First off I started this off as a reply to https://dungeondefenders.com/2/topic/141798/pdts-are-the-games-best-example-of-synergy-more-like-these-please?scrollTo=1254940. So go and read that first so this makes sense. Anyways, this is a post about synergy and passive/builder development in DD2. I think Trendy has made a lot of good decisions and a lot of lazy decisions, but has been improving a lot. Let me know what you think and feel free to suggest ideas. Hopefully we can get Trendy to read this and maybe implement some of our ideas. I agree with ya. I like the multiple chain explosions. It's a way to make single target towers as effective as AoE towers. But that is where the problem lies. Using AoE towers has become useless because of purge evil and poison explosion. I love passives like this and I agree this is the type of synergy we want in this game. Fire/Oil, Ice/Shatter is too force IMO and hard to balance because of instakilling the 1m+ hp mobs. That being said, the poison/SA/frosty or proton beam is the meta not because poison is op, but because the chain explosion is. I don't think it needs to be tuned down personally. I think the enemies need to be tankier of the explosions have less of an impact or something like that. More importantly, I think we need more synergy with the aoe towers. Poison dart towers are supposed to be high dps single target, but the explosion spreads the poison and essentially makes it aoe. That means the aoe towers, like flameburst, earthshatter, archers, rams, etc need something else. I think this imbalance is just due to poor passives on those towers. Pyromania increases flameburst damage. Cool! Awesome! Archer tower damage increased by up to 10% wow! cool! Earthshatter, 20% chance of knockup, hmm wow! A non guarenteed small knockup and increased explosion radius, again super cool passive!! I'm serious, it's super creative and thought out. The PDT passives and some other towers are creative, others are not and feel forced or just unusable. The PDT has 3 parts, increased damage, explosion % and explosion radius. That is literally 3 passives in one weapon. Why can't other weapons/passives be like that? This is what confuses me. The first well designed tower (IMO) and people bash it for being op. Other towers should be as developed as this and then you can increase mob hp and build variability. For example the ramsters passives are absolute garbage. Increased direct command damage? Being forced to play an abyss lord? C'mon Trendy I know you like your quick hero swap but no one wants to swap to a builder abyss lord and sit there activating ram's. There can be so much more to the towers than just the one directional passives. These are really just some ideas I came up with just now but at least they're something. Let's look at the earthshatter tower. For starters, put the explosion radius and chance knockup on the same passive so we can have defense crit and vector corrector. Better yet make us an earthshatter weapon with radius increase, knockup, and a special passive just as one of the passives. For example, earthshatter has a 50% chance of creating a fissure swallowing small enough mobs instantly killing them and trapping other bigger mobs. Then we would have a sweet weapon to farm that can have the passives we want. Let's look at another example. The flameburst tower. Right now when you farm for flameburst/thrower you want defense crit, pyromania and vector corrector. Again these passives are so stale. Be creative. Put give pyromania two more parts. For example, flameburst tower has a % chance of causing a massive explosion deal % defense power in X radius. This adds some oomph to the tower, and gives us something more to farm for than just the pyromania. i think you did a pretty good job on this with the tephra bomb and explosive arrows, but you can't stop there. Another possible passive could be a way to encourage oil/fire combo. Flamethrower has X % chance of spitting out napalm damaging enemies for x % defense power for X seconds. Those are some of the apprentice passives. Now lets look at the other 3 starters. Huntress. I love the explosive trap/ elemental chaos. I think it needs to be touched up since there are no magical/physical resistances anymore, but I liked that there were certain scenarios where one was better than the other and the unique elemental damage they could do. Personally, at this point I think making the traps just be elemental chaos and expanding on the different elements would be the way to go. Add passives that increase the chance enemies get shocked/drenched/etc. The elemental chaos traps are quite hard to balance though so someone else feel free to chime in. I like the geyser traps too, at least the Harbringer version of them. They are solid defenses to get rid of that burrower that snuck by your other defenses dealing high single target dps. I think there's room to expand, maybe having a passive that when the trap activates, it floods, pushing all enemies back and drenching them, etc etc. You get the idea. Blaze balloons need the crit to be fixed first off. 2nd, I like the phoenix and that you can get defense crit on the weapon passive specifically for the balloons. These are really basic ideas. Balloon explodes, everything gets covered in fire. Kind of 1 dimensional from the get go so not much to say here. Squire. Still kinda confused as to why the training dummy was implemented. The bouncing blockade was a fun and useful defense. Damaging and pushing enemies back in a certain direction they made defense power on the squire useful. No, now we have two squire walls, and the 20 DU one is quite useless. I have a cannonball squire, but don't really use him. The cannonball just feels like a differently skinned flameburst tower with no explosion. No knockup, no bowling, only single target damage etc. These