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Nightmare Mode, Skill or Gear?


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So, during countless runs and countless public groups, and countless... oh you get the point....

People have argued that this game requires no skill at all and it's based on gear.
Thus here's the poll as to what the masses think about this in regards to nightmare :)

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It takes a tiny bit of skill, as you still need to keep up with repairs. But gear can very much overcompensate for lack of talent, certainly.

EDIT: Placement also counts, so there's also that.

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Nightmare requires good planning and emergency back up plans when the situation become unlucky. Heck even with good gear can be very hard if one mindlessly attack enemies in Nightmare Uber Monster Fest. So Gear and skill need to be even to beat nightmare.

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Decent gear, mostly skills. You won't get anywhere with 0% resists in nightmare, and having 90% and 2k stats won't carry you through.

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Not to anyone specific, but anyone poo pooing the "skill" crowd, one might be taking the information provided by good players for granted.

If you dominated a map, did you use your own strategy or you looked at someone else's build? Did you innovate or use a common 'cookie cutter' combination? When a new patch came out, did you devise your own new strategy or waited for someone else to tell you what to do?

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Decent gear, mostly skills. You won't get anywhere with 0% resists in nightmare, and having 90% and 2k stats won't carry you through.
=\ if you havr a genie and dps weapon it will. i could be done with nightmare if i could stay alive to finish builds and upgrade stuff. fun fact the only thing with an sort of hp to stand up to my crappy geared dps (all sub 80k) is ogres.

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decent gear, mostly skill

I've had people come with great stats and flop in nightmare, then I've had people come with decent stats, or pretty bad stats for nightmare, but because the properly used their pets (guardians/geneies) they were able to keep defenses up and repair, and also provide support by bashing spiders keep towers alive

It's a lot about tower placement really, the dps in nightmare is just mainly focused on taking down an ogre or a boss, if neither then it's all about the tower placement

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you need both imo, but way op gear will compensate for lack of skill.

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Not to anyone specific, but anyone poo pooing the "skill" crowd, one might be taking the information provided by good players for granted.

If you dominated a map, did you use your own strategy or you looked at someone else's build? Did you innovate or use a common 'cookie cutter' combination? When a new patch came out, did you devise your own new strategy or waited for someone else to tell you what to do?


Well said. There are students of the game, and there are those that like to color within the predefined lines. Those that innovate eventually bring sense to that which is overwhelming to everyone else.

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I wanted to vote Very good gear required with decent skill, but was no such option. (more gear than skill)
Of course I am talking about harder maps and harder (HC MM NM and later maps solo/duo)

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I voted mostly skill because my gear is awful and I've been making some decent progress. Just recently picked up some new tricks and that has increased my success a great deal.

This also makes me think that gear can greatly replace skill. I wish this games end game gear didn't stack so high. It would be a lot more enjoyable with more of a challenge and lesser gear. The last thing this game needs is a newer higher gear set.

I personal vote for another ranked server whose gear doesn't have so many ups and stats on them. Keep the mobs hp lower and have less overall mobs and lets us focus on the core TD that some of us love so much.

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I would say Gear > little skill. Knowing how something works and what strategies work i don't count that as "skill". Skill is more instinctive that knowing what's best.

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As "WorstPlayerEver" and "endure" said, it really depends how or what way are you asking.

Using a cookie cutter strategy doesn't need that much skill, since someone else already did the thinking, planning and figuring a good way to finish the map, so you'll probably just need the gear (and sometimes you don't even need that).

If you can think of good strategies for yourself and what better applies to your way of playing, sometimes you just need skills and not that much gear, or if you're aiming to a certain way or rewards that could need skills as well, ex. aiming for "Flawless Victory" or "Master Strategist", or both at the same time or not get damaged at all during the map are just different cases. :)

So as I see it in the votes options, went for "Decent gear, mostly skill".

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There is no skill involved in this game. Just planning, some strategy and common sense.

Maybe a pinch of awareness and not be lazy.

Since this game does use the unreal engine, maybe a map with everyone at the same speed for some bunny hopping action, death run speed course. Then I will consider some skill is required. Else there is no skill involvement.

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Mostly gear with a little skill.
This really only applies to solo as you need very good tower gear to compensate for the lack of teammates.
But in a team of three or four lots of skill with average gear can work as well.

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Iv been working my way through Nightmare solo with very mild gear. by mild i mean only 1 level 74 character and it has less then 600 tower damage on said level 74 toon. coming up on the Throne room and have hit no real snags as of yet.

The people who need or require really high stats are usually people not willing to figure out the most optimal strategy. some consider these players to be "bad"

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Considering I've been able to complete maps using gear with considerably lower stats than others, there's more skill involved in the game than people think. Up until Nightmare it's mostly gear, but when you get to Nightmare if you haven't been picking up at least a little bit of skill along the way, you're kinda screwed.

