[Discussion] Uniformity of the world



  • I think it would be more interesting to make the catalyst really valuable by restricting it to source keeper rooms and very low yield.
    Also screw the uniformity it would be much more interesting if a sector had only one type of mineral besides a surplus of Hydrogen and Oxygen.

    I would even make it so that the resource spots have a mineral vane probability what the next regeneration could spawn in a specific room.

    i.e.:

    • 70% U, 20% O, 10% H ➡ a high value room since it is almost a given to get Utrium after each regeneration
    • 45% O, 45% H, 2.25% U, 2.25% L, 2.25% K, 2.25% Z, 1% X ➡ pretty much worthless but might give you now and then a nice reward for continues mining
    • 50% X, 10% O, 10% H, 7.5% U, 7.5% L, 7.5% K, 7.5% Z ➡ could be a source keeper room

    This artificially creates a unbalance and makes minerals way more valuable then now.
    It also would generate the need for some kind of mineral exchange between players in whatever form this may take place.


  • Dev Team

    We're going to introduce some new mechanic soon that will diversify resource distribution in the world a little bit. Stay tuned!

    🎅⁉😍


  • I have been avoiding this topic because I don't think adding a 'new' mechanic to further diversify resource distribution is a good idea at all.

    Resources are ALREADY diversified. Many sectors have few rooms with certain minerals already, and there is already a shortage of "good rooms" (Ones with 2 sources, sufficiently open to develop easily.) All what we have now does is give advantage to people with high enough GCL and sufficient combat code to be able to spread out collecting all the "good" rooms at the expense of underdeveloped players and alliances.

    Making this even worse seems like a bad idea.

    There is already an area in EVERY SECTOR (As o4kapuk has pointed out.) that have hugely increased resource generation, but few people utilize this because the ROI of extracting those resources effectively is very daunting. (And in case anyone says "Learn to code." I already extract from the center rooms.) I don't have to fight for those rooms at all, FEW PEOPLE WANT THEM.

    The core problem with any of these schemes I see here is it ignores the root issue... transporting things with creeps is exponentially more expensive the farther away / bigger the resource is. The one proposed feature I have seen that would actually fix this is the Strongholds. By incentivizing a player to well control a sector, they can keep the strongholds suppressed and thus greatly increasing the ROI for the center rooms.

    So: Two things to improve this: One: Implement strongholds. Two: Fix the market so it's easier to use it to trade the minerals you have for the minerals you want at a 'fair' price. (Fair meaning consistent in the local shard.)


  • Dev Team

    Spoiler: it will be new resources, not the existing ones.

    🤔


  • @artch well OPS we know, but just adding a new resource doesn't fix the problem.

    IMO:
    Ressource are to plentiful to be traded efficiently besides the high level compounds, and virtually useless for low level rooms.
    To change that it would be the easiest to make the distribution of different types very sparse.
    And move the boosting to the spawning process where the spawn and extensions need to carry the resources.
    This way even low level rooms benefit from them and the optional bounty from NPCs if they decide to go on the hunt.

    The game feels currently very linear without a lot rewarding for trying different options.
    Well most of them are only a option if you are high level anyways which is really sad.


  • Dev Team

    @mrfaul Nope, wrong guess! It's not ops. Ops are only generated by Operators.



  • @artch so you add a another unnecessary level of complexity to the game instead of refining the current ones.
    I really hope it is something that is actually useful and not a feature creep.

    Don't get me wrong I like new stuff and I'm happy that you are working on it but still,
    the current gameplay doesn't feel satisfying. Especially for new players since "high level" players seem to be impossible to beat.
    Which kinda is true. You can boost your creep to ridicules stats, that they are able to just crush any unboosted creep.
    Remember the "hit back" discussion.



  • @mrfaul said in [Discussion] Uniformity of the world:

    Well most of them are only a option if you are high level anyways which is really sad.

    A very small proportion of the game is spent under RCL 8, and anybody playing for multiple months is likely to have multiple RCL 8 rooms. I don't think changing low level rooms is needed: while you're leveling your rooms as a new player there are many new things to code up. I don't really see the need for low level boosting: you can either reinforce from another room, or you're unlikely to have code well developed enough for boosting anyway.

    The game feels currently very linear without a lot rewarding for trying different options.

    For non-linearity and "trying different options" you really have to have a combination of locking people into decisions and outcomes of decisions not being clear cut. That's hard in a programming game. We have it in the code-design, and to a lesser extend room layouts and combat strategies.

    so you add a another unnecessary level of complexity to the game instead of refining the current ones

    They've added a lot of refinements over the last few updates (eg. 64 rooms in pathfinder, IVM). The complexity they've added (eg. tunnels/tombstones/pull/unboost) isn't really that complex and you really don't lose much by completely ignoring it.

