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Balancing 0.7

I've been ripping into 0.7 a lot since it's release and here's a few things I've noticed. 1: Dark Forge Spawn Rates feel extremely low since it's a mid game tower and quite expensive... Figure his drop rate would produce on average one item every 10 waves. If playing him around wave 100 then expect an average of 10 items to be produced. Of course that is providing he even drops before wave 100 and you can afford him by wave 100. 2: With the addition of new towers it is becoming harder and harder to obtain unique towers. An example would be not gaining Ganesha until wave 163. Which kind of ruined my whole plans of trying to make a super Muli :) 3: Muli procs banana slippage way too often with four lucky pants on. Add an attack rate boost to bring him down to .1 and well the creeps targeted by muli dont move much. 4: Adding new items made it harder to not only obtain unique items but also obtaining potions is harder. Making it harder to work on specific strategies and adapt as well as we had originally done so in 0.6... 5: Manitou debuff should also reflect a decrease in cost because it is way less worth it now. 6: Painting of solea and lucky pants barely spawn while norl's items seem to spawn way too frequently in comparison. 7: common spawns seem to overwhelm the drops making the Horadric Cube an absolute must have to survive. I feel that no single tower should be the deciding factor if I can or can not win a game. Except of course the tower I choose to carry me through the game :D 8: Mid level skills seem to be lacking a bit. The drop to the Exp gain skill made it harder to get a tower other than Ganesha to level 99 unless you happen to be extremely lucky in your early game. The Item quality and Item drop skills can be completely replaced with their current bonuses since one water of life acts as both of those skills at level 20 and let's face it we all try to get all of our kills with one primary tower anyway. 9: There are way too many rare drops late game that are absolutely worthless. Finishing a game with 15+ of each; fistful of steel, rare t-bones and herb witch's cauldrons because I literally have no single inventory slot left to place these items in is a little depressing. 10: The game is too short. 200 waves just isn't enough. Every time I get this amazing tower I want to see how far I can push it!! 3 waves later the game ends. I think it would be cool to choose the number of rounds to play (in increments of 100) before starting a game. Perhaps the difficulty is also scaled to reflect the number of waves. SOOO if I am at work and want to get a quick game in on my lunch break I can choose that or if it's a rainy saturday and I'm hellbent on creating the most uber tower ever then I can choose that too. You had mentioned a bonus game in the future but the idea of not gaining anymore items or exp or money really kind of throws me off unless of course I can use keys of wisdom,pocket thieves and the dark forge to carry the game on afterward. 11: There are more and more unique towers or towers that are entirely reliant on not changing them. This can define a game very early and if you make a mistake or just are unlucky there isn't a way to resolve it. One example is Shadow which can be a great carry tower (although he really sucks on challenge waves and horse men) but once you get his bonuses over 500% then if you had to switch out and he lost those bonuses then your switch back to shadow would be entirely worthless. Another example is Balu which is time based so if you spend 50 waves making him powerful then suddenly switch out to a hitman because you just can't reach for those last two hits then not only can you no longer switch to balu again but all the effort you put into him is lost. I believe these are examples of scenarios that you've been trying to avoid since the creation of this game. All in all it's a great update and I still just can't get enough of the game despite sometimes encountering very discouraging scenarios. I really hope this post inspires some comments from other members because you can't continue to mold the game into your vision without our input. Signing off for now :)

Very interesting points! Lets see if I can add anything to this topic: 1. I agree with your concerns with Dark Forge, it takes too long to set it up, after which it'll lack levels, and since quality is tied to levels it'll be far too unreliable for getting items that your carry tower can actually make use of (in the lategame) Oh, and it needs your carry tower to equip dark items to even level reliably, which in turn would gimp your carry tower. The only real success I've had with Dark Forge is when I converted Ganesha at around round 160 and equipped 4 lucky pants. 2. I personally think the game should be centered around adaptive play, therefore I don't think the dilution of the tower Pool is that much of an issue. 3. I think creeps should build stun resistance to deal with Muli/Huli/Beaver stunlocks, especially when the stun actually endures for 2 seconds! 4. I would suggest, to fix this, there should be a fixed droprate for potions/items respectively, the system being like so: Item drop chance-> potion/item chance-> item quality. The above method would ensure that potions and items would have a fixed droprate in respect to each other. As for item pool dilution, I think the main issue with this is that sets will be really hard to fully complete when more items get added, a way to fix this, although it's not necessary yet, is to increase the droprate of missing set items when you're in possession of one or more of the set items. 5. By the time you need Manitou's Multicrit you probably have money aplenty, and multicrit is still fairly valuable. I would say this point counts for Knuseperhexe though, the nerf on her was insane (although, considering the fact that creeps dont actually have that much armor, I think a nerf of this magnitude was required) 6. I haven't had the same experience. 7. 100% Agreed! I've discussed this a bit in my post over at bugs & suggestions. 8. I'm not sure what you mean with this point, is it referring to black widow? 9. Yeah I've thought this too, perhaps the cube should transmute rare items into another rare item? just hunting keys of course. 10. I think the problem lies more in the pace of the game than the amount of waves, between wave 70-120 I find my gameplay in a bit of a lull usually, the progression should ramp up a bit quicker in my opinion. 11. I don't know if I think this is an issue, I think when one places Balu they have the rest of their gameplan settled, and are therefore willing to have a few leaks, or are prepared to deal with anything to come.

