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Everything posted by Venny

  1. Tower Wars with Income and Interest This Tower Wars model utilizes income, but also interest. A key part of the balancing behind this mode is Income (heavy summoner) vs Interest (heavy defender). Players will find this system highly variable and will have to adapt to the situation of their game. No two games should ever play out the same. Income is received on the interest interval. The game pace is 100% player controlled with no elements forcing the players to take any actions, however a system of soft-incentives encourages players to play actively and will prevent people from just staring at each other, waiting for the first summon. Players will move the game along because it's too their benefit. Difficulty must be locked into Very Hard (explained later). Creep Workshop: Creeps are summoned by players through a creep workshop that exists either as a building or a menu. Creeps start identical to wave 1 creeps in standard competitive EleTD, and upgrade in HP/Bounty according to the standard waves. This means creeps can be leveled all the way from wave 1 to wave 60. Players can perform the following actions at the Creep Workshop: - Set any armor type free of charge, including composite. - Toggle ONE ability on/off to their creeps, but doing so increases the cost of the creep by 20% without increasing the bounty or income. This makes the creep summon less profitable to the summoner (but still profitable), but the damage inflicted upon opponents provides incentive to add abilities. - Upgrade wave level (permanently) - Summon five creeps of the specified design. Five is an optimal number because it allows abilities to be toggled on without resulting in a decimal cost. A few things to note: - Creep cost = Bounty yield. Summoning 5 sheep costs 5 gold. - The summoning player summons creeps against ALL players (including themselves). - Summoning creeps provides income equal to 5% of the summon cost. In other words, 1g cost = 1g bounty = 0.05 income. Summoning 5 sheep costs 5 gold, will yield 5 gold to every player (after being killed), and will provide the summoning player 0.25 income. The Relationship Between Income and Interest Since the summon cost ALWAYS equals the bounty yield, this will result in a net cost of zero for the summoner, but a profit equal to the bounty yield for all opponents. However, the summoner gains income equal to 5% of the summon cost. This creates a long-term incentive to summon creeps, as within 20 income/interest intervals (300 seconds), the summoner will make up the difference, but WAIT! With interest still in effect, players observe an interesting profit curve. http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/59/incomevsinterestgraph.png This graph shows the profit curves for summoner and defender, given the example of summoning 1000g worth of bounty at 5% income (50g income): - Green Line, Defender Profit: This represents the profit of a player defending against a summoning player's wave of creeps. This assumes the defender banks the bounty gold and allows the 2% interest rate to accumulate. - Blue Line, Summoner Profit Max: This represents the profit of the summoning player who banks every last gold that comes his way as a result of the income. This is INCREDIBLY unrealistic though. - Red Line, Summoner Profit Min: This represents the profit of the summoning players who spend every last gold that comes his way as a result of the income. This is far more likely. The summoner WILL NEVER realize a net gain over his opponents without utilizing some degree of interest. Spam Summoning to income stack will put you behind your opponents. The summoner has to utilize some degree of banking to profit more than his opponents. In other words: Spam Summoning will put the summoner behind his opponents. Unlike Tower Wars based purely on Income, the game does not boil down to an income race. It's still a battle of net-worth, but this system has an incredible number of checks and balances. Summoners have incentives to try and bank a bit of gold to realize a gain over their opponents, and Defenders have incentives to summon to try and put pressure on Summoners. The bottom line: Everyone must do some summoning and defending. How much will depend on how other players play and on personal preference. If in a large game, many players choose to summon heavily, the increased pressure from sheer number of creeps will force some defensing, and will make defensing feel more economically viable. If in a large game, many players choose to defend heavily, the opportunity to become an isolated summoner will cause everyone to jump at the opportunity. Basically this creates a highly adaptive situation where every player wants to summon as many creeps as possible, while building as few towers as possible, while allowing as few leaks as possible. Upgrading Waves versus Upgrading Defenses (Vespene) Upgrading the waves will follow a simple formula: - Upgrading to the next wave costs (20 x Next Wave Bounty Yield) and gives 2.5% of the cost as income. Upgrading from wave 1 to wave 2 would cost 20g, and gives 0.5 income. - The payment evens out within 40 income/interest intervals or 10 minutes. Everything made after that is pure profit over opponents. It's not a whole lot, but it provides an incentive to level up waves when defenses allow. Leveling waves too quickly will result in insufficient short-term gold and the death of the player. - Waves DO progress past 60. Wave 61 jumps from Ghosts to Fruit of Death (with the usual fruit of death HP), but the Fruit continue the same bounty curve from the ghosts. Ghosts yield 304 bounty per kill, level 1 Fruit of Death yields 335 bounty per kill. - Upgrading to Wave 62, 63, etc. simply upgrades to Fruit level 2, 3, etc. Bounty/Income continues as normal. The total gold cost to upgrade from wave 1 to wave 60 costs 66720g, and will yield a total of 1668 Income. This might seem like a ton of gold