Season #2



  • This concept is perfect. It give the co op that so many of us asked for, while also providing some nice natural ways for the lesser players to still have fun & score.

    I am always in favor of smaller maps, as it gives more meaning to controlling territory. In a large map the question is not how to secure a given bit of score, but to spread as wide as possible and avoid all combat. The cost/benefit of fighting for what you know vs just spreading in the other direction is too far towards 'just spread'. In a large map, fighting just means both you and your sparring partner drop in the rankings, so you avoid fights. In a small map, everyone has to fight, and you have to figure out how to fight well. A good economic bot should get you in the top 100. Your combat code should determine top 10.

    A smaller map benefits smaller players. In a large map, a top-10 player is only able to indirectly compete on the leaderboard by exerting total dominance over their holdings to maximize gains. They must maximize these gains better than their other top-10 counterparts, as that is the only path to victory. However, if portals and map size make them neighbors with their true competitors, then they can compete via directly fighting over rooms and score.

    Finally, I think that when you allow lower players to score, even if they get wiped often, they will still enjoy the season. This mechanic will give them the option to be taken under the wing of a bigger player if they want a higher degree of safety. Even if you think a larger map makes smaller players not in an alliance less likely to get wiped, it's not necessary.


    Also, an increased amount of score spawning will make it rapidly apparent that you need access to as many symbols as possible to be competitive. Alliances of larger players can hope to negotiate amongst themselves who places how high and wipe all the small players near them, but that won't remotely cut those players off from spawning elsewhere near more amenable players, which is all that matters. Seeing the wipes of this season, and thinking it apply under this new mechanic, is at best misguided. The incentive structure is completely different.



  • As @QzarSTB said in slack,

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    πŸ‘


  • @cribbit said in Season #2 concept:

    A good economic bot should get you in the top 100. Your combat code should determine top 10.

    There's ~140 players in this season with less than 50% having scored.

    @cribbit said in Season #2 concept:

    In a large map, a top-10 player is only able to indirectly compete on the leaderboard by exerting total dominance over their holdings to maximize gains.

    That's not true. in large map top10 player needs to cooperate with smaller players to get access to highRCL decoders.

    In small map there is high risk of alliances, created by season1 top10-15 players, that will determine most of ranking.

    Hypothetical Example

    • 3 teams of 4 top15 players decide to take 6 sectors (2-3 sectors/player for optimal GCL-7/8 room setup), wipe anyone else within and 4-8 rooms around it, split code picking into assigned zones and do not fight with each-other (best in alliance wins, since breaking/fighting within alliance is too risky from ranking perspective for every member)

    With big map it should reduce chance of top players clumping together. Example:

    • Each of top15 players creates it's own kingdom with some smaller-player vassals as to not have to share code-picking with other top10 players


  • @gadjung said in Season #2 concept:

    @cribbit said in Season #2 concept:

    A good economic bot should get you in the top 100. Your combat code should determine top 10.

    There's ~140 players in this season with less than 50% having scored.

    Yes, and this new seasonal mechanic solves that bottom 50%.

    @cribbit said in Season #2 concept:

    In a large map, a top-10 player is only able to indirectly compete on the leaderboard by exerting total dominance over their holdings to maximize gains.

    That's not true. in large map top10 player needs to cooperate with smaller players to get access to highRCL decoders.

    All that matters is # of symbols accessible. Once you reach 22, the benefit of pushing anyone else out will inherently always outweigh the cost of letting them stay, if those are the only options. By introducing a 3rd option - direct combat against the players close to you on the leaderboard - you gain interesting interplay. Only in a small map do you have the 3rd option. This rationale stays the same no matter what the alliance is comprised of.

    In small map there is high risk of alliances, created by season1 top10-15 players, that will determine most of ranking.

    Hypothetical Example

    • 3 teams of 4 top15 players decide to take 6 sectors (2-3 sectors/player for optimal GCL-7/8 room setup), wipe anyone else within and 4-8 rooms around it, split code picking into assigned zones and do not fight with each-other (best in alliance wins, since breaking/fighting within alliance is too risky from ranking perspective for every member)

    With big map it should reduce chance of top players clumping together. Example:

    • Each of top15 players creates it's own kingdom with some smaller-player vassals as to not have to share code-picking with other top10 players

    We are acting like anyone getting wiped, ever, is a bad thing. Wipes happen. This game has PvP. The question is whether those players are able to find some area to exist after being wiped. Even if we disagree on how map size impacts that being able to happen, the seasonal mechanic guarantees that vassal states will exist.

    A smaller map is more interesting, period. We agree that a larger map means less fighting between players that are close to each other on the leaderboard. This is a bad thing.

