Power Creeps update


  • 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.


  • Dev Team

    @hernanduer

    The pyramid leveling structure avoids annoying, wasteful decisions like that.

    These "wasteful" decisions are the purpose of this system, they are intended. You want skill X? OK, but you get skill Y in addition - now you can either use only X, or wrap you mind around how to use both X and Y in a most effective way. It's a challenge!

    Although, your example of a military skill added to a non-military creep doesn't look like a valid example. All military skills always have non-military alternatives on the same level. Could you give us any such example using a shareable link?


  • Dev Team

    @Smokeman

    1. Power Creeps present a whole lot of new coding challenges.

    2. They allow for an alternative way of growing your empire's economy without expanding into more rooms. If you have a bunch of Operators extending sources and minerals, operating structures, then this is equal to having more said sources, minerals and structures, but with less rooms. Commanders can make your regular creeps work more effectively. And each Executor can literally replace a number of workers/military creeps. So you basically are able achieve the same effect as another player with higher GCL, but using less creeps, less rooms and less CPU. Global Control Level is a competitor to Power Level, that's the choice you'll have to start thinking about.



  • It seems that the operator power to generate ops must be actively picked up or the operator cannot generate ops. That has a side effect of meaning that the levels where generate ops is a power are basically dead levels (because anyone will want those levels to maximize their ops generated whether they want to use ops or sell ops). How about instead, all operators had generateOps as an extra power that generated ops equal to the creep's level on a 200 tick cooldown?

    Also, would commanders and executors use ops as well?


  • Dev Team

    @crusher48

    It seems that the operator power to generate ops must be actively picked up or the operator cannot generate ops. That has a side effect of meaning that the levels where generate ops is a power are basically dead levels (because anyone will want those levels to maximize their ops generated whether they want to use ops or sell ops).

    You can buy/sell ops on the market. I can easily imagine some Operators without GENERATE_OPS at all, using externally purchased ops to maximize efficiency of other skills.

    Also, would commanders and executors use ops as well?

    No, it's for Operators only.


  • AYCE

    @artch said in Power Creeps update:

    Although, your example of a military skill added to a non-military creep doesn't look like a valid example. All military skills always have non-military alternatives on the same level. Could you give us any such example using a shareable link?

    Operator lvl 23 has this problem I think, where you choose between OBSTRUCT_SPAWN, DRAIN_EXTENSION and OBSTRUCT_TOWER



  • I found an exploit in the current design as well: the best way to generate ops is with banks of level 1 operators only using the generate_ops power. Using that means that you get 1 op per level rather than 1 op per 5 levels for a normal maxed operator, and if you're running conventional operators along with the reactor operators, those operators can have all 25 levels devoted to using the ops and run off of the reactor creeps generating ops back at the base. Since it is almost required that generate ops be a level 1 power (so that a player can use power creeps to at least some level without relying on the market), this isn't really easy to fix without making op generation be a separate power not part of the main power tree.

    EDIT: also, extend source and extend mineral should probably have an ops cost. If the reactor creeps were levelled to level 2, they could also supercharge an energy source in their room while generating ops without impacting their op generation. It would also balance extend source and extend minerals and mitigate any market impact those abilities would have.


  • AYCE

    @crusher48 said in Power Creeps update:

    I found an exploit in the current design as well: the best way to generate ops is with banks of level 1 operators only using the generate_ops power.

    Actually starting a new creep will require an extra power level, so it will be 1 GENERATE_OPS for each 2 power levels. But yeah, it can still be undesireable. I do think the first GENERATE_OPS should be placed further up the "tree". Maybe switch it with the lvl 3-choice.


  • AYCE

    While playing around with builds, I see that OPERATE_SPAWN and OPERATE_EXTENSION is at the same level 3 times (3, 15 and 19).

    Is this intentional? They have a nice synergy which could give some interesting high-level power creeps.


  • SUN

    @artch Will the level options be randomized for each power creep spawned? Or is this a fixed tree we have to work around.


  • SUN

    @artch I have to pay attention the the entire tree at once if I want to attempt to optimally solve this puzzle (or indeed, to attempt to solve it at all). That is the exact opposite of a streamlined experience.

    If I have a level n creep how do I know what skills I can have at what levels without having to stare at that mess for 15 minutes?

    I'd know with a pyramid I could have x/y/z skills at n levels in an instant... and I would actually have the pleasure of choosing my exact skill composition right from level one to max; even if such choice was an illusion it feels better and more intuitive to grasp to my small mind.



  • @artch I understand all of that.

    Except that they're NOT in competition. A player can (And basically must.) do both at once. This multiplies the effect of GCL, not competes with it. If at GCL 15 I can, and I quote: "... are able achieve the same effect as another player with higher GCL, but using less creeps, less rooms and less CPU." That "Player with higher GCL" will be able to do all that times the same factor of increase I got.

    Now, if you were also planning to gut GCL and it's accompanying CPU amounts to a far lower level, say a 15 /150 cap, then I could start to understand it. I would even favor a lower GCL limit than that, say 10 / 100.


  • AYCE

    Another aspect that would be much easier with a MOBA-style selection is the possibility of adding new skills in the future. If new skills are going to be added now, the whole tree has to be reworked, and it probably breaks most of the builds that are being used.

    I don't know if it is planned to add new skills, but I think totally abandoning the idea of new skills is shortsighted.

    With a MOBA-style selection the players can just ignore the new skills added, while with the current implementation all PCs will probably have to be respeced.

    It would also be much easier to grasp. As Pundemonium is saying, before choosing a skill now I have to consider all the future choices, which makes it a very tedious job. If this had been an RPG where I've had such a skill tree, it would have been fine. But this is a game that nurtures and encourages min/max-ing. Comparing to the WoW talent tree is weird, as that is individual abilities, not levels like we have.

    From playing around with the tree, my conclusion is basically that I will make as many lvl 5 or lvl 7 creeps that I can and fill my rooms with them, as the next skills are undesired and it would be better to start another PC to quickly get to desired skills again (even with the create-penalty). Maybe 1-2 max-level PC for special situations in addition.

    I would much more have prefered a system with max lvl 20-25, where lvl 2 skills require PC lvl 5, lvl 3 skills => PC lvl 10, lvl 4 skills => PC lvl 15, lvl 5 skills => PC lvl 20 (limits up for debate)