Ramparts should be weaker than walls and they both need a nerf


  • Overlords

    Turtling is killing the game.

    The game in it's current state heavily favors players who turtle behind super high ramparts. Once your code reaches a certain level of energy income there's 0 reason to even build a wall instead of a rampart. This is clearly an issue.

    Ramparts should be a weak point in a static perimeter, they should be looked at as gates and portholes that can exploited by an attacker.

    As far as numbers go I think both walls and ramparts max hits needs a look, but RAMPART_HITS_MAX should be a significant amount less than WALL_HITS_MAX.

    Also I would not be opposed to adding a slow decay to walls to help counter the loss of an energy sink.

    As far as implementing it, it's a matter of tweaking those constants and allowing the currently built things to decay down to them. Code should be using those constants anyway so it shouldn't break anything that doesn't need to be broken (USE THE CONSTANTS!).



  • Hmm. Three points: One: I agree that walls and ramparts are OP. You can literally build a nearly unkillable room without a stitch of combat code. All you need is time without being attacked. (Sure, it CAN be killed, but it would take a long time and doing that is keeping you from better engaging less defended targets.) So off the top, I would favor a 90% reduction in wall and rampart maxes across the board. So, 30K to 30M from level 2 to level 8.

    Two: You should need combat code to defend your room. Rudimentary at first, you don't need much to slow the Invaders down enough for your tower to kill them before they can beat down your now smaller wall. At the higher player skill levels, you need active defenses anyway. Smaller wall and rampart maxes require this skill development.

    Three: Carpet Ramparted bases. You've seen these... 13 by 13 square bases with every tile protected by a rampart. Once these ramparts get above a certain level, that room is almost too tough to crack. Solution? Variable maintenance cost for Ramparts. A few ramparts mixed with walls should cost very little. about 50 ramparts should be the break even point (averaging the same as the current maintenance cost), with more costing exponentially higher maintenance costs.



  • I respectfully disagree. As a new player these walls and ramparts are the only thing stopping old players from sending their T3-boosted combat creeps on a leisurely stroll across my bases w/o me being able to do anything about it. And even there, not even "stopping", but rather making them think whether it's worth their time and resources.

    While I in general agree that defences are skewed towards the defenders and a defender with good defence code and T3 boosts can hold out nearly forever, but at the same time I think that ya'll are barking up the wrong tree here.



  • Orlet, your walls are well within the levels I suggested, you're at 1% of the max. That's fairly typical of new players, so this wouldn't really affect you.

    It's nearly impossible for a new player to build walls at max, it takes months and months or the focusing of many many room's worth of energy to drive them to that level.


  • SUN

    So a few things:

    I've seen higher level players opt to not upgrade past 30mil because of the heavy investment 300mil takes(1). That is exactly what is going on; up front cost for a payoff down the line. The thing is they have to upgrade every tile to 300 mil. An attacker only has to punch one hole.

    Is that balanced? I don't know but it's important to keep in mind.


    Nurfing walls/ramparts will do nothing for the imbalance between new players and old since there is already very little difference between two players in regards to walls (sans time upgrading) when taken on their own. Active defences and tower placement are king.

    It will make a room take less time/investment to crack for sure but i'm not sure how much easier it will be to crack any given room unless you render walls/ramparts worthlessly weak.


    Nerfing can also make it harder on newer players. Anything less than what will go down in a few creep lifetimes puts a massive amount of pressure on active defences to pick up the slack.

    Hell I would argue that even if they where logged on at the start of an attack they couldn't write the code fast enough against a coordinated(2) attack. This is of course assuming they have the time to get the walls upgraded, newbies and all.

    Put it at anything more than a few creep lifetimes and the players with well written defences won't even notice the difference against all but the most determined of attacks. And that's if they even bothered to build their defences all the way up anyway.


    Changing upkeep amounts is the only workable suggestion i've seen so far. But strictly speaking a lot of defensive layouts have a lot of 'fat' that could be trimmed(3) and I feel there are unexplored strategies that could prove even more optimal than present(4).

    We could just end up back where we where in the attack/defence with a new, dare I say, scapegoat. The problem is systemic and while walls are a part of the problem they are not the problem.


    Use the extra GCL you have over them (due their massive standing investment) to level a couple more nukes at their room or something.




