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Zero-K v1.5.8.2

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AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
40 days ago


Thanks to recent work and feedback we now have tentative AI difficulty levels. Aside from AI, we have been working on smarter and newbie friendly defaults for unit AI and, as always, miscellaneous bug fixes.

AI Difficulty Levels



Renamed the AI difficulty levels for descriptiveness and because 'Very' is unimaginative.
  • Beginner: A new AI that barely attacks. It is easier than the old Very Easy.
  • Easy: The old Very Easy.
  • Normal: The old Easy.
  • Hard: The old Medium.
  • Brutal: The old Hard.
  • Insane: The old (well, quite recent) Brutal.

Beginner is very much a sandbox AI for getting the hang of units and controls. It slowly makes a base and after about 8 minutes sends a Flea (or equivalent unit) to wander around the map. Easy and Normal correspond to AIs recently configured by USrankCrazyEddie. Easy is like Beginner but, instead of a Flea, it makes an army out of a few units and sends them to wander around the map. It also has a faster buildup.

Brutal is the old Hard. The new Normal and Hard are effectively Brutal but with a delay on all their construction and less self preservation for their units. Insane is a recent configuration which I was recommended to place as harder than the old Hard. Many thanks to UAranklamer for writing Circuit AI and GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng for configuration, as well as to everyone else who has given feedback.

We have also added a beginner level chicken to match the Circuit AI difficulty levels.

Balance



Athena:
  • Moved to Strider Hub, no longer buildable by constructors.
  • Cost 500 -> 600
  • Build power 7.5 -> 15 (notably this doubles resurrect speed)
The intention is to buff resurrection and sneaky unit production while nerfing it as a second factory.

Faraday:
  • Cost 200 -> 250
  • Health 1000 -> 2200 (It is supposedly beefy)
  • Damage 1000 -> 1200
  • Reload time 2.8 -> 2.4.
Note that the reload time doubles its stun uptime because it has an EMP timer of 2 seconds. The intention is to avoid swapping Faraday and Stardust in the build menu as well as an attempt to revive a generally ignored turret.

The Cloaky and Shield factories now have a an unbuildable section in front of them to make them harder to accidentally block.

Unit Behaviour



Tactical AI
  • Rockos now try to shoot Stardust from outside its range.
  • Added tactical AI for Goliath.

Skirmishers and particularly long ranged riots are now smarter about skirmishing occluded units. They now detect when their line of fire is blocked and, after a few seconds, stop skirmishing and try to move such that they can fire. This behaviour is disabled for units set to Hold Position because this is the "don't get baited" movestate.

Disabled hold position by default for skirmishers, now that they are smarter about being blocked. The affected units are Buoy, Hammer, Rocko, Sniper, Scalpel, Firewalker, Placeholder, Moderator, Racketeer, Felon, Recluse, Wolverine and Dominatrix.

Here are the remaining things with hold position by default.
  • Anti-Air - Angler, Gremlin, Flail, Archangel, Vandal, Zephyr, Tarantula, Copperhead, Crasher.
  • Cloaked 'melee' - Scythe, Flea, Infiltrator.
  • Expensive artillery - Penetrator, Ronin, Catapult, Pillager, Tremor.
  • Deployable stuff - Crabe, Slasher.
  • Weird stuff - Claymore, Aspis, Scylla, Dart.
These changes should only affect new players.

Targeting
  • Cheap units [?] given slightly more attention by long-reload, heavy-hitting units [?]
  • Fixed identified radar dots getting overkilled, especialy by disarm
  • Hammer now has overkill prevention vs static targets.
  • Racketeer now correctly anticipates that disarm is about to wear off.
  • Racketeer now longer unwilling to target mobile units.
  • Racketeer now has a fairly strict priority hierarchy: in-LOS active > out of LOS > in-LOS inactive.

UI


  • Activated "Settings/HUD Presets/Stay up to date" so non-hardcore UI editing players are not left behind as the UI improves.
  • Swapped Defender and LLT in the build menu (yes, everything is ruined).
  • Moved camera hotkeys to the hotkeys submenu.
  • Camera zoom to startbox on comm selection is now configurable [?]
  • Units no longer retarget when their target completes a morph.
  • Default Wind/Tidal Generator build spacing 3 → 2.
  • Units of lagging players no longer flash by default.
  • Double click selection ignores selection filtering (except for rank 0).
  • Alt + Area Mex now creates Wind/Tidal Generators if Solar Collectors don't fit.
  • Added a unit icon for Infiltrator. Previously it looked like Scythe, now it has spider legs.

