Encouraging more combat at high GCL



  • @trepidimous said in Encouraging more combat at high GCL:

    @qzarstb @Tigga I thought that pound for pound, splash attacks would beat out repairers? I suppose that's only for the splash attackers are not chased off of the wall and if the wall has depth to it..

    I don't think there are many cases where pure repair with no combat creeps wins. If you can get next to the ramparts you do a lot of damage. It doesn't take many combat creeps to force you to stand back though. Against a flat wall deep you'll still do a reasonable amount of damage with RMA (4640 for 40xT3 RA). The defender can counter that with a repair creep fairly easily, doesn't even need to be fully boosted. Especially if you consider 40% safe mode uptime. We start needing 40+ ranged creeps (with healers) to do get real damage done, and because they're spreading the damage out, it'll take a long time to kill the larger ramparts. This is before we've even got to the fact that the defender can build boosted combat creeps to leave the ramparts (or come from another room) who have the upper hand due to towers in the room.

    There's a case to be made that some of this doesn't apply to bunkers as they have a large surface area and not much space to put creeps inside. The same issues exist but aren't quite so big against bunkers.



  • I think it is good as it is. If attacking is easier than defense, I'd have to keep watching over my base to have it not destroyed. This game is about automation, and having to keep watching over my base is against this. Perfect defense should be possible, and even if it is extremely difficult to set up, practically unbreakable defense should be feasible. Power is good in that the defender can choose to not use it if he doesn't want the risk. However, there is a problem: A player can claim and fortify all rooms next to the a power-enabled room(which is my plan). There are quite many rooms on the map with only 2 or even 1 exit. Another thing: defense will be much easier if the defender has a room next to the attacked room. Disrupt terminal can be worked around by transporting directly, and the defender will have double spawning capability.



  • @nicle said in Encouraging more combat at high GCL:

    If attacking is easier than defense

    Barring your good point about using claims to block in power enabled rooms, I don't think this will ever be true. The attacker has two advantages - nukes and the ability to determine when the fight takes place. Nukes only really work if you can get a lot on the target at once, or if the target is a bunker. The ability to determine when the fight takes place just doesn't matter at high GCL. The defender has many more - towers, ramparts, repair and safe mode for actually defending, and unboost/TTL advantages to save boosts.

    In the absolute worst case the defender can just mirror the attacker and retain his advantages.

    This game is about automation, and having to keep watching over my base is against this

    If you've automated you don't have to watch over your base...

    Perfect defense should be possible, and even if it is extremely difficult to set up

    It is not extremely difficult to set up today.

    A player can claim and fortify all rooms next to the a power-enabled room

    Now that's a good point. A passive defender with a power enabled room may lose out here, though if he can block of your room before it hits RCL 6 then maybe not. Attacking by claiming is certainly an option against power rooms as the 40% safe mode uptime isn't enough to counteract the fact you can't spawn creeps. I think power battles are relatively unexplored terriatory.



  • Actually I've just played this game for < a week and I'm only RCL5 and GCL1, so I still have to keep watching over my base to see if there is any bugs in my code. My position is at Shard3, room E14N37. The only difference between me and other newbies is that I've read a lot of posts by high GCL players.

    I think most high GCL attacks are focused on bugs in the defense code, since direct attacks will be degraded into a war of attrition. Finding bugs would cost a lot of time, and fixing those artificially created edge-case can be very time and CPU intensive, and will take up a lot of code size. And some old players are already using up their code size limit.

    @tigga said in Encouraging more combat at high GCL:

    If you've automated you don't have to watch over your base...

    I think I still have to watch over my base on high GCL, but I shouldn't have to do that very often. At least my base should be able to defend against a constant attack for 7 days at RCL8, and even longer on high GCL. Maybe like Factorio, in late game I'd need to spend more time offline developing more advanced algorithms and strategies than actually playing the game.

    @tigga said in Encouraging more combat at high GCL:

    A player can claim and fortify all rooms next to the a power-enabled room

    Now that's a good point. A passive defender with a power enabled room may lose out here, though if he can block of your room before it hits RCL 6 then maybe not. Attacking by claiming is certainly an option against power rooms as the 40% safe mode uptime isn't enough to counteract the fact you can't spawn creeps. I think power battles are relatively unexplored terriatory.

    Good point, but I think you might have misunderstood my post. Perhaps I used the word 'However' incorrectly, but originally I meant that a player can claim and fortify all rooms next to his own power-enabled room (My plan is to claim and fortify all rooms next to my power-enabled room at late game, when my GPL allows me to do that), making it completely irrelevant whether its power is enabled or not. The attacker can't break the defense of the power-disabled room around it, thus protecting the target room from any attack but nukes. Nukes alone will probably attrition the attacker more than the defender.

    The concept of using the advantage of defense to attack sounds cool though.

