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Everything you know about DD is wrong - Why inactive builders are often a bad idea.


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Did I get your attention?

Good. I know it's late (would have been useful a year ago, because it might have changed the game culture) but this is one of those things where conventional wisdom might go out the window, particularly for Survival.

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You remember the old conventional wisdom where you make a builder, armour up with no resists and up the tower stats?
You'd then bring them out wave start, drop defenses, then switch out to your DPS and start the wave.

It's why so many people grind their way through maps, trying to find trans or supreme gear, all to make builders that had like 3-4k stats all the time so they can break into NM maps, using this method.

Everyone does it, that's why it's the best way to do it. Who on earth builds hybrids, really? Hybrids are bad, duh.

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... Actually, no, the math says you would be wrong at this one. It's actually the WORST way to ensure a survival, particularly if you are not of 'uber stats'. You'd be denying yourself about 33% damage on the defenses (or more), which is about 25% more percent than you can catch up on, statistically.

Wait, WHAT? Surely you jest!

These are some real numbers we got out as we crunched our way through (Thank you Rageamok for running these tests.):

On summoner, in tavern, no buff beam, level 1, archer.

- 20412 - inactive damage at 4153 tower attack stat
- 20410 - active damage at 2764 tower attack stat

- 18545 - inactive damage at 3622 tower attack stat
- 18575 - active damage at 2416 tower attack stat

- 13958 - inactive damage at 2414 tower attack stat
- 13966 - active damage at 1607 tower attack stat

For the record, you need to spend about 120-140 upgrades for 4 items to get 90% across the board resists on nightmare, meaning you need to spend about, oh, we'll just say 600 upgrades, all up?

This can be replicated on anything that does attack damage. Walling and buffing EVs (and magic walls, if people use them) and non attacking auras and traps are the exception to this rule.

Now, if you allocated all the additional tower stat to your hero damage, or to your ability 2, you'd actually be doing about 66% or so of the damage you would do if ALL the stats were allocated to your hero attack stat. (Effectively making your towers do 0 damage)

Doesn't sound too bad right? Until you realize that that 33% hero damage is going to do a LOT LESS (Minimum of 50%, up to 200% depending on the size of the map) than the 33% tower damage you'd gain.

Basically, the game actually made Hybrids very, VERY powerful, but it flew right over practically everyone who was trying to break into NM. There are good reasons to switch (as the defense attack is NOT point fire and is not focused, so if you're chasing bosses, switching would be a good idea, and if you have defenses strong enough on inactive, an extra 33% damage isn't really going to matter) but you better be sure you have a reason to.

How much this benefits depends on how much a character 'owns' a defense setup.

The summoner can stupidly improve damage output by just existing. Phase shifting means that they can interfere, and lever 50% of the defenses to output a stupid amount of damage, and more to the point they don't need armour, so they can apply all their stats anyway (if they want to play a game of enemy chicken)

The other is if you Jester things up and own all the towers, auras and traps. We calculated an average of a clean double damage over an equivalent inactive setup.

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If you're struggling on a map in survival because you're being overrun, believe it or not, you can usually get much further simply by being active.

There are exceptions (If you have a tower boost monk with more than 2500 ability, you will do a 3x multiplier to tower damage, but it's a localised effect and can't be stacked) but all if defenses are struggling to kill fast enough, just pull out the character that stuck the defenses up. Really. The hero's damage may be less (roughly 33% assuming a weapon swap and rebalancing it so that active tower damage is the same as inactive damage then reallocating to Ability 1/Ability 2 or hero attack as necessary) but surprisingly a LOT more than what you'd expect.

But hey, just keep on doing what's always been done, right?

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Well the summoner "trick", aka keeping your summoner as an afk in phaseshift mode, has been known since he was released. Or at least i knew it, but i kinda figured other people would count together 1 and 1 too. Since he cant be hurt in phase shift your never going to loose your 33% and the damage increase is always worth it since the mobcount and mob hp dont increase that much if oyu go from 1 to 2 players.

