TMQFEL Castle Construction Comprehensive Guide by WonkyClunky
Here’s my rather lengthy guide that should have all the basics covered, and I hope this helps those who find their castles defeated all the time
Something that first timers miss when they start out. Certain monsters have different unique choosable abilities. These can be selected the from research lab once you get it. Hower to the info button of the monster whose specialization you want to choose (not all of them have), click it, and you should get an small summary about what the next upgrade brings you, below it, are 3 different spezialisations that can be selected, if there are any to select. Now lot of newcomers miss this, but you do not have to upgrade or own a monster to choose it’s spezialisation.
Know your rooms
Let’s talk about rooms, the first things you will add to your castle. Certain room layouts are more beneficial to certain monster and trap combination, but they may also lessen effectivenes of some combinations, such as placing a spring board in middle of a gigantic hall on plain view. So try keep experiementing. Here’s a rough rundown of different advances and cons in different rooms.
Open hallways: Includes rooms that have lot of space. Setting monster chains is easy here. “cowardly” monsters have more room to roam around. It’s possible to place multiple mob groups in a single room. Archers (and other monsters) can be easily separeted to cover more angles and prevent the effects of AoE. Possible to place multiple traps. Some monster do not work well in open areas: Cyclops(tackle), debasers.
Narrow hallways: Rooms that have narrow and long corridors. No room to dodge as the only possible way are forward or backwards. Archers can be set up to deal hard to avoid spike damage, but are easy target for AoE skills and players may run behing corners. Usually walls block the players view allowing monster to move behind the scenes and flank the player. Mines work great, but there is no room for other traps. Only couple melee monsters can be against the player at one time. Pupeteers(IV) can create a wall of monsters to prevent player from getting forward.
Narrow doorway: Includes rooms that have narrow doorways (2-4 tiles). The chokepoints are great for larger traps, rotating cannons, spike traps, hamster wheel, ballistic . A good place to start a monster combo, example: 1 zombie to the doorway, behind it 1 cyclop(rush) or hungerbot(pull) and as many archers as you can. so when the player attacls the zombie, he gets stunned/pulled and allowing archers to have a free shot at the stunned hero, make sure to block the entrance with a trap so hero can’t run away without taking damage or hide behind corners
Maze like rooms: Usually same advances as in open or narrow hallways, but they have multiple path choices which allow for great monster pulling/flanking. Player goes in to one of the paths, monsters come out from the other path, so simple.
Rooms with covers and siderooms: Can be used to hide/and protect monsters which are later on pulled by the trigger monster.
example: in linear shrine 2; The doorway to the side room is facing towards the player but you do not want him to go in there and you are going to achieve this by directing his movements (see later on). Now fill the space in front of the side room with weak monsters as snotters and zombies. Place a pupeteer or 2 in the end of the side room, but so that their aggro ring dosn’t touch the area of weak monsters. There is 2 narrow pathways next to the side room. Now place to the end of these pathways weak monster that will connect with the aggro of the side room units. So when player walks down the pathway and triggers the monster, a pupeteer will run out from it’s sideroom and rise all the dead corpses.
The rotating cannon should be switched to a hamster wheel if it’s avaible.
Rooms with pillars and walls: By taking the field of vision to the account it’s possible to hide traps behind the pillars
Boss room: The room itself acts as open hallway but has increased defense ratio in the front of loot room. Few things about it. 1) This allows placing of boss monsters, while they have a lot of hp, they lack attack patterns and experienced players know how to handle them easily.Some bosses allow 1-2 side units but it’s hard to get any synergy with them. So think beforehand if it fits in your castle or should you rather use something else (Durrrrrr’s spirit form delays the player for approximately 15 seconds.) 2) This also allows unique monster combinations including multiple elite monsters. A horde of monsters and puppeteers. A volley of arrows from archers. A shock field from debasers. So experiement away! 3) Do not put your strongest monster as the first unit in this field as archer class get a free shot at it. 4) if the castle is facing downwards, you can place the monsters at the bottom so that they activate even before the player gets a chance to see em (durrrr has time to drink his potion before player gets to him).
Field of view
Used correctly and it will be pain in the pooper. As you know that when running around the castle, you can see much further when going up than down. So by turning your castle to face downwards you can hide many of your castle’s “features” untill it’s too late.
Advanced tip on point of view: A lot of players know the way to use the FOV in their advance when raiding, but you can use this knowledge against them when building a maze. As most players tend to always take the lowermost path in your castle so that they can see as far as they can, and most of the castles are build in that direction. So you can either 1) create a diversion room that leads downwards while the real continuation remains at top or at sides, making the players do an useless tour in your castle. 2) Or use rooms with 2 paths and place the exit to the top so that the attacker runs around the whole room if he were to take the bottom bath (glue mine use adviced)
I think everyone is familiar with this because of the 3 robo pulls. But if you are not, here’s a rundown. When placing monsters for your defense, you see the green/white circle, right? Well that’s their aggro radius, meaning that if you create a chain of monsters and one of the monster is disturbed by a player who enters to the monster’s agro radius, the rest of the monsters inside the green/white border will also be activated to chase the hero! There are multiple uses for pulling.
