PTR Changelog 2018-02-28: lab reaction time



  • 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 😄


  • Dev Team

    @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


  • Dev Team

    @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.


  • Overlords

    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.



  • IMO, this solution is too complex for the issue. A simpler solution would be the following: 1: OH boost takes 20 ticks to create (was 10 ticks, 40-70 total ticks to create T2 boosts) 2: X boost reactions with a T2 mineral take 50 ticks to create (was 10 ticks, 90-120 total ticks to create T3 boosts)

    This makes the changes simple and easy to understand for AIs, while still adding a reason not to use catalyzed boosts.



  • @tigga Fingers crossed they heal the right creep though...



  • @shibdib shard1 and shard2 were only added a few months ago, there aren't going to be huge stockpiles throughout the game. And these stockpiles will deplete over time.

    T3 boosts certainly have got harder, but that's only because the cost/benefit was out of whack before. Some of the T1 boosts have got a lot easier to build - e.g. T1 Tough boost. That's a big benefit to new players and may have very little impact on the boost consumption of the older players.



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  • Dev Team

    All boosts have different bonus progression, some are linear, some are not, this is why they have different reaction time progression as well. It has nothing to do with their popularity, and it explains why it's a bad idea to make all tier times uniform. Now each "total reaction chain time" strictly correlates to the bonus value within each effect type series. We got a solid spreadsheet proving that, these numbers are not random 😉



  • I think better solution will be in increasing number of ingredients to produce T3 boosts. Like a 5*T2 + 5X = T3, or something like that. Not one-to-one like now. It will raise usability of T2 boosts.



  • Dismantle is a massive outlier for not that big of a gain. Dismantle creeps already suffer from a number of downsides compared to attack creeps (namely, inability to fight creeps and dropping half of the energy used to build the walls on the ground to be picked up later to rebuild the walls), and they're higher damage output in an optimal situation isn't a reason to implement an incredibly long boost time specifically for them while attack, ranged attack, and heal are given the standard 95 tick boost times. Just because it "can only be used for attacks" doesn't mean that it should have 4x the cost of a similar mineral that can theoretically be used in other roles.



  • @fetid I think artch's view is that this would break existing code more than changing the lab job time would https://screeps.com/forum/topic/2038/introduce-boosts-one-teir-at-a-time-rather-than-all-at-rcl6/11


  • Dev Team

    @crusher48

    Just because it "can only be used for attacks" doesn't mean that it should have 4x the cost of a similar mineral that can theoretically be used in other roles.

    True. And this is why the cost is the same. It is time that differs, not cost.



  • I mean time is a cost here, because it appears that the new bottleneck with high-level boosts will be lab time, not minerals.