Power Creeps update


  • SUN

    Has there been any rough timeline announced? Are we looking at next month? Summer? Fall?



  • In my opinion, powers should be active by default in rooms with no controller (i.e. hallway rooms, SK rooms, and portal rooms). This would solve the logistical problem of how to allow players to activate or deactivate powers in these rooms, and would have a minimal impact on other players. Power activation in these neutral rooms is unlikely to significantly negatively impact an opposing player outside of a battle happening to occur in those areas, and even in most of the negative situations the powers could easily be activated anyways by a power creep rushing the controller to turn on the powers before defenders can be spawned and mobilized.

    👍

  • Culture

    @davaned It's been in the next six months for the last 2 years so take a timeline with a grain of salt.

    😑

  • SUN

    I have an idea for slowly introducing power creeps to the game. Certain of the aggressive type power creeps could have a small chance to spawn in level 8 room invasions, or as part of the convoys bringing resources etc.

    Basically, you can have a limited ability set npc power creeps that players can experience before it goes live. That way players will start thinking about countering them before they go live, similar to how room invasions start players considering defense before they get attacked for real.



  • To be honest, I don't see the advantage of the current operate extensions over the previous iteration. The previous iteration provided the ability to load up extra resources into extensions to save on the amount of extensions each hauler needed to visit, save up resources for multiple consecutive creep spawns, and even allow smaller rooms to deploy stronger creeps by buffing up their extensions to a higher level. The current operate extensions does fill extensions faster and can potentially replace one dedicated hauler creep, but since the power creep has carry capacity anyways, it can already fill extensions in a room quite quickly just using its own carry capacity (filling about 100 energy per tick to RCL8 extensions just through withdraw and transfer commands). Increasing extension capacity provides more tactical options than just merely filling extensions.


  • SUN

    @Crusher48 the cpu savings are non-trivial at a minimum

    👍


  • @artch Any updates on the second version of the UI or the testing with MOBA-style leveling?

    I'm not excited or anything 👀


  • Dev Team

    UPDATE: New version of the Power Planner tool has been deployed.

    The old version is still available by this link: https://screeps.com/power-planner-old/

    We're looking forward to your opinions what version do you like more.



  • @artch So here is some of my feedback on the new planner user interface.

    1. I don't like having to hover each icon to see what level I need to upgrade it. I don't even care how small it is, it should be displayed somewhere at all times. This is somewhat minor, but I think it is important.

    2. The undo button is nice, but it might be nicer to use a breadcrumb history instead.

    3. There is no undo, decrease, remove, retry or anything when selecting a saved creep for edit. This will get annoying in a hurry.

    4. I really like being able to select powers with 1 click.

    5. Are the checkmarks that show up when you click a power backwards or is that just me?

    Some feedback on potential balance theory

    1. Glad EXTEND_SOURCE got moved to level 10. It seemed extremely powerful for a level 1 power.

    2. OPERATE_EXTENSION still seems a bit odd. It fills fractions of extensions, and according to the current description looks like it cannot be used on Links, which seems a bit odd.

    3. I feel like I have more control over what my power creep can do at all levels, and feel like I have to make hard decisions at lower levels and higher levels. The middle levels aren't all that interesting sometimes though.

    4. Some options are obviously available that weren't before, so there are some possible balance concerns between which version is chosen, but that's obvious. This being one of the power creeps I would use in the new system, which wasn't fully possible in the other system: https://screeps.com/power-planner/?creeps=0_General_105244552c4d5

    5. Why does DISRUPT_TERMINAL have 5 levels if you can only have 3? Okay, so after retrying I am no longer having this issue.

    6. As the most powerful offensive power, level 20 might be a pretty big hurdle to cross for newer players looking to get into competitive combat. The power is almost required to have any chance at taking out some bases, so it would be great if I could access it a bit sooner, but at the same time, it is still the most powerful, so I can see why caution is being used.

