Loading...
  OR  Zero-K Name:    Password:   

On the current meta

17 posts, 586 views
Post comment
Filter:    Player:  
sort


USrankFealthas
6 months ago
The current 1v1 meta seems to have devolved into spamming long range units(mainly firewalker and penetrators, sometimes racketeers) with heavy porc support(stingers). These units are super versatile and have no counters. You win by attrition, by just wearing down your enemy. Especially for something like a firewalker; it pretty much instantly forces the other player to retreat and yeild territory.
The main problem is that these "artillery" units are also good versus the vast majority of other units as well. By "good", I dont mean they are effective versus those units in a traditional triangle-counter type sense, but its just that their extreme range allows them to kill things for free every now and then with no possibility of a response. Making these units ONLY be good vs buildings would go a long way to fixing things.
No, air is not a counter. Porc forts can easily have aa added.
No, scythes/skuttles/etc are not counters. It might work the first time but after that its easy to prepare for.
No, mass raider doesnt work, as riots are easily built.


+1 / -1


AUrankSnuggleBass
6 months ago
At last a balance conversation :)))

The way I see it, skirmishers are mid-game units that are traditionally pretty bad, but are far more viable atm than normal. Why?

- Because scalpel beats everything that isn't a skirmisher that outranges it. Pretty much all flat-map games that reach mid-game are decided by how scalpels are dealt with.

- Because rogue beats warrior and rocko, while being too cheap to be countered effectively by spectre, which puts the cloak vs. shield match-up in shield's favour the longer the game goes on. Rogue being too cheap to answer effectively is a common theme. If I make a wyvern to kill rogue, how many runs do I have to make on average to make cost?

The things that counter skirm balls are either heavily countered by small investments in mid-game tech (one outlaw protects 20 thugs from infinite glaives), or win by outranging the skrims (firewalker or pene vs skirms, recluse vs. other skirms, rogue vs. all other skirms but recluse etc.).

The only reliable way to escalate is in terms of range.

Back before rogue buff and hover popularity, skirms were what you built if you had to in order to survive vs. assaults/riots. They felt like dead metal because they gave little pro-active threat, and were so heavily countered by the tech options above them. There was little chance of you making them pay off before they were countered. Now, they seem to provide so much threat that an opponent is hard-pressed to tech to an answer while surviving, and when they do you've taken the ground required to fund your own response.

Ways to change this:
[Spoiler]
+1 / -0


JPrankgajop
6 months ago
Step 1: Outline ZK rock-paper-scissor class mechanics clearly. Riots beat raiders, skirms beat riots, raiders beat skirms, raiders beat arty, assaults and arty beat defenses and defenses beat raiders and riots, but still a lot is unclear. There is some vague notion of raiders beating assaults, but assault<->skirm and assault<->riot interaction is rather unclear.

Step 2: Make raiders useful in mid/late game (as soon as the map is dense) or provide a generally consistent counter to skirms and arty.
+0 / -0

PLrankFailer
6 months ago
Enemy throws fire at you from a distance? Throw back more fire from a greater distance. Build silo.
+0 / -0



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
6 months ago
Scalpel is certified BS, even Circuit is strongest when playing hovers.
+0 / -0


USrankFealthas
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

AUrankSnuggleBass I agree with most of what you say, except for the part about rouges, which I still think are bad(or atleast not good enough to make up for shield factory sucking in general; they are the worst skrimisher) and have no role in this problematic situation.
Scalpels are a sort of litmus test which determines whether or not a strategy/composition is viable. I havent seen very many shield vs hover games, but rouges seem to fare better than some other things vs scalpels, however this does not change the penetrator situation at all(and scalpels are still better). Skirmishers are somewhat possible to deal with because stingers counter all of them. The real issue is with the longer range units. I dont think this is due to any balance changes; just that people are starting to discover how broken these units are. Hover factory stopped being played after the last scalpel nerf, and no hover factory means no penetators. JJ was allways an awkward factory and hasnt seen much play either, meaning no firewalkers. Ive been talking about firewalkers forever, and people are finally starting to notice how stupid they are. This recognition of how good these units are has led to the evolution of a meta which leverages their strengths(trading with no loss); a porc heavy meta. A nice bonus is that these units also counter most artillery.

