Community Announcements - [TE] iamisom
Dungeon Defenders is on the ballot for the next Community's Choice deal! If it wins, you can grab the game for <b>75 percent off!</b> <a href="">Go here and vote!</a>
Product Release - Valve
Save 66% off on Dungeon Defenders* during this week's Midweek Madness.

Dungeon Defenders has also added support for Steam Workshop! Players can access Steam Workshop in-game or through their web browser, to download and distribute user-created content. These new maps and mods can be used to play online or locally, and work across both PC and Mac using SteamPlay. Content is authored using the Dungeon Defenders Development Kit, based on Unreal Engine 3, and can contain customized artwork, enemies, loot items, and game code. So intrepid map designers and programmers take heart, you now have a built-in Steam audience for your original creative work.

In addition, Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards Part 4, a new expansion for Dungeon Defenders, is now available on Steam!

*Discount does not apply to Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards DLCs.


Tower Defense Games As a Psychological MetaphorI'm not particularly good at any video game genre, unless Tetris can be considered a genre all on its own. Naturally I have my shining moments, but these tend to occur at times when there is no one around to respond positively when I shout, "Did you see that?" except for, of course, my cat, who never pays attention anyway and doesn't like it when I shout.

My problem has always been playing games with or in front of other people, and this is especially true for shooters. I've recognized this to be yet another downside of paranoia, a condition from which I frequently suffer. This mental disorder knows no bounds for me. I can be just as paranoid about people in other cars hearing or seeing me sing along to the radio as I am when walking down an alley past what appears to be a gang. I compare myself to an ever-ready feline – even the slightest stray from the norm sends me clutching to the ceiling. It's the only acrobatic upside of believing that everyone is trying to kill you.

My inability to relax in even intimate public settings throws off my dexterity and makes me twitchy to the point that gaming superbly is near impossible. It's the reason I hesitate to demo games at video game expos; I fear that important people or fans will witness me fail and deem me a horrible gamer unworthy of journalistic commentary, and this loss of credibility will get me fired from every outlet and I won't be able to pay rent next month.

This kind of thought process is so common to me, it's become comfortable. I'm comfortable being in a state of discomfort.

I moved in with two roommates recently because living alone in Southern California was beginning to wear on me, likely because of all the gangs. My new roomies don't do a lot of video gaming, but they both occasionally reflect on their more fancy-free (read: "unemployed") days when they were obsessed with a certain game called PixelJunk Monsters. This game wasn't on my radar. In fact, I'd never even heard of it – and I pride myself on above-average game knowledge.

"What's PixelJunk Monsters?" I asked them. They exchanged a glance, and exhaled with frustration. "Only the greatest game ever made," one of them responded. I assured them if it were truly the greatest game ever made, I would have heard of it. "And to think we let you live here," said the other one, shaking his head in disappointment. Only part of me was paranoid that they weren't joking.

Days later, while cleaning up a corner of this bachelor pad that contained an inflatable Anaheim Ducks goalie, a windbreaker that the boys weren't sure had been peed on or not, and a naked three-foot-tall plastic doll nicknamed "Olivia," I found a surprisingly large stack of papers from 2008. Pages and pages of printed out pictures and text, covered with scribbles and notes – they were PixelJunk Monsters cheat sheets.

Ah, it was a tower defense game! I couldn't believe it: the amount of planning and strategizing done by two grown men for some animated PlayStation arcade title. You'd think they'd be doing something more adult, like betting away their rent money in a fantasy baseball league.

Out of every game genre, tower defense is the most unfamiliar to me. I don't have a particular reason for avoiding these types of games; they've just never reached out and grabbed me. Looking further into this genre felt like I was discovering underground music that maybe wasn't known for topping mainstream charts, but seemed appealing in its own unique way. I'm confident people will say that same thing one day about my band, The Ally McBeal Surprise.

Tower Defense Games As a Psychological MetaphorI've noticed that one of my roommates, Shawn, plays tower defense games constantly, even on his iPhone, and the one he particularly loves is called Dungeon Defenders on the PlayStation Network. One night, I watched him play this game for literally hours, watching him go back and forth from each of his characters trying to level them up equally while quickly prepping his turrets and weapons before the next wave of enemies burst through the doors to invade his humble dungeon. As I watched, I came to a haunting realization:

Tower defense games are a metaphor for how humans mentally protect themselves from the world and other humans that inhabit it.

