Changelog 2015-11-10

Gameplay changes

  • A fully upgraded level 8 controller can't be upgraded with the power over 15 energy units per tick regardless of creeps power. The cumulative effect of all the creeps performing upgradeController in the current tick is taken into account. Due to this, you may want to redirect a part of your energy surplus to walls and ramparts repairs.
  • Creep.build and Creep.repair methods now work at a distance. The target has to be within 3 squares range from the creep. Action priorities have also been changed.

API changes

  • Breaking change: serializeMemory option in Creep.moveTo method is now true by default.
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Comments

  • reelthyme

    A single controller can't be upgraded with the power over 15 energy units

    Can appreciate this change though. Before, rooms with only 1 tile free next to the controller are greatly inferior to anything else (it punishes you at all stages in the room's development)

  • reelthyme

    Isn't ranged repair going to be super strong on defense? You can safely repair your front defense from anywhere, easily canceling a party's dps using only 3-4 maxed repairers. It definitely does make automatic defending a lot more lenient. Wonder what the motivations for this change are?

  • msvsergey

    So the number of control points you can earn became strictly limited by the GCL (GCL * 15 per tick)? It will make the leaderboard too predictable. Also the energy excess may either make players stop harvesting of distant sources or make them build very thick walls. The latter together with ranged repair may decrease the number of battles. So my point is that the game may become less interesting.

  • chris

    As it currently(!) stands, these changes make the game even more unattractive. Controller upgrades should not be restricted until rcl8, afterwards it sounds okay. Range 3 on build/repair is just ridiculous. Now, nothing can break through even a half-way properly placed defense. With this, battle will become even more boring. There is some serious need of overhauling the ballte mechanics...

  • Hernanduer

    msgsergey is right, this makes it impossible for anyone to ever grow like he did. Hard controller upgrade caps hurt the growing players the most, especially at as low a level as 15/tick. Not to mention the GCL leveling hasn't scaled at all and it'll take someone a year or more to reach GCL 16 now.

    chris is also right, this lowers the incentive for battles even more so. 2 long range builders could deal with an entire invading force, never even needing to build defenses.

    I'm also disappointed such a massive change as 15/tick controller speed wasn't told to us earlier. We could've prepared instead of just having our rooms drown in energy.

  • Avatar
    Anton from Screeps

    Isn't ranged repair going to be super strong on defense? You can safely repair your front defense from anywhere, easily canceling a party's dps using only 3-4 maxed repairers. It definitely does make automatic defending a lot more lenient. Wonder what the motivations for this change are?

    We wanted to decrease the algorithmic cost of automatic defense of a room and shift the accent in defense from the algorithm towards the room energy balance. Keep in mind that repairs require energy, and compensating harm from a good attack could require complete rechanneling of energy from multiple sources, so a player incapable of it can be easily overtaken by attrition.

    So the number of control points you can earn became strictly limited by the GCL (GCL * 15 per tick)?

    Yes, it did. We had to implement some kind of GCL growth cap, because now with a lot of distant sources some top players get too much of a boost, and this affects the game negatively. And we had to make it urgently since we had promised that the GCL once earned could not be removed, while the balance is violated every day.

    Currently we’ve been working on some new stuff that you will be able to indefinitely invest energy into instead of Global Control Level. This will have to do with special capabilities of special hero units as well as large projects to build in high-level rooms. And a well-built network of distant sources will greatly help you with it.

  • ThyReaper

    Since relatively fundamental things like repair and build range can change on such short notice, do you think you could give us access to these parameters in some constants? Such as the ranges of every action, the cost of body parts, cost of structures, and limits on actions like controller upgrades?

  • Avatar
    Anton from Screeps

    Controller upgrades should not be restricted until rcl8, afterwards it sounds okay.

    Great idea! This will limit the GCL growth while removing some cons of the solution. We have changed the limit so that it affects only level 8 Controllers, thanks for your suggestion.

    I think you exaggerate matters regarding easiness of defense. Here is a quick count: compensating harm from 3 maxed melee damagers and 6 maxed ranged damagers requires 40 energy units per tick, i.e. 4 sources will work on this cell repair completely, excluding creep production costs etc.

    Since relatively fundamental things like repair and build range can change on such short notice, do you think you could give us access to these parameters in some constants? Such as the ranges of every action, the cost of body parts, cost of structures, and limits on actions like controller upgrades?

    The majority of these constants are already present in the game, but just not documented. We plan to add them to the docs soon.

  • NhanHo

    @Anton: The obvious thing that will be done is player unclaiming and start upgrading a room again. I know I will be doing that in short notice once I have some time. So I'd suggest either a normal cap is put in, or a better way to force players to take denser room placement. As I said in the IRC channel, I think a bonus to controller upgrade (x% for the same energy) for every connected room will greatly help new players (who have to place room close together), and give top players incentive to put their room closer.

  • ThyReaper

    GCL gain could be capped at 15/tick/controller, while still allowing a controller to be upgraded at any rate.

  • NhanHo

    I would second that suggestion by ThyReaper.

  • reelthyme

    I think you exaggerate matters regarding easiness of defense. Here is a quick count: compensating harm from 3 maxed melee damagers and 6 maxed ranged damagers requires 40 energy units per tick, i.e. 4 sources will work on this cell repair completely, excluding creep production costs etc.

    I'm not so sure. Producing all those units cost 54k energy per (1500-travel time) ticks, so if you include repair costs and travel time, it's about the same energy on both sides. And that's with just pure defense. It used to be that you had to put enough ramparts and troops so that you reduce the average lifespan of the attacking creeps to something a lot lower than 1000, otherwise your wall will go down quickly, unless you spend additional resources (second layers of ramparts) and competent code in order to get repairers to the front line and repair at the same time. Not to say defense is trivial, but if you are able at all to kill attacking troops, the energy trade favors the defender greatly.

  • reelthyme

    I suppose I'm discounting the fact that attackers can mass from multiple rooms, which seems hard defend indeed.

  • chris

    I think you exaggerate matters regarding easiness of defense. Here is a quick count: compensating harm from 3 maxed melee damagers and 6 maxed ranged damagers requires 40 energy units per tick, i.e. 4 sources will work on this cell repair completely, excluding creep production costs etc.

    To be honest, I'm not. I just speak from experience. While a good defense script sure is not easy to set up, so is a smart attacking script.
    As reelthyme already explained, you have to calculate the costs for the attacking units + travel time (which quite easily can be 500+, leaving you with <1000 ticks of for attacking). Also one maxed melee attack unit on the rampart gives melee attackers an extremely hard time - even further that you can easily do 32ATK-16MOV or even 40ATK-10MOVE as defender, while for the attacker often even 1move/2ticks is not feasible anymore.

    From my experience for successful attacks you need several heal creeps (or at least heal parts) with you, which increase the costs on attackers side even more while decreasing fire power. Even worse, every time a attacker creep dies, that is potentially free energy for the defender to use for repair. (Which with those kind of expensive creeps can be quite a pile of energy).

    In early preview, I easily managed to hold a newly created single(!) room (3hours protection!) against DarkTrooper right next to his complex of 12? rooms. Given, his attack script was not very clever (but so was my def script), but he just could not bust a triple row of ramparts even with them having relatively low HP.

  • Avatar
    Anton from Screeps

    We plan to keep working on attack/defense balance and introducing new features in this regard. For example, now we work on a system of new resources to mine which will allow to temporarily amplify by several times various creep abilities.

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