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Unholy suggestions

Hi, Let me start by saying that I love Mazebert TD, which made me take to time to come up with a few suggestions to make it more fun. What I like the most are the crazy towers, which take a lot of creativity. But first some harsh words (or skip the next 2 paragraphs!): After the initial learning steps, it becomes clear that the game is a tough nut to crack without the 89 'power' points. So the main goal of the game is to get all those points, preferably by clearing all 2000 waves. In fact, it is necessary to finish 2000 waves, otherwise it will take forever to get them. And that's where this game becomes a drag. Of the 2000 waves, only the first 100 will matter for the outcome. (so 95% of the waves don't matter at all) By wave 100, one should have a main tower with the rest of the lots filled by money bins. To get there, it takes hours of 'scrumming' (if you're in bad luck) to get all the money bins you need. If you have like 1 million gold by wave 100, you can sit out the other 1900 waves; they won't cause any problem. One has to check in every hour or so to let the main tower drink it's potions and off you go. Conclusion: One needs to get 2000 waves done, over and over again. 95% of the waves don't matter, as long as you get the first 5% right. To get those first 100 waves right, it often involves long and boring hours of scrumming. Suggestions to make the game more fun. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ***Give the player more control! Right now, the outcome is too random and on the other side also forced by the game designer. Forced as in: Before wave 40 one won't get a money bin at all. After wave 50 it becomes more likely. After wave 90 all the purple cards will be thrown at you, after which the money bins wil come in abundance. between wave 120-140 you get the 2x speed item, etc, etc. Too random as in: One game you get all the cards rights, some games you won't get any card right and you will have to start over, the other games you're doing great, till the point the game makes it impossible to overcome the lousy drops and you'll have to start over. Or you start scrumming, which is not as intended (and will be removed in the next version or so I believe I read somewhere). Conclusion: Give the player more control. You can do that in various ways. One important thing is to give the player some control of what cards he will own. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Example 1; Make the player choose it's origins (Nature, Metropolis, Darkness) and give these cards a 50% drop probability. Example2 Make the player do achievements which are hard to get but doable, unlocking certain game mechanics. Like giving the player the choice to choose from which stack the next card will be (Nature, Metropolis or Darkness). You can take this a step further by making this an upgradable ability, to increase either the white/blue/yellow/purple card probability. Another way to give players more control is in the way items work. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Right now, potions far outweigh items. You can use unlimited amounts of potions, but only 4 items per tower. To balance this, items should become way more important. Either they do things that potions can not, or they should become more influential/powerful. Also, make them more interesting. Like a tower card could serve as a bonus to one tower, but as a malus to all the others, or to certain types of other towers. Example1 Item cards now come with a certain effectiveness (white/blue/yellow/purple). Instead of putting the effectiveness on the card, you should let the player decide how important the card is by letting him put it in a slot with a certain effectiveness (white/blue/yellow/purple/orange, etc). Say, an item gives an experience boost, say '+0.5 xp per kill -1 gold per kill', the slot would decide how powerful it would become eventually: Like white gives a 1x boost, blue 1.5, yellow 2.5, purple 4x boost, or so. Putting it int he yellow slot, it would give +1.25xp and -2.5 gold per kill. The way I see how this works best is if you have a pyramid-like structure for item slots. 1 purple slot, 2 yellow slots, 3 blue slots and 4 white slots. This could be tower wide, like it is right now; one pyramid for each tower. Or this could be game-wide. One pyramid item slot influencing all towers. One could even imagine extra unlock-able slots through the current 'power' point system, or through an achievement system. Achieving something difficult, unlocks something cool and wanting, instead of an increment in damage or speed. Just thinking out loud here :) Example 2 Make items and item-sets dependent on each other. Like, a set focussed on a bonus to raw damage, should give a big malus to (...) gold income. Say +250 damage and -70% gold income. The 250% damage is a bonus everyone would like, but the penalty in gold income makes it unusable without other items mitigating it's weakness. There could be an item giving +50% gold income, though also giving it a -20% experience, compensating for some of the losses. You could build item sets which compensate for each weaknesses, a bit like the current frozen set, but with higher values; making the choices tougher to make with an incomplete set or a bunch of single items. Win some, lose some. If you combine this idea with the above about colored slots; you can put a weak card in a purple slot, compensating for a very strong card in a white slot. This creates the necessary tinkering for the player upon acquiring a new item with different characteristics creating a new challenge, requiring a different strategy. Make the map/terrain interactive ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (I'm just brainstorming here, so don't point fingers when it sounds ridiculous) Instead of one route from start to finish, make two or three, or just create simple shortcuts. Give the player control when and how the creeps will walk where. Simple shortcuts for creeps can be a start, giving towers ahead a chance to butcher half of the wave immediately and make the other half of the creeps walk the scenic route. A different possibility is to implement special, map based agents. Like darkness creature should avoid the sun beams and try to stay in shadow areas to regenerate their hit points. While nature creatures better stay away from the darkness and into the light, while bosses want to avoid tight areas as it will take them longer to cross them, etc, etc, just thinking out loud here. Make the damage model more complex ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Ever played starcraft2? It's a bit like rock-paper-scissors. Armored creatures (bosses, challenges) are better defeated by towers who have attacks that penetrate armor (e.g. Hitman). Unarmored take more damage from sharp attacks (baby rabbit). Light armored would suffer most from explosive attacks (Dandelion). This prevents the situation of having 1 main tower and zero or a few support towers. I think the game would greatly benefit from diversification of damage and armor. I want to use the in-game gold to upgrade my towers!! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I don't care how, I want to spent my gold on something different than only buying towers. I want to see crazy upgrade paths. Not just incremental damage/speed/range upgrades. There should be choice. if I want my baby rabit to throw explosive blades, I can't have have axe upgrade. When I bought the explosive blade upgrade, I want to upgrade to either homing blades with improved anti-air capability or go for the rabbit mother upgrade which spawns tiny kamikaze rabbits, exploding on impact. When I went for the axe thrower upgrade, I want to turn my baby rabbit into a ninja throwing ninja stars, damaging multiple enemies, or transform it into a rabbit mother, popping out crazy little baby rabbits with giant teeth, good at attacking big enemies like bosses. With the aforementioned damage system upgrade (armor types and attack types), my baby rabbit would either transform from a knife thrower (good vs unarmed) into an explosive tower (good against light armor) or a piercing tower (good against armored). Man I have so many more ideas, and even several bugs to report, though I will save that for another day... First want to know if my ideas find any ear, before I get perm banned from this forum for spreading unholy ideas ;)

