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Duk420

Making rarely used towers more usefull

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Both the sand viper and skeletal archers are in a really bad spot right now, and have been for a long time.  Here are a couple of suggestions that I think would help them be much more viable without making them op.

For the sand viper simply changing the defense type from tower to trap would be a massive improvement and make since from a style standpoint.  I really don't see a sand viper as a tower.  It's a snake laying in wait for its victim hidden in the sand.  This would allow for much better positioning of the defense, dramatically increasing it's usefulness.

Skeletal archers are a little more difficult to improve without making them extremely op or just like several other defenses.  The best improvement I could think of would once again go along the lines of style.  They are skeletons, a creature that should be extremely difficult to take down with ranged attacks.  Instead of changing their damage, range or any other offensive stat give them a massive boost to ranged defense.  Make them between 50% and 80% resistant to ranged attacks from mobs.  This would significantly increase the placement options for the defense making it more useful.

 

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I've recently been thinking of this topic as well.  I have scribbles of notes/ideas for a couple different towers.  over the coming week I'll have to make a post for them.  but a single thread is going to a bit much if people start sharing all of their ideas.  maybe a thread per hero?

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I agree with this sentiment. However, 2.4 sounds like it is going to see some significant changes to some core things. We at least know power transfer is going to change. Maybe updates to shards more generally. I would guess there is some item system changes incoming too.

I think it might be good to hold off analysis until the new patch 

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Wouldn´t say (split)Vipers are in a bad spot. They have pretty good range and they are viable dps-wise, many endgame players know and use them regularly. Maybe they should have some form of CC to make them more generally appealing, Slow and/or wither would be cool. Throw in a random confuse (like one was bit by a viper) and suddenly the tower is strong AF;)


M.

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@MaJean quote:

Wouldn´t say (split)Vipers are in a bad spot. They have pretty good range and they are viable dps-wise, many endgame players know and use them regularly. Maybe they should have some form of CC to make them more generally appealing, Slow and/or wither would be cool. Throw in a random confuse (like one was bit by a viper) and suddenly the tower is strong AF;)


M.

:o that's sounds interesting! And yeah, I agree that sand vipers are usable currently.

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Since we could scratch........Sand Vipers (Although it could use a little more sprinkle of garnish). And maybe we could also scratch Skeletal Archers? I don't know, but if I'm not mistaken, Archaic Lotus did said they are good with the right build? But if I'm wrong, yeah, the Skeletal Archers could use some work.

.......Perhaps it's worth mentioning that there are other defenses that are quite underperforming. Like Training Dummies, Volcanoes, Arcane Barriers. Blaze Balloons, Harpies and Boost Auras (also skeletal Archers if I'm wrong) for example. They kinda need some oompf.

(Italicized are my possible solutions that I could think of)

Training Dummies really need something to make us wanna use that. Right now, we rather just use Spike Blockades. Perhaps, the dummies could aggro anything within it aggro range (including Assassins) And plus if the Harbingers' Exile shard returns and also having a shard that enables it to unleash waves of damaging energy as it rotates, maybe it'll be viable? 

Arcane Barrier. We still rather use Spike Blockade. However. It might be a different story when the Harbinger passive comes to the game as a shard.

Well, we use the boost auras because of its rippling explosion and boosted grasp. Of course some would use it to boost blockades but I don't think it justify 40 DU just to boost. But really, It would be much much better to just revert back to the Serenity Aura (that does something else entirely since there's World Tree) and the Initiate's Flame Aura to be the Boost Aura. 30 DU cost, larger range, much better. Or better yet, make that 20 DU. The LSA is quite good and it only cost 20 DU!

If I'm not mistaken, the blaze balloons is ok. But what I definitely know is, the DU cost is horrible. Maybe we'll start using them when the DU is lowered? Dunno, as huntress traps aren't efficient in my current knowledge.

Obviously, Harpies and Volcanoes really need some work.

So just my two cents.

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Here's my two cents:

  • Skeletal Archers - Good, but somewhat situational.  Can cover two lanes fairly well, but only if there is an area to place them and have the coverage.  Most often die to kobolds, not ranged attacks.
  • Sand Vipers - Also pretty good.  The problem here is that the DPS is lower compared to alternatives.  If you want it as a single target, use Cannoball Towers instead.  If you want an AOE tower, the Ramster is more effective per DU.  The only benefit here is that it ignores shields.
  • Training Dummy - If Trendy would re-release the Harbinger's Exile shard, I would use this a lot more often as it is.
  • Volcanoes - Effective, but cost too much DU to be worthwhile.  Mostly only used as walls in Mastery.  Better damage scaling could make them more useful.
  • Arcane Barriers - Either needs to change back to a 20 DU barrier or have the width increased.  Too small to be useful in most situations.
  • Blaze Balloons - Needs better area scaling, or DU cost reduced by 10-20.  The Blazing Phoenix Shard needs to affect the entire damage area, otherwise it misses more often and isn't worth the slot.
  • Harpy's Perch - Animation needs removed that artificially inflates time to attack.  Trendy proposed making it an anti-air defense, which could work in addition to the previous change.
  • Hailstorm Tower - Same as above.  Remove the initial attack animation or make it only run the first time targeting an enemy, not when switching enemies.  The Glacier shard projectile speed also needs to travel as fast as the regular projectiles, otherwise it will never hit.
  • Boost Auras - Can be useful as is, just not used much because the base AOE is poor and the DU cost isn't worth it.  Even reducing DU to 30 would be good.
  • Buff Beam - Either replace or add in a speed buff that goes beyond the speed cap.  With the difficulty in balancing a defense like this, I would just say replace it with something else that could be more useful.
  • Geyser Trap - Needs the cap on attack rate tuned to be faster.  Currently at 4 seconds.  2 would make it more viable, otherwise I would just use an Earthshatter tower with Earth Toss for more benefit.

