Featured Player - miendiem
10/29/2012 by Trixie360
You've seen him in the forums and on the leaderboards...now learn a bit more about Defense Grid community member miendiem!
Where do you live?
St. Louis, Missouri.
What do you do for a living?
I'm a computer and electronics tech by training, but really, I'm something of a jack of all trades for a small business.
How long have you been playing Defense Grid?
Steam informs me that I bought the original game on April 2, 2011, and the Resurgence map packs about a month later, in early May. I actually took quite a bit of time away in 2012, though, only to come back for the Kickstarter campaign. As for the actual length of time, Steam's tallied up over 500 hours, though I've been known to leave the game open all night on occasion, so it's not the most accurate count in the world.
What keeps you playing Defense Grid?
The chess-like amount of depth. There are any number of ways to win, a smaller but still sizable number of ways to win while attaining gold, and then the stretch beyond that where players can vie for high scores. While there was plenty of game there for me as a novice, scrapping with the cutoff for gold medals, 500 hours later, I'm still finding ways to improve my play and pin the aliens' ear-equivalents back.
The variety of maps and modes also helps keep things from getting stale, particularly with the Weekly Challenge, and the community that has grown up around it. Sure, it might be small at the moment, and maybe we're all odd birds in our own right, but it's almost like a conclave of stage magicians at times - figuring out what the trick is, how the trick is performed, and then executing the trick are very different things, and the varying levels of the masters tend to show through clearly in the final results.
What is your favorite map/mode?
That's a tough question. There are a lot of maps that I like for various reasons, and only one that I really particularly dislike (Borderlands - Entanglement). If I had to pick one, I'd say Crossed Signals, mostly because it's the map I score most competitively on, in general. Similarly for modes, it's more difficult to pick out one that I like than to single out the one I don't. I like Green Towers Only as a challenge, but it's not something I particularly want to replay. Out of Bullets may have a slight leg up in the modes category, just because it changes the dynamic in some interesting ways. (I'll take time out here to pitch a game mode suggestion, for those with backer votes)
What is your favorite tower?
Again with the tough questions. When I started playing, it was certainly the meteor tower. "How could you go wrong with flaming rocks of destruction?" thought my newbie self, when he first encountered the tower in Out of Fuel. I suppose I still do like the concept, but for serious firepower in most cases, the cannon and laser have overtaken it. More recently, a friend of mine pointed out just how detailed the towers were at close zoom - something I'd never really noticed, since I always play at the tactical far zoom. Having looked at them, though, I have to say that the craft that went into the gun tower, especially, is outstanding. Sure, it's the basic tower, and folks have plenty of issues with it when it comes to game balance, but I say that it does everything you could really want from a tower, and it looks cool to boot.
What is your favorite DLC?
Borderlands. I know, I just got done a few questions ago saying that I hate Entanglement with the fiery passion of a thousand solar gods, but Onslaught, Forge, and Infiltration are all great maps with diverse appearances and strategies. Now, that's not to take anything away from Resurgence, which has plenty of interesting maps in its own right.
Do you have any tips on playing Defense Grid: The Awakening?
Oh, lots, but I think I can pare them down to something that won't double the length of my reply:
1) The opening is one of the most important parts of the game - figure out what the minimum number of resources you need to spend from your starting pool is. I did a video explaining this in a bit more detail, with a few maps as explanation pieces here.
2) In general, build from the core housing out. This catches the aliens coming and going soonest, keeping the cores in the housing longer.
3) Don't build until you need to. Those extra resources from interest may be enough to place that extra tower later when you really need it.
4) If you can force the aliens path to pass by towers multiple times, do so.
5) Don't over-build in response to a mistake. If it doesn't look recoverable, backspace to checkpoint is there for a reason.
6) Patience and perseverance. According to the leaderboards, I've played some 2300 games. Friends of mine who challenge the top of the leaderboards regularly have at least 1600 games played to their credit, and some of the folks who stand atop the heap have 3500+ (Sal, excluding his Xbox games, which I can't check), 9000+ (Spider), and the granddaddy of DG:PC players has over 15000 (takista). It's a game with a great deal of complexity - learning what towers work where, learning the timing and composition of the waves on a given map and mode, learning which waves on a map include a jump in health, requiring upgraded towers, on open path maps, learning how far you can build before convincing the aliens to switch paths.
7) Finally, for those at a loss on a particular map, I'd recommend the video/tactic sharing thread from the DG Steam boards.
What do you hope to see in Defense Grid 2?
Generally, I'd like to see:
The game run more evenly across hardware.
Waves to be a lot more standardized. (I'm not sure the programmers are ready to believe even now just how much backspacing goes on in the weekly challenges amongst the crop of players vying for the top 10, trying to get that one wave composition that dies faster and/or without the need to upgrade a tower)
A functional replay system that doesn't entail having to run FRAPS plus an encoding program plus a YouTube upload, preferably tied straight to the leaderboards, with a way to opt in or out so that folks can choose whether or not to disclose their tactics.
Now, this one may be a bit off the wall: Sal, Spider, and maybe even some of the other top 10 in cameo voice roles.
Beyond that, given everything that has come before, I have a great deal of faith that Hidden Path is going to make the next installment of Defense Grid live up to my expectations.