Thursday, May 21, 2015

Champions TD 2.0 - Meet the Druid

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Champions TD 2.0

I hit a point in Champions that the game wasn't going in the direction that I liked. I wanted units to stand out more and play more of an individual role, rather than have a massive zerg/army.

This lead to a big overhaul of the game that is currently underway. I still need more time to show you guys the fruits of this overhaul but I wanted to start presenting you guys with some of the content that I had finished this past week.

One of the biggest changes is the way the units in the game will work now. The current model is that units would gain attacks and specs as you leveled them up. Similar to Pokemon, where you gain attacks and evolve as your level up. While this model can work, I wanted to try something different for this game. With a name like Champions every unit must feel complete like a Champion even when it is low leveled. Also I have been playing some Heroes of the Storm and I had previously played some League of Legends (not very much) and I really enjoyed the setup of their abilities.

Each unit in those games has a clear role. I thought this was missing and not very emphasized in Champions but that is changing. Now when you pick your class and when you get a new unit it will show you very clearly what is the intended role.

Meet the Druid

This week I worked on and finished the Druid Class and so I will show you using this class as an example.
Descriptions now quickly point to the important details.

Units will now have a passive ability, an ultimate ability and three active abilities that you get from the start. Very similar too Moba games. Let's look at the Druid's abilities.

Druid's abilities

We can see the 5 abilities the Druid class has. Some of them are similar to the ones in the game right now but most are changed in some ways and then you have some completely new ones.

The first 3 are the Active Abilities:

  • Nature's Fury - A buff to all party members, that increases their strength and intellect.
  • Bear Form - Transform into a Bear! It also multiplies your armor and stamina x2.
  • Refresh - An instant heal over time spell that can be used on self and allies.
Then we have the Passive Ability:
  • Thorn Skin - When ever hit by a physical attack, deal damage back.
Last and definitely not least we have the Ultimate Ability:

  • Roots - When activated, enemies around the druid will be rooted and damaged every second for 20 seconds.
Roots in action

You may have noticed that the Ultimate Ability is something that is activated. This is something that is true for all Ultimates. You can activate them by pressing on the corresponding button on the bottom right of the screen. You will have to figure out when is the right time to activate such a powerful move.

On top of everything these moves can be upgraded! Using Valor points that you get for beating enemies and clearing waves you can upgrade your unit and its abilities for the duration of the level.

There are three levels of upgrades that you can get with each unit. Each level cost more Valor Points than the last. Let's look at each level for the Druid class.

Level 1 Upgrades for Druid
Pictured above is the menu you get when you press on your unit's profile. You get a quick view of their attacks, their stats and possible upgrades.

Before I get into each upgrade I want to note that on top of upgrading your abilities each upgrade will also boost your stats a decent amount. For Level 1 Upgrades all using will get a +10 or 10% Stamina increase (whichever is better).

As a note in this screenshot I have (505) Valor for testing purposes, in most levels you start with 0 and earn them as you defeat enemies.

Level 1 Upgrades will always upgrade your Passive Ability.

In this case you can read the picture to see the different ways you can upgrade. My hope is that on some stages some upgrades will be better than others. It is up to you to find out what are the best upgrades to get for each stage.

Level 2 Upgrades will always  upgrade one of your 3 Activate Abilities.

Level 2 Upgrades for Druid
As we can see the cost of Valor doubles for each level. Sometimes you won't be able to reach level 3. Or you might just want to upgrade all your units Level 1 upgrades. Or maybe upgrade one unit all the way.

The previous (current) design doesn't really allow for such descision which is why I'm excited for these changes!

Level 2 Upgrades will upgrade their your Strength or Intellect (this is based on what is better for the Unit) by + 10 or 10%, whichever is best.

Each Level 2 Upgrade will target one of your 3 Active Abilities.

The first upgrade applies to Nature's Fury making it also boost your Stamina and Armor. Useful for tanking purposes! The second applies to Refresh, making your Refresh instantly heal on top of the over time component. Very useful for healing purposes!

The third choice lets you change your Bear Form ability completely! Instead of a Bear you transform into a Wolf. Instead of Armor your Strength is multiplied by x2 and your auto attacks will deal damage to all nearby enemies! Giving the Druid class to also deal decent damage!

Druid in Human Form (doesn't stay long like this)
Druid in Bear Mode - Your armor will still show when transformed
Druid in Wolf Mode - Available when you upgrade it via Level 2 Upgrades
As you might have guessed Level 3 Upgrades always upgrade your Ultimate Ability!

Not shown in the picture is the fact that Level 3 Upgrades will either increase your Haste, Armor or Magical Armor (depending on your Unit) by +10 or 10% (haste always 10%) whichever is best.

My goal with Level 3 Upgrades was to really make things exciting with the Ultimate and maybe I made things too strong but that's okay! You have to use up a lot of Valor to reach Level 3 so I want it to be rewarding.

Wanted to briefly talk about each on of the upgrades. The first one is one of my favorites because essentially it make the Ultimate be always on for your character yet it's not as predictable as the regular version since it pulses every 10 seconds instead of every second. Seems like it would be good for long fights with many small weak units.
The second one is really fun because for twenty seconds your party becomes REALLY STRONG! Not only are they healed constantly, but their attack stats are doubled and their haste is increased by 50%! This seems really great for waves that have strong enemies that deal a lot of damage but need to be controlled.

The last one is also very fun cause it gives you the ultimate (no pun intended) control! Not only will enemies around your Druid will get rooted but you can put your root power in another lane at the same time!

So that's the Druid class! The great thing is that all units in the game will have their own set of abilities and upgrades! I'm hoping to have about 60 units in the game all with their own little twist! So far I have designed on paper the abilities and talents for 20+ units and I'm really looking forward to sharing more with you guys and most importantly building it in the game so you guys get a chance to enjoy them for yourselves!

Next week I'll be working on the Rogue class (my class in World of Warcraft that I played in Vanilla!)

Thank you for reading and all your support! Much love! - Sam

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