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[Tower Defense] aMazing Balls Tower Defense

Discussion in 'Map Development' started by Macadamia, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Hello dear Hive community !

    My current project has at last reached near completion.
    When I was a mapmaker on wc3campaigns back in 2004, I had to give up while my projects were not completed.
    My most advanced map by then was called Cube Defense Balls Edition, a sequel from Cube Defense New Edition.
    The release of Reforged, in spite of some disappointment, drew me back to my old love !!!
    I decided to completely remake my old flagship that I could never complete.

    It has a new name : aMazing Balls Tower Defense. Yes this TD is about balls rather than creeps trying to make you leak.
    I have nearly worked days and nights ever since December, and the map is now nearly complete, but not quite yet !
    I need people to test it and give me feedback about what is good and what is wrong with the map. I do appreciate criticism, especially when constructive. This will help me making the map as enjoyable as possible.

    This map will surprise you. It is not Element TD, it is not YouTD, but I swear you've never seen anything like this before.

    Features :
    - Upgradeable Hero Builder that can freely auto Blink
    - Blocking towers with an exclusive 'Build Wall" ability that does exactly what the name says - this greatly helps mazing
    - a huge amount of damage and utility towers
    - several custom models and textures (including Mythic and Nightmare's Ember Forge)
    - All towers with the exception of blocking towers (for obvious reasons) have a Movement mode that allows you to place them somewhere else
    - Multiboard
    - Scrolling Text Panels for all players directly printed on the ground
    - standard host and player controls


    Current version : 1.3 beta
    THIS VERSION IS NOW QUITE OUTDATED AND DOES NOT BENEFIT FROM THE NEW CUSTOM UI, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO THE LAST POSTS TO GET A PREVIEW OF THE MANY CHANGES I HAVE IMPLEMENTED AND WILL SOON BE RELEASED...

    Sample screenshots

    aMazing Balls TD1.jpg aMazing Balls TD2.jpg
    Sorry for the average screen quality, my computer is a 4 years old laptop...


    Changelog for v1.3 beta, on march 31st, 2020

    - All levels now only spawn 6 Balls. Level 46 and 47 spawn 4 Strong Balls (like mini-Giant without the spell immunity) and level 49 and 50 spawn 2 and 3 mini-Giant Balls respectively.
    THIS IS TEMPORARY, I am CONSIDERING REDUCING THE NUMBER OF LEVELS TO 45 IN THE FUTURE INSTEAD !
    - End triggers have been reworked and should no longer bug or de-sync or have display issues.
    - all Balls, the Tamed Flying Balls and the Captured Balls now have a proper 3D Model with a new Texture and a "rolling" as walk animation - The animation does not apply to Flying Balls and the Tamed Flying Balls for obvious reasons. Would be funny if they rolled and if I added the wings in the model itself :D
    - Removed an unexpected unbuildable tile on the bottom left of the square containing Player 1's 4th WayPoint. And in a corner of the main build area of player 3
    - Bash, Critical Hits and Brutal Attacks now work on boss levels. Brutal Attacks have been slightly reduced in efficiency. Critical Hits now requires level 6 to research its first level.
    - Fire Ball, Laredo Tornado, Nova of Frost and Thor's Hammer have been enhanced in damage (except Laredo Tornado of course) and stun or effect duration. Their ranges have been adapted to the range of the corresponding Hero Builder.
    - Balls Hunters and better Balls Hunters no longer have Permanent Immolation or Resistant Skin, they were useless. They instead had been granted with Brutal Attacks, making them much more efficient
    - Ultimate Defense/Cannon/Magic Towers, Ember Forge, Endgame Support Towers, Advanced Multishot Tower, Ultimate Anti-Air Tower and Tamed Flying Ball, as well as Pixies from the Nest Of Pixies now all have Brutal Attacks.
    This will solve the endless time needed to kill balls on some levels, and impossible levels like level 40, especially with the addition of the following change.
    - All utility towers have an extra intermediate upgrade, this makes their last upgrade more expensive, but more powerful.
    the tower series concerned are : Poison, Freezing, Fire, Golem, Slowing, Anti-Air.
    The models have been changed or switched to become more pleasant visually. I also created a custom model for Burning Fire Tower (based on the old 2D Ball model, but with a "sun" texture and the rotating rings from some @Mythic model (Starfall Empire))
    - Dazing abilities have been tuned to make stun-locks less easy.
    - Shocks, the stunning ability of the Damage Tower - Frostmourne that now works vs Giant Balls has been made a bit less over-effective
    - All autocasting has been fixed. Go Back Home now applies an overhead "Go Back Home !" animated SFX on targeted flying balls. Flash Forward now applies a buff lasting 30s that prevents using the ability again immediately, thus also prevents chaining Flash Forward on Balls.
    - Web is not set to autocast anymore right after the poison towers upgrades. A notice in red color has been added to warn players about the danger of Flying Balls attacking when the poison tower is inside the player's maze.
    - Divinity has been tuned: Cost and Damage have been increased. But the Range is now 2500 instead of 3000. Elune's Disgrace Range has also been set to 2500, the damage interval to 2 seconds and the damage increased accordingly.
    - Wealth Tower's price is now 2000€, but it has missile homing enabled, and rewards 5€ on each attack,
    - Loading screen now only has one Tamed Flying Ball displayed with the new proper look, to make it look less "messy"
    - All towers have had their Range fine-tuned, and a new home made "Range Indicator" has been implemented and displays around the main or last selected tower, looking like a rotating discontinuous circle with the player color, with a radius that matches the tower's acquisition range.
    - As usual, many small bugs / tooltips have been fixed, and more optimizations have been made.
    - Last minute change : I had to temporary give the new Burning Fire Tower model to the Fire Tower as the Lava Spawn model has event sounds that are quite invasive and painful. As I am not willing to edit it just to remove these sound events (the model would be much too big anyways), I will leave it that way until I find a better model.

