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Gemcraft Ch. 0 What are Supergems? . Sure theres a lot of games requiring the perfect aim, but Pyro's is different in some special unique ways. HED captures the complex information of Higher education in the most comprehensive manner. I'm curious about people that thought the game was too hard / still think it is and which Gemcraft you started with.
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Gemcraft Chasing Shadows opinions and suggestions
My experience (This is merely for context and can be skipped completely)
I got this game on steam shortly after it was released on steam and having played Gemcraft chapter 0 allot and a little bit of labyrinth (when I say a little bit I remember completing it but I don’t remember playing it very much) so I was familiar enough with the game to breeze through the start of the game. If I remember correctly I was clearing fields in a semi random order putting everything that made it harder on as I unlocked it and not really bothering with endurance with a couple of exceptions. At some point (can’t remember where exactly) this got too difficult so I started turning some of the traits off. I was getting towards the end and had a decent amount of wizard lvls under my belt when I decided to return to a previous field for the first time, not because I was stuck but rather cause I had all the gem types I wanted on that field and I was curious how far and how much xp I could get in endurance. I can’t remember how much xp I got but I remember being very satisfied. I think I doubled my wizard lvl but I could be wrong on that. In hindsight it was a really stupid time to do it because I had the forgotten being annoying. Anyway I finished the game off without too many issues after that and went on to increase my wizard lvl and get achievements. It was around when I got too wizard lvl 1k I started looking to see what others were doing on endurance runs so too see if there was any tricks I was missing. I was also curious to see what gem “specs” people were using because I knew I was just throwing together the different gem types I wanted in a ratio that seemed ok. I was aware that there was almost definitely a better way to do it but could not be bothered to think about it too much. After not too much looking I found the extreme end game guide. Which was helpful but I quickly ran into performance issues which discouraged me from doing endurance runs. I took a break from endurance runs to do iron wizard mode where after breezing through the start it quickly got very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed playing up to and including U8. This is not a problem with U8 it is the opposite, it was that unlocking the skill tomb on U8 was so challenging and enjoyable that everything else after that was lacklustre in comparison. Also I thoroughly enjoyed the vision fields for the same reason I enjoyed the iron wizard mode.
The story is a continuation that builds on the previous games and whilst I’m not going to say it is one of the greatest stories I am more than ok with it. It does a good job of setting the scene and adding context but doesn’t intrude very much. Personally I like this minimalist approach to the story because I think what is there is good and adds to the game and that doing anything more would get in the way.
I love almost everything about this mechanic I think it adds so much to the game. It adds a “make it harder now so I will be stronger for later option” and does so well. It encourages you to be pushing the limits and to not just be complacent. I like how it works as you use more expensive gems as well. If you want +x monsters you can use allot of little gems or a few bigger ones. The few bigger ones will cost you more but the extra monsters will be easier than using allot of little gems. The only reason I say almost is because I wish it added health regen to the monsters as well.
Your initial reaction to this may be “well duh of course gem combining is a thing” and yes it is a obvious thing to implement that has always been in the series but less obvious is “how should it be implemented?” If you have 2 gems with their associated stats how should the stats of their combination be determined? If you take the same set of gems of combine them in 2 different orders should the resulting stats be the same? (Because they are not necessarily the same (show example)). Me having a program that knows the optimal way to combine my gems do it for me doesn’t take any more skill than someone else just hovering their mouse over the gem and pressing “u” (the hotkey to upgrade the gem) a bunch of times. My problem with this is that the mechanic is not properly explained and that whilst it can be interesting to experiment and compute the best way to combine gems in order to optimise them is that once you have done it (or looked up the answer or have a program that knows the answer do it for you) then it no longer matters how interesting it is to think about because nobody is thinking about it. People are either pressing “u” or people are pressing a better alternative to “u” the game play does not change but the result does.
Wave HP and Armor
The hp of the Wave scales exponentially with the number of waves passed, where as your dps does not. It I don’t have a problem with the waves getting too hard to kill at a certain point this is necessary even endurance cannot go on forever (though the performance problems can make it feel that way). The problem I have with it being exponential is not the first waves or the last waves you can kill before they are too tough but the waves in between. This problem is most easily realised when you ask yourself the question. “When was the last time I cleared x waves and found wave (x/2) challenging” for any reasonable choice of x. The start may or may not be difficult depending on what difficulty you start on and how much mana you start with but you power up so quickly over the first several waves that you rapidly outpace the rate at which the monsters power up. As for armor it is significant on early waves but quickly becomes irrelevant unless you are dropping 1000 gem bombs on a wave. I have never given any attention to the way armor scales but it should scale up almost as much as health scales up in order to not become so irrelevant.
