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Balance between Flamebursts and Cannons


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I'd like to discuss the balance between these two.


I feel like they are supposed to be eachothers counterparts with a  twist. One single target and physical, the other one AOE and magical. Cannon doing higher damage to make up for the single targetting. This is how I will appraoch this topic in this discussion.

In short: The DU difference is not justified. Flamebursts are not stronger or better than cannons, and as such the 10 extra DU is not appropriate. I also would love to see a buff in Fire rate for the Flamebursts, as even with the AOE, it is no match for the cannon.


The cannon's passive outperforms those of the Flamebursts. (tell me if I'm forgetting any):

Cannonball Tower: -15% chance to stun for 2 seconds                              

Flameburst Tower:  -25% chance for a second Fireball at 40% power (10% general DPS increase)  

                                 -10% Damage increase (passive on one armour piece)


This may at first seem balanced, 20% extra damage seems like a lot, but please keep on reading.

                                   

I compared them side by side, built with the same gear, no weapons/passives:

Comparison.png

(Image pasting seems to no longer work for me, so here's a link)


Note: -The Cannonball Tower gets a 3.6x boost out of being fully upgraded. 

           -The Flameburst gets a 3.0x boost, but gains more AOE.

           -Crit damage scales 180% (!) on Cannonballs compared to flamebursts.

Let's list the pro's and con's of each (Cannons on the left, Flameburst on the right):


Mana Costs: 30 mana / 40 mana

Du Costs: 30 / 40

Nature: Single target, high damage / AOE, low damage (1.8x worse!) + 1.8x more crit damage.



This is quite unfair. 1.8 times as much damage per target is simply too much of a difference! The AOE on Flamebursts is only two tavern dummies wide, and the second dummy won't even take half the damage. That is just plain bad. There are normal, non-uber auras that do similar damage over a way bigger area, without drop off.


The Flameburst being supposed to be better at big groups is a very weak argument right now. The difference in single target damage is enormous compared to Cannonballs, even if you have the best dice rolls on your side and have a 10% passive damage increase on your Flamebursts (for which cannons get the ability to stunlock big mobs). 


Changing the amount of DU that Flamebursts cost is a start, but I really hope it does not end there. Part of the advantage of having Flamebursts against big groups of small mobs is negated because of the lower fire rate. Increasing the fire rate on the Flamebursts to be at least up to par with Cannons would be a very big step forward, and fit the crowd control aspect of the tower on top of that. 



Something really needs to be taken a look at here...


TL;DR: Balance-wise, a small AOE radius with lots of drop-off does not equal 1.8 times as much damage output. Also reduce DU/mana costs to be on par, as it makes no sense.



Edit: I am not saying Cannons need a nerf. All non aura/trap towers are in a tough spot right now because of frosty gear. If anything, they both need a buff. One just a tad bit more than the other.

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The damage is very comparable to cannons and often eclipses them when you tally in the damage it actually pumps out to groups of mobs.

Cannons also have a bad habit of all attacking the same enemy for a ridiculously inefficient overkill, while flameburst will still aoe other nearby enemies in the same situation.

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Well actually damage wise hitting 3 targets puts the flame burst tower on paar with the cannon tower. I think very often the towers will hit more targets than that, making them worth the DU.


You should instead compare earth shatter with flame burst x.x  And cOmplain about traps acting like turrets in Front of barricades...

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@PandynatorDD quote:

Not sure what difficulty you are at, but where I am cannoballs are next to useless. 


I'm using NM4 gear atm. They're both useless.


@germanafro quote:

Well actually damage wise hitting 3 targets puts the flame burst tower on paar with the cannon tower. I think very often the towers will hit more targets than that, making them worth the DU.


You should instead compare earth shatter with flame burst x.x  And cOmplain about traps acting like turrets in Front of barricades...

Keep in mind that it is always the front mob which gets hit anyway. Basically only giving you half the AOE circle. Cannons have a fire rate advantage, slightly negating the fact it's not AOE.


Traps is an entire different book, and I'm assuming the problems with trap vs tower balance are obvious enough that I don't need to make a post about it.


