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Zero-K v1.8.4.0 - Terraform and Battle Proposals

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12 months ago

This is a patch of tweaks and systems. The main balance tweaks are nerfs for Shieldbots and Hovers, while Crab and Lobster have been buffed in the form of fixes. Sea battles are easier to track with much more visible torpedo effects. Bolas is in the campaign and can be found on planet Falloway.

The patch boasts two new systems. The first is a battle proposal system which aims to solve many of the coordination issues involved with hosting a game. The second is a terraform keybinding system to make terraforming easier than ever. To counterbalance it there are some tweaks that make it easier for units to shoot into holes.

Battle Proposals

Sometimes you may want to organise a battle but find the public hosts a bit chaotic and the matchmaker a bit impersonal. To address this there is a new battle proposal system that combines the coordination of a matchmaker and customisation of a room. If there is enough interest we might even write a proper UI.
  • Type '!proposebattle' anywhere in the lobby to propose a battle.
  • Other players can click the text to accept the proposal.
  • When enough players accept the proposal a game is hosted and the other players automatically join.
  • '!proposebattle' can be followed by the parameters minelo, maxelo, minsize and maxsize. For example '!proposebattle maxelo=1600 minsize=6 maxsize=6' would propose a six player game for players with rating (maximum of teams and MM) below 1600.
  • The host of the battle can use commands as usual. '!password' can be used to make the game public and !type' can be used to select different game modes.


  • DPS increased by 2%.

  • Cost 170 -> 175

  • Damage 30 -> 25
  • Slow damage 90 -> 75
  • No longer fires underwater.

  • Speed 48 -> 45
  • Turn rate reduced by 12.5% (still 5% more than pre-Superfluid)

We are leaning into the low-manoeuvrability aspect of Hovercraft now that there is more room at the low end of the scale.
  • Dagger turn rate reduced by 20% (still 28% more than pre-Superfluid)
  • Scalpel turn rate reduced by 20% (still 28% more than pre-Superfluid)
  • Mace turn rate reduced by 6% (still 7% more than pre-Superfluid)

  • Range reduced by 1.4%
  • Reload increased by 1.2%

  • Health 240 -> 260
  • Build Power 4 -> 5

Normalised constructor vision ranges.
  • Crane 380 -> 375
  • Wasp 350 -> 375
  • Mariner 325 -> 375
  • Weaver 380 -> 375
  • Quill 325 -> 300
  • Mason 273 -> 300

Other changes:
  • Lobster now lobs units directly upwards and adds the horizontal velocity over half a second. This prevents Lobster lobbing lobs into itself.
  • Crab no longer stops shooting under heavy fire. It can now fire while curling and uncurling (this was always the case yet nobody seemed to notice).
  • Drones now heal at 10 hp/second after 10 seconds of inactivity.
  • Metal Extractors and Caretakers are a bit taller and units aim at them higher up.
  • Metal Extractors can no longer be built on steep cliffs.


Terraform tends to be more common after interface improvements. Some issues with the current system have been fixed:
  • Most units, including vehicle raiders, can shoot into terraformed holes.
  • Walls that block particular unit types (bots or vehicles depending on height) are more expensive and look more substantial.
  • The area to be terraformed is now marked while constructors spend the base cost of terraform.
  • Unburrying enemy units is feasible with overwhelming buildpower.

The details of the fixes are as follows:
  • Terraform near an enemy is now 20x slower instead of 50x slower. A bug that caused enemies to fully block terraform has been fixed.
  • The angle of terraform supports is now 74 degrees (from 75 degrees).
  • The angle of the outer edge of the terraform supports is limited to 22.5 degrees. This raises the height required to block vehicles.
  • The angle of the inner edge of a subractive terrafom support is limited to 45 degrees. This rounds the base of terraformed holes, giving units the space to peer into the hole and shoot whatever is at the bottom.
  • A small amount of terrain deformation occurs while the base cost of the terraform is being spent.


There is now a keybind system for issuing Level and Raise terraform commands with preset heights.
  • Navigate to Hotkeys/Construction/Level or Hotkeys/Construction/Raise in the ingame menu.
  • Set the parameters (height and culling) for one of the ten terraform presets.
  • Click 'None' and press a key combination.
  • Press the key combination to issue a terraform command that is executed after the drawing step - no height selection required.

Ctrl-Click can now be used on the selected unit panel to filter selections in a new way. To use it:
  • Select some units.
  • Hold Ctrl.
  • Left click on some unit potraits (Shift+Click to select all units of a type).
  • Release Ctrl.
  • The units clicked on while Ctrl was held become the new selection.


  • Underwater wreckages bubble instead of smoke.
  • Torpdoes and depth charge projectiles are now much easier to see. Hunter was feeling particularly lackluster due to the difficulty in discerning its targets.


