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Zero-K v1.4.2.5 - Dynamic Commanders

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AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
18 months ago

The core of this release is the dynamic commanders system - commanders with customization ingame instead of pregame. Drone carriers received a nerf intended to make them worse at sustaining a battle when covered by AA, they will want to retreat and re-stock. This release took a while so there are also many miscellaneous fixes.

Commanders



Commanders can now be configured during the game.
  • Pick the modules for each level upon upgrading your commander (with the cog command).
  • Use site profiles to store and name your favorite loadouts.
  • Decorations are also applied through the site. Ordinary unlocks will be removed.

We have finally removed the Strike and Battle commander models. The models were reasonable but unfortunately they were too close to OTA. The Arm Commander is the iconic face of OTA and Core is not far behind. The Strike chassis received a new model and the Siege and Battle chassis were merged into one.

The commander morph design received a shake-up in the process, some due to design changes and some for technical reasons. The changes are not balanced but they aim to be balanced eventually. Here are some changes:
  • Support -> Engineer (Support is too generic as a word, could be confusing).
  • Engineer and Recon can only equip one basic weapon. It makes sense as they only have one gun. They should be made powerful in other ways.
  • The weapons allowed for each chassis have changed. Some weapons have been removed or modified. There are some new weapons.
  • Some conversions have been removed, mostly the 0-choice ones (those that increase range).

A few experimental features are already possible with the new system. These includes:
  • Commanders have no upgrade limit (base cost increases though).
  • Base commanders can be built from Strider Hub (1000 metal, no economy).
  • Stackable drone modules.

This is just the initial implementation. Once this system is tested we hope to add more interesting features and balance, things not seen in the previous commander system. Each chassis should be able to fulfill a few roles so pregame RPS will not be as worrying as it was before.

Balance / Mechanics


  • Disarm no longer destroys wreckage and map features (trees, rocks etc).
  • Resurrecting now decloaks.
  • Resurrecting now costs 200% of the original energy cost (was 125%).
  • Jumping with jetpack [?] now decloaks.
  • Defender reload time obeys status effects [?]
  • Trident, Flail and Racketeer now home onto radar dots.
  • Reef:
    • time between starting a new drone: 3 → 5 s (can build 4 in parallel)
    • drone build time: 15 → 25 s
    • drone max wander range: 1600 → 1000 elmo
  • Funnelweb and Commander Companion Modules:
    • time between starting a new Firefly (light drone): 10 → 15 s
    • Firefly build time: 3 → 10 s
    • time between starting a new Viper (heavy drone): 20 → 25 s
    • Viper build time: 3 → 15 s
  • Quill less annoying to use through manoeuvrability improvements:
    • turn rate: 81 → 90 °/s
    • time from max speed to full stop: 1 → 0.1 s [?]
  • Tremor can damage itself with stray shots.

UI / Misc


  • LoS view is no longer enabled in the pregame setup.
  • Added time display to spectator panel.
  • Added Unit Shapes highlighting to units under the cursor[?] and inside a selection box.
  • Added option to Unit Shapes to show ally selections with each player's colour while spectating.
  • Selection: renamed "DGun" reload timer to "Special".
  • Added an option to hide command panel when spectating.
  • Improved Blastwing explosion effect.
  • Reduced Claw missile hit sound.

Fixes


  • Fixed some cases where late spawning commanders spawned outside their start box.
  • Cloaker and shield jitter now disable during morph (these are effects high graphics settings).
  • Control groups are maintained through morph.
  • Nanoframes leave the correct debris.
  • Tidal generator wreckage has the correct tooltip.
  • Fixed Numpad Enter not working for chat.
  • Fixed a crash caused by resigning during "Wait or Win".
  • Fixed spec panel crashing on AI games.
  • Fixed an UI crash when using build hotkeys with an Athena.
  • Unit selection shapes and unit outlines effects now respect depth.
  • Healthbars are no longer shown for dying units, EMP is drawn correctly.
  • Fixed music sometimes not playing while messing with the volume slider.
  • Most hovercrafts no longer create dust when cloaked (this is so they don't give away their position).
  • Improvedstartbox rendering performance.
  • Teleportation noises are no longer audible in the fog of war.
  • Jumpers which die in mid air now have appropriate velocity for their wreck.
  • Morph no longer resets shield charge.
  • Crabe has minor model and animation improvements.

Content creation


  • Startboxes exposed to Game Rules Params.
  • Skirmish AI can now ask whether a start position is valid.
[Spoiler]
+9 / -0

ATrankSkasi
18 months ago
quote:
LoS view is no longer enabled in the pregame setup.

Best change of all!

quote:
Jumpers which die in mid air now have appropriate velocity for their wreck.

Wasn't this already the case for some time? Or did that really only apply to plane/gunship wrecks?
+1 / -0

PLrankOrfelius
18 months ago

+1 / -0


RUrankAdminikinz
18 months ago

+0 / -0

USrankAutoWar
18 months ago
Loving this new update.

Wish the commander loadout webpage was equally dynamic.
+0 / -0

USrankQrow
18 months ago
This update killed trollcoms.

