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Aranneas

Interest and Single Player

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Simply put, the compounding period for interest is too short. Rushing double interest and selling/rebuilding 1700 minerals by wave 16 is possible. At that point you have enough for 2 or even 3 duals right in preparation for a good stretch of the game (up until around wave 30 to 35, depending upon your choice of build) during which it's possible for a just a few well-chosen, well-placed towers to handle entire waves on their own. Using the last stretch of double pass, which has the greatest lag time between the front and back of a wave, as the focus of your defense, interest gets out of control pretty quickly. This is due to the fact that you simply don't need to add anything to a defense which includes a couple of high-damage area-of-effect towers, at least one good support, and something to pick up the slack on weak waves.

With enough care, any double interest build can have enough minerals to max out before wave 50. This is not a good thing for the game.

Solutions? There aren't that many as interest is kind of integral to this game. I really don't want to see it go entirely; it's the only thing breathing life into the first 12 waves, and it makes random playable - and random is love.

The only one I can think of personally is to increase the compounding period. I would suggest testing 20 seconds to see whether that's enough of a change, or potentially even too much, and going from there. Maybe someone else can think of something I'm missing.

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Never have I ever gotten enough minerals to fill up the map with triples in multiplayer. Not even close. Not even half of the map. This is a degenerate situation.

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Fail typo made this seem a lot worse than it is. But it's still a legitimate situation.

Well I mean I consider single player to be similar to single player in SCBW. Where you can use cheats and stuff vs comps to either test builds or just have fun. As far as I'm concerned if this strategy breaks down in the face of an additional player, then the situation is limited and under control.

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Fail typo made this seem a lot worse than it is. But it's still a legitimate situation.

Well I mean I consider single player to be similar to single player in SCBW. Where you can use cheats and stuff vs comps to either test builds or just have fun. As far as I'm concerned if this strategy breaks down in the face of an additional player, then the situation is limited and under control.

Maybe this works for you but I would very much enjoy having a 'fixed' single player mode as opposed to a 'broken' one. Particularly since the only competitions we've had so far have been based around single player. For now I'm just staying away from double interest, playing multiplayer and random.

Alternate suggestion: Single player interest period should be fixed to 20 seconds; however, subtract 1 second for each additional player. That would make 7 player interest compound in 14 and 8 player compound in 13. Could be an interesting experiment to increase the impact of interest on these games, where it's currently almost non-existent.

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Fail typo made this seem a lot worse than it is. But it's still a legitimate situation.

Well I mean I consider single player to be similar to single player in SCBW. Where you can use cheats and stuff vs comps to either test builds or just have fun. As far as I'm concerned if this strategy breaks down in the face of an additional player, then the situation is limited and under control.

Maybe this works for you but I would very much enjoy having a 'fixed' single player mode as opposed to a 'broken' one. Particularly since the only competitions we've had so far have been based around single player. For now I'm just staying away from double interest, playing multiplayer and random.

Alternate suggestion: Single player interest period should be fixed to 20 seconds; however, subtract 1 second for each additional player. That would make 7 player interest compound in 14 and 8 player compound in 13. Could be an interesting experiment to increase the impact of interest on these games, where it's currently almost non-existent.

i dont think single player is broken, as this is not a single player game and if your looking to exploit it you'll find a way. Personally when i was playing and the other people in my game died i got to level 50 or so with 50 lives. i killed all but one creep,sold all my towers and let him run through the maze until i had 10 lives left. by the time he did that i more than quadrupled my total cash with little to no interest upgrades, i was playing on random.

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Fail typo made this seem a lot worse than it is. But it's still a legitimate situation.

Well I mean I consider single player to be similar to single player in SCBW. Where you can use cheats and stuff vs comps to either test builds or just have fun. As far as I'm concerned if this strategy breaks down in the face of an additional player, then the situation is limited and under control.

Maybe this works for you but I would very much enjoy having a 'fixed' single player mode as opposed to a 'broken' one. Particularly since the only competitions we've had so far have been based around single player. For now I'm just staying away from double interest, playing multiplayer and random.

