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Great concept, terrible execution.


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If you've been around the block with DD2, you've likely seen a lot of defenses have their own spotlight; lightning auras + geysers, frostbite towers + explosive/chaos traps, PDT's. Trendy, though incredibly slow to address these glaring balance issues, have eventually done so. Allow me to elaborate a bit more in detail:

  • Electric aura + geyser: extremely effective because of its ability to perma-stun. If you stacked enough tower attack rate, you could almost keep enemies stun-locked with a single geyser. Combine that with the stun from electrocution, and you have an easily perma-stunned mob with minimal effort. Trendy, seeing that attack rate could not scale like that, removed it from the game and nerfed electrocution into oblivion.
  • Frostbite + explosive/elemental chaos traps: When we had physical + magic resist enemies, there was an extreme shortage of physical-dealing towers and a limited hero deck to boot. This made explosive traps invaluable, and with the elemental chaos uber, you could cover both resistance types. Trendy made the frosty fire passive not stack, and then ultimately removed it. They also removed hero deck limitations and elemental resistances, which opened up several new options for players.
  • PDT's: Straight-up broken. Had THE best single target damage AND best AoE damage out of all defenses, by a significant margin. 

Aaaaand fast forward to now - with higher tier chaos trials, we have cyborks and shield crystals, which is interesting because all previous metas have never been dictated by enemies. The new meta is now basically non-projectile/non traps/non-auras, which is to say flamethrowers, ramsters, and walls. There are several other good, viable defenses in the game now, but why use them when one enemy can show up and completely nullify it?

Right now this is not an ideal gaming experience for the vast majority of players. Despite that being said, I really like the direction the new enemies in the game are heading towards. I have a few recommendations I'd like Trendy to take into consideration:

  • First off, go easy on the new threat enemies. For some reason, whoever dictates enemy schedules thinks that "more is better". Clearly there is a disconnect between the employee that designs enemies and the employee who creates wave schedules. This disconnect is not anything new either; it's been around since the early days of DD1 too. The flawed "more is better" approach is also clearly seen in DD1 with the "X enemy is approaching" spam, a pretty clear indicator that they were originally designed to only appear occasionally. The announcements got so bad that the CDT had to create a toggle to remove it since there were so many. We don't need threat enemy spam in DD2 as well! It causes nothing else but frustration.
  • Make enemies that counter defenses also have their own hard counter that they're weak to. None of the new enemies have an inherent weakness that we can take advantage of. And no, I don't consider roller's backsides a weakness; they have crazy armor up front and normal damage from behind - that's not a weakness. Say, for example, if cyborks were weak to projectile towers and shield crystals were weak to traps/auras, we could come up with clever defenses to counter them before they could counter us. Or one could be weak to smashing damage and another could be weak to fire or electric damage. The possibilities are endless, but give us something we can use to fight back against the counters!
  • Once you do give enemies their own weaknesses, create enemies that counter the rest of our defense pool. So something like an energy-absorbing dude that heals itself from ramster attacks and flames, and another enemy that can turn walls transparent until they're killed. This will effectively prevent the meta from becoming "the only towers left that aren't countered", which is what it's quickly turning into right now.

What results is a game that we build around the incoming threats, making much more clever and tactical builds. I feel like "great concept / poor execution" is literally Trendy's motto, but this is exactly what the entirety of this patch is (and pretty much every other patch, to be honest). It has so much potential, and once we can use clever builds to fight back against the counters, we will be in a much more enjoyable place to play through the chaos trials.

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There shouldn't be hard-counters to any defense. I'm fine with enemies that are resistant to some defenses (i don't think they ever should have got rid of lane resistances), but hard counters are just bad for the game.

In the current state of the game is it obvious that Trendy wants us to only use Flamethrower & Ramsters. So why do the other defenses even exist?

We can examine every defense type:

  • Projectiles - Rendered useless by Shield Goblins & Geodes
  • Traps - Rendered useless by Cyborks & Siege Rollers
  • Auras - Rendered useless by Cyborks. Siege Rollers certainly don't help.
  • Spawners - I'm not really sure about these. Maybe Hornets & Slimes are rendered useless by Cyborks, but maybe Nimbus has long enough range to stay away from Cyborks? Maybe Cyborks don't even disable them in the first place. Needs testing.
  • Beams - These are Sand Vipers, Serptent's Coils, and Frostbite Towers - I'm not sure how these are affected by Shield Goblins and Geodes. Can they go through the shields?
  • Flamethrowers - Flamethrower, Ramster, Obelisk - Not countered.

