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Karawasa

Element Shakeup Round 2

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Guest mrchak
Dual lv1 - 20% single target slow

Dual lv2 - 20% aoe slow

Dual lv3 - 50% aoe slow

I'd just like to reiterate that having no aoe slow for LV 1 duals would mean that in random games it would be very very unlikely that you would end up having the opportunity for AOE slow. Some of us play random mode exclusively, so I think this would be a bad decision. Whether AOE slow is in the triples or the duals, AOE should be available on the lv1 towers. Radius can be small, but it shouldn't be a single-target slow.

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Guest lumber_of_the_beast

I think you're smarter than me, and respectfully bow out. *does so*

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I'd just like to reiterate that having no aoe slow for LV 1 duals would mean that in random games it would be very very unlikely that you would end up having the opportunity for AOE slow. Some of us play random mode exclusively, so I think this would be a bad decision. Whether AOE slow is in the triples or the duals, AOE should be available on the lv1 towers. Radius can be small, but it shouldn't be a single-target slow.
Thats actually not true.

(...)

Take a look at this: >> All builds and if they would have aoe slow << You will notice that the big mayority has at least one level of aoe slow.

You would ofc get the aoe slow considerably later in the game.

Builds that don't have aoe slow (with ld, wf and ne beeing the aoe slow duals) will be limited to those with less than 4 different elements of level 2 or higher, right?

MagicalHackes tool is great. It allowes me to give you this numbers:

  • Total builds: 456 (100% of all builds) (ignoring interest and essence)

Builds without aoe slow: 48 (10% of all builds)

Builds with exactly one level of aoe slow (20%): 216 (47% of all builds)

Builds with one level 3 aoe slowing dual (50%) or two lv2 (combining to 40%): 168 (37% of all builds)

Builds with maxed aoe slow: 24 (5% of all builds)

90% - Not that unlikely, right? :)

I think you're smarter than me, and respectfully bow out. *does so*

Hey - come back and fight. :wink:

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Guest mrchak

Well, if you say so. But the 90% with AOE slow makes an assumption that you will not randomly get interest, which we know is a false assumption. Furthermore it assumes you will not get pures, which you will sometimes get on random.

And yes, in random mode perhaps close to 90% have AOE slow, but majority of the time it won't happen until the second half of the game, right?

So at the very earliest, its level 20 before a player gets an AOE slow. If a player gets all 4 elements of their build first, its level 30 before they have AOE slow. On random, chances of having AOE slow by then are much much lower. I wouldn't be surprised that on average random players don't get AOE slow until level 45 or 50. If I looked at all of the possible combinations of elements that you've all worked out, I could confirm that (of course, they don't include interest or pures).

Given my assumption then, I think that the importance of having AOE slow in your build should be reduced somewhat. in the current game chances are a player gets Nova, Storm, Glacier, Ice somewhere around the middle of the game on random. IF this is being put off 15-20 levels (I'm just using hypothetical numbers) Then this needs to be considered.

All of this will come out in Beta testing of course. I'm just trying to make sure we're all aware of a potential problem. That being said, I'm open to trying it out, my concerns may be totally unfounded.

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Guest mrchak

Well, I've done my own analysis, a spreadsheet that runs 1000 random element picks with PURE and Interest in the mix (in the game, if the random element pick is the same element that you already have lv3, the game picks pure instead).

% builds WITH AOE slow: 38%

Average level for AOE slow: 43

So on random, less than half the time you'd actually get AOE slow, and IF you ever did, the average level would be level 40 or 45... Sounds bad eh?

If you want to test it in excel/vb, here's the code. For the purposes of the test, I assume WL, DN and EF are slowing towers, but its totally arbitrary.

Columns A-K will be the random element picks

Column L will show the first level of the game that a player gets AOE slow

Column M will display "NONE" if there is no AOE slow.

My code could be improved if someone knows when Interest is or is not allowed (is it equally likely every round in random, or is it not possible in certain rounds?)

