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  • Re: Release 2.6 for PC and PS4 - Patch Notes

    ShadeDev said:
    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.

    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.
    I agree that player power was overall buffed; you might need to buff minions to re-balance ... exactly to your point; I agree that you don't want creeping player power. My point about there always being something that is usually better than others remains ... when the player base finds it you'll be in the same boat you started in, and you'll move our cheese to our irritation :)

    I'm skeptical about the trap slots and creativity ... what has "helped" was nerfing the power generator which has given me an additional slot. Before that change, almost always there would be 'cade, damaging floor trap (probably scorcher, even after nerf), (v)tar, power gen, damaging wall trap (or spike wall), BGH ballista and damaging ceiling trap (probably ballista, but maybe haymaker depending on the map); that's everything with no room for other things. If I had another couple of slots I might well try unusual things. (but probably not mana or health buffs ... as you note, those can be gotten by gear (or potions). Adding even 2 slots might make things a lot more interesting.

    Finally, I'm still irritated about the stunning accumulator nerf. It was fun to use flip traps as a damaging floor trap for big minions, and I miss it.
  • Re: Release 2.6 for PC and PS4 - Patch Notes

    If we are going to use triggers in traps (other than heat/combo) we need to be able to slot them at the start of the game when we are picking traps. We need to have a coherent set that will cover what's needed and that's not necessarily possible unless we limit traps to particular roles in advance. This is especially true in team play. Obviously this complicates coordination and will push to lengthen before game launch time.
  • Re: If you want to be high rank in sabotage and get there fast, you may feel the need to play dirty

    Also, there seems to be a matchmaker and/or community problem with Sabotage now ... I've been waiting for > 20 min with an "average" of 8:00 when I started (up from ~4:00 on a normal day) .... (not that 4 can't mean > 20 ... what the heck is the statistical distribution if actual is often *many* sigmas over 'average'). [Yes, I need to know the distribution to know the sigmas ... that's my point ...]
  • Re: Release 2.6 for PC and PS4 - Patch Notes

    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.
  • Re: The Level 100 Club

    +1 ... how about excess XP -> Gibs? (or just some springs ;)