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Hom-Sha-Bom

What Defense Should You Upgrade First?; More Math Trendy Needs To Look At

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So after some discussion on another thread about if traps/auras should be upgraded, I decided to put together the upgrade stats for every defense.

It's not complete because I don't have an Abyss Lord or Lavamancer, but I have filled out every other hero. Thanks to [[19947,users]] for the Lavamancer and Abyss Lord data. You can see the results here

So, first I want to explain why column M is normalized over 100 DU.

The lower the DU cost of a defense is, the more you defenses you have to upgrade. Every defense has the same mana cost for upgrading. This means if you are using low DU defenses you require much, much, more mana to upgrade them all than if you upgraded all of your 80/100/110 DU defenses instead. On a 3 lane map where you can use 2 Angry Nimbus per lane, it only costs 3,000 Green Mana to fully upgrade them all. But if you wanted to use Explosive Traps instead, for the same DU cost it would take 30 traps and would cost 15,000 Green Mana to upgrade them all.


An example of fully upgrading a single defense to illustrate that point:

If you have 80 DU to spend, you could build 4 Explosive Traps or 1 Earthshatter Tower. The DU and Green Mana cost will be identical for just building them. With the Traps, when you add them up you get 9,500 DPS. Spending 500 mana to upgrade a single defense to max tier would result in 11,400 DPS. You've only increased your DPS by 20%. With the Earthshatter, you start at 11,632. After investing 500 mana into upgrading a single defense, you're up to 29,079 DPS. You've increased your DPS by 150%. This why the relative DU cost matters. Since upgrading costs the same no matter how strong or how weak a defense is and mana is the limiting factor in how many defenses can be upgraded, the more you have the less get out of upgrading.

Trendy was aware of this issue, and in the past lower DU defenses scaled better with upgrades to compensate for having more towers that needed to be upgraded.

Now the highest DU defense costs 100, so I'm going to normalize all defenses over 100 DU.


So if you look at the chart sorted by the normalized upgrade amounts, there are a few things that stand out:

  1. If you have a 2 Node Reflect Beam, you can upgrade it for more Health, but don't expect to get anything out of it in terms of damage. This is the absolute worst thing to upgrade for damage.
  2. It's almost never worth it to upgrade Moss Hornet's Nests or Flame Auras, unless you're already upgraded everything else and have no where else to spend your Green Mana. These 2 defenses are tied for being THE WORST scaling defenses with Upgrades (excluding Reflect Beam because that's more of a wall)
  3. Flamethrower Towers, Slime Pits, Explosive Traps, Boost Auras, and Snaking Sands are tied for the 2nd worst scaling non-wall defenses.
  4. If you use Obelisk, you're probably already upgrading it, and you are correct for doing so. This is best upgrade scaling defense in the game. And on top of that, it also has no counter in Chaos enemies, and it can be freely moved around and placed in whatever the biggest threat lane is.


Trendy, you need to review these upgrades. There is no consistency. There is no rhyme or reason for which defenses benefit more or less from upgrades. This amount that Obelisk and Earthshatter benefit from upgrading vs the amount that Moss Hornets and Fire Auras benefit from upgrades is absurd.

