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Qbert

Haven't played in nearly a year: What has changed for the better?

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Dumped a ton of time into this game about a year ago because I love TD games and loved this game's concept... but the depth of gameplay was sorely lacking back then in so many ways & the game quickly stopped being fun, so I decided to wait for development to catch up.

_________

My main questions:


1)What is the state of the grind?

By far the worst aspect of the game was that it was a grind to get loot to grind better. Nothing was challenging, and there was essentially no real progression. And when you were repeating the hardest maps to farm loot the maps were repetitive/predictable to the point you knew before every game what was coming and could always place towers in the same place. The game was fun for its own sake for a bit, but after  a while the fun was drained by repetition & predictability. I'm hoping that's not the case anymore.


2) What is the state of tower strategy?

When I last played about half the towers were essentially useless, there was almost no synergy between class towers, and the best strategy in every game was 'dump all your GP to the Squire and Monk so they can stack towers near the core'. It was painfully boring and monotonous. I was hoping for there to be more depth to the strategy of what to place where, but it was actually all about placing the same few towers in the same place.


3) What is the state of 'class roles'?

One of the most frustrating aspects of the game for me was the trivial nature of classes and the lack of defined strengths/weaknesses motivating you to really want one of each class in every game ... almost to the point of needing one of each. Rather than feeling like each class contributed something valuable & necessary, it instead felt like 3 classes that AoE and one class that doesn't.


4) What is the state of loot?

When I left loot was not fun at all, it had essentially become a necessary evil. It dropped way too often to the point you never got excited about it (you just hoped that the NEXT legendary had a few more pts of a certain stat than the six ones you already had). On top of that, loot was only worth using after upgrading, and the process of upgrading them just required more grinding. Loot can be a fun form of progression in any game as long the upgrades are meaningful and rare.... but back then the loot was relatively meaningless and plentiful.

___________


Those are the main issues I can remember, if there's anything else that has improved the game beyond those core issues I'd love to hear about them.

Thanks in advance, Q

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1)What is the state of the grind?
It's still there if you wanna min max your items, its easier to get preferred roles but still a pain in the ass to min-max

2) What is the state of tower strategy? 
Depends on the player in general but, meta is still mines + frost towers. been like that for a while. there really is no strategy and dps plays a big roll for under geared characters. eh cannon ball ubers weak same with earth shatter. AA is more of a support vs air than a killer which gives more of a reason to stack frosts in most maps.

3) What is the state of 'class roles'?
Again depends on the player everythings viable some just easier than others. Huntress/Apprentice probably the best dps due to melee being paper unless u have 1.8k+ phys resist then its just about dodging dragons.

Same case scenario for builders, id just avoid using cannons(especially uber)/ballista's/earth shatters/AA for now if you decide to come back.

4) What is the state of loot? 
Ramparts is a fun challenging bit of loot to get, there a few items that stand above all others some easy to get (betsy/harb) some more challenging like ramparts and some a little time consuming for what they're worth (Halloween/Onslaught). Weapons did get a overhaul at some stage so there is different attack speeds and projectile amounts attack types, i came back like a month ago this was all new to me and was fun at first until u start hunting that 4s ramparts (which really is no dif to 2s u just get more concussive shots off)

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It's still the same from when you last played, both the Hero Deck and tower balance is still being ignored over flashy content no one asked for. 

So I would wait until one of those main core issues is addressed before returning. 


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Let me correct a few things. 

The hardest map is currently Betsy NM4, not Rampart Inc like many claim. Rampart Inc is the second hardest challenge. Both map are both a great challenge for the majority of the NM4 community. 

As for defenses, many might believe that traps + frost is the best option, BUT THAT IS FALSE. Other defenses are now viable, unlike one year ago. On physical resist lanes and neutral lanes, frost + Blaze, frost + LA + geyser is by far better than elemental chaos. Now of course if you play solo you can't bring all those builders, so sticking with traps + frost is the best option (because of the HD). On magical resist lanes, Cannons are great, but can't hold a lane against hordes. That is supposed to be the ballista's job (if we're excluding traps), but they are a bit too weak atm. Viable if you have the best ballistas in the game, but the best ballista is about as good as the average NM4 explosive traps. The explosive traps + frost is still the best setup on magical resist lanes, but I still like to put 1-2 cannons to help my traps if someone can bring a decent builder and have me remove some builders in my HD. Many towers now became viable (example: PDT, blaze, geyser, LA, flamethrower, cannons, arcane barrier, dummy, "ballista" are usable if you have good ones for solo), but there is still some work to do, especially with the earth tower that suffered for far too long now.

