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Zero-K v1.6.10.0 - Kodachi rework and miscellaneous buffs

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AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
17 days ago

It has been a few months, time for some balance changes. The largest change is a reworked Kodachi which is more focused on harassment and impinges less on the role of Blitz. Cyclops has been re-nerfed, and Emissary has had its stop-to-fire mechanic fixed and extended.

A miscellaneous assortment of lackluster units from other factories have received buffs, to compensate for all this attention on Tanks. On the more technical side of things, we have made changes to the handling of dropped players. As always, there are many minor bug fixes, and this time, two major ones relating to Puppy and Widow.

Balance


Kodachi:
  • Health 750 -> 860
  • Speed 3.65 -> 4
  • Turn rate 750 -> 880
  • Autoheal 15 -> 12
  • Reload time 6s -> 4.2s
  • Main gun damage 150 -> 70
  • Afterburn time 5s -> 2s
  • Ground fire DPS 25 -> 36
  • Ground fire Duration 13.3s -> 16s
  • Range 225 -> 175
  • AoE 192 -> 216
  • Weapon velocity 700 -> 800
  • Weapon gravity 1.5 -> 0.1
  • Turret yaw rate 500 -> 900 rad/s
  • Turret pitch rate 150 -> 400 rad/2
  • Added overkill prevention of 125 damage.

This is a significant rework, and makes Kodachi one of the fastest raiders. Its increased speed and health is offset by its lower range and significantly reduced damage against fast targets, which is about only 130 against a moving raider. It still one-shots metal extractors, but not Lotus. Kodachi should now be much worse against raiders, but much more able to pick its battles.

Cyclops:
  • Reverted to the slowbeam version
  • Main gun rotates at 2/3 speed
  • Slowbeam rotates at 1/2 speed
  • Weapon velocity 310 -> 270
  • Slowbeam damage 600 -> 1500
  • Slowbeam reload time 1s -> 2.5s
  • Speed 2.05 -> 1.9

The single-weapon Cyclops was insufficiently awesome. This is the previous Cyclops with a higher alpha slowbeam and worse movement and aiming speeds.

Lobster:
  • Cost 340 -> 320
  • Health 840 -> 1040
  • Range 660 -> 680
  • Flight time 4.5s -> 4s
  • Improved its ability to shoot up cliffs.

People are using Lobsters to attack from sea cliffs, but are they using Lobster enough?

Locust:
  • Speed 6.5 -> 6.9
  • DPS increased 9.8%
  • Fire arc 135 -> 160 degrees

Locust generally feels terrible to use, because it has very little DPS and most AA has a lot of range. The increased speed should make it better at raiding, but even with increased DPS a single Locust still loses to a Lotus.

Other changes:
  • Emissary is supposed to not be able to move while firing, this has been fixed. When moving shortly after firing it takes a 75% speed penalty until its gun is stowed.
  • Sling cost 130 -> 110.
  • Likho rearm time 30s -> 20s.
  • Crab armour bonus 66% -> 75%. This is consistent with all other armoured units.
  • Artemis Health 1570 -> 3200.
  • Dominatrix no longer loses speed while turning.

Apart from the Emissary nerf, these are buffs to units which have felt lackluster for a while.

Minor changes:
  • Claymore projectiles no longer overshoots. This affects two cases; force fire, and cases in which the target dies before impact.
  • Gauss now floats when resurrected in the sea.
  • Nuke silos now prepare themselves for launch whenever at least one missile is stockpiled. This makes for greater responses, and allows opponents to scout whether a nuke is stocked.

Chickens


  • Chickens now have sonar and can see underwater
  • Chickens no longer have speed penalties on sea
  • Melee chickens now move on the ocean floor.
  • Greater Spire is now even greater.
  • Added infinite mode as an Adv. Option. The queen never spawns and waves come forever.

