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gigazelle

Please do not reintroduce the buff beam.

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This is the third time I'm raising this conversation over the course of this series. Please do not bring the buff beam to DDA!

Buff beams are unmistakably and undeniably BROKEN. Not just as its balance in any Dungeon Defenders game, but as a core game design and balance concept. It is literally impossible to balance correctly. That's not just opinion; it is the equivalent of attempting to force an exponential curve to match a linear line. It is a mathematic impossibility.

The mathematical concept (and paradox) behind the buff beam

Kay, so, you've got this beam that buffs towers. It multiplies damage, attack rate, damage resistance, and range. As you increase its stats, the multipliers increase.

There are three huuuuge issues with the concept behind the defense:

  • Its a damage multiplier. This alone is more than enough to completely skew the entire balancing of the tower.
  • It's also an attack rate multiplier, which exponentially increases damage output.
  • On top of that, you can further increase its effectiveness by dumping stats into it.

Altogether, you have the buff beam's damage multiplier, attack rate multiplier, and your gear making this insane exponential curve.

  • In DD1, the exponential curve was approximately equal to the (relatively) linear defense damage curve in the ballpark of level 30-40. This means that if you had a choice between summoning, say, 2 harpoons or 1 harpoon on a buff beam, you'd get approximately the same damage output. Beyond that, the buff beam's damage output skyrocketed. In full trans gear, a buff beam multiplies a single tower's damage 6x-8x. 4DU for that kind of multiplier means that every defense should be on a buff beam or it's 100% worthless.
  • DDE's started out a little tiny bit better, but a balance patch made it even worse. The attack rate on some towers was just absurd. Ended up exactly in the same position as DD1.
  • DD2's buff beam is literally worthless until you have mostly C8 relics, and only if you have exactly the right mods and shards on it. They learned from DD1's mishap, but made it irrelevant to 99% of the players. The exponential curve meets the linear defense power curve at very end game, so it sees virtually no use. 60DU for a super minor increase in stats isn't worth it. In almost all scenarios, you might as well just summon a second tower. It also only increases damage and not attack rate, which helps alleviate the exponential curve that buff beams conceptually have.
  • From what we've seen so far, DDA's buff beam is much closer aligned to DD1's buff beam, and since they're balancing stuff, they get to choose where the exponential buff beam curve meets the linear defense power curve of other towers.
    • Gut the buff beam so it's 100% worthless early game and relatively balanced in massacre (similar to how DD2 did it)
    • Keep original balancing, making buff beam a 100% required defense for literally every build (similar to how DD1 did it)

Mathematically speaking, there is no middle ground. Either it's 100% worthless early game and balanced late game, or it's balanced early game and 100% broken late game. You could also make it worthless early game, balanced mid game, and broken late game.

How would you balance the buff beam here?

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Posted (edited)

The way I see it, beeing able to push defenses further will actually be necessary due to the addition of sirens, and the seeming intent to push people towards active DPS play.

I also like seeing crazy numbers and I view the buff beams as a way to make shit towers less/not shitty.

While your points are valid, I don't mind seeing the meta being centered around the buff beams. Right now it's already centered around traps and auras. Having a shift that allows you to use more defenses is a good thing IMO.

Edited by chpoit

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Posted (edited)

So how do you feel about things like Monk boosts and the pets that boost towers?

Edited by Batophobia
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2 hours ago, chpoit said:

I also like seeing crazy numbers and I view the buff beams as a way to make shit towers less/not shitty.

While your points are valid, I don't mind seeing the meta being centered around the buff beams. Right now it's already centered around traps and auras. Having a shift that allows you to use more defenses is a good thing IMO.

1) Towers could just be balanced instead of arbitrarily being weakened because you're on massacre. There is literally nothing stopping CG from making magic missile towers stronger than deadly strikers if they wanted to, but that would also be poor design. 

2) It doesn't really open up more options. Right now for example I can setup a lightning aura by itself and it'll damage things that aren't electric immune. I can amplify this by placing a wall at the edge of the aura to keep enemies in longer. Strength drain or darkness trap so it now hits everything. Ensnare or gas trap to also keep them in longer. The buff beam by comparison just makes things stronger by arbitrarily  making things stronger, something balancing the game could do instead. Every build is now going to use buff beams, kinda like how every build has to use strength drain auras. 

