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Feature request: remove iris/cornea from zk

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The subject.

This shit is incredibly annoying and breaks all kinds of possible game balance breeding cancer strategies...

Nowdays big team games is just a bunch of cloaked shit from each side fighting each other - boring and uninteractive
zk never had a good answer to cloak mechanics, screening is a poor option provided how much it costs

The only semi decent option I see is area denial arty... Would zk be really so much worse without area cloaking unit?
+7 / -6
20 days ago
Nerfing or removing units from the game is never an option as I constantly stated over and over again in the community.
I suggest we make a counter for something like that. USrankShaman already has a structure in his game mode that detects invisible units. What's so hard to take that and scale/modify according to our needs?
+4 / -0
Here's the problem - there is an entire factory based on the ability to cloak: named 'cloakbots'. Removing its ability gimps the factory so much it may as well be deleted from the game. This is just too big of a change, and the resulting problems afterward is very hard to deal with. Not mention that Cloakbot is seen as one of the 'beginner' factories. Yes RUrankFirepluk, ZK would be worse off without an area cloaking unit because you may as well delete the Cloakbot factory and making a factory a blatantly terrible choice to pick has never been good for ZK.


So what about this proposal:
Make Iris cloakbot-only, so now if a team wanted to have cloak, they need to have a cloaky player?

Like the Athena rework, simply remove Cornea from constructor build queue but leave it in
Cloakbot factory and keep its ability to morph back into a Cornea.
This would prevent people from sinking a mere 600 metal for Cornea and morph, which, mind you, is actually cheaper than the Cloak factory.

This means Cloakbots stay in the game, but in small team games or 1v1s, a non-cloak player cannot suddenly get Iris and cloak their Heavy Tanks, Dante or porc, while in large team games, a cloak player must donate Iris for teammates, which should slow down the amount of Iris produced.

This also makes cloak unique for Cloakbots, by removing the ability to cloak for everyone else, whose units can use cloak better than cloakbot themselves, and means Cloakbot remains truly unique in its ability to cloak large unit clumps, letting them flank porc or strike deep into their opponent's territory while leaving the opponent unable to do the same unless they are another cloakbot user.
+1 / -0

20 days ago
quote:
I suggest we make a counter for something like that. USrankShaman already has a structure in his game mode that detects invisible units. What's so hard to take that and scale/modify according to our needs?


Will not works and hurts other invisible units. Its not just problem with stationaru cloaker as just cloaked lance and such units.
I think cloaker needs nerf. And one nerf could be that for every unit in cloak need more energy so more units = more energy eaten. And larger units takes more energy then small ones.
+2 / -0
quote:
Here's the problem - there is an entire factory based on the ability to cloak: named 'cloakbots'.

Entire factory is NOT based on area cloaking device, individual cloaking has never been much of an issue(scythe, sniper, con).
Area cloaking is an issue tho because of the variery of interactions it creates - cloaked snitches, cloaked flying snitches drops, cloaked lances, cloaked impalers, cloaked AA shredding your air and appearing out of nowhere and a cloaked full blown army sneaking invisible right in front of your nose because the screen you had got temporary damaged with all the crap that's flying around

Cloakbots as a factory could be perfectly fine and viable without area cloaking device...
Though knowning how dev is done in zk never going to happen, still...

It's not even the cloaking field that creates so much "very hard to counter cancer inducing strategies", it's a CHEAP MOBILE cloaking field.

---

My solution to zk plaguing cloak invasion would be removing MOBILE from area cloaking field thus making it more counterable i.e. remove iris but keep cornea
More soft version being iris work only when it's not being moved(instantly removing the cloaking field when it's being moved revealing all cloaked units)
At the very-very least it should be not so easily and cheaply spammable as it is now and should incur heavier eco penalties(like E cost dependant on cumulative mass of units being cloaked)

[Spoiler]
+1 / -0
quote:
This means Cloakbots stay in the game, but in small team games or 1v1s, a non-cloak player cannot suddenly get Iris and cloak their Heavy Tanks, Dante or porc, while in large team games, a cloak player must donate Iris for teammates, which should slow down the amount of Iris produced.


Factory plates also allow players in large team games to get an Iris without the need for unit gifting coordination, a plate is a pretty practical restriction that still adds a cost (150m metal for the plate + constructor travel time) and geography restriction (the Iris will need to travel to the front on its own, and the cloak factory can be bombed or scouted). So this wouldn't be a hard barrier if your team cannot communicate, but only a delay.

I think making Iris harder to access for non-Cloakbot players is a promising idea for the reasons you outlined, and is a relatively small change versus overhauling how cloak works. Past discussions showed little support for adding an anti-cloak building, let alone removing mobile cloaking altogether (the opposite in fact happened with Conjurer gaining area cloak abilities).

