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gigazelle

Sustainable progression; avoid the power creep!

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During the dev stream on Friday, I asked a very important question in the chat box. Unfortunately it wasn't mentioned in the stream, so I'd like to discuss it with you today. It was:

"What will the game/progression look like several years from now?"

Creating a game that is just as much fun to play 5 years from now is just as vital to a game's success as creating enjoyable core game mechanics. DD1 and DDE were both very enjoyable from a core game mechanics standpoint - what was (in my opinion) their greatest demise is the aspect that they suffered from power creep. In case you're not familiar with that, it goes a little something like this:

  1. "We released the game! Now we'll want to continually update the game so we can attract more players to it."
  2. "Ooh, I know! Let's update the game and give off better gear than what was previously available, and make harder levels right along with it! We'll call it 'Nightmare'.
  3. *coding ensues*
  4. "Great job on releasing the update everyone! Now let's start working on the next update - we'll give players even BETTER gear with even more difficult levels!"

Repeat steps 2-4 until you have such broken defense mechanics and inflated stats that nobody wants to play the game anymore. DD1 is all but abandoned; DDE is suffering so badly from stat inflation that the devs are doing a complete rehaul on defense balancing. It is sad that they didn't see this coming even before DDE was launched, because I can tell you many in the community DID see it coming, and said people put up a stink about it in the community, but that feedback was ignored.

I DO NOT WANT POWER CREEP IN DD2. The "next best thing" does not work in the long term, no matter how many "next best things" are introduced.

This is me waving my arms about wildly telling you that the current progression model as it stands is not going to sustain itself! This is me putting up a stink in the community letting you know that I can see it coming and that I don't like it! Cannon towers already fire fast enough that it covers their main weakness (great at single targets, bad at crowd control, but right now they fire fast enough to be good at CC too), and auras dish out enough damage to kill armored enemies are just two examples here. Defenses should have a solid strength and weakness no matter what stage you are in the game. Power creep nullifies those strengths and weaknesses.

With that said, lets take a look at how progression works in several titles, reduced to a few simple bullet points:

DD1:

  • Level a character 0-70. Power level subsequent characters by AFK farming specific maps.
  • Update rolls out, increasing level cap, quality of gear, new maps, and new heroes
  • No progression for newly released heroes because you simply power level them. No progression for new maps since you just go straight to Nightmare. Stats are inflated with new qualities of gear, giving MUCH higher numbers than the devs originally anticipated.
  • Repeat until the game stops being updated.
  • The game 5 years later has broken defense balance, decent progression 0-100 for a single character if you don't power level, and very inflated stats.

DDE:

  • Level a character 0-60. Power level subsequent characters by AFK farming specific maps.
  • Update rolls out, increasing quality of gear and new maps. No progression for new maps since players go straight to Nightmare - like for reals if you put some crazy easter egg in Omenak on Easy, nobody would ever find it. Migrated content offers minimal replayability, since most players have already experienced it in DD1. No new heroes or playstyles. Stats continue to inflate, and disparity between starter 60's and veteran 60's increases.
  • Repeat until players lose interest and stat inflation is out of control
  • 5 years later (in theory) has a completely broken defense balance, okay progression for your first character 0-60 but terrible beyond that, It pains me to predict this, but the game will likely be abandoned unless extremely drastic measures are taken to improve it.

DD2:

  • Level a character 0-25. Farm level 25+++ with one character or start campaign mode for subsequent characters.
  • Update rolls out, increasing quality of gear. Stats inflate, and disparity between starter 25's and veteran 25's increases. New content provides little replayability as everyone is already at level 25.
  • Repeat until there are a ton of maps and stats are incredibly inflated. Despite there being tons of maps, no one cares since they all just farm the single map that drops the best gear.
  • If things continue in their current path, 5 years later (in theory) has solid progression for heroes 0-25, then this huge expanse of content that has been developed over the last 5 years for level 25 heroes. All of this content can be instantly skipped by either trading for high quality gear, or joining a game that drops high quality gear for them. The 25++++++++++++++++++ playlist is where everyone plays. Everyone has an insatiable thirst for new content but the devs can't keep up because replayability for new content is terrible. Since there's no progression besides power creep at this stage, players simply farm until they get bored and leave.

Now how about some other free to play PvE games?

Plants vs. Zombies 2:

  • No XP or RPG-like progression; instead you play through worlds, unlocking plants and levels as you go
  • Update rolls out, introducing new map mechanics, zombie types, and plants
  • Repeat until you have this massive arsenal of plants that combo in hundreds of different ways against dozens of unique zombies that require thought into defense placement. Old levels are replayable as you try new plant combos found in other worlds.

Mann vs Machine (TF2):

  • A badge you get to wear contains the number of tours you complete. You can also buy weapons that track the number of robots destroyed.
  • As you play, you get cash, which you can spend on upgrades to your weapons. Upgrades only apply to the mission at hand. 
  • Update rolls out with new maps and new composition of waves to existing maps.
  • Repeat until you have a bunch of different maps, and varying robot composition across each map (well, if Valve got their crap together and actually updated this game mode)

Alien Swarm:

  • As you play maps, you level up to unlock additional weapons and equipment.
  • Once you hit level 27, you have the ability to prestige, which puts you back at level 1 with a badge next to your name. You can rank up 6 times before hitting the cap.
  • Unfortunately the game was never updated, but if it was, it would introduce new maps and (potentially) new weapons.

The PvZ2 style of progression is amazing, being able to combine a bunch of ever-increasing defenses to counter an ever-increasing amount of enemy types. I want DD2 to keep track of my overall progress, while updating the game to introduce new playstyles that can be used across all levels. I don't want to be able to skip content, because that significantly reduces replayability, but at the same time I don't want to feel gated. I want levels 0-25 to be a "resettable" method of progression, similar to the progression one experiences in a single match of League of Legends. I rack up points and progress throughout the evening, and the next evening I can do it again with perhaps a slightly different playstyle or a different character.

