Stream Defense progression system

February 24: Major Progression Update

Today I released an update with a new channel-wide progression system, and a pile of other small changes. Below I’ve detailed all the changes. Please keep in mind, I rely on you guys to help me test the game (Thanks!), so there are likely many bugs and balance issues with the update. Trust that I will address all these issues as quickly as I can.


I’ve added an overall progression system into the game to:

  1. Start the game at a lower difficulty and with less features, as to make it less overwhelming for new channels.
  2. Add a “catch-up” mechanic for players who are joining a channel late.
  3. Give the channel as a whole a sense of progression.

How it works:

Each time you beat a round (a set of 10 waves) for the first time, you’ll earn a badge. Badges allow you to unlock new content and features, including:

  • Maps
  • Higher difficulties (explained below)
  • Multipliers to Shard and Essence rewards
  • Mercenaries (explained below)
  • Bounties and Highpriests


Each map now starts on “Easy” difficulty. This is meant to be a good starting difficulty for a new group of players who are playing for the first time. Upon beating round 8 on any map, you’ll receive a large shard/essence reward, and unlock the next difficulty (in this case, “Normal”). This difficulty increase does not apply to subscriber bonus rounds. The difficulties and their respective rewards are as follows (Expect these numbers to change, as they have not been balanced yet):

  • Easy: 100% 75% enemy health and shard/essence rewards
  • Normal: 140% 125% enemy health and shard/essence rewards
  • Hard: 200% 180% enemy health and shard/essence rewards
  • Endless200% 180% enemy health and shard/essence rewards

In addition to these 4 difficulties, each map will also be approximately 5% harder (and give 5% more rewards) than the previous. For example: Frozen Steppes (Map 9) will be 40% harder and give 40% more rewards than Green Pasture (Map 1). Therefore, Map 9 on Easy should be about as difficult as Map 1 on Normal. This difficulty increase does not apply to Endless mode – instead, all maps have the same difficulty setting as Map 5.


Earning badges will also unlock multipliers to ALL shard and essence rewards. This is mostly to provide a catch-up mechanic to players who start playing late. The maximum bonus is 225% (or 325% of the base reward) which requires 325 badges.


Mercenaries are a response to players’ need to create publicly controlled bots. I’ll be adding some rules to limit the use of these accounts, but hopefully mercenaries will fill some of that need.

Mercenaries are unlocked by acquiring badges. Once unlocked, they can be “hired” for 1,500 gold per game. Each mercenary can only be hired by a single player each game. By default, the mercenary will follow the player and mimic their commands. To disable this, type “!munfollow“. To enable it type “!mfollow“.

To control a mercenary individually, add “m” before the command. For example, type !m6 to send them to tower 6, or !mp to cause them to powerup.

Mercenaries can rank up their class and gem just like any player. However, their spec and gem type are static and cannot be changed.


  • The number of enemies in each wave has been reduced by about 30%. This was mostly to make classes such as archer and rogue feel more useful (specifically in lower player games)
  • Enemies now deal about 2.5x as much damage to the barracks. The barracks also has about 2.5x more health. This was to normalize the amount of damage each wave does to the barracks.
  • Overall enemy health is now increased by 1% per player in the game. This is to bring the difficulty in low-players games in line with high-player games.
  • Boss health has been increased by 10%. (This will likely need to be balanced further)
  • Enemy movement speed will stop increasing after round 8 (Maximum of double their base move speed).
  • The round timer will stop shortening after round 10 (Minimum of 30sec per wave).
  • Orcs now have different art. The old art’s resolution was too low.


The guard system was added for 2 reasons:

  1. To make low-player games more enjoyable
  2. To add some “leak forgiveness” to all games.

The guard acts as a defense against leaks that would otherwise damage your barracks. These enemies take health away from the guard instead, and do not count as leaks.  As long as no damage is done to the barracks, the wave is still considered “perfect”.

The guard receives a set amount of health each wave – whether or not you’ve leaked. The amount of health they receive, and their maximum health are higher in lower-player games.  The guard health gets lower as more players join – up to 20 players.

Guards do not protect against bosses, bounties, or bonus rounds.

This system has replaced the auto-attacks from towers. Tower auto-attacks will likely return to the game in a future update. I would like to incorporate a tower upgrade system, to go along with the new progression system.


  • Some graphical changes have been added, to make it more clear how bounties are earned
  • Bounty enemies will now have a glow effect to make them more noticeable (Known bug: sometimes the glow doesn’t show up)
  • The timer during bounty rounds will turn gold, to make it more obvious.
  • The wave after the bounty won’t start until the bounty is over. This is to prevent bounty enemies from causing the following wave to be more difficult.
  • The reward from the bounty is now 50% higher, and will now only be split among the “Top Players” of that round (The players shown on the “bonus-gold panel” on the left side of the screen), instead of being split between ALL players.  This results in a MUCH bigger bonus to those who contribute significantly.


  • Once the bonus round begins, all players will be given half a bar of power (or 4min worth of mana for Highpriests), which only lasts until the bonus round is complete
  • Once the bonus round ends, all players will return to the amount of power and mana they had beforehand
  • Shard and Essence rewards have been increased by 50%
  • Bonus enemy health increases 50% faster
  • Bonus enemy’s crowd control resistance now increases throughout the round
  • There is no longer a time limit. The round lasts until an enemy leaks
  • As with all shard and essence rewards: they are multiplied by reward bonuses (earned with badges)


  • The 3rd tower slot now unlocks at 12 players (down from 18).
  • Each consecutive slot unlocks after 12 players join (up from 9).
  • If players leave the game, tower slots can go back down. (Previously they would stay, allowing it to be exploited).
  • Experience required per level has been increased by 40% 20%. (This was to reign in out-of-control player levels. However, it may need further balancing).
  • Joining late should no longer be a hinderance for your team. Previously, if you joined too late in the game, you could cause the difficulty to increase disproportinately to your contribution. The new math for joining late can be seen using this calculator:
    Joining late will cause a modest increase at first, that will approach (but never reach) the difficulty increase of a player who joined on wave 1. (This math is subject to balance changes).


  • Highpriest mana generation has been reduced by 25%. (Highpriests need more sophisticated balancing, which will likely come in the next update. This was just a quick fix to limit the need for HPs to break highscores)
  • Scout’s maximum XP reward has been reduced by 30%. The bonus XP they generate per kill is the same. (This will likely need further balancing. Ideally, the first few scouts should provide a significant benefit to the team. However, it should never be worth having 50% or more of the team playing as scouts. The game should reward spec diversity more than anything).
  • Stormmages slow is less powerful, and they will now be less effective at grouping up enemies. This was to alleviate the mandatory nature of Stormmages.  Ideally, the best strategy will be to have a mixture of icemages, stormmages, and tricksters (Further balancing will likely be needed).
  • Trickster damage was increased by 7%
  • Mimic damage was increased by 12.5%
  • The Trapper is no longer available for hire. Instead, he is available as a normal class once you reach rank 25 with all other classes (excluding Highpriest). This requirement is subject to balance changes.
  • To bring the Trapper more in line with other classes, their trap damage has been lowered by 33%. (This was merely an estimate, and further changes will be needed to balance them with other classes).
  • Bear and Poison traps have been buffed slightly.
  • Fire and Weak traps have been nerfed slightly.


  • A new map (Green Pasture) has been added. This is meant to be a “beginner map” for new channels to get introduced to the game.
  • Double Trouble no longer has an xp penalty. You’ll level at the same rate as every other map
  • The Pearl now gives 10% bonus xp (+1% per rank). Down from 12.5% + (1.25% per rank).
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