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DragynDance

Major Faults and Grievances with this Game that should be Addressed

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I like the idea that this game is going for, and the art style is cute and eye catching.  The gameplay is simple and fun, with the option to explore more complex strategies, however a lot of the work Trendy put into this game, might as well be flushed down the toilet because of how bad these few grievances are with the game.  They pretty much break the game, ruining what fun there is to be had in the end game. 

(Note that I will not be discussing the Abyss Lord in any of these bullet points except in his own, because pretty much every argument can be countered with just "Well, only use the Abyss Lord", he is his own level of overpowered and I consider that a minor thing atm, since I assume that will be fixed.  IT has it's own paragraph.)

1.  The Meta

In my opinion, a game should never have a meta, or, in the case of games like guild wars (original, not 2), have so many vast and creative options for the meta that it's pretty much it's own level of the game itself.  Dungeon Defenders 2 does not.  This is supposed to be an RPG on top of being a tower defense.  An RPG is a game where you're meant to make choices, however in this game there's only one choice to make--Whether or not you play the meta, or never see NM4 outside of a carry.  The irony is that in addition to this, it's a tower defense game that encourages you to use any and every defense except towers.  Towers deal less damage, have to be positioned strategically.  Don't benefit from one of the most useful buffs from the only spectacularly useful non-abyss lord tower frosty power, and are like giant shining targets for enemy mobs.  You have to place your towers in a way so that mobs won't attack them--usually right behind barricades--or they will safespot your towers easily.  Spear throwers have longer range then an un-upgraded cannon, the floating book mobs have a longer range then nearly everything but a ballistae.  In addition, they often will sit around the corner and chuck stuff at your barricades/towers at angles your towers can't shoot down.  It's so much easier to just use traps.  No brain power, no strategy, no tactics is needed.  Throw them right down the lane, AND they benefit from frosty power.  This is ridiculous on top of being unbalanced as hell.  You rarely see anyone using towers up and down a lane, because mobs tend to just roflstomp them down one at a time as they move down.  The only time I have ever seen people using towers, is when they have them all clustered around behind a barricade, because really this is the only effective way to place them where they won't die or require repair babysitting every wave.  A few maps have a few exceptions, but for the most part, all your towers will go right behind your barricade, where the hope is that in that short 20 meters of range, the towers will burn the enemy down before they get to your barricade and stomp it flat.  To make matters even worse, whereas traps have no counter, towers have a massive counter in the form of the ogre, which I'll discuss in the next bullet point.  As of right now, the game is pretty much "You will have a wall squire, you will have a trap huntress, you will have an LAS/Purge Evil Monk, you will have a frosty power Apprentice, and you will have a DPS huntress."  Can we have some viable alternatives, please?  Why make all these cool defense combo's like shatter, shock, ignite, etc, but then make them all pointless because frosty power plus traps beat everything?  Note: I'm including Lightning Aura as a trap here, because even though it's called an aura in the game, it effectively is a trap.  It can't be targeted, and enemies who walk over it take damage. 

TL;DR Frosty power should make mobs take more damage, not buff defenses in range.  This makes the already superior option for defense, even better.  Towers in general need a buff, something that gives them survivability and/or damage to compete with how amazingly good traps are.  Apprentice walls need something that might actually make people go "Hmm, maybe for this situation, I'd prefer that over a squire blockade".  Possibly maybe once the barricade is destroyed, it just disappears for a few seconds, then repairs itself back to full?


