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Zero-K v1.5.4.4 - Balance Tweaks

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AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
2 months ago
(edited 2 months ago)


The main part of this release is a stack of balance tweaks that have been floating around the forum and/or my head. Hover has a few nerfs while some more maligned units were buffed to try to bring them up to a decent strength. Dagger has a damage reduction and the effect on shots-to-kill can be seen in the above image.

There are also a few fixes, mostly related to Planetwars.

Balance


Banisher:
  • Reload time 2.3 -> 2.15

Copperhead:
  • Health 1200 -> 1400
For a tank, 1200 health at 550 metal is very squishy.

Dagger:
  • Damage 110.1 -> 100.1.
Most raiders have particular amounts of health to leave them unaffected by this change. The exceptions are Scorcher, Pyo, Panther and Kodachi which each take an extra shot to kill. See the release picture for the changes in the number of shots to kill each unit. This is a very Quants Rule change and probably the most extreme before less polarizing changes would be required.

Dart:
  • Cost 40 -> 35

Flail:
  • Health 1300 -> 950 (it costs 300 compared to Copperhead 550)
  • Reload time 5.0 -> 5.2
Flail has theoretically poor stats compared to most other AA but they hit a sweet spot and result in a powerful unit. Hence the fairly generic nerf.

Glaive:
  • Speed 4.0 -> 3.9 (was 3.8)
The speed buff may have been too much.

Hacksaw:
  • Range 420 -> 430
  • Missile maneuverability increased by 28%
  • Missile speed reduced by 5%.
  • Burst gap 0.7s -> 0.55s
It is hard to test whether Raven can dodge Hacksaw but increased maneuverability and reduced speed should do the trick. A single Raven can still kill a Hacksaw but dies in the process.

Jack:
  • Health 5000 -> 6000

Mace:
  • Acceleration increased by 27%
  • Brake rate increased by 20%
  • Turn rate increased by 30%
  • Turret turn rate increased by 100%
  • Range 345 -> 350
A few years ago we saw powerful Mace rush strategies with stats which resulted in nerfs which are now basically undone. The turret turn rate increase is a new change.

Newton:
  • Gravity strength increased by 20%

Racketeer:
  • Cost 380 -> 360 (was 350)
The recent cost increase may have been a bit extreme.

Roach:
  • Removed slow upon unburrowing (20% speed for 0.6 seconds).

Rogue:
  • Damage 280 -> 350
This is a fairly crazy change intended to show us what happens if Rogue is powerful.

Scalpel:
  • Turn rate reduced by 5%
  • Ranged 450 -> 440
Scalpel was a bit too powerful. This is a weird nerf that sidesteps the issue of nerfing something that it is notably good at. Range is a fairly important attribute.

Skuttle:
  • Jump speed 5.2 -> 6.0
Most Skuttle usage should revolve around getting to the right location. Slow flight time lead to a bit too much randomness in movement prediction and target acquisition times for units such as Defender.

Sumo:
  • Gravity strength increased by 20%

Tick:
  • Explosion speed increased by about 200%
  • Edge effectiveness 0 -> 0.4
  • Removed slow upon unburrowing (20% speed for 0.6 seconds).
  • Damage 2000 -> 2500

Planetwars Mechanics



Changed the length of each phase:
  • Pick a planet to attack 30 minutes -> 20 minutes.
  • Defend your planet 10 minutes -> 5 minutes.

These changes are required to counteract the downtime caused by the extra faction.

Visuals and Interface


  • Added a shiny new Spectre weapon impact effect that indicates the approximate direction that the shot came from.
  • Added a battle information panel to remind players of the context of the planetwars battle that they are fighting.
  • Added buttons to the global commands bar for toggling the structure/evacuation panel, the battle information panel and the attrition tracker panel (if the widget is enabled).

Fixes


  • Removed orbital drop commander, all commanders now spawn at the start of the game. This fixes a bug where late joiners would not receive their double commander.
  • Fixed mapborder Z-fighting with startboxes.
  • Fixed planetwars structure ownership not taking planetwars rank into account. Now, for example, the Emperor will always control the structures in the battle unless the owner of the structure is present. This holds for all relations through the command structure of each faction.
  • Added a minimap brightness override for Obsidian and Onyx Cauldron.
  • Fixed missing planetwars structures on certain maps.

+12 / -0



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
2 months ago
Holy shit, dat Jack buff!! My favorite unit now even more mega!

Think Dagger probably should have a reload rate increase to compensate, its DPS was already pretty horrible outside of it being carefully micro'd

Rogue is going to be crazy.

All looks great :D
+4 / -0


EErankAdminAnarchid
2 months ago
(edited 2 months ago)

Hover remains an upside-down factory where everything except its riot has AoE.