Sub Random_Results()
    Range("L2:M1000").Select
    Selection.ClearContents
    element_choices = Array("F", "N", "W", "D", "L", "E", "I")
    no_slow = 0
    For result_row = 2 To 1000
    slow1 = 1
    slow2 = 1
    slow3 = 1
    aoeslow = False
        For game_round = 1 To 11
            pick = Int(7 * Rnd)
            picked_element = element_choices(pick)
            Cells(result_row, game_round).Value = picked_element
            Select Case pick
            Case 2
                slow1 = slow1 * 2
            Case 3
                slow1 = slow1 * 3
            Case 0
                slow2 = slow2 * 2
            Case 1
                slow3 = slow3 * 2
            Case 3
                slow3 = slow3 * 3
            Case 5
                slow2 = slow2 * 3
            End Select
            If (aoeslow = False And (slow1 Mod 36 = 0 Or slow2 Mod 36 = 0 Or slow3 Mod 36 = 0)) Then
                Cells(result_row, 12).Value = 5 * game_round
                aoeslow = True
            End If
        Next game_round
        If aoeslow = False Then
            Cells(result_row, 13).Value = "NONE"
            noslow = noslow + 1
        End If
    Next result_row
    Cells(1001, 13).Value = noslow
End Sub

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There is no interest after the fourth pick (after 20 the last interest is possible, it can't be rolled later, so 4 interest is the maximum possible).

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Guest MasterTenor

I think I would rather go with three different types of strong duals rather than group and purposefully overpower one strategy (aoe slow, for instance). I do realize that this is harder to balance, but in the end I believe it will make for more diversity of builds. I like the combo of three different ideas for the dual towers (see my tower matchup on page 1 for one possibility...I'm open to any combo like that).

With that said, if I get overruled, the only option for the dual towers is as Cisz has suggested -- AoE slow is naturally overpowered, and so it makes sense to use it in that way.

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Well, Cisz introduced me to the power distribution tool. I played around with it for a little bit, and came up with results he likes. Feel free to judge, discuss, modify etc.

Find it here.

The idea behind it was how tower levels. For most towers, it is a factor of 5 (damage and ability). My idea was that level 3 duals should have a bigger jump, being that it is the THIRD level. So I used 7.5 for that. This allows level 3 duals to be more competitive, something we want to see.

Explanation

The numbers filled in represent the impact on the game that each tower has. For instance, amplified is at 1, and focused at 5. This makes sense, since the impact of the tower goes up by 5. Same logic applies to everything else.

The results down below represent the power of each build. Overall, you can see that 4/5/6 element builds are somewhat balanced. You can then look at the power of each particular build.

Keep in mind this is just a rough estimate of how to tweak towers. It gives us an idea of how strong a level 3 dual should be compared to a level 2 triple for instance.

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Guest mrchak

Just thinking about the duals. First of all assigning the abilities to the combinations, and giving the tower a name:

Nature + Earth: Mushroom

Ability: "Possession" really, brainwash or forget. Kindof the effects of psychedelic toadstools. The unit in effect hallucinates and wanders around.

Nature + Fire: Sun

Ability: Solar Shockwave (whatever its called)

Nature + Water: Well

Ability: "Spring Forward"

Nature + Light: Life

Ability: Regain lives

Nature + Darkness: Death

Ability: "Hand of Life" (can be renamed) more damage if the current hp% is stronger

Earth + Fire: Lava

Ability: Incinerate

Earth + Water: Geyser

Ability: "Spout" - shoots the unit into the air, when landing does damage to nearby units

Earth + Light: Mirror

Ability: "Replicate" - copies another tower for x seconds

Earth + Darkness: Iron (Or Machine)

Ability: Mortar - long range aoe tower with minimum attack range

Fire + Water: Steam

Ability: AOE steam damage

Fire + Light: Energy

Ability: Berserk - can cast berserk, gaining attack speed and damage for x seconds

Fire + Darkness: Magic

Ability: Magic Damage -stores mana for extra damage

Water + Light: Ice

Ability: Frostbite - freezes a unit for x seconds. if that unit is attacked while frozen, it receives double damage and is unfrozen

Water + Darkness: Poison

Ability: Poison damage - slows and damages over time

Light + Darkness: Shadow

Ability: Time warp - x seconds after it attacks, it will be teleported back to where it was (the ability could be renamed; the idea is, it will move the unit back to where its shadow was. If would be even cooler if it could make its shadow stay, and then the unit moves back to where its shadow is waiting for it)

Since 3 of the towers need to be stronger than others, I propose the following:

E+L: Mirror

then there's three other choices if no elements will overlap:

NF Sun, WD Poison

NW Well, FD Magic

ND Death, FW Steam

Judging from experience, I think Well and Magic would be the best candidates.

So thats my take on the doubles, given the current abilities that have been chosen for the towers. I will now take a stab at the triples.

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Very nice post MrChak :). Looking forward to your triple analysis.

I have tweaked my distribution, you can find it here.

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All strong towers need to be support imo. So magic is a nono.

How about this.

It's the best I could find so far balance wise. There are two mayor aspects to note:

Maxed strong dual is worth 8 points, while maxed strong triple only 3.

