PTR Changelog 2019-02-01: Power Creeps

  • @duckymirror Agreed, it's certainly a lot more difficult. Although having ~2.5x current energy income via power creep boosting sources would certainly help ease that. It'll be super interesting to see how the meta shifts. 🍿

  • When defending in a siege renew vs respawn won't be a big difference. In either case if the PowerCreep or PowerSpawn is destroyed the defense is compromised. When a PC dies of old age it doesn't receive a cooldown.

  • I wanted to play with PowerCreeps on the PTR but the StructurePowerSpawn.createPowerCreep method is missing.

  • SUN

    @davaned Walls out seems to be a becoming more viable approach in order to protect the sources; the most dangerous unit (power creeps) can just duck into a room for a single tick anyway.

    Ultimately at the highest level of attack/defence I expect more complicated strategies such as moving towers and multi-room spawning of defenders (for flanking) to be practically necessary.

    But I hardly take part in combat so what do I know.

  • Dev Team

    @deft-code There is no such method in the API. Use PowerCreep.create and then PowerCreep.prototype.spawn.

  • Why are power creeps spawned on top of the power spawn? This is inconsistent with the way normal spawns work. Is there a plan to make normal spawns work like this in the future? If so, then I'm probably in favour. If not, then shouldn't power spawns work the same way?

    Can the power creep move back on top of a power spawn after moving off it?

  • Dev Team

    @systemparadox Because of technical limitations how power creeps are implemented. They exist in the cross-shard database, and main process is used for their spawning rather than processor, which doesn't have access to room terrain and all objects.

    Can the power creep move back on top of a power spawn after moving off it?

    No, it can't.

  • Dev Team


    • IMPORTANT CHANGE: When you permanently delete a power creep (either from the UI or the API) you will lose 1 Power Level in your account, i.e. your processed power decreases. This is the cost of reprofiling PCs. It is always the same regardless of a PC level and their number.

      This means you have to consider carefully how you create and upgrade your power creeps. Reprofiling PCs may be a viable strategy sometimes, but this can't be done very often, and you are incentivized to have static PC builds rather than reconfiguring them constantly for current situations.

      Power creep deletion will not happen instantly, but a 24-hours timer is started instead (see PowerCreep.deleteTime). You can cancel deletion from the UI at any time, or by spawning it. Also, a email is sent when a power creep is marked for deletion.

      When we first launch Power Creeps in production, we'll provide a 30-days period of free deletion without losing levels. The same approach will be taken when any balance changes occur, or new skills/classes are added.

      This timer is currently set to 1 minute on the PTR.

    • Added another bit of the UI:


      This button doesn't work yet, but will be deployed very soon.

    • Power creeps life time is increased to 5,000 ticks.

    • Removed StructurePowerSpawn.renewPowerCreep. Use PowerCreep.renew on a Power Spawn instead.


  • @artch Holy crap, that's really rough if you have a lot of power. Make sure you have something visible for whether this reset of a creep will cost you a level or not/tracker for free reset periods. Clarification on level cost: Does it reset exactly the value of that level, or does it also wipe away your progress towards the next level 😱 ? If you were close to the next level and you reset your level back will it return to its previous level immediately on next tick? On next time you gain power? (like RCL if you downgrade then upgrade)

    Quick question because I had thoughts about the power spawn having the renew method: Can you renew allied player's power creeps? For things like around the world trips or helping out allies in a siege. Now that it's on the power creep it seems less likely, but I thought it was kinda cool as an option.

  • Dev Team

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

    Make sure you have something visible for whether this reset of a creep will cost you a level or not/tracker for free reset periods.

    Yes, all sorts of warnings will be everywhere.

    Does it reset exactly the value of that level, or does it also wipe away your progress towards the next level 😱 ? If you were close to the next level and you reset your level back will it return to its previous level immediately on next tick? On next time you gain power? (like RCL if you downgrade then upgrade)

    If you have PL 10 with 95% progress to PL 11 and delete a creep, you will be PL 9 with 95% progress to PL 10. This mechanic is already on the PTR, you can test it.