 

Regarding the balance, the only thing I can think of is for every defense buffed by the beam the multipliers are reduced. So 1 tower,  100% buff. 2 towers, 50% buff to both. Something like that.

 

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the way I see it is im spending du that could be used for more towers to make a select few towers stronger imo I think thats fine 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, chpoit said:

While your points are valid, I don't mind seeing the meta being centered around the buff beams. Right now it's already centered around traps and auras. Having a shift that allows you to use more defenses is a good thing IMO.

Be careful what you wish for - once the buff beam is introduced, it will unlikely ever leave the meta. Ever.

I can quite literally personally attest to this. As part of the CDT we wanted to incrementally nerf DD1's buff beam in hopes that it wouldn't be a requirement in every build. The community was super divided on the topic, and we couldn't make any changes unless the community was in full support of a change. So, the buff beam remained a requirement for every nightmare build.

DDA is a new game (at least it's supposed to be), and the buff beam isn't in the game yet. There's still a chance to avoid the same meta that DD1 has.

7 hours ago, Batophobia said:

So how do you feel about things like Monk boosts and the pets that boost towers?

The pet that boosts towers is much more manageable - as long as the DPS increase of the towers it boosts is (relatively) on par with the damage output of a regular DPS pet, you have an element of the game that is relatively balanced. Monk boosts are a little bit more difficult, but I feel with balance passes could achieve a hero that feels good without being completely broken. I'd personally balance monk so he has a little less DPS than other heroes without boosts, and a little more DPS with boosts active. Monk boosts are also temporary and isolated to a single location; buff beams are not.

22 minutes ago, VexedWolf said:

the way I see it is im spending du that could be used for more towers to make a select few towers stronger imo I think thats fine 

I'm afraid that's not how the buff beam (at least in its current state) is going to work. It's going to be 100% worthless in every situation until a magical arbitrary point in the game to where it's then a required defense in every build. That magical arbitrary point is dependent on how CG scales the buff beam multipliers, and how well it scales with stats. I would absolutely love for a buff beam be for "a few select towers", but from a game design perspective, that's not going to be the reality.

Edited by gigazelle
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I'm all for skipping it. Tower buffs in general being a meta requirement just doesn't do it for me. DD1 was a great game, and I'm glad I had the chance to play it, but man, once you hit that late game content, you had to build just such a way. This is why I was so disappointed that none of DD2's positive changes made the cut. That game was far from perfect, as anyone who has played it knows, but there were still positive aspects in there. I went into this thinking we'dget the best of both worlds, but with things as they are progressing now, it looks like we're being pushed into the same meta as DD1.

 

I'd rather a new and unique defense than just another absolute requirement for progression, but it looms like that's where the game is headed.

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A way to sell DLC is to make it part of the meta. Buff Beams will be part of the meta, so EV will sell.

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19 minutes ago, Fozzie said:

A way to sell DLC is to make it part of the meta. Buff Beams will be part of the meta, so EV will sell.

serise ev is not DLC its a free update everyone gets with massacure survival DLC 1 that we are getting for free is still to come down the line. I am all fort he ev im not somene who activly plays if i can help it id rather play it as a pure tower defence game  even massacure campagne i got to semi afk kill copters sirens traps and auras delt with everything else fine the only real challenge of massacure campaigne  being summit 

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Posted (edited)

The OP is right.  The buff beam is too powerful for it to be balanced for the entire game.  I saw this in DD1 and DDE as well.

Really, the buff beam needs to be used with the mentality of, "I don't need any more of any given tower on this current lane, I just need the current assortment of towers to be a bit stronger."  That in mind, I think it would work better to have the buff only apply to the tower stats of the hero, rather than be a multiplication of the result.  IE: Instead of buffing the 100 damage a tower does by 2x, you could buff the hero's Defense Damage stat by 2x instead.  The hero's stats are "balanced" (ish, kinda), so let that balance remain in place.  This way, the linear progression for the stats remains intact without causing some weird exponential growth meta.

In this manner, you could reduce the potency of the buff and the DU cost, which would go a lot farther, I would like to think, then the current EV meta.

