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Spirit Essence

Class Balance Discussion

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Greetings everyone!


I want to have a serious discussion about class balance. It's becomming more and more obvious that some classes are better than others, so I want to REALLY put emphasize on the issue; and for that, I need help from everyone else.
I'm still fairly new, despite now having 3 lvl 25 characters, so I don't have experience with all the builds.


My personal Observations:


Apprentice:

The apprentice seems to be the LEAST viable character in this game. Towers costs a ton, and fails to deliver an acceptable amount of damage in some cases. I understand Apprentice is not useless and CAN in fact be a deadly builder. Apprentice can be completely neglected for viable end game builds, in fact, most end game builds does NOT favor Apprentice. 


Monk:

Monk is a must. At least from my experience. He has boost aura which goes well with most if not ALL other towers in the game. He also has electric aura which packs an incredible amount of damage and can stun if used with the Huntress's Geyser Trap.

Boost aura + Electric aura + geyser trap = viable build. (I've seen it myself)


That's all it takes to complete some incursion maps (granted you need the gear to get the appropriate stats). Am I against this? Slightly, yeah. This build lacks weaknesses. Does it not? Other than that, I think we need a lot of different, viable builds in this game, and I dont see why this shouldnt be one of them.


Huntress:

I honestly don't know much about Huntress, but I've often been told that I shouldn't bother with incursions if I don't want to use her. That kinda blows, because my favorite team despite the lack of performance, is: Apprentice, Squire and monk.

Her Geyser trap is a game changer which honestly, I don't have anything against. I don't think that huntress is too good, i think others are not good enough. That's why people will say Huntress is a must for end game.


Squire:

This is the one that frustrates me the most. In DD1, I used Tower Health squire combined with Tower Damage apprentice, and it was very viable. I copied the build to DD2 (more or less), and it has been working great up to 25++. At Incursion though, all that is lost. Placing 50k health Barricades 100 meters (exaggerated) from apprentice towers, will STILL result in Apprentice towers being mauled. I have been told countless of times that squire should NOT have Tower Health, but only Power and Speed for cannonball stun. WHY?!

Another great example of a "must" for end game. Why do Barricades not protect towers shielded behind them? I don't think towers should be invulnerable behind barricades, but adding at least a Decreased Targeting Range (enemies needs to be closer to target tower) or Reduce Damage Taken  sounds appropriate does it not?


--------------------

Liferoot Forest is currently my favorite map, but I simply can't seem to get it right with my Apprentice, Squire and Monk combo. I can complete it on 25++, but my focus is Incursions. Every advice Ive gotten so far has been about: Switching Tower Health out with Power and Speed on Squire, use Huntress instead of Apprentice or go aura + geyser.


Conclussion:

- I think Apprentice is underperforming compared to all the other classes.

- I think Squire barricades needs some love to be more viable end game

- Becareful not to pull Monk down to Apprentice and Squire level, but pull them up to his

- I think Huntress is fine as she is (although I don't have experience with all her towers)


Please let me know what you all think of my personal observation, and PLEASE tell me what you personally think of these classes. 

- Do you think Apprentice is underperforming, if yes, why?

- Should Squire Barricades get additional passives or other buffs?

- Are Monk and Huntress balanced?

I would love to make a  detailed report, but I lack experience, patience and gear. I'm eager to try and help out with the "balance issues" in the game though, and I hope this will contribute, even if just a little.


Peace!

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Another issue to bring up is tower balance.  Some heros just have underwhelming towers.

I think the monk is actually really well set with the sky guard, electric, and boost.  The serenity aura isn't used much, but it has its uses.

Squire has cannons.  The ballistas are eh, the barricades are incredibly weak and not needed (electric combo), and are we counting the training dummy as a tower?

Apprentice is another very well balanced hero.  Flameburst, freeze, and earth shatter are all excellent towers.  Again its wall needing some love.

Huntress has the geyser.  Arguably the explosive trap, but the effective stats are different for both and the geyser/la is just too powerful to ignore.  But until the flameburst has some oil tower to work with, and the poison dart tower is kind of worthless there isnt much.


I really enjoy the synergy between the monk/huntress.  It would be cool to see some more synergies pop up and some more useful towers.

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I play solo exclusively so i cant really comment to how the heroes play in parties. I will give my impressions on the heroes i have used. I'm currently farming normal incursions using a 2 hero monk/apprentice deck. So ill comment on those heroes.


