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gigazelle

Countering shard enemies

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Hello community, I wanted to ask about a proposal to add some unique qualities to defenses, but first I want to share a bit of history regarding shard enemies.

The History

Once upon a time, there was a designer at Trendy that thought up of four shard enemies: spider, djinn, sharken, and goblin copter. This designer's intent was to provide an additional challenge that was supposed to be countered by the player:

  • Spiders webbed defenses, so players had to make sure all their defenses were web free.
  • Djinn unsummoned defenses. Players could easily interrupt their unsummoning by attacking them directly.
  • Sharken charged through defenses. Players could easily interrupt their charge by attacking them directly.
  • Goblin copters released flares that could trick defenses. Players' aim were not affected by said flares.

Leaving any of these enemies on the battlefield for a prolonged time punished players by having their defenses shoved or destroyed.

These all sound like great and exciting ideas! However, there was another individual at Trendy who decided that NM wasn't hard enough. This person was in charge of implementing enemy schedules (how many of each enemy go down each lane). This person thought it would be a good idea to spam the living daylights out of shard enemies. The concept of players countering these shard enemies were tossed out the window, because there are so many shard enemies that it is literally impossible to address all of them at once. If you remember when shard enemies were first introduced, they had announcements; e.g. "A Sharken has arrived!". This was because they were originally intended by the designer to be occasional threats. Instead, what we got was enemy spam and had to figure out as a community how to counter them with our defenses.

Well, between Aquanos and Sky City, we got the summoner. The summoner was supposed to follow an RTS-style of gameplay, where instead of the summoner dealing direct damage, they would move minions around the battlefield. The minions were originally designed to be an extension of the player, dealing "hero damage". This is why minions got their own defense pool - so even when DU was full, they could still be a viable DPS character (via their minions). This is also why minions can interrupt djinn, interrupt sharken, and target goblin copters. They were a mobile way for a summoner to deal hero damage.

However, the ideal way to play Summoner did not pan out for Trendy. At. All.

The community found that minions are almost utterly worthless late-game playing RTS-style combat. Instead, the community treated minions as a doubling of their DU and plopped them on buff beams (which by that time had solidly ingrained itself as the most OP defense in the game). And they were right - buffed stationary minions put RTS-style minions to shame. Trendy, learning from this, made the decision to remove minion units from DDE. A lot of people weren't fans of this, but based on the most effective way to use minions, it was absolutely the right decision to make for that game.

The Proposal

So. Here we are today - faced against enemies that were originally designed to be countered by the player, spammed in amounts that are impossible for the player to counter, and minions being the only defenses able to directly counter shard enemies, leaving many defenses worthless in their shadow.

I would like to change that. Here are a series of proposals to help defenses counter shard enemies, making these defenses more relevant late-game:

  • Fireball tower and Slice n' Dice counter spider webbing. Fireball tower burns them up, while Slice n' Dice chop through them.
  • Magic Missile interrupts djinn spellcasting. It might be situational, and easily outclassed by gas traps, but the magical attunement to the towers would be able to interrupt djinn in a pinch.
  • Bouncer blockade and Jack in the Box interrupt Sharken charging. 
  • Lightning tower targets copters directly. It makes absolutely no sense for a lightning bolt to target a flare. LT might need a nerf in other ways since this thing is already insanely powerful.

What are your thoughts on the proposed changes? Considering the history of the game, do you think minions should still be the only defenses that counter shard enemies? Do you think other defenses should counter shard enemies?

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Minions just seem like a heavier counter to these things because of their heavy damage bonus in NM, and sharken don't recognize them as pushable defenses.

Apparently only minions, gas traps, players can flinch sharken and djinn without just killing them outright. As for magic towers, DSTs already prioritize targetting djinn over most other enemies.

All towers will target copters if there isn't already a flare. Fun fact: ltightning towers deal a special type of lightning damage in order to make that effect work.

The threat of most shard enemies is that half-assing your coverage causes flankers (spiders), fliers (djinn), or mainline enemies (sharken) to disrupt your defenses (or destroy them, in the case of copters and their ogres).

EDIT: Plane facts.

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Most maps are already beatable without minions... and buffing lighting towers is laughably stupid... Spiders are not an issue to towers if you build correctly. If anything I would just change the amount of damage a tower has to do to interrupt de-summoning to better match minions....

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@Zurkov quote:I'm pretty sure any damage already interrupts djinn, tower or not. A defense or defender just has to knock out a significant portion of their health in order to flinch them.

No.  Only player and minion damage can interrupt djinn casting or sharken windup.  For djinn it takes 7.5% damage, for sharken it takes 10%.  Other damage towers need to do 100% to interrupt them because they won't stop until they die.


@Zurkov quote:Most towers will shoot copters. As far as i am aware, Lightning towers are the main thing stopped by flares (in fact, I'm pretty sure lightning towers deal a special type of lightning damage in order to make that effect work).

