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Zero-K v1.8.12.0 - Sprucing and Switching

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This patch started out with a slew of graphical and interface improvements, but grew to include a few balance tweaks as well. To start with, the main menu is a bit sharper and the panels on the right are more welcoming. Players can be now reported with a convenient form via the lobby or through the Tab Playerlist ingame. Other ingame improvements include instantly updating state toggles, a greatly improved outline shader, and hotkeys for terraform presets.

On the balance side of things, mexes are slightly weaker to reward early raiding and factories are bit cheaper to make switching easier. A few other units have been tweaked, with the biggest being nerfs for Funnelweb and Ultimatum, which should open up the mid-lategame options in large teams.

Balance



Metal Extractor is slightly more vulnerable to light raids.
  • Health 700 -> 640

Factory switching can afford to be easier now that air is less dominant in 1v1.
  • Cost 800 -> 700

Outlaw is worse against units that keep their distance.
  • Cost 250 -> 260
  • Further increased AoE damage falloff.

Knight is also worse against units that keep their distance.
  • Range 350 -> 340

Pyro is slightly weaker because it is dominant in some matchups and we are not ready to look at Jumpbots. This is a partial revert of a buff from February, in which it gained 80 health and 8% DPS.
  • Health 700 -> 670
  • DPS reduced by 4%

Jack and Dirtbag deal extra damage due to a bugfix.
  • No longer deal 'around' 25% less than their stated damage against targets 'near' max range.

Tarantula is better at hitting planes.
  • Missile turn rate increased by 17%.

Swift is less able to dodge missiles.
  • Thickened by 37.5%.

Raven swarms are slightly easier to rearm.
  • Rearm time 10s -> 8s
  • Rearm cost 100 -> 80 energy

Likho has more downtime between bombing runs.
  • Rearm time 20s -> 25s
  • Rearm cost 200 -> 250 energy

Ultimatum is more specialised against striders.
  • Cost 2000 -> 2500
  • Decloak Radius 100 -> 120
  • Reload 1.5s -> 2s

Funnelweb loses the ability to outrun many armies.
  • Cost 3500 -> 4000
  • Speed 54 -> 40

Rover Assembly has a slightly smaller collision volume.

Airplane Plant no longer covers its construction and rearm pads with its collision volume.

Mechanics Fixes


  • Lobster-bestowed fall damage immunity prevents cloak for its duration.
  • Fixed a bug where burrowing units (Snitch, Imp and Flea) sometimes remaining cloaked when launched into the air.
  • Fixed units sometimes retaining their full LOS when launched high into the air.
  • Raven and Impaler overkill prevention is more lenient against targets that they do not kill in one shot.
  • Overkill prevention for many burst weapons has been improved and some failure cases have been patched. In particular, burst anti-air should be a little better at finishing off damaged bombers.

Main Menu


  • Clicking on a player and selecting 'Report' is now done entirely in-lobby.
  • Decluttered the Community tab by removing the profile and ladder subwindows. Renamed to 'Welcome'.
  • Added profile and profile links (such as commander editing and ladder ratings) to the Friends tab. Renamed to 'Profile'.
  • Moved the first-launch tutorial prompt popup into the top of the news section of the new Welcome tab. Since a new entry is significantly less intrusive than a popup, it only disappears after completing the the tutorial or by toggling Settings -> Lobby -> 'Hide welcome tutorial prompt'.
  • Tweaked the button alignment and skinning of the main menu and top right status buttons.
  • Reskinned the top bar to make it clear that the lobby can be toggled while ingame.
  • Fixed a bug with updating subheadings of the main logo.
  • Reduced the default command opacity in Settings -> Game.

Interface


  • State toggles now react to commands instantly rather than waiting for the changed state to reach the server.
  • Replaced the kick button in the Tab Playerlist with a report button, that brings up an in-lobby report form. The form has a kick option, but it should be used sparringly.
  • Added a smarter Caretaker widget called 'Auto Patrol Nanos v2'. It is not enabled by default as it requires more testing and fixes.
  • Closing the mission objectives panel no longer unpauses the game if the game was already paused when it was opened.
  • Space+Click can now be used on the factory queue, the selection panel, the mission objectives panel and morph commands.

Terraforming presets now come with some default hotkeys. These keys allow you to terraform areas with a set height, skipping the height selection step, and can be configured under Hotkeys/Construction. If you already created hotkeys then you may need to check your settings.[list]
  • Alt+V makes the smallest wall that Vehicles cannot pass.
  • Alt+B makes the smallest wall that Bots cannot pass.
  • Alt+N makes a wall units such as Rogue can use to hide from Stinger.
  • Alt+G levels the terrain to the height of the ground where the cursor was initially clicked.
  • Alt+H is useful for putting a Crab high on a spire.
  • Alt+J just makes a deep hole. This was more useful back when enemies could be burried.

