Discussion: Power Creeps

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.

Features

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 ticksToLive properties.
  • 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:
    Game.powerSpawns['PowerSpawn1'].createPowerCreep('MyCommander1');
  • 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 carry and hits properties. With each level, the amount of hits grows by 1000, the carry capacity by 100.
  • All available methods are as follows:
    • move/moveTo/moveByPath
    • pickup
    • withdraw
    • transfer
    • drop
    • suicide
    • say
    • usePower
    The last method is the very one for which power creeps exist: leverage some skill available to this creep. This is done this way:
    Game.powerCreeps['Commander1'].usePower(PWR_ENCOURAGE,
            Game.creeps['Harvester1']);
 

Levels

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 P Σ Lvl P Σ Lvl P Σ
0 1,000 0 80 156,588 5,821,183 160 345,024 25,664,340
1 2,219 1,000 81 158,813 5,977,770 161 347,490 26,009,364
2 3,537 3,219 82 161,042 6,136,583 162 349,958 26,356,854
3 4,925 6,757 83 163,276 6,297,625 163 352,428 26,706,812
4 6,365 11,681 84 165,513 6,460,901 164 354,900 27,059,240
5 7,850 18,046 85 167,754 6,626,414 165 357,375 27,414,140
6 9,373 25,896 86 169,999 6,794,168 166 359,852 27,771,516
7 10,928 35,269 87 172,248 6,964,167 167 362,331 28,131,368
8 12,514 46,197 88 174,501 7,136,416 168 364,812 28,493,699
9 14,125 58,711 89 176,758 7,310,917 169 367,296 28,858,511
10 15,762 72,836 90 179,018 7,487,675 170 369,782 29,225,807
11 17,420 88,598 91 181,283 7,666,693 171 372,270 29,595,589
12 19,100 106,018 92 183,550 7,847,976 172 374,760 29,967,859
13 20,799 125,118 93 185,822 8,031,526 173 377,252 30,342,619
14 22,517 145,918 94 188,097 8,217,348 174 379,746 30,719,871
15 24,251 168,434 95 190,376 8,405,445 175 382,243 31,099,617
16 26,003 192,686 96 192,658 8,595,821 176 384,742 31,481,860
17 27,769 218,688 97 194,944 8,788,479 177 387,242 31,866,602
18 29,551 246,458 98 197,233 8,983,423 178 389,745 32,253,844
19 31,346 276,008 99 199,526 9,180,657 179 392,250 32,643,590
20 33,155 307,354 100 201,822 9,380,183 180 394,757 33,035,840
21 34,977 340,510 101 204,122 9,582,006 181 397,267 33,430,598
22 36,812 375,487 102 206,425 9,786,128 182 399,778 33,827,864
23 38,658 412,299 103 208,732 9,992,553 183 402,291 34,227,642
24 40,516 450,957 104 211,041 10,201,285 184 404,807 34,629,933
25 42,386 491,473 105 213,354 10,412,326 185 407,324 35,034,740
26 44,266 533,859 106 215,671 10,625,681 186 409,843 35,442,064
27 46,156 578,125 107 217,990 10,841,351 187 412,365 35,851,907
28 48,057 624,281 108 220,313 11,059,342 188 414,888 36,264,272
29 49,968 672,338 109 222,639 11,279,655 189 417,414 36,679,160
30 51,888 722,306 110 224,968 11,502,294 190 419,941 37,096,574
31 53,817 774,194 111 227,301 11,727,262 191 422,471 37,516,515
32 55,756 828,011 112 229,636 11,954,563 192 425,002 37,938,985
33 57,703 883,767 113 231,975 12,184,199 193 427,535 38,363,987
