Fieldrunners 2

Discussion in 'Now Playing' started by vivafringe, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    I’m not sure how popular tower defenses are here, but has anyone played this yet? I’m having tons and tons of fun with it.

    Fieldrunners 1 had amazing graphics, but also some big issues:

    1) Not many towers and maps.
    2) Endless mode was broken by the old lame trick of selling and rebuying towers so that ground troops loop around forever.

    Fieldrunners 2 seems to fix both:

    1) Tons of unlockable towers, tons of unlockable maps. Fieldrunners makes a smart decision of only letting you use 6 towers at once, which is a super A+ decision imo.
    2) Score penalty for selling towers. IDK if this will end up working as intended. Maybe you’ll still endlessly loop ground troops just because there’s no other way to survive after a certain point. I guess it depends on how many points you score versus how many points are taken away for each tower you sell. At any rate, the problem is fixed for now by 1. There are so many maps that I actually haven’t bothered with endless mode yet.
  2. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    Less is more, IMO. There really only exist ~6 distinct types of towers, having more types than that is redundant.

    Score penalty for selling towers makes the game a weird optimization problem. IMO a better approach is giving you pauses between waves to reorganize your defenses, and then not allowing changes during waves.
  3. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    Quite frankly WC3 custom maps spoiled me. SOOOOO many good or interesting TD ideas in there to help keep replay value. The problem with most TD's is that they're a puzzle. Once you solve the puzzle and find the most efficient damage there's really nothing more to do. That's why different races, teams, or other forms of randomness really help the game last.

    That said I haven't liked basically ANY td i've seen since the WC3 days. Favorites were Zoator, Gem TD, Elements, Sprout, and some other one i can remember visually but not the name. Anyways fieldrunners one took me maybe a few hours to figure out(without resell loops, but that sucked) so I don't hold out much hope for the sequel.
    Leartes likes this.
  4. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Moderator (old) Staff Member

    I would play a tower defense game if it had random creeps, and free respec between rounds. That would be way more exciting than some boring game
  5. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    Some interesting claims in this thread!

    - There are only 6 types of towers.

    I'll grant that adding more and more towers has diminishing returns on the strategy space, but 6 seems like a really low bound. Example: a laser tower that shoots a lot of enemies in a line, but needs them to line up first. I think I'd probably add 6 other towers before I added that one, but the "laser" tower is a pretty fun addition to the strategy space.

    - Tower defenses are just puzzles where you find the best tower

    Yeah, of course they are (although mazing and build order complicates things a bit). Which is why I love unlocking towers as I progress through the game; it lets me make a bunch of different optimizations over the course of the game, rather than just spamming "the one true tower" over and over.

    - War3 TD's are just way better than what is released now.

    I loved gem td, but Plants vs. Zombies is surely better than it or any other war 3 map, right? Also, I hope you've played this one:
  6. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Moderator (old) Staff Member

    You know what games become when the creeps are the same every time with no randomness, right?
  7. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    Plants vs zombies is terrible trash. On multiple levels. It's literally a grind fest for HOURS before you even get anything remotely interesting or challenging and it has multiple super boring strategies that work, and what few interesting strats there are are still hampered by the awful grind and the terrible money mechanic(both design and gameflow wise)

    Every single game I mentioned has randomness as a factor to help alter gameplay, and different races to alter it further, rather than fake grinding to make you feel like things are changed. Oh and the one I couldn't remember was Islands TD
  8. Polari

    Polari Well-Known Member

    Plants vs Zombies: At the beginning of the level start filling two rows or so with money-producing things, use your endless amounts of money to fill the rest of the tiles with whatever. Like this. There were like two levels near the end after five hours of play that were any kind of a challenge.

    Cursed Treasure: Grind experience for skill unlocks until the levels are easy. Produce endless amounts of money through lumber industry. Occasionally drop a meteor on a ninja. It was polished enough to beat but not very exciting.