Note the process: Shawn's character, Henry, a squire, finds himself in a dungeon. He knows everything about his dungeon – the location of the stairs, the treasure chests, the points of entry, and most importantly, where the "Eternia Crystal" is. This Crystal, in the center of the room, is of great importance to Henry. Shawn had no interest in watching the informative cutscenes since he wanted to get right to the killin', so it's unclear whether this Crystal possesses evil, holds a deep, dark secret, or is just worth a whole lot of Dungeon Dollars.

Tower Defense Games As a Psychological MetaphorHenry collects Mana and purchases several types of towers, turrets, and large spinning death traps in preparation for the forthcoming swarm of goblins and nasty creatures with pointy swords/bad attitudes. Henry has no idea how many enemies will be bursting through the doors or how strong they will be. Henry simply must prepare as efficiently as possible with the small amount of Mana at his disposal.

When time runs out or Shawn hits "go" or something, I wasn't really paying attention, the first wave of enemies attack his dungeon. Batten down the hatches, Henry! Towers fight back, while Henry runs around frantically booping monsters on the head with his sword until they disappear into sweet points. Finally, WAVE CLEARED appears on the screen, and relief is exhaled by all. A fine battle. Now to prepare for the next one.

It's funny to me that no matter how strong Henry becomes, regardless of his weapon upgrades or reaching the Level cap, he is always a squire or, "knight-in-training." It appears that he never develops into a real knight or a king or something. He simply keeps fighting the good fight without any promise that a job promotion is in his future.

I think I have a lot in common with Henry. Not only do I similarly seem to keep plugging along in life, lionhearted and persistent in my professional endeavors until something fabulous alters my path, but moreso I relate to his incessant tower building. I, too, put up defenses all the time, but not in the form of flaming arrow turrets outside my bedroom door. Though, rooming with two boys makes me think that wouldn't be an entirely unhilarious idea.

Tower Defense Games As a Psychological MetaphorMy brain is my dungeon. I'm strongly familiar with just about every corner of my mind, except for the uncharted territories as a result from cheating my way through calculus. I know how I feel about people, I know my secrets, and I know I'm not as cool as people think I am. Or, maybe I'm exactly as cool as people think I am, because I've finally learned the difference between cool and what people perceive to be cool. Cool in my 1990's middle school isn't considered cool now, so it's each individual's mental battle to endlessly reevaluate what they personally think is cool to coincide with the ebb and flow of coolness according to society. This is why I hate fashion.

Everyone is playing a real life tower defense game at all times because, to some extent, every single person is full of shit. Very few people present themselves as they really are, but rather present themselves as how they want to be perceived – and that's when we start building defense towers.

Say you're a self-taught Photoshop master interviewing with a company that's looking for an "experienced graphic designer." You meet four out of the ten listed job requirements, but you're not going to let that stop you. Time to build your towers. Questions from the interviewer are going to come from all different directions and you have no clue how strong they'll be.

Attack: "Are you proficient in Adobe InDesign and Illustrator as well?" he asks.
Defense: "I definitely know my way around the interface of Adobe programs, yes."
I've never touched either of those programs, but how hard can they be?

Attack: "We all work on PCs here, so I hope you're not a Mac guy."
Defense: "Great, I've worked in Windows since I was five."
And by that I mean I haven't touched Windows since I was five.

And the final attack on your big secret, your "Eternia Crystal":

Attack: "Where did you say you went to college for design?"
Defense: "Actually, it's funny. I come from a family of self-taught designers and programmers. Even my dad found that university classes teach the basics really well, but it's more important to just keep working in the program every day to develop your own techniques, that are usually more efficient. It's worked out really well for me. Like father, like son."

In other words, I've never stepped foot inside a college. Please still hire me.

Your secrets were successfully kept, you defended your image against attacks, and hopefully, you're now an employed graphic designer.

If you don't have insecurities, you're either not human or oblivious/in denial. Being insecure about yourself usually just means you hold others' opinions very highly – which, in a roundabout way, is how you demonstrate respect for those around you. This respect may or may not be misplaced, but it's present nonetheless. How we deal with insecurities is the same way Henry deals with intruding goblins. We prepare for encounters with people around us and throw up specific barriers to protect our secrets. This is how we control the way people perceive us, and how cool we are. This is how we "defend our dungeon."

Hell, even adjusting my Facebook privacy settings is a tower defense game, but that's really getting into a whole different argument.

I realize this is an over-analysis of tower defense games; I'm sure you'll next expect me to compare MMOs to alcoholism or Xbox avatars to self-admiration. Nearly every video game I've played has told me something about myself, whether it shines a spotlight on my preferred style of killing or how I treat virtual animal companions. I suppose tower defense games are just another example of this, if not a dramatic one. I'm not a great psychologist, I'm not a terrific gamer, I'm really just a girl who is trying to be cool.

