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Ultimate Builder Challenge (NM maps)


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Hello everyone, I would like to get some ideas for a contest I will be hosting soon.

I want to host a contest where people rely on their ability to build and use strategy to win, but NOT give advantage based to higher stats. To this end, I will be creating a score system (and this is the part I need help with) based on your hero stats and towers used in the build. To win, you will want the lowest score possible.

The problem is trying to figure out how "useful" or how to "balance" the towers that can be built. The system will work like this:

1) Add up the hero tower points (a balance method will be applied to the fact that one stat is better than the next). We will call this "tower_stats"
2) For each tower built by that hero, multiply the tower's balance number (to be determined) by the tower_stats and sum these together.
3) Player with lowest score wins. Players will be imposed the restriction of not being allowed to attack enemies, results must be repeatable/verifiable and in a timely manner (i.e. not gas trap clogging to only let a few enemies trickle through at a time.

[quote]
So for adding up hero tower points, here is how you get the number "tower_stats"
Auras:
tower attack + tower range + tower rate*0.5 + tower hp*0.5
Squire:
Tower attack + tower rate*0.75 + tower hp*0.65 + tower range*0.5
Apprentice:
Tower attack + tower rate*0.75 + tower range*0.5 + tower hp*0.5
Traps:
Tower attack + tower range*0.75 + tower rate*0.6 + tower hp*0.55
EV Beams:
Tower attack*1.5 + Tower "rate"*1.3 + tower health + tower range*0.6
Minions:
Not allowed :D mwahahaahha!
[/quote]

Now for the tricky part, how do we blance the usefulness of different towers? The balance multiplier for towers should:
1) Reflect the DU cost of building, so that you don't get a lower score just by building less towers.
2) Reflect the strength of one tower over another (a single gas trap might make the map 10x easier)
3) all towers must be somehow comparable to all other towers (even though they don't share the same function)

This is not a question for the faint of heart! In my next post I will start to work out some possible balance numbers and update them as we go.

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Tower balance:

All towers will be referenced to the harpoon for scoring as the harpoon is a 1 hit wonder... Has enough HP to work like a wall, hits flying, ground, ranged, does generic damage, etc. The deciding factors will be determined through community input (if any) and factors of how those towers make your build easier (i.e. gas traps stop all djinn/sharken, lit auras kill trash mobs so harpoons kill ogres, walls stop ogres from attacking, etc). The "stronger" the tower is, the more points it awards you.

Harpoon = 1.00*6 = (6) - Baseline tower, well rounded, super useful. Cost = 6 DU
Spike wall = 0.50*3 = (1.5) - Very inefficient vs physical beams, poor DPS, can prevent ogres attacking. Cost = 3 DU
Bouncer blockade = 0.70*4 = (2.8) - Limited range, decent DPS and HP, but far inferior wall or DPS tower as it takes damage much easier. Cost = 4 DU
Blowing ball = 0.75*7 = (5.25) - Similar to harpoons, but lacks range and cannot attack air units. Cost = 7 DU
Slice n Dice = 0.50*8 = (4) - 0.5 is the lowest balance multiplier I'm using... so this tower gets it due to being bad. Cost = 8 DU

Ensnare aura = 2.20*3 = (6.6) - Slowing pretty much every enemy on the map (except ogres) is HUGE. Easily 2x the usefulness of a harpoon, may make worth more. Cost = 3 DU
Lightning aura = 2.00*4 = (8) - Being able to kill all the trash, massively damage NM mobs before your harpoons have to worry about them, allowing you to focus on ogres is huge. Easily 2x the usefullness, may increase further. Cost = 4DU
Healing aura = 0.5*4 = (2.0) - Not useful in this challenge, get lowest possible usefulness of 0.5. Cost = 4 DU
Strength drain aura = 1.8*5 = (9) - in addition to the super useful damage reduction, the elemental stripping may be invaluable, due to high DU cost, usefulness will only be placed at 1.8x. cost = 5 DU.
Enrage aura = 1.5*5 = (7.5) - Due to requirements of reasonable completion time and the fact that the are less useful if not left in areas vulnerable to djinn, they end up with a lower usefulness of 1.5 for now (still super useful). Cost = 5DU

