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WindStrike

Sending Element Boss Creeps

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In an effort to make Competitive Mode feel, well... actually competitive, that is, players reacting to each other and trying to kill each other asides from camping the entrance and praying it works (seriously), I'm suggesting something that'll open way more gameplay options and builds while the same time giving you the ability to screw your opponent over.




Picking elements no longer summons elemental bosses that run through your maze. You automatically get the element. That's right folks. You can totally get away with having Level 3 Vapor Towers starting Wave 31. That definitely wasn't remotely possible before even in single-player, not without losing most of your lives anyways. However, single-target towers will be more important than before...




Instead, every time you get an element pick, you also get a Boss resource! Yay! What's it do? Well, you can spend it to send an Elemental Boss at another player! Pretty cool, huh? Here's how it works...




At the Element Summoning Center, you'll be able to pick your elements as usual, but as you pick each one, it empowers your boss. By default, the boss summon scales per five waves, not by what tier it is.


  • Pick the boss element
    • Let's you pick which element the boss will be.
    • Regardless of what elements you have, you can pick Composite.

  • Your boss upgrades with each element pick
    • Here's a list of the upgrades that get added to your boss, depending on which elements you have.
    • Fire:
      • Healing - When it dies, it will cause a set number of nearby creeps to recover to full health.
        • Level 1 - Gives 3 creep full heal version of Healing
        • Level 2 - Gives 6 creep full heal version of Healing
        • Level 3 - Gives 9 creep full heal version of Healing


    • Nature:
      • ​Regeneration - Every second, the boss will recover a portion of its maximum health.
        • Level 1 - Gives 0.5% per second hp regeneration version of Regeneration
        • Level 2 - Gives 1% per second hp regeneration version of Regeneration
        • Level 3 - Gives 1.5% per second hp regeneration version of Regeneration


    • Earth:
      • ​Undead - After it dies, it will revive to a percentage of its maximum health once. Once it revives, its abilities are removed.
        • Level 1 - Gives 25% creep revival version of Undead
        • Level 2 - Gives 50% creep revival version of Undead
        • Level 3 - Gives 75% creep revival version of Undead


    • Light:
      • Speed - At set intervals, the boss will temporarily increase to maximum movement speed, ignoring any slowing debuffs on it.
        • Level 1 - Gives 1.5 second max speed boost version of Speed
        • Level 2 - Gives 3.0 second max speed boost version of Speed
        • Level 3 - Gives 4.5 second max speed boost version of Speed


    • Dark:
      • ​Mechanical - At set intervals, the boss will temporarily become invulnerable, ignoring any debuffs on it as well.
        • Level 1 - Gives 1.5 second invulnerability version of Mechanical
        • Level 2 - Gives 3.0 second invulnerability version of Mechanical
        • Level 3 - Gives 4.5 second invulnerability version of Mechanical


    • Water:
      • Image - At set intervals, when the boss is hit, it will disappear for a moment and then reappear with a nearby illusion that lasts for 10 seconds. The position of the boss itself and its illusion are shuffled. Additionally, if the illusion dies, it will not proc Undead or Healing.
        • Level 1 - Summons 1 illusion for Image
        • Level 2 - Summons 2 illusions for Image
        • Level 3 - Summons 3 illusions for Image



Up to six different upgrades to the boss (equal to the number of elements you can acquire). Examples of your uber boss at work:


  • 6 Elements:
    • ​Earth 2, Water 2, Nature 2. Let's pick Nature armor type.
    • That gives it 50% Undead, 1% per second Regeneration, and 10-second Image

  • 8 Elements:
    • Light 3, Fire 3, Earth 1, Dark 1. Let's pick Composite armor type.
    • That gives it 4.5 second Speed, 9 creep full heal Healing, 25% revival Undead, and 1.5 second invulnerability Mechanical

  • 11 Elements:
    • Let's make it a nightmare for AoE. Dark 3, Light 3, Nature 3, and Water 2. Pick any of those for armor type.
    • 4.5 second Mechanical, 4.5 second Speed, 1.5% Regeneration, and 2 Image illusions.

The HP of the boss should not scale as high as a Level 3 Elemental Boss currently does. I'm not really sure what scaling should work, but combined with all the abilities, taking one down at the end of the game should be quite difficult, especially with the standard waves coming in.




Bosses do not provide any gold when killed. When it leaks through a maze, the target player loses 3 Lives. In order to balance this for any number of players, no more than 1 Boss can exist in any player zone at any time. That way, multiple players can't gank up on one guy at once. However, whoever's winning should expect lots of bosses to come his way.




You can hoard your Boss Resource the entire game, but using it early will ensure someone can't save money all day long in the beginning. Unlike the elemental picks, you will get a 12th Boss Resource once someone clears Wave 60. The scaling on this last boss summon will increase by much more, allowing you to really screw someone up during the Fruit Round of Death, even if you spent all 11 Boss Resources during the standard wave section.




