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gigazelle

Major Jester defense proposal - changing small/deluxe/extravagant presents

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Hey everyone! I have a proposal for the Jester that I would like to discuss with the community before we decide how we want to proceed within the CDT.

I've been playing through the original campaign recently with some of my family using brand new characters. I chose the Jester, and was the only one to focus on towers. This means that all our maps have been Jester-only. And boy has it been a ride!

There are two significant obstacles that I'd like to discuss overcoming, and whether you agree that these should be addressed:

  1. Trying to summon presents in multiple lanes is difficult, because you must babysit a lane and move the resulting defenses into their correct locations. If you summon in front, you end up with a deadly striker or harpoon in a very vulnerable location. If you summon presents behind, you end up with useless walls, or even worse, an ogre that wreaks havoc behind your line of defense.
  2. I always seem to find myself defaulting to the largest present available to me. There's very little reason to use the small/medium presents when some of the most useful defenses are in the large box (and at a DU discount to boot!).


My proposal: Switch up the defense pool for the three presents into defense types: Towers, walls, and traps/auras.

This allows the ability to summon the right defense types in the right spots, which means that I at least know enemies will encounter my defenses in the right order (traps/auras first, then walls, then towers). 

Specifically: 

  • Tower present (replaces small present): Contains magic missile, fireball, lightning, deadly striker, harpoon, bowling ball, or party popper
  • Blockade present (replaces deluxe present): Contains magic blockade, spike blockade, bouncer, slice n dice, or jack in the box
  • Trap/Aura present (replaces extravagant present): Contains ensnare aura, electric aura, healing aura, strength drain aura, enrage aura, gas trap, explosive trap, inferno trap, darkness trap, or etherial spike trap

This change would allow the specialization of tower jesters; for example, I'd be able to spec heavily in defense health to effectively make a wall jester.

DU costs for each Jester defense would remain as they currently are. DU costs for each present would be equal to the highest DU defense within the present. If a smaller DU defense pops out, the difference in DU is returned to the player (similar to how it currently operates).

If the community supports these changes, I anticipate we might be able to see viable Jester builds late-game. It also preserves the randomness and craziness of the Jester, since no two builds in any lane would be the same. 

What are your thoughts about adjusting the defense pools of each present? Would you consider risking a Jester trap/aura stack for farming Nightmare maps in order to save a chunk of DU? Do you think this would shift the meta? In a positive way or negative way?

Let your voice be heard - nothing is guaranteed here, and even if the community overwhelmingly supports it, it'd be a while before we actually released it.

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I have been playing a tower jester for a very long time, but I believe there is no need to change this. The jester is already very, very powerful as a builder, but like most classes he should not build everything on his own. The problem you describe in point 1 can be quite easily countered using gas traps to give you time to adjust defenses, build new presents and sell unwanted ones. 

I also believe jester builders are not at their best on shorter maps, but they really shine on the hardest and longer survivals. You need time to jester up the defenses and those 4 du lightnings and harpoons will really make a difference on maps like embermount survival. I've uploaded a tower jester build on ddplanner for embermount quite a while ago.

I think the real problem why we see so few jester builders is that people don't need to use those very strong jester defenses, because their other builders are already (too) powerful so they don't need to. A map or challenge where a jester would shine is a with

1) A few easy waves at the start to get those defenses jestered up

2) Some very hard to complete later rounds.

3) Tight du so every single du you can save by using jester helps.

Changing the pools might be a bit more convenient for some ppl, but I think most ppl will still be too lazy to use jester builders unless they are forced to by a challenging map like I described. 

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The only place I play as a Jester Builder is on Sky City(because of how aggro on that map works). And I just spam the hell out of Presents. Don't even use buffs. Don't think there are enough people who actually play as Jester Builders to warrant a overhaul of Jester Towers. And the few that do, I think they might just like it the way it is.

Besides its very tedious to play as a Jester builder, you gotta start on a very low Survival Wave where your freshly spawned stuff doesn't get wrecked, meanwhile you are trying to move them around, all the while being attacked on a builder character from most sides. Sure it requires good enough skill and knowledge of wave patterns to get it done as a Jester, but in the end... you're not getting anything special by beating a map or survival purely as a Jester Tower Builder -- other than a "sense of pride and accomplishment"( I totally had to use that, thanks EA!).
And even then... you could just very well finish the survival faster by starting at a much much higher wave on traditional builders and not face much issues if you have a good build down, are vary of surroundings and have well... stats.

On a side-note, it would be nice to be able to open Jester Presents in some easy way in Tavern to test out Tower DPS etc. instead of relying on using the EV Holo-glitch.

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Definitely no on this for me, it would go against the spirit and fun of playing tower jester. I feel if anything should be changed, the two new jester towers should be removed.

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I'm neutral to receptive to this change. It seems more like a nice QoL change than a buff to me and I don't have anything against that.

I actually like the party popper and don't understand why it needs to be removed. It's not like it's all that powerful and more of a fun tower for medium/low difficulty maps than anything.

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I would love to see that change, i think that tower jester would finally be usable in some harder maps without restarting many times because of bad luck.

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I feel like i won´t like this change. Huge buff for all builder Jesters.

however- with Party pop towers Jester already owns a powerful tower. I was barely using my builder squire on any maps, with the release of partypoptowers he now got a 0% buildrate in any of my builds, since party pop towers are granting better (build-)dps compared to harpoons. 

