Dungeon Warfare - Tower Defense Welfare


Then you should really try GemCraft.


I had absolutely no idea! Thanks for this.


I was using the Pause Icon in the lower right of the screen. I have now corrected my ways. : )


It appears that you can only have one tower at tier 4 of each type? That would mean better to spread out the XP points across the towers.

I have used both tier 4 Dart & tier 4 Slime towers together. Has anyone tried any other combos?


I’m not a huge tower defense connoisseur and was going to let this one pass by, but your complaint managed to completely sell me on it. I have the exact opposite perspective on this choice – whereas many progression systems are a corrupting blight on the design of the games they are in, this one respects the player.

Consider a hypothetical version of this game where you get xp/gems from a failed attempt at a level, or a replay that doesn’t improve on your previous score. As soon as you make that change, your total power level becomes at least partially a function of the time you’ve put into the game, irrespective of the quality of that time. And then when you fail a level, you have no way of knowing whether to blame your own strategy, or your towers not being upgraded enough. That opens the door to grinding, as you can just keep repeating a level until you have all the gems you think you need.

But with the current system, the game is much purer. Your power level is a function of the best scores you’ve posted across all levels. If you feel the need for more gems, your only option is to actually get better and improve your own high score. Mindlessly putting in more time doesn’t do anything. And that means that when you struggle with a level, you know with complete certainty that it can be beaten with the resources you can access.

Losing a level is no more a waste of time than quickloading or returning to a checkpoint in just about any game. That time should be a) enjoyable in its own right, and b) a learning experience about the game’s systems and the level.


Hey, well said! I’ve had that complaint about other games, and even other genres. I want to know that if I failed, it’s because I didn’t play well enough.


In my minds eye the game does not really begin until you have earned all the different towers. The Dev did an awesome job with runes that adds a lot of added value by pumping up the difficulty and variation of enemy strength. I would argue that using the runes is when the grinding is more appropriate.

I like the game a lot but I would like to be able to earn the towers in a reasonable progression. Then test my mettle with the runes.


Both of those are the best tier 4, in my opinion (although the tier 4 slime is the real star: add those demons right behind it - not on it! - and you got a death pass setup)
I also like the tier 4 chain lightning for its crazy range, which doesn’t seem to be documented.
As overall usefulness, tier 4 crate is pretty amazing, especially in endless mode where your tier 4 capacity gets upgraded as you progress.


Speak more about this. I’ve always wondered what the formula is for Tier4. I’ve been so limited and then perplexed when I see photos like the following. You seem to know of this magic. Speak up!


Oh nothing really magical there: in endless mode, every few waves (5, I guess?), you get a message telling you your tier 4 limit as been increased. Each time, this means you can have one extra tier 4 trap. This applies to each of your trap types. Basically, the first time you get the message, it doubles the number of tier 4 traps you may lay down.


Aha! I had that message once and was able to create a second tier 4 Dart Tower. Did not realize that was in Endless.

I believe that the Dwarves were susceptible to Fire or Lighting. Not sure if it was one or the other or the combo but it seemed those Dwarves kill them pretty quickly. Wondering if Lightning is good against the Armor dudes (It would make sense since they are wearing metal but not certain that specific towers are better at certain enemies).

I started to use the easy rune to just get past some of the maps that give weapons. More weapon type choices really helps alot.


I have using the dragon eggs to support the demons. Have not decided if that is worth it yet.

What consumable is everyone using? I find the bomb to be the most satisfying so far. Eventually I will experiment with the booster (but I like having the bombs to kill something that gets by me).


I don’t think there are any resistances, excepting the first hit protection of the various shielded fighters: this is a very mathematical game (you can - and should! - check the stats of all the monsters in the encyclopedia).
For dwarves, since they got only 5 hit points, a lot of upgraded traps will one-hit-kill them. I found lighting traps especially affective against them. A single fire trap would trigger the death of one in 5 seconds, and nearly twice as fast if you stack two. Since when they explode, this seems to trigger a chain reaction, killing a single one quickly is often enough to get ride of quite a few.

I tend to switch my free ability all the time. I have yet to settle!


Like you I’ve found the bomb consumable very useful but have also used the Dragon eggs to good effect. One thing I noticed though when studying the videos from the experts is that they really like the repair kit consumable. Apparently on levels with doors the doors are really handy barriers if you protect them. I tried it on a couple levels but must not have had the right combination of towers and timing because I couldn’t maintain the doors when things got frantic.