guys need something to make them useful that isn't just having better damage. Make the range longer and not so wide. These towers should be perfect for demon's lair, but theyre not, at all. DD1 cannonballs on demons lair... Yes please. Again, give the cannon ball tower something special. Get rid of the heavy cannonball uber, make the passive better and implement it on a weapon. The squire needs help.. Can't really compare harpoons to DD1 because speed isn't the same, but the harpoons don't feel like harpoons. First off their range is pathetic. No reason my harpoons shouldn't cover half the map. These should be some of the longest range defenses in game. Also I like that harpoons have pierce, and splody harpoon is nice, but they need something extra again. They're just like any other dps tower which means that they're never used if they don't have better damage. Make better harpoon spheres and passives. Can't think of much atm, but something like x % for harpoon to stick in enemy for x seconds slowing them down by x %. Having 10 harpoons shooting a boss, the boss should have harpoons sticking out, walking slow as h**l. Monk. Oh god. The only thing's I really like here are the serenity, for its one good passive, and the boost aura. Boost aura is fine IMO. I think some of the sphere's like giving blockade hp are weird, but w/e. The serenity aura is only good because of one passive, which i think is a problem personally. I don't want purge evil removed as a player but maybe it should be. Serenity aura's feel like they have one purpose, purge evil, and that's it. They really aren't used as a hero buffing aura as I think they're meant to be. Remember monk is supposed to be a supportive character, not place a SA and poison tower and the lane is covered. Either make the SA entirely for different types of explosions or make it for hero buffing. This is also where I start complaining about heroes having 4 towers.. I think the 4 - 4 is dumb and I like how trendy did the full dps gunwitch but I wish some heroes had more towers than dps as some abilities are never used tbh. Anyways thats a different topic for a different post. Ah man I've only touched two towers so far. OK. OK. The SkynoGuard tower. Does this tower even exist anymore? Hasn't been used since waaaaaay back. Look trendy if you're gonna stray from the monk only building aura's and give him a strictly dps tower, at least make it good. On top of being dps, its strictly air (ok and knockup targers) dps. And its a *** air dps. Why use skyguard if archers are just as good? Needs some love, asap. Give it increased damage and range for one and then give it something special. Doesn't have to be some crazy elemental stuff, but maybe a sphere or passive that decreases flyer's damage? This way we drop a skyguard tower for the flying kobolds, and even if it doesn't kill them, it decreases their damage enough that they don't oneshot all your towers and core. This is a poorly thought out example but you get my point I'm sure. The tower is not useful or unique at all. IMO have a vote on changing the skyguard tower back to an aura and give us a new aura. I loved the DD1 monk. OK. Now the lightning aura. Again, one dimensional like the flame burst tower. 3% damage. Farm radiance and defense crit. fun!! very interesting passives.. Sooo much room for stuff here. I like lightning strikes, but why give us that aura or the normal one? Can't the normal lightning aura have a passive % to do the lightning strike? give us that random huge burst of dps that makes us want to use this aura and frosties again. Also give us a paralyze % passive. It's lightning ffs. There should be a chance that the enemies are just frozen still for a second. Honestly there's much more to this than what I'm saying I'm not the most creative. Back to the Apprentice. I like frosties. Honestly I wish they slowed a bit more but I can't complain. They're extremely useful no matter the meta and Frosty power/ snowstorm have a place in my heart. I wish the passive's rolled together however. Arcane barriers just puzzle me, like the squire dummy. Why do we need 3 boring walls on just the 4 starter characters. Let alone you add walls with the new characters, but at least they do something cool. Arcane barrier does some damage, spike blockade does some damage, dummy does some damage. The only walls really worth using are the 30. Obviously this can be debated, but why not just let the squire be the waller and give the apprentice more magic towers? The arcane tower in DD1 was the simpest dps tower. No elements, etc, so tbh I dont think it would fit in DD2. DD2 is a much more "wow"-ing game IMO. The apprentice needs a new kickass defense, just get rid of the barrier first. So let's see first, the apprentice has a slow, quick aoe damage, and a slower, higher aoe damage. So why not give him some high single target damage, maybe a deadly strikes tower? An example setup for this (imagine a long lane), a flame burst tower and earth shatter tower wreck the little goblins. A frosty tower slows the one's that get past, the burrowers, drakin, etc, and then the deady strikes tower lights them up. Placing it far back makes sure it doesn't target the weaker mobs. Something like this. It's an idea that took me 10 seconds. You guys get paid to make this game and be creative I'm sure you can do better. So those are the four OG char's but I have some stuff to add about the new ones. I only have the abyss lord, ev2, and lavamancer, but I've heard of and seen the others in action so I feel it's fine to voice my opinions. I like the idea of the abyss lord, I just think the direct command and the passives need work. Archer's are probably the closest to well done. The explody arrows and increased damage/range makes them quite viable atm. I think a few more passives to farm would make them