Release 1.7 Notes

245

Comments

  • SixOkay said:


    New Consumables:

    • Potion of Caffeination: Restores all cooldowns and grants a 10% cooldown reduction until death. Limit 3 per match.
    • Potion of Experience: Grants 2 battle levels when used and +10% experience until death. Limit 1 per match.
    • Potion of Mana: Restores all mana and grants +1 mana per second until death. Limit 5 per match.
    • Scroll of Discount: Traps cost half as much for 10 seconds for all players. Limit 1 per match.
    • Potion of Mana: Restores all mana and grants +1 mana per second until death. Limit 5 per match.
    • Scroll of Slow: Provides all players with a 50% minion slowing aura. Lasts 60 seconds.  Limit 1 per match. 
    Potion of mana is listed twice.

    Also the date is still wrong ;)
  • So glad I grabbed [omitted afraid of nerf] over bionka (odd spelling I have been spelling it bianc(k)a for a while dem orcs must be stupid).
  • Crueler said:
    ShadeDev said:
    Crueler said:
    Yeah the mention of significantly reducing Bianka's damage but nothing about increasing her speed is really scary. The only reason why she was good was because nothing could get through her. If things can now get through her, she cannot catch up. Devs please at least do some Rift Lord solo test matches with Bianka before you release this patch.

    Also with Ivy, I'm not sure why you are buffing roots, but not buffing her left click attack? From what I understand, her roots were really strong to begin with. Her only struggle was killing large enemies without cliffs and unstable rifts.

    Love that there are new levels coming!
    Don't really care about Leaderboards.
    The Barricade change is interesting.
    I don't really use Consumables because it feels like cheating.

    Don't understand the Unchained nerf. I know a lot of players save unchained for rounds they feel overwhelmed, but once you learn the map you can unchain when you feel like it which was fun.
    We definitely test the game with the balance changes we make.  Bionka requires CC traps in order to be effective.  If she can hold minions near her, she's strong.  Otherwise, she's poor.  She's currently fitting this intended playstyle.

    Regarding the Unchained nerf, we started to realize that there wasn't really a reason to hold onto Unchained.  We had good players going Unchained every single wave.
    When you test stuff, do you try to hold multiple lanes? Because with her current speed it can already be hard enough. Also like the other person said, everyone benefits from CC traps. You are making it sound like people aren't spamming Ice Shards or making tons of choke points with Tar traps.

    Bionka is too good because she can hold off the hardest lanes by herself. She will be horrible if she can't do that and also can't back up allies. It's already hard enough sometimes to help the team after you kill your lane.
    Not every hero is designed to be good on every map.  This is one of the reasons we encourage you to play maps with multiple heroes; the way you solve the puzzle has to change.  When I play Bionka on large maps, I take speed pads, because amplifying the ability for my hero to be in multiple locations is more valuable than spending all my money on traps.
    Doug Houserman
    Robot Entertainment | Lead Balance Designer
  • edited January 13
    ShadeDev said:
    Not every hero is designed to be good on every map.  This is one of the reasons we encourage you to play maps with multiple heroes; the way you solve the puzzle has to change.  When I play Bionka on large maps, I take speed pads, because amplifying the ability for my hero to be in multiple locations is more valuable than spending all my money on traps.
    Ummm... you have a design conflict then. You can't simultaneously (1) restrict the ability for players to decide which traps they own and (2) balance heroes under the rule "requires trap X to be effective". Basically, what this means is "Bionka is balanced if and only if you are at Master or higher, and RNG has blessed you with Speed Pads, otherwise she is imbalanced." That won't work.

    For this sort of balancing scheme to work, the new rotating store would have to allow you to largely bypass the chest system for those traps that heroes are dependent upon for balance. I suspect that's not the intent of the new store. So, I think you have to take a different approach to balance.  I'm all for making maps a puzzle, but not if I'm denied all the puzzle pieces.
    Post edited by Hypovolemic on
  • I don't completely agree with neither of you but you are twisting it a bit there @Hypovolemic ;

    Bionka is better in party and at small maps (She is the best hero by a large amrgin at maps like baths and throne room). At big maps she can keep up better with speed pads.

