Warfare Ranking

  • Thank you everyone for the active contributions to this topic.

    @wtfrank some excellent points. I do believe we don't need to find the perfect metric for warfare in order for this to make sense.

    I also believe the following is actually a significant issue:

    On the other hand military prowess is kind of a side-quest

    Economy is the foundation of the game and a necessary challenge to tackle. However, the economic challenge is "limited" in scope. If the game's sole focus is energy/power you end up with players like Dissi, Hernanduer, Stybbe etc who have "solved" the game and come back to ask for more. They need greater challenges or go inactive. However, the greatest challenge is already in the game warfare, just people are treating it as a "side quest". There's so much untapped potential in the warfare part of the game. People have barely scratched the surface of what you can do.

    I've had some more time to think and I have to say I'm quite excited by the avenue of attackController. Yes, it's not perfect, but it does reflect a core aspect of warfare (the destruction of an enemy room). Here's an adjusted formula I would propose to propose.

    1. When a controller downgrades, the player who "caused" the downgrade receives CONTROLLER_LEVELS[new level] * (owner GCL)
    2. Causality is determined by who did the most controller damage for that level (capture the flag)
    3. The "causality" is reset when the controller downgrades or has its downgrade timer fully reversed
    4. When a controller downgrades, the room owner loses from his warfare rank CONTROLLER_LEVELS[new level] * (owner GCL) capped at 0
    5. Warfare rank should behave like power rank. It accumulates on your account (if you can maintain it) and there's a leaderboard showing who gained the most in the current month.

    A few important effects of these changes:

    1. It's easier to lose rank then gain because you always lose when your controller downgrades, but only gain rank when you have "tagged" the enemy controller with at least 1 attackController
    2. Since the reward scales with GCL there's little to gain from attacking new players and big rewards for managing to take down an old veteran

    This method is far from perfect, but I think it's a simple formula and a good place to start. It's not easy to farm this since you need to take down high RCL, high GCL rooms. More importantly, if someone attempts to farm this, it's highly likely he will receive a mysterious visit to cut his rank down to size.

    As @Pundemonium said, one of the problems is that most of us don't actually use attackController in warfare. Normally, you just consistently wipe the rooms and most of those rooms are out of the range of a claim unit. I'm not sure how much of a problem this would be in practice, but it's something that can be balanced later imho.

    PS: Just to clarify, in the original proposal (as well as this one) the player gaining rank was never meant to be limited by the guy losing rank. That's where points are "generated".

  • I like the idea of using attackController, however it is very easy to farm if one player is willing to take the hit. I can downgrade an RCL 8 room to RCL 1, you can then pop it back up to RCL 7 in a few ticks and I can repeat. There is a lot of individual downgrades that can be farmed out of one RCL 8 room.

    I think maybe our worries of farming are overblown though. It's not like the energy and power ranks don't have the same problems with sub token PTW.

  • Also, be aware that in this mechanic. The player willing to take a hit, would end up with rank 0.

    I'm not sure how many players are willing to sacrifice RCL8 rooms and their warfare rank(if any) for another player.

    And if someone notices that, it's not hard to whack whomever was doing this farming and effectively wipe his rank.

  • @artch there's been a pretty active discussion/debate these past days surrounding the concept of warfare/pvp ranking.

    One thing that I've realized is that it would not be particularly difficult for me to implement the latest proposal in this thread in the screeps engine.

    If it would help in your decision to implement such a thing, I'd be willing to provide a PR which effectively calculates the rank for each player and would be accessible via the API.

    It would be up to you to actually implement any UI representation of this or monthly leaderboards.

    What do you think?

  • @atavus Could try a couple of the mentioned options, and people can vote on which one's results they feel most accurately represented a good warfare ranking. Nothing like watching it in practice after all.

    Algo 1 board vs Algo 2 board type thing

  • The discussion on slack came up with a simple change to prevent farming. It has the other nice effect of encouraging the most bloodthirsty players to attack each other rather than farm noobs.

    When you attack the controller of another player you get some PvP points, but not 1:1. Instead the points are scaled based on the players' relative PvP rank. The scaling function should limit points when attacking down and boost points when attacking up.

    As further protection for noobs the scaling should round down so that high level PvP players get 0 PvP points when attacking a passive player.

    Up for debate is whether PvP points should be zero sum; does getting attacked lower your PvP points? I think this will encourage strong defense instead of just offense. It also futher encourages PvP players to attack their peers rather than players much lower on the leaderboard.

