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Disciple

Refuting the Purpose of Hero Decks

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Steel yourselves, this post is going deep into the heart and soul of Hero Decks. If you have not the time to give refer to the shortened TL;DR at the close.


ENTER HERO DECKS


About 9 months ago Trendy put forward the plan of hero decks, a brand new system for Dungeon Defenders 2 regarding which heroes you may carry with you to the battle lines against the host of enemies bent on the destruction of Etheria. The blog post contained some of the postives and negatives of the original hero selection system from Dungeon Defenders, and Trendy’s basic reasoning to give Hero Decks a whirl with DD2. You may find the original blog post here: https://www.dungeondefenders.com/2/blog/108079/dungeon-defenders-ii-hero-deck

Dungeon Defenders II: Hero Deck

In the first Dungeon Defenders, players could swap between an unlimited number of heroes during a match. This had several benefits, including the ability for individuals to access more than just one set of defenses. It also encouraged players to create multiple heroes -- and sometimes specialized versions of the same hero -- to use in a single match.

But this system created a few issues. Leveling multiple heroes became the only way to play -- you couldn’t complete the late-game content using a single hero. In addition to this, it discouraged true, four-player co-op in which every player has the chance to contribute to the build strategy. Instead, designated builders would bring in their heroes and tell other players not to take part in the defensive setup.

Ultimately, we want players to embrace the strengths of their teammates. We also want to make it possible to complete the entirety of the online co-op game with a single hero, if that’s what you desire. To facilitate this, we’ve created the Hero Deck, which plays up the positives of the DD1 system while fixing some of the key issues.

The Hero Deck lets you bring a selection of heroes into battle. At the moment, players can add three individual heroes to their deck. Just like the first Dungeon Defenders, you can go to the Forge to swap between these heroes during the Build Phase. And your ability and defense mana now transfers between heroes when you swap, so no more dropping mana on the ground and cursing when someone walks by and swipes it!

The Hero Deck has encouraged teams in our Defense Council to develop strategies that involve all players, not just a designated builder. We’ve watched players use our revamped Ping system to ask each other to build blockades, auras, towers and traps, which is something that was rarely seen in DD1 public matches.

The Hero Deck is still in the early stages of development, and it’s already sparked some great discussion among our Councillors. For example: What if you’re playing solo and you want to access every defense and hero combination? Or what if you’re playing with friends, and you want one person to build everything like in DD1? We’re still working on how the Hero Deck system will address these concerns, but this feedback and perspective is invaluable to us as we move forward with development, so keep it coming!

How do you feel about the Hero Deck system? Let us know in the comments below, and you could win a seat on the Defense Council and a chance to try out the Hero Deck for yourself! 


The remaining blog post omitted since it is off-topic.

According to the reply tracker the blog post garnered a grand total of 229 comments, but due to technical difficulties not all of the comments are retrievable at the time of this thread posting. In light of the limits, the general feedback on the new system was positive with some mild concerns put forward now and then.


ACKNOWLEDGING GREATNESS


Creating a follow-up title to greatness can be a daunting task for any development team. Exploring new territories and maintaining what is already terrific can be difficult. However my points are received let it be known I appreciate all the work Trendy has put into DD2, and my simple reason for going to such great lengths of expression is because I have faith in them to create another amazing title.


DISSECTING REALITY


When I first read about Hero Decks and realized what I would be giving up in comparison to DD1, I bit my tongue and kept silent because other reasons may be playing a factor. Are Hero Decks there to achieve more than what has been said? Are the available software assets in DD2 less than DD1 that the gameplay would be negatively impacted if we brought more than 3 heroes to the fight? Technological advances may make digital storage space appear to be unlimited, but there is a limit, and as such could also be a factor for Hero Decks. I knew I was not for Hero Decks, but I could understand if there are limitations.


Today I will set these other possibilities aside and focus on only what has been provided in this blog post. Almost every line will be critically analyzed, and it is my hope the active dungeon defenders community will join with me in judging what the best course of action will be for the future of Dungeon Defenders 2. Should Hero Decks be retained or abolished? Please continue reading and post your thoughts; your opinion matters.

Let’s get started –

In the first Dungeon Defenders, players could swap between an unlimited number of heroes during a match.

As I recall the maximum number of heroes I could create when I played last was 16. You could swap between all of your created heroes to your heart’s content, but 16 was the most you could create at one time. This max number was increased at least one time. We were never restricted access to any heroes no matter which mode we chose to play or however many heroes we created.

This had several benefits, including the ability for individuals to access more than just one set of defenses. 

This is an excellent example of the freedom DD1 empowered players with regarding tower strategies. We were able to fiddle with each hero we took care in leveling up and gearing. Our time spent strategizing was only on the towers translating into a more positive experience in comparison to DD2’s restrictive nature.


So far we have two excellent pluses that DD1 got right. So how did Hero Decks enter into DD2? We are getting there.

It also encouraged players to create multiple heroes -- and sometimes specialized versions of the same hero -- to use in a single match.

From my perspective the majority, not just some, were creating specialized versions. So long as we have multiple tower stats that impact each tower differently there will always be players creating specialized versions of each hero. I would argue that it was not our freedom to create and swap between all of our heroes that encouraged us to create specialized versions, but the stat distribution on the items enabling us to create the strongest specialized version of each.


