CG Britt May 21st, 2021
With all the news on gear upgrades from last week, it may feel like we can’t possibly give away any more Episode 1 news, but you’d be wrong. Here we come with even more reveals with a brand-new game mode and some spicy additions to current play.
Developer Note: All of these things are subject to change by the release of Episode 1.
We’ve got a NEW GAME MODE! We’re calling this the “Tests” mode because it’s one defender being tested against one big baddy. The “big baddy” can be any of DDA’s infamous bosses, and you fight one-on-one to defeat them on their own map. One more small detail—you fight the bosses with zero defenses. Wait, there’s one more small-ish detail to add to that. You can’t use your heroes. You must choose to fight with one of two predetermined heroes. Don’t worry, they come with their own gear, too.
Guess it’s time to hone those combat skills!
Now for the details of the fights. Each fight has a 3-minute timer, so you need to be skilled and quick. These fights should be difficult, but not impossible to beat. To help with this, you have one extra life during the fight. That means you can die once and everything is peachy. If you die twice, though… That’s the end of the fight.
Along with the extra life, each boss has three difficulty levels for you to choose from: Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Each boss is also equipped with a “deadly” mechanic that deals some serious damage. This should go without saying, but you definitely need to avoid being hit by the deadly mechanic at all costs. We warned you.
We’re sure there are lots of questions running through your head right now. What heroes can you use in these fights? What is this “deadly” mechanic you should avoid? What else did we leave out because we love keeping secrets? Well, here’s the breakout for each “Tests” battle.
Test of the Demon
Test of the Mech
Test of the Ancient
You’re probably asking yourself what the rewards are like for this new game mode. That’s a great question! Since we want to keep some of this a surprise, the answer to this is kept simple for now. For defeating each of the bosses at each of the tiers, you can earn unique rewards that are only available through Tests. With three different bosses at three different tiers in this game mode, there are 9 unique rewards up for grabs.
This type of game mode that gives Defenders a way to just fight bosses with only a hero is something we’ve seen people asking for. This is also something that’s easy for us to add and test out. It is a bit of an experiment for DDA, and if you all enjoy it, we’ll be sure to include it in all of our future episodes.
Speaking of other fun experiments… Our next section goes over the fun we’re adding in for fans of Rifted.
Another fun addition to DDA in Episode 1 is Rifted Portals. What the heck are portals?!
Rifted Portals are alternate spawn points for enemies that appear at set locations and times on Rifted Episode 1 maps. Enemies are removed from their original lane and ported to the alternate location. What defenses they miss along the way, nobody knows.
How do you deal with these pesky portals?? Lucky for Defenders, these can be destroyed by your hero. There’s a catch, of course. Portals cannot be destroyed by your hero’s defenses. So, choose your hero wisely!
An added benefit to destroying a portal is the loot that drops once it’s gone. There’s always that incentive to take it down. If you don’t destroy it before the wave is over, it will quietly disappear and a fresh portal will reappear on the next wave, but you won’t receive any loot. Gotta work for the goods.
Finally, let’s talk about Bonus Waves. These are one of those spicy additions we’re adding for late-game defenders who are itching for that extra challenge. With an extra challenge comes extra rewards in the form of a chance to get max quality gear from EVERY MAP. What’s the point of a Bonus Wave? To earn extra awesome gear, of course! And you should believe us when we say these rewards are extra awesome.
What Are Bonus Waves?
The basic explanation for these are extra waves that can be unlocked once defenders complete Wave 25 on any Boss map in Survival and Mixed modes at Nightmare and Massacre difficulties. All maps have their own Bonus Wave that unlocks once you defeat the boss within its respective Act. As you can imagine, enemies in this extra wave are faster, stronger, and tougher, but as we said, you’re rewarded for your hard work.
