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Arty in team games

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7 months ago
So basicly in big enough games,the only reasonable unit to build is arty,hopefully have a few frontline players that build some units and porc.
After a few minutes the arty gets serious enough to effectively render all assaults suicidal,even if u manage to break the porc the arty will just run away when it sees the assault coming therefore keeping its numbers and still growing while the assault units get decimated by the super effective porc and arty combo,allowing the originaly weaker enemy assault force to effectivly take controll of all the massive reclaim youve just delivered,or even worse counter attack with arty support overwhelming any sort of leftovers.
If the lines stabilise or the enemy gets coky and goes deep enough that they loose theyr assault force as well,you will still get rekt by the growing arty ball.
at this point all you can do is either make gausses or cerberuses to try and halt the advancing rain of attrition carnage,or make bigger arty(merlin/bertha) or hope you have a nuke ready by then to turn the tide,but by then youve suffered irreperable damage.

Either way big team games allways turn into an arty slug fest,which is really boring and slow.And it just boils down to if you can hold the frontline long enough to make more berthas than the enemy or have a superweapon to force the resign vote.

Honestly i have no idea how to fix this,other than make arty extremely squishy,slow and super innefective at hitting anything other than a factory or to remove berthas from the game and make all arty very small aoe and super high arcing shots (basicly impaler type)

The problem i see is that we play relatively small maps(compared to player count) in big team games,which makes arty spam really really powerfull.The reason for this is the incredibly shitty performance in such games and no one wants to play lagg shitfests.Even with the most powerfull of pc's the proper map sizes for 24-32 players will lag absolutely anything,even NSA superspy computer.

Anyway dont take this too seriously,and please come up with better solutions,hopefully but unlikely something will change.

+8 / -0
you cant make only arty.. but i agree once your front-line has enough riots and assaults around to deal with enemy raids..

i think whats happening is the balls of assault units getting ready to push are going to feed enemy metal if they fail and are going to do very little lasting damage unless they break through into eco.. however arty damage builds up over time and denies reclaim and rebuilding and so feels allot more dangerous.

arty can loose you the game tho if assaults manage to mass and target a weak spot.. because you cant resist them with arty very well
+3 / -0

7 months ago
The problem might actually be that playing clusterfuck on tiny maps is shit.
+11 / -1
7 months ago
Actually I remember a game where the one team was getting hammered the entire game and the one player *cough * sigero * cough* build up a force of 60 Reapers and wrecked house.


... that aside, it's true that big games devolve into artillery spam. And why wouldnt they since arty is so effective? I myself like to get to the midpoint and porc up, and then support porc with artillery to counter-battery the enemy artillery. I enjoy the grind, but I can easily see why other players might not.

There are counters to arty spam but these counters involve some degree of scouting and cooperation.

First off, Silo. An arty ball can get wrecked by a couple of shockleys and inferno / eos. Yeah, I hear people say, Silo is in itself a form of artillery.

OK, then, what about Likho to point-destroy massed artillery?

Or, what I've seen happen before, 50 fleas swarm into a arty ball and wreck it.

Of course, these tactics can in themselves be countered fairly obviously.

So, what about a new sort of unit that is extremely effective against artillery but crap against other units? What I'd have in mind is basically some sort of big shield in front of a unit that can soak up ludicrous amounts of damage, from the frontal arc only. It it gets outflanked its toast, but it would give other units some sort of cover so that they can get close enough to assault without getting ripped to shreds.

This may or may not be feasible. I dunno how hard it would be to make.
+4 / -0
big games have to conclude.

however if u consider the recent biggish game we had on experienced-only it came true that the game were often won quickly, because a break was made in early game battles, but when the mix of casual elo with nubs and vets it will most often settle to a mid ground stale-mate, then big things help actually end the game.

I think it's a small fantasy to think playing a large game with 20 people, for 20minutes and u can still be doing small raids and using micro intense unit maneuvers to make game changing winners... its a dream sigero :).

time -> metal -> bigthings -> end
+1 / -0

7 months ago
The problem might actually be that playing clusterfuck on tiny maps is shit.

No, the smaller\less metal maps actually give less metal and slower eco scaling -> creating more opportunities of decisive engagements.
+0 / -0

7 months ago
Be honest ROrankSigero, it's not generic arty, it's tremor.

I know where Tremor comes from and I do not suggest to change it. Arty spam is maybe just an indication that we have reached the limits of ZK in terms of player count/map size.
+0 / -0
After a few minutes the arty gets serious enough to effectively render all assaults suicidal

This is sad, but not unexpected. Almost every ZK artilery unit's time is better spent shooting mobile targets than it is spent shooting porc. And as longest-range anti-mobile units, once density scales up, the lanchester's square law means arty wins.

In low densities, other units' higher individual anti-unit efficiency masks this. Like, Emissaries may be good against everything, but you're not countering Glaives with them until you have a legit bunch and some Kodachi. In high densities, the squared efficiency of overlaying Emissary ranges overcomes that.

Indulge me in going through ZK arty list, fac by fac, unit by unit.

