Defenders!


For those who didn't read the last Devlog, we are working on a barbarian themed level, and this week we've been focusing on some viking huts meshes and textures.

We already made some good progress and can't wait to start the world building phase of this level! Meanwhile, here are some of the new assets.

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Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKami).


Hey Happy Holidays everyone! As Jesus said, we're working on a barbarian themed level, mostly doing art test stuff. We had some master classes and received some great advice from Jordan this week to help us improve our hand painting skills.


Here's an example:

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I really like the ideas laid out in your post [[48971,users]]! I am really excited to see them once they are ready and released! No complaints from me! Keep up the great work!! :) 

2016 has been a great year for DD2 (and that's just about all 2016 has been good for. lol) I can't wait to see what you guys have in store for us in 2017! #hype :D

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Holy Granny Shaman Gobu!

That's some huge changes, i like it. First i was super excited about these Goblin huts and that we finaly don't need to live in the underground anymore gobu. But then i read it's for the Barbarian =(. Can we Goblins get one too in the Barbarian village? Gobu?

Happy Holidays dear Trendianer. May the Goblins bring you all fine presents and good food. We share, we are all a legion! Gobu!

Emoji_Kobalt.pngEmoji_Huntress.pngEmoji_Goblin.png


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@cubicalbuckle25 quote:

I really like the ideas laid out in your post Blacksmith! I am really excited to see them once they are ready and released! No complaints from me! Keep up the great work!! :) 

2016 has been a great year for DD2 (and that's just about all 2016 has been good for. lol) I can't wait to see what you guys have in store for us in 2017! #hype :D

Thanks for the kind words! 2017 should be very interesting, hopefully if everything works out with these changes the year will be off to a good start. 

In response to cubicalbuckle25

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@dreamanime quote:

Holy Granny Shaman Gobu!

That's some huge changes, i like it. First i was super excited about these Goblin huts and that we finaly don't need to live in the underground anymore gobu. But then i read it's for the Barbarian =(. Can we Goblins get one too in the Barbarian village? Gobu?

Happy Holidays dear Trendianer. May the Goblins bring you all fine presents and good food. We share, we are all a legion! Gobu!

Emoji_Kobalt.pngEmoji_Huntress.pngEmoji_Goblin.png


Sorry man :( never any love for Goblins gobu 

In response to dreamanime

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So I may have missed this, but what about selling things? Will that become more streamlined with the inventory updated? (auto-sell??)

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So farm a bit for gear you put on, farm a bit more for stuff to customise said gear as well as abilities/etc and never mind RNGesus. Plus you don't need 3 Lavaboys for DPS, Offensive Towers and Walls. Unless you want 3 Volcanoes?

Although there won't be a wipe, looks like all our gear will be 'wiped' in a manner of speaking but that's more than acceptable. Even a total gear wipe... if it will simplify things will be OK.

Hope you guys will give pets the same treatment too.

-----

I will actually miss my 16 bags. I am using them to store stuff according to my cat's wishes so if it's at all possible... instead of us buying bags of 64 slots... perhaps we can just buy slots. Get rid of 'bags' and instead let us designate adjacent horizontal rows as 'Bags'. Plus the garbage 'bag'.


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Sounds promising indeed.

Will the different types of relics alter the look of the towers in any way? Be it cosmetic auras/outline color theme or actual structural difference. 

For example a cannonball tower with range, could have a longer barrel.

Thematic recoloring could also work, unless you are planning on that as a DLC type of thing.

For example DP relic, would be red. Giving the towers a theme centered around that color.

Red LAs anyone?

Speed could be yellow themed. Lots of possibilities to think about !

Personally I would love to see it in form of structural changes, but that is way more work so... no holiday for Trendydemon.png

[[48971,users]]

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sounds awsome

[[48971,users]] will we be able to set a bag to auto sell so we dont have to empty our garbage bag every 3 rounds?

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All very interesting stuff!

Blacksmith Though I love the idea of slots and shards to boost defenses, I am saddened by what seems like a potential loss of complexity to builders, with only 1 item and 1-2 shards effecting each defense down from 7 items, and at least 3-4 passives. 

Basically what I am trying to say is, more variables (items/passives etc) increases the variability of the power outcome of your defenses. This is a very good thing! it keeps people playing, adds a grind and longevity. For example: I am super proud of my 5.2k lighting auras with perfect crit and huge range, my 4571 DP 50% frosty power App and my 4568 DP 400% Purge SA monk. 