There are a couple things that are hard countered and by that they just cannot be used.

There are a couple things that I'm not sure about

But then there are defenses that for sure are not hard countered by anything in the game. These are the defenses Trendy wants us to use. And they are telling us that they want us to use these defenses by discouraging and punishing the use of anything else and leaving these as the only viable defenses.

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As always, your post shows a lot of really good thought, and it's presented very well.  Always a pleasure gigazelle :P

With that being said, I'm not sure the mobs as counter idea will fix the issue.  Instead, I think it should be a matter of giving heroes something to do during the fight.  Personally, I liked the ability to watch my towers obliterate enemies, it was the culmination of hard work, the pay-off if you will.  With that being said, I can understand other people want more engagement.

I think the answer lies in more creatures being a threat to the player, rather than to their towers.  A mob that directly counters player defenses only shifts what towers the players find useful.  At the end of the day, when a lane charges forward at your defenses with this plethora of direct counters, the player gets frustrated at having to babysit every lane.  What if, rather than a direct threat to towers, we had creatures that were a direct threat to the player (kind of like the assassin though I haven't reached chaos5 yet so I can't comment on its balance.)  A few examples I could quickly draw up in a few minutes while at work <.< >.>:

-Siphoner: A mob that gradually drains health from the active hero, that gets worse as it progresses.  It stays far out of range of the towers, or even spawns outside of "lanes" and just sits in different areas (kind of like the spider spawns in DD1).  If the player dies to this, it provides a temporary buff to all enemies on the map.


The Brute: An enemy that functions similar to the sharken, only for player characters.  Heavily resistant to tower attacks, this creature focuses entirely on "shoving" the player into pitfalls and other traps.


The Catapault: Sits way far back in the lane and chucks debris at the player, which leaves behind firey brimstone or something that damages anything (towers included) that stands in it.


Just simple things like that, obviously these aren't the best ideas but I think the point stands.  To engage the players, give them threats to their character rather than their towers, at least directly.

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I honestly would have preferred it to be a system akin to how griblok's hoard worked.  have it be that on each wave you have that one lane that is the threat lane while the others are the standard mix.  That way people could build a baseline skeleton build, and then each build wave have some fluid DU they move around as the threat moves around the map.  As a player who was pre-update max geared, I can handle these chaos mobs but it isn't enjoyable.  I've entered a few public matches in chaos 1 to find new players who are entirely overwhelmed because they don't happen to have 8 fully equipped characters.  If they are having that bad of a time in chaos 1, the so called entry point, then chaos 1 needs to be tempered back a bit.


The second post asked about the beam towers, I tested them against the shield goblins and it definitely went through but I can't speak for the geodes.  Haven't tested it personally.  Didn't really seem relevant since the scaling on the beam towers, mixed with their awful targetting (or complete lack of) made them basically a waste of DU regardless of what trinkets I put on them.

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I had 720ish gear on my characters before i came back for this update and used a variety of towers before this update. After the update im doing chaos 3 but its fairly difficult and the ONLY tower i use now is nimbus since it has range damage and can hit flying as well as cover multiple lanes. I tried using other towers but with how prevalent these "special" enemies are like shield goblins all i think is why bother with the effort. Especially when it comes to traps between siege rollers and the emp orcs they are almost useless.

Honestly what i want is each enemy type to be set to a random lane for the entire map. So one lane may have all the shield goblins so projectile towers wont work and the next may have the emp orcs and siege rollers so traps are out. Then they just have to randomize which lane is what each time a map starts but the lane stays that way for the entire map. this will vary builds without making some towers obviously worse than others to the point of being a waste of DU to even consider using.

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Good feedback, Giga. Thanks. Emoji_LadyOrc.png

@Scyphoza quote:

Honestly what i want is each enemy type to be set to a random lane for the entire map. So one lane may have all the shield goblins so projectile towers wont work and the next may have the emp orcs and siege rollers so traps are out. Then they just have to randomize which lane is what each time a map starts but the lane stays that way for the entire map. this will vary builds without making some towers obviously worse than others to the point of being a waste of DU to even consider using.

Speaking from a purely personal level, I like this idea.