    Seasonal does not need to allow bottom 50% players to exist in ignorance of the rest of the server.

    πŸ‘


  • Reposting interesting thoughts from slack:

    Snowgoose 9:50 PM

    I don’t think the top players need to make any deals, if they could kill you they can just take out your towers, or just heal there way to the collector

    Snowgoose 9:52 PM

    Once your towers are gone they can probably keep a room down with small creeps

    Snowgoose 9:56 PM

    Perhaps there is a way to tweak it so that if the room owner keeps the collector β€˜awake’ then it is twice as efficient, so that barging in is worse than coop

    QzarSTB 11:59 PM

    Could force-assign players to a random sector to spawn in to remove premade teams

    There was also a great discussion about boosting, especially late game. If the game mode promotes alliances, it's easy to imagine a situation where several players cooperate fully until some point, and after that whoever has the highest score gets a full boost from the others. The alliance that does it will win (ok technically their representative will but I'd still call it a win). Actually, the alliance which starts it earliest, should win...



  • It's great to see that the devs are open to exploring more co-op mechanics, but I fear that this may be a step in the wrong direction.

    From a design goal perspective, I believe a couple of things would be good for the game's long term prospects:

    1. New players feel comfortable joining, learning, exploring, and improving their code in a safe environment.
    2. New players can spend time working solely on code and not interacting with other humans until they feel ready.

    Comparing Screeps to a traditional MMO like WoW or similar, new players often experience social interactions in three distinct stages:

    1. Solo gameplay through tutorials and individual quests
    2. Co-op gameplay through multiplayer quests
    3. PvP gameplay

    PvP gameplay often attracts the most hardcore players and is where much of the fame, glory, and best rewards lie. At the same time, PvP gameplay is not for everyone, nor does it need to be.

    The reason I say this iteration on seasonal may be a step in the wrong direction is due to the added element of required social interactions with other players, meaning diplomacy, deal making, backstabbing, and more. Screeps is primarily a game for programmers, by programmers, and I believe that these forced social elements will further deter new players from joining the game.

    This isn't to say that this Machiavellian gameplay isn't interesting or exciting. In fact, for some players, it may be some of the most satisfying and engaging type of gameplay. However, this type of audience is already (somewhat) being served by the vanilla Screeps experience. The audience that's severely being underserved right now is the set of players who want to learn how to program in a fun and nonconfrontational way through gameplay. This audience has the potential of being extraordinarily large, and the popularity of pseudo-programming experiences within Roblox and Minecraft hints at how large the market could be.

    In the long run, I'd love to see Screeps move in a direction to serve this audience. For example:

    1. Building out visual scripting tools like Scratch or Unreal Engine's blueprints to greatly lower the barrier to entry, where players can gradually transition into "real" programming by directly editing code later on.
    2. Creating a robust set of solo goals to achieve in a safe environment with no hostile player interaction.
    3. Introducing friendly player interaction in the form of cooperative goals.

    These are lofty goals, and certainly there's not a ton of time to develop massively different mechanics for Season. To that end, I'd advocate for targeting a goal for an explicit global co-op season some time in the distant future, with no hostile player interaction and a robust set of game mechanics to support it. After that, it might make sense to have a rotation of PvP seasons with some global co-op seasons in between.

    This is all a lot of long term feedback, but I hope it helps inform future seasons, and the direction of Screeps as a whole.



  • In terms of this season, I'll give my separate take on how I think these mechanics could be tweaked to support a form of global co-op. I know it's not feasible to implement in such a short time, but thought I'd just share a potential design.

    1. Each sector has a unique symbol, and all rooms in that sector randomly spawn resource containers of that symbol. (For example, a 6x6 world like the current season would have 36 unique symbols)
    2. At each highway intersection lies a collection monolith. This monolith must receive X of every symbol type to be finished.
    3. Once all monoliths are finished, the season is complete and all players receive rewards based on how many ticks it took to win. There is a leaderboard for who contributed the most, but it is purely for prestige and bragging rights.
    4. Optionally, terminals are entirely disabled.

    This is a relatively simple take on the idea, but could be starting point for significantly more depth in the future. Further ideas might be:

    1. The perimeter rooms of every sector begin with a permanent level 1 stronghold (until destroyed).
    2. All source keeper rooms begin with a permanent level 3 stronghold.
    3. Omega symbols spawn within the centermost room, which permanently has a level 5 stronghold (until destroyed). Omega symbols are just like other symbols in that every monolith requires some amount of it in order to be completed. Unlike other symbols, they do not spawn in a given sector, and instead spawn in every sector, but only in this most strongly guarded room.
    4. Highway monoliths begin spawning invaders as they near completion. Unlike normal rooms, these invaders spawn from the center monolith and move outwards.
    5. Highway monoliths spawn a stronghold on top of them as they near completion.
    6. Regular room invaders drop a small amount of random symbols when killed.