And there are 3 4-element-builds that are slightly weaker. Those are the ones w/o any strong triples, that get their points entirely through duals. (They are at 24 points total, while all others are at 26.)

For this two reasons this distibution is not perfect, but I think it might be a bearable compromise.

@Karawasa - the biggest difference in your version is 13%, in mine it's only 8%.

Let me suggest a todo list:

  • Step 1: Identify all aoe slows and armour reducers.

Step 2: If that's < 11, find other promising support towers till number = 11.

Step 3: Split into 3 duals and 8 triples. Not the other way around, don't decide whats a dual or triple before you have them all collected. Decide that upon distribution.

Step 4: Apply elements.

Step 5: Celebrate, then remember that the damn thing needs to be made still. :wink:

Let me start to work this list down.

Step 1: Identify all aoe slows and armour reducers.

Taken from the original post, we have:

AoE slows:

* Needs Name - A line based AoE slow/DoT

* Ice (can be renamed of course) - ???

* Nova - FLN

* Tornado - FLW

Armour reducer:

* Enchantment - DFL

* Acid - DFW

Total: 6, needs 5 more

Step 2: If that's < 11, find other promising support towers till number = 11.

Promising support:

* Replicate - Creates temporary copies of towers

* Well

* Frostbite - Freezes a unit for X seconds. If that unit is attacked while frozen, it receives extra damage and is unfrozen

* Maledict - Curses a unit, dealing damage to it every X seconds based on how much HP it has lost (since the curse started)

Less promising and no support:

* Greed - A tower that gives gold to the player per attack, based on how much damage it does

Ok, let's pretend greed will do the trick, so I move on to step 3 under reserve:

Step 3: Split into 3 duals and 8 triples.

The duals need to be 2.666 times the power of a strong triple, so I chose towers as dual that are likely to own and can easily be buffed/nerfed. I also try to make it divers, so I choose towers of different types:

Duals:

* Well

* Frostbite - Freezes a unit for X seconds. If that unit is attacked while frozen, it receives extra damage and is unfrozen

* Replicate - Creates temporary copies of towers

Triples

* Ice

* Needs Name - A line based AoE slow/DoT

* Nova

* Tornado

* Enchantment

* Acid

* Maledict - Curses a unit, dealing damage to it every X seconds based on how much HP it has lost (since the curse started)

* Greed - A tower that gives gold to the player per attack, based on how much damage it does

Coming soon: How to distribute the elements.

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Guest mrchak

In answer to the duals being support - Magic tower does not necessarily need to be a Damage tower. It can be any magic spell. It could cast inner fire, for example, and leave enchantment to have different spells. Or Magic tower could have a different support spell.

as far as AOE slowing towers, the 4 methods are:

A missile that causes slowing to all units hit with splash (Glacier and Ice use this method)

A line based AoE slow/DoT (no towers currently do this, it could be Glacier or Ice though)

AOE radius around the tower, periodic (Nova)

AOE radius around a mobile summoned unit (Tornado)

Suggestions that aren't planned to be used:

A missile splashes on the ground creating a temporary circle area on the ground that slows units as they walk through it.

Constant aoe radius of slow around the tower (Rot was the idea)

When we say "Ice" for a triple AOE slow, I hope we are referring to the ability only; I think frostbite is a cool ability for a single-target dual tower, and we don't need to have another ice-based tower as a triple.

At any rate, I am anxious to see the element distribution, so we can be done with this...

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In answer to the duals being support - Magic tower does not necessarily need to be a Damage tower. It can be any magic spell. It could cast inner fire, for example, and leave enchantment to have different spells. Or Magic tower could have a different support spell.

Ah, nice. Yes, that's fine with me.

When we say "Ice" for a triple AOE slow, I hope we are referring to the ability only; I think frostbite is a cool ability for a single-target dual tower, and we don't need to have another ice-based tower as a triple.

Agreed. We will come up with a fitting name and design once the elements are nailed.

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MagicalHacker did some sweet and fast calculation and found that there are actually only 15 different ways to distribute the elements into the three duals. And for each of those sets of duals, the triples are easily calculated:

Number   01    02    03    04    05    06    07    08    09    10    11    12    13    14    15

Dual 1   ld    ld    ld    lf    lf    lf    lw    lw    lw    le    le    le    ln    ln    ln
Dual 2   fw    fe    fn    dw    de    dn    df    de    dn    df    dw    dn    df    dw    de
Dual 3   en    wn    we    en    wn    we    en    fn    fe    wn    fn    fw    we    fe    fw