34 59,659 941,471 114 234,316 12,416,174 194 430,071 38,791,522
35 61,624 1,001,130 115 236,661 12,650,490 195 432,608 39,221,593
36 63,596 1,062,754 116 239,009 12,887,151 196 435,147 39,654,201
37 65,577 1,126,350 117 241,359 13,126,160 197 437,688 40,089,348
38 67,565 1,191,927 118 243,713 13,367,519 198 440,231 40,527,037
39 69,562 1,259,492 119 246,070 13,611,233 199 442,776 40,967,268
40 71,565 1,329,054 120 248,430 13,857,302 200 445,323 41,410,044
41 73,576 1,400,619 121 250,792 14,105,732 201 447,872 41,855,368
42 75,594 1,474,195 122 253,158 14,356,524 202 450,423 42,303,240
43 77,619 1,549,789 123 255,526 14,609,682 203 452,975 42,753,663
44 79,652 1,627,409 124 257,897 14,865,207 204 455,530 43,206,638
45 81,690 1,707,060 125 260,271 15,123,105 205 458,086 43,662,168
46 83,736 1,788,751 126 262,648 15,383,376 206 460,645 44,120,255
47 85,788 1,872,487 127 265,028 15,646,024 207 463,205 44,580,899
48 87,847 1,958,275 128 267,410 15,911,052 208 465,766 45,044,104
49 89,912 2,046,122 129 269,796 16,178,462 209 468,330 45,509,870
50 91,983 2,136,033 130 272,184 16,448,258 210 470,896 45,978,200
51 94,060 2,228,016 131 274,574 16,720,441 211 473,463 46,449,096
52 96,143 2,322,076 132 276,968 16,995,016 212 476,032 46,922,559
53 98,232 2,418,219 133 279,364 17,271,983 213 478,603 47,398,592
54 100,327 2,516,451 134 281,763 17,551,348 214 481,176 47,877,195
55 102,427 2,616,777 135 284,164 17,833,110 215 483,751 48,358,372
56 104,534 2,719,205 136 286,569 18,117,275 216 486,327 48,842,122
57 106,645 2,823,738 137 288,975 18,403,844 217 488,906 49,328,450
58 108,763 2,930,384 138 291,385 18,692,819 218 491,486 49,817,355
59 110,885 3,039,147 139 293,797 18,984,204 219 494,067 50,308,841
60 113,013 3,150,032 140 296,212 19,278,001 220 496,651 50,802,908
61 115,146 3,263,045 141 298,629 19,574,212 221 499,236 51,299,559
62 117,285 3,378,191 142 301,048 19,872,841 222 501,823 51,798,795
63 119,428 3,495,476 143 303,471 20,173,890 223 504,412 52,300,618
64 121,577 3,614,904 144 305,896 20,477,360 224 507,002 52,805,030
65 123,730 3,736,481 145 308,323 20,783,256 225 509,594 53,312,032
66 125,888 3,860,211 146 310,753 21,091,579 226 512,188 53,821,627
67 128,052 3,986,100 147 313,185 21,402,332 227 514,784 54,333,815
68 130,220 4,114,151 148 315,620 21,715,517 228 517,381 54,848,599
69 132,392 4,244,371 149 318,057 22,031,136 229 519,980 55,365,980
70 134,570 4,376,763 150 320,497 22,349,193 230 522,581 55,885,961
71 136,752 4,511,333 151 322,939 22,669,690 231 525,184 56,408,542
72 138,938 4,648,085 152 325,383 22,992,629 232 527,788 56,933,726
73 141,129 4,787,023 153 327,830 23,318,012 233 530,394 57,461,513
74 143,325 4,928,152 154 330,279 23,645,842 234 533,001 57,991,907
75 145,524 5,071,476 155 332,731 23,976,121 235 535,610 58,524,908
76 147,729 5,217,001 156 335,185 24,308,852 236 538,221 59,060,518
77 149,937 5,364,729 157 337,641 24,644,037 237 540,833 59,598,739
78 152,150 5,514,666 158 340,100 24,981,679 238 543,447 60,139,572
79 154,367 5,666,816 159 342,561 25,321,779 239 546,063 60,683,020

