Dota Underlords

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Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:30 pm

Edit: Lords have been breaking down the game
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... =915311745

Edit: seems like RPS is keeping their guides up-to-date:
https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/game/dota-underlords/

The capitalization is stupid. The game is pretty good. I've played about 15 hours and have hit Enforcer I (there's 8 ranks each with 5 levels, this is the fourth rank, first level).

It's a pretty faithful recreation of Auto Chess from a couple months ago. Auto Chess has removed some units from the pool and added a handful more, but otherwise they're pretty similar. There's a few rough corners that have been sanded down, like Enchantress ★★ selling for the price you pay for it instead of 1 extra gold. There's one major balance change, that Sniper + Gyrocopter will focus fire. Otherwise, the tribes are carried over from Auto Chess.

Server pop is slightly over half phones, judging from the little icons.

The major departure from Auto Chess is the item system. Items can be freely exchanged between rounds, but every hero can only carry one item. There's no item combining; each NPC round drops exactly one item. You get to choose from 3 randomly rolled items of a distribution based on your NPC tier. Compared to Auto Chess, it's impossible to screw yourself out of good items. It's also not possible to stack items to make a carry, which is the dominant strategy in Auto Chess. This means the new players can't screw themselves out of the best items, but it also means that there's not a lot of freedom to create interesting combos/counter opponents' strategies.

The substitution for item stacking is global items. There's a number of items at every tier that affect all units of a certain tribe. Often they'll grant an aura to that tribe. Both of these require planning to execute correctly and makes it so there's not one optimal strategy for each comp in every game. The auras will also change your positioning, so that also keeps people from settling into local minima. I think the global items are pretty nifty, in that the goal becomes simple but the best means of executing the goal requires a series of non-trivial decisions. I think a few of them require some balancing passes before they feel really satisfying.

Some heroes like Terror Blade and Luna really suck without item stacking. I'm not sure how these hero concepts get executed in this game. Right now, they're just really subpar heroes.

Overall, I feel like I have a similar number of shitty games where I fail to do anything useful compared to Auto Chess, but almost no games where I successfully execute a winning strategy and then get fucked because I screwed up the item combining on like turn 5. This is very pleasant, so I'll uninstall Auto Chess and play Underlords exclusively until Teamfight Tactics works under Linux.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:35 pm

They have yet to announce the monetization model.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:50 am

Major complaints: The item+draft system in TFT makes it a lot easier to counter your opponents' strategies. You can still do that in Underlords, of course, but there's more levels in TFT.

The games are too long. I can't play on my phone because my 40 minute commute is too short with the 8 minute tunnel in the beginning.

Certain heroes need a balance pass. I think the Dragon tribe needs love.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:40 am

Just hit Boss I (lowest level of the second highest rank). Econ ftw (or second), honestly.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:18 pm

I'm slowly realizing there's a major balance difference between this and Auto Chess. This game has no -magic resistance items. Enough late game mages can always burst down an enemy comp, but in the mid game the lack of items makes it really hard to achieve 100-0, so you just get brutalized with mages until you get enough two stars and then you stabilize.

All the late game items are physical, either attack damage or attack speed.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:33 am

Leveled up to Boss V (so one level away from the highest rank). With the last patch, I really think netdecking is devalued. The global items can really change the way you evaluate your rolls and your board. I think evaluating alliances + heroes within the context of your global items is a dynamic process, in that one combo is best under regular conditions but sub-optimal with one or more items.

There definitely are stronger heroes and stronger alliances, and the devs patch like 2x/week so the balance keeps shifting. In the time since I posted, they patched in completely new secondary abilities for the dragon heroes, added a third alliance to Disruptor, and completely reworked the warlock bonus. Meta keeps shifting, which also makes netdecking difficult. :mrgreen:
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:28 pm

They're testing a battle pass system. I think that and Overwatch-style pure cosmetic loot boxes are probably the most ignorable monetization models?