This is something that was not in the previous Gemcraft games and comes with its pros and cons. It can allow players who want more time to think a bit longer or to build stuff they would not be quick enough to build under the time pressure of not being able pause but it comes at the cost of taking away all of the pressure which can create intense situations. The pause is optional so you can choose to not let yourself use it but I think a much more interesting dynamic would be to incorporate it into the haste trait. I would also argue that pausing should be disabled in iron wizard mode. IMPORTANT: This is a suggestion for the hypothetical situation in which there are no performance issues obviously if the game is dropping frames you should be able to pause to do stuff because it is too painful to do it otherwise. When I refer to pausing I am not referring to when you press escape I think that should always be enabled and I would also like to see the option of saving and quitting mid way through a map so that endurance runs don’t have to be done without closing the game.
The problem I have with gem types is that while there are so many possible combinations that can be used most aren’t ever worth using. Early in the game when I don’t have all of them and I’m just battling my way to the spirit forge I will just use 2 different types of gem combine them together and not really think about what types I’m using unless chain hit is available in which case that will be one of the 2 it doesn’t matter too much what the effect of the gem is I just use a dual for the extra damage the effects of the gems feels irrelevant. Then later in the game I only really use a black/red/blue, a black/red/orange and black/red/yellow black can be replaced with white for a certain range of wizard lvls. The reason for this is that black/red/blue slows by 90% even with not much of a mana investment later on. So it basically makes your other gems 10 times more effective and will cost many orders of magnitude less making it a no-brainer. Black/red/orange will give you so much more mana than you could possibly get without it which allows you to make another gem so much more powerful than you would otherwise be able to. Finally black/red/yellow will deal far more dps than anything else of the same cost so it is the obvious choice for killing the monsters with. With this in mind what purpose do the other colours fill? Is there ever a reason to not use one of either black or white in a gem? (No) Is there ever a reason to not use red in a gem? (Well if your only hitting 1 target so that would be if you wanted the gem only for beacons and flyers) Is there ever a reason to use one of the not mentioned colours (green, purple, cyan)? (Well maybe at very low wizard lvls when you are just using whatever then sure and during some vision fields).
Well in order to mix things up I have a few suggestions starting with changing the monsters. As mentioned in the hp and armor section their armor needs to be more relevant so that should help to make purple more viable but will not be the only thing. My second change to the monsters would be to give them a new stat Tenacity, the higher the monsters tenacity the shorter the duration of slows and suppresion (haven’t thought about how the maths would work this is just a concept at the moment) to go along with this the duration of slows would also increase as the gem is upgraded. This would give players more of an incentive to invest more into their slow gems as they get to higher waves because there grade 7 won’t keep monsters 90% slowed forever.
Poison this is strong enough at very low lvls and vision fields but it has one job (damage) and later crit does it better by a large margin so we need to make poison great again! My first instinct was to increase the coefficients it uses to calculate the poison damage from combining 2 gems and to let it stack. But when testing it just I realised something that in my 1000 hours I have racked up (though most of this was not spent playing or thinking of the game but rather with the game just playing or paused in the background) I never realised. Poison already does stack! (kind of). So testing it out I have a gem I quickly bodged together (1 red, 3 green and 4 black) “u” upgraded in a trap that does +643,176,434 poison damage over 9 seconds. It has hit this monster [http://imgur.com/a/jgMq1] 5 times. Now 643,176,434 × 5 = 3,215,882,170 but if we look at how much it is poisoned for + the damage it has taken it comes to 1,560,293,820 + 104,748,785 = 1,665,042,605 I wonder if u/12345ieee knows the maths on how poison stacking currently works. I doubt it is something he has looked into since poison is not relevant in the current state of the game. Either way I think if the coefficients were raised and it stacked without the diminishing returns it has at the moment then it could be a viable alternative to crit maybe changing it so that it is a dps over a duration where both the dps and duration increase with gem level but the duration decreases as the monsters tenacity increases.