    What I'm looking for in my TDs is something relevant to do while playing. C tier: no mazing, B tier: has mazing but no juggling, A tier: has mazing and is balanced around juggling. Go up a tier if there're some other interesting things to micromanage (e.g. Kingdom Rush, Gemcrafts until your realize the game is broken and it gets simply tedious). As my own favourite (flash) TDs I'll name Desktop TD and Bubble Tanks TD. Maybe not a whole lot of replay value and BTD has a ton of uninteresting, super easy levels, but those two are the ones I've had the most fun with.
  9. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    I'm ok with looking at TD's like turn based puzzles. The problem is when the puzzle doesn't change. Zoator, if you play with great players, is pretty solved. However if i'm playing with average players I might need to modify my build wave to wave. Especially depending on what position I am at the map(although there's issues with grey as well).

    All the games i mentioned previously have various reason each game SHOULD be different. Islands is solvable, but has something like 15 races, so at least it takes awhile, and then you can race it if you want.
  10. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    I seem to agree with most people here, in that I don't really see the point of TD games. I had a bit of fun with Desktop TD back in the day and even played Defense Grid, which is alright. But why would I ever want to play another one?

    It's akin to how I can't understand people being really into Sudoku. I determined years ago that I could easily write a computer program that could solve any Sudoku puzzle... and if necessary I could solve any Sudoku by hand equally easily by running through the algorithm, it would just take longer. TD games feel the same way... I already *know* the solution, I just need a slight adjustment for this games particular towers, or that games particular enemy types. Actually playing them is just a super boring grind, though, in the same way solving a Sudoku feels like a waste of an hour of my life.
  11. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    Again I feel at the very least that there's a LOT of very good design space for TD's, but that such space is rarely explored or used because the public seems just fine with boring things like desktop or plants vs zombies.
  12. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Plants vs. Zombies is basically a disgrace. But it's not meant for people who actually understand how games work, so whatever. I know lots of people that choose as it a way to grind points on your cellphone while sitting on a bus or whatever, so it's not like even the people who do play it disagree that it's boring... it's just less boring than staring out a window.

    It seems like there are occasional interesting games in the genre. Unstoppable Gorg (I think that's what it's called?) almost caught my attention, for example. And Orcs Must Die! seems like technically part of this genre, too. But still not really interesting enough.
  13. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    Claytus: Sudoku is actually a pretty good comparison. I don’t think “I could get a machine to do it” is a very good predictor of whether something will be enjoyable. All that really matters is whether the task generates flow. That is to say, it requires 100% of your brain’s computing power (no more, no less). Recently I discovered that I enter flow when I edit massive excel spreadsheets (yes, really).

    I’m guessing you don’t like Sudoku and TD’s because your brain doesn’t fully occupy itself in terms of decisions per minute. I enjoy both while I find more involved games like RTS’s overwhelming. I’m not exactly sure what this means in terms of implied differences in our cognitive function.

    Re Plants vs. Zombies: yeah it’s super easy, and I can see how people would rate that as a huge minus. That said, I still enjoyed optimizing the towers they gave me, using different metrics besides, “Did I beat the level, Y/N?” For me, at least, I enjoyed exploring the different towers and evaluating their effectiveness. Endless mode really sealed the deal, as it let me put everything together in a way that was actually challenging. And of course the polish is incredible, but probably no one is even debating that.

    I don't know what the deal is with people saying it's a "grind" game. If gradually increasing complexity counts as "grind," then it seems like most 1p games have it?
  14. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Actually, totally unsurprising... I think I've been in the same situation;;

    I don't know if that's necessarily true. I mean, I personally find RTS's... I don't know if overwhelming is the right word, but I'm not good at them either.

