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Survival: Creating a Challenging and Enjoyable Gaming Experience


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I think it goes without saying that 99% of people do not enjoy having to spend hours upon hours in survival to get better gear. In its current form, survival is a failed adaptation of a classic game mode. Yet there is still a chance for Trendy to refine survival and in doing so reinvent a major component of Dungeon Defenders.

First, let us examine some of the critical issues with survival, which are closely interconnected.

1. Extensive time commitment.

The amount of time require by survival is flawed on several levels. To complete an entire survival run, even with an excellent build and top notch gear, is a commitment of several hours. Realizing that the majority of players are not capable of reaching the final wave means that they will be playing survival over and over again trying to progress- each time requiring a massive time commitment. If you are stuck on wave 20 for example, but can reach it without issue, you must spend hours reaching that wave just to give it another shot. This time period in which you are simply repeating what you have already done with ease grows with each wave you progress.

Trendy, this is NOT the only way to keep people occupied with old content.


2. Disconnects (Trendy, Steam, Steam Community, User)

The quadruple threat disconnect squad is a massive headache for survival players. Spending hours wading through trash waves in hopes of reaching a new wave, only to be disconnected one wave before it, is incredibly frustrating.

3. Monotonous Progression

Granted that once or twice a map a significant increase in a particular mob will be seen, the overwhelming means of increasing difficulty in survival is a generic formula of more mobs with more health that do more damage. It is boring and once you have a build that works it is nothing more than a gear check.


So, how do you fix these problems Trendy? All of these major issues can be remedied by taking a simple and fun approach to designing survival. The main idea of this new approach is:

"Decreasing the time commitment without decreasing the challenge"



It requires only two things:

A) The main method for decreasing the time require is to reduce the number of overall mobs per wave

B) To increase the difficulty of progressive waves, vary the mobs which are spawned and their particular attributes. (Key variables include: Particular mob count, particular mob damage, particular mob elemental affinity, particular mob speed)

It might seem too easy, but that is all you need to do Trendy. Let's take a look at how this might work.


*Maximum number of spawns is capped at 2000 per wave
*Spawn count progression is not necessarily linear
*Base mob health and damage increase each wave
*Waves vary between one and all mob variables (I will keep this extremely simple for this discussion to illustrate how this would function)
*New variables are added on top of variables from previous wave sets (whether all are used or some, or if it is random, is up for debate)

Waves 1-5: Generic
-Extremely quick waves
-"Building waves"
-Mobs follow the same simple health and damage progression currently used during these early / easy waves

Wave 6-10: Speed
-In addition to the standard health and damage progression, one or more mob types will move at an increased speed during these waves

Wave 11-15: Number of spawns
-New variable: each wave one (or possibly more) mobs will spawn significantly more than others
-Depending on the mob type focused on, overall number of spawns may go up or down (if goblins, you may approach 2000, if ogres, significantly less)

Wave 16-20: Damage
-Particular mobs will do more damage

Wave 21-25: Elemental
-Mobs will spawn with the same elemental affinity

Wave 26-30: All variables
-Each type of variable will be active during these waves

This is obviously not a definitive plan and would require testing and fine tuning. The general idea however would lead to a far more interesting and fast paced game which relies significantly more on player involvement (beyond repairing towers and using a guardian)

It is not a perfect plan and I see flaws in it that would need to be worked out, but I believe even with them it would be a vast improvement upon the current state of survival.

The actual issue of disconnects was not solved, but rather by reducing the time commitment, the frustration of being disconnected is slightly alleviated.


I am sure i will add / edit stuff, so keep posted.


All inputs, comments and criticisms, are welcome.

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Not to be trollish, but this is a major issue since Day one of release and has been brought up in countless threads. Unfortunately it has fallen on completely deaf ears.

/Frustrated Player Who is not Korean

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yea, i have just never seen it presented in a manner that didn't seem like an angry kid whining. i figure defining the issues and presenting a clear fix in the same place couldn't hurt.

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If they want to fix survival just make it like Misty. Significantly lower mobs that are much more dangerous.