Awesome infinity! Ill reply properly after work and a few errands. Figure 5-6 hours

Heya, so here's some clarity and answers etc 1: Regarding leveling Dark Forge. I've had two awesome scenarios which granted good results thus far. The first being when I converted my Secondary carrier to a feeding machine for the DF. A shadow with herb witch speed buffs and 4 paintings of solea. He leveled ridiculously quickly for the short time I had left in the game. The second scenario included a helm of hades and converting DF into my Primary carry. Both worked well and it seems the dark blade can drop around DF level 50. Best of luck with that :) 2: True I do see that point but at the same time it's tough to adapt when you happen to get a ton of towers that you do not need. Hehe I had 23 dandelions with which I had no use for as an example. I need a horodric cube for cards ;) 3: Agree but at the same time the abilities could just be nerfed to compensate. Maybe a .33 second stun. 4: Well the item chances could be fixed in several ways and I do like your method. Another approach could be to segregate the drops so that each type of item can drop at it's own rate. Instead of all pulling from one pool each item type is pulled accordingly. The quality can then be scaled as the game progresses in the same manner at which it is now. Doing so in this way could allow the game to keep statistics and balance drops proportionately. Perhaps even a total inventory can be created which is to say there's 30 of each common, 20 of each uncommon and 10 of each rare + the uniques. As the items are pulled and the quantities exhausted the rate for others to drop increases naturally through process of elimination. Lot's of room to play here. 5: Hmm it's tough here because it feels to me as if the multicrit was dropped to make up for the +1 to multicrit from the Dark Blade (Which I've only gotten once so far.) Manitou was far more valuable before. It could go either way. 6: I'll retract that statement since that was based on gameplay until the post but gameplay after has shown me differently. It really was just luck or a lack there of. 7: Moving on :) 8: That was referring to Player skills (ones gained from leveling) and how those skills just don't seem to provide enough oomph by comparison to the skills before it. Regarding the one tower statement, I couldn't imagine trying to put a water of life into every single one of my towers and hoping it helps. Instead I'd put all my water of life eggs into one tower basket and make it so he/she kills as much as possible. 9: It does transmute 4 rares into another rare. That should spice up your game a bit now that you know. 10: Nah it's totally more than pacing. Since the tower levels are finite and exp gained from base monster stats is finite respective to each game but key drops, scientists and paintings of solea allow us to move toward infinite amounts of exp. Drops are also based on the number of waves. If each wave holds a base drop rate of 1 per se then 200 waves gives me 200 whilst 1000 would give me... well yea... 1000. Meaning more potions AND the potential to create the ultimate carry tower!! Which is definitely the highlight to my gaming experience since there is only one level to play and no way to actually make the game harder than to make crazy rules for myself. Such as using only a baby rabbit as my primary carry or preventing myself from building in specific areas. 11: This goes back to trying to build the most awesome tower each game for me. Balu is great if you can place him sooner than later but what if I get lucky and at wave 60 I get him. Unless I was super lucky and found 5 great potions of speed and at least 3 herb witches + a helm of hades than surely I won't be placing him until wave 100-125 losing all of that time to gain extra damage. So instead i'd place him without those speed boosts and range boosts and hope for the best knowing that no matter what I can't change him out or else I can use him for the rest of the game. Relying pretty much solely on luck to carry me through. This can be offset slightly by pushing balu to the farthest back row so he can gain more time per wave and the rest is luck. Hope that clears things up a bit and at the same time inspires more thoughts :) Thanks for the awesome reply which prompted this equally lengthy series of points. I'm curious though if there is anything further that you feel should be balanced or modified because I'd like the chance to relay feedback on your thoughts and ideas as well!!

