@mrfaul Humbly, I'm with @wtfrank on his points. I won't reiterate them, but I don't feel like you're approaching this from the perspective of a player, but rather as an enthusiast. That's totally fine, we have a number of non-coding members of the community. However, when it comes to pure gameplay interactions, it's very difficult to have reasoned and well thought out feedback without having personal experience.
I disagree with many of the core statements you've made about how gameplay works. Things like
RCL 8 is not a inevitable consequence, it is a consequence of the design choices made by the player.
Is totally incorrect. You will quite literally always reach RCL 8, and should always try and reach it. If you stop upgrading your controller it will start downgrading, so as long as you maintain a room you will slowly reach RCL 8.
I won't even start addressing the rest of it. I've never played WoW, but based on what friends say the majority of the game is after you reach max level in the game. The same can be said for screeps. Most of the complexity in the game is self selecting, you don't need to tackle everything at once, it's more about unlocking the next level.
Unlocking that next level IS the reward, the challenge you are looking for. Developing cool shit is why we play this game. Drowning in complexity is what happens when you try and take on everything at once, rather than piece by piece. It is GOOD that screeps is complex, and that the complexity is gated behind challenges to overcome. In a very rough subjective order:
- 1 room, mining to raise RCL and GCL
- Claiming more rooms, growing them
- Remote mining rooms to increase resource harvesting
- Basic defense
- Mining SK for resources + minerals
- Terminals, market, and credits
- Labs, boosting, creeps
- Basic offense
- Advanced defense
- Advanced offense
- Far late game on whatever you what to tackle. Portal mechanics, intershard, market manipulation, room autoconstruction, full automation.
In most cases, you can't achieve the later steps without unlocking them by achieving the earlier ones. That is the progression of the game. Not some classic MMO "leveling up" a skill by grinding. But by actually learning a complex system, tackling real technical challenges, and writing performant code to handle it. It takes real work and results in real learning, not fake MMO grinding. I applaud @artch and his team, because this is one of the rare times when achievement in game translates to real achievements in real life.
There is plenty of room for improvement in this game, which is why I made this topic. I don't agree with a lot of the direction you seem to want though.
Ps. @MrFaul can see where some people are confused with the fact that visibly you are only on step 1 yet feel strongly about lategame. It doesn't mean that you don't have experience with it. It's totally possible you have some kickass AI on a private and for whatever reason you've decided to leave terrible code running on the main world. It's just a bit harder to believe than the alternative. If you do have one, I wholeheartedly extend an invitation to come compete in the #botarena battle royale I'm hosting at the end of this month. It's a great way to show off, everyone starts from the very beginning (RCL 1 GCL 1) so you'll be on even footing.