I've said half-jokingly "if a map is small enough for firewalkers to be good, its a bad map". On larger maps you can just build a dante or something before the firewalkers do too much damage. I've won a lot of games by doing firewalkers switches, forcing my enemy to reatreat, and then just winning due to massive eco lead.

JPrankgajop
The issue is that zk isn't a triangle. People don't build 1 type of unit at a time. Riots and skrimishers synergize extremely well, with their only drawback being movespeed. They cover eachothers weaknesses and makes raiders irrelevant in larger battles. You can't just buff raiders to "counter arty/skirms" because that means you would have to buff them enough to counter riots as well. I can't really think of a situation in which the triangle balance thing actually works(barring large player errors). A counter to skirms and arty has been provided- firewalkers and penetrators.
+1 / -1


AUrankAquanim
6 months ago
Personally I think Penetrator is a bigger problem than Firewalker.

Firewalker is potentially too good at the moment but I think if that needs fixing it would be fixed by an increase in cost. It's slow, it's clumsier than a Broodwar Dragoon, and it's poor against common lategame compositions of heavies and assaults. I don't think Firewalker is inherently 'unfair'. YMMV.

Penetrator on the other hand is always going to be able to show up and instantly delete a commander/other heavy of your choice from the game instantly, without warning, and from a very safe distance. (The only other unit really capable of doing this is the Spectre and you generally have to work harder for it.) The only change I can think of that might make it less disgusting without completely owling the Penetrator is to reduce its range, and I'm not confident that is a good idea either.

[Spoiler]
+0 / -0

FIrank[ffc]killer
6 months ago
Buff phoenix
+3 / -0


AUrankAquanim
6 months ago
In terms of skirmishers, buffing Phoenix would do something about Rocko/Rogue/Wolverine/mayyyybe Scalpel/probably Recluse if they were problems. Of those units, Rocko seems like a role-player at best, Wolverine isn't popular and Recluse seems approximately appropriately strong.

A stronger Phoenix would also hose raiders and probably do nothing to Firewalker and Penetrator.

(As another aside, Penetrator seems like a much better investment now that Wyvern is less popular.)
+1 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

if u let ur enemy build stinger porc base with firewalkers/other expensive long ranged shit - u failed elsewhere
while he spends metal on useless statics u go around and rape his base, u didn't? ur own fault
+4 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

Rogue is good atm IMO.

It's too cheap to be countered effectively by tech.

It counters:
Skirms - scalpel, rocko, moderator, buoy
Riots - all of them
Assaults - all of them
Statics - all of them (if large enough numbers you will walk over all defenses, in small numbers can be held back by stingers).

So in the current meta, it's positioned very well. Once raiders are held back, there really isn't much that can fight you, and there isn't much that can be teched to that will punish you (especially when you consider that it's in same fac as racketeer). Unlike other units that you can hide behind statics from, unanswered rogues will take bites out of your base starting the moment they're not properly answered.

quote:
Step 1: Outline ZK rock-paper-scissor class mechanics clearly. Riots beat raiders, skirms beat riots, raiders beat skirms, raiders beat arty, assaults and arty beat defenses and defenses beat raiders and riots, but still a lot is unclear. There is some vague notion of raiders beating assaults, but assault<->skirm and assault<->riot interaction is rather unclear.

Step 2: Make raiders useful in mid/late game (as soon as the map is dense) or provide a generally consistent counter to skirms and arty.


I strongly disagree with this sentiment. ZK is enriched by the complexity of unit type dynamics. Sometimes this is taken too far IMO (e.g. scalpel), but I am very glad that there is real differences between the units that different factories can bring to bare.
+0 / -0

LVrankSenaven
6 months ago
Zero K doesn't have its armor system so its not surprise i already long time before predicted this because same problem is also on teams not only on 1vs1. Only exception as i remember is crabe, anhiliator, addm, gauss and razor who got less damage when bunkered or inactive.
+0 / -0

USrankmv
6 months ago
All of the non-working counters you mention are all early-midgame units. Shouldn't a lategame strategy force a lategame response? Stingers fall really fast against artillery.

