Our pledge with this gigantic update is to increase and improve communication. This is our first DevLog in a series of DevLogs coming your way! We recently teased big changes to two very important stats: Critical Chance and Critical Damage. There is so much coming with Professor Sebastian Proteus, here’s what he’s bringing in this DevLog:
Stats: Critical Chance, Critical Damage, Speed, and more are getting their impact cranked up!
Gear: Stats aren’t the only thing changing. Gear now has a primary and secondary stat, as well as unique magical properties to really amp up your playstyle!
Properties: Now a part of gear and relics, properties lend a much needed helping hand into bringing interesting builds to the Defenders of Etheria!
There’s a ton of information to cover here. These are the foundational changes that affect everything else you are going to see in future DevLogs. These changes open the door for a lot of features we are wanting to add. It’s a lot to take in, so let’s begin!
Jose Villegas, Technical Designer
I’m excited to tell you that big changes are coming soon to DD2. We have been paying close attention to the balance of the game for a while, so we took it upon ourselves to tackle several of the core systems of DD2, and how to improve them.
Similar to the recent changes to Shards and Gear Progression, the goal of these changes is to enhance your DD2 experience by making things as clear and simple as possible. To this extent, we modified and improved how stats work:
Hero and Defense Critical Damage: This was my biggest source of concern by far. Previously, Critical Damage was a separate stat that increased damage from critical strikes independently from your regular non-critical damage, which meant that one had no relation with the other. We felt that this directly conflicts with what most players would expect from a normal critical damage system, where your critical damage was a multiplier that affected your regular damage. So, we made precisely that change. With this update, your critical damage is a percentage that affects any source of damage. Whenever you trigger a critical strike, your regular damage is multiplied by your critical damage stat. Revolutionary!
Hero Damage, Defense Damage, and Ability Power: Since the overwhelming majority of your damage in DD2 came from critical damage sources, we are increasing how much damage your regular attacks, abilities, and towers deal. So whenever you login after the update, your base damage is now stronger than ever!
Hero and Defense Critical Chance: Now that your normal and critical damage pulls from the same source, we decided to also remove the 33% Critical Chance cap previously used. In order to encourage people to make whatever builds they find the most fun, we opened the floodgates and removed the crit cap!! Our goal is to make crit builds an option for players, and an actual choice rather than the only way to play the game.
Defense Speed: This is an obscure stat in the game. Each Defense currently has a Defense Speed stat that affects how fast it attacks, however, it was not very clear how much you gained whenever you increased it. Due to the fact that it was a numerical stat instead of a percentage, making the conversion between that number and the attacks per second is very difficult, since each tower worked differently. For example, the Defense Rate Shard increased your Defense Speed by 33%, but that percentage changed the stat, and not the actual attack rate, so it affected different towers in different ways. In this update, Defense Speed is also a percentage, and is directly tied to the actual attack rate of the Defense. Whenever you raise the Defense Speed you will know exactly by how much you are increasing that tower’s attack frequency.
Now, you may be asking, if Defense Speed and Critical Damage are changed this much, how does that affect gear? Well, we are improving the gear in the entire game! We know that right now gear is a little bit stale and lacking in variety, so we are introducing our new “Magical Property” (work-in-progress name) system on gear that is going to shake things up quite a bit. These new properties are all about gaining power in new ways, including Defense Speed and Critical Damage. We are going to update you with more info about the changes to gear sooner than you expect =).
Anyway, that’s all from me for now. We are listening to your feedback, and all of the changes we are doing are with the goal of making DD2 a better game for you. Thanks for enjoying our game, and please let us know how can keep doing better!
Mark Telfer, Technical Designer
It’s been a while since I last checked in with you all, and boy, do I have a ton to share! We’ve been hard at work making some gargantuan additions to Dungeon Defenders II over the past few months, and I am excited to say that I can finally spill the beans on some of what the team has been working on. Hang on to your CatHatters, because gear in DD2 is in for a wild ride.
The Current State of Gear
As we were wrapping up the Barbarian’s Wrath update, I sat down with the team and we all took a hard look at gear. There were many things we saw as opportunities to improve upon. At its heart, Dungeon Defenders II is a loot-centric game. Conquering enemies and beating down precocious little gobus gives you a bonanza of gear drops on each map. Getting a piece of gear should be an exhilarating experience! That dropped piece of gear should represent potential untapped, possibility incarnate, and the spoils of victory well earned. It should inspire creativity in builds and a diversity of outcomes. In essence, gear equipping should be a meaningful and gratifying choice that lets you define your identity as a hero of Etheria.
Unfortunately, the current gear of DD2 falls a bit short of this goal. As most of you know, gear currently has a primary stat, a varying number of secondary stats, and a differing amount of shard slots (depending on its tier). There is a very limited number of secondary stats in the game, and this hampered the amount of unique stat combinations we could drop for you to play with. For example, a legendary medallion has every single defensive secondary stat on it. That means there is only one type of legendary medallion in the game! That’s the antithesis of giving players meaningful choices.
Exacerbating this issue, there was one particular stat that was of supreme significance - Critical Damage. If you’re not building for maximum Critical Damage right now, then what are you doing!? Critical Damage accounts for the vast majority of damage output a player can potentially do. This meant everyone was essentially building in a singular way. Boooooring! Needless to say, the design team knew we could do better.
