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Tower Rework Needed:


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FOREWARNING: This is a mixture of a suggestion and a rant provoked by seeing apprentice towers get a 15% exponential buff. I was hoping Trendy would rework the underused towers in the game before falling to that route, but it seems my hopes were a bit high. Hopefully this post will get some discussion going, and provoke Trendy into tweaking the core class's defenses a bit! Feel free to respond with input and opinions, and I'll gladly update the initial post. I posted something similar to this roughly 6 months ago, but it covered so much ground that it went largely ignored - so I'm going to keep it niche this time, and avoid touching on guardians / monsters / map issues, and stick to the core of the game - tower defense!

Let's look at the 4 core classes, and evaluate the towers which never see use aside from a simple gimmick or concept:

i. Apprentice: We're starting with the class who needs the least work in terms of tower mechanics / DU balancing. Really, the only thing that players rarely use is -

1) DST - For the DU cost, I've only seen it used in niche situations like shooting down wyverns from a single spawn, like the western wyvern spawn on Mistymire.

Issue: DU cost, single-target usability, and relatively low damage for where one would expect to see it (read: killing high-level survival wave enemies in one to two shots).
Solution: Fix it so that the DST properly targets something where it's damage will not be put to waste. It could also use an animation tweak, as with 0.37 attack speed (around 1900 in the tower speed stat while being buff-beamed), it's barely attacking more than one and a half times per second. I'd suggest either a functionality overhaul, or a drastic increase to it's damage if one intends to keep it single target. Like, a 900% increase. With a cone of fire as narrow as it is, it really should be whittling ogres away - at the moment it's DPS is strictly inferior to the harpoon and fireball turret, while being single target. The advantage is that it pierces walls and has longer range. Woo.

ii. Squire: What towers do you ever use aside from the harpoon? If you don't own the series EV - and the spike wall? Be honest? Let's look at what needs to be changed -

1) Spike Wall - Given how the game has evolved, I'm simply going to parrot what several other players have mentioned with regards to this - it really should be 2 DU. It's a simple barricade that provokes ogres into smacking it, rather than derping endlessly into the EV's physical barrier.

Issue:Over-costed in terms of DU.
Solution:Lower DU cost to 2.

2) Bouncer Blockade - This is actually a really, really strong tower - watching it work under a buff beam is something to admire. However, they don't have the range to hit an ogre who's decided to wail on it - I'm not quite sure how to remedy this aside from advising that their range stat actually increase how far they can damage things, rather than the range at which they begin to attack.

Issue:Unable to hit ogres who have decided to beat down on it.
Solution:Either give them the ability to knock back ogres (this will provide a secondary solution to ogres rather than setting up a physical beam for them to grind against), or increase their damaging distance significantly.

3) Cannonball - I love this tower. It's fun as hell, and I've used it.. once, on Magus Quarters survival. Truth be told, I'd probably have been better off with harpoons - because they do more dps, pierce ogres (GUESS WHAT CANNONBALLS CAN'T DO?), and cost less DU. So, why am I using this over the harpoon? I like balls.

Issue:Strictly inferior to the harpoon, even moreso in the presence of an ogre.
Solution:Make it somehow superior to the harpoon in some aspect.

4) Slice 'n Dice Blockade - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Strictly worse than bouncer blockade. I think it had more base health last I checked, but the same health scaling - so it had like 50 more health? And it does less DPS. At full spin. Granted, this is with enough attack speed and a buff beam to make the bouncer blockade something of a wondrous bumper-car of doom - but the fact of the matter is, it does less damage for twice the DU. Why would I touch this?

Issue:Strictly inferior to the bouncer blockade in damage and DU. It also suffers from the BB's issue of being unable to hit an ogre who's decided to club it from out of range. Equivalent health scaling, it should be at least twice as much, given it has twice the DU and less damage (at the moment). It's attack speed scaling only reduces the time for it to hit the max "spin" rate (meaning every .2 seconds, it will apply it's damage rating to all enemies within the radius at max spin).
Solution:Buffs across the board for this. Reduce the DU cost possibly. It's god-awful, people only use this if they're playing for the first time or goofing around.

iii. Huntress - Truth be told, her towers are used pretty effectively - particularly gas traps for their utility, and inferno for their healthy, constant DPS regardless of range - all while needing virtually no maintenance. However, one tower stands out as being nonexistant in it's usage:

1) Ethereal Spike Trap - Elemental damage while providing less DPS than a proximity mine forces it into a niche usage of 'countering' aerial units. Name 5 spots you can place this trap where a harpoon simply couldn't cover it from better angling? It's just garbage.

Issue: Sub-par DPS and elemental damage when compared to a proximity trap. Yes, a proximity trap does less damage at the outer edges - but it also proves it's worth tenfold the moment more than one thing attempts to cross the trap's threshold. This is actually a major issue in survival, given how Trendy coded the wave to suddenly dump several spiders, djinn, sharken, and gobbocopters all simultaneously. You know when you see about 20 spiders fall from the ceiling? Guess what.

Solution: This trap simply needs a rework. A spike of damage is almost always going to be considered ineffective - at least if it's only on a single target. One solution would be to remove the trap reset timer - or make it ridiculously tiny, so that it would hastily deplete all it's charges in effort to kill whatever is on top of it. I'm talking a 0.05 or so reset rate. This would justify the elemental property, and dissuade people from trying to abuse it in tandem with a buff beam, given it would likely expire in hasty fashion and take the beam with it (not to mention the huge radius provided with said buff).

iv. Monk - Truthfully, after the reworks to enrage and the buffs to the electrical aura in nightmare - he's solid. For a while enrage was garbage because it didn't take the minion's aggro from towers - enrage could be placed near defenses, but even then an enraged creature would simply keep targeting it rather than allies if they were afflicted. This was remedied a while ago, so I've no suggestions here - although tweaking the DU costs back to launch would be amazing, but that's asking a bit much I think, given how amazing electrical auras are.

