This post will provide an update on Episode 2 Part 1 work as well as announce the details about the upcoming In-game Halloween Event and Episode 2 Part 1 PTR. With that said let's get into it as this will be a long post!
For the first time ever in DDA’s history we are doing an in-game Halloween event. This event will feature some new cosmetics for both login rewards and in-game rewards. In addition to this every enemy across the game will receive a special Halloween theme for the duration of the event. This Halloween Update will be released on October 14th, 2022 and the event will go until November 4th, 2022.
If you login between the dates listed above, you’ll unlock the following transmogs:
- Hallow's Evil Grin Mask
- Fish in a Jar Mask
Halloween Spooktacular Map
With the introduction of the in-game Halloween event we have remade Halloween Spooktacular from the original game. This map will feature the new Halloween variants of the enemies permanently even after the Halloween event is over. It also has new lanes and an additional core to defend.
Completing the map will give you a Brain in a Jar Mask Accessory as a guaranteed drop, but for those out there that prefer a bit of gold or Neon to their look there will be a very low drop chance version that allows you to unlock the golden transmog variant.
Episode 2 Part 1 Progress Update
The Outcast Summoner
As many of you know, the summoner from the original Dungeon Defenders game will be returning to DDA as The Outcast Summoner. This iconic hero has been one of the most requested heroes to return to DDA and as such we wanted to try our best to stay true to the original as best as we could, while also making adjustments to better fit DDA.
With that in mind, one of the things we felt strongly about was that the original model shown previously didn’t reflect what users expected for a remake of the Summoner. As such we’ve gone through reconcepted and made a new model that fits the theme better.
Here is a first look at the new model!
Next up let’s talk about how the hero itself will work. After going through all the data from the Summoner Survey we have come to the following abilities, defenses and changes to the summoner.
Before we cover Hero Abilities, let's talk about some of the general features that the hero has first. The hero doesn’t have weapon slots and as such doesn’t have an actual attack. Instead, the hero will be allowed to equip 2 pets at once. Additionally, the Summoner will be able to equip Tomes and will be able to complete a weapon set using a single tome.
Regarding Minions we also have opted to not have Minion Units but instead use DU for the defenses. This solves 2 issues, the first being that players felt that they were missing out if they didn’t take advantage of having double the “DU” and additionally it would require we balance every map both past and present around having this feature.
Finally, the Summoner has the ability to hover by pressing and holding the jump key at any point while the hero is falling. They will still be able to take advantage of the double jump as any hero can.
Primary - Minion Select
Since the hero doesn’t attack, his primary will be used to select his minions. Currently we only allow single unit selection but will continue to iterate on this as feedback is received.
Secondary - Overlord Mode
A big feature of the Summoner was his ability to go into overlord mode and have a more top down RTS style camera. This ability will allow the Outcast Summoner to pan around the map and place minions remotely as well as move them as necessary.
Active Ability - Flash Heal
Flash heal offers the ability to heal nearby heroes, Minions and defenses by a percentage of their max health, scaling off the hero's Ability stat.
Buff Ability - Pet Boost
While active the hero's pets will be buffed increasing attack damage and attack speed, scaling off the hero's Ability stat. This was a redux addition that we felt added a lot of potential to the hero being used as a DPS and playing off the ability for the hero to equip 2 pets.
Before we get started all the minions are still going through active balancing so these values might not represent what goes live for the PTR as well as adjusting balance as we receive PTR feedback.
Minion 1 - Archer (2 DU):
- Summons a Crystalline Dark Elf Archer. Shoots non-piercing arrows at enemies.
Minion 2 - Spider (3 DU):
- Summons a Crystalline Spider to the battlefield. Flings webs at nearby enemies, slowing them down and doubling all damage they receive.
Minion 3 - Siren (4 DU):
- Summons a Crystalline Siren to the battlefield. She casts protective shields around defenses reducing incoming damage and also attacks offensively with her ranged attack.
Minion 4 - Dark Elf Mage (4 DU):
- Summons a Crystalline Dark Elf Mage to the battlefield. Casts fireballs and periodically heals themselves and other nearby minions, as well as heroes.
