Dungeon Defenders II - Trials: The Endgame Update – New Power

By Michelle-Louise Janion, 6 months ago
Dungeon Defenders II screenshot


"Those who want Power must cast themselves into the Chaos." - A quote we totally didn't make up.

Greetings Defenders,

Trials: The Endgame Update is the systems update you’ve been waiting for. We’re improving progression, herocrafting, strategy, challenge and so much more. We’re pouring every ounce of ourselves into our most ambitious update yet, and we hope you’ll love it as much as we do when it comes out soon.

There’s a lot in this update, which also includes new threats, new difficulties, new ways to play, a new Inventory, balance updates, quality of life improvements, bug fixes and more, but this week, let’s focus on the new power you’ll find in the update:

Dungeon Defenders II screenshot


Shards: A New Way to Build Your Hero

Our brave Etherian scouts ventured deep into the emerging Chaos. While evading fearsome new foes, they discovered powerful new artifacts called Shards! Shards slot into your Defenses, Weapons and Armor where your passives once were. Shards give you extra buffs, bonuses and sometimes even new functionality, which can be upgraded to augment your defensive capacity!

Defenses can hold up to three Defense Shards; Weapons and Armor can hold up to two Hero Shards. When you enter the new update, you’ll find your previously acquired gear — slightly modified — alongside a complimentary collection of Shards to start you on your way. Those with iPWR 750 loot will initially venture further into Chaos than other players by leveraging these complimentary Shards, but all will eventually find their way to greater iPWR glory (more on this in a future report). Best of all, most Shards can be moved between gear, which allows you to modify and improve your builds without losing earned progress!

Gone are the days when you bowed in tyranny to the RNGsus of Passives. Now you only need to bend one knee slightly to the Shard Gods!

Summary of the Shards system:

  • Goodbye Passives and Skill Spheres; hello Shards!
  • Shards are gemlike artifacts that slot into your Defenses, Armor and Weapons
  • Shards give you extra buffs, bonuses and sometimes even new functionality
  • Shards are found as loot drops separate from your other gear
  • Shards are upgradeable
  • Most Shards can be moved between gear. No more leaving your Passives behind when you find an iPWR upgrade!
  • Defenses can hold up to 3 Shards and can only equip Defense Shards
  • Armor and Weapons can hold up to 2 Shards and can only equip Hero Shards
  • When you login, you’ll be given Shards to help you on your journey into Chaos, and depending on how many Skill Spheres you’ve purchased, you’ll be given a ton of gold (which you might think you have enough now, but you’ll need all the gold you can get for upgrading Shards)
Dungeon Defenders II screenshot


Ascension: Go Beyond Level 50

While our scouts risked life and limb in the Chaos, our magical scholars made a discovery of their own — you can now go beyond Level 50! They’re calling it the Ascension system, and they’re quite proud of the name. (They’re as smug as they are clever, those scholars.)

Oh, and what’s the new limit, you ask?

You’ll be delighted to know our scholars believe this path to be limitless! Trust us, our scholars have been testing it. They’re as thorough as they are smug.

When a hero hits Level 50, any XP gained from that point forward goes towards your Ascension Level. Some of you might be wondering whether a deck of four Level 50 Heroes gives you four times the Ascension XP. Some of you might be on the right track! Having multiple level 50 Heroes and braving the toughest challenges rewards you with the greatest bounty.

Earning an Ascension Level gives you points to invest in Ascension Powers. Some Ascension Powers are universal while others are unique to specific heroes. To be the best, you’ll need to rise off your laurels, test yourself, bring your A-game and choose your Powers wisely.

Summary of Ascension:

  • Go beyond Level 50 with the Ascension system!
  • When a hero hits Level 50, all XP gained after that point goes towards your Ascension Level
  • Earning Ascension Levels gives you points to invest into Ascension Powers
  • Some Ascension Powers are universal for all heroes; some are unique to each hero
  • Harder challenges will grant more Ascension XP
  • Four Level 50 heroes in your Hero Deck = 4x the Ascension XP
Dungeon Defenders II screenshot


All Heroes Become Master Builders AND Master Fighters

The Blacksmith and the Relic Hunter have something up their sleeves for you, too. You’ve seen them cozied up in the Marketplace, haven’t you? They’ve been working on updates to Relics, Armor and Weapons that will transform your heroes into simultaneous master defense strategists and combat experts!