    Changelog for v1.2 beta, on march 20th, 2020
    - Added a basic Custom loading screen and Custom UI from CrazyRussian
    - converted scripts from Jass2 to basic vJass to take over control of globals, trigger and map initialization. using structs and further optimization is only a long term project.
    - for performance reasons, all trigger actions have been moved to trigger conditions (returning false), all TriggerSleepAction calls have been replaced with timers
    - for the same reasons, all For Group calls have been removed, the action are now in the Filter functions, except for the Global group of Ember Towers (victory animation loop).
    - players will have their battlenet tag #nnnn automatically removed for game and multiboard clarity
    - removed the Zoom Out fixed cinematic camera that prevented players to use mouse wheel and replaced it with a Vertical Slider control next to the portrait.
    - improved terrain to prevent crashes when building on the map limits with the Build Blocking Towers Wall ability
    - seriously improved Balls pathing to prevent hazardous behavior that happened too frequently.
    - updated some custom abilities and their names to be more appropriate to the map context.
    - optimized some models, changed some others, added a few home made ones for improved overall visuals.
    - updated all old custom icons to fresh new ones with 128x128 resolution that perfectly cohabit visually with reforged icons. Some icons have brand new graphics too.
    - fixed a huge amount of small bugs : multiboard, the tower height near cliffs, minor tooltip typos, auto-blink caster effect that was not showing, some towers walk speed when in Movement Mode, many wrong projectile launch setups... and too many more for an exhaustive list here.
    - Towers now also auto-blink (using the ability icon is no longer compulsory).
    - Magic Leash spell on Anti-Air towers don't autocast anymore.
    - Golem towers have lost their Shock - stun AOE spell as it was a factor of imbalance, they now have a fine-tuned ability called "Dazing Attacks", quite similar to the Human Bash
    - Fixed a few spells bugs, including Go Back Home and FlashForward autocast ranges.
    - Removed Splash damage from most towers except cannon towers, added Splash damage to Hero Builders, with scaling number of targets.
    - Increased Balls damage to help them destroy towers blocking path completely. Killed Towers are 100% refunded and Balls stop attacking when the blockage is gone.
    - Changed number of Gargoylings and Butterflies summoned to 3 and 4, changed their damage accordingly.
    - Added last upgrade for the Strange Towers, it is a Nest Of Pixies that summons a Squad of 5 Pixies with high damage.
    - Added a Multishot Tower and its first upgrade, Advanced Multishot Tower, both can hit 3 and 5 targets at once, and use a home made custom laser projectile model.
    - There is now a countdown timer of 20 seconds before the game automatically chooses difficulty settings in case the Host Player would hang or just take too much time.
    - changed Ball spawn and leak Ball sfx, fine-tuned other sfxs
    - created a new SFX system to display special effects and destroy them properly with an expiration timer. It allows me to chose the position, the size, the color, the facing angle and the duration of the special effect.
    - created appropriate functions with timers to handle global and localized sound effects properly.
    - fixed issues with the Victory and Defeat cameras, their potential desyncs, and also the display problems with the Defeat Dialog
    - fixed give euros player control, fixed automatic Host change in case Host player is defeated
    - Removed all pre-placed units that were supposed to preload models and abilities as PRELOADING doesn't seem to work at all with this method.
    - Overall heavy code cleaning and performance optimization
    - Fine tuned early and later levels difficulties
    - Added "(SPELL IMMUNE)" to the "Giant every 8 levels" reminder displayed on the scrolling text panels.
    - ramps are now unbuildable..
    - mini-Giant Balls now have their proper name.
    - Last level with normal Balls will be 47. As you know lev 48 is the last Giant Ball. From now on lev 49 and lev 50 will respectively spawn 3 and 5 mini-Giant Balls
    - note : weather controls are still ingame, but i have yet to identify the hidden setting that prevents them from working as intended.


    Credits

    I have made this map on my own.
    There are a few exceptions though :
    - I use the amazing Ember Forge model made by @Mythic and @~Nightmare :
    Ember Forge & Ember Knight
    - I also used some models from the beautiful Starfall Empire by @Mythic and @Spellbound :
    Starfall Empire
    As they allowed model editing, I have borrowed parts of : the stormbell onion model for the chest of my Damage Tower : StormBell model, the arms from the Shaper model for my Captured Ball model, the StormBell model for my Multi-shot Towers model, and the rotating rings from the Auricaster for the base of my Damage Tower : StormBell model and the base of my Burning Fire Tower model. I use a slightly more compressed version of the AtlanteanBTex.blp texture from the model pack.
    I might use some more content from this resource in the future. I am really fond of the quality of these models.
    - The unique "Vertical Slider" to control the camera distance (Zoom Out) is actually only using the knowledge about custom UI elements shared by @Tasyen. Without his help, it simply would not be there.
    Besides resources used, I have used many tools, some commercial like Adobe Photoshop or Open-Source like The GIMP and Audacity. But I need to thank the authors of the wonderful tools I have found here on The Hive :
    @Retera for his incredible Model Studio :
    Retera Model Studio Reforged Hack
    I simply would have not been able to make all my models with the other tools available as I a novice at model editing. Making model editing accessible - while being compatible with Reforged models lead me to improve my knowledge and even start some MDL editing.
    A special thanks to @Shadow Daemon for his BLP Lab :
    BLP Lab v0.5.0
    It hasn't been updated for ages, but I still use it on a daily basis for my BLP Textures and Icons, as DDS format fails to be capable of sufficient compression for my needs.
    Finally, thanks to all those who replied to my endless questions about Jass, vJass, Wurst or Lua, thank you, The Hive community !


