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A lick of this and a lick of that...

I've been playing Mazebert v0.6 on Windows 7 for a few days now, and I feel like I have some stuff to talk about. YouTD was my favourite warcraft III map, and I still consider it to be the best tower defense game around, Mazebert follows in its footsteps quite closely, mostly for better sometimes for worse. Game Design: Basically, in every game you'll want one (1) tower to soak most (preferably all) of the experience creeps provide. If you don't go for a "carry" tower strategy you'll start feeling quite helpless around wave 60+, therefore it's fair to say it's the only viable strategy, which is fine I suppose, but at the same time it'll leave you switching between dandelions and hitmen for practically the first half of the game. I feel like having a carry tower system is fine, but the inherent problem is that every game will start feeling same-ish. one way to elevate this issue is by adding more maps, perhaps with less waves, or other restrictions that prevent this practice. Another way to tackle this issue is by increasing carry diversity, now this will naturally get bigger as the game does, more towers (providing they're balanced well enough) will increase tower pool-> lower likelihood of getting popular cards-> force people to use new strategies. One way YouTD increased was by having 'heroes' with different powers, I can't remember the specifics but I remember there was one guy that had a humongous increase in item chance/quality right from the get go, as tradeoff I believe he wasn't able to deal with air as well as others. The above mentioned system is sort of in the game with the new skill tree system, but it's not enough to increase diversity, if you were to make more powerful, more risky skillsets, or if you were to add YouTD's hero system alongside the skill system, diversity would increase significantly. As I feel I haven't explained the diversity potential enough, I will add an example. Let's look at Balu the bear. Balu, like Muli, is one of the more potent carry towers as one of his abilities permanently, and repeatedly increases the tower's power, Balu suffers from being incredibly weak when he's first placed, and needs some time to get going. Balu also only has one range, which is currently only elevated by having Helm of Hades in your inventory. These restrictions are all fine, but as there is only "carry" tower in your lineup, Balu is going to significantly gimp you when he's first placed (unless you get about a billion mass waves in a row) so, balu is almost never viable, unless you were to place him really early on, but his cost and his rarity prevent you from doing so in most cases. But say we were to have a hero that adds 1 range to every tower, (at the cost of something else) the hero would suddenly make balu a bit more of an interesting prospect, you can perhaps hope to survive normal/boss waves a bit longer, additionally, towers like 'wolf' would also benefit from this greatly. Or lets look at Blofeld sattelite, this thing's potential is incredible, but from experience it only starts becoming worth it when you have 400k+ gold, which is only achievable through having many moneyboxes(or being at wave 150+), now what if you had a hero that increased interest rate by 5%? you would be able to afford, and sustain the Blofeld Sattelite MUCH earlier than is currently possible. Balance Because the game is heavily RNG focused, especially given the power of Oils, balance is going to be a hard thing to achieve, but we can at least try to focus on making every game unique by increasing our options, let's look at towers on a case by case basis for now: (wall of text inc) Beaver: This tower feels like he should be quite strong, his range is long (3), cooldown is fairly low(2s) and his effect is horrendously overpowered at the tradeoff of low base damage, but his stun doesn't work properly, so I really can't tell. I imagine creeps would need to build up some stun resistance if the stun were to actually last 2 seconds. At the moment though, in it's bugged state, this tower is really not that great. Dandelion: This tower pretty much wrecks mass waves early on, the real, somewhat hidden strength of this tower is the fact that it doesn't have an elemental weakness, the tower is also strong enough to deal with early bosses and normal waves, If compared to baby rabbit I feel this tower will win most situations, perhaps with the exception of "fast" normal/air waves. Eventually the tower becomes obsolete, it's replacable with a messerschmidt's reaver, a high attack speed on any single target focused tower (scarecrow, hitman, poison frog), a bear hunter, balu, or electric chair will also serve as a counter to mass replacement. all in all I feel this tower is fine, it's a safer way to deal with the early game than scientists or pocket thieves, while these other towers provide a bit more risk/reward. Baby Rabbit: I get this tower If I'm dealing with early fast waves or if I'm faced with mass waves and don't have a dandelion handy. I think the tower is a bit weak, the leveling bonus comes into play incredibly late, and is bugged in the sense that the third carrot only comes into play after the tower has leveled, and I can't imagine anyone will manage to let a baby rabbit carry to level 16 at the start, lest they forfeit some boss/challenge rounds. I would decrease the third carrot level requirement and perhaps increase its minimum base damage slightly, if only to make the tower a more reliable choice than its competitors. Poisonous Frog: I think I occasionally get this tower in the midgame to deal with tough challenge waves or the first horseman, I think the scarecrow is far stronger in nearly every situation, even the unreliable hitman seems more effective. To increase the Frog's viability I would shift it's role to secondary tower, let the poison deal more damage over a longer duration of time, or give the poison a