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Vim

Timed Build Phases

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I played a lot of the previous DD games but only just started playing DDA and noticed from the first Insane difficulty map in Campaign mode there is a build timer, is this how every mode is going to be in DDA?  I do not recall it being used for Campaign mode in the previous games.

I always disliked timed building phases, it is completely trivial if you play multiplayer (with people you know) and if you play solo it just disinsentivises you from moving off cookie cutter minimalistic builds, for me there is a sliding scale where forced into efficiency detracts from  the enjoyment of playing the game and trying different things. 

It also would make me not want to play public games where people I don't know are more of a hindrance than help in timed build phases.

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Posted (edited)

Timed build phases were present in Insane and above difficulty for campaign maps in DD1 and originally also in DD2 (subsequently removed). I have always saw timers as an artificial way to add difficulty since it is all about learning the map and route and as you say becomes very cookie cutter in build diversity. Once you are able to build any map with over 5 seconds left, you really have to ask what is the timer even doing to the player? The idea of timers in any context is to add pressure and make mistakes all more painful, but it isnt as if you are building the map differently each time so its just a memory game and a speed check. I have before during the whole development asked for some alternative to forced build timers, but it seems to not garner much support or any response from the developers. I cannot see at this point any change to build timers so it seems we must accept them being there are decide if build timers being present detracts from playing the rest of the game enough to where you no longer wish to play.

Edited by dizzydiana
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Please don't hesitate to ask for help from me in support of the idea that the timers need alteration, minimally.  I beat the first 3 maps on massacre last night and never finished a build because I didn't have time.  I'm hoping that's not an intentional way to increase the difficulty, because I consider it to be a lame one.  At the very least, I'd like to see 15-20 seconds added to every wave's existing time.  The timer singlehandedly makes campaign more difficult than survival.  Surely that's not the intent?

I don't want to admit to you all how many times I had to try in order to beat the Lava Mines last night.  Once I had my timing down, I was immediately restarting the map anytime I made a mistake that resulted in 1) a poorly-placed defense, 2) forgetting to build something, or 3) failing to get my DPS character in on time.  And any time a djinn destroyed something or a sharken moved something, it was almost game over regardless of the specifics.  Because I knew I'd never have time to rebuild/move it without sacrificing something else I needed to be doing instead.

I'm on your side about this and would be happy to lend my voice to your interests to have the timers changed or removed.  :)

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6 minutes ago, Damocles said:

The timer singlehandedly makes campaign more difficult than survival. 

Indeed. Timers should be in survival and not in campaign, me thinks.

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The timer's not an issue when you get the sufficient gear for it. Having high enough CASTING stat would enable you to finish your defenses in little time also considering the very low mana you get at Wave 1. Campaigns, I think, aren't meant to fully use all of the DU that was available, instead, it's for Survival or other game modes that gives you more time to build stuff. 

Also, think of it this way, you actually have to plan out your build per phase instead. Wave 1? Need to put down those Walls and some Explosive Mines, Wave 2? Auras and more Towers. and so on. You can build during the Combat Phase anyways.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, drchrisms said:

The timer's not an issue when you get the sufficient gear for it. Having high enough CASTING stat would enable you to finish your defenses in little time also considering the very low mana you get at Wave 1. Campaigns, I think, aren't meant to fully use all of the DU that was available, instead, it's for Survival or other game modes that gives you more time to build stuff. 

Also, think of it this way, you actually have to plan out your build per phase instead. Wave 1? Need to put down those Walls and some Explosive Mines, Wave 2? Auras and more Towers. and so on. You can build during the Combat Phase anyways.

