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Karawasa

Builder Weapons Redux

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I played a game recently where someone made a simple yet effective suggestion. Give builders an attack. The idea being that it puts more meaning behind builder selection. This in turn makes XP more prominent and that leads to more playtime.

The builder will not be a replacement for the hero. The builder's attack can only be improved (damage, range, speed, splash) with minerals. Each builder will have a unique attack. Variations in element type, range, speed, damage, and splash accomplish this. Yet no builder will be stronger than another.

Thoughts?

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Well I'm not sure why it wouldn't just replace Hero. Granted, Hero uses Terrazine and this would use minerals, but would there be an issue with merging the two? Imagine putting on hero mode AND weapons mode. Quite a bit of controlling stuff there. I'm not opposed to either way, I just figure I'd ask the reasoning behind this before chipping in ideas (plus I need to get back on my computer first anyways, my mindset is better there).

EDIT: Oh, I just now saw builder selection. Either way, I still wonder if it might be better to merge Hero and this at least as a consideration.

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Kay, regardless of whether you decide to merge this with hero or not, incoming madness idea.

There are 20 builders possible. Likewise, there are 20 triple element combinations possible. Each builder a set of three elements to choose from. Let's take the Hydralisk for example and say it can go down Fire, Nature and Dark. In total, you can get up to three upgrades. When? Since this is mineral based, it can be as early as you want, provided you don't die rushing for it. However, whether you can afford it or not, you cannot get more than 3 upgrades total, where each one WILL be progressively more costly than the previous. Each element will provide a specific bonus. You can choose to get all three bonuses or specialize down one.

Let's say I want one of each. Fire gives my builder's attacks damage over time. Nature straight up increases the damage output. Dark gives a chance to critical hit for super damage. With regards to what damage type your builder is, if you have all three, you can switch between any of them to change your builder's damage type between Fire, Nature, or Dark.

Now let's say I want to specialize and get Level 2 Fire and only Level 1 Dark. The damage over time is increased (this is not a x5 multiplier) and I'd still have critical hit chance. My damage type can still switch between Fire and Dark.

The reason that an upgrade in specialization is not a x5 multiplier is that it's supposed to be equal to grabbing another element. After all, whether you upgrade an element or choose another for your second or third choice, it's going to cost the same amount. As for the builder itself, its damage should scale the same as the Hero in Hero Mode.

Below would be what the elements do (in theory). Note that arbitrary numbers are arbitrary, especially on Earth:

  • Water:
    • Level 1 - Increases attack speed by 33%
    • Level 2 - Increases attack speed by 66%
    • Level 2 - Increases attack speed by 100%
  • Fire:
    • Level 1 - Adds a stacking damage over time for the next 5 seconds, dealing 40% of builder's weapon damage total
    • Level 2 - Adds a stacking damage over time for the next 5 seconds, dealing 80% of builder's weapon damage total
    • Level 2 - Adds a stacking damage over time for the next 5 seconds, dealing 120% of builder's weapon damage total
  • Nature:
    • Level 1 - Increases damage output by 33%
    • Level 2 - Increases damage output by 66%
    • Level 3 - Increases damage output by 100%
  • Earth:
    • Level 1 - Gives builder's attack an AoE of 3/1.5
    • Level 2 - Gives builder's attack an AoE of 4.5/2.25
    • Level 3 - Gives builder's attack an AoE of 6/3
  • Light:
    • Level 1 - Increases the builder's attack range by 6
    • Level 2 - Increases the builder's attack range by 12
    • Level 3 - Increases the builder's attack range by 18
  • Dark:
    • Level 1 - Gives the builder's attack a 25% chance to do 200% damage on critical hit.
    • Level 1 - Gives the builder's attack a 25% chance to do 400% damage on critical hit.
    • Level 1 - Gives the builder's attack a 25% chance to do 600% damage on critical hit.

Alternatively, something else we can do is increase how much specialization does and make it so that the combinations give a unique passive attack ability based on the tower. The attack type would still be changeable, so let's say you had Fire Light Dark, giving you Runic Tower's ability as your standard attack. Now, given how strong that ability is, it'd probably be scaled down to an AoE of 2 or 1.5. At any point in time, you'd be able to switch the attack type between Fire, Light and Dark (which would also influence the visual of the projectile). Or let's say I had Water 2 and Earth 1. So I have a slow-moving high AoE attack that also has increased attack speed from the Water specialization.

