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Thorgonator

A few suggestions to fix up Prime Incursions.

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Before you read: I am a ps4 player, and as such I do not know how bad the lag is on the pc version. What I do know is that it's an absolute nightmare on ps4.

Heyo. I waited until I had beaten all 6 to say anything. Please be aware before you continue reading that I am not looking to have any actual difficulty removed from any of the missions. I do not want easier Primes. I would like to get that out of the way. Most of my suggestions are to help combat Etheria's greatest foe: lag. Anyway, here's what I think should be done. Just a few minor tweaks, nothing that should require a redesign. I know you guys are working on DDA, and probably won't be doing any redesigning. It's not really until Prime V that I suggest anything substantial, anyway. I'll approach this on a case by case basis:

 

Prime 1: All 3 Incursions are in a good place when it comes to playability. My only suggestion might be to make Griblock's Horde a little harder. It's not much of a jump over c7, and those weapons are an awfully good reward for such an easy map. 

Prime 2: Same here. Nothing to complain about. This one is nice due to the super powerful bosses in Forest Poachers serving as a wall to players who have been coasting by on weak towers. Having 6 bosses with 700m health spawn at once requires actual planning and tower synergy.

 

Prime 3: Malthius is fine, but in Power Surge the tower buff doesn't seem quite as hefty as it used to. This map always seems to end with trees everywhere, and everyone just using DPS. I might suggest making the surge tower stat buff a little more powerful, but honestly wouldn't be too chuffed otherwise.

 

Prime IV: nothing of note, except that I actually feel Bastille Master's time limit is too high. There's not really a sense of urgency. Even taking my time to build, carrying 3 people, there's usually 8-10 minutes left on the timer. Maybe knock 5 minutes off the limit, and perhaps cause the build phase timer to start automatically in case you end up stuck with AFK leeches.

 

Prime V: Revenge of the Yeti was fine. Maybe a bit on the easy side, to be honest. Maybe knock a few little guys pff the roster and have a few more Frost Orcs spawn. As for Altar, I despised this one, due to my love of Earthshatter towers, and the fact they built every last one of the other incursions with little issue. But that isn't anything that needs a rebalance, that's just Thorg being stubborn and not wanting to use reflects and protons. Physically destroyable towers don't fare so well there. I managed with an explosive trap build, in the end. Very underrated, those are. But the Incursion itself is fine as is, except I might suggest spawning less of the tiny enemies and more of the larger ones like lady orcs to help with the lag. 

Anyway, I digress. This next one is where I believe the most urgent attention is needed. The lag caused by the sheer number of enemies in Spectral Assault is game breaking. This culminated in a horrible match with The Amazing Reviving Ogre. The incredible lag in the final wave was so intense that not only was an entire lane able to waltz past my defenses completely unharmed, but an Ogre among them was killed by myself and the good gentleman who ran that incursion with me not once, but twice. I'm talking visible, on screen death. The ogre then, after a small lagspike, spawned in front of the crystal and immediately destroyed it, with a completely full health bar. As I said, Etheria's greatest nemesis is not The Old Ones, but the very concept of lag. Only after several tries were my friends and I able to overcome this lag. My suggestion to fix this is quite simple: pull out the cannon fodder. The issue in that map is that there is simply so much going on at once. 8-10 bosses a wave, hordes of tiny enemies, giant floating specters, etc. I suggest adjusting the lane schedules to not include small, cannon fodder enemies like goblins and kobolds, and instead add a smaller number of stronger enemies. 4 lady orcs are a bigger threat than, say, 30 kobolds any day, and would produce significantly less lag. If I'm going to lose, I want it to be because I screwed up on tower placement or accidentally let Tuskar run past because I wasn't paying attention. I don't want it to be because of lag so profound, the enemies didn't even register the presence of my towers. 

 

Prime VI: Let's face it, blood moon is too easy. I lost my first match because I forgot about the lane of skeletons that spawns up in the caves  (hey, I hadn't played that incursion in years, gimme a break!). I'm honestly not sure how to fix it, either, because just a base level increase wouldn't solve that problem. Maybe a few frost orcs in the mix? Honestly, idk how to fix it without a redesign, and as I mentioned, I'm not expecting one.

 

As for Betsy, I actually enjoyed this Incursion, with the sole exception of the sheer number of assassins that spawn in that final wave. There are enough assassins in that last stretch to cause lagspikes (they're one of the worst offenders of causing lag, I find) and prevent our group from properly DPSing Betsy. I built it twice, the first time we ran with my own Starfall Dryad and 2 Nuke Monks, and poor Betsy didn't know what hit her. But the second time, I built for a random lobby, and neither of the other two had proper dps, so once those assassins spawned, we had to wait until my massive pile of skyguards finished her off, which took some time, because we were all too busy screaming "bad touch!" while getting dogpiled by assassins. This problem could be fixed by giving us just a few more seconds (how about 30 instead of 10?) to readjust our defenses to account for the massive lane shift Betsy causes in the final wave, or by lowering the number of assassins that can spawn at once.

