Power creeps is perhaps the most significant revamp of the Screeps gameplay since its launch. When in December 2015 we introduced the new game resource called “power” and announced the future system of its usage, we knew how drastically power creeps and powers would affect the game balance. This is why we didn’t rush to implement them, but we wanted to thoroughly understand and evaluate the whole picture. (Numerous other routine issues and the major business goal of the project – launch on Steam – didn’t speed up things as well.)
Now we are ready to present to you the game design document on how the power creeps system will look like. We are yet to polish and implement it in the game, so the estimate PTR launch schedule is March or April. For now, we want to discuss it with you and hear your comments. How do you think this important update will affect the game?
Feel free to post your comments and suggestions below or in this forum created especially for power creeps discussion.
Power creeps may be defined as “hero units” from other strategy games. Here are some key facts about them:
- They don’t age and don’t have
- They can be killed, but after their death, you can respawn them from scratch at any of your PowerSpawn (but with cooldown time).
- Each power creep is unique and has its own name and a set of powers. You decide which power creeps you have, and which skills they have, through a special GUI in Overview. The API controls are not provided since obtaining new powers would be quite rare (it’s enough to log into the game once a week or even a month to upgrade one’s creeps, see more explanation in this comment below.)
- You can level up any power creep or create a new 1-level power creep by spending a certain amount of power resources from your account (see the table in the Level section below). The list of powers of an individual creep grows with each level.
- You can despawn any power creep in the GUI and redistribute its powers. But this operation takes a considerable cooldown time, from a few hours to a few days.
- Your power creeps exist in your account even when they are dead (i.e. don’t exist in the game world). You generate a power creep, name it, and then you can spawn this creep in any PowerSpawn using its name like this:
- Power creeps don’t have body parts and fatigue, they always move at the maximum speed of 1 square/tick (even on swamps), can’t execute regular creep activities. They have standard
hitsproperties. With each level, the amount of hits grows by 1000, the carry capacity by 100.
- All available methods are as follows:
You level up your creeps manually via the GUI. Select a creep that you want to level up and agree to spend the specified amount of power resource. To calculate the needed amount of resource, the sum of all levels of your power creeps is used. The higher this sum, the more expensive it is to level up any of them, as well as to create a new 1-level power creep (equivalent to levelling up an existing creep).
Here is a preliminary table of resource usage across levels (may be changed later):
Lvl - Current power level
P - Processed power resource needed for level up (
P = pow(1.15; Lvl) * 1000)
Σ - Total power resource processed to level
With each new level, you have to choose one of the three powers available on this level. The powers options available at any level of a creep development are fixed for each class. Your choice at each level is to choose one of the three suggested options. It can be a new power or levelling up an existing one. Each power has a level between 1 and 5, and the level determines its effectiveness.
Have a look at this example:
Here you can see the process of levelling up a 7-level creep where it is sequentially assigned powers
D. As a result, this power creep will have the following powers:
You can’t upgrade a skill higher than level 5. Also, you can’t upgrade all available powers to level 5 due to a level cap for individual classes.
Each power creep belongs to one of several available classes that you assign on its creation. Once assigned, a class cannot be changed later (unless you destroy a creep and create it from scratch). The class determines the set of powers available to the creep. There will be 3 classes in the game upon launch:
A creep working mainly in the rear, at your base, though it can be used as a saboteur in offensive operations. The list of powers:
|OPERATE_SPAWN||Reduce spawn time by 10/30/50/65/80%. Effect duration 1000 ticks, cooldown 300 ticks. Consumes 100 U/U/UO/UHO2/XUHO2.|
|OPERATE_EXTENSION||Extend capacity by 50/100/200/300/400 units. Effect duration 1000 ticks, cooldown 50 ticks. Consumes 5 U/U/UH/UH2O/XUH2O.|
|OPERATE_OBSERVER||Extend range by 10/20/30/100/1000 rooms. Effect duration 1000 ticks, cooldown 900 ticks. Consumes 20 L/L/LH/LH2O/XLH2O.|
|OPERATE_TOWER||Increase effectiveness by 10/20/30/40/50%. Effect duration 100 ticks, cooldown 10 ticks. Consumes 2 G/G/GH/GH2O/XGH2O.|
|OPERATE_LAB||Increase reaction amount by 2/4/6/8/10 units. Effect duration 1000 ticks, cooldown 50 ticks. Consumes 10 K/K/KH/KH2O/XKH2O.|
|OPERATE_TERMINAL||Decrease transfer energy cost by 10/20/30/40/50%. Effect duration 1000 ticks, cooldown 500 ticks. Consumes 100 L/L/LO/LHO2/XLHO2.|
|OPERATE_STORAGE||Increase capacity by 500K/1000K/1500K/2000K/3000K units. Effect duration 1000 ticks, cooldown is 300 ticks. Consumes 50 Z/Z/ZH/ZH2O/XZH2O.|
