Power Creeps update

  • Culture

    @kasami By virtue of those skills being useful, they won't be melee range, so saying the power creep must absorb 3600/tick from towers is incorrect since the player should be keeping the power creep near the border. I'll agree that DRAIN_SOURCE will be quite useless as nothing is stopping the defender from transmitting more power into the room. A skill to disable terminals temporarily would prove far more useful. Perhaps the same idea can be fulfilled with multiple creeps using DRAIN_EXTENSION, but again DRAIN_SOURCE is still pretty subpar.

    On the topic of OBSTRUCT_SPAWN, perhaps it should instead halt spawning for 1/2/3/4/5 ticks per 2 ops with a 5 tick cd? It's already a very expensive skill considering how close you have to get and how many ops it costs for such a short effect.

  • @Kasami Well the power creep itself can carry a pretty ridiculous amount of energy, even if you just give your dismantler 1 CARRY, they could keep the rampart up for the entire duration easily by pulling energy from the power creep.

    @Hernanduer I mean... Destroy energy in all extensions in 10 squares range. You have to be pretty close to bunker towers to make that very effective

    If you add an Operator to the normal Heal+Dismantle combo, give the Dismantle 1 carry... if you reach the wall of a bunker, they lose all their extensions for a very long duration, since the dismantler can keep the rampart alive.

  • @artch said in Power Creeps update:

    OK, we'll try to draft some possible builds using this system, and see if it's any better. The downside I see here is that different classes have different max level, so limits and conditions will be different for each class as well.

    If that's a downside, wouldn't ops being a resource applicable solely to operators be a downside too?

    The idea "you cannot upgrade this skill until you take 3 another skills" might be tricky to visualize.

    And side note, I agree that a MOBA style setup would be easier to understand. If you think players would have an issue visualizing that, you could easily list the current cooldowns on top:

    GENERATE_OPS lvl 3 (3 cooldown levels remaining)

    OPERATE_SPAWN lvl 2 (1 cooldown level remaining)

  • Dev Team


    The following powers are changed:

    • GENERATE_OPS generates 1/2/4/6/8 ops.
    • OPERATE_EXTENSION levels increase energy throughput, not cooldown.
    • OPERATE_OBSERVER grants unlimited range with different duration.
    • OPERATE_TOWER consumes 10 ops.
    • OPERATE_STORAGE consumes 100 ops.
    • OBSTRUCT_SPAWN renamed to DISRUPT_SPAWN - adds ticks to current spawning time.
    • OBSTRUCT_EXTENSION replaced with DISRUPT_TERMINAL - blocks all incoming transactions.
    • OBSTRUCT_TOWER renamed to DISRUPT_TOWER - effect duration 5 ticks with no cooldown.
    • DRAIN_SOURCE renamed to DISRUPT_SOURCE - doesn't destroy energy, but increases regeneration time.
    • SHIELD description explains that the rampart is non-repairable.

    As for the MOBA-style levelling system, we're working on a parallel branch of the Power Planner tool demonstrating another approach. We will continue discussion when this branch is ready.


  • @artch said in Power Creeps update:

    OBSTRUCT_EXTENSION replaced with DISRUPT_TERMINAL - blocks all incoming transactions.

    This is exactly what I feel the game will need. Right now theorycrafting says it's impossible to take a room unless you take down the empire, as repairing is so much easier than damaging. If you can seige it and prevent energy coming in via the terminal, then fights will move into the field, where the defender still has a good advantage due to towers and a "castle", but no longer is it unassailable.

    It'll play much more like real world seiges of yesteryear. I like it!


  • @tigga Yeah... although I did like the DISRUPT_EXTENSION idea as well, especially since the power creep actually had to reach a densely populated extension area to use it.

    From the looks of it, the operators will just sit on the edge of the room for a tick or two disabling stuff, and then pop back out. Effective at disabling the terminals, which makes rooms individually siegable, but at the same time, doesn't really create a very interesting situational use for the power creep.

  • Ah I'm glad @artch went for the disable terminal, I think thats a much more effective siege mechanic. Although you'll need to be very careful with maintaining the block, since 1 tick off will ruin it. Kinda like attacking controller nowadays.

    Any thought in having powers overlap with offense and defense? Like having the tower power be used to either buff or debuff towers, rather than splitting them into two different abilities? Might make it so creeps are less binary since right now you'd probably almost always take either defensive or offense on one creep.