This proposed version of DD2 combines the best components of each of the above-mentioned games:

  • Players level their deck, not their hero. You can have multiple decks, each with their own corresponding level. Heroes do not have a level tied to them, meaning you can swap out classes in the tavern at any time to mix up your strategies. If your deck is level 25 and you wanted to try 3 monks with varying specialties for kicks, there's nothing stopping you. If you're with a team where no one has a squire and you really want cannons, just swap one of your cards in the tavern and you're good to go.
  • Once you've progressed through all maps, you can either continue playing at level 25 or prestige your deck. You are awarded with a piece of "prestigious" quality gear upon doing so, that deck is reset to 0, and you get a ranked badge next to your name,. Prestigious gear would be considered on par with late-game legendary gear.
  • As updates roll out, new maps, heroes, and weapon types are released. New maps are replayable at all levels since you're constantly progressing through 0-25. Eventually enough maps would be introduced to where you would be level 25 before you played through all maps even once. New heroes are replayable as you can experience progression from level 0-25 with all of them. New weapon types make changes to existing hero's playstyles, increasing existing hero's replayability.
  • 5 years from now, the game (in theory) would have decent pool of heroes with varying playstyles of each. Progression in the game means being able to experience each of these hero's playstyles while showing off to everyone else how many times you have prestiged. Farming consists two alternatives; 1) prestige for gear, or 2) sticking around at level 25 and playing the same maps over and over again (if that's your cup of tea). Both would ultimately yield the same amount of "highest quality gear" at the same rate.

Most importantly, this proposal learns from prior games' mistakes:

  • Power leveling is not a thing, as you're encouraged to play through the game naturally. And, as mentioned above, power leveling = skipping content, which we want to avoid.
  • There is no stat disparity between newcomer level 25's and veteran level 25's. What sets newcomers to veterans apart is the knowledge of defense strengths/weaknesses, defense placement, and the ability to adapt to what the wave director throws at them. This is similar to how other F2P games differentiate newcomers to veterans. Skill, not stats, is now required to take on the hardest challenges in the game.
  • New content can be experienced across all difficulties as you progress. It's not just that shiny new thing you play for an hour before going back to farming. You can experience the same map on all difficulties, not just Insane/Nightmare.
  • There is no power creep. Defenses way down the line continue to exhibit clear strengths and weaknesses. 5 years from now, cannons would still be terrible at crowd control and electric auras would still be terrible at damaging single enemies. No defense will ever shine above everything else, like buff beams + auras did on previous DD games.

TL;DR: It was too easy to skip content in DD1 and DDE, and I foresee DD2 will fall into that exact same fate as more content is developed for level 25. New content is instantly cast aside in favor of farming the best incursion map, and that will always be the case as long as power creep exists. Stat inflation was terrible in DD1 and DDE, and DD2 is following that exact same path. Instead, the proposal suggests that progressing through the campaign naturally would be encouraged, and would yield similar rewards to farming. Introducing new content to the game would introduce new maps, defenses, and playstyles to keep the campaign fresh and exciting as you play through it each time. There would be a hard cap on stats as to prevent power creep and inflation.

What do you like about this proposal? What don't you like? Are there any facets that you think wouldn't work, and why?

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Im ok with power creep myself as long as we have some sort of endless survivals and EXTREMELY hard maps, and when i say EXTREMELY, I mean maps that are so hard that its supposed to be impossible :P On another note, taking a break, then coming back to see better gear is available, is better than coming back just to think; "meh, nothing to do, why did i want to play this again?".

I do see your point, its just, that my point of view is the complete opposite :P

Usually the games that does this (full reset's) is also the games I get bored of faster, I really HATE to have to do everything from the start, and its far from what I call fun :P

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When I left DD1 and came back a year and a half later, auras covered half the map and magic missiles fired so fast they didn't even play the firing animation. If we continue to get bigger stats in DD2, we're going to have machine gun cannonballs and geysers that can keep enemies airborne indefinitely. I want to keep cannons firing slow but hard, and that won't happen if power creep is involved.

I do 100% agree that endless survival should be a thing. If I take a break and come back to DD2, I'd love to see brand new playstyles on existing heroes and new heroes that provide a spin on existing gameplay. I could then leverage those new defenses and complement them with others to get farther than I previously could. I don't want to see explosive traps that give me seizures.

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Alright, so first and foremost, I completely agree with the idea that I want this game to be re-playable 5 years from now. You are also correct in how the games are mostly played. Once I got my main to a high level, I power leveled all the classes I wanted to be high leveled as well. I never played easymode, normal, or even hard on any of the new maps. Once I got enough of a stat increase I went on to the map of the next tier and repeated this. Eventually I lost interest in the time it took to farm in order to be able to beat the next tier.  

Here's what I disagree with so far: The Hero Deck levels. Its a very creative and original idea, however, I honestly believe many people used to the RPG genre will be turned off by this. I will not enjoy it as much, but it wont turn me off of the game. Here is why I think character leveling is a better idea...  

In world of warcraft, if you want to have a max leveled character, you have to level it all the way from level 1, and while there are accelerated methods of doing this, there's no 'power leveling' to the extent of DD1. The fact that it took time to level characters did not prevent a lot of people from maxing out one of each class. This takes a lot of time, and guarantees an investment of time into the game. If power leveling was somehow impossible, and having a character in each class incentivized, then players would progress through the maps at least equal to the number of characters they try to make.  

Leveling three characters is 200% slower than leveling a deck (assuming the deck is leveled at the current rate a character is, but you could always change character progression just as you can deck progression). The problem is while each map is progressed through, many classes may not be. A single class can be used to level up to the max level, and then they can switch to what ever class they want after that at any time. You would not grow with each class, learning at at varied stages of power. Progressing through 25 levels as a huntress versus doing is as a squire are two unique experiences worthy of creating both from level 1 just to experience it.  

Having the deck level up doesn't add anything fun or useful.  

So far that's the main thing I disagree with, and I disagree rather strongly. The Hero Deck is a neat concept for what you call my hero pool for the map, which was a great idea to limit, but this isn't a card game, so making the deck the central focus takes away a lot of the charm from nurturing each class from a lowly level 1 to a fearsome max level.  

I really like the prestige idea though. You can choose to prestige a character if you want, which should come with some really good incentive. I think a very slight stat boost would be a good idea, to reflect the large amount of time put into it already, and of course some sort of title, rank symbol, or aesthetic change. The aesthetic reward will only encourage so many, and you compensate this by referencing an item reward. The only real compromise I can think of is having a tier of really great weapons that can only be used by characters with certain prestige levels, which I think would be great.   

What ends up happening is, as new maps come out, players don't get tired of starting over and replaying all the campaign maps since they can play the new ones on easy mode to break things up. Your prestige idea allows this, and I think its great.  

I also like how you allowed for the farming method to still be a valid option since all sorts of players have different play styles. That is necessary and will prevent many people from having a problem with this system, since it doesn't force anyone to do it in order to play the end game.  

