Art by u/meeeeeewp. Original post here.

Hey everyone! It’s Sav and Tarn here this week

What's been going on this week?

BTD6 update 26 launched today on iOS, Android and Steam today with a brand new hero, the Odyssey browser/editor and a new expert map. See the full updates notes here

Slice and Dice results:
1st: YtseJam - 1 minute and 46.50 seconds
2nd: PUNG RIN - 1 minute and 46.66 seconds
3rd: MO - 1 minute and 47.71 seconds
4th: skibimi - 1 minute and 47.83 seconds
5th: Shwax - 1 minute and 48 seconds

This weekend's focus:

- BTD6 - 
Ongoing collection event, ending Monday. 
Pile O' Monkey Money and T3 Insta Monkeys on sale.
Ongoing "Icky Stickuation" Odyssey, ending Tuesday. 
"Corn-gratulations" Race this weekend.  

- BTD Battles -
Professor Evil appearing this weekend. With a second tougher one starting Tuesday and ending Thursday.
Friday: MOAB - BFB Boosts Only, BFB Cards
Saturday: MOAB Club, MOAB Card - BFB, BFB Card
Sunday: MOAB, MOAB R3 Speed- BFB, BFB Card Club, BFB Boosts Only
Monday: MOAB
2x Medallions with Club Access on sale.

- BATTD - 
Ongoing Martian games: More regrow, faster regrow and more fortified. 
No items, more regeow and level 10 towers only starting on Sunday.
Flame Princess Adventure Pack, Jake Adventure Pack and Character Bundle Pack on sale.  

- SAS4 Mobile -
VS on Friday, Apoc on Saturday and LMS with black box as rewards on Sunday. 
Sales on nantos, NV vet pack, epic pack and 2nd premium gun set: Donderbus, RIA 15SE and Torment. 

- SAS4 web -
Ongoing Blitz Championship with Furie as rewards. 
Sale on Epic pack.

- BMC web and mobile -  
Daily monkey teams with Monkey Knowledge pack on Sunday.
Knowledge Pack sale (ancient on mobile too). 

- BTD5 -
Monkey teams starting Friday. 
Yellow counting for the leaderboards. Sub skin and Monkey Money on sale. 

- BSM2 -
Double blops and boosters.

- Tower Keepers -
Hero battles rewards x2 and x2 Gold sale.
Ongoing Zaluss and Learned Scholar. 

Questions from the comments: 

When will steam early access for battles 2 be coming out? Also will early access be for everyone or a small group of people?
Thanks for asking, we do want to keep everyone up to date on Battles 2 and we will be using the Steam page and reddit to keep things coordinated. We’re not talking dates for early access or release, but we will talk process. We’re near Alpha on the core game features, but we still have systems to add, art to get in, and lots of bugs and balance to address. As we close those lists off we’ll go into team testing, where we’ll stay until we’re happy to let some people outside Ninja Kiwi look at things, which we’ll do by invitation. From there, we will go to Steam Early Access, which is open to everyone, but that’s only going to happen when we’re good and ready. Again, we won’t give dates, but we will update the community when we move into each next stage of the process.

Will initial cooldowns for abilities be in Battles 2?
BTD6 is our starting point for balance in Battles 2, but we are committed to making them work as independent games, so the balance will diverge. We like micro in Battles and want to support that, but BTD6 abilities are that much stronger, so there will be some balancing to make sure that ability-sell-replace-ability micro is not dominant and has effective counters, so cooldowns will be a part of that for some abilities.

Do you guys have a favorite hero to use in BTDB2 yet?
Obyn! Gwen! Quincy! Striker? Poor Striker, he’s currently not acting the Hero’s part, so we’ll be adjusting that.

will there be any powers in bloons td battles 2? Or will you not add them back in to the second game?
No powers! Only the original two Powers (Bloon Boost and Tower Boost) will be in the game.

