After getting my hands on Dungeon Defenders II along with the helpful Starter Pack, here I explore some aspects that I'd like to see in the full game. They may be already planning to accomplish these, but you never know what'll actually come to be.
When I started playing, I heard some folks talking into their microphones during the loading screen and I thought to myself, "Am I playing online already?" Then, when the screen faded in I saw that I'm in the game's "Social Tavern" along with dozens of other players. After minutes of running around aimlessly (and listening to someone's drunken take on America the Beautiful), I finally figured out how to start playing. Once I advanced, I found myself in yet another tavern. If this kept up, I too would be drunk enough to sing patriotic songs in the lobby. Anyway, this second tavern is made just for you and whoever joins your party. I understand the concept of a series of taverns to represent regrouping between battles and I know that given enough time anyone could feel comfortable with navigating them, but the complexity involved just to start a game is a bit much. Perhaps if the features of these taverns were highlighted more intuitively or there were some sort of guidance system then I wouldn't have felt so lost. Here's hoping they eventually simplify this system to cater to dummies like me.
After playing a few rounds of the tower defense and Dynasty Warriors style battles full of hordes of monsters who were desperately trying to attack my assets, I found the difficulty to change drastically depending on how many fellow warriors were fighting with me. When there was a full team of four then we would easily dispatch all of the oncoming foes yet when it was just me and another chum, we had great difficulty just staying alive. If the challenge somehow adapted according to how many players were in battle then it would feel much more even-handed. Maybe they could temporarily increase everyone's base stats or make the enemies weaker until more combatants join but either way you look at it; players shouldn't be punished for not being able to gather a full team.
Equipment reflected on character models
One implementation that always makes me have a strong connection with my character is being able to see how much they grow through their equipment and whatnot. As far as I can tell, right now only the character's currently equipped weapon changes the way they look. Sure, that's cool but it's 2015 and games have been showing equipment on character models for decades. The level of immersion would increase substantially if every warrior looked different since you'd be able to show off your star-studded hero to the world and check out others in their swanky new gear.
That's just a few areas where Dungeon Defenders II can grow into an even more satisfying experience over time. As a fan of the original, I can't wait to see how this sequel progresses to its completed form.