    I think the problem with Sudoku and TD is just that they're boring, to me personally. I'm not saying it's easy to solve a Sudoku, or that I'm all that good at it. Just that I basically find it an execution test. I know what to do, and there's nothing left but to sit down and actually do it. I think that's the worst thing in the world.. a puzzle should be solved when I know *how* to solve it. Not drag on for another hour while I fill in numbers, or click buttons or whatever. But yeah, it's a personal opinion, not really a general problem.

    I think the problem is that a game becomes grindy when the complexity starts too low, rises too slow, and especially if it maxes out too low as well. This applise to PvZ in my opinion.
  15. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    You don't unlock half the towers in the game until you buy them from the shop which you get points for when you beat a level. If that's not grind i dunno what is. I mean most TD's like to do the whole "level Progression" thing but I think it's usually pretty stupid. Income and in game factors are more than limiting enough and allow a lot to move around with and you aren't playing the real game until you've got everything anyways.
  16. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    The buyable towers suck for the single player campaign anyway, though. If you're talking about after the campaign, yeah there might be some grinding if you ignore the zen garden minigame. But I don't remember replaying levels at all to unlock everything. For the most part, I was constantly doing new challenges and just incidentally unlocking things along the way.

    Fair enough. I'd label this more as just a difficulty issue, and that "grinding" for me is what you do when the next task is too hard, and you need to replay old content to progress. But I can see where you're coming from now.
  17. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    The problem is that "new challenges" in PvZ is usually "The exact same strat i've used 100 times before, but maybe with one or two different towers thrown in". How the game handles its economy makes it extremely tedious.
  18. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Huh? "Grinding" *is* a difficulty issue, always. That's what we're talking about. A "grind" is just being forced to play through sections that require zero thought, usually because the games forces you to do, and later unlocks the interesting part of the game that does require thought. It's just spending time to proceed instead of actually beating challenges to proceed. Where it's understood that different people need different challenge levels, so "grind" is going to be a personal issue.

    As for PvZ in particular, Polari's earlier description of the winning strategy 100% parallels my experience.
  19. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    I'm in the WC3 TD faction. Until this day there is no TD I know close to the good old WC3 maps.

    In the recent years a lot of stand alone TD were published and I'm very disappointed. As Eji said, TDs are mostly puzzles. Even if you have a very hard team-based TD. A good team will find a solution that works most of the time. Even randomization is mostly in the area of randomly making winning (im)possible in contrast to the average playthrough.

    Therefore I'm a huge fan of competitive tower games, mostly Tower Wars but there are also maps like Tower Tournament (I think that was its name). Unfortunately up until this day there is no satisfying TW map in WC3 either. (I know of Tropical TW, Legion TD, Line TW and some more)

    A good TW imo requires
    - several strategic options on every stage of the game (ideally no exponentially increasing cost of the next tier of towers, strategy options for every tier)
    - meaningful ways to mess with the creepwave (counter your opponents tower composition if you guess correctly)
    - no lame duck (loosing income early usually loses the game in the long run, should either end fast or provide options for a turn-around)
    - games should be very different from another

    On a personal note, I dislike juggling and microing during a wave as I prefer the strategic level of TDs.
  20. Polari

    Polari Well-Known Member

    Actually now that I think about it, what I said about mazing and juggling really only applies to a certain kind of singleplayer TD. It's been ages since I played wc3 TDs so my memory is hazy on those but yes, there are some with really good multiplayer strategy that doesn't need juggling to make things interesting.

    On a somewhat related note, I also thought juggling was lame until I saw someone do it in Desktop TD, tried it myself and found it really cool as long as the game is balanced around it. I have no idea how wc3 TDs handle it but I remember at least one flash TD (whiteboard) that gets completely broken by juggling, which of course makes it a dumb mechanic there.
  21. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    Most WC3 td's did various things to prevent juggling. Usually creeps would attack towers or teleport if you blocked in any way and while you could sometimes get around that and juggle it was usually pretty pointless to do so. Gem TD wouldn't let you build towers while creeps were out(which was part of the whole point of it), and a bunch of others had various detection methods which seemed to work pretty well.

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