"There will be a “gold” pass that will accelerate XP gain" What is this XP for, is it for unlocking upgrades just like BTD6?
Yes, there will be a VIP pass that will accelerate rewards. One of those rewards will be XP for monkeys and heroes, which is used for monkey upgrades and for cosmetic items for both monkeys and heroes.

it's my birthday on Monday! also, will a remix/remake of the battles1 main menu theme possibly be in battles2? it's my favorite song in the series, perfect mix of action and bloons-ness
Happy Birthday, you awesome person you! The Battles music was royalty free music from our early, pre-Tim Haywood days. Battles 2 music tracks are original Tim compositions - we hope you love them. Happy Birthday again!

Can we get a way to track how effective the xx3 and xx4 alchemists are in game? Like next to the pop counter, having the money counter that other money making towers have.
This is something we have looked into but no plans for it at the moment. :) 

Will you ever use the unreleased tower by the name of monkey academy, which was basically the village's top path upgrade, but for military, magic and heroes?
We’re glad that people have scraped the old releases and found the Academy. It was part of the original design but it’s not part of our current thinking. What our current thinking is shall remain a surprise...

 For co-op can we have icons for towers, and their respective 4th and 5th tiers, if not all of their upgrades? I think it would be a good way to communicate in co-op, especially since theres no plans for a chatting feature.
Thanks for the suggestion. We will be adding more emotes in the future, so having your feedback helps!

Why were some of the fifth tier upgrade descriptions made so unhelpful? Examples that come to mind include the aces, apache prime, banana farms, etc.
When you spend years designing and making a game and building the company alongside it, you earn some creative flourish.

is Gwen a tomboy
For sure

I know this is a bit late but in your ama in march someone said that you (ninjakiwi devs) are not happy with the state that btdb1 is in and that's why you don't really advertise or try growing it. What are the reasons for that and if you can say what you are changing in btdb2 so it's different?
Battles is a fantastic game that we dearly love and we have done heaps to update and expand it, but it remains something of a time capsule, in design, tech, and visuals. In terms of how modern games do advertising, Battles could not support an advertising campaign - we would have lost money doing it. We’ve been working on Battles 2 for a good while now, and we’re hoping that the massive effort that we’ve put into design, tech, and art will make marketing supportable, so the community can continue to grow and the game alongside it.

Is btd4 track editor still available and does it cost coins or real money
Sadly not, the BTD4 track editor was just too much work for our team to keep up with and had to be removed. :( 

when will there be more bsm2 stages
BSM2 was a huge labor of love on both flash and mobile. We truly wished that the game had done better but it didn’t hit the sweet spot for enough people. Sadly, that means we won’t be adding new stages.

How long has Bloons Pop been in development for?
First prototypes were March 2020 and started pre-production in April 2020.

Why did you decide to give the Glue Gunner a different pose on his Tier 2s? Is there a real, serious answer to why you did that?
I spoke to our art team about this and their serious answer was that someone drew something cool and they wanted to put it in! 

Is Psi just zenyatta from overwatch but a monkey robot this time
We weren’t surprised to see some comparisons, but chosen one zen type heroes is not something that Zenyatta started. This is our take on a classic hero archetype.

Isn't #1 on this week's race a hacker?
If you ever believe another player is hacking, please contact support! :) 

imagine Pat Fusty on top of a M.I.B Building trying to swat down some Monkey Aces surrounding him
I’m sure he's pictured it a few times

I wonder if the monkeys use a firecracker to pop bloons?
They had to be banned after Gwen got over eager.

If most of the heroes can swim why can't we place them in water?
Swimming doesn’t mean they are good fighters in water! Can you imagine trying to fire a bow in the water? 

How long did it take it to make the longest map + monkey animation
Map development is pretty consistent timing wise! Maybe High finance, as at the time it was functionally very difficult. As we learnt in a few of the earlier maps, getting the platform functionality and the concepts perspective to mesh together well is hard! It took quite a long time to get it looking and behaving correctly. Overall maps take at least a month from concept to final. Animations can be much quicker now that the rigs are solid and the team know exactly what they can do.