Armor Tearing also needs its coefficients boosted along with the monsters needing more armor for it to see use I don’t know if there is anything else noteworthy to say here.
Cyan is usable in my opinion but it is very niche. It’s coefficients are great so it has no problem scaling up but the problem is that if health regen is a problem then it is only a problem for a very brief period of the game. Because angering waves doesn’t increase regen then during the stage of the game when you are gem bombing stuff you probably aren’t struggling with the regen that is miniscule in comparison to the enemy health. So if health regen is a problem you are probably struggling through your last few waves if those waves are not the last waves of the map (mainly thinking of endurance here) then there are more waves behind this wave that are stronger. If you need to lower the regen you are not killing them very fast and will definitely be overrun by the waves behind. If you are using corrupted banishment then you really need to be killing these waves before they reach your orb for the first time as well you can’t afford to let them do lap after lap while you try to whittle down its hp and regen. So to get “value” out of cyan you need to be in a position where lowering its regen near the entrance is the difference between being able to kill before your orb and not being able to kill it before your orb. If you are not playing with corrupted banishment it needs to be the difference between not being able to kill it at all and being able to kill it before it racks up enough laps to kill you. The problem is that these situations will occur late into the game and there is probably a shrine you can put a reasonably large gem into to suppress their regen completely for awhile. Also you can significantly chunk down their regen using wake of eternity. I would suggest changing the way suppression works to completely remove regen for a duration. This duration would be effected by the enemy monsters tenacity and would increase as the gem was upgraded.
As I eluded to a little bit I think Haste is the best example of what I don’t like about the current traits. I think that allot of traits are far too easy for the multiplier they give and they don’t feel very impactful or interesting. I think that Haste, Swarling Domination, Giant Domination and Adaptive Carapace all fall under that category of not interesting and not impactful and should be reworked or replaced in my opinion. Orblets and Chasing Shadows are interesting but not very impactful they need tweaking to be impactful. As for Chasing shadows, shadows are an interesting part of the game and can be threatening but +1 per trait lvl somewhere over the 999 waves is really underwhelming. So with my complaints mentioned I took the time to come up with what I would change them to.
My suggestion for modified traits
These traits are designed so that you have to think before putting them on, they are designed to try and force you to change how you play should you choose to put them on. They are designed so that if you want that extra xp you have to earn it.
Lvl 1: Cannot take damage from the same gem more than once every 0.5 seconds
Lvl 2: Cannot take damage from the same gem more than once every second
Lvl 3: Cannot take damage from the same gem more than once every 2 seconds
Lvl 4: Cannot take damage from the same gem more than once every 3 seconds
Lvl 5: Cannot take damage from the same gem more than once every 6 seconds
Lvl 6: Cannot take damage from the same gem more than once every 10 seconds
Lvl 7: Cannot take damage from the same gem more than once every 15 seconds
This makes it so that in the current “standard” endgame setup you can get situations where if your kill trap does not crit it on the first hit it will just walk past. Meaning that if you are sending 999 monsters per wave at it 200 will get past the first, 40 will get past the second, 8 will get past the third etc... on average per wave. This gives you something extra to think about.
Mana Lock (Unchanged)
Lvl 1: Mana is given only every 10 seconds
Lvl 2: Mana is given only every 25 seconds
Lvl 3: Mana is given only every 40 seconds
Lvl 4: Mana is given only every 55 seconds
Lvl 5: Mana is given only every 70 seconds
Lvl 6: Mana is given only every 85 seconds
Lvl 7: Mana is given only every 100 seconds
Mana lock already changes the way you play and feels impactful I see no reason to change that.
Lvl 1: Banished monsters get +20% extra hp, max hp and armor, +2 layers of shield and cannot be banished by wake of eternity.
Lvl 2: Banished monsters get +40% extra hp, max hp and armor, +4 layers of shield, cannot be banished by wake of eternity, 5% chance to return as a guardian.
Lvl 3: Banished monsters get +60% extra hp, max hp and armor, +6 layers of shield and cannot be banished by wake of eternity, 10% chance to return as a guardian.
Lvl 4: Banished monsters get +80% extra hp, max hp and armor, +8 layers of shield and cannot be banished by wake of eternity 20% chance to return as a guardian.
