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Alternate Tower Feature

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For our first major content update, we're aiming to add a feature that let's you select an alternative tower to any elemental combination tower. Essentially, each tower will have a new button that says "Switch to Alternate Tower". Selecting this button will turn ALL of that tower type into its alternate counterpart. Regarding design, each tower should be similar in effect, but its damage type would be one of the other elements that make up the combination, and its purpose would also be different. For example:

  • Runic Tower currently deals Darkness damage and deals AoE. Its ability lets it shoot all targets within a small AoE for a few seconds, so it super counters clumps of enemies.
  • Alternate Runic Tower would deal Light damage and deals Single-Target. Its ability would, for a few seconds, cause additional damage for each creep near the target. Aka, an opposite Laser Tower, but one that theoretically infinitely scales with slowing/clumping like Runic Tower.

To clarify something, you will not be able to have both the original version and the alternate version at the same time. When you select the button to switch to the Alternate, it'll switch all towers of that type over. You can switch from the Alternate back to the Original, but it's going to have a long cooldown time.


In addition to this feature, for this content update, Single-Element Towers will be receiving overhauls with effects that are still pretty basic, but they won't all be overglorified copies of Cannon & Arrow Towers anymore. This feature will also make the game considerably easier due to opening up lots more possible builds; however, to counteract that, we'll also be adding more Creep Types. Those 19 Creep Waves with no abilities in the standard order will probably be cut down to just 5 or 6 Creep Waves with no abilities (first five). This will naturally make the Icefrog Boss Wave harder as well, with more randomized variety to deal with.


In total, there are 15 Dual Element Towers and 20 Triple Element Towers. There will be a total of 7 Creep Types, so excluding the ones we're keeping, we need 2 New Creep Type Ideas. We need enough ideas to cover alternates for all of those. Feel free to suggest designs from previous versions of the game as well. Please post your comments and suggestions below!


FYI, for Random Mode, if you feel yourself getting screwed over often, this feature will not force one version over the other. You would still get the option to switcheroo it over the to Alternate and vice versa (with long cooldown still).

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Also I would like to remark the fact that we would like to keep the current tower hero models, so coming up with concepts that could be visualized with Dota particles/ability effects/theme will be valuable, as I don't think we could squeeze 35 more models out of the remaining heroes. The pedestal model below the alternate tower will change to reflect the new damage type.

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Wow guys, your dedication to improving EleTD is extremely remarkable, please accept my thank you for reviving this classic game and constantly improving it as it rolls out. (I'm sure all of your fans agree).

For single element towers, buffs that improve tower's viability early is important in order to increase the player's build choices, or perhaps adding an effect that makes towers like earth, more much relevant in the late game.

Buff options: give attack effect modifiers to some towers, or allow them to act as a support tower by buffing other towers/debuffing enemies in an area around the tower. Allowing towers to combine with certain upgrade paths could be cool too.

Possible ideas for Fire:

  • apply single target burn (flame tower scaled down)
  • spherical aoe damage (like nova tower scaled down)
  • or a buff to aoe damage towers around it. This could help certain aoe tower builds such as electric or nova. It also could differentiates nova from windstorm towers.
  • deal damage to units based on distance moved. This is weird but could be like a sun burn debuff and punish the 'fast' waves, or future waves which blink. 


  • Earth's aoe makes sense, perhaps add a stun that upgrades in length of time or aoe with as it's lvls increase? This could make Earth towers more relevant later on in the game, and combines well with other tower builds like the well's attack speed buff. 


  • Some sort of debuff, either upon hit or within aoe of the tower...
  • Dark towers are a lot like light tower right now... maybe reduce damage, increase attack speed, and give it the ability to gain damage with each last hit. This could do well versus whatever replaces swarm. Maybe a wave type which spawns other baby units as it walks? 
  • or an aoe debuff that reduces enemies armor around the the tower itself, like shadow fiends 'presence of the dark lord ability'.
  • Apply a debuff upon enemies struck that stacks shadow posion and deals aoe damage when expiring.