Minion 5 - Ogre (5 DU):
- Summons a Crystalline Ogre to the battlefield. Crushes enemies within melee range and occasionally fires poison snot balls from a distance.
This will mostly be a recap of the full runes introduction post as a lot of it remains unchanged from the original design but figured it was important to give a recap and fill in any blanks as needed.
Runes are broken down into two different categories they work in the following ways:
- Hero Runes - Runes that affect your hero’s stats, attacks, and abilities.
- Tower Runes - Runes that affect your tower stats and activation (whether that’s damage or utility).
Additionally, there are 2 types of Runes, General Runes and Class Runes and can be used in different situations.
- General Runes - Runes that can be applied to any hero. These are typically flat stat increasing runes, with some slight variations.
- Class Runes - Runes that are applied to a specific hero, or specific list of heroes.
Unlocking runes is a 2-step process. First you must obtain a rune which can be found by playing various gamemodes, maps and difficulties. Some runes will have specific drop locations while others will have random drop locations. Secondly you will need to pay a gold cost to consume the rune and permanently unlock the rank of rune.
Once you’ve unlocked a rune you can choose to use that rune in any of your available slots. Each hero has 2 Hero runes and 4 Defense Runes slots. Those rune slots can be set on each individual hero. Allowing you to add more customization to the way that hero builds.
With all that recapped, let's talk about some examples of runes we can expect to see in DDA.
- Explosive Shield - Shield Throw explodes on hit, dealing 100% of its normal damage to all nearby enemies and increases number of Bounces by X.
- Spear Trap - Every X Seconds when the Spike Blockade is attacked it shoots out 8 piercing projectiles damaging enemies for X% Tower Health.
- Arcane Blast - Arcane Surge becomes a ranged piercing projectile which deals X% of secondary attack damage.
- Bouncing Magic - Magic Missile Projectiles deal X% damage and bounces up to Y additional targets.
- Chance Grenade - Grenade Toss has a X% chance to spawn another grenade upon killing an enemy.
- Shell Shocked - Enemies hit are slowed by X% and deal Y% reduced damage for Z seconds.
- Mystical Repair - Tower Boost slowly repairs defenses for X% of tower health over Y Seconds.
- Lightning Strikes - Every X Seconds, the Lightning Aura deals Y% tower damage to a single enemy within range.
- Decoy-GR - Decoy now shoots along with the hero at the same direction dealing X% of hero damage.
- Electric Shock - Proton Beam has a X% chance to shock and stun enemies for Y seconds.
- Yum Yum Seed - Sprout Seeds on-pickup restore X% HP and gives a Healing over time for Y% Max HP over Z seconds.
- Focus Blossom - Beaming Blossom does additional X% damage for each attack made against the same enemy, stacking up to Y times.
- Multiple Marks - Increases max number of Marked targets by X.
- Spin-To-Win - Carnage consumes -50% mana and does Y% of the original damage.
- Flash Buff - Defenses within Flash Heal gain Attack rate and Power for X Seconds.
- Healing Master - The Dark Elf Mage Minion can also heal nearby defenses for X% of the normal minion healing.
Now with all this talk about runes, there is another way to acquire them that wasn’t mentioned above which would be through trading. Trading will allow 2 players to exchange items and gold between one another.
Players can request to open a trade and then add items and offer gold. Not every item is tradable, specifically any kind of entitlement reward like from the Kickstarter. Outside of that you are free to trade Armor, Weapons, Pets, Offhands, Accessories, and now Runes.
Additionally, we also added a new gameplay setting to auto reject trade requests for the popular few that don’t wish to be overwhelmed with trade requests. You can still send trade requests while this setting is enabled but any attempts for others to trade with you will be rejected without notification.
Finally, since we know players will want better ways to find other traders, we’ve added a way to host a public tavern with custom session names. While this isn’t a perfect solution, we hope we can improve this in the future and potentially look at new ways to host trading lobbies.
