It’s been a little while since we last spoke, but what we’ve lacked in words, we’ve been making up for in hard work! There’s a ton of stuff that we’re continuously chugging away on: Update 1.2, console ports, and even our major content updates. We’re breaking the silence and ready to talk about our work with Update 1.2. Let’s get into it!
Console Development Check-In
We’re currently making a ton of great strides and getting a lot of performance out of our console work. There’s a lot with this type of development, not only in getting the game to run properly and at a decent frame rate but also in meeting the technical requirements of each specific platform before we submit for certification. As we continue to progress, we’ll keep you all posted.
We’re going to be splitting this update into two parts to make sure everything we add is in the best state possible. The first part of this update includes additional gameplay, features, rewards, and bug fixes; the second part includes additional features and Kickstarter rewards. The goal with Update 1.2 is to put a bow on what we consider the baseline DD:A experience before we move onto major content updates.
Part I: Enter the Rift
We’ve been teasing it for a bit, but we’re ready to talk about our newest game mode coming in Update 1.2 — Rift Mode!
What is it?
Rift Mode is an option, similar to Hardcore, that players opt into throughout Campaign and Survival. Rift Mode serves to evolve the challenge and experience of DD:A, providing players something new, regardless of their experience with Dungeon Defenders, to take on. Here are the main takeaways:
- The number of total enemies is halved.
Some enemies become Rift Enemies, providing additional functionality and difficulty.
- All enemies can become Rift Enemies.
- The Siren is already a Rift Enemy.
A new weapon type called Fusion is dropped to take on Rift Enemies.
- This will make taking Sirens on considerably easier.
- New armor set bonuses that can be target farmed to take on Rift Enemies.
Increased loot quality dropped in Massacre.
- This is not an increase in item caps, but rather dropping better quality loot in general to progress faster.
- Over 20 new accessories added only available in Rift Mode.
Where does it occur?
It is available at ALL difficulties for Campaign and Survival.
What are Rift Enemies?
Rift Enemies are considerably stronger monsters that have greatly increased health, increased damage, and additional mechanics. Here are three of the enemies’ new mechanics:
- Goblins: They’re 33% larger, making them more of an imposing threat, and potentially blocking higher priority targets from getting hit.
- Archers: They’re attack range has been increased and now they shoot homing missiles.
- Ogres: They’ve cleared up their sinuses and instead of throwing snot, they throw Rift Kobolds that have a huge explosion.
This is just a sneak peek into the additional mechanics, as EVERY enemy can become a Rift Enemy.
What are the rewards?
As mentioned above, we’re adding in new weapon variations, new armor sets that help you take on these new enemies, new accessories to spruce up your character, and increased loot drops to progress even faster.
What’s the point?
In Dungeon Defenders Awakened we’ve got multiple types of players. There are Defenders who enjoy the traditional Dungeon Defenders experience, want to spend tons of time farming for that perfect drop, and like to set up an intricate grid of defenses that they can set and forget. Then there are Defenders who want an additional challenge, want better loot faster, and want somewhat shorter play sessions. With every one of our updates, the first group will get what they want, but for the second group, Rift Mode is our chance to provide an option to the second group.
This isn’t a one-and-done mode either. It’s a Rift, and as we progress further and further into DDA with our major updates, the Rift continues to tear more and more open, introducing new mechanics and challenges for players to overcome. Every new enemy added to the game will have a Rift version as well, diversifying the gameplay and introducing a new obstacle to overcome.
Really it’s just a mode to provide a reward that decimates the Siren.
Also, there’s a ton of new accessories to hunt down in this update! Why does that matter? Let’s get into the next big feature of this update — Transmog.
This feature looks to provide players the option to make their hero look how they choose. It’s similar to the Flair system that was in Dungeon Defenders II that many players enjoyed, with similar elements to customization systems you may have seen in other games.
What is it?
You might get a fancy mask that drops that looks cool, but really you want to live out your dream of wearing a goblins face without sacrificing the godly-tier stats on your perfectly dropped fancy mask. Now you can! This system is pretty robust and is something we’re going to continue to build upon it over time.
Your Transmogs will exist independently of your actual equipment, so feel free to mix-and-match to your heart’s content! As you change your equipped items, your Transmog appearance will go untouched. No longer must beauty come at a price.
What can I do with it?
There’s multiple changes to the system. First, you can change the model of your equipped items in the following equipment slots:
Weapons (you can only Transmog weapons that your hero can use)
- EV, won't be able to Transmog her weapons, as they are not visible
- Masks (can be hidden or transmogrified to look like any other mask)
- Brooches (can be hidden or transmogrified to look like any other brooch)
- Bracers (can be hidden or transmogrified to look like any other bracer)
There’s over 20+ new accessories for you to hunt down, and we know what you’re thinking: yes you will be able to look like a Sharken with some of these new accessories.
However, the customization does not stop there. We’ve opened up additional colorization options on the heroes, giving you even more control of their appearance. It doesn’t even stop THERE! You can also recolor your WEAPONS & ACCESSORIES to look however you want. We’re making it so that all items drop with their default colors, and the icons now reflect that as well.
All items can have their hue (color), saturation, and brightness adjusted. Black katana? Easy. Red Shield? Done. Neon green mask for that sweet rave in Deeper Well? No problemo!
You can preview how certain colors get converted to HSB with this nifty tool:
Bug Fixes? Bug Fixes!
There are a TON of bug fixes coming with this update. It’s a little complicated, but basically patching while we’ve been working on our console ports has been a very difficult endeavor, requiring a lot of additional work and potentially breaking a lot more, leading to delayed patch releases and console releases. We’re sorry we haven’t got these out sooner, but there are a lot coming and we’ll make sure to have detailed notes of ALL OF THEM.
Part 2: Give Me That!
We’re not a very large team, so when it comes to getting things done, we have to be really efficient and smart with what we work on. Our team has been hard at work on getting our console versions ready (work is still going on as of this post), which is a very time consuming and incredible engineering feat to accomplish. As such, there’s a couple features that we want to give a little bit of additional time and focus on to make sure they release fully functional.
This is going to be a pretty straightforward feature to many. Trading will allow players to open up a UI with other players to trade items that they have acquired throughout their journeys,for an agreed upon price. We’re wanting to spend additional time on this feature to make sure it not only has transactions working without a hitch, but also to remove any potential exploits that can ruin the experience of other Defenders.
Sometimes you get a good drop and invest a ton of points into a piece of gear, only to want to reallocate the Upgrades that you’ve spent after acquiring more gear to really Min/Max your perfect setup. With Item Reforging, you can do just that! Just take a trip to the Blacksmith, and for a fee, he will allow you to reinvest your items’ upgrade points..
Part of this update is putting a bow on the base game, and that includes fulfilling our in-game Kickstarter, Backerkit, and Preorder rewards. We’ve got most of the skins out, but will be adding in:
- Custom enemy names
- Custom weapon names
- Custom armor names
- Legends Tablet
- Credits/Special Thanks
- Hero Titles
We’re wanting to get a few weeks of testing done to make sure that Part I is good to go. Once we’re happy with where it’s at, we’ll get it out to you ASAP. Do you want to be part of that process? You can apply to join our Cavalry testing group to get a sneak peek as well as provide important feedback or report any pesky bugs that may be hiding from us. Part II will come out shortly after that. Our goal is to make sure it works before setting a release date.
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Keep an eye out for more info!