Your theory has 3 other flaws however: Pets & Weapons (those 2 are actualy solveable / have been solved) and the composition of builds (this one isnt). The few upgrades you will loose on your armor for maxing resists arent the problem, the stats you loose from pets and weapons were, at least until now. Pkobolds are pretty much a must for all builders, which leaves us with 2 problems: your active builder cant upgrade sh+t, if you want to experience the pleasantrys of upgrading without Genies / Djinlets, go play a Pure Strat. Now multiply that by the fact you cant collect mana without being damaged / enemys will interrupt you while upgrading. You could however switch pets around, equip a Djinlet for upgrading and when everything is 3 stars you switch to you actual builderpet. This is however not gona change the fact that your pet will do no damage, so while you could play active with your builder you would be limited to being a repairbot.

And on the weapons part, up until now weps imho didnt have enough ups to be usefull for hybrids. You either spec them builder and do zero damage or loose huge ammount of tower stats for being able to defend yourselves. But the weapon problem has been solved by Akatiki: the drops have such an ungodly ammount of stats on them, hybrid weapons are no longer a problem. Ive already found a ultimate buildersword with overcaped tower & hero damage and tower rate that has 300 upgrades to spare but no usefull stats to put them into except weapon damage.

And now the big one: todays NM builds are a mixup of all builders the game has to offer (because they need to be, otherwise youd just be overrun) So on which one of your builders do you play? Your monk /trapper for clearing out the trashmobs faster? Your summoner for more miniondamage? Or better on your squire / apprentice so your towers do more damage? If you solo without afks youll have to decide for one, meaning that only one part of your build will receive the bonus.

So to summarize, yeah might be viable but only if you already have kinda insane equip already (the weapons part), only run survivals (switching pets on campaign is impractical at best) and you have one designated active builder out of your 3 damage dealing ones.

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Or, an amazing thought, have a full group with each active doing their share of the building. Now you have all defenses with max boost.

With hybrid build on all players, this is far more powerful than 3/4 dps and an active summoner in phaseshift repairing stuff.

Also its more fun since no more AFK which will kill this game if people can AFK all the time. So, its very viable to have hybrid build, IF you can get a full group for extra FUN.

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Well I also figured out the "Summoner trick" and I have only had that DLC for about a week now so I would guess that has to be pretty obvious to everyone.

As to the active builder issue, I generally use my monk's auras, my Apprentice' towers, EV's Buff beams and walls and my Summoner's minions on a map.

Of that bunch, the best combo I use is to generally have the Apprentice active on the main screen and the summoner phased out on an AFK controller because frankly their towers/minions are going to see the biggest boost overall from being out on the screen.

And as to swapping pets, I have always played it (even on Campaign mode) where my builder will have the genie out for the first two waves and then swap to something more useful after that because otherwise assembling the map tends to be a real pain.

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Or, an amazing thought, have a full group with each active doing their share of the building. Now you have all defenses with max boost.

With hybrid build on all players, this is far more powerful than 3/4 dps and an active summoner in phaseshift repairing stuff.

Also its more fun since no more AFK which will kill this game if people can AFK all the time. So, its very viable to have hybrid build, IF you can get a full group for extra FUN.


Oh yes thats ****ing brilliant, now i have to coordinate my already limited time playing this game with 3 other douchebags to get anything done.. sorry but that sounds too much like work for my taste^^

Sorry but i like to be able to play DD without having to rely on other ppl and ill make a wild guess and say 95% of this community do too because they also went and leveld & equiped all the builders for themselves.

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The overall damage will increase, but with my builds, and probably many others, the only monsters that i need to attack is Ogres and maybe Djiins. And because of that, it's better for me to change to a DPS hero, so i can pinpoint where the ekstra DPS has to be, dependent on where those 2 enemies are.

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Hybrid builders?