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@gigazelle quote:
  • First off, go easy on the new threat enemies. For some reason, whoever dictates enemy schedules thinks that "more is better". Clearly there is a disconnect between the employee that designs enemies and the employee who creates wave schedules. This disconnect is not anything new either; it's been around since the early days of DD1 too. The flawed "more is better" approach is also clearly seen in DD1 with the "X enemy is approaching" spam, a pretty clear indicator that they were originally designed to only appear occasionally. The announcements got so bad that the CDT had to create a toggle to remove it since there were so many. We don't need threat enemy spam in DD2 as well! It causes nothing else but frustration.

I know you specified just threat enemies (assume this means the special enemies introduced in chaos tiers and not bosses? ) but I just want to voice my opinion that I like the wave schedules, a lot

I can't explain exactly what makes them great, and why... but best example I can give is the initial introduction of onslaught horde.  It was sooooooo fun to obliterate huge clumps of stuff.  But of course, it was kind of boring to do it only to tiny goblins lol


Anyway, I feel a lot of parallels of that fun I had with onslaught with current trial maps 

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@iamisom quote:

Good feedback, Giga. Thanks. Emoji_LadyOrc.png

@Scyphoza quote:

Honestly what i want is each enemy type to be set to a random lane for the entire map. So one lane may have all the shield goblins so projectile towers wont work and the next may have the emp orcs and siege rollers so traps are out. Then they just have to randomize which lane is what each time a map starts but the lane stays that way for the entire map. this will vary builds without making some towers obviously worse than others to the point of being a waste of DU to even consider using.

Speaking from a purely personal level, I like this idea.

This would be close to what they did with the Resists, where one lane was resistant to Magic, and one Physical, its a great concept.


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I really like your strengths and weaknesses concept, traps and auras seem to be in a really poor state outside of niche positioning, mainly because the siege roller clears them from lane and emp orcs disable them as well. I think they could add a lot of creativity into builds by adding specific weaknesses for example:

Rollers take increased damage from players and have a high hp pool and damage reduction from all towers but no longer clear traps and auras, maybe throw in a barricade damage buff.

Geodes take increased damage from auras and traps.

Emp Orcs disable traps and auras in a larger radius but, take increased damage from projectiles.


At least to me a system like this at least supports more of a balanced approach to building rather than focusing certain threats in a single lane. I don't want the game to turn into Geode lane means only ground defenses and Emp Orcs mean bust out the Balista's and so on.

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@iamisom quote:

Good feedback, Giga. Thanks. Emoji_LadyOrc.png

@Scyphoza quote:

Honestly what i want is each enemy type to be set to a random lane for the entire map. So one lane may have all the shield goblins so projectile towers wont work and the next may have the emp orcs and siege rollers so traps are out. Then they just have to randomize which lane is what each time a map starts but the lane stays that way for the entire map. this will vary builds without making some towers obviously worse than others to the point of being a waste of DU to even consider using.

Speaking from a purely personal level, I like this idea.

Iam wasnt that the plan way back when... flying lane, Ground lane with shields... Etc?  Im 97% sure you guys mentioned that how the next big patch was goin to implement

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@Scyphoza quote:

Honestly what i want is each enemy type to be set to a random lane for the entire map. So one lane may have all the shield goblins so projectile towers wont work and the next may have the emp orcs and siege rollers so traps are out. Then they just have to randomize which lane is what each time a map starts but the lane stays that way for the entire map. this will vary builds without making some towers obviously worse than others to the point of being a waste of DU to even consider using.

The problem with that is that some maps don't have 4+ lanes. That being said, the problem kinda sorts itself out when you consider the lanes that inevitably end up with multiple types as DPS lanes.

There are definitely ways they can work this out, but the initial execution has been horrible.

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Everything said here and then some. I still hate the way the siege rollers work. Why can't they just roll over beams and traps immune to them is team of destroying them? Hate wasting mana and du plus there are so many defenses I want to use but when I try to use them they are either destroyed or ineffective because they are so far off to the side they don't do work.

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@Slendo quote:


@iamisom quote:

Good feedback, Giga. Thanks. Emoji_LadyOrc.png

@Scyphoza quote:

Honestly what i want is each enemy type to be set to a random lane for the entire map. So one lane may have all the shield goblins so projectile towers wont work and the next may have the emp orcs and siege rollers so traps are out. Then they just have to randomize which lane is what each time a map starts but the lane stays that way for the entire map. this will vary builds without making some towers obviously worse than others to the point of being a waste of DU to even consider using.

Speaking from a purely personal level, I like this idea.

This would be close to what they did with the Resists, where one lane was resistant to Magic, and one Physical, its a great concept.

