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About Ouguiya

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    Basic Tower
  1. Hi there, WindStrike. Thank you very much for replying (and reading) my entire post. I appreciate it. In most points with you, I can't but agree. The intelligence factor really is rather quite low. What I usually see is this: Play normal mode (90% of games), and 1-3 will reach fruit wave (from 8 starting). Start with hard, and only one will reach fruit wave, that being me, since the chances of meeting someone who can play well is pretty minimal. And we don't even need to discuss very hard here... That said I also have to completely agree with what you said about income. This is a tricky problem, where the player who amasses most income will instantly win. This is one point I haven't gotten into, but which I should have looked at, so thank you for drawing my attention to it. I will take some time to discuss the options I see to resolve this: My own personal suggestion would be to devise a system which is similar to the one already in place: Right now you can save up lots of cash to get more interest income, but do this too much and creeps will start to leak. Thus, the problem of "I have 100k, and I keep getting richer very quick), is avoided. In the new wars mode, this would have to be something similar. Perhaps the easiest way to solve this would be to make a crossover system. Such as this: Creeps cost two sorts of resources, namely sand AND minerals. The creeps give SAND income, which is used to send higher level creeps, so you can raise that as you please. However, if you raise it too much, you will not have enough minerals to build towers anymore. When using this, you need an incentive for players to send creeps, as I already mentioned, to avoid them sending no creeps at all. If cleverly implemented, this would completely eliminate the need for a unit cap (except in extreme cases, where all players unite to send the cheapest units en masse), because players will not be able to send too much, since it will drain their minerals. One way to provide an incentive would be, for instance, that the players HAVE to send a certain number of creeps, or, even better: A specific VALUE of creeps (it could be made so that every creep has a value, and a system keeps watch over how much "value" the players have sent) in order for them to get something they need. The easiest way I can think of is that they get a tower value cap, depending on how much creep value they have spent. Let's assume my total tower worth is 35, so 5 canon towers. In order to build more, I need to send a certain creep value. This would be very easy to implement, since all that needs to be done is to scale this linearly. So, let's say I send 50 creep value, then I might build 200 tower value. I send 100 creep value, I can build 400 tower value, and so on. (Adjusting this would take a bit of balancing work, but it is far easier than all the other ideas I have down below). Now, thank you for reading this far, I can finally get to your questions xD 1) Yes, I absolutely recommend that creeps still give you minerals. This will move the whole game at a steady pace (determined by the parameters and variables which are set) since the more you send, the more powerful your opponents become, but the less you send, the weaker you get (see above). This should provide steady upwards pressure to send stuff, but not to send too much. 2) This idea you put forth is very interesting. It could be incredibly hard to balance, and it would add a layer of complexity which most players probably couldn't cope with anyway. However, If correctly implemented, I think it would be fantastic. This would allow you to try and specialize on towers (if I have understood your idea correctly), or rather, on elements. This would lead to your opponents having incentive to outsmart you by building counters to you and so on. I can't think of any way to explain this to some of the zombie-players out there, but then again, let's face it: Most players won't play "wars" anyway, and the ones that do probably know what they want. Besides, plenty of games which are highly complex have absolutely NO information to help you, and are still played by hundreds of thousands of people. 3) Again, a very tricky question. I'd say this depends on your taste. Scaling creeps as the game progresses makes it much simpler to implement and balance, as you don't have to worry too much. It would also eliminate the need to think up too many creeps, since you just, at the basis, need 8 of them: 1 composite, one for every element, and one fruit. And, except for the fruit which is only available late game, you can just scale up the elements. I think scaling them in the summoning center would, however, be more entertaining. In order to avoid overflowing, the summoning center could only allow sending of say, 28 different varieties of creeps. This would allow 7 different elements and composite (4 each) at any given moment. Then, the game could steadily replace the weakest of these with stronger ones. So, let's say composite: In the first few levels, the game might only allow you to summon 5 different creeps. Then, at level 4, for example, it adds a 6th. At level 5 it might add 6 new ones (one for each element). Moving upwards, after a while, the weakest (like cows) get discarded, while new strong ones are moved in. Then, the second weakest until then becomes the new weakest. This would be like a conveyor belt, so to speak, where stronger creeps keep getting put onto the belt, and moves to the trash disposal bin. Cows then might get replaced by those strange red birds (don't know their name, wave 3), which then would get replaced by those urdasomethings (wave 5), and so on. This is not too difficult to implement (it just needs lots of different creeps), and provides a nifty illusion of variety. How many different creeps the game would need then depends on how many different ones you want to be capable