Wall through pull: Currently the aggro ring works through walls (Apparently not intended, but will be left as players like it). It’s possible to use it to pull croups from the siderooms by placing majority of the mobs in the sideroom and extend the aggro ring outside of the room through wall by minor monster(s). I’m not talking about triple pull which involves path blocking. Just your regular wall pull, which might result in 3 pull if the attacker is too impatient and just keeps rushing instead of waiting to see if more monsters are coming after killing the first one
Distant pupeteers: Cross corridor, anyone? Now if you were to create a large wide room and place a line of monster which extends from wall to wall with pupeteers at the both of the ends. If the hero started from either one of the pupeteer ends, the single pupeteer would run back towards the begining (if there are monster corpses) to rise the living hell out of everything. Most of the players know to expect this when facing cross corridor or unplaced pupeteers, but it can be used to make the hero run through huge minefield (cross corridor fits 5-6 minefields btw) to look for pupeteers in the room. And if they were to miss one, it could end up with 1-3min detour. (Note: Players hate this, prepare for lots of hate mail)
Flanking: Used with rooms that have multiple paths or side rooms. By placing large pack of monsters to the begining of the first path and leave the other way empty or place the monsters further up. If a player were to see these monsters (field of view advance by placing room direction up) at the entrance, he will most likely choose the one that looks empty. But by increasing the aggro radius of mob pack 1 to further up to the exit of the castle or to the other path. The attacking player ends up pulling the monsters behind him. Combine this with pupeteers and rushing cyclops, and you get a pupeteer that runs backwards to rise minions and cyclops that keep pushing the player forwards… towards the traps and next group if it’s well designed.
Making sure that every enemy is faced: You do not want that players can evade you monsters, now do you? So use the aggro radius to make sure that the player will face everything by covering all the entrances and extending the agro radius.
Protecting your main feature: So many have placed their robo as the first unit that the player sees only to give them a free shot at it, place a weaker/secondary monster if front of him to pull the robo unharmed towards the player.
Advanced tips on pulling: Lone monsters… Nobody expects them, they always think that they are used for pulling. if you find space in any of the rooms, place a 1 or 2 here or there, and watch as the player stands there fore couple of seconds waiting that something happens. Good for small laugh or making the player think that the castle is filled with duds.
Longer chains result longer time for monster to get to the player. So it’s possible to make the player unaware of the heading monster group, if the pull takes more than 5 seconds to happen. Make this happen by using wallpull, long chains and rotating the monsters to opposite direction of the player.
There are places where you want the player to go, and other places places where you don’t. There are few ways to achieve this and I have already told about few of them. But here they are again.
Making the “wrong” path look more dangerous than they are. Can be either achieved by placing avoidable monsters in the path or by traps
Chasing monsters, force the player to chase a certain monster to the path you want the player to go, this is rather hard to pull as the AI tends to act differently time to time
Use the field of view, the players tend to walk downwards as it would be logical choice to do in the eyes of constructor
Steering can be used for flanking or protect your mid pull monsters (monsters that work in middle of your aggro line)
Some traps are easy to spot and thus easy to evade, few quick tips about making your traps more hidden
Mine fields: Players notice this by the obvious “Minefield” sign (Why would the hero need that in his castle anyway? to warn the workers or so that he wouldn’t forget?). Well here are few ways to “hide” the sign. 1) placing the mine signs to room corners makes them hard to spot 2) so does placing them behind walls 3) You can hide it by use of missdirection, meaning that if the players are too busy fighting/chasing monsters they don’t have enough attention to spot the signs. 4) field of view
Spring board: Whenever I see of these my first though is “who would ever step on one?”, yet I still manage to run into one time to time. And here are the ways to hide a spring boards! 1) Behind dissapearing walls, you don’t always register the board if it appears right after the wall dissapears in front of you. 2) monster corpses, pile enough of them and the player wont notice a thing! 3) Missdirection/Falling back, the player keeps their eyes on the chase or dodging bullets which creates a blindspot for the spring trap to work 4)Create a chain of springboards by using tips above and using hungerbots(pull) to pull the hero from board to board, this may end up the hero facing 80 points worth of defense.
Some tips about placing traps!
Ballistic cannon & spike traps: Should be used in longer fights were the player has to remain in the same area, ballistic for larger rooms and spike traps for smaller rooms. Spike trap can also be used to close and enterance/exit/corner, while ballistics are mostly fit for corners
Mines: Works great on narrow pathways, glue mines to the areas where you do not want the player to dodge too much and fire mines for confined fighting/chase
Rotating cannon: Works great to prevent player from running back and confines them to small rooms. Also works for steering players movements
Hamster wheel: great for blocking an exit and placing monsters right behind them (out of view of course!) to surprise the player
Springboard: Hard to use and should be used to throw player in middle of monster group or to the next trap via cyclops or hungerbots. (Multiple springboard can be chained to pull whole castle worth of monsters, but it only works once per castle, the next time when the player tries to loot, he knows what is going on.)