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 A, B, A, C, C, A, D. As a result, this power creep will have the following powers:

  • A lvl 3
  • B lvl 1
  • C lvl 2
  • D lvl 1

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.

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:

Operator

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:

1 OPERATE_EXTENSION OPERATE_TOWER DISABLE_EXTENSION
2 OPERATE_OBSERVER OPERATE_LAB EXTEND_SOURCE
3 OPERATE_SPAWN OPERATE_EXTENSION DISABLE_EXTENSION
4 OPERATE_TERMINAL EXTEND_MINERAL DISABLE_SPAWN
5 OPERATE_STORAGE OPERATE_LAB EXTEND_SOURCE
6 OPERATE_EXTENSION OPERATE_TOWER DISABLE_TOWER
7 SHIELD CORRUPT_SOURCE EXTEND_MINERAL
8 OPERATE_OBSERVER OPERATE_SPAWN OPERATE_STORAGE
9 OPERATE_TERMINAL DISABLE_TOWER DISABLE_SPAWN
10 OPERATE_TOWER OPERATE_LAB CORRUPT_SOURCE
11 OPERATE_SPAWN SHIELD DISABLE_EXTENSION
12 OPERATE_TERMINAL CORRUPT_SOURCE EXTEND_SOURCE
13 OPERATE_OBSERVER EXTEND_MINERAL DISABLE_SPAWN
14 OPERATE_STORAGE DISABLE_TOWER SHIELD
15 OPERATE_SPAWN OPERATE_TOWER OPERATE_EXTENSION
16 OPERATE_OBSERVER CORRUPT_SOURCE OPERATE_LAB
17 OPERATE_TERMINAL SHIELD DISABLE_TOWER
18 EXTEND_SOURCE EXTEND_MINERAL OPERATE_STORAGE
19 OPERATE_SPAWN OPERATE_EXTENSION DISABLE_SPAWN
20 OPERATE_TOWER OPERATE_OBSERVER DISABLE_EXTENSION
21 OPERATE_LAB CORRUPT_SOURCE SHIELD
22 OPERATE_TERMINAL OPERATE_STORAGE EXTEND_SOURCE
23 DISABLE_SPAWN DISABLE_EXTENSION DISABLE_TOWER
24 EXTEND_MINERAL OPERATE_SPAWN OPERATE_TERMINAL

Commander

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:

1 ENCOURAGE SIGHT EXHAUST
2 EXHAUST ENCOURAGE DEFEND
3 ENCOURAGE SUMMON SIGHT
4 DEFEND DISABLE SIGHT
5 SUMMON RENEW EXHAUST
6 DISABLE BERSERK DEFEND
7 ENCOURAGE SUMMON RENEW
8 DISABLE SIGHT BERSERK
9 DEFEND DISABLE EXHAUST
10 ENCOURAGE RENEW SUMMON
11 SIGHT BERSERK DEFEND
12 SUMMON DISABLE EXHAUST
13 BERSERK RENEW ENCOURAGE
14 BERSERK DEFEND RENEW

Executor

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:

1 HARVEST_ENERGY HARVEST_MINERAL REMOTE_TRANSFER
2 HARVEST_ENERGY HARVEST_MINERAL SNIPE
3 REMOTE_TRANSFER PUNCH DEMOLISH
4 MASS_REPAIR HARVEST_ENERGY REMOTE_TRANSFER
5 SNIPE REFLECT REINFORCE
6 HARVEST_MINERAL MASS_REPAIR KILL
7 PUNCH REINFORCE DEMOLISH
8 HARVEST_ENERGY MASS_REPAIR SNIPE
9 REFLECT REINFORCE KILL
10 REMOTE_TRANSFER REFLECT DEMOLISH
11 MASS_REPAIR SNIPE PUNCH
12 HARVEST_MINERAL REFLECT KILL
13 PUNCH DEMOLISH REINFORCE
14 HARVEST_ENERGY REINFORCE KILL
15 REMOTE_TRANSFER MASS_REPAIR HARVEST_MINERAL
16 SNIPE REFLECT KILL
17 DEMOLISH PUNCH SNIPE

Conclusion

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.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • W4rl0ck

    This really sounds quite good to me but moving PC is quite expensive cpu wise so (5 fields = at least 1 cpu) so moving power creeps from room to room sounds expensive. 

    Otherwise I know many say otherwise but I like the way you have to choose the skills.

    A bit offtopic: do you consider releasing the beta client as steam beta to also test on private servers? I know the PTR got buffed but it's much easier to setup a test rooms with more admin powers ;)

  • anisoptera

    Power loss on death.

    I actually don't think that this should be like GCL. I think there should be a way to lose power: when a PC dies, a small percentage (think 1% or less) of the power needed to own that creep, from the top (so a level 1 PC would, if you had 239 power levels, lose you 600k power, at 1%).  

    What I like about this approach is that it's a progressive "tax": the cost of entry for low levels is cheap, and the potential losses are low as well, but as an empire gains more and more power, the risk of deploying PCs also increases. You might even not want to process every bit of power you can get your hands on - maybe you should sell it to someone else?

    Then you'd get people hunting your PCs, and have to defend them... it'd promote some light PvP.