    There a pseudo code example of what I'm describing:

    t = highest pvp points in the world + 1 (updated by a cron if this is expensive to compute).
    a = attacker pvp points
    d = defender pvp points
    n = attackController damage
    a_relative = a/t
    d_relative = d/t
    scale = 1 + (d_relative - a_relative)
    a += floor(n * scale)
    d -= ceil(50% n * scale)
    t = max(t, a, d) // attempt to avoid stale t

  • IMO it doesn't need to zerosum. Warfare is already a large expenditure of resources, if two players are having a fierce battle all month they should both end up with lots of points.

    If players "farm" it by having glorious showdowns with each other then I count it as a win. Weighting it with a bit of GCL and current ranking seems like a good idea but I feel like putting up a good show on defense should reward you too.

  • @Davaned agreed. someone just sending an attack and someone else defending should not affect their scores. we would need to identify a successful attack or defense to adjust the scores. perhaps a surviving defender would get an increase in PvP points, just not as much as a successful attack... also, if it resets monthly, like the other leaderboards, i do not see the issue of 0 sum adjustments like @deft-code's being critical.

  • I still think that a leaderboard similar to what i suggested in this post (https://screeps.com/forum/topic/257/npc-strongholds) would be a decent way of doing a combat related leaderboard.

    If the NPC strongholds get stronger and stronger every time they are defeated until resetting after a certain amount of time undefeated then a leaderboard could track the highest level of stronghold that you have defeated. High enough levels may even require cooperation with other players.

    This would reset (every month?) just like the other leaderboards so that you have to be attacking every month to keep your "battle" ranking high. The NPC strongholds would have to have good enough rewards to make it worth it as well.

    Something like this would not be very "abusable" because it is not quantity based, but difficulty based, and if the difficulty scaled a lot then it would could also give bored players something else to work at or a reason to work together with other players in an attempt to beat them.

  • Also i believe something like this would encourage battle, even if it did not necessarily show how good at combat you are: https://screeps.com/forum/topic/2338/survival-leaderboard-time-w-o-respawn

  • The big problem with attack controller that doesn't seem to have occurred to anybody so far is that you can only attack controllers at a maximum of 500 squares away from your spawn. But you can wipe out a player that is approaching 1500 squares from one of your spawns. This means the ranking is arbitrarily ignoring maybe half (at a guess) of all battles - somewhat problematic! So it's not so much a "warfare ranking" as an "arbitrary subset of warfare ranking".

    In fact it's not ranking warfare at all, it's ranking a side-event almost entirely unrelated to warfare (except that the side-event is spawned after warfare has taken place). There is no guarantee that the person who knocked down 100 million hits worth of ramparts ever gets ranked. Instead, the person who gets ranked is the person who sees that a room has fallen, and sends in claim creeps to attack the controller. This may of course sometimes be the person that knocked down 100m of ramparts, but often it could be any nearby opportunist. In fact the optimal way to play this leaderboard is to observe nearby battles, and only when the work has been done and the controller is safely reachable, send in a few combat troops and claim troops to get enough controller attacks in to win the downgrade. Ideally, the optimal way to rise in the warfare ranking would be by engaging in warfare. Stealing the meat hunted by lion is what jackals do, so this ranking shouldn't be called "warfare ranking", it shouldn't even be called "arbitrary subset of warfare ranking", it should be called "jackal ranking"!

    Any useful "warfare ranking" somehow has to reflect the effort that goes into, or the result of, warfare.

  • @wtfrank all good points. The issue was touched on briefly earlier in the thread.

    Technically it's 600 squares (Claim lifetime was increased about a year ago).

    I actually am not bothered by the case you describe where player A knocks down 100m and then player B comes in. In most PVP, it's called a kill steal. Of course, nothing is stopping player A from then hunting down player B.

    You are correct that this is not an ideal metric, but it is a simple place to start and we won't be able to define or identify an ideal metric to measure warfare. You can spend the next year debating the "right" formula and creating exceptions on top of exceptions to cover every case and you will end up with something not usable. The advantage of this formula is that it builds into an easily identifiable and quantifiable mechanic of the game that is present now.

    The fact that attacking controllers is currently a small subset of warfare does not mean it would remain so if such a ranking is introduced. It's likely that people would build various strategies around the limitation of creep claim. I can certainly imagine someone building a small forward base with the exclusive purpose of spawning necessary claim parts to stake their claim to killed rooms in an area. Warfare is likely to evolve around the established "reward".

  • Dev Team

    Isn't it better to wait until we launch Screeps Arena? It looks like a much better fit for such a rating.

  • Agreed.

    There's been a fair number of ideas bouncing around, but we don't seem to be converging on a clear solution yet.

    There's enough going on with all the other changes and initiatives.