Basically, there was a game, a badge of the day on kongregate--but the game on there was a demo. I got the deluxe version on steam, and have since been playing through it to get 100% completion. I got my characters to Level 38 fair and square and bought the best gear in the game also fair and square, doing the Hero Mode. I did this, because I assumed there would be some sort of consequence to me adjusting things in my favor.
...I learned there was not.
Which meant all that hard work was done entirely unnecessarily because the game literally gives you a way to crank money (which I now have more than I'd ever need) and experience up and remove the penalty from failing a level when it comes to retaining that which you've earned.
I mean. I beat the game multiple times with multiple endings including both paths prior to this. I did everything except for earn like 5/90 of the gold stars before learning this. I was absolutely convinced there was a consequence to messing with the default settings--but there isn't, so all of that time was time which could have been spent far more efficiently.
I'm close to finishing the first playthrough's hero mode (one of each type of character--the heroes--only) in its entirety, where I have nothing left to do. After that will come the new game + hero mode playthrough, because there is an achievement for getting 180 gold stars with heroes exclusively. Then, and only then, will I be in a position where I could actually buy new defenders.
...And it's also by that point I imagine that I'd actually be able to have the summoning mana to spare for said extras. One reason I haven't bought them even WITHOUT the achievement, is that I prefer to fully upgrade anything I summon. I can't upgrade all my heroes from the getgo right now and I need to have that before I can waste mana on other units. (Who I don't know if they can be upgraded or not.)
I'm HOPING the level cap if existing is high enough where I can actually do so. The growth rate is 75 mana per level, and given what I need...lesse...1,000 plus 300 plus 300 plus 270 plus 375, though I have 75 to spare so let's call that 300.
2,170 mana needed. That's almost 30 levels. And given that my character is level 39 or so, that means I'd need to be basically level 70 in order to get all my heroes fully upgraded and I'm HOPING the level cap isn't 60 (since that's the last achievement for levels in the game).
Anyway. I have been doing that. I should go to bed now.