Lvl 5: Banished monsters get +100% extra hp, max hp and armor, +10 layers of shield and cannot be banished by wake of eternity 30% chance to return as a guardian.
Lvl 6: Banished monsters get +125% extra hp, max hp and armor, +12 layers of shield and cannot be banished by wake of eternity 40% chance to return as a guardian.
Lvl 7: Banished monsters get +150% extra hp, max hp and armor, +15 layers of shield and cannot be banished by wake of eternity 50% chance to return as a guardian.
To clarify it is only the monsters that have been banished by the orb that gain these bonuses so monsters that have not reached the orb will still be banished by wake of eternity as usual. Guardians will re-spawn fully healed with 2x hp (multiplied on top of the existing bonus) but half speed, there armor will be multiplied by (1+the number of guardians on the field when they spawn) but they will lose it as these die, they will be completely immune to strike spells and will kill the orb on contact. They will never chase orblets. This is a trait I have mixed feelings about. If you have everything under control and don’t let a monster through this trait does nothing it is just an xp steroid, I don’t have a problem with rewarding the player for not letting a monster past but are they being over rewarded in terms of xp with this? What this trait represents is a threat of the monsters getting out of hand if a few get through. Without this and without the %mana on banishment they get in endurance having the monsters run round and round for until the banishment is more than your mana leach might be a thing (assuming performance held up). So this is what my change hopes to address in the perfect world with no performance issues.
Lvl1: 4 Orblets appear round your orb, -7% mana gain for each orblet lost +1% xp gain for each orblet in its starting position, monsters within a range of 1 are immune to the effects of chain hit
Lvl2: 5 Orblets appear within 4 range of your orb, -7.5% mana gain for each orblet lost +1% xp gain for each orblet in its starting position, -10% Orblet rollback speed, monsters within a range of 1 are immune to the effects of chain hit
Lvl3: 6 Orblets appear within 8 range of your orb, -8% mana gain for each orblet lost +1% xp gain for each orblet in its starting position, -20% Orblet rollback speed, monsters within a range of 1 are immune to the effects of chain hit
Lvl4: 7 Orblets appear within 12 range of your orb, -8.5% mana gain for each orblet lost +1% xp gain for each orblet in its starting position, -40% Orblet rollback speed, monsters within a range of 1 are immune to the effects of chain hit
Lvl5: 8 Orblets appear within 16 range of your orb, -9% mana gain for each orblet lost +1% xp gain for each orblet in its starting position, -60% Orblet rollback speed, monsters within a range of 1 are immune to the effects of chain hit
Lvl6: 9 Orblets appear within 20 range of your orb, -9.5% mana gain for each orblet lost +1% xp gain for each orblet in its starting position, -80% Orblet rollback speed, monsters within a range of 1 are immune to the effects of chain hit
Lvl7: 10 Orblets appear within 24 range of your orb, -10% mana gain for each orblet lost +1% xp gain for each orblet in its starting position, Orblets do not rollback, monsters within a range of 1 are immune to the effects of chain hit
Orblets will appear on the path and once picked up the monster will head towards the closest entrance not necessarily the one they came from. Orblets will not appear within 5 range of a exit even if that is within the allocated range of the orb. Monsters will choose whether to head towards the orb or an orblet when they spawned based on proximity. Monsters will now “escort” orbs if another monster has already picked it up. Structures cannot be built on the path that would block a route from any entrance to a orblet. This creates an interesting dynamic where depending on what entrances monsters are coming in from they will be splitting up to go after your orbs and you will have to defend a much larger area or suffer the consequences. The mana gain was swapped to xp gain because you do not put traits on to make it easier.
Hatred (Just added armor)
Lvl1: Monsters have 50% more hit points and armor, +0.7% wave hit points and armor increment
Lvl2: Monsters have 100% more hit points and armor, +1.4% wave hit points and armor increment
Lvl3: Monsters have 300% more hit points and armor, +2.1% wave hit points and armor increment
Lvl4: Monsters have 1000% more hit points and armor, +2.8% wave hit points and armor increment
Lvl5: Monsters have 3000% more hit points and armor, +3.5% wave hit points and armor increment
Lvl6: Monsters have 10000% more hit points and armor, +4.2% wave hit points and armor increment
Lvl7: Monsters have 30000% more hit points and armor, +4.9% wave hit points and armor increment
Lvl8: Monsters have 100000% more hit points and armor, +5.6% wave hit points and armor increment
Lvl9: Monsters have 300000% more hit points and armor, +6.3% wave hit points and armor increment
Lvl10: Monsters have 1000000% more hit points and armor, +7% wave hit points and armor increment
Whilst not very interesting this trait is very effective at tuning the difficulty the only change I made to it was having it increase the armor as well because I don’t want armor to be something that you just forget about.