  • Avatar
    Artem from Screeps

    @W4rl0ck

    A bit offtopic: do you consider releasing the beta client as steam beta to also test on private servers? I know the PTR got buffed but it’s much easier to setup a test rooms with more admin powers ;)

    We’ll consider this, but maintaining private servers code during early development will be quite difficult.

  • Avatar
    Artem from Screeps

    @anisoptera

    Power loss on death.

    This is an interesting idea, but a bit too harsh. Probably, a better option is to make an order of magnitude longer respawn cooldown in case if PC is killed than if it’s respawned.

  • W4rl0ck

    I don't like the loss on death thing... while it sounds like the loss for small player is also small.. since there is no way a small player can survive a large players attack there is no way a small player can avoid getting his PC wiped ,)

     

    I had an idea for the renew power which would also maybe make current renew more attractive.

    maybe add a parameter `ticks` where you can already pay the energy for let's say 10 ticks. You only pay 0.2 cpu once and the renewed creep is completly paralysed for the 10 ticks, blocking the spot at the spawn or where it's currently located.

  • Dissi

    Will the cooldown of abilities (such as EXTEND_SOURCE) be on the targeted object or the PC itself?

    Asking because of:
    5x lvl 2 pc with level 1 EXTEND_SOURCE = 10 levels total
    1x lcl 22 pc with level 5 EXTEND_SOURCE = 22 levels.total

  • Avatar
    Artem from Screeps

    Will the cooldown of abilities (such as EXTEND_SOURCE) be on the targeted object or the PC itself?

    Both. I.e. during the cooldown this creep cannot use PWR_EXTEND_SOURCE to another source, and another creep cannot cast PWR_EXTEND_SOURCE to this source (it will be indicated by RoomObject.effects value).

    Edited by Artem from Screeps
  • Avatar
    Artem from Screeps

    There should be a new forum specifically to talk about this feature, otherwise this conversation is going to end up having 20 pages of impossible to follow conversation.

    Fine, here we go: http://support.screeps.com/hc/en-us/community/topics/115000151989-Power-Creeps

    Feel free to start any threads there if you wish.

  • Dissi

    OPERATE_SPAWN
    Costs of U seem to high. The effect itself is OK.
    OPERATE_EXTENSION
    Feels useless, price is OK.
    OPERATE_OBSERVER
    Shouldn't be a power thing, should be "researchable". It's currently "easier" to scrape API's to get data that way.
    OPERATE_TOWER
    I'd split this up between the different actions it can perform. Make it use the same minerals as apropriate.
    OPERATE_LAB
    Feels useless. The CPU usage is neglectable unless you run all labs in an entire empire at the same time. Minerals are not in abundance.
    OPERATE_TERMINAL
    Effect seems to low due to the long cooldown.
    OPERATE_STORAGE
    Feels useless. If you're storing a lot of stuff you're probably better off using it in stead.
    EXTEND_SOURCE
    Effect seems too small. I'd at least double it to make it feel more usefull. (time will tell)
    EXTEND_MINERAL
    Good. 1 mineral/tick income extra on 24 levels feels off. Would suggest 20/50/90/140/200. It's a big investment to go to level 24 on 1 power creep.
    DISABLE_SPAWN
    Power feels like it's in the wrong class. Move to Executor. Effects are OK
    DISABLE_EXTENSION
    Power feels like it's in the wrong class. Move to Executor. Effects are OK
    DISABLE_TOWER
    Power feels like it's in the wrong class. Move to Executor. Effects are OK
    CORRUPT_SOURCE
    Can be usefull, not sure how yet.
    SHIELD
    Power feels like it's in the wrong class. Would be cool if it had a range of 3, this way you can shield other things in stead of your own creep.


    ENCOURAGE
    AOE effects are cool. I'd love to see this having an AOE effect instead of targeting a single creep
    EXHAUST
    This scales nicely per level. Maybe this kind of scaling can be applied to other powers as well (0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5).
    DEFEND
    Scaling too linear. better of using multiple PC's.
    SUMMON
    Usefull. maybe give it a global reach of 50 squares (so you can teleport from room X to room Y if it's closeby)
    SIGHT
    Don't know yet. Have to use it first.
    RENEW
    Way too hard to use currently. I'd suggest "freezeTTL" for X ticks. bringing energy and getting energy in a fight is extremely difficult and you're probably better off spawning new creeps.
    DISABLE
    Neat!
    BERSERK
    Maybe scale the 100% bit per level. Always take 100% damage, Beserk scales from 50/100/170/260/370


