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Elandrian

Chromatic Games
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Blog Entries posted by Elandrian

  1. Elandrian
    From: Colin “Elandrian” Fisher, Creative Director
    What’s up, Defenders!  Welcome to our first post as Chromatic Games!  If you’re new to the community, an extra helping of “welcome” is in store for you.  If you’re a veteran Defender, then welcome back. Let’s get right to it!
    It’s been a wild ride these past couple months, but the cat’s out of the bag now!  There’s been a lot of news about our rebranding, new Kickstarter campaign, and what all of it means for you as a player.  I want to just take a brief moment to provide a little extra context about what’s going on. We’re #indieAF now, so it’s time to get the info straight from the horse’s mouth!  (Or maybe it’s beans time? Company beans? Who knows. Let’s do this.)
    So What Happened To Trendy Entertainment?
    For the more official take, you can check out the press release here.
    For the realest take, keep reading!
    In December of this past year, Augi Lye, one of the original founders of Trendy, came back as CEO to help return Trendy to its indie roots.  
    The development team and I worked with him to figure out how we can have a good plan to move forward and start creating Dungeon Defenders games in the way they were meant to be made: for our players.  One of the things we wanted to make clear was that Trendy was no longer really Trendy.  There’s brand-new leadership, a new creative direction, and new energy at the studio that was just waiting to be released.  So we decided that we’re not really Trendy anymore.
    Chromatic Games is our final form.  We’re over power level 9000 now, and we’re ready to rock.
    We’re not answering to external people anymore.  We’re in control of our own destiny. We were able to keep the majority of the development team around, but we had some people move on to newer pastures. We’re so grateful for their years of service.  We love and respect all of our previous Trendy family, but now the Chromatic team is focused on the future — and that future is to keep improving DD2 and crafting Dungeon Defenders: Awakened.
    What Does This Mean For Dungeon Defenders II?
    Dungeon Defenders II will keep going!  Development is going to slow down, but we still plan on maintaining limited updates and content.  What do I mean by limited updates? We’re going to be focused on smaller quality of life updates, bug fixes, improvements and some occasional new cosmetics.  When I say smaller QoL, I mean in the development time aspect — we still plan on our quality of life features to be super impactful for players.  
    We’re going to be releasing an update soon on all platforms that will have a vendor where you can get the Shards you’ve been looking for or looking to gild — a highly requested player feature!
    There’s some extra morsels of dopeness in that update as well.  Most of the changes are gameplay related. We’re trying to make the fixes and improvements that everyone has been asking for.
    Supporting Dungeon Defenders II will still continue to support the team at Chromatic and support our ability to continue to patch and grow DD2.  Our team is dedicated to figuring out how we can keep evolving the game in the right direction.
    We’re going to keep making Dungeon Defenders II better and better, just as we’ve been committed to doing in the past.
    So Why Dungeon Defenders: Awakened?
    I’m just going to begin by addressing the elephant in the room:
    “Elan, Dungeon Defenders: Eternity already happened.  Isn’t this just the same thing?!?”
    The short answer is no. The long answer is HELL no.  DD:E was a different product entirely. We have no plans to repeat history when it comes to that.
    We came up with Dungeon Defenders: Awakened as our first smaller-scope project as a new team. If we want to remain employee-owned/controlled (which is the dream!), we needed to prove that we’re the capable stewards and re-earn that trust before diving right into Dungeon Defenders III (which we have SO many slick plans for).
    Dungeon Defenders: Awakened started as a plan to do a modern remake of the original Dungeon Defenders for the Nintendo Switch, but then it evolved from there.  We didn’t want the game to feel like some sort of weird attempt at Dungeon Defenders: Eternity again. We wanted to make a new game, a new experience, a new story.
    As we began looking into what we could build with Unreal Engine 4, we found that we’ll need to rebuild a lot of the systems and code that supported the Dungeon Defenders games.  Fortunately, our engineers are rockstars. We’re taking a lot of the hard lessons we learned about building games over the years from DD1 and DD2 and now have the freedom to make these systems in newer, more optimized and scalable ways for DD:A.
    We don’t just want the game to look better in UE4 — we want it to run and feel better.
    We want controlling your character to feel “crispy.”  For some context on what that means, you should check out Ben Brode’s PAX Keynote from last year.  We love to draw inspiration from other games and developers, and that is one of my personal favorite talks that describes some of these key aspects of making games have that polished and responsive feel.
    Then when it comes to content, we’re exploring ways of using and importing some of our existing content in new ways that we can use as a springboard to accelerate development.  
    This is one of the things we show off in the Kickstarter.  Deeper Well is definitely still the same map effectively, but it has a completely new look and will play a little differently.  It will still be a familiar and recognizable location, but there are new things going on in these familiar spots and new gameplay that comes with it.
    This is what will allow us to make our aggressive October timeline.  By using the content and assets that we’ve been developing over the years, the content team can go CRAZY and make the game look and run amazingly well while our design team focuses on bringing the gameplay into 2019.
    Our goal is to bring Dungeon Defenders: Awakened to as many platforms and players as possible.  We want to make a game that everyone can enjoy, and enjoy together. It just takes additional support to get there, and that’s why we have our Kickstarter campaign.
    Why Go To Kickstarter?
    We JUST became fully independent again.  We want to build the game in a way that we can fully be in control of.  Obviously going to a publisher is an option that we can explore to get additional funding, but there’s always a bit of “loss” associated with that.  We’re really trying to move forward and make new games. We don’t want to have a publisher — we want to make Dungeon Defenders games that are fun, weird, engaging, meme-tacular, challenging, charming and magical.
    By going to Kickstarter, we can maintain FULL control over development and the future of the Dungeon Defenders franchise.  Your support here is VITAL.
    The “dream” is to add as much content to this game as possible and to make a game that you can enjoy as a solo player or as a co-op player, strategizing against new challenges, maps, defenses, and gameplay.  We love it when people make interesting builds that even baffle our internal designers. We love when people find cool ways to make defenses and heroes more powerful than we ever could have imagined. We want to give you more of that.
    So we need your help.
    In Conclusion
    We’re here to make a game that communicates our passion for Dungeon Defenders. We want to fulfill the expectations of our followers both new and old.  At this moment, we’ve had about a month of focused pre-production development time so far, and look how much progress we’ve has been made already!
    We can’t wait to give people more news and updates about Dungeon Defenders: Awakened as we make more progress. We’re focusing on having a player-first mentality be our driving force at Chromatic.  
    We’re here for you, if you’ll be here for us.
    Support our Kickstarter, spread the word, help us make the dopest Dungeon Defenders game of all time.
     
