Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Venny

Masters Mode

6 posts in this topic

I'd like to suggest a master's mode for classic EleTD. Extreme is fun, but honestly it's not "harder", it just requires you to play without mistakes (though that in itself has it's own intense charm). I think an absolutely cruel level of difficulty would provide a new kind of challenge for veteran EleTD players, and would improve solo-play.

Moreover, Master's Mode offers an opportunity to create a totally new kind of competition that EleTD currently lacks.

Master's mode (Requires Classic, No Weapons, No Heroes):

- Locks out difficulty and essentially sets it to the setting above Very Hard (assuming there was one). 32 creeps per wave, 60% damage reduction, and 110% HP.

- The start is locked out: you must start from wave 1.

- All waves now spawn ability-creeps, including waves 1-5.

- Wave-timers are fixed to prevent interest abuse and to equalize interest opportunities across all play-throughs. Once a wave starts, the next wave begins in 45 seconds, regardless of finishing the wave early or late. The timer will probably increase to 50 seconds for waves 51-56, and again to 60 seconds for waves 57-60.

I'm aware that there are not enough abilities to implement this, so I've suggested 3 new abilities over in the abilities section http://forums.eletd.com/index.php?showtopic=2964

8 total abilities * 7 creep types = 56 rounds of ability creeps. Waves 57-60 would change into boss-waves, so to speak. I always thought it would be nice to present an end-game challenge that deviates somewhat from the previous waves; something incredibly daunting to look forward to and dread! Wave 57 also makes the perfect cut-off point to start a change, because by 57 you have all of your elements and both of your free pure elements.

Here's the new layout of waves 57-60 for Master's Mode. I used my suggested abilities to fill out my example. Boss creeps have HP equal to a level 3 elemental boss summoned on wave 55.

Wave 57:

Summons a Fire-type boss creep followed by 30 alternating Fire-speed and Water-mechanical creeps, with a Water-type boss creep bringing up the rear.

Wave 58:

Summons a Nature-type boss creep followed by 30 alternating Nature-image and Earth-hardening creeps, with an Earth-type boss creep bringing up the rear.

Wave 59:

Summons a Dark-type boss creep followed by 30 alternating Dark-undead and Light-healing creeps, with a Light-type boss creep bringing up the rear.

Wave 60:

Summons a Composite-type boss creep followed by 30 alternating Composite-Shielded and Composite-Transfer creeps, with a Composite-type boss creep bringing up the rear.

The game ends after beating wave 60.

The Scoring System

Master's mode competes via a scoring system that unfolds as follows:

- 1 point per gold earned.

- Killing off all creeps before the wave-timer gives you points according to the following formula:

[ Rounded Down(Wave^(3/2)) * Seconds Left ]

- After beating wave 60, your total score is multiplied by the # of lives you have left (capped at a multiplier of 53).

The Formation of a Metagame

EleTD's biggest obstacle to forming a recursive player-base is the lack of a metagame. Currently our community has no method of ranking, no ladder-style method of competition, nor high-end achievements to acquire. The intense difficulty of Master's Mode, coupled with the consistency of fixed wave-timers and an arcade-style scoring system provides the perfect scenario for competition-minded players to compete against one another, both within the multi-player and the replay environment.

With a little pushing from the forums (Like a global leader board), Master's Mode could become the most prestigious goal in EleTD; specifically, placing your name amongst the top all-time scores on one of the four leader boards: Classic All-Pick, Maze All-Pick, Classic Random, Maze Random. Chaos variants could have their own leader-boards too.

Down the road if EleTD picks up in popularity, seasons could be set up, and the top players on each leader board could go down into an EleTD Hall of Fame. A bit flashy, I know, but these sorts of pinnacle-achievements are highly attractive to competitive players, and help foster a highly competitive atmosphere for EleTD.

Right now, EleTD lacks a competitive atmosphere. People play EleTD, but a lot of them just pick it up, play it casually a few or maybe several times, and then go looking for something else to play, whereas competition-minded scenarios like "Hero Attack" become a full-fledged game in itself (it's easy to get sucked up and play it without end).

