Respawn zone warning signs, not all that we hoped for.
There is a similar post in the change log article article, but I'm not sure if that is still being monitored so I'm opening a thread here.
Essentially I would like greater clarification on how we can fight the creation of respawn zones. It was always a ticking time bomb of when a novice zone would appear and it caused a lot of frustration. Then with the introduction of the respawn zone we were promised a warning system for when these zones would appear, which we have been given.
The problem is that we don't have any clarification on how to combat the appearance of these respawn zones. Yes claiming/reserving a room will stop the respawn zone from taking the room that has been claimed/reserved, however for most players a single room is useless and the respawn zones clearly have no problems strangling claimed/reserved rooms leaving them with very few resources to build up the room.
As an example, a respawn zone recently appeared in W65N15. The sector was marked for respawn ~3 days prior to the respawn zone appearing. After the warning sign appeared multiple rooms that were signed were claimed/reservered and ~2.5 days past with nothing changing. ~12 hours before the respawn zone appeared the signs were removed. And now we find ourselves with a brand new respawn zone consuming the majority of that sector. While the rooms that were claimed/reserved are not included in the respawn zone, most of the remote mining that would be done from these rooms are included in the respawn zone, making the claimed/reserved rooms no longer worth having.
I think a little more clarity around these respawn zones would help eliminate a lot of the frustration that is being experienced. If the respawn warning sign would be removed from rooms that are no longer in danger we (and our scripts) could clearly see which rooms we still need to reserve in order to protect our future plans (as I don't think it is feasible to keep 4-6 rooms constantly reserved from a room that is near a claim creeps maximum distance). The other possibility is to share the algorithm used to create these respawn/novice zones so that we can also implement it and be fully aware of the effects that claiming/reserving a room will have. (If this is still done manually then an algorithm should be written for it)
Helam last edited by
The part of it that I thought was really weird is that the signs were removed before the zone was created. Some of us thought that this meant a zone was no longer being planned because of new reservations.
Dewey last edited by
Great post. I agree that we need clarification and consistency. If the signs disappear, that gives the impression that the area is no longer being considered for a respawn zone.
I wanted to provide some prior resources/discussions:
PTR mention of signage:
Official "respawn zone" document:
Please take note, I’m not impacted by this zone. I’m posting here to add my vision to how the community is currently seeing these issue.
The community is becoming more and more frustrated by these kind of zones popping up. This specific case feels like a human error. The people inside the zone have done what they thought they should do (reserve rooms, claim them, etc). They still got punished for following the steps:
- Cost them resources
- Cost them programming time
- Cost them CPU
- Cost them expansion space for the next 20 days due to whatever reason.
No all people in our slack are posting here, but I’d love to share their feeling that’s currently living among them.
“Oh god not this again”
“What happened now”
“How can this happen time after time”
“If this would happen to me I’d quit the game”
These are just a few examples. They’re quite concerning.
Could the devs please chip on on what has happened here? I’d love to help you guys think out a strategy for filling “open” spaces. I think the playerbase might have great solutions and ideas to help you guys tackle this difficult issue.
I'm honestly wondering if there wasn't a bug in the code or something. It sounds like the "spawn zone" warnings disappeared hours before the zone was actually supposed to go up, which certainly implies that the spawn zone was meant to be cancelled. Maybe there was just a bug in the canceling process and it only removed the zone signs but didn't actually stop the relevant countdown.
I think if stuff works the way we think it's supposed to work then things will be fine. If this spawn zone went up in error, and in reality signing the relevant controllers should actually work, then we don't need new policies or changes and just need to fix the problem.
However, if this zone going up was intentional then yeah there's a serious problem here.
K-C last edited by
It's not been said here that these zones are traditional areas of conflict between Hive and OCS.
They were deliberately cleared the week of March 7th and were not signed nor subsequently secured the following week. The resulting player activity is probably why we have the respawn in N85E85.
