Power Creeps update


  • Dev Team



  • Looks better at first glance. Will it be fully automatable?


  • Dev Team

    @tigga We'll try to make it as automatable as possible.



  • @artch said in Power Creeps update:

    @tigga We'll try to make it as automatable as possible.

    Cool. My concern is that there are players out there (myself included) who are going for completely automatic bots in every way. I don't really see how levelling and naming can't be done through the API. The original design doc said that these would be infrequent so manual interaction is fine, but from my point of view any manual interaction makes me pretty unhappy with the feature. Today everything in the game (except placing your first spawn) is fully automated and I think it would be a big step back to change that.


  • Dev Team

    @tigga Let's please not start that argument again. As I said, we'll try to do our best.



  • Yup the idea of the Ops is much better and since those are tradable, I think those will contribute to the market system.
    But I wonder if generating them only via the power creep and some NPC terminals are enough, it would be cool if you could process power directly to ops at a reasonable rate and cooldown.
    This should be done in the PowerSpawn so you have to make a choice :-D

    This gives also the players who don't want to use the power creeps a reason to farm power since it will be a good source of income for them.
    Especially if they process power directly into Ops.



  • So, to start off, I want to say that I'm going to be personally locking my opinions to the Operator power creep. Yeah, punch seems like it's still dumb, but it's not on the creep that is currently being actively developed, so I'm ignoring it until it becomes an issue. That being said:

    Pros:

    • Opts: I think it's a terrible name for a resource, but I like having a separate resource to manage that can potentially be burned out (and make a power creep useless)

    • Enabling Power In Rooms: This potentially resolves one of the major complaints I had before regarding the risk of high level power creeps curb-stomping players. Defensive battles remain largely the same for players who haven't unlocked power creeps, though field battles and assaults against those who have them will be more difficult.

    • Variety: I like the distribution of powers here. Things like EXTEND_SOURCE and OPERATE_STORAGE that, while perhaps not useful in all circumstances are gamechangers when useful.

    Questionable:

    • EXTEND_MINERAL: This is... sketchy. We'll have to see how the market pans out, but I'm skeptical.

    • EnableRoom(): yeah, this was in the pros, but there's a major potential flaw here in that it can only be removed by unclaiming the room entirely, but it can be used on neutral rooms that can't be unclaimed. This is a huge potential issue. (Also, I assume the range is melee on this?)

    • API: I'd say this matters. Setting up a constant of choices-per-level-per-type may be necessary, and it might be annoying, but I think it's key to the game. That said, I'm willing to drop the issue until I see the full implementation details.

    Cons:

    • Honestly, I don't have much here yet. Most of the powers seem pretty well balanced, or at least useful.

    A few other observations:

    EnableRoom has some interesting results. This renders PCs useless in controllerless rooms, meaning highways, portal rooms, and SK rooms. I'm not sure this will heavily affect the operator, but this may have interesting implications for further development. There are some potential issues with reserved rooms (does enabling go away when the room reverts to unowned? How exactly are reserved rooms handled? Any chance of being able to sabotage SK rooms?)

    @artch I will say, I was skeptical of a solution to handle the potential griefing issue. While I'm still curious about the details of enableRoom, I do like the approach.

    That said- What are we looking at for other stats on power creeps- Will the operator have static health, or are we looking at potentially allowing some type of health scaling per level? Will the PC have to return to an owned room, or even return fully to a Power Spawn to upgrade?

    OPERATE_LAB- Am I understanding this correctly to increase both the rate of production and consumption, not be a straight efficiency increase?

    OBSTRUCT_SPAWN - Will this be massively increasing the spawn time of any creeps that are spawned during that time period, or will it apply a temporary delay to creeps already spawning? Will there be a way to programmatically detect that a spawn has been sabotaged? (I remember something about a room event log. Possibly there?)