    HARVEST_ENERGY
    Feels under powered. a single 25 WORK creep can do the same as a level 14 executor.
    HARVEST_MINERAL
    Same as above.
    REMOTE_TRANSFER
    Usefull. Maybe increase the range as well based on levels.
    MASS_REPAIR
    Underpowered, a boosted creeps does a better job
    SNIPE
    Would suggest to scale range based on level too.
    PUNCH
    Feels under powered. Scaling seems off.
    DEMOLISH
    Scaling of power seems off.
    REINFORCE
    Make the target another creep as well. Rest seems fine.
    REFLECT
    Make it target other creeps as well. Rest of scaling seems fine
    KILL
    Seems fine.
    Edited by Dissi
  • Avatar
    Artem from Screeps

    SHIELD
    Power feels like it’s in the wrong class. Would be cool if it had a range of 3, this way you can shield other things in stead of your own creep.

    Just create a rampart and move to another position.

    HARVEST_ENERGY
    Feels under powered. a single 25 WORK creep can do the same as a level 14 executor.

    On the other hand, one Executor with maxed HARVEST_ENERGY can fully harvest 5 sources on cooldown on its own without any regular harvester creep involved (and REMOTE_TRANSFER will help to reduce haulers), saving you CPU, spawn time and energy.

    It’s a big investment to go to level 24 on 1 power creep.

    Consider this: high-level creep has more powers to use when other powers are on cooldown. Low-level creep has to wait and be idle while its only power is recovering from that 100-ticks cooldown, it’s a waste of time.

    P.S. You can use https://stackedit.io/editor to format your posts conveniently.

  • Dissi

    The stackedit format doesn't work for us artem:

    ```
    I don't think that works artem! This is not working!
    ```

  • Avatar
    Artem from Screeps

    I mean, edit your post there and copy-paste the right panel contents here. It's how I write posts. Zendesk doesn't allow built-in Markdown unfortunately.

  • Twill

    Is there a limit on PCs in newbie areas? If someone re-spawns, they are limited to 3 rooms regardless of GCL. Will they be limited to PCs as well?

     

    It seems that offensive PCs in newbie areas would make it really crappy for new players who end up going against someone with even one PC who can make a rampart for themselves during an attack and just absorb a boat load of abuse while taking out their RCL 1/2 creeps.

     

    Getting a power spawn takes ~10 days, so by the time the mid-quadrant walls fall, it would be very conceivable to have PCs running around.

     

     

    Separately, the SHIELD rampart - is it repairable, or will it be exactly and only the amount that was created by the PC?

    Edited by Twill
  • Vultured

    Do Power Creeps lose carry capacity when damaged? Can Power Creeps be healed? I'm thinking about how I could use an Executor for Source Keeper mining here.

    Also, OPERATE_SPAWN appears 6 times in the Operator tree. Is that intentional? Edit: I guess you have to have some 6's in there.

    Edited by Vultured
  • ScottyC

    Apparently I'm a moron who can't figure out how to use quotes, but @Artem:

    1. For One power/tick: I'd suggest splitting powers into types that allow 1 action per tick from each type. Defensive/Offensive/Economic/Espionage

    - So an executor could, in one tick, Punch (Offensive), Reinforce (Defensive), and Mass_Repair (Economic)

    - A commander could Encourage (Defensive), Exhaust (Offensive), Renew (Economic).

    You get the idea...

    2. For Extend Mineral "It creates new minerals in a deposit." Are these minerals available immediately? Does the cooldown continue ticking down even though there are now minerals in the mineral source?

     

  • CGamesPlay

    I'll throw my vote in favor of having Power Creep configuration be account-based (instead of managed in the code). I like the individuality it adds to each player's account.

    I would like to see it be an option to "preorder" level powers, so I can choose my next few levels ahead of time and even write up code so that when that power arrives I can immediately start using it. Preorders should be able to be changed without a price, it's just an indicator that when I reach a certain level it will automatically be selected as my next power.