different side effect like say, a slow or a damage amplification deal, the reason I wouldn't push a poison based single target tower as a carry option is because last hitting is hard to ensure with poison. overall a bit weak and perhaps not fit for purpose. Herb Witch: In most of my games I stack about 4-7 herb witches around my main tower for maximum attack speed, Herb witches combine really well with Keys of wisdom and Ganesha, in order to level up and provide stronger attack speed auras. The Herb Witch seems really strong, early on her attack deals high enough damage and has a short enough cooldown to nib a lot of last hits away from the main tower, though, it doesn't matter too much since the herb witch will increase her potent aura, and levelup fast, I've tried running the witch as an early main tower since she gets so much exp, but she doesnt provide enough damage to survive most waves, it's doable if you get (plenty of) early t-bone steaks, however. this tower seems really strong, and more popular than I'd like to see, I think the tower's aura shouldn't be stackable and her attack speed should be lowered a bit, that said I would like to see the aura be a bit stronger, to compensate for my suggestion of stopping the Herb Witch's 'tasty potions' stacking. Wolf: So I heard this tower was nerfed? assumingly so this tower was nerfed into the ground. I think this tower is not viable at all, by the time you get enough levels on your towers, and wolf cards in your pool, and item cards in your inventory to make this tower strong enough, you'll probably have far better options at your disposal. I like the tower's wolf pack mechanics, so perhaps I'd focus on them a bit more, aditionally, with the suggested removal of Herb Witch aura stacking the tower would presumably be a bit more viable. (as in, with the aura's not stacking you'll have the oppertunity to enlarge the pack) Huli the Monkey: This guy's abilities seem to indicate he's intended to be a carry, while I would argue he's supposed to be a support tower, unfortunately his card doesn't say anything about the banana stuns, which are presumably, just like the beaver's stun, bugged. The tower overshadows beaver hugely, but isn't that strong of a carry, although he might serve well if you manage to stack the nearby board with female towers. I'd stick to keeping this guy a support tower, focus on the banana mechanics, perhaps make mojo increase banana throwing speed or stun chance, we all know this guy is just there to feed Huli anyway. Bear Hunter: from my experience this guy is ludicrously strong, all you need to offset his early weakness is a longbow, this guy is far more reliable than Balu, whom also relies on slow attack speed and splash mechanics. I have mixed feelings about this guy though, he seems like he'd fit the idea of keeping creeps in place through traps, but at the same time I like the way this guy carries by stacking numerous explosive traps, I'd say just nerf the numbers on this guy a little or make him more expensive, maybe just make his competitors stronger. (I'd still like a tower that actually traps creeps) Holgar The Horrible: I can't comment much on this guy, the few times I've used him I almost immediately replaced him, I think this guy can be quite strong in the midgame if you manage to feed him a bit of mead, but I just haven't found the oppertunity to test him yet, Bear hunter, of similar cost, seems like a much more reliable option. Ganesha: This tower is incredibly potent but offset by it's rarity and cost, which makes it a must have mid-lategame tower. Ganesha will quickly reach level 99 and is perfect for carrying keys and the dungeon door (unless placement is unfavourable). I think this tower might be a bit too desirable, I think this can be limited somewhat if Ganesha's levelling capability were to be cut down a bit. Balu the Bear: I really want to like this guy, but it's hard to find a time to utilise him, I've thought that he could maybe be strong as a secondary tower, if you manage to keep enough oils to eventually make him your primary wrecking force. I like the idea behind Balu but I think his cost and rarity hold back his slow but steady advancement, as well as the restriction of his single unit range, all of this could be somewhat offset by adding other metagame advancement options though, so if you were to touch anything I'd just tone down his gold cost a bit. Manitou: This tower is a must have, it's perfect if it's in range of your primary tower, yet out of Ganesha's range since this tower has 0 use for experience. I think this tower is perhaps a bit silly, it's basically a must-have support tower that only provides multicrit, I feel like perhaps giving it some kind of leveling bonus, or other purposes would be better, but that's not really balance related, as for balance I think this tower is fine, perhaps a bit too cheap but in my experience I always seem to be able to afford the most expensive towers by the time I really need multicrit anyway, so it's fine I guess. Hitman: I like the risk the tower represents, though, for a common tower, it provides some extremely good features, such as its Six tile range, and the 25% crit chance/damge, which is actually really good if you consider that crit chance is probably one of the first things you'll level as a wizard. I'd like this tower to be less important by changing up the wizard leveling metagame as mentioned before. Scientist: This tower is really handy, especially because you can turn them into other, more desirable towers later, I wouldn't call the tower strong though, therefore I'd suggest not touching the tower, except to maybe make the experience gain per hit a more important aspect of the tower. Pocket Thief: The Pocket Thief has a fairly low attack cooldown and a good range, which makes it a really good tower to farm up some early game gold, especially when she manages to hit level 6, or finds early gold coins/hand bags. This tower is fine, and again, can be more