    I wonder if changing the game balance towards attackers will make people favor connected rooms over spreading out, as connected rooms can be invulnerable even with power enabled. Pro: Have better defense and can be far more difficult or even impossible to siege without turning the siege into a war of attrition. If the enemy tries to nuke u, then u can focus many rooms' nukes on his room to disrupt production and go counterattack. Con: Less spread out, develop slower and can lose more easily in a war of attrition.



  • @nicle said in Encouraging more combat at high GCL:

    And some old players are already using up their code size limit.

    Not any more! The devs raised it from 2MB to 5MB a while back.

    I think most high GCL attacks are focused on bugs in the defense code, since direct attacks will be degraded into a war of attrition.

    Not really, no. Maybe at mid GCL. At high GCL many players have defense code that doesn't have easily exploitable bugs. The bugs that are there are often "economic" bugs which don't really cause any problems other than slowdown of GCL/power/credit gain - the 90% of the rooms that aren't under heavy pressure can take up the slack.

    At least my base should be able to defend against a constant attack for 7 days at RCL8, and even longer on high GCL

    You can do that today easily. A reasonable defense combined with ramparts in the 100m+ range will hold a long time. Especially if safe mode is used agressively. Part of the proposal I made is to make people pay for that survivabilty by increasing decay of large ramparts. Furthermore, I'd argue that if you have 30+ rooms, it's much less important that one can survive for so long - losing a room is hardly a major setback.



  • Right now overhealing is supported, but damage is applied first, then it's healed. What if it would be swapped, heal first, then damage. You would always know exactly how much to heal to make perfect use of the tough-parts. It's a small change with almost no impact for basic players and high impact for high end players.

    👍


  • I agree it would be great to see more combat at high gcl, but as someone who is still writing his first fully automated script, this sounds like it could be pretty hard on the noobs.

    I know we have novice and respawn areas, but making defense harder just makes it more difficult to set up a stable, long-term colony. Personally I think this would be rough on players with less developed defense code.

    That said, maybe there's a way to make defense harder on high level players without hurting lower levels. The introduction of the executor and commander creeps could help with this, since undeveloped players are unlikely to have power enabled in their rooms.



  • @hsoj said in Encouraging more combat at high GCL:

    I know we have novice and respawn areas, but making defense harder just makes it more difficult to set up a stable, long-term colony. Personally I think this would be rough on players with less developed defense code.

    I don't think any of the ideas outlined make defense significantly harder for new players. The vast majority of new players will get rolled over by boosted squads anyway should they be attacked by an experienced player.

    EDIT: I thought I'd expand on this.

    1. Decreasing repair effectiveness would mean more energy is spent on building up ramparts. Again, it's going to slow you down a bit economically, but not really make you easier to kill unless you can perform an effective repair spam defense. If you can do an effective repair spam defense, you're no longer a new player IMO.

    2. Increasing rampart decay as proposed would only kick in at >10m ramparts, and would be a fairly insignificant cost. Sure, you'd get a little less into your controller. Really doing this means that ramparts become more of a trade-off. Build them high and be safe, or keep them low and get more free energy.

    3. You get 1 safe mode per RCL. That's plenty enough for a new player to build rooms up IMO. Most new players don't have auto-safe mode.

    4. Decreasing the effectiveness of burst damage. On the whole new players will not be able to kill T3 boosted squads attacking their rooms. If they can, they're not new players any more.

    On the whole the world is very peaceful and most new players won't get killed by established players. Fundamentally even with the best code in the world you can't really grow up as after a respawn next to an established player if they don't want you to. Bases can't really defend themselves against RCL 8 attacks until they're at least RCL 7, and you'll be dead well before that. The reason new players don't have massive problems is because established players aren't trying to kill them, not because they couldn't.



  • @tigga What if rampart decay rates (and therefore repair rates) were based on a formula that depended on the number of hits that they've been built up to? This way we have a smooth curve where players can select their safety-to-cost ratio rather than an on/off at 10 million.



  • @trepidimous said in Encouraging more combat at high GCL:

    @tigga What if rampart decay rates (and therefore repair rates) were based on a formula that depended on the number of hits that they've been built up to? This way we have a smooth curve where players can select their safety-to-cost ratio rather than an on/off at 10 million.

    Math.ceil(hits / 10e6) already does this.

    You could make it smoother, the details don't really matter.



  • @o4kapuk @artch

    Can we get a developer input on this?

    Are the developers happy with the current military aspect of the higher level play?

    Do the developers agree that it is easier to defend than attack and are they happy with this?

    And what do you think about the ideas that Tigga suggested?



  • Regarding Power, wasn't it planned to enable power globally anyway once all PCs where implemented with a short transition period?

    But I agree in general, once you're set defending is to "easy".
    I'm not against the perfect defense policy but it should take much more than it currently does.
    (Good code should matter, not a bias in game mechanics)

    Removing the ability to regenerate safe mode is a good idea, this way seven nukes "could" take care of that.
    I think this is a really reasonable investment if you really want to get rid of someone.