to earn every 15 seconds, but since players now spend gold on many things besides towers, the vastly increased gold is necessary. Vespene costs a fixed amount of gold to acquire: Vespene 1 = 100g Vespene 2 = 250g Vespene 3 = 750g Vespene 4 = 750g Vespene 5 = 750g Vespene 6 = 2500g Vespene 7 = 2500g Vespene 8 = 4000g Vespene 9 = 5000g Vespene 10 = 5000g Vespene 11 = 5000g Total = 26600g I'm going to go ahead and say that these numbers are somewhat arbitrary, and each vespene should have their numbers adjusted through play testing according to balance. Acquiring vespene DOES NOT grant income or interest of any kind. The incentive to buying vespene is the increased gold efficacy of more powerful towers. The Cost Spikes Explained: - Vespene #3: First three-element tower enabled. - Vespene #6: First lvl 2 three-element tower enabled, or lvl 3 two-element tower enabled, or six-element build enabled. - Vespene #8: Enables the dreaded Deceit/Fountain/Factory tower + a lvl 2 three-element tower. - Vespene #9: Enables six-element builds to construct the their first lvl 2 three-element tower. Enables three lvl 3 two-element towers (Poison + Fountain, for example). I am suggesting these numbers as a base-line to begin balance testing. Individual costs of each vespene can be tweaked as necessary. Players must still defeat an element boss to acquire its element, as per usual. Boss Workshop The boss workshop completes the balance system between heavy summoner (income abuser) versus heavy defender (interest abuser). Simply put, the creep workshop by itself poses three issues: #1 - Summoners won't summon what they can't kill, because they hit themselves. #2 - If Defenders HAVE to max out the creep waves, then everyone becomes a summoner by virtue of necessity, which degenerates the game into the usual Summoning/Income race. #3 - Splash towers COMPLETELY dominate single target towers. Thus, enter the boss workshop, the offensive paradigm of this new EleTD Tower Wars model and the primary method for taking lives from an opponent. The Key Differences Between Bosses and Creeps: - Bosses have no ties to the Creep Workshop whatsoever. - Bosses are summoned ONLY against opponents. - Bosses cost NO MONEY to summon, and provide no gold, income, or affect economy for any player in anyway. - Boss Summon Charges begin to accumulate once a player acquires his first element. All players have a max limit of charges they may store. Since bosses cost no money to summon, there's no reason not to use them. They can also be upgraded for gold, which players will feel inclined to do because a one-time payment of gold will permanently upgrade all future boss summons (which are free!) Here are the base boss statistics, designed for being summoned against opponents with just their first element (equivalent to a super-empowered wave 6 to 10 creep): 250 HP 2 Lives Taken Per Pass Default Creep Speed 1 Charge per 60 seconds (Increases for every player beyond 2) 3 Maximum Charges Any element type (free, including composite) One ability (free) Players can perform the following actions at the boss workshop: - Summon Boss. - Set Boss Element and Ability. - Upgrade Boss HP. - Add Boss Traits. Boss HP levels begin at level 1 by default (250 HP), and have HP/Upgrade costs based upon Vespene levels. For example, a player with 4 Element Picks should theoretically handle a Level 4 Boss, though with a little difficulty. Boss Levels up to 11 would correspond to Vespene Levels, and then Boss Levels would continue to level up so to overpower any defense imaginable. I've played around with HP formulas in a worksheet but can't seem to figure out good numbers. The actual HP of each Boss Level may need to be manually adjusted. Bosses can also be given traits from a trait pool. We probably should start a suggestion thread for these. Boss traits are simple to understand: - Grabbing any trait upgrades the cost of the next trait. - Some traits have multiple levels. - Traits stack and are permanently added to bosses. Some initial ideas for traits: +1 Lives Taken (3 Total) +1 Lives Taken (4 Total) +1 Lives Taken (5 Total) +1 Max Boss Charges and +33% Charge Rate (4 Charges/33% Charge Rate Total) +1 Max Boss Charges and +33% Charge Rate (5 Charges/66% Charge Rate Total) +15% Slow Resist +15% Slow Resist (30% Total) Auras and such could make for synergy between Bosses and Creeps. There's room for a whole host of stuff. Summary This Tower Wars model should solve the issue of Income by using a dual-economy dynamic of Income versus Interest. It also solves the issue of incentives, as players will move the game along because doing so benefits them. No more need for forced events or empty beginnings. Bosses provide the key cog in balancing out Income versus Interest. As stated before, this mode should LOCK IN Very Hard. Simply put, Very Hard has the right balance of creep hp/armor to force a defense from players right from the start. Any lower difficulty will simply result in players blazing through the early creep waves until creep difficulty catches up to tower damage. It's a player controlled system and pace, therefore the players will inevitably migrate the game to a 1:1 ratio of Creep Survivability to Tower Damage. Very Hard starts at 1:1, so it makes sense. The numbers provided are just base-lines to begin balance testing with. I have no doubt most of them will change, but changes should be pretty simple to make by adjusting single variables since almost all the values (bounty, summon cost, income, etc) are formula based. Overall this mode should cater very well to veteran players and intermediate players and new players alike, provided everyone in the game is roughly the same skill level. It's player controlled, so the difficulty of any given Wars game depends completely on the opponents. A worksheet with some scratch numbers: Tower Wars.xlsx
  2. Venny

    Masters Mode

    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. 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.
