TMQFEL Castle Guide



TMQFEL Castle Guide by Prednisone

Hey all
I’m Prednisone ingame and since I’ve received quite a bit of positive feedback and after around 3 days of not picking up corpses I have around 45 of them laying in my castle I decided to write a guide to try and help people out.
Quite frankly it would probably be more corpses if I would just get attacked a little more :D. But people seem to avoid my castle nowadays. Don’t really know why.
I try to advertise my castle as much as possible which usually helps.

The following guide will be organized in a table of content, tips about vision or aggro circles should be combined with each other, after you finally read the create, traps, tricks and what not combine the ideas with the vision or aggro circle tricks to make your castle deadly.

Table of contents: (use CTRL+F and type in the (###) to quick jump to the specified topic)

  • 1. My castle, colamaniac & general thoughts around castle building—————-(G01)
  • 2. Before you read on (important)—————————————————–(G02)
  • 3. Vision———————————————————————————-(G03)
  • 4. Vision Example————————————————————————(G04)
  • 5. Vision and Creatures—————————————————————–(G05)
  • 6. Aggro circles————————————————————————–(G06)
  • 7. Aggrocircles, mines & Creatures—————————————————-(G07)
  • 8. Avoiding pulling -> corner hiding—————————————————(G08)
  • 9. Rooms———————————————————————————(G09)
  • 10. Tips & Tricks————————————————————————-(G10)
  • 11. Halfway-general important tip——————————————————(G11)
  • 12. Creature, trap and combo synergy————————————————(G12)
  • 13. Boss room pulls———————————————————————-(G13)
  • 14. My castle and closing comments—————————————————-(G14)

My castle, colamaniac & general thoughts around castle building(G01):
Mind you my castle is only lvl 15 at this point! Saving up for the castle heart upgrade but don’t really have the time to go out farming castles a lot. So my primary income is from mines and players running my castle.
I personally enjoy focusing on an aggressive approach. If you stay alive and somewhat within the time you deserve to loot my castle because I won’t use a puppeteer purely for time stalling. Its boring and a waste of an otherwise fun castle IMHO. That’s not saying that I haven’t used them or don’t see a use for them, atm I rather not use them until they fix the path finding. When they do that I can actually start exprimenting with their AI without it (hopefully) changing again :P.

Right, I read colamaniacs thread 2 days back so I’ll try to cover my own version instead of copying stuff he’s already said. But I can’t promise I won’t overlap to get a coherent guide.
Check his topic for the basic puppeteer and mr skull stuff btw, I won’t cover it in depth. Colamaniacs is a good guide to read and I believe a castle can be good on multiple levels.

I’ve actually had the pleasure of exchanging some thoughts with colamaniac today, I also ran his castle which was a pain in the butt :D, my highest char is lvl 17 and his castle is like 24 :P. So I ended up rolling a lowly ranger just to resurrect through haha.
The clear difference to me is, I’m a totally different castle builder then Colamaniac, everyone will have his or her own flavor to building a castle. His castle his awesome and when I’m a higher level I’ll definitly try to master his dungeon when I catch up. His approach (seems, correct me if I’m wrong) to be more balanced around snaring/controlling and DPS, this might actually be a good approach at higher levels! I’ll just have to wait and see what the higher levels bring!
I’m pretty sure you can use colamaniacs guide standalone and the same will go for mine when it’s done, or try to take the best of both that suits your style. I’ve gone a bit more mental on the mine traps myself. Colamaniac has far more hamsterwheels then me, then again double hamsterwheels are probably very cool once you get the upgrade! Theres obviously traps and creatures in the game that are better at certain castle lvls.

Before you read on(G02):
Every picture to help guide you should be viewed as top to bottom, meaning a player progresses from the top side to the bottom side of the room in the picture.

Vision
Vison(G03): the key part of the defenders game is the element of surprise, however this won’t last but it will still make the castle harder then having everything in plain sight.
The #1 tip for vision=build your castle south west or south east as much as possible, since it creates a smaller field of view for the player. Some rooms may work better facing north, but most will work best in a southern direction. Players enter via the top side of the room and work down the hud and health/mana globes get in the way of vision!
Run your castle as much as possible and focus on hiding key creatures with certain abilities behind your skill bar and/or health/mana globes. Just remember, you don’t want to hide everything you want to show something feasible to them. A scorpio or shieldathron with some snotters will generally make a player focus on those, a few lone snotters and players know something is up. But sometimes it’s still enough to just pull, you’ll have to decide this on a scenario basis per pull and room.

