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Karawasa

A Change Is Coming...

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There has been much debate regarding competitive versus casual play. As the developer, I have been left trying to do a balancing act. I feel this has hurt the game, and it shows in popularity (at least on NA, EU seems to be fine). The time for change is here, and I want to put an end to this debate. Please read the following carefully, as taking it out of context is pointless;

The first thing I want to do is remove the "below average" countdown timer function. Timers will go back to the way they were before I started messing with them. This allows for consistency and people don't have to guess how long it will be.

The next thing I want to do is implement four different modes that will be the very second dialog (before difficulty). They will be Standard, Competitive, Race, and Extreme. Here is what they entail;

Standard will be a mixed difficulty game. The countdown timer will not be player dependent. It will start as soon as the creeps finish spawning. It will always be 60 seconds. It will end early if all creeps (everyone) are cleared. Consider this the "casual" mode for the masses.

Competitive will be a non-mixed difficulty game. The countdown timer will work just like it has always worked. I may tighten the timings to 1/1/2/3/3 multiplier from 1/2/3/4/5 (VH-VE).

Race will be a non-mixed difficulty game. The countdown timer will be independent for each player. The first player to clear wave 60 wins.

Extreme will be a non-mixed difficulty game. The countdown timer will work just like it has always worked. But, it will always be 0 duration. You start with 1 life.

Thoughts?

PS: You can rejoice now dg86 and others.

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Over an hour for a complete game on standard seems like a big time investment. I'm sure the interest hoarders will love the early rounds; a consistant timing will allow for easy benchmarking and build optimization.

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Over an hour for a complete game on standard seems like a big time investment.

What do you propose we do for the time then? The timer does end early if all creeps are cleared. Of course, people could purposely leak I suppose. We could counter that by changing the dynamic. Add a "start" dialog button that becomes available when you clear your area. If half or more vote to start, it starts.

We could also make the timer get longer as the game goes on. So say 30/45/60 (1-20, 21-40, 41-60) seconds?

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I like the make timer longer as the game goes on idea. It seems like it would make more sense then having a static 60 seconds or so for every round where clearly lower levels take ALOT less time to kill and lets be honest the more time you have the more tempted you probably will be to leak one for income. However the way the time scales id say should probably be upped more time/round every 5-10 levels max to allow for more smooth game play rather then adding an extra 20 seconds or so every 20 levels.

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I like the modes. In fact I was waiting for them since I used to play a lot of race mode back in WC3 :P

I'm assuming this race mode you described would work with a independent timer for each player, right? That would be interesting instead of the default system of a player finishing one wave and triggering the timer for the next one for all players. I like this idea better than the old "point per wave" system.

And yeah, the 1/1/2/3/3 multiplier from 1/2/3/4/5 change is a must imo. Some waves are taking insanely too long to begin, no wave should ever take more than 30 ingame secs to begin. I'm used to play normal (or above) and 15 secs is just perfect. The only exception would be between waves 60 e 61. I feel that 60 secs there would be great, since a lot of times I save resources and there's no time to spend.

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Standard will be a mixed difficulty game. The countdown timer will not be player dependent. It will start as soon as the creeps finish spawning. It will always be 60 seconds. It will end early if all creeps (everyone) are cleared. Consider this the "casual" mode for the masses.

Competitive will be a non-mixed difficulty game. The countdown timer will work just like it has always worked. I may tighten the timings to 1/1/2/3/3 multiplier from 1/2/3/4/5 (VH-VE).

Race will be a non-mixed difficulty game. The countdown timer will be independent for each player. The first player to clear wave 60 wins.

Extreme will be a non-mixed difficulty game. The countdown timer will work just like it has always worked. But, it will always be 0 duration. You start with 1 life.

PS: You can rejoice now dg86 and others.

Standard - For the Standard I think it should be somewhere between 35 and 40 seconds at maximum, I did some tests with placement of towers and 40 seconds is more than enough for another wave.

Competitive - For competitive I think maybe it would be better to make a game mixed difficulty, or a vote to see what difficulty everyone wants, I think the difficulty in this mode should be chosen by vote and not by the host.

Race - For the race mode everyone should go on random but this random is the same for everyone, for everyone has equal chance of winning.

Extreme - I did not understand that the countdown is always 0 in the extreme, and also, life tower should be prohibited in this mode.

would be great if we could come up with another game mode, with heroes perhaps, and where are the powers of the builders?

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I think all of this sounds great - but I still think there should be some sort of "trophy" system so people have something to work for - Shown Ratio, achievement, different color, different something. Something that makes players unique. Levels? I have no idea, all I know is that almost all of the top games have this and it's something ele td lacks.

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This sounds great, but one problem. I'll assume the majority of the players are casual players, which means if competitive players want to play these modes, it may ruin the casual player's experience. These competitive modes seems perfect for private games, so in order for casuals and competitive players to be happy, we need to divide the two. Unlike BNet1.0, competitive players can't title games to ward off casuals, so in order to completely appease both parties, the game needs to mention a channel to go to to encourage organized; competitive games, leaving the casual players at their own business.

Karawasa, I love these modes, but I don't know if the majority of the players I play with will like them.

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Oh hi there, comment avalanche.

@Maelstrom: This isn't the only change we're evaluating. I'll get a thread up on it in a bit, but it's along your line of thinking.

@alguemx & Megadramon: Let me clarify the intent with these modes.

