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Proposed PvE Campaign Map Changes


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The SR Team recently discussed changes to PvE campaign maps. The goal of these changes would be to maintain the identity of the map as closely as possible while improving aspects such as major exploits, unused sections of maps, and problem areas where players feel forced to "break" the map to play it. It is important to note that all of these changes are proposals, none of them are guaranteed to be implemented. We do not want to make changes to something as fundamental as campaign maps without input from the community about what they think and what they want to see or not see change-wise. 

Please discuss what you think of the proposed changes and how you would modify the proposes yourself.

You can find all of the proposed changes in the attached PDF:

Proposed Upcoming PvE Map Changes.pdf

There are individual threads to discuss each map.

Ascension

Bad Harvest

Blight

Convoy

Crusade

Defending Hope

Empire

Encounters with Twilight

King of the Giants

Nightmare Shard

Nightmare's End

Ocean

Oracle

Passage to Darkness

Siege of Hope

Slavemaster

Sunbridge

The Dwarven Riddle

The Guns of Lyr

The Insane God

The Soultree

The Treasure Fleet

Titans

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Here is an additional suggestion:

To further encourage exploration of the proposed new boss area in Passage to Darkness, one could also move one of the gold chests there? Since the map has an achievement of opening all gold chests for 10k gold, for that achievement's sake people would clear the area then for sure.
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Let me know what you think.

Edited by LEBOVIN
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So first off I would like to say that there is probably not a single player in this game that thinks that card balance is in a good place. At the very least everyone agrees that there are many vastly underpowered and useless cards that need help. With that in mind, why should the maps be sacred? Why should they be considered in the best state they could be in? What are the odds that card balance is in such a shabby place but the maps are fine? I would actually argue that flawed map design, ill-considered triggers and enemy placements are a big factor in the issues that the game faces as a whole.

Ascension
Flying units should definitely not be able to activate ground-based devices. If a device had such a feature, it should indicate it clearly be being airborne itself. Like a weather balloon or something. Could be a reskinned Magma Spore that can then be activated by a flying unit and pops in the process. It can simultaneously be tied to a ground-based device that can be activated by ground-entities. But that is only if it is deemed appropriate for the device to being activated by flying units. By default, ground presence should be necessary.

While the endlessly repeated line of Viridya is annoying, her reaching a portal is also the most prominent cause for failure. So maybe it's not that bad that she endlessly screeches to draw attention. If anything mix up the lines a bit.

Map 3 being crossable for flying units is a major change that would greatly influence the dynamic on the map. But being able to help the other side out with air-support is definitely interesting, obviously also opening up the potential to solo. Definitely something to keep an eye on once implemented, so that "get on with it already"-solo-carrying doesn't become totally oppressive, but sounds good in general.

The changes to Map 1 are intriguing. While usually not the cause for a loss it is quite the uphill battle. Because you are facing such tough opposition the sustain and utility from nature reign supreme. While creating a bit more space for alternatives to breath is good it would do little to close the gap to the mentioned meta strat.

Convoy
A clear case where terrain obviously intended to be inaccessible can be accessed and the entire design of the map crumbles because of that. Easing the pressure by granting more Walkers sounds like good compensation. Buuut I am guessing the issue you want to solve isn't actually inaccessible terrain being accessed. Otherwise the Nether Warp shenanigans on the "uncrossable" barriers would be on the chopping block too. It's the out-of-map part that is deemed unacceptable, no?

Crusade
Just because players managed to clear the paths doesn't mean they are already in a position to defend against the final wave. This would create a situation where stopping just short of accomplishing your goal becomes the ideal approach if you are unable to fortify the top in time. This is counterintuitive. I would give players control over that by keeping the timer but also implementing a device at the top that becomes usable once the paths are cleared. Akin to the screaming stone on Encounters with Twilight it can be used to call the final wave prematurely upon the condition of clearing the paths is met.

The concept of the "secret" boss sounds interesting. Something to do. Not a fan of it only actually creating an incentive a single time though. What about the gold-pass? Reevaluating gold rewards and chest contents? Putting a big, chunky chest in the middle that's worth grabbing. Put a side-quest marker on it. Or tie a payout to killing the new boss.

Empire
This map always stroke me as having a lot of potential to be more interesting but falling short of that by being obscure and having worthless sections. The proposed fixes sound great, teleportation control was always tricky. Don't have anything interesting for the Engineers and the Midwinter. Aside from maybe making the fortifications in the present more powerful and the Midwinter too. From what I have seen the Midwinter even tends to die without accomplishing anything. Could give it more HP and more Oomph. Like a slow glacier that moves up behind the progressing players and therefore serves as a minimum progress meter since it slowly but steadily cleans up.

King of the Giants
The problem with the Midwinter is not only that its slow. But also that it is comparatively useless if you consider that there are up to four players waltzing down the path with T4 armies. There is just no point in it even being there at that stage of the game. Players don't need it. Even if it was powerful. Just dumb to even put it there in the first place.

Nightmare Shard
I see the first camp as the biggest issue of the map. It's such an overloaded camp and it is the first thing that players tend to engage with. Also that Maelstrom cuts off the retreat path. So the big question for me is how to make the first camp more approachable without Mine or Mana Wing. Of course you can also skip the first camp and attack the second one behind it. While that is an counterintuitive approach, it wouldn't be tied to map mechanics, just how to approach the given circumstance within the limitations of the framework. So maybe the second camp could be toned down a bit to make that the more attractive attack point for off-meta approaches. The intervals at which the wild spells spawn could also be adjusted, easing the pressure.