    SHIELD - This still consumes energy? Is this deliberate, or a typo? If it consumes energy, where exactly is the operator meant to get the energy from?

    And just to double check, the operator is the only power creep currently being considered for release, correct?

    EDIT: Also, we will be able to programmically detect if a room has been enabled, yes?



  • @mrfaul said in Power Creeps update:

    Especially if they process power directly into Ops.

    I'm not sure what I think of the possibility of being able to process power as a resource either into power for an account or opts.

    On one hand, it allows players not using power creeps the ability to potentially market power, but it also opens us up to the snowballing problem we had when power creep abilities didn't consume resources.



  • It shouldn't be cheap and add a significant cooldown based on the amount processed so that it disables the PowerSpawn for a while.
    View it as a fast (should give the Ops instantly) but very sketchy way to get Ops if something is burning and you need them right now.


  • SUN

    @artch Very excited! Can we get details on basic behaviors?

    OPERATOR

    • How do ramparts affect powers. Can you use operator abilities on enemy structures covered with ramparts? (Can you still punch a creep under a rampart? What about disable, or fatigue? Does snipe just not work, or does it hit the rampart over the creep?)

    This could be a game changer for bunker type rooms, which I feel are strong right now.

    • Can you stack effects, eg 2 sights stacking for a +2 range? 2 Berserks? Reduce terminal costs 100%?
    • SK/Center rooms? Highway Rooms? Any room without controllers?
    • Terminal: That reduces BUY and SELL correct? This might add some market liquidity

    Personally I'd rather something that disables a terminal vs destroys enemy sources.

    Non-operator:

    • Kill still seems pretty OP as a 1 point wonder, and barely worth putting points into besides that.
    • reinforce: Does it work on nukes?
    • harvest mineral/energy: no range limitations?
    • Remote transfer: Works to anything that can hold resources, including enemy creeps?
    • Commander: Clearly the weakest of the lot... Maybe consider adding more aura/stage effects to him? Like converting swamp into plains, buffing the effectiveness of a creep?

    I'm assuming you'll announce the roadmap soon so I won't ask about timeline... but I'm dying to know any rough news :grin:

    Edited to focus on the operator.


  • Dev Team

    @davaned Commander and Executor are not being developed nor designed nor even discussed yet, see the blog post. We focus on Operator class only at the moment. Any discussion regarding other classes will be ignored until the Operator is released.



  • Really looking forward to this, so many possibilities! As an economics-focused player, my feedback and questions will focus on that.

    Ops - Very happy about this, much better than energy, and will bring a new resource that might see some liquidity on the market! Already planning how to protect my convoys with ops from shard0 to shard1 and shard2!

    EXTEND_MINERALS vs EXTEND_SOURCE If we take the most expensive mineral, we currently see this as 10-20x as expensive as energy on the market. EXTEND_MINERAL lvl 5 will provide 1 mineral extra mineral per tick, while EXTEND_SOURCE lvl5 will provide 50 energy per tick. Harvesting, transporting and sending the energy quickly costs about half the energy, so the ratio between these seems good. I do think both of these might have a small ops-cost, like 1 op per activation, but it is hard to determine right now. Might see better how the ops-economics work when we get PCs to PTR.

    EXTEND_SOURCE will be comparable to having another source in the room (10 energy/tick), so it will be very interesting to use for new rooms and for interesting designs in praise rooms.

    I love OPERATE_EXTENSION because it means I can save a lot of CPU filling extensions. However I do thing ops-usage should be lower with higher levels. The first level is so much more valuable than higher levels as it sits now, while it should be the other way around. For a RCL8-room we have 12k+ energy available, and I usually do not have to fill extensions until at least every 150-200 ticks. It makes level 4-5 undesirable. Expecially together with the ops-cost this is something I will use in war-time, so only one level will probably be taken. Cooldown 500/400/200/100/50 might be better?