    As always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter:  @LordElandrian
    Welcome to our community.  Stay a while.
  2. Elandrian
    The Holiday Siege Update comes out next Tuesday, so let’s take a look into the update and at the past year of development.  (If you want to see it in action, tune in to our Holiday Siege Devstream tomorrow at 3PM EST at twitch.tv/trendyent !)


    Colin Fisher, Assistant Producer (Elandrian)
    I thought this Dev Log should be bits of what Dev Logs have been before and a little bit of looking back over the year of development.

    This is my first Dev Log debut, but here’s a little introduction for anyone that doesn’t already know me from the forums/Twitch/community/etc.This past year, I’ve gone from end-game player, Dungeon Defenders II Twitch streamer, Production Intern at Trendy, to a full Assistant Producer helping out with more aspects of development than I can count.

    The past year of development for Dungeon Defenders II has been filled with updates (58 at the last count @_@) and the team here at Trendy has been diligently working on game systems, content, and trying to keep development on two platforms up to speed with each other.  Did I also mention that we had over 950 bug fixes? (We counted.)  

    We’ve also had some huge moments for the game happen over the past year:
    Releasing the first new hero, the Abyss Lord
    Hot-swapping in combat between heroes
    Finding games via the Game Browser
    We revamped the campaign experience, providing more story and quicker progression to get into the end-game.
    Hero Deck Overhaul - Remember when you could only build with the four heroes in your deck?  Remember when we fixed it so that you can build with all your heroes!?  (I ‘member.)
    Community Bug Reporting Site - Vote for the bugs that bother you the most and we review it on a regular basis!
    Getting the opportunity to work with Re-Logic and the Terraria on an amazing crossover.
    We wanted to pack the game with content over the year, and we really achieved that with boatloads of new maps, incursions, weapons, and heroes.

    Looking back at a feature-packed year, I’m beyond hyped for the next year working on Dungeon Defenders II. Stay tuned for our January blog where we’ll put together a comprehensive retrospective and future plans for DD2.

    I guess it’s time to delve into the details about the Holiday Siege Update! This patch is definitely one of our smaller updates, but it’s still one of our more meaningful ones. We’ve been talking about adding new enemies into the normal enemy schedules on maps for a while now and are continuing to work on adding more, but we’re delivering on that now with this update. As someone who is in a “player-first” mentality (since I still actively play and interact with players), I’m pumped for any/all new enemies.



    The Siege Roller is really going to shake up a lot of the popular builds right now. On the recent Trendy Friday Fun Twitch stream, a couple of community members and I decimated the Forest Biome with a Volcano tower spam build. I tried to replicate that scenario using Volcanoes against the new Siege Rollers and the struggle was REAL. My Volcanoes did a good job of destroying the normal mob waves, but the Siege Roller blasted right through my walls and defenses and dumpstered my core. It was AWESOME!!!




    In addition to the Siege Roller, we’re adding in some fun Holiday content as well.  Our artists really go above and beyond when it comes to decorating our social areas for the holidays.  The Heroes Marketplace and Private Tavern have been decked out with holiday decorations, and remember to head over to the Holiday Tree for a chance to get a present each day that contains some random consumables!  (Maybe, it’ll even give you some Souls of Night!)