    7. The price of using DISRUPT_TOWER seems a bit high to me, but I could be wrong. It definitely doesn't seem like it is meant for sustained use like I originally thought, but rather as a way to recover from a particularly deadly (or lucky) shot.

    I think the new system is better because:

    1. I feel like I am choosing powers that fit my creep, instead of choosing between powers I will never use on this creep.
    2. I can make a purely offensive Operator that can actually make use of SHIELD
    3. I can actually have level 5 GENERATE_OPS, since it no longer conflicts with every useful power.
    4. I feel like modding in new powers on my private server won't be the biggest headache ever, since they can just be added with limitations rather than requiring precise integration into the tree.
    5. Overall it just seems easier to understand. I don't have to stare at it for an hour just to figure out what things I can sacrifice to achieve a goal.

    I feel like some caution might be needed for powers that are too situational or weak, since they will be completely ignored now with no reason to ever take or try them. Harvest boosts come to mind as a similar issue.

    Overall my vote is on the new planner. Still hyped.


  • Culture

    I've only quickly looked at it this morning, but the new planner seems much simpler and easier to understand than the old. I do agree with @Gankdalf though, the level lock should probably be more visible than the tiny lock icon.


  • SUN

    I like it, I think its a great improvement and a much more flexible design. Also, although I know its not set in stone I like that kill has a huge level requirement now.

    Level Requirements: It would be nice to show visually how close to unlocking something you are, eg how many more levels. "Unlock at level 7" is fine, but personally I'd prefer a red X over the options with a "3" more levels till this unlocks. You could also show the min level requirements on the power description. For example:

    Disrupt Spawn

    lvl 1 3 7 14

    Add 1/2/3/4/5 ticks etc etc

    Creep Templates: As a product enhancement, it would be great to be able to save templates. Eg, a mother hen creep that just sits in the base, generates ops and operates your base.

    Offense/Defense Combinations: I still think it is worth considering combining some of the weaker powers so that the offense/defense versions are a single one. A flexible but weaker power is much more attractive than just a weaker power. For example, having operate observer also allow shielding a room from observation, combining disrupt and operate terminal, etc. Basically, thinking of it more like you're picking specializations that unlock certain abilities (this is an ops and terminal specialized creep).

    Operate Extensions: And I agree, I think the operate extension should be tweaked a bit. This will be one of those powers that can make things much smoother. Allowing it to use energy from a creep/itself/links would be a nice touch. The energy throughput is a bit low but I think it might be reasonable to keep it low.


  • Culture

    I like it! Much better and more intuitive, though like others are saying, it took me a little bit to even see the super super tiny lock icon and it's not obvious when they unlock.

    It's a little annoying we still have to waste levels taking a base management skill before being able to unlock disrupt terminal, though I do like that you require all 5 levels before cap to be used if you want to cap disrupt terminal. Basically says that's all that creep is going to be the best at, as it should be since that power is very strong. Wouldn't mind seeing one more offensive power though which, with this design, should be soooo much easier to draw up and include. That way we don't have to pick something to include on the offensive creeps that will likely never get proper use.

    (Edit: I guess maybe you could give it generate ops? That'd be something for it to do while it's sitting around...)

    Another helpful bit of info would be something to tell you what the potential max level for this creep is. And maybe make the current level (of the creep and the powers) a little bigger? They too are really tiny.


  • Dev Team

    A small UI update: the lock icon is now more visible, and the description tooltip contains all level requirements.



  • @artch Some additional feedback:

    1. Tooltips close when upgrading a power, which requires hovering off the power and back onto it in order to view it again. It should probably stay open.

    2. I like the new yellow highlights in the tooltips.

    3. I like that the levels are visible in the tooltips now.

    4. I like where the lock is, and how it is colored red now.

    5. I still think that the level a power is locked until should display without hovering, even if it obscured the power's icons. Something like this:

    0_1525703805957_c3f473a5-4b15-4ef2-8967-638ac1441b07-image.png


  • Dev Team

    Thanks for the feedback. Although please keep in mind that we're more concerned about skills concept right now, rather than UI/UX stuff. It's just a planner tool after all, not a real game UI.

