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Zero-K v1.9.1.0 - Mod Page and Slower Kodachi

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37 days ago

Tanks have been oppressive lately, with their ability to exert a lot of early pressure. Bakuhatsu suggested a slower Kodachi and organised some testing, which went fairly well, so we're going with this large yet simple change. In other news, playing new mods is now as simple as a single button on the mod page, Dirtbag is the guinea pig for a new animation system, bombers are a bit easier to control, and various lingering bugs have been fixed.

Balance


Kodachi no longer outruns Glaive and Scorcher.
  • Speed 117 -> 108

Features


  • Bombers are smarter about rearming. They now temporarily skip to their next Move command after bombing, ignoring intervening Attack commands. This makes queuing a safe retreat after bombing a group of units much easier.
  • Added a 'Play This Mod' button to mod pages on the site. See Future Wars for an example.
  • Improved Dirtbag walk animation.
  • Added Disarm Award.
  • Added some Portuguese translations.
  • Updated Russian translations.

Interface


  • Save channel topic to avoid re-displaying it multiple times a session.
  • Added a filter field for the map list.
  • Added a toggle for excess metal flash under 'Settings/HUD Panels/Economy Panel'.
  • Added a toggle for Attrition Counter under 'Settings/HUD Panels/Extras' so it can be bound to a hotkey.
  • Added free stockpile to '/luarules nocost'.
  • Added a few tip window settings under 'Settings/HUD Panels/Unit Stats Help Window' - useful for tutorial videos.

Fixes


  • Fixed a premature victory bug on Planet Tempest (as well as a few other missions).
  • Fix terraform mex placement UI.
  • Fixed airpads not working slower under slow/emp/disarm.
  • Fixed a few poorly configured projectile lights.
  • Fixed Slow Award damage calculation against commanders.
  • Fixed team names on Adamantine Mountian.
  • Fixes for the WIP Caretaker AI. It can be tested by enabling the widget 'Auto Patrol Nanos v2'.
+15 / -0

36 days ago
quote:
and
+0 / -0


36 days ago
v1.9.1.1
Fixed location mission victory.
Fixed Disarm and Slow Award scaling.
Fixed map list bug with unfeatured maps.

The AV false positive seems to have been fixed by a recompile.
+0 / -0


36 days ago
On kodachi being nerfed, overall a good thing. Still, I'm worried tanks are still wonky tuned all over the place in a way that can be straightened out real easy.

A real event I see fairly commonly is the RPS between tank and amphbots. Amph trash tanks. Archer can solo blitz (200 cost beating 300 cost). Lobstered buoy does the rest. I think if blitz actually existed as a unit this might be a little more bearable.

More complex than just tweaking tanks though is that the above suggests archer is still just OP. I saw a single archer destroy 2 pyros in a GBrankPRO_eXist obsidian game during the tournament. Makes me wonder why pyro got a nerf. Especially with venom now being the force that it is. Thanks to venom/recluse, hover can no longer fight spiders (adan/mech). Spiders fac-rps beat shieldbots harder than they ever have too.

There's also still a lot that can be done to mitigate fac rps. The biggest thing that comes to mind is recluse. With venom being so overly viable does spider really need a skirmisher with range that invalidates 2 whole factories? I think bringing it's range down might be interesting.

There's a lot more for me to say but my conclusion here is that this whole raider-riot thing is still overtuned and fac-rps is still heavily influencing the outcome of games before a single unit gets built.
+1 / -0


36 days ago
Damn, one of the few ways I can still win with tanks has been nerfed. Time to complete my switch to Hover... Bolas and Lance (and Halberd) is just so much better (seriously, Lance is just so much better than Emissary in every single way on flat maps).
+0 / -0


36 days ago
Part of the intent of the Kodachi nerf was to reveal wonkiness. If Tank only wins based on the power of one raider then there is a problem.