Dunno, never played a battle pass game before...
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:03 pm

Ok, here's what I'm thinking. The July 24 patch added more value to ★★★ units. They're all significantly buffed plus you're guaranteed not to draw the same units when you roll, and the consequence is everyone rolls more aggressively to complete their ★★★. You base your end game comp around the first ★★★, and you have to take what the game gives you instead of forcing something. The time to ★★★ a 4 gold or 5 gold unit is too long, so don't try. Sometimes it's hard to find the ★★ of these, honestly.

You need to move into your late game comp between 20 and 25. Anything later is too late. You can definitely win at level 8, but 9 is more normal. You almost never get 10.

You can't dependably find a comp that is based on a 4 gold unit. Often you'll find it, but sometimes you won't. So late game comp ought to have 8 units, with flex for 4 cost but ultimately you need to have something cheaper you can reliably put in the flex.

Alliance items can influence your comp. A ★ alliance item is a bad idea unless you already have the units. An early ★★ alliance item is powerful enough to make you want to find the units, but it's not good enough to force the comp if you get the item late. If you have time, ★★★ alliance items give enough value to make you force a comp. You just need enough rounds to turn your board over before you die.

Given all this, often it's correct not to take the 6 member alliance bonuses. Usually you're selling some ★★ off-alliance unit to make room for a ★ on-alliance unit, and you can't afford that because that might have been your chance at a ★★★. So the 2-4 unit bonuses (that complete with 1-3 gold units) have a lot more value now, like Savage.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:57 pm

AUGUST UPDATE (#213) wrote:Alliance items have been disabled. Many of these effects have been migrated to Alliances or Equipment. The rest went back into the Underlords Vault.

Welp, there went that meta.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:23 pm

Ok, I snapped my losing streak with back-to-back 1st place wins. Both wins had Terror Blade★★★ and Antimage★★★, but otherwise they couldn't be more different.

The first one I netdecked 9 Elusive + Terrorblade from the WePlay Open. I started out with early Antimage★★, figured it was a sign I might go into the 9 Elusive build I had just watched win two rounds in a row in the tourney, and hunted for all the pieces. I lost pretty steadily until I hit level 10 on 26, because the build doesn't work until you get the Allies get 75% Evasion on 9 Elusive buff. I was at 16% health when I took level 10, and then I never lost another round.

The second one I started out with triple Ogre Mage on round 1. Free Ogre Mage★★ is nice. I figured I'll turn it into mages, maybe with some Scrappy units to tank. I got druids instead, and was thinking about Savage. But I got the Antimage★★ pretty early, and picked up a stray TB just in case I got offered Big Time Contract. I did get Big Time Contract at 10, so from then on the plan was Terror Blade★★★ with Big Time Contract, which basically implied I was going at least 4x Warlock (since Warlock is a Warlock). I went 19-9 with two full winning streaks on the back of first an Ogre Mage★★★ with Blink and then later my Terror Blade★★★. Final alliances were a weird mix of Blood Bound, Demon Hunter, Warlock, and Druid. I finished with over 40% hp.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:21 pm

Alliance tier list for the 8/16/2019 patch

Tier 1 alliances
9 Elusive - very strong, but unless you have a Templar Assassin★★★ or a fantastic damage item for Luna★★★ this comp doesn't do enough damage. Level 10 is mandatory to have a carry unit of some sort: TB, Slark, etc.
Mage - Can be played with 3 or with 6, but you need Lich plus something to set Lich off (Refresher Orb, Bracers of Desperation, Crystal Maiden) if you're going to play 3. Keeper of the Light cannot solo carry.
Knight - Can be played with 4 or 6. 4 needs 4 Warlock, I think. 6 needs 4 Heartless. I do not think early Chaos Knight★★ is a requirement, but to ought to have that, a pile of Lunas, or Dragon Knight★★ if you do this.
4 Primordial (only if uncontested) - Actually a poor alliance bonus on 4 really strong units. You get to late game on the back of Tiny★★★ and Razor★★★. Positioning is key. Summoning Stone helps. Synergy with Assassins, Mages and Dragons.
4 or 6 Savage - I think the bleed is pure damage (the item that used to have the effect was pure for sure). Melts lots of very beefy comps as the bleed goes through resistance and armor.

