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Hello, I started this game about a week ago and haven't been able to put it down. I've read a lot on the forum, viewed some YouTube videos and followed a few guides. Now I have all 4 classes level 70 and farming super loot in Alchemical Laboratory. While I have my levels up, I still have crap gear because it's expensive to upgrade and I want to make sure I do it right. I haven't bought anything from other players because I read so much about hacked items that I'd rather not be caught with one. That said, here are my questions:

1) About the thumbs up and thumbs down thing... is this accurate? I really don't know what I'm doing it when it comes to gear. All 4 of my toons have been reset and are all tower spec. I take it what I'm supposed to do is find the gear that can be upgraded the highest number of times and then pump stats in the same stats I use with said character. The reason why this is confusing to me is because sometimes I find gear that doesn't even fit my build and yet I still get a thumbs up. I find gear that can be upgraded only 6 times and gets a thumbs up, while something else has 41 upgrades and gets a thumbs down.

2) I hear that if I'm soloing it's easier if I have an engineer repair my towers for me. How do I go about getting one? All that I find are the robot pets.

3) I find that gear disappears all the time, especially early on in the waves. I know that it does the green thing when you find a "thumbs up" item, but is there a way to flag other items? For example, I'd like to flag anything that will sell for over 50k, and things that meet the specs of my character. Do people sometimes farm in lesser gear just for the sake of being able to find such items? This seems to defeat the purpose of gearing.

4) With all of my characters tower spec, it would be MUCH easier if I made a dps character to assist. Do people typically make a dps character or do they respec their characters and keep a second set of gear?

5) Is it possible to swap gear in the middle of a round? If I press "I" (the button used to bring up my stats and show gear) I see my toon's gear, but I don't see the bank where I'd otherwise be able to equip new gear.

That's all for now but I'm sure there is more to follow. Thanks for you help.

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1) The thumbs up/down thing is not accurate in terms of specs - it is based on price from what I've gathered. This is because there's currently no way to cater to specific builds.

2) The Engineer is a Steam-exclusive gift. If you're playing Dungeon Defenders on Steam, there should be several boxes in your tavern towards the right side of the Taverkeep (in front of the Forge). These boxes would contain the Engineer, Medic, Heavy and Pyro pets, as well as the Portal gun.

3) As far as I know, gear disappears because there can only be a set amount of them on the map at any given time (same goes with Mana). I'm unsure as to whether or not there's a timer on gears, as there is on mana. Right now, there isn't a way I know of to flag items, apart from the method you mentioned.

4) Typically, a separate DPS character would be made so you can use towers and DPS with the same classes if you wanted to - without sacrificing any damage.

5) It is possible to swap gear during the Building Phase via the Item Box in the Defender's Forge. However during Combat Phase, you can only swap gear with things you find by pressing F.

Hopefully I was of some help.

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Also noteworthy - if you can handle Insane Alch Labs on Survival mode, you should also be fine solving Hall of Court on Survival Mode. Get to wave 15, and you will be awarded a Genie - for the early waves, this is far superior to other pets as it helps you get extra mana to upgrade your towers more quickly. Once you get them all to triple star status, you can then swap to your Engineer (or Imp, if you prefer).

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