Edited by papafhill

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Posted (edited)

How's this for a non broken implementation:

Instead of applying a flat multiplier to the damage or rate of a tower, the beam instead adds a flat amount of tower damage or tower rate stat to the builder's stats.  So instead of buffing an apprentice tower with a 1.8x multiplier to damage output, it could instead buff it by treating it as though it was built by an apprentice with an extra 400 tower power.   All numbers here are arbitrary, but it should be easier to manage because the beam just moves us up the diminishing returns curve of our stats, instead of catapulting us above the curve.  

You could effectively tune the numbers such that the effect of a buff beam was as if the builder of the tower being buffed had an extra X item slots.  Now the tower is only worth the DU if it can buff Y towers.

buff beam.png

Edited by Zuqual
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11 minutes ago, Zuqual said:

How's this for a non broken implementation:

Instead of applying a flat multiplier to the damage or rate of a tower, the beam instead adds a flat amount of tower damage or tower rate stat to the builder's stats.  So instead of buffing an apprentice tower with a 1.8x multiplier to damage output, it could instead buff it by treating it as though it was built by an apprentice with an extra 400 tower power.   All numbers here are arbitrary, but it should be easier to manage because the beam just moves us up the diminishing returns curve of our stats, instead of catapulting us above the curve.  

 

 

This would be a better implementation, multiplying the builder's stats by a ratio extracted from the EV's stats

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Zuqual said:

How's this for a non broken implementation:

Instead of applying a flat multiplier to the damage or rate of a tower, the beam instead adds a flat amount of tower damage or tower rate stat to the builder's stats.  So instead of buffing an apprentice tower with a 1.8x multiplier to damage output, it could instead buff it by treating it as though it was built by an apprentice with an extra 400 tower power.   All numbers here are arbitrary, but it should be easier to manage because the beam just moves us up the diminishing returns curve of our stats, instead of catapulting us above the curve.  

You could effectively tune the numbers such that the effect of a buff beam was as if the builder of the tower being buffed had an extra X item slots.  Now the tower is only worth the DU if it can buff Y towers.

Exactly my thoughts!  I edited my comment as you wrote this!

The buff beam could even focus scaling the specific stats as allocated on the EV.  If someone only wants a DPS buff, they can put Tower Damage and Tower Range on their EV for the buff.  If they want just HP buff, they can put all stats on EV to HP.

30 minutes ago, chpoit said:

This would be a better implementation, multiplying the builder's stats by a ratio extracted from the EV's stats

Exactly!  The ratio would be harder to control if you consider gear drop, so if I only want a buff to Damage and RoF, my one piece of gear with Tower HP would diminish that output.  Not saying it is bad, because some games have these natural balancing mechanics that don't need more code but accomplish balancing better than if you tried to code in the balance yourself.  (Like MHW with solo vs coop play balance.  What they did there was ingenious!)

Edited by papafhill

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3 hours ago, Zuqual said:

How's this for a non broken implementation:

Instead of applying a flat multiplier to the damage or rate of a tower, the beam instead adds a flat amount of tower damage or tower rate stat to the builder's stats.  So instead of buffing an apprentice tower with a 1.8x multiplier to damage output, it could instead buff it by treating it as though it was built by an apprentice with an extra 400 tower power.   All numbers here are arbitrary, but it should be easier to manage because the beam just moves us up the diminishing returns curve of our stats, instead of catapulting us above the curve.  

You could effectively tune the numbers such that the effect of a buff beam was as if the builder of the tower being buffed had an extra X item slots.  Now the tower is only worth the DU if it can buff Y towers.

This is clearly a superior implementation to the buff beam than DD1 and what we've seen of DDA so far. Instead of acting as a multiplier, it simply passes some of EV's builder stats to each affected tower. It still makes EV gear progression important, because you'll want her to pass as much of each stat as possible to affected towers. However, the ratio (or percentage boost) would remain about the same from beginning to end.

CG could then balance it by determining how much of the builder stats get passed to the towers. Buff beams getting used in every build when they pass 30% of EV's tower stats to defenses? Reduce it so it's only 20% of EV's stats. Buff beam feels worthless and never used? Increase the portion of EV's stats that get passed to towers. Eventually you'd hit that sweet spot where it would be advantageous in some builds, but not a requirement everywhere.

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Yea, I wonder if starting with the (Golden Ratio - 1) x EV Stats would be a good start point.  Thinking of what is being given up, if you have a gas trap, explosive trap, a wall, and a harpoon, that is 15 DU, and you don't want to put double of any of these defenses down, so a simple 4-5 DU buff beam could yield an extra 61.8% EV stats added to the tower's base stats which would yield a potent increase to the tune of about the right amount I'd think!

