Super Structures and Creeps Idea.

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  • I really like this idea! However, I don't like the "super creeps" part, since it seems redundant with power creeps coming soon (TM). I think 100M energy might be a bit too expensive (it would take a room mining 10 sources over a month to build this structure); perhaps 10-20M might be more reasonable.

    If I were to design this feature, I would do something along these lines. Each RCL8 room can build one super structure from the following list of totally balanced ideas, and only one of each structure can be built per player:

    • Teleporter: open a portal that lasts for X ticks to a core room in any sector (maybe inter-shard?). However, portals are traversable in both directions by any creep and cannot be pre-emptively closed
    • Super terminal: can store a huge amount of resources (10M?) and can send resources to any terminal for no energy cost. (Minimum send size of 5000; cooldown of 20 ticks)
    • Munitions factory: has an input and output storage. When supplied with energy and minerals, generates a bomb every X ticks. Bombs are handled like resources but take up 5000 carry space (so creeps carrying them must be CARRY/MOVE boosted), and can be sent through terminals. If a bomb is dropped, either through the creep dying or by using drop(), it detonates after 5 ticks, dealing X damage to anything within Y range.
    • Missile silo: like a miniature nuke. When supplied with energy and minerals, generates a missile every X ticks up to a maximum of 10. Missiles can be launched to any room (friendly or enemy) within 10 range, land after 3 ticks, and deal 10,000 damage to everything in a 3x3 area. Single missiles could easily be dodged, so arranging them in a formation that invaders could not dodge would be necessary.

  • My response when I read this post last night was the same as @Muon - the super structures sound cool and interesting, but I wasn't very excited about the super creeps.

    TBH most of the structures that both @likeafox and @Muon have proposed sound overpowered in various ways.

    Temple as described is about the tradeoff between upfront investment and long term increased upgrading potential. over a sufficiently long time horizon, the cost of the upfront investment amortises to 0, so I wonder if an ongoing cost to run it would be more appropriate. You can already burn minerals to make upgrader boosts, so what about this temple requiring you to burn power to run it. That way you would be making a tradeoff between power ranking and gcl ranking. Which would make an interesting and perhaps difficult decision.

    Teleport pad/ jump pad /flag spawn all sound interesting and perhaps not too unbalanced. I can think of some interesting things to use the flag spawn for, e.g. advance attack base for hordes of creeps, or alternatively an sk super exploiting room that exploits 4 sk rooms at once.

    Teleporter... a portal on demand to any sector sounds like it would be a massive projection of power around the shard... possibly too dangerous to allow. (I'd abuse the fuck out of that I can tell you right now 😄 )

    Super terminal, i'm interested in the idea of a very large storage facility (though we get that with power creeps), but the idea of of sending resources to any terminal for no cost might cause some issues...

    Munitions factory, interesting and fun - a new option for combat

    Missile silo - as described this is basically an "I win" button against anyone trying to create a room near you... I suspect this would cause too many problems if it's that easy to wipe a baby room out. What if ramparts provided complete immunity to a missile? Or would that make them entirely useless in your view

  • @wtfrank The ideas I pitched were just me spit-balling and may indeed be imbalanced, but I do think that there is a lot of room for interesting new structures in the game! Some responses to your comments:

    • Teleporter: I don't think this would be too overpowered except in the possible case of being used by a mega-alliance (looking at you, shard1...) I do think that the game needs a more reliable way to traverse across the map and across shards, since currently most players are limited to only ever interacting with a half-dozen other players. Perhaps a more balanced version would be this. On a cooldown of ~10k ticks, create a portal in any core room for 100k energy which has 1hp, which can be destroyed by enemy creeps. Portals last for 1000 ticks or until 10 creeps have traveled through it.
    • Super terminal: the point of no send costs is to incentivize the structure for mass storage use, which necessitates good defenses. Perhaps it should only be able to send to terminals owned by the player though.
    • Missile silo: I hadn't thought about killing baby rooms; some sort of modification might need to be made for that. I envisioned this idea mainly as disrupting clumped squads of creeps, which seems to be the primary combat strategy in high level play. As I imagine it, ramparts wouldn't provide immunity per se, but any creeps under the rampart would be protected. The rampart would take damage, but 10k damage to a rampart is barely noticeable, and the production time and costs would be large enough that this wouldn't be effective as a siege device.

