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Returning Player seeking some advice

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Hi I recently came back to DD1 after a very long time (last I played was just before tinkers lab was released). I hve been playing DD2 to death on both PC and PS4, but i felt I needed a break from the stress of the recently introduced mastery mode. When I left DD1 it was basically because I had nobody to play with and had got stuck in progression - got most to around 74. I dusted of my PS3 and found it had DD1 still installed and thought hey why not play the original. SO after a few days got back into it and went back to the PC and re-installed DD1. I have managed to gain some and got most to 78-83 but I am still stuck progressing.

To explain a little I had a mini stroke a few years ago and find multi-tasking difficult so building and switching in time for NM maps is almost impossible for me. I have still many maps not completed in NM most of my builders have around 1.8-2.5k stats so even with running a couple of maps with public to unlock survival my stats are not enough for that either. I have tried looking for builds, but most that I find are deleted links or videos which are very outdated.   

I need some idea where I should be farming or some help to unlock more maps to run survival. I have also to do most of the challenges, but unless required and with help I am not looking to do any of them soon. I would also like to find people to play with (I'm UK so keep in mind time differences). 

Any advice or help especially up to date links for builds would be appreciated.

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I wouldn't be too concerned with levelling up unless you have some gear you're waiting to use that requires a certain level. If you are levelling then bringing in extra heroes via controller or emulator is very handy.

There are some things you can do to speed up the building process, which helps when there is a timer. Use female versions of the builders due to faster run and casting speed, use pets that give speed boost (skeleton on treadmill, turtle on treadmill, small diamond, diamond, treadmill on treadmill). For the summoner, use overlord mode to build minions anywhere on the map and also make sure you have assigned the archer, mage, and spider with hotkeys.

Your builder stats should be enough to do survivals on many maps that can drop good armour such as the Shards maps. It is best to use a summoner only once you have upgraded so that only armour will drop. The general build strategy is to put ensnare, electric and strength drain aura in optimal location (choke point or guarding crystal) with a wall of minions (archers and a spider and mage standing on buff beam (although it can be better to place the mage a distance behind the wall to avoid taking hits from ogres). You can also add a gas trap and reflect wall, and then harpoons or fireball or lightning towers if you have spare DU.

Feel free to add me if you need help with unlocking maps or with builds.

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Since you are a returning player, chances are you might have forgotten some handy tips and tricks.
So I think these following guides should cover you with basics, building in NM, general progression, leveling as well as end-game:

-- http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=285546139

-- http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=571937405

-- http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=319863232

-- http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=216908696

Additionally if you are looking for players at your same level to play with, perhaps make a post on the Steam Discussions -- http://steamcommunity.com/app/65800/discussions/
Also you can join this group, its the only active group for DD these days -- http://steamcommunity.com/groups/DDRnG

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