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Zero-K v1.5.2.24 - Air and matchmaker tweaking

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3 years ago

Ground units have more of a chance to shine with some nerfs to the more oppressive and generalist air units. On the Steam front we have improved the resilience of out Steam packaging by disabling wrapper automatic updates. All updates for the Steam version are automatically packaged and updated via Steam. The upshot is that the singleplayer content will be playable without an internet connection.


Wyvern is still a powerful attrition bomber, just with a slower rate of attrition:
  • Rearm time increased 5s -> 30s. Previously all planes would take 5s to rearm.

Hawk is tankier to cement its superiority and should be nicer to control:
  • Health 1000 -> 1100
  • No longer reduces turnrate when firing (only speed and acceleration are reduced).

Rapier is much more vulnerable to anti-air and slightly more vulnerable to riot units. It is also worse at covering territory:
  • Speed 3.9 -> 3.65
  • Range 360 -> 350

Flail has its missile escapabilty brought in line with other missile anti-air units:
  • Flight time 6s -> 3.5s


There are now four difficulty levels of AI: very easy, easy, medium and hard. These levels are selectable through the AI menu or as options in skirmish quick play. Survival mode (chickens) is also now an option in quick play.

The reports from players that they would use individual 3v3 and 4v4 matchmakers were greatly exaggerated. There are now three matchmaker queues:
  • 1v1
  • Teams
  • Coop
The teams queue will make a game of size 2v2 to 4v4. The coop queue is a new queue which will have two to five players fight either CAI or chickens, depending on the map selected. It currently uses CAI but we are looking into replacing it with circuit AI of variable difficulty levels.


  • Removed unpathable areas from maps correctly.
  • Fixed savegames breaking factories.
  • Fixed esc interaction with the command menu. It now closes tabs correctly.
  • Fixed some image preloading.
  • Fixed (or at least reduced) a rare issue with large structures on spires/holes being stuck at 0% construction because the inbuilt Spring terraforming is trying to flatten the ground.
  • Removed misleading reload bar from bombers. Pheonix and Thunderbird now technically have 1s reload time, down from 10s, but since they take 5s to rearm this change should do almost nothing.
+5 / -3

3 years ago
nerf it, nerf it to pieces!
All hail shieldball clusters
+4 / -1

3 years ago
licho reload time nerf is a bit...too much?
why the flail nerf? is that really necessary?
why does fatty krow outrun ground AA, e.g. archangel?
+3 / -0
because it costs 4500, while still losing to archangels.

Also is flail missile still able to hit things at the edge(or moving in and out of its range)?
+0 / -0
Change Wyvern
30->15 second reload.

Half a minute is more or less a waste of 2000 metal. When I get something that expensive, it should break enemy lines, or create large attrition rates.

30 sec is long enough to make Wyvern useless, especially in L8 game, where everyne has 40M/s and they're spending it on 10 crashers.

Wyvern does neither, it is a precision bomber for strikes where you need it. Thus it must be able to strike faster again.
+2 / -0

3 years ago
Not sure the Licho tweaking has been done based on 1v1 ;)))
+3 / -0

3 years ago
The rapier & licho changes seem pretty extreme
+5 / -0

3 years ago
I agree with the Wyvern reloading increase, but it will need to be tested in battlefield, just like the Siren.
+0 / -0

3 years ago
I think the rapier changes are probably reasonable, but 30s licho reload is ridiculous. We now have a 2000 metal unit that is obligated to spend most of its time doing absolutely nothing.
+3 / -0
3 years ago
Small joke on the edge:
Would not it be appropriate to let the Dante go back to the Strider Hub after firing the D-gun to get ammunition supplies?
+4 / -0
Wyvern is still more or less as good as it used to be at picking off high-value targets, but it's no longer able to clean up (for example) an entire Ravager push in quick time. Possibly the change is too extreme but it doesn't seem wildly off the mark.

+0 / -0
Wyvern still looks better than a lot of units IMO. Thirty seconds is a lot, but I think there's a bit of a context bias taking place.

Wyvern downtime does not equal its reload time, and it's the total downtime that matters. Wyvern's downtime was:
+ 5 second reload
+ trip to battle
+ trip from battle
+ Time where relevant target isn't visible
+ Time where opposing AA is in position

Your first strike or two were near guaranteed damage, but after that wyverns spent a lot of time waiting for opportunities. This +25 seconds reload time will stop an air player running away with an already one-sided game, but in balanced matches that reload time is unlikely to have too big of an effect.