    About the current version :

    NOTE : In spite of the fullHD loading screen and the new models and icons, the map is still only about 3Mb !!!

    This version brings a few new features and id a first try to re-balance the game.
    In the future, the number of Balls per level might raise back to 10 and the number of levels could be reduced to 45.

    I am very satisfied with the current quality of the map.

    There are still some things I want to improve and change before releasing the public version in the Map & Resources section of The Hive :


    - Change the scripting language from Jass yo LUA (in the long term though)
    - Find a better model for the *Fire Tower
    - Fine-tune the whole series of Defense / Cannon / Magic towers now their last upgrade has been made more attractive thanks to Brutal Attacks
    - Find ways to help beginners who never played the map, without boring the experienced players
    - Adding Game Modes or a Side Game with the same thematic to bring even more fun.
    - Giving defeated players the option to STAY as OBSERVERs
    - A home made complete custom UI (I will need to gain enough knowledge before that)
    - More camera controls with sliders (rotation ?)
    - Make PRELOADING and Weather Effects work !



    Thats it guys, I know the few who will try the map will be pleased to see that this is the only map of its kind, and that they will have a lot of fun with it :)[/hr][/hr][/hr]
     

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  2. Daffa

    Daffa

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    use [] instead of <>
     
  3. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Thanks, I must admit I have not worked on forums for years, so I certainly am outdated :)
     
  4. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Would be nice if people actually tried the map :p
    Anyways I am having a lot of fun testing it on EU servers. very few bugs so far. Won't be able to improve balance much more as the feedback I get from players testing the map with me goes from "I don't like TDs" to "This is freaking awesome !!!". I would appreciate educated criticism to make the map even more enjoyable, and I believe making the map itself was probably the easiest part :)
     
  5. UreDe4D

    UreDe4D

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    so, i gave it a try (two actually) and here are my thougths

    first of all i really liked the concept, also the models of the towers and most importantly i had fun playing it, despite the points below

    some small issues:
    - towers are only sort of in order (cheap to expensive), e.g. the aura tower is the second one
    - i couldn't build small towers on the very top edge of the map, it only worked for larger towers (and funnily enough when i used the "create wall ability")
    - the blink text always says "hero", also for buildings and gargoylings
    - why is the towers defense value and type shown in the tooltip? it's not relevant for the game (at least not to a degree i noticed)
    - on reds spawn in the bottom left corner in the area of waypoint 4 there is an unbuildable tile
    - the "create wall" ability and the wealth tower upgrade have the same hotkey (at least in the english version -> beware if you use default hotkeys, these change with the language version of the game)
    - the air leash autocast is really not helping, as it diminishes the towers dpm a lot
    - you could mention that the Giant balls are magic immune before they spawn the first time
    - the rock golems still autocast their stun on giant balls, which stops them from attacking
    - elunes disgrace tooltip says "xxx damage every 0 seconds"

    one thing i forgot to try, do you also get the "special resource (lumber)" back when you sell a tower? it's not mentioned in the tooltip

    i did not find any large (gamebreaking) issues

    now as for balancing:
    with the way the map is currently set up it's way to easy for me, i played on the hardest setting the second time and had basically zero problems, the only challenging part were the air waves (which i think is also not a good thing, in my opinion air should be something you have to think of and maybe do some micro with towers, but not need to sell half your maze to defeat it, especially in the beginning)

    some reasons on why i think it's too easy (and other balancing points):
    - mazing areas are connectable, which allows huge mazes which basically require only one damage tower to kill everything; maybe make the ramps unbuildable to force the mazes to be built in one area at a time
    - you get way to much gold from in between the waves, compared to kill gold, i basically only built the damage towers (tornado i think) and some slow towers, the wealth tower is way to expensive and the other upgrades from the blocking tower are just useless
    - the rock golem towers are totally broken, you just build 10 of them in a line and they perma-stun the normal waves, i suggest way smaller AOE and longer cooldown for the stun ability
    - the splash tower is way to weak (except for the ultimate upgrade which is kind of too strong, i never even used its ability)
    - i didn't build the bouncing tower, so no idea on that one, one suggestion would be to have techtree dependencies for the towers, to kind of force people to build different kinds of towers

    Now this may seem like a lot of points, but most of it is kind of easy to fix (should you choose to follow my suggestion)

    Anyway, as i said i enjoyed playing the map and i'm looking forward to potential updates/release :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  6. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Thank you for testing the map, I really do appreciate the detailed feedback.

    About the bugs : many of these have been fixed already, i still need to check a couple of bugs you mentioned, need to give daughter a lift right now but that is the first thing I will do on my way back :)

    I am currently working on version 1.2, it is looking very similar but has a lot of change internally (including icons, some spell names)

    I am in a rush right now, but I'll double check all the feedback you provided on my return with the current version, then I will reply to all the points you made. This will really help.

    I will very soon post the latest version (just implemented some optimizations), but before that I will make sure to use some of your feedback. Shouldn't take long though.




    Ok I am back.