Alternate suggestion: Single player interest period should be fixed to 20 seconds; however, subtract 1 second for each additional player. That would make 7 player interest compound in 14 and 8 player compound in 13. Could be an interesting experiment to increase the impact of interest on these games, where it's currently almost non-existent.

i dont think single player is broken, as this is not a single player game and if your looking to exploit it you'll find a way. Personally when i was playing and the other people in my game died i got to level 50 or so with 50 lives. i killed all but one creep,sold all my towers and let him run through the maze until i had 10 lives left. by the time he did that i more than quadrupled my total cash with little to no interest upgrades, i was playing on random.

And if you were to submit your replay for any sort of competition it would be disqualified on account of blatant interest farming.

Double interest is considered a legitimate strategy. So is sell and rebuild. Combining two legitimate strategies should not result in something that's considered an 'exploit'. Single player competitions would have to be balanced around the double interest build if we were to keep it like this and there is little to no strategy in this game when there's no concept of cost efficiency. It's no longer about who makes better tower choices, better placement choices, or discovers the better combination; it's about who has best perfected the strategy of cheesing. That's not a competition I'm interested in watching, or even participating in.

Besides that is the fact that this is a single player game. It is also a multiplayer game. It's not one to the exclusion of the other. Both experiences are worthwhile, both games are enjoyable. Why would you leave the balance of one side of the game a complete mess when you don't need to?

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This is a tough one. I agree that singleplayer should be "fixed" too. We could increase the timer from 15 seconds to 20, what do you guys think of that idea? We could nerf the base rate to 1% so that 3% is the maximum. Thoughts on that one? We could cap bounty/interest so that none is given once you get past a certain networth. Thoughts on that idea?

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I think it would hurt those interest users more then it would hurt the interest abusers.

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It can absolutely be a problem in multiplayer.

I just tried a double income FNW build on very hard (II FNW FNW FNW, public). If you survive until wave 25 (not that hard), you can easily beat the rest of the regular game without problems (Vapor, Infrared, Celerity with some Well sprinkled in). The build is not _that_ strong against fruit since the mainly AoE damage stops being sufficient around 100 kills and the low FPS makes is impossible to micro, but I was able to fill the entire buildable area with fully upped towers and had 100k+ spare money.

I know of no other 3-element build that does it that well, but there might well be (EFW, EFL?).

Lowering the base income (or alternatively making the interval longer) limits the viability of most builds... basically all fruit hunting builds rely on income. It doesn't strongly affect "noob" players, since they mostly don't have spare money anyway. So changing that would reset the fruit kill highscores, but I don't think that's a critically bad thing. I'm actually not that fond of the completely filled screens that make the game unbearably slow.

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So we all agree on the problem. But, what about the solution? We could make the base rate vary based on the difficulty. So 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 (VE-VH). Otherwise, we could just nerf the base to 1. Thoughts? If we do that, we can then nerf the upgrades to say 0.5.

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Sorry, math ahead. I'm calculating an approximate function to describe the amount of money you should have at a given point in time, and then check how changing the base interest and other factors changes this amount. This helps deciding how to change the game based on how much money players should maximally have in the endgame.

-------------------- MATH STARTS HERE ----------------------

If t is the expired game time, dt is the income interval, b is the base interest rate in percent and is the number of interest picks, then your money grows roughly exponentially (assuming that you have to spend as much to stay alive as you earn on each wave's creeps - a crude approximation, but it works out roughly).

The money function is given by (omitting the scaling factor 70, starting money):

m(t) = [1 + (b+i)/100 ]^(t/dt).

You can transform that to a base two exponential function (doubling of money after a certain time):

m(t) = 2^[t/dt * log_2(1+(b+i)/100) ],

transforming the power to base e yields

m(t) = 2^[t/dt * log(1+(b+i)/100)/log(2)].

Since (b+i)/100 is typically small (in the range < 0.05), you can linearize with fairly good approximation:

m(t) = 2^[t/dt * (b+i)/69.31].