More keybinds and unit behaviours can be set.[list]
  • Trajectory mode toggle is bindable under 'Hotkeys/Commands/State'.
  • Unusual keys, such as ², are now bindable.
  • Added Overkill Prevention to 'Settings/Unit Behaviour/Default States'.

Graphics


  • Reduced strength of projectile lights by 13%. This multiplier can be tweaked in Settings/Graphics/Lighting.
  • Upgraded the outline shader. The edges of the outlines are now smooth and they make units occluded by water and effects more visible.
  • Improved Cerberus weapon effects.
  • Improved the water on Folsom Dam.
  • Death explosions are slightly less overexposed.
  • Fixed missing explosion decal for Jugglenaut jump.
  • Fixed missing amphibious sinking bubbles.

Fixes


  • Added startboxes for BlackStar v2.
  • Limpet now counts towards the kamikaze award.
  • Fixed a bug with the factory plate placement visualisation when switching between multiple factory blueprints.
  • Fixed right clicking on units with a command selected erroneously issuing the default command rather than cancelling the selected command.
  • Fixed unit failing to reply to area reclaim and selection rank commands.
  • Fixed a COFC crash caused by unbound hotkeys.
  • Fixed some calculations for the EMP damage award where the damage could become negative.
  • Fixed auto-groups not being applied for finished Striders outside of the immediate mode if they had no orders.
  • Fixed morphing commanders causing the crystals on Zed 2.3 to change appearance.
  • For modders, made unit turn rate, acceleration and deceleration values in the unit files match what they really are.


+20 / -0


4 months ago
Oh boy, terraform... Time to experience the wonders of even more glitchy pathing?


At least basic shieldballs are getting a bit less good.


Damn, looks like Funnelweb has finished being owled. :(

Compared to a year ago (which is in the middle of a long period of stability) it's 3000->4000 metal, 6500->4500hp, 23000->19400 hp shield, 54->40 speed.

Not sure I've ever heard of harder nerfs for a unit (uber-monospam-Ripper to useless Ripper was a much less drastic change). :o
+0 / -0
4 months ago
Those terraform commands are going to be very useful!
+0 / -0
4 months ago
The terraforming Will be quite usefull. also happy for the balance changes. The only one I think is tad to excessive is funnelweb nerf, fs it is very easy to snipe in a 1v1 enviroment, while in team games by the time you get it and it will charge it's shields enemy will have plenty of lances or likhos ready to gun it down.
+0 / -0
4 months ago
Well done, devs!

THis update finally fixed the bug causing the shadows
not to be drawn correctly on some systems.

thumbs up!
+2 / -0

4 months ago
Nearly any means, Ultimatum is inferior to scorpion now.

+3 / -0

4 months ago
Strider hub nerf. hmm. funnerlweb was based on weaver? But it shall somewhat keep up with Dante or Paladin. I hope to see the speed rise to near 50 elmo/s in the future.
+1 / -0
4 months ago
As usual I like the changes in overall, although less speed isn't quite what Funnelweb needs. Its a nerf, which is good, but it makes the unit even more defensive, since less mobility means it doesn't support assaults so well, and it can't take as many risks.
+2 / -0


4 months ago
Yeah, guarding a Dante/Ulti was supposed to be one of its main usecases.

Might be best to scrap the big shield idea and try one of the other suggestions (there have been a bunch) rather than owl it.
+1 / -0

4 months ago
Funnelweb is now Funnelsnail.
+2 / -0


4 months ago
quote:
Yeah, guarding a Dante/Ulti was supposed to be one of its main usecases.

The main problem I saw was Funnelweb being able to hoover up all the reclaim without exposing itself. People couldn't run at a Funnelweb and punish it for over extension with Knights or Dante because the Funnelweb would just move back. It was too hard to profit with frontal assaults.

I looked into it and apparently the only reason it is as fast as Dante is so it can guard Dante. This runs counter to how supports usually work. Augmenting a relatively speedy army with some sort of support usually costs speed. The choice is between a weak fast army or a slower versatile army. If Funnelweb is meant to be used to support Dante then Funnelweb should probably be slower. Consider adding a Reaver to a bunch of Ronin,a Felon to a ball of Thugs, or Ripper as antiswarm for Ravager. There are some exceptions, such as Thug and Outlaw.
+2 / -0

4 months ago
quote:
Yeah, guarding a Dante/Ulti was supposed to be one of its main usecases.