    However there are heroes that are better in every map imho.

    But it's true that cc traps help every hero, maybe in different measure but still, and same happens with support traps.

  • edited January 13
    I don't completely agree with neither of you but you are twisting it a bit there @Hypovolemic ;

    Bionka is better in party and at small maps (She is the best hero by a large amrgin at maps like baths and throne room). At big maps she can keep up better with speed pads.

    However there are heroes that are better in every map imho.

    But it's true that cc traps help every hero, maybe in different measure but still, and same happens with support traps.

    Am I? If any hero (Bionka or otherwise) is nerfed without a specific trap, and that trap is not available to a player, then that hero is nerfed for that player. If Speed Pads are required, then that's an issue. I mean, balance is just a matter of degree, right? If Bionka is better on small maps by a large margin, and worse on big maps by a similarly large margin, then is that balanced? I would say no, that's imbalanced in two situations. If you can't play every map with your favorite hero, then did you waste your coin buying them? I think small variations in map specific performance are healthy for the game, but I don't think that's true for big variations. Plus, most of the maps are similar in size now, so map size doesn't seem like a fantastic balance toggle to me anyway.

    Everyone should have Tar, so that helps mitigate the balance issue with mandating CC for Bionka. But, as @AFistAngrily already pointed out, everyone needs to spend coin on CC. This is basically rule number 1 for as long as tower defense games have been a thing - you will need a slow tower.

    Edit: This all begs the question: "How does slowness balance damage output?" I don't see how it does. Damage output is irrelevant if you can't get to the mobs, and speed is irrelevant if you are already there. There is perhaps some balancing in clearing a lane faster, but I'm not finding this makes a big enough difference to compensate for slowness.
    Post edited by Hypovolemic on
  • I don't completely agree with neither of you but you are twisting it a bit there @Hypovolemic ;

    Bionka is better in party and at small maps (She is the best hero by a large amrgin at maps like baths and throne room). At big maps she can keep up better with speed pads.

    However there are heroes that are better in every map imho.

    But it's true that cc traps help every hero, maybe in different measure but still, and same happens with support traps.

    Am I? If any hero (Bionka or otherwise) is nerfed without a specific trap, and that trap is not available to a player, then that hero is nerfed for that player. If Speed Pads are required, then that's an issue. I mean, balance is just a matter of degree, right? If Bionka is better on small maps by a large margin, and worse on big maps by a similarly large margin, then is that balanced? I would say no, that's imbalanced in two situations. If you can't play every map with your favorite hero, then did you waste your coin buying them? I think small variations in map specific performance are healthy for the game, but I don't think that's true for big variations. Plus, most of the maps are similar in size now, so map size doesn't seem like a fantastic balance toggle to me anyway.

    Everyone should have Tar, so that helps mitigate the balance issue with mandating CC for Bionka. But, as @AFistAngrily already pointed out, everyone needs to spend coin on CC. This is basically rule number 1 for as long as tower defense games have been a thing - you will need a slow tower.

    Edit: This all begs the question: "How does slowness balance damage output?" I don't see how it does. Damage output is irrelevant if you can't get to the mobs, and speed is irrelevant if you are already there. There is perhaps some balancing in clearing a lane faster, but I'm not finding this makes a big enough difference to compensate for slowness.
    It's not about balance.  It's about creating different solutions with different heroes.  If you don't have speed pad or slowing traps, a map might be possible with another hero.  When you get slowing traps or speed pad, you might suddenly be able to go back and beat that map with another hero.  And to be clear, it's not like Bionka needs these things on every map.
    Doug Houserman
    Robot Entertainment | Lead Balance Designer
  • edited January 13
    ShadeDev said:
    I don't completely agree with neither of you but you are twisting it a bit there @Hypovolemic ;

    Bionka is better in party and at small maps (She is the best hero by a large amrgin at maps like baths and throne room). At big maps she can keep up better with speed pads.

    However there are heroes that are better in every map imho.