A small nerf to area cloaking has been committed recently, so more nerfs could happen too: https://github.com/ZeroK-RTS/Zero-K/commit/2e998b9544b12d901c464a1a26ae8357e1062338
+3 / -0
20 days ago
Maybe just factors like recloak speed, range of the cloakfield or cost could help fight this issue.
+2 / -0
quote:

Entire factory is NOT based on area cloaking device, individual cloaking has never been much of an issue(scythe, sniper, con)


The entire factory right now is in a weak spot. Its Assault and Riot are too slow, and too short ranged to be of much help when assaulting porc without Iris. They are also quite expensive for simply hurling them into porc. Other assaults are either cheap (Hermit, Thug, Ravager, Halberd), or extremely beefy while retaining good speed (Minotaur, Jack), or psuedo-strider in terms of power (Goliath, Grizzly). Knight only has barely 2400HP for 350 metal, is slow, and short ranged. EMP cannon/AOE plasma is exceptionally strong, but only when it gets close enough, which will not happen without Iris.



Coupled with the fact Ronin cannot kill, merely delay, which is useless when you want to attack, makes using Knight or Reaver untenable when actually assaulting with them.

Iris removes that, and lets Cloakbot fight on its own terms, rather than having to kite away while pathetic rockets miss, or artillery unable to kill porc fast enough, while sniper is extremely expensive and kills one unit so often.

Removing Iris essentially puts cloak on the defensive, as, beyond mass Glaives, cloakbot cannot raid or even push without it.

I am interested on what buffs you would put for the factory if you remove Iris, that don't lead to absolute cancer like speedy Reaver or long-ranged Knight. Even making them cheaper makes them massable far easier than before, which will result, especially in 1v1s, in uncloaked but slowly moving Knight balls stunning everything in their path.


This why I contend that the rework for removing Iris is simply too large and too complicated to get right.

Hence why I want Iris to be cloakbot only. This has as little impact on Cloakbot as possible, while removing other's ability to make them without swapping to Cloakbot factory.


USrankLegomenon, a solution would be to not make factory plates a smaller factory. What I mean is that plates are essentially gimped factories that allow you to make some units of its parent factory, but not all of it.
This stops people from making Iris without actually having a cloakbot factory, or for that matter, other powerful units without that much of an investment. I really don't think players should be able to rapidly access units like Grizzly, Lance, Wyvern, Goliath and the like without actually making that factory.

This has negligible impact in 1v1s, because plates can be used to make the 'regular unit' while the parent factory builds the 'special unit' which is not present in the plate production list. This just swaps their roles right now in 1v1s.

This also delays a non-cloak user from being able to access Iris without teamwork in large teamgames. As for teamwork, then that I am not sure of.
I am personally against removing unit gifting, or unit command sharing, because then that makes team games less 'team' and more 'FFA but these guys you can't shoot at'. Gifting Lances/Snitch to a cloak user essentially brings us to the exact problem RUrankFirepluk shows - incredibly boring gameplay where pushing into a space means you get shot by cloaked Lances nigh-immune to airstrike.


+0 / -0


20 days ago
quote:
What's so hard to take that and scale/modify according to our needs?


It needs some hacky behavior to the cloak gadget and requires some luaui hacks.
+1 / -0
Time to bring back the modular units into the discussion as I always supported this many times.

Why do we always have to think about nerf/buffs when we can modulate every single unit in the game with metal cost inflation/deflation. This way if you want cloaked anti-air or cloaked snitches you just pay more to have that kind of unit and you won't need to rely on iris/cornea.

To give you an example:
  • We have Krow
  • We have Flea
  • We have Paladin
  • We have Snitch


If I want a cloaked Krow we calculate the initial cost of 4500 metal and we add +10% of 4500 (initial cost) for each module. If I also want for the Krow to deal some kind of slow damage we add another +10% of its initial cost making it have the final price of 5400 metal.

If I want for the flea to detect invisible units by choosing the new decloaking module (which decloaks units from a bigger range) I will just add +10% more for its initial cost of 25 metal. so 25 metal +2.5 will result in 27.5 costs of the new modular flea.

If I want the Paladin to get an outlaw module and a small shield module it will result in a +20% initial cost increase. Thus the Paladin will be 12000 instead of the original 10000.

Now we scale every single module into the game in the similar way I mentioned above for every single unit and in the factories that we have, we will just have a vanilla frame where we can modify interactively in the game and add/remove stuff to the new units and then make them.

The modulation of all units in Zero-K will bring new tactics and will present us with tons of options from where we can choose. We just have to fixate every unique module that units have in Zero-K so we can have a good perspective on how they will impact the units. As long as he has standard modules and counters for these modules we won't have any kind of issues whatsoever.

