Enabling power on rooms

  • If it were to be toggleable 20k ticks is not long enough. Just safe mode and disable power if ever you're having difficulty with power creeps.

    Personally I feel power would work best if the majority of rooms have it enabled. For me it's reasonable to have it be optionally enabled because power creeps have the potential to be very useful when attacking and players who aren't ready for that will have very few counters. IMO if you have plenty of power processed I believe the incentives should be heavily in favour of enabling power in all of your rooms. Today they are not.

    Pulling back more generally. Today there are two ways to take a room off a developed active late-game player:

    1. Global attrition: wear down his resources across the entirety of his rooms and his credit account until he can no longer pump things in through the terminal.
    2. Single room saturation: put enough pressure on a single room such that it cannot use it's three spawns to pump out enough creeps (ie. you need more than 30 50-part creeps to counter what's coming at you).

    If anything else works is because the defender either doesn't have solid defense code or because they had an issue with their code it was possible to exploit and they weren't active enough to correct it.

    Some of the powers of operators should allow for a third option where the terminal and spawns are disrupted. This can be defended against by bringing in creeps and resources over-land. The defender still has the advantage, but the combat becomes more dynamic. If you can just disable power when under threat or have no incentive to enable power on a large scale at all, then these operators and their skills have no reason to exist. With the powers as they stand I don't believe there's incentive to have more than one room across all of your rooms power enabled, and that's bad.

  • Dev Team

    What if power is always automatically enabled when a Power Spawn is present in the room?

  • @artch and is power disabled when the power spawn is destroyed, or by unclaiming the room per the present design?

  • Dev Team

    @wtfrank I think by unclaiming the room looks more consistent.

  • Activating when you build a power spawn is an interesting idea and I think it would help a lot. To be able to process power at a high rate you need power spawns in a reasonable percentage of your rooms. I guess you'd have to be a bit careful to let people know in advance so they could destroy their power spawns.

    IMO with that change power users would probably have power enabled in 25%+ of their rooms. I guess it'll depend on how people value power compared to GCL.

  • @artch said in Enabling power on rooms:

    What if power is always automatically enabled when a Power Spawn is present in the room?

    As an alternative idea: how about the power spawn is only active if power is enabled? That way you don't have to worry about current players having all their rooms have power active state and you get the same end result: power and power spawn are linked.

  • If you can't process power without being vulnerable to power creep attacks, does that create a problem for latecomers?

    E.g. a new player starts playing in Jan 2019, is processing power in July 2019, by which time all the players around him are running 10 separate max level power creeps. Once he hit RCL 8 he's been able to hold off their attacks by good defence code and judicious use of boosted creeps, but as soon as he starts processing power he becomes extra vulnerable to the more advanced players and loses his rooms.

    Is this a realistic scenario?

    Obviously higher GCL/power players should generally be more powerful than lower GCL/power players - it's fundamental to the game But wouldn't vulnerability to power creep attacks as soon as you start processing power subvert the entire design purpose of having powers be opt in?

  • @wtfrank said in Enabling power on rooms:

    Obviously higher GCL/power players should generally be more powerful than lower GCL/power players - it's fundamental to the game But wouldn't vulnerability to power creep attacks as soon as you start processing power subvert the entire design purpose of having powers be opt in?

    I see your point. I don't think it's a major issue because:

    1. You get to choose. It's not like regular defenses will suddenly become useless. Place your power spawn in a defensible room in your core.
    2. You get a lot of power levels very quickly.
    3. There's no chain reaction. Maybe you lose your first room with a power spawn, but you still have other rooms and they are only vulnverable to the same thing if you let them be.

  • Tbh I don't think that the power spawn = power enabled will make a particularly large impact. Power is a fairly low quantity that could easily get sent to 3-4 rooms for processing, how often are you processing more than -200 energy of power at a time?

    That also prevents the use of power creeps for building up a room, which imo was an interesting usecase.

    I do really think it's something that should be linked to the room, and based on the controller. Making it something players have agency over is good. Also, the idea of fighting to activating power in an enemy bunker room so that you can break their defenses is a cool one. It gives multiple angles of attack and makes controller-based attacks more impactful.

    I think having it toggleable with some delay/cost/limitations is the right way way to approach it in a non-hacky way.

  • @davaned said in Enabling power on rooms:

    Tbh I don't think that the power spawn = power enabled will make a particularly large impact. Power is a fairly low quantity that could easily get sent to 3-4 rooms for processing, how often are you processing more than -200 energy of power at a time?

    How about power enabled => power spawn enabled? In other words, you can't use the power spawn in rooms without power enabled. The power spawn itself doesn't activate power.

    You're right, maybe it's not wide reaching enough. I still don't like the idea of delayed toggles though.

  • @Tigga I'm not sure how much that accomplishes. It'd be fine because it's not a huge swing either way... EXCEPT it totally screws new players. If you don't have any power and want to start getting some, you have to open up your rooms before you even have power of your own. And it could takes months to get enough power to be able to spawn decent power creeps.

    Honestly, I'd rather not have power spawns be linked with powers being active. It doesn't accomplish that much along the vector we're looking to solve while increasing the barrier to entry.

    I don't see a way you can have power activation only ever be a one way street without it being fundamentally broken. If I can't ever deactivate it, I'm incredibly hesitant to ever activate it.