    Can you renew allied player's power creeps?

    Allied power creeps can renew themselves using your power spawn if they gain access to the tile nearby.

  • Dev Team

    Update: Power Creeps creating and upgrading UI has been deployed. Use the button from the Overview or this link.


  • The upgrade UI looks pretty, but I found it very confusing. Because everything starts greyed out and highlights when clicked on, it's not at all obvious that you can click items multiple times to level up multiple levels. When I reached my max level limit I clicked on one to disable it and was surprised to find that this wasn't what happened. Even then, I thought nothing had happened before I eventually worked out that it had increased to level 2. Possibly this is because the tooltip covers over the level text (which is also pretty small).

    The bars around the circles are not at all obvious. I didn't notice them at all. They need to be much thicker, and I don't know why you are dimming the icon of the one you are hovering over. The key time you need to see them - when they change - they're almost invisible.

    The 10/20/30/40/50 UI is ok, but because the hover popup closes when you click to increase the level you never see it animate, so then it's useless and confusing instead.

    Some suggestions/requests:

    1. Make it more obvious that we're setting levels, not just enabling
    2. Make it possible to decrease levels without using the undo
    3. Make it clearly visible what level is required to unlock, without having to hover over each of them
    4. Don't cover the other icons with the information. Hovering to see information is bad UI anyway

    Why not split this into two panels, with all the icons in the left panel. You click on an icon and it selects it and shows the information and current level in the right panel, with buttons to increase/decrease the level.

  • I must say I am very concerned with the way the new UI is being developed. I love the art style. But please, please, make the UI clear, obvious, and useful FIRST, and then, AND ONLY THEN make it pretty.

    Screeps is a game about optimising numbers and statistics. There is nothing more frustrating than a UI which hides the important information (I'm looking at you, market history!). Please prioritise showing this information over any kind of aesthetics.

    I would suggest that the default assumption for almost any page in the system should be a boring table of data, which you can make pretty with icons. Think very carefully before deviating from this.

  • I did not find the UI nearly as confusing as SystemParadox, but I had played with the prototype quite a bit before.

    I didn't notice the bars around the icon at first but effortlessly discovered it once I'd upgraded a power twice.

    I was worried the dark red theme would be a color blind nightmare but I didn't have any problems.

    I love the way the way the PowerCreeps change their coloring as they're upgraded. It might be cool to do something similar for the powers as well. Or maybe it would water down the effect. Either way I like it.

    It did take me while to notice the locks on powers I can't enable yet. Curiously I immediately noticed them for powers I had enabled. I got on here to ask why the lock icons were not used for all blocked powers. Only then did I notice the grayed out lock icons on the higher level powers. I'd suggest making the locks more visible on the powers you don't have enabled yet. Maybe keep the locks uniformly red whether the power is enabled or not.

    Putting the undo button next to the upgrade button was little nerve wracking. I wasn't comfortable with it until I'd gone through the upgrade flow (which is very pretty by the way).

  • Dev Team

    Update: Implemented remaining power effects, now all Operator powers are implemented.

  • Dev Team


    • Renamed Power Level to Global Power Level (GPL), or Game.gpl in the API.

    • Added cancel parameter to PowerCreep.delete(true).

    • Power Creeps are now available in ptr beta branch on npm and Steam:

      npm install screeps@ptr


      You can run this command in CLI to add some processed power in your account and start testing Power Creeps on your local server:

      storage.db['users'].update({username: 'MYNAME'}, {$set: {power: 1000000}});

  • Culture

    You should absolutely not permanently lose a power level for deleting a power creep. It should be a temporary level debuff that lasts a week or something, but there is no feasible way in the current system for that to ever work. A little bit of leeway for the first month works for everyone playing now, but what about any new players? Beyond that, since it doesn't reduce your actual power accumulated, recovering that "lost" level will take an exponential amount of time depending on how many levels you already have. It's just not a fair nor reasonable thing in this game, where re-engineering and optimizing is supposed to be prized.