Vision example(G04): A key trick to make abilities hit the moment you want them to hit is the facing of monsters. If you use a hungerbot out of vision with some archers and a few snotters to pull, a player will generally run in and the hungerbot will chain to early.
Face the hungerbot sideways or backways to the entry point of the player to delay the chain enough, once the player is in a full stop it should hit. This can be achieved with some simple cannon fodder which still has enough health so that it won’t be instagibbed.

Creatures and vision(G05): This scenario is actually one of the few things a upgraded squidly is good for in conjunction with a snotter, only 3 defense points together but if you space them they should create a short moment where the player has to stop and WANTS to unleash an attack. Space them so they can be attacked closely together, a player shouldn’t run to much between them. To achieve your goal you want the player to be non moving.
Instead of a hungerbot you can of course use a cyclops or fill with debasers and archers, though imo, you shouldn’t use just 1 type of creature ever. Synergize your pulls with traps and creatures so that they compliment each other. Prime example; slow traps in the bridge room with lots of mr skulls and puppeteers – enough said ;) you’ve all encountered it by now most likely! I think there’s even an npc castle with that same composition.

aggro circles
Aggro circles(G06): Having through wall pulls or even just small packs in close conjunction along with hungerbots or debasers/archers you can actually force the less patient players to double or even triple pull. For instance, a rather simple example.

example1

Now again this is a very basic one, you can mix this up depending on the room. I picked a rather simple cross room here. You can combine the snotters with traps to steer players in a certain direction.
These days most people seem to be drawn south as nearly everyone builds as much south as possible. The idea is the ranged creatures from the other side of the room in the picture move to the edge of the 2nd pull to shoot at a player (archers & debasers at my lvl work best) rangers will often use some kind of aoe shot or pierce which can pull the 2nd out of view group. Knights will try to come close and actually pull the 2nd group if they aren’t careful, mages have pretty big aoe too sometimes even larger then the mage realizes as vortex rift will pull creatures off screen if its close to the aggro circle in question. You get the idea!

Aggrocircles, mines & Creatures(G07): Generally you want traps to be either located deep within the aggrocircle or on the edge, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. You may want to use traps to block player sight or accesibility to certain creatures (for instance hamsterwheels, rotating traps). You could simply try to kill a player with mines and creature dps like said before cyclops and hungerbots can work well in conjunction.
You can add some hungerbot or cyclops for stun or chain pulling to a 2nd group. Some of these examples works best in small corridors though, where you have the biggest chance of predicting the creature AI movement and the player’s.
The downside is, which Colamaniac pointed out, a weak spot is that ranged creatures in small corridors can be easily blocked by going around corners. While I agree, there really is no way around it, instead of ranged creatures in the pictures you could use hungerbots to pull in a 2nd group but this will decrease your dps output.. You can’t have it all!
What you are going to have to accept, well geared and smart players will beat your castle and won’t fall for your tricks if they can identify them/have seen your castle before! Sometimes though careful players run out of time, so its a 50/50 situation. Players hiding behind corners to pull will take longer to kill the group thus castle, but it will ruin your plan so try to avoid making it possible (with ranged abilities its sometimes impossible to prevent a pull and retreat unfortunately). Just try to make it as hard as possible!! More on this next

Avoiding pulling -> corner hiding(G08): So again, thank you colamaniac for pointing it out! This is a situational and room dependable solution. By placing the aggro circle so that it covers just the entrance to the room like so:

example 2

The left or lower right important creature should be out of sight until the player touches the pull. The archers should be far enough away that the player won’t be able to AOE them with the pull creature, and the archers should have a gap in between to avoid a pierced shot from a ranger when he sees the creature and decides to use one. Use mines near the chainbots to chain them on top, when you use cyclops put the mines near the entry point of where the charge or stun will hit. So in other words – make a plan.
The trap in the back, will make sure that retreating or thinking about retreating is less likely to pop in a players mind. You could even extend the pull range a bit more forward or backward. Forward so that it overlaps with the trap in the back of the player, taxing the attention of players on multiple events at the same time! In the end, if they want and use a careful ranged attack they CAN retreat. The rotating trap is there so that they have to retreat further then normally, making the careful player lose more valuable time.