Nightmare's End
The thing is: Destroying the power shrines is the maps objective. Players are supposed to destroy them, so obviously they will attempt that asap. Grabbing T2 without also destroying the power shrine right next to it is counterintuitive. It's only really a thing that people think of doing once they understand and use the hidden, underlying mechanics of the map to make it easier for themselves. I don't like the thought process of leaning into hidden, counterintuitive mechanics at all. If anything it should be other other way around. Moving the top left shrine into range of the orb so it will inevitably be destroyed once players claim it. Not destroying the shrine is the exact opposite of what the map tells players they should do. And that is supposed to be the optimal approach? Reward players for following the path intended by the map's design instead.

If you want players to build the orbs without destroying the shrines, then move the shrines into the middle part of the map, which is currently only holding wells. But also mark the location of the orbs with some other objective. So players are enticed to first clear the orbs and then go for the shrines separately. Do not obfuscate things unnecessarily and create situations where players are compelled to ask others what they are supposed to do and the answer ends up being that the game basically lied to them and they ought to do the exact opposite of what the game it telling them.

Passage to Darkness
Make a top right boss spawn on purging all harbingers and make it the final quest. Maybe a Hellhound. Would slow the map down a bit but make the giant T4 army that players built up by that point worth something.

I am also for LEBOVIMs suggestion to move a gold chest there. Although it has to be considered that it would end up being an additional source of frustration for players that do want all the chests but the map finishes before they can get to the top right one. A mandatory boss would solve that.

Sunbridge
I am certain there are people that don't even think the map is possible to do without the gate exploit. That is a horrendous state for a map to be in. The gate exploit is pretty much the first thing people learn about this map and, as noted, it trivializes it. Even without the Twilight Dragon, which is the apex non-boss enemy in the game, the waves are still quite tough. Maybe further adjustments have to be made and playtested with non-meta approaches.

The Dwarven Riddle
I would very much like to see the map going into a direction where every player can pull some more equal weight. So that is a very welcome change, in theory. It will make the map easier obviously. But wouldn't it also simply serve to accelerate a carry player and the go-to approach for the map would remain the same? Especially with Amii Monument in the picture. I like the direction but the execution will be very important.

The Guns of Lyr
As noted in the community update topic, another thing to look at is the fact that the final wave can be forced by destroying the main twilight buildings. But probably only after the proposed changes are through if it turns out to be troublesome.

The Soultree
Amii Monument anyone?

The Treasure Fleet
Now that is a really interesting change. Could the times achieved by this more dangerous route be faster than the current top times achieved by exploiting triggers?

Titans
Seem like all around great ideas for the map. It's madness that one quarter of the map, and therefore a player, was actually completely isolated and useless up till now. Which, I guess, brings me back to my initial statements. How can maps be in their best spot when something like this exists?

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5 hours ago, Cocofang said:

Ascension
Flying units should definitely not be able to activate ground-based devices. If a device had such a feature, it should indicate it clearly be being airborne itself. Like a weather balloon or something. Could be a reskinned Magma Spore that can then be activated by a flying unit and pops in the process. It can simultaneously be tied to a ground-based device that can be activated by ground-entities. But that is only if it is deemed appropriate for the device to being activated by flying units. By default, ground presence should be necessary.

While the endlessly repeated line of Viridya is annoying, her reaching a portal is also the most prominent cause for failure. So maybe it's not that bad that she endlessly screeches to draw attention. If anything mix up the lines a bit.

Map 3 being crossable for flying units is a major change that would greatly influence the dynamic on the map. But being able to help the other side out with air-support is definitely interesting, obviously also opening up the potential to solo. Definitely something to keep an eye on once implemented, so that "get on with it already"-solo-carrying doesn't become totally oppressive, but sounds good in general.

The changes to Map 1 are intriguing. While usually not the cause for a loss it is quite the uphill battle. Because you are facing such tough opposition the sustain and utility from nature reign supreme. While creating a bit more space for alternatives to breath is good it would do little to close the gap to the mentioned meta strat.

 

can only agree with you on almost every point. 

However, in map 3 there is the possibility, if several players are on the map simply fly over with flight units and help there. What also works are nether warp, scythe beasts. The change is eigendlich only that you can play the map either aleine or but 2 people on one side. This is probably in most cases only what will run the top players who have already made this map with the minimum number of players. Which is very interesting but also extremely difficult. (especially map 1 which is relatively "easy" with motk and manawings can be very hard if you are all alone).

5 hours ago, Cocofang said:

Convoy
A clear case where terrain obviously intended to be inaccessible can be accessed and the entire design of the map crumbles because of that. Easing the pressure by granting more Walkers sounds like good compensation. Buuut I am guessing the issue you want to solve isn't actually inaccessible terrain being accessed. Otherwise the Nether Warp shenanigans on the "uncrossable" barriers would be on the chopping block too. It's the out-of-map part that is deemed unacceptable, no?

Opinions are divided here. Especially for the speedrun niche, this middle part has long been a very welcome element (in the current alltime, however, this is no longer used).
The possibility to block the walkers I felt for a long time as "unnecessary", because you can also complete the map without this blocking on expert. More walkers only for the reason: "it is otherwise too difficult" I can answer almost only so: What is the point of a map on Expert if everyone can do it with any deck without problems? In other games, a map on expert is a huge challenge, where you first have to deal with the map and get to know until you understand it. But not with skylords. Almost every map is relatively simple on expert (exceptions are present, especially with the solo maps like the nightmare maps or Blight.
For this reason, I find the possibility no longer in the middle to be able to not so great. support but that you can not build buildings to block the walkers. 