    And to go really pie in the sky:

    1. Players are individually given quests. Upon completion, a non-decaying symbol container from a foreign sector spawns in their room, with varying types and quantities of rewards based on the difficulty of the quest.
      • Quest examples:
        • Deposit your starting symbol into a specific highway monolith 40+ rooms away from your starting spawn
        • Take down a level 5 stronghold
        • Get your entire starting sector reserved at once (by you or other players)
        • Build and launch a nuke against a special target
        • A special key spawns in your starting room. Take the key to a factory and unpackage it to trigger an onslaught of XX massively boosted invaders that you must survive. You must kill all of them before they destroy the factory.
    2. Occasionally, a special room is designated as a boss lair. The center of the room is a 40x40 box of unbreakable walls. In order to enter it, 4 creeps from separate players must stand on 4 separate pedestals. Once this happens, all four creeps are renewed to full lifetime, teleported into the center, and a number of waves of invaders gradually increasing in power are spawned. For every wave defeated, larger and larger score containers are spawned outside of the unbreakable walls for other creeps to pick up.


  • @cribbit said in Season #2 concept:

    Once you reach 22, the benefit of pushing anyone else out will inherently always outweigh the cost of letting them stay, if those are the only options.

    GCL22 ain't gonna happen in 2 months. in current season highest GCL is 9, we might see GCL11 maybe.

    @rhef said in Season #2 concept:

    Snowgoose 9:50 PM

    I don’t think the top players need to make any deals, if they could kill you they can just take out your towers, or just heal there way to the collector

    Snowgoose 9:52 PM

    Once your towers are gone they can probably keep a room down with small creeps

    One can wrap decoder in ramparts or, in the end, respawn, leaving the room empty and decoder disabled



  • What if decoder is user bound? The top 22 players of the last season gets separate decoders, so if they team up with each other, they won't have the space to expand. Therefore they will need smaller players, and protecting them, from other kingdoms. This vassal concept is preferable.

    @cribbit said in Season #2 concept:

    We are acting like anyone getting wiped, ever, is a bad thing. Wipes happen. This game has PvP. The question is whether those players are able to find some area to exist after being wiped. Even if we disagree on how map size impacts that being able to happen, the seasonal mechanic guarantees that vassal states will exist.

    @cribbit said in Season #2 concept:

    Seasonal does not need to allow bottom 50% players to exist in ignorance of the rest of the server.

    Wiping is OK if happens, the problem was that some newbies(like me) was wiped every 2nd day, and there was no "safe" place. I quoted safe, cause I didn't meant guaranteed safe, but guaranteed to face certain user level, so having school league fight against school league, and top league against top league.

    The sum is that, I also can't expect top people naturally team up with newbies, dev's should nodge the to do this. Having vassals should be more beneficient then teaming up with top4-each other, and wiping out anyone else in range.



  • @bogden said in Season #2 concept:

    The reason I say this iteration on seasonal may be a step in the wrong direction is due to the added element of required social interactions with other players, meaning diplomacy, deal making, backstabbing, and more. Screeps is primarily a game for programmers, by programmers, and I believe that these forced social elements will further deter new players from joining the game.

    Or old players from joining the season. Personally I feel a player's performance should be measured by how well their code performs, not how many freinds they have.

    IMO most of the calls for co-op in the previous thread were calls for global co-op, where everyone cooperates toward a single goal and there are no winners or losers. I think that might be interesting. Team based eco-wars, which sounds like this is heading toward, sounds a lot less interesting to the point whether if the rules outlined in the OP were used I'd be at most 50-50 on participating, probably leaning toward not bothering. If a pre-made team of 5 players beats a team of 3 players by virtue of having 5 players instead of 3 that's not really very exciting. The game scales too well with player-count-on-team (GCL, CPU). It would have on season 1 as well had it gone that way and I think it's a step in the wrong direction to encourage rather than discourage this. For example: if all YP players decided to co-operate I think we'd see YP players 1st and 2nd. That'd be decided before the round even starts.

    So, global coop would be ok. Some other system to allow new players to participate safely. eg. as suggested in the thread, a world with non-uniform scoring resource distribution so the top players would be forced together leaving the larger and less valuable areas to newer players. Forcing co-operative co-operation is not good IMO.


  • Dev Team

    Global co-op, where everyone gets the same reward, is not something that we are in position to discuss within the current idea of the Seasonal World with the Access Keys entrance fee. If everyone gets the same reward, then the reward will be tiny, since we cannot reward 200+ players with some significant resources. And if nobody is rewarded with significant resources, then paying Access Keys to join will be much less appealing.