    In the spirit of the season, the art team came together and pumped out seasonal Ice-themed costumes for every hero currently in our game.  (I’m partial to the Lavamancer because he’s in a perpetual state of confusion … Is he lava? ... Is he ice? Who knows anymore!)

    This next year is going to be chock-full of improvements to the core game experience with the next couple months primarily focused on end-game, and I can’t wait for everyone to try it out.


    Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)
    I’m going to bust out some crazy stats, too! This year, we wrote 1.93 Gigabytes of Design Documentation. We created 995 (we’ll probably hit 1k) design files that are all contained within 212 folders because we like to stay organized. The design team thudded on their desks in frustration a grand total of 288 times, Brett was thanked for last night roughly 210 times this year, 33% of our design team was punched at least once in the eyeball, and we managed to get by this year with only one heinous act of unprofessionalism…

    In all seriousness though, I’m happy at what we all managed to accomplish in 2016, and I’m super proud of the phenomenal people I get to work with every day. At the start of this year, we hadn’t made a new hero in about 3ish years. It was an intimidating and terrifying task. The year is over, and we launched 6 new heroes, and designed about 9 of them. We learned a lot with each release and then started a grand push towards getting the game out of early access. We also got the chance to work with the awesome team at Re-Logic on our Terraria crossover which was probably one of the more involved crossovers between two companies I’ve seen so far.

    As we wrap up 2016, I hope you all are looking forward to what 2017 will look like. We have massive, maassssssivvvee changes coming to DD2 that aim to revitalize its end game. While we can’t talk about much yet, we hope that by the end of 2017, the game will look substantially different. Making games and working on a live game, specifically, is never easy, and the road ahead is long and potentially tricky, but with such an awesome community backing us, I’m confident we can work it out.

    Speaking of our community, we also hired Colin Fisher this year. He is a huge fan of DD2, is part of our Caster’s Guild, eventually came onboard as an assistant producer, and is doing a bangup job spreading the cheer and memes around the office. We also hired Eric Petrie, another dedicated DD2 player, semi pro Overwatch player, and a phenomenal QA tester. Are there more of you out there? Maybe… let’s see what happens in 2017.


    John Muscarella, Digital Puppet Master (Muskie4242)

    It’s been a long but fun year here at Trendy. Lots of changes and more than a few late nights and weekends. Here are a some of my favorite pieces from the last 365.




    Wait a minute, who is this guy?

    Must be some character the community never voted for....

    Steven Collins, Level Design  (Esorath)
    Working on creating some updated enemies to add new threats and mechanics. We’ve seen some threads floating around about mechanics that already exist in the game that you would like to see on enemies. Taking these and some internal ideas we’ve got some serious threats coming out.


    Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3odoc)
    These last weeks, I've been working on a new tileset for what might be our next level. That means I've been creating new meshes, textures, and materials mostly, but I've also been fixing some world building/collisions related bugs.

    Finally, I'd like to share with you a pic of the level we worked on. As you can see this level focused on the barbarian aesthetic.


    Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKaMi)
    I've been working on multiple task last weeks, from bug fixing (most of them related to collision problems) to an art test for future levels. We're trying to improve our painting skills and that means a lot of fun!.
    Here's some stuff I did for the art test level.


    Tim Shannon, PS4 and Live Producer (TimmyTrashTier)
    I am working on a secret project which I can neither confirm or deny.
  3. Elandrian
    Defenders!
    I can’t believe we’ve reached $350,000 and that we’re still climbing!  We’re super grateful for all the support we’ve received so far, and we can’t wait to keep building this game.  
    This is the last chance for everyone to back the Kickstarter so I just wanted to remind people what the perks are so you can spread the word! 
    Being a Kickstarter backer comes with a lot of exclusive perks, but all our Backers get access to additional add-on products after the campaign ends on BackerKit.  That means that if you’re a Backer, you can purchase additional T-Shirts, postcards, copies of the game, and more for the lowest price.
    Now I want to talk about the game!
    As you may have noticed, we’ve hit several of our FLEX goals and I hope we hit more!  So I wanted to briefly talk about the ones we have hit, and even some that we haven’t yet.
    Localization Support
    This one is pretty simple, we want to offer the game in more languages, so we’re going to offer it in more languages!  Huzzah!
    New Challenge Maps
    Challenges are coming back!  In DD1 we called them Challenges, in DD2 they were Incursions, but in DDA they’ll be pure awesome.  We’ll be bringing back some of the classic Challenge Maps, but this stretch goal is even more!  With some of the new content that’s going to be in DDA, these will be accompanying custom Challenge Map versions with their own sets of rewards.  We plan to have sick loot that comes from conquering these, so get your Stashes ready!
    For this next one, I’m going to let our Lead Designer, Mark Telfer talk a bit about “Massacre” Difficulty.
    Massacre Difficulty
    Hey Defenders!
    We just blew past another flex goal, and that means even more opportunities for us to create new and exciting content.  Being the masochists that you are, you’ve decided to bring Massacre Difficulty into this world.  Allow me to titillate your masochism with the doom you’ve brought upon yourselves.  Massacre will be an intense challenge that will test the formidability of even the most seasoned defenders.  This isn’t just going to be the same enemy schedules with some stat buffs slapped on.  The enemies you’re going to face present brand new challenges that require some serious strategy and legendary skill.  You thought Nightmare was hard?  Pfft… Good luck!
    GLHF,
    Mark Telfer
    Lead Designer
    New Enemy and Map
    This is an additional enemy and map threat that will be presented after the end of the campaign and at the end of the current progression.  This will be one of the new hardest maps to beat, and a challenging enemy threat to accompany it.
    Customizable Tavern
    I want to clear things up that we still plan to have similar levels of tavern customization to DD1 in DDA.  This stretch goal was to have even more control over where your trophies go, adding decorations, and really having additional customization options within your personal tavern.  This stretch goal was for the extra of the EXTRA!  Let’s HIT IT!
    Bonus Boss Fights
    We have a lot of awesome boss fights that we want to add into DD:A and you’ll be getting some of them with the base product, we just wanted to add more!  This goal was for that!  We still might add more as we continue to develop DLC’s or patches and content, but this was to get more at launch.
    I hope that helps give a little more context about the FLEX goals we’re trying to hit, and some more details about the game we’re trying to build.
    Let’s close out this Kickstarter with a BANG and get every awesome bit of content and features into Dungeon Defenders: Awakened!
    Thanks again for your support, from all of us at Chromatic Games.
    Colin “Elandrian” Fisher
    Creative Director
     