  1. Obelisk receives +50% damage per upgrade. It's not because this is a 100 DU defense, because Angry Nimbus does not receive this kind of upgrade. It's not because it's limited to 1 per Mystic, because Volcano is also 100 DU and is limited to 1 per Lavamancer and it does not receive close to this amount.
  2. Sand Viper, Cannonball Tower, Harpy's Perch, Lightning Strikes Aura, and Earthshatter Tower all receive +50% damage for the 1st and 4th upgrade, and receive +25% damage for the 2nd and 3rd upgrades. All defenses in the game receive the same bonus for every upgrade, except for these 5. These are the most inconsistent upgrades in the game. Sometimes you'll get 50%, sometimes you'll get 25%. What is going on here? The DU cost has nothing to do with this upgrade pattern because these towers range from 30 DU to 80 DU.
  3. Viper's Fangs Damage receives +20% damage per upgrade, but the rain from popping a bubble receives +30% damage. This is another tower that is not consistent with any others. Some of the damage receives a bigger upgrade than some other of the damage. It's weird. For all other defenses all of their damage scales equally. This is an outlier.
  4. Arcane Barrier, Angry Nimbus, Explosive Trap, Geyser Trap, Poison Dart Tower, Sky Guard Tower, Snaking Sands, Viper's Fangs, Ballista, Spike Blockade, Training Dummy, Skeletal Archer, Skeletal Orc, The Colossus, and Oil Geyser all receive +20% damage per upgrade. This is the most common occurrence for upgrading. But there's still no rhyme or reason for this. These defenses range from 20 DU to 100 DU. Some of them are single target defenses, some of them are AoEs, some of them are piercing projectiles. Some of these have CC, some do not. Some of these attack only air, some attack only ground, some attack ground and air.
  5. Flamethrower Tower, Moss Hornet's Nest, Slime Pit, Blaze Balloon, Boost Aura, Flame Aura, Proton Beam, Frostbite, Ramster, Fissure of Embermount, and Volcano are in the group of the 2nd most common upgrade pattern. Each of these 11 defenses receive +10% per upgrade. Again, no rhyme or reason here. These defenses range from 30 DU to 110 DU for a max node Proton Beam. None of them are single target, but they're not all AoE (Moss Hornet's are multi target but I wouldn't call them AoE), some are ground only, some can hit ground and air, some provide CC, some do not.
  6. Buff Beam and Reflect Beam  are the worst, they each receive only +5% for each upgrade for some reason.


In conclusion, there is no consistency with upgrading defenses. These upgrade values seem to be designed by totally different people who were unable to come to any sort of consensus on how upgrading should work. You need to review this and fix all of these defenses.

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If you are challenging yourself by playing the hardest level you can, the best defenses to upgrade first are always walls. They allow other defenses to do more damage, you to have more time to repair, and it gives you more HP per mana when repairing.  If you're just farming a level that you can basically autopilot then yeah, dps towers.. but in those cases does it really matter? :)

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Maximizing Blockade health is a given. I didn't think anyone needed to be told that. This is what you should do after your blockades are upgraded to maximize your damage.

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You should always upgrade the frost towers first.  Additional slowing allows more time for hero DPS, less time for enemies to hit barriers, bunches enemies up for AOE attacks and can hold up a wave if you are unavailable to DPS.

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@Hom-Sha-Bom quote:

Maximizing Blockade health is a given. I didn't think anyone needed to be told that. This is what you should do after your blockades are upgraded to maximize your damage.

Can't assume anything like that when giving out basic information :P  Also, which towers to upgrade after the walls will change depending on the situation.  For example, if you're getting molested by invisible dagger wielding jerks, you might wanna upgrade a tower that is designed to kill them faster (if you aren't cheesing them already, that is).

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  1. Viper's Fangs Damage receives +20% damage per upgrade, but the rain from popping a bubble receives +30% damage. This is another tower that is not consistent with any others. Some of the damage receives a bigger upgrade than some other of the damage. It's weird." 

I dont think its weird, they know a lil what they doing there, i guess its all about balance, the more dmg come from the bubble rain for this blockade, as you said and as its quite logical, every tower CANT get the same amount of damages/upgrade, this wouldnt be balanced if the "burst" dmg would got +50% per upgrade and rain +50%, i mean, this tower got overall an hypothetical  "+50%" per upgrade. It would be ****y if the rain didnt got a good dmg upgrade since as everyone know, its where the damage come from on this tower... For this point i just dont get you...  


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Will be using this as a verifying source as I was doing the same. I will soon release a sheet with every tower's DP/DH/Dcrit scaling, upgrade scaling, speed and range values, and speed cap. Will take some time since I'm only at 1/3 of all defenses.

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@Hom-Sha-Bom quote:
  1. Flamethrower Tower, Moss Hornet's Nest, Slime Pit, Blaze Balloon, Boost Aura, Flame Aura, Proton Beam and Frostbite are in the group of the 2nd most common upgrade pattern. Each of these 8 defenses receive +10% per upgrade. Again, no rhyme or reason here. These defenses range from 30 DU to 110 DU for a max node Proton Beam. Some are single target, some are AOE, some are ground only, some can hit ground and air.