I will say having a small disparity between veterans and newcomers isn't necessarily a bad thing. Let me explain. Lets say a veteran has been playing since alpha for all five years. Do we really want to say that she is not allowed to be rewarded for such dedication with some kind of distinction reflected in stats? If we do put a hard limit on what is the most powerful, then once that is reached, there's nothing more to reach for. I will talk about other ideas about how to keep players' interests, but we should not put a limit on what dedication to the game gets you. If you want the game to be rewarding five years from now, we will need rewards that take 5 years to get, if they so choose to pursue them. The difference is that is doesn't have to make the difference equivalent of as ant and a god.  

I would, though, like to point out how extremely fun, rewarding, and satisfying it was for me and others to be able to go back to what were considered 'hard' maps and blow them out of the water due to how much stronger we were. Players enjoy contrasting their strength from earlier points in the game. If new players witness this, it should inspire them to get to that level, not discourage them. My point with that is there maybe problems with over the top stats and the stat gap between new and old players, however there are fun aspects to being able to grow very powerful. Just make sure you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.   

Finally, and my last point I promise, how to also increase longevity... Competition would be the best way to do that. Having leaderboards reflect a myriad of aspects of the game from map completion times, endless survival waves, highest dps output, highest single damage output achieved, richest players, highest prestige, etc.  

Since prestige gives a slight advantage, you'll have serious players using it to gain a slight edge in order to beat each other, especially during the downtime between updates, meaning players play more consistently, instead just the first few months after a content release. Competition is what drives any long lasting game.  

Also, you can make the leaderboards both seasonal and lifetime. The new players can have a chance at seasonal, as only seasonal characters can compete in them, much like diablo 3 or world of warcraft. Give titles to the top players. This also has the added benefit of encouraging the making of new characters (more of that game content that doesn't get skipped) . 

If Trendy plays their PR right, balances the game mechanics, and make the content fun they could have a small role in the professional gaming communities where teams do gametheory on DD2 maps in order to be the top of the season.  


TL;DR  While the deck leveling is a cool idea, it will not appeal to others, and it avoids character progression in place of map progression. Simply putting in mechanics that prevent power leveling while giving good reasons to have a max character of each class will add play time, and make map releases relevant.  

The prestige is a great idea, but should be for characters. The reward for prestige, besides aesthetics, should either be a slight stat increase or by having powerful items that have a prestige level requirement in order to use.  

While I understand stats got out of control in the previous games, remember that having a high contrast from previous stages rewards players for their progression. Also, putting a hard cap on stats means that no player has a reason to invest 5 years into the game if they absolutely max out in 1 year, and can never improve their character. Compromises are best here.  

Finally, leaderboards will add significant interest with the idea of competition. Adding in seasonal leaderboards will add re-playability. Being seasonal also allows new players the ability to compete. If the leaderboards cover a large variety of aspects that can be measured, then it will give players a lot of options as to what they want to stand out for.

  


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Just spred OP's post and I agree with a lot of what you have to say. DD2 could really benefit from some sort of prestige system.  I also agree that it's important to emphasize each tower's strengths and weaknesses.  Right now almost any tower does at least okay against any mob type.

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I second the prestige concept, hit the nail on the head.

I sort of disagree with the Deck leveling concept, but I feel it has some merits. I would much prefer having my monk "class" level up. For example, I may have several monks who all gain experience together so I can switch between what I need, while not having to waste time leveling the ones who get used less often.

Otherwise, I agree.

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@Zombie_Gamer quote:

A bunch of well written and thought-out points

Excellent points, all of them. My aim with the hero deck was to achieve a sort of "class to meet your goal", such as character selection in a MOBA. You make an excellent point in that it would detract from individual character progression focused in RPG's, and that is something I agree with. Individual character prestige seems to be a better option.

I would love to see defense boosts removed from gear special stats and moved to prestige rewards. Only one boost could be active per defense, and if you got the same reward multiple times, it would stack up to 5 times. For example:

  • A given magic defense gets an additional 10% physical damage bonus.
  • A given physical defense gets an additional 10% magic damage bonus.
  • A given trap gets a 10% trap activation range bonus.
  • A given defense gets a 10% effective range bonus.
  • A given splash damage defense gets a 10% splash range increase
  • A given defense has a 5% chance to stun its target
  • A given defense has a 5% chance to oil its target

I'm sure there are a ton more ideas out there, but basically give every defense 5 of these potential augmentations to complement their strengths. Only one can be active per defense, so Trendy will want to pay close attention as to which ones are preferred and adjust the actual percentages accordingly.

Each hero has 4 defenses, and each augmentation stacks 5 times. This means that in order to max out all augmentations (for completionists), you must prestige a total of 100 times (5 different augmentations to choose from multiplied by 5 stacking levels multiplied by 4 different defenses). If you want to max out all augmentations on all heroes, a total of 400 prestiges would be required - how's that for 5 years worth of playing?

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agree with most what said in here.

In terms of deck vs hero leveling imo, i would prefer something in the middle of the 2, becasue yes deck leveling would mean you could make a new char and it would instantly be same level as the rest of your chars, individual hero leveling though can be a pain in the back though if you trying to level a new builder, as those can do very little during the actual combat phases. What i would like instead is that the total xp can be split between your characters currently in your deck, preferably with a slider so you can choose how much, so you could if you want choose to give 100% to your active hero (probably would have to be a minimum % you have to at least give to the one that is active) and 0% to everyone else, or you could split it 33% to all 3 heroes, or maybe 50% to active and 25% to each inactive hero or whatever you want. Now if you only ever level one character it would ofc be faster than levelling 3 characters, but the total time it would take to lvl 3 different characters if they all in deck no matter what % you choose for each would be the same as if you level 3 chracters how it is now, you could just do it in a much more relaxing way and always have your dps character out during combat and have your builders only build instead of having to have builders out during the combat phases where they past the few first level quickly would begin to contribute very little during combat

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I don't particularly agree that the power creep was bad, but this seems to be the direction DD2 is going anyway.

In tune with that, I think one of the best ways to avoid the power creep is how gear drops are handled in difficulties.  Rather than making it so that every difficulty tier drops better and better stats, it should function like Diablo 3's torment system.  Basically, reduce the droprate of higher tier items in normal difficulty by a lot (let's face it, purples are gained in mass right now), and then with every difficulty step, increase the CHANCE for higher tier items to drop, with the hardest difficulty being the best chance for legendaries.  This would solve a lot of problems in my opinion, first and foremost it would avoid the problem many people (not myself) complain about in which the game becomes too easy.  If harder difficulties aren't dropping higher STATS, they will remain difficult.  In addition, it also grants a small bit of leeway for casual players who don't appreciate having to cut their wrists every session.

