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Old 01-07-2008, 11:34 PM   #1
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Default Experience TD Testing


Changes in v2.0a11:
Code:
    * Increased the cooldown of all enemy creep heal spells by 3 seconds.
    * Added maximum range to pathing maps (950 on some).
    * Fixed issue with towers that level up and earn an autocastability ability then suddenly stop doing anything.
    * Research Towers boosted from 1 damage to 10 damage, the aura bonuses and item bonuses seemed to double and triple the rate at which they gained levels, this will tone that down.
    * Fixed issues with custom poison closing spellbooks that were opened (oops).
    * Contemplating magic resistance with negative values.
    * Added capabilities of stacking buffs including Attack speed, armor, damage, mana regen, experience, damage via percent. Others will include magic resistance, damage reduction, and evasion! You WILL see a debuff that reduces damage reduction, evasion, and magic resistance... Darkness Towers...
    * Added a few Light Towers, but Light is currently still unplayable
    * Alot more things stack correctly now, but at the cost of performance.
    * Upgraded poison system to stackable buff system.
    * Towers now have limited inventory slots.
    * Fixed Archmage of Frost's sound set.
    * Fixed issue with summoned units not gaining abilities when summoner levels up.
    * Vixed various stacking issues with certain abilities based on Envenomed Spears, Ice should see an improvement on slowing effects.
    * Frost Arrows slow increased from 8% to 14/16/19/22%.
    * Increased rate of experience gain drastically.
    * Reduced hit point regen of most waves from 5% to 1%.
    * Removed accidental Ice Tower limit of 2.
    * Nova Tower slow decreased from 15% to 8%.
    * Gamma Poison slow increased from 9/11/13/15% to 17/19/22/25%.

A Tower Defense stretching the limits of TD beyond all imagination. Engage 22 waves of completely amazing fun. Build Towers which progress throughout the game, gaining experience, levels, new abilities, and of course a bigger model. Fight a plethora of different types of enemies which will test your defense in every way possible.

Testing needed!

Play with 1-8 players on this TD.

You have 2 options when you start the game, Cooperative or Free for all. In a Cooperative game you fight together and have shared lives and shared income. Difficulty scales with number of players no matter which you choose (e.g. play 8 players on the 4 player map, thats fine). In a free for all game all players will enjoy their own special area with their own game settings.

If you are having issues with very low frame rates, please post your computers speed and memory size as well as any information that could lead to why your FPS would be so low (in game events, etc).

Any mispellings, grammar issues, incorrect tooltips, misplaced buttons, etc that you may find should be reported -- I'd greatly appreciate it!

Difficulty settings as of now is also be an issue. I wouldn't expect someone to play it for the first time and win without a problem on Very Easy mode. It should still be somewhat challenging. After a few runs perhaps you should be able to beat it on Normal mode.

Important things to note: Difficulty has been implemented in terms of game speed being on "Per Round" mode. Playing on Slow, Average, Fast, or Very Fast MAY result in double-waves, which screws up my difficulty calculations and screws you out of alot of lives! If you play Cooperative mode be sure to use Per Round game speed.

All feedback is welcome, constructive criticism is preferred!

Thanks for testing. Hope you enjoyed the experience. Credits are in the Quest menu.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:54 PM   #2
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I'll edit this into a full review later on, but do you use any Damage Rect/Circle stuff? That'd be bad for my testing's sake.

EDIT!
I played in it single player, had to do other things at the time. So far here's my comment.

Simply awesome.
It is mind breaking as far as I played (1 or 2 levels...) and it was fairly unique. You can basically customize the map to NO LIMIT. However I have one comment... what does oct mean? One of them was "oct lane"?
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:45 PM   #3
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Oct = 8. 8 turns, if I can count correctly anyway.

There is no Damage Point calls, no conditions returning non-boolean values, etc. As far as I have know, all precautions to take to make sure mac players can play and not desync have been taken.