As for the grind, it is still present, but a lot better and more fun than before. The loot system is generating more intelligent loot despite what all the community says. Yes there are still some bad loot. It would be boring to perfectly gear up a character in 1 hour.

As for classes, it is a lot better than before. Huntress is general the DPS by default in public games, but Apprentice is also a good DPS for physical resist lanes. Squire can tank and use the rampart sword to buff defenses near him. The only one left out is the monk atm.

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@alexstonge25 quote:

Let me correct a few things. 

The hardest map is currently Betsy NM4, not Rampart Inc like many claim. Rampart Inc is the second hardest challenge. Both map are both a great challenge for the majority of the NM4 community. 

As for defenses, many might believe that traps + frost is the best option, BUT THAT IS FALSE. Other defenses are now viable, unlike one year ago. On physical resist lanes and neutral lanes, frost + Blaze, frost + LA + geyser is by far better than elemental chaos. Now of course if you play solo you can't bring all those builders, so sticking with traps + frost is the best option (because of the HD). On magical resist lanes, Cannons are great, but can't hold a lane against hordes. That is supposed to be the ballista's job (if we're excluding traps), but they are a bit too weak atm. Viable if you have the best ballistas in the game, but the best ballista is about as good as the average NM4 explosive traps. The explosive traps + frost is still the best setup on magical resist lanes, but I still like to put 1-2 cannons to help my traps if someone can bring a decent builder and have me remove some builders in my HD. Many towers now became viable (example: PDT, blaze, geyser, LA, flamethrower, cannons, arcane barrier, dummy, "ballista" are usable if you have good ones for solo), but there is still some work to do, especially with the earth tower that suffered for far too long now.

As for the grind, it is still present, but a lot better and more fun than before. The loot system is generating more intelligent loot despite what all the community says. Yes there are still some bad loot. It would be boring to perfectly gear up a character in 1 hour.

As for classes, it is a lot better than before. Huntress is general the DPS by default in public games, but Apprentice is also a good DPS for physical resist lanes. Squire can tank and use the rampart sword to buff defenses near him. The only one left out is the monk atm.

Last I checked Blaze and Geysers were you know traps.

So the meta is still the same, it doesn't matter what traps people use it's still traps, because they can't be hurt and have such a low du. Also frosts boost traps and auras so easily it's the best way to build. I like how you then go into saying Cannons are amazing, but can't defend against hoardes. That makes them pointless and in need of a buff, the same with harpoons,

So again the meta is unchanged and do you even play the game or are you stuck in fantasy land of denial?.

The grind is incredibly bad over things that should be fun to do. Pets having an affection level is beyond stupid, especially how slow the exp is gained unless you exploit Harbinger and most don't even upgrade their gear because it's too much of an effort and frankly I don't blame them.

The guy asked for the truth, so unlike you I'm actually going to tell it like it is.

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@KnowsNoLimits quote:

Last I checked Blaze and Geysers were you know traps.

So the meta is still the same, it doesn't matter what traps people use it's still traps, because they can't be hurt and have such a low du. Also frosts boost traps and auras so easily it's the best way to build. I like how you then go into saying Cannons are amazing, but can't defend against hoardes. That makes them pointless and in need of a buff, the same with harpoons,

So again the meta is unchanged and do you even play the game or are you stuck in fantasy land of denial?.

The grind is incredibly bad over things that should be fun to do. Pets having an affection level is beyond stupid, especially how slow the exp is gained unless you exploit Harbinger and most don't even upgrade their gear because it's too much of an effort and frankly I don't blame them.

The guy asked for the truth, so unlike you I'm actually going to tell it like it is.

I'm going to disagree with you.

Yes geyser and blaze are traps, but the meta consisted of using only explosive and elemental chaos with frost before. Not that many were using blaze and geyser is you compare to now. Yes there is still a kind of meta, but it is better than only explosives and ec. 

