Dummies Guide on How to apply Tower Defense Upgrades.


Short Introduction of Tower Defense Games
Tower Defense Games focuses on building towers to protects something from invading enemies.
This can be seen in many games such as:
Gemcraft: Monsters walking towards the base through a maze.
Mushroom Revolution: Pokemon-looks monsters rushing to the Mushroom Village.
Bloons TD: Balloon Invasion that tries to escape to the exit.

Why tower upgrades are commonly implemented in tower defense games?
As monsters grow more powerful after each wave [in terms of life, immunity to certain effects, etc],
towers need to keep up with the enemy’s evolution via upgrades!
Monster evolution is implemented to make game challenging and that is a key feature provided in all TD.

What kind of upgrades that a tower can use?
The basic upgrades that a tower can have is:
Simple Upgrade
– An upgrade that improves overall characteristic of a tower.
– Example: Invest $100 to improve tower damage, firing rate, and attacking range.
– This can be seen in most generic TD or simple TD [Tower Defense]
Specific Upgrade
– An upgrade that improves a certain characteristic of a tower.
– Example: Invest $80 to improve tower damage significantly.
– This can be seen in Bloons TD 3 where a tower could just improve range or damage.
– Onslaught TD applies this concept where they allow players to upgrade 1 of the 3 [damage/range/speed]
– This is good as it requires a player to plan ahead of upgrades that might be more useful in the beginning.
Specialty Upgrade
– An upgrade that improves greatly on some towers but not others.
– This is noticeable in Onslaught TD where upgrading range improve significantly for certain towers.
Experience Upgrade
– An upgrade that comes in passive form.
– When a tower successfully kills an enemy, it is rewarded with EXP [experience]
– More EXP would level up the tower, giving them passive additional attributes like hero in Role Playing Game.
– For towers, the level up would improve a certain specialty that a tower has.
– Many senior tower defense games like Flash Element TD2 2, and Protector has implemented this feature.

Upgrades vs Cost?
Most of the new defense games created by newbie TD developers have imbalance towers.
What makes a defense tower imbalance? Below are a few reasons…
– A tower upgrade is cheap and overpowers enemies easily, and player does not feel challenged.
– A few basic tower without upgrades is much more cost efficient than an upgraded tower.
– A tower upgrade that cost a lot but the upgrades provide little benefits.

Example of an imbalance upgrade
Below are 3 level of cannon tower with different stats and cost.
Ayumilove Cannon Tower [Level 1]
Building Cost $15
Damage : 15
Ayumilove Cannon Tower [Level 2]
Upgrade Cost $30
Damage : 30
Ayumilove Cannon Tower [Level 3]
Upgrade Cost $60
Damage : 60

Note on Level 1 to Level 2 Upgrade
Building 1 cannon tower cost $15, and upgrading it to level 2 will cost additional $30. Total cost is $45.
If we spend $45 on three level 1 cannon tower, the damage would be 45 vs 30.

Note on Level 2 to Level 3 Upgrade
For the third, upgrading a level 2 to level 3 tower cost additional $60. Total cost is $105.
If we spend $105 to purchase seven level 1 cannon tower, the damage would be 105 vs 60.
That is a huge difference in terms of damage vs cost.

How to overcome this common upgrade issue?
You could apply the concept of stats increment in terms of percentage.
For example: Each upgrade will benefit additional +150% extra damage for double cost.
Here is a simple formula/algorithm : damage = 100%, upgrade = +150% . Total would be 250% damage.

Example of a simple balance upgrade
Below are 4 level of cannon tower with different stats and cost.
Ayumilove Cannon Tower [Level 1]
Building Cost $15
Damage : 15
Ayumilove Cannon Tower [Level 2]
Upgrade Cost $30
Damage : 37.5
Ayumilove Cannon Tower [Level 3]
Upgrade Cost $60
Damage : 93.75
Ayumilove Cannon Tower [Level 4]
Upgrade Cost $120
Damage : 234.375

Each upgraded damage is multiplied by 250% from the previous damage.
Total Cost of a cannon tower from level 1 to level 4 = $15 + $30 + $60 + $120 = $225
$225 could purchase 15 towers, and together, the sum of damage is 225 while upgraded level 4 is 234.375
This slight improvement will be more significant after a few more upgrades.

Faster Tower Improvement?
You could increase percentage higher to see the damage improvement versus upgrade cost quicker.
This is commonly required in TD games where $$$ income is slow such as:
– each enemy kill reward little money $$$$
– base rewards little money for every xxx seconds.
[Diary: I found out about this after experieincing Pirate Hunter TD where pirates steal gold from castle.]

How to motivate players to upgrade a tower than massing?
The upgrade tower description should show the benefits of upgrading a tower.
The early upgrade example described above is not really welcoming since players would assume building more would be much better. Level 2 upgrade seems to be less rewarding than making three level 1 towers. Player does not know in the future which is level 4 tower would benefit more than massing a level 1 tower.

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About ayumilove

I am Ayumilove, if you see some impersonators its not me.

2 responses to “Dummies Guide on How to apply Tower Defense Upgrades.”

  1. NANDKISHOR says :

    please inform the procedure of installation mobile tower.
    Thanking you

    Nandkishor

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