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I disagree with some of the problems that you are suggesting.  Part of the fun from playing DD1 after 1k+ hours was to have a monk with huge bubbles or apprentice with magic missile lazers.  I enjoyed going back through old levels with those characters and beating the map with a single magic missile and trying to win with as few towers as possible.  I think that could be a fun gameplay mechanic, less towers you use, better chance at legionaries or something.  I also liked being able to spec an apprentice specifically for mana bomb, was sad that this is not possible in DDE and DD2.

In regards to no one playing lower difficulties.  I would often play Normal or Hard on new maps because I wanted to look around without having to worry about a build timer.  Once I knew the map, I would move on to Insane and eventually nightmare, but yes, Easy was rarely played on end-game content.

I like the prestige system, but instead of offering boosts to your heroes, why not give players some premium currency every prestige.  This offers a way for free-to-play users to get anything in the game without actually paying real money, provided they spend the time to prestige their deck that many times.

The base argument you have here, though, seems to be that DD1 and DDE let players skip content and jump to end-game.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.  After all, it's no fun being the new player having to climb your way up to where everyone else is.  I mean, if progression is roughly the same, someone picking up the game for the first time will never catch up to someone that has been playing for the past 5 years.  Heck, World of Warcraft offers level 90 boosts with Warlords of Draenor, removing the grind from 1-90 for those that just want to jump into end-game content.

Also, having a reset button system doesn't really make the game harder or more fun.  In the end, your are just playing the whole thing again.  Your same defensive strategies will work and you can keep doing the same thing.  If you really want to encourage players to go expand beyond 1 or 2 maps, have special event directing them there.  Maybe a huge boss that runs away to a different map, or survival versions of classic DD challenges.  You could also have the map roulette  that will boost a random map, but offer some kind of incentive.

In the end, the best way to keep things fresh is to enlist the community in some way.  DD1 has a lot of good Steam Workshop entries.  A way to improve even further would be to have some type of PvP.  Personally, I'd like to see player tavern raids.  Or, have dynamically difficult content that can get to literally impossible stats.

In the end, if you want a truly balanced experience, have a con for every pro.  This armor increases tower damage? Make it also decrease tower speed.  This bow can shoot 5 projectiles?  Make it deal less damage.  This is how TF2 works, and that game is still going strong.  However, I don't want DD2 to work this way.  Players fight together to overcome the challenge, so it's not like TF2 where players need to start on a level playing field every match.

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I think power creep would be fine as long as its in the form of added maps. Existing maps should remain the same difficulty with loot of the same power.

There needs to be some form of carrot, preferably in the form of a ladder system, rankings, endless waves, or some other competitive system... not just more loot.

I want to acquire loot to complete a challenge.... not repeat a challenge to acquire loot.

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@Qbert quote:

I think power creep would be fine as long as its in the form of added maps. Existing maps should remain the same difficulty with loot of the same power.

There needs to be some form of carrot, preferably in the form of a ladder system, rankings, endless waves, or some other competitive system... not just more loot.

I want to acquire loot to complete a challenge.... not repeat a challenge to acquire loot.

The only thing about this is that its always both a challenge that requires loot to complete, and that rewards loot upon completion. I don't think there's anything wrong with loot rewards, but you are correct  that there needs to be other incentives, otherwise its just a cycle that can only last so long. All of your 'carrot' suggestions are good ideas, and I'd prefer to see all of them used, given people much more to do other than farm, and far more reasons to do things other than for loot.

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I honestly think power creep is a GOOD thing. Some people play to progress, and get better stats... Better numbers, etc. 

The problem with DD1/DDE was the EXPONENTIAL power creep. Go from hard to nightmare, get gear that is orders of magnitudes more powerful. I think DD2 has a good cap on one of the main scaling problems with DDE/DD1, in that towers have no range stat, reducing the scaling power of a hero by reducing the "Time" factor of "Damage over Time", leaving plenty of room for power creep without reaching absurd levels, since stats don't really multiply with each other like they did in DDE/DD1 when a tower could hit everything on the map at once.

Here's my issue with your proposal, it sounds like you want the gear in the game to become a non issue after you get a legendary set, never to be replaced again, ever. That's eliminating half of the game! What's the point of playing a loot based tower defense RPG, where loot is a non-issue? There needs to be a reason to play higher difficulty/new content, and that reason is going to be loot.

Look at the Chrome enemies map. Nobody plays it. Why? Because the ramparts incursion is easier, gives more loot, and is faster. There is no other driving force in the game except loot, and people will follow it wherever it goes. What the game really needs is to diversify loot, give specific rewards for specific maps. See: Challenge rewards in DD1. At one time, you would do a specific challenge because it dropped specific items that had certain stats, and that you would use. This would give reason to do other maps, to think outside of the box, and to find people to play with.

I like your prestige idea, but I do take issue with your "non-powerleveling" stance, specifically that you don't want players skipping content (That they have already done, or they wouldn't be prestiging). Take a look at Diablo 3, you max out a guy, beat the game, unlock free play. You've already experienced all the content, why would you be forced to do it again? I like the way DD2 handles free play, and unless they change the way hero decks work, sometimes soloing the campaign will be impossible, like when your huntress falls out of the level bracket of your other builders. (I'd rather solo than group with newbies on my 20th+ playthrough). You already put in the time, why in the world would you want to play through the whole game again on normal with no useful advantages for your time?

If you want to play the game to play the game, that's fine... But some (I'd even say most) people play for the loot, and the end game. The game is even designed to work that way. Otherwise, hard mode and nightmare mode (When released) would be playable at level 1. Forced rerolls and intentionally slowed down leveling with marginal stat increases is a terrible way to keep those players interested, and it's a great way to kill a loot based game.

TL;DR: Trendy has already solved the biggest issue with DD1/DDE's power "creep" (more like power rocketing) in removing the tower range stat. All they need to do is keep the increases relatively small. Also, PLEASE don't make me play campaign over and over with no items to progress, please please please!

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@BlaydeX15 quote:

I honestly think power creep is a GOOD thing. Some people play to progress, and get better stats... Better numbers, etc. 

The problem with DD1/DDE was the EXPONENTIAL power creep. Go from hard to nightmare, get gear that is orders of magnitudes more powerful. I think DD2 has a good cap on one of the main scaling problems with DDE/DD1, in that towers have no range stat, reducing the scaling power of a hero by reducing the "Time" factor of "Damage over Time", leaving plenty of room for power creep without reaching absurd levels, since stats don't really multiply with each other like they did in DDE/DD1 when a tower could hit everything on the map at once.

