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Looking Ahead: Dungeon Defenders II in 2016



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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):


  • 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?

The Trendy Team


Recommended Comments

hope you will add some free hero slots time after time with new characters.
i mean how much slots does the free player have? and you want to add a lot of new heroes instead of new towers for old ones

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theres a glitch in the ps4 version of the game that all of my characters skins are stuck on the huntres I believe this because accessories menu.

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@ImTheMate88 quote:

theres a glitch in the ps4 version of the game that all of my characters skins are stuck on the huntres I believe this because accessories menu.

Thanks for the heads up! Would you mind filling out a bug reportI'll pass this along to our QA team. 

In response to ImTheMate88

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Not sure how I feel about PC now having to wait for consoles to get their patches done before PC can get theirs (or vice versa). Wasn't this decided against since it was a dumb thing?

What's holding me back most from having fun right now is the trap dominance. It's just so boring and I've seen it all. We need more combos and a trap/frostbyte nerf.

Scaling per DU is bad as well. Seems like a horrible idea balance-wise. Just make cheaper DU towers cheaper to upgrade.

I just hope that no tower will be locked behind a paywall though. So if that new hero has unique towers/performs a major new role like buffing towers or heros, they will be free.

That said, I am not seeing enough monetization right now. And I find the chest system for cosmetics isn't really convincing me to spend money on it, which is worrisome.

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@Tommynewlife quote:

Trendy hopefully you make new heroes pay for.If you don't how are going to make any money on cosmetics? I don't think so.It is time you put your foot down Trendy and say enough is enough.You guys are a business not a charity(remember that).Yes everyone like getting free things but freedom comes with price as well as a drawback. The community will state "Trendy you promise never to sell gameplay advantage" Anyway I'm ok with pay heroes or free heroes truly doesn't matter with me.It's up to the rest of the community on what their thoughts about new heroes ,most likely they will say free new heroes.

Somethings in life must be pay for,weather free to play or pay to win no excuses.

Actually in the past Trendy has been very clear on this; heroes arent going to be pay2unlock only.
Maybe there will be a shortcut for payment, though.

In response to Tommynewlife

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This all sound super awesome guys! Thanks for your hard work on making this game better!! :D 

Really looking forward to the new content. The new maps, new heroes! Can't wait to see what you have instored for us of new boss fights and defence combinations! ^^ 

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Thanks that's exciting news. I just hope that the loot balancing can reach final state some time soon so we don't have to grind and farm repeatedly when new patches change gear stats/passive. I would like to play to enjoy the game, not to re-gear for the N'th time. I get that's what comes with 1year+ Alpha and I will wait for beta/full release.. keep up the good work Trendy.

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Please make sure all heroes/towers are balanced with each other.

It would be really bad if new heroes/towers were superior than the original heroes.

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@Itriyya quote:

The question everyone wants to know regarding new heroes: 

Are you guys going to break this guarantee before the game is no longer in "Alpha?" As a player who has already spent money on outfits in support of the current business model, I would quit playing the game.

well remembered  ! ! ! 

i think they should give more free hero slots, since you start with 4 , and wont be able to create 1 of each hero after they release new ones ,sounds like the game will no longer be totally  "free" anymore if you have to add money to create and play with one of each hero in the game.

In response to Itriyya

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+Content, yes!! Sounds weird to say this but something that made DD1 sooooo amazing and always fresh was all the DLC, yes you heard it right!! All the new heroes, maps, new loot... ahhhh Amazing!!! DD1 did get me always excited about buying DLC, always!!

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Maybe with new heroes you can add the ability to fuse tower combos together to make 1 different tower. IE mage frost+squire ballista + monk buff= Ballista that shoots a volley of arrows from the sky slowing and damaging enemy's

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Cant wait for the new Hero, I'm really excited! :-)

Also more Maps is always good and I'm really curious what the estate expansion may be! :-) 

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Split Screen on PC was promised a loooooong time ago, but hasn't been added to the roadmap?!  Myself, and loads of others, pre-ordered the game because of this!   This needs to rectified, ASAP.

I pre-ordered on PS4 as well, because we want to play. But that versions sucks. The draw distance for decorations is about 5 feet. The screen blanks out all the time. The sound craps out on half the levels. The FPS is garbage. Please give us what was promised for the PC version.

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When will trophies be implemented? Also, will i earn trophies for levels already passed / tasks already completed? Another question; will there be one last partial/full wipe? Thank you

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