Apprentice dps towers do feel weak to me. I initially planned to have both monk and apprentice builders but the mana cost of earthshatters was too high to justify their use and flamebursts were just too squishy for the moderate damage they seemed to put out. its certainly possible that i gave up on the apprentice towers too early? I do feel the base stats could use a buff, particularly in health.

Both the barrier and frost towers seem fine to me.


Monks are possibly too powerful right now, but i think they're in a weird spot that make them hard to balance. Since they only have 1 ground defense any nerf to lightning aura would be pretty devastating. I do feel that boost auras are too powerful, to the point where i worry that towers would have to be balanced around the assumption that they are always under the influence of boost auras unless they are changed.

Skyguards are very powerful, and given their high mana cost and air exclusive attacks i suppose they should be? I think the biggest problem with skygaurds is the lack of any real competition from the other heroes, making a monk in your deck feel all the more mandatory.

I have yet to use a serenity aura, maybe it will be useful in higher difficulties...


Hero DPS in general needs a boost. I'm still uncertain why we need separate hero damage and ability damage stats? Taking hero damage stats off of armor and putting it all into weapons seems logical to me, freeing up armor to have ability power and hero health/defenses. But i don't really use dps heroes so ill defer to more experienced voices on that.



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Overpowered items:

  • Boost aura, especially if you have pre-patch gear. Even if you don't, they are still ridiculously powerful
  • Electric auras, especially now that you can stack several in the same place.
  • Lightning strikes auras, they can get over 100K DPS even without pre-patch gear
  • Huntress resistance bow, its like a boost aura only applied to a single enemy
  • Geyser trap, stacking attack rate lets you pin an enemy indefinitely
  • Electrocute combo, its like stacking two OP components to make an even more OP mechanic
  • Health on hit passive: why stop to heal when you can deal damage and let the passive do it faster?

Viable strategies:

  • Ability apprentice: Someone at Trendy must really care about the ability scaling of the Apprentice, as currently it's the most effective way to deal hero damage (specifically cyclone while targets are marked). the buffs over time have made him pretty solid at handling a lane
  • Stacking physical resist and hero health: Anyone can tank an ogre if they want to. Health on hit passive, hero health, and physical resist is all you need for an ogre to just sit there attacking you indefinitely.

Everything else in the game I would consider either relatively balanced or lackluster.

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@gigazelle quote:

Viable strategies:

  • Ability apprentice: Someone at Trendy must really care about the ability scaling of the Apprentice, as currently it's the most effective way to deal hero damage (specifically cyclone while targets are marked). the buffs over time have made him pretty solid at handling a lane

as crazy as it may sound, i think the lack of damage on App uber (flame thrower) may have to be the best option for AP app because marking your target with basic attack or charge attack require too much effort..

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@Arkurin quote:

Apprentice dps towers do feel weak to me. I initially planned to have both monk and apprentice builders but the mana cost of earthshatters was too high to justify their use and flamebursts were just too squishy for the moderate damage they seemed to put out. its certainly possible that i gave up on the apprentice towers too early? I do feel the base stats could use a buff, particularly in health.

Both the barrier and frost towers seem fine to me. 

Apprentice towers are pretty strong, actually. Right now, my flameburst towers are doing about 11k dps at over 4k range (2 range spheres and a projectile range helm.) Their stats and range are good enough that they never take damage from anything other than the occasional blast from the mages while the towers are focused on closer threats, so their health is basically irrelevant.

As for the earthshatters, I don't use them much. Sure, they do high dmg per shot, but their dps is slow due to their slow attack rate, and they can't hit airborne enemies. I occasionally use them in places where they can hit enemies that would have a blocked line of sight for my flamebursts, but usually I'll just toss another flameburst down instead and pocket the DU difference. They used to be awesome, with their shatter combo, But now, with a mere 15% chance to knockup due to a large sphere, and no shatter since the freeze sphere is also a large, they're nowhere near as useful as they were before. 

I feel like the barrier is pathetic. The squire suffers from this too, but barricade towers have too low of base stats to be useful at all to a tower hero. This problem is especially evident at lower levels. I completely stopped using barricades/barriers while leveling, as they couldn't stop anything without needing constant repair, or they would die in seconds. They need an increase in base stats, with weaker scaling. This would let them actually take a couple hits when necessary for tower heroes, while keeping them from scaling out of control on dedicated wallers. If you have a dedicated waller, barricades and barriers are actually quite strong, especially if in a monk boost with the 25% health boost.