interesting with increased variety. Electric Chair: I'm a big fan of lightning/electricity in games, it always looks so damn cool! The Electric chair feels a bit weak, the reason being his single unit range. I like how the electric chair makes me play a risky style of game, I usually employ its services when Mass Challenge waves appear, after my chair has zapped the mass challenge wave for as long as it can I'll always call in the next wave to pick off any remaining stragglers that may be near the exit. unfortunately I feel the tower lacks a bit of punch, I often use dandelions or hell, even Scarecrow instead of the Clectric Chair. To Increase the chair's power I propose the following: Increase the base damage and/or range of the chair, while changing the lightning bounces to deal less damage with each jump, the tower becomes less of a "call in the next wave or you're screwed during boss waves" tower and more of a "this tower is awesome" tower, aditionally I would increase the maximum amount of lightning jumps from 3 to 4 or 5, like let's say at levels 12/18/24 instead of 12/24. (or perhaps just increase his attack speed to get insane speed monkey lightning out there) Elvis Imitator: This guy is fine, perhaps just reduce or remove his damage and concentrate on his show. Money Bin: The aura is really good, as is the interest bonus. 100% required to have any successful sattelite strategy, also handy to get your big uniques out during the midgame. again I don't see a point in this tower having an attack, his aura seems to be really strong, and with its stackable nature, quite ridiculous, stackability nerf would fix all my gripes with it though, I think the interest rate should remain stackable. Muli the Evil Twin: I just read that this guy is getting remade. Currently, in 0.6 Muli the evil twin is quite powerful, if you can provide him with enough Huli's, in the coming version Muli will instead of on kills, buy booze when he's not getting fed by huli's, which, to me, makes it seem like a more situational tower, which is exactly what I'd like to see out of this guy. Blofeld Laser Sattelite: I just don't think this sattelite has ever been a viable option to me, by the time this tower gets a decent base damage you probably have a tower of death capable of carrying you to wave 200 anyway, it takes way too much to get this tower working properly. What I'd do: change the tower's base damage gain to be more effective early on with diminishing returns for higher amounts of gold, also, reduce its initial cost. Black Widow: The tower seems to have really good stats, a desirably low cooldown, and decent base damage, she even has a passive that'll help her level faster than other towers, but, I don't see why anyone would have this tower as a primary tower, I think this tower is fine as a secondary tower, to increase drop/gold rates of nearby foes at the front. All in all I don't think this tower needs more work, unless she was intended to be a carry. Scarecrow: I love the concept behind this tower, it has the same kind of idea as the bear hunter does, in that it prepares for waves by stocking up on weapons, in this case crows. I think the tower is absolutely fine, wouldn't change a thing about it. Knusperhexe: I don't know how big of an impact creep armor has in this game, but knusperhexe is a fun tower nonetheless, and, if I get her relatively early on, she will carry any handbags I come across in the hope she'll eat some mass creeps with delicious potions in their pockets. I can't comment on her balance as I haven't been able to measure her impact on the game. Horadric Cube: In most games I'd say the Horadric cube is absolutely vital, that is, unless you manage to get a good amount of item find/quality % early on. The problem with this tower is that, well, it shouldn't be a tower quite honestly, I think it should be a feature which can be accessed at any time, especially since it's so very vital. Well that's it for the towers, I think items are mostly fine at this point, perhaps I'd buff the blue ring slightly to make it worth taking up a slot. Pacing is another important aspect about this kind of game, it gets kind of easy after wave 100 and I think it's important to note that most people will play this not to reach the final wave, but to level their wizard and make their towers as strong as possible, so I suggest, albeit a bit of a drastic change, you make waves past 100 slowly adapt to the strength of your towers, to see if you can adapt in return. To Reward players in being defeating these waves, the XP the wizard gains should be increased accordingly to the strength of said creeps. Alternatively you can make the last 60 waves or so a bit stronger, and add 'challenge' waves after you defeat the final horseman. And, last but not least, here are a few bugs (and oddities) I've come across: -After transmuting items sometimes the new item will improperly show the icon of one of its reagents, for example: a rare t-bone steak may present as a ring of greed. -When equipping items, and I assume swiping at the same time, you may find yourself in the tower's stat screen as opposed to returned to the inventory screen, if you equipped an item it will still be equipped -When certain towers reach a certain attack cooldown, their attack clips won't overlap, this might not be a bug but in the case of Hitman, for example, it feels odd because most of its sound clip is an empty shell falling on the ground, I'd suggest cutting that part of the sound clip, or being a bit more lenient with sound clip overlap. -Stuns do not work for the proper duration Those are the bugs I've been able to find, my experience with the game has been that it's surprisingly playable and heaps of fun. (and it's damn addictive) Thanks for reading, I look forward to further releases! P.S: I Always thought YouTD called Potions 'Oils' because it makes more sense to apply Oil to a tower than to make it, perhaps not even an animate object, drink said potion :p