  3. Nice try . Competitive only. Doh!
  4. Extreme_ VH_ Random_ Chaos _ FFFEENNLLWD.SC2Replay I did this on August 17th, but I can make a new one if you'd like. This is my favorite game set-up, so I wouldn't mind.
  5. I suggest renaming this challenge to "Mandatory Interest Abuse". The sheer lack of options and lack of room for creativity does not allow for anything else. Challenge _3 _ Mandatory Interest Abuse.SC2Replay Did it on first try, though the run is about as ugly as it gets. Lots of unnecessary leaks, strategic flaws, and several incidents of "trigger finger" where I dropped cannon towers at the end to finish off a creep but sold them before the creep died, losing me some extra lives like an idiot. I can make a much cleaner run, though I'd rather not. Hard interest abuse is boring.
  6. Venny

    Showdown Mode

    The more obvious (and frankly more skillful) method would be to lock everyone into equal minerals. No interest. No bounty. Just a fixed amount of gold to work with that increases per wave.
  7. How are these factors balanced against one another? What's most important? Fruit points? Anyway, Venny #760 I'd like to know more about the parameters before drafting.
  8. I think you'll particularly enjoy the current version. Every tower is good at the moment; you can pretty much take any combination of elements and make it work
  9. I know this should technically fall under suggestions, but helping new players into the game is currently the largest issue at hand for EleTD, so I'm putting this thread into the general discussion so newcomers can easily find this thread and give their input. Anyway, I was reading this thread: https://forums.eletd.com/Leaks-t2961.html, and it got me thinking. The opening menu needs to change. There is, as Twilice points out, way too much information for new players to process. A Newer, Easier Menu - The menu should be re-sized to encompass the entire screen in much the way "Hero Attack" does. No background or anything else capable of distracting newcomers. - Selectable options change from drag-down menus to bulleted lists. Boxes would contain each set of options. This set-up would allow new players to see all the options instantly, as opposed to searching through each drag-down menu. - Situate major options such as Tower Defense or Tower Wars in the upper left and let them bleed down. - Relegate minor options such as Armed/Unarmed and Heroes to the right side of the screen and give them check-boxes. In this way, new players won't give them equal attention to more important details, and hopefully they'll outright ignore these options until they learn the base game. - Include brief descriptions for all major options. - Default selections to settings that best accommodate new players, and highlight these defaulted settings with red, italicized text. Another major change: rather than two sets of menus, put all the options for classic onto the first menu (mode, difficulty, random, etc) and simply have them disappear if the player selects Tower Wars, but bring them back if they change back to Tower Defense. Introduce a Guide An automated guide that teaches players as they play, rather than random intervals of tips that may or may not help, would greatly assist newcomers. Advice would trigger based on the player's actions. I've prepared examples that I think would help a lot. When the game loads Hello, and welcome to Element Tower Defense! If you are new to Element Tower Defense, I recommend leaving your votes on the default game settings (highlighted in red.) When the game begins Use your builder to create towers to destroy the incoming creeps! The first wave will attack soon, so hurry up! *Have the build button on the worker flash red several times* After beating wave 5 You've beaten the first 5 waves! For every 5 waves you defeat, you will receive one vespene gas that you can spend to purchase an element. Purchasing an element will send an elemental boss against you, whom you must slay to receive your element. *Migrate camera to elemental summoning center and select structure for the player. Cause the six elements to flash. " Killing the first elemental boss You can now build <element> towers! Elemental towers are far more powerful than arrow or grenade towers. However, elemental towers only refund 75% of their cost if you decide to sell them. Place elemental towers wisely! Building first <element> tower You built an <element> tower! <element> does double damage against <element>, but half damage against <element>. A little into wave 9 These creeps have the ability: undead. Undead creeps will resurrect themselves with 40% hp when they die! Splash-damage towers are effective counters to undead creeps. A little into wave 11 These creeps have the ability: speed. Speed creeps gain occasional speed bursts, allowing them to run past clusters of short-ranged towers! Spreading your defense out or building long-range towers are effective counters to speed creeps. A little into wave 13 These creeps have the ability: image. Image creeps gain occasional speed bursts, allowing them to run past short-ranged towers! Long-range towers are effective counters to speed creeps. Messages would continue to trigger like this and, slowly, feed information to the player. Players can disable the guide permanently across all play-throughs by typing in a command.
