PTR Changelog 2018-08-28

  • @tigga said in PTR Changelog 2018-08-28:

    Most notably, full size haulers would now be larger than containers, which would have a big impact on general energy harvesting.

    I'm sorry, but I fail to see how having a hauler larger than container can be bad -- just make smaller haulers, or have one hauler service multiple containers. Besides, boosted haulers right now can be larger than containers already.

    I'm kind of with likeafox here, it's not a problem with creep recycling, but rather with how limited CARRY part is.

  • @orlet said in PTR Changelog 2018-08-28:

    @tigga said in PTR Changelog 2018-08-28:

    Most notably, full size haulers would now be larger than containers, which would have a big impact on general energy harvesting.

    I'm sorry, but I fail to see how having a hauler larger than container can be bad -- just make smaller haulers, or have one hauler service multiple containers. Besides, boosted haulers right now can be larger than containers already.

    I didn't say it was bad. I said it would have a big impact on energy harvesting. A few things:

    1. Smaller haulers are less efficient. This is not a solution.
    2. As far as I'm aware most people don't run multiple containers per hauler. I agree this is what you'd want to aim for to be efficient but it adds a lot of complexity and changes some fundamental aspects of remote harvesting (eg. it makes one soruce rooms less attractive, it makes sources close to each other more attractive). Lots of people have lots of code that'd have to be rewritten. I consider this a big impact and as such it's not a change that should be made without serious consideration.
    3. Nobody (AFAIK) uses boosted carry for general hauling from sources. There are a few very narrow cases where it's almost economical but for the most part it's just a waste of resources.

  • I too think problem lies with CARRY part, not HEAL part. Specifically with how much energy CARRY can carry. And I agree that balancing should break as little code as possible.

    So my proposition is: add another part that can only carry energy, but can carry more of it. Nobody gets his code broken (everything works as before), transition to new, more economical part can be pretty easy for everybody and HEAL mules becomes a lot less attractive.

    I'm not sure what parameters should new part have exactly, but it should allow carrying more energy than it and MOVE parts cost, so that transporting energy over large distances (when only one round trip is possible) would still be economical. Probably making CARRY+MOVE only creeps live longer would do the trick too.

    Hmm, that gives me another idea - make HEAL creeps live shorter, similar to CLAIM parts mechanics? (That one is game breaking though)

  • I kinda like the compressed energy idea or the ability to convert some mineral(s) directly to energy.

    A capacitor part also sounds very interesting, but I suspect that will just make carry a rarely used part (maybe that's ok?).

    However, just buffing up the carry boosts might be enough to fix the healcarry problem. I think it's quite apparent that the boosts not powerful enough because no one uses them. Make a T1 boosted carry equal to heal carry at range 50; (+200 instead of +50?). Plus this will have minimal impact on existing code since the boosts is nearly unused.

  • Dev Team

    I think it's quite apparent that the boosts not powerful enough because no one uses them.

    I use full-boosted transports to receive ~10k of energy once I have storage built (just to store boosts recovered from recycled transports). As far as I know, many military players use carry boost to have rcl6 at enemy territory as fast as possible (and it's really fast, I'm able to raise a room in less than 50k ticks). So when you say "nearly unused" I feel like I disagree.

  • @o4kapuk just because they're used in one situation and just because you use them doesn't mean they're in a good place.

    Another way to make carry boosts more useful would be to make them more easily available. If they were found in caravans or the upcoming strongholds then you'd be able to get them at lower than cost. If you get them at less than cost it's much more economical to use them in more situaitons. They'd also possibly appear on the market at lower than cost.

    It would also be nice if we could see a reaction time decrease for carry boosts.

  • Dev Team

    Another way of making carry boosts more popular is fixing an alternative delivery method, MOVE/HEAL haulers, for example. Wait, oh shi~~


  • I must reinforce o4kapuk's point. I myself rely on carry boosts in a number of combat scenarios.

    I use carry boosts for:

    1. transports into (potentially quite far) forts deep into enemy territory
    2. fully boosted wall builders in defense/siege scenarios
    3. "thief" units to quickly drain a storage/terminal that has been exposed
    4. micro transport units to save spawn time when the room of origin is scheduled to spawn a large offensive operation

    Those scenarios are just off the top of my head. To be honest, on my personal list of boost rankings, carry is actually pretty far up. Harvest remains the most useless boost imho, followed by attack boost (not currently in my meta).


  • IMO, a solution for harvest boosts is to make them act like build/upgrade boosts: instead of having x4 harvest rate and depleting the source in 10 ticks, instead they increase the energy gain by 50/70/100% without affecting the amount the source loses. Thus, harvest boosts could be used to double mining profits in an operation.