  4. Elandrian
    A Protean Check-In With Elandrian

    Defenders Assemble! Sound the horns of Dragonfall! I come bearing beans!

    Well, I have some beans, but I also wanted to talk about the recent launch of Protean Shift. It’s been a busy past two weeks for us here at Trendy and it’s great to finally get the expansion into everyone's hands. We’ve been scouring the forums and our various social platforms for comments and feedback, and it’s tremendously valuable for helping us shape what’s coming soon in upcoming patches. I also want to give you guys a glimpse at the future of the game as well, so read everything for all the juicy details.

    In response to feedback (and just our planning in general), we have a bundle of changes, new content, and bug fixes coming soon. I’m not going to give any real time-frames… our goal is to get new changes and content out as quick as possible for everyone, but we’re a tiny team and we’re working as fast as we can! Here’s a quick list of some of our targets:

    Short Term

    Bug Fixes (duh.)
    Buyback Functionality
    This is currently in testing/iteration and we want to get it out soon. We really want to make sure there’s a way to get back items you’ve sold by accident. It will most likely just save some of the items you’ve been selling until you leave the Town or Tavern.
    Better Sorting/Filtering of the Inventory
    One thing we want to improve is your ability to find your good items in an easier way. This will take a little more work, but we’re going to try to give you better sorting of item types, as well as possible sorting by your strong MOD rolls… or should I say “those big 5/5 Qualibeans.”
    This also might include some changes to help find Shards and manage them better, but that might require additional time as well.
    Materials Vault Tabs?
    This is something we’re investigating too.  We saw some players talking about this so we’re looking at making a section of the vault be able to support bigger stacks of materials and connect to all the places you want to spend them. We’re aiming for this to be a “short term” add… but it might end up taking a little longer.

    Medium Term

    Onslaught Changes
    I’m not going to go into TOO many details, as it’s still being discussed among the Design team… but I will say we have some goals for these changes.  
    We want to make it easier for players to play and progress together.
    We want to make the floors more significant to progress between.
    We want to make it easier to make meaningful progression and less punishing.  (Aka. Three map floors might go the way of Skill Spheres.)
    Ancient Power Changes
    These are going to be some changes to make it fit more in line with the Onslaught changes.
    We’re also looking at making the resets more forgiving as you gain Ancient Power too. Again, not going to go into specifics as this is still an active discussion… but we ARE reading/discussing all the various opinions from the community and our testing teams.

    Longer Term (But maybe shorter than you expect?)

    Better party functionality.
    We’re trying to add more social functionality here… Things like better party leader knowledge in matchmaking, inviting/kicking from parties, a friends list?  There’s a lot on the schedule to add here, we’re going to get to as much as possible.
    Increased Multiplayer Incentive
    We want people to be enjoying Dungeon Defenders together, but we know there’s not a lot of reasons to do so at the moment. We’re aiming at changing this, while still keeping solo-play viable.
    Better Matchmaking.
    This is another laundry list of changes, but we want it to be easier for people to play together and stay together.  We also want to make the flow to get into gameplay much easier and with less interruptions and disconnects.
    Guilds
    Secrets...

    Now all these updates and changes are well and good, but we’ve also seen a certain desire from one or two community members. It’s been spoken of only occasionally… and by so few that we weren’t sure if it was important or not to everyone...