We're chipping away at factory RPS, but I don't want to move so quickly that we outrun the data and wider opinion. Amph is new to the scene and Amph vs. Tank is a rare matchup. Buoy has been a theoretical threat to Tank for a long time without making Amph any good. A lot boils down to the raider interactions. It seems like a waste of time to mess with this matchup while there is both so little data and a real possibility that Tank (most likely Blitz) will need further adjustment for its more central matchups. Also, calling Archer a riot-raider is pretty inaccurate when it has a mere 1% speed advantage over Ogre.

The Spider matchups are in a similar position. Spider vs. Hover is extremely rare, and Spider has lost all three of its 2500+ games against Hover on Mechadansonia over the past three months. There is more data on the Shield matchup, but the advantage doesn't seem extreme for now and historically it has taken little to nudge it the other way. It is something to keep an eye on. There are a lot of variables to tweak by the time a game reaches the Recluse phase though, so I doubt I would do something as anti-Quant as reducing its range.

We might be due for a map rotation. I expect the matchups to play pretty differently on different maps.
+2 / -0
quote:
Also, calling Archer a riot-raider is pretty inaccurate when it has a mere 1% speed advantage over Ogre.


Guess it's just an extremely cheap and fast riot then.

quote:
The Spider matchups are in a similar position. Spider vs. Hover is extremely rare, and Spider has lost all three of its 2500+ games against Hover on Mechadansonia over the past three months


GBrankPRO_rANDY very recently trashed my hover on Mech. On reflection, I'm almost certain that with the venom/recluse composition he used, hover cannot make a response.

Having played with the full map pool in the pro host for a while now and re-visited a lot of old classic maps such as zed, obsidian, gecko isles, onyx cauldron, living lands and so on... I can honestly say that the RPS problem doesn't go away, it just manifests in slight variations. Worse still, it's surprising how few of the maps are actually compelling and worthwhile 1v1 experiences. So what would we rotate out and back in without things going stale again?

On that note, I really want to do another batch of maps but the one thing holding me back after that last gargantuan effort is the realization that throwing more maps at ZK doesn't create a 1v1 experience on it's own. There's more to the formula than that, and a big part (outside of ladder/league ideas) is unit balance.

Here's an example of what I mean. Take Sparkles Reef. When that map came out, archer was OP as all hell and it took a stupid amount of collective friction to get that toned to something more reasonable (if still wonky AF). Soon thereafter, we're in a new balance situation that's even more of a hard meta: Siren/envoy dominance. Hover doesn't even EXIST on water currently. As a result, a lot of people hate playing Sparkle's Reef no matter how nice it looks. How can the map I have put that much effort into be taken seriously if the units that are meant to occupy it still require a little more attention? It wouldn't even be difficult to tone siren down.

The only map I'm even remotely pleased with the lack of hard meta emerging upon is Scaryland. Every other map that came out in the 2020 update is hampered by terrain modulated fac-rps / OU unit interactions:

  • Cobalt dream: Kodachi/Welder spam/porc
  • Desert Rumble: Pyro or fencer spam
  • Mechadansoia: Was GS, now is spider thanks to OP venom.
  • Jurassic sands: Daggerspam -> lances or amph
  • Prestige: Spider edges or amph mid
  • Anvilwood: Shields or tanks for safe reclaim. Maybe upcomm if vs shields.

And most of these are maps that were designed with a mind towards factory flexibility. I'm not convinced it can be done through map design alone, which is why I'm so eager to get your buy-in on balance and RPS issues coming from the 1v1 scene. USrankRyMarq made a great effort to get to the bottom of a lot of it recently too but again without you backing the effort, we're just squandering people's investment where we could be leveraging it. If you can relate to what I'm saying and want me to do another round of maps, meet me half way.

