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Titans - Discussion Thread

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Responsible members of the Skylords Reborn team recently met to discuss possible changes to campaign maps. What is outlined here are the proposed changes to the map Titans. These changes are not final and are only proposed. As a warning, other map projects such as more RPvE presets and Defensive RPvE have a much higher priority for our team. As such, these, or any campaign map changes, may not happen for a very long time. 

Some changes here are firmer than others, all italicized proposals have accompanying explanations for why we are considering them, but they are the most tentative of all the proposals.

Proposed Changes:

1.   Change the Ritual with the Crystals to actually affect the fight with Brannoc, this should also give the Fire Shamans more of a purpose.

2.   Make Jorne use his hammer ability to destroy player buildings in his path if he is intercepted for more than X seconds.

3.   Allow Jorne to die like Moon claims he can.

4.   Move gold chests away from spawn areas in end fight.

5.   Give position 3 a job, such as destroying tunnels to help other allies.

6.   Change Fathom Lords to Deep Ones.

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I think there are various signs that maps have issues with either being unintuitive or uniquely vulnerable.

One such sign is when commonly advised tactics consist of outlier cards as crutches to easily overcome hurdles. These influence the progression in a round so heavily that runs with or without them become incomparable.

Another sign can be that people avoid interacting with certain aspects of a map entirely and instead circumvent them.

When the argument is that expert should be hard, then it completely undermines that point when those maps are rather broken in two. An expert map with half the enemies missing/not spawning or lots of its content not being engaged with no longer has a claim on being expert difficulty.

However, as initially mentioned, when expert maps are unclear, sometimes on top of being hard, then the entire thing is running into major approachability issues. Which in turn make players feel like they have to employ some exploit or meta strat, which curbs the creative process.

A big factor is also how easy a tactic that trivializes a map is to execute as well as how widespread it is. High-execution strats that are generally unsuitable or unknown for the broader playerbase don’t warp a map on a major scale. Meanwhile, low-execution tactics degenerate to “cheese strats” and make the content feel lame and unappealing.

It also creates the issue that people come to rely on meta strats and exploits to the point where even thinking about alternatives becomes unappealing. The perceived power gap between the established default strat and whatever they might come up with seems so big that it feels futile to even attempt something else.

The oppressiveness of meta strats and exploits erodes maps in multiple ways, effectively leading to a much shallower experience.

So I want to first look at what issues a map has. Then why they might occur and what parts of the map are getting undermined. Afterwards spitball some ideas on how these issues could be addressed. And finally various elements that could be changed to make these maps more approachable from different angles. Can also be possible compensation nerfs to maps in response to fixes that make them harder.

Main Issue:
The opposing T3 units that players encounter early on represent a major hurdle normally but are instead insta-killed and taken over as unbound entities.

Pos3 is useless.

Pos1 and 2 are under pressure but it’s usually manageable because there are two people working on the same job. And even if they don’t directly help each other one can still function as a buffer by freeing more civilians if the other is falling behind. As such they are naturally tied to one another.

Pos3 is isolated and useless. As long as somebody from the other three has any means to pick off the flame traps, for flyers suffice, they might as well not be there.

Pos4 is left on its own and has the most pressure. The map itself provides little means for the other players to help.

Takeover balance pass. Entities with strength equivalent to T3 units should not be able to be insta-killed while also becoming completely power-unbound assets for the player on T1.


Just like Pos1 and 2 are tied together and will at least passively help each other out by working on the same goal, Pos3 and 4 can be tied together as well. For example:

3 unlocking artifact-devices for 4 that are one-use spells like Surge of Light, Ensnaring Roots or Suppression on the Living Towers. Maybe even a Wall Breaker. The artifacts become usable for 4 when 3 has cleared key locations. The spell locations are predetermined. Can also work vice versa with 4 unlocking spell devices for 3.

Tunnels with limited use that allows 3 to send their own units into the territory of 4.

Giving 3 an objective that constructs a wall next to Jornes spawn that will keep him for a few moments longer before he starts chasing after Rogan.

Make it possible for 4 to stir up Nature units in 3s territory by progressing, resulting in more Nature attacks on Fire camps. Or spur on Fire units to attack Nature camps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think all the proposed changes are awesome.

About the position 3 think:
On pos 4 we see most of the time Night Guard action and/or the blocking of Jorne.
If blocking will be “fixed”, I think pos 4 becomes the hardest position.
So the changes of pos 3 should support pos 4. (The same as Pos 2 could help pos 1 or the other way)

I had 4 ideas of support. Of course, balancing them would not be easy.
On Std. pos 4 need no support at all and on Exp. to match support would make the map too easy for highest difficulty:

1. Let the Tunnel crash:
So as soon Rogan is out of the tunnel, the timer starts till Jorne spawns (I think 2 min).
What about to use an Amii device (aka :kaboom:) to destroy the tunnel entrance, so Jorne needs 1 min longer to spawn.  
That would also help Pos 1 and 2.
Should be the first support device to reach, because as soon as Jorne spawned, it would make a difference. (RED-A)

2. Blocking Path for Jorne:
Activating something that prevents Jorne from walking the normal/direct way, so he has to walk the upper way (T2 Base of pos 4)
- Activating an Amii gate
- Placing a “super mine”
- making a canyon/gap in the ground after an earthquake
- Build up the wall again but this time out of “magic material”
Stupid ideas but you get the idea 🙃.
Same here if he already past that point, it doesn’t make a difference in the rest of the run (BLUE-B)

3. Slow down Jorne:
Using a device that’s slows down Jorne – don’t stop him (because he is crazy strong) but reduce his walking speed.
Could be a root effect on the ground, wind blowing in his face, an ice blizzard.
Depending on the placent it could also be to late to change something. (PINK&ORANGE-C)

4. Buff Rogan:
Could be something easy like a one time heal or a life weaving so he don’t die so fast if Jorne catches up.
(Could be placed everywhere)

4.5 and/or buff Jorne
Also, if Jorne can die in the future, you can´t just wait till everyone is ready to hit the boss.
As soon Jorne reach Branoc the time is ticking till he dies and you loos the map.
So maybe we would not need support for Rogan in the further, rather support for Jorne?




But that would be pretty hard changes for the map, which maybe not needed at all as long we find something other interesting to do for pos 3

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