    👍


  • @artch Here is my review of each power given what I know and think might happen with the new skill system. The new system allows for many more options and interactions that weren't possible before. This is all obviously just theory, but it might bring to light some things that weren't thought about yet.

    Hopefully I did the costs math correctly. I tried equalizing them all down to a per 50 interval for easy comparison with GENERATE_OPS, which I didn't directly rate, since... well... it should be obvious.

    OPERATE_SPAWN

    Cost: 5 ops/50 ticks (per spawn)
    Economy: 3/5
    Attack: 2/5
    Defense: 4/5
    Uses: Defense / Efficiency
    Summary:
    Increase spawn capacity, allows emergency or burst deployment, or to increase spawn capacity for more efficient mining/harvesting. It's an odd trade-off, but it looks like it could be quite useful for empires that are currently CPU locked.

    OPERATE_TOWER

    Cost: 5 ops/50 ticks (per tower)
    Economy: 2/5
    Attack: 0/5
    Defense: 2/5
    Uses: Situational / Defense
    Summary:
    This is an odd one. It could be fairly useful for repairing roads, since it would reduce the number of times a tower would need to repair roads (CPU cost), as well as reduce the energy consumption per repair action, but that heavily depends on what the cost of ops ends up resting at.

    As a defensive tool, its value heavily rests on base layout format. If your bases relies completely on edge walls with the towers located far from the attack, this will likely be a waste of ops, however, if used on a bunker it could be worth up to ~1500 total damage per tick if placed on enough towers. It's nothing ridiculous, but it isn't nothing either.

    Considering it would only be used on defense, or occasionally on one tower to burst out some repairs, it seems reasonably priced compared to other operator powers.

    OPERATE_STORAGE

    Cost: 5 ops/50 ticks (per storage)
    Economy: 3/5
    Attack: 2/5
    Defense: 2/5
    Uses: All-rounder
    Summary:
    After this was announced to hold its contents after the duration expires, it became fairly clear how powerful this was. In a game where the person with the largest stockpile with decent code wins, this the ultimate stockpiling power.

    The downside of using this power on a base though, is that you probably wouldn't want to keep sustained use of OPERATE_STORAGE. It's not terribly expensive, but it would be more optimal to run the room out of the terminal only to avoid the ops cost. This will be a tricky puzzle to handle, that may be best just ignored and bite the ops cost.

    Regardless of how a player handles this interaction, each storage that is boosted in this way allows the player to store up to ~8x as many boosts in that room at level 5.

    For economic purposes, this is the ultimate temple room power. It allows you to store enough energy in a room to reach RCL 7 without using any imports (oops I did this calculation without boosts).

    OPERATE_LAB

    Cost: 0.5 ops/50 ticks (per lab)
    Economy: 0/5
    Attack: 3/5
    Defense: 3/5
    Uses: All-rounder / Military
    Summary:
    Although this is a very simple power, boosts are powerful, and increasing the lab throughput by 300% is not situational. Boosts are always good to have on-hand.

    Although this costs the same as OPERATE_SPAWN to maintain all 10 labs (compared to 1 spawn), I can totally see myself with a level 23 power creep babysitting labs for this effect.

    OPERATE_EXTENSION

    Cost: 5 ops/50 ticks
    Economy: 1/5
    Attack: 1/5
    Defense: 1/5
    Uses: All-rounder / Efficiency
    Summary:
    I want to like this power. I have seen a few potential uses for it, but each time it seems to get outclassed by non-power creeps. The only true use for it that I could find, involved having it as a fill-in power that you choose to level up other powers, and then if the power creep is ever in range of a valid structure, throw out this power for some minor CPU gains. The primary issue with this is that it could really screw up filler code, which is usually fairly static. It could even require a full recalculation of all cached extension values, since the bot may not have control over which extensions actually get filled.

    Here are some other theoretical uses I thought of that I mostly couldn't find an actual use for.