    I'd like to add a suggestion for power creeps in general:

    Passive: Power Infused Hide

    Power creeps are resistant to energy damage and have a flat 30% damage reduction vs towers.

    I'd like to also offer the possibility that a power creep death drops some power per creep in a tombstone and costs the user that much power from their account. That way something defending against power creeps gets rewards, and players who are far behind in power can use those to level up. Would have to be balanced so that people with lots of power lose more, people with little power don't lose much.

    Edit: Maybe losing something cube root of your total power, so that if you have 10million power you are losing ~200 power per power creep killed. Not enough to be seriously damaging, but enough that it feels bad to lose a creep.


  • @davaned I like the idea of having the OPERATE and DISRUPT powers be combined, since it would also fix the issue I was talking about earlier, however I am not sure I like the idea of losing permanent power, if the system is potentially getting released without full automation it will mean I have to micromanage my power creeps quite often during combat.

    Would be kinda cool if the devs gave power creeps some type of mitigation against lasers in general, although I feel like DISRUPT_TOWER kinda serves that purpose now, and with every useful offense power having basically infinite range, I am not sure they will ever actually need mitigation.

  • Dev Team

    @gankdalf said in Power Creeps update:

    every useful offense power having basically infinite range

    Only DISRUPT_TOWER and DISRUPT_TERMINAL have infinite range. DISRUPT_SPAWN has range 20, and DISRUPT_SOURCE range 3.

  • @artch As I said, every useful power. This is obviously all just theory, but let me explain.

    DISRUPT_TOWER This is the only way for operators to safely enter a room and get anywhere near loaded towers. They may have a high number of hits, but if they want to make it out of the room alive, they need to be able to sustain continuous damage, which is currently only possible with boosted TOUGH. With the addition of OPERATE_TOWER this becomes an even bigger issue. This power is quite powerful and pretty much always useful in any siege. Requires 10 ops per tick to reduce 5 towers in a room by 50%.

    DISRUPT_TERMINAL Currently the only way to kill a well defended room is to make it so expensive that the enemy empire decides it isn't worth it, or you completely run the entire empire out of resources. Terminals allow every room in an empire to share resources, so it isn't (currently) all that important to have boosts on-site before an attack. A boosted enemy shows up, you just send in the boosts and swat the gnats. Even if this is a very expensive DISRUPT power, it is by far the most dangerous. If you have an isolated room (created with a vanishing portal or something), it must go out and kill the operator itself on the border or adjacent room by itself because if the enemy has enough Ops and boosts, they can guaranteed kill the room, since it likely cannot sustain its own boost usage (math on OPERATE_LAB still pending). It takes 65 power creep levels to self-sustain this terminal attack on a room border. This power is easily the #1 reason I wouldn't feel safe enabling power in any of my owned rooms even if I did have power creeps. I feel like something like this is necessary to help balance the game, since currently there is no way to take a room without killing the entire empire, but at the same time, it then becomes one of the most powerful weapons in the game. Using 10-15k Ops and a few boosted attackers against an isolated enemy base is almost a guaranteed kill if they cannot chase off the operator. Requires 1 op per tick to isolate a room.

    DISRUPT_SPAWN This power is a cool idea, but if it is truly to hurt an RCL8 room, it would need to not only get within 20 range of a spawn, which likely requires max level DISRUPT_TOWER, but it would also needs to have a max level DISRUPT_SPAWN and a giant stockpile of ops. Even after achieving this, it is at best a 1/3rd reduction in spawn capacity with potential to cause bugs in the enemy players code from a never spawning creep. Overall it seems like a very situational power that I cannot find a use-case for, especially considering you cannot use Lvl 5 DISRUPT_TOWER on the same power creep as Lvl 5 DISRUPT_SPAWN. Requires 2 ops per tick to disable a single spawn from nearly point-blank tower range on some bases. Requires 3 ops per tick if you include the cost to simply get in range with DISRUPT_TOWER. Would cost 13 ops per tick to fully disable the room, which is potentially very dangerous, but the operators would have to actually survive, and would need to be able to reach 20 range of all spawns. This power also does very little if the opponent already successfully spawned defenders.

