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Siimon_Sama

Stats, Skill tree or both?

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Hi guys,
What would you guys like to see as a level up system?


I personally think a mix of both stats & a skill tree would give me lots of choice on how to customize my hero.


Please leave a comment telling us why you prefer one over the others.

Thank you for reading.

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I think a healthy mix of both would be very nice. Some could be for stats, and some of the tree could be for modifying how my towers work. Spend some points on my tower stats, and then spend the rest in my towers specifically so I can upgrade the ones I like to use. Just an example.

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I would say both, simply because of the number of possibilities you could go with both. A hard set stat based off of items and a skill tree based off of rewards for achievements or beating levels or anything would make customization levels and replay ability very nice.

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I am all for it as long as there is more than one viable spec per hero. Skill trees are always great in theory and always done with the best intentions but far too often there are balancing issues leaving only one desirable spec and sometime only one viable spec to succeed.

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my only complaint with skill trees is that theres always worthless things in them. if Trendy could make a skill tree that makes good use of every single point in it, even if point X is only useful for challenge X, and point Y is better for the rest of the game, id enjoy it.

but that probably wont happen.

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Maybe each level you get stat points, and every other level, or every 3 levels, or something like that you get skill points.

Some skills have a stat requirement before you can unlock them, and specific ugprade paths. (maybe these can be "tower skill trees")

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If skill trees are added id like there to be a "Skill Tree Check" for stuff just like we will have "Level Checks", "Gear Checks" when choosing a map/difficulty to play. Still comes down to balancing.

How bout some skills unlocked from easy? Some from hard? Others from nightmare? It'd help show progression also.

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2

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Aww, you beat me to creating this thread :) I started creating one last night, but never got around to posting it.

Having both a skill tree and stats could be very effective. Some things I saw in the livestream chat were things like giving the ice tower multiple beams vs. freezing faster. More flameburst bounces, less falloff damage, more harpoon pierces all could be part of a skill tree.

I would imagine stats would be similar to DD1 - Tower health, damage, all that great stuff we know and love.

So in a nutshell, give unique tower and hero perks in a skill tree, and normal stuff in stats.

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I would imagine stats would be similar to DD1 - Tower health, damage, all that great stuff we know and love.

I would actually not like to see the same 4 stats back.

With very few exceptions, damage/RoF achieve the same end (the exception would be something like a DST which fires slow enough it could actually be walked past before it attacks again. However, thats also part of what sets that tower apart). Both increase damage output, and if stats are balanced, you would end up just keeping them equal (assuming stat decay ala DD1). Keep it to just a damage/strength/DPS stat, which could do just damage, or a bit of both.
Range as it is implemented in DD1 is always going to reach a point where more is not helpful. If I can shoot to the corner, why do I need more? To a lesser extent, the same reasoning applies to health, there comes a point where you just dont need any more

Damage/Strength is the obvious stat to be carried foward from DD1. I think tower range dependent only upon current upgrade level could be interesting (possible skill for tower range/range scaling, but range implemented as a stat is always going to be important early and unimportant late). Tower health will probably make it in, but watch everyone walking around with minimal tower/hero health again if it does (500 health + 4k damage => got fairly typical in DD1 because that was all that was needed).

What I would *like* to see is something a little more dynamic. Why seperate stats and skills completely? They both achieve the same goal don't they? (making you or your towers more effective).

How about we have a category of skills that unlocks extra stats. Say you get the skill "towers heal 5 health for 1 nearby hero every 5 seconds", you could have following skills that increase the number of heroes healed, give a buff when healed, can heal towers, etc.

But what about the amount that gets healed? Do you have a levelable skill (eg. Borderlands) that gives 5 extra health per point? Does that levelable skill have a limited number of levels (heroes eventually outscale the healing)? If it has unlimited levels, do you really want your players dumping all their skill points into something that boring to keep up with player health? Skillpoints have to be relatively rare, else you get someone with a point in every unlock (1 point) skill, which are normally the fun ones, while someone specialising in their tower that heals heroes is very bored with his single extra ability.

How about, instead of having the skill strength bound to the skills, you give each one a stat. Stats can be as numerous as you like, because everything they boost you already have access to. So instead of having this "heal players from all my towers" skill be boring/outscaled, you can have skills that change how it acts, and a stat that changes how strong its actions are.

So now we have the 1 unlock skill (tower heals 1 player), the skills that change the action (tower heals 2 players/heal grants X buff/heal can apply to other towers), and the stat that determines how strong this effect is (0 = 5 health per heal, 10 = 20 health per heal, 100 = X health per heal). By unlocking that skill, you now have 3 stats to spend your points in. Unlock another skill and you have 4 areas to spend your points, etc.

Could be interesting :D

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I'd really rather see stats only. The flexibility is as good as it can be, and I read the above comments that knock skill tree implementation in other games and nod. I don't want that in DD2. There will be enough changes in DD2 without taking the risk of breaking something that worked well the first time.