btw, how do I change my avatar pic?

@Brand thanks for this extensive write up and feedback! This board uses Gravatar for the avatar pics, a globally recognized avatar system. The first part of your writing is true, the waves above 200 are definitly repetive and no longer very challenging. This is something to be changed in the next version. You can have a read in this recent blog post: https://mazebert.com/2014/03/23/back-again/ Another way to give players more control is in the way items work. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I see your point with the item/potions imbalance, but I think items are already much more unique in their abilities than potions. Take uniques like excalibur, helm of hades or messerschmidt's... Also, adding colored item slots of different power would be quite hard to implement and to balance. For instance helm of hades, how would this effect grow with the item slot being put into? On the other hand I really like the idea of items specific to certain towers, something like Baby Rabbit's Carrot for instance :-) Make the map/terrain interactive ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I still have some ideas about alternative game modes.. In the first place I named this game mazebert, cause I wanted to make a mazing game, so that would be somthing fun for the future. Make the damage model more complex ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Yeah! Basically rock, paper scissors is how the current damage model is implemented. Although it is called Vex/Fal/Ohm. I once wrote a blog post about how they relate to each other: https://mazebert.com/2013/10/16/armor-chart/ It's true, this is not very obvious to the player :-/ I want to use the in-game gold to upgrade my towers!! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I know, this would be fantastic! However.. The approach I wanted to do with mazebert is that you can replace your tower not just by upgrading within a tower family tree, but to upgrade it to any other tower card you hold in hand, preserving tower level and all potions. The problem is the high diversity of different towers. Right now when I create a new tower I just need to create one artwork for it and I need to balance only this family member. Otherwise it would take a lot more effort to add new towers to the game. So it's really mostly a problem of time and priorities set more towards tower variety than single towers.