    Did you consider the option of "dedicating" a PowerSpawn to a particular Power Creep? Sort of like making a temple to that hero, and you can only respawn or level up the hero at that location. You could make it so that you permanently dedicate a PowerSpawn to a Power Creep, and in order to change it you have to destroy and recreate the PowerSpawn. If a PowerSpawn is destroyed, the PowerCreep could keep living, but couldn't be respawned or levelled up until a new PowerSpawn was dedicated to it.

    I'm mostly imaging the effects this would have on front-lines heros. It would "tie" them further back, so the cost of a long expansion drive would increase since you would need to relocate the temples. To further exacerbate this, you could have a cooldown time on dedicating any template world-wide to a single Power Creep (so you can't move the "PowerSpawn of MyCommander1" more than once a week or so).

    Another thought I have is to slow the rollout even further. Launching a single class at a time makes sense; I might even advise launching new powers in small batches. This would allow you to retain control in case any game-breaking combos are discovered. You could even waive the penalty for reassigning powers as you launch new sets of powers.

    Finally, since there was a lot of confusion about this and I'm not sure all of us are on the same page even still, you might want to name the concept of an instance of a Power Creep versus the prototype of the Power Creep. You define the prototype using the game GUI and it's tied to your account, and you can only have a single instance of any prototype at a time. Changes to the prototype have a cooldown, re-instantiating (respawning) the Power Creep has a cooldown. This might make things easier to understand. I might suggest the prototype remain called the Power Creep and the instance be called its Avatar, for instance.

    Edited by CGamesPlay
  • ScottyC

    Last comment from me for now - I'd love for Power Creep's names to be visible to other players!

  • tedivm

    I don't understand the logic behind limiting power creep creation to the UI to make accounts more "individual". The cloners (players who use the public codebases) are just going to follow a script when designing their power creeps anyways.

  • Atavus

    > Operate Extension
    > Consider this usage: you can maintain 20 extensions with 600 capacity instead of 60 extensions with 200 capacity, and save CPU on haulers.

    This would consume 100 XUH2O per 1k ticks. Assuming 20 rooms and a mining cycle of 75k ticks per mineral source, you are going to spend 150000 XUH2O per mining cycle. That's 750000 minerals per cycle. That means you're using 15 of your mineral sources to save some CPU. Not even counting the CPU/energy cost of mining and reacting all those minerals.
    The only case I would consider this ability useful is in allowing a lower RCL room to have more available energy and therefore spawn larger creeps then it should. But it's easier to just bring the larger creep in from another room.

    > OPERATE_LAB
    > Again, it saves CPU and time as if they were less in number

    So you spend minerals to make minerals with less CPU? The logic behind this one feels funny. I'm currently running labs at 100% capacity as part of an experiment. It costs me 0.024% of my CPU allowance. I'm spending a good chunk of power on a power creep which will consume minerals to save me 0.010% of CPU?

    REINFORCE
    Most combat revolves around attacks every tick by towers or creeps. Being able to remain invulnerable 1 tick out of 10 is not particularly useful unless you can use that 1 tick for something critical. This ability might be interesting if it was combined with SHIELD.

  • Tyggerr

    HARVEST_MINERAL  : Harvest 200/400/600/800/1000 mineral units from a deposit. Cooldown 40 ticks.

     

    Does this mean raw deposit or extractors? because if it means raw deposit isn't it a bit too powerful? You get to extract minerals from rooms you don't own.

  • Avatar
    Artem from Screeps

    @Twill

    Is there a limit on PCs in newbie areas? If someone re-spawns, they are limited to 3 rooms regardless of GCL. Will they be limited to PCs as well?

    Yes, there must be some limits in place in newbie areas.

    Separately, the SHIELD rampart - is it repairable, or will it be exactly and only the amount that was created by the PC?

    It’s not repairable.


    @Vultured

    Do Power Creeps lose carry capacity when damaged?

    No.

    Can Power Creeps be healed?

    Yes.

    Also, OPERATE_SPAWN appears 6 times in the Operator tree. Is that intentional?

    Yes, but you cannot pick it more than 5 times.


    @ScottyC

    For One power/tick: I’d suggest splitting powers into types that allow 1 action per tick from each type. Defensive/Offensive/Economic/Espionage

    This whole per-tick aspect is still to be balanced yet.

    For Extend Mineral “It creates new minerals in a deposit.” Are these minerals available immediately?

    Yes.

    Does the cooldown continue ticking down even though there are now minerals in the mineral source?

    Yes, the main cooldown is separate. When it’s over, the natural amount will be added to the power-generated amount.