Overall, if hawk is useful and rapier is weaker, this patch is likely a buff for the planes factory. In the worst case scenario where this does actually make wyvern awful, GF can always tune the changes later.
+1 / -0
3 years ago
balanced matches

We have these??

15 seconds since 30 just makes Wyvern, not useless, but rather pathetic at dealing damage, and all nubs need to know is:

Wyvern incoming
Aimed at you
Spread out in a large line.
Wyvern wastes shot.

That's what made Wyvern counterable, spread out and you probably won't be hit. I do say reload time did not need it:

+ 5 second reload
+ trip to battle
+ trip from battle
+ Time where relevant target isn't visible
+ Time where opposing AA is in position

This is for those who aren't using it to support teams/army.

This is what actually happens in our Custom games:
5 sec reload
Army is now pushing
Army gets attacked
Wyvern bombs enemy army.

It doesn't take 30 seconds to pick a target and bomb it, even if you didn't have scout. If you have an army under attack, bomb the enemy.

I say a nerf to 10/15, but not 30 since an impaler can do more damage than Wyvern over those 30 Sec. Wyvern isn't attrition GF, it flies in, says "hell yes", bombs opposing army/good target, and stays away from AA. It's closer to Pene than a Pillager
+0 / -0

3 years ago
I agree with the wyvern change. It can kill small groups of ground units, single heavy or expensive units end even gunships and can also fly across the map in 15s and attack relatively safely.

You also want it to be cost-effective at repeatedly blasting groups of attackers compared to the other options??? That was seriously broken...With multiple wyverns, maybe it still is, considering that dedicated AA is the last thing an attacker wants to bring to an assault, and the attacker needs lots of it.

This patch didn't touch thunderbird, though.
+1 / -2
If a match isn't balanced it doesn't matter what the unit balance is and your complaint is pointless.

Wyvern isn't about dealing damage, it's about removing units. So sure, it's a big DPS loss, but that's irrelevant. It still one shots a support or recon com. It still punishes balled units.

Wyvern has been extremely good for a very long time.

I too am surprised that wyvern got this treatment but thunderbird did not? I guess that might be a bit much for planes fac all at once?
+1 / -0
In the best tradition of zk develoBment - why doing small incremental changes? let's change what the fuck we want in 100500 times and see where it gets us

u go better increase all raiders price in 6 times AUrankAdminGoogleFrog and go play ur shitty 1v1
+3 / -6
I play teams, where a nub can survive airstrikes simply because his ally has spammed 10 Hawks and is proceeding to enact air dominance.
Or when their are a lot more units than a normal 1v1
This patch didn't touch thunderbird, though.

NO. 30 seconds of doing jackshit is not helping planefac. I might as well spam a lot of Phoenix&Raven and get a better result. TB is nowhere near OP, and I use HT, which TB should do since it's pretty much an Antiheavy

Also, Wyvern is meant to kill units, but 30 seconds is a lot longer than it needs to be. In that timespan I can gather enough AA to effectively kill it on it's return trip, so more often than not, it accomplished nothing.

Buff by removing down to 15 second reload.

With multiple wyverns, maybe it still is

I am not paying for a 2000 metal unit that gets killed on it's second strike when I could just build 1 Dante/Golly and end the game right there. It's even worse if you need 2 since 1 Dante/Golly can accomplish better thanks to the nerf
+1 / -0

3 years ago
I don't wanna be mean, but your elo is very low and you're using your experience at the bottom of the ladder to inform your opinions about all of balance. If your understanding of the game were strong enough to warrant such outspoken criticisms, you would find yourself utilising that understanding to climb ladder. Instead you're posting across multiple threads about this nerf with little evidence and even less expertise.

It is possible that you're right and this nerf is too much. If that is the case, then it can be tuned no problem. All you need do is show AUrankAdminGoogleFrog that wyvern is underpowered. You can achieve this by defeating people who are attempting to use wyvern, and demonstrating that it no longer achieves its intended purpose.
+8 / -1
3 years ago
Not to mention that during reloading U can't move plane, so it makes Wyvern a sitting duck. Noone gonna play air with this change now.
+0 / -0
You can abort reload at any time and escape the ground attack. What you can't do, i expect, is defeat anything that comes close to your fac because you can shoot free tacnukes every 5s.

If this stops everyone from using planes, then WTF. This would mean that Wyvern was the only unit keeping the factory afloat, and even that only because it could flcl style roflpwn anything that came too close to its pad?
+2 / -0
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