Beacons (Replacing Giants Domination)
Lvl1: Beacons can now destroy structures in order to spawn and spawn in areas you can’t build if there is no other valid spawn location, +1 starting beacon, +1 beacon per wave.
Lvl2: Beacons can now destroy structures in order to spawn and spawn in areas you can’t build if there is no other valid spawn location, +2 starting beacon, +2 beacons per wave 2x beacon health and amor. +50%
Lvl3: Beacons can now destroy structures in order to spawn and spawn in areas you can’t build if there is no other valid spawn location, +3 starting beacon, +3 beacons per wave 4x beacon health and amor. +100%
Lvl4: Beacons can now destroy structures in order to spawn and spawn in areas you can’t build if there is no other valid spawn location, +4 starting beacon, +4 beacons per wave 8x beacon health and amor. +200%
Lvl5: Beacons can now destroy structures in order to spawn and spawn in areas you can’t build if there is no other valid spawn location, +5 starting beacon, +5 beacons per wave 16x beacon health and amor. +300%
Lvl6: Beacons can now destroy structures in order to spawn and spawn in areas you can’t build if there is no other valid spawn location, +6 starting beacon, +6 beacons per wave 40x beacon health and amor. +400%
Lvl7: Beacons can now destroy structures in order to spawn and spawn in areas you can’t build if there is no other valid spawn location, +7 starting beacon, +7 beacons per wave 100x beacon health and amor. Global Beacon range.
Gems in destroyed structures would be returned to your inventory or salvaged if no space is available. If a beacon would not be able to spawn there without the structure because the path would be stopping it then the structure is obviously safe from this. So I wanted to make beacons more of an issue but I also didn’t want to make it so you can just turn the trait on and wall up the map and just take the free xp multiplier. I also wanted the trait to be available in fields like B3 where there would be no space for beacons otherwise. If you were to use this trait on B3 it would be extremely difficult due to the fact that you would have to gem bomb all of the beacons but I feel like having the option to make it extremely difficult is better than having the option to get an extra xp multiplier for no extra effort.
Specialised Carapace (Replacing Swarmling Domination)
Lvl1: Each wave has a 20% to be immune to the effects of a random gem type
Lvl2: Each wave has a 40% to be immune to the effects of a random gem type
Lvl3: Each wave has a 60% to be immune to the effects of a random gem type
Lvl4: Each wave has a 80% to be immune to the effects of a random gem type
Lvl5: Every wave will be immune to the effects of a random gem type
Lvl6: Every wave will be immune to the effects of a random gem type with a 25% chance to be immune to a second
Lvl7: Every wave will be immune to the effects of a random gem type with a 50% chance to be immune to a second
All gem types apart from white and black are included in this. I wanted to make a trait that made you mix things up rather than just rely on a red/black/yellow to kill everything so now you need a plan for if the enemy is immune to being critically hit.
Lvl1: The game can no longer be paused after the first wave, +7% wave stone speed
Lvl2: The game can no longer be paused after the first wave +25% base speed, +14% wave stone speed
Lvl3: The game can no longer be paused after the first wave +50% base speed, +21% wave stone speed
Lvl4: The game can no longer be paused after the first wave +100% base speed, +28% wave stone speed
Lvl5: The game can no longer be paused after the first wave +200% base speed, +35% wave stone speed
Lvl6: The game can no longer be paused after the first wave +400% base speed, +42% wave stone speed
Lvl7: The game can no longer be paused after the first wave +800% base speed, +49% wave stone speed
Base speed refers to game speed. Putting the trait on lvl 7 is the equivalent of being permanently on max speed in the current version of the game. This trait heavily relies on performance so would not work so long as the game remained a flash game. But I am making this list for the hypothetical situation in which there are no performance issues in which case I think forcing you to be quick presents an interesting challenge should you opt into it.