TL;DR: Happy to make maps if you're happy to facilitate changes based on feedback.
+1 / -0
35 days ago
Observing these endless discusions, I am beginning to have a feeling that in 1v1, it's just imposible to balance these factories.
It's logical that you cannot compare tanks and ships, because both are usable on completely different maps, and matchup on a flat map between rovers and cloaky bots is gonna be in favor of rovers, due to their speed. So nobody really compare compares these.
But all these factories have their quirks and specifics, which are not really taken into account anymore (unlike flat map = dont use bots). Shieldbots have no proper arty, which is good, tanks have no cheap and disposable units, which is also a crucial part of how they (should) work. If you have so many factories, there is always going to be some exploitable uncounterable combination of vehicles/bots one factory can use against another.
Zero-K is in it's design made for big team games, in 1v1, there will always be these problems.

On another hand, if this uncounterable strategy is not that one factory has some OP raiders (Kodachi vs glaives), but it occurs later in the game (Reclues vs shieldballs), the person playing that disadvantaged factory can make a switch to another fac, 700 metal is not that much (and if his shieldball is already getting hard countered by recluses, he should not have made that shieldball in the first place, but rather switched fac instead).

One solution could be to include an option to morph a factory into a different factory, for a low cost of 100 metal (and the process could take like 15 sec). That could be interesting.
+0 / -0


35 days ago
quote:
One solution could be to include an option to morph a factory into a different factory, for a low cost of 100 metal (and the process could take like 15 sec). That could be interesting.


I've suggested this in my fac-rps mitigation suggestion list before. It would definitely help but is also a very weird feature.
+2 / -0
35 days ago
I like it quite a lot tho. It solves this fac-rps problem while not creating new ones.

I does not allow you to combine together units from two different factories effectively (if for some reason you wanted to have a domiball, you technically could make some domies first, then switch fac to shieldbots and make some outlaws+sheilds, but it would be just so slow, clumsy, and meanwhile, if your opponent came up with a counter, you would be unable to respond in time).

Players would not be using it to get one specific unit (like a lobster or two for a shieldball) and then morphing back to their old factory, because 30 sec of idle factory (+ 200 metal) is just too much.

And even tho that morphing a factory has an element of surprise for the opponent, there would be these 15 sec or so when it would not produce anything, which makes it unpleasant for the player morphing it. Plus your opponent can do the same thing. Factory morphing would occur later in the game, because in the first, raider phase of the game, 15 seconds is a lot, while later in the game players can afford 15 sec of not producing anything.
+0 / -0
I've been spending my political capital on getting Kodachi nerfed from the state it was in after the change to make it a more normal raider. It still feels pretty good from what I can tell, and I was still walking over glaives with it, but it hits your base slower and takes slightly worse engagements. A big part of my motivation was that I believed that the tank factory was being propped up by an overpowered kodachi and nothing else in the factory was efficient, so you would always need to rely on the kodachi to get ahead from the early game to have a chance to win. I think Kodachi is now in a place where you can start seeing if the factory is in fact really janky.


The things I'd like to see changed the most right now -

a) Felon. I think the range is just a little too high, and could go down 5-15 elmos. That wouldn't help against lobster but at least it would make it easier to have the time to prepare for lobster. There's probably other options that could be looked at but I like this one because I feel it would do the most to encourage shield players to have composition diversity. Another option could be higher shield felon with more shield drain when firing. If you believe the stats though shield isn't doing super well right now, so doing much here looks difficult.

b) Siren. The hp/m is crazy efficient, making them feel like they can never die. And their damage isn't half bad either. One of those numbers is probably too high right now. A metal cost increase, damage reduction, range reduction, hp nerf... all could be options. Buoy does pretty well for amph, but fighting siren with hovers is a headache and a half. I think lance is the only reasonable option here (even if someone keeps insisting to me that claymore technically sort of can work-ish) and you need multiple shots to kill one siren. Which is compounded by Siren being especially good on narrow maps like Sparkle's Reef where Lance is a bit less good.

c) Venom. Its stats look suspiciously good when put next to Blitz. Blitz is very jealous of Venom. A good AoE, better dps/m, more stun uptime, better stun damage per second per metal. And they both have the same range. I think what I would like to see here is less emp damage on Venom, so that it would still be pretty strong vs low hp raiders but not quite as good versus heavy raiders and heavies in general (4 Venoms can stunlock a commander pretty easily, which seems unnecessary for the factory that has Widow). Something like 200-300 emp damage would be my thinking.