Wow! I'm just overwhelmed by this. Thanks you, Infinity, for your amazing feedback. I read your post after getting up this morning and couldn't believe my eyes. How cool is it, that someone takes so much time and write such a great feedback to my game. This is really, really nice, so thank you! Now, I just got settled after work and still thinking about all the input you provided. Right now I'm currently shipping version 0.7 (yay!), but after that I will provide some more detailled feedback!

Sorry! Releasing 0.7 just took longer than expected. Gonna go crash now and do a proper reply on the weekend. HF with the storm edition in the meantime :-) PS: I think some of your suggestions are already in there!

Haha when I reviewed what I had typed I was surprised to see the sheer volume of it, I look forward to hearing what you think! Also, I just played a game of 0,7. I really enjoy Balu/Baby Rabbit's range buffs especially, I haven't used (or found use of) any of the new towers though (can dark forge items be transmuted?). The new Items are a genuine blast. Edit: Played another game, Dark Forge items are in fact transmutable, which is really handy for getting those essential rares. My Only concern however, is that, by tying item quality to level, the tower is really unlikely to produce the blade of darkness, which I would assume is the primary purpose of the tower (since it's a costly unique tower, therefore a mid-late game investment). It's doable if you were to convert a highly leveled Ganesha into the dark forge, or if dark forge were to be your primary tower, which might be possible since its base damage is ludicrous? It's an interesting tower to fiddle around with. Still haven't gotten `round to test the Shadow Tower, its power seems interesting but the proc chance seems kind of low, I'd imagine this thing would be incredibly easy to level with a few paintings, though.

