CG Britt August 4th, 2021
DEFENDERS, It’s finally here! The Lycan’s Keep Update is live on PC/Steam and Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, and coming soon to Nintendo Switch. We’ve been testing, revising, retesting, and re-revising this update for a couple of months. Now, we can’t wait for all Defenders to experience the big (and small) changes to Etheria.
We don’t want to keep you in the intro too long, so get scrolling! Read about all the goodies (and new baddies) included in The Lycan’s Keep Update.
First thing’s first, to celebrate the launch of The Lycan’s Keep Update and DDA on Nintendo Switch on the same day, Defenders who log in to the game will be rewarded with this fancy Royal Shroomy Hat. This login event will only last for two weeks, so go go go!
Since this is a login reward for the new update, Nintendo Switch Defenders will have two weeks from the release of the update on that console to earn that reward. Don’t worry; we wouldn’t let anyone miss out on the Shroomy hat fun.
You asked, and we’re delivering, introducing our purchasable Supporter Packs! Have you always wished to look like a Gator while defending the Crystal? Well, us either, but now we can’t think of a better way to scare the baddies. You can grab the full Gator Gear Weapons and Accessories set for $9.99 USD. You’ll also find the Chromatic Costume set and DD1 Original Hero Paper Masks set for $4.99 USD. We can’t wait to see you all in your new gear!
This update introduces two new defendin’ heroes to Etheria – The Warden and The Rogue! On top of the new heroes, we made some changes to the Hero Deck, including expanding it and making the active hero incentives stronger.
A guardian of the forest that was banished to the realm our heroes find themselves in, The Warden joins our roster to help push back the evils that stand in your way with plant-like defenses and a Wrath Mode to scare even the toughest enemies. In our prior surveys and roadmap voting, the Dryad from Dungeon Defenders II was one of the most requested heroes. The Warden is her spiritual successor, using the power of the forest to take down any foe that approaches.
Primary Attack: The Warden swings her mighty polearm like a scythe clearing a field, destroying foes that stand before you in melee range.
Secondary Attack – Sprout: The Warden calls forth a sprout that erupts from the ground, dealing low AoE damage to nearby enemies, shooting a seed a short distance away.
Ability 1 – Mushroom Circle: Beckons forth a burst of mushrooms from the desired location.
Ability 2 – Wrath Form: Calls upon the power of the forest causing the Warden to surge with energy. Wrath Form increases the strength of all her abilities and defenses while active, regardless of range.
Defense 1 – Roots of Purity: Summons a blockade that can take a beating from enemies. Blesses the ground with the Zone of Purity around the roots that allows the Warden’s other defenses to be constructed. The Zone of Purity restores 1% HP per second to any hero within its coverage.
Defense 2 – Wisp Den: Opens a portal, pulling through three wisps that focus down enemies within its range, always prioritizing high-threat targets.
Defense 3 – Beaming Blossom: Grows a flower that collects solar energy that then goes crazy towards enemies within its range, shooting a pure continuous beam of solar energy that deals high damage.
Defense 4 – Shroomy Pit: A pit appears that spawns a Shroomy, a brave mushroom warrior of the forest. Shroomies don’t have a lot going on in their heads, and as a result they do two things. Idly stand still, and as they spot an enemy, charge legs first (they’re a bit off-balance) and explode into enemies, dealing damage in a large area.
Defense 5 – Sludge Launcher: Vines and logs are infused together, pulling in toxins from the ground, shooting out giant globs that explode on contact, dealing a large amount of damage to the first enemy hit and heavily coat them in sludge, lightly covering nearby enemies in sludge, slightly slowing them.
This highly-trained elven warrior is the last remaining elite soldier from an ancient elven army, meaning he comes ready to battle enemies head on as a melee and ranged dual-wielding hero. As a combat-only defender, the Rogue is agile, dashing in and leaping out of battle as he sees fit.
A lack of defense towers does not mean the Rogue is without protection. Activating Umbral Form makes him invisible and his arsenal of devices combine to disable, enfeeble, and slow your enemies’ advances.
Weapons of Choice: Dual-wielding: Melee (Right hand) and Crossbow (Left hand)
Primary Attack – Melee Attack: The Rogue swings his equipped sword, dealing damage based on the weapon’s stats.
Secondary Attack – Ranged Attack: The Rogue fires his equipped crossbow, dealing damage based on the weapon’s stats.
Primary Ability 1 – Swift Assault: Dashes forward and deals AoE damage once reaching his destination.
Primary Ability 2 – Disengage: Throws a spread of daggers forward dealing AoE damage and applying Rogue’s Mark to all enemies hit during attack. The Rogue leaps backwards out of the danger, providing a gap between him and his foes.
