This guide was written by: Miniishadow and can be found on Steam
When starting Dungeon Defenders I personally suggest that you just take your time and fully enjoy the early game as you'll only get to experience that feeling once. Do some campaign playthroughs, see how far you can get in survival on your favourite maps and try out some challenges! Once you're done with all that here is my personal route through the early game. A few things to note first:
Doing a full clear on Medium Hardcore wont give you much of a challenge through the campaign but once you've completed summit you'll be around level 35~
If you're looking for more of a challenge you can start the campaign on Hard instead, it'll be a bit more challenging and reward you with more exp and better loot.
After your campaign clear on either medium or hard, and are looking for some of the best EXP at this stage of the game then you'll want to farm Summit Campaign on the hardest difficulty you can clear. You may have to do medium for a few more levels but if you can handle hard do that until level 60. Once you're level 60 you'll have the stats to start doing Insane Summit until 70.
If you get bored of the monotony of Summit Campaign then doing Ancient Mines Survival on Medium Hardcore to wave 25 is decent exp as well. I haven't tried that myself but I've been told it's good!
Congrats on hitting 70! You've made it to the mid game and have unlocked Nightmare. Again I'd suggest just having fun and exploring the new difficulty at your own pace, try and do a full campaign clear, do some challenges and test your build on your favourite maps on survival. Once you're done that and want to get into the grind to 83 you'll want to follow this path:
An orgre comes out on wave 1, what I like to do is place a DST(Deadly Strike Tower) behind the core so it can target all four lanes, then I'll DPS the small mobs and kite the ogre while the DST kills it. On wave 2 I'll throw up some walls and use the same method on the ogres. Wave 3 I'll put up my Flame bursts and strength drain/ensnare auras.
This map is SIGNIFICANTLY easier then Deeper Wells, a simple set up with squire blockades, Flame Bursts, and monk auras should do the trick.
This is where the real grind from 70-83 begins. If you use the build I linked, you'll be able to get really far with very little gear. You should be able to clear wave 14 with just 200 power and 150 defence rate. Make sure to read the description of the build as it will help you set it up properly!
This is the late game boys, almost there. You've unlocked Massacre and there's only a few things you gotta do to make it a more enjoyable experience.
I personally prefer the Dragon over the Monkey King but either will work.
NMHC Survival Endless Spires: Monkey King(Single Target)
60+ upgrades will be sufficient, but if you want to grind for a 80+ Upgrade one that's fine too! Upgrade the pets damage and attack rate.
NMHC Survival Summit: Dragon(AOE)
60+ Upgrades will be sufficient, but if you want to grind for a 80+ Upgrade one that's fine too! Upgrade the pets damage, attack rate, and projectiles
3 Projectiles (sometimes you can't upgrade the amount of projectiles)
0.40 Attack Rate (sometimes you can't upgrade the attack speed)
The squire has crazy HP scaling in Massacre, by simply equipping armour with Vitality and attack you'll have 300K+ HP along with buffing your pet damage as it also scales off of your attack stat. The main goal here is holding right click to block what feels like 99% of any incoming damage allowing you to face tank just about everything while your pet DPS's everything down as pets have awesome damage scaling in Massacre. While this is far from the best DPS in the game it's a very easy to obtain entry level to get into Massacre.
The loot from this map will be leaps and bounds ahead of any other pieces you've obtained up until this point, along with the side bonus of dropping the best weapon in the game! I'd highly recommend farming this map for a while. If you get stuck on Lava Mines, try and farm Ancient Mine Sirens for some better loot before trying to progress.
Once you've obtained some nice sets of 180+ upgrade loot you should have a more smooth experience clearing Massacre. Some maps are A LOT harder then others.
This map could use a whole guide on it's own. It requires you to hero DPS ogres, Copters, Djinn, while fighting the Dragon at the same time, it really feels like a raid boss! I really enjoy this fight and it's been some of my favourite experiences playing Dungeon Defenders. Here is my personal Favourite build by Ayum!
If you're aiming to level up then you can clear either Massacre Alch Labs or continue doing waves 24/25 NMHC Promenade.
Congrats! We've finally made it to the end game boys! Now we get to relax by doing some really fun Glitterhelm Campaign or Monsterfest. The best armour drops with 286 upgrades and weapons can drop with around 306, I don't know the number exactly. There's a few things we can do in the end game:
While Massacre Survival isn't out yet, these are what I find to be the more worth while things to go for. When Massacre Survival is released I'll update this section with the new content