In less than ONE WEEK Dungeon Defenders: Awakened will be released on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One!! We are so pumped for that release and we wanted to add to that excitement by sharing other big news from the studio — we’re also rolling out the release of Update 1.3 soon! We’re currently getting this update certified for Xbox, with our goal being to release the update for both PC and Xbox players on March 17, DDA’s Xbox launch date. Check out what’s to come...
One addition to the game we’re really proud to introduce is the new tutorial! We felt the old tutorial had room for improvement, so we’re adding more explanations on essential game-play features (like the hero deck) and giving new DDA players a chance to experiment with different heroes and defenses. This is just the first of many tutorial revisions and additions we’ll be adding to the game to help our newest defenders learn all they need to know to defend Etheria!
PLUS, everyone who completes the new tutorial will receive a sweet reward in their inventory. We’ll share more about that at the time of the patch release ;)
Massacre Mixed Mode and Pure Strategy
At long last, we’re adding the Massacre difficulty to Pure Strategy and Mixed Mode game modes! Pure Strategy tests players’ defense-building strategies by removing hero combat from battle. With the addition of Massacre difficulty to this game mode, players will have to account for the Siren, an immunity-granting enemy. This will force players to figure out how to handle the Siren using only defenses before she’s able to boost the rest of the enemy field. In Mixed Mode, players will also see the Siren added to the enemy list, and will be rewarded appropriately with better loot drops than even Survival mode. Prepare those defenses, Defenders!
Nameplate and Damage Numbers
Like we mentioned during the dev stream last Friday, we’re making some big changes to the displays for nameplates and enemy damage numbers. These changes will add in some missing player and enemy nameplates, as well as increase the quality of the displays, including making the text and numbers clearer while dealing damage. Critical hits will feel more rewarding, with larger numbers to let you know when you’re doing that extra bit of damage. These numbers will be even bigger when you manage to snipe a weak point, so it's time to show off those skills!
Check out how those in-game differences will look after the update:
Enemy Amount Changes
Game performance is an area we’ve been tinkering with for a while. To help boost performance, we decided that decreasing the amount of enemies on screen at once would be a great way to do that without impacting game-play too drastically. Most of the enemy reductions will come from weaker enemies, so you’ll see significantly fewer goblins and wyverns, for example. To compensate for the lower number of enemies on maps, all enemy strengths will be increased. Players will have a slightly different challenge with fewer targets, but this should hold the difficulty level.
This enemy count update will impact game play on all maps and difficulties in Campaign, Survival, Mixed Mode, and Pure Strategy, meaning every player can go back and re-experience a brand new DDA!
Optimizations and Performance
With the decreased enemy counts and changes to displays while in battle, players should experience a cleaner battle, and especially so on the larger maps (e.g. Summit). Wave lengths will be reduced, and these changes will stem from adjustments to enemy release schedules and the reduced total enemy counts. Basically, we want to make sure every player feels they are being challenged, while also making sure the game runs smoothly and looks great all at the same time.
Still To Come
There are still many highly-anticipated features we’re working on and will add in future updates, including trading, cross-saves, and more. Once DDA Xbox release goes off, we’ll be able to spend more time prioritizing these features, while also working on our Nintendo Switch and PlayStation ports. We’ve shared some of the updates on these during our Friday Funday streams, but we want to get this down in writing for you all, too.
We are just as excited as you to add trading to DDA, but we needed to step away from this project for a bit to focus on passing Xbox certification. After the Xbox launch, we’ll get back to work on making sure any trade system we add to the game is fair and safe for all players. Ensuring fair trades between players is a big task, but one we want to make sure is part of players’ experiences. Once we feel the system can’t be easily exploited, we’ll work toward adding support to setup sessions specifically for trading, buying, and selling items between players.
We’re nearing the completion of the cross-save feature. It does require another separate Microsoft certification process, though, so the timing on that will depend on those outside factors. For the much sought-after split-screen feature, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to make the UI and UX work well for all players during a split-screen session. When we add additional screens, the game has to work a lot harder to give each player their own unique area of play and we haven’t been satisfied with the way it’s all working together (or not working together…). When we’re happy with the way multiplayer functions AND looks, you’ll know!!
This patch will include a whole bunch of bug fixes too! We all know players’ favorite space to place DSTs is on top of the Glitterhelm doors, but you’ll have to come up with a new strategy now. We are fixing this bug and other similar placement-related issues on other maps. Lots of previously-stuck enemies will be given new legs, so they’ll make their way down the purple path once again. Along with these fixes, we’re addressing some exploits and inaccurate damage number displays.
This is just a small preview of all of the revisions, additions, and bug fixes we’re planning in this next update, so stay tuned!
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