 

5 hours ago, Cocofang said:

Crusade
Just because players managed to clear the paths doesn't mean they are already in a position to defend against the final wave. This would create a situation where stopping just short of accomplishing your goal becomes the ideal approach if you are unable to fortify the top in time. This is counterintuitive. I would give players control over that by keeping the timer but also implementing a device at the top that becomes usable once the paths are cleared. Akin to the screaming stone on Encounters with Twilight it can be used to call the final wave prematurely upon the condition of clearing the paths is met.

The concept of the "secret" boss sounds interesting. Something to do. Not a fan of it only actually creating an incentive a single time though. What about the gold-pass? Reevaluating gold rewards and chest contents? Putting a big, chunky chest in the middle that's worth grabbing. Put a side-quest marker on it. Or tie a payout to killing the new boss.

Without attacking you in any way now: The endwave always attacks directly when you have both ways clean. Exception to this rule is if you do this before the 8 minutes. Therefore, I find a switch to bring itself nicely into position above superfluous. This is almost exclusively about a change for the Speedrun community, so that a real time can be made here, and not a "minimum" time exists as currently with the 9.41.1 that are currently.

That with the Secret boss I am a little gemister opinion. I would support something like a side quest, if you do not have to do it, but can to get additional reward. Seh here but additional gold not necessarily as the right thing, but maybe that you only get 100% of the XP of the map if you do that and otherwise only 75% of the XP, for example.

 

5 hours ago, Cocofang said:

Empire
This map always stroke me as having a lot of potential to be more interesting but falling short of that by being obscure and having worthless sections. The proposed fixes sound great, teleportation control was always tricky.

totaly agree, map desinc always lead into frustration, just cause of bugs, or somone who have the control gate, or even mo/rogan, but not read chat and dont know that he have to move this units.

 

5 hours ago, Cocofang said:

 

King of the Giants
The problem with the Midwinter is not only that its slow. But also that it is comparatively useless if you consider that there are up to four players waltzing down the path with T4 armies. There is just no point in it even being there at that stage of the game. Players don't need it. Even if it was powerful. Just dumb to even put it there in the first place.

 

as a solution i can imagine that the midwinter can be freed before the gate opens, for example by changing the map layout so that you can reach it from the south side. This would then require a gate to be installed on the north side of this place.

 

5 hours ago, Cocofang said:

Sunbridge
I am certain there are people that don't even think the map is possible to do without the gate exploit. That is a horrendous state for a map to be in. The gate exploit is pretty much the first thing people learn about this map and, as noted, it trivializes it. Even without the Twilight Dragon, which is the apex non-boss enemy in the game, the waves are still quite tough. Maybe further adjustments have to be made and playtested with non-meta approaches.

did u see this video from Treim on RadicalX channal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH01WP48zIE ?
It is very difficould but defenetly doable on expert, witout the exploid, and as i writh befor: Campain maps on Expert can be hard, thats why they are called expert maps. 

would still prefer to have no change in the map. Since you have to do something for this tactic, even if it's just clicking the switch every 30 seconds. Think many know it when you're not sure whether the jetz was still in time and whether there is now but what has rutst through and then completely overrun because you have not adjusted to the fact that you have to defend such a wave 😄

 

6 hours ago, Cocofang said:

The Dwarven Riddle
I would very much like to see the map going into a direction where every player can pull some more equal weight. So that is a very welcome change, in theory. It will make the map easier obviously. But wouldn't it also simply serve to accelerate a carry player and the go-to approach for the map would remain the same? Especially with Amii Monument in the picture. I like the direction but the execution will be very important.

already only the fact that one is forced by the map, that one goes only max t3 I find rather impudent.  Therefore, I welcome this additional basket. This also brings the possibility to play the map so that you can play it completely with ground units. 
Regarding the solo carry tactics: I doubt very much that this will be avoidable. The map layout is just built so that if you want to play the map quickly, 1 carry is enough. This can not be changed from my point of view, unless you rebuild the map so that it is no longer Dwarven Riddle.

 

6 hours ago, Cocofang said:

The Guns of Lyr
As noted in the community update topic, another thing to look at is the fact that the final wave can be forced by destroying the main twilight buildings. But probably only after the proposed changes are through if it turns out to be troublesome.

As someone who has played the map up and down in every possible way, I can say for myself that I support the fire in the south, because it just doesn't work.
Building on the edge of the map I personally find a niche that only affect the players who want to play the map at all-time level, or even want to attack the fastest time. 
The most frequently played tactic will probably be WBG, although I have relatively often played a game where the map was played normally. 
I personally don't find such a change compelling. 
Destroying the spawn via the wall I personally also find something that does not need to be changed, since this is also just an element of the speedrun. 
Would here rather welcome a change to the rewards. That one e.g. If the technikus has not activated the cannons, one gets only 25% of the gold and XP. This would lead to the speedrunners can continue to hunt the map, but the players who want to farm on the map XP and gold, are forced to play the map as intended, if they want to get the whole 100% of XP.
It should be noted that in casual games, I have never met anyone who builds the buildings on the edge of the map. As a co-developer of this tactic, I know the strength of this tactic. But to prevent it in casual games, you could, for example, the first big spawnwave simply do not spawn outside the map. Then the speedrunners are not too hard affected, as well as the players who want to play the map normally because you are forced to build a proper defense. 