    So let's talk about the bugs you mentioned first :

    "- towers are only sort of in order (cheap to expensive), e.g. the aura tower is the second one"

    As for the towers in the build window, I tried to sort them this way :
    Blocking tower first for obvious reasons, then utility Towers : Aura tower / Anti-Air Tower
    Next line up all the classical slow towers (except for fire , maybe it should be swapped with the slow aura one), so poison, frost and stun. Last line are the powerful towers. You missed out about bouncing tower, it is a must-have with its Rage ability (a kind of roar). The Strange tower and its upgrade don't fit very well in there yet but the reason is it is missing its last upgrade.
    It will probably follow the same thematic. I tried to find a third-party small fairy model as this is beyond my editing abilities, but I didn't find one, so I will probably make new wings again and add them to a Wisp to make pixies.

    "- i couldn't build small towers on the very top edge of the map, it only worked for larger towers (and funnily enough when i used the "create wall ability")"

    This has been fixed, it was not mean to be buildable initially as it is the map bounds and building there can cause crashes. I added cliffs at the border.

    "- the blink text always says "hero", also for buildings and gargoylings"

    Thanks, I missed that detail, will fix it asap, opting for a generic name

    "- why is the towers defense value and type shown in the tooltip? it's not relevant for the game (at least not to a degree i noticed)"

    Because if people block, the non-flying balls will attack, some towers get killed fast and others slower. This can sometimes be used as a strategy, although not my favorite.

    "- on reds spawn in the bottom left corner in the area of waypoint 4 there is an unbuildable tile"

    Haven't found it while inspecting pathing on the current (1.2) version, nor ingame so I migh have fixed it when I worked on the terrain.

    "- the "create wall" ability and the wealth tower upgrade have the same hotkey (at least in the english version -> beware if you use default hotkeys, these change with the language version of the game)"

    Thank you, I definitely also missed that one, happens quite often when you're working alone on a project ^^ People with sharp sight like you often provide a precious help !
    It was not a language issue, As I decided to use English from the very start. My War 3 version is also in US English.

    "- the air leash autocast is really not helping, as it diminishes the towers dpm a lot"

    Yes that's true, and it can make microing complicated on some air waves. Will remove it from autocast list

    "- you could mention that the Giant balls are magic immune before the spawn the first time"

    Ok I will try to make the information more obvious, thats a good point.

    "- the rock golems still autocast their stun on giant balls, which stops them from attacking"

    Another nice point, will disable their autocast on boss levels.

    "- elunes disgrace tooltip says "xxx damage every 0 seconds""

    this one has been fixed already.

    Now about suggestions :

    First, it has not been easy to work on balance so far, as a majority of pick up players on battlenet just couldn't handle the map. and leaked from the very first level.
    I didn't want to get the difficulty too low so i made 5 first levels easier but the others harder :

    - mazing areas are connectable, which allows huge mazes which basically require only one damage tower to kill everything; maybe make the ramps unbuildable to force the mazes to be built in one area at a time

    Yes mazes can become pretty long, and although I encourage building mazes, I agree it should have some limits.
    I will try to make ramps unbuildable s you recommended.

    - you get way to much gold from in between the waves, compared to kill gold, i basically only built the damage towers (tornado i think) and some slow towers, the wealth tower is way to expensive and the other upgrades from the blocking tower are just useless

    The wealth tower can actually become useful if exploited at the right moment in the game, and I made it expensive to prevent abuse. Same with the Endgame Support Tower, when you reach the last levels that can become tough, and you can not buy more divinities or Ultimate Bouncing towers or Frostmoures because you have run out if euros (edit : I meant bonus points), you can still build these support towers as well as the Ember forge.

    - the rock golem towers are totally broken, you just build 10 of them in a line and they perma-stun the normal waves, i suggest way smaller AOE and longer cooldown for the stun ability

    Yes I have to admit they're too effective, and this was not intended. Will try to re-balance them

    - the splash tower is way to weak (except for the ultimate upgrade which is kind of too strong, i never even used its ability)
    What splash tower are you mentioning, the Ultimate Cannon Tower or the line of the Entity Towers ?

    - i didn't build the bouncing tower, so no idea on that one, one suggestion would be to have techtree dependencies for the towers, to kind of force people to build different kinds of towers

    I have already considered adding tech trees, but that not in my current ToDoList, I am trying to make the map enjoyable for both experts and beginners so I don't want to add too many complications yet.

    Version 1.2 will soon be out for you to test :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  7. UreDe4D

    UreDe4D

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    sounds good

    as for the splash tower, i'm talking about the entity tower line, i didn't see the Cannon tower, i assume that's an upgrade from the blocking tower? which i didn't build, as i always had enough money to build stronger towers.
    since there is only 10 enemies per wave, splash towers are kind of hard to be effective as you have to place your slow/stun towers in a way to group up the enemies. have you considered maybe changing some waves to spawn maybe like 20 weaker balls?

    as for this point: First, it has not been easy to work on balance so far, as a majority of pick up players on battlenet just couldn't handle the map
    Since you have 50 levels anyway, it could be an idea to even make the first 8 waves, including the first giant ball, a little easier and then ramp it up, to give players a better feeling for all types of waves.
    also when i played the first time, i found the beginning to be the hardest part, especially the first air and giant ball levels
     
  8. Goffterdom

    Goffterdom

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    Youtube Video!

    I find the wall model too "noisy" (it lures the eye too much).
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  9. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Hi :)

    Yes I am aware.
    Guard tower, upgrade of Blocking Tower (to make it easy for people who like to make mazes with a lot of weaker towers) had a whole series of upgrades of three types : defense (air+ground), cannon (ground with splash) and magic (air+ground, more damage but slower). These are not essential but I kept them to give players alternatives.
    I already buffed these towers once, and I believe they will be attractive when I find the right Balance.