    But it's true that cc traps help every hero, maybe in different measure but still, and same happens with support traps.

    Am I? If any hero (Bionka or otherwise) is nerfed without a specific trap, and that trap is not available to a player, then that hero is nerfed for that player. If Speed Pads are required, then that's an issue. I mean, balance is just a matter of degree, right? If Bionka is better on small maps by a large margin, and worse on big maps by a similarly large margin, then is that balanced? I would say no, that's imbalanced in two situations. If you can't play every map with your favorite hero, then did you waste your coin buying them? I think small variations in map specific performance are healthy for the game, but I don't think that's true for big variations. Plus, most of the maps are similar in size now, so map size doesn't seem like a fantastic balance toggle to me anyway.

    Everyone should have Tar, so that helps mitigate the balance issue with mandating CC for Bionka. But, as @AFistAngrily already pointed out, everyone needs to spend coin on CC. This is basically rule number 1 for as long as tower defense games have been a thing - you will need a slow tower.

    Edit: This all begs the question: "How does slowness balance damage output?" I don't see how it does. Damage output is irrelevant if you can't get to the mobs, and speed is irrelevant if you are already there. There is perhaps some balancing in clearing a lane faster, but I'm not finding this makes a big enough difference to compensate for slowness.
    It's not about balance.  It's about creating different solutions with different heroes.  If you don't have speed pad or slowing traps, a map might be possible with another hero.  When you get slowing traps or speed pad, you might suddenly be able to go back and beat that map with another hero.  And to be clear, it's not like Bionka needs these things on every map.
    I dunno, being able to solve a map with a specific hero sounds a lot like balance to me... But, putting that aside, because I think understand what you're trying to achieve with hero speed variance (I'm just not convinced it'll work).

    Doesn't this mean you'll need to restore downscaling with some sort of reward scaling then? If you can't solve a map with a given hero until something drops, players need an incentive to go back and try the map again. For example, the player who spends gold on Hogarth in Apprentice isn't going to know about Speed Pads until Master.  I think you'll need appropriate rewards and difficulty for this sort of "try again with new loot" thing. (Ignoring the two tiers of buyer's remorse a new player is going to feel, which is a separate problem and goes back to the question of whether this is a balance issue or not.)

    Edit: I guess I can simplify my point my point a little. I would prefer to see support traps and gear as supplemental hero abilities, instead of compensatory for base hero stats. For example, because of their abilities, Midnight doesn't need Speed Pad and Ivy doesn't need Vegetable of Mending. I think this is much better than Bionka needing Speed Pad and Cygnus needing Mage's Clover due to built in weaknesses. Basically, I want loadout items to enhance the hero, instead of the hero feeling gimped without specific items. I think this approach would fit better with the RNG chest system, and make the early game experience better when player inventory is limited.
    Post edited by Hypovolemic on
  • With the Bionka and Hero Balance at every map, let's look at one of the easier comparisons.

    Ice Heroes & Traps versus Ice Mobs
    Fire Heroes & Traps versus Ice Mobs

    Maps such as Frostbite and Avalanche have enemies that are attuned to Ice, meaning they take less damage from Ice attacks but more from Fire. By nature, this means Ice heroes (Hogarth, Tundra) will be at a disadvantage while Fire heroes (Smolder) will have an easier time. The same applies to players who rely on Ice or Fire Traps as they deal less or more damage respectively.

    The flipside is applicable to Fire Monsters, Hogarth and Tundra will have an easier time with them while Smolder will have more difficulty.

    Bionka's strength is getting everyone into one lane and killing everything. She was overperforming in her role, so she was nerfed, but her basic hero concept is still there. If one needs mobility, take Blackpaw or Midnight to quickly transverse the map, or even take a Dobbin for tunnels.

    Back to the Ice versus Fire comparison, an Ice Hero can take Fire traps to offset "hero disadvantage" when dealing with frost-attuned minions. Bionka can take Speed Pads when dealing with large maps that require mobility (let's say Crogon Keep or Eventide Fortress). Alternatively, she can be used in groups so other players can handle the legwork and unstable rifts while she focuses on the minions.