Act 5 - 2 New Maps
With the first part of Episode 2 comes 2 new maps to kick off Act 5. After defeating the Lycan King, the heroes traverse a great desert uncovering forgotten locations along the way.
You’ll have to fight your way through the Bazaar in order to progress deeper into the secrets this desert holds!
Defend your core from threats old and new in the shadow of structures from a forgotten civilization.
As we hinted at in one of our live streams there will be 5 changes to the defense roster. These changes are based on metrics, survey data and general community discussions. That said if the feedback from these changes is not well received we will look at making changes as needed.
Squire - Sniper Tower
The Sniper tower offers the squire a new single target defense that will be very strong at defeating tanky enemies. It will use a special enemy targeting priority. This tower will replace the Bouncer Blockade as we felt the blockade was often overshadowed by the other blockades in the game.
Defense Rune - Piercing Upgrade:
- Pierces an additional enemy and scales damage of the attack by X%.
Huntress - Poison Dart Tower
The Poison Dart Tower is the first addition of a defense to the Huntress’s kit. The PDT will shoot 3 individual projectiles. These projectiles are fanned out so that they spread out and hit multiple enemies down the path. It will use a fodder targeting priority. This tower will replace the Darkness Trap, as it was the most unused defense in the game, the alternative was the Thunder Spike Trap which we felt could have more use cases.
Defense Rune - Blinding Darts:
Enemies hit by the Poison Dart Tower have a X% to become blinded for Y seconds.
EV - Combined Blocking + Reflect Field
In order to make room for the upcoming defense changes, we’ve decided to merge the Blocking Field and Reflect field. This means the defense will be able to serve as a wall or a reflect field and will have the same DU scaling of the original reflect field so that they continue to be used as they have in the past.
Defense Rune - Electric Fence:
Blocking Field deals X% of Tower Health back to all attackers as electric damage.
EV - Heat Cannon
The Heat Cannon provides a unique defense to the game. It’s a short ranged flamethrower defense that hits all enemies within its range arc. While this defense is limited in range it will more than make up in defense power. This defense will have a fodder targeting priority. It will replace the new empty slot where Reflect Field was.
Defense Rune - Immolation:
Heat Cannon applies a fire DoT onto enemies dealing X% of tower damage over Y seconds.
EV - Plasma Defense System
The Plasma Defense System or PDS is an omni-directional sentry that can target and attack up to 3 separate targets at once. The defense does have one major flaw in the form of a dead zone. The dead zone prevents the tower from attacking enemies that are too close to the tower. This defense will have a modified version of the special enemy targeting but instead prioritizes Djinns, Copters, and Wyverns before targeting other special enemies. This defense will replace the Shock beam, as we felt that the crowd control it provided was just outclassed by other crowd control oriented defenses regardless of balance.
Defense Rune - Full Coverage:
Increases the Plasma Defense System’s defense range by X% but also increases the dead zone by Y%.
Auto Loot 2.0
This has been a highly requested quality of life for endgame players. Auto Loot 2.0 will allow players to have multiple loot filters using the existing setup. This allows players to have filters tied to specific types of items, for example having a Auto Loot Filter specifically for picking up Accessories or a filter to pick up only swords. As long as an item matches 1 of the filters in your list it will get picked up when Auto Loot happens.
This UI will allow you to create and manage the multiple filter profiles. Each one can have a name and Icon associated to help associate them. You will be limited to 8 filters at any point.
Public Test Realm (PTR)
So now that we’ve talked about all the amazing things coming in episode 2, I know you all are dying to know when the PTR will go live. On that note I can say we are aiming for the PTR to go live on October 28th, 2022 pending any major setbacks. While we had initially planned for it to start early October we felt the extra time was needed, and with the Halloween event it would be odd to have those launch at nearly the same time.
After the Halloween event is over and the PTR is finished we’ll look at releasing the update live after we’ve made any necessary changes based on player feedback. Once that is live we’ll begin work on the remaining Episode Part 2 work and keep you all updated as that is developed. Though it is too early to say what the timeline will be like at this moment.
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