In conclusion, there is no consistency with upgrading defenses. These upgrade values seem to be designed by totally different people who were unable to come to any sort of consensus on how upgrading should work. You need to review this and fix all of these defenses.

Arent they all basically AoE or kinda ? Even hornet as long as it can damages multiples enemies

Something special for Frostbite, which is just how Trendy interpretate the needs for " i need a better slow" thats how they feel its balanced, if you upgrade a frost up to T4 its that you really have a strat about it ( let say you playing with alot of DPS tower or what ever)

Let say something single target-40du defense like LSA is aimed to be bursty, its enough bursty in the beginning of a game, then later you decide you REALLY REALLY want to OS some targets, its basically a Good early, falling off middle, good lategame tower (aura), sort of "deal with it"

Meanwhile the FlameThrower which is AOE-40du, and let say ALOT of AOE does already some good dmg get 10% per upgrade, but its AoE, i just dont get you again, it seems quite harmonious, they (Trendy) got their own scale/scalar to balance things, meanwhile something like flamethrower put some consistent damages in most of the time to more than 5-6 enemies, it would be kinda OP if they get too much from upgrade, the game was made around all of this.

SlimePit also are kinda strong if you got a strat around, it can stack dmg if you know how to do it, and its quite bursty but also AoE, basically the kind of tower you just cant really put too much dmg per upgrade, would be easily OP ( Frosty Power builds...)

Otherwise great job, very usefull for the community, but anyway i think Trendy know what they are doing, even if some scale feels " weird" do you feels something bad about it ? Tell us for some tower what scale per level you would put in ? Dont tell me you would put a +50% on the flamethrower or the slime, you know what would be the meta with it... 

But for the DU cost, even if its aoe, i feel the BlazeBalloon really suck.. And you just reinforce my feels when you showing me it gain only 10% per upgrade, we could imagine it getting a sturdy 25-30% per upgrade, deal with it its a 80DU... Even if its aoe..

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Obelisks have limitations (you need an active mystic, you can only place 1/mystic, 100DU) so the tower needs to be strong.

But I agree with you, most of the low cost towers should have better scaling. Probably not for the utility towers like sneaking sands, that are already usefull at rank 1, but DPS towers need some love.


As I explained in another post, Explosive trap is the perfect exemple of a bad tower :

  • Low DU cost (you need to spam them, so you can't upgrade a lot)
  • Low upgrade scaling.
  • Low range scaling (you lose damage for how far the monsters are).
  • Heavely countered by EMP.
Every tower should at least have a situational use. Adding utility to those weak towers could be a solution. Make explosive trap lower monsters resistance or something and it will have combo potential and rank 1 utility.

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@MushroomCake28 quote:

Will be using this as a verifying source as I was doing the same. I will soon release a sheet with every tower's DP/DH/Dcrit scaling, upgrade scaling, speed and range values, and speed cap. Will take some time since I'm only at 1/3 of all defenses.

Need any help with that?  I was thinking of doing something similar for myself but didn't get started yet.  If you're already doing it, then I won't unless you give me a list of defenses to work on so as to avoid doing duplicate work.  I have all heroes except lavamancer and dryad, and will have the dryad in a few days.

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@NeedtoDie quote:

As I explained in another post, Explosive trap is the perfect exemple of a bad tower :

  • Low DU cost (you need to spam them, so you can't upgrade a lot)
  • Low upgrade scaling.
  • Low range scaling (you lose damage for how far the monsters are).
  • Heavely countered by EMP.

IIRC explosive trap's damage is just pathetic and its new range is tiny.  Back before the trials update it was decent for clearing the small trash enemies but now I can't think of any use for it.  It doesn't even stun geodes (unless there's a shard for it).  Besides the current meta focuses on AoE towers, so clearing the trash before enemies get to the towers is irrelevant.

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Your logic is faulty. A rational decision maker would not be interested in maximizing any weirdly normalized percentual increase in DPS; they would be interested in maximizing the DPS per invested mana.

