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March 3rd 2v2 Tournament and Zero-K v1.6.2.14 - Tank Buffs

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14 months ago

There will be a 2v2 tournament held on Saturday 3rd March at 19:00 UTC. Learn more and sign up here: http://zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/24838

In Zero-K v1.6.2.14 we address the rocky Tank earlygame. Welder should now live up the the name 'Armed Constructor' and their raiders should be a bit better at contesting the map. Thunderbirds are also slightly nerfed and there are many fixes.


  • Cost 250 -> 220
  • Health 1900 -> 2000 (nice round numbers)
  • DPS 42.8 -> 90
  • Range 220 -> 240
Tanks seemed really hurt by the expense of their constructor and it could not even fight many raiders. This Welder can beat a lone Scorcher and, surprisingly, does not completely dominate other raiders (except for Dagger).

  • Cost 180 -> 160
  • Increased accuracy.
  • Increased weapon velocity and arc slightly, probably cancels out.

  • Damage 190 -> 170
  • Reload time 3s -> 2.6s
The damage nerf has no effect on most raider matchups so, against, raiders this is mostly a buff.

  • Cost 550 -> 500
  • Damage 81.5 -> 90
Tank AA seems terrible compared to other AA so here is a small buff.

  • Cost 500 -> 450
Static flak is also a bit terrible.

  • Rearm time 5s -> 15s
Subsequent Thunderbird strikes after a surprise switch seemed too closely spaced. The switcher could often get multiple good disarm runs in quick succession. Happily, this change should have little effect on teamgames where Thunderbirds tend to be less reusable.

  • Level 4 morph cost 400 -> 600.
  • High Powered Servos effect 10% -> 8%.
Some buffs for later level commanders would be nice but little can be done without art.

Fixed an interaction between EMP+damage weapons and disarm. Disarm is intended to be pushed up by EMP, or, equivalently, every EMP weapon is supposed to behave as if it also deals disarm damage. This was working as intended for pure EMP weapons but not for weapons which also deal a bit of normal damage.


  • Fixed Fencer missile smoke.
  • Decloak is now drawn faster.
  • Enemy units fade away on cloak instead of suddenly disappearing.
  • Improved Kodachi ground fire effect. Increased the size of the effect to more accurately portray the danger zone.


  • Grizzly can no longer walk backwards.
  • CAI no longer produces gravity gun units (to 'fix' overzealous recursion detection).
  • Fixed Raven dive against speed module commanders.
  • Fixed AI names in endgame graphs.
  • Endgame graph no longer appears in coop campaign when the host leaves (for SP consistency).
  • Fixed some rare bugs related to orphaning of Missile Silo and Starlight children.
  • Fixed Jack and Scythe(and Dirtbag) attack range movement behaviour.
  • Fixed units getting stuck on poorly shaped factories, such as the Rover factory.
  • Fixed the weird decloak behaviour seen over the past few days. This was due to engine changes.
+2 / -0
14 months ago
The tank changes are interesting, but welder+kodachi pushes and raids are probably op now.

The level 4 commander (dual weapon) cost nerf was necessary I think. But where are the late game comander buffs to compensate??

The nerf to high powered servos is bad. If you dislike fast commanders running around the battlefield at near-raider speed you could lower the servos cap from 8 to 6.

This breaks the balance between commander modules further as it makes getting build power, hp or maybe a regen module on the first few levels even better compared to the other options.

+1 / -0
14 months ago
Nerfing bp modules would probably nerf the porc meta alot.
+0 / -0

14 months ago
Kodachi was never weak to start with imo.. and nerfing comm modules? Really? I lived under impression almost none are worth it already..
+5 / -0

14 months ago
Kodachi buff wat? Kodachi was already awesome!
+0 / -0

14 months ago
Increasing the combat costeffectiveness by 185% is a pretty huge buff for tank cons.
+3 / -0

14 months ago
Combat costeffectiveness:
(DPS/cost) * (Health/cost)
+2 / -1
14 months ago
Kodachi was trash, which is part of why nobody played HT ever in tourneys.

But idk why the random comm nerfs, its not like comm morph wern't a massive waste of money anyways...
+2 / -0
14 months ago
DPS * health / cost^2 is such an arbitrary formula... It implies heavies are less combat effective than light units which is the complete opposite.
+0 / -1
welders are OP in the sense that they have better value/cost than other builders by a significant margin as they're also a decent combat unit for its cost (if it didn't build at all it would only be slightly underpowered, just slightly worse than redback, not useless).

