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Comparing Dungeon Defenders and DD Eternity
By Gigazelle
A somewhat comprehensive guide on the differences between the original Dungeon Defenders and Dungeon Defenders Eternity. It caters to the audience of having played the original and would like to become familiar with the new features Eternity provides.
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Introduction
Welcome! The purpose of this guide is to help familiarize you with the changes that have taken place in Dungeon Defenders Eternity. If you've launched the game even once, you'll immediately find that though there are some familiar sights, almost everything has changed. I'll touch base on the major points, and add more as people comment on what can be added.

Since I'm going to be mentioning the original Dungeon Defenders and Dungeon Defenders Eternity quite often, I will be abbreviating them as DD1 and DDE, respectively.
Overall platform
  • Operating System: Both DD1 and DDE can be played on Windows, Mac, and Linux. DD1 is currently exclusive to Xbox, PlayStation, and mobile iOS devices, however online support has been removed from PlayStation due to DD1's dependency on Gamespy servers (which were shut down on 31 May 2014). DDE is currently exclusive to Android Tegra devices and the ability to play directly within your browser. Support for iOS devices and additional Android devices will be supported in the future.
  • Playverse: DDE takes advantage of a new community/gaming platform being developed by Trendy called Playverse. Though the basic structure is there, it will be added upon as DDE is updated and Dungeon Defenders 2 is developed.
  • Open/Ranked: DDE no longer has Open/Ranked mode. Instead, Online and Offline modes are available. Characters and gear cannot be transferred from Offline to Online.
  • Server-side gear and characters: In order to actively discourage hacking, characters and gear in DDE are now stored server-side. DD1 and DDE's Offline mode stores data on your local machine.
Core game mechanics
  • DLC: The entire Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards campaign is rolled up into DDE, including the campaign and associated challenges. DD1 followed a traditional DLC approach where you pay for additional content as it's released.
  • Heroes: All characters are included in DDE. DD1 required paid DLC to access all heroes except the four base classes of Apprentice, Squire, Huntress, and Monk.
  • Currency:
    • Mana was the base currency in DD1. You used it to build defenses during missions, excess mana went into your bank, and gear was sold into mana. You had a 600 million soft cap without the aid of mana tokens, and a hard cap of 2 billion.
    • Coins are now the base currency in DDE. You still use mana for building defenses during missions, however mana no longer has a use outside playing levels. Enemies now drop a combination of coins and mana as you play the game. There is not a reasonable cap on how many coins a player can possess.
  • Level cap: When DD1 was very first released, the level cap was 60 and over the years slowly increased to level 100. DDE appears to follow a similar model, as its current level cap is 60.
  • New item types: There are a lot of new item types introduced in DDE; no longer is it just armor, weapons, pets and accessories!
    • Amulets: These are in essence additional hero abilities, or spells that can be equipped.
    • Crafting Materials: You'll find various crafting materials in chests while playing the game. They are explicitly used to materialize blueprints.
    • Blueprints: Some dropped gear has a blueprint underneath them. These pieces of gear must be crafted before they can be equipped. Blueprints can be accessed by talking to the Shroomite in the second floor of the tavern, just above the tavernkeep.
    • Dyes: The other service the Shroomite offers is the ability to dye your equipment, pets, and costumes. Dyes can be purchased from the tavernkeep.
    • Eggs: All pets now must be hatched from eggs. You find eggs as dropped loot or as rewards from completing a map on Survival.
    • Consumables: Some items can be consumed while playing a map, such as grenades, health potions, and automatic mana collectors.
    • Costumes and outfits: Instead of alternate character styles, costumes/outfits are now items that can be equipped.
    • Emotes: These are special taunts you can perform. Each character has a default taunt which can be changed by equipping an emote. They're fun little animations, and every character/costume has one.
    • Artifacts: Bosses now award artifacts that provide a permanent stat increase. Artifact descriptions reveal lore surrounding that boss.
    • Orbs: A usable item that increases loot drop rate, loot rarity, loot quality, or XP gained for that mission.
  • Stats:
    • Ability 1 and Ability 2 have been replaced with Offensive Ability Power and Defensive Ability Power. Pet damage now scales with offensive ability power.
    • Run speed no longer caps at 100, and scales differently between heroes.
    • A brand new stat has been introduced labeled Consumable Capacity. Each consumable has an associated weight so you can only carry a finite amount of consumables at a time. This stat increases as you level up so you can carry more items during a level.
  • Instanced loot: Chests, loot and coins are reserved just for you. Feel free to hog all the loot you want, because your allies can't pick it up (they can't even see it).
  • Tavern: The tavern has been completely redesigned, and is now a public place where users congregate instead of everyone having their own personal tavern. A private tavern is also optionally available. Due to the different nature of how taverns work in DDE, trophies are not displayed for achievements you get.
  • Real money shop/Tavernkeep: DDE allows you to buy emotes and community-created armor skins with Steam wallet funds. They are currently the only item types available for purchase, and have no impact on gameplay whatsoever. All items in the real money shop cost $1 (~£0.65). You can no longer purchase gear (i.e. weapons, armor and pets) directly from the tavernkeep. Consumables and other items are available for purchase using coins.
  • Local split screen: A popular mechanic used by players wanting to play with their friends/family on the same computer. Many others capitalized on this capability to farm better loot and XP. Though it is not currently in DDE, many forum discussions have taken place on this topic on the best way to reintroduce the mechanic that is agreeable to everyone. Whether it will make a return or not is unknown.
Maps
Note that this section is definitely subject to change; there is a distinct possibility certain maps will be introduced at a later date!