The frostbite is cool, except that it has a tendency to spam its animation, quickly draining any boost auras it happens to be in. Which they shouldn't be anyway, given that they don't benefit, but still.

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I think you might have done something wrong.

I can use only squire and boost at Life Root forest and there is no problem. Even have about 400 DU left at wave 4. And place extra cannonball for that physical resist boss. You just need the cannonball stun on sword.

Huntress and boost with no geyser is also doable in Life Root. Just need to stack explosive and poison dart. 3 explosive pretty much take care of everything except sometimes orc, and 1 poison dart at core will take care of that.

There is no problem for apprentice to do wyvern den with squire wall, my friend and I had done that yesterday and we drag on the Betsy fight to 20+ minutes to learn all her mechanics. The wall placement is an acquired skill, it is not "place wall, place tower" that simple. You will need to learn to put the wall in the lane and towers away from it.

I have also do 2 squire Wyvern den, 1 with regular speed/power items, and the other with defense health.

Maybe you are just playing wrong?

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It would be really hard for me to say a class is stronger because there isn't an endless mode to really test it. In my experience, all classes can easily pass a hard mode incursions, except the monk is kinda OP because his boost is usually a crucial component.



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@SorakaPlz quote:

I think you might have done something wrong.

I can use only squire and boost at Life Root forest and there is no problem. Even have about 400 DU left at wave 4. And place extra cannonball for that physical resist boss. You just need the cannonball stun on sword.

Huntress and boost with no geyser is also doable in Life Root. Just need to stack explosive and poison dart. 3 explosive pretty much take care of everything except sometimes orc, and 1 poison dart at core will take care of that.

There is no problem for apprentice to do wyvern den with squire wall, my friend and I had done that yesterday and we drag on the Betsy fight to 20+ minutes to learn all her mechanics. The wall placement is an acquired skill, it is not "place wall, place tower" that simple. You will need to learn to put the wall in the lane and towers away from it.

I have also do 2 squire Wyvern den, 1 with regular speed/power items, and the other with defense health.

Maybe you are just playing wrong?

Cannons are much more efficient than flame tower though. They have crazy range and stun. Flametowers has to pack a huge amount of damage to kill enemies within the low range they have, which means you have to have CRAZY tower power + speed, or you can't pull it off. Tower DPS Apprentice + Tower Health Squire, is not a viable combination in my book.

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@Spirit Essence quote:
. They have crazy range and stun. Flametowers has to pack a huge amount of damage to kill enemies within the low range they have, which means you have to have CRAZY tower power + speed, or you can't pull it off. Tower DPS Apprentice + Tower Health Squire, is not a viable combination in my book.

You do know, that the cannon and flameburst have the same range, right? 

In terms of dps, they're fairly similar to one another as well. With the same building gear and sphere setup, the flameburst turret does 11,336, and the cannon 14,098 dps. Factoring in the large sphere for extra flame damage, flameburst comes out to about an average 12,469 dps. The cannon goes up to about 19,032 dps factoring in the fight me not sphere.  The cannon is the clear leader in dps (it seems to scale better with speed than flamebursts do.) but, the cannon is single target.

If you aren't using something like strong lightning auras to kill trash mobs before they come into tower range, the flameburst will be the superior turret, hands down. You could have twice the flameburst dps on your cannons, and frankly it wouldn't matter for anything other than a boss; the flamebursts would still out dps cannons in that situation, with the added benefit of dealing damage to anything trying to walk around the boss while either you or your defenses keep it in place.

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@Spirit Essence quote:


@SorakaPlz quote:

I think you might have done something wrong.

I can use only squire and boost at Life Root forest and there is no problem. Even have about 400 DU left at wave 4. And place extra cannonball for that physical resist boss. You just need the cannonball stun on sword.

Huntress and boost with no geyser is also doable in Life Root. Just need to stack explosive and poison dart. 3 explosive pretty much take care of everything except sometimes orc, and 1 poison dart at core will take care of that.

There is no problem for apprentice to do wyvern den with squire wall, my friend and I had done that yesterday and we drag on the Betsy fight to 20+ minutes to learn all her mechanics. The wall placement is an acquired skill, it is not "place wall, place tower" that simple. You will need to learn to put the wall in the lane and towers away from it.

