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 Post subject: Common Mistakes when Creating a Tower (DON'Ts)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:31 pm
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Location: Munich, Germany / Sydney, Australia
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Read this topic if you want to create a tower. Then, you won't make those mistakes :).


  1. Unnecessary Complexity
    Read and understand this appeal thoroughly please.

  2. Not checking the spelling of your tooltips
    Most of the admins work is at the moment to check the tooltips for spelling mistakes. YouTD will be a high quality TD and thus cannot come with buggy tooltips.
    It is no problem if you speak no perfect english, I am also not a native english speaker. However, please read your own tooltips a few times before uploading the tower. The most spelling mistakes we get have nothing to do with missing english skills but are rather small typos, like writing normal words with a starting capital letter inside a sentence or forgetting a space or a letter.
    So please: Check your tooltip twice or even three times. You will save much work for the admins and especially for YOU, because it takes much more time to update your tower 5 times just because typos are found, than just looking one time closely and getting your tower approved immediately.

  3. Not testing your tower before uploading it
    As soon as you run GMSI on your tower, a test map is created. Open that map and test your tower ingame! That means at least build it, check if its model looks like in the editor and then run some different waves of test creeps to check if its abilities are working as intended.
    It is an annoyance if an admin checks your tower just to see that its abilities are not working at all or the model totally differs from the one in the screenshot.

  4. Not reading the HowTo
    I know the HowTo is much text. However, I wouldn't have written that text if it wouldn't contain useful information. Of course you can skip the chapters that don't matter for your tower. But again, it is an annoyance if I or another admin has to answer the same question over and over again, even if it is clearly answered in the HowTo.

  5. Models don't differ enough
    If you create a family of towers, models should differ from each other, not too much and not too little.
    Too little difference: You can combine your tower from all known WC3 models. That should be enough to create two towers that don't just differ in size or one particle effect. People will confuse one with another, that's not good. Models should be so unique that everybody who knows the map sees which tower this is by just looking at the model.
    Only changing the model's size or adding one particel effect is not enough in most cases (there may be some exceptions).
    Too much difference: Towers from one family should look like they are from the same family and not totally different.

  6. Too many models / polygones
    YouTD offers you the chance to assemble your model from many different other models. However, this will raise the polygon count and slow down PCs with old GPUs. So here are some coarse rules which things you can do and which you shouldn't:
    If you create a normal model and need some effects around it (lets say 10) then this is okay, if every single one of those effects add a part to the models flavor. You should avoid effects that cannot be seen from the normal camera perspective as these will just add useless polygones.
    You shouldn't abuse doodads too hard. An example would be a house that is totally build up from single columns, lets say 25 columns. This is just too much and NOT WORTH IT. We have enough building models in WC3, no need to create one from single columns.
    So a coarse rule is: Any number of doodads is okay, as long as every single one of them really adds a new look to the model and can't be avoided. Avoid all unnecessary doodads! Don't build too big buildings by assembling single doodads!

  7. Not adjusting the model to the tower cost and rarity
    A simple rule:A tower model should look better, bigger and more fancy the more the tower costs and the more rare the tower is. That means early game 30-100 gold towers should consist of only one or a few little models. As you can see from my base towers, the early towers are mostly only one small rock without any effects. Even towers below 500 gold shouldn't look too great.
    The idea behind this is that players receive even more extravagant models the longer they play. This will raise long term motivation. If the coolest models can be built from level 1 on, players won't have a reward from reaching level XX.

  8. Abusing crit / multicrit
    Since critical strike damage and chance can be increased by auras, buffs and items, you have to be VERY careful when giving your tower an enhanced critical strike or multi critical strike.
    Example: In a normal TD a tower with 50% chance to do 1.5x damage would be balanced since it only has +25% average damage gain through that crit.
    In YouTD, that tower could get a 15% increased crit chance and +x2.0 crit damage. Which would lead to a 65% chance for 3.5x damage. Very strong!
    If we add multicrit now, let's say 3x multicrit, the tower gets extremely imba. Due to the high trigger percentage, the multicrit gets insanely strong. Here are some calculations:

    65% chance for 350% damage. Average damage through crit: 227%
    65%^2 = 42% chance for 1225% damage. Average damage through 2x crit: 514% (ouch!)
    65%^3 = 27% chance for 4287% damage. Average damage throuch 3x crit: 1157% (totally imba!)

