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The "SUMMON THE DEMON LORD" Update is Live!





Today our “SUMMONING THE DEMON LORD” Update went live on Steam Early Access. This Update opens up a TON of content. The first Challenge Maps in Act I are available to conquer, the Demon Lord himself has been summoned, and Nightmare difficulty is now available. It’s a lot of content — let’s get into it!

Nightmare Difficulty

The top difficulty in the original Dungeon Defenders makes its triumphant return. While it is not the hardest content coming to Dungeon Defenders: Awakened, it definitely packs quite a punch. Enemies have more health, hit harder, and provide better rewards. That’s not all though — Nightmare brings four additional enemies into the fray, each with their own new mechanics to push all that Insane gear you’ve been farming to the limit. In DD:A we introduce these enemies in a more digestible fashion, so you can learn their mechanics one at a time, before having to face them all as you progress through the rest of Campaign and Survival.



Coming out of every dark nook and cranny, spiders come to disrupt carefully placed defenses. These web slingers have a knack for dropping behind your defenses, causing havoc by weakening players and towers. Watch out, here comes a spider web!

  • Abilities
    • Can spawn in unconventional locations, sometimes behind choke points or typical building locale.
    • Shoot webs that if they hit towers greatly slow their attack rate and weaken their damage. If they hit your hero, you are no longer able to use abilities and your movement and attack speed are greatly reduced, while greatly increasing the damage you take.
  • Strategies
    • Look to build defenses to protect defenses that are dealing with frontline enemies.
    • Using your damage-dealing focused hero, quickly burst them down before they start launching webs.



These land walking sharks pack quite a punch! Proving that they didn’t skip leg day, the moment they are in range of a tower, they begin to charge up before bolting forward, knocking any tower they encounter to the wayside. These foes don’t stop there — should anyone get within melee range of them, they’ll burst you down with incredibly powerful swinging giant crab claws.

  • Abilities
    • Charged dash that knocks Towers away.
      • Incredibly powerful melee attacks.
  • Strategies
    • Interrupt their dash as they are still charging it.
    • Auras and traps help make quick work of these foes.
    • Use ranged attacks to avoid their deadly flurry.



The Djinn giveth to their ally, and taketh away from you. Able to channel their magical energy into a nearby ally through their hands, they are able to greatly increase all stats to their friend left uninterrupted. However, their powers don’t stop there. Using a powerful gaze, they can phase a focused tower out of existence should they be left alone. Your wish is not your command!

  • Abilities
    • Channeled cast that buffs all stats of a targeted enemy.
      • Channeled cast that destroys towers.
        • Heavy damage to heroes.
  • Strategies
    • Dealing enough damage to a Djinn interrupts their casting, preventing them from buffing their allies, or destroying your towers.

Goblin Copter


Look, in the sky! It’s a megachicken! It’s a propeller cat! NO, it’s a Goblin Copter! Using some crafty goblin engineering, the Goblin Copter is a mechanical miracle that is able to not only make goblins airborne, but also carry an Ogre with them. They are able to break through defenses by distracting towers using bright flares they shoot to continue their journey. After dropping Ogres, they shoot homing rockets that deal high damage to players and towers alike.

  • Abilities
    • Carry Ogres through the battlefield to specific locations.
    • Shoot flares to distract towers from hitting them.
    • After dropping off their Ogre, they shoot twin homing rockets that deal high damage to heroes and towers.
    • Ogres are immune to damage while carried.
    • When destroyed, Goblin Copters crash to the ground, dealing incredibly high damage.


  • Strategies
    • Focus the Goblin Copter before it drops its Ogre.
    • If over a pit, the Ogre will fall to its demise, and you will not be hit by the crashing explosion.
    • If the Ogre falls to the ground, it will have ⅓ of its original HP.
    • Long range Harpoon or Deadly Striker Towers make quick work of these enemies, if they’re able to hit them.

These enemies are sure to shake up some surefire strategies that worked through previous difficulties. To relieve some of the punishment that these crooked cooks dish out, we’ve created a digestible way to encounter these foes throughout your adventures in Campaign. The enemies first appear in the following maps:

  • Spiders in Deeper Well (Nightmare)
  • Sharken in Ancient Mines (Nightmare)
  • Djinn in Lava Mines (Nightmare)
  • Goblin Copter in Tornado Valley (Nightmare)

As you progress, you will encounter more of these enemies in each map. Going from Campaign to Survival will not be as kind, with enemies coming at you in full force as soon as Deeper Well. Not all Nightmare enemies can spawn in every map, but when they do, it’s something that’ll haunt you in your sleep. 

After conquering the enemies that Nightmare throws at you, you’ll be rewarded with even stronger gear than before. These pieces of gear are going to first come in the form of Mythical gear, and then as you progress and claim even greater gear, Transcendent gear shall be yours! 

Arise, Demon Lord!


The Demon Lord has been summoned to provide the first boss battle in Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. This pillar of calamity is brought into our realm in the Alchemical Labs through a combination of alchemy, science, and dark magic. After braving five waves of enemies, you will have 30 seconds before this demonic monstrosity bursts from his lava-bound chamber. Though his power is immense, there may be some tools that brought him into this world that can help send him back!