If you want your Active builder bonus, split the screen and drop em near some defenses with an App Guardian. Good Armor with nice ups is not easy to find, why waste points putting them into dps?

[QUOTE]Everything you know about DD is wrong - Why inactive builders are often a bad idea.[/QUOTE]

Having your builder in is not a bad idea. Wasting good armor with dps points though is. It would be nice if we could respec our armor.

If your struggling then just split your screen and use your builder with a App Guardian. The builder bonus from your builder and App Guardian are awesome combinations. You can have your best DPS this way with Genie to get things upgraded fast, with builder bonus.

Also splitting screens gives more rewards at end, and lots more mana to do upgrades.

Mike.

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Hybrid builders?

If you want your Active builder bonus, split the screen and drop em near some defenses with an App Guardian. Good Armor with nice ups is not easy to find, why waste points putting them into dps?



Having your builder in is not a bad idea. Wasting good armor with dps points though is. It would be nice if we could respec our armor.

If your struggling then just split your screen and use your builder with a App Guardian. The builder bonus from your builder and App Guardian are awesome combinations. You can have your best DPS this way with Genie to get things upgraded fast, with builder bonus.

Also splitting screens gives more rewards at end, and lots more mana to do upgrades.

Mike.


This. :D

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Depends a little on the map/situation ofc. On a solo survival I usually take my jester for upgrading and maybe help a little on dps while doing that. On the business end of the map it's active summoner for armor drops only.
I got a good dps monk, but I usually prefer my towers doing most of the work unless it''s bosses.

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Acitve builders are the way to go if beating stuff is your primary concern (over being a loot#$% and getting 4 pets for yourself and all the drops) The *necessary* amount of hero damage to be functional DPS isn't as high as what is needed to be a strong builder, so it's easier to have your cake and eat it too than most people think. The ONLY downfall of a hybrid builder is it's harder to find ideal gear.1

[QUOTE]
Having your builder in is not a bad idea. Wasting good armor with dps points though is. It would be nice if we could respec our armor. [/QUOTE] you don't really need to spend upgrades on hero damage, just have one that is naturally reasonably high and just upgrade it a little or not at all. As I said, the *necessary* hero stat burden for DPS is not as high as it is for builders- it's much easier to main builder and secondary DPS than the other way around.

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If your just looting stuff for Campaign, or survival, I use a Monk with Genie and tower boost at 4K. I only use the tower boost for Kings NMHCMM or AQ on mix (Them dang Goldfish!!!) My Monk does very little dps damage.

DPS for Nightmare is really only good on a few Campaign maps like Tavern Defense first wave. Otherwise I have genie and upgrading things fast, collecting mana for next wave build phase. I drop my builders in split screen last wave to collect more stuff.

On insane or lower, any dps Character can just wipe through hordes of enemies.

The Akatiti Jungle map changed my strategy. I threw my Genie on my Huntress who does only 27mil dps in tavern with cat. That map needs DPS support with your builders in or not. It's brutal. So you kill lots of enemies and hope your towers keep out what you miss.
[QUOTE]
it's much easier to main builder and secondary DPS than the other way around. [/QUOTE]

I find it more easy to split screen if I need a builder bonus. I notice guys now using summoner to build and upgrade though. I guess it's what your use to.

Mike.

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[QUOTE]I find it more easy to split screen if I need a builder bonus. I notice guys now using summoner to build and upgrade though. I guess it's what your use to.[/QUOTE]Split screen has its benefits, but I honestly hate doing it. Don't like having a smaller viewport, and it just feels a little cheap having 1-3 "players' that dont do anything really but multiply your end rewards since they all go to you. It really discourages playing multiplayer except when you really need the help of multiple active players.

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Sorry, but no. When Ogres have over 60 million HP, even up to 200 million HP, An extra 30k damage from my harpoons isn't going to make much of a difference when I'm already chewing through them with my DPS character and somewhat with my towers. The only time I actually use Builder Bonus is when I'm armor hunting, and need my building summoner out. Even then, I have a DPS Summoner out should things get hairy. 2 million DPS on a hero is far greater than 500k DPS on a building hero and an extra 33% damage on towers.