Hey, if it's okay, I'd like to first touch on some of the points provided once again, and then sum up some concerns I have of my own. Unless one gets a lot of Solea paintings and manages to level a secondary tower quickly through that, I think Dark Forge is too unreliable/ far too late game to ever make use of (hell, even in that situation it'd take a long time to get it going), I can however see that the tower is a bit of a victim of the pacing and the amount of waves. Also, the fact that the game becomes cake after you hit 100% crit chance makes this tower slightly irrelevant. I'm not quite sure how to 'fix' this tower. As for the imminent 2 second stun thing, I agree that numbers can be tweaked, it's a bit more clear on the new players as well, as a mechanic like stun resistance is relatively advanced. The downside of this is that it'd still technically be possible to Stunlock big creeps, while stun resistance would potentially drive the player to stick with one or two stun towers for challenge waves. I like your item pooling idea! I think the whole pacing/amount of waves issue is an interesting one. I'll agree that adding waves could give you more time to make your epic carry tower, but at the same time, it's fairly easy to cap out your tower combination efficiency, have all the best items, 100% critrate and the maximum amount of multicrit by wave 200, essentially adding waves would just make the end game drag on longer. Perhaps I'm just misunderstanding your point completely, which is a possibility, But I don't see how adding more waves is a fix to your issue! Lastly, I've thought a bit about the Manitou Issue, and as it stands I think this tower should provide more, as in, not just a flat multicrit chance. As far as unique towers go Manitou is utterly uninteresting. I already posted some thoughts in bugs & suggestions, but in regards to balance in 0,7 I have the following issues: Norl's item set is only useful if it drops fairly early on, which is kind of countered by the stats it provides, which is: + fairly poor base exp that scales well with levels + fairly average damage but, scales well with levels + crit chance By the time the stats on Norl's set start to shine you'll probably be replacing it, regardless of how early it drops. Thing is, I think Norl's set is only slightly less desirable than it should be, it's okay early on but not as good as it needs to be: a slight buff to the base stats would put these items in the sweet spot they need to be in. Scarecrow seems really weak now, he's still fairly decent at dealing with challenge/horseman/boss waves but he doesn't even compare to poison frog/hitman. Baby rabbit's new buff is really strong, there are still situations where I'd prefer using the 'safe' dandelion, but in most cases a Baby rabbit can deal with the first 6 waves better than any other early game tower, to change this I'd slightly, but only slightly decrease it's attack speed. Alternatively, another fix would be to reduce the damage of secondary and tertiary carrots. Wolf's new range is nice, but his ability just doesn't make him worth picking up. By the time his level reaches a good Height you should have better tower options. Holgar seems incredibly weak, I'd buff his attack speed and perhaps take another look at what Mead provides.

Sorry Infinity, I owe you a proper reply but haven't had much time. I'll try to respond soon.

First and foremost Sat needs balanced baaaaaad!! I have broke my previous highest damage of 14mil. Screens here https://mazebert.com/forums/topic/my-perfect-game-2-w-insanely-high-damage/ Oh and BTW the Norl Ammy is amazing for getting multiple towers to level 99. Having over 200% xp gain is awesome!