That said, daggers do seem less terrifying today.
+0 / -0


RUrankAdminikinz
2 months ago

[Spoiler]
+4 / -0


USrankFealthas
2 months ago
Looks like mass mace is back on the menu! I just want to point out that lveh has exactly 0 skirmishers...I remember back when mace was more maneuverable you could micro to reliably dodge ravager/reaper shots too.

Sumo and Jack did not strike me as units that needed a buff. They are both already very hard to deal with. Jumpy doesn't see play because pyros are horrible at being raiders. Light defences that things like bandits would just run over casually(1/2 llts + defender) requires a massively disproportionate amount of metal in pyros to beat.

I'm not sure that dagger needed a nerf. It was only good vs glaives and scorchers(which have always been weak duelists anyways...). Hover may become unplayable. Recently Ive also discovered that a slasher heavy strategy can stand up to hovers very well. Nerfs arrive before the meta had a chance to adapt. I guess its good though that a scalpel nerf allows other factories to be playable.

Banisher is pretty much a more expensive warrior for cost, except with no regen.



+3 / -0

ITrankOldGhostStalker
2 months ago
Nice indeed!! turret rotation speed increase is a good meaning for making a riot to do his job, without gibìving it roles that it must not have. Maybe we can increase leveler turret rotation speed too?
+0 / -0

ITrankmanero
2 months ago
good job GoogleFrog!!!
+0 / -0

GBrank[Fx]Drone
2 months ago


Make mace op -> make mace unplayable -> make mace op

I wonder what mace change will be next?
+6 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
2 months ago
Holy jack batman.

I'm not sure how mace is affected as I wasn't around when it was OP, but jack was already the best assault IMO.
+1 / -0



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
2 months ago
I think Mace might have been OK with just the turret turn rate increase and a turn rate increase, as mentioned LV has no counter to mace except mass wolverine or blind charges with ravager.
+1 / -0


AUrankAquanim
2 months ago
quote:
I'm not sure that dagger needed a nerf. It was only good vs glaives and scorchers(which have always been weak duelists anyways...). Hover may become unplayable. Recently Ive also discovered that a slasher heavy strategy can stand up to hovers very well. Nerfs arrive before the meta had a chance to adapt. I guess its good though that a scalpel nerf allows other factories to be playable.

If I understand the title picture correctly the Dagger nerf does not affect how many shots it takes to kill most common raiders. (Unless Glaive regenerates a bit.)
+1 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
2 months ago
I think LV has the tools to be competitive again if scorcher isn't getting wrecked so much by dagger.
+0 / -0


CHrankConnetable
2 months ago
"Nerfs arrive before the meta had a chance to adapt."
+0 / -0




AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
2 months ago
quote:
"Nerfs arrive before the meta had a chance to adapt."
Most of the time I would express the sentiment quoted here. This time I decided to make many changes in the directions that people talked about without knowing how the meta would settle. I dislike the "meta chasing" style of balance changes because it is a poor way to reach an ideal balance. However, the meta would probably take too long to adjust and I think people, on average, enjoy balance changes.
+5 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
2 months ago
I've found that the new panels mess with my UI and otherwise obscure vision?

Is it possible to disable them? It feels kinda Clippy once you're used to the format. The ZK UI is already pretty noisy as is.
+0 / -0




AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
2 months ago
The new panels? Screenshot.
+0 / -0

LVrankSenaven
2 months ago
quote:
Make mace op -> make mace unplayable -> make mace op

I wonder what mace change will be next?


Make mace op -> make mace unplayable -> make mace op -> make mace unplayable..
+0 / -0

LVrankSenaven
2 months ago
Jack buff is very nice, its jump is pretty nice but until it gets to porc most it HP is lost so +1000 will make jack great.
Roach. Cloaked roach must be tested then.
Skuttle slow jump was too up. Nice buff for it.
Newton buff is interesting because it was mostly useless except in roach ramps.
Sumo is now 20% more OP. :P
Flail nerf is interesting. But still need two ravens to get it down.
I must try new hacksaw soon.
quote:
Removed orbital drop commander, all commanders now spawn at the start of the game. This fixes a bug where late joiners would not receive their double commander.

At least its fixed. :)

+0 / -1



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
2 months ago
The tougher mobile flak is good, but it's still a weak pick with its high cost and low effective DPS Vs planes
+0 / -0

PLrankzenfur
2 months ago
Hey, lots of good changes, I like that :)

About banisher and hacksaw I think the units miss their graphical fantasy a bit. Hacksaw looks like it is able to fire 16x2 rockets at least, and it shoots around 4? Similar for banisher, it looks like a big tank with missile battery on top, but it shoots 1 missile.

I think that making them shoot lots of small, messy missiles which sum of damage stays the same would be much cooler. Maybe I'll make a draft to present the idea.
+1 / -0
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