With regards to dual towers, whatever two elements you combine first gives you the dual tower result. In the end, all of this would have to be balanced such that a specialization can't outdo grabbing another element and vice versa.

And there's one more thing with regards to this - if everything is bought via minerals, does this need to be its own mode... or can we integrate this straight into the standard game? Personally, outside of needing to balance it correctly, I see no reason why it shouldn't. It's not like you'd have to use your builder to attack, but it remains as another option.

I'll come up with the element match-ups on the builders later as well as how some of the attacks on the builder would work, especially some of those support tower combinations.

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I'm having second thoughts about this idea. I worry that the new mechanics might be overwhelming to the player. I also worry that the base will dislike them. Besides, as you noted the hero makes this idea somewhat redundant. The nail in the coffin was that my proof of concept for this was time consuming.

But I still believe that we need to make XP more important. Doing so will prolong the life of the game. It will also increase the quality of games as repeat players are better players.

So how about something passive? Something that doesn't require much from the player. Something that shouldn't cause much resistance from the base. Yet something that has an impact.

Auras.

Imagine each builder giving a small bonus to nearby towers. A local bonus add strategy to the builder...how you move and position him becomes more important. It also doesn't impact balance as much as a global bonus. The effect can't be upgraded. That leaves less to balance and less for the player to figure out.

Somehow we will need to come up with 20 different auras. Let the brainstorming begin!

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  • Increase tower damage
  • Increase tower speed
  • Increase tower range
  • Increase tower splash
  • Add tower critical strike
  • Add tower mini-stun
  • Decrease creep armor
  • Decrease creep speed
  • Decrease creep HP/Shield
  • Add creep negative regen
  • Add creep bounty bonus
  • Add creep instant death %
  • Turbo builder movement

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All towers cost 5% less.

All towers take half the time to build/upgrade (probably make this one the SCV).

Builder moves at super speed.

Give towers chance for mini-stun (as in a 0.1 to 0.2 second stun, and the chance for this would be 10-20%).

Interest increased by 0.20% (just kidding)

Ability to relocate towers (it'd be one of the later 10 builders for people that have played the game a bunch at that point).

Tower ability cooldown reduction (runic only takes 5 seconds to cooldown instead of 6)

I'm outta ideas for now. By the way, there is one flaw with one certain aura. Attack speed aura + Money Towers (lol). But I think the game needs a fresh breath of various stuff, so... it's probably fine.

Will you also make it so that you can only change builders within the first 5 rounds of the game? Otherwise, people are gonna abuse builder micro abuse by switching between whatever they need.

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  • Nearby towers deal 25% more damage to creeps they are weak against (like darkness attacking light, for example).
  • Nearby creeps have their abilities disabled (fast creeps don't speed up, undead creeps don't resurrect, etc.)

If these sound a little OP, it's because I'm trying to think of useful things that haven't been suggested yet. :lol:

As for builder-switching abuse, may I suggest putting a limit on it which isn't too restrictive? Like, you can only switch once every 3 rounds or so. That's just an idea I had, but I think it's a starting point you can work with.

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  • Nearby towers deal 25% more damage to creeps they are weak against (like darkness attacking light, for example).
  • Nearby creeps have their abilities disabled (fast creeps don't speed up, undead creeps don't resurrect, etc.)

If these sound a little OP, it's because I'm trying to think of useful things that haven't been suggested yet. :lol:

As for builder-switching abuse, may I suggest putting a limit on it which isn't too restrictive? Like, you can only switch once every 3 rounds or so. That's just an idea I had, but I think it's a starting point you can work with.

Could stick a giant cooldown on it too, like 3-5 minutes. And I'm sure those suggestions can be tweaked to be balanced, so it's highly appreciated.

Here's another one:

Overload - Cause all towers to do double damage for the next 3 seconds and then unable to attack for 3 seconds, 1 minute cooldown.

Though it's not exactly passive...

EDIT: Just saw the creep insta death. Know what I'm thinking? Zealot Towers. I suppose to counter that would be to add a decay so that it starts at say 3% and after continuous fire to a target, it'll drop to 1% or something. I dunno.

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