The dragon eggs are useful because you can keep laying them down and they provide cheap blocking capacity. I’ve also tried the liches and the demons but have found them to be of inconsistent value. They seem to work better on some levels than others.

In later maps the horses are a major pain and can run through blocking forces. So far bolts with sufficient space, floor grinders, and spike columns are the top defenses for me against them. They’re too fast for anything else, although a well positioned harpoon trap can hit them.


If you get the fire trap, those are great for knocking out the knight’s shield. It doesn’t do a whole lot of damage but will cause the shield to fall from several knights as they pass and that improves the efficiency of the other traps.


The developers of the game disagree. Hence the xp system and unlockable options and especially the xp multiplier options. If you want the game “purer”, as you put it, each level should be a self-contained challenge without any of that variability. Since that’s not the case, since the game is based on unlockables and an extremely variable spread of risk/reward options, it seems the developers aren’t interested in your idea of a “purer” game. They’re interested in letting the player tune the experience however he likes, and until you get the tuning right, you’re locked out of one of the very things that’s supposed to get you invested in the game: progression. It’s a confused design choice that says to me either these guys haven’t made many games or they’re not aware of what games they’re competing with. At they very least, they have a terrible understanding of advancement mechanics.



That’s also a good point that I didn’t think of Tom. I haven’t played this game in particular, but I’d think in general if the player does well enough to beat the prior levels, or at least reach some type of star rating in them, then they should have the tools to be competitive in later levels. If I play well and win, I shouldn’t need to grind for resources.


That… doesn’t follow at all. You might be right that “they’re not aware of what games they’re competing with”, but that’s exactly why I’m interested. You’re asking for the game to conform to the modern mobile/freemium paradigm of cynically driving “engagement” by giving the player a cookie for every little thing they do rather than relying on the gameplay to hold attention on its own merits. As you alluded to, there’s no shortage of games that will do just that if that’s the experience you want, but there’s no reason that mindset has to infect every game, and it’s an argument I’m surprised to see from you in particular.

Your premise seems to be “If a game contains a progression system, that system must reward any and all time spent with the game.” I fundamentally disagree – consider any number of RPGs. If you’re playing, say, Baldur’s Gate, and you blunder into a dracolich’s lair and get wiped out, then when you load your save outside the door, you have two options. You can try the battle again at your current power level but using a different strategy, or you can turn around and explore elsewhere in the hopes that the experience and loot you harvest will lead to future victory. But you can’t just beat your head against that dracolich battle a dozen times until you level up and are suddenly able to win it. Would you consider all these games to have a terrible understanding of advancement mechanics?

The progression system in Dungeon Warfare is analogous – you can try a different strategy on a tough level or you can go try to improve your score on another level to collect more gems, but you can’t just grind. You’re right that eschewing progression mechanics altogether and mandating the player’s power level and available resources for each level would also be a valid design choice and maybe even “purer”. But the system they’ve chosen gives some more player agency and flexibility in how they approach a level, as well as a tangible reward for achieving higher scores or taking on tougher challenges via runes.

In short, it’s a progression system where progression is gated on demonstrated mastery of the game mechanics, rather than on raw time investment. And I think that is a choice that should be celebrated and encouraged.


Yep, pretty much.

But as you clearly realize, Dungeon Warfare is more the “box of puzzles” approach. Play puzzle 1, then play puzzle 2, then play puzzle 3. Duct taping a progression system onto the side is a cheap ploy when the progression is shut off for long stretches of gameplay. If I want to play a box of puzzles, I don’t need an experience point bar to freeze in place until I git gud.

Wasting my time and disincentivizing experimentation. That’s a choice that will drive me to play the other games in the genre!



I’m kind of with Tom a tiny weeny bit. I.e. I just lost a level on the last wave and got nothing from it!

You already get 0 gems and no access to the next level of weapon from losing. Did they have to limit the xp as well? Given the incremental xp bonuses they could easily give you the xp on failed runs.

The only different between the game now and xp on failure is that someone with 4 missions available could fail all 4, get a bit of bonus xp, and possibly use that 1 extra gem or 5g to complete one of the four maps. It hardly breaks their puzzle design and allows for positive psychological rewards.

(Plus, there’s nothing to stop me grinding away on old, easy levels for more xp if I want more trap slots or something. By not rewarding failure they’re encouraging that behaviour, whereas I think their intention ia for you to only use runes in the end game. Which is odd, as on PC you start with them all unlocked, but on android you have to earn them slowly )