Passive – Rogue’s Mark: Marks are applied to a maximum of 8 enemies while using Swift Assault, Disengage, or Primary and Secondary attacks. The Rogue can then activate debilitating Devices on Marked enemies.
Device 1 – Arcing: Snares Marked enemies with nets of lightning, disabling their attacks and abilities, as well as dealing a large amount of lightning damage.
Device 2 – Napalm: Incinerates Marked enemies, dealing a large amount of fire damage over a short time. Enemies also take increased damage from other attacks and abilities while Napalm is active.
Device 3 – Noxious: Injects Marked enemies with a highly potent toxin that slows movement and deals poison damage while Noxious is active.
Utility Ability 1 – Umbral Form: The Rogue becomes invisible for a short duration. While invisible, the agile hero has increased movement speed, damage, and empowered non-Device abilities. He cannot be targeted by enemies, but he can still take damage from their attacks if he gets within damaging range.
Utility Ability 2 – Carnage: The Rogue throws a flurry of deadly piercing daggers, dealing AoE damage every half a second throughout its duration. Defenders can move while this ability is activated and it can be channeled until you’re completely out of mana.
Now having four heroes is great and all, but based on prior survey results, we knew our Defenders wanted to build bigger hero decks. With the addition of the Warden and the Rogue, we knew this need would be even greater. Instead of 4 heroes in your deck, you’ll now have 6 HERO DECK SLOTS!
A larger hero deck called for some changes to the Hero Deck Bonuses too. Defenders wanted more incentives for keeping heroes in their hero deck, so we did just that by revamping the bonuses. Check out those changes below:
New Deck Bonuses
We have one more hero-related change for our Defenders. For all of you who feel reaching Level 100 wasn’t difficult enough, we’re increasing the level cap for all heroes to 105. The best items in The Lycan’s Keep update require Level 105 to equip, meaning you’ll need to conquer many foes on your journey to utilize the strongest gear available.
New Pet – Happy Hera
New Pet – Raging Zeus
New Pet – Lycan Prince
New Pet – Demon Duke
All Melee Pets
All Ranged Pets
We added in another round of maps for our Defenders to test their combat and tower-building skills, that also include NEW ENEMIES and a NEW BOSS. Keep scrolling for all the details on this juicy, new content. (Maps are listed in order.)
The Mill is the first stop the heroes make upon leaving the castle to continue their journey. They enter a bright and vibrant forest that used to be used to provide lumber and materials for building the castle and nearby towns. Though it seems calm and peaceful, an army of enemies awaits to prevent our heroes from pushing onward with their journey.
If you squint REALLY hard you’ll notice that this map is a remake of a fan favorite, and highly requested map, Mistymire. We made a couple of changes to make building defenses feel better, as well as modified some lanes to make things play out more smoothly.
The Outpost is a remake of the Drakenfrost Resort map from Dungeon Defenders II, a map that not many people have had the opportunity to explore and defend. It hangs on a cliff, overlooking where you’ve previously come from, and acted as a barracks of sorts to keep soldiers of Etheria stationed outside of town, with a giant belltower to warn of incoming threats.
The Keep’s sheer size is a challenge in itself. Do you focus on pushing enemies into tight lanes to maximize AoE damage? Do you find the perfect hiding spot for your DSTs? Guess we’ll have to wait and see what The Keep has in store for defenders.
This bonus map probably looks like another familiar remake of one of DD1 Defenders’ favorites. The gorgeous (and deadly) lava that turn up the heat within the Foundries and Forges aims to give Defenders a bit of nostalgia with renewed fun.
Any good update also brings in some new baddies to liven up combat. Act IV introduces the baddest of them all – werewolves! Try not to get too scared while learning more about them.
Using this feral foe’s signature ability, “Howl,” the Lycan empowers himself and nearby enemies, reducing the damage of incoming attacks, and increasing their health and damage each time they’re attacked while howling. Lycan enemies show up on each of the new maps, but they show up in earlier waves as you progress through Act IV.
Once you maneuver your defenses and combat to get around the Howling Lycan, you have one more challenge to save Etheria – the Lycan King! You’ll run into the King after defeating the final wave on The Keep. We won’t spoil this for you, you’ll have to experience it yourself!
Gear has gotten a major facelift in this update, and for a lot of reasons. We took a heavy look at what Defenders are doing with gear, how well they understand it, and what that means for metas. The prior meta was boost-only to succeed. Boost builds are fun, but they shouldn’t be the only way to experience the game. We’re keeping boosting viable, but we’ve also added options to help give our ever-expanding roster of heroes and content more ways to be enjoyed.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s focus on the specific changes to each hero and tower stat.
Now that we have changes to the stats laid out, the presentation of stats are different now too. In the prior meta, a lot of players felt forced to only play with their defenses. Of course, we love a strategic, effective tower build to take on challenges in DDA, but it shouldn’t be the only way to take down the toughest baddies. Instead of forcing Defenders to choose between a defense-focused hero only and a damage-focused hero only, you now have the option for both.