I have also do 2 squire Wyvern den, 1 with regular speed/power items, and the other with defense health.

Maybe you are just playing wrong?

Cannons are much more efficient than flame tower though. They have crazy range and stun. Flametowers has to pack a huge amount of damage to kill enemies within the low range they have, which means you have to have CRAZY tower power + speed, or you can't pull it off. Tower DPS Apprentice + Tower Health Squire, is not a viable combination in my book.

Not sure if we are playing the same game here. Squire's cannonball and apprentice's flameburst both have the same range, both has 2400 at t1 with no item, no spec.

Squire's stun comes from a weapon and it is ineffective until late game with 10%+ stun chance and 0.5s atk rate, while apprentice has frostbite to reliably slow down enemies, thus grouping up and artificially inflate damage potential of flameburst.

Cannonball has a 1.25DP at t1 and flameburst has 1.0DP. Flameburst has a 0.40 speed modifier and cannonball has 0.50 speed modifier (that means with no item at lv25, flamerburst does a fireball ever 1.52s, and cannonball shoot once every 1.22s). Basically cannonball has 25% more damage and shoot 25% faster, it single target DPS is 1.56 times of flameburst. The math tells me that if you can hit 2 target at once, flameburst is doing more damage even if both target is only gettig 80% damage. Apprentice is not weaker, if anything, it is stronger since his medal has increased flameburst damage %.

If you are going to argue about ballista, I can assure you that its atk rate is capped at 1.0 and the slow aiming animation make it one of the worst defense in the game.

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@Spirit Essence quote:

This build lacks weaknesses. Does it not? 

Idunno man, I think Ogres are a pretty significant weakness...


- Should Squire Barricades get additional passives or other buffs?


- Are Monk and Huntress balanced?

Squire Barricades need some numbers buffs. Or for the Shiny Spikes sphere to be better, 25% chance for 1s would probably be about right. Or just some more base health or physical resistance. Maybe they scale with the Squires armor?

Those classes are balanced, their combo is a bit much. Slightest nerf to the Electrocution stun duration would bring it to its knees.

The problem with the Apprentice is that he is all magic damage, and right now the biggest issue is the MR lanes. They tend to be more overbearing than the physical lanes, especially with how the Orcs get stunlocked. Plus they just seem to get more big'ns. The only significant thing he brings to the table is his Freeze tower. Guess what. ELECTROCUTE STUNLOCK, no one cares about that puny slow. Even tho the freeze orb is nice with a Geyser trap. Too bad you can't get it until level 24.


@Spirit Essence quote:

Cannons are much more efficient than flame tower though. They have crazy range and stun. Flametowers has to pack a huge amount of damage to kill enemies within the low range they have, which means you have to have CRAZY tower power + speed, or you can't pull it off. Tower DPS Apprentice + Tower Health Squire, is not a viable combination in my book.

Flame towers are for their AoE, clearing out that horde of 30 goblins beating on your barricade in a few hits. As I said earlier in this post, that is outclassed by the Electrocute combo. (If you're talking about the Uber ignore this part, its bugged, or they over-compensated for it) 

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@Ambiguous quote:


@Spirit Essence quote:
. They have crazy range and stun. Flametowers has to pack a huge amount of damage to kill enemies within the low range they have, which means you have to have CRAZY tower power + speed, or you can't pull it off. Tower DPS Apprentice + Tower Health Squire, is not a viable combination in my book.

You do know, that the cannon and flameburst have the same range, right? 

In terms of dps, they're fairly similar to one another as well. With the same building gear and sphere setup, the flameburst turret does 11,336, and the cannon 14,098 dps. Factoring in the large sphere for extra flame damage, flameburst comes out to about an average 12,469 dps. The cannon goes up to about 19,032 dps factoring in the fight me not sphere.  The cannon is the clear leader in dps (it seems to scale better with speed than flamebursts do.) but, the cannon is single target.

If you aren't using something like strong lightning auras to kill trash mobs before they come into tower range, the flameburst will be the superior turret, hands down. You could have twice the flameburst dps on your cannons, and frankly it wouldn't matter for anything other than a boss; the flamebursts would still out dps cannons in that situation, with the added benefit of dealing damage to anything trying to walk around the boss while either you or your defenses keep it in place.

Good points.. and I really did think cannons had more range, someone else told me that and showed me the difference. He must have been using range helmet or something.

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