    As far as walls/ramparts go, maybe building/maintaining them should have some sort of diminishing return so you have to spend astronomical amounts of energy.
    This is IMO a fair trade off and would make walls more attractive due to the lack of decay.
    This would also make nukes more tactical since ramparts would have way less HP with this method.



  • In most RTS games, static defenses have hard counters by some sort of siege unit that is useless at most other things.

    Supreme Commander FA for instance, has point defense which out ranges all other T1 units except for the mobile artillery which is the slowest, lowest hp, and its projectile takes the longest time to reach its target. It is for most purposes useless at unit on unit combat, but when destroying the T1 point defense (which is very good at killing t1 units), it out-ranges it and will kill it after a few shots. there still is a defenders advantage as these siege units are relatively expensive but defenses are there to deter and buy time, there is no perfect defense. defense revolves around having reserve units to rally to the defense, not a tower defense approach.

    that game also raises the stakes by having a concept called reclaim that allows you to recycle destroyed units/structures resources and creates a meta game of controlling past battlefields, for the reclaim.



  • I've experienced the reclaim effect in screeps.

    I spawned into a young alliance and one of them had automated an MA swarm attack. It would have been devastating a few months earlier but I had good respawn rushing and tower energy management by that point.

    They left the attack running for a few days. By the end they'd energy drained their 3 rooms and my single room built and filled a Storage and there was still energy on the ground. I don't think they'd ever had it fail before.

    The reclaim effect becomes much less useful once a player gets even a small empire running and energy becomes essentially free.

    On the topic of encouraging combat, that led to a month of some of the most frantic/fun coding I've had with screeps, They kept me pinned in that one room for quite a while we both tried to developed effective boosting code. More than once I had to hand steer some of my boosted defenders to narrowly avoid a disaster.

    Thinking back on my experience safe mode saved everyone's hide a couple times. I chained once or twice to give me time to work out solution to their latest attack. 24 hrs was never enough. Given screepers preference for weekend play 7 day safemodes with a 1 month cooldown might be more in line with encouraging combat while giving players a chance to not get wiped at the first glitch.

    Or slightly more flexible up to 7 days safemodes with exponential cooldowns. Keep your first safemode up for 1 day and you have a cooldown of 1 day. That doesn't work so you pop another safemode for 1 day, this time the cooldown is (2x) 2 days. Next time you keep the safemode up for 7 days. When it drops you have a (4x) 1 month cooldown.

    I think that would strengthen safemode for the players who need it most while effectively removing it from empire warfare since the increasing cooldowns make safemodes a non-renewable resource.



  • @deft-code So safe-mode would be acc bound, shard bound and realtime instead of ticks?
    Hmm that is a big departure but I like the idea, this way it becomes a way more significant decision.
    Plays different like "Awww let's use safe-mode I can regenerate it anyway"

    But I wouldn't do a exponential cool down and keep it fixed at 4x with a minimum of 24h to a max of 168h(1 Week).
    It insures that it can't be spammed or abused.

    But there is still the issue with nukes, should they end the safe-mode? Or just deal dmg regardless? <- best solution IMO



  • I assumed the safemode would be room+account bound. I figured if I got wiped or pushed back I'd like a chance to use the protection is new rooms to build back up.

    WRT to Nukes I didn't see a need to change the clear safemode + no cooldown. Now though I see that an alliance could use friendly nukes to work around safemode cooldowns. Though given a nukes multiday lead time this probably isn't a big deal.
    As for letting nukes through a safemode, that would allow nukes to wipe out a new player. I was never hit by a nuke early on but my plan was to just pop a safemode when there was only a day left and wait it out. I hate to take that easy counter from new players.



  • @deft-code said in Encouraging more combat at high GCL:

    I assumed the safemode would be room+account bound. I figured if I got wiped or pushed back I'd like a chance to use the protection is new rooms to build back up.

    WRT to Nukes I didn't see a need to change the clear safemode + no cooldown. Now though I see that an alliance could use friendly nukes to work around safemode cooldowns. Though given a nukes multiday lead time this probably isn't a big deal.
    As for letting nukes through a safemode, that would allow nukes to wipe out a new player. I was never hit by a nuke early on but my plan was to just pop a safemode when there was only a day left and wait it out. I hate to take that easy counter from new players.

    Yeah given a single room that behavior was fine, but if it translates to the whole shard it becomes different story.
    And to be honest dropping nukes on "new players" is kinda a waste also you can't drop them in novice areas anyway.

    It is hard to strike a balance with those things, both safemode and nukes are powerful and should stay so.
    If you nerf it someway it should gain in another way, the goal is to make the whole fighting thing more rewarding... no I think rewarding is the wrong word...
    As it stands now it is just a big waste of resources without any result in the end in most cases.

    With such proposal it is actually possible to wipe somebody from the map if his safemode is poorly executed since it is not a matter of simply renewing it anymore.