    So as you see, multicrit is a cool feature but gets extremely imba if the crit chance of a tower is too high. So as a rule of thumb we can say: No tower should have more than 30% critical strike chance.

    The next thing which is hazardous in YouTD is low crit chance but extremely high crit damage:
    Example: 1% chance for 100x crit == 10000% damage. In a normal TD this would only add 100% to the average damage of the tower. The tower would be only twice as strong as without this ability, which is okay!
    In YouTD that tower could get a 14% chance boost. Now we would have a 15% chance for x100 damage which would be again totally imba. If this tower now receives multicrit, it will do shots that deal 10000 times the tower damage! It will onehit everything if it multicrits.
    So, avoid very big crit damage ratios even if the chance is very small.

  9. Creating an already existent tower
    When creating a tower, check if a tower with the same element, rarity and mechanics already exists. It is no use to have two tower that just differ in the model and the one has criticl strike added to the rest of the abilities of the other one. This new tower would add no new play me feeling, it would be useless indeed.

    However, if the towers differ in their ability strength, it can be okay: For example, it is no problem if fire has many splash damage only towers if the splash radius / damage differs greatly.
    It is also possible to port an ability from a common tower to a uncommon/rare/unique tower by just increasing the ability's strength drastically. This will add a new play feeling and thus is fine.

  10. Not spreading tower prices
    If you haven't read the corresponding HowTo chapter, I will renarrate it here shortly:
    Common tower prices should range from 30 gold to 2500 gold
    Uncommon: 30 gold to 3000 gold
    Rare: 500 gold to 3500 gold
    Unique: 1500 gold to 5000 gold
    So, let's say you design a familiy of 5 common towers. You price them the following: 30 60 120 200 300. This is totally crap as most of you will see. Those tower's don't differ enough in price. The 3rd one will be available just a few levels after the first one. And after 300 gold, there will follow no towers for later levels.
    A better pricing would be this one: 30 150 450 1000 2000. As you see the price range goes up more quickly. The first towers lie near together and the later towers are spread. This is because in the beginning old towers are useless very fast, so you need a new instance. In lategame, there is no big difference between one 2000 gold tower and two 1000 gold towers. So, here the price spacing may be bigger.
    Don't get me wrong: This doesn't mean every family must be spread as wide as that. You can create families that start at 1000 gold and then only have 1000 1600 2500. This is okay. The only thing you shouldn't do is not spreading the prices. If the prices lie too near together, the new tower won't be much stronger than the old one and will appear just a few levels after the one before.

  11. Mana saving
    If your tower has an active ability, you should set the cooldown low and the manacost high, so the tower can increase its effective cast rate by +manaRegen items. However, you should NOT set the maximum mana the tower has much higher than the cost for one spell. Otherwise, players can save mana between levels and then unleash many spells in a short time. Of course this is a valid strategy if mentioned in the tooltip and balanced. For example tolleder's batteries are such sort of towers. This is okay, as long as there are not too much of them and they are explicitly balanced for that mana saving. You can also read in their tooltip that they can save mana.
    So, follow this rule: Towers that are no explicit "mana savers" should only have around 25% more mana than they need to cast their spell.
    In addition, for really strong spells you should hardcap their effective cast rate by the cooldown. Let's say we have a 5000 gold unique tower that casts a really strong ability every 60 seconds (60 manacost, 65 max mana). However, its cooldown is only 1 second. Now a player manages to give the tower +900% mana regeneration (not archieved too often, but possible indeed!). Now the tower would casts its super strong ability every 6 seconds, which would be very imbalanced. Maybe the tower should have been hard capped by a 15 seconds cooldown. This way the tower can't be speeded up by more than x4.


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