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Zero-K v 1.3.10.0

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AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
23 months ago
(edited 23 months ago)


There are two large balance changes in this release. The Blastwings weapon is now a fireball similar to a small Firewalker (or large Kodachi). It is unlikely to be balanced but at least it should be possible to make the unit more useful lategame without dominating early.

The second balance change is more subtle. An exploit that could give permanent invisibility to HLTs lead us down a path to removing air LOS. Air units are now harder to see which is surely going to make them more powerful, somehow.

Apart from that there are fixes, area-mex-solar and a WIP arbitrary start volume system which has been enabled for some maps.

Balance


Kodachi out-of-combat regeneration time: 1.66s → 5s


Blastwing


Blastwing now has a fireball explosion. It is comparable to a single Firewalker projectile but with larger AoE. Reduced Blastwing damage and gibs.

  • Direct damage: 250 → 80
  • Giblets: 15 → 3 [?]
  • Fireball DPS: up to 16
  • Fireball time: 20s
  • Fireball AoE: 256 [?]
  • Sets units on fire for 2s [?]

Line of Sight


  • Reduced air LOS range by 33% to match LOS range.
  • Any unit which fires in air LOS will be revealed (structures for 5s, units for 2.5s).
In effect, enemies are revealed in they fire within a units sight radius but were not previously visible because terrain was in the way.

The consequences are that:
  • This works around the LOS calculation issue which causes tall units to be invisible to the enemy even though they can see and fire. They are still not visible until they fire but now it is possible to fight back.
  • Shields and particles (such as Sumo footsteps) are no longer visible earlier than the unit itself.
  • Air units are are harder to detect. Previously they could be seen 50% earlier than ground units (this was one of the purposes of air LOS). Radar and other vision is now more important for fighters and AA.

UI


  • holding down Alt when giving an Area-Mex command will surround the mexes with 4 Solars. Will surround pre-existing mexes too.
  • Spotted enemy Aegis (static area shields) now draw a radius circle. [?]
  • Game over display now clearly shows the match result.
  • Circle Guard and Repair commands are now retained on morphing units. [?]

Miscellaneous


  • Rename: Sharpshooter → Spectre
  • Chicken Queen now ignores defences and moves straight into the base.
  • Updated Polish helptext translations and added some UI translations.

Content creation


  • Widgets now have access to winner data in the GameOver call-in. [?]
  • Widgets: added gl.Utilities.DrawGroundTriangle [?]
  • Added localisation support to a few widgets [?]. You can help translate them through Transifex.
  • Added a powerful API for maps to define their own arbitrary startboxes. See the wiki page for details on how to use them in your maps.

Fixes


  • Fixed DDM cannon sometimes getting stuck inside another building.
  • Fixed plasma cannons (eg. Thug, Hermit or Goliath) being unable to hit tall targets (eg. HLT) on some maps (eg. Geyser).
  • Fixed crashes in ETA and Fac Panel.
  • Fixed Conch prematurely leaving its building animation.
  • Fixed unit state display working on hidden units. [?]
  • Fixed enemy tacnuke silos not having their range circles drawn.
  • Fixed Spectator Panels delay when updating win count.
  • Fixed game over award display using old names.
  • Fixed Context Menu showing wrong transportability for some ships.
  • Fixed some units leaving incorrect wreckage. [?]

+7 / -0

ATrankSkasi
23 months ago
The air LOS reduction will probably make Flak more- and long ranged missile AA less common. After all, missiles flying at radar spots lose accuracy while Flak's AOE potentially still damages a target. Hacksaw and Newton might become more frequent as well since neither of them relied on air LOS.
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
23 months ago
Homing missiles do not miss radar dots. If you watch them closely they appear to fly at the radar dot for most of their flight but at the end they veer to the side and hit the real unit position. In effect they see what they are supposed to be shooting at and hit it. Homing missiles with slow turnrate can still miss if they have to veer too sharply. I mainly expect non-missile AA to be a bit worse at range and radar to be more important.
+0 / -0

PTrankraaar
23 months ago
LOS changes probably meant to fix nearby units not seeing each other when they should (because they don't see the ground the other unit's standing on).

It could be fixed by raising the LOS emit height for all units to something like 80. This way they'd become visible even without having to fire.
(unless there's a high enough obstacle or height difference involved)
+0 / -0


PLrankAdminSprung
23 months ago
(edited 23 months ago)

quote:
Homing missiles do not miss radar dots. If you watch them closely they appear to fly at the radar dot for most of their flight but at the end they veer to the side and hit the real unit position. In effect they see what they are supposed to be shooting at and hit it.

This will no longer be true in Spring 101.

quote:
It could be fixed by raising the LOS emit height for all units to something like 80. This way they'd become visible even without having to fire.
(unless there's a high enough obstacle or height difference involved)

The exploit involved creating height difference (terraform holes). It also happened naturally in some cases such as cliffs.
+0 / -0

USrankQrow
23 months ago
......

We will miss you Blastwing, farewell
+1 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
23 months ago
quote:
This will no longer be true in Spring 101.
Part of switching to a new engine is fighting the regressions. We're on 100.0 until that regression (and possibly others) are fixed. This is fine, 100.0 seems pretty good. See: https://springrts.com/mantis/view.php?id=4926

quote:
LOS changes probably meant to fix nearby units not seeing each other when they should (because they don't see the ground the other unit's standing on).