  • Differentiating light's effect from dark's effect could be good, as both towers are just long range towers, with similiar damage and attack speed...
  • apply a debuff to the area around it, like omni knights degen aura, which slows enemies around it. Or Invokers shadow form, slowing enemy ms but stops it from attacking.
  • apply effect on hit which glimpses enemies back to the start. 
  • or reduce attack speed to one attack per couple of seconds and give it an ability like KOTL's illuminate beam, which rewards tower positioning as it has long range but attacks in straight line.


  • This tower seems pretty chill right now... its really good. Could an ability that allows it to wave form and change its position work? Like wave from from one peninsula to a spot kinda nearby. wave forming across creeps could damage or slow and reward player's positioning of the tower. 
  • If given wave form, I think water's range should be swapped with the nature tower. (another concept is give nature tower global ability to move, with fairly long cd and cast time. 

Nature tower should definitely spawn treants. 

Periodic tower idea: Give it abilities based on the elements chosen. I.E. if a player has lvl 3 fire elements, allow the periodic tower to cast invoker's meteor spell. I don't know if this is too derivative from DotA though. Alot of these abilities are probably unbalanced. I'll leave that up to the pros. (you guys.)

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Alternate tower effect: 
Give an aoe tower an ability like death prophets ultimate which does damage in an area around it, based on number of creeps in that area, and how close said creeps are to the tower.

creeps closer to the tower take more damage, as the spirits can make more trip out to the enemy and back to the tower as the distance traveled is lessened.

This tower benefits from spell damage increase rather than attack speed increase and works better with certain builds... not sure which of the top of my dome.

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Thanks fer the reply, lotsa cool ideas here! FYI, the single-element towers with abilities actually came from this thread right here. We do want to keep support towers as support towers and damage towers as damage towers, or else, well... let's just say I've cheated maxing out all the support towers + one pure tower, and it's absolutely silly. Nevertheless, twill just go down the list on your ideas:

  • Fire
    • We'll probably go with spherical damage AoE. Scaled down Flame Tower would actually make it more of single-target tower, and I figure people like it best as more of a bruiser. For AoE buff, we were gonna stick that as an alternate to either Blacksmith or Well.
  • Earth
    • Stuns will never happen due to a possibility of stunlock. After experiencing this in the WC3 version involving that version's Quark Towers, I can say for sure it's quite dumb, lol. Thinking about going for just sheer AoE though, so I might go for that suggestion. Though, that miiiight make it too close to Fire Tower if the AoE is too big?
  • Dark
    • Of those ideas, I like the Shadow Poison idea the most. Might not necessarily use it on Dark cause the thread I linked has that Overkill damage idea, which is awesomeness, buuuut perhaps maybe on Earth or Nature.
  • Light
    • Goin' back to "supports should stay supports and damage towers should stay damage towers", goin' with slows would be a support ability. Glimpse back would arguably be worse than stunlock. I do like the Illuminate idea though.
  • Water
    • Oh wow, waveform. Hmm, thing is, we don't wanna make the single-element towers too complex though, the casual player should still be able to use 'em just fine still. On the other hand, for an Alternate Combination Element tower... could be awesomeness.
  • Nature
    • I might agree about the treants; however, Noya would murder everything if we added anything to the game that spawns more units, due to lag issues.
  • Periodic Tower
    • Lol, true Invoker. Probably won't go with that, though that does spawn an idea - the Pure Towers having over-the-top abilities. For example, Fire Tower being able to drop a meteor. o_O
  • Death Prophet Tower
    • If it involves spawning units, then probably not, cause again, lag issues. There actually isn't really a tower right now that deals more damage the closer they are... we'll probably use something like that for the alternate for Impulse Tower.

Great ideas, even those yeah, some of those are clearly overpowered, lol. Keep on suggestin'!

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Yeah I figured a lot of the effects would be unbalanced, might as well throw em out as you guys were also looking for alternate tower ideas.

For death prophet's ultimate, I'm not sure how it would effect lag, it doesn't actually spawn units rather than projectiles that look like units. It would still probably lag a lot, idk. 

