Hi! First, thanks for your feedback and sharing your experiences with the game. For the scepter of time: Did you try the Time Master skill? It allows you to have the scepter in your starting hand. Also, I really understand your feelings about the randomness of tower drops. Actually, the reason why it is done this way is that every game should be different and players will need to improvise with the stuff they get. I know this feels a bit odd (and I made the same experience a few times when I wanted to try a certain strategy). But in the end it happened I came up with something completely different... I could imagine something like a new map, where you enter the game with a custom deck of tower cards and no tower drops. For instance, you are allowed to take a deck of X tower cards with you, no tower drops in the game. A pure sandbox mode might become boring pretty fast in the long run.
Thanks for the reply Andy!!! I have seen the Time Master skill. I haven't used it yet, but is this basically saying that the option will just never be in game? I understand the improvisation. Again, I love the game. But with the way you balanced everything, I really don't think that just changing how we get towers would ruin the experience. I've had runs where I had every tower that I felt I needed but didn't have the right combo of potions/items. I was still forced to improvise. I love the new map idea. It would be great if you implemented this. I agree sandbox mode would present much less of a challenge, but it could be just to work on strategy and not contribute to the ladder? Again, thanks for replying. I know how hard it is to create such a game and as balanced as things are in relation to each other you can't just go and change things willy nilly.
I believe he's saying if you're wanting to help blitz through the game a bit quicker, there's an option to drop three or four points in to Time Master to guarantee you'll start with the Sceptor. So, on the one hand, I agree about the randomness. I've been a very vocal opponent of the random nature of the Forge becoming completely pointless (I've been playing for months waiting on Seelenreiser, the Knight Hero or the Blood Demon, still don't have even one of any). That's one area of the game where I'd like to see an alternative of chance. Could you imagine an RPG where every quest had a large chance to provide you absolutely nothing? It would suck all the inspiration out of you. Now, as for the actual gameplay itself, I tend to agree with Andy on that one. I've done games where it seems like EVERYTHING is out to get you, and managing to claw back a win from that can be absolutely amazing. As a Darkness guy, I totally get your frustration. I've had multiple runs fail because I simply couldn't get ANYTHING to help me out. But it's still better than gameplay where I know what to do, every time. Imagine playing Bloons if it only had a few maps. You'd just be doing the same thing over and over. It'd be awful. I agree too, the new map ideas sound fun. I would assume it wouldn't contribute to ladder, as it would be an utterly broken advantage if it did.
AS I am on my my phone again I keep this short. I like the randomness. Take it out and it would get more boring. Adding a sandbox is a nice idea but no quests and ladder for it or else the normal mode will be abandoned.