It could be fixed by raising the LOS emit height for all units to something like 80. This way they'd become visible even without having to fire.
(unless there's a high enough obstacle or height difference involved)
LOS works by raytracing from a point on your units to every point of ground in their radius. Enemy units are visible if they are on visible terrain. The LOS emit height of units can be raised but this weakens the impact of the terrain occlusion system. There was no emit height which would both fix the problem cases and conserve reasonable occlusion. Setting emit height really high is effectively removing the effect of terrain.
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
23 months ago
The LOS change also guards against weird edge cases and bugs such as this: https://springrts.com/mantis/view.php?id=4920
+0 / -0

FRrankSlaab
23 months ago
Something is not clear for me : is the fire stackable?
I mean, for example, if 2 blastwings blow up at the same location, is the fireball DPS 16 or 16x2?
Thanks to clarify
+0 / -0


CArankPxtl
23 months ago
(edited 23 months ago)

Fireballs have two components, the damage-over-time fireball (which is stackable) and the "on-fire" component (where a unit glows and continues to take damage after they have left the flames) which is not stackable.

If I'm reading it correctly:

With the direct damage of 80, the Blasting now has 3 damage-components. First, it does 80 damage (this is obviously stackable). The fireball itself does 16 damage-per-second to a unit standing in its exact centre (lasts 20(!) seconds so it does a total of 320 damage in DOT to anything immobile or moronic). That's a total of 400 stackable damage to immobile targets.

Then anything standing in the fire will be ignited for 2 seconds. Burn damage is 15 dps, so this deals another 30 damage to the target, non-stackable.

edit: That 2-second counter will be re-set as the unit remains in the fireball, leading to an upper-limit of (20+2)*15=330 damage. However, there are random elements to "on-fire" state starting and ending, so that's an upper-bound. Call it 300-330 of non-stackable damage for standing in the fireball for its entire 20 seconds.

So yes, the Blastwing is still very stackable, but it takes a long time to kill a target and moving targets like comms can simply walk out of the fire and can repair buildings through the damage.

Remember that all those stackable damages above are ignoring radius falloff - so assume you'll see substantially less than 400 even for a direct-looking hit. The non-stackable damages, however, are not affected by radius falloff.

(edit: added GoogleFrog's explanation of on-fire and fireballs to complete this explanation).
+1 / -0


PLrankAdminSprung
23 months ago
(edited 23 months ago)

quote:
the Blasting now has 3 damage-components

4, there are also giblets (now very minor though).

quote:
The fireball itself does 16 damage-per-second to a unit standing in its exact centre (lasts 20(!) seconds so it does a total of 320 damage in DOT

There is a reduction in DPS over time, and the centre is a point so it's very hard to get it exact (especially with Blastwing!). The actual total would probably be closer to 100-200 (though there's still the reliable 300 damage from the non-stacking component).
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
23 months ago
I tuned the Blastwing damage such that one will reliably kill a Mex. This should make it much better at standard raiding. It is actually very reliable, you just have to catch a mex in the blast radius for it to be killed.

A mex is 400 health. If I explode a Blastwing right underneath a static Reaper it takes about 600 damage over the 20 seconds. With two Blastwings it takes about 950 damage so each additional Blastwing adds approximately 350 damage.

quote:
Then anything standing in the fire will be ignited for 2 seconds. Burn damage is 15 dps, so this deals another 30 damage to the target, non-stackable.
If a unit is within a ground fire it will constantly be set on fire. So it is not 15 DPS for 2 seconds, it is 15 DPS for 20 seconds. This is about 300 damage which accounts for the loss of stacking for Blastwing fire.

These numbers should also allow you to build a single Defender against a Blastwing rush because a Commander is able to out-build Blastwing fire and can keep a built Defender at a stable level of health.
+2 / -0

ATrankSkasi
23 months ago
quote:
If a unit is within a ground fire it will constantly be set on fire. So it is not 15 DPS for 2 seconds, it is 15 DPS for 20 seconds. This is about 300 damage which accounts for the loss of stacking for Blastwing fire.

So in the end it'll be 15 DPS for 20 + 2 seconds = 330 damage, right? After the 20s ground fire a unit would probably still continue burning for 2s.
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
23 months ago
It is not so simple. Burn duration has randomness, the most it can be is 2 seconds. It is also up to randomness to determine when the unit first catches on fire. If you want more accurate damage estimates you will have to set a lot of Reapers on fire and record the results. Theoretical damage calculations will only get you to within about 100 here.
+0 / -0


DErankKlon
23 months ago
(edited 23 months ago)

it doesnt seem to be much of a nerf in terms of preventing blastwing rushes, if anything, it is even more powerful now. was the intention of the change to do the former?
+0 / -0


CArankPxtl
23 months ago
Intent was to make them more counterable without owling them. A comm can walk out of a fireball and repair/build through it.
+0 / -0

USrankQrow
23 months ago
(edited 23 months ago)

quote:
Intent was to make them more counterable without owling them. A comm can walk out of a fireball and repair/build through it.


Indeed, but I fear we may have actually made the problem worse by making it go into fireballs. Fireball -> stackable -> massive fire stack
+0 / -0

FRrankSlaab
23 months ago
Thanks for the explanations.
It could be useful to add this information in the manual : Unit Abilities >> fire

+0 / -0


DErankKlon
23 months ago
(edited 23 months ago)

well the com might take a little bit less damage now, but it is much easier to prevent construction of things with the ground all on fire. (also will stop factories from building if they start a new project on the fire)
+2 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
23 months ago
quote:
it doesnt seem to be much of a nerf in terms of preventing blastwing rushes, if anything, it is even more powerful now. was the intention of the change to do the former?
No theorycraft. Post replays.
+0 / -0
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