    To completely replace fillers with one or several power creeps. The advantage being CPU gains, the disadvantage being the rate limit. For this to work, it would likely need to lose the long cooldown, but keep a fairly high ops cost.

    To allow extensions in unreachable locations. Because the power doesn't have a range limit, and fills any extension in the room, it could allow for extensions to be filled in unreachable locations. This not only saves space, but it allows for impossibly compact layouts that are braindead simple to automate. The issue again is that without enough throughput, a power creep cannot personally sustain the extensions. It could be implemented as a supplement to normal extensions, but would require deep integration into a spawn system in order to control when the power creep used the power, since direct control of which extensions are filled was stated as likely impossible.

    To allow bursting out creeps in an emergency or offense situation. The issue here is that the amount is no minute that it could hardly be counted as burst. It really only ever fills one of the previously stated roles, never really a burst or situational role.

    OPERATE_OBSERVER

    Cost: 5-1 ops/50 ticks
    Economy: 2/5
    Attack: 2/5
    Defense: 1/5
    Uses: Situational / Intel
    Summary:
    This is an interesting power that I think is mainly useful for people dealing with portals. It's very hard to quantify just how much this power can do, since it heavily depends on how close you are to portals and if your codebase is able to take advantage of them.

    OPERATE_TERMINAL

    Cost: 5 ops/50 ticks
    Economy: 1/5
    Attack: 0/5
    Defense: 0/5
    Uses: All-rounder / Efficiency
    Summary:
    A power that just decreases the cost of an already fairly cheap function. Now to be fair, it isn't that cheap, but it's energy... so it is cheap.

    This could become more useful if/when energy prices rise, maybe in relation to the number of players who start processing power.

    I currently can't see ever using this power over another, just because the benefit seems too small. Even though this is a consistently used action, I just don't see it reducing it enough to matter as much as other powers.

    DISRUPT_SPAWN

    Cost: 100 ops/50 ticks (per spawn)
    Economy: 0/5
    Attack: 5/5
    Defense: 0/5
    Uses: Offense / Military
    Summary:
    Okay, the first truly offensive power. This description assumes that 5 tick duration 5 tick cooldown means that it is capable of locking a spawn permanently. Even just one of these has the potential to completely dismantle a room's defenses if the defender's spawn code does not have DISRUPT_SPAWN accounted for. Not just that, but if the attacker can afford 3x sustained use, it makes a defending room completely helpless. If the attacker is willing to pay ~40k ops for an attack, the defender's only defense against it is to bring creeps from another room or have a standing defense in place already.

    This power can be almost completely negated by using edge walls, or at least having walls keep opponents 20 spaces away from your spawns, but I feel like at that point, they might as well be edge walls in most rooms.

    This power is extremely dangerous, and should maintain an extremely high cost. I think this power will be too powerful for a skilled attacker. I believe the range should be reduced, or the power adjusted in some other way, otherwise, this is probably the nail in the coffin for bunker layouts. I would be curious how @o4kapuk thinks he will defend against this power if someone shows up with 3x of them at one of his isolated bunkers.

    DISRUPT_TOWER

    Cost: 100 ops/50 ticks (per tower)
    Economy: 0/5
    Attack: 3/5
    Defense: 0/5
    Uses: Situational / Offense / Military
    Summary:
    I originally thought that this power should be used as a constant source of damage reduction in a room, however, I think that the cost of doing this for enough towers to matter might be a bit excessive. That being said, it can give a respite to attackers trying to recover from a particularly fatal barrage on the previous tick.

    It seems like a useful attack tool, but nothing that will outright destroy an opponents base. It's worth noting that assuming all damage multipliers are multiplicative, that even a tower that has OPERATE_TOWER on it will do less damage than a normal tower if DISRUPT_TOWER is used on it. 1 * (1 + 0.5) * (1 - 0.5) = 0.75.

