Dungeon Overlord is a player-versus-player combat game: attacking (and getting attacked) by other players is the whole point of all that building and clicking you’ve been doing. However, nothing prevents a higher level player — even a MUCH higher level player — from deciding to take all your stuff from you.
The game is not broken: there are things you can do to avoid being a victim (at least minimize how much you’re victimized). If you’re already under attack, don’t panic or ragequit. Get smarter at playing the game and start utilizing all the advantages the game provides that over-powers defense.
DENY THEM PROFIT
Unless you’ve really made a dedicated enemy, players who attack you are looking to maximize their profit. By denying (or minimizing) their take from raids, they are likely to pick a more attractive target. Some tips for denying them profit:
1. Don’t keep large amounts of materials lying around – use it on something that can’t be stolen, whether that’s room upgrades, levels on your critters, etc. The bigger the pile of stealable stuff you have, the more obvious profit there is to obtain.
2. If you’re online when under attack, load up your goblins and ship the contents off to another dungeon just before the attack lands. Then, if you want, cancel your shipment and let the goblins bring the stuff back after the attack is over.
3. Safe storage furniture in your confine and storage room can slow them down by temporarily protecting part of your loot, but it can be defeated if someone is dedicated (by shipping you materials to push you over the cap or by destroying the furniture with pillage.) Don’t assume you’re safe from loss just because you’ve got some of that furniture, but the more raids they send that bring back no loot the quicker they will move on to other targets.
4. These kinds of raiders quickly end up with more material than they can store in their dungeon, too. Many of them will turn to the marketplace to sell some of it cheap, since gold doesn’t have to be shipped around. If you buy that material from them on the market, you’re encouraging them to continue raiding — so boycott their market sales, no matter how attractive they might look. After all, after you bought it, they’ll just come and steal it back again.
DON’T BE AN EASY TARGET
While not bringing back loot might make them pick a different target, it is even better to inflict some damage and mayhem back. You might think that because they are higher level there’s nothing you can do, but the deck is stacked in the favor of the defender (which means you have more options than you think.)
1. Be smart about traps and dungeon design. Ideally, you want all the raiders to have to walk through one choke point loaded with traps – a mix of poison and fireball traps makes a good early defense, but if you can get your hands on a few ink traps or screw traps for the mix you’ll be even more dangerous. Even if you hide your troops to protect them, enemies still have to come through these traps. If you have higher-level players you trust, ask them to skirmish your dungeon design so that you can study the replay and improve it.
2. Don’t be consistent. If the raider thinks they know exactly how you’ll react, you can bait them into situations that can be to your advantage. For example, if you’re online when they first attack, try hiding your troops to help disguise your power … and then unhide them when they send their next attack to what they think is an undefended dungeon.
3. Guard houses are your friend for two major reasons: awareness bonuses and defensive bonuses. By placing barriers in your guardhouse, you increase the chance of noticing thieves sneaking in to deactivate traps (even if they are higher level). Dropping some dugouts also provides a damage bonus to defending troops (but, like turbo miners, you need to drop a pile of them – ten dugouts = +20% damage on defense).
4. Re-prioritize ghosts: the are the single most powerful enemy you’re likely to face in the arsenal of a more powerful player. In fact, until you get much further into the game, the only effective defense against a ghost is a higher level ghost. Why? Because orcs, dark elves and ogres can’t do any damage to ghosts at all – warlocks and thieves can hit them, but only do 25% of their normal damage. Even a few low level ghosts in your defensive army become a pain – thieves will come back damaged, everything else might not come back at all. If they have to dedicate a ghost to raiding you, you’ve become a much less attractive target.
MAKE IT COST THEM MORE THAN YOU
Losing a little loot might be irritating, but having your research dungeon full of warlocks slaughtered is much worse. Learning how to minimize your losses and rebuilding time will make you worry less about getting attacked.
1. Unless you have some really good reason, keep the troops on at least your research dungeon on hide and store as little material as possible in that dungeon. You’d much rather lose a little loot than a whole day of research while you resurrect your warlocks.
2. Avoid death loops! If you had some troops killed and think the assaults from this player might continue, leave the troops dead – resurrected troops have lower levels and half their hit points, so if they couldn’t stand up to the assault before, they definitely won’t do better if you bring them back weak.
3. Work together! Defense against raiding players is the #1 reason to have a strong regional alliance. It is entirely possible for a group of lower-level Overlords to take down a more powerful foe if they work together and chip away at them. Learn how to reinforce each other – nothing surprises a raider more than unhiding your troops and having an extra 20+ troops from your friends (except maybe reinforcing an inactive they are farming that you’re trusted friends with.)
4. Make the battle field confusing for them. Level 1 thieves and level 1 ogres are your friends – to your enemy, they look exactly like a “fast army” and a “slow army”. You don’t care if they get killed: it costs you nothing to bring them back. But imagine how confusing it would be to your enemy if they always had 20 incoming attacks that they weren’t sure about. You and 3-5 friends can totally make that happen.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS
You can buy peace in the store for 10DM every 24 hours — during that time, you cannot be attacked by other players, but you also can’t attack other players (including inactives). This is a double-edged sword: while your losses will stop, your income is going to go down (because you’re left with nothing but elves to raid.) You also can’t turn it off early, you have to wait for the full time to pass. Only dim-witted Overlords use buying peace as the first option in defense, but it is the ultimate last choice.