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35 days ago
Dante feels wrong. When manualfire weapons were introduced I had this idea that they should have niche, deliberate, use. That they shouldn't be spammable, since that is just forcing players to micromanage something which could be implemented as automatic weapon fire.

I feel like Scorpion has the best designed manualfire among the striders. Players use Scorpion burst deliberately against specifics targets or clumped units. In contract, Dante seems to have the worst design. I see Dante mainly used as medium ranged artillery on a 20s cooldown. Optimal usage seems to involve loitering about 600 elmos from the enemy and spraying them with fire missiles. This feels like something that could be as automatic as a normal weapon.

Scorpion and Paladin each have 30s reload on their special weapons. Merlin even has 30s reload on its rocket barrage. Dante has 20s reload, but it is theoretically paying the cost of not being able to fire its missiles while reloading. But this cost doesn't mean much when it is loitering out of range.

Here are some parameters that could be tweaked.
  • Increase special reload time - I think this should be increased. Maybe to 30s, maybe even beyond. A cheap way to make weapon usage more deliberate is with long reload, to at least make it worth waiting for a better target.
  • Reduce special range - I'm not sure about this one, but it would be simple and effective.
  • Reduce special missile variance - This seems better than a range reduction. The current manual fire is fired so that a few missiles randomly go far beyond its nominal range. Also, it is difficult to deliberately aim the weapon at anything in particular when it has so much spray.
  • Improve normal missile - This would make the cost of firing a salvo greater. Perhaps the normal missile could have increased range relative to the special fire, to give it some of the attrition power it has now.
  • Reduce burn time - This violates Quant's Rule, but perhaps it is necessary because glancing blows dooming small units the main reason to shoot a salvo that mostly hits nothing. The current burn time is 2.5x that of the next highest burner (flamethrowers) so it could afford to be reduced a bit and retain some uniqueness.
If it is nerfed as artillery it would probably need buffs in other areas. I'd consider making it a bit better at assaulting somehow.
+6 / -0

35 days ago
make it spew fire. change the missile mechanic to be a toggleable swap between a scaterfire artillary(6 misiles every 6 seconds shooting at a more merlin style angle just a bit further than current rocket range) and precise mode(similar to what reglular rockets do now). get rid of the 35 second burn time cause I don't like it. Open the dgun slot for something else(molten core:25% haste on all actions for 10 seconds, 60 second cooldown. this sounds incredibly boring, and easy to run into limitations with engine on fast fireing weapons).

What does mumble clan think about this? They love Dante.
+1 / -0
35 days ago
Dante is 100% fine. It's a strong, well balanced unit that rewards good players and dies when used by fools.

There are far bigger problems to deal with, such as sea sucking and Impaler being cancer.
+5 / -0
35 days ago
Actually, regarding Impaler, I found that Dante is a decent counter to Impaler swarms. When the enemy has invested so much into precision artillery, a strong mobile unit like Dante can not only force them back but if you are clever about it, it can sometimes catch them with its own long range rocket salvo. Cloaked dante is particularly useful in this role. Please don't muck up a great unit.
+2 / -0

That analysis feels a little superficial, I will write an in-depth article about this as soon as I can.

Note I am not against a change, but it doesn`t seem like there are enough contextual aspects factored in.


Most Mumble-players retired it seems. I will just repeat an argument of ROrankSigero:

1 Aspis is enough to very effectively block Dantes D-Gun.

That does not adress AUrankAdminGoogleFrog's issue of it being inconsistent with other special weapons tho. This is why I want to give my detailed thoughts, so it can be changed in a satisfying way.
+2 / -0
35 days ago
I like to use Dante as a very strong assault unit, just walk with it (cloaked) straight into enemy defenses (if they are not too strong), and I think that is how it was supposed to be used - an expensive assault/riot unit which is good against raiders and which retreats on low health. Dante seems to struggle once the enemy amasses enough artillery, though. What about if it gained a d-gun armored form, which would reduce an incoming damage for a few seconds to a half/quarter, with a larger cooldown? This would not make Dante completely obsolete once a few lances are out there and it would be better at punishing fortified positions. I do not think it would be broken - the armored form would last only for a few seconds, so the Dante would have to retreat quickly, because if it still is in lance vision + range once armored form ends, then bye bye Dante. Also, since the missile salvo d-gun would be gone, it would be much easier to harras it with skirmishers, which is how similar riot/assault units are punished (besides targeting it with arty). Current Dante is able to deal both with raiders and skirmishers, it's good if it is counterable with at least one of those categories.
+1 / -0
35 days ago
Since you usually only have 1 or 2 dantes, I'd think the micro requirement is acceptable.

But, if you want to remove the artillery ability:
Replace d-gun with an area attack around itself, like a ring of fire that burns (burns burns)
Increase the movement speed.
Increase burn time on normal missiles.

As Astran points out, this would remove its ability to fight Impalers :/
Unless you cloak it and set it to hold fire, then it would be OP I guess.
+1 / -0
35 days ago
Dante is the only unit that opposes lance (In middle game). It is worth noting that Lance also opposes Dante and to the same extent. In both cases, you need to do sniper work to destroy the enemy. Dante is a weak riot, this is due to his regeneration, low HP, but if you make him a stronger riot, we get the Dante + invisibility meta, which will be one of the strongest metas in the game. Dante's skill nerf will make him weaker than recluses, at the moment Dante can kite recluses, but after the nerf he won't be able to. So if you make him a strong riot, it will be a big problem, Dante will be able to break 4-6 commanders at a time, making a raid from invisibility. We will get Dante rush early in the game very often because not everyone gets 10 recluses + flea screen to stop it. This is a Lance buff. This breaks Dante's flexibility.
+9 / -0
35 days ago

Is it intended that Dante doesnt always shoot all its weapons?