When I began writing this article I did not see myself agreeing in any way to keep Hero Decks in DD2. To my surprise, this is the first time I would say OK to keeping Hero Decks.


Don’t get me wrong, all things the same I am still against Hero Decks remaining; but if Trendy decided to consolidate all tower stats into one single stat, and all hero stats into one single stat, then I would say let’s keep Hero Decks. The consolidation process would include those special stats as well. No more 5% Boost Aura dmg, no more 5% Flameburst tower dmg, no more 10% projectile range increases. Any stats which would encourage creating another tower builder in the same hero would have to be unified with the other stats, or the whole idea would be upturned.

But this system created a few issues. Leveling multiple heroes became the only way to play -- you couldn’t complete the late-game content using a single hero.

As we progress in any game that contains item progression part of the increased challenge is placed onto the items, another on the decision making of the player, and another on the performance of the player. The cool thing about Dungeon Defenders is each hero was unique with their own set of towers that they would bring to the battlefield. This fourth challenge layer was a plus for DD1. 


Regarding the only way to play, people were free to play however they wished. Those that wanted to reach a high-difficulty goal, they would have to put in the effort and bring in more defenses. These other people who were upset over this simply did not want to be challenged. They wanted to reach the same goals but with less effort. 


Generally, the more effort you have to put in to reach your goal the more fulfilling the reward is at the end. I think back to when nightmare mode was first released and defeating the Spider Queen in solo mode when so many others thought the feat to be impossible. My intense satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment was enormous. All of the effort that was put in to leveling and gearing my heroes, carefully selecting where all of the defenses would be placed, utilizing every possible resource I could, and finally executing my strategy with precision, sometimes on the edge of my seat, this effort is what made me so thrilled in the end.


So please don’t force us to play without a leg just because some others don’t want to stand on theirs.

In addition to this, it discouraged true, four-player co-op in which every player has the chance to contribute to the build strategy. Instead, designated builders would bring in their heroes and tell other players not to take part in the defensive setup.

Now is when we’re finally getting to see the real purpose behind Hero Decks. The shift is not so much on gameplay anymore, but internet etiquette. Using Hero Decks to change the behavior of players is a losing strategy because now you are stepping on players with good behavior. Creating avenues for multiple attitudes to meet with each other is the winning strategy. 


Diablo 3 I believe is a good example for this. There are so many effective ways to communicate with other players on specific or general topics and to group up together with all players focused on completing the same goal; communities (unlimited number of players) for the general goals, clans (maximum 150 players) for the specific requirements, or simple matchmaking if none of the above matters to you.


The same can be transferred over to Dungeon Defenders. The Social Tavern is a good start. We’ll be able to communicate with more players increasing the likelihood we will find others with the same goals in mind. Moving forward I believe we may need another option which allows us to select exact goals before we meet with others as more game modes are added.

Ultimately, we want players to embrace the strengths of their teammates. We also want to make it possible to complete the entirety of the online co-op game with a single hero, if that’s what you desire. To facilitate this, we’ve created the Hero Deck, which plays up the positives of the DD1 system while fixing some of the key issues.

There are two separate ideas here being used to justify Hero Decks. The first, “embrace the strengths of their teammates,” falls in line again with internet etiquette and requires not the gameplay restriction on all players, but avenues for communication to best facilitate this goal. The second, “complete the entirety of the online co-op game with a single hero,” simply has no place here at all. Already we have seen the friction this goal has caused within the community and how Incursions are the current focal point to help bolster the end-game challenges. We can’t allow ourselves to be dictated to by lackadaisical players. Have options for both, and remember that if they will not stand on both of their feet that is their problem and not yours Trendy.


Placing restrictions using the Hero Decks annuls any retained positives because it wasn’t the selection process that was the problem; therefore nothing has been fixed, only damaged. Restore the gameplay to being open and free, and let the players that want to rise to the challenge do so.

The Hero Deck lets you bring a selection of heroes into battle. At the moment, players can add three individual heroes to their deck. Just like the first Dungeon Defenders, you can go to the Forge to swap between these heroes during the Build Phase.

Not much to read into here, except that we will be restricted in our hero selection process with DD2.

And your ability and defense mana now transfers between heroes when you swap, so no more dropping mana on the ground and cursing when someone walks by and swipes it!

This is a terrific example of an issue being fixed without bringing any baggage. Just like Temporary Item Bags and items falling off the map being claimed, this is DD2 shining when making proper improvements over DD1. Well done!

The Hero Deck has encouraged teams in our Defense Council to develop strategies that involve all players, not just a designated builder.

O encouraged, encouraged, how you are used so improperly here. When you are encouraged to do something there is also the choice to not do it. The Hero Decks don’t encourage, they force us into a predicament by restricting which heroes we are allowed to use. The very unique heroes we have created, leveled, and geared may now be attributed to a wasted amount of time and effort because they are no longer at our disposal at a moment’s notice as in DD1. Let those who crave to be prepared for anything have that option. Hero Decks are unwarranted and need to be removed.

We’ve watched players use our revamped Ping system to ask each other to build blockades, auras, towers and traps, which is something that was rarely seen in DD1 public matches.

The new Ping system is excellent! Kudos on tying in the pings with chat to express exactly why we are pinging. This improvement over DD1 is great but it does not lend anything to the discussion of requiring Hero Decks, just like the mana not being required to be dropped upon hero swapping. 