GBrankPRO_Dregs - I think that part of the problem with your new maps was that having any water makes amph viable on a map, and Jurassic Sands has little meaningful elevation plus wide open water areas which are great for both hovers and amph. And the hills in mechadansonia are probably just too close to each other. The whole map is dominated by hills, which makes both spiders and jumps too obvious of choices. I think Prestige is actually pretty playable as rovers from my own experience, so I'm not sure if the RPS is as settled on that map? There is probably a lot of effort still that needs to go into thinking about how to design zero-k maps, because it usually takes very little to enable a factory as viable, and certain factories tend to be pretty dominant when they have features that sort of favor them.

Right now I feel like I'm on team Archer is Okay, despite tanks being my primary factory played. I've been able to deal with amphs so far with tanks, honestly ducks are the bigger problem for me. And aside from being a bit annoying to fight with skirmishers, I haven't had a matchup yet where I fought archers and just didn't think I could deal with them.
+3 / -0
Appreciate your thoughts guys. In agreement with feedback about Siren, Venom and Felon USrankAdminBakuhatsu - it sounds right.

quote:
Right now I feel like I'm on team Archer is Okay, despite tanks being my primary factory played. I've been able to deal with amphs so far with tanks, honestly ducks are the bigger problem for me. And aside from being a bit annoying to fight with skirmishers, I haven't had a matchup yet where I fought archers and just didn't think I could deal with them.


Glad your experience is going well. Do you imagine that you could say the same if you had almost capped out in skill and were playing with a group of people all so close to that maximum that the most impactful part of any given game was the initial factories chosen?

If you play against my amphs, here's how it will go: You will likely open with kodachi and I fend it off with duck/archer. After the beginning, radar dot movement speed will inform me of exactly which units you are making. If you go into blitz, I go into archer. If you go into ogre/mino, I go into buoy. If you go into emissary, I increase my lobsters to 2x. Without kodachi being overtuned as it was, this is a situation where I am confident that I have an answer to anything you can reasonably do with tanks - as a result, I think that you will be working uphill to beat me and factory RPS, not mistakes on your part, will have been responsible for giving me that comfortable time.

I know the above looks like a theoretical assumption flex on how I'd win that match. The telling part is that I cannot offer the reverse matchup with anywhere near as much confidence.

My point is that the further up the ladder you go, as players play their tightest with full knowledge of the matchup, the more fac-rps becomes genuinely responsible for the outcome of a game and the confidence of the participants.

It's just like how spider players know to pump venom->recluse vs shield, or shields pump thug->felon vs rovers. It won't win you the game alone... But if you're both playing at the same level it will pay off far more often than not. Personally I find it to undermine / invalidate the worth of certain matches and that really diminishes my willingness to play 1v1 or invest in making more maps as it continues to go on.
+1 / -0
I can only really comment about what I've experienced so I can't comment about a hypothetical scenario where I'm able to take even 1 in 13 games from Godde. My commentary is more useful for getting a feeling of what things are like at my level. I will say that it feels hard to find much more micro for archer vs kodachi that would make it especially more effective than my perception of it, especially with how clunky the unit is (especially around wrecks). What feels really problematic to me in the matchup is Buoy.

Two Kodachis, two blitz, or a kodachi and a blitz can take on a single archer and kill it with no losses (though one kodachi gets within a stone's throw of destruction in the kodachi scenarios, double blitz is a bit better losing about half a blitz worth of value) ime, so at least earlyish it's not a complete disaster if you have to fight archers. And usually you don't have to fight them. Later, when the map is more saturated you pretty much need riots to compete, and this is where things break down because tanks have no skirmisher, buoy crushes minotaurs and ogres like potatoes and can still score damage on blitz/kodachi.