Therefore whilst squire might still be nice on the early maps, jester already is powerful enough.


Therefore removing randomness off jesters towers will allow jesters to be even more useful, making him even more superior to squire. 

Gearing up a tower squire is next to useless in the current state, while Tower Jester gains more and more popularity. The whole reason new players never use Jesters towers is reasoned by the displayed towers- if you create a new jester, they would have to use the overlay to navigate to the towers- whilst presents are first row displayed.

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I do not agree with changing the boxes.

If I recall correctly, Eternity used this method and I didn't like it. The jester's towers are more powerful on raw stat scaling. Because of this, the tradeoff is that you can't easily pick which defense you get from the boxes. This on top of the fact that the jester gained two fixed defenses that can help anchor a builder jester a bit in a sea of randomness.

When I worked on the new towers for the Jester, some rebalancing of the present boxes was also done- Specifically, reducing the amount of bad outcomes and adjusting the tower appearance rates. I would be hesitant to mess with this again. The random nature of the present boxes is the tradeoff for her power- a power that was already enhanced, as noticed, by the party popper- which is already a very good and yet surprisingly under-used tower (i could not find a single build on the new DD planner that included any jester defenses except for using the present boxes as markers for hints or tips. I've only seen the one jester build mentioned above, and that one didn't seem to be based on the larger DU limit granted by the jester or the use of its new defenses)

(Side note: If you're passionate about jester, with a little patience you can beat survivals with lower stats by using Jester to get everything you need other than beams and minions- both because the jester has better scaling and because the presents reduce the DU cost of most towers, allowing you to build more)

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@Alhanalem quote:

i could not find a single build on the new DD planner that included any jester defenses except for using the present boxes as markers for hints or tips. I've only seen the one jester build mentioned above, and that one didn't seem to be based on the larger DU limit granted by the jester or the use of its new defenses

This right here is exactly why I'm proposing a change in what each present contains. 

Building with the Jester was fun for early game builds but still too unreliable for late-game builds. I think it's because you've got this paradox of specializing to gain a stat advantage over regular towers, thus further narrowing your pool of viable defenses. If you specialize in tower damage/rate, you lose viable walls. If you don't specialize, you have lower stats and therefore are about on par with non-Jester towers. At that point, is the DU savings worth the number of presents needed to get the defense you want? The number of Jester builds and the number of people I see building with Jesters would indicate not.

Presents would still be just as random as they are now; you would have no control over what defense pops out. Gear, mana, and ogre percentages would still be the same (thank you for this improvement, btw). The only difference is that instead of making the pool based on DU cost, the pool would be based on defense placement. Having this type of QoL improvement would allow me to plop 5 presents in front of my walls, knowing that most will be some kind of trap/aura (and not an extra wall that I don't need). Which traps/auras, who knows. It would be still just as random as it is right now, just a different pool of defenses each present picks from.

It would make so much more sense to organize presents by tower/wall/trap+aura. I don't think the change would be enough to make her an absolute must in every build, but enough so that we'd start to see more partial Jester builds in NM games.

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@gigazelle quote:Presents would still be just as random as they are now; you would have no control over what defense pops out. Gear, mana, and ogre percentages would still be the same (thank you for this improvement, btw). The only difference is that instead of making the pool based on DU cost, the pool would be based on defense placement. Having this type of QoL improvement would allow me to plop 5 presents in front of my walls, knowing that most will be some kind of trap/aura (and not an extra wall that I don't need). Which traps/auras, who knows. It would be still just as random as it is right now, just a different pool of defenses each present picks from.
No. It would be way too easy to make a jester aura stack plus any traps you need since you cannot get duplicate auras and traps overlapping.

Jester is meant to be fun and random, not a go-to late game builder. If you get the wrong defense, sell it and try again. :)

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Jester is already a very strong builder right now, especially on survivals.  With your proposed change, would all present defences have the same DU as regular defences? I would definitely prefer lower-DU, more random defences compared to regular-DU, less random ones.

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@Alhanalem quote:

When I worked on the new towers for the Jester, some rebalancing of the present boxes was also done- Specifically, reducing the amount of bad outcomes and adjusting the tower appearance rates.

Do you know where i can find the "tower appearance rates" ?

Or do you know what they are?

My closest gues would be that Lightning and Harpoons spawn roughly 20% of the time, and the rest 15%.

 

I am trying to do a few calculations to see what the changes would mean. But without knowing the % it is pretty worthles.


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2 DU present
 15.0% - Gas Trap
 15.0% - Ensnare Aura
 13.5% - Spiked Blockade
 13.5% - Boxing Glove
 12.0% - Magic Missile
 10.5% - Proximity Mine
  9.0% - Ethereal Spike Trap
  6.0% - Darkness Trap
  5.2% - Magic Barrier

3 DU present
 17.1% - Fireball
 17.1% - Bouncer Blockade
 15.4% - Electric Aura
 14.5% - Party Popper
 13.7% - Healing Aura
 12.0% - Inferno Trap
 10.3% - Enrage Aura

4 DU present
 20.0% - Strength Drain
 20.0% - Harpoon
 18.0% - Lightning Tower
 16.0% - Bowling Ball
 14.0% - Slice 'n Dice
 12.0% - Deadly Striker

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