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Zero-K v1.8.3.2 - Tank Raiders and Commander Diversity

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In this version the Tank Foundry is bestowed with two reliable raiders, there are some tweaks for Hover and Rover, and we make an attempt at diversifying the commander chassis. Amphibious units have some minor tweaks and major fixes as part of the continual attempt to make them more generally useful.

In non-unit changes, terraform can no longer be used near enemy units. This removes a source of APM frenzy and allows terraform to be buffed for other purposes. There is a new variant of Brutal AI and we have added a few hooks in the game definitions that make it easier to mod.


Added a Brutal AI personality with a focus on economy and escalation.


Kodachi is now a more standard raider. Instead of a single large, high-reload, large fireball it fires a stream of small fireballs. The fireballs travel quite slowly, giving fast units a chance to get away, and only burn the ground for 1.5 seconds. It has received some health and speed nerfs to bring it more in line with other raiders.

Blitz is a little heavier and slower, since Kodachi should be able to take up more raiding responsibility.
  • Cost 280 -> 300 (where it was before all the tweaking)
  • Health 1100 -> 1250
  • Speed 102 -> 97.5
  • Reload 2.6333 -> 2.6

Ogre is better against small units and those that try to run away.
  • Can shoot at retreating targets at max range.
  • Fires two missiles, Picket-style, with a gap of 0.3s
  • Reload 2.133s -> 2.3s
  • Damage 420 -> 2x240

Scorcher regains some of the DPS it lost in the superfluid update.
  • DPS increased by 5% (84% of previous, up from 80%).

Fencer became a little too manoeuverable and needs less damage if Hover is to be more viable.
  • Reduced manoeuverability (still greater than pre-superfuild).
  • Reload time 0.733s -> 0.766s

Ripper is still finding its place after becoming a more buildable unit.
  • Health 1100 -> 1020
  • Speed 66 -> 63
  • Turn Rate 707 -> 624 (was 442)
  • Reload 1.7s -> 1.766s
  • Damage 270 -> 260
  • Range 285 -> 280
  • Sight Distance 347 -> 350

Dagger is one of those knife-edge units and needs small tweaks.
  • Range 220 -> 215 (was 210).

Bolas is better at escorting.
  • Health 720 -> 780
  • Range 220 -> 230

Claymore might see use on land.
  • Cost 330 -> 320
  • Land Range 160 -> 220

Reaver has a tweak to make it better against Glaive.
  • Range 270 -> 275
  • Damage 40 -> 45
  • Reload 0.466 -> 0.5
  • Sight Distance 345 -> 350

Conch needs to be faster for Amph to be more generally useful, and now has a unique ability.
  • Speed 51 -> 54
  • Armours while idle.

Duck has room to be a decent sea raider thanks to the other changes to sea.
  • Torp range 150 -> 210

Scallop deals more AoE damage to non-primary targets to make it a bit better against Ducks.
  • Depthcharge Edge Effectiveness 0 -> 0.6

Lobster is finicky enough without a high fire delay.
  • Multiplied aim rate by 3.

Seawolf is better at bursting down enemy ships.
  • Damage 250 -> 260

Funnelweb can no longer block two Shockleys.
  • Max Shield 23000 -> 19400

Terraform can no longer be worked on when enemies are nearby.
  • Buildrate slows by 50x while visible enemy units are nearby.
  • Made all terraform segments cheaper by 12.


It is time to address the dominance of the Recon chassis. Instead of nerfing jumpjets, and potentially ruining the fun, we're differentiating commanders by buildpower and buffing the other chassis.

