Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal

Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal

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tiba992 Sep 7, 2018 @ 5:10pm
Hard or very hard Tormented Space maps
This post is outdated and incomplete, much of the information was compiled into a wiki article.

Tormented Space contains a lot of very hard maps that make Farbor or early Arca look like a joke and even some impossible ones.

For those who want to improve at the game, like myself, I think it would be helpful to list them, to discuss whether they can be beaten and how they can be beaten. I'll try to update this thread regularly and to add maps that other players have beaten and for which they posted realistic times, so that we can get a feel for the validity of high score times.

I'll start with Coalve, but I'll add more maps in the future.


S200_185 - Tillyketh - (2018-09-15 reported, upper quarter of right edge of the star map)

Very Hard
S200_134 - Sudpir - (2018-09-19 completed, time: 3:14:30, close to the center of the star map)
S200_157 - Coalve - (2018-09-08 completed, time: 4:33:16, center of upper half of star map)
S200_158 - Penbor - (2018-09-23 completed, time: 1:32:47, below center of left edge of the star map)
S200_153 - Sieioanu - (2018-09-09 completed, time: 2:44:46, center of lower left of star map)
S200_79 - Greeninverok - (2018-09-12 completed, time: 3:23:30, bottem left corner of star map)
S200_107 - Razdon - (2018-09-15 completed, time: 0:55:08, center of the star map)
S200_180 - Ioottum - (2018-09-11 completed, time: 1:08:27, center of the bottom edge of the star map)

S200_78 - Auchcardensar - (2018-09-10 completed, time: 2:53:27, center-right of lower quarter of star map)
S200_138 - Jupnale - (2018-09-22 completed, time: 1:51:11, close to the left edge of the star map, vertically close to the middle)
More to come.

General adivce:
After posting a couple of walkthroughs here (8 at the moment of creating these notes), a few patterns emerged so it might be sensible to add some general advice up here.
This advice is definitely incomplete and needs to be complemented with proficiency in Creeper World 3 that is only acquired by trying the guides for oneself. It is only designed to steer attempts at beating hards maps in a direction that worked for me and I'd be happy to read other peoples insights in further comments that help me get better in this game as well and that I can add to this list.

The Basics of Effective Play
0. Pause and save often. This should go without saying when talking about hard maps.
1. Balance your energy and do not build too much in parallel. Build one by one unless you have an overproduction of energy. When expanding your energy production (building collectors and reactors), build your buildings one by one. Building two reactors in parallel that don't build at maximum speed takes longer than finishing one first, then immediately building the second one. Same goes for collectors at the very start, so don't waste time here. Letting your energy production go to waste with 25 in storage is a waste of time as well, of course.
2. Start with collectors. Collectors pay for themselves very quickly (if I've done my tests right, around 20-30 seconds, depending on the area they cover), so it often makes sense to put down collectors even in areas that you do not plan to hold. Switch to reactors when there are no more spots available with good collection area that will not fall in the next 30 seconds.
3. I found that it takes around 3.5-3.8 energy to build two reactors in parallel at maximum speed.
4. Disable Resupply to speed up building reactors, when you can afford to do so. You can always afford to do so when your mortars are fully charged. Be careful when your mortars stop shooting, though, you might not see the flood coming through before it is too late.
5. Do not hesitate to destroy collectors to make more space for reactors in the long run.