Trip 1   lfe   lfw   lfw   lde   ldw   ldw   lde   ldf   ldf   ldw   ldf   ldf   ldw   ldf   ldf
Trip 2   lfn   lfn   lfe   ldn   ldn   lde   ldn   ldn   lde   ldn   ldn   ldw   lde   lde   ldw
Trip 3   lwe   lew   lnw   lwe   lew   lnw   lfe   lef   lnf   lfw   lwf   lnf   lfw   lwf   lef
Trip 4   lwn   len   lne   lwn   len   lne   lfn   len   lne   lfn   lwn   lnw   lfe   lwe   lew
Trip 5   dfe   dfw   dfw   fde   fdw   fdw   wde   wdf   wdf   edw   edf   edf   ndw   ndf   ndf
Trip 6   dfn   dfn   dfe   fdn   fdn   fde   wdn   wdn   wde   edn   edn   edw   nde   nde   ndw
Trip 7   dwe   dew   dnw   fwe   few   fnw   wfe   wef   wnf   efw   ewf   enf   nfw   nwf   nef
Trip 8   dwn   den   dne   fwn   fen   fne   wfn   wen   wne   efn   ewn   enw   nfe   nwe   new

Sorry for the messy format, the elements of the towers are in more or less random order for now.

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Guest mrchak

I suggest choice 02:

LD: Moon Tower (Replicate ability - hot!!! Moon is tricky, magical, this makes sense to me)

FE: Lava (We can think of some better ability than simply incinerate. It could ERUPT every once in a while, giving all nearby towers a bonus, and also damaging all units in an area. Say it has a 5% chance of casting ERUPTION when it attacks, which works like Roar, and also does some aoe lava damage)

WN: Well (no change)

lwf: Storm (aoe slow - no change)

lwe: ??? (I don't know if Greed works, lets consider this tower further)

lnf: Nova (aoe slow - no change)

lne: gemstone (armor redux - when it attacks theres a %chance for armor redux, or give it faerie fire)

dwf: acid (armor redux - no change)

dwe: sludge (aoe slow - this is the new Ice)

dnf: Necromancy Tower (Maledict ability - replaces summoning)

dne: Oil (aoe slow - alternatively, could be Aura of Rot, it could be a Rot tower)

Notice that no build will have BOTH armor redux. Some builds will have 2 slowing (lnwf:storm/nova, dnwe: sludge/oil - kindof cool, dark slowing and light slowing options).

Note: If we go this route, Duals can be adjusted as follows:

NE Mushroom: Posession ability

NF Sun: (no change)

*NW Well: (no change)

NL Life: (no change)

ND Death (Hand of life)

*EF Lava (Berserk / Eruption / Roar)

EW Geyser (spout)

EL Gold (Greed - it works better as a dual ability)

ED Iron (Mortar)

FW Steam (no change)

FL Energy (Time Warp)

FD Magic (no change)

WL Ice (frostbite)

WD Poison (no change)

*LD Moon (replicate)

Triples

ldf Lightning (Chain Lightning)

ldw Tidal (Stackable Release - works with the concept of a tidal wave)

ldn Undead (Rupture (unholy rage?))

lde Laser (Reflection)

*lfw Storm (No change)

*lfn Nova (No change)

lfe Metal (Impetus)

lwn Hail (Meteorite ability)

*lwe ??? (???)

*lne Gemstone (Armor redux)

*dfw Acid (No change)

*dfn Necromancy (Maledict)

dfe Flamethrower (No change)

dwn Drowning (No change - instant death tower)

*dwe Sludge (AOE Slow)

*dne Oil (AOE Slow)

fwn Rainbow (???)

fwe Infernal (Rage)

fne Dinosaur/Zergling (Teleport /burrow)

wne Flesh Golem (No change)

Open issues:

What should the ability for lwe be? It has to be awesome enough to be a "game-winning" tower. What shoudl the tower be named?

Also, what should the special ability of fwn be? Should it stay Rainbow?

Alright, Gentlemen (and women - are there any?)! LET'S DISCUSS and FINISH THIS, eh?

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The two changes I wanted to discuss with your method, is what happens to Lava/Enchantment tower. It seems that everyone so far has agreed that Replicate/Well fit the bill for mega duals.

If I understand correctly, you propose axing the current idea of Lava/Enchantment towers. This leaves us two towers short, represented by:

*lwe ??? (???)

*fwn Rainbow (???)

