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The Successor to Income


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#1
WindStrike

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To veterans of tower wars games in general, it's known that income is a flawed system, no matter how it's done. Whoever manages to abuse income the most while using minimal defenses that are enough to beat anything automatically wins. For Element Tower Wars, it may be a little different in that it's not permanent, but now it's a huge problem between balancing income and killing creeps. While the balance for it probably does exist, the addition of income and spamming creeps to win for EleTW makes it feel like a generic Tower Wars game, and as a result, the elements part feels like a gimmick. Technically, all of the depth and strategy is still there, but it's hidden and subdued under the force of "income".

Unfortunately, income is currently the best system for tower wars. But if it's flawed, that means it's possible for something better than income to exist - instead of taking 20 something matches to figure out that ultimate combo that can't be beaten and everything calculated, it'd be a game that has lots of different strategies and combinations, just like how the original EleTD set a new standard for Tower Defense games. Ideally, it would allow for simplicity with lots of depth. Easy to learn but hard to master (ex, see Hero Attack, very easy map to pick up).

No one has come up with a better system of income... till now. I'm asking this community to come up with the successor to income and tower wars games. Something that can compliment Element Tower Wars such that the original gameplay is still there without feeling like just some extra feature. Note that by changing the income system to something else, it could change the entire thing in that you wouldn't send creeps in the same way. Post your suggestions here, be it random, outlandish, crazy, or even if you think it's not gonna work. All ideas are welcome, and quite frankly, it's probably the only way to come up with something better.



(I'll put up random ideas on my end later.)

#2
isaan

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<What about Generator Towers, that just add some money every few seconds. so players can decide to invest in getting more BOOM or more economy


#3
WindStrike

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That's pretty much the same thing honestly. Think about it - in standard Tower Wars games, you send creeps, thus increasing your income. By creating a tower that gives you money over time, it's essentially the same thing as sending creeps to increase your income, except without the creeps. However, it were a controlled boost in money - say sacrifice 500 gold now and get say 750 a few rounds later, it would result in more BOOM rather than a steadily growing economy (or in income terms, an exponentially growing economy). Actually, that sounds kinda cool. I can easily see it abused, but if the game has it so that someone can send a surprise attack and catch you during that time where you have a decrease in gold and you need it, you may have just screwed yourself over.

I did some thought on this over the last few months, and while I haven't come up with a successor, I did think of a few ways for it to work. One, there is a map called Runecraft, where you have two resources - ink (like minerals) and income. That's right, in that game, income is a resource. In order to get higher research upgrades, you have to actually spend income and sacrifice your growth in economy. Two (something this game also does), make income global. Everyone gets the same amount of income and it increases gradually over the course of the game. I'm not going to go into how good the game is or not, but it is an interesting concept that I think should be worth checking out.

Another thing is that the current design of a Tower Wars game is based around sending creeps and gaining income. That said, a successor to income would mean a new design. Example, the towers you build end up sending the creeps passively over time (it is quite annoying to spam the creeps button as fast as you can), and the creep is different based on the tower built. Also, in the way that enemies get progressively stronger each round in a tower defense, the same should apply for a tower wars game. Every minute of the game may cause a 10% increase in health or some other effect.

Do keep the ideas coming in, and don't limit it to the current design of Tower Wars either.

#4
Twilice

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There is a small gold goblin running arround, when he takes damage you get money.

You only get gold for killed creeps, you can send creeps to yourself.

<.<

Meh I don't know. I tried to think about it, but I didn't come up with something original that could also be a fitting gameplay.
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#5
WindStrike

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I tried asking someone that didn't know what a Tower Wars map actually was. His answer ended up being the wrong answer for the current version, but it did bring a few new ideas to the table for a potential new map.

QUOTE
Kenogu Labz: Tower Wars being the type where you send units to the other side of a field?
Kenogu Labz: And they fight each other in the middle?
Kenogu Labz: Ooor the type where you have three pools of resources and expend them to play cards that build your wall/tower/resource pools?


Plus the few concepts we have right now... I'd say this might do something. I'm going to try and ask some more people that have little knowledge of Tower Wars and see what answers I get.


EDIT: Some more quotes from random people I asked.