  • Fixed some technology descriptions in the campaign.
  • Fixed Placeholder overkill prevention.
  • Djinn no longer teleports units to terrain with an impassible movement modifiers.
  • Removed Seawolf impulse. This prevents it from pushing ships out of the water and carrying them on its back.
  • Tweak collision volume for Minotaur wreckage and Tidal Generators.
  • Envoy and Emissary avoid shooting into terrain (this was intended, the theory being that their cratering was sufficient to break down walls).
  • Optimised some parts of healthbar drawing. Fiddled with the settings and made the text fade out at lower zoom levels.
  • Fixed Scylla firing more than one tacnuke when the intention was to only fire one.
  • Fixed cloak ranges widget crashing when an unseen enemy unit is selected.
  • Fixed a crash in the construction height widget related to clicking outside the map.
  • Fixed areamex construction ghost positions in the sea.
  • Fixed Crane nanospray.
+17 / -0
12 months ago
Is it required to start a new campaign to access the bolas?
+0 / -0

12 months ago
No. It should even be already unlocked if you have completed the right mission.
+0 / -0

12 months ago
Crab no longer stops shooting under heavy fire. It can now fire while curling and uncurling (this was always the case yet nobody seemed to notice).

I have noticet it long time ago but didn't though that its critical problem. :/ Sometimes it was annoying but not so much.
+0 / -0
12 months ago
Ah, i now find it.
+0 / -0
12 months ago
trying lobsters :P
+0 / -0
Interesting attempt to solve the terraform problem...

Looks like you now need to raise walls a bit higher so a stardust diameter wall is now more expensive than a stardust, costing 330/380 metal.

It's odd that the price of a wall is not very proportional to the height. A bot-blocking wall costs 380 while a vehicle blocking one costs 330?

While I applaud your attempts to make eco raidable again, the unit AI is fighting against you very hard. If you try and get a glaive to attack a burried mex not only will it not go up to the hole to attack, but it will move AWAY from the hole if you order it to stand next to the hole so it can shoot into it!
+1 / -0

12 months ago
Thanks for tolerating my bullshit for the duration of the shieldbots discussion. Meanwhile these other changes sound great, looking forward to checking it out.

Dyth you're on point. I haven't been able to put my finger on it but unit AI has felt a little unusual as of late, particularly with some riot/skirmisher units attempting to stay on the furthest distance from the enemy it's attacking (during attack commands). Worth turning eyes towards.
+0 / -0
12 months ago
why no reef, blastwing, adv radar changes? those units needed a tweak more then glave +2% dps .. nice patch anyway tho so +1
+0 / -0
12 months ago
This post has been downvoted below -5 and collapsed, click here to expand
outlaw is pretty useless now with the exception of being a way to defend convict while they build HLTs in enemy base

thugs are as useless as always, no change there (other then making them more usless
+0 / -6
There I was thinking I was just being stupid the other day when my Scylla spat all its missiles at a Cerb the other day. Perhaps it was that firing issue after all. Though no doubt stupidity still had a role.

Just need to decide what my preferred !proposebattle parameters would be.

Liking lots of what is here.
+0 / -0
12 months ago
double jump with lobber breaks gadgets, gg game
+0 / -0

12 months ago
outlaw is pretty useless now with the exception of being a way to defend convict while they build HLTs in enemy base

thugs are as useless as always, no change there (other then making them more usless

Disagree, Thuglaw were strong before and I believe will still feature heavily in SB play (in ≤3v3s at least, I'm unqualified to speak for larger games).
+0 / -0
Made new stable reverting Lobster change to hopefully fix crash.

If your room is not running the right version for you use the command !game zk:stable
+0 / -0
thugs are pretty useless(@ 43 dps), but outlaw+convict is moderately good for porc push

but that is always dependent on you having material advantage, equal cost in any other assault will absolutely destroy thuglaw
(zeus vs thuglaw is canonical matchup, and 2 zeus will wreck 1 outlaw 3 thug)
+0 / -1

12 months ago
GBrankddaboqepp You come across as though speaking from a place of authority. Can't speak for teams but that's absolutely not the reality in 1v1. Those units still have a very concrete and well defined roll that they still perform very well. Happy to demonstrate any time.
+3 / -0
:P 2 glaives can kill a outlaw on its own of they get in range between pulses

thuglaw is just food for the enemy unless it allows you to build offensive porc

tested in a couple of 1v1 games

practically speaking for shield felon, rouge, and bandit are the only real units, every other unit only serves a support role
+1 / -1

12 months ago
GBrankddaboqepp rover vs @Dregs shieldball BO3 go
+2 / -0
eh sure? ill do the 1v1
+1 / -0
12 months ago
The potential of "Battle Proposals" seems excellent.
+1 / -0
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