  10. Challenges _1_2 _ No Slow_ 7 Towers.SC2Replay Aug 16, 2012 - I simultaneously attempted both the no-slowing and the 7-tower limit challenges together. The result was ugly due to a horrendous mishandling of my trickery tower at wave 51, but I did it. Honestly, the hardest part of this challenge was restricting myself to 7 cannon towers. I disqualified myself twice because of habit .
  11. Challenges _1_2 _ No Slow_ 7 Towers.SC2Replay Aug 16, 2012 - I simultaneously attempted both the no-slowing and the 7-tower limit challenges together. The result was ugly due to a horrendous mishandling of my trickery tower at wave 51, but I did it. Honestly, the hardest part of this challenge was restricting myself to 7 cannon towers. I disqualified myself twice because of habit .
  12. This replay was made during the torrent tower bug. Basically, the level up component of damage would tack onto the standard attack, so a fully charged level 2 tidal tower would have over 10k attack added to its standard attack. At that time, the intended damage of a level 2 tidal tower was supposed to be 400 damage per shot, so you're looking at a 2683.75% increase in damage over what a tidal tower is supposed to do. Currently, level 2 tidal towers are supposed to have 450 damage per shot, but that's still 2396.67% more damage output than intended. I would suggest attempting the challenge on the current version. There are no major bugs at current, at least to my knowledge.
  13. Question: Can I turn on extreme mode to speed things up? Or competitive only?
  14. Just for clarification: are we talking about 7 individual towers or 7 tower types? I'm assuming the former, but correct me if I'm wrong.
  15. Added 3 more replays as of Aug 16, 2012. I'm going to get some chaos runs up on all starts soon.
  16. Venny

    Unhappy Customers

    That would make things easier, but given the huge number of options already (Maze, Weapons, Heroes, etc), I'm not sure it would alleviate the problem. I think so long as players can clearly vote on TD vs Wars in the lobby, and recognize whether the lobby wants Defense or Wars, that would serve the player-base enough.
  17. Well it's been a while since I've done some Extreme-Random games. It's also the first I've done while actively a member on the forums, so I thought I'd post it up. I love Extreme-random for its frenetic pace and zero tolerance for mistakes. I find it also helps me fine-tune my play, though I'm still rather sloppy during the early game. I'll have more up soon. Extreme, Random, Very Hard: Extreme_ VH_ Random _ FFFDDDEEENW.SC2Replay Aug 14, 2012 - Not the best run I've had. If I seem impatient through the beginning that's because I am . I lost a game before this one due to a purely bone-headed mistake on my part. Extreme_ VH_ Random _ LLLDDDFFNNW.SC2Replay Aug 16, 2012 - A much cleaner run compared to most of my others. Getting level 3 trickery made this one easy. Extreme, Random, Very Hard, Short: Extreme_ VH_ Random_ Short _ WWWDDNNFFEL.SC2Replay Aug 16, 2012 - Definitely one of the most awkward combinations I've ever received. Extreme, Random, Very Hard, Very Short: Extreme_ VH_ Random_ Very Short _ NNNEEEDDLLF.SC2Replay Aug 16, 2012 - Easy! Extreme, Random, Very Hard, Chaos Extreme_ VH_ Random_ Chaos _ FFFEENNLLWD.SC2Replay Aug 17, 2012 - A very fun game that resulted in one of my favorite combinations: quake + support! The most fruit kills I've had yet on extreme. Edit: I think this thread is in the wrong forum section...
  18. Venny

    Masters Mode

    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 https://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.
