[GCL] GCL - Circumventing the "cap" is ridiculously easy

  • Culture

    I don't think the issue is the structures or terminals. You can easily get around this by just using a room next to a level 8 room. It is a bigger conception of limiting energy into controllers at level 8. As it stands there is two worldviews. 

    1. Don't limit controller upgrade in any way. 
    2. Limit level 8 rooms to 15 energy/tick. Don't limit lower level rooms. 

    I would argue both of these are the same. Either you have a world where people upgrade controllers how they feel they want. Or you have a world where if you want to be successful you force the player to funnel energy to lower level rooms. If the goal is to limit upgrade for larger players, a larger player will eventually implement #2 anyway. Give it six months and everyone in the top 20 will be using this method or they won't remain in the top 20. New players will observe and emulate top players and you have the same problem that was intended to be solved with limiting level 8 rooms. I strongly feel the limit needs to be removed and higher and higher GCL should require a greater jump in control points. This allows newer players to get a foothold, removes the arbitrary limit on level 8 rooms, and slows bigger players down. 


  • Dev Team

    Another solution could be introducing a long cooldown period after unclaiming the controller for the same player to claim it again. What do you think about it?

  • Culture

    I don't think a cooldown period will solve it, just change the dynamics. For instance, if someone was cycling the rooms over a 50k period and you added a 200k cooldown they would be able to achieve the same effects using four rooms instead of the original one.

  • a cooldown period might be a good idea even if it doesnt solve this problem.  The reason you would unclaim a room and claim it again shortly would most likely be to abuse some sort of game mechanic.

  • Culture

    >>> "Another solution could be introducing a long cooldown period after unclaiming the controller for the same player to claim it again. What do you think about it?"

    If you wish to maintain the 15 energy/tick limit another idea might be that if you unclaim a room and then reclaim it that the limit of 15 energy/tick starts from GCL 3 or so. This would mean that if you want to pump up rooms you would be forced to continually seek out new rooms as the ones you've used become consumed. It also provides a consequence of sorts to unclaiming a room. To bonzai's point, gaining levels will very much be a waiting game again as it is now. 

    What I like about this approach is that the most successful player who chooses not to be in the waiting game becomes one who is nomadic and is always seeking out new territory. I could see this also increase the need for player vs player interaction since you need to take new territory after you've used up old ones. It also gives a more poignant reason to improve new room build up code. Personally I'd be too lazy to go that direction but I'd be happy to see people get the rewards of putting in that effort. 

  • I think getting rid of the cap for rcl8 controllers is the best way to solve this inconsistency, not adding more rules. When you cap the rate of player growth at such a low level, it removes all incentive to make energy harvesting efficient. At some point, all players make progress at the same rate. You end up with progress graphs that look like this: 


  • The ability to spend all the energy that you are able to make shouldn't be restricted to people who cycle through rooms, it should be easier than that. There are other limits that would keep players from growing at an exponential rate, like CPU. That is a much more interesting limit to work with, because you can find creative ways to push it as far as it will go. A 15-energy per room cap does not inspire creativity. It is very easy to reach and have tons of energy left over. 

    It sends a really poor message that whenever players find an unexpected way to make progress, you take away that ability. There's no point in looking for things that nobody else has tried. If you become too successful with it, the competition will complain and it will get taken away. Everyone should just stick to the conventional methods.

  • Seems like an interesting discussion and i'm afraid that the devs could do something to remove that cap limit which will allow the high GCL players to expand even faster and leave all new players in a pointless state where they can't reach anybody that has been playing the game from before them..

    So, here's my suggestion - adjust that cap dynamically - for instance - if the highest GCL of a player is 36 - make the cap half of that - e.g. 18 and adjust backwards for the lower level players - so, for a GCL 9 player the cap would be (36/9) * 18 = 72 energy/tick per RCL8 controller. 

    The applications - you may say that this would hold the progress of the top players and boost all others - that's the point, because this is not an economy game, but a war game - if the top players want to stay at the top they shouldn't be able to do that just by being good in economy and the fact that they are playing for an year longer

  • If the important thing is to make sure higher level players do not grow to fast, you should just change the GCL_POW constant so that each additional level requires more GCL. Lower GCLl players would get new rooms sooner relative to higher GCL players. I'm not arguing against making it difficult to gain GCL at higher levels, i'm arguing against making it so that everyone does it at the same rate.

    The ability to spend excess energy does not only benefit higher GCL players. I started having excess energy as soon as I became efficient with SK mining, at GCL6. I didn't just shoot up the charts after becoming high GCL, I've made steady progress beginning at a lower GCL.

    I don't think the answer is to make complex rules about the cap. There just shouldn't be a cap.

    Once power mining is released, it might become moot because there might be better ways to spend energy. Then again, it could just as easily be a problem then. If you are already making progress at the cap, what is the point of the benefits gained from power creeps?

  • Culture

    I agree with bonzai. It becomes more about getting the most bang for your energybuck. At the moment I'm not even upgrading 24/7 and am using boosts when I do. The best way to limit GCL growth is getting other "energy sinks" which are more valuable to dump your energy in. Personally I'm more focussed on processing power. GCL just isn't that important anymore once you hit a certain point.
    I think removing the cap, and maybe increasing the POW can fix the problems, but to be honest I don't think there currently are problems. GCL requirements stil l grow exponentially, it will solve itself in time. the hard limit of ~1400 actions per tick also limits GCL gworth in a way.

