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Greetings Defenders,

There’s a ton of new features and content on the horizon, so it’s time to give a little inside peek as to what’s coming in the next update for Dungeon Defenders II! Mod improvements, elemental combos, blockade buffs, and even more (somethings we aren't even talking about just quite yet) await in this update. Let’s get into it!

Alec “Lawlta” Saare — Community Expedition Leader

What’s up everyone, you know what it do!

We’ve been working incredibly hard on getting this update out to you before the new year and really put in some serious time. While there is new content coming (the new map looks amazing, there’s some image down below), we did a really big push to make a lot of systems feel a ton better. A little while ago we improved Mod drops and promised that there was a Phase II for this system, and Mark will cover the changes coming down below. Players want Elemental Combos to be awesome, so we went through and did our Phase I pass on them, with more coming in future updates. There’s been a lot of feedback on Blockades being viable, and boy did we bring the heat with them.

There’s additional features that are coming, you’ll see most of them laid out in the patch notes that come with the update. We’re excited for you to get your hand on this update, we’re just polishing things up a little bit before we release it. There’s a Dev Stream tomorrow (December 7th) 3PM EST[www.twitch.tv] where we are going to show some of them off. Don’t miss it!

Smooches,
Lawlta

Mark “Telflon” Telfer — Technical Designelf

Hey Defenders!

It’s been a while since we’ve last spoken! I’ve been doing a ton of MOD-related work over the interim, but alas, I was threatened by Lawlta to keep it all under wraps. Luckily, tis finally the season of giving, and I’ve been given the okay to give you some major bean spillage on what I (and the other Trendy elves) have been up to in our workshop.

Recently, the Trendy elves had started seeing a huge amount of holiday wishes come our direction and all said the same thing. They said, “Santa Lawlta, all I want for Christmas is a perfect MOD.” Many of you felt that it took way too long to find those perfect Qualibean™ MODs and that waiting forever was just no fun! I knew I had to do something about it fast, lest I find myself on the naughty list in perpetuity. I grabbed a bottle of spiked eggnog, locked myself into a room, and set out to right this issue once and for all. Thanks to the copious amounts of eggnog I drank, my memory gets a bit fuzzy after that, but a few days later I woke up and Lawlta told me that the rates for higher quality MODs had significantly increased with our last hotfix. Apparently, I had more than doubled the rate of perfect MODs and had substantially increased the drop rates for MODs of quality 6 and above! Presents for everyone! On average, you should see a perfect MOD about every four hours of active gameplay. Gone are the days where the ground is cluttered with nothing but MODs as red as Rudolph's nose. You should now be seeing far more green MODs in the mix (a Christmas Miracle)!

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Mark! The increase to drop rates sounds fine and dandy, but you see, I have a problem. That problem is bad luck. It’s a condition that I’ve had since birth and RNG has picked on me for it my entire life. Even though you’ve increased the drop rates, Mark, I still don’t think I’ll ever see anything good. I’m just too darn unlucky!” Well, dear player, I have a revelation to make. I too am afflicted with this most heinous condition, and I feel your pain. Playing 50 hours and still not seeing a perfect MOD feels worse than getting a lump of coal in your stocking! I knew that if I truly wanted this update to bring good tidings to all (especially myself), I would have to be sensitive to those in the community who share this affliction. Well, fear not! This new update brings with it a solution for even the unluckiest players. We have built a system that GUARANTEES that you will get a perfect MOD if you go an extended period of time without seeing one. If you haven’t seen a perfect MOD in about ten hours of active gameplay, then we will guarantee that a perfect will drop for you! That’s right! At worst, you’ll see one perfect MOD in less than 10 hours (as long as you are actively playing). And do you wanna know a secret? If you play in multiplayer and get the legendary loot bonus, the amount of time it takes to guarantee this perfect MOD gets drastically reduced. Don’t tell Lawlta I told you, or back onto the naughty list I go.

So now we’ve increased the perfect MOD drop rate, and guaranteed that even the unluckiest defenders will see them. But this still doesn’t fulfill the other biggie on people’s holiday wish list. Sure, seeing A perfect MOD is great, but ultimately what you are looking for is THE perfect MOD. There’s always something specific you have in mind that you KNOW will make your build perfect, and that’s the thing you really want a chance at getting (I’m looking at you, perfect tenacity). It is with great excitement that I announce the introduction of a brand new material, MOD rerolling! MOD rerolling lets you improve your chances of getting the specific quality MODs you want in more of a targeted way. Playing maps in our new region will guarantee you a drop of these awesome little guys, and the potential that they possess is amazing. You’ll be able to invest in your favorite MODs and guarantee yourself a risk-free chance at making it better each time you complete a map. This is a game-changer, guys. This reroll material makes the time it takes to get THE perfect MOD you are looking for in a fraction of the time that it takes right now. This is big.

