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Zero-K v1.7.6.0 - Maps, Balance, and Performance

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This is a fairly large update with some balance changes, fixes, and performance improvements. We have also featured 78 maps to add to the variety in the teamgame autohosts. Some maps are new and some are old classics.

The main balance changes relate to frustrations in Tank vs. Rover. Capture has been reworked to make Dominatrix less uniformly good and some other units have received minor changes. Other notable changes are some Funnelweb refinements and tankier Commanders.

The notable fixes and performance improvements are a pathfinding fix for a recently introduced bug and a significantly faster outline shader. We are also working on performance improvements for the UI framework which can be enabled Settings -> Graphics -> Experimental Interface Renderer in the lobby menu. We would appreciate testing and feedback.

Balance


Commanders start with around 800 more health, and lose the bonus at higher levels. This is intended as an indirect nerf for Scythe and Raven. The power of early commander pushes will need to be watched closely.
  • Strike 3200/3200/3800/4600/5500/6400 -> 4200/4200/4600/5200/5800/6400
  • Guardian 3600/3600/4400/5500/6600/7600 -> 4400/4400/5000/5700/6600/7600
  • Support 2800/2800/3400/3800/4500/5000 -> 3800/3800/4000/4300/4600/5000
  • Recon 2400/2400/2800/3200/3600/4000 -> 3250/3250/3400/3600/3800/4000

Funnelweb is a bit cheaper and charges faster. To compensate, it has its shields lowered such that a single silo of Eos and Shockley can bypass it.
  • Maximum shield charge 28000 -> 23000
  • Shield regeneration 200 -> 300 per second.
  • Health 6000 -> 6500
  • Cost 3500 -> 3000
  • Turn rate 240 -> 520

Capture damage has been reworked to make Dominatrix much worse against low-to-mid cost assault units. This is to give the Tank Foundry some counterplay in the form of Minotaur. Dominatrix is mostly unchanged against units with average cost and health. It is a little better against mid-to-high cost glass cannons such as Lance and Emissary.
  • Capture progress is now based on the health of its target instead of its cost. The Capture Health of a unit is now its current health + 500.
  • Capture damage is no longer multiplied by (3 - 2*(currentHealth/maxHealth)).
  • Dominatrix now deals 333 DPS instead of 78. This reflects the average HP/cost of a Zero-K unit of around 3.5, as well as the 500 bonus health.
  • As with EMP and Disarm, accrued capture damage is scaled when a unit receives ordinary damage (or healing) such that the proportion of capture damage is unchanged.
  • Capture damage is now affected by armour.

All the large land-based builders now have small footprints to resolve much of the frustration that can come from navigating bases. Quill, Weaver, Welder, Mason:
  • Footprint 3x3 -> 2x2.

Blitz:
  • Reload time reduced by 2.5%.

Ogre:
  • Damage 440 -> 420
  • Range 340 -> 320
  • Cost 520 -> 500

Felon:
  • Re-added the small fire delay that appeared to do nothing in testing, but seems relevant in practise.

Lobster:
  • Added a manualfire command that fires once. This essentially acts as a more accessible hotkey for singlefire.
  • Buffed turn rate by 80%.

Tarantula:
  • Increased weapon velocity by 36%. Still half the speed of Flail.

Sparrow:
  • Cost 120 -> 135 (morph time unchanged)
  • Health 400 -> 350
  • Speed reduced by 7%

Interface


Added a singlefire modifier for Force Fire commands. Issue a non-area Force Fire command with Ctrl held to fire once at the target and move on. This can be used with the Repeat command to make a unit alternate between a list of targets.

Other changes:
  • Static shields, jammers, and basic radar towers now have a move command that can be used to rally their mobile counterparts when they morph.
  • Added more options to control when reclaim is highlighted.
  • Sparrow and Owl now have tactical AI (activated with Attack Move and Patrol) that tells them to avoid flying over enemies, keeping them out of most AA range.
  • Added Morph to the ingame keybind menu.
  • The spectator resource display now displays teams on the side matching their side of the map (when applicable).
  • Added Turkish and Chiense translations. Updated Polish translations.
  • Reload bars no longer disappear a split second before completion.
  • Added mouse-directed focus to depth of field.
  • Line formations now trigger unit replies.

Performance


The UI framework is being updated to draw faster, but it has some rough edges. Without wider testing it is not clear that it will work, or be an improvement, on all hardware. It is disabled by default and can be enabled through the lobby menu under Settings -> Graphics -> Experimental Interface Renderer. Test it out and tell us if it works and if you see an improvement.

Here are some other performance improvements:
  • Updated shaders. This will change how a few things look and make it easier to improve performance in the future. For now, the main performance improvement is the replacement of the old CPU based outline widget with a much cheaper shader-based version.
  • Saved quite a bit of memory by cutting down on duplicate font creation.
  • Optimised various parts of the command menu. Replaced the, fairly expensive, unit outlines widget with a much cheaper shader-based version.

Singleplayer


  • AIs build antinukes earlier.
  • Made planet Walchice (the Stinger and Stardust mission) a bit easier on Easy and Normal.