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I'd really rather see stats only. The flexibility is as good as it can be, and I read the above comments that knock skill tree implementation in other games and nod. I don't want that in DD2. There will be enough changes in DD2 without taking the risk of breaking something that worked well the first time.


It worked, but there were several fundamental flaws. Exhibit A: Hero speed.

CrzyRndm, you bring up a really good point regarding tower range. It is true that it becomes useless after you reach a certain point. I would submit though that with how enemy armor currently works in the game, keeping tower fire rate and damage would be a wise move. Would you rather have a slow firing tower that does a lot of damage, or one that fires fast but does less damage per shot? One would be better for swarms while the other would be better for armored enemies.

Perhaps you could have a skill tree a la Borderlands, where you can either improve an existing ability or unlock a new one. They would be something simple, like +5% health, +5% tower damage, +5% speed, etc. Your weapons and armor would then have the normal DD1 stats, minus the broken ones.

In essence, leveling up gives you a skill tree while weapons and armor improve base stats.

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I would submit though that with how enemy armor currently works in the game, keeping tower fire rate and damage would be a wise move. Would you rather have a slow firing tower that does a lot of damage, or one that fires fast but does less damage per shot? One would be better for swarms while the other would be better for armored enemies.

Mob armour is probably percentage based atm, so fast/hard makes no difference (you need flat reductions for that to matter)

I would actually rather damge/RoF ratios were handled by towers. Yes it's good to have both slow/strong and fast/weak (and everything in between) towers, but if we have stats having decaying effects the same way they did in DD1, there is always going to be an optimal distribution that is neither entirely one or the other. By combining them, you remove what is basically a trap for new players, and are left with tower choice giving you the strategic choice between fast and hard (the same way most tower defence games handle it). Big hitters should deal greater damage in total, but are inefficient against low health but numerous creatures. DD1 let you get around that by RoF scaling to the point where high level DSTs are firing faster than low level MMTs, which if their damage was remotely balanced, completely ruins the point of using the fast firing tower.

Along the same lines, tower strength doesn't have to scale damage/rate the same for all towers. Something like a DST could gain damage much faster than other towers, but only have a very slow growth of RoF. Keep each tower to it's own strengths so to speak.
[QUOTE]Perhaps you could have a skill tree a la Borderlands, where you can either improve an existing ability or unlock a new one. They would be something simple, like +5% health, +5% tower damage, +5% speed, etc. Your weapons and armor would then have the normal DD1 stats, minus the broken ones.[/QUOTE]
I agree that % bonuses are a must in any skill tree (although they have their own drawbacks...), but I still think a crossover between skills and stats would really allow for a lot more individuality.between heroes. Stats as a rule are rather bland and limited, and skill trees tend to be rather linear (typically because of interaction between various skills making following a path better than spreading out). Both suffer heavily from "cookie cutter syndrome". Some kind of grey area between the two might help alleviate their weaknesses while keeping their strengths (ofcourse, it could backfire spectacularly as well)

RE: Stats only from equipment
The problem with this is that it puts players entirely at the mercy of the loot generator. BL has this problem in spades, where your strength is entirely loot driven. I could be getting a little complicated here, but it would be nice if loot dependency varied by character/spec (thinking about Diablo 2 as an example here. Sorceress could play essentially naked, while barbarians required decent gear just to kill things).

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You guys are bringing up a lot of really good points. I haven't personally made up my mind regarding stats vs skill trees vs both simply because I keep hearing different views. People also keep on bringing up new pros and cons for all of them that I hadn't thought of. I would definitely love to hear more from you all and will make sure the dev team sees this thread/poll so if you vote please be sure to write down why you voted that way.

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I think a good combo of skill trees and stats is this:
HP, Damage, Range, and Rate of Fire each have their own page or skill tree that starts with one square for you to directly increase that stat. Then branching from that one square are other skills like extra explosive resistance for Spike Blockades or damage dealing knock back for the Magic Blockade. Each point added to the higher tiered skills still increases the respective stat but to a lesser degree. Meaning, you can add explosive resistance and increase your Spike Blockade's HP by 10 or you can directly increase it's HP by 40 without increasing resistance. That way people who just want pure stat increases can do so and those that want specialized defenses won't feel like their towers aren't getting stronger at a base level.

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I think both is a great option to add complexity and uniqueness to your character. The key here is to find a friendly balance of how to show this data. Maybe a method to show a "basic" view of both and then maybe a "advanced" for those who want to go all out into the possibilities.

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Both for sure. Let's gear be good but also allows user customization and build preferences which is great also.

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Building a skill tree that requires you put a given number of points in this or that skill before you can start putting points in other ones is just fine as long as the requirements for most items is fairly light. Put generic things that everyone is going go like having at the base of the tree and have it branch out quickly. An important aspect of the mix between stat points and skill tree is most nodes in the tree should allow you to keep putting points in them. Not just 5 points in this node then it is done but you can put 100 points in this node if you really want to build your character that way. Having some skills that are just 1 point to unlock a new ability or change how something works is fine. But most of them should be able to take many points.