Interface


  • Ripper, Ogre and Cyclops now ignore terrain when told to Force Fire the ground. This makes it easier to use their smoothing effects to level the ground.
  • Bound Missile Silo "Select Missiles" command to D.
  • Resign vote button is now only clickable by voting players.
  • Added an option to colour label text green in the chat console.
  • Recieving units from dropped or AFK allies is now opt-in. A window prompting players to take control of the units appears on the edge of the screen when required.
  • Put a bound on the size of the metal icons for ludicruisly high income metal spots.

Fixes


Improved win by default (due to disconnection) system.
  • Consider players with a ping > 10 seconds as disconnected.
  • Pause the game when the entire enemy team disconnects.
  • Quit to menu no longer resigns.
  • Ensure that the Wait-or-Win window stays in front of the rest of the UI.

Other fixes:
  • Fixed short ranged weapons being unable to hit a few structures from certain angles. The notable case is Widow vs. Anti-nuke.
  • Fixed an exploit with Puppy that let it fire multiple times.
  • Fixed collision detection, units that collide with wrecks or other units now do a proper amount of damage. However, collision velocities are a bit jankier.
  • Fixed a terraform crash in large games.
  • Fixed a Djinn crash.
  • Fixed some shader errors.
  • Fixed a case in which economy panel could misattribute wasted resources while spectating.
  • Fixed a bug with key modifiers and selecting units in the Strider Hub.
  • Fixed a rare error with manual fire weapons.
  • Fixed some wonky interactions with selection modifiers for spectators when selecting units from multiple teams.
  • Fixed disruptor bomb friendly fire when the thrower dies before impact.
  • Fixed a rare shield error.
  • Fixed Swift blocking plane factories.
  • Fixed Mearth.
  • Fixed a legacy AI issue.

+15 / -0


USrank_Shaman
16 days ago
quote:
Gauss now floats when resurrected in the sea.


I believe this change made it into last stable.
+0 / -0

DErankAdminmojjj
16 days ago
quote:
Greater Spire is now even greater.


was about time.

thank you for all your efforts!
+1 / -0


CHrankAdminDeinFreund
16 days ago
Tank meta here we come!
+1 / -0

CZrankpsaniac
16 days ago
This is what always happens:

1:People complain on the forum about imbalance
2:People complain more on the forum
3:People get sick of no developer response, start arguing for over-the-top changes
4:People make complaining threads about the complaining threads on the forum
5:Balance change FINALLY happens
6:Huge changes to everything to appease complaints
7:Complaints slow down, people start discovering new balance
8:It becomes apparent that making massive changes to units doesn't improve balance
9:Go to step 1


+1 / -0

CZrankpsaniac
16 days ago
quote:
Nuke silos now prepare themselves for launch whenever at least one missile is stockpiled. This makes for greater responses, and allows opponents to scout whether a nuke is stocked.

Noooo! AUrankAdminGoogleFrog how could you remove the fun suprise of an Athena being randomly over a nuke when it fires?
+3 / -0


USrank_Shaman
16 days ago
Welp, my widget broke. GG. But at least I get to play with automerge stuff. I go to have some fun now ;)
+0 / -0



SErankGodde
16 days ago
Interesting balance changes.
Have you tested if Cyclops targeting works properly with 2 weapons? Last time it was a bit buggy. Also, I think losing 7.8% speed might actually make it a lot worse at chasing down enemy heavies.

Artemis is just the most boring AA ever. I don't want to see it buffed. If it gets built and stockpiles for a minute, it just creates a huge no-go zone for airplanes and gunships and there is basically no counterplay for air units.
The best counterplay to Artemis, is building a tactical missile silo and nuking it which is left unchanged which is good but still... a little more health on the Artemis isn't going to make it survive land assaults or make a group of air units not get instagibbed as soon they enter its' range.
+0 / -0



EErankAdminAnarchid
16 days ago
I'm still super not sure that Kodachi needs even more AoE than it ever had, and more AoE than Ripper, for its job of harassing mexes.
+0 / -0


DErankkatastrophe
16 days ago
Nice sling-buff...
you forgot blitz :)
+0 / -0


CHrankAdminDeinFreund
16 days ago
New Kodachi looks as ugly as the fire Blastwing :(
It's just a huge orange blur with no texture to it. Does it really need that much AOE?
+1 / -0

ZArankAstran
16 days ago
Interesting changes!

