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Hello again guys, so after the colossal failure of my "The Great Balancing" blog (Hey, they can't all be winners), I was able to step back and re-evaluate a few things. I was able to get a good look at where I went wrong, and how my ideas could have been better. Now I'm back, and I'm ready to try again. Here we go.
What I Learned
Here's what I learned:
- People really, really, really want Puff Shroom to be potent at night, even at the risk of it being overpowered during the day. Same thing goes for Sun Shroom
- Even though Shovel upgrades are not worth buying, many people seem to like them.
- Plant upgrades... got mixed feedback, but mostly negative. Most notably was the negative feedback to my "take n' return" scenario- a case where plants would get nerfed, but upgrades would return them to normal. For instance, Snapdragon had its fire on the rows above and below it do less damage than the middle, but there was an upgrade that would boost the flames back to normal. People didn't like that, even though it meant no change in the long run. All in all, people want their plants at full power right when they get them, no extra work necessary.
- The idea of having Laser Bean and Magnify Grass be deflected by shiny objects was a bust. At least, it was for Magnifying Grass. Even though Magnifying Grass had an upgrade that put it back to normal. Yeah, it's really hard to work the reflection thing unless you do it to both light based plants.
However, while I did recieve many complaints, I also got some positive feedback about other ideas I had. People seemed to like my changes towards Chomper, Sweet Potato, and Hypno-Shroom. I also came up with another idea for mushroom after the post, one that the commenters seemed to like.
So, without further delay, let's give this thing another go! It's time for The Great Balancing.... Take 2!
My new idea has mushroom work in two different ways. Mushrooms can be used both during the night and during the day without Coffee Bean- but not without penalty. At night, mushrooms are at their full potential, and doing just as well, if not better than, to their current forms. However, during the daytime, they become drowsy and less effiecent. To counteract the drowziness, players can employ Coffee Bean (0 Sun, fast recharge), to knock mushroom back up to normal levels.
Using this system, mushroom become potent powerhouses during the night, without worry of them becoming forming Laserang Conundrums with daytime plants. Furthermore, the useage of Coffee Bean creates a wide variety of strategies. Although Coffee Bean is free, its recharge time limits how often you can use it, so using too many mushrooms may not work out so well. For example, if you bring Sun Shroom, Puff Shroom, and Coffee Bean, you will have to sacrifice either Sun Shroom's growth rate or Puff Shroom staying power early on- which could be costly. These diverse strategies keep the game relatively simple, but very deep.
Mushrooms at night or under Coffee Bean:
- Sun Shroom- 25 Sun, Same as current version
- Puff Shroom- 0 Sun, Lasts long enough to have 10 on the field
- Fume Shroom- 125 Sun, Same as current version
- Hypno Shroom Option A- Costs 75 Sun, Can be eaten twice
- Hypno Shroom Option B- Costs 100 Sun, Can be eaten three times
- Magnet Shroom- 100 Sun, Gains 1 Column extra range
Mushrooms during the day:
(Costs remain the same)
- Sun Shroom- Can only grow once after producing 2-3 rounds of Sun.
- Puff Shroom- Can only have 5 at a time without Plant Food.
- Fume Shroom- Firing rate is 30% slower
- Hypno Shroom (both versions)- Can only be eaten once
- Magnet Shroom- Loses 2 columns of range (-1 of the current version)
- Costs 150 Sun
- Shots now go over zombies, then deal 2 - 2.25 damage from behind on the return trip.
- Fires exactly once every 3 seconds
I know some people are confused by the new system, but let me explain. Currently, Bloomerang is one of the only plants that can hit enemies from behind. Furthermore, unlike Split Pea and Starfruit, it is also capable of doing this while in the same row and while being in front of them. My new system takes advantage of this by having Bloomerang only hit enemies from behind. This way, it can take advantage of certain zombies like Excavators, Jesters, and my new Camel Zombie. Also, since it flies over graves, it deals more damage if it hits graves on the return trip.
- When finishing a zombie, uppercut stuns next zombie for 2.5 seconds
Okay, hold on. I know this idea sounds really overpowering, but bear with me on this. With this system, Bonk Choy is better at crowds of zombies that have lined up around a Wall-Nut, but not super large crowds. Since only one zombie can be stunned at a time, it makes Bonk-Choy better for tough zombies, but other zombies can still eat through the Wall-Nut while he builds up his punches. It makes him more potent, but mostly only with other AOE plants. Snapdragon is still better most of the time.
- Shots ignore dead bodies
No more Imps blocking off the Imp Cannons. That is all.
- Arcing electricity does 0.5 damage instead of 0.25
Yeah, I really think Lightning Reed could use this. If Snapdragon and current Fume Shroom can exist, so can this.
- Fire peas deal 0.25 damage to zombies on the same square as the target
Torchwood really deserves some of its splash damage back, especially if we have to pay real money for it. I think this is a good compromise between PvZ1 and PvZ2.
- Costs 225 Sun
- Beam does 2.25 damage
- Beam is stopped by shiny objects
This gives Laser Bean balance, but makes him the most powerful long range AOE plant... assuming there aren't any zombies with shiny objects. Shiny objects include Ra Zombie's staff, Poncho Zombie's grate, Mecha Football Zombie, and Excavator Zombie's shovel.
- Non-flying zombies in the air are only knocked to the edge of the screen
- This change does not apply to Hurrikale, only Blover
Sorry guys. I know how much some people like the Spring Blover combo, but it need a nerf. Blover still acts the way it normally does with Seagulls, Jetpacks, Bugs, etc., but it doesn't do as much for ground based zombies. However, you can still knock them to the screen edge, or use Srping Hurrikale for a single lane, so there's that.