Unfortunately I do have a friend who tried playing on a mac and he kept getting desynced during loading =[ Once he switched over to windows it worked just fine. This was only on bnet though, not sure why it was happening. If you experience any desync issues let me know, and if its midgame try and get me a replay.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:08 PM   #4
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It's great! Tons of customization and so forth. Some cons IMO though:
  • Difficulty. Now I'm not complaining it's hard, that's great, but how it's just so confusing! There's tons of buttons and what-not so that you'll need atleast a few tries to even know how to get resources (well IMO anyway, I didn't know how and when I did I died). Maybe make the unit (that builds those 2 special buildings) already in the game as he's free anyways?
  • Is it just me or when I equip a sword or knife that says +6 or +4 dmg, it gives +2?
Not really much as it's okay but those are just mainly what I dislike.

EDIT: Oh actually nvm, I have something else to say. Make the paths more easy to understand? I mean some teleporter ones are just like impossible to tell where they go and the names are weird to, but that part is okay. Lastly, why is the game restart 15 seconds and not like, 5?
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:38 PM   #5
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I think it's very good. However, a few things, most of them pretty small.

- The first time I played I couldn't figure out how to get more Research. Maybe add something to the tooltip of the Tech Center (or whatever it's called).

- Lightning seems considerably more powerful than the other races. Or maybe it was just me.

- The 2nd tier towers (not the ones only accessed to specialized, but the other ones that must be researched) seem awfully weak for how much money they cost. Again though, don't take my word for it.

- The item system just seems wrong for some reason. I always have tons of unused recipes and crafting materials. I might just cut out all recipes and supply materials completely, and instead make some "rare" items. Also, I would reduce the inventory of each tower to only 1 or maybe 2. As it is, there's almost always 1-3 towers that are best suited for items, so you can just put all your items on those towers.

- I'm unclear on the purpose of the Conductor tower (or whatever) for Lightning. It supposedly increases the range of a Chain Lightning tower, but it costs MORE than the Chain Lightning tower, so why not just buy another one?

- It was hard! Not that that's a bad thing, but maybe make difficulty settings more fitting to their titles. "Very Easy" should be beatable by a new player. At least that's my opinion.

- A Random option would be good when choosing map type, which chooses from one of the existing map types.

- I never felt very attached to any of my towers, which would be cool. It would make the levelling and item system a bigger part of the game, because as it is now it plays very similar to any other TD, although it has some very cool features. I think the only way to accomplish this would be to make it so that each player is controlling a smaller number of towers at one time (more expensive, more powerful, and a considerable advantage of tiering up over spamming). This might be a major change to the game though, so it's just something to consider.

- While there were a couple really neat towers for each race, the majority of the towers still seemed pretty "normal". Maybe in the future a larger number of unique towers could be added. The towers are still a LOT more varied and interesting than most TD's, but I feel like it could still be improved.

Overall though, it was a lot of fun, and I was just playing by myself. I'll have to get some of my clanmates together for a game sometime.

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Old 01-09-2008, 01:22 AM   #6
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First off thanks for the feedback.


About difficulty aka Confusion at the start. In games I hosted on battle net I saw similar results with everyone. It is not crystal clear on how the whole concept of Research works. You are the normal here! So here are some good ways to address it, maybe you could add to the list or comment on them.

- Put the info in the loading screen, it has a long load already so at least they can read 2 or 3 key points about how to start.
- A short tutorial players can view, but I generally don't like tutorials as they are painful to endure after you've seen them once.
- A series of tips/hints during the first minute of the game before the first wave spawns? I could dish out 2 hints a second for 5 minutes though...

Also regarding Confusion, and this was one thing I feared would be problematic after a lot of development: Learning curve. Right now you join a game and have to select a map, a tile scheme, a difficulty, and a game speed. Nobody knows anything about what any of it means, so they just blindly guess the first time (tell me you didn't...). After that they have to pick a race, and there is (or will be soon) 8 options for that, PLUS a 'utility builder' for extra towers. Confused yet? I've actually seen people build a Utility Builder then nothing but research towers for round 1. Its understandable.

So I kind of have a lot of stuff going on right at the beginning of the game, Players almost need to read a book about it.

The flip side is that games are short. If you screw up it doesnt matter, you can restart (in FFA mode anyway). You can also type "-giveup" to give up and start over immediately, but that is not mentioned at all in the map (see, lots of stuff, lots of features, too many to describe). You dont have to restart the map to start from scratch either.