    You can boost your creep to ridicules stats, that they are able to just crush any unboosted creep.

    I do kinda agree that boosts should be less powerful, as should towers, as should repair power. I'm not sure such a rebalance is needed though and I'm also not sure what I have in mind is what you have in mind...



  • New resources sound exciting. My ideas for what it could be:

    1. A resource that we could break down into minerals (eg. "unreact"). That would give a dense source of minerals that would require some processing to make useful. Doesn't seem that "special" when it comes to creating interesting areas to fight for.
    2. Unique boosts that can't be created. A fourth tier could be added that's even more powerful but also rare/non-uniform and can't be reacted to. That'd certainly create resource wars.
    3. Some sort of new form of generic resource that could be used to buff structures. For example towers could use this resource optionally alongside energy to increase damage output by 1.5x. Seems to overlap a bit too much with power creeps.
    4. ???


  • @tigga said in [Discussion] Uniformity of the world:

    They've added a lot of refinements over the last few updates (eg. 64 rooms in pathfinder, IVM). The complexity they've added (eg. tunnels/tombstones/pull/unboost) isn't really that complex and you really don't lose much by completely ignoring it.

    Indeed while those are neat little (and big) things, I intended to refer to the already existing mineral mechanic.
    I personally think the boosting and mining mechanics are awesome but they don't feel polished and well balanced.

    Yes their math looks good on a spread sheet but that isn't the point for a game, and it is a game after all.
    I like to see my little screeps doing their thing but currently it is pretty obvious what they are going to do,
    since their environment they live in is pretty sterile.

    The upcoming strongholds will definitely liven thing up.
    But by giving low-mid level rooms more things to do and power they become much more interesting.

    Currently there isn't much need for either site to attack each other simply because there is absolutely no benefit to it.
    The low-mid level creeps just get crushed the tick they enter the high level room.
    And the high level player has no interest in the low-mid level room since it wouldn't be much afford to stamp it into the ground besides the fact that it isn't even worth to do so.

    However by having several low-mid level rooms capable of boosting you might have to reconsider since they could actually become a real threat.
    By reducing the overall mineral amount and spreading them out in "cluster of a single type" they become a complete new value, something worth fighting for.
    Also by moving the boosting to the spawning process the minerals would have to share their space with the energy with the neat side effect that fully boosted monster creeps are more difficult to create. Instead you have to make more informed decisions what exactly you are spawning, like saved spawn time by boosting or use more energy and wait a little longer to do the same work.



  • How about a resource that is not a resource? Rivers: A tile with a flow direction. Pushes creeps 1 tile downstream per tick. MOVEs happen after the push, so you always go at least one tile when crossing a river. Roads on a river tile remove the push effect. (bridges) This simple mechanic would provide massive room for complexity, and how you distribute them gives lots of options. If you have multiple rivers flow into or out of a room it becomes capable of controlling more territory more efficiently. But it also introduces a security weakness. Someone could setup in a room upstream and spawn creeps in the water with all attack no move, letting them get a cheap beachead.



  • @ciber Interesting idea. What about ramparts and walls can you build this structure on river?



  • @mrfaul

    70% U, 20% O, 10% H ➡ a high value room a completely worthless room

    45% O, 45% H, 2.25% U, 2.25% L, 2.25% K, 2.25% Z, 1% X ➡ pretty much worthless this room is quite attractive to me, but nowhere near as attractive as a 100% H room

    50% X, 10% O, 10% H, 7.5% U, 7.5% L, 7.5% K, 7.5% Z ➡ could be a source keeper room far less attractive than either a 100% X room or a 100% H room



  • @tigga slightly differently colour schemes would be quite a simple change (I imagine) but it would make each shard feel rather different. this is a pretty good idea IMO.



  • @smokeman I can't think of an established player that doesn't exploit sourcekeeper rooms... getting hold of all those extra minerals is very useful...



  • @mrfaul One day you'll be a high level player and you'll be able to attack other high level players. Screeps is built in part around RPG mechanics, of course higher "level" players are more powerful. It's a powerful incentive to increase your level. At the same time, once a room hits RCL8, which doesn't take all that long in the end, even a low GCL player could put up a challenge to many more established players.


  • SUN

    It would be interesting to have a resource that high tech options requires to run. Like people have described, having a resource that boosts buildings in some way, or is required to create a particular building.

    For example:

    1. observers always felt like a fascinating building to me. If I could consume a unit of some resource to get an observer tick within a 40 room distance I'd definitely find a use for it.
    2. Or what about a resource that you can use on a controller to prevent structure decay in a room with? Like a pause on roads/ramparts/containers running down. I could see high level players optimizing cpu with that.
    3. A special rare mineral with boost that you can use on claim parts to extend their range. This would let you claim further than normal/attack enemy controllers more effectively. Eg unique mineral, used to make one of two boosts. Parts can be claim only but range is double, parts can attack controller only but way more power.