Hardcore Mode

Are you a bad enough dude and think you’ve got what it takes to fight some of the hardest enemies without taking a knee? Then Hardcore is right up your alley! Enabling this option for any map you go into provides great rewards with a great risk. During Hardcore, should your heroes hp bar reach zero, you will not respawn until the combat phase is over, either from your towers carrying you to victory, or from your crystal core exploding in defeat. Another twist of the knife, if you should die, all the build mana you previously had drops to zero. There’s definitely strength in numbers, so team up to help shoulder the burden!

Note: Hardcore is an option you’ll find during map select on the right side of the screen.

Act I Challenge Maps

The first of many to come, these challenge maps are an introduction into some fun content that takes maps you know and love, and adds a different spin on them.

Deeper Well: No Towers Allowed
In this challenge map, your Defense Unit amount is set to zero and you are unable to build defenses. You’ll need to bring your best damage dealing hero to deal with all the enemies that are gunning for your crystal core!

Alchemical Labs:  Raining Goblins
It’s raining gobs, hallelujah it’s raining gobs! Just like the title says, goblins come raining from the sky! Goblins continue to spawn throughout the entire map from the sky, enough to blot out the sun. You have to weather the storm, slaying all that fall upon you.

Bonus Map — Magus Quarters


A fan favorite is returning! The Magus Quarters is a hotbed of activity, quite literally. After completing Act I, you now unlock this map for additional challenges, loot, and even a new pet. There’s more coming to this map, during the 1.0 release Magus Quarters will also provide a challenge map — The Warping Core!




  • Manabomb
    • Adjusted it’s scaling so that late game it is MUCH more powerful should you put points into the ability.
  • Flameburst Tower
    • Now has proper fall off damage.
  • Lightning Tower
    • Damage has been GREATLY increased.
    • Is able to add new targets at the end of its chain.
    • Remakes the chain lightning if an enemy in the chain dies.
  • Deadly Striker Tower
    • Improved the targeting functionality.


  • Hero Boost
    • Was boosting too much, and has been reduced.
  • Tower Boost
    • Lowered the overall scaling of this ability.


  • Slice N Dice Tower
    • Damage has been GREATLY increased.





  • Overall accessories have had their scaling reduced to 25% of their previous values.
  • Armor added to shields.

Upgrade Levels

  • Updated upgrade levels for all pets, accessories, and weapons.



Pet Rock

  • Movement speed decreased to 50% of the hero’s movement speed, down from 75%.
  • Decreased the total amount of stats given.

Propeller Cat

  • Lowered the additional power this flying feline was giving.

Sell Price

  • Many pets have had their sell price adjusted.

Melee Pets

  • Attack range increased to 400 from 300.

Ranged Pets

  • Attack range increased to 700 from 400.


  • The amount a pet’s damage can be upgraded has been GREATLY increased.




  • Snot toss now has proper fall off damage.
  • Effects of the Ensnare Aura are reduced towards the Ogre.

General Changes

  • There’s a new Intro cinematic that plays when the game loads, as well as before Deeper Well on Campaign. Check it out!
  • After defeating the Demon Lord, a cinematic plays as you progress into Act II!
  • Added Offline Play support.
  • New visuals in Alchemical Labs, including some nefarious weapons floating with a protective barrier.
  • Added a Lock/Unlock All action
    • On Keyboard it is:  Ctrl+L
    • Gamepad: Hold X (face button left)
    • Or click it!
  • Added a “Click to Sell” feature
    • You can now sell items by holding the “S” key and clicking on items (if the item is unlocked)
  • Added a slew of gamepad and keyboard features in the inventory.
  • Gamepad Improvements
    • Can now scroll the stat panel with the right joystick.
    • Hitting left and right now switches pages.
    • Hitting right shoulder buttons switches you from heroes to defenses on the Hero Stats panel.
    • Added support for Map Select and Game Mode Select
  • Trap chaining has been added to the Huntress.
    • Traps of the same type that overlap with one another will now set off a chain reaction should one activate.
  • Ballista in The Ramparts is active and can be interacted with.
    • It fires a shot, but it can’t hit anything. Just a cool little thing.
  • Magus Quarters has now been added to Map Select!