"The 2nd tier towers (not the ones only accessed to specialized, but the other ones that must be researched) seem awfully weak for how much money they cost. Again though, don't take my word for it."

Depends on which tower, check the Base rating of the tower. That is the expected DPS/gold (relatively speaking) it should achieve at level 1. A 140 base rating tower gives you approximately 40% more bang for your buck than a 100 base rating tower (at level 1). Also consider the availability of great spots for towers. Theres also the factor of growth rating. Certain towers get better, faster, than other towers. I just wanted to let you know there is a deep 'late game' factor involved here.

Conductor tower (aka Repeater Tower). To balance this consider having 4 Chain Lightning Towers, then doubling the range for all 4 towers (using 1 repeater) is probably worth it. As of now I feel repeater towers and chain lightning towers are both WAY too expensive. They may drop in price quite a bit, but relatively speaking the repeater tower will most likely stay 'more expensive' than the chain lightning tower.

Now in terms of difficulty, I didnt mention it but I cannot even beat my own map on normal mode. There is a bug with a few levels (razormanes, magnataurs, and one other wave) where their HP regen is just HUGE, completely unbeatable. Since Light and Magic races aren't available yet you have no way of getting rid of the level 15 curses that last the whole game. The healing that enemy creeps do seemed to me to be a bit too much early (the first forest troll level should have been the first level you leaked bigtime). You can only build 2 Ice Towers... I'd say that normal now is "Impossible", try for Very Easy. In the future, aside from the few problems I stated above, I would have to say that Normal mode now is probably going to be somewhere around Hard/VeryHard. Very Easy may become "Normal". It is way harder than it states. But you're response simply verified it for me.

Another thing to note is that strait line is much, much harder than the other game modes.

Very Easy mode I don't really like, and I may take it out eventually. I noticed that the "Impossible Bosses" map (by Psyris) recently added difficulty modes, specifically the "Possible" difficulty, and now every pub is played on Possible mode. I don't know it just doesn't seem right knowing I put so much effort into trying to make normal mode the perfect difficulty yet everyone is going to play on Very Easy and blaze through it on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd try.. I mean who beat Contra the very first time they picked up a controller, I don't think so. Who beat Contra using the 99 lives cheat the very first time they picked up a controller, still don't think so.

If you beat a TD on the first try, then imo, its not a good TD. How I lose on the first try dictates how much I like a TD. Is it good enough to try again?

Think lightning is overpowered? Technically in FFA mode you can build up to 5 races, its more about combos than it is about sticking with one race. YES, Lightning is probably the highest damage towers in the game, along with Fire, but this was on purpose! You noticing this after only a day proves to me I did it right. What does Lightning not have though? Slow, Silence, Mana burn, major buffs (yes charge tower, but only 1), Debuffs, attack types other than piercing, or stuns (quake tower > lightning tower stun). Take armor reduction abilities from darkness race (not yet implemented) with critical strikes from lightning towers, and throw in the dmg bonuses of Priest Towers (human) and Light Towers (not yet implemented) and you got yourself some serious muscle. Or just mix poison and ice and watch everything come to a halt. Specializing in FFA shouldn't really be able to be beaten... Specializing is more for team games where each player can specialize and share towers they build. Yes all the really cool towers require specialization, but hey, its not always just about really cool towers =] (Although, some of them are REALLY cool).

Thanks again for the feedback, feel free to ignore this book if you just skimmed to the bottom!
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Old 01-09-2008, 03:24 AM   #7
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Sounds like you've basically already documented everything I found problems with =P.

Quote:
Conductor tower (aka Repeater Tower). To balance this consider having 4 Chain Lightning Towers, then doubling the range for all 4 towers (using 1 repeater) is probably worth it. As of now I feel repeater towers and chain lightning towers are both WAY too expensive. They may drop in price quite a bit, but relatively speaking the repeater tower will most likely stay 'more expensive' than the chain lightning tower.

The Conductor tower said it could channel 1 bolt at a time (or something like that), which gave me the impression that I needed 1 for each Chain Lightning tower. Not that I was ever able to get more than 2 though, with how much they cost (well, I could have if I sold everything).