Lvl1: Spawns an additional shadow, spire or apparition (chosen at random) every 10 waves. Strike spells have 10% reduced effectiveness on flying creatures or spires
Lvl2: Spawns an additional shadow, spire or apparition (chosen at random) every 8 waves. Strike spells have 25% reduced effectiveness effect on flying creatures or spires
Lvl3: Spawns an additional shadow, spire or apparition (chosen at random) every 6 waves. Strike spells have 40% reduced effectiveness effect on flying creatures or spires
Lvl4: Spawns an additional shadow, spire or apparition (chosen at random) every 5 waves. Strike spells have 55% reduced effectiveness effect on flying creatures or spires
Lvl5: Spawns an additional shadow, spire or apparition (chosen at random) every 4 waves. Strike spells have 70% reduced effectiveness effect on flying creatures or spires
Lvl6: Spawns an additional shadow, spire or apparition (chosen at random) every 3 waves. Strike spells have 85% reduced effectiveness effect on flying creatures or spires
Lvl7: Spawns an additional shadow, spire or apparition (chosen at random) every 2 waves. Strike spells have no effect on flying creatures or spires
These enemies add variety to the game and the ability to add significantly more of them seemed like an interesting enough way to add difficulty to the game. Maybe this is over-doing it a touch and will make the monsters feel to weak in comparison I find it hard to judge. But when thinking about this I thought of V17 and the spire spam was what made that vision field interesting to me.
I like the idea of the talisman but I wish it offered more customizability rather than just fill it with any lvl 100’s upgrade them and your good to go. I wish there was more of a meaningful trade-off when choosing one lvl 100 fragment over another but there really isn’t. Getting ones that give extra wake of eternity damage is nice but apart from that I really could not care less. It is a shame because it is a system that could facilitate allot of choices and decisions but doesn’t.
Allot of the skills are really generic and I don’t mind this so much because it is still interesting to try and balance them (unless you use a cheat sheet). I find it weird that traps have a skill but towers don’t and I also find it weird that ignition and demolition are capped.
Some of these can be fun and interesting to go for, allot of them you will just get without thinking about and some are not particularly interesting you just have to know what they are because you probably won’t do them by accident. But on the whole I like the achievements.
I never thought about these too much the amount you need to get any reasonable amount of skill points is too high to be worth trying to get, just save them up until you have a fully upgraded talisman then turn them into skill points whenever you notice you have enough.
Vision Fields and Iron Wizard mode
One of the best parts of the game in my opinion and a very enjoyable experience on the whole I would recommend everyone who owns the game to try these when they get the hang of the game without looking up how to do them. It pains me to admit I looked up how to do one of the vision fields at one point and I was so dissatisfied with myself that I never looked up how to do any of the others. The one I looked up was one of the only ones I didn’t enjoy and that was because I looked it up. It may be frustrating if you get stuck but take a break and do other things or other fields and come back to it. It is so much more rewarding that way.
I have a few problems with endurance the main problem is it doesn’t feel like I’m playing the endurance it feels like I am just watching it chug along very slowly. I came back to the game after not playing it for awhile because I realised that I had not actually beaten a haunting endurance. So I set up my skill points put it on haunting with all traits apart from hatred maxed and started. Bombed the first 6 waves to 999 monsters set up my traps and amplifiers and whatnot, made a basic slow gem and used the rest of my mana to spec a mana gem. I started and after a few monsters had gone over my mana trap I sent the rest of the waves I had gem bombed earlier so that I could get the mana (because mana pool was on) and make a killgem before the monsters got too far and respec my mana gem. From here on out the rest of the game played itself pretty much, the only problem was it didn’t play itself out very quickly 10 days of me doing stuff on my other monitor while at 0.2 fps the endurance was beaten. I don’t know how many hours were spent with the game playing and how many were spent with the game paused (you know while I slept and did non-computer things). After the endurance I got 1.7e12 experience and went from approx WL 10k to WL 15k and all I can say is that it was not worth it. That is and will probably remain my only pink tile.
TLDR What I like in this game
Well tied together with a solid story
Decent map variety
Excellently balanced iron wizard mode and vision fields
TLDR What I would like to be different
Better performance (not a flash game)
More dynamic decisions
Edit: A fair number of mostly formatting edits