Dungeon Defenders II: Power of the Ancients is finally here! We’ve cranked the hype up to 11 and we’re ready to release this long-awaited expansion today on Xbox One. We added a ton of gameplay content in this expansion with a new mid to end-game mode, a dynamically shifting map, and an endless way to continue progressing your account. In addition to the new gameplay content, there’s also a ton of new cosmetic content for you to customize your heroic look. I’d like to give you an insider look at what inspired our choices for the new gameplay, and some pro tips for conquering our new game mode!
Onslaught, the new mode, is the result of our continuing focus on incorporating player feedback into our game. Your observations about loot progression, defense balance, Trials, and strategic variety – among other topics – have taken center stage in the discussions that have shaped this new mode.
In Onslaught, different enemies are semi-randomly selected from a pool of potential lane configurations hand-crafted to test your abilities at each difficulty increment (called Floors). On top of this new approach to enemy lane groupings, we’ve expanded the Mutator system to add further variability and challenge to this new end-game experience. One of the things that we learned from our previous end-game mode, Trials, was that players were not enjoying lanes upon lanes of a single type of enemy. Onslaught not only offers different enemies in each lane but now additionally has the Mutator system to make sure that the strategic experience will never go stale.
To match the variability of lanes in Onslaught, we’ve created a brand-new type of map: The Lost Temple. In current maps, there are set of core locations and counts that are attacked by enemies advancing down pre-defined lanes. Solve the map layout and you only have to tweak things here and there to defeat variability in enemies. In The Lost Temple, core locations, counts, and lanes change with each playthrough (and often during a playthrough as well). As the battlefield evolves, so too must your thinking because getting stuck in single defensive mind frame is a short road to ruin in the Lost Temple.
Our current Trials progression had players developing external spreadsheets to understand how our loot progression worked. We didn’t like that experience, so our aim with Onslaught is to give the players a clearly understood progression path. In Onslaught, the new rewards are pegged to the Floor level that you’re able to beat. With each Floor, you descend you’ll find better loot, more experience, and will be swimming in a pool of gold. Additionally, playing at the lowest floor you’ve reached will earn you the opportunity to unlock brand new cosmetics our artists have lovingly made just for you specifically (shh… don’t tell the others, they’ll get jealous). Descend far enough, and you might even uncover a force that has, thus far, existed only in lore: Ancient Power.
Oh, and did I also mention that the number of Floors in Onslaught is endless?
This expansion is jam-packed and to help you sort through them, I’m here with a few hard-learned lessons I’ve picked up while testing this update. While it may seem that we were coming with the hard sell above, the ever-changing threats of Onslaught are not to be taken lightly. Make sure to inspect the enemy billboards that appear over each spawn point. Knowing which enemy group with what mutator you’re facing in a lane and devising a strategy for dealing with that specific threat very often defines the difference between success and failure.
In addition to inspecting the billboards, make sure to explore all the options that are available to your hero deck. Heroes or towers that are currently thought to be weak may end up being the keystone of a strategy to defeat a specific enemy group, mutator, lane, and core pairing. For example, there’s one mutator that makes enemies immune to damage unless they’re affected by one of our various status effects. Grab the Lavamancer, throw down some Oil Geysers, oiling all the enemies and countering that mutator, then revel in your own self-discovered genius.
Power of the Ancients has been a lift, but we’re far from done developing and evolving Dungeon Defenders II, and we can’t wait to see where our Xbox community will take it. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out DD2 on the Xbox One X, it runs like a dream! Make sure to check us out on our official forums and social media, we know what we think about the Power of the Ancients and now we can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Additionally, check out our various content creators online and look for us on Mixer! We’ll be watching streams and engaging with community members whenever we can.
We’ve made some serious strides from our days in beta, and this is only the first giant step into making Dungeon Defenders II the best experience that it can be.