If the amph player builds buoys along with archers and you build nothing but blitz/kodachi it seems you can trade well against them in an open area with no defenses and reasonable terrain.

But they have no incentive to build more than a handful of Buoys unless you start really spamming mino/ogre because Buoy is so strong vs them. And obviously as you've suggested, lobster > emissary. Therefore I believe Buoy is the more serious problem in the matchup, because it disables anything that could trade evenly or better against archer without needing notably more local mass.


Of course the corollary to this is that you could nerf archer and arrive at a point where the matchup was more balanced too, but then you would see literally nothing but kodachi/blitz from the tank player and it would be a less normal interpretation of zero-k's rps triangle. It's also hard to do too much to archer right now when looking at sea balance.



Looking at your playstyle, I'd expect to lose to a magic circle of stardusts :D
+1 / -0
GBrankPRO_Dregs do tests and get data. Either live in the matchmaker or in dedicated testing. I can only use what data I see and what data people bring to my attention. The stats are fallible, in that they take a week or so to update sometimes, and they don't include tournament games yet.

I don't see evidence of your claimed mastery of these matchups. Here are what the post-Bulkhead (12/11/20 to 31/1/21) stats say about games between 2800+ players:
  • Amph vs. Tank has never occurred.
  • Spider vs. Hover occurred three times, each on Mechadansonia. Hover won two games.
[Spoiler]

The 'Pro 1v1' host games are now in, although casual isn't. I'm not sure whether including casual makes sense, but it could be something to ask for. At least in the case of Spiders, a replay search says that Mechadansonia has never been played on the casual host.

Without data and testing this ]looks like a bunch of theory-crafting. Buoy has been a theoretical threat to Tanks for a long time, but it has taken many other factors for this to even come up as an issue. I know you have game knowledge behind what you're saying, but it takes a lot more work to devise a good solution than to point to a problem. I want replays and testing so that we have the data to do something reasonable, rather than breaking other matchups while running in circles.

Balance is iterative, and the simple-looking iterations are often the ones that move us towards blandness. For example, a Recluse with less range or a Tank skirmisher would mess with the identity of the factories. Maps are also iterative. Every map is an experiment, and not every experiment succeeds. Learning that a particular factory is really good on a particular map helps with future maps.

I don't find the lessons of Sparkles Reef particularly surprising.
  • Amph and Hover are not intended to be equal plops to Ships. Maps that force this can be made, but success is not a guarantee. Sparkles Reef is mostly sea and impassible terrain, with the two exposed sandbar-islands in the corners being the only notable Amph/Hover zones. Ship is likely to be good on maps that are mostly sea.
  • Siren is particularly good on Sparkles Reef because it is a small map with many chokepoints. Land units/compositions that fill the same role would be similarly good on a dry version of the map.

I file USrankAdminBakuhatsu's thoughts on Venom, Felon and Siren away in the "something to keep an eye on" cabinet, alongside Buoy vs. Tank. The comparison between Blitz and Venom is very interesting, yet the stats don't support a noticeable winrate for spiders (45% under the same filters as above) and Venom hasn't dominated in games I've seen or played. It's good, sure, but it isn't like old incarnations of monospam Blitz when it was a little more powerful. Maybe it shows how important speed is, or weight. In any case, I keep an eye on these things and wait to see whether potential problems will be demonstrated to be actual problems.

It's like Flail. Flail has terrible stats on paper, but always looks really effective. The lesson I learn here is "it's interesting that stats can combine in that way" rather than "Flail must be bad regardless". Reworking it preemptively would be a waste of a unique unit.

Spider vs. Shield looks like a more credible problem. There is more data behind it and Shield has always had a lack of ways to deal with Recluse. Venom makes Bandit pretty sad. The next step is to grab a partner, pick a normal seeming map, and try out a bunch of strategies in a fairly controlled environment. How good is Racketeer? Clumped vs. Spread Bandits? Greed into LLT? Switch sides regularly. If you find an approach that works, great, but if you don't you have still produced a set of replays that explore the interactions. Start a thread and share them around. Maybe other people can suggest some things you missed, or do their own testing. Look at the common problems with the matches and use the tweakunits modoption to experiment with patches. Try different maps to see what sort of terrain is good for Shields.

