Power Creeps update



  • @artch Actually another big flaw in the whole GCL vs. PL choice is that PL rate is directly gated by the number of RCL 8 rooms you own. Obviously it is also gated by energy production after a certain point, but if you only have one room, you aren't going to be generating power as fast as the owner of two rooms because you only have one power spawn.



  • I still believe that operate_extensions works better as a power that increases extension capacity so that your creeps can fill fewer bigger extensions. This would result in fatter claim creeps, but in most cases extension capacity isn't a limitation for an RCL8 room's spawning size.


  • Dev Team

    Of course nobody will choose having just one room literally, it was just an example, all players will try to find some balance. But higher Power Level extends your capability of doing more with less rooms. You choose between having more rooms (and spending more CPU), or having less rooms and boosting them with power. Math and numbers are still under discussion and can be changed while testing on the PTR, but that's the idea.

    Commander and especially Executor should be included in this equation to make it work.

    And Power Levels don't correlate to Control Levels 1-to-1, they are not equivalent replacements to each other, but different assets aiming at the same goal - making you more capable to make an impact on the game world.


  • Dev Team

    @davaned The game economy needs more tradeable resources to maintain healthy market, and upgrading capabilities of your base seems like a nice match for such a resource. It won't be a major limiting factor, it's just another simple mechanic that makes this process deeper and more social.


  • Dev Team

    @gankdalf My point is that EXTEND_SOURCE doesn't replace remote mining, it adds on top of it, so you need more spawn capacity to handle new opportunities.



  • @artch

    Before I continue I want to be clear here. I am not trying to be difficult. I really love game theory and enjoy discussing it, but it does get a little annoying when the reason, cause, and purpose are all be summed up in "because". I want to know the actual thought behind it. I have already calculated it based on what I know. I want to know what you know. I can understand not wanting to solve a problem for us, since that is a huge part of the game, however, I feel like either I am not understanding how some of these powers interact, or default room spawn capacity was miscalculated when designing OPERATE_SPAWN.

    I feel like the original query has become less clear as this discussion has gone on. I don't understand (and it seems a few others might be in the same boat) how your description of OPERATE_SPAWN makes any sense.

    Could you give more details on how you see it being used? EXTEND_SOURCE as described does not inherently make OPERATE_SPAWN useful. Actually the way it was originally worded, it's quite likely that it would actually decrease the spawn capacity required for a single room to generate the same amount of energy, since it would reduce the number of haulers wasted on long distance remotes.

    You say:

    Our intention is to tune powers in such a way that they allow to achieve the same economy/military goals doing less actions, hence using less CPU. Control Level is about quantity, Power Level is about efficiency. Extensive vs intensive growth.

    But then refute your own statement with:

    My point is that EXTEND_SOURCE doesn't replace remote mining

    Increasing the size of the sources means that you need fewer sources to achieve the same energy production, or in contrast, can manage more sources for higher energy production.

    It seems that you have only considered the latter, when the former is more efficient, easier to defend, and easier to find rooms that support it. If you have spawn capacity and cpu left over to mine a few more nearby sources, great, but it's likely not going to be more efficient to spend ops saturating this room with overextended remotes when you can just claim a new room and use more short range EXTEND_SOURCE operators there and forget about OPERATE_SPAWN.

    it adds on top of it, so you need more spawn capacity to handle new opportunities.

    What opportunities? OPERATE_SPAWN costs ops. It isn't just about whether I can spare levels on my power creep to increase the spawn capacity for some half efficient long distance remote mines. It's competing with the other operator powers as well. It's even competing with just outright selling the ops on the market.

    You will miss out on opportunities simply by using OPERATE_SPAWN. Is it worth it? Are your long distance remote mines worth more than the ops you are spending to mine them? How much energy do you have to harvest for it to be worth more than 300% production rate on your labs? I'm quite sure this was answered already though... I don't think it is even in question. It's not even remotely (😜 puns) close.

    Of course nobody will choose having just one room literally, it was just an example, all players will try to find some balance

    Um... one room was my example to try and demonstrate the most lopsided balance scenario possible, where even with an absolutely excessive amount of power and absolutely no GCL that spawn capacity still doesn't end up being very useful.

    Obviously nobody only will have one room. That was the point. There are very few situations where more spawn capacity could net an economic benefit, and I think that they are only used because there is free spawn capacity, not because it can be purchased with OPERATE_SPAWN.

    Math and numbers are still under discussion and can be changed while testing on the PTR, but that's the idea.

    So did you not want feedback on the powers in the planner until they hit PTR?

    Commander and especially Executor should be included in this equation to make it work.

    You mean the two classes we aren't supposed to be giving feedback on because you wanted to release the operator first and have us ignore the other two classes while talking about the operator in isolation? :trollface:


  • Dev Team

    @gankdalf

    If you have EXTEND_SOURCE, this means you've spent some energy on power levels, which could have been spent on control levels otherwise. So having EXTEND_SOURCE means your balance has shifted to more energy and less spawn capacity in comparison to not having it. OPERATE_SPAWN is there to balance it back. Ops cost and other powers parameters may change to make this balance better.

    I want to know the actual thought behind it. I want to know what you know.

    This is understandable, but sorry--not realistic. We'd need to stop developing and start debating on forums full time if we try to satisfy everyone's need for information.

    👍


  • @artch Okay so I talked to @o4kapuk a bit. I think I can understand the usage of OPERATE_SPAWN a bit more, although I feel like not many people actually use spawn capacity in this way.

    Assuming traditional 6W1C3M miners, OPERATE_SPAWN makes very little sense. Actually, this is pretty much what was being discussed here. It seems pointless to increase spawn capacity for this. You run out of CPU long before you run out of spawn capacity for more small miners.