An example would be Nimbus vs. Lightning Strikes Aura. You give nimbus a comparison value of 80% and Lightning Strikes Aura 60%. At the same time, LIghtning Strike Aura's DPS is boosted by almost double the amount of the Nimbus DPS.

And even though Lightning Strike's DPS grows faster with upgrades, even that doesn't mean that you want to maximize its LVL first. In a world where there is only one Lightning Strikes Aura and one Nimbus the optimal upgrade order would be Lightning, Nimbus, Lightning, Nimbus, Lightning, Lightning; or Lightning, Nimbus, Lightning, Lightning, Lightning if you have enough mana to directly upgrade Lightning Strikes to T5 from T3.

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Got some Abyss Lord/Lavamancer numbers for you.

(first few images Imgur wouldn't let me add to the album, not sure why. Infinite recaptuas.)

https://puu.sh/uJUUZ/8a1121e23c.png
https://puu.sh/uJUWS/3c6693b0fc.png
https://puu.sh/uJUXG/2889f7fc47.png
https://puu.sh/uJUXY/0e3a9a1ed9.png
https://puu.sh/uJUYk/8224f889ea.png
https://puu.sh/uJV8q/d24e9eaffa.png

http://imgur.com/a/IO1eU

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I am playing with:

  • Fire Auras
  • Frostbite Towers
  • Blockades
  • Sky Guard Towers
  • Cannon or Geyser for CC'ing assassins (sometimes)
The Value of upgrading for me personally, number 1 being the best, 5 being the worst:

  1. Blockades gain a significant amount of health per upgrade and help massively verses berserker orcs, therefore these are my "go to" upgrade.
  2. Frostbite Towers gain some nice slow, with rank 5's reducing the movement of enemies to a crawl of 9.5% which is insane! however getting rank 5 is mostly impossible and they do nothing to assist verses Berserker Orcs, a soft counter to Flame Auras.
  3. Sky Guard Towers gain a sugnificant amount from upgrading, however a rank 1 can handle anything once you get it past 400k dps (maybe DPS as low as 300k can as well).
  4. Fire Auras seem to gain almost nothing from upgrading, my 44k Fire Auras gain 4.4k from rank 1 to 2, fully upgraded they do 62k dps, thats an increase of 18k! which is terrible. I NEVER upgrade Fire Auras!
  5. Cannon or Geyser are purely for CC, they are not upgraded.

My upgrade stratergy for maximum safety is:

I put 100% of mana into blockades until rank 5, then into Frostbite Towers. Mathematically It might not be the best option going from rank 4 to rank 5 blockades, but its working^^ With time maybe I will go to rank 4 blockades, then everything else to rank 2 or something... not really sure what the best upgrading is right now.

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i agree with most everyone here.  best to upgrades walls 1st. here is what i do and use. i use AL rammus for tower DPS/aoe. squire walls and monk AA

  • i upgrade my walls to T3
  • rammus to T2 and AA T2
  • rest of my mana for T5 walls.

it seems to work for me. now i am able to solo beat C5 now :D 

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Everyone needs to calm down. I'm not telling you what to do with your mana. I'm giving you the hard data on how well or poorly defenses scale with upgrades.

I'm not wrong. Nothing I have stated is wrong. These are just the numbers. I'm sorry if the data triggers you, but that's your problem, not mine.

@Myyrä quote:

Your logic is faulty. A rational decision maker would not be interested in maximizing any weirdly normalized percentual increase in DPS; they would be interested in maximizing the DPS per invested mana.

What logic is faulty? Given equal stats, upgrading an Earthshatter Tower to Tier 2 provides ~12.2x more damage than upgrading an Explosive Trap to Tier 2. This isn't my logic or my opinion. This is a fact. For the same exact mana cost (50), you get significantly more damage by  upgrading one defense over another.

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@Bidru quote:

Arent they all basically AoE or kinda ? Even hornet as long as it can damages multiples enemies

I don't consider multi target the same as AoE. Moss Hornets do not effect all enemies in an area, they choose 2 targets that are within range.