With the new system, it sounds like everyone will have basically the same strength towers, so someone who plays exclusively Lightning auras (assuming thats still possible) will not have better lightning auras then someone who just leveled up a hero and maxed out his shard got his relic.

Yes RNG in obtaining gear sucks, but at the same time RNG is always a good thing in creating longevity and a sense of accomplishment. I would love to see an improvement on RNG, but I am fearful of a system that does away with all the current variability in the power of our defenses. I do not want to cap out on the power of my defenses after finding the equivalent of a 750 relic with perfect passives and maxing out my "Lighting Aura shard".

Apologies for the rambling its late. I will hopefully reread it tomorrow and edit it to make more sense.

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Blacksmith I have two series of questions:

First Question Set:  As more heroes have been released, it has become more and more unusual that The squire effectively has one more gear slot than everyone else... Would you be willing to consider including "off-hand" items for other characters? For example; Apprentices could have "Spell Component Pouches", Huntresses could have "Quivers", Monks could have "Prayer Beads", Abyss Lords could have "Bookmarks", Series EVs could have "Power Cores", Gunwitches could have "Wands" (or "Fetishes"), Lavamancers could have "Geodes", and Dryads could have "Seeds".

Second Question Set:  With the upcoming changes being mostly to the benefit of builders, what is going to happen to the Gunwitches (and later the Barbarians), who are purely Fighters? Will they simply have fewer equipment slots? Will their relics instead affect certain key abilities? What is the opportunity cost for being a pure fighter if everyone else can both build and fight?

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Those changes looks great Blacksmith

However dont go completely from grind. It will kill longlivety of the game, while too much grind kills the longlivety for sure too^^.

What i mean? well it sure sounds awsum that passives will drop for sure quote: "This shard improves the damage of the tower it is socketed into by 5%, can be upgraded 10 times"

how about sometimes same shard drops very rarely that you can upgrade 12 times? thus grind/rng still present but makes a difference of lets say 10% of whichever stat? and those will be not gold but platinum^^

This will keep the "perfect" gear still grindy, but the overall difference in performance is around 10-20%?

Atm the difference in fresh nm4 gear and grinded gear in performance million of dps XD a bit too much, but no difference in performance is bad too.



Another thing: you did write those shards will have either def hp or power or crit or range? atm range is very low in value compared in same points to defense power/crit. The range that is added to towers is very low, and is basically not worth it. i sure hope you will take a look at range points abit thus slotting those "shards" of range will have an effect worth it not slotting power/crit.

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[[48971,users]] - one thing I'd love to see taken into consideration is build performance and measurement, specifically score.

For example, a "shard" (as you call them) could be a score multiplier instead of a damage multiplier. Enemies who are killed by that defense award more points. This would allow player leaderboards where only those who have the most efficient builds get the highest score (since they'd be taking a DPS hit to have a higher score).

If there's anything I learned from the Orcs Must Die series, playing to win and playing to get the highest score are like two different games. The shards seem like an ideal way to implement a scoring system. 

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[[48971,users]] While I like these changes a lot, I want to specifically commend and encourage the strategic customizations you're mentioning.  I sincerely hope that you're referring to more passives (or "shards", now) that completely change the way a tower works, a la the Uber spheres that convert Flameburst towers into Flamethrower towers or Cannonball towers into Heavy Cannonball Towers, or to compare more directly, passives like Purge Evil that completely transform the way Serenity Auras are used in a build.  I would LOVE to have three or four options to choose from for a given tower, as it adds a ton of complexity and room for experimentation to the game; when I have more viable gameplay options to choose from, I'll end up replaying content for fun and experimentation (i.e. playing the game for its own sake/the enjoyment of the gameplay), rather than replaying it for the sake of dull grinding.