Rooms:
Rooms(G09): Use different rooms for different objectives, probably self explanatory but its actually harder then you might think. Example:

example 3

Having a narrow pathway will make sure that the player goes in a mostly straight line, you can lenghten the straight line by adding some gold or life force mines at the exit of the small corridor. Ofcourse they can step behind them, but its personal flavor it does give a feeling of less mobility. The screen is more crowded, so its a bit of a visual trick as well.
You can actually make your entire castle around springboards if you want, I personally won’t suggest this as I’ve done it before, with up to 160 def rating worth of pulls but if players dodge the first it severely impacts the overall difficulty of your castle.
You will probably run into a small issue if you copy paste the room I made below each other, you will only pull 2 groups, this is solvable but your going to have to be creative, I won’t spoil everything! experiment with the springboards and you’ll surely find out how to make it possible to be trapped in 1 long springboard hungerbot-chain pull.

Tbh, I could probably talk about rooms for the remainder of this topic but its getting quite lengthy. Experiment, some rooms are ideal for archers others are ideal for mines or hamsterwheels. Heck you can even use double jelly walls on either side of one particular room with some pull creatures in between and archers behind the walls.

Tips & Tricks(G10):
Color tip: A few small tricks that can actually help your castle while they are very simple, in the supermarket you often see green baskets for red meat, green brings out the color of the meats redness. This becomes extremely fun with jelly walls (the only crappy part is the jelly walls need some more work! they are only useful in some rooms) but it does add some flavor, some creatures hide well behind a jelly wall. They won’t stick out (might have to turn them around though), put a few red lvl 4+ snotters close by and they will pop out. You’d be surprised how many people attack the snotter and ignore the much stronger creature a few feet away. People generally don’t expect something so simple. And we humans really aren’t as observant as we might think.

Trapping people: Use chain bots to pull into traps, use cyclops with stun to fire of salvo’s. Combine chain bots with salvo’s or cyclops knockback with easy double pulls which are closely packed together you can really make it easy for players to make a misstep. For instance; springboards can go wrong, make a backup plan hide a cyclops behind a corner facing away from the player to delay his knockback (so you won’t mess up any chainer pulls) and you can sometimes knock a player into the 2nd chain group as a backup after they avoid the chainer. Never rely on just one mechanic, try to make backup plans players don’t always behave as you want them to. Sometimes its luck, sometimes the players scope out a room before engaging.

Steering: Use traps to either discourage routes or encourage walking forward while wall pulling, even if they end up running back its gonna cost them some extra time at least if they take the patient approach.

Chain abilities:, especially with the double pulls or even triple and quad pulls you can fail if you don’t combine the creatures abilities correctly. A bad dog with a heavy damage group can severely increase the spikey damage. A shieldathron with a multi pull using an aura with a defendathron guarding that same shieldathron in small corridors can severely increase the longevity of your entire ‘army’. Or at least force a player to retreat until the guard falls of the shieldathron!

Think out of the box: Some traps can be used quite unorthodox like the jelly wall and color combinations to hide stuff, a spring board doesn’t have to be used to chain pull. With a cyclops and a hungerbot you can with the correct placement stun players for extreme lengths, make the player springboard into a wall and theres a good chance the charge + 2nd chain from a hungerbot will pull him into the same board just to knock him against the wall again. This can work extremely well to slow down players while softening them up for a much harder upcoming pull. Use well spread out archers or a debaser to supply some extra damage.

Keep experimenting:Try other castles, try units in your own castle yourself. Again theres so many possibilities already, yet allot of creatures are underpowered and underused. This can ofcourse only change for the better. Right now I’m contemplating to add some batter rams or even a puppeteer with enrage just to add a trigger effect on low health/death when a player AOE’s a big group.

Glue mine field + fire mine field: if you start out with glue mines players will try to run through as quickly as possible. If followed by fire mines theres a bigger chance that they will not slow down when seeing the sign (that is if you haven’t hidden the sign using the field of view and walls). While it shouldn’t kill a player it is still a good way to soften a player up, this is best used in the beginning before they see the first fire mine trap of the entire castle, and in small corridors to avoid dodging as much as possible.

A general important tip(G11): Don’t get discouraged to easily, run your defense in allot of different variations and watch players that attack and succeed closely, if higher players attack you but they are using allot of potions, or are close to dying sometimes, I consider it a win. Someone that outlevels and outgears your castle should generally win if they are playing smart. Don’t get discouraged by it, would be rather unfair if your castle couldn’t be broken. Every potion a player uses is a small victory since I personally don’t want to use potions, they cost money and lower my profit.

Boss room traps: Try to refrain from using mines in the boss room, they are usually quite easy to dodge in that area unless you combine them with the proper creatures. But its quite a spacious room which makes it so much easier to dodge anything. I suggest using rotating and ballistic cannons in such a room. Minimize the playing field or make them take extra damage.