    My basic point is this: If every hero can 5-star every map, both solo and in groups, then all is well. Yes, some heroes may have an easier time than others and refinement may be required, but otherwise I would consider them "balanced enough." Working towards "perfect balance" is not worth the time and effort required as resources could be allocated to other things.

    Of course, if we add in additional variables such as trap loadouts and gear, things can get more murky as some heroes really want certain items (I say Smolder needs her Naphtha Sprayer and some form of mana regen, either a Mana Clover or Mana Well). This can be simplified to "Can I solo this now with this setup, or do I have to wait and come back later?" Theoretically, if everything was unlocked and upgraded, anyone can do anything, but with the current RNG progression, some heroes may be lacking "key items" that make them much more effective.
  • edited January 13
    Sire said:
    Of course, if we add in additional variables such as trap loadouts and gear, things can get more murky as some heroes really want certain items (I say Smolder needs her Naphtha Sprayer and some form of mana regen, either a Mana Clover or Mana Well). This can be simplified to "Can I solo this now with this setup, or do I have to wait and come back later?" Theoretically, if everything was unlocked and upgraded, anyone can do anything, but with the current RNG progression, some heroes may be lacking "key items" that make them much more effective.
    Yeah, this is the crux of the problem. I have about 70 hours played into v1.6 right now (geez, I played a lot), but I don't have Speed Pad. So I solve the slow hero deficiency how, exactly? And how does someone with 10 hours played solve it? 
  • Speed potions, I guess :expressionless:

    That said, using those ain't without their drawbacks as well... And I'm completely against having a fourth of the heros be very slow for aboslutely no reason at all.

    I still don't agree, and probably never will with Shade... Slowing down heros in a fast-paced action TD game is just too illogical for me =/

    I'd understand if Robot doesn't have the time or manpower to change already existing heros in a profound way, but I'm not gonna buy the argument that it somehow creates "different solutions or strategies or whatever else".... it just creates frustration when playing slow heros... u_u
  • The Match making system needs work... Sometimes it only Ques myself. And sometimes it says I've only qued myself but two other people appear in game... which is nice.. because thats what I want... but then there are times where it only ques two people instead of three. and so on... it needs looked into....
  • The thing is she already has a weakness, and they are dumping another on top of her. She doesn't have the Ice/Fire weakness comparison.

    You Compare Smolder to Hogarth and Tundra, now try to compare Nerfed Bionka to current Midnight.
    Where is her positives? If Significant damage reduction means anything close to significant, she's going to have on par or slightly better than Midnight's damage and be 8x slower. She will just have a great knockback move still.

    There is no trade offs. She doesn't offer anything to make you pick her besides probably still being better than Hogarth.

    Did the developers learn to balance from Blizzard? Seems awfully lazy to me. Sorry.
  • edited January 14
    Crueler said:
    The thing is she already has a weakness, and they are dumping another on top of her. She doesn't have the Ice/Fire weakness comparison.

    You Compare Smolder to Hogarth and Tundra, now try to compare Nerfed Bionka to current Midnight.
    Where is her positives? If Significant damage reduction means anything close to significant, she's going to have on par or slightly better than Midnight's damage and be 8x slower. She will just have a great knockback move still.

    There is no trade offs. She doesn't offer anything to make you pick her besides probably still being better than Hogarth.

    Did the developers learn to balance from Blizzard? Seems awfully lazy to me. Sorry.
    First of all, she's not 8x slower.  She's 20% slower.

    Balance is NOT about making everyone equal, it's about maximizing playstyles.

    In a PvP game, being equal is what results in a maximum number of playstyles.  In a PvE game, massive diversity in stats and abilities does a better job.  It's okay that certain heroes have a hard time beating certain maps without certain gear.  In fact, that's a good thing, it gives you something to work towards and offers replayability.
    Doug Houserman
    Robot Entertainment | Lead Balance Designer
  • ShadeDev said:
    Crueler said:
    The thing is she already has a weakness, and they are dumping another on top of her. She doesn't have the Ice/Fire weakness comparison.

