PTR Changelog 2019-02-01: Power Creeps



  • A comment about some of the levels of some of the effects which consume ops (Operate Spawn, Operate Tower, Operate Storage, Operate Lab, Operate Extension, Operate Observer, Operate Terminal, Disrupt Spawn, Disrupt Tower, Disrupt Source, Fortify, Operate Power, Operate Controller, Disrupt Terminal).

    These are all set up so that the more levels you invest into the effect, the more efficient the effect is in terms of ops. Either the effect lasts longer, or it has a bigger effect.

    Because of this, it feels like you're being inefficient if you use any op-consuming effect at a level less than max-level. But because of the levelling constraints you're pretty much obliged to end up with some "non-efficient" uses of ops.

    It might be that this is intended to be part of the puzzle we're solving when we design operators, so this isn't necessarily a criticism of the design. (In fact I would be strongly against any hypothetical design where there was a single objectively optimal solution). It just feels a little unsatisfactory that I can't design an operator that is "optimal" in my self-imposed terms.

    An example operator that might pootle around a base and work on the economy, with some ability to assist in base defence if necessary:

    5: GENERATE_OPS

    5: REGEN_SOURCE

    5: REGEN_MINERAL

    4: OPERATE_TOWER

    4: OPERATE_OBSERVER

    2: SHIELD

    What I would like to do with this operator design is have no SHIELD and OPERATE_TOWER and OPERATE_OBSERVER both at 5. But when I get GENERATE_OPS, OPERATE_TOWER and OPERATE_OBSERVER to level 2, there's nothing else I can add levels to unless I go into something like shield. But putting points into shield means that some of the other powers can't reach their max level so that feels like this is an inefficient design. Perhaps this is a consequence of the decision to use both REGEN_SOURCE and REGEN_MINERAL (which both kick in at 10) on the same operator.

    So lets try a different design where we replace REGEN_SOURCE with OPERATE_LAB:

    5: GENERATE_OPS

    5: REGEN_MINERAL

    5: OPERATE_LAB

    5: OPERATE_TOWER

    5: OPERATE_OBSERVER

    This design isn't possible - once you get all of those to level 4, you need to put two points into something else to unlock the level 22 upgrade for each of those.

    So it appears that the design is that you can have a maximum of three max level operator skills, and other skills must be partially filled (thus potentially inefficient).


  • Dev Team

    @wtfrank said in PTR Changelog 2019-02-01: Power Creeps:

    So it appears that the design is that you can have a maximum of three max level operator skills, and other skills must be partially filled (thus potentially inefficient).

    Yes, exactly, this is how it's designed. You have to choose what will be your focus - either ops efficiency (use only subset of powers), or power efficiency (use all available powers regardless of their level).



  • @artch said in PTR Changelog 2019-02-01: Power Creeps:

    PWR_OPERATE_POWER Increase power processing speed of a Power Spawn by 1/2/3/4/5 units per tick. Cooldown 1000 ticks. Range 3 squares. Duration 800 ticks. Consumes 200 ops. Upgrade on level: 10/11/12/14/22

    My current bottleneck is the amount of raw power itself, not the processing speed. Currently i can process all the power i can farm with my power spawns. There is also a intent reduction by processing the power in bulk, but im still not sure if its worth it. I guess if you buy power in addition this makes sense, but what if it can increase the power gained by each power processed instead? Maybe too overpowered?



  • I agree with @Geir1983. There's no way I ever need 6x power processing rate if energy consumption and power consumption stays the same (300 energy/tick for 6 power/tick). From the description it seems to me that a 1:1 map of power to processed power is staying but it's not clear how energy is handled. If it made it more energy efficient it may be interesting.


  • Dev Team

    @tigga You both are high-GCL players having lots of RCL8 rooms. The power supposed to provide a similar processing rate for players who chose power way of development over GCL way.



  • I would think a player with less gcl will have similarly less access to highway rooms and thus have access to fewer powerbanks (due to owning less rooms), putting him in a similar position? I have been focusing on power farming lately, going after all powerbanks i can reach and still i cant haul back more power than i can process.

    If the power kept the energy cost at 50/reaction or increased the gain of power it would benefit new players and still be an attractive power for higer gcl players in my opinion.


  • Dev Team

    @geir1983

    I have been focusing on power farming lately, going after all powerbanks i can reach and still i cant haul back more power than i can process.

    You might consider buying it on the market then, if you want to level up your Power Creeps as fast as possible.