Here's my issue with your proposal, it sounds like you want the gear in the game to become a non issue after you get a legendary set, never to be replaced again, ever. That's eliminating half of the game! What's the point of playing a loot based tower defense RPG, where loot is a non-issue? There needs to be a reason to play higher difficulty/new content, and that reason is going to be loot.

Look at the Chrome enemies map. Nobody plays it. Why? Because the ramparts incursion is easier, gives more loot, and is faster. There is no other driving force in the game except loot, and people will follow it wherever it goes. What the game really needs is to diversify loot, give specific rewards for specific maps. See: Challenge rewards in DD1. At one time, you would do a specific challenge because it dropped specific items that had certain stats, and that you would use. This would give reason to do other maps, to think outside of the box, and to find people to play with.

I like your prestige idea, but I do take issue with your "non-powerleveling" stance, specifically that you don't want players skipping content (That they have already done, or they wouldn't be prestiging). Take a look at Diablo 3, you max out a guy, beat the game, unlock free play. You've already experienced all the content, why would you be forced to do it again? I like the way DD2 handles free play, and unless they change the way hero decks work, sometimes soloing the campaign will be impossible, like when your huntress falls out of the level bracket of your other builders. (I'd rather solo than group with newbies on my 20th+ playthrough). You already put in the time, why in the world would you want to play through the whole game again on normal with no useful advantages for your time?

If you want to play the game to play the game, that's fine... But some (I'd even say most) people play for the loot, and the end game. The game is even designed to work that way. Otherwise, hard mode and nightmare mode (When released) would be playable at level 1. Forced rerolls and intentionally slowed down leveling with marginal stat increases is a terrible way to keep those players interested, and it's a great way to kill a loot based game.

TL;DR: Trendy has already solved the biggest issue with DD1/DDE's power "creep" (more like power rocketing) in removing the tower range stat. All they need to do is keep the increases relatively small. Also, PLEASE don't make me play campaign over and over with no items to progress, please please please!

It doesn't matter how fast or slow power creeping is, be it creep or rocketing - eventually it will reach a point where it completely breaks defense balance. Thinking about it, I honestly think tower attack rate is what breaks it the most. If tower attack rate didn't exist in DD2, power creep wouldn't matter because you could simply scale the HP of enemies as new content is released. Combine that with periodically introducing new heroes and defenses, and you have a game that can scale pretty much indefinitely.

If there was a slider that increased our tower attack rate while scaling down tower damage so you had near-identical DPS, that would be the optimal solution in my opinion. If you wanted a stream of fireballs in your flameburst tower, you could do so, but it would deal the same overall DPS as a super-slow hard-hitting flameburst. Fast defenses would be much better for crowds, while slow defenses would be much better for armored enemies.

With attack rate being customizable but static, defense balance would never break over time, nor would DPS increase exponentially like it does now. We could have an infinitely scaling game, ever increasing the level cap right along with overall DPS of defenses. Tower attack rate would be adjustable depending on our team and defense dynamic.

Last night I just barely finished leveling my apprentice to 25, and I only equipped "extra XP from enemies killed by defenses" just so I could get him to 25 as fast as possible. I can definitely see where you're coming from not wanting to play with n00bs over and over again, and that is something that I agree with. However, if I was guaranteed a piece of top quality loot for going through it, it'd be a no-brainer for me to do it over and over to gear my heroes already at level cap. I'd much rather play the campaign again as opposed to the same map over and over to get my top-notch loot, but prestige is awesome in that you could do either or and both end up with the same result in the same time investment.

The last thing I want to do in this game is downplay loot, but in that same breath I want to make sure defense balance does not break with said loot. DDE is a prime example on what happens when defense balance is ignored in favor of progressive loot. It was indeed "power rocketing", but it would have ended up in the exact same spot if it was only power creep (it just would have taken longer). DD2 will face the exact same defense balance issues down the road if we keep getting stuff that improves both power and attack rate. 

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Thinking about it a bit more this evening, I've created a suggestion thread on that whole "slider" thing mentioned in my previous post:

https://www.dungeondefenders.com/2/topic/117787/

This would allow power creep to be implemented, allow players to specialize defenses based on build strategy, and make attack rate actually worth strategizing around instead of being forced into upping damage+rate to capitalize on DPS. As a bonus, it would also allow players to have much larger auras without being ridiculously overpowered.

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@gigazelle quote:


@BlaydeX15 quote:

I honestly think power creep is a GOOD thing. Some people play to progress, and get better stats... Better numbers, etc. 

The problem with DD1/DDE was the EXPONENTIAL power creep. Go from hard to nightmare, get gear that is orders of magnitudes more powerful. I think DD2 has a good cap on one of the main scaling problems with DDE/DD1, in that towers have no range stat, reducing the scaling power of a hero by reducing the "Time" factor of "Damage over Time", leaving plenty of room for power creep without reaching absurd levels, since stats don't really multiply with each other like they did in DDE/DD1 when a tower could hit everything on the map at once.

Here's my issue with your proposal, it sounds like you want the gear in the game to become a non issue after you get a legendary set, never to be replaced again, ever. That's eliminating half of the game! What's the point of playing a loot based tower defense RPG, where loot is a non-issue? There needs to be a reason to play higher difficulty/new content, and that reason is going to be loot.

Look at the Chrome enemies map. Nobody plays it. Why? Because the ramparts incursion is easier, gives more loot, and is faster. There is no other driving force in the game except loot, and people will follow it wherever it goes. What the game really needs is to diversify loot, give specific rewards for specific maps. See: Challenge rewards in DD1. At one time, you would do a specific challenge because it dropped specific items that had certain stats, and that you would use. This would give reason to do other maps, to think outside of the box, and to find people to play with.

I like your prestige idea, but I do take issue with your "non-powerleveling" stance, specifically that you don't want players skipping content (That they have already done, or they wouldn't be prestiging). Take a look at Diablo 3, you max out a guy, beat the game, unlock free play. You've already experienced all the content, why would you be forced to do it again? I like the way DD2 handles free play, and unless they change the way hero decks work, sometimes soloing the campaign will be impossible, like when your huntress falls out of the level bracket of your other builders. (I'd rather solo than group with newbies on my 20th+ playthrough). You already put in the time, why in the world would you want to play through the whole game again on normal with no useful advantages for your time?

If you want to play the game to play the game, that's fine... But some (I'd even say most) people play for the loot, and the end game. The game is even designed to work that way. Otherwise, hard mode and nightmare mode (When released) would be playable at level 1. Forced rerolls and intentionally slowed down leveling with marginal stat increases is a terrible way to keep those players interested, and it's a great way to kill a loot based game.