@items The unique items in Mazebert are without a doubt unique (really gives this game strength), but there is only a handful of them. The idea of tower specific drops is interesting, but how do you control these drops when you have so many towers. With the addition of so many tower-specific drops, how do you control that the items remain relevant to the player? It would lower even more the chance that the player gets what he wants. @Balancing I hear you. And perhaps I found the solution for this and the above mentioned problem. Why not drop 3 different 'basic' cards: metro/nature/darkness, that one can 'evolve' into one of the existing cards. Ofcourse, requiring the gold that they already cost. Then it's only a small step to include your idea about item specific drops, like the baby rabbit carrot. It would be an upgradable feature, requiring not only gold, but also experience? This way you avoid the issue of irrelevant drops AND the lack of control players have right now. So: Basic tower (nature/darkness/metropolis) --> evolved tower (one of the existing towers now) --> Optional upgrades for each tower. you can still control the amound of 'evolved' towers, by requiring an amount of basic tower cards to evolve and to ugprade. And by gold ofcourse. You could even implement some safeties if you want, like If one wants to build a different tower on top of a tower from a different group; make them 'pay' the equivalent amount of basic tower cards? iono @Artwork Let the community be your bitch: let them do part of the creative work. It would probably help to maket he existing artwork available. Then a few small things: @Vex/Fal/Ohm I read these post before, and the damage output/armor differences are not the problem. But right now it doesn't really matter what which one you pick. The only way to win right now is to put all your potions into one main tower. --> The main tower idea should become less atractive. Nerfing potions (one way or another) comes to mind. Make potions have a diminishing effect when used on the same tower, or Maximize the amount of potions a tower can take. Make items/potions have an effect on neighbouring towers, so that it pays off to have more of them. --> Lack of awareness of this feature can be lowered by using visual aids to express the rock/paper/scissor mechanic. Perhaps add different shades to the damage otuput above the target, or give the target a different a different shade to show how much it hurts more, or a shield of some kind when it hurts less. @battery The game just drains the batttery on my phone (4000mAh). After three hours or so my phone is completely drained, while other games last _at least_ three times as long. Perhaps the math is more complex than necessary? Less use of floats/doubles? Some optimization should be done.

I totally agree with tower upgrades! They should cost gold and a tower card of the improved tower. So maybe at level 20 u can place the same tower on the spot to upgrade and improve the abilities of the existing tower.therefore it's enough to have two choices but these should be very different from each other. For example take scientist. Early game he is usefull to raise some spots but he becomes more and more useless midgame. With level 20 u can build a second (or maybe more) scientist on the same spot to create: 1. A mad scientist who steal 10% of the exp of towers in 3 range (to improve his ability and become usefull at midgame) 2. A sage who gets more exp on attack but spreads 20% to towers in range like the key (to get a support). Those upgrades should be unique but it should be possible to have all types of one tower. To save time :-) What u got here are two new towers out of one existing but it's easier to create them. Just give them a bright skin for light version and a dark one for darkness version. U already have many of the abilities. So u just have to copy past the code and balance them to a new tower. At my example u already have what u need. Scientist Dark forge for the mad one Key for the sage

That's right, creating the abilities is not a problem. Due to OOD I wouldn't even need to copy paste a lot ;-) The problem really is the tower artwork.. Let's assume 50 towers in the game, even if every tower could be upgraded only 2 times this would require 150 artworks. I think having instead 150 towers in the game would be nicer. Still this is worth considering, but I guess for a later stage of development. Maybe some background for that: One of my mid term goals is to improve the current tower rendering (Attack, idle, buff animations!).

@Artwork Don't try to control everything yourself. Let some of it go. Let other people make your life easier. You don't have to make promises, just let the community use their creativity to your advantage. Give them a set of rules, like the size in pixels, use of colors, etc, and see if something comes up that works for everyone. Taking this a step further, consider to make this project open source. It wouldn't mean you would lose your grip; just give directions to a team you lead and let them contribute to your creation. This will definitely give your project a boost, giving you the opportunity to implement more of what you want in a shorther amount of time. Another thought +++++++++++++++ I would like to suggest to give items an additional attribute; the longer you wear them, the more powerful they become. A bit like an items that levels the more rounds it's worn. This would tremendously increase the value of lesser items. I'm not sure if this should apply to yellow and unique items (as they are powerful enough), just to white and blue ones. A way to implement it is by making it an ability that an item can or cannot have (like a 25% random chance). But I would prefer an approach that would make use of your transmutations system in 0.9 Instead of 4 cards transmuting into a 'higher' color; make 2 similar cards transmute into a 'level card' variant. It would give blue cards, but especially white cards a more useful role in this game as they stay longer relevant.