To now find the time interval in which your money doubles (with the income interval dt = 15 seconds):

1 = t / 15 * (b+i)/69.31 <=> t = 15 * 69.31 / (b+i)

-------------------- MATH ENDS HERE ----------------------

(currently) number of interest picks => money doubling time => number of doublings over a complete game (~3600 sec) => endgame spare money (roughly):

0 => 520 sec (11.6 min) => 6.9 => 9k

1 => 347 sec (5.8 min) => 10.4 => 90k

2 => 260 sec (4.3 min) => 13.8 => 900k

What a good change would have to achieve IMO is about 2-3 less doublings of money over the course of a whole game if you pick two interests. Then in the endgame, you'd have 100k - 200k max, which would give you a fun amount of towers to kill fruit with, but not completely spam the screen.

Changing the income interval to even 20 seconds would pretty much completely destroy interest builds (even though it doesn't sound like much):

(with interval time 20 sec)

0 => 693 sec (11.6 min) => 5.2 => 2.5k

1 => 462 sec (7.7 min) => 7.8 => 15k

2 => 347 sec (5.8 min) => 10.4 => 85k

I suggest changing the income interval to 18 seconds and changing nothing else.

(with interval time 18 sec)

0 => 623 sec (10.4 min) => 5.8 => 4k

1 => 416 sec (6.9 min) => 8.7 => 25k

2 => 312 sec (5.2 min) => 11.6 => 190k

This would leave income builds largely intact, but take the completely ridiculous edge off the endgame. Other builds would not be strongly affected.

edit: It is similar to change the income bonus from +1% per pick to +0.5%:

(with interval time 15 sec and bonus 0.5%)

0 => 520 sec (11.6 min) => 6.9 => 9k (unchanged!)

1 => 416 sec (6.9 min) => 8.7 => 25k

3 => 347 sec (5.8 min) => 10.4 => 90k (old one-income version, total interest 3%).

This variant nerfs you stronger if you take more income, zero-income builds are unchanged. Similar to the 20 seconds interval, this makes interest builds almost unviable for the average player, in my opinion, but it would probably also prevent the high-end pros from reaching totally absurd amounts of end game money.

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I know this might be a bit off topic but. When you said "Math ends here" i donno my head still kinda hurt after that area.

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Make a max interest cap.

Not sure how much but around 2500$?

This would make interest still viable and be effective mid game without getting stronger and stronger as the game goes on.

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Based on the math above (Ubernuber), I think the elimination of 1 interest pick was a really good idea. The interest pick definitely still has an impact, but 2 was just too much. 0.5% per pick is a big nerf to how worthwhile it is.

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I played a game yesterday, and there was one guy with 6 interest picks... I took a second one late in the game to confirm it: you can currently still pick more than one interest.

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It shouldn't be. Unless I uploaded the same version . . . fail I must tripple check this asap!

EDIT: nopp it's 0.80b you got me worried for a moment there :P

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So, has 1 interest pick worked? What do you guys think about interest now?

It's still the Go-To pick at Wave 5 for anyone with a good build. Similar to how Wave 5/10 Interest was. Sure the end-game brokenness is fixed from the Wave 5/10 interest versions, (minus my thoroughly tested Celerity Tower still getting nearly 500k in 0.80b) but was that your only goal? I don't see how anyone NOT choosing Interest first could compete (in non-random modes).

So if you wanted it to be "everyone just build Interest at Wave 5 and lessen the exponential increase at the end of the game", then it's fine. If you wanted "everyone should still have a choice what to get with certain advantages and disadvantages and multiple strategies can work and be nearly effective, such that having 11 elements or 10 elements and a later interest or whatever are competitive" then no it's not fine.

I like it how it is, but if you have to choose, buff the elements, not nerf Interest again.

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I like it how it is, but if you have to choose, buff the elements, not nerf Interest again.

What if we cut the other interest pick and just increased the base rate to 3%? Seems like that'd address both concerns.

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Oh so now I can get immortality+deceit+spike+invocation towers with 3% interest?

HELL YES!

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That would certainly be more interesting.

More elements, better combinations, better creativity, and newer strategies. I'm all for that.

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