    /endsarcasm

    Our heroes will be receiving some calls to action to various regions of Etheria very soon. The first region our heroes will be heading to will be a somewhat familiar location. The distress call will come from a certain coastal region...





    Just for some extra beanage at the end here:  There will be a new region to go to, new things to get, and possibly some new threats to face…

    We appreciate all our players sticking with us as we continue to evolve and release our vision for Year Two of Dungeon Defenders II. We couldn’t have done any of this without all of your help.  

    Thank you from all of us here at Trendy Entertainment.

    Sincerely,

    Colin “Elandrian” Fisher
  5. Elandrian
    Hey Fellow Defenders!

    It’s about that time again.  Time for another Check-In with ya boi, Elandrian.  We hope everyone has been enjoying the Barbarian and the changes that came out with our last large update. We’ve been hard at work on a ton of new content for Dungeon Defenders II, and I wanted to talk a little bit about what’s coming next week to the game and some stuff that’s coming around summertime.

    Next week is going to feature the Sky City Bank, Inventory Stack Splitting, a huge performance improvement with loading times on all platforms, and an assortment of bug fixes.

    Sky City Bank

    The Sky City Bank will be arriving in Dragonfall next week, and will be bringing some additional storage to everyone.  Every player will get at least one Bank Vault for free when they first log in. In addition to the one free Bank Vault, we’re going to be running a limited time promotion where you can get another free Bank Vault and unique Shutter Shades Flair for your heroes.  This will only last two weeks, so make sure to tell your friends to get the free space and cosmetic!

    For people that have purchased the old Inventory Pack or the newer Bag Booster Pack, there will be some slight changes to where your inventory bags are now.  The bags that were activated from those bundles will become Bank Vaults now. We saw that there was some regular confusion usually in the form of: “Why do some players have 10-11 bags and I can only buy 8?”  So we’re standardizing what everyone can get.

    Tl;dr If you’ve bought the Inventory Packs, you’ll keep all the space that you’ve purchased, and it will just transition into free Bank space when the update comes out.

    So here’s what the new “Max Space” will look like:

    Old Version:
    8-11 Possible Maximum Inventory Bags
    0 Bank Vaults

    New Version :
    8 Inventory Bags
    12 Bank Vaults

    We wanted to give everyone enough space so that they can just completely empty out their current Inventories into the Bank immediately once you log into the new update and roll out with an empty Inventory!



    Stack Splitting

    The Sky City Bank will also release with a couple smaller item management features.  The main one that we’ve introduced is Stack Splitting. I don’t think I need to explain how that works, but I will anyway!  If you have a stack of 99 pet food, you’ll be able to split it into two stacks if you so choose.  So maybe you want to just store a portion of our consumables, you can do that now!



    Transfer All

    The other management feature is the ability to transfer an entire bag with one press.  There will be a new “Transfer All” button that will move all your unlocked items into the Bank Vault that you have selected.  Locked items can be moved as well, you just have to manually move each one and they won’t be moved by accident with the “Transfer All.”  If you have several stacks of something that is able to be stacked, “Transfer All” will automatically stack those together when used.

    Load Time Optimization

    Our programmers have made an awesome performance breakthrough with how we load player profiles.  With the introduction of the Sky City Bank, we were aiming to improve all aspects of our item systems in some way, shape, and form.  Our lead programmer looked into how we were loading our save profiles and found several optimizations that we could make when we introduced the Bank for the first time.  

    In one of our test cases, we saw a 60 second load time fall to a mere nine seconds.  Results will be varied for all our users, but this will be an improvement across all our platforms on how our save profiles are loaded, and I’m legitimately excited for this change to go live for all of you.

    But What Else?

    I know it wouldn’t be a good Check-In without some juicy tidbits, so I guess I’ll start sprinkling out some information.

    I keep seeing a lot of new things popping up in our development build of the game, and all of it has the name “Proteus” attached to it.  I’m not quite sure what that means, but these new things LOOK amazing. There was even this new “magical property” thing that I found when messing around on my Barbarian that made me gain additional damage buffs each time I switched stances.  When I first looted it, one of our QA members told me I could do this new thing with it. It was this weird word too… I think it’s pronounced “Trah-Deah-Bluh,” but I’m not sure. I could be saying that wrong.

    There was also another spaceship parked in the Heroes Marketplace, although I’m not quite sure what that’s about.  Everything seems so different. A bunch of game modes are different now too. Curiouser and curiouser...

    I’ll keep investigating and report back to everyone with my next Check-In!

    Thanks everyone, can’t wait to see you in Etheria!

    Colin “Elandrian” Fisher
  6. Elandrian
    Happy Holidays from everyone here at Trendy Entertainment!  Thanks for a great 2016 and we can’t wait to share what’s coming up in 2017.  Here’s some tidbits about some of the things we’re working on in the game.


    Daniel Haddad, Design Director (Blacksmith)
    There are no holidays in the camp of Blacksmith. We’re working on three huge changes coming to Dungeon Defenders II very soon. Today I am going to talk about 1.5 of those changes.