I hope I am not being misunderstood here. Timers once you know the route and build order do not actually add difficulty in my opinion. However if there were maps like temple in DD2 which constantly change each time you enter them then perhaps there is some argument to be made of the timer adding actual dificulty. The other issue is what is the "correct" amount of time that should be given Should it be shortened to those who know the map off by heart or lengthened to those who are completely new? What player do you base timers around? What is actually fair? Just because one player might finish it with 10 seconds to spare without issue doesnt mean everyone will. It will always feel too long for some, too short for others and just about right for everyone else. If survival feels easier that campaign to anyone that is a problem why should testing your defences to the 25th wave feel easier than just throwing down stuff to hold for 5? Other than boss fights survival or challenges is where they players must feel the real difficulty lies not within campaign.

Edited by dizzydiana

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Timer is there to make it harder for you. And it is significantly harder on bigger maps.

Right thing to do in my eyes. Adds extra difficulty and pressure on player. I would make it even tougher on NM and above.

If you call something with names like Nightmare and Massacre - man you should be in state to want massacre your computer. It should be that hard.

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3 hours ago, dizzydiana said:

I hope I am not being misunderstood here. Timers once you know the route and build order do not actually add difficulty in my opinion. However if there were maps like temple in DD2 which constantly change each time you enter them then perhaps there is some argument to be made of the timer adding actual dificulty. The other issue is what is the "correct" amount of time that should be given Should it be shortened to those who know the map off by heart or lengthened to those who are completely new? What player do you base timers around? What is actually fair? Just because one player might finish it with 10 seconds to spare without issue doesnt mean everyone will. It will always feel too long for some, too short for others and just about right for everyone else. If survival feels easier that campaign to anyone that is a problem why should testing your defences to the 25th wave feel easier than just throwing down stuff to hold for 5? Other than boss fights survival or challenges is where they players must feel the real difficulty lies not within campaign.

I think it does add difficulty, but it isn't a consistent one.  If you have no experience with DD time based games and you have taken your time during build phases then it is going to be a rude shock to you and I feel judging by the data the devs showed of DD2 at least, the vast majority of players aren't your hard core gamer type so any amount of time is going to likely be a significant barrier to them.

The question is what target is the time based designed for conceptually.  If you have say 60 seconds to deploy your defences and it normally takes you 5 minutes then that is going to be a rude shock to them.  If you streamline your build and the way you play so that you are comfortably building in say 45 seconds then that no longer is a difficulty hurdle at all any longer, so over time it completely loses it's purpose or it drives people away who do not like being rushed for tower type games.

My main issue is not the time it takes me to build defences, it is that I often have to go afk so being in modes where you can't pause the game (like at the end of waves) is a quality of life inconvenience for me personally and I do not like it because the time limitation to me isn't a challenge so it feels like an inconvenience without any pay-off.

When my friends get around to playing with me then it is no longer going to be an issue because you don't really need everyone to build, but it is a major inconvenience for me personally in solo games and depending on the map but I think it is going to be an issue for a lot of people who do not normally go to forums and give feedback.

I wouldn't want to see time based elements in survival games, having to be at the computer for so long would drive me crazy, it is not healthy to get people accustomed to sitting at the pc for extremely long periods of time.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, atharix said:

Timer is there to make it harder for you. And it is significantly harder on bigger maps.

Right thing to do in my eyes. Adds extra difficulty and pressure on player. I would make it even tougher on NM and above.

If you call something with names like Nightmare and Massacre - man you should be in state to want massacre your computer. It should be that hard.

I think you are missing the point, you could add a million different mechanics which make the game significantly harder, or even almost impossible without it being a time based mechanic.  The time based mechanic isn't so much a difficulty factor rather it is a conditioning factor that makes you build in an efficient manner, there is an initial hump where you have to come to terms with it, once you do it no longer becomes an issue so it ceases to be a a difficulty throttle, you either get there or you don't and if you are there then that no longer is making the games harder for you.

Adding anything random or unpredictable would be significant difficulty throttles and would force more in-depth building and resource management.  There must be something specific about the time based challenge which the devs feels adds something worthwhile to the game.  I am curious about that designed based philosophy.

Edited by Vim
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