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a crash when connecting to a session.
  • Fixed a crash involving the inventory while trying to matchmake or join a friend.
  • Fixed a data loss issue related to joining a friend or matchmaking taking too long.
  • Fixed a crash that occurred when trying to swap heroes while matchmaking.
  • Fixed a crash involving opening the inventory.
  • Fixed a crash if a Host had the escape menu open, and a client joined, the host would crash.
  • Fixed a crash that occurred based on rare states of your heroes.
  • Fixed a crash when a client creates a hero through the inventory during a multiplayer session.
  • Fixed an issue with the tower repair cast bar not matching the actual repair time.
  • Removed a pesky hidden flag that was outdated on The Promenade.
  • Added functionality for “unreadying” to reset the timer to infinite (if applicable).
  • Adjusted currency to 64 bit values (it’s a 4,000,000,000%+ increase).
  • Optimized content within Tornado Valley for increased performance.
  • Optimized content within Tornado Highlands for increased performance.
  • Optimized content within The Throne Room for increased performance.
  • Optimized content within The Arcane Library for increased performance.
  • Optimized all skeletal meshes for Heroes to increase performance.
  • Optimized how the Dark Elf Mage heals.
  • Optimized Dark Elf Archer model.
  • Optimized content on Lava Mines for increased performance.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed a player to be buffed with an infinite duration Hero Boost.
  • Fixed an issue with Escape Menu buttons not being clickable.
  • Fixed an issue with Huntress weapons not having correct fall off damage.
  • Fixed an issue with pet projectiles not having correct fall off damage.
  • Optimized how enemy weapons are handled after defeating them, increasing performance.
  • Several tutorial tweaks.
  • Fixed the Lightning Tower beam VFX so that it properly follows enemies.
  • Improved Monk run animation.
  • Adjusted Inventory frames to always be active (no more fading)
  • Squire’s heal and lose animations received small updates.
  • Fixed verbiage used during the tutorial to be more in line with the narration.
  • Fixed a scaling issue with scrolling combat text font.
  • Corrected how lighting affected the anvil in the Tavern.
  • Fixed an issue where if everyone unreadies, the timer (if applicable) gets set back to infinity until a player readies up.
  • Updated a lot of training dummy functionality, including how damage is calculated and presented.
  • Improved cloud backup saves.
  • Fixed an issue when locking an item that locked the item selected and also the item the mouse cursor was over.
  • Fixed Apprentice falling animation to be less choppy on ledges.
  • Fixed Squire falling animation to be less choppy on ledges.
  • Fixed an issue where players would see weird spawning events when other players opened their inventory.
  • Fixed a gamepad issue when closing filters or damage numbers pop up.
  • Fixed an issue where the hero preview would not load with a weapon.
  • Added support for toggling privacy settings when creating a session.
  • Fixed an issue with the Slice n Dice tower’s SFX looping improperly.
  • Fixed sounds playing before animation on Defense Radial Menu.
  • Adjusted radial menu animations to be snappier.
  • Adjusted keybindings on various radial menus.
  • Adjusted the radial bar menu visuals to be cleaner.
  • Fixed Hero Boost and Tower Boost descriptions in the Hero Info Panel.
  • Fixed an issue with the timer not going away when entering Combat Phase.
  • Fixed an issue where item inspection only worked on the left side of the inventory.
  • Removed the ability to close the Inventory filter UI with right shoulder buttons on gamepad.
  • Fixed an issue with the HUD not disappearing when restarting a map.
  • Fixed an issue where the filter UI could be opened while a context menu was open.
  • Fixed an issue with the Spiked Blockade attack SFX was not playing.
  • Fixed an issue with the Lightning Tower attack SFX was not playing.
  • Fixed an issue with the SFX not playing when Heal finished.
  • Fixed a lot of music related issues.
  • Fixed an issue with the game starting fullscreen and ignoring resolution settings.
  • Fixed various issues with gamepad usage on the Escape Menu.
  • Fixed an issue where the Lightning Tower SFX was not stopping after being destroyed.
  • Fixed an issue where combat music would play over victory fanfare.
  • Fixed an issue where confirmation popups were not using the correct text.
  • Fixed an issue when swapping heroes in the inventory, resulting in incorrect camera placement.
  • Fixed an issue with the Summary Screen moving the player to the next map, regardless of win or loss.
  • Fixed an issue with the Ogre’s swing hitting players.


Known Issues

  • Item tiers will change currently through upgrades going into Nightmare gear. This is currently a visible change, and is not reflective of the final way tiers will be displayed.
  • Melee pet damage and ranged pet damage are not scaling correctly in Nightmare. All other difficulties will scale pet damage correctly.
  • Public games sometimes do not show up in the session browser.
  • If you click OK on a loot filter change and click back on options the UI won't close unless you hit the esc key.
  • If you create a hero with empty hero slots sometimes you'll just see the hero and the background. This can be bypassed by hitting the “I” key or escape depending.
  • Some accessories may change into another accessory, specifically the Sapphire Brooch, Mining Bracer, and Crusader Shield may become Monocles.
  • Very high item level gear may not show a quality tier.

What’s Next?

Our release is not too far away, so we’re going to keep plugging away to get the remaining content all polished up and ready for you to conquer. While our schedule has become tight due to the effects of COVID-19 (becoming fully remote, internet outages making remote work hard, and so many other fun hurdles), we’re still doing everything we can to get this game out to you as soon as possible. To make this easier, please, should you run into any bugs during this update, report them to us through the in-game escape menu. We’re working as quick and hard as we can, but with the vast numbers you provide, we’re able to get issues surfaced faster, leading to quick turnaround and fixes. 

Also a big shout out to our Etherian Cavalry, they were a big help in surfacing some gaps for us and overall providing a better experience going into this update!

Social Defenders

To get reliable updates on the future of DDA make sure to follow us on all our social media platforms:

Keep an eye out for more info!

For Etheria!

Chromatic Games

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