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Question to players: What is your mindset towards this game's design?


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With Gunwitch and Lavamancer release, I've seen a lot of polarizing opinions on the game's approach towards hero design more so than usual. It's difficult to participate in some discussions, because it's obvious people want very different things from the game itself more so than small features hero to hero/map to map.

To me, new heroes should be about variety more so than an ever shifting meta. We already have the tools to win. New heroes shouldn't be about giving us the best new tools, but more about giving us ways to re-approach content.

I've seen a few complaints about Lava's new walls, and while they may need a balance tweak or two (I haven't had enough hands on with them to know for sure), but some of us do use walls and enjoy them. I think having another way to build a map is great. I hope eventually, the way I build a map is literally 100% different than how you build it, yet we both have success and fun doing it.


The second thing I see people talk about is DPS only or active builders being a bad thing. I think it's a GREAT thing. Why? We have the HERO DECK. You can actually build a group of four heroes to swap between and tailor a much more complex playstyle out of that. It's way more interesting than giving every hero the same treatment as the starting four. We should be pushing for improvements to that system amd for hero variety over making everything the same with a new coat of paint.


Anyway, that's just how I see it. I'm not right or wrong. It's just the path I'd prefer the game to take, and am curious to see how other opinions vary.

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 - I just wrote a fairly lengthy, but hopefully not overly-detailed post, about what, in my opinion, would be an ideal design for DD2, that allows for Players to swap out the default Hero-Abilities / Defense-types with other balanced variations of the same abilities / defenses (in the same vein of the "Loadout- / Gambit-Systems" of Team Fortress 2 & the PC-version of Plants vs. Zombies , but obviously tinkered to fit the Dungeon Defender framework). If you're interested, you can find it in this thread (and of course, are more-than-free to read through the rest of the thread as well, since I think there are some other great suggestions in there...).

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I'll check it out, but I was more interested in people's general outlook on the game's direction vs. hard examples/suggestions with this topic.

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@Vagnar quote:

I'll check it out, but I was more interested in people's general outlook on the game's direction vs. hard examples/suggestions with this topic.

 - Ahh, my apologies in that case! (the linked post probably wasn't as related to your post as I thought it was ;P) - I was kinda just going off of the comment you made regarding having more tools / options at our disposal to approach content.

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No worries lol. I was mainly just saying I like the idea of variety and building a team over a single hero. This game specifically already has that feature in the Hero Deck.  I see people making broad complaints about things like active defender classes or DPS only classes, but I think it's a good thing, and could make it shine if we put more emphasis on team composition.

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As far as the creating diversity... I agree. And that is part of my main criticism of their designs. The gunwitch was talked about as this big "Snipe the biggest threat from the air" style character. Instead we got a character that has subpar DPS, who is most used for her AOE CC (Something almost all characters have, even if not to her level). Lavamancer design was all about switching from your hardened form and your inflamed form to change your fighting style as the battle went on. Instead we got a character that just gets a short buff for defense or movespeed... depending on which he got last.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things with these characters I still love (or else I wouldn't still play gunwitch 24/7 after my massive dissapointment), but for all these AMAZING ideas that trendy had for making these characters unique and different then the rest, it just feels like they keep dropping the ball halfway through to me. The fact that I'm NOT getting the diversity that seemed so close from the concepts Trendy themselves released is what makes me so critical.

And as far as the active builder thing? My main character in DD1 was a huntress hybrid builder. Most of my time in DD1 was spent chasing the idea of an active builder. But frankly, its a hard ideal to accomplish, and it will almost never be as effective as a pure character for either side. Most of the attempts at forcing active builders on us have simply resulted in certain towers being very near useless to most people in most situations, or simply end up better on an active DPS (ramster, Collosus, Weapon Manufactoring, erruption). I don't think people are upset at the idea of hybrid builders, I think they just don't like the results. Esepcially as many of the "Tower Defense" and other core elements of this game continue to suffer.

Lastly, as far as the DPS only classes, I think it has a lot to do with reward/cost. At effectively $15 a character (though ofc you can get them for free), having a character that has only ONE play style (and in the case of gunwitch, really only ONE build style), it's a bit frustrating. Especially when you realize that there are a lot of abilities on those characters that you never use. Abilities that could have been traded for towers to once again make more diversity in the game. Even if it was simply 1 or 2 "semi-towers" that could scale off of AP or similar stats to actualy create an effective hybrid builder.

I still love Trendy's games... but when you see the amazing ideas they have, the extensive levels of testing, feedback, and suggestions... You can't help but be critical when these characters (even with all their good points) fall drastically short in the very elements Trendy set out to design them around.

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My feeling is that Trendy is focusing way too much on adding content/heroes and monetization when they should be focusing on fixing the game's fundamental flaws (improving inventory management, removing passives in favor of spheres, etc).

