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Thread: Flask cooldowns and why they should be changed.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Summer Haas's Avatar
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    Flask cooldowns and why they should be changed.

    This is an opinion piece I feel pretty strongly on. I'm going to express my views from the standpoint of a person who has been doing speedruns for over a year and a half since towers have been introduced to the game. I believe I hold the record of the most consecutive weeks purple (since December of 2015). Yes, I take this seriously. Yes, I know what I'm talking about.

    First I will give you a little history. When towers came out things were a bit more competitive. Several speedrunning clubs had started up and were choosing "elite" people to be part of their teams. This of course came with it's fair share of drama and was considered quite toxic by most. Clubs would strategize the best class compositions, starting positions, gear to use, etc. It was always kept a close secret. Club members would be chastised for "leaking" any info they had. It wasn't healthy behavior.

    During this time a small group started experimenting with swapping emblems before and during the run. It started with Boomeranger and not long after it was realized that Fae could swap out Surestrike and Evil Eyes, which would add a huge damage boost.

    After this went on for a bit, the toxic, team specific behavior started to wane. People were less secretive and more collaborative. Speedruns started to consist of mixed clubs and the toxic behavior went away. That was a really good thing, but it also meant that secret strats weren't so secret anymore. It wasn't long before the emblem tactic got leaked and most speedrunners knew how to do it.

    Some time went by, Mantle of Power came out, and the strats changed a bit. Gunslinger became the new Fae. Surestrike was no longer needed, and the bug with the Multiple Minion flask got fixed. That meant those emblems would do twice as much damage as before and made them more important.

    The strat changed to where everyone would flask out all the minions they could prior to the skull start. This ensured a huge damage burst at the beginning of the run. One thing that needs to be pointed out is that this was largely done by hand. Some people did use scripts for this and it sped up the process a bit, but the gain was minor and not really needed. The people using scripts were not the problem.

    Top times started to fall faster than ever as people got better gems, realized there is only one good composition, and got better with pre-starting with all those minions out.

    Trion felt like this sort of tactic wasn't the way they meant for the mechanic to work. From what I can understand, Trion seemed to be under the impression that emblem swapping was primarily something you would do with scripts. I'm not sure if they didn't have enough inside information or what exactly made them think that. It really was only a few people that used them and as I said, they don't make that much of a difference. But nonetheless, they added the cooldowns to flasks to curb the behavior.

    Now bear in mind, none of us really minded them doing this. It was actually something we kind of wanted because it would make the runs less complicated. The problem though is that in retrospect, the cooldown was a bad idea. It was a solution to solve a problem that only a tiny tiny fraction of the Trove community was taking advantage of. This meant that all the rest of the people would now have to put up with this annoying cooldown for virtually no reason, all because a few people in towers were doing something creative that wasn't meant to be done that way.

    Of course we speedrunners are a resourceful bunch. In less than 24 hours after the patch it was discovered that if you swapped emblems fast enough they would not go into cooldown. That meant that if you spammed your flask enough you could still pop them all out before the skull started.

    This is the part that I want to emphasize. None of us were happy about this bug. We all knew it would not stay a secret for all the reasons mentioned above. The speedrunners share everything and it was of course going to get out. What that meant is that certain people would take advantage of it because obviously it would give you a faster time. What that also meant is we would all have to learn how to do it just to keep up.

    Right now speedrun groups are starting to segregate again. The collaborative nature we grew to is closing off more and more every day over this bug. People refusing to do it vs those that don't see it as an exploit. There is still some co-mingling but the relationships we all forged are starting to become strained. The toxic behavior is returning and we are not in a healthy place.

    Trion, for whatever reason, still seems to think scripting is the problem. It's not. The problem is the fact that you can swap emblems at all. The problem is that they put in a solution that is a detriment to everyone in adventure worlds and didn't even work to stop the tactic being used.

    The solution to me is obvious. Remove the cooldowns. Lock the emblems when in towers. The emblems you have on when you enter are the ones you stay with.

    Personally, I think flasks should still be able to be swapped. It's nice when you are helping out with newer players and can start out with bandoleer and later swap to DDV. I don't see that as being an issue. The problem is strictly the emblems. Lock them and the issue goes away completely.

    I would like for some of the other speedrunners to weigh in on this. Hopefully we can get Trion to listen to our plight and even maybe go on some speedruns with us so they can see for themselves what the real issues are.


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  2. #2
    "The solution to me is obvious. Remove the cooldowns. Lock the emblems when in towers. The emblems you have on when you enter are the ones you stay with.