 

6 hours ago, Cocofang said:

The Treasure Fleet
Now that is a really interesting change. Could the times achieved by this more dangerous route be faster than the current top times achieved by exploiting triggers?

I have to say that I don't quite understand how this is supposed to help the SPeedrun community, because this CAP how fast the map is is shortened a bit, but doesn't change the fact that if everyone lets all ships go the faster way, everyone can still make the same time.
But I understand the incentive for casual games that the map doesn't have to go 30 minutes, but can also be made faster when played normally.

Personally, I would be interested to know what the time savings are when the ship takes the faster route. Of course the first turn is significantly shorter, but the second turn is noticeably longer. What kind of savings can we expect here? 30sec? 1min? Hard to estimate if you haven't played the map a few times and know the timings.

 

6 hours ago, Cocofang said:

Titans
Seem like all around great ideas for the map. It's madness that one quarter of the map, and therefore a player, was actually completely isolated and useless up till now. Which, I guess, brings me back to my initial statements. How can maps be in their best spot when something like this exists?

I don't understand how you can say that Pos 3 is useless? The position has the task of activating the left gate slider so that you can destroy the fire emitters on the middle way up. I would still welcome an additional task here, as this is the only task that has no time limit, unlike all the other positions. At the moment, however, I lack creativity as to what could be done to create such a task. I could imagine something like a spawn linked with a tunnel system that attacks the other players, as the map on expert is one of the easier ones. It would make the map a bit more difficult, but that's not a tragedy in my opinion. 

 

 

This where my 5 cents.

I hope everyone can relate to my thoughts. Keep in mind that these are my personal opinions, which I have developed through a lot of playing time and knowledge of the CPVE maps. 

I am open for comments, but keep in mind that one: This is wrong, does not go to personal opinions, I was already allowed to know how it is when you are punished for personal opinions, this does not have to be.

I am open for discussions. 

/wanky

 

 

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11 hours ago, Volin said:

You want to add perhaps some reasons for your rejection? 

I welcome changes that add diversity, challenge and quality of life to this game. I am very fond of adding optional bosses to maps like crusade and PTD and I would also welcome additional game modes. In fact there is a lot of good in this document. Keep up the good work!!!

Now to the dirty part: I AM VERY ALARMED by the huge amount of changes specifically targeting speedruns. To me the point of speedrunning is to find a way to navigate an obstacle course in ways that were not intended. For example the suggested change to move the Nightmares End p2 orb further away from the shrine will have no tangible effect on normal players. This change will have big implications in making speedruns easier. The change to stop units from being blocked in Crusade is again a change that will not affect normal players and will affect speedruns a lot. To me there is no fun in speedrunning maps that were modified by speedrunners to make easier to speedrun. Is making speedruns faster a good use of volunteer developer time? I STRONGLY ADVOCATE AGAINST MAKING CHANGES THAT MAKE SPEEDRUNNING EASIER especially when these changes are being pushed by people who are actively competing in the leaderboards. This will set a dangerous precedent that it's OK for speedrunners to make map changes to improve their runs.

This is shown again in the changes to remove time caps from only certian maps. Crusade, Siege of Hope, Defending Hope and Titans all have timers limiting how fast the map can progress. But the people working on map improvements only chose to implement changes in maps they are not already rank 1 in: Why was titans not included???.

And then there is the nerfs. This game's community has a lot of veteran players and to keep the game challenging we can progress to harder and harder maps. There is also a nice diversity of maps: some have lots of energy, some you are energy starved; some you have to attack, some you have to defend. The suggested energy changes for Nightmares end and Nightmares shard will make them less unique and less challenging. Yes this will make it easier for new players and speedrunners, but will also take away options for veteran players looking for a challenge. There are lots of ways to win in both Nightmare maps as well as dwarven riddle. Yes they are hard but some people (me) like hard and we should also have hard maps to choose from. There are plenty of easy maps already so instead of nerfing the remaining hard maps I suggest to not play them if you don't want to and keep the fun for those seeking a challenge. Same thing for convoy: even without blocks there are several ways to win with the current number of walkers. Why make the map easier for new players? Just don't play expert if you don't want a challenge.

Just to reiterate: The proposed changes also contain a lot of good elements: adding optional bossfights, improving quality of life e.g. empire. I even welcome speedrun changes such as in guns of lyr that remove exploits as they will increase the fun of running the map. I would love to talk more about a lot of the positive changes but first I HAVE TO CALL OUT THE FACT THAT WE HAVE SPEEDRUNNERS ON THE TEAM SUGGESTING TO MAKE CHANGES TO MAPS THAT WILL MAKE SPEEDRUNNING EASIER AND WHO ARE SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDING MAPS THEY ARE ALREADY RANK 1 ON AND SPECIFICALLY NERFING MAPS THEY ARE NOT GOOD ON. I cannot view changes such as nightmares end p2 orb location to be made in good faith and implementing these changes will take credibility away from the team of hard working volunteers making this game possible. It will take away the fun and glory from speedrunning.

TLDR: I strongly advocate to not changes maps to facilitate speedruns especially not when those changes are suggested by people actively competing in the leaderboards and specifically targeting the few maps they are not winning in and specifically excluding the maps they are already rank 1 in. These changes will not benefit the average player and will benefit the exact people who are pushing for these changes.