Recon uses jump to expand rapidly and a BP nerf tones down this advantage.
  • Buildpower 10 -> 8

Strike is made distinctive with more speed than Guardian.
  • Speed 40.5 -> 43.5
  • Regen 5/5/12.5/20/27.5/35 -> 5/5/10/16/25/35

Guardian is fairly plain so it has gained drones as an experiment.
  • Added Light Drones: 1/1/2/2/3/3
  • Added Heavy Drones: 0/0/0/1/1/2
  • Companion Drone build delay 15s -> 12s (all chassis)
  • Battle Drone build delay 25s -> 18s (all chassis)

Support needs to be faster to compete with other chassis.
  • Speed 36 -> 39
  • Buildpower 10/12/14/16/18/20 -> 12/14/16/18/21/24

Speed modifiers are now absolute rather than relative, and cloaking comes with a speed penalty.
  • High Power Servos: Speed +8% -> +3
  • High Density Plating: Speed -10% -> -3
  • Damage Booster: Speed -2.5% -> -1
  • Adv. Targeting System: Speed -2.5% -> -1
  • Added a speed penalty of -8 to Personal Cloak.


  • Maps that include gamedata/unitdefs_post.lua have it loaded in addition to the game version, instead of replacing it.
  • Multiple morphs for a single unit can now be set in customParams.


  • Fixed Scallop depth charges failing to reach their target in shallows.
  • Duck and Scallop torpedo projectiles hit more consistently.
  • Fixed the little jump that sometimes happens to floater units when they reach the sea floor.
  • Floating units thrown by Lobster now float correctly when they hit the water.
  • Crab now fires while changing state and is no longer 'stunlocked' by swarms of units shooting at it.
  • Fixed a target retention issue caused by quickly issuing Force Fire then Move orders.
  • Added startboxes for Barracuda Bay, Blindside, Oktagon v3 and TL Dropzone.
  • Removed swarm AI for units fighting Knight.
  • Space+Click unit information shows commander drones.
  • Made some selection circles better match unit size.
  • Fixed Bandit and Scorcher sometimes shooting sideways.
  • Potentially fix a morph bug that allowed facplop to be duplicated.

+15 / -0

13 months ago
again, thank you for your dedication!
+5 / -0
13 months ago
Lobster is finicky enough without a high fire delay.

Multiplied aim rate by 3.

Why not multiply it by 100? The delay serves no gameplay purpose anyway.
Also, can you please make lobster jump with some other hotkey then F?

Lobster is just really hard to use effectively.
+0 / -0
13 months ago
Terraform is probably the most unique part of ZK. I'm sad that it will get nerfed into oblivion
+6 / -1

13 months ago
What is the radius of the terraform limit?

Also, flat maps were already turning into Hover Mirrors for me when I played Sparkles/Dregs and rANDY. Now you are gonna hit Rovers with a double whammy by nerfing both Fencer and Ripper?
+0 / -0
Dagger is really easy to overdo. The Fencer nerf is small and Scorcher has a buff so we will see. The Tank raiders could be completely out of wack so perhaps you'll get Tank mirrors instead! @Dregs is most of the power behind the Fencer and Dagger changes.

I don't want to nerf terraform, but there is no good UI for burying and it is a fairly annoying mechanic. The limit is a 2D radius around the terraunit and is calculated such that enemy units can't be standing on the affected ground. With a nerf here we may be able to make terraform more powerful for utility.

CZrankpsaniac perhaps if the holder did not have a direction. Otherwise, moving parts on units are cool and it is a bit jarring if they move instantly. Lobster also has the manualfire hotkey (D).
+3 / -0
I did advise a dagger tweak downwards for that reason Godde. Let's see if our fears are justified in the coming days.

Edit: Scorcher buff does nothing in Rover vs Hover as scorcher is beaten by daggers, scalpels and mace. It's basically a no-build for combat during that matchup, and as such, not a concession.
+0 / -0
13 months ago
Its good to see the Commander rebalancing. I don't do any 1v1, but even in teams it seems only niche reasons for any commander besides jump. Dreadnaught as artillery with S.L.A.M. launcher, Engi for extra build range, or Strike for Disintegrator cheese. I also love to see drones making an appearance this update, I only see them in Zero Wars anymore since Funnelweb got changed into a Engineer/Anti-Missile instead of a Heavy Drone Carrier. They are such an underutilized unit and im still hoping for the return of a Heavy Drone Carrier (that isn't sad to use like Reef). Thank you for the continued support and updates.
+0 / -0

13 months ago
How about reducing the drone build delay based on how many drones the commander has?
+1 / -0
13 months ago

Buildrate slows by 50x while visible enemy units are nearby.

