Today we announce the next chapter of Dungeon Defenders II, the Power of the Ancients Expansion, releasing next month! Within our Expansion are some legendary additions to the game:
Onslaught, our new game mode that is your main focus of progression.
Ancient Power, our new character progression that allows you to push the limits as defenders and increase your strength.
The Lost Temple, our new HUGE map that changes its layout every time you attempt to conquer it.
Defender Packs, a new way to unlock unique flair, costumes, and pets.
And much more!
We are going to be revealing more Power of the Ancients info soon, and talking about Power of the Ancients on our Devstream this Friday at 3PM EST! To give insight into what we’ve been working on, we’re having some of our epic developers chime into the work they’ve put into Power of the Ancients, experiences throughout our development process, as well as what we’re most hyped about! Let’s get started:
Alec Saare, Community Manager (Lawlta)
For those of you who don’t know me from our different social platforms, I’m Community Coordinator turned Community Manager for Dungeon Defenders II. My focus has been taking all the feedback that you, our courageous, strong, glorious community, have provided to help make sure that Power of the Ancients is a behemoth of an expansion that you all want to conquer. This means taking your feedback and wants, meeting with designers, discussing the things that defenders enjoy, molding our new content to the things you enjoy, and then testing the beastly content that is created. You’re in for a wild ride!
Onslaught provides something for everyone to enjoy, from those who have just completed campaign, to the grizzled veterans of Chaos Trials 7. The progression feels so incredibly solid and polished. You steadily get gear and shards that are improvements as you progress. Trials now drop MORE gear and shards than before, making them more rewarding for taking on harder enemies sooner than you would in Onslaught. You can choose to progress through Trials to unlock Onslaught floors, or through Onslaught floors to unlock Trials, which just feels great having the option to go between the two and still progress. On top of this you also can increase your Ancient Power (a new form of character progression), which just offers a slew of benefits and choices that provide meaningful character advancement.
Besides putting time into our new expansion, I’m constantly working on ways to make our community a better place to be. I’ll be rolling out some new initiatives to make our social spaces an even better place to interact with one another; give our streamers a single banner to fly under, transparent requirements, maybe even some incentives; and everything I can to spotlight the greatness that is the Dungeon Defenders II community. There’s more to come soon!
Colin Fisher, Associate Producer (Elandrian)
FINALLY. I’ve probably been teasing most of our players for too long about our new “end-game mode” and “update” that we’re working on, but now I can finally talk about it! Huzzah! It’s not just a “game expanding update” anymore… It’s an expansion.
I remember a day, where I was just a baby armchair developer, playing the old version of Onslaught, wishing for checkpoints and some sort of save system that would keep my progress. Whelp, I wish I could say those were the “good ol’ days”, but this new version of that game mode is far beyond anything I could have expected.
We’ve taken several pain points of gameplay that players have been experiencing and kicked them to the curb! Facing off against the same enemies every map and the build never changes? CURBED. Tired of smart loot being weird? CURBED. Wanted more things to do in the game, but Trials was the only option? CURBED? (DISCLAIMER: Trials is still an option, but we tried to make Onslaught a better option. I mostly just wanted to use the “kicking to the curb” analogy but it may not have been the right choice. The aforementioned “CURBED” features still exist in the game in the Trials game mode, we’re just building future content in a better way.)
To give a really quick “Elandrian’s TL;DR” set of bullet points about this expansion:
Onslaught is a brand new game mode that completely changes our end game progression and is nothing like the previous version of Onslaught.
Onslaught features new loot progression that makes sense. Higher Floor Number = Higher Loot Stat Numbers.
Onslaught features enemies and modifiers that will make your defense different each time.
Onslaught will save which floors you were able to beat, you can then immediately play the next floor in your progression.
Ancient Power is a way to do a limited reset on your account but keep progressing over time.
The new map is unreal. You’ll have different lanes and cores each time you load in.
We’ll go over the specifics about each feature in future Devstreams and posts, so make sure to stay tuned for more specifics! You could also probably join our Remote Playtesting Group, sign an NDA, and check out the new content early, but I’m sure Dani will mention that below!
John Muscarella, Lead Animator (Muskie4242)
Howdy defenders. It’s been a while.
This milestone the animation team has been pretty focused on some very ambitious cinematics to announce our awesome release. Hope you enjoyed them. As well as an in-game event piece that you end game players will be seeing very soon...
There is a lot more to come, but until then, please enjoy one of my favorite cosmetic flairs we’ve been working on over here.
Creepy right? Almost like it’s going to reach out and grab you…
Dani Moore, Remote QA Lead ([[25251,users]])
Our testing teams have been hard at working getting Onslaught up and going, and we’re ready to expand testing to our Remote Playtesting Group to get our community feedback and gut checks before we push for release.
Our playtesters are great folks and have helped make our releases better. If you want to get early access to Onslaught in exchange for giving us feedback and helping us iron out issues before release, we want you!