    DISRUPT_SOURCE

    Cost: 10 ops/50 ticks (per tower)
    Economy: 0/5
    Attack: 2/5
    Defense: 0/5
    Uses: Offense / Military
    Summary:
    This seems like more of a harass power than an actual attack power. Even with sustained use on a base, It shouldn't break it if it is connected to a proper empire. Additionally, due to the range, it seems more like a power you would use on all of the remote mines for a room, trying to just reduce their effectiveness wherever possible.

    The main advantage I see to this power over just killing the creeps at a source is that it works over walls, however, even then I just don't see it causing enough damage to be worth attacking a room in this manner.

    I like the power, but I just feel like other options are more effective. There is a fairly real chance that this power could break someone's room code though, making it fall on its own face, so I wouldn't count it out just yet. Although it is pretty much completely countered by edge-walls.

    SHIELD

    Cost: 5-2 energy per tick
    Economy: 0/5
    Attack: 3/5
    Defense: 2/5
    Uses: Military
    Summary:
    This is a cool power. It is one of the only ways for the operator to actually defend itself. On offense, it may actually be very difficult for a defender to break through with just long range towers, which is likely the only opportunity operators will give a room to defend with. On defense, it's a bit lackluster, since the operator would have to remain stationary to remain protected. That being said, it probably would be far too good on offense if it followed the operator around.

    I like this power, but now that it can actually be taken with offense powers, it could potentially be too strong. Obviously live testing will make that clear.

    EXTEND_SOURCE

    Cost: 0
    Economy: 5/5
    Attack: 0/5
    Defense: 1/5
    Uses: All-rounder / Economy
    Summary:
    This power was immediately one of my favorites. This is an extremely simple power, but the CPU savings possible with this power seem extravagant.

    Assuming you can continue fitting more miners on a source, and power creeps in a room, it is possible to move almost all of your remote mining in-house. It might even be possible to expend any harvest boosts for this if you are truly CPU constrained.

    The defensive ability of this is that without remote mines, you cannot be harassed in the normal way, and because it does not require a regeneration period, it could be used even with DISRUPT_SOURCE being applied on your sources during an attack.

    As a final note, there is the potential to allow for burst harvesting energy using a combination of DISRUPT_SOURCE and EXTEND_SOURCE on your own sources to allow you to stockpile a massive amount of energy in a source without it regenerating. This has a loss in total energy created, but could have massive CPU gains, since you wouldn't need miners at the mine 24/7.

    And it's free, so the operators doing this task can continue generating ops to use on another task while en-route to the next source.

    EXTEND_MINERAL

    Cost: 0
    Economy: 4/5
    Attack: 2/5
    Defense: 2/5
    Uses: All-rounder / Economy
    Summary:
    I labeled this as economy, but I am not 100% sure whether to classify mineral mining as economy or military, since boosts are mostly just used for military. The basic principle of this power is that if used in the most optimal way, it will result in doubling the output of the mineral you are using it on.

    The added benefit of this stockpile, is that it has no time constraint. You can continue stockpiling until you decide to actually mine it. A very cool power that I can see using in combination with EXTEND_SOURCE to boost mines.

    And just like EXTEND_SOURCE, it's free, so the operators doing this task can continue generating ops to use on another task while en-route to the next source/mine.

    DISRUPT_TERMINAL

    Cost: 250-50 ops/50 ticks
    Economy: 0/5
    Attack: 5/5
    Defense: 0/5
    Uses: Offense / Military
    Summary:
    This is an extremely dangerous power. It may not have as much brute-force potential as DISRUPT_SPAWN, but it only requires 1 power creep, has no range limit, and can make a sitting duck out of an otherwise well defended room.

    This will disconnect a room from its empire, making it defend itself alone, or get help by walking creeps from another room. There has been much discussion on this already, so I will leave that aspect alone.

    However, there is also the potential to completely destroy someone's transfer/resource balancing code if they did not plan accordingly, since it could indefinitely back up someone's queue of transfer requests. For the unprepared, this has the potential to shut down someone's entire empire by attacking a single room.

    If someone chooses to longbow this power, it might be possible to defend against it with some cheesy swarm defense tactics, so that it misses its window. It will be fun experimenting around this power, although I feel like many people will also lose several of their rooms to this power... including myself.