Master's Mode could go a long ways towards creating a firm player-base that plays EleTD over and over and over again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A suggestion - requires an minimum XP of 1000, that way complete morons don't try it out pre-emptively and complain that the game is too hard when it is indeed one mode designed to be the hardest level of Element TD. Yep, idiots like that exist.

I know that the NA community for this game really isn't particularly large and is only recently growing, so a Masters Mode wouldn't necessarily be appropriate for the NA side, save for the handful of veterans capable of trying it. However, it does have a much higher following in EU, and with it most likely lots more veteran players (I guess Twilice would have a much better idea of this). I imagine having a mode like this would also encourage more participation in tournaments, seeing as it would utilize a scoring system that encourages all factors of the game without placing one above the other - wave completion speed, networth, and lives. This would also satiate the need for a game that actually has an ending. I've seen a number of players that, while they enjoyed the fruit round out of hilarity, might've enjoyed an actual end instead. It is, after all, more satisfying to complete something rather than playing 60 waves only for the sake of a "high score" for wave 61 while waiting for an inevitable death.

It is important to make additions and balance changes to the game that appeal to new players, which has progressed a lot in the last week or two. However, the veteran players truly should not be neglected, and I for one would love to see a mode like this in the game. Also, know how single-target seems to be less focused on in the game? Those bosses practically force single-target, though it's probably possible to get by with little of it (cough, infrared + pure natures, lol). I'm also fond of the abilities, though I'm unsure on the transfer ability. In a way, it can be extremely dangerous; likewise, it can be completely harmless. Then again, all abilities are like that... except for healing. That one is always dangerous, no matter what your defense is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right now, EleTD lacks a competitive atmosphere. People play EleTD, but a lot of them just pick it up, play it casually a few or maybe several times, and then go looking for something else to play, whereas competition-minded scenarios like "Hero Attack" become a full-fledged game in itself (it's easy to get sucked up and play it without end).

Master's Mode could go a long ways towards creating a firm player-base that plays EleTD over and over and over again.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That's what comes to mind for me. This isn't meant to be sarcastic, I honestly don't know if this would work or backfire.

Furthermore, the purpose of Wars was to add more competitive spirit to the game...maybe we should focus on improving that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going by the standards online, there doesn't seem to be many players who are close to being competitive. The immediate focus is bringing new players into the game.

It looks like a good idea once a semi-competitive scene develops. The idea of a competitive scene for tower defense is much less developed compared to the MOBA scene, which is designed to be competitive, after all, you can't play AoS by yourself with no opponent (besides the case of just testing out a hero's abilities).

Could be that TDs are more for players to relax, or that no one has really tried to develop a competitive scene around a TD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right now, EleTD lacks a competitive atmosphere. People play EleTD, but a lot of them just pick it up, play it casually a few or maybe several times, and then go looking for something else to play, whereas competition-minded scenarios like "Hero Attack" become a full-fledged game in itself (it's easy to get sucked up and play it without end).

Master's Mode could go a long ways towards creating a firm player-base that plays EleTD over and over and over again.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That's what comes to mind for me. This isn't meant to be sarcastic, I honestly don't know if this would work or backfire.

Furthermore, the purpose of Wars was to add more competitive spirit to the game...maybe we should focus on improving that?

I've always seen Wars as a more chaotic/fun mode of game-play. The towers aren't exactly balanced for wars, and there's still the issue of matching up what creeps get summoned with an appropriate tower. Obviously the game could change to favor wars mode over defense mode in terms of balance, but I figure the defense mode is the more popular of the two. From a player's perspective, wars also has too few fixed variables to make a desirable proving ground.

A big part of why I'm suggesting a master's mode, besides just the fun of a harder difficulty, is the addition of a scoring system that balances nicely between time and net-worth, because most strategies tend to roll one way or another. A tournament based on time kills off a huge portion of the tower base, while a net-worth and/or fruit based tournament also kills off a huge portion of the tower base.