Hybrid builders are really only possible for very high end players, such as those who farm Akatiti. Even then, having Dedicated DPS is still significantly better. Ogres die faster, You can oust Copters (If you're ranged, or they're in melee range), you can clear clogs and gas traps quickly, and safely. The lost potential damage from not being a active hybrid builder is partially made up for by investing in tower stats instead of resists.

If you want an active builder, splitscreen them in a safe spot.

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After trying out the splitscreen thing for a bit I can definitely say that it's still better to have any one of your builder toons out and hiding out somewhere where your line needs a boost, while you run around with a pure-hero setup. My "choke point specific" preference is an aura monk with an App guardian using Tower Boost (and they should have more than enough mana floating in to maintain it throughout the wave), but a Summoner rocking an App and Huntress guardian (or squire if durability is an issue; sadly monk guardians are...pointless?) has an equally impressive effect on the chokepoint they're babysitting, as well as providing the map wide buff to all of their minions.

As another person has stated though, the problems aren't "filler" trash that's flowing around (your defenses take care of those easily enough), it's Ogres and Djiins, and with those two you want to bring a lot of highly focused damage to take them out. What's the point of increasing your map-wide damage output by 15% (because no one builder is going to represent more than 1/2 of your total defenses damage output), when what you need is a 2-3x increase in damage done at a specific choke point that's getting hammered? That's what a properly built hero does. They bring an exceptional amount of DPS to bare on a single location, clear things up (and repair) and move on to the next crisis.

Now, in an ideal world what you'd more realistically do is keep the primary builders *active* anyways, near enough to soak up mana during the waves (act like giant mana batteries between waves), but far enough to be safe.

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I get the logic here in part, but beating Old One with a Hybrid Countess builder would not be the best option. Having a ridiculous melee and/or boost character tears the game up for lyfe.

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I get the logic here in part, but beating Old One with a Hybrid Countess builder would not be the best option. Having a ridiculous melee and/or boost character tears the game up for lyfe.
Old One is not "most of the game' though. Obviously this isn't ideal for bosses, but you can change to a DPS for the boss. This isn't meant to say "hey DPS, you are garbage", it's meant to say active builders can be perfectly good for most of the rest of the game, using DPS to augment your defense, rather than RELY on it for defense.

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when what you need is a 2-3x increase in damage done at a specific choke point that's getting hammered? That's what a properly built hero does. They bring an exceptional amount of DPS to bare on a single location, clear things up (and repair) and move on to the next crisis.

One problem with this idea. One person can't be everywhere at once.

Morrago, Sky, Karathiki, CitC, and Talay especially, getting around the map in a hurry can be very difficult. Thats why I play these maps with my builder summoner active. Minions are almost purely focused on dealing with ogres, there are a huge number of them compared to harps/FBs that are the main DU anti-ogre towers, and to top it off summoner has the best means of maintaining large maps (and my builder is spec'd for this with 1k cast and flash).

Being active effectively adds 50% (give or take a tiny bit) to your tower damage stat. For those of us who wont/cant use omnix's "all builders active" theory (how many people can run the maps I listed with 3 afks with a decent frame rate?) and play solo a fair bit, active Jester/Summoner makes a lot of sense.

However, where this is most effective is for those just getting into NM, not those grinding out unnecessary stats. Early strategies, Uberfests, etc. tend to rely an awful lot on harpoons/FBs. Especially if not solo, having the harpist/mage active makes an awful lot of sense.

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One problem with this idea. One person can't be everywhere at once.

Morrago, Sky, Karathiki, CitC, and Talay especially, getting around the map in a hurry can be very difficult. Thats why I play these maps with my builder summoner active. Minions are almost purely focused on dealing with ogres, there are a huge number of them compared to harps/FBs that are the main DU anti-ogre towers, and to top it off summoner has the best means of maintaining large maps (and my builder is spec'd for this with 1k cast and flash).