  19. Hello. The new master's mode I suggested would require more abilities than the game currently offers, so I thought I'd suggest some abilities to fill in said holes if the staff decides to try and implement my suggestion for a master's mode. Ability 1: Hardening For every 9% HP that a Hardening-creep loses, it gains 10% damage reduction for 5 seconds (Cumulates multiplicatively with difficulty-damage reduction). Stacks indefinitely, but each stack has its own individual timer, and new stacks do not refresh the old stacks. Hardening would provide an ability that actually hurts damage-press strategies. Currently most of the abilities are designed to hate on wear-and-tear or single-target defenses. I thought this would make a nice addition to provide something that end-game Poison, Infrared, and Flood builds would actually have to fear. Ability 2: Shielded (Windstrike's suggestion) Shielded creeps have a shield equal to 20% of the creeps' HP. When the shield fails, the player has 10 seconds to kill the creep before the shield restores itself fully. A soft counter to wear-and-tear defenses, and a strong counter to the oh-so-popular double-pass defense. Ability 3: Transfer When transfer creeps die, their soul transfers to the nearest allied creep, increasing its current HP and Max HP by 5%, and increasing speed by 1%. Transferred souls continue to jump as their new hosts die, and multiple transferred souls stack. Transferred souls cannot jump into creeps from the next wave. A whack, but absolutely devastating ability against damage-press and focus-target strategies that pretty much eat up creeps as they spawn. Slower strategies that take their time will not mind so much, because those final creeps that receive the huge buffs from all those souls will no long have enough current HP to become a threat. Well that pretty much wraps it up. I'll suggest more abilities as I come up with them/if anyone wants more ideas.
  20. Here's a fun one that really pushes its own unique strategy and creates synergy with other rapid-fire towers. Marker Tower: based off the Tau Commander's Marker Light and Air Caste Strike + a little original creativity. Dark + Light + Fire Alternative 1500/5000 Net-Value 160/800 Damage 0.31 Fire Rate 22 Range Ability 1, Mark Target, 3 Second CD: Marks a target with the stackable de-buff "Marked". Anytime a "Marked" target takes direct elemental damage (splash doesn't count), it receives another stack of "Marked". Marked targets take 2/10 extra damage per stack from direct elemental attacks. Bonus damage does not affect splash against nearby creeps. Ability 2, Orbital Strike, 10 Second Global CD: Removes "Marked" from all creeps and strikes them with an orbital laser, dealing (8/40 * Stack Count) damage in a 6 AOE on each affected creep. This tower concept has exponential growth potential like the infrared tower. Unlike infrared though, Marker Tower enjoys sharing the spotlight with other damage towers that rapid-fire or multi-hit like Lightning or Hail towers. The specificity over elemental damage prevents level 1 arrow towers from being spammed, while basic elemental towers are too expensive to ignore their inefficiency during the late-game.
  21. Venny

    Fruit Round

    I'd like to suggest altering the Fruit Round to attack in waves, the same way waves 1-60 do. - Fruit numbers are kind of ridiculous, and I think the sudden increase in creeps on the map explains why the fruit round lags so much more than the ghost round. Keeping the same numbers as wave 60 should keep the lag the same as round 60, theoretically. - The tendency to hyper-cluster gives an advantage to splash-oriented damage-press strategies. You don't even HAVE to invest in overlapping slows to make fruit cluster up. They do it for you! Poison and Infrared FTW - Range becomes irrelevant. Long-range towers have lower damage because they can keep firing for longer periods during waves 1-60. During fruit that doesn't even matter because even an 8-range tower will always have a fruit in range to shoot at. As far as fruit-round is concerned, Pure Nature is a hard-upgrade over Pure Dark or Pure Light. - From waves 1 to 60, your defense against your opponents' defense is a matter of total damage capability against a set assault. Fruit throws that out the window and turns the game into a straight DPS race. I'd like to point out that towers are currently balanced towards total damage capability and not a hard DPS-race. In general, you play the fruit round completely different from the rest of the game, which... just seems odd, not to mention constricting in terms of strategy choice. The game is amazingly well balanced from 1-60, but NOT for fruit.