I think this addition would dramatically change strategies in multiplayer games, making it different from your standard single-player Element TD game. Especially since we're moving to the DOTA 2 platform, which has a naturally competitive userbase. Right now, the strategy is either "camp the entrance to start the waves consecutively for all the others players" or "save and hoard for the end, hoping you don't get screwed by entrance campers". That's it. One answer to other players right now. Whereas this version, for one, you can safely go any element combination, pick who you want to die (to a controlled extent), and try to survive as other players try to kill you with their bosses. There's actual responses between players. It also lets single-target towers shine much more... right now, they're kind of useless in the end-game compared to mass slowing + AoE.




What're thoughts on this idea? And yes, I'd like this as a straight up change to Competitive mode, aka the standard multiplayer mode. If you're in single-player, Competitive would be disabled and you'd get Single-Player Mode, which is the current EleTD mode.


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Wow this is very interesting. I think it could be exactly what we've been looking for...a way to make the game more interactive between players. I'd like to roll with this.



I'm not sure about the boss being tied to your elements though. I think that adds a layer of complexity which might be too much for most players. It also makes it harder to balance. What if instead we simplify it...



The boss has no abilities. You can summon a boss of any element at anytime. The rest stays the same except higher scaling. That way players only have to consider three things; when to send it, who to send it to, and what element to send it as.


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Ehh, if it has no abilities, then slow + splash will still run it over. EleTD is balanced around creeps having abilities in addition to the creep armor. That's why right now, in the fruit round, slow + splash is the only way to go if you want highscore (I'm still advocating the change of bringing randomized creep abilities back). Single-target just falls off really badly and stands no chance. Whereas if the boss has abilities (whether it's tied to your elements or not), you can beat out those slow + splash builds that would normally trump everything else. The way my suggestion sets it up is that it's passive, meaning you don't really think about how to upgrade your boss so much as get your defense elements, and then see what it gives you offensively for boss options, which quite frankly would be far superior to high hp boss with no abilities. In the end, it's still the same menu your simplification has - when to send it, who to send it to, and what element to send it as. The passives are there as an extra bonus, and if you really want to build around countering people with a boss using a certain set of abilities, you can, but you'd have to balance it against your defensive strategy.


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Okay, alternate version. You have access to any creep ability to add to the boss from the start of the game, and these creep abilities remain static over the course of the game, only the HP of the boss scales. You have a UI piece with three menus:


  • Choose player
    • Lets you choose which player to send the boss creep to.
    • Also includes a Random option, which will randomize which player it sends the boss to.
    • Any player that is already dealing with a boss will be greyed out, preventing you from selecting him.

  • Choose armor type
    • Lets you choose which armor type your boss has.
    • You can only select the element types of the elements you have access to. You also have access to Composite.
    • Also includes a Random option, which will randomize which element it picks when you send the boss.

  • Choose creep ability
    • Lets you choose which creep ability your boss has.
    • You have access to all six creep abilities from the start, and the mirror the versions that the standard creeps get - Mechanical, Speed, Healing (might need to alter this one), Undead, Regeneration, and Image.
    • Also includes a Random option, which will randomize with creep ability it picks when you send the boss.

By default, all of these menus will be set to Random. There should also be an auto-cast on "Send Boss", which will automatically send the boss creep when it can. A note - boss creeps can't be sent during the long cooldowns that occur every 5 waves. That said, the auto-cast send "Send Boss" would then start it when the next wave starts, so Waves 6, 11, 16, 21, etc.


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This should be interesting to implement. alternate should be easier to balance



The boss needs to have the creep abilities to be counter to defenses that are too focused on certain aspects.


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Alright I'm sold on the alternate version! I still think you should be able to send it as any element regardless of what you have. Also, not sure about auto-cast.


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Remember grenade tower defense?

One critical aspect here would be the design of the interface. One possibility is to have a popup but that might be too disruptive to game play and the player. Most players rarely read text prompts. So this is something to look into and test out various options

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Problem with being able to send any element right off the bat is that in the early game, it'd be TOO easy to counter any given defense, simply because each player doesn't have the proper options, whereas the offensive options are much greater from the get go. Granted, you're covered partially by arrow/cannon towers, but it really isn't enough. Keep in mind that even in the alternate version, once you click the element, you get it period, so... you can hard rush some really awesome defensive towers that have Level 3 elements on them, but there's a catch with that - your offensive options and who you can counter is severely cut until late-game. Having it so your offensive elementals are tied to your elements gives a nice trade-off option. If you really have all elements available from the start though... there's practically no reason not to rush up some defense designs that would normally be impossible in single-player.


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