Keep in mind: A well geared good player will be able to finish nearly every dungeon, some may not be within the time limit or whatever. If your having issues with knights, one of the easiest things to make a knight feel really worthless or generally annoyed is using the mentioned multipulls and allot of chainbots/cyclops stun/scorpio pinball. Once you have 2 chain bots from different dirrections pulling on a player and a scorpio knocking him back with a cyclops occasionally charging (+stunning on lvl 4) a knight will generally not be pleased by the amount he has to move. If he doesn’t move he’ll end up being the rope in the tug of war. Of course this is all avoidable by carefully pulling most people however want a quick income, and they will time attack your castle and be more on the reckless side!

Space your creatures: even if you are trying to hide your creatures, you can still space them enough so that players won’t instantly be able to aoe them down with a single spell. Even just stacking 4 snotters makes it easy. Space them, set them at different lengths from the players entry point. They will arrive at different times, shoot at different times and its generally harder to nuke them down with 1 aoe ability. In some cases they might use the AOE prematurely.
More then 2 creatures together is a good invitation for a aoe spell. In some cases this can be useful though, when you want to catch ranged characters of guard. Ranged characters just love to aoe that group of monsters before they start running away!
I’ve fallen for the charm of a group of easy kill snotters before only to get more then I bargained for, having my primary aoe on cooldown did not make me happy!

The MOST IMPORTANT tip: which everyone probably knows, but I still see people doing it. Make sure EVERY group has a purpose and not a single group is skippable, I’ve seen so many castle where I just identify I can walk past a group, while its fine if someone falls for it and realises he’s gone the wrong way its such a waste of def rating since there are always going to be people not falling for it. 1 group could easily be the difference between winning or losing, between them running out of time or looting. While I don’t focus on time stalling, I’m not in the business of giving free time ;). Even if you have a group circle nearly touching the wall, make sure it touches the wall if you play it enough you’ll know when you can skip by hugging the wall.

Tip: If you want to quickly test a certain room simply change the entrance of your castle to connect to that room while shielded! Being shielded is a good moment to rebuild your dungeon and experiment.

There are probably some more tips I could use but I just can’t think of atm, its getting rather late :P. I actually just noticed I still need to test out the whole silence trap aura thing :-o.

Creature, trap and combo synergy(G12):
Charge cyclops with sniper archers. the most common, and generally a good way to dish out some proper damage.

Chain hungerbot with sniper archers and mines. I really like this one if you pull it off, in small corridors with mines and the salvo it can really cripple or even kill a player.

Mittens diseased bite and defendathron guard. Consider it a slowing tactic though, as the damage is not great. But if you add it with some possible chain pulls it could do wonders, less dps equals a longer dps uptime for your creatures. But I’m not really sure if the diseased bite is really worth it yet in its current state. (opposed to having a shieldathron for instance).

Battering ram, puppeteer enrage, bad dog. Use this with bigger pulls and high dps creatures like a shieldathron to increase the dps output and add some extra stuff to worry about.

_Firesly with puppeteer enrage, bad dog(or whatever) and defthron. _Right now mr firesly isn’t worth much upgraded, but on the early level its a cool combination, and I can imagine it could make a comeback on higher levels if they increase the upgrade values.

Defendthron guard and puppeteer or mr skull with medic. Another common one, increases the tank of the healer while making the healer invulnerable. It actually becomes somewhat weak in the later levels but its definitly a good filler if you have ran out of ideas.

Hamsterwheel/mines/flamethrower with knockback/chainbots/pinball bots. Very simple, but can work well. should be combined with something more though as it’s not good enough to actually kill a player.

Chainbot with charge cyclops and 2 debasers orbs, can work well but the damage output of these 2 alone is rather crappy. In a small environment with 2 debasers supporting them (preferably coming from different sides) it can really make it annoying for knights to chase down the debasers, in turn they probably focus on the hungerbot and cyclops first. By then they’ve taken some hits from the debasers/mines if present. In this scenario I prefer debasers over archers, since they create a smaller playing field, work well with mines since the floor dmg distracts from mines too. Debasers also take a bit longer to kill and are harder to chase for knights, especially without mana.

Small corridor glue mines with ranged dps. Pretty basic, but what makes it a bit harder is when you have a small corridor and you use glue traps is when the snotters have a longer distance pull to some archers hiding behind a corner. It could turn the less careful player into a tombstone or soften him up for the next pull. Hiding a cyclops with stun is near impossible to avoid in such a close environment making the archers sure to hit. Since you need about 2 snotters you’ll only have 3 archers if you use a cyclops. But again, variety is good.