These Bonus Waves are purely opt-in, meaning you can choose to complete them on each map if you want — you don’t have to complete them to finish the map, though. Oh! Here’s a fun fact: Bonus Waves for Boss maps also feature the boss! Sorry, not sorry for that goodness. To note, Bonus Waves for Boss maps only appear after defeating the next boss. For example, you unlock a Bonus Wave for Alchemical Labs once you’ve defeated the Throne Room Nightmare/Massacre Survival Wave 25. We’ll spend the rest of this section going over how to actually access the dang maps and what goodies come from completing them.
Unlocking Bonus Waves
The tricky thing here is that defenders can only unlock Bonus Waves in each Act after completing Survival Wave 25 on the Boss maps on Nightmare and Massacre difficulties. We want to make sure Defenders are rewarded for attempting (and completing) more difficult maps, too. So, once you complete a Boss map, that boss’ named Bonus Wave is unlocked for all prior maps. For example, defeating the Goblin Mech at the end of Act 2 will unlock the Goblin Mech Bonus Wave for all Act 1 and Act 2 maps (minus the Throne Room and Endless Spires).
This gives Defenders freedom to choose the battle that’s appropriate for your style of play. If you want to skip over the Demon Lord and Goblin Mech maps, heading straight to Ancient Dragon to open the Bonus Waves for all three Acts, you’re able to do that. Here’s a handy example explaining how Bonus Wave unlocks work:
You, a glorious defender, complete the Alchemical Laboratory on Massacre Survival. With this great takedown of the Demon Lord, you unlock access to the Demon Lord Bonus Wave on all prior Act 1 maps.
If you, our GLORIOUS Defender, go on to complete Tornado Valley, you don’t yet have a Bonus Wave for that map. Quickly realizing this, you defeat the Throne Room on Massacre Survival, and this unlocks access to all prior Act 2 Goblin Mech Bonus Waves at Massacre difficulty, plus Goblin Mech Bonus Waves for all maps in Act 1.
There’s more we want to add that may make it into Episode 1, if not a future update. We want you to have multiple Bonus Waves to choose from (e.g. Demon Lord and Goblin Mech), where you’re only able to choose one of those waves to complete. So, in the case of the example above, when opting-in to the Bonus Wave on Deeper Well, you must choose to complete the Demon Lord Bonus Wave or the Goblin Mech Bonus Wave. Not both, or at least not in the same session.
You may be asking, “Why bother with these extra waves if they’re just tougher challenges?” Well, we left out some important pieces of information…
We hope you’re ready for some AWESOME rewards because that’s what defenders are getting from these Bonus Waves. Many of you already know this, but it’s worth explaining again just in case some of us need a refresher. The quality of the loot drop from a map’s chests are dependent on a number of factors, including the game mode, selected difficulty, whether or not you’re playing on Hardcore and/or Rifted, and, of course, RNG.
These Bonus Waves are no different, but there are some small-ish differences to ensure the reward is equal to the work. We do this by increasing the loot quality of every Bonus Wave according to the level of the boss associated with the wave. Basically, Act 1 Bonus Wave loot drops will increase in quality after you defeat Demon Lord, and Act 1 and 2 Bonus Wave loot drops will increase (again) after you defeat Goblin Mech. Activating Hardcore and/or Rifted further adds to the quality of Bonus Wave loot drops on all maps.
That’s Bonus Waves, Defenders!
Like we revealed on our Friday Funday stream, Episode 1 ramps up DDA’s difficulty with a new Tests game mode, Rifted Portals, and Bonus Waves that reward you for your hard work. Once we have this content in place, we’ll be able to expand on it in future episodic content. This is just the beginning!! We can’t wait for you to try it all out and pick up some awesome gear at the same time.
We haven’t announced the release date for Episode 1 yet that includes all of these additions, along with the new heroes, new maps, and an overhaul of gear, but be on the lookout on our social pages. We love sharing that kind of exciting news on those pages first!
We want to reassure you all that DDA ports for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 AND PlayStation 5 are still very much under way. We’re still working hard on getting Nintendo Switch through the Lot Check process, fixing bugs, and prepping it to be live for you all while also knocking out Episode 1. The Switch version will be completed and released before PlayStation, but we are aiming to have DDA on all consoles by the end of the year.
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