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Squishydew

Ballista AI seems very poor?

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When Ballistas shoot at a distance, they aim straight ahead, and they do very well.

But when a monster gets close, the ballista points downwards shooting one enemy and then hitting the floor with It's bolt completely wasting It's piercing potential.

You can very easily replicate this at the line of 5 dummies in the tavern.


Is this intended?

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Tower shot aligning is kind of a mess right now with the maps being more intricate than in DD1.  Many shots harmlessly strike the environment or miss because of travel time.

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The bigger problem for me with ballistas, is keeping them focused on the right lane in places where there are multiple lanes very close together. Like Nimbus Reach, or Gates. Wish there was a way to intentionally narrow down the firing cone, to keep a tower focused.


I do notice a fair amount of map obstruction in what would otherwise be interesting tower positions. Theres one particular lightpost that gets me every time.

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the balista design is super bad in dd2, its basically the same problem of dd1 vanilla, the devs really did a mess bringing back all those problems


also like someone said the maps in dd2 are much much smaller, and much much closed, range is not a matter, frost pierce and its so op to outshine anything


it just impossible to even discuss towers till frost exist, cause nothing just even remoly match the OPness of frost an trap builds


no tower is even close to that, balista would just need some cooler effect or a HUGE buff to the property of 30% chance of 20% bonus dmg (which traslates to 7% bonus, WOW)


and anyway would always be a poor choice in 90% of lanes that are too closed to make balista work properly

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The OP's specific problem of ballistas shooting down when the mobs get close, I think can be solved by having more distance between the ballista and the walls. Does help to get your range up some before this really becomes practical.


As for ballistas not being any good, my friends and I have worked our way up to top of NM3, starting to try NM4, using ballistas almost exclusively for magic resist lanes. Ballistas, blockades, a frost slow, and a serenity for the heroes.

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@Hydrazine quote:

The bigger problem for me with ballistas, is keeping them focused on the right lane in places where there are multiple lanes very close together. Like Nimbus Reach, or Gates. Wish there was a way to intentionally narrow down the firing cone, to keep a tower focused.


[[48971,users]] Amazing idea right here!

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@Hydrazine quote:

As for ballistas not being any good, my friends and I have worked our way up to top of NM3, starting to try NM4, using ballistas almost exclusively for magic resist lanes. Ballistas, blockades, a frost slow, and a serenity for the heroes.


I have taken Frosts to wave 6 of NM4 Liferoot but failed twice at this stage.

I used my Pooner for the waller and could not repair a threat lane and two boss lanes fast enough.  I did try with a dedicated waller and no AA from monk (this did not end well).

I feel it is viable as part of a team but I am struggling to make it work with a solo  hero deck.

Tying it back into the OP, the Ballista and Cannon served as very poor AA with their AI targeting choices.

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That is an interesting idea, the Ballista actually had a much smaller firing cone for most of DD2's development then it was made wider. We'll experiment with making it smaller. I do agree though with the problem you stated, it is actually something I dislike about the Ballista when I use it myself!

@Chappyy quote:


@Hydrazine quote:

The bigger problem for me with ballistas, is keeping them focused on the right lane in places where there are multiple lanes very close together. Like Nimbus Reach, or Gates. Wish there was a way to intentionally narrow down the firing cone, to keep a tower focused.


Blacksmith Amazing idea right here!


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yeah but that woul still be a nerf while balistas need a buff in general

i mean the whole point of balista over other towers is having a huge cone of fire, the problem is deep into the map structure that doesnt allow them to work, yeah restricting the cone would make them work slightly better but then for the points invested they should do much more dmg/aoe

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We could just have a button like with monk auras in the first game to make defense "cones" thinner or wider.

That way no nerf is strictly necessary and we can let the players decide when to make them thinner and by how much.

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ok but lets be realistic


there is NOT ONE SINGLE CASE in which you might want the actual cone, its just plain useless


the max you can want is a balista covering 2 lanes, even though its usually a bad design for your defenses cause when both lanes are attacked you halve your power and its still more common for towers to shot at walls and stuff

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Make it a sphere to lessen the cone of fire, if it needs a buff the sphere could also increase peirce chance/ peirce dmg. This would probably synergize with the sploody harpoon build pretty well too

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@Blacksmith quote:

That is an interesting idea, the Ballista actually had a much smaller firing cone for most of DD2's development then it was made wider. We'll experiment with making it smaller. I do agree though with the problem you stated, it is actually something I dislike about the Ballista when I use it myself!

@Chappyy quote:


@Hydrazine quote:

The bigger problem for me with ballistas, is keeping them focused on the right lane in places where there are multiple lanes very close together. Like Nimbus Reach, or Gates. Wish there was a way to intentionally narrow down the firing cone, to keep a tower focused.


Blacksmith Amazing idea right here!


Don't stuff it up for  other people, don't be one dimensional. Add an uber 20 tokens, for a very tight cone.

Then we can switch it around like we do with traps.


@mmm quote:

ok but lets be realistic


there is NOT ONE SINGLE CASE in which you might want the actual cone, its just plain useless


the max you can want is a balista covering 2 lanes, even though its usually a bad design for your defenses cause when both lanes are attacked you halve your power and its still more common for towers to shot at walls and stuff

Betsy NM4, the huge cone is needed.

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another massive fix that could/should be added is the priority selection, whether you want the tower to attack the -- Farthest/Weakest/Strongest(healthy-est)/Closest -- Mob/Monster, so you can set up your defenses a bit more simply, or just better flow to the game in general

Preferably with a "Range Slider" (for the degree of view for towers), but I know that can get rather hairy when it comes to developing those things after the fact. Just a thought. 

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@mmm quote:

ok but lets be realistic


there is NOT ONE SINGLE CASE in which you might want the actual cone, its just plain useless


the max you can want is a balista covering 2 lanes, even though its usually a bad design for your defenses cause when both lanes are attacked you halve your power and its still more common for towers to shot at walls and stuff

I disagree about no case to use the whole firing cone. I've utilized them in a couple maps, but I only have one useful screenshot to this effect laying around. Since this was taken I've revised the strat some. placing all three ballista to the upper/right ledge of the walkway. Can cover from the spawn point ahead, through the sharp turn on the right, to the training dummy you can barely see over my pet's head. 

I like trying to figure out neat spots like this, but its tough sometimes. Especially since javelin throwers from the wrong lane will stop and shoot at my towers if they can reach it. and sometimes even if they can't.

ko3fYdt.jpg

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I think that the slider for adjusting the towers firing arc would be a fantastic idea. Maybe there could be 3 phases to placing the towers: Placement, Orientation and Adjustment. During this last stage is when we could narrow down the arc to focus the towers attention. I think more than just the ballista would benefit from this change.


As for compensation perhaps the tower could gain some limited boost in range or speed based on how much the field was narrowed. Maybe cutting the field down in half could increase tower range by 5-10% and/or increase speed 1-5%.


On the topic of the OP. I play with Hydrazine and he has decent ballista range. When he has room to set the ballistas up a little further behind the wall than normal tower placement they function better.

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