So these are the unique modules that we are currently using in the game in all the varied units:

Main modules:
  • Cloaking module
  • Shield module
  • Capture module
  • Multiply module
  • Stationary damage reduction module
  • Jump module
  • Teleport module
  • Radar module

Damage types:
  • Slow dmg module
  • Emp dmg module
  • Disarm dmg module
  • Fire dmg module
  • Water dmg module
  • Gravity dmg module

Counter and immunity modules:
  • Anti-cloaking module
  • Anti-radar module
  • Anti-teleport module
  • Slow immune
  • Emp immune
  • Disarm immune
  • Fire immune
  • Water immune
  • Gravity immune
+1 / -1
20 days ago
Personally I am for increasing the energy cost of area cloaking based on the units area cloaked. making it be simply based off metal cost would do. this is effectively what ROrankForever suggested, as energy costs simply mean having to build more energy structures.

for instance, have the energy costs increase by 1e/100m would mean an area cloaked unit costs anywhere from 35% to 15% more expensive, depending on your energy production structure of choice. this will also delay mass area-cloaking until singularity reactors can be set up, by then some of the benefits of area cloaking are gone (Air immunity for example, since that would be provided by artemis by then)
+2 / -0
I strongly disagree with removing area cloak and frankly I am surprised that it's Firepluk making this complaint.

Area cloak adds a whole other layer to the interactions in ZK and rewards in-depth knowledge of units and interactions. Countering cloak is easy enough - all you need is a flea screen for cloaked units to bump into, and typically that's that. Air sees them, arty sees them and they become dogmeat in a few seconds. Blastwing can perform this same function.

Frankly removing area cloak would advantage guys like me who like shieldballs, and my #1 enemy is cloak snitch. But that's part of the game to be played around, and removing area cloak and making cloak snitch not exist means that you will get huge blobs of stuff like Sling, spamming a hailstorm of fire from behing a riot and AA screen. Is that what we want?

Everytime a player gets ganked by some or other aspect of the game they throw a fit and want it "banned" which to me is ridiculous. Well, I've been DRP'd and nuked more times than I can count and I don't throw a fit asking for nuke to be banned. That's because it's another interesting aspect of a complex game and deserves to be there.

I have not seen Shaman's anti-cloak unit but to me this sounds awesome and I think that is the proper response to cloak being hard to deal with.
+5 / -0
I had similar thoughts about area cloak around the time of this thread. It seems to be a bit too much of a no-brainer in standard combat at a certain point in the game. I'm nerfing it slightly to make it a bit less of an obvious choice. I also looked into how decloak radii were calculated and realised it wasn't dependent on unit size, so I fixed that too.

I don't want to add a large area anti-decloak turret because there is a danger of trivialising cloak with it. Cloak is meant to be something with interactivity beyond whether you have a particular structure or not. It can be mitigated with covering fire, screening, and just how you move your army.
+3 / -0


19 days ago
If not adding de-cloak, consider a new missile for the silo which has lots of sparkly magnesium in it for temporary AoE decloaking (20-30s, like a thunderbird?)
+2 / -0
quote:
If not adding de-cloak, consider a new missile for the silo which has lots of sparkly magnesium in it for temporary AoE decloaking (20-30s, like a thunderbird?)

It would also be extremely cool if an actual nuclear missile on impact and detonation created some kind of large distruption field temporary disabling cloaking devices on all units in the vicinity :P
+0 / -0


19 days ago
I have the back end for this pretty much ready to go. It would be trivial to add this.
+0 / -0
19 days ago
AUrankAdminGoogleFrog: a decloaking device could be a cool feature that interacs with cloak if you had the decloak beam as a conical area of effect that sweeps slowly across the battlefield like a searchlight. That would give cloaked units a chance to play around it in terms of timing their moves right and also provide a substantial anti-cloak effect.
+2 / -0
19 days ago
Agree with firepluk on that.
Even though i never play air, it's pure cancer when someone cloaks 10+AA units then pretty much evaporates any lickhos that happened to be too close. It's doesn't matter if you scouted with something, if you didn't de-cloack that cancer, your lickhos are doomed.

For ground players, it's also annoying when players cloack a massive army, of a dante and out of the blue you get a huge army hitting yours with no chances or survival. same goes for snitch-cloacking.
it's fun now and then, but when it's almost everygame, it's starts to get annoying. And no, screening doesn't work, you can easily send fleas to counter theirs before you send your cancer-cloacked to remove any chances to be de-cloaked.

On the other hand....well, snitching is a good option against an another cancer-form: shieldballs. but's for me, that's about when the positives end.
+1 / -0

19 days ago
Maybe an area cloaker needs to have a limit on how much stuff it can cloak, or the decloak radius of everything gets larger with each additional unit being cloaked. Cloakbot factory units could be exempt from the penalty. This I suppose would require some mental math and situational awareness to estimate the current safe radius of cloaked units.
+1 / -0
quote:
Nerfing or removing units from the game is never an option

ZK can remove, has removed, and should more often remove things.

quote:
as I constantly stated over and over again in the community.

Well that's like just your opinion man.

quote:
Frankly removing area cloak would advantage guys like me who like shieldballs, and my #1 enemy is cloak snitch

Only as long as other means of countering shields remain bad.
+3 / -3
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