2. Dificulty

Difficulty in this game is wildly controversial, you ask one person and they will complain that the game is too hard, that they can't, no matter how hard they try get past nightmare.  You ask the next person, and they might complain that the game is too easy, and that they can afk pretty much any map and let their defenses do everything.  The most common difference between the first person and the second person, is who's using the meta. (Or abyss lord, but I digress.)  People who try to play the game the way it's meant to be played, setting up combo's, lane defenses, will constantly get stomped on and struggle.  People who build for the meta, and just do lanes full of traps and frost towers and purge evil serenity auras will easymode nearly all content in the game, regardless of item power.  This may seem like a rehash of the first point, but it's not.  In my opinion, the biggest culprit for the games difficulty, and the meta that we have, is ogres.   Literally, ogres are 99% of the games difficulty.   Their stomp one shots towers behind barricades and along the sides of the lane. (And players who forget to jump it).  Their snot is devastating, pretty much forcing the player who gets hit by it to no longer be able to kite the ogre away from barricades due to being too slow to dodge that one shot swing.  And their swing arc is so wide, that they hit barricades and will hit poorly placed additional barricades/towers that are around the barricade.  And they soak ridiculous amounts of damage ensuring that unless they are taking damage the entire time they come down the lane, they will get a few devastating swings on your barricades before they die.  They counter every form of defense in the game but traps, which effectively counter them.  And is the only thing that counters them.  If the double and triple ogre waves were removed from nightmare, even nightmare 4 would no longer have any difficulty at all whatsoever.  Ogres are so vastly more powerful then not only every other enemy in the game, but every other boss in the game.  They're the only boss with additional special abilities.  This game might as well be called Swamp Defenders, because Shrek is going to peel every layer of your defense away like an onion.  I think that ogres should be nerf'd, and everything else, LITERALLY everything else should be buffed.  Like, maybe small mobs could get an aiblity "Horde mentality: Every living nearby ally increases damage by 1%".  The huge armored orcs could resist physical and protect their allies.  The female orcs could throw electric nets or something that temporarily disables a single defense.  Etc etc.  Right now, the one and only threat in this game is ogres.  And it shouldn't be like that. 

TL;DR Nerf ogres, buff everything else with special abilities or effects that actually make them a threat rather then damage sponge.


3. Gear

Gearing in this game is frustrating.  75%, if not more, of all the drops you get will be worthless.  As if to make things even worse,  "Smart Loot" is anything but.  The game heavily prioritizes the current active character for loot.  There is no documentation or official word on this, but am absolutely certain this is true.  The alternative is just that RNG has been terrible to me since I started playing.  My proof is in that my huntress, who is a pure DPS character and thus the one that is constantly active, and also the LAST CHARACTER I CREATED.  Is my most heavily geared one.  EVERYTHING drops for her.  Not even half the drops, like 4/5ths of all drops I get are huntress gear.  I even recently got to the end of a NM3 match, got a legendary chest.  Opened it, and it spit out three legendary bows, and a legendary totem with traptress passives on it.  I needed squire gear.  Her and my squire were the ONLY characters in my deck at the time.  I even screenshotted my inventory after I sorted all the gear.  The bottom bag, and the bottom row of the top bag is all huntress gear.  They all have huntress passives on them that specifically mention the names of her defenses or skills.  The measly one row at the top of the top bag, is all the squire gear I got.  I sold all of the "neutral" gear that had passives that affect every character, but it equated to less then a bag.   Here is the screenshot:  BF6B113FF61EBBCEC9E38F99AF84CE1D316ECFAE

So what I end up with, is my huntress is at ITMPWR of 615, while every other hero I own is in the low 500's, some still at 400.  Simply because the game vastly favors your current active character for loot.  This should be changed.  IT should just be a random equal chance for all characters in your deck.  Otherwise everyone always will have their DPS character outgear their builders.   Alternatively, we could select which character we'd want gear to drop for at the beginning of a level or something.  Either way, this is terrible and causes a massive amount of frustration.

TL;DR Gear favors the current active character.  It shouldn't. 


4. Abyss Lord

This one is short and easy because it's obvious, and I'm sure Trendy is already working on a fix for this, but it remains a major point anyway.  Abyss Lord is ridiculously overpowered.   Forget strategy, forget tactics, it's all about getting as many bone archers in as small as a place as possible while facing as much lane as possible.  Their damage scales ridiculously high.  They can face TWO lanes at a time.  Their range is utterly ridiculous which tends to heavily reduce the faults that towers in general have in this game, and they have a passive that makes their arrows have AoE.  A decently geared abyss lord is pretty much "why use anything else?". 


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Couldn't find an edit button, so sorry for the double post, but I feel I should point out these opinions come from a solo player.  A lot of these issues become moot I'm sure because having a DPS player in every lane that has an ogre in the same wave probably trivializes those waves.  Which in my eyes, is another issue as well, considering all of the games difficulty comes from ogres in the first place. 

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Ok. So your problem is you cant get i to nm4. Might as well say that straight away.

I had the same problem with my cannon build although i had problems with goblin waves and ogres melted once in range of the towers

The ogre stomp is just a missplay from you. Sorry to say that but he should never jump if you are a huntress. 