The Hero Deck is still in the early stages of development, and it’s already sparked some great discussion among our Councillors. For example: What if you’re playing solo and you want to access every defense and hero combination? Or what if you’re playing with friends, and you want one person to build everything like in DD1? We’re still working on how the Hero Deck system will address these concerns, but this feedback and perspective is invaluable to us as we move forward with development, so keep it coming!

It is one mindset to ask questions on how to improve a feature, and another standpoint to say the feature does not belong to begin with. We need to stop asking questions on how to improve the Hero Decks. As long as Hero Decks remain they will always carry restrictions, and they will never be able to reach the same freedom we had with DD1. 


Think of it this way: we had Hero Decks in DD1; it was all of the heroes that we created. No secondary Hero Deck to whittle down the heroes available for us to use. Anything we created we could use. You can’t improve on that freedom of choice.


TL;DR


In summary, Hero Decks were created to change the behavior of teammates. Those with good behavior are now being encroached upon by the restrictions. We are now in an unfair and unpleasant situation. The solution is removing Hero Decks and creating avenues for people to communicate to find others interested in the same goals. Everybody would benefit from this.

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Thank you for making this point.  There are small parts in your post I would nitpickily disagree with, but the overarching idea I support.  As a basically exclusive solo player, the Hero Deck is a really hard blow to my fun, especially given that it doesn't allow for 1 of every hero.

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I'll have to agree with what you said. Hero Decks are poppy*** and should be removed, because you always have the 1 player who has difficulty understanding the game and the layouts (to put it nicely), which can, and usually will, cost you the game.

Now, I'm pretty sure that Trendy will still go with the idea, however, I think an influence vote war would be fitting for this.

Also, even if Trendy decides to ignore this,  hopefully they at least remove it if you wish to play solo, there is no teamwork playing solo so the concept of hero decks are worthless.

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@Disciple quote:

TL;DR


In summary, Hero Decks were created to change the behavior of teammates. Those with good behavior are now being encroached upon by the restrictions. We are now in an unfair and unpleasant situation. The solution is removing Hero Decks and creating avenues for people to communicate to find others interested in the same goals. Everybody would benefit from this.

Have you forgot the Summoner in DD1?  Once you push a possbiility that augments the player it will become a necessity down the road.  Power creeps, while almost inevitable in the long run, a large portion of it can be prevented with a few simple setups.  Take your D3 for example, the AH back in the days could be viewed as "pushing the possibility" of crowd-sourced farming,  which it becomes a necessity for people to beat late game contents in the latter days and as such has to be scrapped by Blizzard citing something like "what people ended up doing is to watch the AH all day". 

Speaking of which, I do not believe the existence of the deck or the lack thereof should limit the ability of the player to complete any map in any level of difficulty.

The real reason I believe Hero deck is a good idea is because now you can have multiple "meta" builds for solo because your deck cannot possibly contain all the heroes you want to use and you have to put that into consideration.  If you can use all the available heroes what happens is that eventually someone will put up an end-all be-all meta build which everyone will use thereafter.  That would make the game really boring (for the majority of people) very quickly.  You have to be kidding if you think most people won't go for that one meta build to play the game.  Yes, the initial solo and setup discovery would be "fulfilling" but once any power creep comes in it inevitably introduces discontinuity in difficulty which people will inevitably go for the meta after the frustrations kicks in. 

I believe  back in DD1 there was a point at the game where I can easily beat insane survival at any map (which doesn't give you good enough stuff to beat nightmare anyways) but not the same map in CAMPAIGN mode nightmare just because the game (nightmare but not insane) got so much difficulty adjustments along the line that you "have to" have a certain setups and certain DLC's (Summoner for example) in order to complete maps because the difficulty is adjusted with those in mind.  If your game has multiple solo metas because the "complete" build does not exist, it would be easier for people to discover it and you have more variety in the strategic aspect of it (Think combinatorics, not permutation. Choosing X items out of X items only give you one option, it becomes only an illusion of choice).  I believe the requirement of variety in strategy would be one of the things which make the game fun at the end.


As for the communication aspect of it, You can only use certain methods only when your community has reached a certain size.  Imagine a server list where a lot of people would just kick you on inspect -- that certainly has a lot lower chance happening if you got a huge community, but during the time when the size of the community is limited it can and will happen.  My point is that the methods used in D3 would be effective only when they got more than a certain number of people.  Below that you sort of have to deal with jerks through the rules instead of letting the community handle the issue themselves.  (Only Trendy has an idea how large of a community it is having so It would probably be best to leave it to them)


@321Leviathan quote:

I'll have to agree with what you said. Hero Decks are poppy*** and should be removed, because you always have the 1 player who has difficulty understanding the game and the layouts (to put it nicely), which can, and usually will, cost you the game.

Now, I'm pretty sure that Trendy will still go with the idea, however, I think an influence vote war would be fitting for this.

Also, even if Trendy decides to ignore this,  hopefully they at least remove it if you wish to play solo, there is no teamwork playing solo so the concept of hero decks are worthless.

Please don't get me started on this.  Please drop the obsession of losing a game.  It's just a game.  If someone is being a jerk that cost you game(s) stop playing with them.  I don't mind the "unrestricted solo" mode where you can use everyone in your deck, but I would see it as more or less a "testing" mode and I do mind if it give you loots.