I pretty much agree with what you said about the creeps - the first healing trolls would always really hurt me on Easy difficulty, on Very Easy I could handle it. Even microing my towers to focus on the healers didn't quite do the trick. Maybe make the healing more powerful, but double the cooldown. That way if you focus-fire you can kill them before they can heal themselves.

I think it's fine if you want to make the easiest difficulty pretty tough; I like the idea, but you should definitely change the names of the difficulties, as you said you're planning to do.

I also didn't find Ice's slowing to be all that effective. It was far more effective to just focus on building Lightning towers rather than building Ice along with it, although in most TD's it's crucial to get some slow. I'll have to experiment more with it, I only tried Ice once and then only as a secondary race.

About the info at the start...I think you could use a longer initial build-up period. The first time, when I tried to actually read info about the races, I only had about 10 seconds to build once I chose my guy. Also, I think adding some information about the Utility Builder to the Tech Center tooltip would help. That's where I encountered my biggest problem - I knew I had to build that Tech Center, but I couldn't figure out how to get more research. I figured that I must just get it in later rounds, like in many TD's, but that never happened.

Sounds like you've got some good direction with the game though. I'll have to play it some more so I actually know what I'm talking about :).

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Old 01-09-2008, 04:56 AM   #8
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- T2 and 3 arent strong enough compared to T1, they are just money sinks, no towers are strong enough to battle the higher levels

- No real way to upgrade towers, need a tome of power type upgrade, or a skill upgrade.

- enemies are WAY too strong, i doubt higher levels would be possible

Utlilty tower doesnt realy stand out as an important part of the game, untill ur goin crazy trying to figure out how to upgrde, u should make it more obvious, and also make more upgrades/more levels, they run out way too quick, my own way of doin it with twin blades + double shot skill makes ur research go up real fast, so all ur doin is buying items, which is boring
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:07 PM   #9
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Just to prove some of my points, I played through using only the Lightning Tower (the tier 1 tower that stuns for Lightning). I played on Loop Turn, and beat Easy pretty handily, then came very very close to beating Normal. I didn't really do anything fancy - just spammed towers everywhere. So, I guess my point is that 1. Lightning is overpowered, and 2. Tier 2 and 3 towers are too weak. The rounds where I lost the most lives were generally the unfair ones - the razormanes (or whatever the ones are after the first healing trolls) are really tough, as you already know. Here's the replay...it's long but I think you'll get the point quickly =P.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:58 PM   #10
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And that means Human sucks ass. I kept trying with different path types but Normal and Human for like 7 times, didn't beat it. I mean the 2nd tier ones are so weak (for their price) IMO, and you just need to level so much if they even can get close to come to be efficient.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:23 PM   #11
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Brilliant! My only beef is the massing of towers, maybe make them more powerful and require less of them, only reason being is it's supposed to be about customizing towers but when you have soooo many it just kinda takes away from the effect. At least that's how I see it, fuckin love this map though.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:37 AM   #12
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Well tainted reality you've brought hell to my attention.

I checked out your replay, its fascinating. The problem isn't so much that lightning towers are way overpowered, its the fact that 1100 range is VERY overpowered.

See the way I balanced it was to try and get the DPS/gold values to be similar to that of the base ratings. In a normal strait line environment the lightning tower is not so hot. In a turn, its good. When it is placed in such a way that there exists a lane, 3 'tower slots', and another lane, it can hit across one lane into the next thus boosting its efficiency 2-3x easy. I actually ran a damage test on it and it turned out the lightning towers were acting at about 200% of normal due to this extra range, making it the most efficient tower in the game.

Try it with tentacle towers from poison, the exact same strategy works, but not quite as well. See lightning towers have piercing damage which is great, tentacle has siege, so theres a 10%+ damage difference there. Lightning towers also are much better late game. This 1100 range high growth rating tower proves to be insanely overpowered (I had a level 18 lightning tower by level 22 in the game I did, which is way high). If i were to drop it down to 800 range I guarantee you they would be on par. The other thing that probably makes them a wee bit better than other towers is the instant-fire lightning, it doesnt have to worry about units 'dying' during animation or projectile flight thus maximizing damage completely.