    OPERATE_SPAWN is better at higher levels, but I do think the reduction should be 10/25/40/60/80 to make the highest levels more desirable. After doing the math, the reductions looks fine, very powerful at lvl5. With a base of 100 parts, level 1-5 will be able to spawn 111, 142, 200, 285 and 500 parts in the same time. A lvl 5 OPERATE_SPAWN-operator suddenly becomes very desireable. (and make lvl 5 OPERATE_EXTENSION desireable)

    OPERATE_STORAGE has a good distribution, with higher gains on higher levels. I do think the cost is a bit rough, as 0,1 ops resource per tick will lock up all the ops the creep can generate with lvl 5 GENERATE_OPS. The only thing I would consider using it for as it is now is for a praiseroom during a reset. With lower ops-cost I might consider using it for actually having a bigger storage in the operators main room.

    OPERATE_LAB also seems to have quite a high ops-cost, but that is an ability where you really want to have lvl 5 to get the most out of the ops used, so that is good. I've not done the math on OPERATE_LAB, so will come back to this.

    OPERATE_TERMINAL seems okey, but as with others it will tie up all the Ops the Operator can make to keep it up constantly. This might not be a bad thing, but will probably be something very few will have a big use of (I think you need to send a lot of materials within the 1000 ticks to save energy compared to the cost of the Ops). Will it work on both normal transfers and orders? Will it effect incoming transfers?

    I'm wonder that the range for the different abilities are? Is it melee, range 3 or room-wide?

    I'm not that concerned about the ops-costs, since these can be easier tweaked in the future (assuming we get constants for them), so focusing on the abilities and effects is probably the most important now. It is also viable to tune both cooldown and amount for GENERATE_OPS when we see how the supply and demand is.


  • SUN

    This skill system just doesn't feel at all nice to use. You've limited our choice to three per level but we still have to worry about the entire tree if we want to achieve anything approaching usable/fit for purpose(s) for a high level creep.

    I've said it before and i'll say it again. If we could pick each skill and then have to wait n levels before being able to level it up we would end up with a pyramid of choice not a threesome of suck. For the more powerful skills you can require that we are at least level n before we can pick it at all.

    The end result is much the same; you force us to generalise our power creeps but you put the power in the hands of the players. This is in addition to giving us a system that does not feel awful to use and plan around.

    edit: another thought is that with the current system you cannot merely add another skill into the tree later on; or even move them about post launch. You need to re-work the entire tree which has the potential to completely break builds & code.

    tl dr; This system is working against us, not for us. We have to plan around it, not with.


  • Culture

    @pundemonium Yeah, something more akin to leveling up skills in a MOBA. Things like Level 23 of the operator are completely useless if I never spec ANY of the obstruct skills before then. But since the level is a gate to getting the best lab, ops or minerals I must choose some obstruct skill that this operator will literally never use. The pyramid leveling structure avoids annoying, wasteful decisions like that.



  • @artch I've been quietly watching this feature for quite some time now (I started playing in April, 2017.) And I have to say: I don't see the reason for implementing this.

    The game is already complicated enough. There is already enough of a curve and a sufficiently high delta between low level and high level players to add yet another level.

    And what does this new level actually do? I can already move energy into my extensions, I can already mine energy. Sure, increasing the output of 3 of my sources from 3K / 300 ticks each to 8K / 300 ticks each sounds sexy (Just to use one example.)... but If I have 50 sources I'm currently mining, that's only a 10% upgrade. (165K energy per 300 ticks, as opposed to 150K without.) It's not like I can make a Power Creep to do that for every 3 sources.

    And that's if I'm not a "man spreader" spreading out and gobbling up every available "good" 2 source room as a "remote mining room."

    I understand the need for more of a "sustainable end game", but this certainly doesn't seem to be that. What fundamental aspect of this am I missing?


  • SUN

    @smokeman Why have boosts? I can already build, boosts just let me build faster. I can attack, why should I care that I can attack harder when I could just have 2 creeps attacking?