    Another idea: Turning on power in a room is free. Deactivating power puts the room on a safemode lockout period equal to a safemode duration + standard lockout (but does not safemode the room). You cannot deactivate power during a safemode.

    That way you can't deactivate power during an assault without significant risk. Needs a delay on activation to prevent attack from activating then deactivating powers to deny safemode.

  • @artch I haven't loved most of the suggestions for how to handle powers being active in rooms. The main problem seems to be that activating it is a permanent decision, so why not make it similar to how we do current behavior for controllers?

    Make activating power like a controller claim/reservation. Creep walks up to controller and activates power, which adds 500 ticks of power usage to the room. This can stack up to 50k ticks of power activation. Add something similar to attackController that decrements the power reservation to weaken rooms which rely on it, and an attack can fight to activate powers for the room.

    The decision is not longer permanent, and similar to maintaining a level 8 room it requires occasional interaction.


  • I was under the impression that the latch nature of power enabled was on purpose. The thought is that after enough time most of the rooms will eventually have power enabled, then it can just be set on by default. I never imagined that power enabling was meant to be a long term part of the game.

    I figured at least one person would code up a roaming power creep that just enables power in every unclaimed room in the entire shard.

  • @davaned The power activation of a room is not permanent as far as I know. Unclaiming the controller will undo the activation. Its not too hard to automate that, I think.

  • I don't really think I'm on the same page as you @Davaned

    I feel:

    1. Power should change the way combat works in your room. It'll make it easier to kill if the other guy has power creeps (especially if you don't). It'll make it easier to defend if the other guy doesn't have power creeps.
    2. Power should be good enough that you want it in your rooms. The world is generally quite peaceful and so it doesn't have to be amazing for this to be the case: the powers just have to be designed so that it's in your best interests to distribute them.

    Having a power opt-out is an important feature as it lets new players get started without having to worry about an "end-game" power creep coming at them. For high GCL players power enablement should be the default state. That's hard to codify neatly. The concept of any sort of remotely easy way to disable power will turn power enablement into a tool for the defender and will make rooms even harder to crack than they are today.

  • @Tigga Only thing is that as you state, the disincentives are so huge for a permanent enablement (without ditching a room) that people won't opt in. If it started as a temporary enablement that could be modified to last longer durations as they have been out longer and are more balanced, I think people might be more willing to take a chance. Also, it could provide a smooth transition. If at first it was enabled for 1k ticks per trigger, and then that was upped to 10k then 100k you can gradually cement power creeps.

    End state I do expect it to be default enabled and end up like boosts, where a new player basically instantly loses in a challenge so the goal early is to survive and grow until you have your own. That's why I don't like the "power must be is enabled to process power" because it hurts new players much more than established ones.

  • In that case I'd say just force power enabled on any RCL 8 room and be done with it. Lower RCL rooms can be optional.

  • SUN

    @tigga So that a player that is still working out how to even farm power can be kicked over without hope of counter by a player who has had a chance to figure out how to get at creeps that can literally cripple (or in extreme cases, shut down) a room?

    This has to be opt in.

  • I'd argue that power creeps are new game+

    One of the biggest concerns with this game is the shear volume of code you need to be "ok". And each step below "ok" leaves you utterly vulnerable. If you don't have defense, you get totally stomped. If you don't have boosts, you get totally stomped. And now if you don't have power creeps, you get totally stomped. Each represents vast amounts of code that needs to be discovered, written, tested, fixed, and thats all without factoring in all the other roadblocks on the game.

    Power is a vast investment of resources (energy, code, credits, time), and very much seems like lategame content for experienced players. Don't force everything on new players at once, let them unlock things naturally and not permanently be at a hopeless disadvantage. No need to put kids learning to ride a bike up against tanks. My 2 cents on the issue.


  • Getting the first 10 power levels is both cheap and quick. It does not require a vast investment of resources. ~75000 power, ~3.6 million energy.

    I understand the desire to have give new players time to ramp-up. I personally feel that the "power once enabled in a room is always enabled" and "power spawn is only active if power is enabled" is a good start but doesn't go far enough. It's not like the moment you enable your first power spawn all the vets are going to jump on your and murder you. Getting to a reasonable number of power levels with a single power spawn is not a huge investment. Losing a single room because your neighbour used the fact that he has more power is not crippling.

    Ramp-up time is great but I don't want to see high GCL players with the resources to support power code leaving it enabled in one or two rooms or opting out completely. I don't want to see them disabling it the moment they feel it may leave one of their rooms vulnverable after reaping hundreds of thousands of ticks of economic benefits. Pretty much any suggestion about even marginally easy disabling of power will just lead to people reaping all the benefits and none of the drawbacks.

    Power on everywhere should be the state that everybody wants to be in or it should be forced upon people. Given the current design of power creeps doesn't really give incentives to enabling power in all your rooms, something has to change. Having pre-power and new players have RCL 8 rooms vulnverable (but no other rooms) seems fine to me. An alternative would be a rework of the powers to make you really want to enable power in all your rooms. Today we're quite a bit away from that, though I may make a separate post with ideas along those lines.

    Either that, or power is DOA. It's either part of the game or it's not. If it's only in a tiny percetnage of rooms, a large proportion of the powers are not part of the game and the feature is a giant waste of time.