The original Dungeon Defenders was a co-op focused action tower defense game that was incredibly successful for its small team of developers, selling over a million copies since its December 20, 2011 release. Now Trendy Entertainment is back with a sequel and while it will include an updated cooperative defense mode like the original, the big news is that it’s going to be Free-to-Play with plans to include a whole new MOBA mode. What’s more the MOBA mode is in closed beta right now and will be playable at PAX East this week in Boston. Oh and did I mention it’s being released on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android? Because it will be.
Dungeon Defenders 2 seems to be taking a League of Legends route with the MOBA portion of the game (which is completely separate from the tower defense), offering purchasable heroes and a weekly rotation of free ones to choose from. The devs plan on having a total of 24 playable heroes at launch with more added shortly after. Like most MOBAS, Dungeon Defenders 2 will offer the standard tri-lane map with towers and a base to be destroyed.
On the game’s FAQ, the devs explain their reasons for adding a MOBA mode:
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.
In regards to what makes DDII’s MOBA mode different from games like League and Dota 2, Trendy went on to explain:
Our take on the MOBA genre is more rpg-esque, with more hero customization, persistent hero leveling, loot and a town square where players can socialize, manage their heroes, shop, trade, and queue for matches. We’ve drastically simplified the item system, to reduce the learning curve for new players and are aiming for shorter total match times. We’re also experimenting with some other unique twists that you might find out about later (if they work!).
So it looks like DDII’s MOBA will be taking the focus away from buying items and instead opting to focus more on -what I will assume to be- the ability to customize a hero’s abilities or individual stats.
Now the question that must be raised when dealing with any sort of F2P game with a competitive aspect to it is, “Will it be Pay-to-Win?” Yet again, Trendy was quick on their feet and already had a response:
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.
As always developer hype is one thing and if recent games have taught us anything (I am looking at you SimCity), no matter how awesome a dev says something will be we should always reserve judgement until its release. I mean what developer would come out and say “yeah we are P2W”? At least we wont have to wait long for our first glimpse at gameplay. Trendy plans on showcasing some early footage of the new mode this Friday.
You can sign up for a chance at beta access by visiting the official site here.