QUOTE
Aeronaut: I honestly imagine it'd be a lot like Magic: The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh in terms of mechanics
Aeronaut: You set up defenses against a source of "HP" that ultimately decides the game
Aeronaut: Then you attack your enemy's defenses while he/she attacks yours and the first one that wins wins
Aeronaut: It's also pretty much entirely CTF
Aeronaut: Or Monday Night Combat
Aeronaut: or DotA/LoL/HoN with only a few changes


QUOTE
Radien: Multiplayer real time strategy game on a grid with lots of focus on planning out attacks, perhaps. Perhaps medieval fantasy, or modern warfare.
Radien: I guess it'd be infiltrators versus guards.


Then I told this next guy the basic concept and flaws of the game. This is what I got.
QUOTE
Kenogu Labz: What if it was all based
Kenogu Labz: on leveling / selecting attributes in a massive 'skill tree/map' type thing
WindStrike: tech tree?
WindStrike: would you be able to grab it all or no?
Kenogu Labz: naw
Kenogu Labz: You have to react to what's being sent at you

I noted my "towers you build send different creeps" idea...

Kenogu Labz: So then your goal's to basically stack DPS
Kenogu Labz: Tech map for each 'barracks' individually?
Kenogu Labz: So each generates a specific type of creep with unique properties?
WindStrike: something like that
Kenogu Labz: I can see it being interesting, given fast-paced tech selection
Kenogu Labz: Esp. if various tech paths have hotkeys bound for quick selection




I'm getting some pretty good results, and that's just a few minutes of asking. I'll be sure to keep asking more people.

#6
isaan

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not about income but another food for thought,

at the moment u can unlock different builders by getting score ingame.
maybe we could use some kind of builder/spell/tower shop that works with that score as currency and sells spells and towers that then are usable ingame.

i guess scorefarming leads to more commitment to the game tongue.gif

#7
WindStrike

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Any ideas are accepted really. I dunno who will make the map... I just posted here cause well uhh... this is the best TD game I've played and this is the only SC2 map community I'm active in. Could try to convince Karawasa, no guarantees especially with him still continuing to refine EleTD and whatnot. Honestly, I'd wait till Heart of the Swarm is out before asking someone to make and develop it, because by then, the new map sharing system will have been out for a few months, and that could dramatically change how things currently are. If anyone else here is good at map making and would be willing to give a shot, go for it, but until that new system is out for a few months, we'll just continue with the general concept design fomulation of ideas and whatnot.


QUOTE (Twilice @ Apr 9 2012, 07:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is a small gold goblin running arround, when he takes damage you get money.

You only get gold for killed creeps, you can send creeps to yourself.

<.<

Meh I don't know. I tried to think about it, but I didn't come up with something original that could also be a fitting gameplay.


Gold goblin idea would actually work pretty well, especially if there's something similar to interest abuse, aka selling your towers and rebuilding them. A little guy running between waves would provide incentive to keep your defenses.

QUOTE (isaan @ Apr 27 2012, 03:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
not about income but another food for thought,

at the moment u can unlock different builders by getting score ingame.
maybe we could use some kind of builder/spell/tower shop that works with that score as currency and sells spells and towers that then are usable ingame.

i guess scorefarming leads to more commitment to the game tongue.gif


I'm suddenly thinking of Warcraft 3, lol. So a second resource in addition to the standard gold resource that's based more uhh... awards for doing specific things? That could be fun.



Hah, here's an idea for a Tower Defense game in general (actually, this borrows off a map concept I had for Starcraft 1, one that I'd make in SC2 if I had the skills). A bunch of players start on a large map with creeps spawning constantly from the middle. You have a starting area at the edge of the map that has a building you must protect from the incoming creeps. Strategically, this is the best position on the map, but you only have the basic towers and it's not a large area, so with only that, you won't hold it for long. However, you can expand outwards and build towers in positions adjacent to any position you control.

By capping and controlling a new area, you gain access to a new type of tower. Additionally, a defense mechanism building pops up for that area. The creeps then have to break through that defense before moving on, but keep in mind a new position will only cover one side, whereas creeps are coming in from multiple directions. The more areas you control, the larger area you have to defend, but the more tower types you gain. If a defense mechanism falls, all towers of that type will get a damage nerf (say, dealing half damage) until you take control of that area again. The closer you get to the middle, the stronger the tower you get (moreso by its ability, not necessarily its actual damage done).

Of course, there are other players. You may have trouble expanding due to a player blocking your way on the other side. I suppose each area also provides a new offensive option, whether it's a global creep bonus or something player specific. You would not be able to target players that you can't see (aka, only the ones right next to you). Expanding into another player's area can grant you control of their positions, but that makes you potentially weaker to the oncoming waves and a bigger threat to other players that come in contact with you.