Buildings Stingers and artillery seems like a pretty reasonable course of action if you hold the center of the map at the end of the midgame skirmish. On a lot of maps you can hit a lot of surrounding mexes from safety.

All of this is also very dependent on the terrain. On a map like Wanderlust, there are a lot of chokepoints and you can arty almost the entire map from the center. Almost everybody starts with bots which are weak against Firewalkers.

@Faelthas have you seen porcballing work on flat maps too?

Making spiders (for choke maps, to flank) and heavy tanks (for flat maps, to shell) more viable 1v1 starting builds could be a way out.
+1 / -0


NOrankAdminAnarchid
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

My hunch with regard to the skirmisher and artillery situation is that somehow these classes have managed to, in a significant way, untangle themselves of the confines of the role system (and quite possibly also Quant's Law). Not as individuals either; as a broad class.

That is to say, the majority of skirmisher and artillery units have features that help them against their natural predators; and in my indignantly biased perception, this trend towards generalism has been worsening and amplifying. And while some deviation is fine (as AUrankSnuggleBass expresses) and even good for variety, i think each role-breaking ability diminishes the window in which the unit can still be type-countered and before it either requires an ultra-specific counter, or becomes only practically countered by more of its kind.

A test to apply to one of those units' generalism potential is, imo, pondering what would happen if you doubled their damage output. This was basically what was done with Rogue, and yet Rogue seems to be reasonably okay for this - it's still beaten by raiders (even if they get oneshotted once in a while, Rogues lack accuracy to fight them). Same would happen to Impaler. But consider the varying degree of horror to be unleashed, were you to apply this to Scalpel, Dominatrix, Racketeer, Firewalker, Spectre, Penetrator, Buoy, Wolverine, Moderator. Crabe.
+5 / -0



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

A lot of the problem comes from reliability of projectile causing damage -> it allows lancaster Square law to apply even against its counters.

Scalpel -> introduced no overkill, still has accuracy + AoE
Firewalker -> introduced Lower cost & more projectiles/aoe per shot
Buoy -> slow dmg causes it to nullify its higher weight counters.
Penetrator -> accurate, long range, aoe multikill of all unit types.

For the counter system to hold true against long range units, there needs to be a floor in which skirmisher/arty cannot apply lancaster benefit of increasing density & outranging against the counter units - much like rogue with its terminal inaccuracy.
+1 / -0

GBrank2plus2is5
6 months ago
1 v 1 games should have easier factory switch mechanics. The dfferent factories are not balanced against each other, which can be mittigated in team games with co-operation.
+1 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
6 months ago
I see factory switches as well balanced. Gameplay would become stale if people had access to all units, as only the very best units would see any play. ATM factory switches aren't easy to pull off, but the pay-off for successfully switching is often worth it.

An opponent should be able to have some significant insight into what you're doing without directly scouting your production. In starcraft, there are many such mechanics. If an opponent starts as protoss, you narrow down their options to 33% of the field. If they get a grounds weapons upgrade, you're happier to commit to facing a ground army than an air one. If they only have two gas geysers off three bases, they're unlikely to be pushing out a heavily teched army. If they only have one gateway, you can expect that they're not investing in warp-heavy strat.

Comparatively in ZK, resources only predict that there will be units, not what type. If the cost of switching facs is too low, you can't predict what units are in production by what units you currently see. There are no races, meaning all units are available to all players. There are no upgrades, so there is comparatively limited means/justification to consolidate a distinct composition. Production is fluid, meaning your 70BP of cloaky fac can be turned into 70 BP of planes fac for the cost of one factory.

Another issue that team roles would be less distinct if the barriers to diversification were lowered.

While I know you're not suggesting factories be free, there is a range of costs within which factories can fall to provide pay-off at a meaningful cost, and I would argue that they're already within that range.
+2 / -0