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Zero-K v1.8.2.3 - Superfluid Update

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Forged in a thread of thirteen pages, shaped over many 1v1s, and tempered in a pot of lobsters. This release is about pacing, flow, and a focus on what makes ZK fun. In response to your feedback we have analysed and tested large parts of the game. The result is units that feel better to control, tweaks to some of the mechanics that were highlighted as frustrating, and more ways to make it past the earlygame. The changes are still somewhat experimental so be sure to post feedback.

In other development news, PetTurtle is developing a mod called ZeroWars where players send waves of units to push back and destroy the enemy team. He is still making sweeping changes to the gameplay, trying to find what works best, and it will be interesting to see what sort of game mode comes out of it.

Raiders and Responsiveness

To start us off we'll make everything a bit more responsive, just so it feels better to control. There is plenty of room to make vehicle-types less unwieldy while keeping them feeling like vehicles.
  • Tank, Rover, Ship and Hovercraft acceleration and brake rate increased by 20%
  • Tank, Rover, Ship and Hovercraft turn rates increased by 60%
  • Other ground unit turn rates increased by 20%
  • Bomber manoeuvrability improved by a difficult-to-quantify amount (rudder buffs ranging from 12% to 44%, whatever 'rudder' means).

Now to attack the heart of the feedback - earlygame swingyness. A lot of this is down to the highly demanding interactions of light raider combat.
  • Glaive health 200 -> 240
  • Glaive damage reduced by 17%
  • Bandit health 265 -> 320
  • Bandit damage reduced by 17%
  • Scorcher health 420 -> 480
  • Scorcher damage reduced by 20%
  • Glaive, Bandit, Dagger, Scorcher and Pyro now shoot at units running away from them at the edge of their range. This removes the situation where a Glaive chasing a Glaive could be unable to fire but still receive fire.
In an ideal world the other raiders would be rebalanced around these changes, but there is only so much time in the day, and the overall balance deemed 'reasonable' in 1v1 testing.

Without the "retreat bonus" it, unsurprisingly, becomes harder to retreat. Extra vision should give players more time to choose whether to engage, and besides, it gives raiders a nice bit of extra utility. Here are the changes to vision:
  • Glaive, Bandit, Duck: 500 -> 560
  • Flea 560 -> 620
  • Puppy 560 -> 640
  • Pyro 420 -> 560
  • Dart 580 -> 660
  • Scorcher 400 -> 560
  • Dagger 560 -> 640
  • Kodachi 600 -> 680
  • Blitz 450 -> 560
  • Hunter 450 -> 560
  • Ground-Attack turrets increased by 48
  • Bombers 660 -> 780
Newton, Gauss, Faraday, Stardust, Urchin, Lotus, Picket, Stinger, Desolator, Raven, Pheonix, Thunderbird and Wyvern snuck in to the list of vision buffs! Not to worry, the turret buff is to prevent radar wobble overshoot and the bomber buff mitigates some issues with bombers losing sight of their target.

Expansion and Economy

Raiding is only half of the earlygame, with the other half being economic growth. These change slows down expansion, removing the requirement to expand at a breakneck pace in every direction from the very start of the game.
  • Metal Extractor cost 75 -> 90
  • Metal Extractor health 400 -> 750
  • Starting resources increased 250 -> 300 (to pay for such expensive Mexes)

Unarmed constructors have a bit more health to make it more difficult to lose really early in the game. Commander radar is just nice.
  • Commanders start with radar (except in the campaign).
  • Wind Generator health 130 -> 150
  • Conjurer health 450 -> 600
  • Convict health 650 -> 780
  • Weaver health 820-> 980
  • Mason health 900 -> 1000
  • Quill health 800 -> 960

One last sweeping change: a repair nerf.
  • Repair now costs 75% energy and build time (up from 50%).
Costlier repair pushes retreat-and-repair lineups later into the game, where energy is cheaper, giving early compositions more time to shine. It also nerfs those Gauss/Faraday forests that have been spotted brewing in the pots.

Speaking of Faraday.
  • Faradary health 1700 -> 1600
  • Faraday reload time 2.6 -> 2.7

Lets stack a bomber nerf on top of a repair nerf, especially for Raven. We'll tell ourselves that the usability buffs make up for it.
  • Rearming a bomber drains 10 energy per second.
  • Raven rearm time 5s -> 10s
  • Improved/fixed Raven attack and overkill behaviour so it does not need to circle so much if its initial target dies.
Like the repair change, the effect of this nerf drops off and disappears as the game goes on. Note that this is only a nerf to those players that manage to promptly reuse their bombers.

Balance and... Bugs

Time for some more sedate balance changes. Knight now 2-shots Glaive, Ripper 'might' not be terrible, and Constable is due a nerf.
  • Knight damage 240 -> 230
  • Ripper damage 220 -> 280
  • Ripper reload time 1.63s -> 1.6s
  • Constable cost 120 -> 140 (an unrelated nerf)

  • Cost 1500 -> 1600
  • Range 1300 -> 1200
  • Area of Effect 160 -> 140

Mechanics fixes/tweaks:
  • Dominatrix now reloads for 6x Build Percent seconds when it captures a nanoframe, instead of for 12 seconds.
  • Metal from overflowing allies is now shared evenly between teammates. Previously it was weighted by the team member's available storage.
  • Fixed Hacksaw, Ogre and Tarantula overkill prevention values
  • Raised Fencer aimpoint so it can be targeted over the lip of ramps.