Edited by mtmt
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The number one map focus should be fixing exploits as mentioned on Guns of Lyr or Convoy.

Things like:

  • Circumventing any Amii Gates via Teleporting
  • Blocking Jorne in Titans (mentioned)
  • Sunbridge Gate Switch bug
  • Soultree Amii Monument
  • Somehow getting the treasure wagons to go faster in The Treasure Fleet (is this still possible?)
  • Using Incubator to generate ground presence (not really a map-bug tbf)
  • Many, many more exploits exist...

I think the goal of a map designer should be to get the user to "play the map" however the player wants but without trivializing the difficulty of the map. As a speedrunner, @LEBOVIN is more than aware of these exploits and it should make him excellent at addressing them! But please recognize this is a conflict of interest.

Any difficulty changes should come second, once the time for this comes please consider bumping the jump in difficulty from Standard to Advanced. I don't recall many significant differences between these two levels of difficulties and thus room is open for making the jump harder. On expert the maps should feel like real challenges, not everyone needs to be able to complete a map on this level which is why Standard and Advanced levels exist!
Proposed changes like increasing the number of walkers for Convoy come to mind, I remember trying to do Convoy with Eirias using frost tier 1 units, so no swapping or cheesing and eventually we accomplished it and it felt like a massive achievement! If there were 5 walkers instead of 3, I expect we could've gotten it first try: a subpar experience. Difficulties overcome make for excellent memories to everyone involved!

I do appreciate a lot of these creative changes like a hidden boss on Crusade or fixing bugs on Empire and look forward to seeing more changes coming.

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Feedback on the proposed changes

Blight: Increase timer for the first wave by 30-60 seconds. The amount of restarts is so high because only 1 of 4 has to fail (unless you wanna continue to play with 2 players)and this just makes you not touch this map without a premade team. This is an easier fix then balance the camps for each position since they have a different difficulty depending on what you start with on orb 1.

Convoy: seems good. make the stoneskin warriors immune to nightguard swap since you have more time? there are other issues but nothing that needs immediate attention now (you can set up a few necrofurys, lure the boss towards the gate with spawned skeletons from undead army and just nuke him with the necrofurys for an instant win, ignoring the mid part completely)

Defending Hope: seems good, maybe change the bottom part since you never get those wells unless you want to defend an extra spot, but it is never worth it for 2 wells, so they mostly become obsolete.

Nightmare Shard & Nightmares End: The biggest problem with these maps is acquiring T2 orb and so much waiting (e.g. if you fail and now you dont have enough charges xD). Maybe move the walls a bit further so that your archers can always hit the witch and the Vilebloods to make it consistent? Sunbridge: I think replacing only the first Dragon with an Abomination is still too hard, I think they only need to spawn after 1 player has T3, but needs testing.

The Dwarfen Riddle: Not sure this will affect how the game is played at all. Maybe separate the map so you can't cross it with flying units?(Bearbeitet)

The Guns of Lyr: Same problem as Blight, this map is so damn hard unless everyone knows to perfectly play their role that you don't play it with non premade teams at all. Reduce the waves a bit or give the others more time, this will not affect speedrunners and feedruns but give players who wanna play the map the normal way but don't have a full team to at least enjoy it from time to time.

Titans: If you implement the nonblocking strategy for Jorne and make the swamp drake immune to night guard swap then Players 3 job could be a support for Player 1, maybe by doing objectives you delay Jornes arrival or disable some spawning buildings? for the non-commented maps: I like the suggested changes

One of the biggest balancing issues for maps was and will always be Amii Monument

Just my 2 Cent

Prajoss

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First of all, I think most of the proposal are very good.

Blight:

On expert this map is brutal.
On other maps the player can support each other with some spells, but here is the timing and energy so tied that helping your teammate could mean losing your side.
Having a bit mor time would help a lot or ~100 more energy (=one more Unit) at the start could also help

 

King of the Giants:

I agree – the Midwinter is nearly always behind Rogan.
Spawning it earlier would help a bit, but as soon as the players arrive, the Midwinter is obsolete.
So maybe it would help to chnage it to an unit faster – like Battleship with shield (as an addition to the early spawn) so the unit actually can help.
But as @wanky already said 4 Players with like 6-12 T4 Units -> the Midwinter doesn’t change a lot here…

 

Sunbridge:

I think the gate switching thingy should be “fixed”.
Of course you could say: If you want to play “normal” that don’t use it.
But it is still a 2-player map and if you tell your random teammate the you want to try a “normal” run and suddenly you are alone in your lobby
or he say YES, the game starts and he is doing the switching nevertheless - it’s a bit frustrating.

Also, Expert Maps should be a challenge – and here is Exp. easier the Std. 

 

The Dwarven Riddle:

“Make Crystal Guardians who can CC visually distinctive”
Why not make all more distinctive?
I mean the guardians of the green crystal can CC, so for example give them a green glow,
the guardians of the red crystal get a red glow and so one. (If that is technical possible)

 

The Guns of Lyr:

“Prevent construction of any structure at the map borders”
I don’t use this strategy so I, won’t say yes or no.
But if you go for yes -> you could also just increase the size of the fire field. It doesn’t make a lot of sense why units should walk behind the fire field at all.
Should go all the way to the border.