Combatting Creeper
1. I distinguish between two issues with creeper: The high tide of creeper and the shallow creeper. The former is a mountain of creeper that inevitably forms and expands around the emitter as time goes on and presses against your defenses with increasing pressure. The latter comes with much less pressure and height but it comes much earlier.
2. The first goal is to establish a stable situation. This requires to deal with both threats.
3. The High Tide:
3.1 The only early viable way to deal with the high tide is the mortar. It keeps the high tide at bay but is not suited to deal with the shallow creeper. If it is supplied with sufficient energy, it can keep a certain width of the front of the high tide a mortar-range away from your base. Depending on the size of your base and how badly it is surrounded, you need a certain amount of well-supplied mortars for that task. A base in the corner of the map needs 4 to 5 mortars. A base in the corner with empty space on one more side might only need two. A base completely surrounded might need more than 5.
3.2 The pressure of the high tide will keep on growing in the first twenty minutes of the game, so you need to be careful and always check whether your mortars are still up for the task. A way to reduce the general pressure on the whole map in mid-game is the Big Bertha on auto-target, if energy and space permit it.
4. If your mortars deal with the high tide, you still need to deal with the shallow flood. There are a couple of options for that. They are all unsuited to deal with the high tide.
4.1 The preferred way: Height differences in terrain. These deal with the shallow flood as long as it is at least as shallow as the height difference. Your mortars might be able to arrange that. Use naturally occurring height differences, close gaps with the Terp if necessary.
4.2 The situational way: If you happen to have an ore mine in your base, then anti-creeper (sprayer should usually be on always on)
4.3 The somewhat costly way: Cannons.
4.4 The ridiculously costly way: Shields. They are pretty expensive, but they can also help to expand the base.
5. Digitalis: Experiment with Cannons set to "digitalis" only in a safe setting to get a feeling for dealing with digitalis. This costs a lot of energy and having enough mortars up is usually the bigger issue, so hope that you can establish a stable base that is not too close to the Digitalis.
6. Spores: Not much to say here. You need beams to fight spores and ideally, you have 0.5*[#number of approaching spores] beams in your base.

The Next Level Play
1. Let unused buildings (shields and terps for expansion) fly around the map in circles to gain a building spot for an additional reactor or mortar.
2. Let The Command node permanently fly above your base to gain 9 additional spots for buildings at the cost of the Command Nodes energy production (this sucks and is super micro-intensive, but it was necessary for me to beat Sudpir).

- Landed on the round platform,
- spread some Collectors in the lower left quarter of the map for energy
- got an early mortar to prevent to creep from passing the height 9 line to the left of the inhibitor to quickly
- got two reactors
- got a terp to increase the height 4 space in the lower left corner to make space for the Command station and move it there
- progressively build a 1 tile wall around a small section in the lower left corner before it got flooded, to that there is space for the Command station and ~10 more buildings
- build more reactors and 4 mortars to reach a steady steady state and step by step increased the wall to height 10
- let the terp fly around the map to make space for a shield
-activate the shield for a couple of seconds at a time before energy runs out and fly the terp back in that window to slowly get more tiles for reactors until there is enough energy to steadily expand

- Landed on lower right part of the map.
- spread some collectors on the right edge of the map to get some energy
- placed two reactor
- placed first mortar on the left edge of the level 10 area of the map
- build 2 more mortars, let one fire to clear the ore mine, then place them in a quarter circle around the lower right
- in parallel to building those mortars I kept building more reactors
- got an ore mine and a sprayer (always on, not that it makes a difference at that point)
- moved the first mortar more to the left, so that his strikes land to the left of the second-closest ore mine
- kept building more reactors and got a fourth mortar to stem the tide of creeper
- build 6 beams to be ready when the first two waves of spores hit the base.
- delay resupply of beams when possible to keep mortars shooting, delay resupply of mortars when they are full and beams desperately need energy
- fifth mortar and more reactors until no more can be squeezed in.
- got a terp, build lvl 10 sockets for the lower left mortars and leveled parts of the base to squeeze in more reactors
- sixth mortar, 7th beam before 3 waves of spores hit at the same time.
---- somewhat stable state at this point (16:41 game-time, I'll try to post a picture below)
- use terp to put the sprayer on a socket (move some beams around to make space in the middle of the base)
- wall off base more, squeeze in more reactors to get an energy surplus
- get a laser to be able to slowly increase base size with terp
- expand towards the first totem and create a socket for a forge
- as soon as the first energy and rate upgrades can be bought, the base is completely safe and can be quickly expanded

