Sometimes when I start a level, it will start on Wave 2 or Wave 3. Why doesn't it always start on Wave 1 and let me play the whole level? I feel like I'm getting cheated out of XP and that I won't have enough easy waves to get my defenses up to the standards they need.

4 Answers 4


I did some testing.

Harder/later maps can start on higher Wave numbers when a Character's Level is 'high for the map'. More so on later/harder maps, but earlier maps limit this, to as little as "starting Wave +1", or maybe even +0. Plus, in theory, if someone has a Lvl 20 CHAR they could switch to, but they and everyone else are playing with, say Lvl 3 CHARs, the starting wave would still be increased, because one can switch to any CHAR over the course of the map.

An xBox Live account with just one Lvl 1 CHAR and no other CHARs would always start with 'Wave 1' when playing 'solo'.


When we first started playing this game, BOTH My Wife and ME, one Lvl 1-3 CHAR each, "Foundries and Forges" on MEDIUM: Wave 1 (I wanted to start over anyway, so tonight i deleted all my CHARS for testing)

Now, JUST Me: 1 CHAR, Lvl 0, "Foundries and Forges" on MEDIUM: Wave 1 WITH My wife: 1 CHAR, Lvl 16, "Foundries and Forges" on MEDIUM: Wave 2

JUST My wife: 1 CHAR, Lvl 16, "Foundries and Forges" on MEDIUM: Wave 2 WITH Me: 1 CHAR, Lvl 0, 'quarters on MEDIUM: still Wave 2

JUST My wife: 1 CHAR, Lvl 16, "apprentice's quarters" on MEDIUM: Wave 3 WITH Me: 1 CHAR, Lvl 0, "Apprentices's Quarters" on MEDIUM: still Wave 3

Including a lower Exp CHAR in a multi-player game full of high-level CHARS MAY lower the starting wave,as asserted in a different answer -at least on some maps- but I don't know.

There are countless other factors that may be included, but the 'difficulty' of a map seems to cap the adjustment, early maps most of all.

Complicated stuff, lets get some data!

Can anyone provide empirical data to disprove this line of thinking? Include number of players, number of each player's CHARs, and the range of their CHAR's EXP, the map and difficulty, and the starting wave.

  • 2
    Hi Emrys81, welcome to the site. Your excellent findings pretty much conclude with what I've been observing. Its based on the highest character available per player, not what they currently have in the game.
    – l I
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 13:10

The starting wave seems to depend on the average of the highest level character available. Even if you are on a level 2 character, if you have a level 70 you can switch to for some trap laying, it will start you on wave 4 or 5. If a few low level characters (who don't have any other high level guys stashed away) joins the game, then you'll start on wave 2, etc.


I don't have a reason yet, but I asked @TrendyEnt on Twitter, and this is the response I got:

TrendyEnt: @TuxBobble Nope, intentional. Some missions don't start on wave 1

I've followed up asking what the reasoning is. Awaiting a response.

edit: Still no response from @TrendyEnt. I did get a reply from someone else, but I won't pretend to know who they are or whether they are associated with Trendy in any way:

Hamabbasy: @TuxBobble @TrendyEnt it adjusts to your level.

Tried the Dungeon Defenders forums, and it seems like they really want it to be quite cryptic:

There are technical reasons for it, but it can be ignored.

  • It doesn't adjust to your level. I started the second level at character level 2 and it started on Wave 2 anyway. Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 21:11

Could be for the difficulty: Like on survival, if you start on easy at wave 1 enemies have 64 hp, at wave 5 564, that's my theory, they make it start from wave 5 or 6 just because enemies are more powerful.

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