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Member, Robot Entertainment, Early Access, Apprentice Founder, Featured Developer
  • Re: Release 2.6 for PC and PS4 - Patch Notes

    liels said:
    Harmonia said:

    Ceiling Ballista and Dragon Lance:

    • Damage increased by 20%.
    • Cooldown increased by 20%.
      Developer Comment: This change is designed to further accentuate the ballista's role as a large minion killer.

    Forward:  I think most of the changes this time are positive, as they are most times.  What I have a problem with are map and trap changes that seem akin to:

    "players like these and they work really well, and other traps (or cading strategies) the balance team things are really good are being neglected, so let's move the cheese to see if players will do different things".

    Robot tries really hard not to take away rewards that people have earned, and does so reluctantly.  I submit the time spent learning or discovering good strategies (that then propagate) are a thing that the balance team does not seem to value and takes away whimsically.  After each round of balancing, some strategies will be better than others.  Players will learn, the balance team apprehends an over or undervaluing of things being done and adjusts.  And then the players adjust.  Are we fighting orcs or the balance team?

    As an OMD1/2 and U player (since the beginning of open beta) I was not aware that traps had intended roles.  Certainly traps such as brimstone are more effective at earthlings than e.g. tar but I will place a ballista near the rift to catch those stragglers.  Is that wrong?  Apparently I should not be playing that way. Seriously, if traps have roles perhaps the videos that explain them and their tool tips should explain the role the balance team intends for them.

    Same with the power generator;  what is the "intended role"?  I thought it was to generate more coin later at the expense of killing now.  It was doing that.  It is still doing that, though much less well.  How has the intended role changed? How is "the ability to sell the Power Generator for full value eliminates the early-late game trade-off that the trap was designed to create" true?  It's less early trap for more later coin.  Just now a lot less useful later on, and hence a lot less attractive early on. 

    The biggest barrier to using more traps ... as indicated by the comments on the mana and health "trap-buffers" is the limit on the number of slots that can be taken.  It's not a big deal *only if* you are on a well coordinated team in which case there are 27 instead of 7.  But only if the team knows each other well enough to trust not taking "essential traps".  A better way -- by far -- to fix the "undervalued trap" problem is to increase substantially the number of traps that a player can slot.  From a balance perspective there is no reason whatsoever not to allow as much as the UI can possibly handle.  If all traps are balanced having more kinds can't possibly imbalance things.  Conversely, if there are more possibilities, then there will be more creativity ... even with traps that are sub-optimal.
    We've discussed all of these perspectives quite significantly.  Before I give my perspective, understand that your perspective is not wrong.  However, at the end of the day, the design team has to make difficult decisions.  It is very difficult to please everyone.

    Players hate having things nerfed; it feels like the game de-values the time they spent grinding and learning.  However, if we only buff under-used items, then player power will only inflate over time.  This is a problem, because it means the game will eventually stop being challenging.  

    So why do we feel the need to make balance changes (and nerfs)?  Replayability in a tower defense comes from diversity in strategies.  All of the traps do have intended strengths and weaknesses, but they are not necessarily explicit.  We hope the player notices that spike traps have trouble hitting runners, brimstone/firecrackers are good at catching runners, tar is good at preventing traps from missing, physics are good against small minions, etc.

    The more a player feels like there is only a "single right answer" or a "universal strategy", the less replayability will exist and the faster players typically get bored.  Furthermore, it reduces the need to have many traps for different situations.

    So why not increase the number of slots?  We actually believe this has the opposite of the perceived effect.  Choices are more interesting when you cannot use every trap you want.  When you can take every trap you might want to use, there's no incentive to re-evaluate and change your build from game to game.

    Anyhow, I hear you.  Hopefully you will find the changes make the game more enjoyable overall, after you have had a chance to experiment with new strategies.

    With the trigger buffs and guardian changes, I firmly believe that player power was overall buffed.
  • Re: Sabotage Ranking after update 12/2017

    Maintenance did not properly reset sabotage rankings.  Unfortunately, it may take some time for us to resolve the issue.  We hope to update you soon.

    Thanks for the report.
  • Re: Bring back Siege!

    Randre said:
    Hello ManceRader,

    The fundamental problem with siege was the skill gap. Siege had too many things going on at any one point and a single bad play would cost you the game. Most matches were decided by wave 2 and everything else was just delaying the inevitable. The skill ceiling in Siege was stupidly high and it was a mode where you HAD to work as a team to win. No single player could carry a match. That made running with random people painful and thus promoted teams. Who by the nature of being a pre-made team would stomp on all the random players. Which made people not want to queue random. Which in turn made people not want to play unless they had a team. But teams stopped playing if they always lost to the better pre-mades. Which reduced the number of players. So on and so on. 

    Short version: Siege was very unfriendly to new players. For someone trying to learn it was arduous.

    You could probably write an essay on why Siege failed. But I hope this short explanation helps (note all the above is my opinion and may not perfectly reflect reality).


    Interesting perspective. 

    I would argue that siege was more simplistic than most MOBAs on the market.

    The problems, as I saw it, were a little more complicated: 
    - The MOBA market is saturated.
    - Because it was similar to a MOBA. players tried to use their MOBA knowledge.  There was a lot of un-learning required.
    - Designing for Siege made Survival much less fun.   
    - Progression systems only applied to one mode.

    Smaller issues:
    - The maps were easy to get lost on. 
    - The trap building game and the minion selection game was not interesting enough. 
    - Escorting minions was difficult to make fun.
    - Lack of skillshots

    I personally never thought that the core game was too complicated.  As I said, you've got a lot competitors with significantly more events going on, item shops, last hitting, etc. 

    I'm just not convinced that there are any changes we could make to have fixed siege.  I fundamentally believe that players don't want another MOBA-like game right now.

    Does that mean that siege could have been converted into a completely different PvP game?  Yes, it could have.  However, it would have still had the largest problem...  Designing heroes for siege and survival makes both modes much less fun. 

    This largely explains why we removed Siege.  I miss it.  I found it very fun.  However, I do believe we made the right decision.

    It also explains why we added sabotage.  Many of the issues are resolved.  It's a more natural extension of survival.  That's not to say that sabotage doesn't have its own problems, but I believe it fits more strongly into the OMD franchise.

    I hope that helps.
  • Re: Sabotage - Comeback mechanics!

    As it stands, stronger consumables are more likely to appear in later waves.

    In addition, if you are losing, your chance to get get stronger consumables is increased.

    Lastly, if you own a bajillion of the same card, your chance to get that card does not increase.  It does not decrease your chance for you to get stronger cards.
  • Re: Debilitation Resonator - Increases all damage or only physical?

    Physical armor.