    While we were working on the Terraria crossover, our back burners were burning away thinking about what we can do to DD2 to make it a more entertaining experience and help empower the end game. While I was playtesting the bloodmoon incursion, one of the answers was staring right at me the entire time. Do you guys see what is wrong with this picture?

    Even though we give you the option to carry four heroes in your hero deck, in order to achieve the full fantasy of a hero, you need three of that hero. In the image above, I had:

    Defense Health Dryad dedicated to building tanky trees
    Defense Power Dryad dedicated to building damage dealing defenses
    Hero Damage/Ability Power Dryad dedicated to wrecking face during the combat phase

    We are all used to this by now and it’s funny that this has been staring all of us in the face for years now, and we never realized how obtuse it feels. In order for a player to achieve the fantasy a hero promises, that player needs to level 3 of the same hero and farm for at least 18 pieces of gear.

    While thinking about this seemingly obtuse problem in DD2, I started thinking about how players interface with loot and realized that loot itself is also currently obtuse. Imagine you are a hero. Imagine you are wearing a full legendary ipwr 800 set of armor. You’d feel powerful right? Protected? Safe? That is what armor is for right? Not in current DD2, if that armor had defense stats on it, well, you will get 1-shot in nightmare… What about if you have an iPwr 800 legendary weapon! Surely you can deal great damage to your adversaries right? Well, not entirely … you more like tickle them to death if that weapon had the wrong stats… Similar to how you interface with your hero deck, there is a lot that does not make sense about DD2’s loot.

    To fix these problems I proposed one simple rule. “Whoever equips an item, is affected by that item”. What does that mean? Well, if a hero is equipping a piece of gear, only that hero is affected by that gear. This allows us to make armor and weapons make sense once more. You will no longer find a weapon with Defense Stats nor will you find Armor with Defense Stats.

    “What the ploop Blacksmith! What are you doing!? You know this is a Tower Defense game right! Why are you taking tower stats away this is garbage!”

    Aha! But wait! There is more! Heroes can no longer equip relics and the game is going to have a total of 5 relic types:
    Medallions
    Primary Stat: Defense Power
    Totems
    Primary Stat: Defense Health
    Rings
    Primary Stat: Defense Range
    X (not sure what this will look like yet)
    Primary Stat: Defense Crit Damage
    Y (not sure what this will look like yet)
    Primary Stat: Defense Attack Rate 

    Each one of your towers will now have an equipment slot in your equipment belt that can equip a single relic. So for example, on the Squire you will see:
    Weapon Slot
    Shield Slot
    Helm Slot
    Chest Slot
    Gloves Slot
    Boots Slot
    Cannonball Relic Slot
    Blockade Relic Slot
    Ballista Relic Slot
    Dummy Relic Slot

    Each tower is now only affected by the relic they equip. What does all this mean? Well this change allows us to combine those 3 heroes you did before into a single hero. Your hero deck of 4 heroes can now literally be 4 different heroes (or 4 squires if you really want to, you can do what you want, you’re all grown…). Each hero can now fulfill the fantasy role in its entirety.

    But Blacksmith, what about hero diversity? At least before you had 3 different Squires… It now sounds like all Squires are going to be the same!

    Nope! They won’t be, and here is why. If you think about it really, the 3 different Squires you had before were not at all very exciting differences. The next two changes (that I cannot yet talk about) are targeted at adding customization and diversity to each hero type so that you can have different sorts of Squires, Apprentices, EVes (EVii?) and so on.

    One of the two things (that I cannot yet talk about, but I am going to anyway) revolves around how you interface with Passives. Right now passives are a good customization tool but are also a massive pain to interface with. You are dependent on RNG to get you the 3 passives you want in the right combination. We are changing that. We are thinking that passives will no longer spawn on gear. Instead, gear spawns with passive slots and passives drop independently on different maps. We are also thinking that passives will no longer have random values but instead will start at a fixed value and can be upgraded through item enhancement. Instead of finding a passive that says “Cannonball Tower does +15% more damage” you will now find an object, let’s call this object a shard, that says “This shard improves the damage of the tower it is socketed into by 5%, can be upgraded 10 times”. By divorcing loot and passives (it was a doomed relationship from the start), you can now invest in the passives you want to and when you get a higher iPwr piece of gear, simply unsocket that passive and move it to the new piece of gear.

    All these changes are highly experimental, a lot may change about them, and are the reason why I will be working through the break to deliver these changes to all of you as quickly as possible. We will talk about all these changes in the future, but I wanted to reveal some of them to you know so we can start gathering your feedback. If you have something to say please comment and include “Blacksmith” in your reply. If you have concerns or even if you like what you hear and want to send a few encouraging words please reply in the comments below!

    (Also examine the inventory screenshot below closely, you may see the new equipment slots for each hero)

    Joshua Javaheri, Tech Art Director (Javahawk)

    First and foremost, Happy Holidays! It’s been a long year and a long journey thus far for us and for you, and we're really glad to be here with you throughout. The last few patches have been relatively quiet as we continue to work on huge system overhauls that will dramatically change the way we play and interface with DD2.