Resources are acquired for killing creeps. Additionally, if a player dies with the creeps that killed him under the influence of an ability you used, you also get a good gold bonus.

To win the game, you must reach the center, cap the zone that spawns the creeps, and then hold that zone for five minutes. While the spawn zone is under your control, you control the creeps the spawn, but there is still a defense mechanism for the middle, and the creeps that are spawned DO go after that. The control you get over the creeps only refers to the types of creeps that spawn (probably by toggle). They get stronger and stronger over time as well. Now if you're in the middle, that means that most other players in the game will have the ability to target you in some way and make the creeps super powered in your areas. More than likely, you'll lose some zones and some of your towers will weaken, hopefully with the intent that your defense mechanism will fall and someone else can cap it. Every time the defense mechanism in the middle falls, the time required to hold the middle falls by a minute until it drops to 1 minute cap time.


Sound good? If you want, I can post my Conquests map design here as well, which is what this was based off of.

#8
haupty

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THe towers that send creeps idea is a lot like one of the versions of tower wars we had out a little bit ago, it was you send creeps of the elements that you have unlocked. It could be the same thing except you send creeps of the elements you build instead of unlocked. triples would send a wave of three elements mixed I guess? Or ones of one element but two abilities maybe?

#9
Karawasa

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QUOTE (haupty @ May 31 2012, 05:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
THe towers that send creeps idea is a lot like one of the versions of tower wars we had out a little bit ago, it was you send creeps of the elements that you have unlocked. It could be the same thing except you send creeps of the elements you build instead of unlocked. triples would send a wave of three elements mixed I guess? Or ones of one element but two abilities maybe?


We are currently working on the design now. I will have more details soon. Towers that send creeps is by far a more intuitive and fun mechanic.
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#10
WindStrike

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Yay, I actually came up with a good idea! Now, while I would like the whole "dual sends its respective elements" and same with triples and whatnot, it feels like it's just going to become a party fest of every element of creep... which can be cool, but overall, sending a diversity of creeps with every tower isn't that great an idea. Usually, you'd want to send a single element to counter the opponent's defenses, so here's an alternative idea.

Every tower in the game has a single element for an attack, yes? Make that the element of the creep that is sent. As for creep scaling, while I'm fine with "next level is x5 hp" or something like that, all of the max level towers will have to be... approximately equal, or else everyone is just going to spam one set of towers. Currently, there's also only 5 creep abilities in the game. I've made the suggestion before of using those and adding a bunch, though that ends up being too many abilities. So instead, I suggest just adding 1 creep ability and a bunch of "aura creeps".

Alright, there are 15 dual towers, 3 of which are support towers. 12/5 doesn't go so well, so let's go with 12/6. Two dual towers will share the same creep ability. Likewise, as there are 12 triple damage towers and 8 support, two triple towers will share the same creep ability as well. As for support towers, they could send creeps that create an aura around them. Not the dual towers though, I still feel like they're a requirement to having the best defense (all the top replays for highest fruit kills involve the dual support towers, though it is more difficult to pull those off by a longshot). So let's make it so the triple support towers are also more offensive. 4 different auras, so 2 triple supports will also share the same (it should not be possible to get more than 2 of the level 2 auras).