You're also not needed everywhere. :p

But I do agree about Sky, Karathiki, and Cliffs. Insanely annoying maps, but Summoner definitely shines there.

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I know I will just be repeating a lot of people, but I'd like to add my thoughts as I feel this argument is extremely poorly thought out.

Hybrid builders are VERY VERY hard to make, but very powerful. Thankfully, a seahorse can spawn with over 450 in all tower stats, so you can cover the DPS pet. Swords can spawn with 500+ tower stats and 300^, so you've got the sword covered, check! Armour can spawn with hybrid stats that are useful, and high ups check! But what is the problem here? Well, let's look at it:

Pet: You miss out on 100-200 points in every tower stat. In addition, it is very hard to farm a top end pet with over 400 in every tower stat.
Weapon: You miss out on 300-400 points in tower stats due to upgrading damage. These weapons are easier to farm than pets, but still don't drop as often. Usually hero stats will suffer greatly.
Armour: Hahaha, have fun farming good hybrid armour. In addition, most armour takes 50-80 upgrades to even hit the soft cap for resistances and you're limited to ONLY farming armour with 4 resistances.
33% bonus to towers: Not only is is super hard to farm hybrid gear, but you lose out on at least 1200 tower points in total. But, the biggest problem by far, is the distribution of towers.
Go summoner for 33% bonus? It's going to hit the most towers at once, but it takes ~18 MU to do the same DPS as 6 DU, so to compare to other builders, we're buffing 33%. Another major problem is that summoner doesn't seem to compete on the DPS side of things.
Go Apprentice? DPS on this hero sucks, so there is no point.
Go Huntress? Traps are for trash mobs/sharken/djinn killing. It's not going to help you much the 33% bonus, and you'll maybe have 15-20% of your DU in damage traps (usually much less).
Go Monk? It stats to get interesting here as monk has great DPS and lighting auras kill trash mobs (more importantly sharken/kobolds/Dew). Because of the great hero abilities (and the need to Kill sharken/DEW fast) and DPS can we consider this as we are only buffing 15-20% of our DU on most maps.
Go squire? If you don't use app towers, but harpoons, then we run into a situation like the monk. The DPS ability of this hero makes it worth considering, not to mention the strength of your harpoons at killing ogres/djinn/choppers. On most maps, we're looking to buff 20-25% of our DU.

DPS toons: When you build a high end DPS toon, you'll be seeing at least an extra 1500-2000 points in the important hero stats, but more likely (due to the difficulty of farming + level bonus points) you'll be seeing +3000 missing points in hero stats and using DPS weapons/pets with 20-30% reduced attack. A solid high level DPS toon can either a) mass kill ogres fast with pet + attacks b) 2.5-3.5x tower boost & kill ogres fast with pet/hero boost c) Take out bosses much faster so towers don't die in boss wave. You can get a pretty high end hybrid toon if you spend more time farming hybrid armour than just farming 2 separate sets, but that defeats the purpose. But, you'll be seeing 40-60% less DPS out of an average hybrid builder unless it's at the cost of tower stats.

Final thoughts on hybrids? Active summoner boosts the damage output (seeing 1/6 of effective DU boosted), but lacks real strong DPS. It's better to just keep him in phase mode and repair than be hybrid (extra +1000 attack points boosted by 33%?). The monk and the squire are the only viable hybrid heroes, but they still fall short seeing 1/8 to 1/13 of effective DU boosted at the cost of +1000 tower attack points. I could suggest a hybrid monk or squire for fun, but not for effectiveness. Any high level map (where you need to worry about more than 2k stats) requires such a wide distribution of builders/towers that any advantage of the active builder bonus is quickly lost.

Conclusion: At high levels, non-hybrid characters are more effective due to the difficulty in farming gear, that would put your hybrid's DPS within 20% of a non hybrid, and the distribution of towers by builder. At lower/mid levels, hybrid toons are just as effective as non-hybrid builders.