Proximity mine trap = 1.3*3 = (3.9) - Extremely powerful source of generic damage to deal with trash mobs. Efficiency reduced due to difficulties with killing trash mobs fast enough, always being triggered, reduction in damage from center, and constant need for repairs. Cost = 3DU
Gas trap = 2.5*3 = (7.5) - By far one of the most useful towers to build as it stops everything except spiders, kobolds and ogres. Currently 2.5x, but may increase usefulness. Cost = 3 DU
Inferno trap = 1.3*4 = (4.2) - A reasonably good AOE damage source that works well in synergy with gas, but probably not as efficient/effective as lighting auras, 1.5 unless someone can show lighting auras are not far superior. Cost = 4 DU
darkness trap = 0.7*3 = (2.1) - permanently removes elemental affinity, but lacks the range and damage reduction of SD auras. The "blindess" effect is not very useful and does not effect ogres. Cost = 3 DU
Ftherial spike trap = 0.85*3 = (2.55) - single target damage = full damage and has a higher hitbox to have some capacity to hit air. Still, severely handicapped by range and no AOE, may make lower. Cost = 3 DU

Magic missile = 0.8*3 = (2.4) - pretty decent DPS and rate of fire, but has no special abilities. Cost = 3 DU
Fireball tower = 1.1*5 = (5.5) - Much better AOE splash for dealing with ogres on a wall and has similar (better) DPS for DU usage, but lacks ability to pierce and hit NM mobs if ogres are in the LOS. Cost = 5DU
Magic barrier = 0.5*1 = (0.5) - Again, lowest possible ranking. Pretty much vastly inferior to physical beams in most cases. Cost = 1 DU
Lighting tower = 0.7*7 = (4.9) - Although the lighting tower is great for its multi-target ability, it lacks the raw damage in addition to being elemental. Cost = 7 DU
Deadly Striker tower =0.6*8 = (6.4) - The ability to shoot through walls and a very long range keep this tower from receiving a minimum score of 0.5. Cost = 8 DU

Proton beam = 0.7*(DU) = (1.4-3.5) - The massive DPS is heavily offset by the lackluster range. Cost = 2-5 DU
Physical beam = 1.5*(DU) = (3-7.5) - Walls are super invaluable in chocking off areas and keep ogres from destroying defenses. No wall beats the physical beam. Cost = 2-5 DU
Reflect beam = 2.2*DU = (2.2-6.6) - Without reflect beams, choppers are really hard to deal with, almost critical for some builds. Increased point value due to large length of 1 DU reflects. Cost = 1-3 DU
Shock beam = 0.6*(DU) = (1.2-2.4) - Overall, shock beam's stun ability is not very effective at lower levels. Cost = 2-4 DU
Tower buff beam = 3.00*(DU) = (12-18) - Can easily buff 4+ towers in a match making them at least 50% stronger each. Cost = 4-6 DU

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You come up with some crazy ideas man. There is a major flaw. I have a 5k squire. I have no desire to retool him to a 3k just to compete in this challenge. I think you would get more by basing this off of least applicable DU units. Then you sit in with them to verify number of units used etc. etc.

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I think this is a good skill-based challenge and would fill a hole of there not being a lot of 2k stat builds. I've been meaning to create start new lower-stat lvl-74 builders with my old myth gear.

Regarding completion in a timely manner, I'd suggest points be awarded for completion time. It will be tricky to balance, but there should be some reward for making the waves go quickly. Then, you don't have to make special rules regarding gas traps.

As for hero attack, I think a weak hero should be allowed to clear mobs at the end of the round - stuck mobs, enemies stuck in gas traps, and most critically, end-of-round djinns that go to town when your gas traps are off (yes, you can manually detonate the traps and wait too, but since you're there already, might as well finish them).

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I want something that is not determined by who has beast gear, as all of our previous little threads have been. Least DU and fastest run time are always going to go to people with higher stats. If you did wan't to participate, it wouldn't be so hard to get low specs. We're going to be look at a map with < 1.5k stats requirements, possibly lower, so you'll be able to just take off your armour, respec and suddenly have the appropriate stats :P The way I'm setting up tower balance will put a LOT more weight on the towers used compared to the player stats. Tower stat fluctuation in the range of 200 points here and there will not have a significant impact on the score.