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Some really good suggestions here, but I still think there could be better solutions. What they are, I still don't know. Good post.

Please post suggestions in the suggestion forum in future.

/moved

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Thanks for sharing! I love talking about this topic. Nothing like reminiscing about the days when I could actually use the cannonball turret -- and it made sense to do so and not just for novelty sake. I completely agree with all of the things you have listed.

Every now and then, I try out an ethereal spike trap in hopes that maybe I can find a use for it. That day has yet to arrive. The Slice 'N' Dice is such a sad tower. I mean really. I feel sorry for that tower -- it's so utterly useless for NM games. Every now and then I do see people use bouncers as spider control (which isn't the most efficient, I know), but it definitely gets its use.

The first tower that comes to my mind, and I was actually surprised not to see it on this list, is the lightning tower. That tower is fun to watch 'cause it'll just wrap around whole maps, and the kills it can rack up is crazy. Unfortunately most of the kills are trash that are going to die anyway by the more efficient lightning auras and fire traps. I have had countless setups where I find a place for it, only to replace it with something that costs less DU later in the run. The only solution that I can think of is a DU reduction. I even think that 6 would be fair, instead of the 7 that it is at the moment.

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DST: The animation does speed up. In fact, at exactly the same rate compared to that of MM and FB; the firing animation on all ranged towers is reduced by the same percentage as the displayed attack rate. Going from 1.00 to 0.50 attack rate also halves the animation speed. It's just that DST's attack speed ramp is worse, so the attack rate doesn't improve as fast either plus the animation is fairly long to begin with (the animation is longer than the attack rate, but it does decrease wih the same proportions)

Spike Barricade: Placed normally, this doesn't serve the purpose the players want it to (stop attacks entirely while taking ages to die); the design is entirely focused around the purpose Trendy gave it (Make monsters attack the wall instead of towers.) Placed as intended, Spike Barricades gain more aggro than any other wall, and until the very high stat values, more aggro than towers. This is what it's designed to do; and, in the early game when monsters are going to aggro onto your walls no matter what, the spike wall that deals damage can be more useful than the others. I only think it's a little too small. It has more health than a Physical Beam of equal DU, and a lot more health than a Physical Beam of equal length, so it's worth the extra cost.

Bouncer Blockade: Next you'll be asking for it to hit Djinn, Archers and Mages somehow. Maybe it houdl deal damage when a monster hits it, like a spike wall, but the range is realistic to the object in question. Actually, one issue that nobody realises with Bouncers is that the rate of fire doesn't really matter beyond a certain point - eventually it becomes the amount of time it takes for the monster the blockade knocked away to get back.

Cannonball Turret: Wherever the projectile from this turret is relevant, the turret is as well. Anyways, your primary issue is that it doesn't pierce - the projectiles can hit a single monster multiple times. The solution, then? Make them deal damage beyond the first hit, so if the ogre's blocking the pathway enough for a cannonball to hit it more than once, it takes damage for each hit. Would need a short cooldown period between damages because the game only cares about collision and not momentum, but...

SnD Blockade: The primary issue with this one is that only the damage stat scales DPS on it. Attack speed doesn't. SnD is still better DPS/DU than bouncers up to around somewhere in the region of 500-1000 attack rate, and then it falls behind. So really, that's what it needs to be relevant damage - attack rate scaling. Of course, you'd still have to repair it more often, but with great power comes great responsibility... to repair stuff?

Ethereal Spike: Definitely needs a functionality rework. For example, what Kamahl said, or, if triggered by a skeleton, it could target the dark mage that summoned it (anti-mage, for when the mage hides around corners and just spams skeletons). Oh, and a giant spike going through your foot shouldn't be elemental.

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DST: The animation does speed up. In fact, at exactly the same rate compared to that of MM and FB; the firing animation on all ranged towers is reduced by the same percentage as the displayed attack rate. Going from 1.00 to 0.50 attack rate also halves the animation speed. It's just that DST's attack speed ramp is worse, so the attack rate doesn't improve as fast either plus the animation is fairly long to begin with (the animation is longer than the attack rate, but it does decrease wih the same proportions)


I didn't believe initially, but I tested it and you're correct. Currently have a 0.37 attack rate and it's, well.. it's not attacking at a significantly high rate, but it is going faster than I'm used to witnessing. Updating the initial post with just this for now, mainly because I've gotta go run several errands.


Bouncer Blockade: Next you'll be asking for it to hit Djinn, Archers and Mages somehow. Maybe it houdl deal damage when a monster hits it, like a spike wall, but the range is realistic to the object in question. Actually, one issue that nobody realises with Bouncers is that the rate of fire doesn't really matter beyond a certain point - eventually it becomes the amount of time it takes for the monster the blockade knocked away to get back.


If you can get an ogre into a bouncer blockade's damage range, it is insane - it can't knock them, warriors, or a few other units back (the fattest thing it can knock back really is an orc), so when it's ticking off 5-9 times a second, it really adds up. I simply wish ogres wouldn't start pounding on them until they're within aggro range. Sure, it doesn't matter for trash mobs - but those rarely make it past the lightning aura anyway, save orcs.

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