@Lazaek quote:

The damage is very comparable to cannons and often eclipses them when you tally in the damage it actually pumps out to groups of mobs.

Cannons also have a bad habit of all attacking the same enemy for a ridiculously inefficient overkill, while flameburst will still aoe other nearby enemies in the same situation.

As I said in the other post I quoted, unlike auras, you only get half the AOE circle, and the distance scaling is horrible. The cannon overkill gets way less once you reach high difficulties. On NM4 where trash mobs reach 100k HP, a 12k DPS cannon will take about 6 shots to kill it. A 7th shot is hardly overkill.



This also means that an ogre or any other big mob will spend 1.8 times as much time pounding at the walls before it dies. I don't get why people are defending the 40 DU costs. The stat balance is something that I imagined would be a discussion item, but not the DU cost. :s

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I agree that the flameburst is too weak right now (even weaker than the canon). The change you proposed (change speed to match canon and DU decrease) are good, but applying all the changes is a bit much in my opinion. Only applying one of the 2 should be enough.

1) Change speed to match canon (2.5s -­> 2.0s) and keep DU at 40.

2) Keep the current speed (2.5s) and decrease DU to 30.

If they decide to decrease DU, the DPS difference when increasing will disappear because they would be both 30 DU cost (upgrade scales with the DU cost, less DU cost tower has better upgrade).

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Considering one deals physical and the other deals magical damage, I think it would be fine if if had both changes. It isn't like at endgame you would stop using cannonballs on magic resist lanes because the flameburst tower got buffed a bit.

Also, I feel that balancing the tower around the fact that you use a large sphere to give it a chance at doing extra damage is not a good move in the current state.  A squire gets even more bonus with Fight Me Not, like 35% or so extra damage from every shot once he aggro or taunts a mob(s), sure it requires some player intervention, but you could just stand in front of the barrier and watch the mobs die faster still.  

DPS Towers really do need some work, as they are currently in general not viable in end game, as was previously mentioned with everyone using barricades, traps, skyguards, and frosty power frostbite towers.

If only 1 change was to be made, it should be the DU change as that will help with scaling some, as the flameburst tower lags behind and isn't worth  the current DU.  Additional effects for the tower for on hit would also be a nice weapon addition.  15% chance to stun an enemy, with multiple cannonball towers targeting the same enemy (not really overkilling in nm3-4 either), the likelihood that a stronger enemy gets stunned repeatedly increases, plus cannonballs hit further away base granting extra chances to stun/kill before the enemy reaches the walls.

 A 10% (at best) pyromania, which doesn't even affect the flamethrower, just does not make up for the differences between the two towers. Since Resists are in play, the argument should not be made on "oh this does some (weak 66%)aoe  to maybe 2 or 3 extra mobs in a group" because it won't replace cannon towers on lanes with magical resist anyways.


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@Omm quote:

It kind of feels like almost all of the projectile towers are useless

Indeed.  They need to take another run at programming how they fire.  Having 6 cannons fire at the same goblin is stupid.  How bad would siege tanks be in starcraft2 if they did that

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@Omm quote:

It kind of feels like almost all of the projectile towers are useless

Yep. They both need a change, but ignoring that, fireballs fall behind most. 


@alexstonge25 quote:

I agree that the flameburst is too weak right now (even weaker than the canon). The change you proposed (change speed to match canon and DU decrease) are good, but applying all the changes is a bit much in my opinion. Only applying one of the 2 should be enough.

1) Change speed to match canon (2.5s -­> 2.0s) and keep DU at 40.

2) Keep the current speed (2.5s) and decrease DU to 30.

If they decide to decrease DU, the DPS difference when increasing will disappear because they would be both 30 DU cost (upgrade scales with the DU cost, less DU cost tower has better upgrade).

