Dungeon Defenders Second Impressions

  • Recent patches have improved the interface reliability. The Ranked server is still less reliable than, oh, what you might expect from a MMO in its first week.
  • The solo difficulty curve levels out several hours into the game. You can reasonably solo medium difficulty once you have enough levels to access most of your tools and a decent weapon.
  • A good weapon makes all the difference in the world. You might start out swinging for 10s, then you find the weapon that gets a bonus 50 elemental damage that increases by 10 (and increasing) every time you invest mana. When your damage triples, the impossible becomes the trivial.
  • Hey, neat, a boss fight!
  • The looting mechanics are anti-social. SynCaine comments on the anti-social xp mechanic. This is exacerbated by the mana mechanic: grab as much mana as you can to build/upgrade as much as you can to get as much xp as you can, however little that makes sense in the context of your team. Mana is both the in-level economy and the between-game economy, so you have an extra incentive to undermine your current game/team for minor personal profit. The loot mechanic is at least as bad, with items going to whoever hits E at them first. Sold trash items seem to be the primary source of mana for long-term upgrades and buying pets, so everyone has an incentive to grab everything. This games needs some version of “everyone gets everything picked up” to avoid competitions and races for acquiring personal benefits. The Nash equilibrium is not at a good point here. Of course, then you get into the leecher problem…
  • I like the loot mechanic of only dropping items for the classes that are there. No Huntress? No Huntress items drop.
  • You get several layers of customization. You have 10 spots to put your points when you level, half for you and half for your towers. You can pick from the variety of loot that drops or shop the few in the store. You can invest mana in your equipment and choose which aspect to upgrade, although you can only upgrade extant aspects rather than building from scratch. Pets are treated like items.
  • I’m really liking the Squire. I have melee towers that knock things back and ranged towers to shoot from behind them. If I repair the Bouncing Barrier up front during this, I am tank, DPS, and healer all in one. Better than repairing, I can just run around slashing at things with my sword that cuts a hole in the world while the towers deal with other directions.
  • You really do feel more powerful as you level up. There must be a treadmill effect going on here, but I am not feeling it. My numbers are big and growing faster than the enemies’ numbers, although the quantity of enemies may be growing to offset that. All the better.

: Zubon

2 thoughts on “Dungeon Defenders Second Impressions”

  1. We quickly learned to discuss who gets the mana and for what towers, and any equipment not interesting to you was left on the ground. But I play with friends on TS, so I wonder how that would work in PUG.

    And why are always the coolest looking weapons the ones with the lowest stats?

  2. I’m enjoying the Squire. Once I figured out I could actually distract Ogres, I’ve had a hoot of a time baiting them into following me around the maps during coop: “Hey lookit my pet Ogre!”

    The mana looting mechanics are only anti-social if you’re playing with untrustworthy people. Play with your friends, problem solved (like 99% of online problems).

    Since it’s a cooperative Tower Defense game that only works well if players um, cooperate: One would expect that your teammates aren’t asshats and will actually learn that figuring out who needs mana for what towers/traps isn’t that hard.

    It’s probably just not friendly to the mentality that MMO players have grown into, where players confuse the words cooperation and competition. =P

    Meanwhile, I think Trendy lost a lot of players with the launch screwups. Losing saved characters was an awful mistake which many won’t forgive them for.

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