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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