    To summarize in a tier list

    S

    DISRUPT_SPAWN
    DISRUPT_TERMINAL

    A

    EXTEND_SOURCE
    EXTEND_MINERAL
    OPERATE_LAB

    B

    SHIELD
    OPERATE_STORAGE
    OPERATE_SPAWN

    C

    DISRUPT_SOURCE
    DISRUPT_TOWER
    OPERATE_TOWER
    OPERATE_EXTENSION
    OPERATE_OBSERVER

    F

    OPERATE_TERMINAL 🤔



  • Here's my hot take:

    DISRUPT_SPAWN - Seems weak, but I say that with low confidence. Probably you have to get level 4 or 5 on this or not bother at all.

    DISRUPT_TERMINAL - Obviously powerful

    EXTEND_SOURCE - Gives me free energy. Do I need that? I don't understand why it has a high level cap. Seems weak. Possibly cheaper to just sell the ops for credits and buy energy (especially if you consider CPU).

    OPERATE_MINERAL - Underwhelming. I'm not tying up a level 23 creep to double the mineral output of one source. Ever. Even at level 5. Economically more efficient to generate ops and sell them with a bunch of smaller PCs.

    OPERATE_LAB - Seems pointless. I will never use this. For it to be good, the effect would need to last for enough ticks that I could boost several lab clusters with the same PC. Even then, I do not think the effect would be worth the CPU required to move that PC around to each cluster.

    SHIELD - Probably some good tricks you can do with this. Jury is out.

    OPERATE_STORAGE - I was pretty excited about this one, mostly for temple rooms. Unlike OPERATE_LAB the effect lasts long enough that I can buff several rooms with the same PC, so it can't be too bad.

    OPERATE_SPAWN - Seems weak, especially at low levels. I could see there being some edge case uses around bringing up RCL6 rooms to RCL7 faster. I find that I am almost never spawn-rate limited in Screeps, so this is a solution to a problem I don't have. If the effect lasted longer it would be more useful.

    DISRUPT_SOURCE - Utterly pointless. Only useful on attack. Only useful when attacking someone who only has 2-3 rooms (will not effect bigger players who can terminal in resources). Only useful when attacking someone with no credits. Basically it's only useful .00001% of the time and even then it does not unlock any new capability, since I can crush that person anyways. For this to be good, you need to increase the radius of effect to be 3x3 rooms at level 2-3 and 5x5 rooms at level 4-5.

    OPERATE_TOWER - Not sure about this one. If I can always scout enough to make sure my operate_tower PC is in whatever room is being attacked, then it seems like it could be good. I think probably most players don't get attacked enough to take this skill over one that provides constant benefit (as opposed to situational). I think if I take the situational skill, it needs to really pay off in that situation. Not sure this rises to that bar.

    DISRUPT_TOWER - If it lets me clear RCL8 rooms with unboosted creeps, then this might be worth it. Haven't done the math, so I'm not sure. Otherwise I'd rather generate ops, sell the ops, and buy the T3 boosts I need to crack the room instead, which is a lot less situational. The problem with this is I need to be attacking all the time to get value. In general, I'm not.

    OPERATE_OBSERVER - Would like to understand the use case for this. If it would let me scan other shards, then that might be a weird useful edge case. It sounds useless to me and I don't know that I will ever take this. I think it would be more useful if it upgraded my ability to get event-based intel. I.e. my observer raises events when NPCs, invaders, or other players enter my zone of control. This would be a CPU improvement over active scanning. Then I might take it. As designed, I don't think anyone will ever get levels 2-5 in this skill.

    OPERATE_EXTENSION - Maybe useful with OPERATE_SPAWN? Otherwise I'm never limited by how fast I can refill my extensions. It's not an exciting skill. For this to be exciting, a single low-level PC would have to be able to replace all of my extension refillers. Then maybe I could save some CPU if I had a bunch of these PCs in a bunch of rooms. Basically, if this is only useful when I'm being attacked, then it's a bad skill. As it is, it's probably more CPU efficient to sell ops, buy energy, and turn off some remote mines if what I want to get is CPU.