I agree that frosty and purge evil are way to strong but we will have a rebalance soon.

Shatter combo is cool but bad since you rely on luck with freeze.

And for towers..  If you know how to place flamthrowers they are the strongest defense of the 4 original heroes.

Open the victory chest with squire to get squire loot.

And you complain about stale meta, yet you whine about not being able to do nm4 even though you build it the same every time. Get some geysiers and la in  there for lockdown or figure something out.

After all its a strategy game

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@Jothi92 quote:

Ok. So your problem is you cant get i to nm4. Might as well say that straight away.

I had the same problem with my cannon build although i had problems with goblin waves and ogres melted once in range of the towers

The ogre stomp is just a missplay from you. Sorry to say that but he should never jump if you are a huntress. 

I agree that frosty and purge evil are way to strong but we will have a rebalance soon.

Shatter combo is cool but bad since you rely on luck with freeze.

And for towers..  If you know how to place flamthrowers they are the strongest defense of the 4 original heroes.

Open the victory chest with squire to get squire loot.

And you complain about stale meta, yet you whine about not being able to do nm4 even though you build it the same every time. Get some geysiers and la in  there for lockdown or figure something out.

After all its a strategy game

Mt problem is not that I can't get into NM4.  It's that the gameplay is stale and revolves around one entire gimmick.    Geysers don't cover enough range to be worthwhile, lockdown never actually works, and cannons don't deal enough damage.  Ogres always get into range if there's more then one.  In NM, there will always be a wave where three different ogres will attack three different lanes.  I just don't have the DPS to kill two, sometimes even one before the other one(s) are at my walls, two shotting them.   It sounds more like you have trouble reading, or at the least comprehending.  You came here to gloat, and to try to make me feel bad.  Your advice is terrible, your writing is terrible, and your argument is terrible. 

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cant see from ur screenshot if u have upgraded the gear u have on the dps huntress, the first 10 lvls are pritty much free and can make a BIG difference. well ur building walls with a cannonball speced squire.... one relic and hearty block on all items isent gonna do much difference to ther hp. the change in dmg from the ogres from nm3 to nm4 is big. just because it worked in nm3 dosent have to mean it will work in nm4. i had problem at first with nm4, upgraded my gear helped alot, looking at my tactic and placement and posible combos helped too.  yes there are some meta builds that make the game really easy, but ive also seen other combos be just as sucessfull. but unless you got good dps or super defences you will need decent walls.... so def health + hearty block squire will get u a long way and have seen some apprentices build for ther walls  do the job aswell but havent really ever made one.

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You can't break into nm4 but you are getting to wave 5? Sounds like you just need to tweak strategy a bit more and you should be just fine. I am using Flamethrower towers instead of traps in most instances and pile on ignite with oily harpoons/huntress flask. While there is certainly a meta you are by no means locked into playing towards it, the "meta" is just the most efficient way to something that is mainstream knowledge. 

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Please stop reading into it as if I am having trouble with NM4.  I am not having trouble with it, beating it isn't my problem.  I could easily, and I know exactly how I would.  I could just switch to the meta, or buy abyss lord, or grind for days to upgrade all my gear or farm for weeks to get better pieces of gear for my builders to eventually drop in NM3, or join a group of players who are already NM4 geared and get carried.  My issue is that I don't want to do any of these things, there's no desire, it isn't fun.  So much work, for what equates to being exactly the same as NM1-NM3 except mobs have more health.  Whats the difference between being a character that hits 10 damage and fighting a monster that has 100 health, and being a character that hits a 1000 damage and fighting a monster that has 10,000 health? Answer: NM1 and NM2.  I want these changes to be implemented because I think it will drive people to explore the endgame and have fun.  People should want to get to the end, not feel obligated to.  This is everything about fun, and nothing about difficulty, which only plays a minor role in that the right balance of, and well implemented difficulty is what makes a game fun.  Why is Dark Souls fun?  Not because it's hard.  Because it makes you think.  Every single different enemy is like re-learning the game all over again.  Looking for the tells,  learning how to counter each enemy's moveset, and every player weapon's moveset in pvp.  It is implemented in such a good way, that you never feel like "This is too hard."  Or "This is too easy."  It makes you think "Woah, I wasn't expecting that.  Here's what I'll try different."   Again, this is a list of things I feel need change, not a whine post that NM4 is too hard, because really, it isn't.  It just sort of forces a player to play a specific way, instead of being creative and using strategy, or to brute force it by being overgeared for the content.  Please, I want this discussion to be about the suggestions I made, and to see if other players agree that these changes would benefit the game, or to make their own suggestions.  Something certainly needs to change I think, and it makes me unhappy that all these people coming in and telling me how I should play the game, is pretty much just telling me the community is happy with the way the game is at, that Trendy should just pull it out of early access, release it as is, and start working on DD3.  IS that really what you  all want?