Fixes


  • Fixed Funnelweb shield on low graphics settings.
  • Fixed ballistic weapons not shooting when told to Set Target the ground beyond their flat-ground range.
  • Fixed units sometimes getting stuck in the back of Cloaky, Shield, and Hovercraft factories.
  • Fixed campaign and tutorial marker text lagging behind camera movement.
  • Fixed cursor locking (grab input) not re-enabling itself when returning the focus to Zero-K.
  • Fixed some pathfinding issues caused by fixing a rare bug that caused other pathfinding issues.
  • Fixed Fencer not quite dealing 40 damage per shot.
  • Fixed the noElo modoption.
+12 / -0

26 days ago
quote:
Capture damage has been reworked to make Dominatrix much worse against low-to-mid cost assault units. This is to give the Tank Foundry some counterplay in the form of Minotaur.


And i thought domi was anti heavy, but now it is countered by assault?
I dont know if i will build domi ever again (anti riot skirm?) but lets see how it works out.


+1 / -0
26 days ago
Nice ;) I Love Zero K ;)= Good Job ;)
+1 / -0


26 days ago

This is the picture of the Dominatrix change for units at full health.
+9 / -0
quote:
I dont know if i will build domi ever again (anti riot skirm?) but lets see how it works out.

This also nerfs it vs Reaver, Outlaw, Scallop, Redback, Venom. Unsure how much of anti-riot that makes it.
+0 / -0
26 days ago
#TAAANKS !

BLaNK approves of this patch... TY !
+0 / -0
26 days ago
Jack from 8s to 20s. It always ruined my day when the domis came out vs JJ factory. Hoping to see better performance now that I'm not using the apparently CPU-expensive outline widget.
+0 / -0

26 days ago
Welcome back to 1v1 tanx. I'm glad the constructors are more fluid around buildings, I was beginning to fat shame my welders and quills; lots of other happy little fixes to go with reviving the tank 1v1 matchup. Sure it's a capture related nerf to ogre but not by much since it will be constructed slightly faster to compensate. Its a big sigh of relief when you can squeeze out ogre #1 without being raided to oblivion vs bots.
another lobster buff - already the best unit in the game
I could have sworn I saw my sparrow avoiding aa on attack move before; but now i'm not crazy
Adjusting the commander play is highly appreciated, this keeps the need for revised start strats and keeps the game fresh. I havent seen a truly juicy commander stomp (raaar doesnt 1v1) since the eco changes. An overt buff seems perfect.
+0 / -1
good work.

newton needs to cause slow damage + quake needs lasting smooth terra field

and i wish Cerberus could dgun to store up 9 shots to fire in a rapid 3x3 volley =)
+0 / -0

26 days ago
I like the commander hp change. Can bring my commander to front again maybe.
+0 / -0

25 days ago
Good job my sweet little hooglboog
+0 / -0


25 days ago
Awesome, Domi nerf, Circuit is indirectly buffed!
+0 / -0
25 days ago
What negative effects did felon have due to the fire delay? Would it on occasionally friendly fire units between it and it's target?
Could it be between it and any target, but swap to a different target immediately afterwards?

If so, this is a long standing bug which would be most noticeable in hitscan weapons like felon's that fire from alternating points on it's model. See more info here. https://github.com/ZeroK-RTS/Zero-K/issues/3516. I've tested in the current version and felon does show all the properties of this specific bug.

Now felon has a pause when fighting a pack of enemies. If it did not have this pause before, I would want the underlying bug to be fixed and felon to get the free fire again.

Thanks for listening.
+0 / -0


25 days ago
The "bug" was that felon did not have this artificial delay, so it was immune to Thunderbird.
+0 / -0

25 days ago
Lots of excellent changes. :)

quote:
Shield regeneration 200 -> 300 per second.

Note that this is a bit of a "for the time being" hack to solve a particular gameplay problem.
I'm hoping to develop a more permanent solution, but it's difficult and a fair bit of work so it'll be a while before I've got something (if a solution is possible at all).
+0 / -0

24 days ago
I'm quite sad that domi is now affected by armoured state. It used to be possible to capture a crab with 4 unshielded domis (cost: 1680m vs 1600 for crab) spread out so that only 1 Domi at a time took the hit. This was the only cost effective way I ever found for rover to deal with them. While the rover vs spider matchup is fairly uncommon, it seems like it's now one that will reliably go spider's way provided they can manage fencers and scorchers long enough to crab.

Sure, more domis might help, but if I'm losing 4 of them for each crab, I'm still losing on attrition (if slowly).

I presume the reason for armoured state affecting capture rate was primarily to buff halberds against Domi, but I don't think I saw many (any?) complaints about rover dominating hover (what complaints I saw went the other way) so was handicapping rover vs spider really worth whatever benefits there are for hover vs rover?

I'm otherwise OK with the capture rework, but nerf vs armoured units seems a step too far.
+0 / -0
24 days ago
Rover has the Impaler, which is anti static, which armored Crabes are, so that's a no brainer counter.
+0 / -0
24 days ago
Lol Impalers do not counter crabs.
+3 / -0
impailer do put pressure on crabs if combined with attackers that can tie up crab

we have all seen crabs die this way but i agree they are unable to stop marching crabs
+0 / -0

24 days ago
Armored Crab Hp: 16k
Impaler dps : 80

16000/80 = 200s
= 3 1/3 minutes to kill a Crab
While having full los (radar = miss)

You could argue Impaler cost is 700m and Crab 1600 so lets use 2x Impaler (1400m)

16000/160 = 100s
= 1 2/3 minutes to kill a Crab

This is an insane amount of time for a "counter" to properly take care of the unit which can walk away if its hp is dropping low or gets repaired after some time.
+2 / -0
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