PTR Changelog 2018-02-28: lab reaction time



  • This post describes changes on the Public Test Realm. The estimated launch date is March 5.

    Lab reaction cooldown now varies depending on a reaction according to the table below (also see new REACTION_TIME constant):

    Effect type Reaction Reaction time Total reaction
    chain time
    (new / old)
    Time/benefit ratio
    - + = 20 ticks 20 ticks / 10 ticks -
    - + = 5 ticks 5 ticks / 10 ticks -
    - + = 5 ticks 5 ticks / 10 ticks -
    - + = 5 ticks 15 ticks / 30 ticks -
    attack + = 10 ticks 10 ticks / 10 ticks 100%
    attack + = 5 ticks 35 ticks / 30 ticks 57%
    attack + = 60 ticks 95 ticks / 40 ticks 31%
    harvest + = 10 ticks 10 ticks / 10 ticks 100%
    harvest + = 5 ticks 35 ticks / 30 ticks 57%
    harvest + = 60 ticks 95 ticks / 40 ticks 31%
    capacity + = 10 ticks 10 ticks / 10 ticks 100%
    capacity + = 5 ticks 35 ticks / 30 ticks 57%
    capacity + = 60 ticks 95 ticks / 40 ticks 31%
    rangedAttack + = 10 ticks 10 ticks / 10 ticks 100%
    rangedAttack + = 5 ticks 35 ticks / 30 ticks 57%
    rangedAttack + = 60 ticks 95 ticks / 40 ticks 31%
    build/repair + = 15 ticks 15 ticks / 10 ticks 100%
    build/repair + = 10 ticks 45 ticks / 30 ticks 53%
    build/repair + = 65 ticks 110 ticks / 40 ticks 27%
    heal + = 10 ticks 10 ticks / 10 ticks 100%
    heal + = 5 ticks 35 ticks / 30 ticks 57%
    heal + = 60 ticks 95 ticks / 40 ticks 31%
    dismantle + = 20 ticks 20 ticks / 10 ticks 100%
    dismantle + = 40 ticks 80 ticks / 30 ticks 50%
    dismantle + = 160 ticks 240 ticks / 40 ticks 25%
    fatigue + = 10 ticks 10 ticks / 10 ticks 100%
    fatigue + = 5 ticks 35 ticks / 30 ticks 57%
    fatigue + = 60 ticks 95 ticks / 40 ticks 31%
    upgradeController + = 10 ticks 25 ticks / 40 ticks 100%
    upgradeController + = 15 ticks 60 ticks / 60 ticks 67%
    upgradeController + = 80 ticks 140 ticks / 70 ticks 36%
    damage + = 10 ticks 25 ticks / 40 ticks 100%
    damage + = 30 ticks 75 ticks / 60 ticks 78%
    damage + = 150 ticks 225 ticks / 70 ticks 60%
    :thumbsup::clap::thumbsdown:


  • The changes seem excessive in some cases ( 450 ticks / 40 ticks ).

    My only question is why is this change needed?



  • See the discussion in this topic, especially this excellent post by @wtfrank.

    :love_you_gesture:


  • I really like this change.
    My old empire used to be able to create defending/attacking boosts to sustain attacks/defenses without buildup of supplies. The entire empire could crank out more X-tiered boosts in single tick than it could consume. With this change I expect it to be more viable to start attacking people again.

    The defender is more likely to run out of boosts to defend properly, and in the same way the attacker will need a lot of stored/prepared boosts for attacking. A counterattack after the attacker runs out of boosts is also quite a good strategy now.

    In short, I really like the inability to quickly rebuild boost surplus.

    Ps: As for the change of the upgradeController boost, I think it could have stayed the same as it, in my opinion, does not directly impact attacking/defending parties. The same is true for harvest/carry boosts.



  • The main motivation behind this change is to make T1 and T2 boosts more appealing, and create some new trade-offs that make their usage reasonable. There are now diminishing returns of the time/effect ratio on each tier.



  • @artch, you mentioned @wtfrank post, but there was nothing about reaction time, but about percentages. Moreover, I can't find any ideas about reaction times inside the whole mentioned topic.

    Instead of suggested percentage balancing, it decided to break all da chain lab layouts logic. And I expect future reaction time tuning, which will affect previously effective layouts as well. Hooray!

    Still don't understand, why it's necessary to change reaction times instead of change boost effectiveness.

    And, as was pointed out inside Slack, lab code is already one of the most difficult challenge for beginners, and now it may become even more hardcore ¯\(ツ)



  • I like the change.

    I don't think that the time changes really add much complexity to the system on the programming side 🙂

    Most other suggestion like changing required RCL level for T2/T3 reactions would probably be much more complex.



  • @mototroller the linked post has nice thinking about diminishing returns for T2/T3 in general. There are different ways to implement this, via either cost effectiveness or time effectiveness, as @wtfrank mentioned here:

    IMO the effects of the increased tiers of boosts should suffer from diminishing returns, or the mineral cost and lab processing effort should increase at a faster rate than the benefits of the extra tier.

    It's been decided to use time effectiveness, since costs are much harder to balance considering the fact we have markets.



  • @artch, thanks, I see. Well, I don't think reaction time balancing is much more simpler than percentages balance (and, as I pointed out, it may affect layouts (!) due to proxy capacities and chaining optimization).

    By the way, did you think about just... X sources regeneration time huge increasing, for example? Moreover, it can be applied for out favorite Z mineral, and others 🤔

    Were there any thoughts from @wtfrank about requested effectivenesses table update? My main idea is that there still lots of balancing possibilities without some pretty breaking changes like different reaction times.