    As for the 10 Balls per level, this was a "regression" from my old Cube TD genre maps. Cube Defense NE had increasing creep numbers every wave. Cube Defense Balls Edition, the direct ancestor of aMazing Balls TD, had 15 balls per level. The reason for the regression is that Reforged has set up the bar pretty high as for performance needed from the PC hardware. Currently I did incredible optimizations, that make the game pretty smooth even on heavy load of towers and sfx. I still have issues with the last level. For some reason, the 10 mini-Giant balls, that are pimped normal Balls with more HP and spell immunity added, seem to make the last level lag like hell.

    But if i fix this and the overall performance is good enough, I can change the number of balls as I store that max number in a global variable that is used throughout the code.

    Some point I wanted to make : several of the strong towers are not exceptionally good at first upgrades, this was intentional to add some sort of difficulty to reach the devastating towers like Divinity. If I push this logic further, it could make other towers quite attractive as a temporary choice. I really want to avoid the situation of some TD maps where some towers end up never being used.

    Now, you are right, I made first 5 levels easier, but that is not enough as many new players will die on first Flying.

    I already have started making later levels more challenging, but it is yet not very satisfactory. I don't want to reduce the amount of Euros gained every level, it took me a while to reach the balanced amount in order to give the players a chance to build most towers of the game and try them. I need to follow your advice and weaken the first 8 levels (yes 8 is ideal as you mention it, to include first Giant). And then I need to pimp later levels even more (I already did it to some extent), but maybe make flying a bit less demanding, just tried my current version from level 1 to 50 and level 40 - Flying Giant Ball - was nearly impossible in spite of the Flying Hero Builder's (abusive) Electrical Disruption spell (that I seriously need to nerf). I will then keep fine tuning.

    But I will release v1.2b before it is completely "ready" as I have the feeling trying to find the right balance on my own will be inefficient as I know the map by heart and i tend to maze in a similar way every time (not because it is the best, but because innovating for every single test of the map would wear me out ^^).

    As a side note, I tried your 2 maps. Wh 40k TD Winter Assault I understand was a project you took over : I like the overall design, the way creeps enter the final destination zone, and much more, but for some reason I died quickly with different races. Before I could even start a maze, I would leak after the second or third wave.

    The other one , Sunken Ruins Tower Defense v1.30 , was really a nice surprise. You have a really large choice of races, I took the Star Wars themed ones and loved them. Attractive models, amazing idea for the Sith range / damage / speed local upgrades concept. Losing range was unexpected for ultimate upgrades like Darth Vador, but quite understandable.

    The side game (collecting gold and lumber, protecting peasants with an upgradable defender) is perfect : not too complicated to let you focus on your maze most of the time, but still challenging in the beginning, and it felt really like a nice addition.

    I have no room here to go further, but If you want feedback on the map, let me know !!!!

    By the way, after seeing how nicely the lazer attacks rendered ingame, I decided to make my own lazer basic model. I probably need to change the emitters as they have currently nearly no visible effect. But it is now the missile art for the Multi-shot Tower.

    It would be nice to have an updated version of Sunken Ruins TD if you ever get the time / patience for it. I also wanted to point out that in spite of using GUI, your triggers where pretty efficient, I have seen no lag. Really nice ! (I didn't understand how your anti blocking system works though ^^).

    Sorry for such never ending posts, but your feedback is really precious and there are a lot of points to discuss :)

    Version 1.2 will be posted here really soon now.

    Take care, and thank you for your feedback

    Hi ! Thanks for your quick feedback.

    Yes I was thinking about making a Youtube video, but this is currently still under development and the video would become outdated in days.
    I will definitely make one when I release the final version in the map resources of the forum - and it won't be protected anymore -

    Are you sure about the walls ? The old walls i had in my old Cube TD Balls Ed. map really looked washed out - it had horrible texture mapping - and I though it now looked pretty attractive. But if I get other similar opinions, I will definitely reduce the contrast to make them less distracting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  10. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Hello guys.

    For some reason updating the first post does not "bump" the thread and then people that could be interested do not notice the changes unless they follow the thread.

    Anyways this message is a semi-bump related to my recent update on the first thread, but also an small announcement :

    The map has evolved a lot since v1.1. But I am currently moving forward to version 1.3.

    Here are the current works in progress :

    - replacing billboarded 2D balls with read 3D Balls, with a proper walk animation to make them roll
    this includes the Balls used as models or parts of models (Captured Ball, Tamed Flying Ball) (90% done, still not 100% about the texture)


    - code optimization, converting functions groups into libraries or scopes in vJass (30% done)

    - as the number of towers is quite huge near endgame i am working on two directions to greatly improve performance :

    1) Slowing all the relevant towers cooldown and adapting damage accordingly (70% done)

    2) Changing the levels dynamics by reducing the number of balls for each level, increasing their HP, and make the last levels, from 48 to 50 spawn 1 Giant Ball,
    then 2 mini-Giant Balls and lastly 3 mini-Giant Balls (50% done)


    - make defense / cannon / magic towers lines more attractive by fine tuning their damage and giving them some basic abilities (10% done)

    I am also considering switching to LUA, when I will have figured out what benefits this could bring to the map.

    Thanks for reading, I will keep you guys updated. I really hope to make this map totally polished and pleasant, and I really feel that I am getting there :)

    Take care !
     