The following map is exclusive to DD1:
  • Talay Mining Complex

The following challenges are exclusive to DD1:
  • All Warping Core Challenge Packs (Parts 1-4)
  • The Great Turkey Hunt and The Greater Turkey Hunt
  • Uber Monster Fest (all other Monster Fests are included in DDE)
  • Assault Challenge Pack (Parts 1-3)
  • Sky O' Love and Temple O' Love
  • Rumble in the Jungle
  • Uber Death from Above
  • Volcanic Eruption
  • Silent Night
  • Lab Assault
All PVP maps are exclusive to DD1 as well, however there is a greyed-out PVP tab in DDE, so these will most likely make a return.

The following maps are exclusive to DDE:
  • The Dread Dungeon
  • Arcane Library
  • Magus Citadel
  • Embermount Volcano
  • Moonbase
  • Buccaneer Bay
  • Coastal Bazaar
  • Omenak
  • Infested Ruin

The following challenges are exclusive to DDE:
  • Embermount Eruption

Other changes to maps:
  • Survival: Survival is no longer 25 waves, but a single wave with an hour-long timer.
  • Pure Strategy: This game mode is exclusive to DD1, as it is not currently in DDE.
Defenses
No brand new defenses have been introduced, however some have significant changes made to them. I won't get into the nitty-gritty numbers or DU cost, but rather the overall function of defenses. The DD1 meta of minions on buff beams inside aura stacks no longer applies in DDE.
  • Minions now cost Defense Units instead of Minion Units. Minion stats have been adjusted to make them worth using DU.
  • Ogre minions now shoot electric projectiles, dealing lightning damage. Enemy ogres still shoot poison projectiles.
  • Spider minions can no longer melee attack, and are instead ranged debuffers. Their web deals poison damage and makes enemies move/attack 40% slower, and take 40% more damage.
  • Mage minions now heal all nearby defenses instead of just minions. Their healing interval has been increased.
  • Darkness traps now have a chance to make enemies miss when attacking in addition to their elemental stripping.
  • The scaling of buff beams has been significantly reduced.
  • Ensnare Auras and Gas Traps no longer affect charging Kobolds, charging Dark Elf Warriors, or charging Sharken. If they are not charging, they are affected normally.
  • Enrage Auras now also reduce enemy armor in addition to enraging enemies, causing them to take extra damage.

Hovering over a defense in the radial menu provides intricate details of its stats, so analyzing numbers is a lot easier.
Visuals
  • Armor is now visible on your character.
  • You can transmogrify armor, meaning you can give it the looks of one piece and the stats of another.
  • Customizing hero colors is now done with dyes instead of sliders. Almost everything has 6 different color groups so you can really get your hero to look exactly the way you want.
  • When launching the game, there is Playverse download splash screen that lets you play the game before all assets are downloaded. If you opt to launch the game after all core resources are download but before it hits 100%, textures and other assets are streamed in while you play.

The following images are a comparison between the taverns in DD1 and DDE. All images are on 'High' graphics at 1280x720.