Lightning towers had to be treated specially because they don't have projectiles, but flares work on all damage towers.  The projectiles from other towers can still hit, but they'll aim for the flares.

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@gigazelle quote:
  • Fireball tower and Slice n' Dice counter spider webbing. Fireball tower burns them up, while Slice n' Dice chop through them.
  • Magic Missile interrupts djinn spellcasting. It might be situational, and easily outclassed by gas traps, but the magical attunement to the towers would be able to interrupt djinn in a pinch.
  • Bouncer blockade and Jack in the Box interrupt Sharken charging. 

I support these changes.


@gigazelle quote:
  • Lightning tower targets copters directly. It makes absolutely no sense for a lightning bolt to target a flare. LT might need a nerf in other ways since this thing is already insanely powerful.

I am against this change.

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I am strongly OPPOSED to giving ANY tower immunity to Sharken's push and/or Spider's webs and in another thread de-summoning of EV walls.  They have an interested unique effect.  Making towers immune to being immune to Sharken push and immune to spider webs all while adding proposed tower buffs will make the game much easier.

The Sharken's and Spider's abilities have been around since before minions (which in most cases takes care or trivialize their effect).  Back in Misty Mire days before Strength drain removed elemental infinity, spiders actually required players to change their builds.  Aura stack/minions as in today, didn't nearly trivialize them.  Making physical towers immune to these Shard abilities kills the whole purpose of introducing the new enemies as far as I'm concerned.

Djinn's de-summoning: players can Jester wheel, hawk, and almost any Ability 2/and attacking will hit 7.5% of their HP.  You can juggle djinn de-summoning by not upgrading certain defenses, say proximity mines.  Djinn will fly right over those and go for upgraded defenses.  A trick used on console was to have magic blockades upgraded fully to keep the Djinn busy and then beat them up with other towers.

These changes would benefit the mostly people AFKing with Summoners.  If you aren't AFK you can send your minion(s) over to Djinn/Sharken to deal with them (assuming your minion movement speed isn't zero, if so players can fix that)

Today there is at least a chance of a Sharken/Spider/Djinn causing a game loss

Why are these big changes/concerns coming up now.  Before v8.2 when the proposed towers were all much wimpier, would have made more sense.  Now, literally 2 years after players first had been testing in v8.2 beta with much stronger towers, seems odd.

p.s. How many have EXTENSIVELY tested all these defenses specifically against Shard enemies since v8.2, where Fireball, Slice n' Dice, Magic Missle, and bouncer blockade had significant buffs?  Shock beams also deal with Djinn/Sharken and DSTs prioritizes Djinn then Sharken (and beats them down).

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@gunnerq69 quote:

I am strongly OPPOSED to giving ANY tower immunity to Sharken's push and/or Spider's webs and in another thread de-summoning of EV walls.  They have an interested unique effect.  Making towers immune to being immune to Sharken push and immune to spider webs all while adding proposed tower buffs will make the game much easier.

The Sharken's and Spider's abilities have been around since before minions (which in most cases takes care or trivialize their effect).  Back in Misty Mire days before Strength drain removed elemental infinity, spiders actually required players to change their builds.  Aura stack/minions as in today, didn't nearly trivialize them.  Making physical towers immune to these Shard abilities kills the whole purpose of introducing the new enemies as far as I'm concerned.

Djinn's de-summoning: players can Jester wheel, hawk, and almost any Ability 2/and attacking will hit 7.5% of their HP.  You can juggle djinn de-summoning by not upgrading certain defenses, say proximity mines.  Djinn will fly right over those and go for upgraded defenses.  A trick used on console was to have magic blockades upgraded fully to keep the Djinn busy and then beat them up with other towers.

These changes would benefit the mostly people AFKing with Summoners.  If you aren't AFK you can send your minion(s) over to Djinn/Sharken to deal with them (assuming your minion movement speed isn't zero, if so players can fix that)

Today there is at least a chance of a Sharken/Spider/Djinn causing a game loss

Why are these big changes/concerns coming up now.  Before v8.2 when the proposed towers were all much wimpier, would have made more sense.  Now, literally 2 years after players first had been testing in v8.2 beta with much stronger towers, seems odd.

p.s. How many have EXTENSIVELY tested all these defenses specifically against Shard enemies since v8.2, where Fireball, Slice n' Dice, Magic Missle, and bouncer blockade had significant buffs?  Shock beams also deal with Djinn/Sharken and DSTs prioritizes Djinn then Sharken (and beats them down).

I don’t wanna have to use gas traps by every tower than isn’t minions and a side note all the shard enemies have sucky loot chances 

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 [[51525,users]] quote:

I am strongly OPPOSED to giving ANY tower immunity to Sharken's push and/or Spider's webs and in another thread de-summoning of EV walls.  They have an interested unique effect.  Making towers immune to being immune to Sharken push and immune to spider webs all while adding proposed tower buffs will make the game much easier.