- much easier than the previous two, but still requires some careful work at the start, following strategy is not necessarily optimal
- Landed at the top edge of the map as far to the left as possible
- disable resupply on the Odin artifact
- got a couple of collectors up in a small rectangle on the upper left, this area will be flooded by minute 2, so I didn't expand too much here
- got the first reactor in the upper left corner and a terp when I had enough energy to support building both.
- got a 1-tile wide wall up, walling up a rectangle in the upper left corner. In my case (and this could certainly be improved) 39 tiles from left to right and 16 tiles from top to bottom
- I kept raising the wall, prioritizing the bottom side because the creeper pressure was stronger there
- while raising the wall higher and higher, I kept building reactors and, when I had enough energy to support it, got a second terp.
- while raising the wall to level 10, I started getting mortars (energy got in the minus there, but it was not an issue
- with 4 mortars it looked sufficiently stable to prioritize building reactors
- leveled the base inside to pack reactors densely, while getting two more mortars for a total of six
- smooth sailing at this point, got some lasers and shields to make my way towards the inhibitor (using them to creeper away from the wall and allow the terp to raise the freed ground to level 10)

- again easier than the first two, but still needs some quick buildup in the beginning.
- this map has some of the ingredients of a very hard map: a wide spread of Digitalis, no hill on which a start would be sensible and most importantly a very small size. On the other hand, it has an ore mine in a viable start position that is spared for more than two minutes and a totem close to my preferred landing spot, so that is what I used to beat it.
- Landed at the right edge of the map, north of the ore mine.
- spread some collectors in the valley that is on the right side of the wall near the landing spot. Everything else will be flooded 90 seconds after the start, so there is no point in going beyond that.
- started to build 2 reactors when I was around 3.0 energy.
- built a mortar to keep the creeper near the top somewhat at bay and got the ore mine
- built a sprayer and immediately set it to always one, while I kept building reactors
- got a terp to close the gaps in the wall and raise a 1 tile wide wall to level 10, also quickly walled of the bottom.
--- this is probably an important point because the pool that was my base quickly filled with anti-creeper and spills over the wall became a non-issue
- kept getting mortars to reach some stability and got a laser to teal with creeper flowing over the wall
- space wasn't used very effectively but probably thanks to the anti-creeper and didn't have to worry.
- after 11:30 minutes:
- packed reactors more carefully, leveled with the terp to get the most out of the space, got two more mortars for a total of 6
- placed a Forge, got some energy upgrades, then range and rate, and started to expand with mortars, lasers, terps, and shields. I chose to expand to the left along the top edge of the map, which allowed me to grab one more ore mine. A couple of lasers set to Digitalis, three shields and some mortars behind them, allow pushing through the Digitalis effectively.
- No challenge left at this point.

- Very little space to work with and the map is flooded quickly. However, the landing position in the middle of the top edge stands quite high above the surrounding area, which makes it much easier to defend it.
- Landed in the middle of the round plateau, such that 3 units can be placed on each of the edges, except for the top.
- placed 4 collectors, one in the middle of each of the plateau, expanded collectors to the left along the top edge, to use the space that is temporarily protected by the wall.
- started packing reactors densely on the starting plateau
- in time to stop the tide from flooding the Command node, I placed a mortar at the lowest possible position on the plateau (replacing a collector).
- mortars on the left and right of the plateau as well, also a terp.
- level what little is not covered by creep yet to 10, to place some more reactors and a fourth and fifth mortar.
--- map looks like this now and situation is pretty stable:
- got one laser to allow to slowly gain ground using the laser and the terp (expanding to the left along the top edge of the map)
- got more lasers and mortars while expanding, at this point there is no more challenge left in the map.

- land the command note below the two ore mines on the higher ground (leave 6 tiles to the left edge for better reactor placement later)
- spam collectors (one by one as energy permits, of course) around the left edge, the level of your command note, the higher ground in the bottom left corner and the round higher ground on the right of your base. I think a collector makes up for its cost in around 17 seconds (a little more because it usually cannot collect on its whole range), so even if you lose some of them soon, it is still worth it.
- start building reactors and in parallel: a mortar to stop the early tide, a laster to prevent leakage into your base around the bottom edge (below the round plateau), an ore mine and a spray to flood your base and a mortar at the top of your base.
-- your base should look like this soon:
- this is a somewhat stable situation and you can start building more reactors and a terp to pack your base efficiently.
- now you can soon expand towards the inhibitor, using terp, sprayer, mortars, lasers and (as your energy surplus gets higher and higher) even a shield.
- nullify the inhibitor and you're done.