    I think power creeps allow for a level of interaction and clever strategy that does not exist in the current implementation, so I'm all for it.


  • Dev Team

    @knightshade

    Opts: I think it's a terrible name for a resource

    It's ops actually. Operations, Operator Points. Not options :)

    EnableRoom(): yeah, this was in the pros, but there's a major potential flaw here in that it can only be removed by unclaiming the room entirely, but it can be used on neutral rooms that can't be unclaimed. This is a huge potential issue. (Also, I assume the range is melee on this?)

    Yes, it's melee range. As for neutral rooms, claimController should probably reset the power status as well.

    does enabling go away when the room reverts to unowned? How exactly are reserved rooms handled?

    Reservation is irrelevant to the power enabled status.

    Any chance of being able to sabotage SK rooms?

    Not decided yet.

    Will the operator have static health, or are we looking at potentially allowing some type of health scaling per level?

    It is shown in the skills planner widget. 1000 hits per each level.

    Will the PC have to return to an owned room, or even return fully to a Power Spawn to upgrade?

    Not decided yet.

    OPERATE_LAB- Am I understanding this correctly to increase both the rate of production and consumption

    Correct.

    OBSTRUCT_SPAWN - Will this be massively increasing the spawn time of any creeps that are spawned during that time period, or will it apply a temporary delay to creeps already spawning?

    Implementation details are still being considered.

    Will there be a way to programmatically detect that a spawn has been sabotaged?

    All active power effects will be available in the API via a new property.

    SHIELD - This still consumes energy? Is this deliberate, or a typo? If it consumes energy, where exactly is the operator meant to get the energy from?

    It's not a typo. It's up to you where to bring energy from - carry in the same power creep, carry in another hauler creep, dismantle enemy walls, harvest enemy sources, etc.

    And just to double check, the operator is the only power creep currently being considered for release, correct?

    Correct.

    Also, we will be able to programmically detect if a room has been enabled, yes?

    Sure!


  • Dev Team

    @davaned

    Can you use operator abilities on enemy structures covered with ramparts?

    Not decided yet.

    Can you stack effects, eg 2 sights stacking for a +2 range? 2 Berserks? Reduce terminal costs 100%?

    No effects can be stacked.

    SK/Center rooms? Highway Rooms? Any room without controllers?

    Not decided yet.

    Terminal: That reduces BUY and SELL correct? This might add some market liquidity

    Correct.


  • Dev Team

    @kasami

    All numbers are still to be balanced when we release this on the PTR.

    Will it work on both normal transfers and orders? Will it effect incoming transfers?

    Yes, both normal transfers and market orders. I don't see how it could possibly affect incoming transfers since you don't spend energy on them.

    I'm wonder that the range for the different abilities are? Is it melee, range 3 or room-wide?

    Being debated now.


  • Dev Team

    @pundemonium

    If we could pick each skill and then have to wait n levels before being able to level it up we would end up with a pyramid of choice not a threesome of suck. For the more powerful skills you can require that we are at least level n before we can pick it at all.

    I don't see how this is any different. Eventually the result will be the same - you'll have a bunch of various undesirable skills which you have to take in order to reach your desirable ones. And 3-per-level table is more streamlined and easier to use, since at any level you have to choose between only 3 choices, not between all of them at once. More choices lead to more confusion. More freedom isn't always a good thing in game design. This system is not our invention, it's being used in a lot of MMO games, see WoW talent calculator for example.

    edit: another thought is that with the current system you cannot merely add another skill into the tree later on; or even move them about post launch. You need to re-work the entire tree which has the potential to completely break builds & code.

    Any update to skills or their paramateres will always require some kind of reset, this is unrelated to a levelling system we use.

    tl dr; This system is working against us, not for us. We have to plan around it, not with.

    Consider it a challenge, a puzzle which you have to solve to reach maximum efficiency.


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