Kotaku Presents' debut season features Lisa Foiles, who is best known as the former star of Nickelodeon's award-winning comedy show, All That. She currently works as an actress/web host in Hollywood and is continuing to dabble in video game voiceovers. For more info, visit Lisa's official website She's also on Twitter.
Product Release - Valve
The Talay Mining Complex Mission Pack, new content for Dungeon Defenders, is now available on Steam!

Among the sparkling gemstones of Talay, a set of long-buried Eternia Crystals have been unearthed. But the volcanic activity of the mine is rapidly rising and its imminent eruption threatens to destroy both friend and foe. Protect the Eternia Crystals from the horde as you contend with the dangers of the mine itself!

Product Release - Valve
The Summoner, a new hero for Dungeon Defenders, is now available on Steam!

A mysterious visitor from the Crystalline dimension, the Summoner has decided to wage his own war across Etheria! With two pets by his side, the Summoner can form minions out of sentient crystal and build an army to follow his every command!

PC Gamer
indie royale
Unlike A MAJOR PUBLISHER, the Indie Royale guys actually know what the word "indie" means. Their latest colon-tastic bundle includes Dungeon Defenders, Containment: The Zombie Puzzler, Data Jammers: FastForward, Brainpipe - A Plunge to Unhumanity and Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. You also get a few extras: Dr. Blob's Organism, and the VooDoo Interface and Temporal Logic Grid Blues OSTs.

Games are provided in their Steam and Desura forms, apart from Weird Worlds which isn't on Steam, weirdly. The current price stands at £3.14, but you can pay more than £4.32 to get Starscream's album Future, Towards the Edge of Forever.
Product Update - Valve
* Added Premium DLC: Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards Part 3: Aquanos
* Raised Level Cap to 83, and added hyper-rare 'Supreme' item quality categorization
* Added support for four slots of Accessory-type Items & Masks, and added 62 Accessory/Mask loot drops, of varying degrees of rarity and difficulty to achieve
* Added Transcendent Survivalist Achievement + Jetpacking Bounty Hunter Costume
* Raised Bank soft cap / maximum shop sale amount to 600,000,000 Mana
* Added 40 more Item Box spaces, 50 more Player Shop Item spaces, and 20 more Items allowed on Tavern Floor
* Added Halloween and Battle Royale loot drops to general drops (can drop on any mission), once you've beaten Halloween and Battle Royale respectively (on any difficulty)
* Added Option to disable targeting cursor for Melee Heroes

* Made Shock Beam able to trigger on Flying Enemies, and thus Shock them
* Barbarian Lightning Stance and Shock Beam now shock Djinn and cancel their spells
* Barbarian Hawk Stance self-stun time cut by 50%, Hawk Stance damage increased by 25%, Lightning Stacne Self-Damage reduced by 25% and Stun Time increased by 15%
* Spiders can now be shock-stunned (also causing them to cancel web attack) by Lightning Stance and Shock Beams
* Enemies within Strength Drain Auras lose their own Elemental Damage and their Elemental Invulnerability when within the Aura, Strength Drain Aura in-game description updated accordingly
* Rebalanced all Nightmare Campaign & UMF Missions to contain Sharken
* Reduced the number of enemies on Survival Waves to about Mistymire Forest levels on ALL maps
* Buffed Monk Electric Aura by 50% in Nightmare
* Pets are now hidden if you hide your weapon in FPV
* Series Ev Proton Charge Blast now immediately consumes Mana that you drop
* Spaces and Brackets are now allowed in Hero names from all menus (main menu and renaming)
* 10% Linear and 8% Exponential-Ramp Damage Buff to Apprentice Lightning Tower
* ALL Mythical+ Pets now incorporate Hero Damage into their Damage calculation -- Donkey and a few others previously weren't
*Added message to Player Shop UI to help make it clear that AFK Shop Mode is required to have a permanently accessible Player Shop: "Note: Your shop will be inaccessible after 15 Minutes unless you enable AFK Shop Mode."
* Sitting in the Tavern for 1 hour now automatically converts your game to AFK Shop Mode (changes back to a non-AFKShop game if you enter any mission)
* Enemies lose their invincibility from immunity circles after 10 seconds, and Ogres de-spawn after 6 minutes

