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Gibble96

The New Hail Tower (It's Really Weak)

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Ok, I'm curious as to what others think about the re-worked hail tower (Every 15 attacks, it fires at all enemies within range.)

 

It is sooooooo cool to watch; but it's also just freaking TERRIBLE.  I think it's worst damage tower in the game and by a pretty large margin.

 

This tower basically gets completely screwed over by every single enemy ability type in the game.

 

Undead - It's still more or less a single target dps tower; does not handle undead well (nor should it handle undead)

Shield - Close to half the targets are usually invulnerable when the spread shot goes off

Regeneration - Completely negates the spread shot after a little time

Healing - soft damage spread across the entire creep wave gets healed off pretty quickly once a few guys die

Speed - You'd think it'd be good versus speed, and it is decent, but less time within range = less spread shots

Temporal - The only creep type this tower seems to excel against.

 

Please don't revert Hail Towers.  They're so cool as they are now, but they're incredibly weak.

 

However, due to their range of influence, I think they're difficult to balance.  A damage hike is necessary, but I think it needs more than just damage.  I feel that the Hail Tower in its current form would either remain too weak or would become completely broken with no room in between.

 

Right now it deals single target damage damage and then a burst of "soft" damage to all enemies, which basically means it's absolutely atrocious versus every single creep ability (Except temporal).

 

If the damage gets hiked to where it deals "great" damage to all enemies then it turns broken; hard broken.

 

So I'd like to suggest giving it critical strikes.

 

15% chance to deal 4x damage.

 

This represents a 45% DPS increase -which is probably about what the tower needs- but more importantly: the damage during the spread shot becomes staggered.  A few targets will receive lethal damage, while others receive the old "soft" damage that gets easily countered.  Giving out a handful of deep gashes instead of nothing but paper cuts enables the wielder of the tower to try and cut holes in the enemy creep formation against healing; and to finish off critically injured Regeneration creeps.

 

Based on the tower design, Regeneration and Healing *should* threaten this tower quite a bit, but as it stands Regeneration and Healing absolutely erase the Hail Tower; more so than I would guess was intended. 

 

-

 

On a side note: I'd also suggest reducing the attack count from 15 to 14.  As it stands, level 1 trickery towers clones will just *barely* make it to the 15th spread shot, but if there is even a slight disruption to the attack stream then the clone will disappear before firing off that spread shot.

 

It would make sense that Trickery Tower and Hail Tower get along after all =X

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Have you considered trying more builds outside of rushing 2-2-2 for your Hail tower? I'm sure that would be a large reason as to why you think the tower is absolute shit. With a level 1 Well tower buff it is possible to achieve 15 hits in 10 seconds as attacking at 1.7/s = 16~ attacks before expiry. I don't want to say this as if you're spouting nonsense but you really are since it is possible to reach somewhere around level 40 with a 2-2-2-0-2 build where you prioritize getting a Well tower early on and then buy 2 Hail towers with a Trickery/Mirage tower.

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I've tried multiple support combinations; none of which utilize rushing 2-2-2; also tried multiple positioning combinations and manually targeting to avoid damage waste (something this tower is incredibly prone to).

 

The biggest reason why I've been so uninspired by the tower is just how much better my other towers always perform.  I build a standard light-water-nature cover using 2xHail + Tidal + Enchantment tower and the Tidal/Enchant make a larger impact.  With a single Well Spring Tower and Trickery Tower this quartet performs pretty well through 30'ish but other defenses can do the same with just 3 triple towers.

 

From that point onward, I've tried to advance the defense with hail as the primary damage tower, but Tidal Towers always, always outstrip the Hail Tower's performance and by a considerable margin.

 

Other level 2 triples will absolutely trash wave 35 with a full support system (I had enchant + polar + roots + muck + well towers ), but it took 2 level 2 Hail towers to struggle to clear what a single level 2 Tidal Tower will absolutely decimate.

 

If anything, Hail Tower should benefit the most from a zero-support system.  Maybe that's my issue since I'm surrounding it with splashes and slows and damage boosters and I should just rush Hail Tower level 2 ASAP followed by an immediate level 3 trickery tower.  I will give Hail Tower Level 2 rush a shot; maybe I'll revise my opinion after a stock standard level 2 rush > level 3 trickery rush.

 

Ultimately, Hail Tower feels incredibly shallow as a lead-damage tower.  If this is by design then I guess it's fine; I would only use it in a serious multi-player game as a cover for a Water-Main strategy; and only if I didn't have access to better light-damage towers.

