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Zero-K v1.7.7.0 - Performance and Shading

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This version is primarily aimed at large team games. The big exception is the Sparrow nerf which should address concerns about scouting being a bit too easy in 1v1. The large game changes focus on performance, interesting energy choices, and curtailing Berthas. Additionally, some of the poorer Commander weapons received buffs.

On the technical side, many bugs were fixed and the shader rewrite is ongoing. Report any issues that you experience as we were unable to test across all potential hardware setups.

Balance


Sparrow was being built too early. By making it much more expensive we hope that it will mostly appear in the midgame, and it may even be worth countering with a small amount of AA.
  • Cost 135 -> 235
  • Radar morph build power 5 -> 7.5 (20s -> 24s)
  • Buffed maneuverability, tightened turn circle.

Wind Generators are now much worse at high altitudes. This addresses the trivially good choice of Wind Generation on maps with large base plateaus. Singularity Reactors are now always more efficient.
  • The best wind range is now 1.0 - 2.5.
  • The minimum increases at 0.25 energy per 100 height on most maps.
  • The rate of increase is scaled down on maps with height difference that exceed 600.
  • The minimum wind height is now based partially on height of the lowest metal extractor.

Singularity Reactor is now more scoutable, snipable, and leave Fusion with the unique strength of underwater construction.
  • No longer able to be built underwater.

Big Bertha was a bit oppressive on maps of a particular size. Lower range forces a choice between a safe Bertha or a Bertha that can reach into your opponents base.
  • Range 6200 -> 5600
  • Aims 20% slower

Commanders


Light Particle Beam:
  • DPS 165 -> 180

Riot Cannon:
  • Range 275 -> 300
  • Reload 2s -> 1.63s

Heavy Rocket:
  • AoE 75 -> 96

Riot Cannon with Napalm Warhead:
  • DPS 86 -> 100
  • AoE 144 -> 170

Heavy Rocket with Napalm Warhead:
  • DPS 180 -> 135
  • AoE 128 -> 144
  • Leaves craters

Disruptor Ammo:
  • Increased Heavy Machine Gun and Shotgun normal damage DPS by 50%.

Napalm Warhead and Disruptor Ammo now consistently reduces direct damage by 25% when applied.

Interface/Graphics


  • Reworked the unit shading system. This allows for fancy things like emissivity and fallbacks for older hardware. Report any issues.
  • Disabled the click-and-hold terraform UIs by default.
  • The space+click unit information window now shows how much damage a status effect deals to shields, and even shows the breakdown in the case of mixed normal and status effect weapons.
  • All main objectives in the campaign complete when 'Victory' is declared. Note that you can still fail protection objectives if you die in the victory lap.
  • Zenith tooltip says that it controls 300 meteors, the correct amount.
  • Very low value wrecks are now less highlighted by wreck highlight.
  • Shields become more transparent at very low charge.

Lobby


  • Added a modoption to disable AI resign.
  • Added a modoption to disable Overwhelming Advantage.
  • Fixed factory rebuilding on Planet Bavhakya.
  • Updated the benchmarks.

Fixes


  • Fixed the performance regression of last week thanks to player benchmarking and updates by the engine devs.
  • Raven now predicts height changes when targeting units on spires or cliffs, and dives appropriately.
  • Terraform construction points are no longer revealed upon Overwhelming Advantage.
  • Added some leeway to possibly fix Widow missing (along with other melee and almost-melee units).
  • Fixed the Commander and factory selection bar being empty upon loading saved games.
  • Increased the priority of the Set Target command over Attack commands.
  • Significantly reduced the number of projectiles tracked by Lua, improving performance.
  • Fixed metalhead Gauss turret.
  • Applied some useless optimisation to the wind gadget and animation.
  • Fixed a FacBar error.
  • Fixed a 'spotter' unit ground halos error.

Edit:
The terraform click-and-hold UI was accidentally disabled for everyone, not just by default. It can be enabled here:



+17 / -0


2 months ago
"Applied some useless optimisation to the wind gadget and animation."

hooray!
+0 / -0
2 months ago
Sensible changes, thanks for your work everyone.

quote:
Heavy Rocket with Napalm Warhead:

  • DPS 180 -> 135

These numbers seem off, a typo? Don't think heavy rockets have ever done that much DPS, and with this patch they do 90 DPS, not 135. Rockets without napalm warhead do 120 DPS. In-game everything is fine though.
+1 / -0

2 months ago
AUrankAdminGoogleFrog what inspired you to work on the commander weapons?
+1 / -0
2 months ago
Now in ffa for easy kill singu just need silo, for def singu need ~2 funeweb it 6k metals, and 100 fleas for find Athena (2500 metal) and antiair it 2400, 10900 for safe singu hmmm, we can`t rush singu now in ffa?
In team game Athenes just kill singu with rush fleas
And any player with a low rating will be able to arrange such diversion =/
+0 / -0
quote:
In team game Athenes just kill singu with rush fleas
And any player with a low rating will be able to arrange such diversion =/

Horrible unstoppable fleas! If only there was a 90m cost turret to stop them with no APM requirement!

TBH i would be more afraid of Scythes. Athena is obsolete now that you don't need sonar to detect Singu.
+1 / -0


2 months ago
GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng from my quick testing the minor optimisations related to wind are actually useless.

USrankOflameo it came out of a discussion and PR with PLrankCatLady.

