World Reviews

Screeps World Review, June 2016

In June the Screeps World has changed drastically and will never again be the same. It has been surrounded by swarm of creeps with the ‘GCL1’ virus. No, this is not a judgement day scenario, but simply a wave of newcomers.

On June 20, we launched the game on Steam, and hundreds of new players started off in the Novice Areas that were deliberately opened for them. It required to expand the game world and generate 2800 more rooms. Now there are scripts of more than 1000 players running in the online mode concurrently. We wish them successful assimilation and wait for new leaders to emerge. Now, for many it will be their first “Hello World!” not only in Screeps but in the world of programming in general. Happy scripting everyone! But now let’s take a look at how “greenish” the world has become:

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Screeps World Review: May 2016

More than 200 players last month were setting up their AI and polishing their JavaScript skills. Some were mastering new features, while others tried to learn the basics. Meanwhile, we've got exciting news for all of you about everything worthy your attention!

Hernanduer[29] again tops the Power Rank with 27M+ power points. This is 46% of all the power harvested in the world! The competition in power mining is still low which allows more dexterous players to claim cream of the top. Here is the rating of all the power harvested and collected in accounts for all the time:

The rating also includes players with paused subscriptions. But if they resume playing, all the power processed, as well as their GCL, will be saved and can be put to use for planned superpowers of power creeps. Just to remind: each unit of processed power not only gives you a rank position today, but also “experience points” for your power creeps tomorrow.

AzuraStar[30] keeps in the lead in the Expansion Rank. NhanHo[29], on the other hand, fell to his lowest position ever: 4th place, and he’s even close to the 5th in the current season.

We should especially highlight such a GCL/CPU titan as Dissi[21]. He’s the most active at the moment in terms of expansion: changing locations and boosting his upgraders make his chart twist:

The current chart link: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dannyz/screeps.png

danny[20], the author of this activity chart, was in coma for 10 days and revived at the last moment, when his controllers were down to level 1-2. It’s naturally because of the deprecated methods that were removed on May 12 (changelog). That said, he managed to quickly restore his RCL in his rooms due to the new downgrade timers mechanics. As for Avicenna[10] with a similar situation, once the “master” of the sector W15N15, he perished ultimately.

In a newly-matured sector W5S25 there has been no definite monopoly so far, but the most advanced here is YuraZ[6] who luckily managed to occupy a landscape of natural walls: 11 rooms with only 4 exits.

A yesterday’s young larva, Zergling[11] hatched out of his novice egg and quickly justified his name by spreading across all the sector W15S25. He is now only second to Skorp[12], a novice who started just recently and now in the Top 10 by expansion. Congrats!

Let’s see who has the greatest total RCL weight in their sectors:

A group photo, smile!

The most powerful weapon so far has emerged recently: Nuker. The first to push the red button was Dissi. Look forward for more details about nukes in our next review.

Apart from the launch of 7 nukes, Dissi nicely dealt with 7 rooms of Hatyr[9] by more antique methods. So he’s the director of our featured battle today:

Screeps World Review: April 2016

In the past season, players have mined and used minerals with much more confidence, especially since minerals are mined as easily as energy, unlike power. Processing minerals is more interesting though, and we’ll touch on that later. As for now, here are the leaders in expansion and power:

AzuraStar and NhanHo have reached GCL 28+ thus getting the maximum CPU 300. Perhaps it cooled down their drive to overpump controllers, so they are now building up the walls extensively. Hernanduer[27] and DarkTrooper7[26] are close to the high level, while the rest have not reached GCL 10 yet. We congratulate Skorp[11] who started only in January but is already in the TOP-10. Let’s have a look at the expansion graph from danny:

Some people love to change badges frequently, now even custom ones, while others have stuck to one badge from the very beginning. Here is how players' domains look like with their respective badges:

Don’t forget that the map has many viewing modes apart from the “Owner control level,” for example “Minerals” which is very important nowadays, it helps quickly assess mineral logistics.

After the initial placement of minerals across the map, some players have managed to grab lucky new rooms with mineral-rich neighboring rooms:

PlayerGCL
AzuraStar 29 9 7 3 1 5 2 0
NhanHo 28 11 2 1 2 5 3 1
Hernanduer 27 5 8 2 3 4 2 1
DarkTrooper7 26 7 11 1 1 1 2 2
Sargeth 19 3 4 6 1 0 3 0
danny 18 4 4 3 4 1 2 0
TooAngel 18 1 2 0 2 1 1 0
Dissi 17 4 3 1 2 2 3 1
ThyReaper 16 1 6 1 0 1 3 0
Mototroller 15 5 3 1 1 3 1 1
Pascow 12 5 0 0 1 1 3 0
Rumatah 12 1 4 1 0 1 1 1
chris 11 3 2 1 0 1 1 1
atomicinf 11 0 4 0 2 0 1 0
Skorp 10 3 1 2 1 1 0 1

As we can see from the table, the top three players have more Utrium. A half don’t have Catalyst at all. A third of the table has a serious disproportion in Oxygen/Hydrogen. The following players have the most even combinations: Hernanduer, Dissi[18], and Mototroller[16].

