The spectacularly good tower defense game Dungeon Defenders just came out today, so I can’t fault people online for not yet knowing the ins and outs of the four classes, each of which makes very specific contributions to the defense. But when some idiot wizard — it’s always a wizard, isn’t it? — takes his crystal and uses it to build frail magic missile towers right in front of a spawn point instead of back at the defensive line the other three players have established, it’s almost enough to make me go back to playing horde mode in Gears of War 3. Hey wizard, why don’t you look up “tactics” in your spellbook? Or maybe check the index for “overlapping fields of fire”, “killzones”, and “combined arms”.
It’s hard to be patient with new or bad players in a tower defense game, where your defenses are only as strong as their weakest link. As I said, it’s always a wizard. Next to boss raids in World of Warcraft, tower defense is one of the worst genres for multiplayer with random online people.
Fortunately, Dungeon Defenders doesn’t just have dynamic join to make it easy to find and create multiplayer games. It also lets you to swap in your different characters between waves, when you’re building your defenses. So even if you’re playing solo, you can avail yourself of unique assets like a wizard’s towers, a hunter’s traps, a monk’s auras, and a knight’s barricades. And then you can actually play the level with whichever character you want to level up. And since all four characters share an inventory, scoop up everything you find and divvy up the loot when you get back to the tavern.
And speaking of jerks in multiplayer, I’ve been putting points into my knight’s running speed so he can more quickly scoop up the cash in multiplayer games. I can’t trust those silly little wizards to make the best use of our resources!