- On kill, acid splashes all zombies in 1x2 area, dealing 4 damage.
With this system, Citron's high damage amount doesn't go to waste as much if it hits the wrong zombie.
- 0 Sun, then 175 Sun, then doubles
- Power Tiles do not disappear if covered by water
Easier to enter into, but the doubling still prevents abuse in endless zones.
- Firing rate does not decrease after taking damage
Yeah, with Red Stinger available, Pea Nut needs to up its game.
- New Plant Food effect
Lily Pad now creates a tidal wave that knocks zombies back. If on dry land, it will wait until the tide comes in again or it gets smashed. On BWB Day 32, Lily Pads are not boosted, but Lily Pads come in sets of 2 and an extra land column is present make up for this.
- Bulbs now recharge on a timer.
Everybody wants this. Seriously, would anyone prefer the current system to this? Anyone? Anyone at all? No? Didn't think so.
- Burp knocks nearby zombies back
- Gains 0.5 space extra range
This is one of the ideas I've been universally praised for. Gives Chomper some utility, very potent stuff.
- Mediocre recharge time
It doesn't need a sluggish recharge time. Heck, even this may be too long.
- See Torchwood
- Deals extra damage at higher health
Now, balancing the Lost City plants is harder, since I haven't had too much experience with them outside of their home world. But I do know that some people think Endurian is too weak. This system would let him polish off zombies quickly early on, but the drop off to normal levels later makes him better for stopping pre-selected target than large crowds.
- Costs 150 Sun
Need I say more?
- Cone deals 1 damage to a single zombie
- Cone spreads sap in a 1x2 area
Simple, yet effective.
- Can be used in every world
Ra Zombie / Explorer Zombie
- Now one and the same
- Ra Zombie's staff uses Sun as fuel to burst into flame
- Ra Zombie moves faster with a lit staff
Okay, this isn't so much a balancing issue as it is a brainstorm session. A lot of people think Ra Zombie is underpowered, and Explorerer Zombie is just a bit overpowered. Under this system, the two become a bit more manageable. Ra Zombie steals Sun faster than the current version, but killing him quickly will refund any Sun that the staff hasn't used up. If Ra Zombie is frost-slowed, he can steal Sun, but he can't spend it on the staff until he de-freezes.
- Sheild can be skipped by hitting them from behind
- Sheild is slightly bulkier.
This is mostly for Bloomerang's benefit.
- After spinning a short while, must stop for a few seconds
- Deflects lobbed shots, but does not return them
I think this is what we really wanted all along. This spinning mechanic makes him hard, but keeps him from steam-rolling your plants. Fun, fair, balanced.
- Now makes plants sleepy
- Sleepy plants can be woken up with Coffee Bean
It's better than the sheep mechanic, plants can be dug up, and it gives Coffee Bean useage in its home world.
- Replaced by Blacksmith Zombie
- Blacksmith Zombie can fix/upgrade each cone, bucket, or helm once
- Slowly pushes anvil forward, crushing plants
Under this new system, Magnet Shroom actually counters the zombie it was meant to counter. On the other hand, the tougher cones also keep it from being underpowered. The anvil shove mechanic keeps him in the line of fire, but the anvil itself is only a threat if ignored.
- Surfboard does not remain behind, whether he dies with it or slam it down
- Plants protected by Umbrella Leaf are immune to the surfboard attack
This system makes Surfer Zombie a great speed penetrator, but doesn't leave some obstacle with too much health.
- Octopi can be pulled off by the player (mechanic is akin to Power Toss)
- Plants protected by Umbrella Leaf are immune to octopi
Now, this system takes some explantation. Players can yank octopi off by selecting them and dragging their finger away from the plant. Since octopi have tight grips, it takes 2.5 seconds of uninteruppted pulling to yank him off. This makes it possible to remove octopi, but in the new versions 2.5 seconds can mean life or death. Furthermore, 2 Octo Zombie will be enough to place octopi faster than you can pull them off, keeping them from being underpowered.
- Reeled plants will have their Lily Pad reeled as well
- Umbrella Leaf deflects fisher hooks
Again, I don't see why PopCap can't learn from their Chinese version. The Qui-Gong Zombie only worked because pulling the plants didn't almost always kill them. Lily Pads get eaten fast, so putting Lily Pads in front of reeled plants isn;t a good strategy. This guy is a pain to balance, but at least this might help.
Lost City Zombies
Okay, fair warning. From this point on, I really have very little clue about what I'm doing. The Lost City zombies are designed around each other, so messing with one messes with all of them. With that in mind....
Excavator Zombie/Parasol Zombie
- Both shovels and parasols now have "Machined" health instead of infinite
- Both shovels and parasols can be removed via Magnet Shroom
- Parasols will still "bounce" lobbed shots (A.K.E.E. cannot bounce, etc.)
Keep in mind Magnet Shroom's nerf, I think this is pretty reasonable, considering my other Lost City changes.
Lost Pilot Zombie is now replaced completely by Relic Hunter.
- Bug starts with no zombie
- Picks up fist Browncoat/Conehead/Buckethead it reaches
- Straight shots damage the carried zombie, lobbed damages the bug
- Splash damage hits both
Bug Zombie it now easier if you have lobbed plants, but is much tougher against Laser Bean and the like.
- Tents dropped by death (non-camp) do not take up a square, but still remains as an obstacle
Okay, so what this means is that tents do not crush plants, and the tiles they are on can be planted on. They will however block shots until removed. This only applies to dropped tents, camps made on Gold Tiles are the same as before.
Turqoise Skull Zombie
- Beam only reaches two squares ahead
This makes walling plants a bit more effective, but still keeps T.S. Zombie true to his purpose.