- This map is ridiculuously hard. The strategy that finally helped me to beat it was adapted from Wheatmidge, a member of the old forum.
- like many hard maps, this map is very small and gets flooded quickly. The base will also be hit by 3-10 spores roughly every 30-60 seconds . The one thing that makes it possible is that the landing area is on quite high terrain, compared to its surroundings.
- The basic idea of this strategy is to build a base on the landing area and slowly enlarge it with the terp. Unfortunately the landing area is in the center of the map and there is not enough space to sustain four mortars and four beams, which are necessary to keep the flood and spores at bay, so we to keep the command node hovering above the base constantly to make space for 9 more buildings

- I landed at the center of the starting plattform and immediatly built 2 collectors (one by one) above and below the circle where they cover the maximum possible area.
- I've built a couple more collectors below the landing platform and on a strip extending from the landing platform to the top edge (2 collector ranges wide) so that they live around 1-2 minutes to kick of the start. I've also built four collectors on the starting plattform
- I started filling up the starting platform with reactors, building two at a time as energy permitted.
- once I got eight reactors on the starting platform, i started deleting collectors ot make room for four more.
- as soon as the last one finished, I launched the command node and send it to the lower ground just above the starting platform and planted more reactors as energy permitted.
- The command node must stay in range of all reactors to always gain maximum energy, so I alternated from sending it above and below the landing circle, changing the direction once it is close to getting out of range.
- I placed a mortar, a terp (in the center of the platform) and a shield.
- the mortar keeps the platform from getting flooded (we will need more soon), and the shield and terp are there to increase the size of the base by raising the ground around it to level 8 (prioritizing 3 by 3 tiles to gain more spots for building quickly)
- place more reactors and mortars
- Save often and reload, once creeper touches your base. There is no way to describe in detail how to juggle creeper and base extension, once your realize that the base gets flooded, reload an earlier savegame and place the mortar a little sooner than you did last time or restart the misison, if you realize, that you could have brought up the economy more efficiently
- manage energy manually, i.e. by stopping reload for shield, terp or mortars when they have big reserves or are not needed, to get a reactor finished more quickly.
- use collectors when you have a free spot but can't commit to the investment of a reactor right now. Reactors also give your command node a little more range when flying around
- I also got a cannon somewhere in between, but I'm not sure how useful it was
.- let terp and shield fly in circles around the map if not needed
- two beams are required to survive the first round of spores (three plus one from the left) and the second (three from the right), four beams completely loaded with energy and on resupply are required to survive the third and first big round of spores)
- if you survived to this point, you probably have four beams (three placed on the left, one on the right) and four mortars and brief moments of evened out energy between the spore attakcs
- keep increasing the reactor count to become more flexible.
- start claiming 3-by-3 tiles with level 10 with shield and terp and start making a circle of them around your base. By this point of saving and reloading you certainly know the weakest spots of your specific layout (in my case it was the bottom right), prioritize that side.
- of course you must make sure, that you don't block off the (never reached) 9-by-9 landing spots for the command node juggling
- a full lvl 10 wall around the base, five to six mortars, five beams and green energy between the spore attacks is a stable state that can be reached at this point
- it is not the most efficient thing to do, but I was so annoyed by the command node, that I've build a lvl 10 wall around a landing spot below my base, so that I can finally land it again.
- At this point I was able to get in range of the totem and get some forge upgrades (in my case: energy efficiency, fire rate and fire range).
- expansion towards the nearest emitter and then towards the inhibitor went as usual.

A couple of pictures:

- This map deserves a spot here, even though it's easier than the very hard ones (imho). Since I didn't slack with the screenshots during the early phase this time, I will explain it mostly through pictures, but I'll lay out the basic battle plan in text:
- We land on the large circle in the lower right quadrant and quickly gain some energy with collectors. Since this position is hard to hold, we will move behind the high wall below it soon, but first we must level the terrain to secure a landing position.
- While we're terping a landing position, we will already start getting reactors and mortars. We will use the early terp that we have, to close the gaps in the wall. Without much (or any) reloading (saving regularly is recommended, though, when trying it for the first time) we will get a stable situation with 4 mortars up, a closed wall and we will make room (with the terp again) to get a forge, that will make the energy situation more comfortable and allow us to expand.
- Little warning: I got a little too comfortable between step 5 and 6, es evidenced by the hastily put up lvl 10 tiles on the right-most part of my wall. Raising the wall to level 10 or getting one more mortar or at least creating a save file before getting the forge might be sensible.
- A pictures says more than a thousand words, so here are more than ten thousand words worth of pictures:

- The difficulty on this map lies in the fact, that the starting position gets flooded pretty quickly and there is no natural wall, so we need to do a terp rush.
- My strategy is somewhat similar to that of florrat from the official forum. He obviously pulled off a much better start, but since I didn't die and don't feel like doing that map again soon, I still opted to complete the map rather than restart and because I took a lot of screenshots, I hope this is still usefull for readers and easier to follow.
- Because there are so many screenshots, I'll keep the text guide brief, details can be seen in the screenshots.
- We land in the lower left and spread a couple of collectors until we can afford to build a terp and a reactor in parallel (I didn't quite get to 3.6, though, so I couldn't build them at maximum speed.
- We immediately build a height ten 1-tile wide rectangle to protect our base.
- We quickly (before getting many reactors) get a mortar and a cannon. The cannon protects the upper left of the base, flying in and out to stall the creeper there and the mortar stays in the center to prevent the creeper from getting high enough to get over the rest of the wall.
- build reactors and mortars. If your start was as bad as mine, this can be a crawl because we are very low on energy.
- create a 3-by-3 tile on the top left corner of your base to allow the cannon to have a permanent position from which it can shoot outside. If you have an energy surplus and 4 to 5 mortars, you can start expanding from that tile.
- Get to the totem above the base and get a forge for some energy efficiency, rate and range upgrades.
- destroy the emitters one by one, there is no inhibitor on this map.

Comments on probably impossible Maps
- only one non-flooded landing position after 23 seconds
- that only position is being flooded naturally (without intervention) around 1:50
- runners are in range of one edge of the starting position
- no defendable ore mines near start.
Last edited by tiba992; Dec 1, 2023 @ 10:54am
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Showing 1-15 of 79 comments
75Karsten Sep 8, 2018 @ 3:59pm 
well done, that's a hard one, it's still on my list of uncompleted maps.
tiba992 Sep 8, 2018 @ 6:41pm 
Thanks. I'd say Coalve was the most difficult of all maps I succeded in completing so far. Today I've added another one that was challenging for me to the opening post, namely Sieioanu. Maybe it could be less challenging with a better strategy then I came up with. Here is a somewhat stable situation I managed to accomplish quite some time into the game.
tiba992 Sep 10, 2018 @ 11:35am 
Completed Auchcardensar and added it to the list. Doesn't compare to Coalve or Sieioanu, difficultywise, but is stressful in the start. I'll try to keep the list sorted by perceived difficulty, although this will be quite subjective when it gets longer.
tiba992 Sep 11, 2018 @ 11:05am 
Completed Ioottum, which again wasn't as hard as the first two on the list, but still required a quick start, and added it to the list. This screenshot probably tells the gist of my approach:
Edit: Added Greeninverok as well, looked harder than it was, but still requires to work with very minimal free space. Strategy boils down to this:
Last edited by tiba992; Sep 11, 2018 @ 4:06pm
Slimurgical Sep 14, 2018 @ 4:29pm 
S200_185 Tillyketh.

Maps is absolutely puny with 6 emmitters, digitalis and a bunch of it, and runners. Creeper is 87-104 ish and it takes only 1.48 minutes/seconds for it to get onto the landing pad, which is the only viable land.

It's brutal. Most I can do is two collectors, reactors and mortars, and I still die after only like 20 seconds later.

My current record on it is like... 2 minutes and 23 seconds. All I can really do is have two mortars and a cannon. I would do 3 mortars, but mortars always prioritize digitalis, even if set to creeper priority.

Sooooorta wish they could dumbfire manually. Like alternate between up to 3 different spots to shoot at.

Has anyone ever beaten it?
tiba992 Sep 15, 2018 @ 12:27am 
I'll have a look at it right now.