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@wilywilton quote:

You can't break into nm4 but you are getting to wave 5? Sounds like you just need to tweak strategy a bit more and you should be just fine. I am using Flamethrower towers instead of traps in most instances and pile on ignite with oily harpoons/huntress flask. While there is certainly a meta you are by no means locked into playing towards it, the "meta" is just the most efficient way to something that is mainstream knowledge. 

Your definition of meta is so incorrect, that I feel I have to go out of my way to single it out and correct you, as well.  That is not what a meta is.  A metagame is a level of power reached by players that should not have been able to be reached by them, usually by design insight, rarely by exploit/glitch.  It changes the way the game is played by those who use it, but is far above and beyond what is necessary to play a game.  They are usually the opposite of mainstream, DD2's meta is just mainstream because it's literally the only way.  Mind you, not the only way to play/win.  The only way to meta.  IT is the only ridiculously overpowered combination of abilities.  It is also simple, and in no way complex or hidden, like most metas are.  Two good examples of metas in games:

World of Warcraft:

During the cataclysm expansion, there was a meta with deathknights where one who geared a specific way and played their abilities with perfect timing, could solo level 85 raid content that was meant for ten players, while being level 85 themselves, and in gearscore equivalent of what would drop in that raid.  They weren't overgeared or overleveled for it, it was just a design insight on the developers part that the class was able to reach that level of power. 


Guild Wars 1:

The monk class, for a long time, had a build called "The 55 Monk".  In guild wars, there are armor enchantments that significantly boost your skills, and as a tradeoff, lower your maximum HP.  This build revolved around stacking those until you had the lowest HP possible in the game, which was 55, and then using an enchantment skill that monks could learn that caused you to reflect damage back to the enemy every time they hit you with an attack that would of killed you over a certain percentage of HP.  As long as you kept the enchantment buff up, watched out for enchantment strips, and healed the chip damage up, you were quite literally invincible. 


Metas generally allowed a player to solo content that was not meant to be soloable, or breeze through content that should of been challenging.  They are most often just an oops on a developers part where they don't realize just how powerful something could be in tandem with something else already out when they release it.  The only gaming community that ever refers to meta as being defined as "the most efficient way" is the MOBA community, IE League of Legends and such.  It has an entirely different meaning in every other game type, even roleplay.  What they call the meta, is more along the lines of gentlemans rule, such as waiting until the count of three in a gun duel to shoot.  You were expected to do it, but not everyone did. 

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@DragynDance quote:


Short sweet definition (I did come from a MOBA background so I'll have to deal with that) Since we are dealing with a strategy game it should apply just the same. If you disagree that's fine, your viewpoint.

M: Most 
E: Efficient 
T: Tactics 
A: Available

On to your main point from the other posts:

I believe trendy is moving towards increasing the diversity in both enemies and options to face those enemies. Currently yes the game is lacking in both ways to deal with the waves of monsters but the main problem with this is the balance. We have the strategic revamp just around the corner to help bring under utilized defenses back up to par. While I don't know how that is going to effect how we play end game content yet, I would venture to guess that would bring in more options than just cookie cutter build paths for each map.

Trendy has announced the "Goblin Tank"- once new enemies are released it is going to change the entire flow of late game. Currently we have to deal with ogres as giant dmg sponges because otherwise its throw mobs with more health/more mobs at us. When we have more options than ogres/dragons/mages/kobolds/flyers/burrowers we will get to have more interesting interactions than KILL IT WITH FIRE!


End note: I want to see what they have coming out IE) strategic revamp. While I am pumped about new heroes, I would rather have complex interactions against the hordes of the dark ones. What suggestions would you make to make the game more complex?

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That is a made up acronym that just happens to coincide.  Meta is a latin prefix, that means "goal" or "pillar".  Obviously latin has existed longer then MOBAs, but the term "metagame" has existed longer then even computers have, used to describe people in roleplays who play an unbeatable role and/or who always comes up with some reason why their character is the best/always wins/never gets hit/etc.