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@Riyshn quote:

Got some Abyss Lord/Lavamancer numbers for you.

(first few images Imgur wouldn't let me add to the album, not sure why. Infinite recaptuas.)

https://puu.sh/uJUUZ/8a1121e23c.png
https://puu.sh/uJUWS/3c6693b0fc.png
https://puu.sh/uJUXG/2889f7fc47.png
https://puu.sh/uJUXY/0e3a9a1ed9.png
https://puu.sh/uJUYk/8224f889ea.png
https://puu.sh/uJV8q/d24e9eaffa.png

http://imgur.com/a/IO1eU

Do you have the DU cost for each of the Abyss Lord & Lavamancer defenses? The wiki is outdated.

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Abyss lord: orc 40, ramster 50, archer 40, colossus 80.

I don't own lavamancer so can't check his defenses.

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@tdb quote:
@MushroomCake28 quote:

Will be using this as a verifying source as I was doing the same. I will soon release a sheet with every tower's DP/DH/Dcrit scaling, upgrade scaling, speed and range values, and speed cap. Will take some time since I'm only at 1/3 of all defenses.

Need any help with that?  I was thinking of doing something similar for myself but didn't get started yet.  If you're already doing it, then I won't unless you give me a list of defenses to work on so as to avoid doing duplicate work.  I have all heroes except lavamancer and dryad, and will have the dryad in a few days.

pm

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@Hom-Sha-Bom quote:Do you have the DU cost for each of the Abyss Lord & Lavamancer defenses? The wiki is outdated.

Orc: 40
Ramster: 50
Archer: 40
Colossus: 80
Fissure: 30
Maw: 60
Oil: 20
Volcano: 100

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@MushroomCake28 quote:


@tdb quote:
@MushroomCake28 quote:

Will be using this as a verifying source as I was doing the same. I will soon release a sheet with every tower's DP/DH/Dcrit scaling, upgrade scaling, speed and range values, and speed cap. Will take some time since I'm only at 1/3 of all defenses.

Need any help with that?  I was thinking of doing something similar for myself but didn't get started yet.  If you're already doing it, then I won't unless you give me a list of defenses to work on so as to avoid doing duplicate work.  I have all heroes except lavamancer and dryad, and will have the dryad in a few days.

pm

See Sheet2 in my Google Sheet link.

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I agree partially.


I agree in the sense that lower DU towers need to be have something going for them when it comes to mana efficiency and upgrading.


However, I STRONGLY dissagree they should get better damage scaling. 30 DU towers surpassing 40 DU towers in strenght at higher upgrade levels was one of my biggest pet peeves of DD1. Performance per DU vs other towers should not change depending on upgrade level. The downside of costing merely a bit of extra mana (mana costs are minor compared to DU cost), which is only a temporary issue until you get plenty of it to upgrade everything, should not be countered by a permanent performance increase.


They should simply cost less to upgrade. Why doesn't every towers upgrade cost equal their initial building cost, multiplied by tier? EG: Cannonball lvl 2 costs 30 mana, lvl 3 costs 60 mana, etc..


Furthermore, every tower should have identical scaling. That's only fair (and logical).

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@Hom-Sha-Bom quote:


@MushroomCake28 quote:


@tdb quote:
@MushroomCake28 quote:

Will be using this as a verifying source as I was doing the same. I will soon release a sheet with every tower's DP/DH/Dcrit scaling, upgrade scaling, speed and range values, and speed cap. Will take some time since I'm only at 1/3 of all defenses.

Need any help with that?  I was thinking of doing something similar for myself but didn't get started yet.  If you're already doing it, then I won't unless you give me a list of defenses to work on so as to avoid doing duplicate work.  I have all heroes except lavamancer and dryad, and will have the dryad in a few days.

pm

See Sheet2 in my Google Sheet link.

Ohh wow you're faster then we are. We just had the Dryad left -.- 

Nice job. Btw you should mention the calculation for the stats we see on inspect. Like the majority of attack damage and health is a direct proportion scaling from DH and DP and DCD is usually a function like y = mx + b. For cannonball for example, you should put : 9 * DCD + 4500 

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