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Has artillery grown to define ZK?

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I always figured that ZK was a lot of things. Flat tech, ease of use, automation, broad variety of strategies, terraform, physicality, no hidden stats, so on.

But when i look at the ways the game is actually played, it starts to become rather noticeable that rather different to many other RTS games, long-range anti-unit artillery tends to dictate the flow of the game as much as any of the above.

So, i wonder what everyone else thinks.

Does the power of artillery set aside ZK along other games in the genre, including the likes of KW and Starcraft?

Do you have to be a kind of player who enjoys artillery duels to enjoy ZK?

Should artillery be like this?
+9 / -0

10 days ago
What specific RTS games are you contrasting Zero-K against?
+0 / -0


10 days ago
Kane's Wrath and Starcraft 2 are specifically called out in the OP.
+1 / -0
10 days ago
Артиллерия является финальным типом атаки, весь рост типизации юнитов:

Краб/Гризли
Эмисар/лансер
Тремор
Катапульта (Мерлин)
Цербер
Сило
Берта
ДРП/Метеор/Старлайт
Нюк

Теперь ты спрашиваешь задаёт ли ход игре артиллерия?
Ответ прост: 90% игры состоит из артиллерии
+1 / -0
the only reasonable counter to arty is bigger arty,i can pretty much say that arty defines this game.By the simple notion of engagement range.Arty is just like economy its an investment because its nearly impossible to get to it and shut it down.

And with the exceptionally strong static defenses options that make cost against everything and anything its a no brainer ...make porc line get arty there to counter the enemy arty when assaults try to push they get shreded by the combined firepower of the hardest hitting units in the game: arty and porc.

You cant make pure arty and porc the same way you cant make pure economy
+4 / -0

10 days ago
+1 / -0
i can´t speak or read russian, but i will take some guesses:

Краб/Гризли = ?
Эмисар/лансер = ?
Тремор = tremor
Катапульта (Мерлин) = catapult / merlin (or katastrophe / best looking guy on server)
Цербер = ?
Сило = sumo?
Берта = bertha
ДРП/Метеор/Старлайт = drp/meteor/fairysaliva
Нюк = nuke
+1 / -0
10 days ago
id like to buy an "A" and want to try to solve...
+0 / -0

10 days ago
quote:
And with the exceptionally strong static defenses options that make cost against everything and anything its a no brainer ...make porc line get arty there to counter the enemy arty when assaults try to push they get shreded by the combined firepower of the hardest hitting units in the game: arty and porc.

Porc makes cost against assaults, but only by a factor of 1.5x-2x. So if you just push your entire army where there is less porc you can defeat it in detail.

Jacks in particular murder assaults and don't care much about arti, but get skirmed to death...
+1 / -0

10 days ago
I'm not convinced artillery is supreme outside lobster pots. It requires protection and in smaller games there are fewer allies to provide that protection. Is artillery that big a thing in 1v1?
+5 / -0

10 days ago
Artillery isn't supreme in lobster pots. They usually don't come out until 6 minutes in from the matches I see. It may be worth processing when they come out statistically if you can do that in a replay file without watching the whole thing.
+0 / -0
I do not see artillery winning many games. Air will clean it up fast.
+0 / -0
10 days ago
/here an approximate translate of that russian post/

Artillery is a final kind of damage dealer. Here a progres of artillery units:

Crab/Grisly
Emisary/Lancer
Tremor
Merlin
Cerberus
Silo (Tactical)
Big Berta
DRP?/Metero/Starlight
Nuke

And now are you asking, does arty dictate the flow of a game?
Answer is simple: 90% of the game is arty.
+1 / -0
Honestly I never get hurt by arty. I almost think arty is too weak if anything.

Maybe it is just that I use fleas, grizzly, shield, cloaked roach's, licho and raven often and they all eat up arty.
+0 / -0


10 days ago
EErankAdminAnarchid it is hard to know quite what you mean. I think you think you are asking a few questions that look similar but have different implications/nuances. I also get a strong feeling that you're just trying to say "boo artillery" with extra words.

I would say that the way artillery is designed is a distinguishing feature of ZK. This is part of a broader observation that our great diversity in health, range, and inaccuracy can draw-out battles and make them occur over long distances. There are many attrition weapons and many assault weapons, and their roles shift throughout the games. As a result, battles in Starcraft tend to be more localised in time and space in Zero-K. This is not a unique characteristic as something similar can be found in many TA-ish games, as well as war games like Company of Heroes.

You're asking two very different questions depending on whether you wish to talk about the design of artillery or the current balance of artillery. It is also hard to compare the degree to which a unit type defines the game and how the game is defined by deeper aspects of the design, such as flat tech trees and automation. I think many things, including raiders, 'define' ZK more than artillery.

