O-A! Pings are back in Dungeon Defenders II, and we’ve made several improvements to their design and functionality to help you communicate with ease.
In the first Dungeon Defenders, pings were only on your person, and only the basic “O-A” ping existed. This was great if you needed help, but these limitations could not account for situations where you might want to instruct other players in more detail. For example, if you needed a Spike Blockade placed in a specific location, or if you wanted someone’s attention in another lane, you had to walk over to that spot, press the Ping Key, and then type in the chat what you pinged for. Not exactly intuitive.
With these issues in mind, we’ve made two major changes to the ping system: separating pings from the player, and creating context-sensitive pings.
We Claim This Land!
Pings are no longer tied to your location. You can ping as near or as far away from yourself as you want! Press the Ping Key to activate a preview of the ping, then select where you want to place it -- just like a defense.
At the moment, pings are represented by flags that slam down from the heavens and pierce the ground, which -- let’s be honest -- is pretty cool. But it isn’t as intuitive as we’d like. Some new players have been understandably confused by the sudden, repeated appearance of a flag, which ultimately defeats the purpose of the system.
We’re thinking about going back to the graphical display from DD1 to better communicate the purpose of the ping. This goes hand-in-hand with our new context-sensitive pings!
A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action
Now you can use hotkeys to give more in-depth information about your ping. When you press the Ping Key, a menu of ping options will appear. You can activate the Basic Ping from here, or you can navigate the menu with keyboard shortcuts to select an Action Ping. There are now Action Pings for building defenses (including what type of defense you need), repairing and upgrading defenses, and defending/attacking specific lanes. Both the Basic Ping and the Action Ping will create a line of text in the chat that corresponds with the ping -- for example, “Need a Blockade here!”
The contextual ping system maximizes communication between players, so that even if you’re in a game with someone you’ve never met, you’ll know exactly what they need the moment they ping the map. This feature has already seen a ton of use in the Defense Council, and the feedback has been extremely positive on the conceptual level.
There’s still lots of work to do on the system, of course. Players are having problems noticing the pings on the minimap, and in some levels the flag is hard to see. But we plan to address those concerns and try out new things to make the ping system easy and rewarding to use.
What do you guys think? Should we change pings back to the simple icons we had in DD1? Should context-sensitive pings use different art? Would you use this system instead of voice chat to communicate clearly and effectively? Let us know!
The random winner of our Dark Assassin blog is Sinamoi!
Leave a comment to get your hands on the Dungeon Defenders II pre-alpha. This time, you have a full week to leave a comment! We’ll pick a random poster and reveal the winner next Tuesday!
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