All Relics are now Defense Relics

The Relic Hunter fashioned a method for attaching a Relic onto each of your Defenses. Rather than specializing all your gear towards a single Defense, you can now augment each of your Defenses individually! Want a Defense Health Blockade and a Defense Speed Ballista? Done. Want Defense Range Cannonballs with Defense Power Training Dummies? Easy. You can do all of that with a single hero! Mix and match Relics, Defense Shards and Ascension Powers to make a build that is specifically you!

And yes, you read that above correctly: The Relic Hunter rediscovered Defense Speed and Defense Range! Be sure to stop by the Marketplace to thank him.

Armor and Weapons Reforged

In conjunction with the Relic Hunter, the Blacksmith reforged Armor and Weapons into Hero Gear! Similar to Relics, Hero Gear will now allow you to empower and modify your raw combat potential and mystical abilities. Combine gear with Shards and Ascension Powers to make your mark in the annals of Etheria.

Summary of Loot Changes:

  • Now you can build powerful defenses AND be a powerful fighter at the same time
  • All Relics are becoming Defense Relics
  • Defense Speed and Defense Range are returning as stats!
  • You can equip a Relic per defense, so you can customize the stats of each defense without needing to dedicate a full hero for that defense (as in, you won’t need to make a Squire dedicated solely to Defense Health Blockades — just equip a Defense Health Relic to your Blockade)
  • Armor and Weapons will now roll with only Hero stats, which means you don’t have to choose between hero stats or defense stats!
These loot changes combined with Shards and Ascension Powers provide new potential for hero builds, and we can’t wait to see what new builds you’ll create.

Phew! That was a lot, and we haven’t described even half the changes coming in the update! In our report next week, we'll shine a light on the forces of Chaos that stand between you and your new power.

Frequently Anticipated Questions

You haven’t asked them yet, but we know you’re going to.

Q: Wait, there's even more coming in this update?

A: Yep! This is hands down our most ambitious update. We're putting in long hours to make this the best update yet, and we hope you’ll enjoy our changes as much as we do.

Q: Does Trendy need feedback on these changes? How can I help with that?

A: Yes, we do! The most useful feedback would be your hands-on impressions, and if you want to do that, you can join our Remote Playtesting Group. Email dani.moore[at]trendyent.com if you’re interested! Other than that, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Q: What’s happening to the Passive and Skill Sphere systems?

A: Most Passives and Skill Spheres are being converted into Shards and some are becoming Ascension Powers. When you login, you’ll be given a number of Shards to aid you on your journey into Chaos, and depending on how many Skill Spheres you’ve purchased, you’ll be given a ton of gold (which you’ll need for upgrading Shards). Those who have purchased more Skill Spheres than others will be given a big leg up here as gold will be key to upgrading Shards and getting further into Chaos faster than other players. And those who farmed iPWR 750 loot will be able to start deeper into Chaos than others.

Q: What happens to my current Relics, Weapons and Armor?

A: The most important thing is that your iPWR will remain the same! Your Medallions and Totems will still be Defense focused. Any Defense stats on weapons and armor will be rerolled into Hero stats. Rings will become a Defense Relic and will contain Defense stats. And again, if you have iPWR 750 loot, you’re ahead of the curve.

Q: Does that mean that investing my time into Skill Spheres and farming gear was worthwhile?

A: Yes! The more Skill Spheres you purchased, the more gold you’ll receive when this update comes out. Gold is essential to upgrading Shards and gear. And your iPWR will be untouched in the update, so those with higher iPWR gear will be able to start further into Chaos than other players when used in conjunction with the new Shard system! It’s always a little tricky when an in-development game makes big changes, but top-tier players now should remain our top-tier players when the update comes out.

Q: Will one Defense Relic give me the same amount of stats for a Defense as before?

A: Maybe not perfectly 1:1, but the goal is that one Defense Relic along with your Shards and your Ascension Powers should give you all the power you need for an individual defense. Our overall goal is that you can have the power fantasy of being an awesome builder and an awesome fighter at once.

Q: Will I want to build multiples of the same hero now?

A: We imagine that players will create different builds of a given hero using Shards + Gear Stats + Ascension Powers similar to other loot-driven RPGs.

Q: I have more questions! Where can I ask them?

A: You can ask them in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. You can also join us on our Devstream this Friday at 3PM EST, and we’ll answer as many questions as we can!
Michelle-Louise Janion
I tend to favour the puzzle, RPG, action-adventure and strategy genres. My particular favourites over the years have been Final Fantasy IX, Metal Gear Solid, Civilisation V and The Last of Us. I'm also a sucker for a series: Darksiders, Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider etc. I am a bit of a lone gamer as I tend to steer clear of PvP, and only play multiplayer with close friends.