    @CGamesPlay

    I’ll throw my vote in favor of having Power Creep configuration be account-based (instead of managed in the code). I like the individuality it adds to each player’s account.

    But it raises an issue with autonomous bots on private servers - they wouldn’t be able to use power creeps at all.

    Did you consider the option of “dedicating” a PowerSpawn to a particular Power Creep? Sort of like making a temple to that hero, and you can only respawn or level up the hero at that location. You could make it so that you permanently dedicate a PowerSpawn to a Power Creep, and in order to change it you have to destroy and recreate the PowerSpawn. If a PowerSpawn is destroyed, the PowerCreep could keep living, but couldn’t be respawned or levelled up until a new PowerSpawn was dedicated to it.

    I like this idea, but it needs more discussion. Do you mind creating a thread on the forum?


    @Atavus

    OPERATE_EXTENSION
    OPERATE_LAB

    Fine, then it needs some rebalancing. What cost parameters do you think are more appropriate?


    @Tyggerr

    HARVEST_MINERAL
    Does this mean raw deposit or extractors?

    This means deposits with available extractors installed (your own/public and not on cooldown).

  • CGamesPlay

    Commanders seem like a real weak spot compared to the other two roles. I'm not saying whether Commander should be buffed or the other classes should be nerfed, but it does seem decidedly less useful than the other two classes.

    • DEFEND is less useful than an unboosted 14 part healer (max 160 hits per tick).
    • DISABLE is less useful than PUNCH: PUNCH comes at a lower level, has no cooldown, and does damage.
    • The only viable use for ENCOURAGE seems to be enabling a single 49-part creep, and even then it only takes speed from 49 ticks per space to 10 ticks per space at the lowest level.
    • I'm still not aware of anything other than super techy uses for RENEW, and given a max CARRY of 100 you'll be hard pressed to ever see this method used. This lets you extend the life of a 25M25C by 35 (net) ticks per 100 energy.
    • BERSERK causing 2x incoming damage causes it to be a net loss for you if there is more than 1 opponent.

    SUMMON and SIGHT both seem interesting.

    Edited by CGamesPlay
  • Tyggerr

    The thing with Berserk is that your opponent has no direct way to know you have this boost enabled so if you berserk your ranged creeps there's a high chance you only get bonus damages without drawback

  • Maxion

    @CGamesPlay The 100 carry limit is per level, so by the time you get lvl 1 renew you'll have at least 500 capacity.

  • Kaldosh

    Forced de-specialization

    I hate to go against the flow, but I like the idea of forcing you to de-specialize. If you can't come up with a good AI for all of your powers, you'll be wasting some of them, so you have a lot more depth to come up with the perfect strategy.

    Compared to single-purpose creeps, forced de-specialization of PCs does make it more vulnerable to even minor game tweaks, a whole strategy is wasted if I plan too hard and then you mess with some numbers - important as they may be for balance. *cough* Room.spawn *cough*.(I agree with adding slight spawn pressure, but one spawn is way too harsh).

    I'm not sure locking into just those 3 is the right way to bias people towards complex strategies. Perhaps  the main 3 at a cheap cost; and 3 others at a very expensive price (yeah, messes up the table idea)

    APIs vs GUIs

    I disagree with the lack of API for PC's. Mostly because I'll plan ahead, decide what to do, then make my script do it while I'm asleep, when it becomes available. (like I assume most people have for construction sites, etc). I have no problem with gui-only for resetting, but I'd like to upgrade in API. At least make a gui option for choosing to apply a particular upgrade to a particular PC as soon as it becomes possible. Limit to max 1 pending, for max 24 hours, etc, if you want to keep people coming back.

    Hero shrines, tree randomization, & unique heroes

    I love the idea of the hero shrines, mostly for thematic reasons - a specific PC from a specific PS. Dunno how it'll change balance though - or some kind of penalty if you spawn from the wrong place, or everyone but the "main" hero from that spawn gets some penalty like pre-loaded on all cooldowns or something?

    It's also nice to be able to block someone from making a particular PC by destroying the structure they are spawned from - Although totally with 100% refund, they could make one similar.

    I think it would be nice to just put some slight randomization into the available upgrade options - a randomized upgrade tree would block a perfect match, so the hero's do become more unique. even if it's just every 5th level is random; or if you can't make any PC over a certain level  exactly identical to any other PC you have / you have had recently / you have ever had / anyone else in the entire game currently has / created recently.