Trigger final attack by destroying the last camp without “doing your tasks”
I use this for my GoL speedruns too, but I think its not intended by the developers…
I really like the idea from @WindHunter: to give the building a shield till an objective is completed.
I would connect the shield to the Amii gate. It doesn’t make sense to fix all canons and fire at the third wall, if you are still defending at the second wall when the final wave hits you.
So all camps are destroyed, gate opens, shield goes down.

Also, or in addition you could change the positions of the building. So it is further away from the wall. (But I think that would look a bit weird)

 

The Soultree:

Yeah well, the elephant in the room -> Amii Mounument
You could change the Task from “Build 5 orbs” to “Build THIS 5 orbs”
So you don’t comply the objective by the count of orbs.
You need to build the orbs at Position a,b,c,d,e

 

Titans:

I also think Pos 3 needs something more to do.
Maybe give him switches so slow down Jorne, like a one-time rootings-spell in every camp. (Maybe not root but slow down - cast Befall visual effect on him, so he cant see the way)

Or a switch so Jorne can’t walk directly (first wall) and has to walk the northern path. Like placing SUPER-MINES, which he is scared of.

 

General:

The teleport over/through the Amii Gate should be fixed. (as @Weak1ings already said)
I know, for a speedrun perspective its nice – but I think the developers never have intended this

 

I really looking forward to some fixing / balancing / clarifying of the PvE Maps.


 

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8 hours ago, Weak1ings said:

The number one map focus should be fixing exploits as mentioned on Guns of Lyr or Convoy.

Things like:

  • Circumventing any Amii Gates via Teleporting
  • Blocking Jorne in Titans (mentioned)
  • Sunbridge Gate Switch bug
  • Soultree Amii Monument
  • Somehow getting the treasure wagons to go faster in The Treasure Fleet (is this still possible?)
  • Using Incubator to generate ground presence (not really a map-bug tbf)
  • Many, many more exploits exist...

I think the goal of a map designer should be to get the user to "play the map" however the player wants but without trivializing the difficulty of the map. As a speedrunner, @LEBOVIN is more than aware of these exploits and it should make him excellent at addressing them! But please recognize this is a conflict of interest.

Any difficulty changes should come second, once the time for this comes please consider bumping the jump in difficulty from Standard to Advanced. I don't recall many significant differences between these two levels of difficulties and thus room is open for making the jump harder. On expert the maps should feel like real challenges, not everyone needs to be able to complete a map on this level which is why Standard and Advanced levels exist!
Proposed changes like increasing the number of walkers for Convoy come to mind, I remember trying to do Convoy with Eirias using frost tier 1 units, so no swapping or cheesing and eventually we accomplished it and it felt like a massive achievement! If there were 5 walkers instead of 3, I expect we could've gotten it first try: a subpar experience. Difficulties overcome make for excellent memories to everyone involved!

I do appreciate a lot of these creative changes like a hidden boss on Crusade or fixing bugs on Empire and look forward to seeing more changes coming.

i find that finding these exploids and finding a use for them on maps is what keeps players in the game longer. Sure speedrunners use it to achieve faster times, but to be honest: Who cares how many exploids were used? In almost every game, be it Zelda, Trachmania, etc. speedrunners use exploids, many of which are not easy to execute, and not just anyone can replay once he has seen them. 

As for the difficulty, I can only say again and again that I know of no other game where you can directly play through all maps at the highest difficulty level with the starter cards. 

Therefore, I would very much like a 4th difficulty level for some maps, which is even harder than expert. 

4 hours ago, Prajoss said:

One of the biggest balancing issues for maps was and will always be Amii Monument

I don't think you need to balance a map to one of the many tactics. And yes, I call amii monument consciously a tactic. Especially somewhat inexperienced players have with the amii sometimes a chance to create a slightly heavier map, or casual players to test fun deck builds where you need t5. Of course speedrunners also use amii on some maps. But not on all maps. Probably on less maps than most people think. Also regarding the exploids I can only add this here

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Unpopular Opinion: The wrath of the souls should be buffed on Expert. Not to the degree that the map starts to suck, but that it rises to a level that the Wrathstones start to make sense. It wouldnt be too bad that its a burden, and maps switch it around a bit during a run.

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1 hour ago, Kapo said:

Unpopular Opinion: The wrath of the souls should be buffed on Expert. Not to the degree that the map starts to suck, but that it rises to a level that the Wrathstones start to make sense. It wouldnt be too bad that its a burden, and maps switch it around a bit during a run.

y true, the dmg is like nonscese...until u have a squad Troup or lack of orbs and still t1-2. There u get massiv dmg after a while

3 hours ago, Draconnor said:

No fixes/new content to Bad Harvest? 😞

i think best "fix" for bad harvest, and any other abuseable Map with speedrun to farm Gold and XP could be Balanced very well with rewarding system. If u do not get mutch gold/XP why should people play it?

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Convoy

19 hours ago, wanky said:

Opinions are divided here. Especially for the speedrun niche, this middle part has long been a very welcome element (in the current alltime, however, this is no longer used).
The possibility to block the walkers I felt for a long time as "unnecessary", because you can also complete the map without this blocking on expert. More walkers only for the reason: "it is otherwise too difficult" I can answer almost only so: What is the point of a map on Expert if everyone can do it with any deck without problems? In other games, a map on expert is a huge challenge, where you first have to deal with the map and get to know until you understand it. But not with skylords. Almost every map is relatively simple on expert (exceptions are present, especially with the solo maps like the nightmare maps or Blight.

