In December 2010, Trendy Entertainment and Reverb Communications released Dungeon Defenders as a downloadable mobile game on iOS and Android. The following October, it released in the format we know it as for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, maintaining its success all the way through.
While selling several hundred thousand units in its first two years, it wasn’t until a few months ago when Dungeon Defenders joined the epic Humble Indie Bundle 7 pack, the second most successful numbered bundle from the organization to date with 395,940 contributors, did we enter the colorful and vibrant fray. Players who paid more than the Bundle average got access to Dungeon Defenders adding another six figures to Trendy’s DD player base. Now it’s time for a sequel.
Of that Humble Bundle, Dungeon Defenders was the one title that caught our attention and took many of our hours away here at Game Rant. Simply put, we love it! It’s fun, it’s four-player co-op, and it’s visually beautiful. It’s a game that meshes together tower defense and third person action-RPG elements, with insurmountable amounts of loot. Players choose among multiple classes, each with the ability to construct different objects, from spiked barriers and flame turrets, as massive armies approach, wave after wave. Players level up and can upgrade a ton of skills along with their weapons and armor.
There were DLC characters and maps included for Humble Bundle purchasers and the best part is that there was essentially, unlimited content, thanks to user-generated maps. So we couldn’t be more excited that Trendy announced a sequel this week, one that adds an entirely new form of play.
Dungeon Defenders 2 is currently in closed beta and will be playable at PAX East in Boston this weekend… and it’s a MOBA (Multiplayer online battle arena) game. Surprised? In the spirit (and success) of DOTA (Defense of the Ancients), LoL (League of Legends) and even the latest Guardians of the Middle-earth, Dungeon Defenders will be offering for the first time, competitive play with 5 vs. 5 and it’s the focus of development and testing for the time being.
It’ll only have one map to start and there are plans for 24 different heroes to choose from. From the silhouettes on the site, all the original (and DLC) characters appear to be returning and all will be locked behind a pay wall (with a rotation of free-to-use characters), since another huge change for the sequel is that it’s free-to-play. The devs are still determining how the pay structure will work but the goal is the get players the same amount of content in the end for the same price as the original game, and from the start it’s being developed for PC/Mac/Web and mobile on iOS/Android with cross-platform support (currently in testing).
Dungeon Defenders 2 is not in development for the current-gen consoles due to the restrictions on developers being able to offer frequent updates. They state that if the next-gen platforms are dev-friendly, that may change their minds down the road.
Fans looking for that original co-op experience, needn’t worry – it’s returning and bigger than before. From the official Dungeon Defenders 2 FAQ:
The cooperative mode is the true sequel to Dungeon Defenders. Expect more heroes, more towers and even more loot. New features like an expanded story and a 24-player overworld are also in the works.
The competitive mode is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena set in the Dungeon Defenders universe. Together, 5 players will take up arms to defend their towers against the opposing team. This fast-paced, streamlined MOBA aims for a shorter learning curve and more rpg-esque take on the genre.
Unfortunately, it’ll be a bit of a wait. The new MOBA competitive mode is in testing right now but the co-op campaign won’t be ready until the end of the year at the earliest, if not, early 2014. Some other highlights from the FAQ:
Why is it a MOBA?
During the development of Dungeon Defenders we constantly tried different multiplayer modes. Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, you name it. None of them really fit. When planning the sequel, we couldn’t drop the idea that a MOBA in the Dungeon Defenders universe would rock. Maybe it was all the after hour games of League we played in the office. We don’t know. But it fit well into the storyline and achieved a core goal of helping Dungeon Defenders players meet new players, so we went all in.
Will the competitive and cooperative modes be connected in terms of loot and progression?
Yes! The heroes, gear, weapons, pets, currency and achievements you unlock in the competitive mode will carry over into the cooperative mode. We’ll announce more on this in the future.
Of course not! As of this moment in development, everything sold in the game is obtainable through play. Furthermore, all stat giving items are awarded only through play, not pay. Like many other games in the genre though, you will be able to purchase boosts that will let you level faster or find better cosmetics.
The first gameplay footage for Dungeon Defenders 2 will release tomorrow on the official site so check back here before the weekend’s out for more. Sign up for the closed beta here.
Dungeon Defenders 2 is in development for PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Web.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes and let him know if you’ve played Dungeon Defenders!