  • I did already process 16,8m power last month by what i could haul in myself and still the power spawn is not the bottleneck for me. Sure i could buy more power on the market and im certain im not at the limit for what power can be farmed, although i do consider it to be a high amount of power processed already.

    I just find it unlikely that the power of increasing the speed of the power spawn will get much use, as its hard to come by power in such a quantity that you cannot already process it at the current rate. Just my 2 cents.


  • Dev Team

    @geir1983 I was answering not to you personally, but to a "player with less gcl will have similarly less access to highway rooms and thus have access to fewer powerbanks" that you described. If such a player has chosen the power path and got many high level Power Creeps that are capable to provide huge income, he may be able to buy a lot of power from the market, and we don't want the processing rate to be a bottleneck in this case.


  • SUN

    @artch Glad you liked the aging idea, I like the initial design. I do think it will give power creeps a more nuanced gameplay. It also makes the operate observer much more interesting, as you are now trying to sustain your PCs.

    For your consideration: Perhaps power spawn can regen 1500 TTL and power banks can regen more (3000 TTL?). We'll have to see with how it goes in gameplay but a longer time frame would give players a bit more freedom for creative non-economic designs (summon teleport highways etc) without the creeps spending large chunks of their life looking for another hit of that sweet sweet power.

    TL;DR: Balance to make non pure eco power creep play (eg not in room with PS) a little easier.

    Secondly, I agree with the operate power comments. I would probably avoid giving bonuses to power processing (eg. it costs less energy) because that seems very snowbally.

    If you want to make something along those lines, I'd make a way to gain access to power that isn't reliant on wide empires. Make something so that Tall empires can get more power.

    • Power bank regen/creation/kill/increase ttl
    • Generate power at the cost of ops
    • Power spawn efficiency: Get 1.1-1.5 power per power processed. Make it very expensive compared to finding banks, but if you don't have access to much you can do that instead.

    FYI I am not a huge fan of the leveling gaps either. It isn't a feel-good mechanic taking skills you have no interest in, at least for these op-limited skills. Can I suggest adding a "Stats" skill (tree?) for the PCs? Something that levels up their health/carry/maybe max TTL. This would open up some new elements, like maybe using PC's as superman workhorse creeps. Basically It could also be a tiered unlock:

    • Level 1 gives increased HP
    • Level 2 gives increased carry
    • Level 3 gives increased TTL
    • Level 4 adds health regen over time
    • Level 5 some cool bonus

    Edit: If TALL is the goal here, each and every room selection is critical for a tall empire. Potential option would be power creep ability to claim a room at the cost of its life + ops. Obviously large implications with that, but worth considering if you want to incentivize/enable few rooms. Usually expansion is a crawl with growing rooms then moving on to next spot, which isn't doable if you don't have spare GCL. Power creep ability on controller to maintain a room ownership beyond GCL is another option.



  • hmm could make the powers of the power creeps body parts to be attached to the power creep. It might make things a tad more interesting and the creep could change designs based on the parts and level. 🙂


  • Dev Team

    @davaned said in PTR Changelog 2019-02-01: Power Creeps:

    It isn't a feel-good mechanic taking skills you have no interest in

    This mechanic is the core idea behind the entire Power Creeps design. We don't want to allow building highly efficient specialized creeps with only a few powers. We want to force players to wrap their heads around limitations, consider trade offs and make choices how to use what they have most efficiently, rather than min-maxing a single best build of an Operator for each task.

    By the way, hits and carry are increased each level by default.


  • SUN

    @artch Yes, I looked into the leveling up before posting. I saw that it goes up by 100 with each level. Thought process was that you can make the actual creep a more interesting unit. It doesn't subvert the min/maxed idea, just gives more non-op options. Also, the idea of immortal creeps could have cool empire implications. Collecting resources from farther away, etc. Hence upgrading the body of those creeps could have cool use cases.

    The main issue is that I think people will be op-limited for these type power creeps. So it will be more along the lines of "This doesn't get used" rather than "this is inefficient and interesting combinations". In the non-op limited creeps it will be a much more interesting "what other weaker powers do I want", but in this case it's a pretty simple math. You need multiple op creeps to sustain a maxed power creeps. You would never want to use a non-maxed ability. Therefore, you will have ops slaves with useless abilities feeding a few maxed creeps who make good use of ops.


  • Dev Team

    I don't think all players will go for ops efficiency. Don't forget ops are tradeable, and some market will be established very soon, so that you can buy ops and use non-maxed powers too.