For this reason, I find the possibility no longer in the middle to be able to not so great. support but that you can not build buildings to block the walkers.

A big point is that the middle part of the map is presented as being inaccessible and exists as kind of like an essential mini-game within the map that players can influence with the artifacts. But going inside this normally restricted area not only undermines that completely but is also unintuitive because everything about the design suggests otherwise.
The difference we have to look at is: Normal run (assuming no exploits, no skipping, no NG takeover on T3 units) VS Normal run + accessing the middle.
Doesn't the map get a lot easier if you just enter the restricted section in the middle and directly help the Walker with units? And that is on top of the map being played in a way that corrodes the underlying mechanics instead of engaging with them.

Crusade

Quote

Without attacking you in any way now: The endwave always attacks directly when you have both ways clean. Exception to this rule is if you do this before the 8 minutes. Therefore, I find a switch to bring itself nicely into position above superfluous. This is almost exclusively about a change for the Speedrun community, so that a real time can be made here, and not a "minimum" time exists as currently with the 9.41.1 that are currently.

That doesn't contradicts what I have been saying though? My point is that if people manage to clear the paths before the timer but have not yet fortified top then they are punished for following the quests by having to face the final wave unprepared. In that case the final wave would be an option and it'd be up to them to trigger them before the timer.

 Sunbridge

Quote

did u see this video from Treim on RadicalX channal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH01WP48zIE ?
It is very difficould but defenetly doable on expert, witout the exploid, and as i writh befor: Campain maps on Expert can be hard, thats why they are called expert maps. 

would still prefer to have no change in the map. Since you have to do something for this tactic, even if it's just clicking the switch every 30 seconds. Think many know it when you're not sure whether the jetz was still in time and whether there is now but what has rutst through and then completely overrun because you have not adjusted to the fact that you have to defend such a wave 😄

Yes, I was aware of that video. Is your point that everyone should play exactly like that? Or just that it's indeed possible to do? You say that expert maps need to be hard but with the gate exploit the map is almost easier than on standard difficulty. Clicking the gate every 30 seconds is not an execution heavy, intense strategy that elevates gameplay. It's a chore. You can literally just set a timer and click whenever it goes off if you have trouble remembering.
I feel like the two positions of "Expert maps should be difficult" and "Widely used, low-execution exploits that break expert maps and make them super easy are fine and should stay" are not compatible.

Dwarven Riddle

Quote

already only the fact that one is forced by the map, that one goes only max t3 I find rather impudent.  Therefore, I welcome this additional basket. This also brings the possibility to play the map so that you can play it completely with ground units. 
Regarding the solo carry tactics: I doubt very much that this will be avoidable. The map layout is just built so that if you want to play the map quickly, 1 carry is enough. This can not be changed from my point of view, unless you rebuild the map so that it is no longer Dwarven Riddle.

If removing the possibility of a solo-carry was a goal it would be rather straightforward, wouldn't it? Just adjust the map in such a way that the middle becomes uncrossable for flyers, warps or tunneling. Would that really stop "Dwarven Riddle" from being "Dwarven Riddle"? Is the possibility of a solo carry that essential to the map? If anything it can be argued that the map would be more "Dwarven Riddle" than before if players would actually have to engage with the camps instead of a flyer simply picking off triggers. That wouldn't be achieved by simply sectioning the map of course.
But I don't think it's totally necessary either. For now I am just interested in the implementation of the additional orb.

 

Whenever this topic about reward penalties is brought up only gold and XP get mentioned as if it was that easy. Upgrades are just another form of gold. How would you penalize those? If you pay out only 2/4 upgrades for 4/4 people then half of them will get nothing. And a situation like that would arise every time the necessary quests are not completed. What about maps with an uneven number of objectives? Round down, round up? Scrapping upgrades as rewards altogether would be a rather awful decision too. You can't just slap such a straight forward penalty on rewards and call it a day. It doesn't work that easily in practice. Overhauling rewards will be necessary in any case but it has to be more elaborate than just a % penalty. And it will also not be able to address all problems. There are exploits that need to be addressed directly.

An important question is: Why do people resort to these exploits? And I am not talking about speedrunners whose entire gameplan consists of straining mechanics over the limit. I am talking about the guy that gets crushed by the map, asks in chat, gets suggested the exploit and then goes "Well, that was as easy as it was dumb". It is always a big issue when speedrunning strats seep into general play because it totally twists the game.

Edited by Cocofang
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1 hour ago, Cocofang said:

Dwarven Riddle

If removing the possibility of a solo-carry was a goal it would be rather straightforward, wouldn't it? Just adjust the map in such a way that the middle becomes uncrossable for flyers, warps or tunneling. Would that really stop "Dwarven Riddle" from being "Dwarven Riddle"?

Clearly this is not a goal atm. Also if this what u propose here was implemented. The map would require the unpleasent auto lose of empire. Cause otherwise u end up stuck after x crystals cause you cannot access the remainig ones without teammates. And I think removing the option to solo the map in the sense of actually playing alone could really be considered a drastic map change, stopping them map from being what it used to be for those. 😉 

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Guess I don't feel like being able to solo a map is a very defining characteristic seeing as almost all maps can be soloed. But like I said, I also don't think it's something that should necessarily go, was just spitballing mostly.

I'd me much more interested in ways to entice people to engage with Dwarven Riddle in ways that don't entail a flyer bouncing from trigger to trigger. An additional orb might be a step into that direction but it really depends where it is. And if it wouldn't simply make carry plays even more efficient.