    I also like the idea of using minerals in a temple to increase the upgrade cap. I've always disliked the RCL8 upgrade cap mechanic as it currently is, since you can easily but inelegantly avoid it using temple rooms. Perhaps a version that might provide a better workaround for this would be:

    • Temple: a structure with a store which can be built on top of a controller. Temple has an upgradeController(amount) method, which consumes amount energy and ceil(amount/X) ghodium to upgrade a controller by amount points, ignoring upgrade caps. (Perhaps it could accept any mineral, with X varying depending on the type of resource.)

  • I kinda like the idea, although tbh with power creeps coming we are unlocking enough new dynamic content that I feel no need for this. Also, if there were super structures, I'd much rather they were an upgradable structure like a controller that you can keep building and improving rather than 100million energy to turn it on. This gives players something new and cool, while retaining a goal to work towards. Basically another long-term energy/mineral sink that players can use to work towards an ultimate room.

    Eg, for a teleport pad, range would increase and cd would decrease as you upgraded the building. Upgrading would have the same scaling cost increase, so level 1 would be ~10 mill, level 2 would be 20 mill, lvl 3 40mill, etc possibly forever. Makes rooms high value targets and makes players extra invested in them.

    The idea of upgradeable towers with modules kinda falls into this. Eg you could have an in-room teleport with a bunch of speed modules but no range ones, so you can just port your creeps around your room. Or a ton of range modules and no speed to drop creeps off 5 rooms away.

    Munitions factory is an interesting concept... I'd be interesting in seeing one that produces barricades/shield that are deployable, like on-demand weak rampart/wall creations. But all this feels very much like overlap with power creep goals.

  • I was thinking these structures/creeps can be geared to replace the current meta. Structures was given to Economic based players, super creeps are created for military based players. But with power creeps coming, I thought super creeps were redundant, but liked the idea of siege unit.

    I would think this is easier to balance that Power Creeps - these structures do 1 thing and is limited by the nature of costs and available.

    Also think that these structures have levels, takes maybe 10M to create 1 structure, but another 10M for lv2 structure, 20M for lv3, ect. ect.

    The temple Structure was in replacement of a temple room, instead of creating a room that you level from 1-8 over and over again, you have a specialized rooms for leveling.

    I like the idea of a super Terminal - 1 Super Size structure that can hold lots of minerals.

    Munitions Factory - Sounds interesting and can create more military options.

    Missile Silo - Short delay attack for low damage, only does damage to creeps.

    How do people feel about these structures not having ramparts and being vunuable to nukes? I would think this is a good way to create conflict between players.

  • My proposal for a super structure is a portal generator. Only 1 per player, very expensive to build 1M+ energy + minerals?. Costs energy and G to open and maintain a portal. A portal takes 20000 ticks to open and is visible to all players whilst is opening. Once open the portal can be used by any player in either direction like the portals in SK rooms. Portals last 20K ticks. For a number of reasons players wouldnt be able to open portals between shards.

    This would provide a way for players to wage war across much larger distances. Forcing a portal to remain open for a number of ticks prevents hit and run attacks with no option for retaliation.

    We could also add functionality to allow the creating player to extend the life of the portal by adding more resources but this shouldnt allow the creating player the ability to close the portal without warning

  • Dev Team

    Interesting idea. I like it because it could increase connectivity. But, we all here see it as a good thing while economical-oriented players who don't want war could say it is not that good idea. Currently, if a player doesn't want combat, he can escape and run far away (unless it's CoPS who chase him), but multi-shard player having portals can hit anyone without any traveling efforts. We need a solution for this.

    Plus, I'd say 20k is nothing, the 'appearing' time should be enough for players to react (well probably it's enough) and portal lifetime should be enough for an experienced player to set a foothold on the other side. Assuming nobody raised a room from RCL0 to RCL8 faster than 40k ticks, 20k sounds not enough.

  • I also don't much care for the super creeps idea. Those are power creeps.

    I think there's scope for "power buildings" that consume raw unprocessed power as well as energy to perform operations. In a way it feels a bit more natural than power creeps "operating" buildings.

    Super buildings could be hooked into the power creeps framework. I don't much care for the concept of "unique" buildings, but if they consumed power levels then maybe that'd help limit how many super buildings you'd get.

    EDIT: I should also say I'm not sure about the idea of making movement too easy. Locality is an important concept in screeps and I kinda feel it should remain so. IMO a 20k+20k portal would be too powerful without some other constraints on it. I would consider it "easy" to raise a room to RCL 8 with this kind of portal: during the first 20k ticks you're protected by active creeps and I feel you can easily get enough into there to be up to a terminal before the portal expires. A safe mode sees you through to RCL 8.

  • If not many people are using the transient sector-centre portals that we have right now, would anybody use more controllable portals? I think that people would, because of "power projection".