Fixes


  • Fixed Wyvern being able to shoot as soon as it starts rearming.
  • Fixed jumpies being unable to jump directly from their factory.
  • Fixed newly teleported units with a move order being temporarily stuck.
  • Fixed Sumo gravity guns sometimes causing light in the other direction.
  • Fixed the tooltip in the middle of the screen issue.
  • Fixed some cases where the tooltip was cut off.
  • Fixed the facplop graphical effect being covered in lines.
  • Fixed Recon Commander moonwalking during and after jumping.
  • Fixed Dart sometimes standing at an angle.
  • Fixed cloaked units setting themselves to fire at will when they decloak.
  • Fixed "Catching up" panel showing up after game over.
  • Fixed mex ghost showing in economy view regardless of the ability to build it.
  • Fixed wrong units being highlighted for selection when the mouse was outside the game window.
  • Fixed Strider Hub, Wind Generator and Solar Collector ambient occlusion.
  • Fixed an error with zombie mode.
  • Fixed an error when a unit dies during teleporting.
  • Fixed an error when a plane dies when it is just about to sit on an airpad.
  • Fixed an error when changing transport orders near a drop point.
  • Fixed an error causing invisible units when using shiny units without shadows.
  • Fixed an error where stockpiled tacnukes don't explode on silo death.
  • Fixed a build ETA UI bug.
  • Fixed a transport AI issue with constructor following.
  • Fixed commanders occasionally failing to continue their construction when they morph.

+8 / -1

GBrankLynx
40 days ago
Crikey bangers that is an update-and-a-half! Respect.
+0 / -0


DErankAdminmojjj
38 days ago
Hammer overkill? Why? It barely damages...
+0 / -0




AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
38 days ago
Enough Hammers deal a lot of damage. This way many Hammers can take out many Defenders at once instead of them all focusing on a single one.
+2 / -0


DErankAdminmojjj
37 days ago
(edited 33 days ago)

how i imagine hammer (ff to 1:30):



(from worms 2)
+5 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
35 days ago
(edited 35 days ago)

Trump vs Kim Jong-un
+0 / -0

USrankFealthas
30 days ago
Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that the faraday changes halve stun downtime instead?
Up time went from 2/2.8 -> 2/2.4
+2 / -0


USrankOflameo
30 days ago
I really like the fact that there is now a strider class constructor. It does something no common constructor can do, resurrect wrecks. It is also a cloaked mobile factory that can build an unpredictable mix of units. I look forward to seeing it in one of RUrankFirepluk's lobster parties very soon.
+1 / -0

GBrank2plus2is5
30 days ago
An immediate priority should be working on having more than 3 people logged on during prime time weekend.
+1 / -0


DErankKlon
24 days ago
(edited 24 days ago)

you didnt "nerf" athena as a second factory, you removed it. perhaps it was the best second fac choice whenever you needed specialist units, and maybe it was a bit too good at it, but i cant remember seeing a spectacular amount of athena 2nd fac usage in competetive games, so it probably wasnt that great.

in any case that was probably balanced by its instability, lower buildpower and difficulty of use.

now, the de facto tech requirement and higher build power means it is likely going to be seen almost exclusively in the late to very late crazy-ffa-style-game, where it is going to be overpowered at rezing things.

worse, it wont see more, but less action as a sneaky constructor - because when you can finally field it, there will be fewer uncovered, unprotected corners on the map that it needs to make something happen.

poor choice imo. changing the unit lineup (which is kinda random anyway) could have worked while keeping it in the game as a second factory choice.


+5 / -0


AUrankAquanim
24 days ago
As I understand it, the practical existence of Athena as a second factory was felt to be violating some design principles. For instance, in my experience the existence of Athena as a factory meant that switching to Cloaky was a nearly strictly inferior choice.

I used Athenafac and enjoyed it but I can understand the reasons why it was felt to be a bad idea.
+0 / -0


DErankKlon
24 days ago
(edited 24 days ago)

quote:
in my experience the existence of Athena as a factory meant that switching to Cloaky was a nearly strictly inferior choice.


why? as far as i know athena has sniper, zeus, eraser and scythe. none of these are particularly strong reasons to switch into cloakie, with the exception of scythes mabye? sniper and zeus have many alternatives, eraser can more easily be obtained by morph.

in any event, cloakie is not a great second factory, which has nothing to do with athena. if you want to spam cheap raiders or skirmishers, cloakie fac is a good idea tho and vastly superior to athena.
+0 / -0



EErankAdminAnarchid
24 days ago
In the few cases where i got to use Athena recently i've found its current superior buildpower very nice.
+0 / -0


AUrankAquanim
24 days ago
(edited 24 days ago)

There are very few situations in which I would switch to a factory for Glaive where I would not be satisfied by Bandit (buildable by Athena), and very few situations in general where I would want to switch for Rocko - it's not a particularly good lategame unit. (Worse than Recluse generally, which is buildable by Athena.)