TL;DR: Trendy has already solved the biggest issue with DD1/DDE's power "creep" (more like power rocketing) in removing the tower range stat. All they need to do is keep the increases relatively small. Also, PLEASE don't make me play campaign over and over with no items to progress, please please please!

It doesn't matter how fast or slow power creeping is, be it creep or rocketing - eventually it will reach a point where it completely breaks defense balance. Thinking about it, I honestly think tower attack rate is what breaks it the most. If tower attack rate didn't exist in DD2, power creep wouldn't matter because you could simply scale the HP of enemies as new content is released. Combine that with periodically introducing new heroes and defenses, and you have a game that can scale pretty much indefinitely.

If there was a slider that increased our tower attack rate while scaling down tower damage so you had near-identical DPS, that would be the optimal solution in my opinion. If you wanted a stream of fireballs in your flameburst tower, you could do so, but it would deal the same overall DPS as a super-slow hard-hitting flameburst. Fast defenses would be much better for crowds, while slow defenses would be much better for armored enemies.

With attack rate being customizable but static, defense balance would never break over time, nor would DPS increase exponentially like it does now. We could have an infinitely scaling game, ever increasing the level cap right along with overall DPS of defenses. Tower attack rate would be adjustable depending on our team and defense dynamic.

Last night I just barely finished leveling my apprentice to 25, and I only equipped "extra XP from enemies killed by defenses" just so I could get him to 25 as fast as possible. I can definitely see where you're coming from not wanting to play with n00bs over and over again, and that is something that I agree with. However, if I was guaranteed a piece of top quality loot for going through it, it'd be a no-brainer for me to do it over and over to gear my heroes already at level cap. I'd much rather play the campaign again as opposed to the same map over and over to get my top-notch loot, but prestige is awesome in that you could do either or and both end up with the same result in the same time investment.

The last thing I want to do in this game is downplay loot, but in that same breath I want to make sure defense balance does not break with said loot. DDE is a prime example on what happens when defense balance is ignored in favor of progressive loot. It was indeed "power rocketing", but it would have ended up in the exact same spot if it was only power creep (it just would have taken longer). DD2 will face the exact same defense balance issues down the road if we keep getting stuff that improves both power and attack rate. 

EDIT: I messed up the math, Tower speed is actually less powerful than tower DMG (It scales at roughly 95% of tower dmg). Please give me a moment to fix the math! Thank you. EDIT 2: Math Fixed roughly, I don't have enough accurate data points to create a graph that predicts high stat values, (Curse you, display rounding!) but the formula seems to come out to: Double speed, gain 96% increased speed, losing about 1% more speed each time you double.


Well, if that power creep takes 5+ years to reach the point that DD1 did in a few months, I don't see that as a problem. It's all about longevity, and stretching out creep increases longevity. As long as they keep the scaling of stats right, you can do whatever you want with numbers. Also, Tower speed is actually LESS powerful than Tower DMG, because Tower DMG scales linearly, and Tower Speed suffers from slight diminishing returns. (Roughly a 95% speed increase for doubling your Tower Speed) Double your DMG, the tower does twice as much DMG. Double the Speed, the tower attacks slightly less than twice as fast. In the end, they both mean roughly the same thing for DPS, and they come together multiplicatively to equal the tower's DPS (X*Y) The reason DD1/DDE became so crazy was that the 3rd stat (Range) also multiplied with the other 2 stats, giving you near exponential scaling (X*Y*Z). I'll explain a bit more in detail below.


WARNING: NAPKIN MATH AHEAD. Not for the faint of heart.


Here's an example of the current scaling of tower stats, using a level 1 Cannonball tower, on my personal squire. 

At base stats at 25, (442 DMG 442 Speed), the tower hits for 552 DMG every 1.22 seconds, for 453 DPS.

At min-maxxed near-endgame stats (1018 DMG 1001 Speed), the tower hits for 1272 DMG every .57 seconds, for 2229 DPS

You've got linear progression for Tower Damage. My Tower DMG is 1018, divide that by 442, you get 2.303. Multiply that by the base lvl 25 DMG of 552, you get 1271, near exactly what my character shows on the mouseover. (Losses due to rounding, I just truncated after 2 decimal points) Tower Speed is more complicated, but in general, it is -very slightly- less useful. Can Trendy give me the exact formula to calculate it? Thanks! Haha.

MORE MATH!: Lets go hypothetical here. Lets add another stat (Range) that has the same flat linear increase that DMG has. First: Some numbers to quantify the value of a range stat. In my testing, it takes a basic goblin roughly 6 seconds to walk the 2400 unit range of a level 1 cannonball tower, which is a rate of 400 units per second. We will use that to calculate the damage a tower will do before an enemy reaches it (Because that's what really matters).

First, I made a level 1 squire to figure out what base range stat would be, so I could calculate the increase it would have from increased stats. Base tower stats are 250 at level 1 for a Squire, so we will go with a baseline of 250 range = 2400 ATK range on the mouseover tooltip, and scale it like we scale Tower Damage.

At base level 25 stats, (442 DMG 442 Speed, 442 Range) Your tower would do 552 DMG every 1.22 seconds, 453 DPS, for 10.56 seconds (4224 range). Which is 4783 DMG before an enemy hits the tower. (Versus 2718 for no range)

At min/maxxed currently available stats, assuming gear still only had 2 tower stats per piece, 442 base on each, and no larger allocations; (820 DMG, 820 Speed, 820 Range) Your tower would do 1024 DMG every .68 seconds, for 19.7 seconds (7872 range). 29,636 dmg to an enemy before it reaches tower. (Versus 13390 without range.)

Now lets double up our stats to roughly 2000 Tower DMG and 2000 Tower speed, divided among 3 stats instead of 2. (1480 DMG, 1480 Speed, 1480 range) Your tower would do 1847 DMG every .42 seconds, for 35.52 seconds (14,208 range) 156,203 dmg before enemy hits tower. (Versus 49,920 DMG without range)

Here's a better formatted example, showing why the removal of one scaling stat is sufficient to reduce, or even eliminate the scaling problem that was present in DDE/DD1. Everything is measured in DMG till mob reaches tower, which they do at a rate of 400 "Range" per second. I'll also include a theoretical "If we removed tower speed" so we can see stat scaling with only one multiplier. All these numbers are based on a Cannonball tower, with all available stat points allocated evenly between the tower stats, including a base stat of 442 for each available stat.