Griefing. Theres one situation I can think of where I really like the griefing ability of jimbo and smelly warriors. I’m afraid I haven’t tested it myself, I might see how it works when I have an extra room and more def rating available! Example:

example 4

This is a room thats often used for a double mr skull or puppeteer pull, since the creatures on one side will double back to the previously killed creatures to reach the player.
Now I’m not sure how well this will work with smelly warriors and such, but it’s definitely worth a shot.

_Jelly wall uses. _Jelly walls are something I really like, yet they are hard to fit in a room because they won’t really connect with walls when you place them sideways against a wall. Some good jelly wall use I’ve tried or seen in visual examples:

Pokerplate’s

example 5

Colamaniac’s jelly wall position. You’re gonna have to figure out your own!

example 6

I’ve actually scrapped my own, even though it isn’t bad, it’s not a great room either. I’ve been thinking about changing that room and we’ll see what I can think off next. Your never going to be done experimenting anyway!

Boss room pulls(G13): Theres load of different boss room pulls possible, at a certain level some bosses will outweigh other choices, likewise at certain levels creatures will outweigh a boss because boss don’t really scale well with upgrades CURRENTLY. And bosses are usually easy to master with avoiding certain abilities. They are generally a time sink nothing else. Players rarely die to them.

Mr firesly: Like said earlier, combine Mr firesly with creatures like the defendthron and puppeteer with enrage, dogs for the bark at low health. Etc, etc.

Durr: obviously durr is a major time sink, and at lvl 14-16 he’s probably a solid choice, after that he most likely will start to weaken. Just like mr firesly is really good between lvls 8-11.

Interesting monster combination you can try:
I personally haven’t really reached the level where the time sink of durr is offset by the strength of my creatures. But I can imagine trying 5-6 archers with stun charging cyclops or even hungerbot chains with hamsterwheels or generally stuff that makes the area smaller, this won’t work as well with ranged heroes.
Debasers aren’t the best option in the boss room since the room is so wide, but teleport could be interesting with the multipull concept in the next point, this is more a anti knight measure though and will carry over to all debasers in your dungeon.
Shieldathron projectile shield with a defendathrons guard and a mr skull + some puppeteers with medics. Not really the best but at a certain level shieldathrons and defendathrons will heal themselfs aswell. Unfortunately I don’t think you’ll ever make a player worry with this combo at a higher level.
Going for dmg, 3 archers with a shieldathron aura ability and a defendathron guarding that shieldathron. You can add a battering ram as extra melee dmg, off set the charge if your lucky. Use a snotter in the front to pull the creatures when you set them back. It being such a spacious room though, it’s not one of the best tactics as most people will simply dodge and burn down the shieldathron. But if it hits its allot of damage.
The boss room is something I want to experiment with allot, but I think it becomes more interesting after you unlock allot more creatures, like dampeners and stabsassins. Just experiment! I’m sticking with bosses at certain levels but its personal taste.

Remember: You aren’t bound by putting the creatures at the start. The boss circle will automaticly pull any creatures in the boss circle, so put the stuff you want out of vision in the back, some bosses can use powerups while players walk towards them, durr for instance takes less dmg after drinking his potion. Creatures can aim or surprise the player with a charge or chain.

Multipulling in the boss room:If you put all your creatures in the boss circle waaayyy in the back or even the boss, its sometimes hard for players to estimate where the boss circle pull begins. if you put a pull against the top of the boss circle with either ranged creatures or knockback/pull creatures and even combine it with mines theres sometimes a good chance to make a player overstep into the boss circle and pull another 36 def, which can amount to 56 in total. This isn’t easy to pull off but I’ve done it in the past, some room connections improve the quality of springboard usage in the boss room too. Theres A LOT of possibilities with the boss room. There are to many to name really but think open minded.

Tip repeat: If you want to quickly test a certain room simply change the entrance of your castle to connect to that room while shielded! Being shielded is a good moment to rebuild your dungeon and experiment.

My castle: (G14)
If you want my castle: Prednisone.

Closing:
Maybe I’ve forgotten something, or you want to criticize, go right ahead. Poke me in game as I probably won’t always read the topic but I will try to read back of course! Don’t hate me if I forget. If you see any flaws feel free to point them out.

I’ll try to add stuff if I discover new things or get a higher castle level.

I believe there’s probably some great ideas out there, ideas I haven’t thought off and maybe nobody else has but you! If you think you have something unique, or want to make a picture for it or even want me to make a picture of it after you make a screenshot. Please let me know and I’ll add it in this thread with the appropriate credit to you. Since its such a highly customizable game, which probably has more customization options coming for retail its great to share thoughts. So please.

Thanks for reading!
Feedback away if you want!

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