|EXTEND_SOURCE||Increase source energy amount by 1K/2K/3K/4K/5K units until the next regeneration cycle. Cooldown 100 ticks.|
|EXTEND_MINERAL||Increase mineral deposit amount by 20/40/60/80/100 units. Cooldown 100 ticks.|
|DISABLE_SPAWN||Increase spawn time by 10/20/30/40/50%. Effect duration 5 ticks, no cooldown. Range 20 squares.|
|DISABLE_EXTENSION||Decrease capacity by 10/20/30/40/50%. Effect duration 50 ticks, no cooldown. Range 20 squares.|
|DISABLE_TOWER||Reduce effectiveness by 10%/20%/30%/40%/50%. Effect duration 1 tick. Entire room range.|
|CORRUPT_SOURCE||Destroy all energy contained in a source until the next regeneration cycle. Cooldown 250/200/150/100/50 ticks.|
|SHIELD||Create a temporary rampart structure on the same square with 5K/10K/15K/20K/25K hits. The structure lasts for 50 ticks and then disappears. Cooldown 20 ticks. Consumes 100 energy.|
Maximum level: 24. Levelling table:
This power creep is not very useful on its own, but it’s a team player. It influences and affects regular creeps, both friendly and hostile. The list of powers:
|ENCOURAGE||Remove all fatigue of the target creep. Cooldown 10/8/6/4/2 ticks. Range 20 squares.|
|EXHAUST||Add 2/4/6/8/10 fatigue points to the target creep per each non-MOVE body part. Cooldown 10/8/6/4/2 ticks. Range 20 squares.|
|DEFEND||Blocks up to 100/200/400/600/800 damage inflicted to the creep on the next tick. Cooldown 5 ticks. Melee range.|
|SUMMON||Instantly relocates your own creep in the same room to the square next to the power creep. Cooldown 10/8/6/4/2 ticks.|
|SIGHT||Increase range of all ranged abilites of the target creep by 1 for the next 5 ticks. Cooldown 10/8/6/4/2 ticks. Range 20 squares.|
|RENEW||Adds time to live to the target creep. Consumes energy. The formula is the same as in StructureSpawn.renewCreep. Cooldown 5/4/3/2/1 ticks. Range 20 squares.|
|DISABLE||Disables all actions of the target creep on the next tick. Cooldown 10/8/6/4/2 ticks. Melee range.|
|BERSERK||Increase damage inflicted by a creep by 100%, but also incoming damage by 100% for the next 5 ticks. Cooldown 10/8/6/4/2 ticks. Range 20 squares.|
Maximum level: 14. Levelling table:
This creep class prefers working alone. Due to its skills, it’s a very effective performer in your economy or as a war machine when defending or attacking. The list of powers:
|HARVEST_ENERGY||Harvest 200/400/600/800/1000 energy units from an energy source. Cooldown 20 ticks.|
|HARVEST_MINERAL||Harvest 200/400/600/800/1000 mineral units from a deposit. Cooldown 40 ticks.|
|REMOTE_TRANSFER||Remotely transfer resources to any creep or structure in 20 squares range. Cooldown 50/40/30/20/10 ticks.|
|MASS_REPAIR||Repair all structures in 10 squares range area for up to 1000/2000/3000/4000/5000 hits in total. Repair effect is distributed between all structures. Consumes up to 10/20/30/40/50 energy.|
|SNIPE||Inflict 100/200/300/400/500 damage to the target creep in 10 squares range. Cannot be used with structures. No cooldown.|
|PUNCH||Inflict 300/600/900/1200/1500 damage to the target creep in melee range and disable all his actions on the next tick. No cooldown.|
|DEMOLISH||Inflict 5K/10K/15K/20K/25K damage to the target structure in melee range. Cannot be used with creeps. Cooldown 10 ticks.|
|REINFORCE||Make the creep itself invulnerable for attacks on the next tick. Cooldown 20/18/16/14/12/10 ticks.|
|REFLECT||Reflect 50% of damage inflicted to the power creep back to an attacker creep. Effect duration 5 ticks, cooldown 20/18/16/14/12 ticks.|
|KILL||Instantly kills any creep in 10 squares range if it's not inside hostile ramparts. Cooldown 900/800/700/600/500 ticks.|
Maximum level: 17. Levelling table:
These classes with their powers is a preliminary picture of how we view the game balance at the moment. It’s open to change, so please leave your comments and suggestions below.
In general, we want to reach the point where power creeps become an independent scale of your game development in Screeps, parallel to the Global Control Level scale. As you can quantitatively increase your abilities with each new GCL (you can build more rooms, have more CPU, more creeps), in the same way the sum of your Power Levels will increase your abilities qualitatively by unlocking new powers and boosting their effectiveness, which leads to increased effectiveness of your economy and viability of your colony.
Using one high-level creep will allow you to achieve the same result as with 5 or 10 regular creeps and consume less CPU. You can scale your game influence the same way as through boosting your GCL, but the process will be deep rather than broad.
At the same time, the levelling system does not allow you to create a power creep exclusively for one specific skill and thus a very simple behavior logic. Any high-level creep will have several useful powers, so in any case boosting its effectiveness will require you to solve a difficult, but interesting task of developing its AI. Since any creep even in the same class can have an individual set of powers, its behavior logic can be unique and different not only from that of other players’ power creeps, but also your own other power creeps.
This significantly expands the scope of interesting challenges a player faces in Screeps, and we hope it will add fun and variety to the game process.