    If long-distance portals existed under my near-instant command, I would be able to project my military power anywhere on the shard. Currently, the transient sector centre portals means that it can take months before a particular sector is reachable by me. On the other hand, controllable long-distance portals would make the map very small because I could get anywhere I wanted in a few hours or days. There would be no escape from the more malevolent players. Distance is as much a component of your defences as ramparts, and the game would be very different if every player was under threat of attack from 800 players instead of maybe 20....

    If an aggressive open source bot like k-bot was coded to spin up portals to random sectors and attack whoever was there, what would the game be like? I posit that it would be fun for people whose defences can withstand that kind of attack, and disheartening for those who can't and who would have little prospect for retaliation, nor could they escape by respawning...

  • Maybe the solution would be to only allow the portal to be open for 100 or so ticks. That way you can get resources and creeps through to kickstart a room but that room would die to a moderately alert counter attack.

    In any case, I don't see connectivity to be an issue in Screeps and so don't really think we should be trying to "fix" it. There are plenty of people to fight close to you (except if you're in a mega-alliance, but then that's your own silly fault) and you can always go roaming one room jump at a time. Sure, it takes time, but nothing is screeps is quick.

  • @tigga said in Super Structures and Creeps Idea.:

    In any case, I don't see connectivity to be an issue in Screeps and so don't really think we should be trying to "fix" it. There are plenty of people to fight close to you (except if you're in a mega-alliance, but then that's your own silly fault) and you can always go roaming one room jump at a time. Sure, it takes time, but nothing is screeps is quick.

    I entirely agree. Without really trying I've migrated a fairly large distance from where my rooms were clustered in June. If I seriously wanted to get a room on the other side of the map, I don't feel like it would be impossible to leapfrog a couple of rooms to anywhere I wanted, provided I had a little bit of luck at choosing rooms without massively aggressive neighbours. And I think that's an appropriate level of effort and time commitment to get to the other side of the map.

  • Dev Team

    Distances are fine in Screeps. The Generation War proved that person (or persons) who really want to cross the whole shard to have some fun, will find a way to do it.

  • Overall, I'd rather see how power creeps affect the strategy side of the game before working on content that has a parallel impact. I think if after power creeps have been out for a bit it's worth looking into, although I'd rather have arena.


  • @Davaned I think power creeps are going to be a difficult to balance strategy wise, and will take a while to implement with all the abilities they posses. At least with these structures - the high costs and limited scope, they should be easier to balance and implement. The simple one for instance: 1 flag spawn that can be an fourth in any room, shouldn't be to difficult to add, and beneficial to all styles of play.

    @SteveTrov The portal idea seems fun, but add to the fact that the structure appears at the target point, and can be destroyed before it's built. You can also attack it then on from the otherside to close it instead of going through it. That also means you can repair it from your side. Takes days to finish building so if a player doesn't like it, they can attack it. Or if they are an ally, they can help build it from the other side.

    The main idea is that you should be observing people and if you spot a super structure you should think how it's going to be used, and if you want to attack it before it's finished. Tie this into an military leader board; super structures are how to get points. If people try to farm it by killing each other's super structures, then because the structure will be a construction site for week, they lose the benefit of the super structures.

  • Just to add some of my opinions to this discussion.

    As others have mentioned, I feel power creeps are super creeps. That avenue is not worth exploring imho.

    The idea of super structures has been proposed and discussed over time. I have a few comments, some high level and some on the specific proposed structures.

    First, I'm not a big fan of super structures because they either centralize empires (if 1-2 structures of a type per player) and/or add another advantage to entrenched players.

    I'm against centralized empires because it limits the style of play. Currently it is perfectly feasible to run a decentralized empire across multiple shards and locations. Once you add unique per empire structures, there's a need to build around that location to better protect it.

    The other issue is that I'm in favor of veteran players having the advantage of better developed code bases (already a huge advantage), providing veterans with more and more options to "invest" their resources besides GCL and Power creates an ever wider rift between old and new.

    Second, regarding some of the practical suggestions:

    1. I'm strongly against teleport or similar structures. The "local" nature of the screeps world is an absolutely essential aspect of it. Portals and frog hopping already provide players with plenty of options to get to a specific locations if they wish to. We do not need extra mobility or power projection.

    2. Temple. Why cancel out the current game challenge of bypassing the 15 cap? It's a good, healthy coding challenge for players.

    3. Super terminal - centralizes empire (see above) - partially covered by power creeps already.

    4. Missile silo. This one is funny. I personally treat my military creeps as missiles. It's not clear what "problem" this is attempting to solve and feels like a bitch to balance.