TD Vexal Tower Defense

Discussion in 'Members' Projects' started by Vexal, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Vexal Guest

    Name: Vexal Tower Defense
    Link:http://world-editor-tutorials.thehelper.net/maps.php?view=1077
    Can Maze: Yes
    Terrain / Maze setup: Team -- 1 team of 10 or 2 teams of 5;
    - Each player gets their own build area.
    - Each player's build area gets its own spawn.
    - If a player leaks mobs from his own spawn, they continue to the spawn of the next player, and so on, until they reach the leak zone.
    - Mobs heal / increase speed by a percentage each time they pass a player (% determined by the selected difficulty level).
    Map Layout:
    [IMG]
    It's difficult to tell where mobs go with no starting locations pictured, but they start at the top-middle and run down and outward. Player red is at the top. The leak area is the bottom brown area. The 2 grassy squares near the top are for the players' upgrade centers.

    Gameplay Overview:

    - Techtrees are based on races (selected via dialog at start). In my opinion, the tech tree is what defines this particular map.
    - There is a Hero-creeping area for each side, similar to Zoator, but in my opinion stands out enough to be called my own idea because of the heavy emphasis on correct usage of abilities. As well, the abilities I've had the time to make so far have an insignificant (or even no) cooldown, making for (hopefully) fast-paced combat;
    - So far, I've only made a few abilities for heroes in the creep arena (they take me a while), but if you're curious about what I've got so far, try:
    Mage: Nova; Flamewreath
    Mountain King: Telekinesis
    Blademaster: Charge

    Four abilities doesn't look like a lot, but they take forever to make (for me at least). By the time this is finished, I hope to have all abilities on par with those I just listed.

    -Mobs in the Tower Area (and thus killed by towers) randomly drop items which towers can use (some towers / builders are heroes; will explain further down)

    -There is a competitive VS mode, but until I finish everything else, it will take a backseat in priority.

    Tech-tree / Race overview:

    -Three races: Mythical, Flesh, and Psychic
    Mythical:
    -Mythical structures are built using players' gold (as in every other TD)
    -All towers of the Mythical race are Heroes. They have int / str / agi, can learn skills, and level with kills just as heroes in melee Warcraft do.
    -Mythical towers can individually purchase level-increases, for a price based on its current level.

    -The skills which Mythical towers can learn are for the most part similar in their "twitchiness" to skills in Diablo 2. That is, most of them are dodgeable, have low (or no) cooldown. For example, the Glacial Spike ability that the tower "Narex" can learn -- the player selects a location to aim the ability toward, and a bolt of ice is launched in the targeted direction. The bolt explodes on impact with the first mob in its path,damaging it, and freezing up to 6 mobs nearby. At max skill-level, Glacial Spike has no cooldown (so it can be spammed to try and freeze all mobs in a maze if a player has good aim). If no mobs are in the path of the projectile, the cast is wasted. This is in contrast to the more common systems of "select-and-shoot" found in melee war3, or WoW.

    -As in the melee game, experience splits between all towers (but not with allies). However, the amount given to distribute on each kill can be upgraded at each player's upgrade center (only if they're Mythical, of course).

    -Mythical has two modes of play: Manual, and Automated, and immediately after the player chooses Mythical with the RaceDialog at the start, a second dialog pops up with a button for Manual or Automated.

    -Manual Mythical:
    On Manual mode, Mythical players have the additional abilities: Choosing every towers' distribution of Strength / Intelligence / Agility (upon tower construction or level increase) and an ability which can allow an individual tower to target another selected tower, and transfer experience over to it.

    -On average, a each towers get about 60 spendable stat points upon construction, and an additional 40-60 upon leveling, depending on how expensive / powerful the tower is.

    -Stat points are spendable via a spellbook found on each individual tower (with various options on how many to spend at once, so the player does not have to click 60 times).

    -Stat points are shown via a small floating text above each tower which displays the number of points that particular tower has available to spend. If the tower has no points, the text does not show at all.

    -Players may toggle automatic stat spending (an ability on each tower) on a per-tower basis for towers whom they do not wish to manually spend stats for (depending on the frequency of a player's towers leveling, and how many towers the player has, spending stat points can become tedious)


    -Automated Mythical:
    On Automated mode, players do NOT have the ability to choose stats for their Mythical towers, nor do they have the ability to transfer experience from one tower to another.

    -However, on Automated mode, all Mythical tower-abilities (including those mentioned earlier), which, depending on player preference, may require seemingly tedious amounts of micro-management to deal with, are by default, set to AUTOCAST for Mythical players whom have selected Automated Mythical.
    -The Autocast mechanic is (usually) able to accurately aim projectile spells (even those which can be dodged), however, it is not as good at deciding when the most opportune moment is to cast a spell, as an actual player would be.