As you say Scythe is probably the best reason to switch to Cloaky, and the other options given by Athena are wayyyyyy better than Cloaky at a fac-switching time of the game in most cases.

(I also strongly disagree that Sniper has equivalent alternatives, but that's beside the point.)
+0 / -0




AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
24 days ago
The intention is to move Athena later into the game. It is currently still a sort of second factory, just it is a second factory that requires you to have a Strider Hub. The tech requirement is nowhere near your doom-saying arisen of 'late to very late'. 1200 is not that expensive, especially not when you get a Strider Hub as part of the package.

The issue was that it looked almost strictly better than a tech switch in the midgame. The most specialized units (eg Scythe, Sniper, Infiltrator) are in Athena and it hurts the viability of those factories as a second factory. This reduces diversity. For example if the best way to switch into Scythe is with a factory we are more likely to see some other cloaky units pop up in the midgame.
+0 / -0


DErankKlon
23 days ago
(edited 23 days ago)

quote:
just it is a second factory that requires you to have a Strider Hub. The tech requirement is nowhere near your doom-saying arisen of 'late to very late'.


if you need a secondary fac to build it it is strictly not "secondary". when people build strider hubs it typically is quite late in the game and nobody builds an athena for 1200, even with double bp.

unless it actually is the "very late" game, the strider hub is not going to be used, because you probably wont simultaneously be building striders and cloaked armies behind the enemy base at any meaningful speed.

quote:
The most specialized units (eg Scythe, Sniper, Infiltrator) are in Athena and it hurts the viability of those factories as a second factory.


i think the problem is that these factories are already bad 2nd fac choices, and youre not making them any more viable compared to other, more popular 2nd fac choices like tanks or airplanes.
youre just forcing the player to make factories they dont want to build when they want a particular unit, which ends up making that unit less attractive.

i wouldnt normally consider building a spider fac just for spies unless i absolutely needed them and i had no alternative, which rarely ever happens. similarly, i would totally consider using athenas on a hilly map to make an impaler or two, not so much a vehicle factory.

anyway, all of this could also have been adressed by changing athenas unit lineup.
+4 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
22 days ago
As an action of protest I suggest to build ALL available factories in clusterfuck games from now on ^^
+0 / -0




AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
22 days ago
I don't mind what you call it, you can get to Athena for 1200 metal. It is useful to be able to think about the cost you pay for expanding your build options with the Athena build list. If you make the Strider Hub just for an Athena then that is the cost of Athena as a second factory.

quote:
i think the problem is that these factories are already bad 2nd fac choices, and youre not making them any more viable compared to other, more popular 2nd fac choices like tanks or airplanes.
youre just forcing the player to make factories they dont want to build when they want a particular unit, which ends up making that unit less attractive.

...
I'm not directly trying to make Cloaky and Vehicles more viable as second factories. It's fine that Tank and air factories are more preferred and I wouldn't change it. I'm just giving the other factories more space to exist as niche second factories and removing some ugliness. Athena was basically strictly better than making a factory.

quote:
anyway, all of this could also have been adressed by changing athenas unit lineup.
I'm unaware of any design behind the unit lineup for Athena that would allow me to change its lineup without just making random changes. Why does it build what it builds? The answer is mostly due to the order in which things were developed.
+0 / -0


DErankKlon
21 days ago
you seemed to make a point out of calling it secondary and youre defending that. at 1200 cost it is non-viable at expanding your build options and it is strictly a tech requirement, which hurts another design principle.

quote:
AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
I'm just giving the other factories more space to exist as niche second factories and removing some ugliness.


quote:
DErankKlon
youre just forcing the player to make factories they dont want to build when they want a particular unit, which ends up making that unit less attractive.


quote:
AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
Athena was basically strictly better than making a factory.


there were a select few situations where that was the case. in general, i would disagree with this. i used athena a lot, but i fairly often built cloakie or spider facs as a second even when i needed only a single unit from them, mostly because of the many disadvantages athena has. clunky to use, easy to kill, slow build.

+1 / -0


AUrankAquanim
21 days ago
I'm yet to see any actual argument that Athena was better for the game in its previous state.
+1 / -0
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