So to recap:
  • Perfect MODs drop rates were more than doubled in our last hotfix. Six to Nine MOD drop rates were increased too.
  • This update brings with it a new system that guarantees unlucky players a perfect MOD drop in less than 10 hours of active gameplay.
  • MOD Rerolling is being introduced and this gives you a targeted way to invest in your favorite MODs. It lets you get a favorite MOD to perfect in a FRACTION of the time it would take to see it dropped.
Now all of that is super exciting, but I still have more in my bag of gifts, Defenders. We’ve heard you when you’ve said that you want to spend less time in menus and more time whacking gobus in their very punchable faces. It is with great excitement that I can announce MOD quality filtering in the inventory. In our new update, the “Filter By” tab (the last tab in your Inventory) now includes an option to filter by MOD quality. Selecting this option groups equipment by the highest quality MOD on it, highest to lowest, and then displays that number on the icon of the equipment itself. That means that you can visually scan your equipment with ease and find high quality MODs in a jiffy. Tune into the Dev Stream tomorrow at 3pm EST[www.twitch.tv] to see for yourself.

We’ve also adjusted the way Shard sorting works too. In the new update, Shards are sorted together by type and then alphabetically. For example: all defense (green) Shards are grouped together when sorted, and will be listed in alphabetical order. This makes it way easier to find the Shard you are looking for and should cut down the amount of time spent in menus substantially. We’re open to any feedback after this goes live, but we’re excited to get these changes to you!

The elves at Trendy are looking forward to the release of this update and can’t wait to see you play it. We’re far from finished when it comes to improving MODs in the game, so your continued feedback is always appreciated. Happy Defending and Happy Holidays!

Love,
Mark

Eric “Petire” Petrie — QA Designer

Hey all, I’m just going to get right into it! The focus for me this update was allowing players to have more choice and agency in what they use while feeling powerful based on their setups. I’m going to go over our first step in expanding two different systems that happened to work very well together. The first one is the Elemental Combo system. We think it’s a great way for players to expand on making builds they truly feel are their own. The problem with the elemental combo systems in the past were either they were the ONLY way to build, or they were completely useless. The reason for this was not the Elemental Combo system itself but more the ability for players to stack Crowd Controls over and over again to increase damage output beyond expected values, completely stunlocking enemies.

Allowing players to pick what kind of towers they enjoy using and use those in nearly every circumstance (as long as they put the time and effort in to get the mods/shards for those towers) is a cool and interesting aspect a RPG Tower Defense can have. For instance, having your Cannonball towers oil enemies so your flame aura begins an ignite, or allowing your Skyguard to stun enemies knocked up from geyser. Those are cool and interesting interactions that we want players to feel good finding and discovering for their first time, but not have them make all content trivial.

This is not the final stage of our combo system, but rather a first step. We’re hard at work on back end systems that need to be altered in order to future proof additions we create, and of course give our amazing artists enough time to go forward and make awesome visual effects (so awesome you may shed a tear) to show off new and amazing combos.

Another quick thing I want to talk about is Blockades. Blockades have decreased in use ever since we added shards, and even more so with Mods, because Crowd Control effects are too powerful on our enemies. The reason for this is the many instances of Crowd Control available at any point and time without any kind of cooldown on using them. Enter Diminishing Returns. Diminishing Returns allow certain passives and shards to increase their base values everytime any Crowd Control is applied to an enemy future CC’s will have less effect. There’s more to talk about on Diminishing Returns being added, but by adding them in we’re able to make Elemental Combos a lot more interesting, create even MORE Elemental Combos in our future patches/updates, AND buff Blockades so that they are part of your builds. All of these changes are because of feedback we received from so many of you, and we’ve done a lot to make them feel good.

Activating my trap card,
Petire

Daniel Diaz — World Builder

Hey everyone! I’m Daniel Diaz, and I want to share with you some of the work we’ve put into the next map coming to you all very soon.



Our main inspiration for this level came from Game of thrones (specifically Night's Watch, Castle Black) and some awesome concepts by artists at Trendy.

We had lot of fun working on it. I remember I started working on the front of the castle, if you wonder about the workflow just take a look at the pic below.



Finally, one of the biggest challenges for this level on the world building side was to create the ice cavern and backgrounds for the level (we had no concepts for them) so we had to explore and use our imagination.



We can’t wait to see you all conquer this frozen castle and reap the rewards for doing so!

Thanks everyone,
Daniel

What’s Next?
Our Dev Stream is December 7th, @3 PM EST[www.twitch.tv]. Be sure to come join us, check out all the epic snow covered goodness, system changes, and hard work poured into this update. Oh, also, you know, maybe win some prizes coming with this update!

To get reliable updates on what’s to come, be sure to check out our social platforms for the latest juiciest beans to be spilled:
The entire team has had a blast making this content, we cannot wait for all of you to get your hands on our next update. Stay tuned for more info soon!

For Etheria!

The Dungeon Defenders II Team
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