I think dark towers overkill is a great idea and addresses it's weakness well, while being dope late game too. 

I think earth towers are differentiate from fire towers as the earth towers have further range with a projectile splash attack, whereas fire towers are more limited range wise and water towers might have that bouncing effect or some variation of it... (splash kill is great idea too for either earth or nature.)

If you wanted to keep light towers single target, (I forgot about the 3 splash towers, 3 single target towers) perhaps adding an effect that allows a tower to attack twice every few seconds. This could probably work well with natures or light.

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Creep Type: Adaptive

  • When hit by a tower, it changes Armor Type to the type that counters the Element it was hit by. For example, if it was hit by a Fire Attack, it'd change to Water Element.
  • 15 second cooldown

Creep TypeImpervious

  • Impervious to all debuffs, but naturally moves 15% slower.

Creep Type: Monster

  • When it dies, heal and increase the health of a nearby creep by 5%, carrying all stacks on death to the said creep.

Creep TypeUndying

  • When the creep would normally die, it receives an effect that prevents it from dying for 5 seconds, also healing it by a total of 10% of its maximum health during that time.

  • 15 second cooldown


I do not apologize for any of these ideas.

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Alternate Money Tower

  • Interest gives you X% more gold when this tower is active, doesn't stack.
  • 2nd idea, everything around X radius from this tower, can be sold for 100% prize.
  • 3rd idea, every X kills, this tower will increase your interest gain by X%, resets when switching back to normal version. Shares kill counter with other Alternate Money Towers, similar to Life Tower. (And this should be like +0.2% interest every 50kills or something in those lines? I don't know how much you want to mess with the interest gold.)

Alternate Life Tower

  • Make this tower stupidly powerful.
  • When switching normal -> alternate you lose X hitpoints. You don't lose hitpoints when switching alternate -> normal, or do you? :o
  • 2nd idea, make the health loss "damage over time", everytime this tower gets a last hit you lose X hitpoints (or something similar). Can backfire if you are low on health and alternate switch is on cooldown.

Alternate Blacksmith Tower

  • Decreases friendly tower's ability cooldown by X seconds. (Or make it % based, similar to Octarine Core)
  • 2nd idea, increases friendly tower's splash radius. (Maybe better on Alternate Well Tower?)

Alternate Well Tower

  • Silences creeps, preventing them to use abilities for X seconds (shield, haste, etc).
  • 2nd idea, purges current buffs from creeps (shield, haste, etc).

Alternate Jinx Tower

  • Buffs friendly towers, every X seconds they will deal X% critical hit.
  • 2nd idea, buffed towers will get bonus damage based on their health, % based. (There has to be reason why towers have different HP pools. :P)

Alternate Hail Tower

  • Normally hits up to X targets.
  • Every X seconds receives buff that greatly increases damage, but can only hit one target.

Alternate Erosion Tower

  • Buffs friendly towers, increasing damage X%, buffed towers deal AoE damage around them. (Kinda like Blacksmith and Nova Tower combined?)

Alternate Root Tower

  • Aura that gives (splash, attack speed, damage or ability cd reduction, choose one) to nearby friendly towers.
  • Ability that marks creeps, the aura has greater effect when there is more creeps marked, mark lasts X seconds. (Inspired by Treant's Eyes In The Forest)

Alternate Electricity Tower

  • Single ground-targetable ability that deals damage, after initial damage it has X% chance to shock nearby creeps. (Inspired by Zeus's Lightning Bolt)

Alternate Nova Tower

  • Creates link to X different targets, dealing DoT, and every linked target leaves trail of fire behind it, dealing additional DoT on the ground for X seconds. (Inspired by Wisp's Tether)






Creep Type: Last Word

  • When it dies, silences all towers around it, preventing them to cast any abilities.
  • 2nd idea, aura that silences towers.

Creep Type: Vengeance

  • When it dies, all towers around it will receive debuff that reduces damage.
  • 2nd idea, aura that reduces damage.