Playing devil's advocate, what would it look like on, say, Morrago Desert where people are more likely to only buff harpoon towers and not any walls / traps / auras?  Will this idea also work on DPS only towers?

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I haven't posted to these forums at all, or rather since the days of the DD2 Beta, but I came here solely so I could express my support for what OP is saying.  I echoed a similar sentiment on the steam forums, and I believe it is a very big mistake to keep the buff beam.  If DDA is going to be successful, it needs to release itself from being shackled to every single design philosophy of DD1.  Yes, keep what worked in DD1, but also change what didn't.  I don't believe the buff beam improved DD1, I think it did quite the opposite, and as OP has demonstrated only presents a logistical nightmare for balancing.

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The Buff Beam is Dead! LONG LIVE THE BUFF BEAM!!!!!!

Me personally I love the EV buff beam and don't care either way if it's required or not or balanced or not.  It's just fun using it in different scenarios to clear maps.  Fun is the factor I'm looking for not exacting balance in all things related game wise.  We might as well remove monk boost, speedy gem, dragons, genies, etc...etc..etc... because they are used as well to power through difficult maps...

Silly nonsense to scream remove something that has been a core piece to not only the hero but the game series in general.

What's next, don't bring over the summoner hero because it makes maps easier....

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46 minutes ago, Jok3r said:

The Buff Beam is Dead! LONG LIVE THE BUFF BEAM!!!!!!

Me personally I love the EV buff beam and don't care either way if it's required or not or balanced or not.  It's just fun using it in different scenarios to clear maps.  Fun is the factor I'm looking for not exacting balance in all things related game wise.  We might as well remove monk boost, speedy gem, dragons, genies, etc...etc..etc... because they are used as well to power through difficult maps...

Silly nonsense to scream remove something that has been a core piece to not only the hero but the game series in general.

What's next, don't bring over the summoner hero because it makes maps easier....

What exactly is "fun" about the buff beam?  What makes it so much fun?  Because if the towers were just balanced to compensate for not having the buff beam, you would be getting the exact same result as you would having it.  You say that you don't care about balance, and all you want is fun.  Tell me, how can you have fun in a game that is wildly out of balance?  Should DSTs be made into unkillable aoe god snipers that kill everything?  I'd certainly have "fun" watching a billion dst projectiles laying waste to everything in their path.  No, you wouldn't accept this, because it is a remarkably clear indication of poor balance, which disrupts fun.  The Buff Beam is a wolf in sheep's clothing.  It pretends to be something meant for elevating weak towers into relevancy.  All it really does is make the strongest towers stronger, and eat up even more of your space in required things to build.

 

As far as the Summoner is concerned, MU was "a core piece not only to the hero but the game series."  Should MU come back then?  Because I can guarantee that if MU returns in this game it's going to lose what little support it has left.

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3 hours ago, Jok3r said:

The Buff Beam is Dead! LONG LIVE THE BUFF BEAM!!!!!!

Me personally I love the EV buff beam and don't care either way if it's required or not or balanced or not.  It's just fun using it in different scenarios to clear maps.  Fun is the factor I'm looking for not exacting balance in all things related game wise.  We might as well remove monk boost, speedy gem, dragons, genies, etc...etc..etc... because they are used as well to power through difficult maps...

Silly nonsense to scream remove something that has been a core piece to not only the hero but the game series in general.

I'm not gonna rag on your definition of fun - if you enjoy the brokenness of buff beams, more power to you. But as for me, I take enjoyment in my choice of what towers, heroes, abilities, and pets I use to beat waves. Introducing a copy of DD1's buff beam removes that choice, because the game has already picked for me. The balance of the game dictates that I use it in every map, or else I'm severely gimping myself and making the game much more difficult than it needs to be. This is the importance of balance - it allows players to pick their favorite ways to defend without making the game unnecessarily difficult. Pets, heroes, and their abilities can be tweaked to be properly balanced. Buff beams acting as a multiplier that scales with stats, no matter how they're tweaked, cannot be properly balanced.

4 hours ago, Jok3r said:

What's next, don't bring over the summoner hero because it makes maps easier....