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would have to disagree with the part where you say that everyone would just use 1 meta build for every map. I do not believe that this was the case at all for dd1. From what i have seen, most people do use different builds, and i still find it fun to come up with new builds. Sure most builds are similar but i hardly ever see the same build being used on 1 map by everyone. Instead with people being able to use all the heroes they have, ive seen a lot of very unique builds, and have seen a lot of people who still try to redefine there builds. 

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@harry4550 quote:

would have to disagree with the part where you say that everyone would just use 1 meta build for every map. I do not believe that this was the case at all for dd1. From what i have seen, most people do use different builds, and i still find it fun to come up with new builds. Sure most builds are similar but i hardly ever see the same build being used on 1 map by everyone. Instead with people being able to use all the heroes they have, ive seen a lot of very unique builds, and have seen a lot of people who still try to redefine there builds. 

The builds are different but in aspects not everybody notices easily, anyway; not the point.


I think the hero deck MAY remain, if they implement hero deck leveling, and with this hero deck prestige. And hero deck prestige would unlock another hero deck slot for unlimited amount of times, want a new hero on your deck? work for it. It definitely would keep gaining xp worth it as a lot of 25s have this boost xp that nobody gives 2 craps about, and well prestige is always interesting there are so many things you can add, and allow players more hardcore end-game players to stand out without really stop interacting with casual end-game players. 

I believe it would definitely be something worth having a deck if it could be increased.

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@Gutu quote:


@harry4550 quote:

would have to disagree with the part where you say that everyone would just use 1 meta build for every map. I do not believe that this was the case at all for dd1. From what i have seen, most people do use different builds, and i still find it fun to come up with new builds. Sure most builds are similar but i hardly ever see the same build being used on 1 map by everyone. Instead with people being able to use all the heroes they have, ive seen a lot of very unique builds, and have seen a lot of people who still try to redefine there builds. 

The builds are different but in aspects not everybody notices easily, anyway; not the point.


I think the hero deck MAY remain, if they implement hero deck leveling, and with this hero deck prestige. And hero deck prestige would unlock another hero deck slot for unlimited amount of times, want a new hero on your deck? work for it. It definitely would keep gaining xp worth it as a lot of 25s have this boost xp that nobody gives 2 craps about, and well prestige is always interesting there are so many things you can add, and allow players more hardcore end-game players to stand out without really stop interacting with casual end-game players. 

I believe it would definitely be something worth having a deck if it could be increased.

Wouldn't most deck levelling schemes introduces a whole new class of noobs where they never worked out the basics of a character before maxing them out?  Granted, the current system we have does not do that as well because you can have 1 toon build then swap for the next toon and afk.  But the point still has to be addressed in some way.

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You start with saying "I hated the idea from the start" and continue with only saying the negatives ... 

Sorry, but this post may be really long, but you need to seriously think about looking at it from a neutral standpoint if you want to put your point forth. You are welcome to call me a fanboy or whatever you want, but one thing you cant say, is that im wrong ;) 

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@K61824 quote:

Wouldn't most deck levelling schemes introduces a whole new class of noobs where they never worked out the basics of a character before maxing them out?  Granted, the current system we have does not do that as well because you can have 1 toon build then swap for the next toon and afk.  But the point still has to be addressed in some way.

Well you still had prestige so you could see from far which prestige the player is onto so you can tell how exp/hardcore he is, also i don't believe it will make it worse for the non exped players, i mean someone who levels up a character to 25 doesn't exactly mean he learned to play with that character specially if he got carried or something, The first time you go through the game it teaches you the basics, but the second time you go through it you basically do the same thing with slightly different towers.

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There were a couple points I don't think you pushed hard enough on.


Firstly the idea that the Hero Decks were to stop a designated single builder. You only have to look at the forums, and all the many, many topics from people complaining about the way this is how the game is being played. Hero Decks have not stopped anything at all in regards to one designated builder, it's exactly how the game is being played now. So that aim has not worked in the slightest.


Secondly, it's the massive contradiction between "all content completable with a single hero" and "we don't want a single hero doing all the work." If you're designing the game so a single hero can complete all of it, what the hell use do we have for other players? This is just further pushes the gameplay into one hero doing all the building, certainly not away from that.


But in addition to that, again with the design focused on one hero to finish it all, that means that anyone with more than one hero gets access to combos, and so the game can only get easier from there. If you design the hardest content that a single hero can finish it, then it's going to be easy if you used more than one hero and employed combos for extra damage and CC. It's going to further make the game less challenging and less strategic (using one hero alone makes nearly all the strategy of the game pointless).


This one-hero-solo idea such a terrible one that has no positive benefits to the game at all. If you say it's because people don't want to spend their time leveling more characters, then fix *that.* Why in DD2 did you remove all XP boosting, why did you force us to play on maps at our character's level, and not let our max-leveled characters quickly boost up our low-levels in the max level maps? Give players benefits to make leveling quicker and easier when they already have a max-leveled character. The downsides to this one-hero thing are so massive, as outlined above. That ethos needs to go for sure.

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The idea that "one hero can finish everything" does not itself contradict "we don't want a single hero doing all the work", and the key lies in difficulty levels.  Have one difficulty level that you can finish with one hero, and the next one is boosted to the point that you cannot, at least without "unusually good" gears.  Currently the idea of enemies immune to CC (Foundation Part 1) is a bad idea because of that.  when combos are ineffective the devs are encouraging single-toon builds.