  11. UreDe4D

    UreDe4D

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    So, i gave it another go and holy shit man.

    you definitely need to reduce the level number to 40, it took me like 4 hours to beat it.

    strong points:
    - strongest point which almost broke the game at some point: when flying balls get webbed by poison towers they start attacking the towers, i lost a lot of towers like that early on. why do flying balls even need an attack?
    - the blink forward with 50% HP stopped working in the later levels

    small points:
    - tooltips: critical strike and bash do not trigger on bosses, which is not stated in the tooltip
    - better balls hunter immolation says it does 10 damage per second in the tooltip; i assume that's wrong
    - the victory screen has a black box on the bottom (see screenshot)
    - the unbuildable corner in the waypoint 4 area is still there (see screenshot)

    now balancing:
    - air is still to hard
    (i'm 100% sure noone can ever beat level 40 on the highest difficulty. i didn't even do 5% damage to that boss)
    - like the change on the rock towers
    - Hero damaging abilities like frost nova or thors hammer are way to weak to make any kind of difference
    - you made the map harder by increasing the HP, from what i could tell; that makes the smaller towers even more useless, now basically only Elunes disgrace deals damage in the end

    some math on that. Last wave had i think ~80 Million HP times 5 is 400 Million
    the strongest single target tower has 3K damage every 1s, with buffs every 0,5 sec. max. but it costs lumber so you can only have like 6, now let's assume you also have 50 of the previous upgrade additionally (which you probably wont have), which have 900 damage every 1,2s, again let's assume 0,6s fully buffed. those 56 towers would need 1 hour to kill the last wave assuming they can shoot at all times

    so from like wave 40 onwards normal towers are just useless and the only thing you can do is build the divinity tower and chain cast elunes disgrace combined with the stun from the builder. But that takes a lot of time and is not really entertaining.

    also the boss in wave 48 has 240 Million HP, even with elunes grace chaincasting that is impossible to kill
     

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  12. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Thanks !!!

    See I needed more feedback ;)

    - OK now I know where that unbuildable tile was. When you said waypoint 4 back in the days, i looked around the 4th waypoint's triangle :D
    The unbuildable tile was in fact caused by a hidden tile on the cliff, it is now fixed.

    - About the Flying Balls attacking, something seems wrong there, once a tower is killed by a ball, the ball should go back to her journey to the next waypoint.
    The reason why flying balls have an attack is similar to the reason why non flying balls have one : prevent blocking. I mean people should use some poison towers to web the flying balls, but dis-activate web on poison towers inside the maze itself. This said I admit it is documented nowhere in the map.

    What I do personally is build a few poison towers near the anti air towers, thus if they get killed it does not affect my maze - I know, people cannot guess this on first try. Maybe I will not let web be on autocast when the poison towers are upgraded, and although there is a warning about webbed flying balls can attack, the visibility isn't obvious enough. I will try to find a system.
    - Critical Hits and Bash not working on boss levels : it was not intended, and makes the game much harder considering the strength of these abilities.
    I will fix this.
    - Immolation for Balls hunter was in fact just a fancy thing I should remove it considering the scale of Balls HP.
    - FlashForward not working on later levels : if it's boss levels (even mini Giant Balls), this is normal. But in all honesty I started having issues with autocasting Go Back Home too, so I have added them to my autocast triggers and they're now fixed in v1.3
    - Frost Nova and Thor's Hammer were rather meant to slow the Balls, but I admit they're not very useful right now - will think about a way to render them useful.
    - the EndGame screen issues were more that just what you found, I had to completely remake them after I realized it had hidden bugs and sometimes didn't even display the end dialog !


    Now let's talk about balancing :
    You are right, scale is problematic.
    But first let me introduce some of the changes I have already made in v1.3 :

    1) I have added 1 intermediate tower for all function towers, and this makes the highest upgrade stronger by damage and effect - without making the slow abusive - I also have changed a few models as I was not pleased with them. This concerns Poison, Freezing, Fire, Slowing and Golem
    2) Entity towers below Divinity have been scaled in price and damage to make them more relevant.
    3) Anti-Air Towers series also gained an intermediate upgrade, and the 2 last ones now have Brutal Attacks (the tower version of Critical Hits)
    4) Also added Brutal Attacks to Ember Forge to make it more relevant.

    There are many more changes, but not as important for overall balance.

    I suppose that as soon as Brutal Attacks will work again on bosses, Air will be much less problematic especially lev 40.
    But in the process I realized Brutal Attacks were much too powerful, so i slightly reduced the chance to crit and the damage scale.

    But I really start thinking about your idea to reduce the number of levels.
    Levels after 45 have been a nightmare for months now, so many towers and many balls that take forever to die, it must change.

    I might make the Giant Flying Ball the final boss (or add a level 41 with the Balls Master - the only non ball creep -)
    I could then get rid of mini Giant Balls, or better add them before level 40.

    Or maybe find a compromise like lev 45 at the most. Currently levels 46-50 are like neverending while those before don't seem to be an issue.
    If I do this (lev 45).

    In v1.3, I had reduced the number of Balls per level to 6, but It didn't really solve the map duration in the end, reducing the levels as you suggest is a much better idea.


    I had also buffed the strongest towers while increasing their cost.

    If I chose lev 45 as last level, I can revert those changes and test the overall difficulty of levels between 35 and 45 to make them challenging but not impossible.

    Last point, now that I have fixed bugged Go Back Home from Tamed Flying Balls and Flash Forward (it also now never sends Balls further than WayPoint nb6),
    Flying Balls might become too easy, I'll ave to check that.




    Anyways, thanks. Again, your feedback is a precious help, it will save me days and days of trial-and-error.
    I will stop some of the current changes I planned that are finally not a good idea, and use your feedback as a base to make the map more enjoyable.