And I know about the goblin tank.  The game needs to refine it's current enemies in addition to adding new ones.  I feel that enemies should get more abilities as the difficulty gets higher, not just pumped up with more HP.  


As for complexity, I'd like to see mobs gain abilities as the difficulty ramped up.  I made some suggestions in my OP, but I'll rehash them here.  The idea is, that maybe at, say NM2 they gain these abilities, since NM2 is a barely noticeable increase above NM1.


Horde Instinct: Goblins get 1% bonus damage for every living ally near them. 

Big Brother: The heavy, armored orcs have more HP, and will draw aggro of defenses nearby.  Any defense types they can't draw aggro of (like traps) they will just take 50% of the damage their allies would. (if in range).

Infiltrator: The female orcs can throw an electric net, temporarily disabling one defense, possibly more then one if they're too clustered together?


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Let's be real, it's not abby for the pure win. You need your abby builder, your waller, good purge evil, and most people throw in a high range frost or two. I like to do 1 frost, 1 steamy ram and 1 LA sometimes before archer spamming the rest, but I digress.

And abyss lord did not make the game stupidly easy, resistance removal, and being able to use every hero at  you own at once did. Success is still easily achievable with frosts, geysers and LA/SA and a decent waller. Abyss lord just added on top of all the prior factors make the game a snooze at nm4.

Ogres? What?? Forgive me if I come off crass, but they're not much of a threat at all. You build your defenses back from walls to prevent kobold explosions and ogre jumps from taking them out. An AP huntress geared n sphered appropriately could handle 3-5mil hp in no time. A squire with resistances in nm4 can just stand in a SA and tank him/lead him through traps/auras with just marginal skill. Abyss lord, in addition to doing some of the prior things decently can also just use the to help recharge his batteries and continue abyss stone or direct command spam.
PROTIP: Learn how to repair your walls from far enough away that you don't trigger the ogre jump.

IDK About the gear: They changed it and many seemed happy, others seem peeved. They changed it again and the same thing happened. I just wish upgrading it was more unique and fun. It's just a boring click-fest grind in a messy slow UI. DD1 had you just hold down a button to up, and let you invest upgrades much more diversely. It had much more agency, and felt much more rewarding then just being a trash can for items you looted in a game (it was indirectly since that trash was sold for mana[gold], but doing it directly with items, AND gold in dd2 is asinine.)

And as a fellow guild wars 1 player - hello! Those underworld/FoW meta builds, SS Necro? SoS Rit? ayy? Meta is meta for a reason. We're playing a number's game right now, and once word gets out "Doing X give you the most numbers!" everyone and their grandma is going to start doing X. The strategy revamp, and reworking promised to old heroes will probably be the first step in addressing the current meta, but it's only a matter of time before a new meta settles in after strat revamp, and a new meta after old heroes rebalancing kicks in. I don't know what to say on this, other then I hope much more variation can come out of each hero, with more combos between defenses and more emphasis on them. How the defenses will interact with enemies in the strat revamp we can only question.

 It's an answer I hate giving to my fellow frustrated players, but all there is to say is "Wait and see first"

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@DragynDance quote:

Please stop reading into it as if I am having trouble with NM4.  I am not having trouble with it, beating it isn't my problem.  I could easily, and I know exactly how I would.  I could just switch to the meta, or buy abyss lord, or grind for days to upgrade all my gear or farm for weeks to get better pieces of gear for my builders to eventually drop in NM3, or join a group of players who are already NM4 geared and get carried.  My issue is that I don't want to do any of these things, there's no desire, it isn't fun

Sorry to break it to you, but the endgame is mostly about figuring the most efficient way to set up your defenses, and finding the perfect gear to aid you in this. What would be the point if you could win by just making nice little defense that looks pretty? There will always be meta, whether you call it most efficient tactics available or something else. 

Now, would I wish the current meta to shift away from frosties? Yes. And it basically has shifted to AL archers. Something fresh I'm having fun with atm, whilst waiting for the next meta change.

Anyways, it's clear you haven't broken into nm4 yet (your "most geared" character is ipwr 615), and you're basically just claiming that everything you haven't tried would make the game easy.... Uhm, how about, you try the meta? Just saying.

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