of sending. This could then culminate in sending fruits, which then start, wave by wave (or ending at wave 61, depending on your taste), to become stronger and stronger. This then reunites the two systems (wars and normal mode) At this stage, the players will have huge pressure on them: On the one hand, they need to send as much as they can to blast their enemies, on the other they need to build more towers to avoid getting squished themselves. All of this in view of the fact that they aren't getting money any more. Again, this would eliminate the need for any sort of limiting system, since players will, after a while, simply not be capable of sending zillions of weak units, since they just disappear. Edit: Perhaps one would need to scale this also with the player's sand income, since I can foresee a point of no return here: Imagine a player doesn't send anything, then after a while the creeps get too expensive for him to send ANYTHING, and he would be out of the game soon thereafter, since while he gets lots of pressure, he can exert none. Thanks for reading. I added here some nifty stuff, just for the gist of it, but which I don't consider intelligent. Just interesting. -----------This stuff I only added for the fun of it-------------- Another way to provide incentives would be, for instance, the elements. Let's say that we still get an element every 5 waves. Alright then, but the element is only obtained when we have sent, say, 30 creep value at wave 5, 100 creep value at wave 10, 500 creep value at wave 15, and so on. Again, mathematics could save the day here, by providing a function which scales the value of the creeps with the approximate wave level, and then produces the optimal amount of creep value needed for each element. Another crazy idea to prevent players with the highest income to rush to the top too fast: One possibility which I can see, but which would, admittedly, be incredibly hard to balance, is that building towers (or maybe rather owning towers) will lower your sand interest. This could be done by percentage points. So, for instance, own 5 canon towers, and your sand interest rate is reduced by 1% or something like that. One could implement an interesting mathematical function here, which will reduce your sand income up to a certain maximum (say 80%). This would result in a system where a player who has the most income has, by default, fewer towers, which will again lead him into trouble. Thus, the player would need to balance his building towers. As you said, the problem of missing intelligence in the servers (and let me assure you, it's no better in EU than it is in NA), would make this level of complexity near impossible for most players. -------------End Crazy stuff------------------- Cheers!
  2. In a recent post I commented on, somebody lamented the missing element of competitiveness in Element TD. This is something to which I have to partially agree. For a start, every player being holed up in their little boxes has no influence whatsoever over the lives of the other players. The only exception to this is that players who finish off a wave sooner start the countdown timer. But notice, this is a relationship between two players: The one playing, and the one finishing the wave. So, as far as Player B is concerned: If Player A finishes the wave earliest, Players C, D, E, etc. are all completely irrelevant. This may sound like a minor point, but it is important in that there is little enough competitiveness to go by, unless you are willing to wait for about an hour until finally the fruit wave arrives. This, however is not competitive, since the outcome of the fruit level is more or less already long determined in advance. If one player had a weaker economy and has less net worth, as well as a bad combination of towers + placement, then he won't be able to fix all this magically to breathtakingly win the fruit wave. This is where Wars mode SHOULD come in: Make the game more competitive between the players, let them fight it out. However, after having played it quite a few times, I must admit I am very disappointed at wars mode. Why? Because in essence all it does is: It eliminates the levels. That's it. It doesn't do anything more. It just leads to creeps being spawned round the clock instead of in waves. The idea with towers spawning units SEEMS to add a level of depth and competitiveness, but really it adds nothing new. Building towers is a prerequisite for survival in both modes. So you build a few, and then it spawns creeps, for you and your enemies. This just leads you to building more towers, and the enemies also building more towers, which spawns more creeps etc. etc. The pattern is very predictable, and since you are not DOING anything (you just build towers to survive. I have yet to meet the players which go "hmm... If I build this tower, it might give my enemies something to chew on, even if I will leak a few waves. Let's do it!" Thus, the whole competitiveness just dissolves into simple "The waves are getting stronger, I need more towers", which is what you are doing in the normal mode ANYWAY. Thus, my humble suggestion would be to change the system entirely, and make it more old-fashioned tower wars like. It was a neat idea, making towers which spawn units. A nice cross between element TD and Nexus wars. The problem is: It adds nothing really new or exciting, at least in my opinion. This, I suspect is also the reason why you almost never see this type in public games. So what is my suggestion? Simple: Add spawning buildings, just as in the classical tower wars, or, for reference, in Squadron TD. (There is a reason this is the most popular map all the time). Then, add an additional resource, which I will just call "salt". This salt can then be used to send units. Every time the players get income, they get two incomes: One for the minerals (just as it is now, based on the current mineral count of the player), and an income for the salt, which depends on how many creeps they have sent (again, refer to squadron TD if this is not clear. You send a unit, you gain +5 income or something like that). This leads to steady upwards pressure in building better towers. It also creates a sense of participation and real emergency, since players know that if they build fewer towers they can get more income, but if they don't build enough their enemies might do something nasty which will make them leak heavily. I would also remove this "I send something then I get hit with it myself." It simply accomplishes nothing, except prevent players from getting creative and encouraging them to be lazy in what they send (after all: Why bother sending something heavy when you will crumble yourself under it?) I would suggest making a "spawning pool" for every player, where all creeps are gathered. Let's assume we have 4 players, A,B,C and D. Now, player A has sent nothing (a bad move, but let's just assume here). B,C and D all send 5 cows. Then, player A can look, before the start of the wave, to his spawning pool, and see that 15 cows will be spawning on the next wave. However, player B only gets 10 cows, since C and D only sent 5, and B doesn't get the ones he sent himself. The waves can then be held as usual: As soon as one player has cleared his current wave, a timer starts ticking (dependent on difficulty), and the creeps gathered until then will be sent upon the next wave. (not all at once, of course. One after the other, just as it is now). This should add an interesting element: The longer players take to destroy their waves the more the enemies will have time to gather creep income and send stuff. This will create pressure to destroy the waves as fast as possible, since a player must fear to be overwhelmed by a huge wave if he waits too long to kill it. In addition, to make this a little bit more interesting, the player should be able to purchase for the next round an "attribute" for the creeps he sends, which might have a lesser income. These attributes are the specials which are already present in the normal game: Mirror image, resurrection, speed, healing, etc. The way this could work would be the follwing. Let's say that cows give +2 income, and costs 10. Player A,B,C all send 5 cows, which gives each of them +10 income and costs them 50 sand. Player D decides to get tricky, and sends 3 cows, which costs him 30, plus an attribute "healing", which might cost 20, but only gives +3 income. Thus we see that he wastes a bit of income (if the attribute gave as much income as sending the cows, it would give +4 income for a cost of 20, but it only gives 3). In return the cows he sends (and ONLY his cows), will now heal themselves and start annoying the other players. This would lead to interesting rainbows of creeps, with players sending different creeps and different attributes which will lead to 5 cows having invulnerability, 10 cows having speed and 10 having healing for instance. In order to prevent the emergence of waves where you have 500 creeps (and thus never-ending), one could make the spawning center like those good old mercenary centers back in Warcraft III: They take time to respawn. Thus, you can only send, realistically, 10 cows max. Another way to limit the number of creeps spawnable is shown in Income Wars: There, players have minerals which are used to spawn creeps, and vespene gas. The amount of minerals rises steadily, while the number of vespene gas stays the same. Thus, even if they have 20000 minerals, they can't spawn a gazillion workers (the weakest units), because they only have 50 vespene gas. To avoid adding two new resources, this could also be done by a simple unit limit. Say: Every player can only send 10 units per wave. One could adjust this limit depending on the number of players still left in the game, so that when it's a 1 v 1 match one could still send lots of creeps at each other, and thus not lose on the fun. This system guarantees the upwards pressure, since the players will need to build towers AS WELL AS spawn stuff, in order to stay in the race. Neglecting either will lead to disaster. If a wave is "empty", i.e. that a player sends nothing, the game could punish the player(s) who didn't send anything by for instance spawning additional units in their fields. This will make it unattractive to hoard salt excessively. Edit: See my post below. After Windstrike drew my attention to it, there may be another way to deal with this, as well as deal with the imbalance of one player getting too much income and wasting everyone else with it. -----Other ideas------ There are other systems which would also be feasible. One is the combination of minerals and salt, i.e. that you use minerals to spawn creeps as well as build towers. This makes things very tricky, and very prone to slight imbalances, however, and requires a high level of skill to judge whether one needs another tower or needs to send another creep. Additionally, with the normal "income" every 15 seconds already in place it would discourage the sending of creeps in the hopes of getting more income by simply sitting on one's own minerals. This is the one I discuss in the second post, and the one which I consider the way to go, but I might be alone in this, so judge for yourself. Another is the one as used in Squadron TD: The income which units generate you is in minerals, but you need salt to spawn them, and the salt is harvested by workers (in the case of STD replace salt by vespene gas). This might also work, but I feel that the system described above is better for Element TD. Please leave a comment with your suggestions, criticism, compliments, whatever. I would love to see an improvement for the current wars system, which is why I took the trouble of typing all of this up. It would be quite some work for the developer(s), granted, but I think this would be worth it, and would make the map even more popular than it is already. (It has been sinking steadily lately, from place 3 to place 8 now). -----End other ideas------ Cheers
  3. Ouguiya