Base level 1 stats:

  • 250 Power + 250 Speed: 312 DMG, 2.00 Fire Rate, 2400 Range = 936 DTMR (Damage till mob reaches. Yes, I made this up, but it works so lets roll with it)


Base level 25 stats:

  • 442 Power: 552 DMG, 2.00 Fire Rate, 2400 Range = 1,656 DTMR
  • 442 Power + 442 Speed:  552 DMG, 1.22 Fire Rate, 2400 Range = 2,715 DTMR
  • 442 Power + 442 Speed + 442 Range: 552 DMG, 1.22 Fire Rate, 4224 Range = 4,778 DTMR


Current "end game" armor:

  • 1558 Power: 1944 DMG, 2.00 Fire Rate, 2400 Range = 5,833 DTMR
  • 1000 Power + 1000 Speed: 1272 DMG, .57 Fire Rate, 2400 Range = 13,390 DTMR
  • 820 Power + 820 Speed + 820 Range: 1024 DMG, .68 Fire Rate, 7872 Range = 29,636 DTMR


Twice as powerful armor:

  • 3558 Power: 4440 DMG, 2.00 Fire Rate, 2400 Range = 13,320 DTMR
  • 2000 Power + 2000 Speed: 2496 DMG, .30 Fire Rate, 2400 Range = 49,920 DTMR
  • 1480 Power + 1480 Speed + 1480 Range: 1847 DMG, .42 Fire Rate, 14208 Range = 156,203 DTMR

Lets double that again, for funsies:
  • 7558 Power: 9432 DMG, 2.0 Fire Rate, 2400 Range = 28,297 DTMR
  • 4000 Power + 4000 Speed: 4992 DMG, .17 Fire Rate, 2400 Range = 176,188 DTMR
  • 2814 Power + 2814 Speed + 2814 Range: 3512 DMG, .22 Fire Rate, 27014 Range = 1,078,104 DTMR (!!!!)

So here are my observations:


One: Looking at the above example, you can see what removing a damage stat does to tower damage scaling. It is my personal belief that removing tower range has completely (provided Trendy doesn't do mad armor scaling) eliminated the exponential ridiculousness that was DD1/DDE. In order to reach the same DTMR provided by the 3 stats (2814) in my final example, you would need over 9000 Tower Power and Speed. (What?!?! Over 9000!? That's impossible!). That means that in the DD2 model, you need far more stats to achieve the same effectiveness that you had in DD1/DDE, leaving tons of room to scale stats before we reach ludicrous levels of damage. Not to mention tower stats are harder to come by in DD2. Only 2 stats per piece, only 2 points per upgrade. Basically, not only are those higher levels harder to reach, but they are less useful.... Unless they go full retard and start making items with 2k base stats drop... Can't combat poor implementation, I suppose.


Two: If we removed the tower speed stat, we would run into a problem that is actually the exact opposite of what is being complained about in the post. Not only would we need to double our stat pool to equal our current DPS, but in order to increase our DMG, our tower damage number would need to be CRAZY high. We would run into a point where the Tower DMG stat on armor would become the inflated value, and the DPS of the tower itself would not be. If the nightmare mode end game required us to have double our current tower DMG, we would need armor that gave us a total of roughly 7000 tower damage (Over 1k tower DMG per piece!)


Three: There is a small diminishing returns curve on speed, none on damage, so far. A diminishing returns curve is commonly used in games like this in order to combat stat inflation. It remains to be seen whether or not the tower speed curve is significant enough to combat "Machine gun tower" mode, for visual appeal. That being said, if my napkin math is right, we need about 7000 tower speed to reach "Machine gun mode", .10 tower attack speed... On the cannonball turret. If we wanted machine gun harpoons, we would need 17,000 tower speed to reach .1 speed on harpoons. That is hopefully never going to happen. A diminishing returns curve or hard cap is an acceptable way to combat speed/DMG inflation.


Four: Scaling is still possible without going overboard, it always has been, and always will be, provided they don't jump the gun too much. Lets say they release an expansion, and the goal is to double player's tower DPS with the max gear from that expansion... In order to double a player's tower DPS, you only need to increase their stats by 40% (Square root of 2 as a multiplier, give or take, due to Tower Speed diminishing returns). This leaves plenty of room for improvement without crazy stats.


Five: Numbers really don't matter. If mobs have 10,000 HP, and towers do 1,000 DPS, it's the exact same as if mobs had 1,000,000 HP, and towers did 100,000 DPS. It's all about the ratios, and scaling. It is also far easier to balance 2 stats with directly measurable returns, instead of 3 stats, in which one can give far more advantages than just DPS. (Range affecting positioning, reduction of used DU by having one tower cover multiple lanes, including map covering auras. These things will never be a problem in DD2.) I put my faith in Trendy to keep the scaling sane. But it's all in their hands, to be honest.


Finally: I don't mean to be the argumentative type. I just wanted to prove my point that stat creep in a game can be controlled, and it will be much easier to control stat creep in this game vs its predecessors, having removed range scaling as a factor. I like playing a game to see myself getting better, (Even if it is an illusion, when mobs scale as fast as I do), and I'm sure other people feel the same way. It's all in Trendy's hands though. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they don't make the same mistakes that they did in DD1, where new content came out, and it's gear was 10x better than current content.


If you read the whole thing, I applaud you. this took like 3 hours to write, haha. (And then another hour to fix it, cause I dum) But if you didn't:


TL;DR: Math, math, mathmathmath, 2 stats = easier balance. Please don't mess it up Trendy!



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@gigazelle quote:

Thinking about it a bit more this evening, I've created a suggestion thread on that whole "slider" thing mentioned in my previous post:

https://www.dungeondefenders.com/2/topic/117787/

This would allow power creep to be implemented, allow players to specialize defenses based on build strategy, and make attack rate actually worth strategizing around instead of being forced into upping damage+rate to capitalize on DPS. As a bonus, it would also allow players to have much larger auras without being ridiculously overpowered.

Well, if you remove tower speed as a stat, you do lose a good chunk of your DPS. (See my math in previous post) So do we lower mob HP to compensate? Or do we increase tower stats? In either case, you're not really removing a stat from the calculation, you are just embedding it into damage, and giving yourself more control over it without any loss. Far more powerful than the current implementation, in my opinion. I would just set my harpoons to do exactly 1x or 1/2x the HP of a certain mob (Mages for example) and have no overkill, making my towers more efficient. I actually already do this a bit, dropping some tower speed in order to make my level 5 squire sword boosted Ballista do enough damage to one shot mages standing in the incursion healing circles.