#RIPTrollcom2016
+0 / -0

ITrankOldGhostStalker
18 months ago
quote:
◦ Resurrecting now decloaks.
◦ Resurrecting now costs 200% of the original energy cost (was 125%).

both? That's quite an overkill

+3 / -0


ILrankAdminhokomoko
18 months ago
(edited 18 months ago)

quote:

both? That's quite an overkill

Don't worry you can still rez.

oh, wait... never mind.
+1 / -0

ATrankSkasi
18 months ago
(edited 18 months ago)

It used to be 250% until I demanded 200% to get a nice round number everybody can remember. So in a way it was a buff, right? Right?
+0 / -0

USrankQrow
18 months ago
quote:
Rez now decloaks

But.. But.. No more com rezzing in the field

+0 / -0

USrankdorsh
18 months ago
is standoff rocket gone forever
+0 / -0

FRrankSlaab
18 months ago
Great reef is finally nerfed. Let's see if it's balanced now.
What? Funnel web is nerfed too?! oO This is becoming a noob trap, it's too expensive... While cata deals so much for a good price
+2 / -0

unknownrank[I]burp
18 months ago
RIP OTA/vanilla commander :(
+2 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
18 months ago
(edited 18 months ago)

I love the commander direction. Seems clunky, but I'm yet to try out the site presets and I'll do that shortly.

Any chance drone construction could be linked to BP and balanced around a base of 10? That way you could have a dedicated drone com but you'd be giving up a lot for it (nanonlathe and drone modules).

The drone nerfs are quite harsh. I imagine the units will need to be recosted or something, since the main use case (gradual riskless attrition), is now nerfed by an enormous margin. I'd be surprised to see the now weaponless, combatregenless, bumbledroning funnel play any decisive role now. I'm not complaining. Reef is probably still good though not as oppressive. I'd probably build one and then move onto tribehe.

Does the radar dot homing mean full accuracy against radar dots for the buffed units?

I love that you did something about quill.

I wonder if anyone can actually find a practical use for a 1000 metal com when striders are already available?

The Resurrection nerfs seem really very harsh too. I'm assuming that the increased energy cost also means that it will take longer with the same BP? e.g. a 10 BP commander will take 16 seconds to resurrect a defender (80 metal cost) and 160 energy, instead of the previous 10 seconds and 100 energy? On top of no cloak? Oh boy. This feels like the first step in phasing it out entirely (considering coms are buildable from strider hub now, and athena loses a lot of its flexibility). If it's not viable now I can't see it being long before it gets the axe, or is rerolled somehow.

Great changes. Super exciting.

Edit: Oh... you can stack battle drones up to eight. That sounds significant (though absurdly expensive).
+1 / -0


USrankaeonios
18 months ago
The listed cost is vs reclaim value, which is only 50% of the initial cost. Thus 200% energy vs 50% value = 100% of initial cost in energy, as opposed to 125%. At least that's what I understood from the previous comments.
+0 / -0

PTrankraaar
18 months ago
(edited 18 months ago)

Commander changes are interesting. The previous system wasn't bad, but it was stale.

Now you can get the first 3 upgrades for about 150-200 less, but range and damage modules have been nerfed.

Drones have been nerfed too hard imo, especially on commanders and funnelweb.


There's one MAJOR issue though, the commander 3d models, they no longer fit the roles. Strike should be bulky, Guardian should be bulkier. Also the animations need improvements as well, they need more "attitude" when moving, like they're "trying".



+1 / -0

CZrankTLama
18 months ago
(edited 18 months ago)

There are few bugs (or features?) in current version:

- You can have Personal Shield on Recon com, but the shield does not appear, nor controls for it.
- Dead coms (even very costly morphed ones) leaves debris showing their cost as 1000 metal, making them worthy 400 metal reclaim max.
- Commander Configuration page allows to put invalid weapons into config even when com can't use them in the game
- There is no option to choose Strike com on Configuration page (Thanks Aquanim)

P.S.: Why Recon com can no longer use Lazarus? :(


raaar: Oh, if you don't like models or animations, you can always make better ones, eh? ;)
+0 / -0


AUrankAquanim
18 months ago
quote:
- Dead coms (even very costly morphed ones) leaves debris showing their cost as 1000 metal, making them worthy 400 metal reclaim max.

I believe this is working as intended. The morphed modules appear as separate debris. (The additional metal associated with each morph not including modules is apparently lost - to preserve the property that a rezzed com starts at lvl 0.)

quote:
- There is no option to choose Strike com on Configuration page

Many people (including myself) got caught by this. You have to purchase the Strikecom chassis (and the new drone modules).
+0 / -0

USrankdorsh
18 months ago
(edited 18 months ago)

need to unlock strike comm again from the unlocks page. took me a while to figure that out edit: i guess i left this page open a while
+0 / -0


FIranksprang
18 months ago
quote:
I wonder if anyone can actually find a practical use for a 1000 metal com when striders are already available?

It's hard to see the appeal of building them at such a high cost, even if they're the most powerful constructors in the game and the possibility for upgrades exists. To be honest, 400-500 seems like a fair cost, when you compare commanders to Welder for example.

Although having commander-balls roaming the battlefield, like it currently is with Welders and other cons, might look a bit hilarious. But perhaps that's just because we aren't used to it...
+3 / -0
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