I don't believe the idea of power levelling would itself gives any benefit after the game is officially released.  the modus operandi becomes

  1. Level one toon in normal or pubs or whatever
  2. powerlevel the other toons
  3. look up the meta build, understanding of it optional
  4. ???
  5. profit!!!

And you are just making the game to get itself boring or bringing in massive power creep sooner.

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I am neither pro- nor anti- hero deck, but I will say this:


The idea put forth in that blog post has not yet been tested.  I will continue to sit on the fence until the whole mechanic has been built and given to the defense council.  Until that point I recognize that I'm only seeing half the implementation--namely the part that makes it annoying as a solo player--and will make no final call one way or the other on the idea.

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I understand the reasoning behind the Hero Deck and I have no immediate problems with it. But then again, I'm one of those dirty filthy casuals that didn't play Nightmare mode, have 4 different monks, or much care about meta gaming.

If Trendy finds the hero deck isn't doing what they want, I'm certain they'll try to come up with an alternative.

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I don't feel like the hero deck has to be a negative system. If it offered something beyond a simple limitation, it would facilitate a stronger gameplay experience. For instance, sharing EXP with other deck heroes, making it easier to keep the heroes you use most together. Also I had multiple times past proposed an idea of hero card bonuses, where each hero's "card" has a special stat or ability bonus on it that scales with its level. Different hero combinations would mean different combinations of bonuses, so there would be an interesting strategy element in putting your team together.

The problem with the hero deck is simply that it imposes a limitation and doesn't give you any direct benefits. Personally, I feel like it encourages teamwork (and it will do so more effectively when there are more than four heroes to choose from, since right now one player probably has 3/4 of the heroes in the game in their deck). Saying it "infringes on my fun" is kind of hyperbole since the hero deck isn't currently much of a restriction at all (you only have to leave one of the four heroes behind, and gear doesn't matter that much plus no custom stat distribution so having two separate heroes of the same type for different builds doesnt make much sense)- adding bonuses and benefits to the system will make it a mechanic rooted in positive functions rather than a negative one.


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I would just like to preface my criticism (which may sound a bit harsh to many) that Trendy has an excellent bunch of people who listen to their community. Evidence of this can be seen in their dev streams and the content of each patch and by how immediate they address big issues in the community. So, thank you Trendy for being the exceptional exception when it comes to Early Access games.

First of all, as I have stated already in my own forum post, the Hero Deck system in its current state promotes solo play in both solo games and in multiplayer or co-op games at end game. I had more fun leveling my first character than playing end game because everyone had to work together and contribute rather than one person with all the useful classes switch through the Hero Deck to build for the entire group. I am completely against this system and can not understand how this facilitates the "embrace [of] the strengths of... teammates". It's like a logical thing. If one person has the capacity to do everything and do it well why does anyone else have to do anything?

Secondly, Someone in this forum said that they strive for the point in end game where only one person can do everything while the rest can AFK. Now, I completely understand what he or she meant because this point is basically the Promised Land, this is when you know you are very geared and the hard work grind finally pays off.  However, in DD2 you do not have to part the Red Sea to reach the Promised Land. It takes very minimal effort to get geared because sure enough you had this Solo Carry builder who just carried you through free loot. In turn, you will eventually do this for three others. It's a perpetuated ennui.

Lastly, I'd like to address the effect the Hero Deck has on the Co-op community. It is no doubt great for you solos. I do not have anything against Solo play, but when you use the advantage (Hero Deck) that is seemingly for Solo play and leak it into Co-op play that is where the issue occurs. I am going to repeat this point; the way to beat a game as a Solo is the same way you beat the game in a Co-op. Having said that, how exactly does the Hero Deck benefit the Co-op scene in a cooperative way? How does it promote cooperation in multiplay? Players helping you upgrade your towers is not a result of the Hero Deck, that's just simple etiquette. Players defending your towers is not a result of the Hero Deck, it's a means to an end (winning the game). The elements that are in essence cooperative in the game at the moment will exist whether or not the Hero Deck is in place. Without it people will still upgrade towers for others and defend them if need be. So again, how exactly does the Hero Deck promote cooperation in a unique way?

At the end of this post, I feel like I just reiterated many points I have already made but honestly judging by how some of the responses in this thread are still for the Hero Deck I can't help but reaffirm those points. I just hope this game becomes a challenging game that requires active cooperation to overcome not a gathering of four players in a game and call it multiplayer.

TL;DR read what I wrote. It's important.

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Lastly, I'd like to address the effect the Hero Deck has on the Co-op community.

I'm confused a bit by your post, because the argument has been more about how it's more detrimental to solo play, not how it favors solo play. If it does so in any way, it's only because there are only four heroes and you don't usually need all four. But then again, between four people there are going to be several duplicates until new heroes are introduced. I think it may also be worth noting that currently you can only make six heroes anyway.

Personally, I believe that the hero deck is an incomplete system and that it will eventually have more depth as a gameplay mechanic and would hope to see people fight for improving it rather than removing it.

I believe that the hero deck can provide that promotion of the hero deck in a unique way by implementing beneficial mechanics that outweigh the currently very minor restriction it puts in place.


All that said, I did find your post very thoughtful and i'm pleased at the care and attention you took in making it :)

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@Alhanalem quote:


I believe that the hero deck can provide that promotion of the hero deck in a unique way by implementing beneficial mechanics that outweigh the currently very minor restriction it puts in place.