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misty was an improvement in that sense, but there is still the issue of once you can reliably make it to wave 20, or whatever wave, you are just mindlessly waiting to reach that wave each successive run. while i was hesitant at asserting randomness as a component of variable selection in my fix, i do think it would make the game far more interesting albeit at the cost of luck (with regards to getting a good variable selection) making progression easier sometimes (or bad luck making it harder)

however, i think if a complete run could be done in under 3 hours (assuming you could complete it), it would more than make up for this. keep in mind that while the number of mobs and time required is significantly reduced, the difficulty should not be.

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Atra, it's good knowing that a fix for this is coming out. Probably as close as to a month from now.

It's called DLC patch 2 when Djinn's will ruin your monk auras making the higher levels of survival more chaotic and harder :).

But i agree they need a "Speed up spawning mobs" button.

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Good post, I liked several of your suggestions, I hope Trendy reads this and includes some of your ideas.

I will say I used to remember when survival used to take almost 20 hours to beat ;)

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Good suggestions, I definitely feel that Mistymire is the only survival that is worth the time spent at the moment.

If they do anything about it, though, I feel it's unlikely it'll be done before all 4 parts of the QftLES DLC come out. New monsters would be introduced, which means more adjusting and higher chance of unexpected outcome if done prior. A girl can hope though. :kobold:

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An interesting idea. I would gladly play this type of survival. Though it must still present a challenge even with fewer mobs.

No more 7-9k survival mobs :)

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Signed.

Time spent =/= Difficulty (especially when I'm in the kitchen making coffee waiting for wave to end)

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I would prefer they simply add an option of what wave to start on (past the current 8). Grinding out at least 15-17 waves (out of 30) just to get a chance to begin to get upgrades is a long and unnecessary timesink with rng as it is. (Torn quality items on nightmare mistymire waves 20+, really?) Starting on higher waves would be a huge gear check so it would not be like a freshly geared lvl74 would be able to without having items previously from the waves skipped.

Not having an option to get decent items from UMF/UMF2 on NM is another issue that makes the survival grind seem even worse as there is no progression path alternative to it.

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/Signature

I completely agree and think that Astra's suggestions are great!! I have always hated the fact that mobs will only come out of 2 spawn points instead of all of them..this just slows down the wave and decreases the difficulty. Ramp it up! Give us your worst Trendy! Just don't let it take all day.

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I agree, survival is too time-consuming and I like your approach. You should be able to progress without having to spend hours in one sitting.

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bumping this so it makes its way to trendy.


if anyone has links to other semi-comprehensive "fix" threads please post them. i would like to start a general resource thread which we could get stickied

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Generally a good post. As many have said, Misty tends to show that Trendy wants to take survival in this direction - atleast to some degree, but I do agree that more wave variation would be nice. Could even make it randomly assign the Spooky type setup - where one type of mob randomly has a dominating presence per wave. I'd imagine that would be a fairly easy solution which would use already implemented concepts to work in the right way. Additionally, I'd like to suggest that to keep time commitments lower, in survival, mob quantity should not be used as the scalar with players, but a difficulty factor (if even just hp/damage) instead.

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if anyone has links to other semi-comprehensive "fix" threads please post them. i would like to start a general resource thread which we could get stickied


I don't have any specific links...but I would assume somewhere in the Suggestions topic area there would be some....maybe?!? It'd be worth looking through if you are looking for something more comprehensive.

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This so many times over. Progress to having good gear from misty then look at what is next and go no thank you. It is just an extremely flawed portion of the game. I remember those old tower defenses from wc3. Mob spawns tend to be capped at around 25 per wave. Just each wave brought a new element you had to be ready for. This game doesn't really add new elements to increase difficulty they just scale up old boring ones. Sadly that includes the number of mobs making the game unplayable by any sane person. The same problem applies to group play. The things that scale are bland and tend to just be an excessive time sink. Not depth at all.

I would just slash the number of mobs down completely. Make DU scale as the survival waves progress and with the number of players. Then do something new with the mobs to increase the difficulty back up to where it is. Think of mixed mode, when 200 wyverns all start spawning that should be one wave not 1/20th of the wave. Though those wyverns should spawn from more locations and be stronger overall.

Is trendy up for the challenge of this type of balance?

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I'm gonna have to jump on board with the no more 8k+ mob count. A lot of good ideas in here to increase difficulty with out increasing mob count.

You could even say, chop a few DU's off the total count in later waves, not allowing the next wave to start until the players get the DU count under the current cap. This would make you have to rethink where you have your defenses and possibly have to worry about reupgrading some once you move them.

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