If you are 18 or over (sorry you need to sign our NDA so we can’t bend on this rule) and wish to help (PC only help for now, sorry console bros!), email me dani.moore(at)trendyent.com and let me know. We’re hoping to start testing this week, so you’ll want to be there when we do!
Steven Collins, Level Designer (Esorath)
Holy frick, this map was a challenge and a half. This isn’t your grandpappy’s old Dungeon Defenders II level.
Since there are so many different possibilities that can happen in this game mode, I wanted to be really intentional with everything this map has to offer. We ran through scenarios and tests as to what combinations of the different Onslaught elements could appear and made sure that these combinations came together in a meaningful manner.
When the lanes open and cores are different each time, you get to have a different experience with different core and lane combinations. These two things working alongside the enemy modifiers make this one of the top experiences for Dungeon Defenders II.
Mark Telfer, Technical Designer (TrendyMark)
I can’t tell you how fun it has been to watch all of you play Mastery each week, and I am incredibly grateful for the positive feedback you’ve given me. I’m still hard at work revamping the loot generation system (it’s going to make sense, dammit) and designing out some new and exciting things coming in the future. I can’t wait to see the final weeks of Mastery and to watch you guys conquer Onslaught and beyond!
Zack Smith, 3D Artist
My first thought when looking at the concepts for the Onslaught expansion was, “whoa! I get to create these amazing concepts in 3D?!” I was very excited to create a variety of the 3D models and textures for the Onslaught Expansion. I enjoyed creating a wide range of assets ranging from a dragon to a tiling floor texture. The goal was to create a look that was mysterious, fun, and vibrant with bold colors.
Jose Villegas, Technical Designer (TrendyJose)
My name Jose and I’m a Technical Designer here at Trendy. Over the past couple of milestones, I have been working as the designer for the new Onslaught game mode. It has been a long and tiring endeavor, but we are so happy to finally have reached the point where you can see what we made for you.
Let me go over a few points to give you insight on our expectations for Onslaught and the immediate future of DD2. For this I need to go back to the somewhat-distant past of March 2017 and the release of Trials. While we enjoyed what Trials provided to the game, as a recurring game mode, it was evident that we needed a true end game with a longer life, and clearer progression.
This led us into thinking about how to create a new game mode that will keep you engaged with exciting content and challenges, regardless of how much time you put into the game. Onslaught, at its core, is just that: an ever-increasing challenge that will grow alongside the player, for as long as they want.
The main obstacle in front of us to achieve this goal was how to ensure a satisfying replayable experience. The immediate answer for us was the enemy selection, and how to mix them effectively. So far, every game mode in DD2 has run the same enemy types in each lane whenever you load into a map. However, for Onslaught, each lane will have different enemies coming through them. For example, one lane may have Cyborks and the other one may have Vanguard Goblins. That means that the same build will not work in every situation, and you will have to react independently to each lane. We gave each schedule of enemies a distinctive name, which you can use to strategize and share your best builds online on how to counter them.
As a secondary way to achieve replayability, we are bringing back enemy Mutators with full force. In the past, Mutators are modifiers that have been used to affect the performance of a given lane. A few months ago, I asked people in the forums to give me ideas for exciting new Mutators, and they did not disappoint. I’m pleased to say we have made roughly 35 new Mutators, all of them impacting gameplay in many ways. None of them are going to be boring flat number increases, but our goal was to provide you with fun challenges to overcome. In fact, some Mutators act as double-edge swords for the enemies by making them stronger in some way, but weaker in another.
Finally, the best example of Onslaught’s replayability lies in the new map we made for it: The Lost Temple. The Lost Temple is the biggest DD2 map yet, with 30 lanes and 10 cores! Of course, these are not going to be all open at the same time, but different lane/core combinations will be selected each time you play it.
Alongside replayability, our priority from Design was to help clarify the game’s gear progression. For this we are dividing Onslaught into Floors that will guide players in an upwards ladder of power progression and enemy difficulty increase. No longer will you have to worry about whether or not you should be playing a given Chaos difficulty to progress effectively, you now can just simply play the next floor in Onslaught and you will know you are on the right track.
My job was to design, balance, and work on the implementation of all the systems that I have talked about in this log. Anyway, I think I wrote way too much already. I don’t use twitter, but you can reach me on the official Discord. I hope you will enjoy all the exciting content we are preparing for you in the expansion =).
More Info Soon
We'll be talking more about Power of the Ancients over the next few weeks. To make sure you get the most up-to-date information, check out our social media platforms:
Also visit our Devstream this Friday at 3PM EST on Twitch, where we'll be showing off some Power of the Ancients goodness.
As always, we are incredibly grateful for the support that you, our glorious community, provide us. Get ready to dive deep into Onslaught, it’s going to be here before you know it!
The Dungeon Defenders II Team