Game Mechanics

In a nutshell, Defend the Basement is mechanically similar to a Real Time Strategy game environment with elements of Roll Playing and Experience Points.  You will be controlling the actions of a single character, referred to as your ‘hero’.  Your hero is comprised of the following fundamental elements:

Hit Points: Also referred to as your ‘Life’, ‘Health’, or ‘HP’.  HP can be lost in combat when you are attacked, and it can be restored by using consumables or special healing or regenerative abilities.  If your hero runs out of HP, it will die.
Mana Points:
Also referred to as just ‘Mana’ or ‘MP’.  Mana is the resource drawn from to use your hero’s special abilities.  Mana will regenerate automatically over time.  If you run low on mana, you will likely not be able to use special abilities.  [Note: Some special abilities are 'passive', which means they do not require mana to activate but rather they will always be active.]
Also referred to as your ‘attack’ or ‘basic attack’.  Every hero and nearly all characters within this game have an auto-attack.  This attack does not require mana to use, it is similar to other RTS games unit attacks. It generally has a 1-2 second cooldown (time between attacks), a range from melee (~120) up to 1000 units, and damage ranging from 30 to over 1000.  When you right click an enemy with your hero selected, this attack will be used by default.  There are many special abilities that increase auto-attack damage and attack speed (eg; reduction in cooldown).
Armor: Also referred to as ‘defense’.  Armor reduces the damage taken by auto-attacks.  The more armor you have, the less damage you will take from an auto-attack.  Armor does not reduce damage taken by spells and abilities.
Also referred to as ‘stats’.  Each hero has three attributes, ‘Strength’, ‘Agility’, and ‘Intelligence’.  Your hero will start off with a base amount of attributes, and as the game progresses and you level up, your attributes will increase passively.  In general, increasing your attributes will increase the effectiveness of your hero by increasing your HP, Mana and Mana regeneration, attack damage and rate, and possibly the effectiveness of some of your special abilities.

  • Strength: Increases maximum HP by 25 per point.
  • Agility: Increases Attack Speed by 2% per point, and increases Armor by 0.1 per point.
  • Intelligence: Increases maximum Mana by 15 per point, and increases Mana Regeneration by 0.2 Mana/sec/point.

Experience and Level: Your hero will start at ‘Level 1′.  After completing a level of the game, you will be granted hero Level 2.  For each level of the game you complete, your hero will gain one Level.  Increasing your hero’s level increases your available skill points and base attributes.  [Note: No experience is gained by killing creatures, as in traditional Warcraft III mechanics.]
Skill Points:
In the beginning of the game, your hero will have one available ‘skill point’.  This point can be used to acquire one of your three immediately available ‘special abilities’ (also referred to as ‘skills’).  When your hero levels up after completing a level of the game, you will gain another skill point to acquire another special ability, or to rank up the power of your already acquired abilities.  [Note: Rank 2 of any ability cannot be acquired until your hero is level 3, rank 3 cannot be acquired until your hero is level 5, rank 4 level 7, etc.]
Special Abilities:
Also referred to as ‘skills’ or ‘spells’, special abilities are the guts of every hero; not using them will render you virtually useless.  After acquiring, abilities are often activated by the player, by either clicking the skill’s button or using hotkeys [generally Q,W,E,R,T, and F].  Details about specific special abilities and what they can do can be found in the Heroes Section.
Your inventory is capable of holding up to six items.  You may pick up and drop items from your inventory at any time.  Items have listed bonuses and uses that become available to your hero while you have the item in your inventory.
Items and Recipes:
Items are often dropped by boss characters or purchased from shops. Items often have bonuses associated with them, usually increasing your attributes, auto-attack damage and rate, mana, hit points, and HP/mana regeneration.  Some items also have special abilities associated with them. Recipes are simply ‘item combiners’; they are purchased from a shop when you have the required components in order to save space in your inventory and make your items more powerful.  Details about specific items can be found in the Items Section.
Also referred to as ‘money’, gold is the resource from which you can purchase items and recipes from shops and vendors.  You acquire gold from killing enemy creeps, neutral bosses, and from completing levels of DtB.

The other computer-controlled characters you will encounter in DtB share some of these fundamental elements, namely; Hit Points, Auto-Attack, Armor, and sometimes Special Abilities.  Boss type units will also usually have an inventory showing any items they might be carrying that will drop upon death for your team to acquire, and they will always have at least one special ability.  The rest of the game can be summed up as manipulation of the above listed elements.  Mostly, the challenge is to keep your Hit Points from running out and at the same time keep the enemy creeps from destroying Jon’s house!

Interface Overview

Advanced Mechanics

  • All armor types reduce normal (physical) damage from standard attacks without bonuses.
  • Spells deal full damage to all armor types, but in most cases, spells will deal somewhere between +/- 10% of their nominal value (this includes all heal spells and most damage spells).
  • Some spells have a listed critical strike chance.  All spells with a chance to critical strike will crit for 1.5 x the normal value unless otherwise mentioned.
  • Killing blows give the killing player a gold bonus equal to 1 + (creep level)/4 gold.

Detailed information about hero attributes and statistics such as attack speed, armor and health, plus item information and a special ability functionality matrix are available in the Defend the Basement Stat Spreadsheet.

Even more advanced mechanics information is available at  Not all listed mechanics found there are applicable to Defend the Basement, however the following topics do apply and are very important to understand:

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