It would not make the game easier, it would make the game have more variety. Using minion walls overpowers any other wall in the current state, so no one uses them (besides ev physical wall + gas trap, since it is a lot beefier than minions at same hp).

People came to the realization that this game is too repetitive as it is, and that's why we are requesting changes to towers, buffs to pets that are not used and  buff to bad dps characters (multiple times as you can see in caimen's post)


The Sharken's and Spider's abilities have been around since before minions (which in most cases takes care or trivialize their effect).  Back in Misty Mire days before Strength drain removed elemental infinity, spiders actually required players to change their builds.  Aura stack/minions as in today, didn't nearly trivialize them.  Making physical towers immune to these Shard abilities kills the whole purpose of introducing the new enemies as far as I'm concerned.

They have been around since before minions, but minions being introduced with immunity to their abilities made all other types of wall almost immediately useless. Making walls (not all of them by the re-balancing ideas) immune to them would be a indirect nerf to minions, since they wouldn't be the only tower that is immune to them anymore. You would still have to be careful with sharkens moving your main dps towers, since on many builds you don't use walls and that can happen with a sharken being golded at a "bad" time.


    Djinn's de-summoning: players can Jester wheel, hawk, and almost any Ability 2/and attacking will hit 7.5% of their HP.  You can juggle djinn de-summoning by not upgrading certain defenses, say proximity mines.  Djinn will fly right over those and go for upgraded defenses.  A trick used on console was to have magic blockades upgraded fully to keep the Djinn busy and then beat them up with other towers.

  From the looks of it, you have not played any of the new maps in a while. Most of them are pretty large, and going to the djinn in time to attack him with anything other than a wheel is in most cases not possible due to the size of the maps.


These changes would benefit the mostly people AFKing with Summoners.  If you aren't AFK you can send your minion(s) over to Djinn/Sharken to deal with them (assuming your minion movement speed isn't zero, if so players can fix that)

These changes would benefit people who want to use any kind of wall, besides minions, without having to be on a jester or a summ. Right now no one is using walls, this would make them at least viable again on endgame. If you want to afk with summoners, you will use minion walls since they heal by themselves and don't cost du, not any of these other ones.


Today there is at least a chance of a Sharken/Spider/Djinn causing a game loss

Sharkens can cause game loss when your build doesn't have walls right now, but if you have walls other than minion walls, you usually are using gas traps to make them not useless, so sharkens are not really a problem. 

I have no idea how a spider would cause something among those lines.

Djinns cause game losses when they despawn your auras and take all your buffs along with it, and that would continue happening. Never has a djinn despawning a wall being a problem, since you're usually using minions walls.


p.s. How many have EXTENSIVELY tested all these defenses specifically against Shard enemies since v8.2, where Fireball, Slice n' Dice, Magic Missle, and bouncer blockade had significant buffs?

I, and people I play with, have used Fb, MM, SnD and bouncer. The buffs made to fireballs and magic missiles were great, making them useful towers.

SnD and BB, whoever, are only useful when your other towers already do all the killing and you have extra du left. The SnD could be used to hit ogres, but ogres like to hit this tower from outside it's attacking range. BB are just plain useless in endgame as it is, since you have them at the edge of your defenses to deal with mobs coming close to them. Due to being close to the edge of auras, spiders like to hit these 2 and make them even more useless than they already are in most maps, where you don't build in the center of the aura. 

No one uses these walls after, getting past the early game, for a reason, and that is because they suck at the current state due to how they are easily overpowered by minion walls (as in archers, mage and spiders, the other ones need a re-balance before being useful [here(since original was lost) and here]). Making them not be able to be shoved aside as minions are and giving web immunity would make them viable to be used at the end game when you don't feel like being on a jester all the time to move them back or spam gas traps.


Shock beams also deal with Djinn/Sharken and DSTs prioritizes Djinn then Sharken (and beats them down).

   This just shows how often you play the game with these defenses. Shock beams hitting djinns is something really rare of happening, since it's vertical size is way lower than that of traps, the mob has to be right on top of it and the shock beam attack rate is awfully slow / the damage is low. That is a tower in a serious need or a rebalance/change (that is also being discussed on another thread so you can go say you're against that balancing as well, but since no one from the cdt has said anything about that you're probably not going to do it)

DSTs do handle djinns well, but since they target Djinns => Wyverns => Sharken, they usually won't hit a sharken before it gets to walls anyway.



I don't wanna sound like a jerk, but the opposition you're having against these kind of changes just make it seem like you don't want any changes at all and want the game to stay as it is.

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I don't wanna sound like a jerk, but the opposition you're having against these kind of changes just make it seem like you don't want any changes at all and want the game to stay as it is.

I'm in the same camp as far as core mechanics are concerned.
Don't constantly keep changing core mechanics all the time. Its not needed.

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