    (which also stomps down on shared code with copypasta empires)? - although it might suck if one person got the best combo, and nobody else can make it - but that is probably a balance problem needing to be fixed for that specific option. maybe just a slight power penalty if you're the 50th person to make that exact level 19 setup in your PC's upgrade tree - then it becomes self-balancing?

    Randomized upgrade tree might be harder to balance and tricky to prevent exploit, a harsh cooldown on reset should deal with it. For the hero thematic of desecrating a temple, you only need a good chance that they can't make something perfectly identical (or at least, they can try, but won't be guaranteed to be able, so they might choose other options).

    Edited by Kaldosh
  • Xenofix

    I was just thinking about defense strategies against power screeps since I won't be able to use them for a long while but I'll have to defend against them. What's important to care about for defense is SUMMON, KILL, SNIPE, SIGHT, BERSERK, EXHAUST und DISABLE_TOWER.

    With KILL and SNIPE the invader can easily damage or kill creeps behind the wall. While KILL is less a problem because of the cooldown, SNIPE is. If BERSERK can be used on power creeps, then a sniper can be out of range mostly, just vulnerable to the towers, which can also be reduced by DISABLE_TOWER.

    Also interesting is the combination SIGHT with BERSERK, making it possible to have one more range and stay out of range of the enemies, attacking them meanwhile with double strength. But it also would make it possible to attack repair creeps with normal creeps, just like SNIPE with power creeps. SNIPE becomes even more effective with EXHAUST to snipe screeps before they arrive at their safe ramparts. Defense strategy: Healers and Ramparts all along the way to the front. However, defenders must take this into account, because current defense strategies assume that the maximum attack range is 3, not 4 and really not 10.

    EXHAUST can also be used to stop the infrastructure in a room. With a range of 20 there is really almost no safe zone possible in a room with 4 exits. So Haulers and Carriers can come to an halt. Stopped carriers will cripple the towers and energy supply. Stopped Haulers will cause no more energy in the extensions which means no more creeps, no more repairing, no more defense. Counter strategy: More ramparts, but those are expensive to maintain all the time. Or spam the room with many small creeps instead of few big creeps. But those can be sniped easily within 10 range, again Rampart being the only defense option here. Maybe those ramparts should decay less? Lots of them can be necessary.

    The last interesting skill is SUMMON, making it possible to teleport an invader possibly behind the walls. Imagine to place the power creep in front of the walll surrounding it with many (spam-)creeps so that the nearest free location to summon a creep near the power creep would be behind the wall! Is this exploit being possible or will the summon skill fail if there is no free space at melee distance around the power creep?

  • Davaned

    I also think that allowing users to create their own body distribution would be beneficial.

    The way I see it now, certain powers will be incredibly strong mostly because they don't require any specialization.

    Using power creeps for attack seems incredibly risky. They can't have boosted tough so they can almost always get melted on entering the room. So you end up with power creeps huddled under a rampart assisting defense but not offense.

    I'd much rather have power creeps have a natural resilience, perhaps 70% tower damage reduction.

    Right now I'm worried that power creeps will only be most powerful with turtle strategies, and won't help break in rooms.

    Edited by Davaned
  • tedivm

    Davaned, did you miss the part where each power creep is going to have 1000hp per body part, rather than the normal 100?

    An 8 part creep is going to have 8,000hp. A 22 part one will have 22,000hp. Powers like "shield" and "disable towers" should make power creeps pretty difficult to take out.

  • Davaned

    @tedivm, I did miss the 0, but the point still stands. Assuming ramparts block all offensive actions, any power creep attempting to attack a room is at a huge disadvantage. A single creep with a "kill" power hanging out under a rampart can completely prevent any power creep from entering the room. Creeps with exhaust etc can strand units. 

    Point being, considering even weak ramparts (are expected to) act like an magic shield that prevents a ton of actions, power creeps on defense will have a lot more tools at their disposal than offensive ones. Unless things like "disable towers" work even if it's covered by a rampart, it will be easy to counter offensive powers.

    Edited by Davaned
  • Davaned

    Also, curious about the strength of Reinforce. Does it work against powers like the Kill power? What about nukes? 
    If you snipe something under a rampart, does it damage the rampart?

    Corrupt source doesn't have a range listed.

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