Have to disagree with you on that one, it's a lot more restrictive than just 3 of the 4 heroes.  If I want to build a waller hero, either the apprentice or squire, that means I'm going to be stacking tower health, and most likely using the totem relic.  If I want to use the other towers from that hero, I essentially need to make a second one who has geared towards tower damage and rate.  That already is 2 of the 3 slots off the bat.  If anything, the hero deck forces us to ignore DPS based characters.  The only hero damage I'm getting on my heroes is through their weapons, because I feel like I'm already strained too much on my tower options.  Adding even more heroes to the roster will make this a nightmare.  I don't really see how any "beneficial" system they could add in would make the hero deck more appealing to me.

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@Valthejean quote:


@Alhanalem quote:


I believe that the hero deck can provide that promotion of the hero deck in a unique way by implementing beneficial mechanics that outweigh the currently very minor restriction it puts in place.

Have to disagree with you on that one, it's a lot more restrictive than just 3 of the 4 heroes.  If I want to build a waller hero, either the apprentice or squire, that means I'm going to be stacking tower health, and most likely using the totem relic.  If I want to use the other towers from that hero, I essentially need to make a second one who has geared towards tower damage and rate.  That already is 2 of the 3 slots off the bat.  If anything, the hero deck forces us to ignore DPS based characters.  The only hero damage I'm getting on my heroes is through their weapons, because I feel like I'm already strained too much on my tower options.  Adding even more heroes to the roster will make this a nightmare.  I don't really see how any "beneficial" system they could add in would make the hero deck more appealing to me.

You need only 1 waller (ok, I'll give you 2 for physical and magic lanes) across the whole room.  That being said, 3 on a deck is sufficient in a full room for 6 types of hero (what they say they have at the official release):  6 builders (1 for each different hero) + 2 waller + 4 dps (1 per player) = 12 heroes which is 4 decks of 3.  Teamwork is supposed to be able to give you a "better" build because you now have more slots to coordinate with.  With that being said, while you should eventually need that kind of coordination, you shouldn't need that kind of optimization in a solo game (either your general builder will suffice or you can take the dps off and put on a waller/builder with resist).  That is a "scaling per additional player" problem Trendy has yet to perfect.


Being to use as many heroes as you want also creates a problem of a "one unique meta" Which will add to the boredom or power creep of this game quickly.

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Have to disagree with you on that one, it's a lot more restrictive than just 3 of the 4 heroes.  If I want to build a waller hero,

I would like to disagree with you here on the basis that there is little reason to create such specialized heroes. I have chosen my deck based on the mix of defenses I prefer to use. I don't have a specialized "waller" or "DPS" character, because I haven't found any such need to do so. Your ability to specialize for these purposes is currently extremely limited as well- Every weapon is going to have hero damage on it, for instance (no tower stat sticks), and other than rings, every relic boosts a tower stat, so not much in the way of DPS boosting there. Other gear slots provide very low increases to core stats.
Outside of gear, the only thing you have are your spec sheets, which can be re-customized literally at any time other than during the combat phase.
Because of those reasons, to me it's currently a matter of which 1 of the 4 heroes I leave behind, and little else. I would like to point out here that even without the hero deck

 I don't really see how any "beneficial" system they could add in would make the hero deck more appealing to me.

Try to have a bit more of an open mind here, there are tons of things they could add to the hero deck system to make it more interesting, fun mechanic with depth.

As an example of how those bonuses I described worked, imagine if (arbitrary example, you could insert anything here) the squire's card gave a passive bonus that boosts the hero and defense health for all heroes in your deck; then say the apprentice gives a buff that adds bonus magic damage to all hero/defense attacks and the monk boosts attack speed or something. Then your "waller" squire suddenly does good DPS, your apprentice towers are less squishy, and your towers are now all doing both magical and physical damage. Your different heroes are covering each other's weaknesses. You could also use 2 of the same hero and stack the same bonus. I wrote a pretty lengthy post specifically about how a bonus system could work, but I'll have to go dig up the link.

Then add to that EXP sharing, and suddenly the hero deck makes a lot more sense than the old way of leveling up in DD1 where everyone would simulate 4 controllers and use splitscreen to afk-level their other characters. Think of the possibilities, and I think you'll see how the hero deck can be crafted into a system that's useful more than it is limiting.

So I would ask you having read this, how would leveling all your heroes faster, getting interesting bonuses based on the heroes you picked and potentially other good stuff NOT make it more appealing to you?  Also, what if, given these bonuses and extras, the hero deck was optional? e.g. if you were willing to give up these bonuses, you could ignore the hero deck and use all 6 of your heroes. Frankly, I'd still take the bonus effects, but then you would have a choice.

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The hero deck is designed to promote multiplayer. While every once in a while I enjoy playing with a few friends, some of my most satisfied times were completing a map by myself with the build I came up with. In the end what's the most fun game play is all personal preference. Some love to watch towers do all the work while others want to be in the mix. Some want to build the way they want in every detail alone while others just want others to play with. Basically this is a forcing function. Get rid of it. If you don't want to use other hero's then don't, but don't tell me I can't. Everyone that says they like it, feel free to never change your hero once you are in. I can change to all 4 different hero's and it wouldn't effect you at all because everyone gets their own mana to build.

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@Alhanalem quote:

Try to have a bit more of an open mind here, there are tons of things they could add to the hero deck system to make it more interesting, fun mechanic with depth.

