For any new player, the most annoying part of the game is being steamrolled by a player who has so much of a military and economic gap that you cannot even resist. Having now been on both sides of the spectrum has given me a lot of insight. I remember being a low GCL player and the thrill of fighting and winning against other players a few gcl higher than me or less. It is also here that I learned the most effective strategy for long term growth… Kill anyone else in range that moves. It may seem harsh but nearby players who you are in direct competition with for resources will limit your own growth. It is because of this that novice zones are more accurately called cage matches.
I now have some experience and although I myself started in the fighting pits I would recommend to new players that they pick a random spot in the game world with a nice area to expand into. After doing so I would recommend that you message the locals and let them know you are just beginning your Screeps Journey and ask for any pointers. The responses may vary from offers of help or a few waves of roomba. It is important that you do not get too attached to your rooms. You will most likely respawn several times before establishing yourself.
While you are still new to the game (Don’t have the code to boost creeps or produce boosts) you will need to use every experience to learn and I would recommend that you don’t get too discouraged by events around you. I would recommend that you gain experience in all aspects of the game (Offense, Defense, and econ). Although turtling may seem like a good strategy to the recently wiped player its important to balance growth and defense. I would recommend that you reach RCL 8 rooms before taking your defenses to above 1 million. (Once you reach RCL 8 with proper remote mining you will have so much surplus energy you can upgrade your walls to several million hits).
I would recommend that all new players use a strategy like so:
1st Spawn: Start working on economic code that is effective at gathering resources and managing creep population.
2nd Respawn: Work on basic defense and begin to experiment with tower draining strategies (Offensive strategy involving resource consumption by your enemy).
3rd Respawn: Choose rooms based on energy source count and mineral types setup to have a supply chain in order to begin mineral production. By this respawn you should be looking for something long term. Be sure to reach out to the other players nearby. You may want to group up with a few others to eliminate mutual threats and consider joining an alliance.
Further Expansion: You see those things called portals?
For those looking for a good place to spawn who are a bit more aggressive free to message me directly on the Screeps Slack User: Atanner. You may be a good fit in our alliance once you have grown a bit and we would be happy to help you grow and expand in an area near us in the world map.