So, I want to see what you think about Frostbite tower. I discussed it with Cisz, and we both thought it would make for a great third mega dual. The damage amplification part (if it gets damaged while frozen, that damage is doubled) seems like a great version of support. If we do this, that allows us to keep Lava tower (incinerate seems like a cool ability). As for Enchantment, we should discuss whether to make it focused on Armor Reduction (Faerie Fire), or have it be the wonder tower that it is now (Damage Buff, Faerie Fire). If it becomes armor reduction only, than we have an additional ability we can put somewhere (damage buff, as we already have speed buff - well). Going along with this thought, if we do decide it is best to make Enchantment Tower an armor reducer only, than Frostbite doesn't have to be a mega dual, but rather a tower that has an attack damage buff spell could take its place.

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Guest mrchak

For enchantment, I propose splitting the abilities;

(1) armor redux goes to Gemstone (super triple),

(2) attack buff goes to Lava (super dual)

I never liked incinerate. It doesn't hold up well as levels increase.

So yea, the only open issues (in my view) is what to do with Glacier and Rainbow. It shouldn't be too hard right?

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I'm with karawasa on the frostbite. It's a nasty combo of a disable and a brutal damage increase. The "double damage" and the "is frozen for a few seconds" can be changed to whatever numbers we need to make the tower have the right strength.

@Chaks distribution: I see one flaw in your choise of duals. It occured to me yesterday in a chat with jolin012, that there are two different classes of them.

There are duals in which one of the two elements dominates the other. Those duals are easier to max as duals in which the elements are indifferent towards each other. Imo we shouldn't mix those "easy" and "hard" duals in the same distribution, and in your case only one of them is easy (ld).

And even more, we need to decide, if the strong duals schould be hard to max for wave 31 or not. This is a balance question, and I'd rather delay it till after a bit of testing the entire map in motion, but we would have to rearrange and redesign to much if we don't decide this first.

Here is an example of how to max an "easy" dual, it's a gold only replay.

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Guest mrchak

Ok, so if a new requirement is that we will not allow any duals to be one overpowering the other, then there are 6 towers that CANNOT be uber duals.

EL

LD

DW

WF

FN

NE

so that would leave only 4 choices, no?

05 lf, de, wn

06 lf, dn, we

09 lw, dn, fe

13 ln, df, we

OR 2 choices where ALL the duals are dominating duals

01 ld, fw, en

11 le, dw, fn

Do you really think DL is such a huge problem Cisz? If DL is stronger because its an easy dual, can't that just be balanced? Based on my distribution (#2) If you choose Light and Dark, in a 4-element build you would only be able to have a single AOE slowing tower. This could arguably be a balancing point.

Otherwise, do we want to assess these 6 choices and determine the best one? (I don't really feel like it but I'd be open to other ideas.)

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I'm not sure what to think of this. The strong duals are support, so even if a player goes for a maxed strong dual for 31, he won't have the net worth to benefit from it then. (When I used to go for monsoon on 31, I usually could afford the monsoon and one level 1 ice.) And five waves later, he can throw up a serious arrow force, and can benefit from one exrta triple, although not a strong one.

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Guest mrchak

so guys, whats your opinions about my suggestion? I think it is good enough for the next beta. As for the two unresolved towers, LWE and NFW, I propose the following:

1) Glacier can remain as is as a placeholder.

2) I would have the following change for Rainbow; perhaps it can alternate its attack type (i.e. be replaced with another rainbow tower with a different elemental attack) based on what elements you own already. So if you only have F, N, W, you can switch between Fire damage, water dmg and nature dmg.

Alternatively, the rainbow tower can use the same attack type as the PREVIOUS level. This way the attack type will change, but not that often. It may be good it may be bad, but it should always keep you on your toes.

As a third option, rainbow can just remain as is as a placeholder for later changes.

I would just like to make one other point - do people really not like the undead tower's current ability? Is it seen as way too unbalanced, or do people just think it's stupid? I really like undead tower, but maybe I like it because its over powerful. So anyway, if there is a way that undead tower can remain as is, I'd be happy. But of course, I'm open to other ideas.

rock on fellas

BP

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MrChak, why did you leave out two towers in your distribution? Those two being Berserk and Summoning Tower (not to be confused with Lava, which could be damage buff spell from Enchantment Tower).

I like the idea of taking Inner Fire from Enchantment and slapping it onto a new tower (that would replace Incinerate ability from Lava). That would give us three mega duals, damage/speed buff, and replicate. As for summoning, I never liked it. I'm considering the idea of axing it, thoughts?

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Summoning is great for several resons. It encourages micro and makes a good example of a new way for placement. The "tower", actually beeing the summons, are constantly to be relocated to make the most of it. The tower is so good, it even made it possible to win the dreaded edfn build.

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Alright, lets keep it. Still should decide on Enchantment/Lava though. In response to MrChak, I propose moving Greed back to triple status, and in its place putting the real Berserk tower.

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