I notice that Jester is considered a weird class - most people dislike the class, or think it's the worst thing ever.
I've been reading a while, but I figured I'd just bite the bullet and write this - this is more or less what happens when you spend FAR too much time playing the game, I guess.
This will go into stupid amounts of in depth, and may be subject to change by Trendy Entertainment via patching. I suspect that a lot of stuff that will be noted in this document may end up forcing a significant rebalance, or downright banning Jester, or at the very least, demands for the nerf bat.
But that would be spoilers, wouldn't it?
Before you read on:
What you shouldn't be playing a Jester for:
- Straightforward defense construction.
If you don't like the idea of taking your time to construct a defense, seriously, don't play Jester. To tap the full power of the class, you have to actually (gasp) spend time to do it. This means if you've already got a 100% working defense using the other classes, then scratching out the 25%-50% more power via Jestering up defenses will not get you anywhere (You'll still win, so what are you fussed over?).
If you really want to build an entire defense once, done and dusted, you won't like a Jestering approach either.
- Straightforward defensive combat.
If you don't like the idea of stalling, or you don't believe that defenses will ever break after you set them, once again, Jester isn't for you. You won't like the idea that you have to construct a defense with what you have, or knowing that in a lot of cases you don't actually need ALL the pieces there until wave 20, and for most part, can operate without some of them on a temporary basis.
- Straightforward offensive combat
To get the stupidly most out of Jester, you'll have to get used to the idea of rolling a lot. This means practicing the Wheel o' Fortuna.
If you want pure DPS smashing fun though, go play a barbarian or a monk. Seriously. It's simpler.
Got that out of the way? Good.
Now let's get to discussing why Jester should be banned from DD- er sorry, I mean, what makes Jester virtually better than all the base classes and their alts for defense building in the long run- ... um...
... How about we get on with it, before I get us in a lot of trouble?
There's a defense construction list for each of the 3 present types. You drop a present, and there's a chance any one of them (or an ogre, mana, or an item) will show up.
If set during the build phase, they will hatch during the combat phase.
If set during combat phase, you either get to convince a monster to crack it open for you, or you wait until the end of the next build phase.
If you get a defense, the DU cost of it will be the cost of the present. Depending, you will see a 20-50% discount (barring a couple of exceptions) on the regular cost of the defense. Further notes will proceed below.
If you don't get a defense, the DU cost of the present will be refunded, allowing you to try again.
MYTH: No, it does not screw with DU totals in a negative manner. If a Jester based defense is destroyed, you only lose the DU that was invested in the defense or the present itself.
It's pretty straight forward... well sort of.
... Actually, even this can get sort of complicated.
- The cravats.
The standard rules of spawning apply as if you were dropping a defense of its type. In short, you're not allowed to have two overlapping Auras, traps (or if you somehow managed to get shark charged - it doesn't happen very often) or two towers.
This means if you drop a whole stack of Extravagant presents (4DU) in a line or a cluster, and your radius is over a good number (just say 1000 radius?), do NOT be surprised if you only ever get 1 Strength Aura in that line.
Also, do not be surprised if another Strength Aura is anywhere nearby it that you won't get one to show up at ALL.
Actually, you can use this to your advantage, but we'll get to that later.
This above note explains why sometimes you simply 'can't' magic up the defense of your choice, if the defense of choice just happens to be an aura or trap.
This also means if you want to force certain things to not show up, plant the present in places which would cause it to skip certain defenses.
Also bear in mind when presents open, if you sell the defense, your refund is half the cost of the result, not the present itself.
Now the detailed stuff. Some of this may surprise you. The results can be repeatable in a lot of ways, and the notes will also include my experiences as an incredibly well armoured Tower Jester (85% resists, across the board)
This goes through each defense on a play by play basis.
Defense: DU cost normally/ DU cost Jester (% saving)
Effects and notes
Magic Barrier: 1DU/2DU (-100%)
The only truly shortchanging roll - They are identical to an Apprentice type summoning one on identical stats. Unless you direly need one (unlikely) sell up or let it get wiped out, and move on.
Spiked Barrier: 3DU/2DU (33%)
They are identical to a Squire type summoning one, on identical stats. This one's a little more useful, since they DO have a stack of HP - If you're holding off an ogre rush solo, one of those spawning will buy lots of time. It's slightly cheaper, but it's not a commonly used option.
Magic Missile: 3DU/2DU (33%)
Magic missile towers are, for most part, not used that often and are identical to an Apprentice type summoning one, on identical stats. If you have a reason to stick down magic missile towers, well, all the more power to you.