  22. Element Tower Defense possesses a gross imbalance on the strategic level, especially among high skill players. Namely, 4-element builds are supreme. If you attempt anything else, someone rolling a 4-element build will utterly obliterate you. Here's how the 4-element build functions: -By wave 30, have level 2 in three elements, allowing access to a level 2, 3-element damage tower. -By wave 40, have level 3 in either Earth+Fire, Water+Nature, or Light+Dark. All damage towers can achieve this because all 3-element damage towers share one of these combinations. -Proceed to completely annihilate waves 45 without building anymore towers, and maybe 1 or 2 at the most for waves 46-50. In the process you have accumulated a ton of net-worth from interest. -Grab level 2 in one more element, unlocking 2 support triple towers (some combination of slows/damage amp towers). -Roll into fruit round with significantly more net-worth than all opponents who rolled something else. -Winning! Top tier builds are either 3-3-3-2 OR 3-3-2-2 + an extra pure tower. 3-3-3 + 2 extra pure towers can also work, simply because this build functions the same as 4-element builds through wave 55, though they typically lose to 4-element builds due to lack of synergy bonuses. Now, I would like to clarify that I have absolutely no problems with the usual surge of net-worth that 4-element builds create from waves 41-50. End-game defenses are more interesting when they can grow large and complicated. So what am I suggesting? Buffing the only other build set-up that exists: 5-element defenses. 5-elements roll either 2-2-2-2-2-1 for periodic towers or 2-2-2-2-3 for a specific elemental pure tower of your choice. 5-element builds offer a lot of synergy that can make up for the lack of a level 3 forge/well/trickery tower. HOWEVER, they do NOT have the ability to compete with 4-element builds during waves 41-55, and during that time 4-element builds develop such an enormous net-worth advantage that 5-element defenses crumble instantly during the fruit round. The key difference between 5-element and 4-element builds are the forms of support by wave 41. By wave 41, 4-element builds are rocking their level 3 wellspring/forge/trickery towers and are receiving 90% increased damage output from their towers (100% from trickery). 5-element builds can drop 2 different level 2, 3-element towers that increase your defense's effectiveness by 30% either through slowing or damage amplification. Together you have 69% increased output, which still falls short of a single level 3 well/forge/trickery tower. Now there are non-calculable synergy affects between your towers that make up for this, but here's where the problem originates: You spent WAY more generating that 69%. Going into wave 41 a 4-element build will have 2 level 2, 3-element damage towers and one level 3 wellspring/forge/trickery tower. All in all you've committed 13150 minerals to active defenses. Going into wave 41 a 5-element build can have 2 level 2, 3-element damage towers, but they'll have to put down TWO MORE level 2, 3-element towers to get both of their supports. That's 20000 minerals to active defenses! 6850 more minerals than a wave 41, 3-3-2 build! The saddest part is that you're only about tying them in damage, despite spending over 50% more than a 3-3-2 opening. So what's the true problem? Both builds have 2 damage towers. The 4-element damage towers have +90% damage, while the 5-element damage towers have an effective +69% output. What's pathetic is that the 3-element support towers are barely covering up that 21% difference, which brings me to the heart of this topic. 3-element support towers are horribly, horribly underpowered and need massive damage increases. Specifically, ALL 3-element support towers should deal damage about 90% of an actual 3-element damage tower. With the 10% support effect, a level 1 3-element support tower would have 99% output compared to a 3-element damage tower. In practical terms, an individual support triple would BE EQUAL to an individual damage triple. To show just how grossly underpowered support towers currently are, I am going to show some damage-per-second-per-mineral (DPSPM) figures. This number is imperative to tower balance, because ultimately the DPSPM of your defense determines how efficient your defense is, and thanks to the interest mechanic, how large your defense spans by the end game. For my baseline I am going to use the Flood Tower for many reasons. The flood tower is widely accepted to be balanced, a viewpoint I agree with wholeheartedly. It also possesses no special abilities of any kind (from a damage perspective). Most importantly, the flood tower's ability to change its splash radius allows it to be compared to almost every projectile tower in the game, including Incantation Towers, Muck Towers, Polar Towers, and Jinx Towers. Here's the data for Flood vs Muck and Polar towers: (DPS/DPSPM versus a single target) Tower:________ Dmg Spd DPS Cost DPSPM Flood Tower___ 300_ 1 300_ 1500 0.2 Muck Tower____ 200_ 1 200_ 1500 0.133333333 Polar Tower___ 200_ 1 200_ 1500 0.133333333 Drowning Tower 1500 1 1500 5000 0.3 Mire Tower____ 1000 1 1000 5000 0.2 Glacial Tower_ 1000 1 1000 5000 0.2 That's right. Mire and Glacial towers, LEVEL TWO triples, are matched by a LEVEL ONE Flood Tower. You are paying 3500 extra minerals for a 30% buff. Here's the data for Flood vs