Creep Type: Time Lapse

  • When creep is below X amount of health, it will time lapse X seconds back, restoring its health and position, one use per creep.

Creep Type: Burrowed Time

  • When creep is below X amount of health, it will receive buff, every point of damage you deal, it will heal that amount instead of damaging, one use per creep.

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Right now I think the two things that really stand out as not having any particular counters are single-target and buffs. Shield, heal, regen and speed are all in different ways more effective against AoE, only undead really screws single-target over now that swarm is gone, and it doesn't really screw it as hard as swarm does. Swarm was, admittedly, too much, but I think with it gone single target towers feel overtuned just because there are few waves to really worry about (basically just undead waves of opposing elements). Meanwhile, basically nothing punishes a big dependence on support towers at all, they just straight up make any build more efficient.

For single target - Phase: Passively evades 25% of attacks moves 15% slower. Shift: Blinks forward a short distance and temporarily doubles evasion to 50% for a couple seconds. Splash damage and other effects will still trigger on missed attacks.
For support towers - Dispel: Removes a single positive buff from a nearby tower or a single debuff from a nearby creep. Can also dispel clones from trickery towers (but removes the unable-to-be-cloned debuff from the tower whose clone was destroyed).

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Thanks for the ideas guys! I can't respond to all of them just yet, though skimming over everything, i keep seeing the Vengeance idea (not just in this thread, other places as well), aka when the creep dies, reduce the damage of all towers in an area around it, stacking debuff, short duration. Gonna have it tested out and see how much it changes the game (gud-bye entrance camping vs. that creep type, lol).

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On 2/29/2016 at 5:30 AM, Califax said:

Creep Type: Time Lapse

  • When creep is below X amount of health, it will time lapse X seconds back, restoring its health and position, one use per creep.


Good idea! We will be implementing this in the 1.1 patch.

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I think it would be great if pure towers have their uniq abilities.


Pure Fire:

X% for critical strike (may be only on main target)

Pure Nature:

X% chance to poison (not stackable) for Y seconds

Pure Earth:

microbash on main target for 0.X seconds and Y damage

Pure Water:

X% slow for Y seconds

Pure Light:

X% chance for chain strike

Pure Darkness:

-X armor (not stackable) for Y seconds


Some of these abilities can be already used in double or triple towers, but maybe replace them with the new ones? For example

Glaive tower:

Each attack bounces between creeps for maximum X times, damage reduction per bouce Y%.


Creep Type: Destroyer

When creep dies, all towers in small radius can't attack for X seconds.

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Baring some small changes, we are now in a good shape in terms of creep & single element tower abilities.


We are still looking for Alternate tower abilities so keep em coming! If your concept is good it's very likely to be implemented.

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Alright, I apologize this got stuck on the backburner, but after co-op is done, we're doing this one next. I'm gonna be conglomerating the ideas and figuring out what we got so far and then what we need. List should be up in a day or so.

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Woops, that was fast. Okay, I actually managed to fill out all the Support Tower Alternates, as well as most the rest. I've got 6 more that we need to finish up a working first draft. Of course, even then, not all of them are finalized, twill need Noya to check 'em over and make sure all of them are reasonably doable and/or won't cause severe lag by itself (so whatever it is, it can't create units), and then even once they're implemented, testing will probably shift things around some more. Either way, below is what we got so far, and we still need more suggestions, so suggest away!

FYI, the first tower listed under each element combination is the original tower. A few of them got renamed to match the elemental damage type and effect more accurately.

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Is the switch cooldown connected to towers? So I can switch multiple tower types to alternate in few seconds?

If this is the case, I can have like 10 buffs on one tower? :o And have unlimited duration on them with cancel-upgrade thing, because apparently buff duration resets when you upgrade Kappa




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The alternate will have a long cooldown (maybe every 5 waves?). All towers alternate together (so you can't have Tower X and its Alternate at the same time), and switching should remove all the old buffs.

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I mean..

  • Switch X towers, switching ability goes into cooldown for 5 waves. (Or whatever it is).
  • Am I able to switch Y towers during those 5 waves?