Alright, here it comes! I love the concept of Builders in YouTD. It's something that is most definitly planned to add to Mazebert. I agree with you, this will boost strategy diversity a lot. I am not sure yet when it will be added, but I think in the next or version after that. Beaver There is a ticket for version 0.8 to implement stuns properly. I added a note to the ticket, that the final stun duration of towers using it needs to be tested and balanced accordingly. Frog Actually frog can be a nice carrier for completing the game. When a creep dies because of his poison, he gets the XP so he can grab in some cases more xp than other towers if creeps are not insta-killed and walk out of the carrier's range. Also, the poison level bonus is quite strong. There where already some demands to nerf Frog because of that, but so far it didn't happen :-) Herb Witch That's some feedback I get a lot! I actually like that auras can stack, at least from reading the card I think you would expect it that way. But, right now this leads to that herb witch is the most desireable early/mid game tower for every strategy, and that's a bit too much. In the next version I will add 2 more towers with a support aura. Let's see if it then becomes more interesting! If not, I think the suggestion to make it unstackable is a good option. Wolf This was the most imba end-game carrier before 0.7! Because as soon as you got helm of hades you could get a ridiculous amount of crit chance/crit damage on it. Now the range was increased to make the tower more interesting for early game and the crit boni where nerfed, maybe even a bit too much. But time will tell. Huli Prior to version 0.6 this was the carry tower if you wanted to make sure to win the game. It got nerfed a little bit, but I think it still is one of the best carry towers around. Check out his mojo and what support towers you build around your carry right now anyhow :-D In terms of support, I know some people use a pack of hulis as better beavers, too. Electric chair I also have mixed feelings about this guy. When I first added it, it was way too strong so that I nerfed it significantly. Right now I really like this tower as a early/midgame carrier which alows me to play the game at really fast pace (call in next waves). But at some time during midgame it just can't keep up anymore, so you need to look for other carriers. Which is a good thing in terms of gameplay. I see, that it would be cool to finish the game with an electricity kind of tower. It might be an option for one of the still missing rares on Metropolis. Knusperhexe Her chance to grab a mass creep got nerfed from 50% to 20%. There is some writing about creep armor in this post: https://mazebert.com/2013/09/21/creep-abilities/ But right now I really dislike that armor is not communicated better towards the player - but I want to keep the interface/notifications/texts as slim and simple as possible. Not that easy.. Horadric Cube I think horadric cube as a dropable card is a really nice thing! When you finally get the cube at lvl 80 or so, you just go YEAH finally. Plus you can then happily transmute a lot of gear at once. Pacing In 0.7 the waves starting at round 140 will get another boost in HP kicking in. So the endgame should be a lot more challenging now. Also, bonus round is a must have and should be added in a future version :-) PS: You are right, they are called oils on YouTD!

Hey so, I've played around with the new version a bit, I agree that Frog is actually quite strong, provided you can give it enough attack speed/support to deal with mass/fast waves. Would Herb witch's desirability work better if her rarity was increased? The thing about wolf was, previously at least, that by the time you have helm of Hades and enough levels to make him work, I could pretty much guaranteed have a Bear Hunter/Muli/Hitman to deal with every single wave to come anyway, therefore he (previously) became an option too late, but again, RNG can have unexpected results. Perhaps you could explain mechanics such as luck, multicrit, drop chance/quality, elements and armor in an advanced tutorial? I feel like armor mechanics aren't too important to understand as a beginner, but at the same time this is a fairly mechanically complex game, and looking up mechanics on the forum is perhaps a bit too much for most. I actually prefer looking up the information on the forum, often times these mechanics are explained far more in depth. I have some questions about the new version! If I understand correctly, luck enhances the probability of an ability by a % right? so lets say a 10% chance to create an item after a round on a tower with 100% luck would = a chance of 20%? Shadow is a pretty strong tower for dealing with early game waves, also gets really strong (+3% to everything) off challenge waves, but cannot deal with challenge waves at all, is this intended? as for the recent changes Balu, despite its nerf is still hard to get going, but I like him as he is now. Bear Hunter has been toned down with the longbow nerf, but I feel like he's still a bit too easy to carry with. Holgar just never seems to work for me. As for the Cube, Would it perhaps be an idea to increase his Droprate on Horseman waves? the function the card provides is so incredibly vital, not drawing it can lead to certain losses at times. Also, I've noticed a few more bugs (I think) - Dark forge can produce multiple unique rarity Dark Blades - When transmuting, sometimes the last item you add to the Horadric Cube's inventory stays in the horadric cube after a successful transmutation, effectively reducing transmute cost to 3 items. - When calling in 'next waves' sometimes certain waves will "lag behind", this is most noticeable with air waves, where half of the wave will spawn sometime during the next wave instead of on the original interval