So, I'm normally not one that declares this quickly, but I'm pretty sure that map is impossible (certainly harder than some other maps I consider impossible). I'll add it to the starting post.

Since we do not want to start the day on a depressing note, I'll also add a successfully completed hard map today.

S200_107 - Razdon. A map considered impossible a long time ago, but merely very hard today.

This picture is the gist of the strategy:
Last edited by tiba992; Sep 15, 2018 @ 1:50am
tiba992 Sep 23, 2018 @ 3:08am 
Certainly not my best work, but I did beat Penbor. I hope this detailed sequence of images helps anybody who struggles with the map to replicate my approach. It is certainly possible to do a better start and have an easier struggle, though:
Balancetraveller Dec 1, 2018 @ 6:49pm 
Kudos tiba992, good to see CW3 still going strong with some high quality discussion!!
SilentDeath666 Dec 3, 2018 @ 5:51pm 
Ailancasterer, dunno how to put this one difficult map, sector 200_0 Its very small has several sporesspawner with multiple spores 2,2,and then 4 or 5 couldn't count 3 or 4 beams minimum required on a literal island due to creeper thats otherwise barely managable with 1 mortar and 1 canon. Little to almost not really any buildable spaces due to relative early creeper flooding.
Azza35 Oct 1, 2019 @ 3:15am 
don't need advice the game was eays for me its called stratedgy you need to plan spores are easy with beams
Bazinga! Nov 15, 2019 @ 3:24am 
Who did beat S200_17?
It is in the Tormented Space upper right corner
Last edited by Bazinga!; Nov 15, 2019 @ 3:26am
Fatman™ Jan 6, 2020 @ 11:14am 
Kilnaleport - Very hard. I still havent beaten it yet but get to around 6 minutes. Its pretty micro intensive.
patrick.hasses Jan 7, 2020 @ 3:14am 
Firstly, allow me to give thanks to Tiba992. Have used several of Tiba992's walkthroughs.

S200_7 Kilnaleport

Doesn't have to be Micro intensive. I go with a quick Terp build and a CN move.

Knowing that I'm going to move my CN I place it to the back. I also know that all collectors on that first natural barrier are toast after 1:30. Creeper will reach my CN by 2:20. All collectors in the trough will also meet they demise around 3:00. I've also calculated (2:20) when the creeper will wash up where I'm going to terp. Need to build my genny's on the higher ground.
Because I'm going to be pressed for space, I've measured out where I will need to terp space for the CN and future genny's to avoid unnecessary destroying/rebuilding.

Was 'fortified/stable' after about 6 -8 minutes.

Minute 0-1:
This is pretty much my collectors and genny being built. I've shown my collector layout and the times for creeper arrival.

Minute 1:
Have my first genny online. Push for next Genny plus the Terp. Start with the AC defence. Set to always on.

Minute 2&3:
Terp is up. Already cleared a place for the CN right next to that Ore mine. Sprayer is online. Also grabbed that 2nd ore mine. Building a mortar. I'm going to lose those Collectors in the trough about now. Moved my CN early (before supply is cut). Terp can now start to "close the gaps". Since most of the area is level 8, terp up to level 9. Level 10 later. Grab as much "Defendable" space as I can.

Minute 4:
Solid perimeter level 9 up. Need mortars for top and bottom. Stop the resupply on the terp when not using. Clear for genny's as necessary. Keep building Genny's.

Minute 7:
Terping wall 10. Building Genny's. Good solid defensive position.

Minute 11:
Now have 4 mortars, cannon and the sprayer. And 10 genny's. Cannon is helping clear the way for the wall.

Minute 19:
Have a solid defensive line. Good power output.

Minute 26-32:
Pushed North and annexed good strip of terrain. Built more genny's. Used 3 Cannon's for clearing.

Hour 1:
Have Annexed South and slowly push toward the Inhibitor.

Hour 1:23. Finished.

Yes a bit of a slow start. By no means the fastest time. I'm also sure there are several ways to finish this map. Whilst a Terp rush and CN move can be a bit tricky, at no point in the first minutes did I feel harassed. In the beginning with good mortar positioning and steady building of power output, S200_7 Kilnaleport is in the bag.
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