 

A strong argument could be made that the Hail Tower *shouldn't* be a particularly good damage tower -and I agree with that sentiment-, because as a 1500 range non-splash tower it should definitely not stand among the elite damage dealing towers; but as it stands, it feels pointless.  In a 1v1 against WindStrike I wouldn't even consider Hail Towers when there are towers that can clear waves so much faster, for so much less money.

 

It's possible that Tidal/Quake are overpowered; but I've also done far more with far less utilizing other tower combinations such as Gunpowder lead damage dealer + Flame Thrower cover + Dark Tower for clean-up with Muck/Erosion/Forge support.  I'd also feel pretty comfortable using similar support set-ups with Flooding/Flame Tower/Steam Tower.

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Hail towers aren't meant to be flashy powerhouse towers that mow down entire creep waves instantly from 10-55, they fill a similar role to AoE towers but at the highest possible range. Thats why their obvious weakness is that they basically have no synergy at all after creeps start pressing past the 100k health mark. If this tower was to be seriously buffed then it would have to have a range reduction which also defeats the purpose of having a charged up no-limit multishot which is used to hit just about every creep on the map.

 

Think of the Hail tower as the absolute best tower for rush builds as that would be where their efficiency peaks. The tower fills no role as a late game option aside from allowing you to build up some money before you get to the levels where it really becomes irrelevant and weaker than the Runic tower which you really should be switching over to by that point in the game where you have 2x 30% slows. You aren't meant to expect a 1500 range tower with 1.5 BaT and 5000 damage to be the end all-be-all tower to carry you all the way to a top rank, it is meant to make your life easier approaching that rank by killing the cannon fodder in the early levels for a low price.

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I guess we'll just have to disagree on a philosophical basis; I would like every damage-classed tower to possess a role late game.  Usually a long-range single-target tower would possess utility for pick-offs during icefrog round but the Hail tower's single target damage is pretty atrocious relative to Magic Towers, Refined/Pure Dark/Nature, Celerity, Etc.

 

Ideally Hail Tower would fit into a defense using a level 3 dual-element buff tower and 2x damage amp triples with no slowing support (Fire/dark/nature/water or light/earth/water/nature), but due to its typing it lends itself to at least one slowing support triple.

 

As it stands, Hail Tower best serves as just a cover for water-damage towers through the mid-game; which is rather disappointing; as there are other single-target towers high range towers that can serve a useful purpose during icefrog rounds (such as celerities with quake, magic towers/dark towers with gunpowder, blitz with... anything, really).

 

Splash is usually the centerpiece of any defense, bar something over the top like pre-nerf Blitz/Quark, but singles have traditionally held a place for pick-offs during fruit/icefrog rounds and for eliminating lead creeps to prevent double-pass splash towers from switching targets earlier than intended.  And in sc2 days, there were builds that could mainstay singles with some supporting splash to protect against undead/image and would work to great effect.

 

Historically in EleTD, any damage tower could have a defense constructed around its concepts to optimize it, and it could clear the game on Insane Difficulty with no lives lost; even if just barely.  Now there was definitely a discrepancy in Fruit Round effectiveness, but wave 60 could be cleared with anything provided it was optimized.

 

If the game balance philosophy has changed such that every defense should be slow + splash by the end; well then I guess I'm a sucker for the old-school balance where a large variety of strategies worked in SP and MP; and where any damage-classed tower could have a defense built around its concepts and serve as the basis for a tower defense.

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1 hour ago, Gibble96 said:

Historically in EleTD, any damage tower could have a defense constructed around its concepts to optimize it, and it could clear the game on Insane Difficulty with no lives lost; even if just barely.  Now there was definitely a discrepancy in Fruit Round effectiveness, but wave 60 could be cleared with anything provided it was optimized.

 

Not quite. Old SC2/WC3 Tidal Towers were god for clearing the waves, but then fell off horribly once it hit the end-game. Hail Tower has kinda been like that; recent patch, I guess they're underpowered and need some fixing, though I was actually balancing it in comparison with Impulse Tower, which is a tower that's good at all stages of the game, provided you have a decent enough build to back it up (ie, F N W D). I do really like the crit idea for the tower, gonna try it out for next patch (which won't be for another week). In the meantime, I'll just be running a hotfix on it that decreases the attacks required + increases damage a bit cause yeah, relative to Impulse Tower, well... Impulse outdoes Hail by quite a bit. I recall Vapor Tower was another tower that's pretty much good for all stages of the the game until the end-game, and I attempted a tweak on it, and apparently I need to attempt yet another bloody tweak on that tower.