  • Personally, I still have no problem with people "bypassing" the limit -- it's similar to uncapping and it takes actual effort (code) to do. I do, however, think that we need another energy sink in the game. Perhaps we could have labs take energy to run? Maybe some uber-sink involving keeping a portal from opening (pay 200 energy/tick and a portal will not open in your sector)? Maybe pay 20m energy to choose where your portal will open next.

  • Dev Team

    What about this idea.

    We introduce a new game mechanic - the Root Controller. It is exposed as the property StructureController.root and the method StructureController.setRoot(). Only one single controller can be set as the root, and you can switch the root to another controller (probably with a cooldown). Only energy put into the root controller contributes to your GCL. All other controllers simply upgrade their levels without affecting GCL. There is no limit how much energy you can put in it.

    This will introduce a coding challenge to implement effective logistics connecting your empire “center”, which will be the more diffucult, the more rooms you have. There will be no hard cap of energy contributed to your GCL, but rather a soft cap depending on your implementation. There will also be a funny way to break someone’s global operations by interrupting this centralized supply scheme.

    In order to keep the GCL growth balance, some parameters may be changed or introduced.

  • I like that idea, but how about instead, you make the root controller 2-4x more effective at building GCL, and adjust up the required GCL to level up?

    Although, even just taking that at face value, depending on the cooldown (eg 20k ticks) you can still get 100% of your control points that you're getting today -- you just have to be smart about how you move and store energy.

    I definitely like the idea of having a "central", "core" room that presents a strategic target -- maybe given power creeps have an infinite life span, you could only allow them to be spawned from a root room?

  • I love the idea behind the StructureController.root method. This means once you hit 8 you have a new game to play . Get energy to your new rooms, and to your "GCL" room, which will be important and hopefully well protected. I think three things need to happen though. 

    1. A slight re-balance of GCL needed to get to the next level. Specially the first fer levels where you won't have a lot of RCL 8 rooms. 

    2. Place a new cap on the process that is way to high to high to reach alone, effectively removing the cap but preventing dual boxing (or alliances boosting a single member). You don't want to end up with "You must belong in an alliance" 

    3. Add the cool down you spoke of, A long one. So maybe the move is only 200,000 ticks (once a week). The idea being you should be able to attack a players upgrade room. They shouldn't be able to just move it out of the way.

  • I dunno, we want to encourage things like diplomacy and alliances -- why shouldn't we allow it? Remember that if they're not close to you, they're still paying terminal fees that are quite high.

    As for the cooldown, you'll always have to take the room out twice, as the cooldown won't be in effect until after you've beaten the first room.

  • Artem: which group of players is the cap supposed to limit growing? When it was first implemented, everyone was around 15 GCL ish, so it did make a huge difference in our ability to get new room. Now, the top group is at GCL 30+, and it takes 300+ million energy for a new room. With or without the cap, I think the difference is minimal.

    I don't like the idea of having only one room being able to use energy for upgrading GCL. There are pretty much only two sources of meaningful energy dump in the game: controller upgrade and power mining. For certain rooms, power mining is not an option. What do we do with energy in those rooms?

  • Culture

    Shouldn't be a surprise that I agree with Bonzai. The increase to the POW constant was what I was trying to suggest. Ultimately having a cap at all is very restrictive. Artem's idea for the root controller is interesting, but if you can change it I would just save up energy in one area until another area has put everything it has into the root and then move the root to another area. Then you want to limit how often you can move the root controller and really its just adding mechanics to be nerfed again. 

    This is intended to be a sandbox game and really it should do as much as possible to give players the freedom to choose how they upgrade rather than adding mechanics to force one way of doing things. The goal should be for the player to have options that are balanced rather than everyone doing the same thing. Lastly I don't think the point about having a reason to mine efficiently is being given the weight it should be. My remote mining operations could use a lot of tweaking and I really can't be arsed because there isn't any reason for me to bother right now. You should really be rewarded for how efficient you are by being able to make use of every extra bit you can preserve over your neighbor. 


  • @deadlypineapple nothing wrong with alliances, however your shouldn't be required to join one. Join My alliance now and we will boost you to GCL 20 overnight. Quickly becomes you must join an alliance of have no hope at competition.  That's why a cap that is unreachable solo but low enough that that another player can't divert 90% of their energy to your GCL gain is my recommendation (specially  if you make that "other player" 10-20 other players.)

    @Horus you would still have to use energy in each room to upgrade RCL, then use energy to transport that room's energy to your GCL room via terminals, creeps, or whatever. The energy sink would increase. 

    @Skorp - Not having some limit isn't really any good. Then the game becomes, "why bother to play if I can never catch up no mater what I do". On the other side there has to be some plus sides to a well balanced, long term empire. I do agree with the cooldown on changing your GCL room around. It should not be something you can do often. You should instead be encouraged to move your energy to the GCL room, and not move your GCL room to the energy.

  • @coteyr if alliances want to do that, they can -- but they have to pay the transport costs. At a range of 16 rooms, for every 2 energy they send to you, only 1 arrives. There's no reason to try to limit that, if an alliance wants to waste that much energy then their enemies are going to have an easier time walking in.

  • @coteyr: you got your reasoning a bit backward: if there are too many limits and everyone is doing the samething, you will never catch up. Variety is how someone can gain some advantages and catch up.