  • Switch X towers, the ability goes into cooldown.
  • You can't switch anything during those 5 waves.

Because if the cooldown is "connected to towers" (the first example) not "global", you probably can do some weird stuff with towers that leave buffs, debuffs or any on-going effects without needing the actual tower being active..


In the previous post I was thinking..

  • Blacksmith buff X tower.
  • Well buff X tower.
  • Switch Blacksmith and buff X tower. (Blacksmith Tower's switch goes into cooldown.)
  • Switch Well and buff X tower. (Well Tower's switch goes into cooldown.)
  • Have 4 buffs in X tower.

But as you said, the old buffs should be removed..

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And this is why I had the original intention that once you switched, it'd be a permanent switch. I dunno honestly, right now I'm more focused on getting tower ideas up. I can see it being really fun and hectic if the cooldown was short like 15 seconds, allowing you to, for the most part, freely switch back and forth between them, especially on the co-op mode of doom (seriously, that bullcrap is hard), though yeah we'd have to do something like "upon switching, remove all buffs" to prevent that kinda shenaniganery.

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How about, allow purchase of an additional element.. for say 20k gold. Adds a new dynamic to the game..... and increase gold2 tower to 45% bounty or something. Makes economy more rewarding.

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You talking going to 12+ element picks? Not happening, because regardless of the means to get to 12 element picks, only the following three builds would ever be used:






Nothing else would be remotely viable. And allowing picks to go over that arguably isn't worth it, unless you can reach 3-3-3-3-3-3, in which case that's the only build anyone ever builds.



Gold tower is in a weird spot. It's seemingly not that powerful, but if used right, it can get really stupid. Bump its damage too high, and regardless of its effect amount, you might as well live off these towers, cause you'll get more gold regardless. Bump its effect too high, and regardless of its damage, with decent support and placement, this thing is waaaaaaay too powerful (see Warcraft 3 & Starcraft 2 versions of the tower, aka The Abuse Tower). I dunno what to do with this tower, honestly.

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Right now, with 11 elements -- Look at the top 10 players currently, same one or two builds + speed clearing.


Of course with gold tower, you could prolong the game and get interest on top of the gold bonus. I don't know. I don't like gold tower right now. Since I play random, it's more rewarding to build good towers or single element towers and sell, rather than building gold tower.


For now, why not increase the bonus gold % and see how its utilized? Otherwise... give an effect such as single target slow/ -armor  or something.


Update: I got it, how about this.. first hit from gold2 does 25k 30% bounty + slow ; if creep doesn't die, the 2nd hit/kill it does 35k dmg 35% bounty + scaling slow, 3rd consecutive hit does 45k 40% + scaling slow. 10k dmg increase per consecutive hit and 5% bounty. This way, it scales well.. I've had funny times when the only tri-element tower i get at frog level is gold. i would build 10 gold towers since i have no other choice.

Edited by GoatAss

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Armour reduction is an area where I don't expect to ever be touched since keeping armour values at 0 keeps all the other balancing simple. Adding additional effects on a tower that layers piles of cash for you to save up isn't too wise either since it simply provides you with piles of income that are much harder to come by through raw interest alone.


From your standpoint as a player that enjoys spamming random it would make sense to have each tower be somewhat self sufficient if it is the only choice that you are given, however the gold tower at the end of the day is a low efficiency tower that is used to prolong the game timer and also increase your total networth by extreme amounts when compared to literally any other build. Making something this efficient become self sufficient in being a pseudo Light + Amp + Slow tower is definitely way too much to be asking for when compared to some other tri-element towers which struggle way more than the gold tower at being self sufficient, namely the Jinx and Flooding towers which require some sort of supporting towers to make its effects worthwhile.


Don't take anything I say literally, most of what I say is speculation and basic judgement on how things should go. However if you wanted to see where a custom game goes really wrong with armour values then Epic Boss Fight is a good place to start since there is almost no viable strategy without armour reduction/stacking from what I remember 7+ months ago.

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