Alright so finally a chance to sit down at the pc and reply. @infinity Well Yea DF is a gamble but his payoffs can be huge. I don't think he's broken except for his low drop rate. Perhaps just a .5% increase to drop per level could be an easy fix. The stun resistance definitely fits better than decreasing duration... Allowing people to think toward elvis a bit instead. There is 3 optimal locations for elvis on the current map. A quick test revealed to me that a level 99 elvis with his ridiculous 12 second slow activating twice per wave was more than sufficient to demolish creeps lol. For the whole more wave topic. We can touch on that at a later date it's not entirely important. I just figured more waves means more time, more drops, more chances to level all the other towers, more ladder exp, more crit dmg and hopefully an immense increase to difficulty as things progress... Meaning you'd need to change things up and perhaps not rely solely on a single carry tower but to perhaps create two or three or even need four amazingly awesome towers. Agreed Manitou is rather boring haha. Maybe he should have an aura based boost above and beyond the multicrit perhaps an increase to all towers attack speed(bonus % per level) and a negative effect that increases the enemy armor levels by a rate of +5(bonus % per level) for each tower buffed by Manitou. Making him more advanced by utilizing a more advanced mechanic. Playing him too soon could be disastrous. Playing him too late could render him useless. I actually like norl's set quite well. That sword quickly surpasses t-bones and passes medium t-bones rather early on. The amulet renders school books worthless in just a few levels time. Though I could definitely agree that it just needs a minor boost to really shine for it's time (until being replaced by rares. one rare t-bone renders it pretty much useless). Set's should be harder than uniques to obtain imho. I think though that having a set should be like whoa and something you'd ultimately not want to part with. Maybe giving it a unique ability like a chance to hit multiple targets.... for each bounce the projectile has a .25/2^n (where n = bounces) % chance to bounce to another target. I agree with the scarecrow being weak but he is a nice tower to use in emergency scenarios. I felt the ability was way too much at crow+1 for level/5 but now feel he lacks with crow+1 for level/7. I wonder if level/6 is a sweet spot?! Baby rabbit is indeed awesome now but he needs it to keep up with the game. Until you find your "happy" tower setup through luck rolls each round, switching between low cost towers to survive is definitely a better strategy than just bombarding towers randomly across the map. Super baby rabbit makes it much more feasible :) Figure not every player who starts mazebert will think quality over quantity for quite a while. Regarding wolf and holgar.... well I hate the wolf but have encountered a time or two where I was unlucky with item drops but found way more wolves than one should want or need... a quick switch out of towers gave me the 100% crit rate faster than any other tower combo for the price. I must use him more to know for sure but he has saved me in a pinch a few times. Holgar on the other hand has caused me grief and misery and suffering but I think it's because I refuse to play him early enough. I must try him more because I can't comment atm. @korn7809 Sat is pretty awesome and I love your strategy. I don't think it is sat that really needs balancing by comparison to the money box. Stacking 14/15 money boxes just is insane and the massive interest rate is overwhelming. The boost to coin drop is just so great that indeed Sat becomes a monster. He is the only tower I prefer to wield the reaver permanently because after a 2.5 mil dmg even his splash 1 hit kills everything. Unfortunately, that damage is first reliant on your income and secondly affected by your equipment. The last element makes the difference and that is potions. Finishing a game with 18b money still only left me with a 20m (excalibur and 3 rare t-bones) dmg sat because of low "useful" potion drops. Let's face it, no player needs 20 or 10 or even 5 billion money to finish a game. I think balancing the money box would naturally balance sat. Then the only other way to achieve your result would be pocket thieves + black widow and a whole ton of gold coins in addition to the nerfed money boxes which I think if one could pull of an awesome game with that combo of elements then they deserve to finish a game with 50m+ dmg :) Agreed with the amulet but I can never get them early enough to use on my main carry tower. Rawrr i want em and i want em now haha. It is tough to use em on secondary towers without plenty of keys though. I found that dark forge benefits from them early on and after about level 50 he just loves getting lucky so he has to wear 4 lucky pants!!! I much prefer the painting of solea as a leveling device. placing shadow with 7 leagues and 3 paintings puts him on a pretty good run for exp and despite being chance driven, allows for even the weakest towers to level even when placed within the last 20 waves of play. @Andy Hey Mr. DM where are you in this?? hehe haha!

@kad The thing is its not just MB that give me that much money. My main carry for most of the game is Black widow lol (btw she is one of the best towers for a carry). Over 3k for rich creep kill near end game and over 10k for bosses.

Tiz true that black widow is an awesome carry. I use her even if she cant be my carry for the game. Though all those mb stacks make her epic once gold boosts reach over 500%. Figure 5 mb at level 1 gives her 300% which quickly makes up their cost :)

Still haven't transferred all feedback to the changelog :-) Sorry! A bit off-topic, but how are your feelings about the last horseman in 0.7? I had a few games where I simply couldn't turn him down. Also, how did you experience the increase in difficulty starting at about round 140?

I have not noticed the difficulty increase lol.

Hehe, alright. When I look at the high dps images you posted this doesn't suprise me that much :-) Okay, looks like a challenge. Need-to-beat-last-horseman :-D Also, there was a time my ladder rank was much higher :-(

We definitely could use a boost to difficulty. Maybe start the new tier at wave 120 instead of 140. Also perhaps push the armor up starting at 170-180 !!! :D

Damn, I just lost by the third horseman :-D Hmm, maybe we need tiers of different difficulties ^^

Yes!! With matching ladder exp ;)