    Anyways, back to work, and more efficiently thanks to your input !!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  13. UreDe4D

    UreDe4D

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    just to be clear:

    flash forward didn't work on the normal levels, i'm aware it shouldn't work on bosses or mini bosses. Also the issue was not with autocast, i used them manually

    as for level 40, i just want to stress how impossible it was, i had 8 Tamed flying balls, a divinity tower to buff them and a frostmourne tower (+ also all slow towers) and it barely even scratched the boss, even if they had 10 times the damage they have now i wouldn't have been able to kill it.
     
  14. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Hello again.
    Yes you're right, even with many more Tamed Flying Balls it was impossible.

    OK I will post v1.3 during the night with all the previous changes I mentioned (except LUA), but with unchanged number of levels yet.

    The reason is I added Brutal Attacks to many big towers like Ember Forge, Advanced Multishot, 2 last anti air towers, and even the pixies !
    Now Brutal Attacks and Bash work again against Bosses, it makes a huge difference. That combined with the extra level for all utility towers and the Anti-Air towers, Balls start dying much faster, even if Brutal Attacks has been slightly nerfed (very slightly)

    So before I reduce the number of levels, I need to see what impact that will have. It is going to be difficult to find the perfect balance as or it is too easy, or the balls take forever to kill.

    Note I changed Flash Forward so that it adds a 10s buff before being able to Flash Forward a ball again (and no flash forward beyond waypoint 6) to prevent abuse.

    All autocast spells have been fixed.
     
  15. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    UPDATE :

    Sorry guys, I know I said I would upload v1.3 on Sunday night, but real life required my attention, and I have hit an unexpected issue with a model displaying "Go Back Home!" animated text on Flying Balls overhead when they are under the effect of the spell with the same name. The model refuses to loop when used as a Buff, and applying it with triggers brings up several new issues.

    I also tried to fine-tune the Range Indicator. But I have hit another problem that I nearly forgot about after 16 years : there is no way to detect ingame if a tower is rooted or uprooted (Movement Mode / Place Tower) and trust me I tried everything (even checked the attack ability ('Aatk') level as well as the level of the Sell ability and the other Tower abilities as they disappear in Movement Mode, checked the tower current order, tried with spell events. Nothing works at all. As for using an order check, it won't work as Place Tower (root) is a target order that implies the tower to move to the point before rooting.

    The only answer would be to code my own Root / uproot with triggers, but thats a lot of hassle for a simple non game-breaking issue with the Range Indicator. So that issue will stay : when a Tower enters Movement Mode, the Range Indicator will stay at the tower position until the tower is placed again somewhere or deselected

    I will post the updated v1.3 with the detailed changelog as soon as the "Go Back Home!" buff model will be fixed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  16. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    aMazing Balls TD V1.3 Beta released.

    First post updated with screenshots and new changelog.
     
  17. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Hello guys !

    I know I remained silent on this thread for a while, but I wanted to let you know that I have never ceased to work on the map since.
    The current development stage is far more advanced than used to be, with a considerable amount of changes, cosmetically and code wise.

    The map has been completely rewritten in Lua manually, and the code is now much more more efficient.
    - I still have to find the best way to preload units and abilities for an ever better performance.

    - Due to the gain in performance brought by a better code and by Lua itself, I am considering increasing the number of Balls again (it is restricted to 6 for the moment, and although I scaled the Balls HP, this feels like not enough.

    - with the invaluable help from master @Tasyen, I have been able to make a fully customized UI that frees a lot of visual space for the game.
    It still has the "Zoom Out" slider, but next to the portrait. I have also added a checkbox to enable or disable the Top-Down view.

    - As heroes are invulnerable, Heroes do not need strength, defense or even Hit Points, so I have replaced the standard hero attributes with 3 custom ones :
    * Each primary point adds 5 extra damage, this is quite standard
    * Power adds 5 attack for every attribute point. This is managed with triggers.
    * Dexterity is an attribute that adds 0.1 to your Critical hits damage multiplier. This one is completely managed through triggers.
    * Velocity is the last one, each point decreases attack cooldown time by 0.1 - as you have guessed it is mostly a wrapper for agility (without the other bonuses)

    I am currently working on a model that will be a kind of "Attributes and Upgrades" shop for each player with a limited amount of boosts for the moment.
    The model might be based on some of @Mythic 's epic creations, unless I use the current model I am modifying for another feature I am planning to add. (traps-alike).

    - Heroes don't need mana anymore, it was not relevant in the game, and as towers don't have mana, i decided to create a Custom HP Bar for Towers and Balls, that only displays "Hero Builder" on heroes - for the moment - It automatically updates when a Tower or a Ball takes damage, (without using any Damage Detection System) and also manages properly situations when a Tower or a Ball are killed.

    - Many models have been reworked, especially the blocking tower (I plan to improve it even further in the future as it is so important in the game). Note all models of the map have been checked by @GhostWolf 's Sanity Test | HIVE, and optimized with @loktar 's MDL Optimizer v0.1 before being converted back to MDX. This will minimize the possibility of bugs induced by faulty models. Many Icons and textures too. Many Icons have been given a Gold-like look for visual pleasure only.

    - Many other things have been updated / changed, it will take time to list them all.

    No map this time, this is just an update, but to give you a first look, I took a few screenshots...

    As you can see, the blocking tower now also has a discreet team color. Its model has also been remade with higher definition (but sill not considered as HD).