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I wanted to vote Very good gear required with decent skill, but was no such option. (more gear than skill)
Of course I am talking about harder maps and harder (HC MM NM and later maps solo/duo)


Now this vote surprised me, Ceemeeir I would have thought you more on the skill side of the vote. :)

My personal vote, is that more skill is required then anything else, my reasoning is that players with several stats in the thousands often join my games and die/lose their defenses/area.

I suppose i'm not terribly surprised with the way the poll is going thus far though, but I would say that gear only gets you so far... the HC MM NM seems dependent on skill to me. But again that's just my opinion :)

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This survey might be biased since those who can't complete nightmare will of course blame their gear.

Also, there's no half gear/half skill option, which is the one I would have clicked. I think nightmare requires both, but the ratio is dependent on the map. Greater wells? Good gear, and you could probably make stars with magic missile towers and win. Glitter/Mistymire/UMF? strategy+execution+gear.

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Decent gear to 'survive' the 30 sec respawn time which is killing actually. Mostly skill, because 4 players can't be anywhere at the same time. The building strategy in the first place and tactics for moving around the map during combat, upgrade certain defense first, helping others in time you really can leave your own spot etc etc is the key to succes imo.

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Depends how people define skill.

I'd say knowing the right build/strat is more about knowledge, and/or having enough 'time' to lvl multiple builders up and test things out. This is somewhat similar to knowing what a raid boss does in WoW raids, just a matter of trial and error (when guides aren't available yet), watching videos, or researching online.

Gear still plays a bigger part I reckon. I've beaten some nightmare maps with mostly apprentice towers, of ~350 atk, and ~750 atk with mythicals. The difference was massive. Same goes for my auras and traps, differences were pretty massive when upgrading from medicore IUMF gear to mythicals. Using WoW again, it's like the difference between going into a raid wearing greens and wearing epics.

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Now this vote surprised me, Ceemeeir I would have thought you more on the skill side of the vote. :)

My personal vote, is that more skill is required then anything else, my reasoning is that players with several stats in the thousands often join my games and die/lose their defenses/area.

I suppose i'm not terribly surprised with the way the poll is going thus far though, but I would say that gear only gets you so far... the HC MM NM seems dependent on skill to me. But again that's just my opinion :)


Somewhat surprises me, but not completely. I suspect it is because, in a move of ridiculous irony, ceemeeir is not valuing his skill at all while possibly being one of the most skilled players (at least at a strategic level).

This is because to him, it is so easy to think of and do.

What gear does let you do is, it opens up more options. For someone who is a master planner and visionary, they would see gear as the limiting factor because with more gear, more strange strategies open up. I'm able to do older maps with different setups (more DU efficient, but less gear efficient).

While it opens up more options, on the flip side, it also creates a chance to stagnate in skiills. Because a cookie cutter that might not be efficient, will finally work now. The less creative individual will just keep pounding away.

Again, people are not valuing the original strategic element of tower placement here, because like playing an old adventure game, the challenge collapses when you can simply read the walk-through.

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Well, don't get me wrong, I still think that you have to know what to build, come up with more fitting strategies, how to upgrade, and where to repair, while trying to survive the ogre's damage, DEWs, spiders, but after a point this is simply not enough.

If I make a single mistake, my defenses can't compensate, because by the time I get back, everything is destroyed.
If my defenses can't kill fast enough, then my barricades have to survive longer.
If my barricades don't have enough health, then they don't survive long enough till I get there to repair.
If a barricade dies, it is game over.

I am at a point where I can get to wave 10 relatively easily, but the horrendous amount of spider, DEW just smash trough my defenses.
I tried to build a squire hero. I am running too slow, and have to be in melee range to gain mana with genie. Did not really work out, because even 80K hp not enough to survive 1-2 ninja jumping on you when you are webbed.

Other method I tried is using ranger as a hero, but similar thing happened: I ran out of health, because I have 3 times less than with my squire (in the same gear).
Impossible to repair, because ogres knock you back while bashing on the barricade, and if you get webbed, you can't repair for 4-5 seconds. When there are 3-4 ogres at EACH side and 2/3 spider, my defenses are starting to fail.

My stats are:
1300 hp barricade apprentice
1200 tower attack and ~400 stat for each other tower stat adept for damage towers
^ similar Initiate
^ somewhat similar, but a bit worse hero gear.


Only thing I could think of is having full party, everyone on upgrade,repair duty, as player damage is negligible compared to towers.

This post summarizes what I would like to see changed. Posted it in the suggestion forums, because it belongs there, but that side of the forum is abandoned. (I keep updating it every time I think of something)

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