 

I never cared much for the lane resistances. They just encouraged taking 2 setups and applying them to the appropriate lanes. I have a feeling this idea would do the same just with more setups.

I would much prefer Gigazelle's idea as it would (theoretically) encourage creative mixtures and placements of defenses depending on the terrain and what hero DPS you have available.

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@CollectorOfBolts quote:
@Slendo quote:
@iamisom quote:

Good feedback, Giga. Thanks. Emoji_LadyOrc.png

@Scyphoza quote:

Honestly what i want is each enemy type to be set to a random lane for the entire map. So one lane may have all the shield goblins so projectile towers wont work and the next may have the emp orcs and siege rollers so traps are out. Then they just have to randomize which lane is what each time a map starts but the lane stays that way for the entire map. this will vary builds without making some towers obviously worse than others to the point of being a waste of DU to even consider using.

Speaking from a purely personal level, I like this idea.

This would be close to what they did with the Resists, where one lane was resistant to Magic, and one Physical, its a great concept.

 

I never cared much for the lane resistances. They just encouraged taking 2 setups and applying them to the appropriate lanes. I have a feeling this idea would do the same just with more setups.

I would much prefer Gigazelle's idea as it would (theoretically) encourage creative mixtures and placements of defenses depending on the terrain and what hero DPS you have available.

The difference of what Scyphoza is suggesting to the old way resistances worked is that it will only rule out a few defenses on that lane, instead of basically half of all the defenses. People tend to take the path of least resistance (heh) and having only a few set-ups that work will always happen eventually. Having 5-6 different set-ups to tackle everything chaos V throws at you isn't necessarily a bad thing, and higher chaos levels beyond will only expand that.

The biggest problem with Gigazelle's idea is that we don't have infinite DU to cover everything on each lane. Even if Trendy boosted the amount of DU, it would just lead to having the same set-up on each lane, and defense set-up taking forever.

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@Hom-Sha-Bom quote:

But then there are defenses that for sure are not hard countered by anything in the game. These are the defenses Trendy wants us to use. And they are telling us that they want us to use these defenses by discouraging and punishing the use of anything else and leaving these as the only viable defenses.

I don't think it was intentional, more of an oversight. It would ultimately be a huge waste of work if they genuinely wanted us to only use 3-4 towers out of the dozens available. They want relative balance just as much as we do.

@Pachipachio quote:

I know you specified just threat enemies (assume this means the special enemies introduced in chaos tiers and not bosses? ) but I just want to voice my opinion that I like the wave schedules, a lot

I can't explain exactly what makes them great, and why... but best example I can give is the initial introduction of onslaught horde.  It was sooooooo fun to obliterate huge clumps of stuff.  But of course, it was kind of boring to do it only to tiny goblins lol

Anyway, I feel a lot of parallels of that fun I had with onslaught with current trial maps 

Enemy clumping and mid-wave lulls was something that this patch nailed spot-on. One limitation that Trendy has found a great way around is the aspect of only being able to have a limited number of enemies walking around on a given map. If you've "claimed" a lane, you'll often find in the middle of a wave that enemies stop coming, while there's a crap-ton of stuff going on across the map. It means that you must keep tabs on when your lane picks back up if you want to help another player. It also means that occasionally your lane is going to be dumped on, which gives that "onslaught horde wave" feel.

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Always a pleasure reading your posts Giga, not only are they well constructed and put forward clearly, you often offer suggestions and present your 'work' in a non-flaming way, and your posts always provoke the same attitude of discussion. Kudos hombre.

Although I am really enjoying this update so far, I completely agree with you, and it looks like a majority of players do too, even a large portion of players like myself, that had a good handful of shards and NM4 gear to start us off.
I can at least be happy that I have a choice between three or four builds that work for me up to C3/4, which is more that I am used to with DD2 sadly 

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@Temphix quote:


The difference of what Scyphoza is suggesting to the old way resistances worked is that it will only rule out a few defenses on that lane, instead of basically half of all the defenses. People tend to take the path of least resistance (heh) and having only a few set-ups that work will always happen eventually. Having 5-6 different set-ups to tackle everything chaos V throws at you isn't necessarily a bad thing, and higher chaos levels beyond will only expand that.

The biggest problem with Gigazelle's idea is that we don't have infinite DU to cover everything on each lane. Even if Trendy boosted the amount of DU, it would just lead to having the same set-up on each lane, and defense set-up taking forever.


Fair points. At the very least, it sounds like either solution would be better than what is currently in place.