My list for now: - Agreed DF is kind of ehh since it mostly generates useless whites that end up being cubed. It's pretty easy to level though if you just put one item on a high level genesha and you'll instantly get to about half of genesha's level. Also most of the items it creates are kind of useless anyway. My suggestion would be to just make DF items more powerful especially the common ones: remove the sword and replace it with a 25% meat, add another 10% to DF coins, add some item quality to the ring, and increase the drop chance for the sword (several games with a lvl 60-80 DF and haven't seen it yet) - Rare items are kind of odd for wave 150+ since you can't really use half of them so you have to cube them in hope for getting a more useful rare. - Muli is too powerful in so many ways (both as a support due to high stun frequency and carry due to insane dps potential of alcohol)

1) True - DF is not at its full potential yet. In terms of items, I decided to only make a dark version of items made of metal, which *could* be created by a forge. So adding, for instance, the steak wouldn't fit to that scheme. One thing to consider would be to lower the level cap of better dark items to drop. I see that right now you either get from the forge: a) more items to transmute (not the greatest boost, for endgame neglectable) b) items for your support towers (nice for midgame, for endgame neglectable only if DF would be your carrier) c) items for your carrier (currently this is only the blade of darkness, maybe meat mallet for early midgame if you lack crit anyway) Right now I like that you start with crap you can only use for transmutation/xp increase of forge, turn over to support tower items and eventually get great gear for your carrier. It's at least some kind of progress. So I think the problem right now is, that DF a) has no carrier items for midgame b) only one carrier item for endgame, which might be hard to obtain (although there is a screenshot around with 4 blades of darkness in a blofeld satellite :-D) I would propose to add a new DF exclusive midgame carrier item and double check the dropchance of blade of darkness! 2) That's right. At least in my games as soon as I have 3 t-bone steaks + excalibur I'm usually done with my carrier. There should be a bit more diversity in rare items that could be equipped by your carrier. For example, 2 more carrier specific rares with advantages/disadvantages would be a huge benefit for the game. 3) Agreed. As an endgame carry Muli is really OP at the moment. I need to check the concrete numbers, but I think his strength is a little too high right now. Is it true that he is a good support? Wouldn't it have the same effect if all hulis feeding him would do their stun thing?

@kad Still making up my mind about the difficulties.. Usually I like games with just ONE difficulty which is perfectly balanced. But I also see the point that there are different kind of players around, from casual to expert.

Regarding muli... yup he's definitely beast... +1 ;) I think he should have an attack rate closer to muli perhaps 1.2. Once you get him to .1 att spd he just constantly drinks. Maybe his dmg is ok but liquor rate is too often as well. Regarding different difficulties andy. Technically there doesn't have to be more than one setting. Perhaps making endless waves with your current formulas... the goal no longer being to complete just 200 waves but to survive as long as possible... which could even have its own ladder :)

3) Agreed. As an endgame carry Muli is really OP at the moment. I need to check the concrete numbers, but I think his strength is a little too high right now. Is it true that he is a good support? Wouldn’t it have the same effect if all hulis feeding him would do their stun thing?
The advantage is that he only takes up 1 spot and since his dps is higher it makes it worth it placing him on the 4-2 area whereas placing lots of hulis there means you don't get as many support towers. It also means the stun is where it's needed which isn't quite guaranteed if you place hulis on the exit area. In my recent quest to try to use every tower as a carry muli played a major role in slowing down enemies enough for my trapper carry to get enough traps on the field.

Still though, muli just gets too strong as a carry...

My suggestion about Muli would be to cause him to get stunned either for x (~5) seconds if he buys a drink for 1 second if he can't attack.

@Nillo Thanks for the explanation. I see the advantage of Muli as support over multiple Hulis. Good catch! @Kad Good point about the endless option vs. levels of difficulty. I fast forwarded the ticket to the current sprint (0.8). I think it would be a quite nice addition as you say! @Nillo I really like your idea with a stunned Muli after alcohol consumption. This will nerf him in a way that fits perfectly to the game world. Makes sense that you're not in the best condition after too much alcohol :-D What are the others thinking about this idea? For my part I really like it :-D

I love the idea! To think I took a shot then throw bananas like what!!! Is insane.. I know I need at least a second or 2 to recover after a rough shot... unless im doing chains of shots. Id say procedurally, If shottaken == true then If (shottaken) -->recursive... Else Stun End if I think thatd be mega awesome.. though if att == .2 or < then muli may drink in between each creep... maybe there should be an a lag like if attack then wait 1.5 sec to drink.

Yesss. I'm back from holiday mode ;-) The changelog was updated with this idea for Muli. Also, another thing will change for both Muli and Huli: Air creeps will no longer slip on bananas, due to the laws of phyisc. Makes sense, I guess ;-)