Slow Aura: 3DU/2DU (33%)
Slow Auras are a staple, and are identical to a Monk type summoning one, on identical stats. If you need DU and have the time, here's a good saving point.
Prox Trap: 3DU/2DU (33%)
Now this is where things get fun. A Jester summoning a proximity trap will have it fire about 25-33% faster than a trap summoned by a Hunter type. To be precise, the reset time is shorter on a Jester summoning a proximity trap.
Here, it may not be to your advantage, although if a Jester is active, rolling 'heal allies' will do a mapwide ALL DEFENSES heal. Traps and auras included. This may offset it, although if you ever wondered what a trap going off at 0.08 seconds looks like, here's your chance.
Darkness Trap: 3DU/2DU (33%)
A Jester summoning a darkness trap will have it fire about 25-33% faster than a trap summoned by a Hunter type. To be precise, the reset time is shorter on a Jester summoning a Darkness trap.
See the notes concerning the Proximity trap, although fortunately, darkness traps don't fire that fast, so if you want DU, here's a good place to collect it.
Etheral Spike Trap: 3DU/2DU (33%)
A Jester summoning a Etheral Spike trap will have it fire about 25-33% faster than a trap summoned by a Hunter type on identical stats. To be precise, the reset time is shorter on a Jester summoning a Etheral Spike trap.
You'll also learn that at high enough numbers, the Prox trap actually does more damage than the Etheral, it's just the Etheral always channels full damage to a single target, and a Prox trap will calculate a percentage based on range. With a Jester, if you can find 1DU, you can instead of just having a prox trap, get both a prox and a etheral. Double the damage anyone?
It's probably a good thing the reset timer is shortened here - all the more to fry with.
Gas Trap: 3DU/2DU (33%)
A Jester summoning a Gas trap will have it fire about 25-33% faster than a trap summoned by a Hunter type. To be precise, the reset time is shorter on a Jester summoning a Gas trap.
This doesn't shorten the gassing period, just the timing between resets, which is a good thing. All in all, another 1DU saved.
Fireball Tower 5DU/3DU (40%)
A Jester summoning a Fireball Tower will be identical to a Apprentice type summoning one, assuming same stats.
The only difference is the 40% discount. Or the better way to look at it is this: If you use two fireball towers, you can get 2 of them AND a buff beam for the same price. Or just 3 of them and a DU point to spend elsewhere.
If you use fireball towers in your defense, well, it's something to consider. (And just how much more Overpowered were you hoping for anyway? ... Actually, we'll get to stupidly overpowered in a bit.)
Lightning Aura 5DU/3DU (40%)
A Jester summoning a Lightning Aura will have the aura inflict damage 25-33% faster than if a Monk type summons one on identical stats.
I'll let you digest that bit of information. On similar stats, (in the 2700 tower attack speed range) an initiate's lightning aura attack speed is 0.13.
The Jester clocked 0.09. No, the aura doesn't sap any faster due to the improved attack speed. Besides, you want them to die faster, right?
The bad news is due to the cravats noted above, getting them all out in the right spots may require some trickery - During build phases, reduce your tower range to zero, then shuffle it into place using move tower, then put everything back on again.
Remember, if you want an Aura to show, you need it to be placed validly in present form. Given what I said it's a REALLY juicy option to abuse, but you need to plan for this.
Fortunately, due to the difficulties, Monks won't need to be too worried about their Job security just yet...
Healing Aura 4DU/3DU (25%)
A Jester summoning a Healing Aura will have the aura Heal 25-33% faster than if a Monk type summons one on identical stats.
It's not such a big deal (although can be nice), but there IS another secret in this. It will be disclosed at a later date.
Inferno Trap 4DU/3DU (25%)
A Jester summoning a Inferno trap will have the trap reset 25-33% faster than a Huntress type summoning an Inferno trap on identical stats.
Not such a big deal, the DU saved can be used elsewhere, and the reset time just means more time to lay down the barbeque.
Enrage Aura 5DU/3DU (40%)
A Jester summoning an Enrage Aura is identical to a Monk type summoning one, on identical stats.
If you use Enrage Auras (Although they're not that common), 2DU is nice to have.
Bouncer Barricade 4DU/3DU (25%)
A Jester summoning a bouncer barricade will have the bouncer have a 25-33% faster reset speed than if a Squire type summons one on identical stats.
(There's a pattern to this. You figured out what it is yet?)
Not many people use bouncers. It's mostly a footnote, but it can have uses.