Cannons are indeed amazing. But they aren't suppose to hold against horde because they are single target, not because they are weak. You can use more than one defense per lane you know? :P Boost all you want the cannons, they could one shot any enemies, but never clear 50 enemies instantly. There are other defenses for that. As for harpoon, i did say they needed a buff.

As for the grind, don't expect to not grind in a game where grinding is a necessity. You want better gears. If you get in 1 day then it makes no sense and everyone is going to solo Betsy NM4 after one week. Although pet affection is annoying, it is not that hard to do. You don't need to max 10 pets to play you know? As for gear upgrading, it is really easily and cheap to upgrade a gear up to level 20. If you are a hardcore gamer and want to spend a lot of money to gain 20 other levels (about +40), then go ahead. Nobody is forcing you.

So yes, this is the truth. Sorry you can't get perfect heros in 1 day, sorry you can't max level pet in 1 day. Sorry if you don't like to think to hard so you just build traps and denying other towers. If you don't enjoy the game, at least don't ruin other people's experience.

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The meta a year ago was geysers + auras. This was back when attack speed was still a thing. Traps + Frosties have been around for a while, but not longer than a year.

And for the record, the game is LEAGUES ahead of what it was a year ago. Don't let those "Hero Deck goggles" blind you from that fact. Yes, the hero deck still sucks and is the main detractor from the game, but just about every other aspect of the game has improved.

The grind is much better now that loot is rolling with preferred stats + passives more commonly.

There are a lot more viable towers now, especially in the magic damage realm. Physical damage towers are still quite limited, and further compounded by hero deck limitations, but there are a lot more options than what we had before. 

Class roles are quite distinct as well. Squires and Monks are seen less often because of the astronomical damage NM4 enemies dish out, but other than that, All 4 classes have their distinct strengths/weaknesses NM3 and lower.

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@gigazelle quote:

The meta a year ago was geysers + auras. This was back when attack speed was still a thing. Traps + Frosties have been around for a while, but not longer than a year.

And for the record, the game is LEAGUES ahead of what it was a year ago. Don't let those "Hero Deck goggles" blind you from that fact. Yes, the hero deck still sucks and is the main detractor from the game, but just about every other aspect of the game has improved.

The grind is much better now that loot is rolling with preferred stats + passives more commonly.

There are a lot more viable towers now, especially in the magic damage realm. Physical damage towers are still quite limited, and further compounded by hero deck limitations, but there are a lot more options than what we had before. 

Class roles are quite distinct as well. Squires and Monks are seen less often because of the astronomical damage NM4 enemies dish out, but other than that, All 4 classes have their distinct strengths/weaknesses NM3 and lower.

Finally someone that gets it.

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@gigazelle quote:

The meta a year ago was geysers + auras. This was back when attack speed was still a thing. Traps + Frosties have been around for a while, but not longer than a year.

And for the record, the game is LEAGUES ahead of what it was a year ago. Don't let those "Hero Deck goggles" blind you from that fact. Yes, the hero deck still sucks and is the main detractor from the game, but just about every other aspect of the game has improved.

The grind is much better now that loot is rolling with preferred stats + passives more commonly.

There are a lot more viable towers now, especially in the magic damage realm. Physical damage towers are still quite limited, and further compounded by hero deck limitations, but there are a lot more options than what we had before. 

Class roles are quite distinct as well. Squires and Monks are seen less often because of the astronomical damage NM4 enemies dish out, but other than that, All 4 classes have their distinct strengths/weaknesses NM3 and lower.

So a year later we are back geysers  and auras ironic isn't it?

I will enforce what a stupid decision the Hero Deck is every chance I get, because no matter what the meta will change to it will still be incredibly boring thanks to the limitation of the HD. Lets see whatnthe revamp brings.

Also you guys keep mentioning the grind is better, again I'm not talking about loot. I'm talking about leveling pets and armor pieces and how tedious it is for virtually no reason. So yes the grind on those things are absolutely disgusting and make the game incredibly boring.

I like how you also mention all 4 classes are balanced in Insane - and lower, not even Insane + in this game has changed. Maybe Insane ++ will bring it to NM standard atm it's not worthy of that title. 

This can all be addressed in time at least, but sad that the most important things are still being over looked over a map no one asked for. Don't get me wrong the art team does an amazing job, but is Trendy just an art studio?