 

 

Anyway, that's all. Again, not looking to have any actual difficulty removed, just a few tweaks to make it more playable.

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My Takeaway - i think assassins are a trash unit that there are not enough counters to. 

Great post, thanks

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3 hours ago, Jaws_420 said:

My Takeaway - i think assassins are a trash unit that there are not enough counters to. 

Great post, thanks

Yeah, they were not well implemented. I have never considered them to be a positive addition to the game.  I have learned to tolerate their presence, but as an actual game mechanic they are awful. Literally the only way to be immune is to use a specific ability on the Barbarian, every other character has to tolerate their constant stabbing. And to make matter worse, on higher floors, this means you're going to get killed almost every time, because they usually get one good stab in before your defenses knock them off you. Sparkle Party can knock that first one off you, but if there are more waiting in the sidelines... let's also not forget that Shackled only works on the first attack, and also only has a *chance* to work.

 

The fact that assassins won't be there in the endgame (or as close as we have to an endgame on release), at least at first, is one of the things I most look forward to in DDA.

Edited by Thorgonator
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I think there needs to be a MOD on a tower that enables assassins to be killed, or at least injured, by defs prior to latching onto you. It only makes sense to me in a tower def game. I mean i get why they were made, but read almost any post about high floors and very consistently you see these units called out as the hardest/worst part. I'm glad a MOD was developed at all to address some of this, but it is not doing the job. That and CG seriously needs to crank back the amount of them per a stage, and what mutators are allowed to be assigned to them. 

I want fun and challenging, not annoying and unfair. 

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I joked about a mod on stream that we eventually called "Jebaited", it was a unique mod for Training Dummy. Its effect was, if you were within a certain range of the Training Dummy the Assassin would attack and latch to that instead of you. I think the only issue with it is it would be a knife's edge between broken or useless. Because the Assassins have such long attack range, they either could still hit you or the range would be so long that it would be easy to place Training Dummies at key points and always be protected.

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3 hours ago, Exglint said:

I joked about a mod on stream that we eventually called "Jebaited", it was a unique mod for Training Dummy. Its effect was, if you were within a certain range of the Training Dummy the Assassin would attack and latch to that instead of you. I think the only issue with it is it would be a knife's edge between broken or useless. Because the Assassins have such long attack range, they either could still hit you or the range would be so long that it would be easy to place Training Dummies at key points and always be protected.

That is actually brilliant. I'd say you would have to be standing pretty close to the dummy in order for it not to be super imbalanced, though.

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7 hours ago, Jaws_420 said:

I think there needs to be a MOD on a tower that enables assassins to be killed, or at least injured, by defs prior to latching onto you. It only makes sense to me in a tower def game. I mean i get why they were made, but read almost any post about high floors and very consistently you see these units called out as the hardest/worst part. I'm glad a MOD was developed at all to address some of this, but it is not doing the job. That and CG seriously needs to crank back the amount of them per a stage, and what mutators are allowed to be assigned to them. 

I want fun and challenging, not annoying and unfair. 

That's exactly it. It's at its worst when they roll with Headstrong, so you can't even knock them off. It can be brutal if that happens somewhere important, like Drakenfrost Keep.

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3 hours ago, Thorgonator said:

That's exactly it. It's at its worst when they roll with Headstrong, so you can't even knock them off. It can be brutal if that happens somewhere important, like Drakenfrost Keep.

Yeah, my GW dies in 1 hit...i miss her sometimes. Turtle stance all the live long day... 😆

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found it homer simpson GIF            
 

me looking for assassin counters *sees barbs turtle stance*.

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4 hours ago, Jaws_420 said:

Yeah, my GW dies in 1 hit...i miss her sometimes. Turtle stance all the live long day... 😆

Don’t worry about it, I enjoy c7 just so I can DPS with my lavamancer. Cause on dummies it says I do like 50mil dps with fireballs, but in actuality (real game) it’s like 5 mil.. and since he can’t regenerate his ability resource I’m forever stuck just watching him collect dust. Hooray. That wasn’t so much about assassins as it was me just whining that the lavamancer has the worst mechanic in the game.

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6 hours ago, TMyth said:

Don’t worry about it, I enjoy c7 just so I can DPS with my lavamancer. Cause on dummies it says I do like 50mil dps with fireballs, but in actuality (real game) it’s like 5 mil.. and since he can’t regenerate his ability resource I’m forever stuck just watching him collect dust. Hooray. That wasn’t so much about assassins as it was me just whining that the lavamancer has the worst mechanic in the game.

True dat. That's why i prefer grinding C7 over Onslaught. I can use any hero or def. I enjoy the freedom of builds, not forced counters. To each their own...

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