Then theres damage reduction. I purposefully put in monsters with 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 damage reduction. They are there to prevent low cost tower massing. The problem is that lightning towers are low cost but very high damage and slow attack, so they are the most efficient against damage reduction (of the initial 4 low cost towers).

What I think I'll do to remedy this situation is lower the range from 1100 to 975 or 950 (all 1100 range towers). This should be the sweet spot so that it cant hit across a lane+3towers+lane scenario. Ultimately right now lightning towers and every other 1100 range tower flat out own every other tower. This is most certainly not my intention! Of course this event only occurs on certain FFA maps, so what I can do is set a "maximum range" value for each map and set the acquisition range of all units built in such game to that value during runtime. That way you still get the nice 1100 range when its not so abusable.

Next thing you brought to my attention... Slow vs damage. Ice has some hefty slow abilities, but not as much damage. The balance here was "more time attacking, less damage". It was supposed to be balanced. When I added healing and life regeneration to the table though it created "more time attacking, less damage, more time they are healing". This unbalanced it out again. I tried (on normal) selecting lightning then building the ice/poison builders ASAP. I had all the ice slows, the nova tower slow, and the poison slows. The enemies were CRAWLING. I was owning hard. Then came level 10, the first set of healers (and level 10 is naturally an exhaddurated step up from level 9, just like 19->20). I got obliterated.

So you'll see some changes come 2.0a11. I'll tell you right now it should be beatable on NORMAL mode for you tainted, you are utilizing the exact strategies I have hoped for (building near the end with extra cash, selling off them after the wave is complete). Most certain changes: 1100->975 range, nerf creep-healing cooldown's from 1-4s on average to 4-7s on average. The 5% life regen -> 1% at most, probably only select few as well.

One thing to note though, when I did beat in on hard, i built 8 research towers at level 1 and let them get their hits in twice (around a loop), this lets you get an extra builder by level 2 OR a tech center + upgrade. Same thing on level 2. They are such easy levels you can get away with it by selling all the research towers and building at the end very quickly.




One more thing. I GREATLY appreciate you guys posting replays of games where you see imbalances or problems. It is way easier for me to watch a replay at 8x speed than it is for me to play the whole game at 1x speed trying strategies.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
I checked out your replay, its fascinating. The problem isn't so much that lightning towers are way overpowered, its the fact that 1100 range is VERY overpowered.

I actually came to the same conclusion. I just tried Poison with massing Tentacles and a bit of slow, and it was also clearly superior to anything else (although not as good as Lightning Towers, as you observed). Lightning is just overpowered because it has so many of those long-range towers.

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Next thing you brought to my attention... Slow vs damage........ The enemies were CRAWLING. I was owning hard. Then came level 10, the first set of healers (and level 10 is naturally an exhaddurated step up from level 9, just like 19->20). I got obliterated.

Yeah, I've also found that that is the main problem with slow, and the main benefit of Lightning. You can do tons of damage to kill healers quickly, which are by far the most difficult rounds.

Quote:
So you'll see some changes come 2.0a11. I'll tell you right now it should be beatable on NORMAL mode for you tainted, you are utilizing the exact strategies I have hoped for (building near the end with extra cash, selling off them after the wave is complete).

Wasn't really sure if that was intended, so I didn't get too into it. I could see abusing that though, maybe I'll try to :).

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The 5% life regen -> 1% at most, probably only select few as well.

Maybe they could have 1% life regen normally, but when they haven't taken damage for 2ish seconds, they jump up to 5% regen. That way life regen would provide a more unique challenge, rather than simply making them live longer. Setups with groups of towers split apart or trying to build up quickly at the end would be weak against high regen units.

One thing that it doesn't seem like you're addressing however is the weak tier 2/3 towers. I don't know the exact stats, but maybe what you're forgetting to take into account is that your tier 1 towers will be level 3-7 by the time you start investing in tier 2 towers. I've tried and tried to make tier 2/3 towers worthwhile, but I'm not getting it. It also seems like you're overestimating the special benefits of some of the towers. The poison tower with stacking poison, for example, has pretty crappy movement reduction, deals pretty low damage (so it will have a hard time leveling), and costs 2000 gold. By the time you get enough towers for the stacking poison to have any effect, you'll have lost. Anyways, I'll keep messing around with them, but at this point I would give them a boost in strength if I were you. Remember that you can get 3-4 of the "tier 1.5 tower" (Lightning Tower, Tentacle, etc) for just one of the tier 2 tower, which is often more effective, at least until you run out of space (which you don't on most maps).