- Sling: honest-to-god anti-porc artillery. Still quite bad vs porc, but worse against units than against statics. Quite decent in killing Pickets or wearing down Stingers.
- Phantom: Two-three shots to kill a Stinger. Two-three shots to kill a Commander. One shot to kill a Lance. Guess which of those shots are more valuable?

- Racketeer: perfectly accurate - even by radar - disable antiheavy with OKP. Again, you can disable a Stinger. Or you can disable a riot protecting a bunch of enemy artillery. Or you can with the same ease disable something heavy, so that your heavies have an easier time.

- Badger. Has so little range and so much turn radius that it often dies to Stinger, and so much accuracy that it often misses Pickets. And if it doesn't die to Stinger, it takes five mintues or so to actually kill it. But minefields often kill raiders, and it's accurate enough to kill Scalpels and other skirmishers (and waste their shots).
- Impaler. Actually legit sucks vs mobiles. So far we've counted two artilleries of this kind then, good against statics but not mobiles.

- Lance. Oneshots low-tier commanders, oneshots 400m Stingers, oneshots 400m Maces, oneshots moving 1600m crabs. Three shots to kill a Gauss, three shots to kill a Cyclops. Perfect accuracy. Shooting Stingers with this is just a waste.

Heavy Tank
- Emissary. Enough accuracy to hit raiders moving in a straight line. Enough aoe to multikill Ronin or hit targets by radar. Enough damage to one or doubleshot Lance, Recluse, all other skirmishers, most other arty (except Merlin and Tremor lol). Outranges Lance. Almost as fast as Bandit. So you're gonna spend three of its shots to kill a Stinger? You may as well, it has the ROF. But it makes cost much faster against the fragile, expensive mobiles.

- Tremor. Can't hit the side of a barn, can't hit a Picket, can't hit a Glaive. But its accuracy against moving Glaives is exactly the same as its accuracy against static Pickets. It's exactly as bad against mobiles as it is against statics, a rare thing and an exception in our list. I won't count it as anti-unit but when you have enough, they will become anti-unit easy enough.

- Firewalker. Riot artillery. Shotgun sidearm at point blank. One shot can ruin a whole skirmisher ball or a bunch of raiders. Sucks vs porc because of low dps and bad accuracy - takes minutes to cook a Stinger, often misses Pickets. One Aegis counters three Firewalkers.

- Envoy. Remember Emissary? This is an Emissary with more range, more health, more DPS, and it can shoot on the move. Now you know why you fear the sea.

Not going to include this in the totals, but Nimbus outranges Stinger so is technically an arty.

Again, i'm going to say these don't count, but i'll comment on them anyway.

- Merlin. Yeah it can kill a stinger, even oneshot it. Or you see those other things on the list? It can kill several of those at once, also one shot. Or a commander, always good. Three merlins can OHK a Paladin. Shooting a bunch of Lances is often instant cost made.
- Paladin. Has that tachy gun that outranges Stinger so its technically an artillery. But lol. I mean. Hahaha.
- Shogun. You thought Paladin was funny? Shogun. Remember Envoy? This is an envoy with Cerberus guns. Three of those. I mean, it's a strider, so it's okay, but ahaha.
- Scylla. Shit be expensive, but shit be true arty, and one of the best ways to kill superweapons. Pluksub best sub.

Totals (without striders and nimbus)
Anti-unit artillery units in this game: 7 (Phantom Racketeer Badger Lance Emissary Firewalker Envoy).
Anti-static artillery units in this game: 2 (Sling Impaler).
Tremors in this game: 1 (Tremor).

Arty dominance in super dense environments is a foregone conclusion. Resistance is futile. You will be artillerated

The problem might actually be that playing clusterfuck on tiny maps is shit.

Too many words, man.

So, what about a new sort of unit that is extremely effective against artillery but crap against other units? What I'd have in mind is basically some sort of big shield in front of a unit that can soak up ludicrous amounts of damage, from the frontal arc only. It it gets outflanked its toast, but it would give other units some sort of cover so that they can get close enough to assault without getting ripped to shreds.

This is pretty much what assault units should do. Frontal shield doesn't do much to arty though, many of this stuff is high-arc. Racketeer in particular will just disarm your battering ram from above. But it's an interesting idea.
+12 / -0
cloak field is the best artillery

ok i guess thats a lie.. but i love cloak fields because any unit can bait arty or become arty.. except for area denial arty like tremmor and firewalker minelayer that kill cloakers
+0 / -0

7 months ago
You dont need eben bb or catas. Its enough with impaler spam to make game lost for enemy if teams in other aspects is playing even. And implaer spam dominate in small/medium maps easy.
+0 / -0
7 months ago
Often times I find myself wanting to spam 2 kinds of units, long ranged units and shorter ranged support/spotter/meat shield units. Often I just put a repeat build on a single factory, but this lead to amazing 2-unit combinations that can all be described as arti in this thread plus 1.