Anyway, I don't see that as a solution to a scaling problem, other than making the math of scaling more simple.

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@BlaudeX15

Holy post Batman! That was one heck of a read! I greatly appreciate the amount of time you put into it.

I agree that in its base form, the stat creep in this game is well controlled. It gets more complex when specs and item buffs are taken into effect. Specs such as the double fireball and double explosive trap specs can throw this out of proportion. The good thing is that the specs already come with diminishing returns and the special buffs given from items are purely % Defense Damage based. Even with all of that taken into effect, I believe that the stat creep in DD2 is leaps and bounds more controlled then in DD1 and DD:E.

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@HPTSparky quote:

@BlaudeX15

Holy post Batman! That was one heck of a read! I greatly appreciate the amount of time you put into it.

I agree that in its base form, the stat creep in this game is well controlled. It gets more complex when specs and item buffs are taken into effect. Specs such as the double fireball and double explosive trap specs can throw this out of proportion. The good thing is that the specs already come with diminishing returns and the special buffs given from items are purely % Defense Damage based. Even with all of that taken into effect, I believe that the stat creep in DD2 is leaps and bounds more controlled then in DD1 and DD:E.

Thank you! I find myself temporarily unemployed, and very bored.

I also fixed the math, apparently there are diminishing returns with tower speed, and I failed to take that into account in my first calculation.

Tower dmg boosts are actually pretty easy to account for, because they are added onto the final value. (Except Squire legendary sword, since it applies directly to the Tower DMG stat) Since math doesn't care what order you multiply values in. DMG*Speed*Time*Boosts will give you an exact damage number. Lets say I have a 30% fireball tower damage bonus, and using my personal mage as an example (His gear is bad, sorry)

1000 DMG, .9 rate, 2400 range (We will express this as 6 seconds till mob reaches tower), 30% boost gives you: 

1000/.9*6*1.3 = 8666.7. This is the same as if we added the value of the boost to the damage before everything else, which would be:

(1000*1.3)->1300/.9*6 = 8666.7. Just remember to add each different type of boost separately once you've figured out it's % overall increase! So if you had max Double Fire Fireball, 47.09% for 30% more dmg, it would be (.4709*.3)=.14127, or a 14.12% damage increase (Once they fix it!). If you had a 30% fireball damage boost and max double fireball, it would look like: 1000/.9*6*1.3*1.1412 = 9890.4 damage. Monk boost aura also stacks multiplicatively with tower boosts from armor, so it would get it's own value when calculating.

SO much math, IDK what is wrong with me. Anyway, I'm glad someone agrees. It's just down to how Trendy handles it. If they do it well, we have nothing to worry about. But they could still mess it up, even with a good base system like they have already.

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I have faith that the lords and ladies at Trendy know what they are doing. Also I feel like Lord Josh has/will see the epic discussion we are having and relay it to the rest of the team. He is really good at being on top of that.

Another interesting point that people may or may not realize is that the frostbite tower is in fact a buff tower in a manner of speaking. It greatly increases the time it takes mobs to move (x) units and therefore buffs the damage your defenses can do before they are threatened. This affects a very large number of defenses because the range on the frostbite tower is incredibly long. The only difference is that it has a short cool down time in between de-buffing enemies, therefore buffing your defenses. 

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I can already see that devs try to stop stat inflation in DD1:

  1. Tower rate is slow in general
  2. Stat progression if flat, so you won't suddently find crazy gear like Myths vs Godly
  3. There is no "tower range" stat so that towers can't grow out of control. In fact for now auras can't grow at all and trap radius growth is minimal.
  4. Monsters can have tenacity which reduces effect duration time as the game progresses

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@BlaydeX15 quote:

Math

While it would take 7000 attack rate to get defenses to shoot like gatling guns, I am of the opinion they shoot too fast even right now with only 1000 rate. 3-4 cannons can take out entire crowds, and that defeats the entire purpose of the utility of cannons; their weakness is supposed to be that they can be easily overwhelmed by crowds. While having fast firing cannons is not necessarily a bad thing, what throws balance off is that DPS isn't adjusted to accommodate the increased rate. This means faster is ALWAYS better, and I'm personally not a fan of that. There are some legitimate strategies one could employ by having a super slow cannon, and that's simply impossible right now (not impossible as in unobtainable, but impossible as in not remotely viable).


[[58059,users]] quote:

I have faith that the lords and ladies at Trendy know what they are doing. Also I feel like Lord Josh has/will see the epic discussion we are having and relay it to the rest of the team. He is really good at being on top of that.

I trusted the lords and ladies at Trendy back when DDE was released, but despite the feedback (that they didn't listen to), defense balance ended up *worse* than DD1. The worst part is that there were some last minute changes made to the game just before it launched, and shortly after that our communication line with the devs was severed so genuine feedback was lost amidst the endless sea of "lol dis gaem suks". DD2 is already one of my favorite games of all time, and I REALLY don't want them to make the same mistakes again. And yes, Josh IS amazing at being on top of this sort of stuff; I am also a community manager where I work, and I actually base a lot of decisions I make based on how he runs the community here (you could consider him my role model).

Bouncing ideas off of you guys is a great way to keep my sanity in check, because talking it out helps create a more clear vision of what I want the game to look like in the long run. I've realized that having a hard cap on loot in a loot-based game is probably not the answer, which is why I've been exploring the potential to scale the game without breaking defense balance. I'm also not as much of a fan of the hero deck leveling as I used to be, but prestige has held water as a viable scaling solution even after discussing it with you guys.



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@gigazelle quote:


@BlaydeX15 quote:

Math

While it would take 7000 attack rate to get defenses to shoot like gatling guns, I am of the opinion they shoot too fast even right now with only 1000 rate. 3-4 cannons can take out entire crowds, and that defeats the entire purpose of the utility of cannons; their weakness is supposed to be that they can be easily overwhelmed by crowds. While having fast firing cannons is not necessarily a bad thing, what throws balance off is that DPS isn't adjusted to accommodate the increased rate. This means faster is ALWAYS better, and I'm personally not a fan of that. There are some legitimate strategies one could employ by having a super slow cannon, and that's simply impossible right now (not impossible as in unobtainable, but impossible as in not remotely viable).

I'm gonna wait for the higher difficulties. Obviously normal is easy, and I still want to point out that tower speed is less useful than dmg. Also, if you watched the livestream, the standard build for the Ramparts Incursion got brutally smashed on hard mode, and there's still one more difficulty to go after hard.

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