I wonder if a combination of the ideas would work... Perhaps limit it to 2-3 (more on higher difficulties?) special enemy types per lane so that the players have to figure out the best combinations of counters to use in each lane, especially if one enemy counters the best counter of another enemy.

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@CollectorOfBolts quote:
@Temphix quote:


The difference of what Scyphoza is suggesting to the old way resistances worked is that it will only rule out a few defenses on that lane, instead of basically half of all the defenses. People tend to take the path of least resistance (heh) and having only a few set-ups that work will always happen eventually. Having 5-6 different set-ups to tackle everything chaos V throws at you isn't necessarily a bad thing, and higher chaos levels beyond will only expand that.

The biggest problem with Gigazelle's idea is that we don't have infinite DU to cover everything on each lane. Even if Trendy boosted the amount of DU, it would just lead to having the same set-up on each lane, and defense set-up taking forever.


Fair points. At the very least, it sounds like either solution would be better than what is currently in place.

I wonder if a combination of the ideas would work... Perhaps limit it to 2-3 (more on higher difficulties?) special enemy types per lane so that the players have to figure out the best combinations of counters to use in each lane, especially if one enemy counters the best counter of another enemy.

I actually like that idea. Use chaos 1 and 2 to introduce the new enemy types by having one per lane then having mixed lanes in chaos 3 and 4. Granted that's only if the mixed lanes don't end up like what we have currently which invalidates so many towers. Alternatively they could make it so there's only 1 or 2 mixed lanes per map in higher difficulties and for those lanes its expected for players to use something like nimbus or flamethrower.

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@gigazelle quote:
  • Make enemies that counter defenses also have their own hard counter that they're weak to. None of the new enemies have an inherent weakness that we can take advantage of. And no, I don't consider roller's backsides a weakness; they have crazy armor up front and normal damage from behind - that's not a weakness. Say, for example, if cyborks were weak to projectile towers and shield crystals were weak to traps/auras, we could come up with clever defenses to counter them before they could counter us. Or one could be weak to smashing damage and another could be weak to fire or electric damage. The possibilities are endless, but give us something we can use to fight back against the counters!

this i liked a lot atleast can give options to deal with than just spam what wasn't negated for being useless against X enemy.

i remember the Siege roller was meant to release in the day when lane Res. were a thing to negate traps etc... but when they released him was a bit off and late. now with more enemies that null Traps/beams make them more useless and a waste of DU if he comes earlier if we didnt stop him to squash traps.

even some hero's got negated by some enemies too or they re weak to stay with the meta... i can add the 4 principal (i didn't tested them in dps mean)

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@iamisom quote:
@Scyphoza quote:

Honestly what i want is each enemy type to be set to a random lane for the entire map. So one lane may have all the shield goblins so projectile towers wont work and the next may have the emp orcs and siege rollers so traps are out. Then they just have to randomize which lane is what each time a map starts but the lane stays that way for the entire map. this will vary builds without making some towers obviously worse than others to the point of being a waste of DU to even consider using.

Speaking from a purely personal level, I like this idea.

Wasn't there talk of something like this a year or so ago?  Separate air lanes were to be removed and each lane was to have a "personality", determining which kinds of enemies spawned there.  I think that would make maps much more interesting than just "build the exact same set of defenses at every chokepoint".  That was probably one thing that made DD1 great too.

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@iamisom quote:

Good feedback, Giga. Thanks. Emoji_LadyOrc.png

@Scyphoza quote:

Honestly what i want is each enemy type to be set to a random lane for the entire map. So one lane may have all the shield goblins so projectile towers wont work and the next may have the emp orcs and siege rollers so traps are out. Then they just have to randomize which lane is what each time a map starts but the lane stays that way for the entire map. this will vary builds without making some towers obviously worse than others to the point of being a waste of DU to even consider using.

Speaking from a purely personal level, I like this idea.

Then the META will be flamethrower archer types and Nimbus/pets. I thought Flamethrowers were a little strong after trying to use LA's because of them not being countered, but then I saw Nimbus decimating C4 with zero hero dps, Balance needs checking ASAP. Why would anyone bother using traps and low angle range towers like cannons its more gearing for less bang, if you can just spam nimbus/flamethrowers etc.

The solution is either make specific lanes for monsters, but make some more monster types that at least counter the defenses that currently have no counters or include them in existing counters.

EMP stuns nimbus and shield monsters reflect damage back at ALL defenses, Destroying them akin to hard counters like EMP and rollers for traps.

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