* Fixed a Trade Failure bug
* Fixed extra Guardian-type stats appearing on Guardians.
* Fixed bug that would cause UI input to lock up in Tavern (and on other UI's potentially) if you pressed Escape key very quickly as the Mission Setup Menu was opening
* Added Summoner functionality hooks
* Fixed THE Return To Tavern / Restart Level Crash!!
* Fixed Djinn Spawn timings on Tree of Life MonsterFest, now they won't wait so long to arrive
* Fixed an invincible Skeleton case

PC Gamer
Trendy Entertainment, creator of action tower defense game Dungeon Defenders, is offering a cash prize of $1000 (about £620) for the winner of its first map contest, as well as inclusion of the map in the game's ranked and open modes. The contest will also award $500 (£310) to the second place winner, $250 (£155) for third, and a "DunDef prize pack" for all winners. The official rules have been posted to Trendy's forums, and the Dungeon Defenders Development Kit can be downloaded as free DLC on Steam.

Trendy is asking for "people of all experience" to participate, and suggests starting with a how-to guide in its forums. Once submitted, the entries will be evaluated both by the community and a panel of judges.

The contest is not strictly limited by age or region, though Trendy cautions that to claim the cash prize you must "meet the age requirements for your state and country," so keep that in mind. Also note that Trendy will own the winning map so that it can safely include it in the game. Entries must be maps which haven't been previously released, and the deadline for submissions is June 21 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Product Update - Valve
7.25 Update Notes
* Added New Hero: Series Ev (DLC)
* Added New Challenge: Karathiki Competitive Tower Defense (Part of DLC Karathiki Jungle Pack)

* Apprentice Mana Bomb damage exponential ramp buffed, on the high-end can do about 10x damage than previously
* Added Respawning Treasure Chests to Frostdale PvP Maps
* Reduced "Rumble in the Jungle" to 12 waves
* Healing-plus-Damaging Pets (such as Monkey and Goblin Cupid) will favor Healing if a Heal-Target is below 50% Health
* 10% Buff to Trap Damage in Nightmare
* When multiple Guardians of the same type are buffing a Defense, the stronger buff will now always take effect. (previously, it was whichever Guardian got there first)

* Karathiki Pure Strategy now supports 6 players
* Friendly Djinn can no longer be gas-stunned
* VDay enemies much more likely to follow the player
* Improved player networked movement quality in PvP game
* Join-Requirement Minimum Level Setting is now controller-friendly, as is the Show Shops/Show Games button
* Griffon Pet projectile now deals splash damage
* Fixed Wyvern pathfinding on Karathiki, Fixed spawn locations on Karathiki, Fixed inappropriate build locations on Karathiki, Fixed Bowling Balls breaking on the floor of parts of Karathiki
* Fixed a case where players would get "Failed to Create Game" message when attempting to Host an Online game
* Pets no longer can roll-over to "1 mana" resale value
Product Update - Valve
7.20 Update Notes
* Added Premium Content: Eternia Shards 2 Pack + Hero Outfits
* Cross-platform Steamplay with new Mac version!
* 5 new Achievements + Trophies
* Added a super-secret awesome reward for those who earn "Transcendent Challenge Champion" Achievement
* Level cap raised to 78, along with new Items and Item Quality Category

* Hardcore Mode is now accessible on all Challenges, and gives better reward items (on Campaign and Challenges) than non-Hardcore
* Added "Pro" Item Upgrade Mode, where you can simply click an item stat directly to immediately invest all needed funds and upgrade the item rapidly.
* Buffed Apprentice Exponential Damage Ramps on Lightning Tower and Magic Missile Tower by ~20%
* "Hardcore" mode now yields a 30% XP wave-completion earnings boost, regardless of difficulty setting
* Spike Blockade width increased by 15%
* Increased NM Crystal HP by 40%
* Harpoon Turrets now incorporate target leading into their aiming, making them much more effective against Wyverns and also fast-moving enemies
* Buffed Nightmare Damage Pets by 12%

* Clients can now see the Host's selected mission name of a mission they don't own
* Fixed issue where Traps would become weaker in various ways if you died in Hardcore mode and your player character disappeared. Also fixes Upgrade Detonation Count decreasing issue with Traps after the player was destroyed (where Upgrading could result in a Det Count decrease).
* Controller users can now press "Y" to export data to Local/Open mode
* You can now browse into and out-of Item Box/Player Shop folders properly with Gamepad control (though you can not create them with Gamepad control, yet)
* Editbox for specifying the Item Costs in the Player Shop now displays numerical commas
* Binding chat key to alphanumeric button no longer interferes with EditBox inputs
* Fixed issue where alphabetical keybinding for Chat would result in inability to use that key in edit boxes
* Nightmare Challenges now also give Insane Achievements

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