Don't bring over the summoner because:

  • If I want the DD1 summoner experience I can just play DD1
  • I would rather those development resources be dedicated to a new and unique hero, and not a rehashed one that everyone has already played
  • Introducing the summoner is yet further proof that DDA is just a copy of DD1 (as if it needs more proof lol)
  • If minion units are a thing, then that further boxes players into a single type of gameplay, especially if buff beams in their current state are released

While an RTS in a tower defense game is a pretty novel and interesting concept, is not the most efficient way to play that hero. Instead, effectively doubling your defense units with minions and plopping them on the broken buff beams we're talking about here is the most effective way. Doubling your DU with minions, once again, removes the choice of building.

I digress though, as the summoner in DDA is not confirmed. I don't plan to bring it up until a) it's announced; and b) we have an opportunity to see how it plays, and specifically if the hero uses MU or not.

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Posted (edited)

Sometimes reading the replies in this thread makes me feel like some people don't understand that this is a remake of DD1.

Oh and to bring up the common answer "If you don't like that this is a remake of DD1, go play dd2".

Edited by chpoit
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59 minutes ago, chpoit said:

Sometimes reading the replies in this thread makes me feel like some people don't understand that this is a remake of DD1.

Oh and to bring up the common answer "If you don't like that this is a remake of DD1, go play dd2".

Odd...I don't remember Massacre being in DD1.  Or Sirens.  Or the double jump.  Or the Mage's insta-charge.

Why should anyone settle for copy-pasting DD1?  What value is in that when DD1 already exists?  This isn't even the first time they've "remade" DD1.  I legitimately do not understand why so many players in this community are so vehemently against change.  You *HAVE* DD1.  To put your own "answer" back to you: "You have DD1, go play that if you don't like changes."

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55 minutes ago, chpoit said:

Sometimes reading the replies in this thread makes me feel like some people don't understand that this is a remake of DD1.

Oh and to bring up the common answer "If you don't like that this is a remake of DD1, go play dd2".

(Sigh) We just had to take it there, didn't we.

Is it a remake, or is it not?

image.png.3981f191a12c5995d7b8eefbbda22248.png

Oh, so it's a new game then? Not a remake.

image.png.4387fddbbbf4f0576d6c0ac1e0dba555.png

An up-to-date experience for DD1? So it is a remake?

image.png.cf16acc05ae14af572765cc4c12e3de6.png

Okay, so definitely NOT a remake. Now remind me which heroes are in the game? What weapons they use? Their summoned defenses? DU and mana cost of said defenses? Abilities? Stats on gear? Armor types and set bonuses? XP and leveling requirements? Surely those aren't the same?

...They are? So this surely is a remake then! You can't just say "not a remake" and then copy literally every single game mechanic from the game. This has to be a remake then.

image.png.9ff882cc1a3e965932893e36bd7051af.png

It is quite literally Schrodinger's DD1 remake. It is both simultaneously a DD1 remake and not a DD1 remake. There are tons of claims from CG themselves that it's not a remake, and yet everything that is DDA indicates that it is, indeed a remake.

I have tons more of these, btw. For both sides of the coin. "Is DD1 a remake?" is a question that cannot be answered, because there is so much contradictory evidence supporting both sides.

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12 hours ago, gigazelle said:

There are tons of claims from CG themselves that it's not a remake

The unfortunate truth is that the claims CG makes are essentially meaningless.  Since the kickstarter, there have been promises and statements that have not been fulfilled.  As much as I want that to not be the case, it keeps happening, leading to the conclusion that the words CG gives are about as useful as a child running for class president.  We're being promised recess all day, but we're getting the DD1 kit with a new paint job and some extra bits added on.

To be fair, those extra bits are definitely appreciated.  If they can just finish the core features to cap of the "DD1 remake" segment (i.e. split screen), then focus everything into new functionality.  That's not to say old heroes can't return, but maybe have a Barbarian that works differently than the one in DD1 (or continue ignoring it because Barbarian was the worst).

I enjoy the new things we have already.  The new maps are great.  The new pets are fun, even if not always useful.  Double jump makes movement so nice.  Building defenses is so much easier.  The list goes on, I'm just hoping CG can continue making new things to add to it.

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anyone else Care when the update will come ,,?? it has been 3 months since i played the game :D
i hope the devs don't want wait for the end on this month 

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