I know there's a scoring system used in some of the older replay tournaments, but it seems needlessly complex, and (far more importantly) also lacks public testing.

How about, rather than master's mode, just start with a tournament mode that can still be played on any combination of settings?

Tournament mode wouldn't touch anything (for now), but it WOULD introduce fixed wave-timers (that can't be accelerated by clearing the wave early.) and a scoring system that people can play publicly at any time. This way, people can practice "tournament" style play before actually participating in a tournament.

Most importantly, frequent multi-player games using the scoring system would identify problems and create balance for said scoring system.

It looks like a good idea once a semi-competitive scene develops. The idea of a competitive scene for tower defense is much less developed compared to the MOBA scene, which is designed to be competitive, after all, you can't play AoS by yourself with no opponent (besides the case of just testing out a hero's abilities).

Could be that TDs are more for players to relax, or that no one has really tried to develop a competitive scene around a TD.

Pioneering the first competitive TD would give EleTD a unique feature not found in other TDs ;) .

I digress. It's probably too early for something like master's mode, but I wanted to get the idea out there so thoughts regarding long-term goals could begin, or maybe even implementation so that a top-end mode would be balanced and ready for use by the time a large, highly-skilled player base is established.

An enhanced mode could come later, but make no mistake: sooner or later EleTD needs to offer a much harder, much more intricate mode of game-play than Very Hard has to offer. And I'm not talking about increased HP/armor. More creep abilities, maybe different kinds of base creeps, end-game bosses and basically more and more challenges to break up the monotony of just 30 creeps per wave.

Attracting new players is important, but almost as important is keeping current players interested too. Linear content has limits. Creating additional content endlessly is unfeasible. Competitive content is the loophole to this problem: the same content keeps people enthralled forever and ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also am skeptical to the claim that a harder mode would increase competitiveness.

Most of the public games I play on battle.net these days look like this:

People choose All pick, normal game difficulty, competitive mode (NEVER casual), and never short or very short mode (never seen this happen, even though I have played a good 30 games the past few weeks). Sometimes they will choose hero mode or mazing, but those are the only special modes I have ever witnessed in person. I have never seen wars or chaos mode in action, let alone weapons mode.

Level 1: Then, a few people (yes, there is ALWAYS at least one of these guys in a game), builds at the top left in order to hammer the creeps as fast as he possibly can, and overbuilds just to make sure.

Level 30: The "build close to entrance" guys are starting to lose lives, and so am I, since I typed in "-random" and am selling and rebuilding towers a bit too crazily for my own good

Level 40: The first idiot gets eliminated

Level 55: Usually me and one or two other players are left standing. The rest have been eaten up by their overkill building and running out of money, and already left the game.

Level 61: Unless I screwed up real bad, there comes the fruit level, and it usually ends up in a 1 on 1 between me and the only guy in the bunch who isn't totally hoepless.

That's pretty much how EVERY game works (if you need replays, I can give you a stack of them).

So adding an extra difficulty level will not affect one single iota in the public games, because really nobody takes hard mode, let alone very hard. (and extreme is something you just never see, ever. It's like the mode doesn't exist). Since all is voted in fairly, this will never reach this point.

Karawasa is right in my opinion in stating that the "wars" mode is the only thing truly competitive. Element TD in its usual mode just has no competitive element. Sure: You get pressure from guys building in an earlier location than you do, and you can't use fancy placement tactics when everyone rushes to destroy the waves. But: You never feel a competitive drive in all this. The game is just too long, and the players are all locked in their little domains, worrying about themselves. For competitive games you need open arenas where players attack and try to kill each other. Income wars for instance is also repetitive (as Element TD is in nature. You get a wave, you kill it, you get the next wave, you kill it, and so on), but there you really have players fighting AGAINST each other, not struggling to survive in spite of one another (this is a crucial difference).

If you really want to make element TD more competitive, it needs to be more readily available. Right now, nobody votes for wars.

But I don't really see why this should matter. Last I checked, Element TD was doing pretty well on place 3 or 4 on european servers. This is no easy feat to achieve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0