  • @mototroller I don't see this change breaking. Yes, some economically optimal code may become suboptimal and less effective, but it won't break. On the other hand, reducing T3 bonuses could break someone who rely on their hardcoded effectiveness in dealing with SKs, for example, creeps will just start to die out of sudden.

    All possible solutions have been considered, and this one seems to be the most reasonble and least breaking.



  • What was the thinking behind increasing the time for dismantle by such a huge amount?

    It seems like a change designed to make attacking harder, but I think the change is too severe and people will just stop using dismantle and switch to attack.



  • @artch, not only economical optimal, but even surviving critical in some cases, I guess.

    T3 XGH20 7 lab pipeline (gif under spoiler)

    T3 XGH20 7 lab pipeline

    I posted out this personal "know-how" to Slack thread just to demonstrate one of the most optimal and advanced cook solution. Not sure how many players use such an approach, put this is an example of very timing sensitive layout.

    The official blog post said about lab effectiveness and forced people to use effective solution, and now... well, personally just don't fully understand background, maybe.

    UPD: @artch sorry, I missed some points:

    On the other hand, reducing T3 bonuses could break someone who rely on their hardcoded effectiveness in dealing with SKs, for example, creeps will just start to die out of sudden.

    Emh... Every effectiveness already represented within existing constants, so players already can build their creeps to satisfy damage/heal/tough requirements. And -- are there any players using boost for SK mining?! Crazy bastards 😄



  • @stevetrov Dismantle is very special. It is used only to attack players, and there is no constant demand of this boost. In case of all other boosts, you're consuming them non-stop for different activities, even attack/heal boosts are useful too kill SKs and farm power. But in case of dismantle, you only stockpile to attack someone in the future, and this change would make such stockpiling longer. Cost effectiveness is not changed, this change only forces you to plan ahead of time. Yes, you can switch to attack, but you can also buy on market if you want to be a bit more effective, and it opens an opportunity for someone to produce it for sale at a higher cost when he has free lab time



  • @mototroller Yes, I can see your point here, but it's either this or some other side effect. You have to re-think your processes quite a bit, but it's definitely not a breaking change, as it would be in different solutions. Also, variable reaction time just looks reasonable and should have been implemented from the start, frankly.



  • @artch,

    variable reaction time just looks reasonable and should have been implemented from the start

    Yes, I agree, that's good point indeed. Such a pity some legacy improvements sometime so... painful.

    Well, it was just my personal opinion, lets see community feedback. If only "3.5 anonymous" will be affected... well, it's time for just one more code rework, I guess.



  • OK this is an interesting approach. It nicely solves the issue of reducing the effective HP benefit of tough boosts without destroying existing attacker/defender balance, which may have happened with one of the approaches I suggested that involved adjusting the numerical benefit of each boost.

    I like how you've solved the issue with T1 ghodium boosts by speeding up the ticks for ZK/UL/G, so that T1 Ghodium boosts no longer take a ridiculous amount of time to build in comparison to their effectiveness (relative to higher tiers) and in comparison to other T1 boosts.

    I'm not sure whether until now people felt they were generally bottlenecked by mineral respawn rate, or lab throughput rate. It will definitely be lab throughput rate now for most people with this change, but they will have interesting decisions to make about which tier boost to be using.

    If you were starting from a blank slate I'd like to see the quantity of mined minerals that go into each boost also follow (the opposite of) diminishing returns (e.g. T3 tough boost reaction would consume maybe 6 X instead of 1) and maybe even the number of fixed CPU 0.2 costs to increase also somehow as you go up the tiers, but as you're operating within the constraints of a released game/API and lots of software written to it, changing the number of lab ticks is a great balance solution that probably causes the minimum impact to people's code and setups.

    👍 ✅



  • On the whole this seems like a good change to me. We're going to have to start using T2 and T1 boosts just to use up all those minerals we're able to mine.

    So the three boosts that take more time are:

    1. Disamantle. @artch already explained this.
    2. Build/repair: I guess this is because logs show it's quite popular?
    3. Upgrade controller: Same as 2?

    Personally I'd prefer times to be more uniform. I understand the arguement that these be more time consuming, but it would be a lot neater if everything was uniform, even if it's not quite as optimal. It seems like needless complexity.



  • Making T3 boosts far harder to obtain doesn't negate the fact that a high-level attack needs T3 boost to have a chance of winning against the towers. With this update it will take 3000 ticks using 9 labs (which would also prevent you from boosting much in the room) to create enough tough parts for a single viable offensive creep. Meanwhile, towers don't have any nerfs to them to give creeps without T3 tough boosts a chance of surviving in combat.



  • @crusher48 said in PTR Changelog 2018-02-28: lab reaction time:

    Making T3 boosts far harder to obtain doesn't negate the fact that a high-level attack needs T3 boost to have a chance of winning against the towers. With this update it will take 3000 ticks using 9 labs (which would also prevent you from boosting much in the room) to create enough tough parts for a single viable offensive creep. Meanwhile, towers don't have any nerfs to them to give creeps without T3 tough boosts a chance of surviving in combat.

    That's just not true. Towers deal a maximum of 3600 damage/tick. Four healers with 25 HEAL parts and T2 HEAL boost can heal 3600 damage/tick.

    You don't need T3. You don't need tough. And this is assuming you're within 5 tiles of every tower.



  • I'm not sure about the changes. A big issue is already the disparity between established and newer players, with a big factor being the established using T3 boosts. Those players will already have a stockpile and a means to create more, where as the ceiling for new players to break and use T3 boosts just got higher. The disparity between the bonuses No boost/T1 and T3 provide are the bigger issue.


 

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