    Personally, I think flasks should still be able to be swapped. It's nice when you are helping out with newer players and can start out with bandoleer and later swap to DDV. I don't see that as being an issue. The problem is strictly the emblems. Lock them and the issue goes away completely.
    Let u swap emblems after u clear a boss would be better.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summer Haas View Post
    The solution to me is obvious. Remove the cooldowns. Lock the emblems when in towers. The emblems you have on when you enter are the ones you stay with.
    I agree: either lock them in ST, or just have no cooldown altogether as before, instead of providing a big incentive for scripting on some classes.

    I'd like to also point out the effect the cooldown has had on the use of several classes for speedruns:

    Pirate Captain: Even before the addition of emblem cooldown, PC was one of the harder classes to run as since it has more moving parts than other classes, but with practice it was quite possible to not mess up the setup. Now, with the emblem cooldown, the difficulty has only gone up, and so has the number of PCs who run a script to get their setup to work. With practice, I'm able to still place 3 ults and switch to evil eye, but lose 6 coefficient worth of damage relative to scripters who still are able to also get master magician and sorcerous servant out. PC is increasingly becoming a class viable only with either scripting or very high stats.

    Fae Trickster: While fae seems to be everyone's whipping boy about a class being bad, before the cooldown patch, fae was actually a viable class for speedruns. Though fae's ego boost attacks alone could not quite match up to GS's ult, the addition of 2 fae ults (through the use of chronomatic emblem within the swapping rotation) allowed for a solo fae to match the damage of a GS in a group with 3 or more GSs. With the cooldown patch, fae is no longer viable, since it cannot get the ults down (unless someone went and made a script for fae).

    Shadow Hunter: The class that many new players seem to think is the strongest had just become viable for speedruns before the cooldown patch. Because runs had been shortening so much, the ults that SH can land were becoming relatively stronger, while the emblem minions gave SH an additional source of damage outside of its autoattack. The cooldown patch lengthened the duration of runs, and also made using 2 ults impossible, making SH impractical.

    Dracolyte: Drac has always been one of the harder classes to build because of it receiving relatively useless stats while leveling up, but a well-built drac could inflict massive burst damage by detonating a swath of eggs at once through the use of energy regen emblems (zealous, energetic) to make up for the somewhat glitchy behavior of its minions. With the addition of the cooldown, drac's damage has dropped significantly, and to my knowledge there are only 2-3 dracs left.

    Ice sage: A class bereft of any naturally high damage moves, IS is heavily dependent on emblem minions to generate damage (especially because IS has a 20% MD bonus from ice ward), and the combination of 6 minions+the damage boost from its ult was enough for sage to be quite strong. With the loss of the minions from the cooldown swap, IS's damage contribution has also dropped significantly, and there is now only a solitary purple IS left.

    Dino Tamer: Another class that depended significantly on emblem minions for damage, since the dino buddies are laughably weak in both damage output and survivability (they die instantly from any single hit). Without the emblem minions, DT is stuck on consistently mediocre damage and is hardly viable now.

    LL/CM: Possibly the only classes that have gained from the cooldown patch, the use of both classes has increased somewhat given LL's steady damage output over a slightly longer period of time, and the need for CM as LL's support. The longer times also smooths out CM's damage a little, by increasing the number of flowers thrown, and thus the consistency of green gatling spawns.

    GS: A class that has not been as significantly affected by the cooldown patch; over short runs (12s), GS loses about 3 coefficient without swapping and cannot use surestrike as easily. I've never personally run GS or gemmed it up significantly, so don't feel qualified to comment further on it.

    Overall, I think it's quite apparent that the emblem cooldown patch has had a profoundly negative impact on the diversity of classes used for speedruns; at this point, the classes that are used are pretty much just CB, LL, CM, GS, and PC. I think this lowering of diversity defeats the whole point of shadow towers giving bonuses for using unique classes, and the promotion of more balanced class usage rates. Given that the dev team is already working on class balancing, I hope that they will also consider the negative effect of the emblem cooldown on class balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Summer Haas View Post
    Hopefully we can get Trion to listen to our plight and even maybe go on some speedruns with us so they can see for themselves what the real issues are.
    I would also be more than happy to go for a run/testing room to show the damage outputs that classes can get without scripting.

    PC main for speed runs, CB/IS/LL secondaries
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Novuhz's Avatar
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    The pot/emblem swap cooldown should only be affected when we are inside ST and it should be 10 seconds not 5 seconds... and need to make sure chrono emblem doesn't affect the cooldown of pot/emblem swap which is a big bug. Even without the bug 5 seconds cooldown means people are still going to do the emblem swap to have some emblem pets up for 5 seconds for the fight...

    so...

