Discussion: long-range logistics revamp

  • Dev Team

    @Davaned We thought about it. But that sounds like a great complication of the whole unified Store API or a weird exception out of it creating unobvious edge cases. Dropping resources seems more like in the spirit of these structures (aimed to serve as transport, not storage)

  • Yeah I can understand that, although this is a case of an energy-powered structure so having a .energy specific store is pretty intuitive, imo moreso than "one type of the resources you put in the general store disappear". How will the dropped resources behave then? Randomly sprayed under each warp container? This will drastically increase the pain of having skipped ticks.

    Also, withdrawing all energy from a container before it renews becomes extremely powerful as harassment. If they had a 100 .energy buffer that keeps gets refilled internally/from creeps that can't be withdrawn from it would take 100ticks of room control to have the network fail vs 1 tick.

    Formal suggestion: Internal deposit-only .energy store (like a nuker) of 100. This gets consumed every 100 ticks to maintain the network. If it's empty it gets refilled as highest priority from the internal store, but can also be creep deposited. Reduces complexity of warp container usage too since its more fault-tolerant and you have security that the container will be powered for next round.

  • This just seems like one of those ideas where it feels unnecessary. Why not flesh out power creeps more or make commodities less useless. More depth there would help more than another min/max tool that a small percentage of your playerbase will use


  • @o4kapuk Do you have a rough ETA for the terminal throughput limit by chance?

  • Dev Team

    @tehfiend It's soon to be published at the PTR


  • I know I'm too late to have my input considered with this update, but: Reading though what everyone else says here, warp containers sound like a "best solution" to remote mining (less cpu and energy cost/tick). The fact that they use energy, and decay costing energy seems overly complicated to upkeep (vs links with use energy and containers that decay).

    I'd rather see structures that don't require creeps to preform tasks on them for them to do their job (like links, labs, terminals). Warp containers still require creeps to move their energy across room borders, and increase code complication but less cpu. If something like pipelines, that could pump less energy the bigger the system is, were introduced, I would think you'd see haulers and pipes depending on the situation (removing the best solution problem).

    With respect to the terminal change, I'm not sure why civilians have to see the consequences. Just that same that structures can't be destroyed when hostile creeps are in your room, limit/block terminal calls.

    An alternate suggestion to blocking terminals: Make mortars a thing. Essentially mini nukes that can be loaded up with different resources (where certain resources have different effects, just as boosts help your creeps, these will take away from enemy creeps). For instance if KH is loaded, it will reduce any creep/structure that has a .store property by some percentage.

    I personally would like to see more inter-room actions, instead these updates would lessen inter-room actions (limiting terminals) and strengthen intra-room actions (with warp containers). lets see more things like mortars and pipes.

    Also, I'd be interested in seeing what internal suggesting the dev team came up with even if they were considered too much of a change that they'd break peoples code.

  • @o4kapuk said in Discussion: long-range logistics revamp:

    @tehfiend It's soon to be published at the PTR

    How about warp containers? Still not convinced they're either needed or in a good place balance-wise based on the last update.

  • Any updates?

  • YP

    I just rejoined the game after a long time away and I've been setting up individual rooms to focus energy on so as to level them up as quickly as possible to compete with the older more established players. The journey from fledgling to maxed out rooms is long and tedious and the only way to speed it up is to focus my resources. From the standpoint of new players with limited code bases, this nerf on terminals looks to limit my options for leveling my rooms up after a respawn and looks to impact new players with no means to use power creeps in a severe way.

    It is already very hard to quickly come back after a wipe and transfering all my energy through terminals to a focus room is required to speed that up at all. Using a leg force of transports is a huge CPU and Spawner hit for a new player and is thus not much of a solution.

    I urge you to consider the impact of this decision to limit energy through terminals on respawning / newer players.

  • @zpike said in Discussion: long-range logistics revamp:

    It is already very hard to quickly come back after a wipe and transfering all my energy through terminals to a focus room is required to speed that up at all. Using a leg force of transports is a huge CPU and Spawner hit for a new player and is thus not much of a solution.

    You can do RCL 7->RCL8 in under 50k ticks with without power creeps or external shipments. Seems fast enough to me. Remember batteries are a thing and while factory cooldown means you can only get 50 energy/tick from them, that only uses 5/50 of the terminal throughput, which gives you 95 energy/tick coming through total. Combined with upgrade boosts (going to use some terminal capacity, but 2x on energy) and local energy harvesting and 50k ticks is very acheivable.

    You can move a lot of energy with creeps without using much CPU. I think it's a fine solution. If you're within about 5 rooms (call it 250 tiles) unboosted haulerers can move >15 energy/tick/CPU. Seems reasonable to me. I agree, you can be limited by spawn time.