I think Kodachi will be more fun and less "omg I'm doomed" when it appears. It also makes Blitz more useful so, fair play. Sling being cheaper is cool, I like that unit.

I kinda liked the 'old' new Cyclops. Agree it was sort of underhwelming to what it used to be before but I was hoping for a damage buff to the main gun so that it can smash up minotaurs.

Looking forward to see how gameplay goes. I think this is for the better :)
+1 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
16 days ago
CZrankpsaniac, I make small changes when the underlying design seems healthy, and large changes when it isn't.
+2 / -0


USrankFealthas
16 days ago
Hammers will continue being shit until radar lobble is dealt with. It takes so much more effort to use arty than it does to spam llts mindlessly everywhere.
+0 / -0


LVrankSenaven
16 days ago
quote:
Likho rearm time 30s -> 20s.

That i like. :O Was long time ago to unnerf it. Start to think maybe again play ZK.

quote:
Artemis Health 1570 -> 3200.


This is very strong buff for it. Of course eos can kill it still with one blow but to kill screamer now needs twice bobmers. However i think this buff will not make large difference in game anyway.
+1 / -0


CHrankConnetable
16 days ago
Great changes. Are you sure Licho and Crabe were underwhelming?
+0 / -0


GBrankdyth68
16 days ago
(edited 16 days ago)

I like these changes with one exception (well, two if we include Kodachi blast aesthetics):

I kind of actually dislike the new Cyclops and prefer both EErankAdminAnarchid's one and the original Cyclops. :/

The most important issue is that it is less cool than EErankAdminAnarchid's in terms of weapon feel with worse aesthetics (particularly in how well it "makes sense" visually when compared to gameplay effect*) while being functionally very similar** (though with less interesting micro opportunities due to slow beam being instant hit).
What is the point of a separate slow beam as opposed to slow integrated into the gun if it's going to fire at a similar rate? Slowing air units and raiders?

* For instance, the tiny size of the weapon makes it hard to see what direction it's pointing so you wonder why it isn't firing yet and the size also means that its very large in-game effect is puzzling. The beam effect is indistinguishable from that of a Constable while being an order of magnitude more damaging.
**The slower speed, projectile speed and lack of overslow may worsen the skirmishing, but I guess time will tell there.
+3 / -0


USrankFealthas
15 days ago
Licho was useful imo. Built it in alot of games.


Crabbe is easily the worst heavy. Compare to 3 minos, grizz, sumo, goli...
+0 / -0

PTrankraaar
15 days ago
quote:

The most important issue is that it is less cool than EErankAdminAnarchid's in terms of weapon feel with worse aesthetics (particularly in how well it "makes sense" visually when compared to gameplay effect*)


This, making sense is important, and there are lots of offenders. For example, does gauss turret even look like something with 3k hp? it looks flimsier than lotus when open.

Other cases are the moderator "eye" beam, or the striders which have their most powerful weapons as "eye" beams which shoot from what looks like a visor, not a weapon.

Or fencers, which have to stop to fire for some misterious reason, that would fit something like a fast wheeled artillery with a cannon that needed a few seconds to anchor itself to the ground to handle the recoil.
+2 / -0


GBrankdyth68
15 days ago
PTrankraaar Oh yeah, Fencers are particularly bad offenders due to how little damage their missiles do compared to other similar looking missiles.
I've been meaning to make a thread for all the visual mismatches and start making pull requests for fixing them...
+0 / -0
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