    You Compare Smolder to Hogarth and Tundra, now try to compare Nerfed Bionka to current Midnight.
    Where is her positives? If Significant damage reduction means anything close to significant, she's going to have on par or slightly better than Midnight's damage and be 8x slower. She will just have a great knockback move still.

    There is no trade offs. She doesn't offer anything to make you pick her besides probably still being better than Hogarth.

    Did the developers learn to balance from Blizzard? Seems awfully lazy to me. Sorry.
    First of all, she's not 8x slower.  She's 20% slower.

    Balance is NOT about making everyone equal, it's about maximizing playstyles.

    In a PvP game, being equal is what results in a maximum number of playstyles.  In a PvE game, massive diversity in stats and abilities does a better job.  It's okay that certain heroes have a hard time beating certain maps without certain gear.  In fact, that's a good thing, it gives you something to work towards and offers replayability.
    20% slower than Midnight?  

    You might want to check on that because it is demonstrably incorrect.  

    For the hell of it I just loaded up Highlands and ran Midnight and Bionka from the spawn point to the center lane gate.  I ran a couple times just in case, so the numbers aren't fine, but within a few tenths of a second.  

    Midnight w/o stealth: 16 seconds
    Midnight w/ stealth: 12.5 seconds
    Bionka: 24.5 seconds.  

    There is no reasonable way to claim that she is only 20% slower than midnight, stealth or no.  It is fine to not have all heroes equal, no one is asking for that; but there is a difference between having inequality and having certain heroes, which could easily include Bionka with a substantial damage nerf, flat worse than any other hero in any possible situation.  The one thing she current excels at, without high damage and without a constant flow of unchained, will leave her with absolutely nothing over any other hero in teh exact same position, regardless of loadout.  
  • edited January 14
    ShadeDev said:

    In a PvP game, being equal is what results in a maximum number of playstyles.  In a PvE game, massive diversity in stats and abilities does a better job.  It's okay that certain heroes have a hard time beating certain maps without certain gear.  In fact, that's a good thing, it gives you something to work towards and offers replayability.
    Sure. If the game allowed you to work towards acquiring specific gear/traps in a reasonable time frame. But it doesn't. Hence the design conflict. 

    There are lots of other toggles though, right? Move speed needn't be fiddled with so much, when you can do stuff like:
    • Bionka has high hero damage, but traps cost +15% coin (ie, she has reduced trap damage).
    • Hogarth has low hero damage, but lots of CC.
    • Oziel has high single target damage, but weak AoE damage.
    I think you can still get pretty big variance in hero stats and abilities without messing with move speed too much, and without creating a dependence upon the whims of RNG. I totally understand, and agree with, trying to give heroes unique play styles. But slow just isn't any fun, and there are a lot of other toggles that are fun.

    This whole RNG thing is a rock and a hard place situation. How do you make a puzzle game, while denying players the puzzle pieces at the same time? The F2P model is tricky too. How do you ensure people aren't wasting really money buying a hero they can't use on every map while sticking to the "some heroes are better on certain maps" thing? That's a bad play experience right out of the gate if people feel like they wasted their money while still in Apprentice tier. I think F2P, the RNG chest system, and the need to create fun, fast paced gameplay all create some boundaries.
  • edited January 14
    I got different times than you did.  About 20 seconds for Bionka and 15 for midnight (it's a bad test though because it's very possible to be a variable distance). In any case, 50% of her left click damage is still a lot of damage.  If they don't change her right click, she'll still be most likely topping the damage score.  She's ridiculously OP atm and anyone that says otherwise either doesn't like that playstyle or is kidding only themselves. I feel like I know how Sauron felt at the battle of Dagorlad when I play her. 
  • Also, regarding Bionka, the dev responses here regarding her seem to be picking trees out of the forest instead of looking at the bigger picture of the impact the changes listed in the notes can have.  