Games should scale up over time simply because playing the same game throughout a battle is a less interesting experience. The most natural way for a game to scale is into more artillery use. Being part of the mid-lategame may make artillery feel more impactful than it is, but in the last few years I have been fairly happy at the viability of armies and relatively lack of porc in large teamgames. If your claim is that artillery commonly negates the entire rest of the game, then you will have to back it up. I am watching a 40 minute game on Tangerine where there is still 80k metal in mobile non-artillery compared to 40k in mobile artillery (and Funnelwebs).

You probably have to enjoy artillery duels to enjoy all of ZK. There are often ways to make artillery viable in unusual situations. This is just part of strategic diversity.
+5 / -0
quote:
it is hard to know quite what you mean. I think you think you are asking a few questions that look similar but have different implications/nuances. I also get a strong feeling that you're just trying to say "boo artillery" with extra words.

I'm not someone who needs many excuses to chant "boo artillery #lrfs #artyporc #sonarlives" directly, but this is not what i want from the thread.

quote:
You're asking two very different questions depending on whether you wish to talk about the design of artillery or the current balance of artillery

I'm actually much more interested in the design part. My prompt for this thread was CArankGalamesh losing a game vs GBrankdyth68 tanks which was dominated by Emissary and Tremor, and then ranting about wanting to go back to Starcraft because ZK is no longer enjoyable this way, while in Starcraft, cannons are weak; turrets don't shoot ground; and nothing shoots you from three screens away.

Up until this point my understanding of the design of arty in ZK was more or less this "vanilla model" that there were two reasonably distinct categories:

- Units whose main job is to kill porc by abusing the statics' inability to move via greater range.
- Superweapons, whose job is to kill everything, and gaining access to which constitutes a soft win condition.

[Spoiler]

But this model seems broken in so many ways that i can't even bother typing them all right now (but i guess i should once i get a bit more time to think and type).

So now i want a way to reconceptualize what arty actually means in and for zk. This also includes trying to gauge the community perception of the thing, not the least because i feel like the dissonance between the "vanilla model" and how the game actually plays is expressed rather broadly in the community.

On the latter:
[Spoiler]
+2 / -0

10 days ago
Simply put, it can have the best cost efficiency possible. If that does not define zero-k in terms of game balance, i don't know what does.

I mean just think about it, why use a detriment when you could build a nuke or build a couple scyllas? Obviously its heavily context driven but really it points to an issue; units(or structures) that can deal damage from far away without much risk to them are often much more useful, if not better than a close range assault strider.
You'll often find yourself made fun of for doing things that aren't obviously cost effective, and you will usually die because of such behavior.

Though just because it does embody one of the key premises of game balance for zero-k, I don't personally think it should be this way. Your options become immediately limited once your opponent builds a Bertha, or they get a bunch of unit based artillery; your goal is no longer to kill your opponent, its to destroy the artillery, because that artillery slowly destroys all that you got, it just reaches so far into your territory that there really isn't much else you can do but destroy the artillery.

I'm not personally sure what can be done, as you can argue that much of these problems are due to a lack of effort on players end. You can prevent it, but obviously that would just ignore any broader context and situational difference. I'd like to see other peoples suggestions on this however.
+2 / -0

9 days ago
Taking http://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/789959 as an example. If anything the game is defined by raiders, riots, and assaults and has artillery and skirmishers to break stalemates and speed up a game.
+0 / -0

9 days ago
I would make far less broad conclusions from CArankGalamesh losing to Emissaries and Tremors and simply say that Emissary is a dangerous unit concept. Aoe and low trajectory make it the most cost-effective land artillery at killing mobile units, and being bad against mobiles should be arty's main weakness. I can't imagine anyone considering a high-trajectory Emissary problematic in 1v1, just like nobody is saying that Impaler is a problem in 1v1.

Tldr, focus on individual units. The concept of arty is largely fine. The "minigame" of "arty is killing me, gotta kill their arty" is fun as long as the arty doesn't shred the armies sent against it.
+3 / -0
i agree in that artillery being strong is part of the escalation of games. but i think some artillery-units simply are too generalist, mainly Firewalker and Emissary + Tremor. Area-Saturation doesn´t feel like a good design-concept. It forces you to fall back and if the map is either chocked due to terrain or porc/support, it´s virtually impossible to counter it. Air as USrankAdminJasper says is a thing, but that applies to nearly all ground-units exept aa.
Merlin is fine due to it´s low fire-rate. It`s comparatively easy to dodge or to hide from it. Tremor on the other hand is just: you can´t have units, shielded cloaked or whatever in this area, it denies reclaim as well, in contrast to merlin.
FIranksprang sums up what i think about emissary really well. Too much AoE.
+2 / -0
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