    (1)Starting to lean towards this camp myself. But interestingly my code starts to break down for varying reasons if I where to try to use it.
    (2)I'm talking your typical boosted squads. No matter how you slice it defensive code takes iterating and quite likely, boosts both take time. Many players simply do not work on defence until the enemy is at their gate.
    (3)Solid lines of ramparts work well for some things but are not the most efficient design for energy use IMHO.
    (4)Eg. New bunker designs, moving towers for walls out, exploiting unreleased mechanics etc. Actually I'm convinced that some combination of walls out & walls in simultaneously is the most optimal defensive (if not economical) solution.



  • Pundemonium: I don't think anyone really makes the conscious decision to level their walls and ramparts to 300M. It just happens as their rooms hum away quietly and are not attacked because of position / alliance / walls higher than neighbors already, etc.

    I have observed that people that think about it limit to about 30M as well, and then they have active defenses to stop those walls from being steamrolled in only a few hours by the best of the best.

    Hence, my base position that the max settings are 10 times too high.


  • SUN

    @smokeman said in Ramparts should be weaker than walls and they both need a nerf:

    Hence, my base position that the max settings are 10 times too high.

    So some people are unwilling to make the investment is the reason we should set the cap lower?

    Wherever you set your cap (or lack thereof) for walls is all about your priorities. I'm starting to be more energy hungry and leaning on my active defensive more so I simply don't want walls that high and have the luxury of thinking about where I want to set them.

    The argument that seems to be being made is that rooms are too hard to take, with walls maxhits being the most visible cause due to the players you are facing. Rooms being hard to take is currently being addressed in other ways (controllers got the dev spotlight recently).

    Another real problem I feel (due to the opponents I tend to face and where my offensive code is at) with taking a room is that as long as you can get energy into the walls it's an uphill battle on top of all the other mechanics that favour defence, wall maxhits included.

    Nukes help since you can wipe out a room's creeps but as it stands now to attack a room you effectively attack however many rooms are supplying resources to that room, all the way up to the alliance level. Perhaps even up to the shard level thanks to the market and the deep credit reserves some players have.

    But that is me just shining light on yet another mechanic that works in favor of defence. Every player you talk to is probably going to have different opinions about what makes defence so strong.



  • Pundemonium: Ok. I'll refine my argument slightly. But not too much because this process is one of baby steps.

    The room is going to be as hard to take as it is for the ATTACKER to take. The super high wall limit gives the appearance (If built high enough) that the room will be untakeable in many circumstances. There is no real justification to have it this high, and "Because someone might want to try" is not a good one.

    Wall MaxHit is just one factor. It's a low hanging fruit factor that, in my mind, can be corrected easily and carries decent returns.

    Yes, Defense is favored over offense. And in my mind, it should be because many can gang up on you in offense, but you're generally alone in defense. But there needs to be limits to this. A sensible starting limit is wall MaxHit.



  • I don't know whether ramparts can go too high, but I feel like there are a few "wrong" arguments being made here.

    @smokeman said in Ramparts should be weaker than walls and they both need a nerf:

    Once these ramparts get above a certain level, that room is almost too tough to crack.

    It's not the total level of ramparts that makes a room too tough to crack, it's the general defences the room has. Above say 20m ramparts, in my opinion, the only difference between defeating 20m and 300m ramparts is cost and time. If you can't defeat a particular player's room that has 300m ramparts, I very much doubt you could defeat the same player with 20m ramparts.

    I'm not saying that every room is crackable (it might well be the case that some rooms are uncrackable), it's just that ramparts aren't the deciding factor (they or walls are merely the entrance fee to the party).

    @Shibdib

    As far as numbers go I think both walls and ramparts max hits needs a look, but RAMPART_HITS_MAX should be a significant amount less than WALL_HITS_MAX.

    IMO if ramparts were limited to 100m while walls were limited to 300m, there would be negligible difference in whether a room was attackable or not. If you can't defeat the 300m walls room, you can't defeat the 100m ramparts room.

    @Smokeman

    the super high wall limit gives the appearance (If built high enough) that the room will be untakeable in many circumstances. There is no real justification to have it this high,

    If you can only play screeps at weekends because of your high-powered executive job, why not be able to have defences that take at least a week to break through, so that you get a chance to intervene if your active defence code is failing somehow?

    Regardless, if you build high walls or ramparts you're sacrificing GCL/power so it's not like you're not making sacrifices!

    @Shibdib do you have any examples of rooms that you think have gone too far and are really good examples of why high ramparts are too bad? If you put several example rooms in your post it would probably be quite helpful.

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