Creep Abilities:
  • Mechanical
    • Variation 1
      • Level 1 - Duration of invincibility is 2 seconds
      • Level 2 - Duration of invincibility is 3 seconds
      • Level 3 - Duration of invincibility is 4 seconds
    • Variation 2
      • Level 1 - Time between invincibility decreased by 2 seconds
      • Level 2 - Time between invincibility decreased by 3 seconds
      • Level 3 - Time between invincibility decreased by 4 seconds
  • Undead
    • Variation 1
      • Level 1 - Undead creeps respawn at 25% health
      • Level 2 - Undead creeps respawn at 37.5% health
      • Level 3 - Undead creeps respawn at 50% health
    • Variation 2
      • Level 1 - Respawns once (25%)
      • Level 2 - Respawns twice (25%)
      • Level 3 - Respawns three times (25%)
  • Healing
    • Variation 1
      • Level 1 - Heals 15% health to all creeps within 3 AoE
      • Level 2 - Heals 20% health to all creeps within 3 AoE
      • Level 3 - Heals 25% health to all creeps within 3 AoE (25% at 4.5 = brooooken)
    • Variation 2
      • Level 1 - Heals 15% health to all creeps within 3 AoE
      • Level 2 - Heals 15% health to all creeps within 4.5 AoE
      • Level 3 - Heals 15% health to all creeps within 6 AoE
  • Fast
    • Variation 1
      • Level 1 - Duration of fast is 1 seconds at 2x speed
      • Level 2 - Duration of fast is 1.5 seconds at 2x speed
      • Level 3 - Duration of fast is 2 seconds at 2x speed
    • Variation 2
      • Level 1 - Speeds creeps up by 2x speed for 1 second
      • Level 2 - Speeds creeps up by 3x speed for 1 second
      • Level 3 - Speeds creeps up by 4x speed for 1 second
  • Image
    • Variation 1
      • Level 1 - Duration of image is 5 seconds
      • Level 2 - Duration of image is 7.5 seconds
      • Level 3 - Duration of image is 10 seconds
    • Variation 2
      • Level 1 - Time between images decreased by 2 seconds
      • Level 2 - Time between images decreased by 3 seconds
      • Level 3 - Time between images decreased by 4 seconds
  • Health Boost
    • Variation 1
      • Level 1 - Has 15% more health
      • Level 2 - Has 22.5% more health
      • Level 3 - Has 30% more health
    • Variation 2
      • Level 1 - Has an extra 15% health in the form of shields; it regenerates to maximum if not hit for 5 seconds
      • Level 2 - Has an extra 15% health in the form of shields; it regenerates to maximum if not hit for 4 seconds
      • Level 3 - Has an extra 15% health in the form of shields; it regenerates to maximum if not hit for 3 seconds
  • Numbers are just concept. A dual and triple share practically the same variation - triple will have slightly higher versions of levels 1 and 2. So a level 3 dual will have higher on the ability, but a level 2 triple will have more health. Not sure how that'd work with the health boost, lol. I guess it's just a buffed up level 3 dual creep.


Auras:
  • Speed Aura - Provides a 10% speed boost for all creeps within 6 radius; Level 2 is 20%
  • Regen Aura - Provides a 1% health per second bonus for all creeps within 6 radius; Level 2 is 2%
  • Armor Aura - Provides a 5% damage reduction bonus for all creeps within 6 radius; Level 2 is 10%
  • Evasion Aura - Provides a 7.5% chance to dodge bonus for all creeps within 6 radius; Level 2 is 15%
  • All of these are just random ideas. They're probably overpowered with those numbers, but it's just concept. Obviously, same auras cannot stack.


Regarding income, you could honestly just axe it if you want and instead have the creeps that come in normally for the standard rounds (keep interest maybe?). However, they'd only come in at 10 creeps, a wave every 30 seconds. This is simply to ensure players build towers so that their creeps are actually being sent. Likewise, the creeps you send is also every 30 seconds. This time may increase with higher rounds (maybe). The maximum number of creeps that are sent at one time is 20 (in addition to the standard wave, 10). If you have more than 20 towers, what it'll do is carry those set of creeps over to the next round rather than trying to send all in one wave (60 healing creeps in one wave all stacked on each other..... yeah, god no). Creeps should still scale over time, but their health will still increase with tower upgrades. I'm not sure I agree with x5 for each (x3 for the basic towers), but until it's been tested, I'd go with it for now.

So yeah, there's my random 'little idea'. Admittedly, it's not a true tower wars, but I'm still not sure how a full out tower wars version of EleTD could work while still keeping the style and feel of EleTD. If anything, it's a more competitive version of EleTD, which I think would be frigin' sweet.

#11
Karawasa

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Here is how the new Tower Wars mode will work...

TOWERS SPAWN CREEPS. There is no send menu. There is no target selection. Your towers will periodically spawn creeps for everyone.

Elements are given every 2.5 minutes. Creeps gain 10% damage reduction every 5 minutes (max 50%). Creeps gain 150% HP every 5 minutes (max 900%).

Refer to the attached document for creeps spawned by specific towers. All other towers spawn normal creeps with armor = damage type. Pures and Periodic spawn Fruit (that don't evolve).

Each tower has its own timer to spawn a creep. Tower enters play with timer on cooldown. Different timers for different tiers of towers. Timer is really an autocast ability so you can disable autocast and sync your spawns.

Mineral gain and interest work just like the main game.

Higher tiers of the same tower spawn the same creep with 5x HP (except Ray/Grenade 3x, Pure 15x).