Dungeon Defenders:




















Dungeon Defenders Eternity (prior to tavern update, no longer available):




















Dungeon Defenders Eternity (after tavern update):
Controls
Some controls that are definitely worth noting. Some are new to DDE, others have been remapped to different keys.
  • Radial menu: Push [R] or the middle mouse button to open the radial menu.
  • Hotbar 100% customizable: Click and drag ANY radial menu item to your hotbar to bind it to that key. I didn't like that repair was 5 and upgrade was 6, so I rebound it to 4 and 5 like it was in DD1.
  • Amulets and consumables: Hold [Alt] + [1-4] to cast an amulet spell or use a mission consumable.
  • Pet abilities: Every pet has a unique ability. Press X to activate it.
  • Two weapons: Every character can now equip two weapons. Press Z to swap between the two.
  • Admire yourself: Push [B] to check yourself out from any angle. Use your mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out.
  • Chat: Text chat has been rebound to [Enter] in DDE instead of [Tab].
  • Taunt: Push [V] to taunt or use your emote if you have one equipped.
  • Dodge: Push [Left Ctrl] to dodge, giving you a burst of speed. The 4 green bars just above your hotbar shows how many you have left to use, and automatically recharges when you haven't used it after a few seconds.
  • Auto-climb: If your hero runs into a small ledge or defense, they automatically climb onto it.
Conclusion
I hope this guide has served some value to you! Some notes about comments:

  • If I missed any major changes you think should be added or if an update makes any part of this guide inaccurate, definitely leave a comment and I'll update it!
  • If you're here to rant on how much you hate a certain feature or how X was so much better in DD1, that comment is going to be deleted on sight. You are 100% entitled to your opinion, and I'm sure lots of people share your sentiment! However take your rants to the forums, as I would like to keep comments here constructive and on topic.

I wish you all the best in your Etherian endeavors!
135 Comments
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Gigazelle  [author] Apr 28 @ 9:10pm 
I would say it's much more accessible; in fact, maybe just a little *too* accessible.
Aya Shameimaru Apr 28 @ 8:51pm 
Is the DLC still inaccessible to casual players difficulty-wise?
mjswooosh Apr 21 @ 10:03pm 
Checking the stats right now shows 300+ players on DD1 while only 15 are playing DDE. It appears the DDE online community is dead. I was considering picking DDE up if it goes on sale, but I think I'll stick to DD1. What really turns me off about DDE is the choice to separate offline/online characters. In general, I don't want to play w/ randoms online & would rather play local co-op with my fiance'. But, she & I are long distance for a few more months...so being able to use offline characters online when playing with her would be a necessity. For those who would say, "Just play online all the time", my response is: there is widespread reported lag when playing online. So, the best experience is playing offline mode...but you can't take your offline characters online. I realize this separation was done to eliminate hackers, but it's a deal-breaker for me. Oh well, we have yet to even get started playing DD1 on Steam (300+ hrs on X360), so DD1 will be like a new game to us on here....
EvilHeavy™ Feb 1 @ 2:53pm 
I've noticed extra network lag - could be due to the fact that you can't host games from your computer and that you have to play online
Bignastycupcake™ Jan 24 @ 1:00pm 
:D
Gigazelle  [author] Jan 24 @ 12:59pm 
Thanks for the reminder! I have updated the guide based on the latest content update, which includes the new tavern and additional maps.
Bignastycupcake™ Jan 24 @ 7:06am 
Don't forget about the tavern change...
Ramore Dec 27, 2014 @ 9:29am 
Okay mate, thank you very much, i really like the game from what i saw from videos, but i didn't know if buying the first one was worth it. I think I'll wait and see how DDE progress.
Gigazelle  [author] Dec 26, 2014 @ 8:57pm 
(1/2) Here's my 100% honest (and personal) opinion: DD1 is a solid game from start to finish; you can easily drop 1000+ hours in the game as it currently stands. DDE has better features in some areas and missing features in others, but very well done for the first couple hundred hours if you don't opt into being power leveled. DDE's late-game is incredibly unpolished, so once you hit that point there's not really much else to do until the devs introduce more content and (more importantly) address some glaring defense balance issues. DD1's late-game defense balance isn't perfect mind you, but it's a lot better than DDE's.
Gigazelle  [author] Dec 26, 2014 @ 8:57pm 
(2/2) Continued development for DDE leads me to believe it will eventually outshine DD1 in every aspect (and right now it's getting there), but 'continued development' is a double edged sword in that not everything is done yet. Though DD1 has more daily active players, my personal recommendation would be to get DDE. I anticipate it will get a more active community as DD2 develops and as its late-game components are polished.