I find it very hard to believe that these respawns are the result of an administrative error.
So I need to apologize for starting the conversation that I was hoping to have in this thread derailed. The example that I included here was meant to show the frustration that is the result of what I believe to be the underlying problem.
To be direct, I believe the problem with interior novice/respawn areas is that the players DO NOT know when these zones will appear and what rooms these zones include. I think the screeps warning signs on intended respawn zones were an attempt to solve this issue but I don't think the current implementation really solves these pain points.
The reason I don't think these 2 major issues, of when and which rooms, have been addressed with the current signing fix is that in my experience (and certainly no where that I have seen it documented) the amount of time from when the signs first appear to when the blue/green zones are created is not consistent or reliable. The second issue is that when the signs appear, we have no way of knowing what effect claiming/reserving a room will have on the overall novice/respawn area.
Artem, you are our only insight into the devs and the questions I have for you are. Is this information of when and which rooms intentionally withheld from the players? Do the devs have a plan for further addressing these issues? If not are the devs open to addressing these issues and potentially even receiving help from the community in planning and even implementing a solution?
This has been a sore spot for a lot of established players and I personally don't see the benefit to doing things the way that they are currently done.What I propose would be a viable solution would consist of two parts. First, define the window of time for which the warning signs are valid, something like warning signs will be converted to blue/green zones between 24-72hrs from the time the sign appears (those are arbitrary values and can be whatever you think is appropriate). Then if for some reason no one gets around to creating the zone in the time period, remove the signs and don't create a blue/green zone. And if you want to create another one later, start the process over.
Second, from what I hear in the community these zones are created manually. I think there should be a specific algorithm used to create these zones, one that is public and can be implemented by the players so that we know what effect claiming/reserving a room will have on the overall size of the blue/green zone. There are a lot of really smart people in the community and if the dev team doesn't have the resources to devote to the implementation of an algorithm to create these zones, I believe that there are lots of community members who would contribute to this problem.
So as someone sitting totally outside this issue (it hasn't happened to me yet I'm not big enough), the compliant and the resolution SEEMS to be straightforward.
Players need to stop thinking of rooms as theirs of they are not reserved or claimed. If a room is not reserved or claimed then anything can happen. So the cost of reserving (or claiming) a room needs to be taken into account when planing expansion. If you want to harvest 3 rooms "away" then you need to either reserve all three rooms, or you may loose your route (leaving a room totally isolated in the process).
Now rather or not that is a good thing, can of course be debated. With Boosted creeps, there was a lot of discussion on how "easy" it has become to gain energy. This certainly makes it harder as some rooms are no longer viable, and others are less "profitable"
I see this as a good thing. A kind of "stop trying to get access for free and pay the price" type of thing. But opinions are opinions and not everyone will agree.
Dewey last edited by
Coteyr: I agree it is straightforward, but I see the core issue differently. I think the core issue is the signage.
If a room is signed with a respawn notification, then I'm happy to understand that the devs have decided to mark it for a respawn zone. Players should act accordingly.
If, however, the previously signed rooms suddenly become unsigned, then logic would dictate that the devs changed their mind and we shouldn't expect a respawn zone there any more. And that's where the problem came up. A respawn zone had its signs removed and then ~12 hours later it became a respawn zone anyways.
I'm happy to believe this was a bug / one time thing. But I'd appreciate confirmation and reassurance from the devs.
K-C last edited by
From my perspective automated rules on respawn zones will lock Screeps into hard rules for map expansion and allow high-end players to game the system. I favor keeping the signage deliberate but consistent.
With that said, there is a definite inconsistency between a removed sign in this case and the proposal that this means the blue zone would be canceled.
However, note that the respawn area cancelation is not in the official feature specification.
I can surely see how there is confusion over sign, then no sign, then zone.
But what if the rule was "At any random time any room not reserved or claimed could be turned into a noob zone or a respawn zone."