Incantation towers: (DPS/DPSPM versus a single target) Tower:___________ Dmg_ Spd_ DPS________ Cost DPSPM Flood Tower______ 300_ 0.67 447.761194_ 1500 0.298507463 Incantation Tower 80__ 0.31 258.0645161 1500 0.172043011 Drowning Tower___ 1500 0.67 2238.80597_ 5000 0.447761194 Enchantment Tower 400_ 0.31 1290.322581 5000 0.258064516 An Enchantment Tower is WORSE than a Flood Tower. Once you have one Enchantment Tower down you are better off dropping level one flood towers even with no other buffs present. Here's the data for Flood vs Jinx towers: Tower:________ Dmg_ Spd_ DPS________ Cost DPSPM Flood Tower___ 300_ 0.31 967.7419355 1500 0.64516129 Jinx Tower____ 600_ 1___ 600________ 1500 0.4 Drowning Tower 1500 0.31 4838.709677 5000 0.967741935 Hex Tower_____ 3000 1___ 3000_______ 5000 0.6 Just like the others, Level 2 Jinx performs like a level 1 flood or slightly worse. In summary, not counting buff effects, Flood is 61.3% more effective than Jinx, 73.5% more effective than Incantation, and 50% more effective than muck/polar. There are other disparaging factors. Incantation has 12 range, and thus shouldn't equal 90% of Flood Tower's DPS, but the difference should only be minor. Nova Towers, Erosion Towers, Ion Towers, and Barb Towers cannot be compared to a Flood Tower, but Nova Towers and Ion Towers CAN be compared to Quake Towers (Just the Radial DPS). Here is the data for Quake vs Nova and Ion towers: Tower:_______ Dmg Spd_ DPS Cost DPSPM Quake (avg)__ 80_ 0.67 120 1500 0.08 Nova_________ 75_ 1.5_ 50_ 1500 0.033333333 Ion__________ 50_ 1___ 50_ 1500 0.033333333 Seismic (avg) 400 0.67 600 5000 0.12 Supernova____ 375 1.5_ 250 5000 0.05 Plasma_______ 250 1___ 250 5000 0.05 Nova has larger radius than Quake's radial damage, and Ion can move, but Quake also possesses extra single target damage. Nova and Ion are the worst so far. Unfortunately Erosion Towers and Barb Towers have no comparisons, but from personal experience I can say that they join Ion as the worst triple towers in the game. Support towers need massive damage buffs. They should compare to a damage tower of similar handling/function. Some are not far off (Muck/Polar), others a bit worse (Incantation/Jinx) and some need crazy damage buffs (the rest). On a one-for-one basis any single triple tower should match up against any other single triple tower. Here are the new damage values I am suggesting for each support tower. Tower______ Old_ New_ %Increase Muck_______ 200_ 270_ 35.00% Mire_______ 1000 1350 35.00% Polar______ 200_ 260_ 30.00% Glacial____ 1000 1300 30.00% Incantation 80__ 120_ 50.00% Enchantment 400_ 600_ 50.00% Jinx_______ 600_ 850_ 41.67% Hex________ 3000 4250 41.67% Nova_______ 75__ 160_ 113.33% Supernova__ 375_ 800_ 113.33% Ion________ 50__ 110_ 120.00% Plasma_____ 250_ 550_ 120.00% Erosion____ 50__ 125_ 150.00% Corrosion__ 250_ 625_ 150.00% Barb_______ 50__ 120_ 140.00% Spike______ 250_ 600_ 140.00% I gave Polar/Spike towers less of a buff to account for their superior range compared to Muck/Erosion towers. These exact numbers don't have to be used, but they do give an idea of about how much each tower needs buffing. Nova, Ion, Erosion, and Barb in particular need more than double their current damage to catch up to par value. They are the worst towers in the game currently. The numbers will need tweaking in the end. What I'm suggesting is simply a new baseline for the EleTD community to try and move on from there. Going by my suggested numbers, a few towers might need a slight damage drop after testing, and a few might need just a little more damage after testing, but they'd place each 3-element support tower into their expected range of performance. COUNTERING COUNTER-ARGUMENTS No doubt some are wondering, "If support towers deals 90% of a damage tower, effectively matching them on a one-versus-one basis, why build damage towers at all?" Simple. Wellspring, forge, and trickery towers. These provide a quintessential damage buff at a bargain price. 4-element builds especially rely on damage towers because they can receive the level 3 buffs from their maxed out wellspring, forge, and trickery towers. Even for a 5-element build, you will always have 2 level 2 buff towers, and you're GOING to use them as the game progresses. As far as the end game is concerned, damage towers would provide AT LEAST 87% more base damage than a support triple. ([100%/90%] * 1.3 * 1.3) = 187% damage relative to support tower. If rolling a 4-element build, then that number becomes 211% damage relative to a support tower, or 112% more base damage contributed to your defense. As far as the end game is concerned, support towers are still very much a support tower. Another valid question, "If support towers deal 90% of a damage tower, effectively matching them on a one-for-one basis, wouldn't a level 2 support tower have a slight edge on a level 2 damage tower?" Yes, but ONLY during a brief phase of the game (wave 31-40), and only SLIGHTLY. Once you get to level 2, your support tower will have their 90% effectiveness increased 30%, resulting in 111% output versus a pure damage tower. However there are major limitations. You can only maintain this rate of efficiency so long as you unlock new support towers, and from waves 31-40 you can only have ONE level 2, 3-element support tower, so at best you can only have ONE tower outperform your opponent on an efficacy scale. You could spread