    However, if you use spawn capacity to not necessarily make more remote mines, but to make bigger miners, it means that you are spending more spawn capacity on reducing the CPU you are spending per remote mine. I had already considered using large miners, but hadn't fully calculated the spawn load on doing it.

    In this context the power makes sense. It saves CPU at the cost of energy and ops. I still think it is probably a bit underpowered, but It's closer to what I would expect from a power with this context in mind. I am not sure it fits with how I plan on using power creeps, but I can see where it could be used.

    We'd need to stop developing and start debating on forums full time if we try to satisfy everyone's need for information.

    K, that's a fair point 😂


  • SUN

    Random spitball: What about rework operate spawn as a way to spawn bigger creeps?

    Duration 5 ticks: Spawn is able to spawn a creep body of +5/10/15/20/25 increased body size (doesn't stack). When spawn has the buff it is able to start spawning a larger creep but doesn't require it for the full spawn duration.

    Allows you to have spawn some huge creeps. Make it fairly expensive, but now you can save cpu by having some huge creeps to mine minerals, upgrade, build, siege, etc. You're still limited by total room energy.

    Also, this would now make renew more useful. Now you can generate mega creeps and keep them alive with renew.


  • SUN

    I did not need my full spawn capacity even when I had SK farming on. That said I could not actually use full spawn capacity due to inefficient filling code/layouts.

    Even with operate_extension thrown in It would be physically impossible for me to make continuous use of operate_spawn.

    This is a problem with my code that I should of overhauled six months ago but... I know I won't be the only one who has trouble using this power to its full potential.

    I say this to point to the relatively higher bar for entry compared to the other powers. Many of of these powers can be integrated to existing offensive/defensive/economic strategies with trivial effort (even if such a solution would not be optimal it would be usable)

    That said with the infrastructure to support it and a decent power commitment you could give military spawn-rates quite a kick, something that has been proven to cause my main spawn bottlenecks so... high investment high reward?



  • More pointless questions about WIP powers \o/

    1. Does DISRUPT_SPAWN prevent renew?
    2. Is it possible to use .cancelSpawn() and then OPERATE_SPAWN to quickly spawn a small creep before the an operator can reapply DISRUPT_SPAWN?
    3. Does DISRUPT_SPAWN even work if the spawn isn't spawning anything?
    4. Can one power creep use EXTEND_SOURCE on the same source 3 times to make it have 18,000 energy per regeneration period, since the power cooldown is less than the source regeneration period?

    Lastly just a random idea. Should use costs maybe scale with levels? I feel like some of the random powers you are forced to take become useless, since they don't stack and cost just as much as the level 5 version to use. It might be cool to have the option to use 3 level 1 powers together, rather than 1.5 level 5 powers.


  • SUN

    A few thoughts @artch

    1. Being able to see enemy power creep "bodies" will be very important, but it would also be very valuable to see when a power has been used. For example, if you dodge an opponents "kill" power because you ducked under a rampart AFAIK there will be no indication that anything happened for the defending player. This is not a rewarding experience.

    There are a lot of powers that are very hard to track down. Consider adding a way to see opponent power cds/usage to make it more interactive.

    1. What do power creeps drop when they are destroyed? Other creeps drop a fraction of their body cost.

    2. In-game Events Power Surge: Consider having a period every month or two where power spawning is quadrupled. This will give players a chance to catch up and lead to increased player engagement during that time period. There are some other events related to invasions and portals but given that this is a power creep thread...

    3. Power creep spawning: What does it mean for a power creep to die? Does their body worth of resources get locked up for a respawn period? Can a given power spawn only spawn every x ticks with a long cd? Does actually spawning a power creep take a long time? I'd love more details on this.


  • Dev Team

    @gankdalf

    Does DISRUPT_SPAWN prevent renew?

    No it doesn't.

    Is it possible to use .cancelSpawn() and then OPERATE_SPAWN to quickly spawn a small creep before the an operator can reapply DISRUPT_SPAWN?

    Yes, it is. Also, you don't have to apply OPERATE_SPAWN again, since its cooldown is 1000 ticks.

    Does DISRUPT_SPAWN even work if the spawn isn't spawning anything?

    Obviously it doesn't, since there is no active spawning to disrupt.

    Can one power creep use EXTEND_SOURCE on the same source 3 times to make it have 18,000 energy per regeneration period, since the power cooldown is less than the source regeneration period?

    Yes.


  • Dev Team

    @davaned

    1. Being able to see enemy power creep "bodies" will be very important, but it would also be very valuable to see when a power has been used. For example, if you dodge an opponents "kill" power because you ducked under a rampart AFAIK there will be no indication that anything happened for the defending player. This is not a rewarding experience. There are a lot of powers that are very hard to track down. Consider adding a way to see opponent power cds/usage to make it more interactive.

    Every power activation will be visually indicated by its icon, see this video. As for exposing this info to the API, see Events system discussion.

    1. What do power creeps drop when they are destroyed? Other creeps drop a fraction of their body cost.

    Power creeps are never permanently destroyed, unlike regular creeps. When killed (temporarily), they only drop carried resources.

    1. Power creep spawning: What does it mean for a power creep to die? Does their body worth of resources get locked up for a respawn period? Can a given power spawn only spawn every x ticks with a long cd? Does actually spawning a power creep take a long time? I'd love more details on this.

    These are implementation details. We'll move on to them when we start actual development on the PTR.



  • @artch

    Obviously it doesn't, since there is no active spawning to disrupt.

    It isn't that obvious when a nuke can kill a spawning creep, leaving the spawn to continue spawning nothing.


  • Dev Team

    @gankdalf That's a bug, spawning should stop when a nuke lands, we'll check that.

    👍