@alaricdragon Yeah the "can't be removed" may be a little harsh. It might make more sense to have them "researched" over time with a cancel button in case you messed up.
The proposed power creep design doc would also give existing players a huge advantage. Power has diminishing returns though, in that the more mutations you have, the more they cost. You can see the original design doc for an example of this. Even the most power hungry players on the server can't even reach max level with that chart. That being said, the old design doc had no way to remove power from the game. Once you obtained it, you always had it. This adds a cost in: respawning power creeps costs power. It's minor, but I don't really think it needs to be that excessive if the diminishing returns are setup properly.
Power creeps in general I think will be very hard to implement into the game, or at least time consuming. I don't know how much effort the devs have already put into the system, since they have been in total silence about it. I have been poking around in the open source server code though, and I am thinking it might be possible to implement as a mod on a private server.... but I think I need to finish the rewrite of my normal in-game codebase before I take on that one lol.
AugmentTower basically increases or decreases the effective range of a tower. It isn't effective at reducing damage from a tower that already does minimum damage, or for boosting the damage of towers that are already getting maximum damage on the enemy.
Stasis is one of the powers that probably will receive a nerf, yes.
All absorb does is reducing damage to a creep and turning it into energy. Is that really disruptive?
Yes, pierce is going to be disruptive. However, you can still check what parts the creep has available through getActiveBodyparts.
Barrier's barrier could just be a rampart with different properties (namely, faster decay), and blockade would leverage the same indestructible constructed walls used for novice/respawn areas.
After reading the proposed abilities for power creeps, I found them to be extraordinary as well. Abilities like "Kill" and "DISABLE_TOWER" will have drastic effects on sieges giving up much of the defender's advantage in the existing game design. I'm finding it stressful to imagine making a power creep defense that is "safe" from other power creeps and newer players are pretty overwhelmed going up against boosted creeps as it is, power creeps + boosted creeps would be more or less unstoppable. With so many abilities, it'll be hard to account for and test each one when building an active creep defense.
Due to the range on the kill ability, The only way a non-power player can stay safe it is to build a base that is entirely ramparted which can lead to base layout conformity. I'd like to see more balance with power creeps and more ways of countering them without power by spending high amounts of energy, cpu, spawn time, etc.
I think what a lot of people are upset about (at least this is my case) is that we feel we are being left out of the loop. This is the first place that I have seen anything mentioned about the focus being moved away from power creeps. It was my understanding that for the past 2+ months power creeps were the main focus of development. Most of us were expecting to be using power creeps for a while now and in preparation of that many players focuses have shifted away from GCL and toward gathering/processing power. I think what myself and at least some others are frustrated about is that we were never informed that power creeps were going to be delayed much less delayed so significantly. I think most of us in the community understand the need to switch focus towards things like optimizations, working in the programming industry I'm sure most of us have done this at least a few times throughout our careers. However at least in my job if I gave my boss a road map for a new feature, and then a month and a half after that feature was scheduled to be released I then told him that I had switched priorities a while ago and just never told him that the feature is being pushed 6 months back. I would probably be in a lot of trouble.
What I'm getting at here is that whats done in the past is past, but in the future I feel it would go a long way with the community if we were better informed of the situation. I can't imagine that it was just 2 days ago when the dev team decided that optimizations need to be the #1 priority. While screeps is a sandbox game there are a lot of us who do play it as a strategy game and I think most of us understand the need for changing priorities, but we would like to be informed so that we too have the option of changing priorities.
The lack of news is almost concerning, but let me take some of my observations and see if you want draw your own conclusions.
Just over 2 weeks ago the world perimeter increased and we've had 12 rooms in that new space come online.
Also 2 weeks ago there was a successful post about Screeps on Y Combinator. Currently our tick rates are creep to 4.25s so any new players and the expansion of the new haven't seriously impacted the service.
It has been one month since the PixiJS announcement went up on Twitter.
6 weeks ago the hiring post went up.
As well the first financial quarter has just ended and for most businesses that means a lot of work (US Taxes etc) and planning to meet investor goals for the year.
There's definitely a lot going on for Screeps that is probably dividing the devs' attention at the moment. I hope that the radio silence is a good thing!
Yeah, the more I've thought about this the more I'm not really happy with it. Revised list-
OPERATE_EXTENSION - while not useless it seems super niche and overpriced.
DISABLE_EXTENSION - I'm actually liking this one than I originally thought.
So my biggest issue with the two skills above is that they are linked together a lot on the skill tree at the lower levels. I think breaking them up to add more variance to the lower level Operators would help.
HARVEST_MINERAL and HARVEST_ENERGY - these actually do have some solid benefits and should be removed from my "underwhelming" list.
REFLECT - I still think this should be a skill that can be given to another creep.
I think the aura idea is interesting, but I have to disagree on the commander being the weakest. Here's some ways I plan on using mine:
* RENEW, and bring a healer along with the power creeps. Paired with an executor with HARVEST_ENERGY, the healer can tag along indefinitely, and avoid the need to return home to heal power creeps.
* SUMMON isn't as obviously useful for harvesting as Executors, but it essentially lets you replace the CPU cost of moving a hauler creep 48 steps across a room with a single action. This would be a huge CPU savings Seems like it could also be useful in combat situations.
* Being chased down by a sniper / killbot Executor? Put SIGHT on your own Executor and kite / instakill them.
* Being chased by a group of boosted creeps? Keep hitting their healer(s) with EXHAUST and force the attackers to stay back or risk getting shot down.