Loving watching this topic! I wanted to add that in my last game at wave 176 my air wave didnt spawn at all!! So I put my phone down and let muli get lotsa liquor!!! Finally after skipping 4 waves it started up again... very strange bug indeed. Just confirming your bug infinity :) Im trying to reproduce it but can't seem to get it quite figured out.

Very nice discussion here! One thing I noticed for some time now, that to the community it is not very transparent what stuff gets nerfed/buffed every version, and how much. Also its not obvious for you what feedback will be implemented and what not. What do you think about a sticky thread that I will keep updated with a plain overview of the concrete balancing todo's that are planned for the next version? This way everyone sees what will be done and also it's easier to follow up for you. Sometimes I forget stuff :-)

Good read and I have some thoughts and counter thoughts myself but I am to tired from work so I'll post them later. A Pinned changelog/patch notes forum post would be lovely! =D Also today my friend had a Cube that when it had -100% (one pumpkin) attack speed it had 0 second cooldown on attacks LMFAO tho he could not reproduce it.

A detailed changelog and a to do list would most definitely help! Yes please <3 Also, I'm pretty sure dark blades aren't 'unique'!

Nice Satellite Infinity :-) The sticky changelog is here, work in progress.

OMG I would have loved to try my Sat with 15 MC instead of the 9 mine had lol Maybe cloes to 75m or higher with that.

Today I updated the sticky changelog for 0.8 with the input of this thread. Please, hit me if you think I've forgotten an important thing! Meanwhile I wanted to pick up a good point from @Infinity:
Shadow is a pretty strong tower for dealing with early game waves, also gets really strong (+3% to everything) off challenge waves, but cannot deal with challenge waves at all, is this intended?
Right now Shadow deals 100% damage to challenge/horsemen, which eventually makes him pretty much useless for mid/endgame. Three suggestion from my side: a) Leave as is b) Damage against challenge/horsemen min(damage against VEX, damage against FAL, damage against BER) c) Damage against challenge/horsemen avg(damage against VEX, damage against FAL, damage against BER) What are your thoughts about it?

I think shadow is fine as is. IF you give it any sort of additional damage to challenge waves it would be the strongest tower in the game [aside from sat].

I agree with that. I think using shadow as a carry is a user choice and one that only a higher level player may use effectively. Figure he would not carry early games as well without the increased dmg and crits from level skills. I like shadow very much as is and have completed several games with him as a primary carry. I think pushing his dmg would definitely lead to nerfing him again in .9.0

You're probably right. One question: Are you able to handle horsemen with Shadow? Because they have the same armor like challenges and should be pretty tough with Shadow as carrier.

Horsemen are relatively weak in comparison to challenge waves. I find the entire game more challenging when using shadow due to decreased drops since so many challenges slip by, BUT he does handle horseman 1-3 ok. Horseman 4 on the other hand can be rough but ive found muli, balu or satelitte secondary carry towers to handle him in time. That's just me though... ive not seen anyone else mention secondary or tertiary carry towers.

@Andy I can't remember how I did on the HM with my shadow lol. @kad I normally don't use a secondary for any sort of damage after the first maybe 20 waves. I use them for there support. Beaver and Monkey are amazing support if you are lucky.