This work is part of making Spider viable. It was fine before Venom became viable (and moreso, before Redback existed), but apparently the aim was to make Spider ploppable, so there is work to be done. The answer to this problem is unlikely to be a Recluse range nerf, but even if it was I'd want to know it rather than guess. Spider still seems to be losing most of its matchups, although it is fairly even with Jump, which was an intended starting point, so the testing is required for us to find a solution that is specifically aimed at the Shield matchup. Given that Shield is also struggling, a better change could be a targeted Shield buff.
+4 / -0
Appreciate the response and further insight into your working practises AUrankAdminGoogleFrog.

A few things. I suspect that the data coming out of zkstats IS flawed because I have played amph vs tanks numerous times all of which I can clearly visualize. Worth noting that when we ran tests for the map update, we deliberately didn't produce replays (in order to keep the update more of an off radar surprise) and a lot of good (albeit out of date) data came from those games. Edit: Ah, post bulkhead. Honestly I don't think bulkhead is even necessary vs tank. Widen the search to Summer and you'll see a clear and distinct advantage for amph that the addition of bulkhead would only strengthen.

I think what your post makes highly evident is the difference in exposure we experience. You have a lot to keep an eye on and one could call you spread a little thin - team games, infra, balance etc. I've said it before but perception of meta development / game time is wildly different for us. You have the macro view. My experience is hammering the game hard whilst having to keep track of as many player's tendencies and habits as I possibly can in order to maintain my own edge. When it comes to tournaments, this goes as far as practising each map multiple times in advance and watching replays of all players light blue and above to refresh my vision of where they're at. I'm not saying I'm omnipotent but I do have an evolutionary snapshot of the growth of a chunky amount of 1v1 players. When patterns emerge - it's easy to identify where balance is skewed.

Examples include recent narratives such as: kodachi your way into the top 20, shield your way into the top 20, knight your way into the top 20, archer your way into the top 20. Numerous players on my radar simultaneously rode these bandwagons to amplified spikes in ladder success - exposing what I insist are contemporary deviations from good balance. More acute examples include "Ripper day" and pre-nerf venom.

When these imbalances emerge, I do get why it sometimes takes you a while to be convinced a change should be made. Waiting for data, evidence, replays to trickle in. First and foremost though, the problem has to be recognized, adopted and become common before enough noise is made. With archer, I found that at the top it was instantly OU. Then slowly chancers and copycat up and comers got in on the trend. There were a LOT of ingame complaints, but most of the times that I asked people to chime in on the forum thread to add to the evidence, they did not. My conclusion is that not only are people (generally) less vocal the lower you get down the ladder, there's reluctance to be involved in feedback. I'm not going to speculate on why that is but I have a couple of suspicions.

I think because of the differences in exposure and your hard-evidence based tendencies, there's always going to be a form of inherent, abrasive latency between my imba-radar going off and your willingness to act.

For that reason, I'm very much intending to produce an experimental, community driven rebalance patch affecting all factories slightly. Let's see how that goes down as a mod. I know that people are averse to frequent large changes so if the balance is to the participants liking and you're on board with the results, we could promote it to canon with another large map update and bundle it as something infrequent but big. Ambitious, I know.

Feel free to contact me on discord and get involved, and that goes to all ZK veterans interested in the idea of such a mod.
+3 / -0


33 days ago
Overall you are telling me what you think rather than what fundamentally caused you to think it. I don't have some high standard of hard evidence, I just want to be shown the games that make you hold a particular balance opinion rather than just being told to agree with it. I feel like I keep telling you how to convince me of something and you keep trying to just tell me to believe it.

quote:
A few things. I suspect that the data coming out of zkstats IS flawed because I have played amph vs tanks numerous times all of which I can clearly visualize. Worth noting that when we ran tests for the map update, we deliberately didn't produce replays (in order to keep the update more of an off radar surprise) and a lot of good (albeit out of date) data came from those games.