    Also, warp containers.

    Also, I think most respawning players will have many rooms to level concurrently and there's no real need to push one at a time. Unless you're spending hundreds of credits/tick on energy you're not going to be hitting these limits.

    I'm not trying to say it won't be a restriction, but I am saying that it isn't exactly slow to level rooms.

  • I agree that terminals throughput and reach make them very powerful, and that potentially overshadows other logistic options in the game (creep transporters) or potential new designs such as Warp Containers.

    If the key design objective here is to avoid short interrupts of terminal disruption being catastrophic for attackers, what about the following change to PWR_DISRUPT_TERMINAL which makes sieged terminals more expensive to use while reducing the catastrophic effect of the effect dropping:

    1. PWR_DISRUPT_TERMINAL no longer blocks withdrawals, but now imposes a loss at the time of withdrawal: 30%/50%/60%/70%/80% depending on the level of the power. E.g. level 1 disrupt means that I try and withdraw 1000 energy, 1000 energy is removed from the terminal, but 700 energy is added to my creep.

    2. PWR_DISRUPT_TERMINAL now uses a new expiry mechanic: level reduction. Instead of the effect dissipating after X ticks, the effect reduces a level and the cooldown is reset back to X ticks. The effect only expires when the level would reach 0. This means the effect is less binary, and fades out over time. So if you apply level 5 power, after X ticks it drops to level 4, then after another X ticks it drops to level 3 and so in. The effect can be reapplied by the attacker at a higher level, without waiting for it to tick all the way down to level 0.

    3. the cooldown of PWR_DISRUPT_TERMINAL is increased to 100 ticks, and the ops cost adjusted accordingly. Making the effect longer is not a big problem as the effect is no longer a complete lockout of the terminal, but leaves a defender the option to spend their way through the effect... until they run out of money.

    4. PWR_DISRUPT_TERMINAL affects the contents of a ruin formed from the terminal (destroying the terminal and rebuilding thus remains an option for the defender, but potentially an expensive one).

    The effect of these three changes is:

    1. level 5 disrupt terminal is a lot stronger than level 1, but level 1 is still useful. Currently I think there's no reason to go beyond level 1.
    2. defender now has a choice to make - do I withdraw these Tier3 boosts now knowing that I'm paying a fortune to boost this creep, do I wait and hope that the level will drop off in the future, or do I not boost this creep in this base? The current power design leaves the defender has no choice but to wait and hope. Allowing the defender a choice makes the situation more interesting for the defender to reason about, and the optimal choice may be different for different players, bots, situations.
    3. if the attacker's disruption is interrupted, there is a much larger grace period before it becomes catastrophic for the attacker. Instead of the effect dropping off after 10 ticks, the effect continues for hundreds of ticks, albeit with decreasing power. The overall effect is to make disrupt terminal more flexible and powerful for the attacker (although this is dependent on the exact loss percentages). The attacker also is able to trade off the cost in ops vs the withdrawal cost for the defender. Perhaps the economic decision for the attacker is to apply level 5 disrupt terminal, and wait for it to drop to level 3 disrupt terminal before reapplying level 5 again. The decision-making for the attacker is slightly more interesting than reapplying on expiry.
    4. The economic balance between attacking and defending is tilted away from the defender. It's still possible to flood resources into a sieged base from elsewhere, however it becomes much more expensive for the defender to make use of those resources.
    5. PWR_DISRUPT_TERMINAL becomes not just "wreck their defence", but "wreck their economy and their defence". Perfect application of the existing power would be stronger at wrecking their defence than this proposal, but an imperfect application neither wrecks their defence nor their economy. This proposal means that even a failed attack could be costly for the defender (potentially 5x as costly as at present).

    What's good about this proposal?

    1. It narrowly focuses on the specific issue with PWR_DISRUPT_TERMINAL, and doesn't change other parts of the game.
    2. More decisions for attackers and defenders to make.
    3. Puts a greater distance between PWR_DISRUPT_SPAWN and PWR_DISRUPT_TERMINAL. Currently, both interfere with base defence by blocking a crucial structure, aiming to make spawning defender creeps impossible. With this change, the choice is between blocking defenders spawning, and making defenders very expensive. The outcome is no longer identical (assuming perfect attacker logic).

    What's bad about this proposal?

    1. It narrowly focuses on the specific issue with PWR_DISRUPT_TERMINAL, and doesn't address the strength of terminals in general (but maybe that's ok).
    2. Introduces a new effect expiry mechanic that doesn't exist on other effects which might make the behaviour harder to understand.
    3. doesn't tie in with the mineral compression mechanic (unlike the terminal rate limit under discussion)