    A few of us are wrapping up our year here with some much anticipated quality of life improvements to the inventory UI. Gone will be the days of the hero's forge soon, as we're shoving a ton of important hero and inventory specific information onto this revamped inventory system. The right side of this new UI will be the inventory management screen while the left side is relegated to dealing with your hero deck, equipment, and various stats.

    One of the questions we've been getting lately is "will these inventory changes affect the structure of bags, and if so, how will this affect my previous purchases?" Simply, yes, we are getting rid of the concept of standard and premium bags in favor of a simpler system. All bags will have the previous premium functionality and will consist of 64 inventory slots apiece.

    All players who return will get converted to the new system with the same-or-higher number of inventory slots as they previously had (rounded up to the nearest 64 slot bag). So that means a player who currently has a total of 144 slots (9 bags of 16 slots) will get rounded up to 192 slots (3 bags of 64 slots). THIS MEANS THAT IN EVERY CASE, PLAYERS WILL RECEIVE THE SAME OR GREATER NUMBER OF TOTAL INVENTORY SLOTS.

    Additionally, all bags will have extensive sorting functionality. More specifically, players will now be able to sort by Weapons, Armor, Relics, Pets/Pet Items, Consumables, and Lockboxes, and our smart after sorting algorithms will also intelligently sort between different types of items. For example, if a player currently has a huntress equipped, when they sort by weapons, the top hits will all be bows, followed by other weapons with similar ranged stats. We also have a second layer of sorting, with tags such as iPWR, rarity, recent, etc, for even more sorting control.

    We are also giving players the tools they need for smarter auto-loot collection. Players will be able to specify, on a per bag level, which loot goes where! It will now be possible for a player to throw all legendary huntress bows into one bag, and all garbage low tiered items into a garbage bag automatically. This should help some of the tedious item management pain points we've noticed players experiencing.

    Here are some other cool inventory notes players can expect when we release inventory 2.0:
    Inventory Item locking
    Sell all in bag feature (Locked items ignored)
    Unified design across all platforms
    Full gamepad support

    As a parting shot, we are also working on a solution to upgrade gear from the inventory, similar to DD1! :)

    What're these!?:


    Colin Fisher, Assistant Producer (Elandrian)

    I can’t wait for this next year, and I can’t wait to share all the hype that I have been containing since I started working on DD2. We’re going to be on our holiday break for a while, but we’ll be back in January and grinding hard at some big boy system updates.

    I might stream a day or two over our break, and if you’re interested in streaming over the holidays, let me know!  I’ll still be around the interwebs interacting with the community when I’m not sipping martinis (shaken not stirred) on a beach and hopefully hosting some fun people on our Twitch channel!  

    Jesus Diaz, World Builder (N3oDoc)

    Happy Holidays Defenders!

    For those who didn't read the last Devlog, we are working on a barbarian themed level, and this week we've been focusing on some viking huts meshes and textures.
    We already made some good progress and can't wait to start the world building phase of this level! Meanwhile, here are some of the new assets.



    Daniel Diaz, World Builder (DanielKami).

    Hey Happy Holidays everyone! As Jesus said, we're working on a barbarian themed level, mostly doing art test stuff. We had some master classes and received some great advice from Jordan this week to help us improve our hand painting skills.

    Here's an example:

  7. Elandrian
    The Holiday Siege Update and new Hotfix is live on PS4 and Steam.  Check out the Holiday Tree for presents each day!
    The Permafrost Pack of all the ice-themed hero costumes is live on Steam today, and is coming out on December 22nd for PS4!
    HOTFIX 18.1

    The Goblins will deliver presents once a day to the Holiday Tree in the Heroes Marketplace or the Private Tavern.  Then they will patiently wait 24 hours after you take the present and possibly give you more...
    Iron Reaper can now be properly equipped on the Squire again.
    PS4 - Fixed an issue with the analog stick with Game Browser navigation.
  8. Elandrian
    Experience Winter in Etheria with the Holiday Siege Update Out Now on PC, Later this Week on PS4!
    FEATURES
    Siege Rollers, ROLL OUT!
    After months of Goblin Research and Development, the Harbinger has deployed a new war machine onto the battlefields of Etheria.

    Holidays in Etheria!
    New decorations in the Heroes Marketplace and on a limited number of maps!
    Happy Holidays! The goblins are toiling relentlessly making presents for the Holiday Tree. Check back soon for presents!