even better. For ex. archers have an X % chance to headshot, dealing double damage and stunning the enemy for .25s. I know that seems like overkill, but right now the passives are very underwhelming. FIxing the chars/passives/builds means you can increase end game difficulty. The ramster is just not too hot IMO. The only passive is something that works when you use the active command? That's super lame trendy. I like the ramster as a flamethrower sorta thing that is a skinny section and not 360 degrees like the flamethrower tower. Just roll with that. Using the direct command should be a burst of power, not the only source of viable power. Give ramster % damgage increase and some unique passives to make them usable. I can't really comment on the other two abyss lord defenses because I have no where near enough experience with them to comment. But I do like that Trendy made a more unique blockade! You guys are getting better and that's music to my ears. The Ev2 is one of my favorite characters and I think you guys did pretty well overall. I love flying, I like the bots, and the proton beam too, but the building part isn't so hot. I really like proton beams and the frosty node passive. Honestly I think that's all they need as this defense is one of the simplest in DD history. The buff beam I also really like, but I wish the range on it was more usable. I'm fine with the length of the beam, but the hitboxes of defenses prevents you from fully utilizing it. Again this beam is fine I think it's perfectly viable although it competes with the buff aura and the only reason I wouldn't use a buff aura is because of the repairing necessary. OK so the reflect beam. I think you guy's had a good idea, but it wasn't executed well. The reflect beam is meant to stop projectiles, that's fine and dandy I hate spear throwers, but it costs 80 DU for one strip, offers next to no DPS, and frankly put is that necessary with the billion walls you give us. I'm not saying it should be dropped. I think when the game gets harder and spear throwers are one shotting the core this reflect beam will be crucial to use, I just disagree with the torpedo explosion passive. Decrease the DU and just have us use it as a projectile deflecter. We have the Proton beam as pure damage, why exactly do we need this beam to cost so much to give us just a little bit of DPS. TLDR; just make it a projectile blocking beam. Now, I don't think the torpedo explosion thing is scrap worthy, but I think the weapon manufacturer is. I understand you want to make the game an active builder/dps style game, but don't waste one of our precious defense slots on something that is strictly for dps EV2's. No one builds their characters Hero dmg, and defense power, get rid of those drops please. I Say you get rid of the self heal and make EV2 naturally heal over 5 seconds with no damage (says its because shes a self repairing robot who cares) and if you want to keep the weapon manufacturer put it on the 4 slot. Give us a physical beam on slot 8 and put the torpedo explosion stuff there. That way we expect the crap damage because it's a wall, and shouldnt be doing damage. Also, let us place beams on walls and stuff. Using a physical beam to block wyverns and stuff like that would be awesome. THat last idea is far fetched but yknow I can dream. The gunwitch from what I heard is a cool character, but isn't the strongest dps in the game. I think that's perfectly fine. Since you can build most characters dps, they all should have comparable dps. I'm happy that the 8 ability dps character hasn't dominated everything. Mystic I haven't played but seem's pretty cool I like how she isn't just straight dps. The Dryad also seems really cool and well done. I've seen some crazy burst from her and her buildings are unique and have some pretty cool concepts. Passive's should be more than just x % increased damage, IMO. The lavamancer. Great job trendy. I really like parts of this hero. He's fun to dig around with (can you please let us dig under small walls or the rails in Malthius incursion it makes no sense) his harder and dps are fun and so is his first ability. I also love the eruption idea and that temporary boost in damage. This was probably one of your most creative designs and I've really enjoyed playing him. Now on the topic of towers, the fissures of embermount are perfect. They support his eruption ability primarily, but aren't just a waste of a spot they still do some damage which is really nice. The lavamancer's wall is also pretty cool. This is one of the more interesting walls in the game. On top of some crazy hp, it can turn stuff to stone and instakill. Awesome design, very creative. It is another wall though, which is just about the only downside, but it's a cool wall so there's that. The oil geyser is pretty sweet too. I don't use it much because frankly put its quite weak but the idea is awesome. This really supports the oil + fire combo which is a nice nod at trying to make stuff combo and it isn't that much like the geyser trap which is really good. My only problem with this is that it does some damage and oils the enemies and then they walk right past. The only thing geysers have is the possibility to stun, and some increased damage. Meh. Kinda hard to add anything to these considering it's an oil geyser so maybe I'll have to bite my tongue here. Volcano is perfect. One of my favorite defenses ever. % increase on damage and health as well as tephra bomb and some sweet spheres. Not much to complain about here, always gets the job done. Anyways, if anyway stuck around to this point, thanks for reading and I appreciate any consideration of these ideas from you Trendy. Sorry if I ever came off as bi**hy. Only want to see this game thrive and the biggest part we have to address is the tower defense part. Thanks all happy holidays.