Tier 2
4 Brawny - I don't believe in 6 Warrior, but 3 Warrior plus 4 Brawny and 4 Warlocks is a real threat. Hunter is a valid variant, but I think often you sell out in late game.
4 Inventor - Scales to late game. Is viable. Needs Tinker★★★, plus you have to find either the Techies or the Gyrocopter, which makes it risky. Great synergy with Mage.
Warlock - 2 is pretty standard synergy. 4 is great with extra beef up front. I'm not sure that finding 6 is realistic every game, but I think it's still pretty strong.
2 Demon Hunter - With ★★★ and good items, these are powerful. With TB not getting double pure damage bonus now, you still need a good comp around it to make it work.
4/6 Scrappy - the bonus is super, the units are good. Can work with Mages, Assassins, or Terror Blade as dps.

Synergy only
2 Druid - great cheap tanks. Scales ok to late game.
Dragon - good dps in any pairing. Viper★★★ actually tanks surprisingly well.
Bloodbound - with Big Time Contract. Sell otherwise.
3 Assassins - I think 9 and 6 are always a mistake right now. You require CC to win games but assassins don't have sufficient CC.
Heartless - the best synergy alliance: pairs with Knights, Warriors, or Hunters. You can maybe find 2 for Savage or Warlock. Fallen from Grace really helps with Warriors or Knights. I run Heartless a lot.
Human - if you can cram in Human, it can be handy. Kunka and Tidehunter are not as prevalent here as in Auto Chess, so Human usually isn't a key piece of your comp. If there was some way to put Human on the enemy backline that didn't involve a lone Bloodseeker, it might be strong enough for a comp.
Demon - sure, throw in a demon. Shadow Fiend was nerfed, so I don't auto include any demon. If you have synergy with something, though, every demon delivers value.



Circumstantial only
4 Troll - You can't reliably find the Troll Warlord.
6 Hunter - Has several nice cheap synergies to add in, but really comes online with Medusa★★. You can't reliably find the Medusa.

Most everything else isn't part of a top 4 comp.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:47 pm

Traps
3 Hunter - I do this too often. Especially since you almost certainly don't have 3 ranged hunters.
Early mage - ★★ units are ★★ units. Play mages if you got the ★★. Don't put in a ★ mage to complete the bonus and expect good things, though. It's never enough burst.
6 Warrior - Strong in the early game, which is why it's a trap. Dies in the end.
2 Troll - another nice pickup in the early game. It can even find a place in late game with Knights, but otherwise you ought to sell out.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:17 am

I lost a couple games with 6 Warrior and got beat by two 4 Brawny dudes. 3 Warriors for the win, it is.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:46 pm

Human may be low key OP against Terror Blade.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:00 am

I think it's fine, maybe even proper, to loss streak through 10. Unless you've got a strong board, you probably don't want to spend a lot until 17. Loss steaking gives you a cheap way to search for heroes to improve a weak board. It's a stronger strategy than trying to stay ahead of your opponents' boards by leveling or rerolling.

You should really be looking to have a competitive board no later than 13, and preferably earlier. Too often I take unnecessary damage while I hunt for something.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:50 pm

You need like 5 Axes, 5 Juggernauts, and 5 Beastmasters around 15 if you're going to be in 4 Brawny. If you have two of them, sell the other and plan to only pair them. If you only have one of them, you're not in Brawny.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:03 am