I want you to show me the extra data rather than tell me that it exists. I don't mind about the map update as that was in October, which seems beyond the relevance horizon. Find these numberous amph vs tank games and link them.

There are a lot of conflicting balance opinions out there. People have different playstyles and want different things frok ZK. If I were to simply take whichever opinions that are written loudest as truth, then the game would be pulled in all directions, unmoored from reality. Maintaining a coherent design requires a way to collate feedback and make compromises between what various players want. The method I use is to request examples of the imbalanced thing and look at the games. When games demonstrating the issue seem to barely exist I have trouble treating the concern as urgent. If games don't exist then put a bit of work in and generate some.

The 'diverse opinions' problem is only half the issue with non-replay based action. The second half is with finding a solution. Being told "X is OP" doesn't help that much. There are a lot of potential solutions, and testing them takes work and iteration. It is hard to even test a solution without context. Solutions can look also look fine up close, but they can cause issues for other matchups. There can even be long term issues if they violate heuristics such as Quant's Rule, factory identity and power creep. Finding a good solution requires much more detailed knowledge about the situation, details that are hard to communicate in text but easy to communicate with a set of typical replays. Hence my requests for replays.

quote:
There were a LOT of ingame complaints, but most of the times that I asked people to chime in on the forum thread to add to the evidence, they did not. My conclusion is that not only are people (generally) less vocal the lower you get down the ladder, there's reluctance to be involved in feedback. I'm not going to speculate on why that is but I have a couple of suspicions.

Sigh, well I'd better ask about these 'suspicions'. Here are mine.

There is some game design advice that goes "Players are great at finding problems and terrible at suggesting solutions" and I don't see why it wouldn't apply to balance. It follows that there are two ways to talk about balance:
  • The easy way to contribute is to give feedback, to find problems. Post on games that felt unbalanced. Possibly collate examples.
  • The hard way is to contribute as a game designer, to find solutions. This is the source of large daunting balance threads.
The tricky thing about these forums is that they host both forms of discussion. People tend to suggest a solution or two when giving feedback, so it is hard to tell exactly which type of thread is which. This can draw those who really just wanted to give feedback into more onerous discussions about solutions. The result can look like the feedback-giver has to argue to even have their feedback heard. Feedback can't be wrong, simply because to write feedback someone must have felt something was wrong, which points to a problem, but the affirmation of the feedback is skipped over as the thread makes a quick transition to talk about solutions. I'm not saying players shouldn't try to discuss feedback. The line between players and devs is fuzzy here and anyone can have a go at finding solutions. I'm saying it takes more work to than I would expect most people to want to put in, but since the forum is dominated by the in-depth discussions, people who just want to chip in their feedback may feel put off.

quote:
Edit: Ah, post bulkhead. Honestly I don't think bulkhead is even necessary vs tank. Widen the search to Summer and you'll see a clear and distinct advantage for amph that the addition of bulkhead would only strengthen.

Finally, I'd like you to be less loose with the accuracy of easily checkable statements, as a way to be respectful of my time. Check whether a statement is correct, as I've noticed that not doing so wastes time and can send us down rabbit holes. For example:
  • If I drag the stats range back to the start of June (same 2800+ rating) then Amph has won 5 out of 10 games vs. Tank. Amph won 8 out of 13 games when the range includes all of 2020 and 2021.
  • I didn't say that Bulkhead was the only balance change, I was naming the update. Looking prior to that patch seems pointless since Archer and Buoy both had pretty relevant nerfs. Archer and Kodachi were reworked in August. Duck and Kodachi were messed with in July. Repair costs were changed. Mex health was changed.
Please do the checks yourself. Look up the stats to see if what you claim is evident. Look at the patch notes to check the relevance of experiences from many months ago.
+4 / -0
To keep things short, I'll say that I understand and respect your angle. And I can see why you find it hard to work with the way that I operate now - There's no trust between us, or better yet, you can't set the precedent of establishing trust as a means of feedback validation.