Because I think that is what the actual official rule is. "Random" may not be technically correct as it seems this action is done by a squishy, but the effect seems mostly the same, and that "rule" seems to be much easier to enforce, and would essentially end this problem, though it would impact large players quite a bit.
Coteyr the problem with the current "you must reserve/claim every room that you want" solution is that this is often times not possible (or at least reasonable) because of the distance from your nearest claimed room. In order to claim a room you just need to get a single claim part to a controller with 1 tick on it. In order to keep a room reserved you need to get a claim part to the room for each tick you want that room reserved. There are many times where my claim creeps make it to their destination room with less than 50 ticks left on them which is more than enough to claim a room, but would do little to reserve the room. With the current model to keep all of the useful rooms for that one room that I would want to claim I would need an almost constant stream of claim part creeps going to the claim room and each of the rooms I would like to remote mine (some of which won't even be reachable before a claim creep times out).
At your current size I assume you've never tried claiming a room this far away from and might even think, "why would you do that?", but there are lots of motivations for claiming a room that aren't just about resources. Maximum resources keeps an empire compact and close together, but many of the rooms I claim are for position and range, which encourages rooms that are spread around and far apart.
That being said the price is what the price is, what I am bringing up here is not that there is a price but rather that we don't know what the "actual" price is. Artem has said in the feature release thread that we should automate a response to the respawn warning signs going up, but without having the rules around the creation of these novice zones clear and defined, automation isn't possible. Again what I would like to see is a clear set of documented rules around the creation of these zones. Repeatable rules that given the same parameters it will always create the same novice zone and within the same time frame.
I really with the admins would step in here and comment. I feel like a few months ago they were a lot more engaged, and we're having a lot more issues lately that could easily be resolved by a couple of comments from the admins.
cazantyl last edited by
From a newer player experience, I will say that it's extremely frustrating at times to see new areas pop up in an area that myself or my alliance just worked hard to clear out. The "reserve the room if you want it to not turn into a newbie zone thing" works great for players at higher GCL that can sacrifice a lower RCL room, or dedicate a few rooms to specifically handle the reservations, but for players like myself who are still under 10 GCL, I can't honestly dedicate that time, energy or CPU to stopping an area from being blocked off.
Here's the big issue for me:
I would be better off leaving my area with all players currently occupying it alone then risk killing them and having them be replaced by someone I can't attack for 14 to 30+ days. At that point, there's little reason for me to fight anyone in any room since if I'm not able to immediately occupy it I run this risk.
Again, that may not be something that higher GCL players do or worry themselves with, but for me, I'm better off leaving the zombies in my backyards then risk an unknown player being able to set up camp there while I can't do anything about it (including expand).
Sorry, I didn't mean to steer the conversation over to rather it's effective to claim room en route etc. I do feel that if you can't spend the energy or time or creeps or whatever to reserve/claim a room then you have no business saying what that room is used for, but that's not the point I was trying to make here.
What I was trying to say, is that I do not think that it has EVER been said in an official documentation that a room MUST be signed before it can be made a novice room, or that it CAN NOT be made a novice room if it is current signed by a player.
The official rule seems to be, at any time any room that is unclaimed or un-reserved may be converted to a novice zone or a noob zone.
Rather that is right or wrong is of course open for debate, but that seems to be the official rule, both by action and by documentation. It seems a lot of players are adding on their own rules and getting upset when "their" rules are not followed.
coteyr keep in mind that the documentation did in fact say that signing controllers would prevent novice zones from occurring. It wasn't until after I started my thread that they went in and updated that documentation. So players weren't "adding their own rules"- they were following what they legitimately thought were the rules, but the admins had been following slightly different rules than what was documented, and that resulted in some frustration.
Here is a similar case- after the conversation that occurred with the admins over the last issue a new proposal was made. That proposal outlines how things would work, and unfortunately the reality of the situation has differed from that proposal. This thread here started as a way to get clarification about what the rules happen to be.