I was not aware of that. I do remember reading something about it. That seems pretty bad balance wise. Why would a set of towers perfectly balanced at upgrade 0 (explosive trap - Cannon - Flameburst) still be perfectly balanced at upgrade 4? (or vise-versa)


It is the way it is, however, and you might be right. Perhaps a small damage per shot nerf in exchange for a fire rate buff, coupled with dropping the DU costs. Ideal would be to remove the better scaling for low DU towers, and simply reduce DU costs and increase Fire rate by 1.2, but that would require changing the current system (which makes little sense to my uninformed mind any way, but still).



@A2152225 quote:

Also, I feel that balancing the tower around the fact that you use a large sphere to give it a chance at doing extra damage is not a good move in the current state.  

True

DPS Towers really do need some work, as they are currently in general not viable in end game, as was previously mentioned with everyone using barricades, traps, skyguards, and frosty power frostbite towers.

Indeed. Having frosty towers work on normal towers would be great imho.

If only 1 change was to be made, it should be the DU change as that will help with scaling some, as the flameburst tower lags behind and isn't worth  the current DU.  Additional effects for the tower for on hit would also be a nice weapon addition.  

I'm hoping for AOE passives eventually. I am against the better scaling for low DU towers in general. But if they are keeping it, and they'd only want one buff for the Flameburst, I guess that would be it.

 A 10% (at best) pyromania, which doesn't even affect the flamethrower, just does not make up for the differences between the two towers. Since Resists are in play, the argument should not be made on "oh this does some (weak 66%)aoe  to maybe 2 or 3 extra mobs in a group" because it won't replace cannon towers on lanes with magical resist anyways.

True enough. I'm hoping we'll see Pyromania work on Flamethrowers eventually, though. They need a range increase imho (maybe also a rotation speed buff). But again, that's a different topic.


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If they Remove Lane Resists and take a Sample of theyre actual Mob output on lanes considering hps and how many times how many mobs in average will take ae damage and add the same buff options Traps have to Towers ... or should i say if somone actually had a clue about theyre Game they could balance it.


DD1 had an option to remove resists from mobs in dd2 we need to build according to lane Resistance which limits build options its not hard to build according to Lane resists it proved to be lame to me after awhile and reduced possible builds since some Towers with something something effects are magic resist and some are Physic add general immunity at random to some effects and you cant build with effects on lanes since its at times very efficient and at times innefficient.

For example i would have liked a push in air and use air Towers to Kill build but atm its not viable.

After all it just means you always need a counterpart to Magic for Physic and Vice Versa lanes with limited towers already its just getting less fun. Take Air Mobs for example one reason they removed resists we just had Magic resisted Air Defense. If they add a Physic Air Defense fine. But thats another Tower and we just have 4 per Char. Another Solution would be to change tower Resists and effects with spheres or another option per Character.

ATM only Freeze Walls Traps for me in NM which is one of the reasons i dont want to play anymore. Its fun till you reach Max lvl on a Char and go NM thats when it starts getting boring the new NM item lvls are way less intruiging to play as well why kill item power 1000 stuff to get item power 700 just a turn off to me along with 98% trash drops (take Diablo 3 for a good loot system). Various other reasons exist as well Gold Prices on Pet Rerolls and so on ...just alot of wrong stuff atm plus nobody listens since they dont know who to listen to.

Hero deck serves no real reson as well my problem is it doesnt add to group play at all. If other ppls could actually bring something new along to Aid you you would want to group more if its not just Hero DPS it would be great like special Tower builds. And group play should cause much harder Mobs with much better loot to make it cool.


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Like i said in many other threads as the game went along Trendy nerfed the hell out of flameburst when it was strong and the changes they made to game made the nerf hurt it 10x more than it did the first time they nerfed it.  Just remember this.


Flameburst tower when it was good

DU was 30 > nerfed to 40

AoE was much bigger > Nerfed it to be smaller.

AoE did full damage to all targets > nerfed it to 30% of full damage(ithink)

and we had the double fireball when you could points into the flame tower spec for like 45% dbl fireball. 


With mobs hp being much higher than it was with all the nerfs the tower got it needs to give some of the old stats back. 


I would be fine if the DU cost was 30 again, and Aoe did full damage with a slight damage boost and i would be fine with the tower. As for the canon ball it should be 2x the damage or more than the flameburst since it is single target. 

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