Hit Big Boss I tonight, on 6 Scrappy 2 Demon Hunter 4 Inventor (Gyro). Pretty good 9 man comp! I started with Primordial, but I didn't hit the Tiny★★ at 10 and other people were on Primordial, so I started collecting Mage and Scrappy units because I figured I'd need to swap out my Primordials. I didn't get my first Terror Blade until around 15, but nobody else was on it so I figured I'd scoop it up. Didn't put it in until I hit 8 with 6 Scrappy and 2 Demon Hunter, which I rode with a few bumps until I had Tinker★★★, Clockwerk★★★, Timbersaw★★★. I messed up the Terror Blade★★★ and got it kinda late, so I dropped some health for that. Never got AM★★★, but it really doesn't matter.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:16 pm

New Labor Day Weekend patch completely changed the meta! Now 5g units are called Aces and come with a set bonus based on the level of one of their alliance tags. The set bonuses are pretty powerful; usually more powerful than a ★ 5g unit. Also, the 9 unit alliance buffs (Elusive, Assassins, Warriors) are just gone, with some of the power of the alliance being put into the 3 unit and 6 unit bonuses. Finally, the odds on 4g units are significantly improved so they're a much more important part of your end-game comps now.

Here's my first #1 in the new ruleset:
https://underlords.space/synergy/?0=46& ... 6=43&24=52

It's 4 Scaled, 3 Hunter, 3 Warrior, plus Doom. I started with a plan of Assassins (or Terror Blade, but I never saw a second TB) & Scrappy, but there were like 4 people in my lobby going Scrappy, and 3 going Assassins. Since I knew I knew I wasn't going to hit Tinker★★★, I curved into Kunka, Tidehunter, and Doom just because they're good units. I found a random Medusa★, which I never upgraded, but that was enough to convince me to go 4 Scaled and 3 Hunter from nothing. I did find the Slark★★★, but I had no Mask of Madness, just a Maelstrom for him. I sold out of my Scrappy units and my other Assassins. Slark★★★ doesn't need the Assassins alliance to be a carry.

I did eventually find an extra Doom★★, which I had in the back as an enemy Assassin catcher. I think that was just as important as the Slark★★★, as it let my Hunters deal damage unmolested and completely took apart enemy assassins. I had a Target Buddy, which is one of the four new contraptions added to the game with this patch. It is a tank item which sits on the board. Initially I was using it as part of my front line, but eventually I got so much CC in my tanks I preferred them to gain mana from taking damage so I moved it to be next to my second Doom★★ as one of my enemy assassin catchers.

I'm still a little uncertain about what's good in this meta, but I know some things:
  • 4 Warlock is a tier 1 alliance. Disruptor's new Ace ability is very strong.
  • 30 on 10: Having 30g on round 10 is the benchmark for great economy. You don't want a deep bench until you have over 50g. Sell out of things decisively until your economy is at full strength. It's ok to be at 20 on 10 if you're win streaking, but don't do it if you aren't winning.
  • You don't roll until you're at 50+g. When you do roll below 50g, stop as soon as your board strength is stable. It's better to have a middling board but halfway ok economy than to hope for the nuts and lose your economy altogether unless the game is about to end. Roll before that point.
  • You need a competitive board on round 21. You don't have to be level 8, but a lot of comps come online with 8 units on board.
  • 6 on 6: You need six 1g units of the same type before you leave level 6 if you want the 1g unit to hit ★★★. If it's a 2g or 3g unit, though, 5 or even 4 is plenty.
  • 7 on 17: Level 7 on round 17 is pretty sane. Hard to argue with this move. If you're win streaking, you may consider level 8 on 17. Staying at level 6 on 17 is usually a quick loss unless you've got the nuts Scrappy comp.
  • You can find the 5g units, but you can't reliably ★★ them.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:02 am

https://underlords.space/synergy/?0=2&1 ... =52&f=true

Won a pretty tight game with this. No high rolls. Didn't pick up the 4th Warlock until I found the Disruptor, and I didn't even 2 star him. Had Jug and Lycan 3 star. I found two Alchemists but I kept selling them for interest.
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Re: Dota Underlords

Postby Jonathan » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:26 am

https://underlords.space/synergy/?0=47& ... =40&f=true

This was ez, but I think it's because druids are OP now.
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