    There's a bug on PTR where the memory database was updated yesterday night but the power creep I created before that happened no longer works. I call .spawn and get a 0 response but the creep fails to spawn.

    Since power creeps now have timed lives (lame), when will they ever be locked out from spawning?

  • @hernanduer To purely reply to respawning: I believe if PC dies from TTL alone, there is no spawning cd. However if it is (brutally) killed to death the cd kicks in.

  • Dev Team

    @hernanduer Power Creeps are intended to be an RPG element in Screeps. They are not just units, they are heroes. And we'd like to make PCs feel like characters in RPG or heroes in a strategy game, where you don't recreate your character all the time, but develop it towards some build that you planned in advance. Experimenting and optimizing should be done in the planner, not on a real creep. We want players to invest in their PCs, make them valuable static asset rather than dynamically assignable resource. And as in any RPG, you can reset to fix some mistakes, but at a cost. The cost is not super high actually, it's only a day or two of power farming, and it can also be paid with credits, since power will be sold by NPC terminals starting from this release. It feels natural that higher level players should pay more, because their power processing rate is supposedly higher too.

  • To back up @Hernanduer's point. It would be nice touch if all players had a 1 month free-delete grace period the first time they create a PowerCreep.

    As for the RPG element, it's working. My initial play with PowerCreeps had them named after their role like regular creeps. But as I started actually trying to set up spawning I naturally gravitated towards hero-like names. Magellan replaced wanderer. Radar (old timey TV MASH character) replaced observinator.

    Could we add a way to rename PowerCreeps. Currently I have to loose a power level if I decide I don't like a PowerCreep's name or I change my naming theme.

    I have played other games where your latest level up is always undo-able. This would allow players to experiment with an upgrade without the fear of wasting a power level if they decide they don't like the ability or it doesn't mesh well with their plans for their PowerCreep. PTR might solve this problem, but in my experience most players don't use it as much as I do.

    Both of these ideas can be added after PowerCreeps launch.

    Thinking about PowerCreeps like heroes gave me another idea to avoid some friction I encountered. Disconnect leveling up a PowerCreep from selecting its powers. I've played many RPGs (most recently Divinity Original Sin) where I held on to ability points after a level up because nothing seemed particularly useful at that point in the game. This is a change from your stated goal to force players to have muti-use PowerCreeps, but only a slight change. A player that focuses on a single power would have unspent points instead of randomly selected powers. Later when they're ready to make use of those unspent points they can choose powers that they're interested in rather than whatever the clicked on at the time.

    This mirrors my experience working with PowerCreeps. I added a single power(generate ops of course) then got some code up for that. Leveled up and picked a second power(operate observer) then got that code up. Decided I wanted to try out operating my power processing so I upgraded to level 10. And here is where I hit the snag. It's a no brainer to upgrade the powers my PowerCreep already knows how to use, but I could not get to level 10 without picking a 3rd and 4th power that I did not want to code for at the momement. So I did a best guess on what I might want and upgraded to lvl 10. (BTW it felt mildly unpleasant being forced to "buy" something I didn't want, like having your ISP force you to buy a router when I just want bandwidth). Now I've got a little more code done I wish I had picked different powers. Since resets are expensive I'm reluctant to delete it just so I can pick the 4th power I want to use.

    A new player might not have my same experience since their power level will grow over time (in my case I started with 18 to work with). But honestly it's not that hard to buy and process power. Any player with some credits saved up and a decent energy supply could set up processing one weekend and come back the next with 10 power levels ready to go.

    TL:DR: Allowing PowerCreeps defer selecting a power when leveling up would allow players (well at least me) to work on the code they're interested in at the moment while still encouraging multi-function PowerCreeps.