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I think a key in reworking any of the towers is to make the specifically be usable as a counter to some of the Chaos mobs. Right now most of the above listed towers are useless because they cost too much, their attacks are too limited in range or power, or in higher stages you just cannot afford use them as the other towers are too important to existing counters. I know we could all go back and forth all day about how to tweak the numbers and effects for each. I think a much simpler way would be to give them a special property that is useful against some chaos enemy. Like the above idea that mentioned assassins aggro-ing the Dummy. That is a brilliant idea. More effective counters also means more options in builds. 

That...or just increase the amount of DU we get per stage. I most often have zero excess DU and so i never get to play with my builds. It is almost just about DU minimization on every single lane/map. I almost never have any DU left over to experiment with. This bare bones approach sucks a lot of fun out of experimentation for me. My fave map right now - the reworked Glitterhelm one. That has plenty of extra DU on it, and i just love it!!!! No need to have a single build for that stage, and often some of the lesser used towers make it on that map for me. I have fun there that i don't on most other maps. Sure it makes it easier to play, but the fun factor is sooooooo important. I would like to have more fun on more maps. 

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I think one of the biggest issues with DD2 is our extreme limitation on tower combinations. There are 4 things I really think we need to get more diverse tower usage, but ironically only 1 change is related to the towers themselves.

  1. More DU. Far too many maps only let you build walls + 1-2 tower types, or no walls and 2-3 tower types. Would also really help with balance the utility defenses. Can give monsters more HP and/or speed to balance out. But mostly I wanna mix more towers... or at the very least be able to put more consideration into how many of something I should build than either 0 or 1.

  2. Make lane schedules more diverse on maps. Onslaught does pretty nice with this, but trials and campaign is still pretty much 3+ identical lanes, resulting in identical builds for each lane.

  3. Make mobs either WEAKEN a defense type, or RESIST it INDIVIDUALLY. EMPs reducing trap/aura attack rate by 50% for the group? Fine. Mages being immune to magic damage? Alright, a challenge. Geodes making me quite LITERALLY kill myself for attempting to place 50% of the tower pool? Boring and completely removes 3/4 (yes, 1-0.5^2) the tower combinations...

  4. Make towers more unique, like OP described. Most towers do the same DPS to all mobs, in all situations. That ultimately makes it come down to who does it slightly more cost effective... And whether they're AOE or not (thanks to No.1, no AOE means can't be used unless niche situations, or has AOE shard).


Couple of my Ideas for tower changes:

  • Buff Beam: Give's 10+(Tier*1)% of its DP, 10+(Tier*4)% bonus range, and 20+(Tier*2)% bonus attack rate (rate is not affected by speed cap) to effected towers. Makes it what you go to for speed and range on towers that want it, and an upgrade priority if range is MVP.

  • Boost Aura: Give 10+(Tier*3) of its DP and DCrit stat, and 25+(Tier*5)% damage reduction. Make boost aura the brute force buff. For towers that wanna hit, and GET hit. Upgrade it when you need to tank something, like those nasty Kobolts.

  • Blaze Balloon: Give the trap a direction to aim down. Birdy Balloons of Death and Destruction rise up from the spawner every few seconds and drift in the direction set. When they reach the end of their range, or find an enemy, they drop their present. Would make for a unique trap type, and would give blaze balloon some much needed range coverage for its high cost. Plus I think watching goblins be chased by the little birdy balloons would be an adorable dose of carnage.

  • Frost Tower: Increase its slow to something like 60-90%, but for each enemy it is actively slowing, reduce the slow by around 25% of the last tiers slow (i.e. 80%->60%->45%->etc). Might be kinda difficult to make work... But would basically make frost tower a great tool for clumping up enemies for AOE towers, while leaving things like snaking sands for the AOE slow needs.

  • Sand Vipers: Make it build up its damage slower to a higher amount, but make it keep the power so long as its firing PERIOD, rather than firing at same target. Makes it synergize well with slows and stalling towers (like the suggested above frost tower) and wrap around lanes where it'll almost always have a target to maintain its charge.

  • Arcane Barrier: Super low HP compared to other blockades. Whenever it gets hit, warp the thing that hit it back to the start of the map.

  • Training Dummy: Slightly less HP than other blockades. Every time a monster hits the dummy it fatigues the mob, making the mob take more damage, and attack slower (stacking with each hit).

  • Ballista: Add a knock back effect to the mobs that are hit.

  • Skeletal Archers: Make their target cone a little narrower, but longer. Let each skeleton be Aimed separately when placed, but don't let them overlap cones. Makes them effective on more maps and in more situations, while still relying on having to use both sides for cost effective use.


May think of more later...

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