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Best hybrid is actually a jester builder hybrid. A jester can make all the towers except EV ones and summons. So a jester hybrid builder will boost all other towers (harpoons, FB's, electric auras, proxies, infernos, etc.) Plus a jester can upgrade fast, re-position any walls that get moved, and the wheeling to heal towers and kill enemies. While this may be unnecessary for most maps for high end players, survival runs like Akatiti and Palantir need all the help you can get.

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[QUOTE]
Final thoughts on hybrids? Active summoner boosts the damage output (seeing 1/6 of effective DU boosted), but lacks real strong DPS. It's better to just keep him in phase mode and repair than be hybrid (extra +1000 attack points boosted by 33%?). The monk and the squire are the only viable hybrid heroes, but they still fall short seeing 1/8 to 1/13 of effective DU boosted at the cost of +1000 tower attack points. I could suggest a hybrid monk or squire for fun, but not for effectiveness. Any high level map (where you need to worry about more than 2k stats) requires such a wide distribution of builders/towers that any advantage of the active builder bonus is quickly lost.[/QUOTE]I don't know about anyone else, but I wasnt talking about making the summoner active- little can come from that because of the abysmal scaling of pets on summoner. But for other builders, it's much more worthwhile.

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Hybrid builders were actually fairly popular at some point, I vaguely recall having seen quite a few back in the early Misty days. Sadly, it wasn't easy to make them back then and, like people above have said, it is even harder to make them now.

While items now drop with much higher stats than before, the stat requirements have also increased, plus it is more common than ever before to see devastating negatives right next to high positives. Even putting aside a full set of resistances (and enough upgrade slots to get them to a reasonable level), you need at least non-awful hero health in order not to get brutally murdered after wave 25 - in addition to at least 3 outstanding tower stats.

Altogether, my estimate is that you'd be rejecting at least 75% of the loot that would be perfectly useful on non-hybrid chars, and you could gear up a whole roster of non-hybrid builders in the time it'd take you to make one competent hybrid. In fact, I'd risk a claim that you need a decent team of non-hybrids to farm enough gear to make one good hybrid in the first place. You will need them to even farm enough mana to get those resistances and damage up on your hybrid gear, sort of defeating your point.

And then there is the question of what you stand to gain and what you have to lose. Sure, the active bonus will make up for investing those points into hero DPS and resistances instead of tower attack. But there's the issue of secondary stats. For most intermediate to advanced players, switching off a perfect or near-perfect kobold will mean the loss of 20% or more of their tower health, rate, and/or range stat. Especially in the case of health and range, that is a noticeable penalty that will not be cancelled by active builder presence, as the active bonus only affects the tower damage.

Of course the higher your stats are in the first place, the less a loss of 400 or so points will mean in terms of actual hit points and radius - but if your stats are so good that 400 points is an acceptable loss, then chances are you don't really need the 33% active bonus either.

And what will you gain in return? You will have the satisfaction of tearing the mobs a new one with much lower stats than other people, but at the same time you will be stuck with at best a mediocre DPS that will neither triple-star towers as quickly as a Jester nor will it destroy ogres as efficiently as a Barbarian or a full-DPS Monk.

As I see it, hybrids were more valid back when everyone had crap stats and hero DPS was virtually meaningless either way, but now the gap between mid-end and high-end DPS is so glaringly huge that the 30% bonus to the damage of a single kind of towers just cannot make up for it.

And if your towers are good enough to handle themselves without the extra hero DPS contribution, I'm fairly certain you might as well phase-shift on your Summoner and watch the armor drops flow in, or switch to another builder and stash them up in a safespot somewhere.

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i used to use hybrid builder but it to hard it much simpler just to go all out tower hero and dps hero

i dont need the extra bonus damage when a dps hero can kill ogres it self that the only real threat to defenses

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