  • One other strategy this nerf hits pretty bad is recycle-harvesters.

    1. Place you spawn by the source.
    2. Spawn a 50 WORK harvester in the direction of the source.
    3. Harvest the source in 30 ticks onto a container. Ideally a hauler would be nearby as well or you'll get some wastage on the ground.
    4. Recycle. Hauler stops by whenever to clear the tombstone.
    5. Goto 2.

    This gives you a total of 33 intents and 104 energy to clear 3000 energy from a source. For reference a 6W+3M+1C harvester would cost 200 energy and 250 intents to do the same thing. IMO this is the most efficient way of harvesting in the game right now so long as you don't care about spawn cycles. It may be worth it to use T1 harvest boosts to cut the intents and energy by a factor of ~3 at the cost of 10 T1 boosts/cycle.

    The proposed recycle nerf completely destroys this idea. The energy cost would go to 1573 by my calculations, which is obviously too high. Personally I don't think this kind of thing should be nerfed. Although nobody actually does it AFAIK it's sad to see some of the cleverer uses of recycle basically being nerfed into the ground. I don't disagree that HEAL-carry is a bit broken, and I'm not sure what the better fix is, but I don't much care for this one.

  • Simple solution: make the nerf only apply to recycling of HEAL parts. Other parts are unaffected.

  • Maybe another Idea - new body party ENERGY - costs 100/150, Ability: recycleCreep returns 100% of energy.

    If you(developer) don't want us to use HEAL to recycleCreep at end, why not give us a part to play with that gives interesting returns?

  • I don't think that would help. It would just end up giving us 25 MOVE, 24 HEAL, 1 ENERGY creeps. And what would multiple ENERGY parts do?

  • As understand it, ENERGY part would only recycle itself 100%. So you can build 25MOVE 25ENERGY creeps to recycle them at target, thus transferring more energy with less CPU and no boosts, but at increased spawn pressure.

  • @crusher48 I had a similar idea to you - the problem is with heal parts being objectively better than carry parts in some circumstances. So we should do a targeted nerf on heal parts as you suggest, except people would then switch to the next most expensive part, presumably ranged_attack or perhaps claim. So let's make a precise definition of the excess return, and then nerf precisely that:

    A carry part can transport up to 100 energy in perfect circumstances (50 energy carried and <= 50 recycled). Any part that costs more than 100 energy can be objectively better than carry under certain circumstances.

    So lets nerf precisely the excess return of these parts (and any expensive parts > 100 that are created in the future), and leave other parts that are objectively worse than carry at transporting alone.

    So before we modify the recycle return by creep TTL, we allow the first 100 value of a part to be recycled at 100%, and then nerf the value beyond 100 by e.g. 50% - so HEAL would recycle at a maximum of 100 + 150 * 50% = 175, CLAIM would recycle at a maximum of 100 + 500 * 50%=350, and RANGED_ATTACK would recycle at a maximum of 100+50 * 50% = 125.

  • Dev Team

    @wtfrank Yes, one of the alternatives we're debating right now is to keep the 100% return, but not more than 100 (or 150) energy per part.

  • Dev Team

    Or, we can make it simpler and just limit return-per-part by 100-125-150. So most body parts (including WORK) will be unaffected. I'd propose 125 because this value has minimal impact on RANGED_ATTACK (this is how much is currently returned from 1250-ttl RANGED_ATTACK part) and still it's ~75% of the current return of 1000-ttl HEAL part.

  • Interesting. My vote is capping it at 125 per part.


  • I like the cap-per-part idea.

  • Having a 70% return for energy and 100% return for boosts seems really inelegant to me and is another weird edge case/bit of artifice I need to internalize into my code. Yuck.

    Issacar's critique is on the money. You are patching the problem in the wrong place. The real problem is that CARRY is so inefficient.

    It would be better to just remove recycling entirely than to introduce magic thresholds for when certain things happen, which is a design crutch. Recycling is already an edge case strategy that, if you are not transporting energy via HEAL parts, really has no use and is it even worth the CPU it costs to invoke.

    Capping per part is an even grosser solution. What problem are you even trying to solve? This is only a problem because of the other design kludge introduced when you made RCL 8 rooms cap out on GCL production so the game now has this weird mechanic of temple rooms.

    I think we should leave this alone and focus on shipping power creeps instead.

    If it really needs to be addressed, the stupid answer is to make HEAL parts cheaper so that CARRY parts are better for transporting energy. The cost of HEAL has no impact on the game at all and could literally be anything.

    My 2c