Standard is the mode you play when you just log in and decide to jump into EleTD. It creates an environment where everyone can more or less play their own game. Mixed difficulty, no timer rushing, etc. The only real competition here is fruit points.

Competitive, Race, and Extreme are all for seasoned players who want to play serious games. You'll use these modes for community organized events, games with friends, or games formed in the Element TD Chat channel (More to come on that last part).

@Nachoraver: Every other top map has stats and every other top map relies on insecure bank files to do it. As a result, every one of them has been a victim of hacked stats. We're not opposed to adding these kinds of things, but they're a bit lower priority while we focus on gameplay issues and try to come up with a ranking/trophy system that's at least somewhat resilient to cheating issues.

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Oh hi there, comment avalanche.

@Maelstrom: This isn't the only change we're evaluating. I'll get a thread up on it in a bit, but it's along your line of thinking.

@alguemx & Megadramon: Let me clarify the intent with these modes.

Standard is the mode you play when you just log in and decide to jump into EleTD. It creates an environment where everyone can more or less play their own game. Mixed difficulty, no timer rushing, etc. The only real competition here is fruit points.

Competitive, Race, and Extreme are all for seasoned players who want to play serious games. You'll use these modes for community organized events, games with friends, or games formed in the Element TD Chat channel (More to come on that last part).

@Nachoraver: Every other top map has stats and every other top map relies on insecure bank files to do it. As a result, every one of them has been a victim of hacked stats. We're not opposed to adding these kinds of things, but they're a bit lower priority while we focus on gameplay issues and try to come up with a ranking/trophy system that's at least somewhat resilient to cheating issues.

Thanks for the response; I'm looking forward to it, and good point about the stat/trophy system, you're absolutely right about that. It's actually a good idea you're abstaining from the idea for now, as being victimized from hacks can leave bad impressions on a game.

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One issue in casual mode: if someone finishes early, that player can sell all towers while waiting for the others to clear leaks and farm a lot of interest.

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One issue in casual mode: if someone finishes early, that player can sell all towers while waiting for the others to clear leaks and farm a lot of interest.

Yes. Though ideally, the timings will be such that there won't be a lot of room for this. I am now thinking 30/40/50/60 seconds for levels 1-15/16-30/31-45/46-60. Furthermore, if you miscalculate and the timer is cut short (either majority vote, or map cleared) then you're screwed royally.

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Is there a point to the 'extreme' mode besides masochism?

I've always liked to think the ideal game of an Element TD game is to not leak at all. Extreme mode enforces this quite well, and proves you are capable of playing in a non-leaking environment.

In my eyes, that's the epitome of a top-notch player.

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Hey,

I like the proposed change(s). My only concern is the Standard mode timer - as mentioned. It needs to be matched quite closely to prevent people getting bored while waiting.

Other modes seem to be exactly what's needed. In Extreme Mode, make sure that Life Towers don't give lifes at all, or they give lives once per 9/6/3 kills always, as any gain is above the starting pool.

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What about an short period of free chat with the host and all players? Or players can make a vote (it doesn't affect chosen modes) but the host can see the votes (maybe only the host?) an thus chose a more proper mode.

Also I think there should be a bit more text before the game starts, the voting system needs to be a bit more relaxed in a way that people know what they are choosinng between.

And in the end there needs to be a summary of the game before all starts and maybe an explaination. Like a way of telling people there are different modes.

Like:

Game mode: Standard

Difficulty: Mixed

Element picks: Random

Creep order: Normal

or

Game mode: Tower Wars //future mode?

Difficulty: Normal

Element picks: Normal (type -random for random)

Creep order: Chaos

Anyways I think this is a good way to improve the game if executed correct. If not it will only confuse more.

*I will be back home tomorrow to write more.

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Just played race mode with some pubs on normal difficulty so they can enjoy the game, while I don't get rushed by them early on, and I noticed there were no fruit at the end?

Shouldn't it be in there just for fun?

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So a few days later...what do you guys think? Was it done correctly? Does the game feel better now?

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I think the modes are great, and they were needed anyways. I haven't played much Standard because well... I'm not a fan of mixed-difficulty.

I've only played one game of Standard mode, and at first I was confused that the timer would instantly change from say 30 seconds to like 5 or something like that. I guess it was because of my playing style that I was fruitlessly trying to rush everyone and income; thus, playing the mode improperly. I don't really like the timer for Standard, but then again, I wasn't playing on a competitive mode, and the mode isn't for competitive purposes.

I've yet to play Standard mode casually to see if the sudden countdown change will effect the gameplay of casually playing the game, but one thing I'd have to say about the countdown timer in Standard mode is that it seems to be unreliable no matter how you'd play the game.

All-in-all I'm a fan of all the other modes but Standard due to the fact it has mixed-difficulty and the countdown timer seems too unreliable. The game doesn't match my playing style, so it's only natural that I'd dislike it the most.

Oh yeah... dunno if it's a good idea or not, but since it's kinda lame to have players "compete" on mixed difficulties on Standard mode, and rely on what I feel to be an unreliable countdown timer, would it be viable to just make the countdown timer independent for each player, essentially having everyone play their separate game?

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The timer in standard starts as soon as the wave is done spawning, so it is player independent. It is 30/45/60/75 seconds for levels 1-15/16-30/31-45/46-60. It ends early if everyone has cleared their area.

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