    But if you want to dedicate some Operators for generating ops only, you may consider making multiple Level 1 Operators rather than growing them to higher levels.

    Also, superman workhorses are supposed to be Executors, not Operators, and they most likely won't use ops at all.


  • SUN

    @artch

    don't think all players will go for ops efficiency.

    I mean, that would be weird right? It'd have to be a game played by all engineers or something 😁 Given that spawning an PC costs a level as I understand it, I think the clear winner is level 3 operator (2 ops / 4 levels) vs a level 1 operator (1 op / 2 levels). I definitely think you'll have to dedicate creeps to creating ops. Or you'll have to consider power creeps much more along the lines of boosts, where it's a "on rare occasions" type thing. Unless there was another way to get ops, like converting power banks into ops or something. Gotta be an ecosystem for it.

    EDIT: Clarification: Are there any ops powers that can stack effects? Or is everything a single instance that gets refreshed.


  • Dev Team

    @davaned Imagine you have 10 rooms and 10 power creeps. Their cooldowns are designed in a way that one PC can maintain one room or a little bit more. Now you have to make a choice: would you use only 3 powers in every room, operating only 3 types of structures, or use all available powers, operating all structures, thus producing higher economy efficiency but with less ops efficiency.

    It's very unlikely you will be able to operate all desired structures in every room with 5 level powers.

    Clarification: Are there any ops powers that can stack effects? Or is everything a single instance that gets refreshed.

    Power effects don't stack. If effect of the same or higher level is already applied to the object, PowerCreep.usePower returns an error. If the effect level is lower, it replaces it with the new one.


  • SUN

    @davaned Power efficiency is a tricky thing; I can't make use of all powers all the time even with an infinite amount of ops.

    Specifically:

    • Operate_Tower requires a target (or need for inefficient repair)
    • Operate_Spawn requires filling infrastructure (and a demand for more creeps).
    • Fortify is only of use in a siege
    • Disrupt_(X) ditto
    • Shield is more generically useful but I cannot see it being used whenever it is off cooldown.
    • Others, depending on economic situation and code maturity

    I feel that 'sometimes' powers like these are great powers to level to keep a creep 'ops neutral'. Even a creep that only generates ops most of the time can gain value from being level 25 thanks to powers like the above.

    Selling ops would be a good way for newer players to get credits too, as apposed to simply selling that power. So I don't expect ops to be terribly expensive. (If an op is worth more than the minerals it can generate i'll damn well sell them)

    Finally while I can appreciate that YMMV (not everyone likes spreadsheets) I like the added challenge of balancing ops use & generation with the powers I want to use.


  • Dev Team

    Update: started work on the UI.

    • Added "Power enabled" display mode to the world map.

    • Powers, effects, and their cooldowns are now displayed with the corresponding icons in the object panel:

      0_1549541867024_screenshot_powers.png 0_1549541877603_screenshot_effects.png

    Our frontend team is currently working on the Power Creeps creating and editing UI.

    👍


  • @artch The UI looks good! Only two things:

    1. Maybe show PC type in the object panel?
    2. The renewing animation seems to be only for normal creeps, not for PCs.

  • SUN

    @artch The UI does look great. Love the clear powers on the screen with the CD's displayed.

    I do see the point in some cases for the efficiency. My thought process is that in most cases, it doesn't matter in what room the thing occurs. For example, I'd rather get 100% more energy in 1 room than 20% more energy in 3 rooms. Similarly, 1 observer able to see the whole world doesn't require multiple rooms. Lab processing is similar. But things like spawning etc, yeah it does make sense.

    Power effects don't stack. If effect of the same or higher level is already applied to the object, PowerCreep.usePower returns an error. If the effect level is lower, it replaces it with the new one.

    Clarification for the power stacking: It errors if you cast it again? So you HAVE to wait for it to expire to use it? This seems counterintuitive for things like DISABLE_TERMINAL, which has a 10sec duration and 8sec cd. Seems like its meant to give a buffer so that you can reapply the effect without needing that exact tick. Similarly in a number of other cases, why shouldn't I be able to refresh the OPERATE_SOURCE power whenever, rather than needing to wait for it to expire?

    Either add an override param to definitely use the power or allow it to overwrite powers of the same level as was cast, eg only errors if replacing a higher level with a lower one. IMO it's too restrictive to require waiting out the entire duration, especially on the offensive powers.