    Costume Showcase
    Check out even more costumes in the newly designed Costume Showcase at the Seamstress.
    BALANCE
    Dryad
    Removed collision from the Hornets so they can properly target enemies.
    BUG FIXES
    There were some areas of Siphon Site D that the Dryad could sneakily build … Well, NOT ANYMORE!
    Fixed an issue with some skeletons spawning underneath the main core on Greystone Plaza.
    We learned how to spell “Watermelon.”
    Hornets no longer attack empty space on the Dawn of the Blood Moon Incursion.
    Fissure of Embermount’s AoE graphic should be less distorted in some cases.
    No more typos in the Forest Biome loading screen and description.
    No more typos in the Soul of Night tooltip.
    Fixed typos with Little-Horn Valley’s description.
    Fixed the wording for the Skeletal Orc Health and Abyss Knight Damage passives.
    Fixed some collision issues with areas of the Heroes Marketplace.
    Fixed some collision issues with pillars on both forms of the Ramparts maps.
    Fixed a case where people could get behind the enemy spawner on Forest Biome.
    Fixed the Mystic’s Hemolytic Poison sphere’s poison stacking infinitely.
    Fixed an issue on the Harbinger’s Warship where you could G up before the victory matinee and not get your victory chest.
    Fixed an issue with the From the Ashes Phoenix Box Passive where it would travel along the ground rather than firing into the sky.
    The “Delete Hero” button at the Forge works again.
    Mystic’s Sand Viper towers now focus targets affected by Dark Torment properly.
    Mystic’s Sand Viper tower now can be affected by buff beam.
    Fixed an issue with Damage over Time effects not critting properly.  This change should have added critical chances back for a number of defenses/abilities: Dryad's Corrupt Mushrooms/Blessing, Huntress's Blaze Balloons/Poison Dart Tower DoT, Gunwitch's Snipe Poison Rune, Mystic's Lash Out and Dark Torment, Squire's Sword of Unholy Fire, Abyss Lord's Left Click attack, Lavamancer's Fissure of Embermount and Monk's Lightning Aura.
    Souls of Night no longer expire.
    Fixed an issue where a buff beam would be destroyed if a buffed tower was moved or sold.
    Fixed some visual effect issues with goblins.
    Proton beams no longer drain Boost Aura when not hitting anything.
    Fixed an issue with the Dryad where you couldn’t upgrade towers in corrupt form.
    Fixed an issue with the Dryad’s Hornet’s Nest health value being displayed too high above the tower.
    Fixed a typo with the “3 Castle Wins” quest.
    Fixed a typo in pet tooltips.  Learned how to spell “Abilities.”
    Buried Bastille has the correct iPwr recommendation and correct description now.
    PS4 - Fixed an issue where the cursor would go back up to the top of the item category after the “Are You Sure” confirmation box.
  9. Elandrian
    Here are the notes for Hotfix 17.2 on Steam and PS4!

    PS4 HOTFIXES

    Reverted the check for restricting hero equipment to the heroes that they rolled for.
    Create Hero Screen was focusing on costumes that you don’t own instead of just showing the regular hero creation causing some confusion.  
    The Eye of Cthulu and Demon Eyes cannot be killed by making them follow you down pits and off the edge of the map.
    The Poison Imbuement Buff from Vile Mushrooms no longer applies to the Eye of Cthulu.  (No more four-shotting, hope you already got your Meowmere)
    Random Ogres don’t spawn together and get stuck anymore on the Forest Biome map.
    Dryad’s Harpy’s Perch does not keep attacking if the World Tree near it is sold and then rebuilt.
    Boots no longer generate with default stats for all heroes.  There was an issue where they were dropping with incorrectly rolled stats for Gunwitch, Abyss Lord, etc.
    Abyss Lord’s Skeletal Orc was maintaining the Direct Command buff for wayyy too long.
    Pressing X on the souls of the night consumable no longer removes them from the inventory.
    Tooltips no longer stay on screen during the Item Enhancement process on PS4. Fixed an issue with not being able to build near the World Tree. PC HOTFIX
    Fixed an issue with not being able to build near the World Tree.

    PC and PS4 are now on the same build.
  10. Elandrian
    Here are the notes for Patch 14.5!
    We fixed ALL the things.  And by things, I mean spheres… And also the Sky Dragon’s Fury Monk weapon.  
    iamisom is on vacation.  All bets are off.  I have no idea what I'm doing.
    Bug Fixes
    Sky Dragon’s Fury
    We fixed this weapon doing one damage.  It wasn’t cool, so we told it to stop.

    Medium Sphere
    Experience Bonus Sphere Fixed

    Large Spheres
    Bewitching Hour Sphere Fixed
    Boost Blockade Health Sphere Fixed
    Charge Primary Sphere Fixed
    Crane Stance Sphere Fixed
    Dragon Stance Sphere Fixed
    Empowering Calm Sphere Fixed
    Extra Flame Damage Sphere Fixed
    Fire for Effect Sphere Fixed
    Fight Me Not Sphere Fixed
    Lightning Damage Sphere Fixed
    Long Range Sphere Fixed
    Powerful Spears Sphere Fixed
    Shiny Spokes Sphere Fixed
    Spiders Kiss Sphere Fixed
    Steam Powered Sphere Fixed


    PS4 players will receive these changes in the Lavamancer update.
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