Almost nobody used it for that purpose. Funnel use was reclaim, repair and shield antis or sup wep. And in some cases ar support striders and definitely not dante or ultis but paladins and merlins. Almost never saw funnel + dante or even funnel + ultis. Totally useless combo. In most cases low level players build funnels and just reclaim with or shield porc and that was waste. New funnel has thrown so much games because no effective use. Just metal and energy drain. Or in other cases you need spend enormous resources to break shields from enemy side because it shields porc clusters or sup weapon.
+0 / -1

4 months ago
I'm fairly sure I have seen funnel/ultimatum used to reasonable effect. Not so much with Dante.
+0 / -0
4 months ago
Best use of funnel is to shield your antinukes so they can't emp them as easily. Also for covering supers so they can't be emped by a stealthy silo.
+0 / -0

4 months ago
Funnel WAS definitely used to shield ultis, but LVrankSenaven is right in that it`s overwhelmingly common usecase was to reclaim and shield stuff from shockleys.
+0 / -0
4 months ago
I do think Funnelweb may need a rework eventually. Shielding static stuff seems like a bad niche for a strider to fill, specially when aegis/terraform are things.

The same can be said about reclaiming/repairing/building stuff. You can get a legion of builders for the same cost, their sheer combined buildpower should compensate for the fact that they're squishy. And some builders, like welder and convict, are pretty tanky anyways.

I suppose Funnelweb could specialize towards the later function: get a massive price drop, a much weaker and smaller shield, and basically become a heavy all-terrain builder.
+0 / -0

4 months ago
quote:
Funnel WAS definitely used to shield ultis, but LVrankSenaven is right in that it`s overwhelmingly common usecase was to reclaim and shield stuff from shockleys.




So main use of funnels is shield stuff and it do it very good. Not just against schokley but also against tacsub and eos. Also shield vs porc. And in this positions funnel shines most. If i build supwep first my demand is for funnel near it. Low level player tend build them to shield their porc cluster whoch is moslty waste.
Second overwhelmingly common use is built funnel for reclaim and energu drain. This is mostly low level player tactics. They rush funnel, roam with it on field opend for all projectiles (or even behind), reclaim in field metal, drain energy when shield need recharge and invest metal in more funnels and other useless stuff. This cycle mostly end with funnel killed by cereberus, ultis, regular units or even skuttle. Some plyers beside it also utilise it repair capacity which is pretty great btw if there is e for that.
Third use mostly is shield units. So i tried remeber and remembered that i have seen only one funnel use to shield ultis and can't even remember its use with dante (at least enough impressive to remeber that). At least no in my last hundred games. GBrankBLaNKMiND is one of few players who use funnel to shield his paladins and he is doing in long term games frequently. Can't say that its very succesfull strategy when enemy have things like merlins on field. Mostly this big spiders is also killed by ultis, arty or other units. Sometimes low lever player after all reclaim eneded go into offensive with funnels and other units. Mostly it ends very bad. Main problem that big shield spider is hard protect against invisible enemy and as its shield depletes (and it does pretty fast even for that large limit) it becomes big walking problem for owner because dies very very fast under artillery. Its because this big uber spider have so slow movent speed and also plus one big weakness - when enemy enter in shield its become useless.
Forth use is porc push (my favority for funnel trolling). And if you have enough metal and enemy doens't have fast counter to them then its devastating because in few mins all enemy base is spammed with stardusts and hlt. Of course it works vs low level players.


You see i haave better motivation to build strider with attack then big spider which eat 300 energy and need at least singu to keep shield charged up. So it means i need 3,5 + 4k metal to keep this shield charged. For dat price i can build two scorpion, two dantes or two merlin or even two ultis (but ok ultis and scorpion also eat energy). The main problem isn't even that but low level teammate who build his funnel in early game and drain entire team e for shield recharging. And you have no metal overdrive. Of course you can build dante first, funnel next and then singu but i still will have two dantes. And in teams when there is antoher units around situation becomes even more difficult because somebody build tremor or spam artilery which pretty fast down funnel shields.


So this recent nerf even more promote funnel for static shielding and team resource draining.
+0 / -0
Ultimatum being nerfed 25% in value while also losing effective dps and sneak ability has made it pretty much pointless except when enemy is egregiously daring, and often fail even then. Scorpion has game-carrying rush potential, and costs just 500 more.
+1 / -0
4 months ago
Scorpion can't vaporize Paladin/Detri, and needs some time to kill other striders, during which it can suffer interference. Ultimatum insta-vaporizes a minimum of 1 thing provided it can avoid screening.
+0 / -0
quote:
Ultimatum insta-vaporizes a minimum of 1 thing provided it can avoid screening.

It needs more than one shot to kill a Cyclops or anything heavier, and with the increased reload time, the second shot tends to not happen.

The increased decloak radius means that avoiding screening is more difficult.
+0 / -0
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