... That seems completely broken. I have to exploit this before it gets fixed. I suppose it depends on what "nearby" is.

Also, I think this is the wrong way to nerf terraform. A static 2second delay on terra builds might have been more appropriate.
+0 / -0
13 months ago

Are there any plans to lift Reef from oblivion?
+2 / -0
reef is quite bad =P but apart from reef most things are ok and have a use in battles
+0 / -0

13 months ago
Buildrate slows by 50x while visible enemy units are nearby.

Crab become endangered species now cuz no more fast spires?

Bolas buff is good. At least hivers got decend riot and escort for lances. Already tested them before.

Reef would be great with his long range impaler gun back IMHO. I almost never saw reef useing in my team games after large changes.
+1 / -0
13 months ago
Terraform changes feel like they went in the wrong direction, to be honest. Terraform needs to be more expensive, not less.

And the limitation on terraforming when there are nearby enemy units seems rather unintuitive. How will cloaked units that might be nearby be handled by this for example?

I think a better solution to burying would be to impose a speed limit to terraforming so that you can't use a builder swarm to insta-sink things or to erect instant walls on the enemy's face.
+2 / -0
13 months ago

can't use a builder swarm to insta-sink things or to erect instant walls on the enemy's face.

I kinda liked that Fullmetal Alchemist style walls and sinkholes. It is a very interesting tactical possibility, would be a shame to have that nerfed.
+2 / -0
But the game isn't designed to handle that. When strategies like that are effective they make the game revolve around things like tremor spam, quake spam, etc.

If the games was designed to handle that, it would be another story. Mostly if there were way more counters than there currently are (most units would need some interaction with terraform basically. Spiders and jumpbots already do since they can go over it, heavy units from other factories could have a flattening step maybe, most units could deal some terraform damage on the side, maybe some assault/siege units could have specific anti-terraform sidearms, maybe some anti-terraform specialists across all factories, you get the idea).

And I'm not sure if I would want the game to go in that direction, because too much terraforming might turn every map into the same map.
+0 / -0

13 months ago
My first point I make while being someone who almost never makes Rippers
I think that balancing lately has been doing too much at once.
To sum it up with 1 unit in this release alone...

Ripper is still finding its place after becoming a more buildable unit.
Health 1100 -> 1020
Speed 66 -> 63
Turn Rate 707 -> 624 (was 442)
Reload 1.7s -> 1.766s
Damage 270 -> 260
Range 285 -> 280
Sight Distance 347 -> 350

1 unit gets a nerf to 6 different statistics. It doesn't feel like a lot of thought was put into what about the ripper is the problem, 1 maybe 2 stats should be tweaked to see what thee impact is, then adjust others on another release cycle.
I dare say that the ripper got buffed in almost the same way it is being nerfed now, blanket and (it feels) blindly.

This next point is a selfish one from me!
I also personally hate the terraform change, primarily because it nerfs me a lot

I am however thankful for the time and effort that goes into these changes
+2 / -0

13 months ago
This update totally broke zero-k. It causes massive error spam and lag (due to error spam).

+2 / -0
13 months ago
yeah some other players found the lag too.. this can be fixed =)
+0 / -0
13 months ago
As an aside regarding the new changes to terra, there may be a rather big inadvertent buff to terraform.

That comes in the shape of Outlaw. Sunken Outlaw is going to be a problem. With the old rules you send a robust con to dig them out and kill them. Today on Fields of Isis I noticed that my commander could not for love nor money dig up sunken Outlaws presumably because they were in 'sight' of the terraform.

I realise now that this was the new terra rules in action.

Outlaw has just become a real menace if this holds true for other terra units like tremor and quake. Sunken Outlaw was too easily dealt with in the past but the new terra rules mean that Shield just received a huge buff :D I believe that it will be possible to make large areas of map effectively impassible to most enemy units.

Believe me when I say that I will make lemonade from these lemons ;)
+3 / -0
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