    Right now Bionka has a couple strengths: her high damage, large cone, and ease of getting unchained.  Her weaknesses are her extremely slow movement speed, her extremely slow rate of attack, and no ranged attack to catch runners.  Situationally she has a major weakness against human hordes if they have their shields up because her attack rate is so low she can't reliably break the shield fast enough to bring them down before they escape

    If you're nixing two of her primary strengths (by substantially reducing her damage and indirectly via substantially reducing unchained gain), her weaknesses need to also be reassessed.  As it stands, you're implying her speed is fine and can be overcome by traps.  Which isn't a useful argument to make when several other heroes can get her remaining strength (cone, while not as large) without sacrificing speed or attack rate, and not needing a specific, otherwise not super useful, trap to compensate.  

    Without her high damage what makes her appealing over, say, Dobbin?  With such a slow attack rate, lower damage, and snail paced movement, what makes her appealing over Midnight, Bloodspike or Blackpaw?  And these aren't "balanced" individual aspects of different heroes.  Midnight does more damage, moves substantially faster, has a small cone, and can avoid death easily.  Bloodspike and Blackpaw move faster, do high damage, have healing means and have small cones.  Dobbin moves faster, does good damage, provides tons of utility, and has a large cone attack.  

    And so on.  

    Add on the reduction of Unchained gain and what means Bionka currently has to mitigate her weaknesses are out the window too.  

    My personal view, obviously not as a dev, is that Bionka is already balanced between her strengths and weaknesses.  A general unchained gain nerf across the board will already nerf her more than enough, substantially reducing her damage will provide her with no real benefit over any other hero, across all situations.  Large map or small (and lets be honest, the amount of small, 1-2 lane maps is pretty minimal, and not a good yardstick to base her balance on)

    Balance heroes to be worse in some situations, better in others; that is reasonable and good.  But don't nerf specific heroes into providing nothing more than could be brought by any other hero, with less cost (i.e. a "required" trap slot).  
  • iAndy said:
    I got different times than you did.  About 20 seconds for Bionka and 15 for midnight (it's a bad test though because it's very possible to be a variable distance). In any case, 50% of her left click damage is still a lot of damage.  If they don't change her right click, she'll still be most likely topping the damage score.  She's ridiculously OP atm and anyone that says otherwise either doesn't like that playstyle or is kidding only themselves. 
    It's not that bad of a test because it is very easy to take the straightest, shortest route possible.  I am willing to load the game back up and try again, but I struggle to believe you made it from spawn to the gate in 20 seconds with Bionka.   I am happy to try a different, straighter, course too to see; but what is clear to me is that she is clearly more than 20% slower than Midnight unstealthed, and who crosses maps with Midnight unstealthed anyway?  

    Midnight can one shot bosses and large units, escape with ease, has a large enough cone to her left click to put her behind your killbox and handle the stragglers, moves way faster than Bionka by any measure and still has a reasonably strong non buffed left click.  

    Bionka is screwed if one runner passes her, screwed if you're using her to hold a lane with minimal traps and the enemies are Order, and screwed if you need to move to handle an unstable rift and are playing solo.  

    I wouldn't take her damage stats end-of-map as a major indicator of overpoweredness, unless the devs can verify it does not count overkill damage; as one swipe at a horde of minions may very well take them out, but it will have done way more damage than necessary and inflate her damage numbers very quickly.  

    In solo play, which only the devs have numbers on how many people are playing solo vs multiplayer, Bionka is very far from being overpowered.  Her weaknesses are too much in virtually any map you're not substantially overleveled for, outside of some Apprentice maps.  She very well may be too powerful in multiplayer, but fixing that could be done with enough finesse that doesn't make an already questionable choice solo, into an easy dismissal vs numerous other heroes, in any situation.
  • Galedrid said:

    I wouldn't take her damage stats end-of-map as a major indicator of overpoweredness, unless the devs can verify it does not count overkill damage; as one swipe at a horde of minions may very well take them out, but it will have done way more damage than necessary and inflate her damage numbers very quickly.  

    100% sure that the dmg on the stats is the hp of minions and not the overkill dmg 
Sign In or Register to comment.