Base HP for Ray/Grenade is 3, Single Element 90, Dual 270, Triple 1350.

Attached Files


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#12
WindStrike

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While that idea works pretty great (1.5 Beta), it does have some flaws. To kill someone with, say, Dark Healing, you wouldn't want to spam Jinx towers all day. Some type match ups also don't go particularly well. That said, below is an "update" idea on that which exists.

Attached is the ability mapping update for this idea. Below is an explanation of stuff regarding it:
  • Towers do not send fast creeps. As there are 6 elements and only 4 creep abilities, they are now spread evenly over the 24 damage towers.
  • The four slowing towers (Muck, Barb, Ion, Nova) send creeps with Speed Aura:
    • Speed Aura increases the speed of all nearby creeps.
      • Level 1 increases by 7%.
      • Level 2 increases by 20%.
    • Speed Auras summoned by different towers will stack. Two mucks won't stack, but a muck and a barb will.

  • The four damage amplifying towers (Incantation, Jinx, Polar, Erosion) send creeps with Damage Reduction Aura:
    • Damage Reduction Aura increases the damage reduction of all nearby creeps.
      • Level 1 increases by 7%.
      • Level 2 increases by 20%.
    • Damage Reduction Auras summoned by different towers will stack. Two jinx won't stack, but a jinx and an erosion will.

  • Well towers can give a single target Super Speed:
    • The Super Speed buff increases a target's speed drastically for a period of time.
      • Level 1 increases by 15% for 60 seconds.
      • Level 2 increases by 30% for 60 seconds.
      • Level 3 increases by 90% for 60 seconds.
    • Super Speed can be cast every 15 seconds.

  • Forge towers can give a single target Super Armor:
    • The Super Armor buff increases a target's damage reduction drastically for a period of time.
      • Level 1 increases by 15% for 60 seconds.
      • Level 2 increases by 30% for 60 seconds.
      • Level 3 increases by 90% for 60 seconds.
    • Super Armor can be cast every 15 seconds.

  • Trickery Towers gets the Clone Creeps ability:
    • The Clone Creeps ability clones a target creep for a duration of time.
      • Level 1 clone lasts for 10 seconds.
      • Level 2 clone lasts for 20 seconds.
      • Level 3 clone lasts for 60 seconds.
    • Clone Creeps can be cast every 15 seconds. Note that a healing creep that is cloned still gets its effect off. If an undead was cloned and died, its end effect still goes off, and the respawned version stays until it dies.
    • Clone Creeps won't target images. It'll still target the actual creep with the image ability, but not the images themselves. Same with respawned undead creeps (if that's possible).


Overall, this suggestion gives a higher purpose to support towers as also being an offensive option for helping push an offensive build. Additionally, some of the creep types that were practically invalidated before due to "spamming of support towers" are now viable for pushing towards.

Everything else regarding Wars mode stays the same.


Are there any potential problems that people see with this suggestion? Might have to switch the Damage Reduction Aura and Speed Aura around and mess around with numbers, but overall, it seems pretty solid to me and a considerable improvement to the current version.

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#13
WindStrike

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Tweaked the ability mapping. See attachment. Switched Quake/Money (Quake is Healing, Money is Mechanical); switched Disease/Obliteration (Disease is Undead, Obliteration is Mechanical); switched Perpetual/Mildew (Perpetual is Undead, Mildew is Image).

Additionally, I decided to try 1v1 Wars mode out with the 200% bounty scaling. It was nowhere near close to enough, and we came up with a better consensus - time scaling on the cooldowns. You know the bounty scaling is 200% in a 1v1? Do that with the cooldowns, so it'd be 10/20/30 in a 1v1, rather than bounty scaling. Now the cooldown scaling should only apply to 2 and 3 players. The bounty scaling going for more than 4 players is perfectly fine as was last discussed. So below is a breakdown of everything:
  • 2 Players - 200% faster cooldowns (10/20/30)
  • 3 Players - 133% faster cooldowns (13/26/39)
  • 4 Players - Base cooldowns (20/40/60) and 100% bounty
  • 5 Players - 80% bounty
  • 6 Players - 67% bounty
  • 7 Players - 57% bounty
  • 8 Players - 50% bounty


If you want to see just how slow the 1v1 match was yourself, see attached replay. Granted, other player initially was trying to interest abuse, but even when we both built maxed out, it was still waaaaay below, because we couldn't even kill our own creeps. (Attached replay name should say "scaling", not "time scaling", oh well)

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