My job is try and find a behind the scenes calculation (which anyone can study to optimize their build) to make this effortless and reflect the ingenuity of the build for stretching your player stats as far as they can go. I agree that it is a PITA to re-spec and test builds for low level stats, but it is also very challenging to your skills as a master builder!

Reflectice, I will have to give some thought to the idea of clearing djinn, but the idea is to make a build that relies on the strategy of tower building. To make it much easier to police (although I still see a few loopholes people could try to abuse), I have put in the no hero kills/damage.

Edit: At a later time as we start to get on to harder maps, I will incorporate summoner to the challenge. For the first few maps, it will be original campaign maps until we get the kinks ironed out.

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Love this idea. A lot of players had to rely on this to progress when the game first came out...

Now a lot of players just "buy gear" from others skipping this whole process. That's why I'm such a big fan of not using the AFK stores and trying to develop your own strategies. That's how you progress and get better... not the other ways which do not help you grow at all.

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One thing you could do to even the playing field for those who want to participate would be to have them respec to a specific stat distribution across the tower stats. Then you could provide them with a Godly or Myth armor set that they return after the run. No weapons, accessories, or pets, just armor. It would require you to trust the individuals participating and limit the number of builders they are able to use so you wouldn't have to come up with 5 sets of armor to provide to them. Just my $.02.

-Ynnoj

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One thing you could do to even the playing field for those who want to participate would be to have them respec to a specific stat distribution across the tower stats. Then you could provide them with a Godly or Myth armor set that they return after the run. No weapons, accessories, or pets, just armor. It would require you to trust the individuals participating and limit the number of builders they are able to use so you wouldn't have to come up with 5 sets of armor to provide to them. Just my $.02.

-Ynnoj


Would require a damn lot of work for Draemn though. Not only would he have to make the sets (which is rather quick), he would have to be there for every single participant. In things like this you want to progress, fail and improve. Would suck for Draemn to wait for that all the time.

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The idea is to run a couple of these, starting on easy maps, and see what creative ways people come up with to game the points system (or any flaws) and gradually improve the system through a few trial and error before moving on to the real challenging maps :)

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anyone have suggestions on how to balance towers? I've made up a list of starting values that can and will be tweaked as more is learned :)

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Best thing to do for balance is for someone to see if they can exploit the numbers to get a low score build by picking the best towers... :P

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First map has been picked and event is live.

The point scoring system will be modified during the period of the event and picking winners, so just use it as a rough guideline.

Also, the focus will be on HOW efficiently you use towers, so choosing to build less than the full DU on the map will not result in any significant reduction of score. No formal sign up, just post your results before the deadline.

http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?95650-Bi-weekly-Master-Strategist-Who-can-build-the-best&p=818765[[3818,hashtags]]

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Why not complete some maps with no items,

only basic character stats, of course lvl 100 characters.

Maybe limit to max 2 different type of characters.
Like build a specific map, can only use mage + ev, or squire+monk, any2 character.
Maybe ban Summoner.

Or even better still, complete a not-so-easy map with only 1 character's tower (no items only character stats).

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One thing you should be wary about is repairing. High casting rate or a character with a better base to repairing (like the jester)can easily swing the battle in your favour. Another question you want to ask, is using an imp and/or guardian(s) allowed?

And about being replayable, I can imagine 1 or 2 upgrades at a certain choke can decide if a build fails or not. If you decide to playtest a build, 1 run may not be enough to judge a build. There's always a little 'random' factor.

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Any pets that don't prevent you from master strategist. Summoner will probably be best for the challenge as you can put on 2 guardian pets.

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2 aura stacks, a 4 buff beam, a 5 buff beam, 2 lightning towers, 7 magic missiles, a bunch of magic blockades, do they count? I think there was 8 or 9.

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So I'm doing my own challenge just to get a feel for the map, how the challenge works, etc.

I can say that this is probably too challenging to leave it so "open" and measure based on the lower your stats. In the future, I will probably change the format to:

1) here are your restrictions for towers used and stat range
2) here is the map you need to play
3) Player who makes it to furthest survival wave wins or player with least DU wins.
4) Small bonus points for going slightly lower stats.


This system is just not the best as it takes a lot of effort determine what stats to use... I am owning with 500-600 stats range and feel I could probably drop my stats another 100 points or more... but that would just seem like a silly use of my time to constantly be changing my hero stats.

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