My only real concern is what will happen to the existing gear we're grinding out?  I do enjoy the game a lot (and am planning to buy the Hero Army Pack next time it goes on sale so I can have even more ways to enjoy it), but considering the current less-than-fun method/pace of grinding, I now see little reason to actually play the higher tiers of difficulty until this new update is pushed through; what does it matter if I spend a hundred hours grinding out perfect pairs of Storm Boots for all of my heroes if those boots are going to just disappear into the ether in a month?  I suppose I can still play the lower difficulties for Defender Medals and hero experience, but still, knowing the full mechanics and extent of the upcoming wipe (if it even manifests as a wipe at all) will do a lot to put me and others at ease. :-)

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For those of us with 3 of each character, please don't let this new update mess up our characters gear or stats. I have a feeling like those of us with 3 will get screwed over somehow with this update like having our gear stats change or something

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[[48971,users]]

It is good to see the socket system being worked on +1.  When there was that whole discussion on how loot could be improved, I was an advocate for the socket system along with many others. To me, I think it is the right move.

The next step that I am worried about, which I have been worried about since dd2 alpha is......rarity.....and.....trading. The whole point of bringing the game server side was to stop hackers. In dd1 I could put up with players playing with hacked gear, because I usually just left their games or sometimes stayed because I found it amusing.
The one thing I could not stand was trading loot with someone who had hacked their gear. The only semi safe way to trade was on the forums and having an item checker to check the gear.
One of the coolest things about dd1 was farming for gear and getting that 1% drop Ultimate++ gear.After more than a thousand runs of skycity obtaining an ultimate++ steam saw was one of the most exciting and proudest things to happen to me in a video game at that time.
In the current dd2 implementation there really isn't that ultra rare 1% drop. Reason being, It would be next to impossible to obtain if you have super bad luck with RNG, but if you bring in trading it gives players the opportunity to obtain this super rare gear. 
When dd1 was active I constantly enjoyed coming to these forums  just to watch the auctions of Ultimate++ gear and absurd prices they would bring. It really brought the community together, and what kept me farming. Rarity and trading just go hand in hand.

All in all It feels like the game is definitely going in the right direction. Keep up the good work Trendy. :thumbsup:

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Quote Zimmermann:

"With the new system, it sounds like everyone will have basically the same strength towers, so someone who plays exclusively Lightning auras (assuming thats still possible) will not have better lightning auras then someone who just leveled up a hero and maxed out his shard got his relic."

Maybe It depends on the kind of way, in which u can upgrade those shards. For example, if the time, in which u actively use specific shards/towers/heroes, influences the speed and/or quality of the upgrade effects , it surely could be arranged, that a player, who mostly uses lightning auras, at the end have better lightning auras than player who uses snake towers more often.


All in all i like the described future changes. inventory and item improvements are imho both absolutely essential (whereupon i still asking myself, how it generally could get to the actual shape, cause there are a lot of (even simple browser) games, in which this things are done in a lot better way). I dont really want to know, how much time i wasted simply cause theres no "sell all"-button.

For now i really would like to know, what of the actual content lasts beyond the updates:

- what will happen with my (more or less) perfect rolled items (20% toxic shock, 400% purge evil etc) respectively has it still any aspect of future effectiveness to keep on grinding for those things?

- what, besides of maybe hero medals, can we actually go for without the expectation, that its simply lost after the patch(es) comes out (and i dont mean the 1/1 op charge pirate ;))? Or in other words: what for now can give us the motivation to keep on playing the game?

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[[48971,users]] Ok there will be a slot to each tower, what about the weapons passives, we still will need to change weapons?

We still will be able to use mana bomb and frost tower build in the same character and dont change the weapon?

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This is sounding great. Reading the comments there are many good ideas here as well. 

Pandy's different colour or look of defenses depicting their special passives. That would be cool.

Cantriped's idea of extra items such as Quivers for the huntress sounds great. Maybe adding extra effects to weapons? 


I agree a score board would be great. See how you are ranked in the world. I always thought when playing DD1 it would be great if the final score affected the quality of the final rewarded item. 

This would make me enjoy replaying levels more as I would try harder to get score bonuses, get a slightly better item, then replay with the better item to help get an even higher score.


The big thing I can not wait for is an extra level of difficulty or challenge. It was great fun trying to beat all the Nightmare IV maps for the first time, getting further up the waves each time, running around the map repairing defenses amd taking out enemies my defenses were struggling with. Felt a great achievement finishing the map after 3 ogres laying waste. 


Happy Christmas every one, can wait to defend with you all next year.

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[[48971,users]] maybe make it so you can upgrade shard only with the same shards so if you have 2 5% crit shards you can make 1 6% crit shard that way we still have the grind 

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