    -Depending on a particular player's skill and/or personal preference, players are usually successful with at least one of the two choices of Mythical play-modes; Those who enjoy micro and customization should choose manual, while those who just want to strategically place their towers and not have to worry about casting abilities to get the most out of a maze should choose automated.

    -Lastly: The Engineer is a special hero that (all) Mythical players can build (however, each Mythical player may only have 4 of them). The engineer has no attack, but can learn the "energy wall" ability, which, upon learning the ability, gives the Engineer 3 permanent wall-items which it may place anywhere in the player's (not someone else's) build area. As the Engineer levels (and levels the Energy Wall Ability), it receives additional wall items which it place in the player's maze. As well, walls may be retrieved by the placing Engineer, and then re-placed in a different location.

    -The Engineer also has the ability to place waygates (which work exactly as they do in the melee game). They are extremely difficult to use correctly, and are more or less just a gimmick (although if done right, they can produce some cool mazes). Avoid these.
    ========
    Flesh:
    -Flesh is somewhat similar to Zerg, from Starcraft.
    -Instead of players having a single builder, they get several drones.
    -Each drone may only build one tower (like wisps, or drones in Starcraft).
    -Flesh towers cost no money, but they require food.
    -Food cap can be upgraded at the player's upgrade center (it costs gold).
    -Flesh players start with 4 drones (so they could build 4 different towers before round 1 if they wanted).
    -At the end of each round, Flesh players receive additional drones.
    -Flesh players may upgrade how many additional drones they receive each round (with no upgrades, Flesh players receive only 1, so upgrading is vital).

    Upgrading Flesh Towers
    -In addition to drones being able to construct individual towers, drones also have the, "Merge" ability. Merge can only target a player's own towers. When a drone is Merged with another Flesh tower, it effectively upgrades it into a new tower (as if you're piling more living mass onto the tower, making it stronger). The Merged drone is removed in the process.

    -Each tower can be upgraded 4 times with basic drones (the player will know when this limit has been reached if the tower's current name has the prefix, "Supreme", for example, "Supreme Flesh Spawn").

    -Upgrading towers via merging is useful, because it costs no additional food to upgrade a tower, whereas constructing an entirely new tower will take up more food. Players must decide when they should use their drones to build new towers, and when they should use their drones to merge into and upgrade existing towers.
    Adding Abilities Dynamically to Flesh Towers
    -In addition to merging basic construction drones with towers, Flesh players may purchase ability-drones from their upgrade center. These ability drones can be merged into existing towers, and in doing so, the targeted tower receives the drone's ability (for example, "Slow Poison Drone", or "Blood-Lust Drone"). Each Flesh tower can have one of each ability (even if it has reached the "Supreme" upgrade limit).

    Larvae Walls
    -In addition to purchasing ability drones from the upgrade center, Flesh players may also purchase special Larvae which can build walls. These are very cheap, and can morph back into Larvae if the player wishes to reposition them.

    Flesh Hero-Tower
    -Flesh players may also build one Hero-tower -- it levels just like Mythical's towers, but other than that has no special abilities.

    Flesh Tiers
    -After a Flesh player has upgraded at least one of each type of Flesh-tower to "Supreme" status, the ability for that player to research Tier-2 drone spawns is unlocked. Researching Tier-2 drone spawns will cause Tier-2 drones to spawn at the end of each round, as opposed to the default basic drones. However, Tier-2 drones can split back into basic drones with their split ability (the amount of basic drones that it splits into is determined by how many times the player has upgraded the number of basic drones that spawn after each round).

    -Tier-2 drones can construct much more powerful towers than the basic drones.

    -There is a third, ultimate Tier, with the same requirements that Tier-2 had (one of each supreme tower, but from Tier-2, instead of Tier-1)

    -In addition to Tier-2 and Tier-3 drones being able to construct / merge with other equal-tier-towers, they may also merge with the Flesh Hero, giving it an additional 3 levels each merge. Basic drones do not have the ability to merge with the Flesh Hero (at one point in time, I allowed it, but players were able to build nothing but the Flesh Hero, and get him near level 100 without breaking a sweat -- all without leaking, of course).

    -Basic drones can only upgrade Tier-1 towers; Tier-2 drones can only upgrade Tier-2 towers; Tier-3 drones can only upgrade Tier-3 towers.

    -Since any Flesh tower can be built at any time (as long as you have the Tier-level researched), making each successive tower in the tech stronger than the one before it would not work. Instead, each tower has a single particular strength, adding a strategic pressure to the player to build the right tower at the right time.
    ========
    Psychic:
    -Psychic's builder is a hero. Just like any other hero, it has an attack, can move around, and levels from kills (from the player's own towers, or from the hero itself -- NOT, however, from kills in the creeping arena).