There may still be other issues with the lineup that make tanks have trouble competing in 1v1.

This brings the question again:
A- balance prioritizing the "raw" cost effectiveness of singular units : welder OP

B- balance prioritizing the factory set, not minding about singular units' cost-effectiveness very much : welder ok, maybe slightly OP, for the same reason redback could be considered ok as spiders factory still wins matchups reasonably well by itself.

I think B type balancing is slightly worse than A type balancing, as it's more likely to lead to bad things like power creep and whack-a-mole balance issues when a player is forced to build the "underpowered" unit from its factory, or when units are kept OP because "they can still be countered and often are".

+1 / -0
DPS * health / cost^2 is not arbitrary. It is the best formula to calculate the combat strength for a single unit.
The value that you get fits nicely into Lanchesters square law and can be applied directly there.
+1 / -0
Now combat in Zero-K will rarely follow Lanchesters square law exactly, that is where you have a point.
+0 / -0

14 months ago
Welder is terrible at BP/cost, which is the main important attribute for cons.
+1 / -0
terrible at BP/cost? not really, it's just 10% worse than weaver in bp/cost.
(and has a bandit sidearm, 20% more speed and more than twice as much hp)

bp/cost of welder is about the same as the cloaky bot builder and lveh builder and better than the shieldbot builder.

EDIT: actually the shieldbot builder is the same cost as the cloaky, so the bp/cost is the same. I thought it was more expensive for some reason.

+0 / -0

14 months ago
Get your facts straight, Convict, Mason and Conjuror all have the same BP and cost.

Here is the cost/BP ranking.
  • Caretaker - 22
  • Conch - 24
  • Weaver - 26.67
  • Conjuror - 28
  • Convict - 28
  • Mason - 28
  • Mariner - 29.33
  • Welder - 29.33
  • Quill - 30
  • Constable - 32
  • Wasp - 40
  • Athena - 40
  • Crane - 55
  • Factories - 80

Welder moves at the speed of Constable, but lacks jump. It is faster than Weaver and significantly slower than Mason and Quill. It lacks the build range of Weaver and Mariner. Additionally, having a constructor with 7.5 BP really hinders your ability to spread constructors in all directions. Welder may need to cost a bit more but first I want to see how this change works.
+2 / -0

14 months ago
Kodachi is really strong in some raider match-ups but not in others. It's weak good scorcher control in the very early game, which is probably why it's considered weak. A kodachi can at best trade against a scorcher if microed really well, leaving both wrecks in opponents territory.

Kodachi do scale really well vs. most raiders (including scorchers), but they scale really poorly against most other things, so this tends not to be how they are used.

I think these buffs are too far, but that just means they'll be partially reversed later if I'm right.

I'm not sure about the commander changes. Commanders that are morphed are bad, but conditionally okay in big teams where it's difficult to address them with anti-heavy. I don't really know why they're being nerfed further.

Welder buff is crazy. Like... genuinely insane. They're a mini-commander for 220.

Blitz was already good especially vs. raiders. This is a 20% reduction in opposing up-time, for a 10% nerf in damage (assuming you're stunning with every hit which is not always the case).

TB nerf shouldn't change too much, but I like it.

I disagree with GF that BP/cost is the main important attribute of cons. Weight, speed, movement type, survivability, and utility are all important. Conjurer, convict, and constable are among the best cons (before this patch obv.), but none of these stand out for their BP/cost efficiency. If your con comes out earlier with less investment, then arrives at the expansion location faster due to travel time, it doesn't matter that it technically takes longer for them to build the mex. They started earlier.
+2 / -0
14 months ago
I generally check the wiki, but didn't for convict and somehow thought it cost 180...oops.

regardless, you wrote this


Welder is terrible at BP/cost, which is the main important attribute for cons.

and then you post values which indicate welder actually has about the same bp/cost as most other land-based mobile builders. Notice the contradiction?

+0 / -0
Even after the cost reduction Welder is still at the inefficient end of land constructors. At 250 cost it was clearly the worst.
+0 / -0
14 months ago
even at 250 cost, it was only by about 10-20%. They're all relatively close to each other.
+0 / -0
14 months ago
Catapults are really bad.
+0 / -0
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