The 2 missiles are missing most of the time and sometimes it only shoots with the flamethrower.
+0 / -0
34 days ago
I'm not an expert in using Dante, but it seems you need to use the dgun salvo often to uncover any cloaked units that are coming to ruin your hopes and dreams, since despite the fact Dante has many flame weapons, it doesn't use them automatically to set ground on fire where there are likely enemy cloaked units.
+2 / -0
Dante is skirm-riot combined in a single unit and that gives it flexible generalist gameplay like skirm-riot compositions but with no attrition, great for lobpots where coordination and distribution of combat power is often off. The amount of micro for cost and combat power is also quite low compared to proper skirm-riot-y comps of equal value.

On top of general flexibility, Dante's unique use is to shut down "cloaky BS" especially phantom walls, with a single well positioned surprise attack (from cloak, yes). This beats other anti-cloak tactics like screening unit feed or providing a easy counter battery target in fragile firewalker/badgers.

Its has a pretty unique role that is balanced with unique gameplay in using the unit and in countering it. It is a pretty good strider imo, specialist heavy units take too much of a hard read on future game state and may fail if said game state do not materialize.

Currently, as an pure assault, dante is pretty bad, expensive, high barrier to entry, low hp for cost, meh speed/range and lacks tools to kill secure (alpha/slow/stun/etc) in heavy fights. By the time dante is built, the opposing side is likely to have 4 lances around, and scattering of other tools like placeholders, widows, cloaky cyclopes + support, to shut down an dante led assault. As for rioting, riot is all about economy of force as if the opponent is not dumb will just run away from riots. Balancing minimum riot for safety and maximum in skirm/arty is the key to fast and positive attrition that wins games: a heavy riot only works if it can be used in assault or the opponent is making mistakes.

Dante's flexibility is what makes it effective and more fun than, say, tanks.
+2 / -0
Dante is rewarding to use but feels pretty counter-able now. It's manual fire weapon is the only thing allowing it to be able to contest lance(and sniper, and cloaked shit as mentioned above) at all, already a tough task.

It seems that it is not fulfilling the role it was designed for, but that doesn't mean its' current role isn't a good one. In general, I don't think that novel uses for units that arise out of play and not by design are inherently unhealthy. My 2c.
+7 / -0

32 days ago
Dante easy falls out in late game but scropion and paladin not.
Scorpion costs 3000 metal while dante 3500 and scorpion easy can kill dante when got stun on it. Ultimatum kills dante with one shoot and costs 2500 metal. Scorpion and ultimatum have invisibility while dante doesn't.
Close combat strider ideology in ZK is pretty futile because game is dominated by artillery and long range defenses already from midgame killing almost all close combat options. One lance disables dante almost totally. Only remaining option to deal damage become this missile salvo. And even that is using cloaker..
Salvo is also usable option against clokaed unit swarms and area cloaker which so much dominates in game.
If dante loose its missile salvo then it becomes costly useless brick.
+1 / -0

32 days ago
So, here are my thoughts:


Since it is too long for the forum, I decided to give you a downloadable pdf instead. If anyone wants to take the efford, feel free to make a "in-forum" version. :)
Also, sorry if my english spelling sucks, I didn`t proof-read it in the slightest and didn`t take much efford into more professional formating, since this is no "official" academic paper.
+7 / -0
I feel like Scorpion has the best designed manualfire among the striders.

partially wrong, when you move merlin attack to be d-gun attack. any sane person uses merlin as if it has dgun attack. the rest just likes to kill allies.
+3 / -0
32 days ago
Perhaps Merlin should leave factory on default with hold fire?
+4 / -0
If one gets Dante to turn it's torso while d-gunning, it will raise it`s arms (?), resulting in a
somewhat random missile trajectory that goes far above the normal reach.
The only thing that is a bit bad is that this twitching shot is not obvious to new players, aka it is not documented.

As somebody who has played Zero-K for eight years, I didn't know that this existed and I don't like that it exists. Randomly losing some light units in your back line to Dante afterburn, or maybe randomly not depending on how the rockets land, is a pretty unfun experience.
+0 / -0

32 days ago
I agree that it shouldt go THAT far at times but in general i like that there is more possible than just press d and click on something.
+1 / -0
Why is Dante used the way it is currently, e.g. as an artillery-unit?

Because in 90% cases when dante is used only as close combat strider it becomes close metal donation fo enemy. Even if its going with cloaker. As supported assault strider it is ultra useless because dante have small hp pool for assault strider and two of its weapons is very great at damaging friendly units so you have very limited ability to support it for example with shield. And everybody who use dante effectively uses it as missile salvo spammer. Not like useless heat ray strider who dies after few minutes even faster. Dante can't take beating so as assault strider its useless. As riot strider? Even more useless because nobody use raiders vs dante and raiders is faster then dante. Only way to get close to enemy is to use cloaking and its very high risk.
And dante missiles fly further even if shooting is executed withouth turning it while firing d gun. Some missiles can fly very long ranges and i have numerous times when enemy dante missile fly in my unit formation from kilometer.
I just want say that assault strider concept with 11k HP and close combat heat ray (which is loosing its power with longer disatnces) is pretty useless in game where dominates artillery, cloak and overpowered defense buildings. And only thing which keeps this strider in focus for good players is that nasty napalm salvo which is pretty funny thing.
Funnel and reef is already killed. Now dante?
+4 / -0
and i have numerous times when enemy dante missile fly in my unit formation from kilometer

which usually doesn`t bother me that much because at that stage i barely notice them between the impaler-missiles and bertha-shells?

Thanks btw LVrankSenaven for basically repeating my points. Good to know other people come to the same conclusion.
+5 / -0
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