    Increase cooldown to 10 seconds. (increasing cooldown to 10 seconds means there's no reason to emblem swap ever compared to 5 seconds, because emblem pets only last for 10 seconds)
    Emblem/pot swap cooldown only inside ST's. (so people who don't do speed runs don't get affected by this change.)
    Fix Chronomantic Emblem bug. (Because it's clearing the cooldown on emblem/flask swap if you pot and switch emblem at same time.)

    EXTRA
    Make ST boss's spawn always in same position.
    Remove projectile block from Cursed Skulls.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Novuhz View Post
    Increase cooldown to 10 seconds. (increasing cooldown to 10 seconds means there's no reason to emblem swap ever compared to 5 seconds, because emblem pets only last for 10 seconds)
    Emblem/pot swap cooldown only inside ST's. (so people who don't do speed runs don't get affected by this change.)
    Pretty much this. When scripters started running speeds, sure it was annoying... but doing it manually was possible so it didn't affect the majority of runners. In fact some would outright not run with people who did. When we heard that CD on emblem/flask swapping was coming we expected more. It's possible to still speedrun the same way as before the patch but everyone else has to put up with the reduction. I'm down for it being changed to either removing the CD from outside of st (or even just keeping it only in dotm um boss room) and increasing to 10 seconds or removing it completely. Just please don't increase it to 10 seconds and keeping that active for adventuring >_>

    On a side note, this added cool down was a long time coming. There were rumours about it for a long time before it was implemented... and the way to get around it for speed running was a fraction of that. Is there going to be an actual test server for players before more things that don't work as intended get added? Or just asking us? As spider and summer said, we are more than happy to bring a Dev in on speed runs and actually discuss things.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novuhz View Post
    Increase cooldown to 10 seconds. (increasing cooldown to 10 seconds means there's no reason to emblem swap ever compared to 5 seconds, because emblem pets only last for 10 seconds)
    Emblem/pot swap cooldown only inside ST's. (so people who don't do speed runs don't get affected by this change.)
    Fix Chronomantic Emblem bug. (Because it's clearing the cooldown on emblem/flask swap if you pot and switch emblem at same time.)
    I think fixing the emblem bug should probably be the highest priority there; if fixed, I don't think increasing the cooldown to 10s would be all that necessary. (I mean 5s of 4 allies is only 2 coefficient over a run, even if they never miss and start right at the dotm's feet). However, if the cooldown is increased before the bug is fixed, then it'll only encourage more scripting, because not having arcane up for 10s will absolutely kill a run, and no one likes being the reason for a run failing, while not having it for 2-3s will only be sub-optimal (since starts are slow anyway).

    PC main for speed runs, CB/IS/LL secondaries
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Shyne_7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novuhz View Post
    Increase cooldown to 10 seconds. (increasing cooldown to 10 seconds means there's no reason to emblem swap ever compared to 5 seconds, because emblem pets only last for 10 seconds)
    Emblem/pot swap cooldown only inside ST's. (so people who don't do speed runs don't get affected by this change.)
    Fix Chronomantic Emblem bug. (Because it's clearing the cooldown on emblem/flask swap if you pot and switch emblem at same time.)

    EXTRA
    Make ST boss's spawn always in same position.
    Remove projectile block from Cursed Skulls.
    This should be necessary, or either as summer said too.
    Lock/Add 10s Cooldown on STs, Because outside the ST, cooldowns for emblems are just unnecessary.
    Simple.
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  8. #8
    I can see this working out just fine. Would remove scripting in STs and making times like they should be again. Since scripters have a huge advantage in speedruns at the moment because not many people use emblem swap exploit (it's just too complicated and it takes too long time), but as we know scripters can swap emblems lighting fast. Good idea Summer.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arion4K's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure all of this won't matter since the ST meta will change completely (hopefully).

    So, let's just wait for that power update, the PTS wipe as well so then our feedback can be valuable and listened to. Right now, it just doesn't matter. They don't even roll patches anymore, going for 1 every 4 weeks? gg

    Take a break, enjoy the weather and wait for the power update, ez!

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  10. #10
    Senior Member cerkaz's Avatar
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    This thread is full of good ideas for a fix, yet nothing is done.

    You tried to fix it before but failed, why not try again and get it done properly this time?

    We're the endgame, we been supporting your game from start and keeps supporting and playing it everyday, so stop treating us as the minority.

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