out, but a 5-element player doesn't want to drop redundant towers. They want to mix and maximize synergy. Dropping an extra copy of your level 2 support would come back to hurt you from wave 41-50. Also, even if a fast level 2 support tower has a slight edge from waves 31-40, your opponent will get back at you during waves 41-50 with their level wellspring/forge/trickery towers. Yes, even with the suggested buffs to support towers, 4-element builds still have a slight edge during 41-50, but that's a GOOD thing. Under the changes, support has a slight edge during waves 31-40, and then damage press has a slight edge during waves 41-50. From wave 51 onward it is anyone's game. Without the changes, damage press beats support from waves 21-60 (when you actually begin to differentiate). There are no options if you are playing competitively. Damage press or fail. One ADDITIONAL suggestion I'd like to make here, because it's on topic: buff wellspring/forge/trickery damage by 50-60%, bringing it in line with the new Jinx tower. That should compensate for the slight edge that a wave 31 support build would experience, and would also eliminate the annoyance of receiving wellspring/forge/trickery from your first two elements in random, because they'd actually be worth building. SELLING POINTS Buffing support towers to this extent will improve the game in many ways. New Players When new players start playing, they are going to experiment with elements because they have no idea what each combination yields. Some of these people are going to grab support towers first, and they are going to expect it to match the damage towers that their opponents picked first. Quite frankly, they're justified in thinking so. When their support tower gets overrun while a single damage tower cleanly demolishes each wave, they are going to leave with a negative impression. Also, tower defense veterans that start playing EleTD for the first time are going to identify the support towers just by reading the effects, and will likely aim to create a strong synergy-oriented defense (5-element build). When they realize heavy-synergy builds can't work in EleTD, they'll misinterpret that as a sign that EleTD doesn't promote tower defensing strategy and look for a new tower defense. To be honest, they'd also be justified in thinking this, because right now you are funneled into damage press builds. Improving support towers will eliminate the strategy-funneling effect and should lure in more TD-Veterans. Given the complexity of EleTD, I'd say TD-Veterans are the #1 targets for the player base. Tower Wars Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the reason support towers don't spawn creeps was due to their outright inability to kill what they spawn. Lining up support effectiveness with damage towers should resolve this issue. 5-Element Endgame vs 4-Element Endgame Imbalance Even if you ignore the net-worth disparity between the two, 4-element still trumps 5-element. 5-element spends far more minerals on actual support towers, and so they have less damage towers to operate from, equating to less base damage to receive the benefits of all these support towers. It's not much, but the result makes 5-element a little weaker than 4-element, even when forcing equal net-worths. As stated before, support towers sure as hell don't touch a damage tower in the end-game scenario, but the little extra base damage to your net defense should fix up 5-element against 4-element. Diversity Increased diversity in PLAYABLE strategies will improve EleTD as a spectator game, drawing more interest for new and intermediate players to stay and watch the resolution of the match. It's always fun to see a new concept unfold before you. Buffing support towers will DRASTICALLY increase the number of viable mid-game and end-game builds, allowing for more diversification of strategy. All Random I think all EleTD veterans can agree that random (especially All-Random, no Same-Random), is the most fun way to play EleTD. The only problem is that Random has always been plagued by imbalance. You had to deal with the "Bad Towers" like the old oblivion, the old laser, and of course single element towers and all the 3-element supports. The game right now is approaching an incredible apex. The damage towers are remarkably balanced and the single element towers work great. Supports are the only "Bad Towers" left. Right now if you get a level 2 damage against your opponent's level 2 support then you've probably already won because you'll slaughter waves at twice the efficiency if not more than that. If support towers get buffed, we'll finally have the dream scenario we've all wanted: Perfectly Balanced Random No more "God damn it I got XX combination". EVERYTHING is viable. Some you are more comfortable with, some maybe a little tweaked compared to the rest, but pretty much you can roll with whatever you're given. I know that I'm not asking for a small change. In fact I'm against a small change. Half-way in-between won't cut it. Support towers HAVE to hold their own against damage towers or nothing will change. Balancing triples 1-for-1 against each other will revision EleTD strategy on all levels, but the improvements will speak for themselves. Newbie-friendlier, more viable strategies, balanced random matches... The changes are at least worth testing.
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