You can do things like have branches that have skills that just increase the power of the fire ball tower. One skill ups its damage another the range. You would also have a branch that does the same stuff for all towers but a lower amount per point. You can either specialize on particular towers that you like to use or be more general. Branches that focus on tower interaction would be good to. decrease the time to freeze an enemy with the ice tower, so more guys can get shattered by other towers.

It of course makes balance potentially difficult as you have to understand the system well enough that there don't become weird combos of skill that are so good you would be silly not to take them. But if done right could give a great diversity of options of how to build your character that can just keep being expanded on as you keep progressing.

The other question is how does it interact with gear. In DD1 the points you got from leveling were no different from stats on gear. Your level was basically just one more item you were wearing that you had full control over.
Now you don't want to make gear like games like Diablo where there are tons of different stats and it can be really hard to find just what you want and hard to tell if something is better. But if gear was basically equivalent to points spent in the more generic nodes of the trees like range attack speed damage on towers or characters like it was before the the skill tree was how you specialized in particular areas that would probably work just fine.

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Since this is dungeon defender's 2, I am going to compare it with the original.

I would like to see stats like we had before, but also a skill tree as well. I think the skill tree could replace the stats we had that directly affected character skills. So like for Barbarian, he had stances in place of tower stats, but everyone also got 2 ability stats that you could level. I would like to see that removed in favor of a skill tree system. And maybe have the skills you learn/level upgrade your towers somehow, so like for mage, you can learn fireball and it gives added aoe range to your fireball towers, or you can learn a shield spell which grants a small shield to all your towers when you level it, Or just a flat stat boost, so if I really like fire towers, I can level my skills accordingly to enhance their performance in versus doing a flat tower state bonus, because it limits the amount of state points you can place in your towers, so you don't get situations where people make one DPS character and one Tower character then swap between them.

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I would like to see both implemented, but am much more on the stats side. It worked well in the first game and provides lots of variation.

If skill trees are implemented I'm more for small percentage bonus's or minor effects over big choices in avalible abilities.

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DD1 leveling was just a matter of putting all of the character's points in damage for that level. It wasn't exciting and didn't make my character feel like he was getting stronger. Especially since gear tended to make a bigger difference anyway.

I think skill trees are much more fun and can really customize your character. But as others have pointed out it usually ends up turning into a standard build, and is very difficult to balance correctly.

Either/Or skill trees have worked well in other games and seem to be a good balance of the two. Choosing whether or not to specialize in frost towers usually ends up in a standard build. But choosing how to make your character's frost towers better can leave the door more open and is much easier to balance. And +5% to slow is okay, but double frost beams is way better, even if that second beam only does 5% slow to a second enemy.

Regardless of how this is handled I don't want to see imbalances in tower/dps characters. For instance needing dps characters to deal with ogres. I don't mind one being better suited than another, but I feel like this is a place in which a skill tree can give a tower hero a way of dealing with ogres and vice versa, you can give dps heroes abilities to use during the build phase.

Also if you decide to make some either/or skill builds it might be fun to put a skill on the forum and have the defense council try and match it or beat it.

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I think this is where analytics is going to play an important part in determining balance. Find out where the trends are in what the most/least used upgrade tree, and buff/nerf accordingly. The same would also apply to heroes to ensure all are being used equally at all stages of the game as well as DPS/tower ratios. Without that, it would literally be impossible to properly balance a skill tree like the one we're discussing here.

I'm fairly confident they will be using analytics for balance; my assumption is based on the statistics they showed following PAX(?) where a bunch of people demoed the game in its pre-alpha state. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they're collecting similar data right now with our play sessions.

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I definitely agree with both. The skill tree is a huge concept I've been playing with mentally lately and I think it's a great idea. There would be two main trees you can dig into, one being Towers and one being Hero. Within those two trees, there would be various branches. For example, if you go down the Hero tree with your Squire, you can choose to go down into the Taunt branch (making you run faster or jump higher during taunt) or you can go into the Builder branch (better casting rate, bigger repair/upgrade radius). You could go into tower tree also, meaning its not like if you open up one tree, you close the other.

Within the tower tree, you could go down the ballista path, giving your ballista towers the potential to pierce a few enemies (but pls keep it less overwhelming than DD1's harpoons so its not a necessity), or you could give your cannonball tower an elemental damage of your choice.

Stats would be going on all the while though, so keep the stats out of the tree. If you put your points into tower attack rate, for example, there shouldn't be a branch of the Tower tree that gives you even more tower attack speed.

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I think I would prefer a sort of skill tree system in which at each level the skill fork, left or right, with many high level skills, but fewer lower level skills, to reward reaching higher levels. much like this

4 4 4 4
3 3 3
2 2
level 1

and so on. That way, you can give people many options on how they would like to build their character, like for a supportive, offensive, or really ANY role. I understand that this requires many different skills, but it's at least something to keep in mind.

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