On the flipside, the problem I have is that if I go your route of providing large repositories of replays to evidence each interaction I see as problematic, not only will the data take either a long time to accrue naturally or be contaminated by rigged setting, we'll miss the bigger, more wholistic picture:

There exists a fundamental factory RPS issue that cannot and will not be addressed by tweaking venom or adjusting siren after 10 replays proving some niche concern. The only way I can personally think to approach that problem is to be deeply immersed (check) and then to zoom out completely, map it all out (in progress) like a web of factory relationships. USrankRyMarq already began that endeavour and I think it's the right way to go in the absence of anyone else being willing to actually get in the ring with this hydra.

So what would be a better use of my time?

1. Spend a year collecting replays and submit them to a bunch of dudes who may pigeonhole your balance views as "having an axe to grind" / have ACTUALLY reprimanded/belittled people for mentioning the same concern numerous times (in the course of trying to provide evidence as previously asked) and see if it fixes the wider issue or...

2. Circumvent all that shit, all this debating, and just make the balance patch myself that actually intends to address fac rps.

You can surely see how I got to this stage.
+1 / -0
33 days ago
I think it is normal that occasionally a game "forks" and becomes something else. I also played several of the clones (XTA, BA, etc.) and I ended up now playing ZK because I enjoy the whole ecosystem the most (players, speed of changes, lobby, forums, maps, units, etc.). From what I can tell ZK-s objective became to be "not just a mod of TA" but a complete game covering as many scenarios as possible (single player, 1v1, large teams).

If you find yourself a nice objective and you are able to deliver on it, I am sure the people interested will play it. Me personally, I enjoy team games (maybe I am just lazy to play 1v1), so a balance focused towards 1v1 does not sound like something interesting or that I would like to try. I am sharing this as you seem passionate about it, and hope you don't get to a point where you (angrily) say "I made a perfect patch but evil people don't want to play it/integrate it with the rest".

It is quite probable that game is not perfectly balanced, but to fix that (personal opinion, ofc) I would like ZK to have some automated system to report aggregated events in a game (what unit killed/damaged what, how many where produced, etc.), which would go a long way to remove the need of "trust". If you can generate and analyze actual data, why rely on "trust"?... Technically it's probably not very hard (same idea as the graphs but more granular), but the hard part is actually find the time to do it.
+2 / -0
Yeah, I like to make balance comments to try and draw out other people's opinions and see if the community at large agrees with me or not. It's really hard to know if something is worth looking into if no one else is saying they have the same problems.

quote:
AUrankAdminGoogleFrog: For example, a Recluse with less range or a Tank skirmisher would mess with the identity of the factories.


On the topic of Tank skirmishers, I think I agree that something like a traditional skirmisher for tanks would probably be an uninteresting direction. I've had ideas more along the lines of a suicide unit, like semi-fast armored EMP bomb unit, kind of like old deathblitz, or that otherwise does relatively low damage in a moderate sized area. It would be balanced towards being good vs light units and weak vs heavy units.

Another alternative - a tank that builds one light or heavy drone to attack with at range, and has no other attack, is relatively slow and fragile, and is relatively expensive for what it does.

Another - Disarming skirmisher tank, probably designed to do relatively low disarm damage in an area.

And last - Tank lobster, only throws one unit at a time and has a fairly lengthy reload time. Does damage based on the mass of the unit thrown to anything in the area it lands in.


I don't know if any of those ideas for units are any good, but that was where I got trying to think of an "interesting" tank unit to fill a "skirmisher" role.
+0 / -0

32 days ago
quote:
For example, a Recluse with less range or a Tank skirmisher would mess with the identity of the factories.


In this specific case i agree, on the other hand, just to throw in a different opinion, i will quote what Sigero once said on mumble:
"i would prefer a working game over an "interesting" one in most cases."

+0 / -0
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