 

Game balance philosophy has changed so that in theory, AoE deals the most damage w/ support, but ultimately can't finish, so ideally, a mix of both would create the best defense. Some of my really good builds don't use slowing, but they do use AoE + Single-target.... + damage amp. Heck, I've even done all single-target before, and it can work. Ideally, I would love for the philosophy to change off of "DPS isn't the sole means of victory", buuuuuut doing that would require more than just rebalancing and sticking abilities on everything. The game, currently, is structured around DPS, sooo I'd probably hold that philosophy either for a PvP mode or a possible Element TD 2 for down-the-road.

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4 hours ago, WindStrike said:

 

Not quite. Old SC2/WC3 Tidal Towers were god for clearing the waves, but then fell off horribly once it hit the end-game. Hail Tower has kinda been like that; recent patch, I guess they're underpowered and need some fixing, though I was actually balancing it in comparison with Impulse Tower, which is a tower that's good at all stages of the game, provided you have a decent enough build to back it up (ie, F N W D). I do really like the crit idea for the tower, gonna try it out for next patch (which won't be for another week). In the meantime, I'll just be running a hotfix on it that decreases the attacks required + increases damage a bit cause yeah, relative to Impulse Tower, well... Impulse outdoes Hail by quite a bit. I recall Vapor Tower was another tower that's pretty much good for all stages of the the game until the end-game, and I attempted a tweak on it, and apparently I need to attempt yet another bloody tweak on that tower.

 

Game balance philosophy has changed so that in theory, AoE deals the most damage w/ support, but ultimately can't finish, so ideally, a mix of both would create the best defense. Some of my really good builds don't use slowing, but they do use AoE + Single-target.... + damage amp. Heck, I've even done all single-target before, and it can work. Ideally, I would love for the philosophy to change off of "DPS isn't the sole means of victory", buuuuuut doing that would require more than just rebalancing and sticking abilities on everything. The game, currently, is structured around DPS, sooo I'd probably hold that philosophy either for a PvP mode or a possible Element TD 2 for down-the-road.

 

I took every tower in the game and built around it in sc2 and it cleared the game in the hardest difficulty (sometimes with -extreme); yes fruit kills were terrible for stuff like Hail but it cleared.

 

If the game philosophy has significantly altered then I'd suggest giving the Hail Tower a few runs yourself before buffing it; I think you'll find what I found, but you should try it for yourself.

 

I think critical strikes would assist this tower regardless; even if you lowered this tower's damage to erase the DPS increased.  The biggest issue in my experience was how the special ability of the Hail Tower was essentially erased by certain creep abilities.  Staggered damage would make it possible to cut holes into the enemy line of healing creeps or kill heavily wounded regen creeps quickly.

 

*And on a side note, as opposed to balancing this tower against the Impulse Tower, shouldn't it be balanced against the old Tidal Tower?  Isn't this the same function where it auto-attacks like an arrow tower then hits all creeps in a radius 1 time each?  Isn't this the old Tidal Tower but with less AOE component, and a much heavier emphasis on the long-range, single-target damage component?

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Just tried rushing Hail 2/Trickery 3 and the tower performed substantially better.  It fell off hard around 48 to 50 on insane, but I screwed up my element acquisition order and grabbed earth-2 before water-3 (a pure water would've carried me through I think).

 

I can see how on lower difficulties the Hail Tower could feel overpowering; as creep HP counts would remain low enough for the spread shot to just wipe out everything.

 

IMHO, for Insane difficulty the Hail Tower needs a damage hike; I would suggest starting with reducing the attacks required from 15 to 14; and then test a version of the revamped Hail Tower that does less per-shot than the current Hail Tower but then deals critical strikes; which would reduce its ability to absolutely decimate lower difficulty mid-waves with the spread shots while still maintaining some kill shots on Insane.  This would make the tower more consistent across difficulties.

 

Something like 800/4000 damage with a 12.5% chance for 4x crits would represent a 10% DPS increase, -and when combined with reduced attacks required from 15 to 14- that might be enough to absolve the Hail Tower on Insane Difficulty while actually reducing its ability to blanket bomb early waves in lower difficulties.

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It's definitely the worst tower in the game for Express. But then again, a lot of long range stuff is really bad in Express mode.

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