After portals to new, uncharted territories were discovered in the Screeps universe where even time flows differently, the world will never be the same again. We now have a whole photo album instead of a single photo:
In the wake of our update, leagueofautomatednations.com implemented shards support too. Let’s see how the political map of the main shard has been transformed:
Some numbers after LoAN:
One nice feature about shards is that you can move between them. The following rankings highlight players who followed the trends and already took advantage of existing in multiple dimensions at once:
* sort = (shard0+1|1)×(shard1+1|1)×(shard2+1|1)
Did art manage to survive in the midst of all these wars and migrations? Our satellites roamed the map in all directions and along the coordinates from previous reviews to give you this photo report. If your creation was left unnoticed, it could be too subtle:
After shard1 was launched, many active players moved there. Also many well-established players decided to respawn there. For example, Hernanduer is back in the game after a month of absence:
Of course, a lot of active players stayed, but shard1 seemed much more alive than shard0. Currently, the amount of active players in different shards is about the same, but the proportion of claimable rooms to active players in shards 0, 1 and 2 is now 32:21:8 rooms per player.
Old alliances started to fade, they become less and less active. Along with the increase of the tick time, it forced more players to migrate to shard1 or leave the active gameplay altogether. The shard was emptying. But on the background of this development, two brand new associations were born, very similar at a glance yet very different on the inside.
The first alliance is ‘The Church of The End‘ - a formation of players who believed that someone had to stop the agony of shard0 and let it rest in peace. Zealots of the Church declared a goal to kill everyone who’s not in the Church and then respawn to shard1 to repeat the same mission there. They hoped (as their secondary objective) this existential threat would consolidate the remaining players and bring more life to shard0.
The second group of players adopted the name ‘The Langoliers’. This association appeared when the community realized that empty sectors were not turning into novice or respawn areas but were permanently shut (with surrounding portals so that the world could shrink without dead ends). They introduced an ambitious plan to clear all the sectors next to the world’s edge to lock them up and eventually shrink the entire shard. They believed they could save shard0 by shrinking it and making remaining players interact more or even possibly improving the tick time. Unlike the Church, the Langoliers prefer to clear sectors peacefully by convincing active players to relocate and helping them do so if necessary. They use force only against the players they can’t convince or to clean up debris (so called zombies) left by players.
Currently, shard0 has 78 closed sectors covering 71% of the uttermost 10th perimeter and 20% of the entire shard0. More sectors will be closed as they are vacated.
Although the two groups pursue opposite goals (finishing off the shard vs bringing it back to live), they are not at war. Moreover, some Langoliers are zealots of the Church.
The Ypsilon Pact who suffered heavy damages in the Screeps World War 2 decided to relocate the whole alliance. The high concentration of rich players drove market prices high above the level of shard0. So when inter-shard portals were opened, it gave players a good opportunity for inter-shard arbitrage trading which is challenging (because of complicated code for moving creeps between shards) yet very profitable. Few players used the opportunity to make a fortune, but one earned three tokens in the first two weeks of trading.
Due to a large number of those relocating, XGH2O is the most valuable resource for deploying your GCL powerhouse in a new setting. The demand for it has been very high. o4kapuk suggested to show how one’s profit can multiply on deals between buying on shard0 and selling on shard1, so let’s take a look at it using XGH2O as an example:
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