I also want to talk about other games balance as it relates to this. The game: dreaded supreme commander 2. That game had about 7 ground unit classes, relevent to this discussion tank/bots(trade a little damage for speed) arty, mobile missile launcher, mobile shield and mobile missile defense. In that game, artillery's purpose was to out range tanks/bots and weaken/kill units using large aoe attacks, and anti static was the missile launchers job. The missiles delt a lot of damage, 0 aoe, double arty range, and had a unit to specifically counter it. To boot the missiles moved high and slow, so no excuse to dodge. This is similar to say, a weaker emissary with more aoe less range and shoot on the move, and am impaler. All the units has about the same cost too. That game didn't have riots or skirmishers and I'd totally different though.
+0 / -0
artillery's purpose was to out range tanks/bots and weaken/kill units

In ZK, that's skirmishers.

anti static was the missile launchers job. The missiles delt a lot of damage, 0 aoe, double arty range, and had a unit to specifically counter it.

Sounds like Impaler.
+0 / -0

7 months ago
An idea:

+ Make the longer range arty have reduced rate of fire outside energy grid
+ Implement a leeching mechanic where mobile units steal energy from enemy grids.

I admit this doesn't specifically address the problem of late-game arty balls, just makes raiding them more profitable (even if you fail you at least leech some energy). You could perhaps penalize balls by capping energy transfer through a node, so they'd have to spread out more to get maximum DPS.
+1 / -0
7 months ago
I've just accepted that ZK balance is absolutely horrible(NO, balanced winrates do not mean the game is balanced and well designed) and nobody really wants to fix it because of stockholm syndrome or something like that.

-Bullshit like the killager gets unchanged.
-Firewalker still exists.
-Dominatrix exists. Breaks alot of matchups.
-Raiders are kinda un-blanaced.
-Spiders balanced for a map type that nobody ever plays because only spiders would be viable on it.
-TERRIBLE map consciousness. Many people think that because a map is popular it is good. Just because some mapmaker shits out a map doesn't mean it is good. Maps need to be designed to work well with ZK.
-Arty sucks at killing buildings. Radar wobble is just a massive stealth buff to all porc.
-Skirmishers don't really "pay" for their range advantage.
-Lack of scouting options.
-Too many unit interactions are incredibly one sided.
-Mistaking stalemates due to arty spam or other bullshit for good game play because long games = good.

+1 / -0
7 months ago
all factories can win as long as you smurf
+2 / -0
I'm trying to figure out how the heck arti can take out assaults...
On paper (read: flat plain with arti on one side and assault units on the other) it seems impossible.
What combination works against a similar cost minotaur ball?
Even the new Cyclops seems able to break through arti+porc.
+0 / -0
class Noob
if String AssaultHitpoints >= 10;
and String ArtyDamage <= 10;
Booleen AssaultDead == true;
else Private Void String Firepluck -=1;
+0 / -0
if yer arty is emissary or lance it can move away and also has high speeds. if yer arty is phantom it is invisible and can move away. if yer arty is sling it can't work for sh*t, don't build slings. if yer arty is flying and called a nimbus there's a problem why is there flying arty?

And why is the flying arty tanky? and why is the flying arty really good against vamps?
+0 / -0
There are a few factors people forgot to mention:

Arty is OP because:
Using arty effectively requires way less skill and micro and coordination then countering it.
Arty is useful in all stages of the game, never obsolete.
If your arty dies when attacking, you generally can safely reclaim it. If your assaults die when attacking, they get generally reclaimed by the enemy.
Arty is one of the few units in the game that can apply suprise burst damage. Lance and Snipers are OP because of this. Actually, arty can be countered by suprise burst damage. The non arty units that can apply suprise burst damage effectively are cloaked snitches. I honestly can't think of any other good unit.
Arty is too fast. Even riots should be able to chase arty.

Possible solutions:
Sling, Badger, Impaler, Racketeer, Tremor: keep stats, these arty units don't seem OP to me.
Firewalker: This one doesn't seem to be used that much anymore for some reason. Still, it's riot arty. Some light HP and/or speed nerfs could be applied.
Emmisary: This one is just evil. It needs to have it's speed nerfed hard, and it's range too. We could keep it's anti-everything capabilities, but with Sling-like range and slow speed using it would be very dangerous.
Lance and Sniper: These are somehow worse then Emmisary. One idea I've had about nerfing Lance is simple: comlplete immobilization while reloading. I think that could work. About Sniper, I don't know.
Big Bertha: This is an anathema to all that is pure and good. Therefore, it has to be purged. But seriously, there really shouldn't be anything that kills units for free and has significantly more range then Eos. (I tolerate superweapons, since those are meant to be uncounterable and are meant to end the game.) BB should be completely revamped.

+5 / -0
raised shields can stop bertha because if they miss the generator it doesnt impact the ground close enough to aoe damage the generator 50% of the time..

this with a few caretakers and a fair few raised shields and the bertha cant hit the things close behind it in the shaddow of the high shield wall allowing you to cost effectively defend..

far better then terraform or mass ground spam shields for cost..

just dont raise shields too high and you can protect your eco cheaply..

main draw backs are it takes time and micro to set them up .. compare it to terraform which doesnt die ~ while a shield gen can be destroyed.. but terra walls help the enemy bertha make cost fast because terra is just so expencive..
+1 / -0
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