I really wish you'd stop talking down to people like that.  Just because I disagree with you on something doesn't make my opinion close-minded.



@Alhanalem quote:


So I would ask you having read this, how would leveling all your heroes faster, getting interesting bonuses based on the heroes you picked and potentially other good stuff NOT make it more appealing to you?  Also, what if, given these bonuses and extras, the hero deck was optional? e.g. if you were willing to give up these bonuses, you could ignore the hero deck and use all 6 of your heroes. Frankly, I'd still take the bonus effects, but then you would have a choice.

None of that sounds appealing to me, in fact all it makes it sound like is dulling out the unique differences of every builder in exchange for a bland similarity with all of them.  It doesn't change the fact that my solo-play is not nearly as fun as DD1/DDE because I'm limited on the heroes I can use.

If it were optional? Absolutely I would take the extra heroes every single time.  It's a multiplayer element that's being forced on to single players, and no amount of sugar-coated benefits is going to make it more fun for me.  As my animation teacher used to say, "A polished turd is still a turd."  I wont argue its merits in multiplayer, because I simply don't play multiplayer.  If it's better in multiplayer, then by all means.  But when I'm playing alone, I don't appreciate it, at all.

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 I wont argue its merits in multiplayer, because I simply don't play multiplayer.

Well, that's the fundamental issue here, because the goal is to promote co-op in a game that was always designed to be co-op but whose systems actually discouraged it. The game is designed around and for co-op play and while playing solo is certainly allowed, it's designed to be played co-op. As explaned in the beginning of the thread one of the reasons to which the hero deck exists is to encourage players working together instead of 1 person doing all the work and everyone else just watching/dpsing.

None of that sounds appealing to me, in fact all it makes it sound like is dulling out the unique differences of every builder in exchange for a bland similarity with all of them.

I'd ilke to stress here that those were just hastily developed examples, the bonuses could be anything that makes sense. also, this doesn't change the real reason for having multiple heroes- to have access to more defenses.

This isn't "polishing a turd." This is taking something that really isn't a turd in the first place (I really don't believe so) and making it more meaningful to those whom it currently least benefits. I'm really surprised you'd take more heroes over buffs that pretty much offset having more heroes. I personally already can't think of a reason to bring more than three, especially in co-op play. Gear is so irrelevant right now, until you get to incursion you can do much of the game naked. There's no need to have a "waller" character and a "DPS" character (and your ability to focus a character in this way is currently very limited), the only thing your hero deck needs is characters to offer different defenses.

I doubt we're going to find an accord in this issue; even though I've always been primarily a solo player in DD1/E, that's largely because my expeirence with coop in those games was very bad- getting instantly kicked, told not to build anything, being carried even though I don't want to be. Anything at all they can do to make the co-op experience actually more fun than playing alone is okay in my book, because the whole reason I played solo was because of my unpleasant experience with DD1 coop. Virtually all complaints about this are from people who played exclusively solo in DD1.

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Alhanalem with the current system of the game it is for example not possible for me or my friends to aquire any bettter equipment if i HAVE TO use a damage dealer to solve a map. the best dd's are still mage and ranger. so if i want to farm tower builder stuff i still would have to use my dd to be able to solve a map even with friends. I wont even be able to farm tower stat equip with squire stats with my ranger as i only get ranger stats on it.

now tell me how well you are playing in dd2? how well your equip is in dd2? as you mentioned earlier that you have just every builder the way you want them to be. if you focus on hero damage, your towers just suck. if you focus on tower stats the hero sucks. with the current system i have to make a dd from each class to gather equipment for them and still being able to get a map done? Did you ever try to play nightmare 3 or 4? or did you just leech your way up to gather your equipment, which currently is also the almsot only way to get better equip for all on nightmare 2 upwards.

The hero deck system has to be removed and also the ability to gather just stats from the class i am playing at that time. they could go like having a enhancement for something but if you look with another class on it, it gets replaced with the boost the squire would have had.

Ultimately, we want players to embrace the strengths of their teammates. We also want to make it possible to complete the entirety of the online co-op game with a single hero, if that’s what you desire. To facilitate this, we’ve created the Hero Deck, which plays up the positives of the DD1 system while fixing some of the key issues.

So i dont see the way you would be able to solve a whole map with just one hero if you dont get drops for the other classes in your hero deck AND you just demoted single player yourself. also even in coop matches people sometimes tell you not to build like in dd1, as long as the stat matters, people will do so. Also the positives of the dd1 system was that you can use any class you made in any battle and build with all of them.

the key issue right now is: 3 builders and 1 damage dealer is a must to have in a hero deck. while you play the damage dealer you wont get good stuff for your tower builders which means that you wont get to improve them but instead only your damage dealer improves with equipment dropped.

Squire has best walls, Mage has best towers, you still need Squire towers, You still need monk auras and you still need a damage dealer and sometimes even huntress traps. so 4 slots arent even enough. So basically you have one monk with tower stats, one mage with defense power maxed as much as possible. one squire focused on hp and another one focused on defense power too. if you play with thoose 4, you wont survive long in nightmare 3 and also wont be even able to obtain equip for them as none of them would deal a good amount of hero damage at all.