    WC3ScrnShot_050620_231915_001.png

    Here you can see all the golden icons from the Hero interface, and the Tooltip for the Critical Hits hero skill, that is changed dynamically ingame :

    WC3ScrnShot_050620_232009_001.png

    The Towers / Balls HP Bar updates in real time when selected :

    WC3ScrnShot_050620_232135_001.png

    And now the new attributes tooltip. Nothe that I plan to completely remake the tooltips for th entire game to improve their visual quality / readability :

    WC3ScrnShot_050620_231753_001.png



    Thats all for the moment folks, I will soon release a working version so that you can test all these new exiting features.
    And a lot more is to come in the future... :)

    EDIT : Not that important, but worth knowing, I completely remade the model that drives the scrolling text on the floor. The model has been given surgical precision through MDL editing, and the font used for the texture is now monotype. This ensures ell letters have the same spacing. The resolution also has been increased (but once again remains with the classic 800 model format).
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  18. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Hello everyone !!!

    Just a quick note.
    I know I haven't updated the map for a while, and the fact is that the version of the first post is really outdated compared to the version I am currently polishing.

    But I am pretty close to do this major update :

    I have added a Store that sells hero attack range upgrades and custom hero attributes (limited to 120 for each attribute. The costs are proportional for the upgrade and cost 100 euro for each attribute point. Can seem a bit expensive, but with a well thought usage of wealth towers, I believe it adds a decent help to face late levels).
    It is a custom model with Team Color, and the base of the tower uses a heavily modified part of the StormBell tower I already use. StormBell comes from the themed model pack Starfall Empire by @Mythic (and @Spellbound). one of the 2 only external sources of model components for this map :

    WC3ScrnShot_052720_142333_001.png

    The Store also sells a special additional builder. Simply called "Tower Healer", this unit is unique for each player, and can completely heal a tower once every 60 seconds.
    The healer has no attacks, but she is invulnerable and can also build towers to help when the Hero Builder is busy. I had to make it a hero, because the Custom UI ,natives do not currently allow to display the inactive worker icon properly. I might change this with a custom Glue Button in the future.

    WC3ScrnShot_052720_142512_001.png

    I added a new upgrade for the hero builder. It is called Colossus, a giant robot with a heavily modified version of the Kyrian Coloss, a conversion from the Large Automation Wow model (I haven't played Wow since Burning Crusade, so I don't know what it is related to) by @Vulfar (Forge of Vulfar Warcraft3 Reforged Models) :

    WC3ScrnShot_052720_142608_001.png

    As the Flying Hero Builder, a dragon, had less reasons to manipulate Thor's Hammer and Electrical Disruption, Colossus inherited these custom abilities, and I have started making new ones for the Flying Hero Builder.

    I have currently made a "Torrefaction" ability that roasts the target ball, preventing any movement for a few seconds. This ability is nearly 100% functional, and quite satisfying visually.

    WC3ScrnShot_052720_142421_001.png

    I am currently brainstorming an Ultimate for the Flying Hero Builder, that will stay within the fire theme.

    Once this ultimate will be implemented and functional, I will release v1.4b of aMazing Balls TD.

    Due to the lack of multiplayer testing in conjunction with the huge amount of changes throughout the map, I am expecting a lot of balance rework ahead, but maybe I'll host the map myself for a few days just before the release to make it a bit more consistent.

    There are still a ton of ideas I need to explore on my To Do list, and I will try to make the map more and more advanced over the time, without making it bloated.

    Stay tuned and take care !!!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  19. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    UPDATE :

    Just a quick word, I am still hunting the very last bugs in the map, and considering the amount of customization of the map, it is not surprising.

    I have also done a lot of micro-optimization, and solo test for balance (that is usually not how to balance a map properly, but thats a first step after so many changes introduced since the old version 1.3 beta).

    I have also added a countdown progress bar for the Flying Hero Builder's Torrefaction ability mentioned in my previous post, and successfully managed to simplify the code by using a custom version of Storm Crow Form ability to change the Ball models into Roasting Balls :

    2020.06.14.Update1.png


    You will also notice a change with the Custom UI : when selecting a Ball or another player's unit, the command buttons backdrop will not be shown anymore.
    It will also be hidden as well as the UnitInfoPanel when no unit is selected, or when the selected unit dies or is sold in case of towers.

    I also have added a new Ultimate for the Flying Hero Builder. Called Megaton, it cause a short but devastating fire explosion seriously damaging all balls in range, even spell immune bosses. The AOE damage is entirely managed by an optimized Lua function that does not use Group Enumeration :

    2020.06.14.Update2.png

    Last but not least, as shown above, I removed the plane that was used to emulate a splat texture for the Blocking Tower, as it was causing some issues with the pre-placement. I replaced it with a real Custom UberSplat, and I ended up cleaning its borders for better visibility. I also took the opportunity to replace the selection circles for a higher definition version with a more appealing aspect :

    2020.06.14.Update4.png

    And finally, as we can see the Ember Forge here, just know that @Mythic provided me with a new version of the model that fixes omnilights as they were creating a blinking terrain issue when the player was using the Top Down View tick box.

    There is an obvious issue I think I also need to fix before releasing an updated version : The tooltip background needs less transparency to improve the tooltips readability.

    Thats all for today, stay tuned and take care :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  20. Macadamia

    Macadamia

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    Just a very small update here today.

    With the help of others on Discord, I managed to properly detect when a tower is Placed again after entering Movement Mode.

    So now, the automatic Range Indicator is now at last working perfectly this specific case scenario.

    You can have a look at the method I have used, it is quite straightforward. It is only in Lua like my map for the moment, but I might add Jass and TypeScript versions :

    [Lua] Uproot / root events workaround

    As planned, I have also changed to background for tooltips, making them so much easier to read :

    EDIT : hehe this showed me I didn't update the Flying Hero tooltip, it still shows its old acilities that now belong to Colossus

    2020.06.16.Update1.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020