    We have to only stick to ideas that imply that only a few people get significant reward.

    πŸ‘

  • Dev Team

    @bogden said in Season #2 concept:

    From a design goal perspective, I believe a couple of things would be good for the game's long term prospects:

    New players feel comfortable joining, learning, exploring, and improving their code in a safe environment.

    New players can spend time working solely on code and not interacting with other humans until they feel ready.

    This is valid only for the Persistent World (or even a private server). The Seasonal World is different, it's a competition, you are supposed to interact right from the beginning, and as much as possible.

    πŸ‘


  • This post is deleted!


  • @Gadjung Read what I wrote. Not GCL 22. 22 symbols. I went on to state that the idea I was putting forward applied to whatever style of alliance secured their symbols - few big players, mix of big/small, etc.

    @Bogden If players want a publicly hosted safe zone to learn in, they should go to a novice zone on shard3. That's why it exists. Attempting to create global co op is entirely in contradiction to what makes seasonal interesting - the competition.

    @Bazsi1224 I think you'll find this mechanic better for avoiding wipes. Anything that gets added to push that further is going to be artificial and to the detriment of overall gameplay.

    I think overall, it's perfectly fair to say that seasonal does not need to explicitly cater to new players.

    I do think it would be interesting to have a rolling shard that resets every 3 months. No leaderboards. Relatively large map. No rewards of any sort, but very low access token entry that gives 'subscription' to that shard independent of MMO shards. Gives new players another option of a place to start out & learn. But, this would be totally separate & independent from seasonal, which is on a good track right now.



  • Could make it so the more of 1 symbol you score, the less score you get, forcing you to get as many as possible to obtain the highest score you can

    πŸ‘

  • Dev Team

    @squishproxy This is interesting! We need to figure out a proper implementation for this mechanic though.



  • Possible Co-op incentive to consider:

    Make it so scoring in a depositor you control yourself gives you 60% of the score for your deposit, but that depositing your score into a depositor owned by someone else gives you 80% of the score and gives the owner of the depositor 20%.

    This incentivizes not only for you to co-operate with others to get more score, but incentivizes players to let others deposit.

    (This is much less interesting then player made "taxes" schemes but more accessible for newer players since the taxes would be guaranteed.)

    πŸ‘


  • Maybe so that transport creeps have the distance to make it to allies decoders and back, make transport creeps get renewed to full TTL when they turn in score?



  • @artch Although you've created the Seasonal world as a competition, I believe it has the potential to be so much more. It's an excellent sandbox to test out new and innovative things, and give you full liberty to try some really creative explorations outside of the realm of regular screeps gameplay.

    As far as new player goals are concerned, I think seasonal is a wonderful format to get people started in a friendlier and safer environment without totally messing up the core gameplay of regular screeps.

    Alternatively, you could potentially create an entirely separate fully co-op MMO world, but this is a significantly larger undertaking.

    @artch said in Season #2 concept:

    We have to only stick to ideas that imply that only a few people get significant reward.

    As far as paying for season in general, I'd caution leaning too heavily towards the feast-or-famine reward model, as it strongly disincentivizes participation from all those but the most elite, which isn't good for the long term health of the game.

    For a global co-op season, I think you might be underestimating the willingness to pay for access keys to a fun and interesting coding challenge as its own intrinsic reward, again, particularly among new players. Doing a marketing push on coding school platforms could potentially do really well.

    I'd also suggest that limited edition cosmetics are always an enticing reward. Giving limited rewards as CPU tokens could additionally go a really long way towards converting non-paying players into lifetime subscribers. $10 in access keys as an entry fee, $3.50 in CPU tokens as a reward, plus a limited edition non-transferrable cosmetic. Choosing to scale the reward up or down based on time to goal completion is entirely optional, but a fun incentive to put up for players.



  • @artch If you keep the score separately for each type, you could sort them by value DESC. Each index would increase the multiplier to reward having score equally in as much as types possible.

    Example: Player AggressiveNoobSlayer wipes everyone and gets 1k score op type A. His score is 1000.

    Player FriendlyNeighbour works together and gets 500 A, 250 B, 150 C and 100 D : 500 * 1 + 250 * 2 + 150 * 3 + 4 * 100 = 1850.

    Those are extreme examples of the multipliers but make it easy to explain. Also: Have you considered sharing the score between the room owner and player that turns it in? This would prevent an alliance boosting a single player which is the biggest concern with enforcing team play IMO.

    This would force me from wiping everyone around me with the proposed rules to actually work together. Please don't forget about the players which actually want to see FFA gameplay, maybe alternating the seasons with FFA and teams?