Harpoon Turrets 6DU/4DU (33%)
A Jester summoning a Harpoon Turret will have the Harpoon have a 25-33% faster attack speed than if a Squire type summons one on identical stats.
For an idea of what this means in real terms, on identical stats assuming about 2-3k builder with a 3.7k attack stat spike, A jester NOT as active builder (namely, drop and run prior to wave start) will do as much damage (or close enough to it) as a squire type when they are out and about. Or in short, you gain about 30% in damage in DPS due to the attack speed.
And it probably doesn't help that the Jester can hold an extra weapon, does it?
For some hard numbers - we got bored, threw both turrets out and aimed them at different dummies in the tavern (See the present opening trick using an EV) then threw them both on the same buff beam, and buffed them all up to maximum level (3 star)
At this, our Squire one was clocking 0.09, and the Jester one was doing 0.06. Not bad. I then get bored, then pop a character on with a 120 buff huntress guardian that can buff up the beam, and both harpoons at the same time.
The difference went down to 0.06 for the Squire harpoon (Respectable for a harpoon) to 0.03 for the Jester one. I'll let you get your jaws off the floor. (The damage difference is what you'd expect, by the way. When we threw in a tower monk on top, we managed to get a harpoon turret that did 5.5-6m damage per second in the tavern. Let's see you get THAT out of your squire.)
Between this and the simple fact that the 33% discount means that if a squire wants 2 harpoons, the Jester can get two harpoons... AND the buff beam to power it up, as part of the bundle for the same DU cost.
I believe that a group of concerned players will form the 'Ban Jester to protect Squire Jobs' Steam group about... now.
Strength Aura 5DU/4DU (20%)
Sadly, after the above revelation, there's not much to gain here - 1DU, as for all intents and purposes, the Str Aura is identical for the Jester and Monk types, assuming identical stats.
If you want that 1 DU though, it may get fidgety to summon it, due to the crevats concerning auras above.
Lightning Tower 7DU/4DU (42%)
A Jester summoned Lightning Tower is identical to an Apprentice type summoning one, assuming identical stats. The real benefit is simply the fact that the lightning tower is actually DU cost effective at 4DU. (How much cheaper did you want it, REALLY?)
Due to this, you can build a 4 lightning tower battery and a supporting buff beam for 20 DU. It might take a bit of practice to shove 4 lightning towers onto a single buff beam. An apprentice version will cost you about 32DU (Yikes)
This doesn't sound too effective until you consider this - On good enough stats, you can turn the entire MAP into one electrified christmas tree due to the huge chain and the massive chain range. How much damage did we crank up on it? Well, about 60-70k per second on 59 targets per tower, assuming 3kish stats. Get a tower monk to power it , and the question you should be asking is 'Did you want all those small fry crispy or just well done?'
It'll also go through floors too, so Talay is a prime target for this trick, and it's always nice to use as an anti-chopper measure.
I think we'll be seeing a group forming to protect Apprentice jobs... well, if people used apprentices for builds anymore, anyway.
Deadly Strike Tower 8DU/4DU (50%)
A Jester summoned Deadly Strike tower is identical to one summoned by an Apprentice type, assuming identical stats.
Well apart from the fact you get a 50% discount anyway.
At 8DU, they're sort of cost prohibitive. At 4DU, they're actually pretty useful, particularly if you want to try to cover an area with a few walls in the way.
That, and nothing else quite says 'Get lost' like a battery of DSTs doing a million or two damage each every 0.23 seconds (or faster) through 3 walls, or in Talay, from two floors under.
Slice 'n Dice Barricade 8DU/4DU (50%)
A Jester summoned Slicer will inflict damage 25-33% faster than a squire's counterpart, assuming identical statistics.
They're not that popular anymore sadly since they take such a battering against ogres, but there's some fun you can have with them - If you have a really large move tower skill, you can constantly pick it up and drop it, and basically have your own remote arm of death. Not that it's useful, but it's fun at least.
Bowling Ball Turret 7DU/4DU (42%)
A Jester summoned Bowling Ball turret will shoot balls 25-33% faster than a squire's counterpart, assuming identical statistics.
They're not that popular anymore either, mostly cause of flying threats, but well, the above says it all. Given the discount, you can diversify. If you don't want to kill your friends via lag with 30 fireball towers, bowling ball turrets are considered a safe choice.
That should do it for now.
Later on I will cover the conventional stuff (Fortuna rolls) as well as some fun stuff which I fully expect Trendy to patch.
... Actually, this alone would probably justify Jester get hit with a stupidly powerful nerf bat. About the only thing less broken than the Jester is the Summoner, and that's actually debatable.