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I don't think an additional orb will make the whole thing more efficient for solo carry games, since free orbs exist for both sides to rush t4. 

For my part, I can only remember that it can quickly become extremely frustrating when one side is "through" and can then more or less only watch as the other side does not get off the ground. Therefore, I find the possibility of air to support there very important. Even if it has the side effect that you can fly from crystal to crystal. 

 

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21 hours ago, T1421 said:

Blight:

On expert this map is brutal.
On other maps the player can support each other with some spells, but here is the timing and energy so tied that helping your teammate could mean losing your side.
Having a bit mor time would help a lot or ~100 more energy (=one more Unit) at the start could also help

Blight is the best example how expert-mode should feel. I am against any changes just to make the map easier for players that dont want to invest time to beat a map on expert mode. Point out clearly that you are under time pressure is sufficient for this map. You can already have great team support on this map to master it still below 20min. Expert mode should be for experienced players - most players play blight on expert and give it 1-3 trials and start to cry its to hard instead of thinking why they fail and checking the forum, youtube or discord for support.

 

Making expert maps easier makes the game even less fun/exciting for experienced players. You can do some fine-tuning but thats all what is required for 90% of the maps - there are some exceptions for sure. Most of the changes are against speedrunners - its quite confusing - the dev team should be more creative to think about how to change a map to make it more attractive and accessible instead of just how can we crash "exploiting" speedrun strategies. Most of the speedrun-strategies are quite rarely used and mainly in focus by always the same players that even dont have a clue about all details for this strategies and still make a big deal out of it for the Skylords Reborn Community. This is also the reason why we keep most of the strategies secret for not giving feed for more sencless discussions. Also we are playing for the spirit of fastest times and not grinding the map brainless for exp and gold like a lot of players do.

 

Also you should consider the open pve card balance changes e.g. for nightguard - the impact of this open card changes need to be considered too. This is mainly related to nightmare shard maps , behind enemy lines, titans and such maps. This maps will become a way harder if nightguard cant be used anymore. So most of the players will struggle even more with this maps. But also i have to remind that making the maps to easy can lead to even faster times and easier strategies 😉

Edited by Pritstift
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From my side, i will be brief and give my opinion only on the maps where I have something to say. In general, i am against making the maps easier. As many have already mentioned, Expert-Mode should be hard! 

Convoy

I'm for not being able to block the walkers anymore. I never liked that and always thought it was "wrong". The change that you have 5 walkers for it, on the other hand, i don't think is necessary. It is just the Expert-Mode!

Crusade

I think change 1 is good. But it should stay the same as before. If you have cleared both ways, the final wave should come. If you are then unprepared, you just made a mistake and learned from it.

I like the idea of the secret boss. A XP and/or Gold boost would be great, so that it is worth every time to enter the area.

Nightmare Shard

I have always felt that the starter well capacity should be higher. I would therefore welcome this. I don't think further changes for Expert are necessary here. Each faction has good ways to clear the first base. Also, as coco mentioned, there is still the option to go directly to the second base.

And if a not so experienced player has problems clearing first base alone, you should eventually get the idea to attack first base with your mate together. Such an approach must be expected from the players on expert.


Nightmare's End

I personally like the map the way it is. I play it very much, have many decks for it and therefore think there is no need to change it. There are many ways to beat the map the easy way once you understand it. The proposed changes are minor and would be ok from my side.


Sunbridge

Absolutely in favor of removing the gate exploit. It's lame and just wrong that the map is easier to play on advanced than expert. And yes, at this point i do think it should be easier in return. The idea of swapping the Twilight Dragon to an Abomination i welcome.

The Guns of Lyr

The strategy with the blocking was hardly used, there we have exploits in the game which were clearly more present. So i don't think the change is that important, but i can absolutely understand it. But as wanky already noted, i never saw the tactic in the casual game either. If the change means big problems for some people, you should take a closer look at wanky's idea. I like it.

Edited by Blashyrkh
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On 8/29/2021 at 6:00 PM, WindHunter said:

If you have an idea you can suggest it. 

About Bad Harvest - Adding something usefull on right side. Now whole part north ow wagon is... quite useless. Especially considering how hard is to destroy first north base.

Reward propositions:
-  All gold chests placed there.
- Hastage unit that joins skyllords
- North cannons can be captured instead of destroyed.
- "Back door" way to final boss from last cannon position.

Bonus - making feedrun a bit harder would be nice.

back door.jpg

 

About proposed changes:

Ascension - nice

Convoy - great changes

Crusade - even Greater changes - great idea with optional boss.

Defending Hope - ok

Empire - good idea

Encounters - ok

King of Giants - timer would be nice for new players. Usefull artifacts would be nice to me 😉

Nightmare Shard - nice

Nightmares End - ok

Ocean - "side quests" on all islands would be nice

Oracle - good idea. Nice.

Passage - nice

Siege - ok

Slavemastr - ok

Sunbridge - good idea - but im not sure if boss should be harder on expert while most of maps are made easier 😉

Dwarven - could be interesting. All depends of that - how accesable and stable would additional orb be 😉

Guns - great "blocking" is obvious abuse.

Insane God - Nice idea. Can both Piests have different abilities? 😉

Soultree - ok

Tresure Fleet - wouldn't short route be suicidal on expert?

Titans - nice

Edited by Draconnor
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