Singleplayer and Coop

  • Updated the skirmish AI, making Brutal harder.
  • Made the Dominatrix mission (planet Ganong) fairer in light of the Dominatrix rework from prior versions.
  • Made some later missions (planets Hibiliha, Lalata, Karuwal and Onsally) easier on the Easy difficult setting.
  • Fixed the factory in the terraform mission (planet Kirdipan) failing to produce more than one Dirtbag.
  • Improved the quality of your allies in missions on the Easy difficulty setting.
  • Fixes to campaign mission briefings.

Other Changes

Here are some graphical tweaks, UI improvements, and performance fixes.
  • Added the flag of Guernsey.
  • Rewrote the default playerlist - the last unreasonably performance heavy UI widget.
  • Jumpjet units automatically jump if they were thrown by a Newton and are about to land or leave the map. This can be toggled with the ingame setting 'Settings/Interface/Falling Units/Jump on prediction'.
  • Improved rocket trail visuals (non-homing missiles).
  • Many micro-optimisations.

+14 / -10
14 months ago
Correct me if im wrong, but are ducks absolutely trash now? *sad quack*
+1 / -0

14 months ago
just to expain my downvote:

too much at once.
+4 / -0

14 months ago
Wyvern snuck into the list.
+0 / -0
14 months ago
Also, is the dirtbag being left in the dirt los wise?
+0 / -0
14 months ago
Zero-K v1.8.2.3 - Stress Update

+1 / -0

14 months ago
Early air game destroyed i think. Fast raven rearm was useful to protect base in early game from rushes. Anyway i must test it. Maybe bomber improvements is worth for that cost.
Vision radius for flea and koda is immense buff.
Raider hp buffs could be too strong vs riots.
Movement changes is interesting. I means faster option to run away and rep units. However i suspect everybody will start hate clymore even more.
Com radar good thing.
+1 / -0
14 months ago
Looks interesting, with so many changes can't up or down vote until I play :-). Definitely some very good changes in there anyhow!
+0 / -0

14 months ago
LVrankSenaven Phoenix could be reworked to do that properly now.
+0 / -0

14 months ago
Dominatrix now reloads for 6x Build Percent seconds when it captures a nanoframe, instead of for 12 seconds.

so this means, you cannot bait domi balls with hillarious amount of nanoframes anymore?
+1 / -0
It means that, but if you read it too carefully it sounds like a 99% complete nanoframe would tie domi up for 99*6 = around 10 minutes.

I wonder if this should apply to damaged units. But i'd prefer the semi-antiheavy domi back.

(Also, is kodachi still unkillable?)
+1 / -0
I have asked this before, but is it not possible for a widget to add the retreat bonus back in?

99% means 99/100, so dominatrix reload time is not 10 minutes after capturing an almost complete nanoframe.
+1 / -0
Tank, Rover, Ship and Hovercraft acceleration and brake rate increased by 20%
Tank, Rover, Ship and Hovercraft turn rates increased by 60%
Other ground unit turn rates increased by 20%

Goodbye Zero-K, with "physics". Welcome, Starcraft-K, where tanks and ships dance even more momentum-less'ly.

+4 / -0
This is probably the biggest balance change in years. :o

Some awesome QoL improvements in the Ravens, jumpbots and showing resigned players in grey though.

Tank, Rover, Ship and Hovercraft turn rates increased by 60%

With no turret turn speed increase? :(
This seems like it is going to make Minotaurs even more of a giant pain to micro.
Going to have to carefully wait until the Minotaur has fired before turning to retreat.
If I want to aim at something I had best tell the Minotaur to move in that direction...
+0 / -0
14 months ago
I don't want AUrankAdminGoogleFrog 's superfluid
+2 / -0
14 months ago
I remember a conversation about increasing turret turn speed being difficult... Hopefully it will happen in time, though.
+0 / -0
Yes with raides devs seems fucked up. Glaive total OP in clusters. As i predicted riots very weak now. Glaive mass just melts almost everything.
Air arent hit too much. Bombing seems better now.
Less tremor spam dat i like.
Responsivness seems ok.
+0 / -0
Goodbye Zero-K, with "physics". Welcome, Starcraft-K, where tanks and ships dance even more momentum-less'ly.

I once found an acceleration and turnradius aware pathfinding algorithm.

It took multiple seconds to run a single spaceship on a flat map.

For ZK this means one of the three will always be true, barring a massive breakthrough in computer science

- The pathfinding will ignore turn speeds and accelerations, and physicsy units will bump into obstacles so often that playing those factories will require babysitting them all the time. QWOP-K

- The pathfinding will ignore accel and turnradius, but units will approximate those assumptions. They will fail to basic much rarer and not be very physicsy. Superfluid-K. Star-K.

- 0.01 FPS will be the peak performance, unless the game runs on a supercomputer.
+3 / -0

14 months ago
bandit survives defender salvo. glaive eats 3 defender rockets to die...
+0 / -0

14 months ago
I'm sad about the lack of retreat range bonus - I thought it was a fun interaction that added interest to micro and helped to turn around uneven situations. I would have posted on the feedback/testing thread but for some reason steam login to the website fails like 90% of the time for me (anyone else?) and I've been incredibly busy and too tired to deal with that. So I was relying on the reassurances that the thread wasn't going to cause the game to be suddenly massively changed because a few people didn't like some bits of it, oops...

Meanwhile, it's so weird having responsive hovercraft. Not sure how I feel about the rest of it - I think I still prefer the old fast pace of raiding-and-rebuilding but I can see how the changes making things slower means you can feel more in control.
+8 / -0
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