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:59 AM   #14
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Still not having any success with tier 2/3 towers. I did try massing Lightning Towers again though and beat Normal without much trouble. Gonna see if Hard is possible now o.o.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:13 AM   #15
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rain9441 will become famous soon enough (61)rain9441 will become famous soon enough (61)rain9441 will become famous soon enough (61)

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Tier 2/3 towers I'm not going to boost just yet, I'm not throwing it out the window though. v2.0a11 has a significant boost in experience rate, this should help get your towers up to snuff to handle level 20+.

Take this for example. Build 2-3 venom towers and get the venomous strike ability. If you notice it states it deals 40% => 185% of its damage in mana (over the next 4 seconds) and has base damage of 282 average. You'll also notice this tower gets the autocast ability. Well autocast in this case is to "attack" any unit in the area with mana, specifically targeting those with the largest quantity. Those 2-3 venom towers will instantly target the healers and take em out, while draining there mana (at level 3, 2 levels of venomous strike, thats 85% mana drained per hit). 3 of those = their casters have no mana and are dropping fast.

Thats what tier 2 towers should give you. Tier 3 towers, specifically spell breaker towers, burn 205 mana per attack which inflicts almost 3x that in damage so 600 dmg + 200 mana. Blizzard towers (tier 2 ice) have Frostbite which is a silence. These silences are based off of Soul Burn.

Soul Burn is (IMO) the best ability in WC3. It not only silences enemies but it disables their abilities. No Crits (well they don't crit), no spells, no evasion, nothing.

There is one major issue brought to my attention though with tier 2/3 towers that probably are hindering them BIGTIME in your games.

Build a sorceress tower for humans, and queue up any of the 2 spells (slow/lightning bolt). As soon as that tower levels up, it just stands there. It wont do anything on its own, all autoattacking doesnt work, they won't actually do a thing until autocast kicks in and orders them to cast a spell (which may be awhile, a whole round in some cases). This is due to the fact that when I dynamically add autocast to the unit, and order the autocast to turn on, "replenishon" order, it immobilizes the unit.

Yes, if anyone cares, I can reproduce this, I can, through triggers, stop a unit from autoacquiring targets until it is manually ordered to do something. What I call a bug is probably an amazing feature.


Theres one other feature I have been pondering lately to assist you (the player) in mass controlling the towers. I can add a new tower (buildable by the utility tower builder) which has no attack, no spells, doesnt gain levels. It'll have a couple abilities. "Attack": Target a unit, all nearby towers (say 400 range) will be ordered to attack the targeted unit. "Take em down!": Instant cast, all nearby towers (400 range) will be ordered to attack a random unit in the area exponentially weighted towards their HP lost (meaning 0 chance to attack 100% HP unit, 85% chance to attack the 40% hp unit, and 15% chance to attack the 60% hp unit). "Get the caster": All attack units with mana, higher mana first. "Get to da choppah": All towers get TO DA CHOPPAH, ok not really, but you get the drift. The idea is to allow you to do a little micro to get alot of macro.

Few points I missed before:

Quote:
- No real way to upgrade towers, need a tome of power type upgrade, or a skill upgrade.

Tome of Power type upgrade, yes, thats feasible and a good idea... I cant believe I haven't thought of that... Specific Skill upgrade, not a chance I can add that in =] Settle with tome of powers I guess. Definately in the future more Book of Skills/Magics to give your towers new spells though.

Quote:
Is it just me or when I equip a sword or knife that says +6 or +4 dmg, it gives +2?

Have to balance it somehow, towers that hit multiple enemies get only 1/x of that portion of the damage bonus (always rounded up in your favor)... Otherwise you could just build an inferno tower (hits all nearby enemies for 14-18 dmg) and give then mass twin blades. Research towers get 1/5000's of the damage from items.

I'll see about getting another test version up tomorrow, I wouldnt waste any more time spamming lightning towers until then though ^^.
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