    DISRUPT_SOURCE is a cool power that also likely requires DISRUPT_TOWER to safely use. It is probably safer than DISRUPT_SPAWN, but still likely requires entering a room for more than a single tick. Although this power is kinda cool, it doesn't do much more than prevent mining a source for a cycle or two.... but we already have something that does that, and it doesn't require DISRUPT_TOWER. It's called walking into the enemy room with boosted attackers and killing the miner. Sure, ramparts, walls and such can prevent this, but in the end +500 ticks of regen time only reduces the potential energy gained by 5,000. I'm fairly sure there are cheaper ways to cause a 5k energy loss that don't include spending 100 ops. This cost obviously depends on how valuable ops end up being. Finally, this attack isn't even dangerous without DISRUPT_TERMINAL. This requires 2 ops every 5 ticks to disable all sources in a room. It would also cost the 11 ops per tick for DISRUPT_TOWER and DISRUPT_TERMINAL to actually be dangerous though.

    It's not that the other powers don't do anything, it's that their usage basically requires the defender to have poorly placed spawns or sources, and then requires the other two powers to even be dangerous.

  • Power Creeps could also use the Shield power on their own square to protect themselves, and given how the current code probably doesn't support towers shooting at ramparts, they'd be invincible from towers while on their shield square.

  • @crusher48 towers firing at anything under a rampart hits the rampart. Also, I would recommend trying to make a good offense creep with many shield levels using the planner. I would like to see the link

  • Are you sure? I'm fairly certain that towers can only damage creeps because of the assumption that there are no hostile ramparts or other structures in a room with a tower in it. Also, the API says they can only attack creeps.

  • @crusher48 That is because no hostile structures currently exist in the game that can be in your own rooms. If it matches the functionality of ramparts in general, attacking anything under the rampart damages the rampart... Obviously the API docs do not include the changes from power creeps, since they aren't even on PTR yet.

  • SUN

    @crusher48 A quick test with my own ramparts seems to indicate that anything in a rampart is protected against tower attacks.

    Edit: Just tested it with invading creeps trapped in ramparts... the hostile creeps in my ramparts took no damage. As for attacking structures? Yes they do indeed. Feel free to try it yourself 😛

  • Even assuming towers could fire on shields, the shield power would still allow offensive operators to defend themselves when they get in position, at least enough to allow boosted healers to repair the damage sustained for the ticks where the shield drops.

    Though honestly, the problem is that Commanders and Executors will need similar abilities to allow them to engage in rooms with towers, or they won't be useful.

  • @crusher48 Could you show me the link of an offensive operator that has a high enough shield level that it can block more than a single attack from the towers+defenders?

    The shield power has a 20 tick cooldown, likely will only have 5-10k HP, and requires a massive amount of energy to use. It could have some synergy with a dismantler still though, since it will be generating energy at the site, but I still don't think it is sustainable without DISRUPT_TOWER, and especially not with the OPERATE_TOWER existing now

    EDIT - and it cannot move while shielded or it loses the benefit of the shield

  • @artch so I have some questions.

    Can EXTEND_SOURCE and EXTEND_MINERAL be used on the same target before it regenerates? You said the effects don't stack, but I somewhat assumed this wasn't an effect with a duration, so I am not sure it works the same way.

    Can I use OPERATE_EXTENSION on a power spawn to drain it of energy and distribute it to the room's extensions

    I still can't find a use for OPERATE_STORAGE, would there be any chance that it might get changed to work on more than just storage, and scale by a percentage rather than hundreds of thousands?

    Are cooldowns on things like OPERATE_SPAWN per spawn or per power creep?

    Although effects can't stack, can they overlap to prevent downtime?

    Is it possible to create 50 level 1 operators to mass generate ops instead of 2 level 25 creeps to generate much fewer ops?

    Can you permanently disable a spawn by repeatedly using DISRUPT_SPAWN Lv5?

    With OPERATE_LAB lv5 do I generate 11 units per reaction (addition) or 10 units per reaction (multiplication). I assume it is 11, but I thought I would ask.

    Why aren't OPERATE_EXTENSION level amounts all multiples of 200? And all of the values seems at least a bit low, although the 3 range is interesting.

  • Dev Team

    Regarding this discussion of power creeps survivability - are you probably missing the fact that power creeps can be healed by regular creeps? Some T3 healers dedicated to a power creep should be capable of protecting them from towers.

  • @artch Without boosted TOUGH, they would take 900-5000 damage from towers alone depending on how the room was constructed and whether the defender was using OPERATE_TOWER. Add in the fact that they could spawn boosted defenders on the edges of their ramparts, and it could become very difficult to actually get in range to disable the spawns.

    The main point is that it heavily depends on how the room is setup and defended. There are many rooms that I have seen that I could never get within 20 range of any spawn with a creep that didn't have boosted TOUGH or DISRUPT_TOWER running.