RUrankizirayd I doubt you need that much, or maybe you can just risk it. Singu is so much more efficient than Fusion that if you spend an extra 1400 metal defending it you have still done better than building Fusion.
+0 / -0


2 months ago
quote:
Shields become more transparent at very low charge.

Shields at very low charge are not just transparent, they're nearly invisible. It would be nice if a zero-charge or very-low-charge shield could be both very conspicuous and very transparent, so that you could see where the shield would be if it had charge as well as easily noting that it does not have much charge.

Maybe shields could have two textures - one dense and tight, one open and loose - and at low charge fade out the dense one and fade in the open one.
+0 / -0

2 months ago
"Disabled the click-and-hold terraform UIs by default."

that is retarded
+6 / -1
2 months ago
ROrankblueHoneyBadger same thing here....wtf AUrankAdminGoogleFrog is doing this stupid change
"Disabled the click-and-hold terraform UIs by default."

Now I have to waste 30 minutes of my life and lose a game just to find out where to activate that stupid option
+2 / -2
Hey, AUrankAdminGoogleFrog can you at least hint us where to activate "Disabled the click-and-hold terraform UIs by default." back ?

Please help me in not wasting 1 hour of my life.

Thank you



To late...wasted 30 minutes and a game

Settings - Interface - Building Placement and check "Terraform by selecting with Alt"

+3 / -1
Awesome update. Also, killer update screenshot ;)

Given that announcement thread likes to get buried in various topics being discussed and much noise (see above), I would like to separate Commander Module Tweaks discussion into its dedicated topic:
https://zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/28689

Please ask/discuss there - I posted a detailed rationale on the changes, and I'm more than happy to answer if something is not clear from the description itself. I would also like to get some feedback on how the changes are playing in practice.

---
+0 / -1

2 months ago
ROrankForever
Its Settings/Interface/Building placement with simple settings turned off.
+2 / -0
2 months ago
Was there a reason for turning off auto terraform for building? I cant think of a reason to not have it on, I use it every game with no exception and it makes building a lot easier. Already watching newer players wasting metal terraforming for building while not really knowing how big the building is. It seems theres a way to turn it back to normal, I haven't done it yet as I couldn't figure it out so I had to come here to learn from the computer scientists on the forum who figured it out. It seems like a hurdle to newer players who have no idea how to change settings.

Are new players better off having to manual terraform buildings because super convenient auto terraform is turned off is my question? or maybe, what is the benefit of closing convenience off from the masses and making a tiered Zero-K society where you can tell who is a Lob immediately as all their buildings will be on manual terraformed (and always with extra metal spent) structures and take 4x as long as a long left click of the obviously superior people who started playing before today.

I just cant see a benefit of not having auto terraform honestly, and i'll be turning it back to how it was as soon as I am able. Everything else was great though, commander buffs are always nice imo.
+1 / -0
good: wind, singu, bertha, commanders, misc fixes

bad: disabling by default the click-hold-drag terraform when placing buildings


Consistency on the effects of slow and napalm upgrades is nice, but the lpb -> slowbeam conversion is still sacrificing 50% normal dps instead of 25%. A few late improvements on commanders is better than nothing I guess...

having good defaults is better than having many options. A large chunk of the new players won't realise the option even exists for months, maybe years.
+1 / -0

2 months ago
"Disabled the click-and-hold terraform UIs by default."

disabled the click-and-hold terraform is broken!
+0 / -1
2 months ago
There's also something wrong on the single player mode : when creating a game the version shown is is 1.7.3.9 instead of 1.7.7.0 and the commander doesn't spawn!
+0 / -0

2 months ago
quote:
There's also something wrong on the single player mode : when creating a game the version shown is is 1.7.3.9 instead of 1.7.7.0 and the commander doesn't spawn!

Skirmish works fine for me, 1v1 vs AI.
+0 / -0
I accidentally disabled the click-hold terraform UI for people who had already launched with the old defaults. That was bad, and you can enable the UI again with these options.


I have actually created four terraform UIs in my search for a way to make structure terraform easy to place. Having multiple parallel UIs for one action in the default interface is pretty bad, and it is especially bad when I consider the more recently created UIs to be superior than the earlier ones. Unfortunately, current players had first learnt the worse UI. I thought I had solved this caveat by making the default only apply to new players, but apparently I was mistaken.

This loadscreen talks about the most recent UI, and it also needs editing to reflect the new default.


The click-hold UI has quite a few drawbacks:
  • Each structure you wish to place requires additional clicks.
  • It snaps the mouse to a position on the screen.
  • A player who is just being slow to place their structure can accidentally enable it.
  • Accidentally doing something that snaps your mouse to the screen and creates a big green spire is terrible.
  • It works terribly with queuing.
  • It is hard to match the heights of multiple structures placed in a row.


The B and Alt+MouseWheel UI solves many of those issues.
  • The selected height is persistent, like persistent build spacing, which is nice when Skydusts are always up and Caretakers are always down.
  • You can set a height then shift-click to queue a bunch of structures at that height.
  • No extra clicks are required to place a structure.
  • It does not snap the mouse to the screen.
  • The hotkeys (B and C/V to change height) are discoverable in the Hotkeys menu right next to Z/X to change spacing.
+5 / -1
2 months ago
"It is hard to match the heights of multiple structures placed in a row."

Maybe show a height value while placing a building? One can remember the number and place other buildings at the same height, when he knows the height of the previous building.
+4 / -0
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