Where stats show up changes within this update and we wanted to provide a breakdown of their new homes:
All heroes that do not dual wield weapons have an Offhand slot. These are as follows:
This is a new system for all gear in DDA. Item effects are unupgradable additional stats and effects that are applied on all your gear. For Episode 1, our goal has been to lay it out as a foundational system that we are going to continue to build upon.
They’re additional effects that roll on your gear. There are a ton of these (with more added each episode) that should help boost your strength. Some only roll on specific item types. Here’s the list of the new item effects:
With all of these big changes to gear, Defenders should notice a change in your current gear. To make sure everything scales correctly, upgrades have changed since stats are altered. As a result, we’ve removed the upgrades from all of your gear and refunded a plethora of gold based on those upgrades. We know this seems tedious to have to go through this, but this also lets you choose how to upgrade your gear within this new system.
Set Bonuses are additional stats and functionality that you get out of wearing pieces of a specific set at the same time. Not much is changing other than there’s more of them! Check out what’s new.
This new forest-themed set features the following weapons:
One of the details we’ve been anxiously waiting to add to the live game is the new Inventory layout and information. Especially with all the changes in this update, we knew we needed to deliver information on items, stats, set bonuses, heroes, etc. better than before. We did this by optimizing the layout with updated organization, better sorting options, and more and more helpful information in the tooltips.
We’ve optimized our layout so that everything is together, making it easier to understand what you’re doing within your inventory.
You’ll notice at the top there are a plethora of bags. We added additional iconography that allows you to change the visuals for your bags, making it easier to know what each contains based on your personal preferences. That means that you need to have specific filters for specific bags. We’ve got you covered:
Wow that’s so much for the Inventory! But wait, maybe you’re asking “Weren’t there other tabs?” and you’d be right. The way character stats are displayed and upgraded are all in one convenient location on the Stats Tab:
The Spellbook tab explains what your abilities and towers do for your selected hero. We’ll continue to expand on this feature in the future, but for now it should be made more clear what your heroes can do:
Reforging allows you to reset an item’s assigned upgrades and re-upgrade that item in a different way. Reforging the item doesn’t take gold but you will have to repurchase any upgrades that you wish to add back on. This is great for if you accidently upgrade the wrong stat or if you want to try something new.
We let loose a NEW GAME MODE! This new mode is called “Tests” 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! You can’t use your heroes to do this, either. You must choose to fight with one of two predetermined heroes, built by your favorite devs.
Each fight has a 3-minute timer, so you need to be skilled and quick. We’ve spent our PTR phasing honing these different tests so each battle feels fun, tough, and fair. Those of you who were testers during the PTR probably felt those changes throughout testing, and now we’re super excited to show off this new mode with AWESOME NEW REWARDS! Keep reading on to learn all about the new Tests.
The tests all provide a reward for our brand new WINGS transmog slot. Wings are only unlocks through transmog, and do not provide an item that goes in your inventory. It’s a fun cosmetic piece that we’ll continue to incorporate into rewards with future updates.
Another fun addition 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 Act IV 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.
After Update 1.3 where we reduced the number of enemies across the board to boost game performance, the experiences in Rifted were impacted more than we (and Defenders) wanted. Rifted was designed to challenge the most dedicated Defenders, but as the enemy counts reduced, this mode kind of felt like a punishment rather than an exciting challenge. The long runs that resulted weren’t an intentional design choice and we’ve fixed that to make Rifted all it was meant to be.
To meet this goal, Rifted no longer spawns normal enemies. Now, only Rifted enemies show up when you choose this mode. The enemy counts, attack damage, and HP stay exactly the same. You just won’t need to bat off the normies anymore.
These are one of those spicy additions we’ve added 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.
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. 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. As with all other loot drops, the loot quality increases according to the level of the boss associated with the Bonus 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.
You asked for it, and we thought it was a great idea. Now there are even more achievements to unlock as you defend your way through Etheria – 18 new achievements for Defenders on both platforms, to be exact. Enjoy!
On top of the new content, we fixed lots of bugs reported by the community for PC and Xbox platforms. Here is the list of those fixes:
The Nintendo Switch port for Dungeon Defenders: Awakened launches today! Check out the eShop page: Dungeon Defenders: Awakened on Nintendo Switch.
We weren’t able to get this update through Nintendo’s Lot Check before the official launch, but it will be downloadable for Switch Defenders as soon as possible! We’ll update the community once that date is available.
For PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 ports, we don’t yet have a release timeline. We previously announced we’re aiming for DDA to be out on all consoles by the end of the year. That will still be our goal, but we need some more time to figure out what tasks we need to complete to get DDA through Sony’s certification.
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