Jose worked hard to bring order to the Critical Damage system (outlined above), and brought sanity to critical damage output; it will no longer disproportionately affect DPS. Because of this adjustment, we now had a ton of wiggle room within the game balance to introduce new ways for you slay enemies. That’s when things got crazy. The design team made a pot of coffee, locked themselves into a room, and started imagining unique, fun, and crazy ways that we could let the heroes of Etheria dispatch the goblin legion. The time has come where I can (finally) let you in on where we landed.
Magical Properties Everywhere!
With great excitement, I can announce that all gear in the coming update will have the chance to roll new, unique, game-changing properties that allows you to creatively concoct entirely new strategies in DD2. These properties are affixed to gear that drops and defines playstyles, empower creativity, and engender build diversity to the likes that Etheria has never seen. These aren’t your Grandma’s old gear passives! What are some of the insane things properties can do, you ask? Well, my friend…
Have you ever wanted to make goblins explode upon death and have that explosion ripple out onto the luckless enemies in near proximity? You can do that! Oh, did I mention that if you’re smart then you create a chain of explosions?
Have you ever wanted to make your cannonball tower deal elemental water damage? You can do that! Would you prefer a different element? Pandora’s Box has opened when it comes to elementally attuning non-elemental towers.
But despite how awesome both of those are, I must confess that I have a favorite. I’ve always had trouble with those pesky Shield Geodes. I love building Cannonball Towers and Poison Dart Towers, but those knuckleheads always reflect my projectiles. Well, they used to... until I found a property that makes projectiles penetrate shields. Just don’t tell Lawlta that I told you*. ;) (*Lawlta note: I see everything!)
These awesome properties, and many many many more, have a chance of dropping on the gear you earn while playing. The better the gear (mythical, legendary, etc.), the more properties there are. There will be properties for both your towers and your heroes, and they can be combined to glorious effect. And did I mention properties get crazier and more powerful the further you push in DD2?
These new properties will come to replace many of the secondary stats currently on gear. Don’t get me wrong, secondary stats such as Hero Health are still on gear, but there are less of them. Gear will soon only have one primary and one secondary stat.
Properties fill in the gap that the removed secondary stats left, and gear is vastly more interesting because of this. Instead of being forced to see and use the same four secondary stats, you now have a myriad of choices in which properties you want to play with. With all these changes to gear and items, one thing we did not change was shard equipping. Prepare to make some serious decisions on property combinations and how confluences of different properties that best compliment your playstyle!
I’d love to tell you more, but Lawlta is breathing heavily over my shoulder and I fear for my safety. However, I can tell you that this isn’t even half of what we are working on for this upcoming update. Seriously! This isn’t hyperbole! There is way more coming your way, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Until next time, Defenders!
A Quick Note From Elan!
Colin Fisher (Elandrian), Associate Producer
I hope that gives a little more information about some of the systems that are coming up in this expansion. I hope people get excited about our new Magical Properties (the name is a work in progress) and the other statistical changes on gear. In our playtests, we’ve seen that it’s provided some new defensive options that were otherwise unviable.
We’ll be releasing more information in the coming weeks to let everyone know about the plethora of system, balance, and content changes that are part of this expansion.
If you’re interested in checking out the changes early, you can join our playtester groups, the Remote Playtesting Group (RPG) and the Remote Quality Assurance (RQA). These groups have access to a test build of the upcoming changes and have been instrumental in providing feedback while we flip our balance on its head. If you’re interested, make sure you’re 18 or older, can test on PC (rewards are available to every platform though!), and contact our RQA Manager, Dani Moore!
(It’s dani dot moore at trendyent dot com. Why don’t links work well? I don’t know. We’ll fix it one day… Game systems are more important. Right? RIGHT!? PLEASE CONFIRM FOR ME.)
A Look To The Horizon!
Alec Saare (Lawlta), Community Manager and Bean Spiller Extraordinaire
We discussed quite a bit of information here, but this is only the tip of the controlled burn and frosty mutated gobu-berg. There is so much more coming on top of this that we are going to get EVEN MORE information out soon. The bean spillage that occurred here will continue to flow!
The systems we are going to talk about continue to build off what’s discussed here, they're real game changes. All stats are being changed and rebalanced, new magical properties (work-in-progress name) are being added to really empower your gear. Seriously, some of them are crazy, and we took good care in making sure they also address some of the great feedback many of you have provided (thank you for all your efforts on that front). These changes really offer us a lot of opportunities to continue creating awesome and rewarding systems and features! As we release information, you’ll see how everything builds upon the previous post. There might even be some information about how game modes are affected or even more information about your gear coming! ;)
If you want a sneak peak (as well as helping us polish things before release), as Elandrian outlined above, our testing groups are just for you! There’s so much coming, and every bit helps to make this expansive update great.
Want More Info On What’s Coming?
Check us out on social media for additional updates and game discussions with our awesome community:
We’re going to give even more details very soon! Our designers are excited to continue sharing what they are working on and explain what changes are coming and why. Stay tuned!For Etheria!
The Dungeon Defenders II Team