Once the game's basic systems are in a good position, then they can add content that takes advantage of those improved systems. As it stands, new content just adds to the technical debt they'll have to pay if/when they do fix those flaws.

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I prefer the DD1 style with more emphasis on passive tower defense and creative builds. DD2 is drifting heavily into gimmicky dps/active only builds.

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@xArcAngel quote:

And as far as the active builder thing? My main character in DD1 was a huntress hybrid builder. Most of my time in DD1 was spent chasing the idea of an active builder. But frankly, its a hard ideal to accomplish, and it will almost never be as effective as a pure character for either side. Most of the attempts at forcing active builders on us have simply resulted in certain towers being very near useless to most people in most situations, or simply end up better on an active DPS (Ramster, Collosus, Weapon Manufacturing, Eruption). I don't think people are upset at the idea of hybrid builders, I think they just don't like the results. Especially as many of the "Tower Defense" and other core elements of this game continue to suffer.

 → ^^^ This... I don't know why so many Tower Defense games seem to be scared to design their game around actually 'defending things with towers'. DD1 provided a framework where the focus was on designing builds around the Defenses available, collecting mana to upgrade said towers during waves, and then (at least in the case of survival-mode) maxing out your build to test its potential, and see how far you could get. In the DD1 framework, a good "Upgrader hero" was equally-as-if-not-more-useful than a DPS hero, which shifted the focus of the game toward actual "Tower Defense". However, DPS heroes were far from useless as (a.) they often doubled as your Upgraders (naturally, since they weren't being used to build defenses) and (b.) were still very much needed for Boss Fights + certain Challenges. And then there's DD2, where Builders + their Defenses feel so weak in comparison, the upgrading system is much less interactive, and you can beat maps with lackluster Defense setups as long as you play on a moderately-well-geared DPS character (this DPS-favoring skew being amplified even more if you're using a Dracolich pet...).

@Pegazul quote:

I prefer the DD1 style with more emphasis on passive tower defense and creative builds. DD2 is drifting heavily into gimmicky dps/active only builds.

 → ^^^ Also this... If I wanted to play a so-called "Tower Defense" video game that required DPS characters just-as-much-as-if-not-more-than Builder characters in order to beat maps, I'd play something from the Orcs Must Die or Sanctum franchises instead...

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There is one thing that makes me wonder. Were we playing the same DD1? End game for me felt like a lot of watching Netflix waiting on rewards. I don't fully understand why people keep wanting that.

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@Vagnar quote:

There is one thing that makes me wonder. Were we playing the same DD1? End game for me felt like a lot of watching Netflix waiting on rewards. I don't fully understand why people keep wanting that.

 → I have to ask the following before I can comment...
(1.) What end-game maps / game-modes are you're referring to?
(2.) What is your playtime?
(3.) Have you've played DD1 since the most recent Community Development Team (CDT) updates?

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I haven't played DD1 in a few years now. No idea on those questions lol.


I just remember I spent a lot of time not actively playing once I hit that post game gear grind. It was mostly Netflix with periodic scans to repair towers or to kill a boss.

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 → Haha damn, then I can't use your words against ya ;) lol

 → If you said that you were strictly referring to Survival-mode, then I was going to counter by saying that Survival-mode was intended to be a test of a build-design on a specific map, where observing the build's strengths and weaknesses could help you out the next time you tried building there. It does get a bit slow once you've already fully upgraded things (and are overgeared for the map), but completing a Survival is still very satisfying in its own right, IMO!

 → If you said that your playtime was something sufficiently high in hours (many hundreds or even thousands...), then I was going to counter by saying that a good portion of the game should feel easy as a corresponding feeling of reward for your time spent playing
 -------> Personally, I think a major problem with the current state of DD2 is that there is a negligible difference in perceived game-difficulty between Player A -- who has played for 200 hours -- vs. Player B -- who has played for 1000 hours. I think the problem is due specifically to there not being enough higher-quality item tiers (similar to how DD1's item-quality went all the up up to Ult+/++ ...) to provide a feeling of reward for players who wish to spend many many hours farming for the best items. IMO, if you've spent 1000+ hours playing a game, then it should feel significantly easier than it did when you had only 200 hours logged.

 → If you have no idea what I'm talking about when I'm referring to the CDT, it's a group of old DD players who received a bunch of game-development-related materials / game code from Trendy once TE stopped support of DD1 in favor of DD2. Since then, they've released a number of updates to the original game that have helped to balance out the existing Defense-types, and have also introduced 3 new maps in the form of "Moonbase", "Bucaneer's Bay", & the most-recent "Embermount Volcano" (I think a few of those might have been ported from DDE, but I never played it so I'm not 100% sure...). I bring up the most recent updates because all 3 maps require a significant amount of attention in order to beat them (Moonbase isn't overly difficult, but there's an in-map minigame that you can play that gives a better map reward if you reach a specific score, so it still rewards actively playing!). And while I can't say that I've spent a ton of time trying to perfect a build in the allotted build-time for Bucaneer's Bay or Embermount Volcano, I will be quick to admit that I got destroyed on my first few attempts (and this is with having spent approx. 1400 hours playing and with 4K-5K or so Builders).
 -------> In other words, if any current DD1-player thinks the game is too easy, then it's simply because they're playing the wrong maps, y'know? ;)

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@Vagnar quote:

To me, new heroes should be about variety more so than an ever shifting meta. We already have the tools to win. New heroes shouldn't be about giving us the best new tools, but more about giving us ways to re-approach content.