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You do understand you just replied to a 9-month old post, I assume?

the key issue right now is: 3 builders and 1 damage dealer is a must to have in a hero deck. while you play the damage dealer you wont get good stuff for your tower builders

Who told you this? Except for the fact that weapons generally match the class you're currently playing, this isn't true at all. You will still find tower stat items while playing a DPS hero and vice versa for a tower hero. The game doesn't know whether you're using a tower build or a DPS build or somewhere in between when it rolls items.

The hero deck is unlikely to be removed, because Trendy's player surveys have indicated that a majority players are satisfied with it (Although that doesn't mean they don't think there are any problems with it).

For more information on the hero deck survey, click here.

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@Alhanalem quote:

I would like to disagree with you here on the basis that there is little reason to create such specialized heroes. I have chosen my deck based on the mix of defenses I prefer to use. I don't have a specialized "waller" or "DPS" character, because I haven't found any such need to do so. Your ability to specialize for these purposes is currently extremely limited as well- Every weapon is going to have hero damage on it, for instance (no tower stat sticks), and other than rings, every relic boosts a tower stat, so not much in the way of DPS boosting there.

I think your evidence is contrary to your claim. Gear in DD2 is very simple. It only has two stats, and a handful of passives, most of which are add-ons and not core. This means it is relatively easy - and depending on difficulty, vital - to minmax as much as possible. By simply looking at more loot, you can choose every aspect of the gear you get. You want specifically Defense Power and Defense Crit? You can pick that! Sure, not all items give all stats, but you have to realize that rings and totems aren't different items, they're both relics, so you just pick the one with the stats you want. Weapons are the only tricky ones because their first stat is always hero power - which means it isn't really a stat unless you're building a DPS character, and even then you just look for a bigger number. You still pick the second stat, and you can get defense power or defense health or any other stat you like there, even elemental damage.

This FACILITATES different build specializations like Waller, Tower Damage, or hero DPS, because there are no details to fiddle with, you can directly get what you want. Because of item passives, some of these specializations are incredibly powerful. Frosty Power is the single highest source of damage in the entire game. Hearty Blockade makes the best walls in the game. Not only are specializations easier to make, they significantly better at performing their roles than a generalist.

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The Hero Deck has encouraged teams in our Defense Council to develop strategies that involve all players, not just a designated builder. We’ve watched players use our revamped Ping system to ask each other to build blockades, auras, towers and traps, which is something that was rarely seen in DD1 public matches. 

This is a false attribution, or at least an unproven attribution. There are two events being discussed: The addition and use of a ping system, and the addition of a Hero Deck system. The claim is that the addition of the hero deck has caused the ping system to be used, but there isn't really any evidence. The evidence provided is that there is more communication about building than in DD1, but that could just as easily be explained by the ping system's existence irrelevant of the hero deck. Without further evidence, it's hard (if not impossible) to cite cause.

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Let's also address the "one unique meta" issue that has been brought up. This is a false dichotomy, little different (if at all) than a straw man argument. The argument is that including, or not including, the hero deck will cause the meta to develop an optimal strategy. This frankly makes no sense. An optimal meta will exist for each map. It just will. That's what "best" means. If the game is very well balanced, many near-optimal metas will be difficult to distinguish, or will be situationally better than each other. The hero deck may shape which builds are best, but it will not remove the existence of best, because "best" is a relative term, and by definition always exists. If you don't understand why a "best" has to exist, we can talk about language and philosophy in another thread. In summary, the "one unique meta" argument is completely invalid both in support of and in opposition to the existence and/or function of the hero deck.

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The most salient issue that has been brought up is how many heroes are required to complete a map.

If the game is designed such that a single hero can complete any map, then the game is designed for hyper solo play - Not just a single player, but a single hero - and all other heroes and players are therefore redundant or extra. This probably discourages multiplayer, and is also probably a terrible design for the game. In effect, it means the game is designed to be easy, because if any single hero can complete a map, of course a team can.

If the game is designed that a single player, with one or more heroes, can complete a map, but can benefit from other players, the hero deck is plausible in this environment. A player can bring a few heroes to build defenses, and one to play as during waves (or another builder and AFK/support during waves). This lets the game be more or less solo viable, but there is a limitation only conquerable via multiplayer.

If the game is designed to require multiplayer, the hero deck should be more restrictive, enough that the player does not have enough slots for enough builds to complete maps, possibly only a single slot. Additionally, the game must be hard enough to require combinations and coordination. Nobody has suggested the current state or the goal goes so far, but it is important to understand how that version is designed to inform our final decisions.


There seem to be held two consensuses. One is that the game should be viable in single player and easier/better in multiplayer. The other is that the game should be fun in single player and multiplayer is still an option. Neither view has been expressed particularly clearly. But this is the fundamental issue. Should the game be completable solo? Should all features be available to solo players? If the answer is yes to both questions, then at the very least solo players need access to as many heroes as a full team. This means either removing the hero deck, or making the hero deck team-based (less players = more heroes per player, or something). Implementation with drop-in, drop-out play seems exploitable at best, and stupidly restrictive at worst.

If we want to keep the benefits of swapping heroes during a map, you need more than one hero, but you don't need a hero deck. If you want to encourage multiplayer, you can use a hero deck, but not without limiting players who play in smaller parties. Encouraging multiplayer is an admirable goal, but ideally this should be by making multiplayer more rewarding and not by limiting solo players. The hero deck, by its very nature, is a limiting device. It definitionally limits the number of heroes you can swap between to less than all of your heroes.

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