The Worm is a Brute Force Offensive Program which has the special ability to replicate and install itself. Worms will attack connected nodes one at a time, but unlike Beam Cannons, they have a dynamic attack priority and will change their target immediately if an adjacent node with higher Attack Priority is reclaimed by the network.
A Worm has the following action priorities:
- It attacks an adjacent node with the highest Attack Priority.
- If all adjacent nodes are captured, it will install duplicates of itself in empty program slots of the current node, until the node is full.
- If the current node is full, it will install duplicates of itself in the empty program slots of adjacent nodes.
Duplication onto adjacent nodes appears to prioritize the number of empty program slots on adjacent nodes, followed by their attack priority. For example: If one Worm has an empty Core and an empty Compiler as adjacent nodes, first it will install two copies of itself on the Core so both nodes have the same number of empty program slots. Next it will install a copy on the Core because it has a higher attack priority, and then it will install a copy on the Compiler because the Compiler has more empty program slots. It will continue to switch back and forth in this manner until both nodes are full. Note this example assumes the worms installed on the Core and Compiler are busy attacking a hostile node instead of duplicating.
The delay between each duplication takes 3 to 0.5 seconds, depending on level, and the timer is reset when an adjacent node is recaptured by the network.
- Notes: While the Worms program is technically allowed to upgrade at the Evolver levels displayed, the Capacity of B-coins that can be held at those levels may not be sufficient to purchase the upgrade.
More Info here: Max amount of B-coins at Core Level.
As of Patch v1.025, Worm's Duplication Time scales with their level. This was previously 3 seconds at every level.
- Typically, you only need one or two Worms per hack since they will multiply.
- Using Worms to capture weaker and less important nodes can be useful to save programs.
- Placing Worms at the back of the network will give them time to replicate while you focus on your main attack.
- Remember to remove programs from nodes you have captured to give Worms space to move forward.
- Worms work well with the Kraken.
- Be careful around a Code Gate. Worms will always attack when possible, and they always attack the highest priority target (often the gate). This prevents the worms from replicating or attacking more desireable targets until the gate is captured.
- If any Net connection are spread out, consider launching a Worm on on any Net connection that you otherwise weren't planning on using. The worms will engage in an automated attack on their portion of the network while you can focus on your main attack. The worms don't need to get very far to cause useful damage to the network.
- A worm should usually not be placed alone on a Net connection. Adding a single Beam cannon will significantly speed the initial node capture, and therefore significantly speed the initial replication.
- Worms will persistently re-attack, even if they repeatedly lose. Repeated attacks may slowly break down the defenses of a strong node. In some cases it may take a minute or more of repeated attacks for worms to capture a particular node. While that capture may be horribly slow, the value of worms is that they are automated. Every bit of automated progress is essentially "free progress" while you are busy elsewhere.
- If you're not in a hurry to get through a particular Code gate, Worms are generally able to take down a gate at a somewhat reasonable rate if they can attack it from more than one direction.
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