Monster trap synergy
Some of the monsters can make traps more effecient
Cyclops: By using their rush abilities, cyclops can knock the player into the traps. Push them to minefield, spring board, hamster wheel, Jell-o wall, back to confined places with traps in them.
Hungerbot: Same uses as cyclops, push or pull. Try pulling players to middle of firemine field, or spring board
Archers, dampeners and pupeteers: If facing a knight, they can be used to make the player run through minefields and other various traps to reach them
Monster synergy and other stuff
Some working combinations that I have found
Hungerbot(pull)/Cyclop(tackle) + archer(sniper): Use hungerbot to stun the player and pull the player to the middle of the archers, add in some mines for extra flavor.
Robo(sphere/body) + cyclops(rush): rushing cyclops is probably the only monster that can keep up with robo’s speed. As player keeps running away from robo, the cyclops is able to keep up using it’s rush skill
1 point monsters + pupeteers(rise): A combo that everyone knows, but many seem to leave the pupeteers right behind the regular monsters making them easy target. Don’t do this, place them apart and behind corners if possible. Extra: place an archer behind the monster line so that it can freely aim and shoot while being protected by the horde
Wall pull + pupeteers(battle rage): If you were to create a wall pull situation with a pupeteer(rage) in the pulled group and the pulled group were to pass another group on their way, the pupeteer would enrage both they group that was pulled, and the group that the pupeteer passes.
defendrotron(sphere) + 5 units: If crammed in a narrow place the defendr-o-tron stays behind the units protecting them and being safe from the piercing shot
Defilers(orb): great for limiting the area where the player can move
Battering ram and bad dog: Works best in middle of chaos. Throw 1 in middle of multipull or horde of monsters. The player may end up hitting one in accident when trying to beat out cyclops, archers, pupeteers or other strong monsters, allowing monster to activate it’s power.
Dampeners: Use in narrow corridors, and in small rooms
Off syncing monsters
If multiple ranged monsters would be put in the same place, their attacks would be easy to dodge
due to the fact that they all shoot simultaneosly. But by placing them bit further apart from each other so that they arrive to the player at different times, it’s possible to make them shoot at different intervals. This works with cyclops(rush), hungerbots, archers and debasers
The direction where the monsters are facing play a big role on their speed of action. A cylcops(rush) that is facing towards players direction immediadly uses his offensive tackle when the player enters to monster’s agro radius. Whil cyclops facing to opposite direction takes 1 whole second to turn around. There are some uses for the small delay that happens when turning. 1) You can delay long monster chains even more by turning the monsters areound to face the opposite direction of players. 2) You can off sync monsters by making them face different directions
Few words about resource mines. They can be both advance or disadvance depenging on their placement. Now what you want to avoid is placing them near archers as they offer perfect cover for the player to hide. But you can use them to cover big monsters from direct first shot, lessen the visibility of minefield or scatter them around in large hallways to achieve the same benefits as in the narrow hallways..
Sometimes less is more
You do not always have to fill the 20 point defense limit for group by adding 3 more snotters or derps to fill a quota. If you were to have 4 groups with 20 points each, and all of them had 3 derps or snotters as fillers. You could remove the fillers and a create a new group with that 12 points. Like derp(for pull) + cyclops(rush) + defend-o-tron(guard) to block an entrance.
Also, 2 well placed traps can be better than 4 minefields that have been crammed to the first place they fit.
Test your castle after every change
This can be rather hard as the players are not quite honest with themselves. They may run through their castle sloppily falling to every trap thinking “Yeah, this is fine, everything works and it’s hard as hell!” or they do not fall any of their traps as they are aware of them ending up underestimating their castle. The secret is to test the castle multiple times in different ways. Make a perfect run and play as best as you can, try different skills, test with knight, then with archer, fall for your traps, take a different route, wait and run back after every pull monster andsee what happens. And keep your eye on the timer and check how much time it takes to complete a single room. The best would be if you had friends who were willing to test your castle and give open feedback how to improve and gave some replays for you to watch. If you have lots of player graves in your castle, you can get the general idea where players die and don’t. And remember, there are people better than you who just breeze through the castle, maybe because they got better equipment, or maybe because they are more experienced, no castle is impenetrable.
Avoid using the same tactics over and over again, as it’s unlikely that the player will fall to same monster trap combination for the 3rd time
Learn from others
Even though it’s hard to find something else than 3 robo castles, keep your eye open for interesting castles and how they work.
Players are different
Different things work better on different players, so add variety to your castle (kinda same as above). Some players are bad with delay tactics. Others with long fights with robotrons or bosses. One group maybe bad at navigating (Heh… men…). People might be bad at avoiding traps or some may have panic attacks when they are under sudden damage.
But that’s it for me, feel free to share your tips or ask a question on building your own master piece.
And do visit my castle, it got bit of everything.
Castle level: 23
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