That is the major issue- this game is extremely difficult to play when the documented rules are inaccurate or unclear. If the admins would engage with the community in these situations to clarify things where needed it would prevent a lot of issues from occurring.
So here is what I mean, and I only want to stay on this issue, not the controller signing one, cause I don't want to blend the two.
"The problem is that we don't have any clarification on how to combat the appearance of these respawn zones. Yes claiming/reserving a room will stop the respawn zone from taking the room that has been claimed/reserved,"
This seems to match documentation.
"however for most players a single room is useless and the respawn zones clearly have no problems strangling claimed/reserved rooms leaving them with very few resources to build up the room."
This also matches documentation, but could be a problem. The problem is debatable, but seems to match what is in the documentation.
"As an example, a respawn zone recently appeared in W65N15. The sector was marked for respawn ~3 days prior to the respawn zone appearing. After the warning sign appeared multiple rooms that were signed were claimed/reservered and ~2.5 days past with nothing changing. ~12 hours before the respawn zone appeared the signs were removed. And now we find ourselves with a brand new respawn zone consuming the majority of that sector. While the rooms that were claimed/reserved are not included in the respawn zone, most of the remote mining that would be done from these rooms are included in the respawn zone, making the claimed/reserved rooms no longer worth having."
The documentation was followed as far as I can tell. Respawn rooms were generated, but not in rooms that were claimed or reserved. Those rooms lost value, again this may be a problem, but that problem is debatable.
"The part of it that I thought was really weird is that the signs were removed before the zone was created. Some of us thought that this meant a zone was no longer being planned because of new reservations."
No where in the documentation does it say that. It doesn't say that rooms with out signs can't be converted, or that only rooms with signs can be converted.
"I'm honestly wondering if there wasn't a bug in the code or something. It sounds like the "spawn zone" warnings disappeared hours before the zone was actually supposed to go up, which certainly implies that the spawn zone was meant to be cancelled."
Same here, the docs do not address anything about what happens when a sign goes away.
"To be direct, I believe the problem with interior novice/respawn areas is that the players DO NOT know when these zones will appear and what rooms these zones include. I think the screeps warning signs on intended respawn zones were an attempt to solve this issue but I don't think the current implementation really solves these pain points."
This IMO, is a good point, but I counter with the current documentation seems to say that any unclaimed/unreserved room seems to be subject to noob zone spawning.
"If, however, the previously signed rooms suddenly become unsigned, then logic would dictate that the devs changed their mind and we shouldn't expect a respawn zone there any more. And that's where the problem came up. A respawn zone had its signs removed and then ~12 hours later it became a respawn zone anyways."
Docs don't say this.
"I really with the admins would step in here and comment. I feel like a few months ago they were a lot more engaged, and we're having a lot more issues lately that could easily be resolved by a couple of comments from the admins."
Seems a good point to me. Aterm should be the one writing the "defensive" post not me.
I think there may be some misunderstanding about the intent of the original post (which may be my fault for writing about an example which goes against how most players understand the game mechanics to work). The intent of this post shouldn't require a "defensive post", but instead the intent of the original post was to gather additional clarification on the novice/respawn zone creation intent and start an open discussion (hopefully with Artem and the devs) about ways to update the mechanic to meet that intent in a way that isn't as frustrating for the players.
I know that the specific documentation doesn't address most of the RL scenarios and I'm not actually arguing that there is a bug in the code that needs to be corrected or that the current mechanic is behaving contrary to what the documentation specifies. I guess what it boils down to is that there is a lot of confusion around the creation of novice/respawn zones. I don't believe that the confusion around their creation is the intent or required (Artem can correct me on this if it is incorrect) and so the original intent of this post is to clear up some of the confusion(Artem and devs required for this) and maybe discuss possible implementations that would eliminate it.
If you don't know what confusion I am talking about, it is based off of "At any random time any room not reserved or claimed could be turned into a noob zone or a respawn zone."