    I can see lots of "special case" boosts that wouldn't be broken but would be interesting in very low quantities on the map.

    I'm excited to see what @artch and his team have come up with, ideally I'd like to be very rare and special so that it feels closer to an event when it is nearby.



  • @wtfrank said in [Discussion] Uniformity of the world:

    70% U, 20% O, 10% H ➡ a high value room a completely worthless room

    45% O, 45% H, 2.25% U, 2.25% L, 2.25% K, 2.25% Z, 1% X ➡ pretty much worthless this room is quite attractive to me, but nowhere near as attractive as a 100% H room

    50% X, 10% O, 10% H, 7.5% U, 7.5% L, 7.5% K, 7.5% Z ➡ could be a source keeper room far less attractive than either a 100% X room or a 100% H room

    Yup, you just proved my hypothesis about the current perceived value of the minerals, "base minerals" are far more valuable then the "actual stuff that does things".
    It is my intention to make the base minerals overabundant so that the prices of the other stuff becomes somewhat relevant.

    Currently players have no problems to get their hands on any resource just by looking around them, and only a few boost are getting used frequently.
    This results in a very unattractive market place besides the fact that it is currently overpriced due to the "front up" tax.

    The reason why I want to move the boosting to the spawning mechanic is :
    A: to reduce complexity
    B: to increase the use of the other boosts which are seldom used currently because they are only attractive in low RCLs anyway (or in a all out war)

    Also since low RCLs need the stuff in the first place, good logistics become more important too.

    My main gripe with screeps is, there isn't a lot enough that rewards the players brain to keep him engaged.
    Read this and maybe you understand what I meant: Brain satisfaction tool

    I love screeps for what it is, and I know a lot of thought/math went into the constants which are the base of the game.
    This appeals to programmers, but truth is, the average Joe is the one who brings the money to keep the wheel turning.
    A lot of people I know who tried it always said the same to me: "feels dead"
    I only try to convince people to try screeps when I'm sure they could have fun with it.
    But since the real "fun" starts after a significant time investment most people abandoned it beforehand which is really sad.


  • SUN

    @mrfaul Obviously compounds are more valuable than base minerals. They represent cpu, energy, and time spent creating them. However most of them are not needed frequently, and so base minerals represent flexible options. Most people can create their own compounds fairly easily.

    Consider it logically: If I'm mining all of the minerals I need to create a T3 compound I'm using, why would I bother buying it from the market during ordinary gameplay? Part of the game involves intelligent expansion to make sure your empire has access to a good spread of resources.

    Now, in times of conflict etc demand might exceed your ability to supply, which is when you buy from the market. Or maybe you're short on one piece of a compound, so you buy more H from the market. That's why the market for base minerals is much more liquid, because most players are filling small gaps in their production supplies vs buying completed compounds. Most high level players are not going to waste their credits buying a premium priced completed product.

    My main gripe with screeps is, there isn't a lot enough that rewards the players brain to keep him engaged.

    Secondly: Screeps is inherently an openworld self-driven game. If you're looking for a hand-holding reward system it's not a good match. It gives you access to everything up front, you have to write the code to actually make it happen. I disagree with this, screeps is entirely about using your brain. Unless you know how to code without thinking, which I'd be damn impressed.

    My personal gripe with pacing is two part:

    1. Tick times are very slow, so it just plain takes a while for things to happen in game. This is good and bad, as fast tick times mean you could lose a room to an attack before you could get to a computer. But I'm personally in favor of faster ticks because it makes things more interesting.
    2. the amount of work to get to a functional baseline is high. You're not competitive until you get fairly far along, but that's entirely because of the amount of code you need to write. Put in more time -> better rewards. Hoping things get handed to you -> no progress.

    Simply put @MrFaul: You're GCL 5 with 1 room and no remote mining. So the tick times are not the issue, but the code is. This is yours. If you want to do new things, you need to do it yourself. Frankly, you've taken your first baby step but gone no further. No matter what the devs change with end game content, if you don't write something that can handle having a second room you're never going to get better. My advice is think big and invest in a good design rather than duct-taping with room .name hacks, but whatever gets you off the ground.



  • @mrfaul said in [Discussion] Uniformity of the world:

    Yup, you just proved my hypothesis about the current perceived value of the minerals, "base minerals" are far more valuable then the "actual stuff that does things".

    They're absolutely not - if there was a room that spawned XGHO2 directly that would be a far better room to most players than any existing room containing merely a base mineral.

    But since the real "fun" starts after a significant time investment most people abandoned it beforehand which is really sad.

    It really depends what you find fun. I was gripped from the start trying to figure out the API so that I could harvest one room effectively and get it to the next RCL level so I could make my base bigger.