It certainly feels like it.

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1)What is the state of the grind?

Quick comment on this, in the past year the grind on leveling has been improved as now for each level 50 character you own, you receive a + 35% base xp rate. So owning three level 50's gives +205% (100%+105%) xp constant. Using the two 20% xp medium spheres gives an additional 40%.

Overall the grind has been smoothed out for the better. Making the first 50 the most difficult then improving from there.


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If you jump into the game and level, it's leaps and bounds ahead of where it was a year ago.

Loot makes sense now over what it used to, and you get regular upgrades while leveling. 

End game is utter trash, traps and frost towers galore. Yes, before white knight runs to the defense, blaze is a trap too.

While leveling though, mostly all the towers are pretty fun to use, so if that's your core focus for now, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Things are better than what they were, but I feel priorities as far as game development are way, WAY off. 

Instead of balance passes, and adjustments to make things worth using, we are getting a carnival. And potentially paid heroes (that's up in the air, according to the dev stream, but it's a far peace from their "no p2w advantages" line they always claimed. 

TL;DR: It's worth picking up, even to just level a fresh character over the way it used to be. Don't expect much after that, though.

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no one even mentioned Purge Evil or Towering Poison. Tons of new passives and abilities are available, game got significantly more complex over a year. You will find many new strategies to try out.

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@Warmonger quote:

no one even mentioned Purge Evil or Towering Poison. Tons of new passives and abilities are available, game got significantly more complex over a year. You will find many new strategies to try out.

This is assuming they can find the build weapons. Countless hours and I've yet to find a purging evil staff, and the last time I saw a towering poison bow, was pre-gear nerf so it was worthless when they gimped it. 

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A lot of these answers seem to miss what I was asking, and instead were very specific explanations of changes to narrow meta strategies.

What I was asking is much more broad relating to the design of the game with regards to motivations to do things, and the fun-factor of doing them. The things I listed were aspects of the game that I found to either be 'not fun', or simply lacked in sufficient motivation to play.

The tower strategies were a big issue for me. I'm not interested in what is under/overpowered or which towers are best now... but rather if the tower system had been overhauled to discourage gp-dumping and tower stacking rather than encourage doing so.

For me tower defense games are only fun if it is a challenge to decide not just what towers to place and when to place towers... but WHERE to place them. I played at a fairly high-end level when I quit, and a big part of the reason I quit was because the best way to win seemed to always be mindless, monotonous tower-stacking in 1 or 2 places.

Spreading out various, strategically placed towers at choke points should improve your defenses, not weaken them. Just as placing a dozen of a specific tower in one place should weaken your defenses, not improve them.

________

And when it comes to loot, I'm not interested in 'getting what I want', I'm interested in being challenged to get what I want. I am interested in enjoying the quest to get what I want and feeling like I am getting closer to getting it.  And I am interested in having 'what I want' be a meaningful upgrade to the point that it feels like I progressed my character.

When I quit, the game was just a loot-fest of high-end gear, the only gear you sought out was something you already had but with a few different stats, and it was all RNG whether the next drop had it or not. And when you did find a better item the upgrade felt insignificant. Absolutely nothing about that is fun. Getting MORE loot is not MORE fun, in fact in many cases it makes the game LESS fun.... and getting great loot quickly and easily is not fun, and then seeking slightly better loot after long periods of time is also not fun.


THOSE are some of the core game design issues I was asking about; not whether the blaze balloon is still worthless, or whether weapon now have slightly more defense stats in hard mode dungeon XYZ III. None of that stuff is going to change the way the game is played or make it any more fun to play.

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Going to agree with prof_Val here that nothing has changed & the issues you had are still present in the game.

I feel we still have the bare bones for many core mechanics in the game leaving them feel strange, broken, & abandoned. It is due to this that I have yet to recommend to my friends who have previously played dd2 to come back, simply because it still feels the same, with the same issues still lingering.

Perhaps in half a year or longer when there might be a end game & when the core of the game is finished, perhaps then I'll recommend people to comeback but until then I really can't.

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In 1-2 years the game will more complete =) That is a more realistic number.

But stuff has changed, the Age of Goblins arrives soon. We will finaly take over the defenders last bastion, gobu.

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