From a practical viewpoint, distance between rooms play an important role, but since the terminal allows transferring minerals at any distance, you can gain advantage by collecting the full stack of minerals. While the automatic market system is under development, and neighbors may be slow at times, players have to rely on themselves and create self-sustaining mineral usage cycles.

Let’s look at the reactions going on in labs with minerals in storages and terminals. This will give us an understanding of where players focus on, whether it’s security, attack, mining, progress, versatility… The following diagram shows compounds converted into corresponding effects:

The diagrams show thousands of ticks that players needed to build a compound. For example, – 1 tick, – 3, – 4.

Dissi has the most versatile stock. However, the best in class is again Hernanduer who also used various boosts to the full: mining energy and power, attack (see video attached), and the most popular effect among players, upgradeController.

You need labs for all this. Unlike other objects, they need to be placed within a 2 square range in order for a reaction to work. It’s interesting to see how players tackle this issue. Here are basic configurations for each player:

The most popular lab configuration is increasingly an “eight”: Hernanduer, Dissi, and Skorp[11] have this architecture in all their rooms and it’s similar to the “tunnel” extension layout. Similarly, DarkTrooper7, Rumatah[12], and chris[11] tend to favor “grid” layouts in both their extensions and labs. Mototroller prefers densely-grouped extensions, so he usually packs his labs with the maximum density, in squares. AzuraStar has handily arranged his lab worker surrounded by labs in a feng shui manner, and he even managed to have a raw source nearby. This is similar to his spawns layout.

Therefore, we can guess which layout will be used by those who haven’t utilized minerals yet: eight, greed, square. Even before we looked at E24N12 we could guess that NhanHo would use “rails.” So, if you’re still pondering how to place your labs, just look at your extensions.

The featured battle of the season shows 10 rooms of TooAngel wiped in a flash. This video again shows how important it is to place towers as close to the borders as possible in order not to lose their effectiveness due to a great range, and that you shouldn't rely on them alone, but keep spawning proper defending creeps when under siege. It’s popcorn time:

Screeps World Review: March 2016

Another season is over, and it was full of all things new. Which means you had plenty of room for various interesting strategies, logistics, and CPU optimizing.

In February, the Expansion Rank leader was Hernanduer[25] who set a new world record: 556.6M points per season! It was helped by the fast server ticks, but still an important milestone. But Hernandeur shifted his focus to GCL and lost his Power Rank leadership to AzuraStar[27].

As usual, danny[17] offers us a handy look at ER dynamics to motivate us to improve our parameters:

Currently, players have opened the ¾ of the map generated at this moment. Here is how players’ badges are distributed across the map:

Have a look at how new blood has reinvigorated the map. Usually, beginners have hard time surviving in the center of the map near vetaran players. Well, now you may easily notice that some players spawned in the last season (see map20160212 imageW3N2 and W5N1), namely Regenuluz[7] and avacore[6] not only reached GCL 6 but also used it to the full and now perfectly co-exist in the close proximity of AzuraStar. For example, there is a crossing point in W5N2, while W3S1 is adjacent to “the Pepsiman”.

The novice area W15S5 has been opened and liberated neomatrix[12] who languished there. His total number of rooms (5) makes him the owner not just of this sector but also of the neighboring W15N5 which is also enclosed by 5 rooms. This is also the youngest (by GCL) Page Rank Top member who displays excellent results and keeps progressing with each season.

Have a look at an interesting monotonous scheme of extensions in his rooms. Viewing from the profile, it looks like a caterpillar sits in each room:

In a newly-opened large novice sector E15S15 there are three sure leaders. Skorp[8], eric[6], and fezeral[6] have divided the sector into roughly equal parts after a series of clashes: Skorp ousted eric from the South-East of the sector, while eric transferred a part of his domain to the North and displayed his power on fezeral by completely cleansing his rooms. The latter decided to recover in the same sector and regained control in some of his former rooms.

In the sector W15S25 we must note Zergling[6] who managed to gain complete gain control over a small novice area of 15 rooms.

Dissi[15] keeps practicing his military prowess. He completely destroyed ProbabilityFairy[5] in W7N8 and then crushed half of Rumatah’s[11] rooms. There must have been other attacks too. His thrust against NickDP[3] still lives in our replay memory: screeps.com/s/5fB7eL, screeps.com/s/1G9epa.

The past season may definitely be called the epoch of invaders. Previously in the “Creeps lost” map mode you could see only single incidents, but now the whole map is peppered with casualties. Let’s see how it happens and how players protect themselves:

The emergence of minerals has introduced a major shift into the game. Many players have only recently started mining and collecting them, but some have already mounted serious lab chains working 24/7. For example, W5S17 with Hernanduer or W3S5 with AzuraStar. And Dissi runs terminals with all possible combinations:

In the next review, we will analyze players’ successes in mineral processing and creep boosting. It will also be interesting to watch the general vector of the expansion. Though previously players based their decisions mostly on the arrangement of energy sources, now it makes sense to look for rooms with complete mineral reserves. This can be achieved by harvesting or mutually beneficial exchange with partners.