This encapsulates my views on new heroes in a nutshell, but like you said it is far from the reality of things.


I also feel like they could half new hero releases, keep map releases the same and focus more on bugs, balance, pet development and gear/crafting development. This to me would improve the game experience, though I worry it might not be financially viable.

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Ah. Yeah I played it on PS3 for a really, really long time. When I got a new PC, I picked it up on Steam, but only really to try out the new classes and maps. I was pretty over the game by then, but it felt easier thanks to all the new towers and options.


For this game, I play daily, but I play other stuff too. Some of the content still feels difficult with my available options. It felt borderline impossible as a solo player back when I was first starting and it had all the lane resistances and 4 hero limit and stuff trying to break into NM4. Those changes definitely made the game way easier, but I see it as a layover period while stuff gets hashed out. If I get bored, I play something else and pop over to the forums periodically.


I like the direction they're taking though. I like the hero swapping and focus on active play. There were a few hiccups, but I'm still willing to support the game while stuff keeps happening.

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@CollectorOfBolts quote:

My feeling is that Trendy is focusing way too much on adding content/heroes and monetization when they should be focusing on fixing the game's fundamental flaws (improving inventory management, removing passives in favor of spheres, etc).

Once the game's basic systems are in a good position, then they can add content that takes advantage of those improved systems. As it stands, new content just adds to the technical debt they'll have to pay if/when they do fix those flaws.

Absolutely agreed.  This game has some huge problems and the new heroes, while certainly nice, don't do anything to address the fundamental reasons why my friends (and I) have all stopped playing.  The final straw was after we spent a few weeks binge-playing, 8-16 hours a day every day, and didn't get anything we wanted.  Or any improvement even.  Chasing after painfully specific rolls on gear endlessly all day every day for hundreds/thousands of hours and making absolutely no notable headway caused us all to drop off. 


The staff, especially Iamisom, gave me a lot of hope that stuff was in the works to address the issue...half a year ago.  I've been checking the forums and Dev/staff statements every day or two, eager to jump back into the fray.  The number of heroes has what, doubled?  But none of the issues that caused us to leave seem to be a significant priority.


That's my mindset towards this game.  Eternal anticipation of something that'll pull my entire group back into it for a resurgence of extremely fun DD gaming.  But kinda feeling like Hachiko, the akita, waiting at that train station.

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[[157895,users]]

While survival got kind of boring once you had gotten really good items and could clear it consistantly... I thought it was the most fun part of the game. Seeing how much I could optimize my build to make it last as long as possible (although sadly in DD1, that was wave 30).

But thats personal preference, and why I'm glad they gave us content like Akatiki and the sorts that forced us to be active to win through sheer challenge (as a PS3/XBOX person, I'm afraid you missed a LOT of the DD1 experience... since you have it on PC, I really reccommend revisiting it if you take a break from DD2).

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@Vagnar quote:

To me, new heroes should be about variety more so than an ever shifting meta. We already have the tools to win. New heroes shouldn't be about giving us the best new tools, but more about giving us ways to re-approach content.

Ideally, this is what I'd like with new heroes as well.  Adding a Lavamancer to your deck should make playing feel very different than what you had before.  It shouldn't be about switching out one wall for another or one tower for another, but being able to build a completely new strategy when you have a new character in the mix.

This may be a digression, but I'd also like to see new enemies that appear alongside new heroes to challenge you in different ways.  For example, the Lavamancer should've added an enemy that can protect others from meteors or perhaps one that becomes stronger if turned into stone.   I'm glad they're doing a revamp on enemies, but they need to be more dynamic and respond to your defenses to keep things challenging.  I think this would help in making new heroes create new strategies.  Otherwise, the game just becomes about finding out which combination of four heroes work the best and just using those for everything.

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Short answer: I don't like it.

Long answer: There's too much focus on monetizing the game, and it shows. If it's working for them as a business model, good on them. But as a player who would like to be rewarded with creative build experimentation, new enemy threats, and having gear/progression feel rewarding, none of that is present in DD2. Playing through the campaign the first time was genuinely fun, but beyond that, none of the game's mechanics scale in such a way that make the game fun for hundreds of hours. And for a F2P game, that's the exact opposite of what you want to have.

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