Philip Asher on what to expect from Dungeon Defenders 2.
Dungeon Defenders II is a tower defense game in which players will need to defend from monsters by placing defenses. The game has traditional role playing mechanics such as leveling up, loot and building up a team of heroes so that you can be successful in your quest to save Etheria.
GamingBolt recently caught up with Trendy Entertainment’s Philip Asher to know how the game is shaping up. Check out the full interview below.
Rashid Sayed: To begin with, can you please introduce yourself and the company you work for?
Hey! I’m Philip Asher and I’m the Marketing Director at Trendy Entertainment.
Rashid Sayed: Dungeon Defenders II is in Steam Early access. What kinds of feedback are you receiving from the community and what kind of gameplay changes this has led to?
Philip Asher: We’re receiving all kinds of feedback that’s making Dungeon Defenders II a better game! Dungeon Defenders II has been available to our community in some form or another since our first vertical slice of the game three months into development.
Since then, our community’s feedback has greatly shaped the game into what it is now. Some of the best feedback we’ve gotten from players was that they felt the gameplay was becoming too action-centric early on in development. Since then we’ve spent a lot of time making sure the defenses and strategies in the game are equally as or more important than the combat. More recently, we completely changed a relic-based loot system into a more familiar armor-based system thanks to our Defense Council’s feedback (before Early Access).
Every time we expand our player base, like going into Early Access, we get all sorts of new, valuable information. Right now we’re focused on improving the pacing of progressing through the game and building a pseudo campaign mode in response to Early Access feedback.
We’ve even created a program on our website called Influence, which allows players to directly vote on features that go into the game.
"In Dungeon Defenders II we’ve implemented a combo system that allows heroes’ Defenses and Abilities to interact."
Rashid Sayed: Given that you already have a lot of content out via Steam Early access, how do you plan on adding new content in the future? DLC, may be?
Philip Asher: We have no plans to add DLC to Dungeon Defenders II. However, in the future it will be transitioning to free to play. When that happens, players who purchased Early Access will get $30 in-game currency and some exclusive goodies. Afterwards our business model will be based around cosmetic in-game purchases. We will never sell gameplay advantage in Dungeon Defenders II.
Rashid Sayed: Dungeon Defenders 2 is a PS4 console exclusive. I find that interesting since you would ideally want the game to be on as many capable platforms as you possibly can and the Xbox One is very much capable. Do you guys have a specific reason why it’s not coming to the Xbox One?
Philip Asher: We really love the folks at PlayStation and right now a lot of policies on the PS4 made it a better fit for Dungeon Defenders II, since it will be a free-to-play title.
Rashid Sayed: What can you tell us about the enemies and how have they changed when compared to the original?
Philip Asher: They’ve changed in so many ways! First of all, there are a lot more of them. We’ve tried to flesh out the enemy roster to include all of the traditional Tower Defense enemies (heavy long range, medium melee, etc.). We’ve also created a number of unique enemies that affect the battlefield in different ways. For example, the Wither Beast can’t be targeted by your defenses and burrows into the ground to debuff you defenses. To top all that off, we have named enemies that have special abilities and are even tougher to defeat. Oh, and did I mention each enemy has three tiers which changes its strength and abilities as you progress through the game?
Rashid Sayed: How are you making sure that all the classes in Dungeon Defenders 2 will closely interact with each other?
Philip Asher: In Dungeon Defenders II we’ve implemented a combo system that allows heroes’ Defenses and Abilities to interact. So, for example, a Monk can place a lightning aura over a Huntress’ geyser trap. Then, when enemies walk through the geyser trap they will get wet and when they get dealt the electric damage from the lightning aura they will become stunned.
"While we’re in Early Access, everything is in a constant state of flux. Right now hero levelling is different than the original. Instead of putting points into stats, you get to choose and improve specs that change how you play your hero."
Rashid Sayed: Have you tweaked the character leveling or is it similar to the original?
Philip Asher: While we’re in Early Access, everything is in a constant state of flux. Right now hero levelling is different than the original. Instead of putting points into stats, you get to choose and improve specs that change how you play your hero. These are essentially talents. So for example, you can make the Monk’s boost aura buff blockade health or you can make the Squire’s blockades stun enemies. You can even make the Apprentice’s Fireball tower shoot double fireballs!
Rashid Sayed: Are there any plans to possibly have cross platform play between the PS4 and PC versions?
Philip Asher: It’s something we would definitely love to do in the future.
Rashid Sayed: Free to play business model is always tricky. How are you tackling it this time around?
Philip Asher: Basically, NO selling gameplay advantage. We intend to sell hero costumes, defense skins, and other cosmetics/service that do not effect gameplay.
Rashid Sayed: How is the micro-transaction system in the PS4 version going to differ from the PC version?
Philip Asher: It will be the same.
Rashid Sayed: Will Dungeon Defenders II run at 1080p and 60fps on the PS4?
Philip Asher: Sorry, we can’t answer this question yet. The PS4 version is currently highly in development.
Rashid Sayed: Are you aiming for a simultaneous launch on the PS4 and PC?
Philip Asher: Can’t answer this one yet either!
Rashid Sayed: Is there anything else you want to add before we let you go?
Philip Asher: We’re really excited to keep receiving feedback from our Community and improving Dungeon Defenders II. We’re putting out our first major update really soon, which puts us on the path towards improving a lot of the progression issues players are having. We can’t wait to get a lot of the foundational improvements players want to see into the game and then start layering on some fun systems like pets!
Thanks for your time!