    OPERATE_TERMINAL - A skill that saves a little energy. That's what no one needs. Even if this made transfers free across any distance, I probably wouldn't take it, although it would at least be useful to some players if that was the case. To take advantage of this skill, I now need to queue up all my future transfers in a way that lets one PC do a circuit around a bunch of cities that want to send materials. Even just the CPU cost of running that PC around doing that is not worth the energy I'm saving, and that is assuming that those transfers exist often enough to get a good duty cycle.

    TLDR

    I'm probably only going to use powers that:

    1. Unlock new capabilities for my empire (i.e. DISRUPT_TERMINAL)
    2. Can create efficiency constantly (OPERATE_STORAGE?)

    I'm probably never going to use powers that:

    1. Provide marginal or sporadic benefit (ex marginal: OPERATE_LAB. ex sporadic: OPERATE_TOWER)
    2. On the attack are situational but not significantly superior to regular T3 boosted creeps (lol at DISRUPT_SOURCE)

  • Dev Team

    A quick note on some skills like OPERATE_SPAWN. We had this case in mind when we were designing it: if you consider Power Level an alternative path competing with Control Level for your energy, then you may choose to control less rooms (and have less spawns) but operate them with power creeps to achieve the same amount of creeps doing economy/military tasks. OPERATE_SPAWN is not very useful for people who already invested in Control Level and got a lot of rooms/spawns; but is useful for new people who decide to go power instead of control.

    🤔


  • @shedletsky

    EXTEND_SOURCE - Gives me free energy. Do I need that? I don't understand why it has a high level cap. Seems weak. Possibly cheaper to just sell the ops for credits and buy energy (especially if you consider CPU).

    K, lets consider the CPU real quick. The only requirement for this power to work, is to have a power creep with it reach a source (any source) in your room every 100 ticks. Lets assume that this then costs 0.2 move intents every tick because the power creep has to keep moving. You also need to increase the size of the miner at that source to something like a 31W15M4C instead of whatever you are currently using.

    What does this benefit you? It means that you have 6 sources being mined by a single miner being transported to your storage by links directly from the miner. If your 5 remote mines plus haulers can somehow beat the CPU efficiency of this setup, I would be very curious how you are doing it.

    Rough table:

    Remotes EXTEND_SOURCE
    Item Cost Item Cost
    6 miners 1.2 CPU 1 miner 0.2 CPU
    5 haulers 1 CPU 1 PC 0.2 CPU

    A key thing here is that the power creep is able to spend 100 ticks away from the source, so it could walk ~50 tiles away, take a few actions and walk back. This power creep may be dedicated to economy, but it will not be tied up to the EXTEND_SOURCE power. In theory, a level 25 power creep with this setup could maintain a lv5 extended source, a lv4 extended mineral, operate 8 lv5 labs, generate enough ops to be self-sustained and then be around this base in case it needs to throw some ops at some other powers (I just chose some random powers here) in case of emergency. It's worth noting that I probably would use a lv5 EXTEND_MINERAL though, rather than EXTEND_SOURCE



  • @artch Hmm. What are the benefits of focusing on power level instead of GCL?

    GCL has a lot of passive benefits:

    1. I control more rooms so I get more resources
    2. I am bigger and harder to wipe out
    3. I have a lot of control over my spawn density (I can go build closely together in contested areas and spread out more in uncontested areas)

    Since a Power-focused empire is harder to manage (since it relies on actively using powers instead of just being large), it seems to me that there should be some kind of payoff if you actually manage to make it work. Also, some of the powers need to help you secure/farm/process power banks, possibly fighting with larger neighbors. It seems like the obvious missing power in this design is OPERATE_POWERSPAWN that makes processing power not require a huge amount of energy that you need high GCL to collect.

    It's possible power empires will make more sense once the commander/executor comes out (the one that makes raiding profitable? I forget which it is).