    Masters Mode

    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.
  4. Hi all! Ok, I don't know if this is intentional, but for some reason, around 80% of games I play (and yes, I played enough games to make that statistic), I get to play on the Desert-like field. I have no idea if this is supposed to be a feature, but I see nowhere where I can affect this, and it is kind of boring to always play on the same ground and watching your enemies play everywhere else. The random system (if there is one, I wouldn't know), which seems to choose where players are positioned seems hellbent on placing me in the desert area. If there is no random system and this is chosen by where you are in the battle.net games lobby (as it was back in TFT times), could you maybe change it? Evidently the battle.net game lobby hasn't brought me much luck. Cheers and thanks on an otherwise fantastic map.
  5. Ah thanks again :9 it works now. I didn't get any E-mail Anyways, I have begun testing ^^ Hope to file some real bugs next time. Cheers
  6. Hi there! Today I was lucky enough to find Twilice playing, and after he had invited me over into a game, I was able to create Element TD games on my own in single player. Now, after the start of the game, no matter how many AI players I add (0, 1, ...), and no matter what difficulty level I choose (I tried Very easy, normal and hard), the game announces me a defeat after that and kicks me out of the game, though a few cows can be seen spawning nontheless... I hope somebody can help me with this. Cheers!
  7. Ouguiya

    Alpha Signup

    CaN'T... wAiT... aNy... LoNgEr... M-U-S-T... PlAy... E-l-E-m-E-n-T t-D......
  8. Ouguiya

    Alpha Signup

    Good to know So this tells me that I actually did disturb you in a ladder game. It's just hard to tell, since the button just says "In a game". How do you know that it's ladder then? Anyways, hang in there. As soon as a few people have the map, the spamming will stop I'm sure. (BTW: Probably everyone thinks that what HE wrote is not really spamming). Thanks for the update too. Hope to see you in a game soon.
  9. Ouguiya

    Alpha Signup

    Hi there! Long time fan, back from the old days in TFT. Would like to join the fun too on Europe: Ouguiya.437 Looking REALLY forward to this, and hope to be of some help regarding the finding and squishing of bugs. (Which I am unusually good at: Bugs literally seem drawn to me, to make my computer life as entertaining and unproductive as possible )
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