If the heros ever played TF2, which class would they choose first?
Ben likes the Spy, Striker would play soldier and Gwen, to no one's surprise, plays pyro. 

Why can we only place one hero at a time
You’ve played co-op. The madness!

Are custom rounds planned for the public in challenge editor? Or are you scared of what the BTD6 community will bring upon this world.
100% scared! Editing rounds is tricky business, but yes it’s something that we’re thinking about as we add creative features to the Content Browser. That’s a solid maybe. If it’s not too hard. And our brains don’t explode.

if you reply i have to give my friend 5 usd so please don't
Sorry bud. Pay up.

Rather silly question here, but I was wondering what it is like for the team to make the 3d models for the towers and upgrades. How difficult is it, and have there ever been towers that have gone through drastic changes from concept to final model/design?
It's quite a process! Concepting and signoff definitely varies the most, sometimes we hit the mark straight away and sometimes it takes much longer to explore options and settle on something we all love. We start with a pretty wide range of looser concepts and narrow it down after some feedback loops. After the initial signoff of the design and concept we start modelling, and on occasion the concept will have to be modified for various game restrictions. Our concept artists are well acquainted with the game though so changes are generally minimal or are something we do on the fly within modelling or fx without reconcepting. However we do on occasion get some larger redesigns like dartling gunner, where we built it completely and then it got completely redesigned and concepted from scratch.

how do you explain this? https://i.redd.it/qom2zobzig261.jpg
Next map for Smash?

Can the Dart Monkey do a Backflip?
Oh yeah, totally! But just, not right now. 

why there's no top 100 medal on race? that would be rewarding for some people who spend effort to get top 50 but failed
Unfortunately, there has to be a point where we switch it to percentages otherwise we’d end up having to add more and more badges and we felt 50 was a good point for that. 

is that a scar on sauda's eye? if so how did she get it?
Have you even seen all the swords?

Do the monkeys have an equivalent of Ninjakiwi?
Of course! It's called PirateMoa. 

How do you pay for a 5-0-0 super monkey? You can't exactly just "buy" a god. And even if you could, what's stopping him from just instantly pulverizing all the bloons, especially when you have the wrathful true sun god?
Have you studied the history of organized religion?

When and how did the monkey apprentice become a wizard, and how did they forget how to summon lightning and tornados?
June 14, 2018, with the launch of BTD6. Wizard and Druid like to think of themselves as specialists.

Are you gonna do anything about modding? Like improving or something?
It depends on what you mean! Modding is something we understand the community really enjoys and we definitely want to work to make it more enjoyable while still making it fair on other players and making sure those players don’t run into people who are modding and could ruin their game experience. We’ve said before that we’re happy to work with the mod community to get some of the creative features into a mod-like editor, but some of the enjoyment is playing with the codebase, so we’re not going to be able to scratch that itch, and from there it’s a balance of what’s fun for the community vs what is confusing and what is detrimental to any multiplayer elements of the game.

If tower skins aren’t worth the effort because that work could go to a new tower instead, (which makes sense and I support you guys making that decision), why are hero skins made? Shouldn’t the same logic apply?
u/Charlie6445 actually answered this super well! Thanks Charlie6445!
Heroes only have 4 skins, but 20 upgrades while towers have 64 possible upgrade combinations, and 52+ skin combinations. So basically hero visuals take very little work compared to the actual upgrades while towers are about the same in terms of work between upgrades and visuals.

If the fur gives cold resistance, are white bloons secretly furry?
I regret my previous answer

What happens to the monkey inside the Tack Shooter when you buy Ring of Fire/Inferno Ring?
Kind of like a sauna 

What do the monkeys think when they see a temple they’re next to about to be upgraded?

Have a great weekend and happy gaming! 

- Sav and Tarn