    -Instead of gold, Psychic uses MANA to build its structures. However, the only difference between Mana and Gold, is that Mana can regenerate, and Mana is shown on the builder itself, instead of the gold display at the top of the screen (although, maybe it should be shown there, I don't know yet).

    -The builder initially has a low maximum Mana, and most Psychic towers will cost more Mana than the builder can hold. However, each time the builder levels, its maximum Mana increases. It also gets 4 skillpoints.

    -These 4 skillpoints, used via the Hero-skill menu, can be used towards the skills, :Regeneration","Recovery", and "Conversion".

    -Regeneration increases the Psychic-Builder's Mana regeneration --- NOTE: Psychic regenerates Mana BETWEEN ROUNDS ONLY.
    -Recovery increases the percentage of the Builder's mana restored at the end of each round (yes, you can put enough points into recovery so that the builder restores 100% mana each round. The race is (at least attempted to be) balanced around this massive income, and the fact that mana is a renewable resource).
    -Conversion increases the amount of mana given to the builder whenever a tower or the builder kills a mob. All Psychic builders start with level 1 Conversion by default, and the next level of Conversion requires the builder to be level 11.

    -Originally, players used gold to upgrade these things, but it felt weird to mix the 2 resources, so now Psychic doesn't even earn gold to begin with. Kills in the Creep Arena give the builder mana, as well.

    -As well, the builder used to get no additional max mana upon leveling. Instead, Mana-Capacity was a skill similar to regeneration or recovery. However, since maximum mana is such a huge deciding factor in whether or not a player can actually build a tower, players were forced to put all of their points into Capacity no matter what. The only solution I could think of to this problem was to just give mana by default.

    -I wish, however, that there could be more ways for the player to take advantage of the fact that the builder levels, and more ways to customize it to suit his or her particular playstyle. I had to remove so many things because the ideas simply didn't work intuitively, or were impossible to balance.

    -Psychic towers upgrade similar to towers in any other TD (except they cost mana).
    -Psychic Researches at the upgrade center cost mana.

    What I Still Have Not Finished:

    -Most spells on heroes in the Creep Arena are still default warcraft, and need to be replaced with interesting custom ones.
    -As of right now, all of my scripting uses location objects, but would run faster (especially the spells) if I went back and redid the scripts using real coordinates instead. This is simply a matter of overcoming the tedium.
    -With so many variables in this particular game, it is hard to find control groups for balancing. I can't come up with any ways to balance with spreadsheets (at least, not up against other races, however, intra-race balancing is not too bad), and resort mainly to trial and error. This proves somewhat useless, especially since I do not test with the same people every time.
    -A lot of debug code is left. Variables I no longer use, and other "weeds" like that.
    -Each race (except for Flesh) has only a few Researches available at their upgrade center. They need a full menu's worth.
    -Mythical still needs 2 more towers, and it wouldn't hurt for a few of the towers to have an additional ability or two.
    -Only about half of the Psychic towers have upgrades.
    -None of the Tier-3 Flesh towers have upgrades, yet.
    -Flesh needs a bigger selection of ability drones.
    -Boss levels still need to be added.
    -Levels past ~25 are not balanced at all. This is mainly because getting that far without losing is difficult, and distinguishing between bad balance and bad player is difficult (even across one same version, the gap between how well a good player does, and how well a bad player does is huge).
    -The inability to easily balance the higher levels is what's keeping me from adding the content I just listed.
    -Most of the random items that drop from creeps are useless. Some of them have novelty uses (similar to the joke items in WoW), but most of them don't, and just take up inventory space, as well as cause players to ask "hey what does Key of Three Moons do?" over and over again.
    -I'm considering adding a 4th Tier to Flesh.
    -The competitive VS mode still needs a ton of work. I don't want to get into its workings now, however.

    There are probably tons of other things that I just forgot at the time of writing this.

    One last problem, is that new players have a hard time grasping what they're supposed to do. I've come to terms with the fact that most people are never going to read descriptions or tutorials, but, how do I prevent a player from massing Engineers (they have no attack) simply because they saw the 4g price-tag and didn't look at anything else?

    New players get frustrated way too much. It's probably the biggest issue that needs dealing with.

    To sum up....

    I need feedback more than anything. Honest feedback. I'm getting sick of trying to finish this, but I don't want the work to go to waste. Download the map, try it, and if you have any suggestions, feel free to post here, or even email me at hmmzo0r@aol.com

    Thanks.

    I don't protect maps, so if you want, you can open this up if you're curious as to how I got stuff to work the way it does.
  2. Joker(Div) Always Here..

    Holy shit, it looks complicated... o.0 Try to just summarize things...
  3. Vexal Guest

    Oh, that was the summary!

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