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What changes would you make to each factory's unit rosters?

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Personally, this is what I'd change for each of the current factories:

- Cloakbots: [Spoiler]


- Shieldbots: [Spoiler]


- Rovers: (To be determined)


- Tanks: [Spoiler]


- Hovers: (To be determined)


- Amphbots: (To be determined)


- Jumpbots: (To be determined)


- Spiders: (To be determined)


- Ships: (To be determined)


- Gunships: (To be determined)


- Airplanes: (To be determined)


- Striders: Probably won't talk about them here, since their build options consist of only late-game super-units.


If you'd like to talk about adding new factories altogether, go here: (To be determined)

If you simply want to talk about new ideas or concepts for units, go here.
+2 / -1
Rovers should have an actual antiheavy unit in their roster, a comparably high-damage, high speed, high alpha unit with pretty much an oversized Ronin weapon - a direct-fire lowish-range slowish-speed unguided rocket.

Like Ronin, the roverantiheavy loses speed when reloading, but much more dramatically. Or, rather, when armed, it uses the mounted rocket as a thruster.

It's a move-fast-and-break-things approach, brutal and careless; these will take return fire from e.g. a Cyclops, and many may die to a Dante's volley - but they will kill more than they cost, so who cares, job done.

+9 / -0
so, a rocket with wheels? where is the reload ammo stored? or this is like puppy with wheels.
+0 / -0
It grows a new rocket after a while. Using space laser robot nanotechnology from the future.
+4 / -0

20 months ago
how very dart like
+0 / -0
changing the Cloakbot Factory's lineup to one consisting mostly, if not entirely, of units with their own self-cloaking devices

Would be very unfun to play against and warps the counter structure (flea counters the whole fac, tank is screwed because it has no cheap revealers, etc).

- 1. All units must possess their own shield (to fit with the general theme of offering protection towards eachother)

This would actually ruin the theme and the whole intrafac synergy because if all units have a shield they don't need other units' protection. Again units good/bad vs shields would again counter/be countered by the whole fac.

A thing that is supposed to make Shieldbots beginner friendly is that many of their units shoot over obstacles (terrain or wrecks/trees) and each other - line of fire obstruction is something newbs usually have trouble with when using the other facs. Thug, Rogue and Racketeer have arcing shots; Felon is the tallest and can just shoot over the others; Outlaw ignores everything altogether. A minor role of Dirtbag was supposed to be creating such obstacles which hinder enemy fire but not the shieldbots', this is completely useless in practice and just hinders pathing but it sounds like a more reasonable redesign candidate if somebody wanted to touch shieldbots.
+1 / -0
how very dart like

Except for not being easily countered by riots and only shooting forward, this is a super heavy ronin dart, sure.
+0 / -0
logical breach detected. how can it shoot only forwards when it should be unlimited by Using space laser robot nanotechnology from the future?
+0 / -0

20 months ago
Because it uses the rocket as its thruster, so it can't point sideways without falling over! And as we know, falling over and pathing are two things against which space laser robot nanotechnology from the future is useless.
+2 / -0

20 months ago
maybe attach a deep neural machine blockchain to thruster multidimensional then?
+0 / -0

20 months ago
Super heavy? Then I guess its much bigger than I thought.
+0 / -0

20 months ago
I don't like the idea of most of the shield factory having a Felon-like effect. When I'm playing shield, I find Felons are often a liability since they're the only riot that actively compromises their allies' ability to protect themselves from a heavier opponent. A whole factory potentially doing that (even just as a sidearm) really isn't newbie friendly- you're saying: "here krill, have a fac that makes itself weaker as it fights!" Whatever benefits the lineup gains to balance this, it is fundamentally a concept that you need experience to properly manage.

The problem with creating a "newbie factory" is that the units are either easy to use but uniformly bad against anyone who knows what they're doing, or they're powerful enough to be very forgiving to inevitable fresh lobster mistakes- which then makes them even more lethal in the hands of a veteran.

We have a fair amount of that already- isn't the current "newbie" factory still the most popular at all levels of the game?

I think, specific balance cases aside, the current Zero-K unit lineup is overall pretty good. Some things are easy to use. Some are hard, which to me is as it should be.
+0 / -0
20 months ago
Anarchid, what if you build multiple of them?
+0 / -0
20 months ago
Keep in mind guys that this list is still a work in progress. Case in point, I have a bunch of unlisted factions that I'd like to flesh out more.

Here's what's planned for each faction:
- Give each faction that's, overall, full of slow units (such as Cloakbots, Shieldbots, Amphbots, Jumpbots, and Spiders) a means with which their slower units could close the distance against longer-range artillery that could otherwise kite them to death (whether it's area-cloakers, blinding artillery, false radar signatures, smokescreen generators/artillery, artillery armed with radar-seeking missiles, or a unit catapult).
- Give each faction a means of affordably (possibly passively) de-cloaking enemy units.
- Give each faction their own scout units with field radars.

Recently, I've also tweaked the Cloakbot and Shieldbot factions a bit to cover up some vulnerabilities that concerned me. For example, I removed the Inquisitor's focus on anti-stealth capabilities in favor of specializing it more as a support artillery unit that blinds enemy units. To further assist it in its role, I added a radar jammer to the Inquisitor.

As for where the Inquisitor's anti-stealth capabilities went, I reintroduced a modified Outlaw to the Shieldbots called the Detective. However, I also made the Detective a field radar unit, so that, even when there's no stealth units to reveal, it could still serve a helpful purpose by providing a mobile source of radar.

I added a mobile source of radar to the Cloakbots as well, called the Informant, because I felt that they would be left out when other factions possessed them. Again, in keeping with the theme, this mobile radar unit would possess its own cloaking device, allowing it to do some deep scouting for as long as it hasn't been caught.

By the way, I've looked at some of the concerns, and here's what I have to say about them:

- Giving every Shieldbot a shield would make them OP: [Spoiler]
- Giving every Cloakbot a cloaking device would imbalance the game: [Spoiler]
- Giving more shielded units their own shield gun wouldn't be conductive towards beginner-friendliness: [Spoiler]
- Fleas would counter the entirety of this new Cloakbot factory: [Spoiler]
- One of the old beginner-friendly features of the old Shieldbot doctrine is that units could shoot over or around eachother: [Spoiler]
- Giving all Shieldbots a shield would actually ruin their protective synergy instead of supporting it: [Spoiler]
+1 / -0
I would change nothing. Same as i said to USrankFealthas: if you don´t like the game as it is, make a completely new one.
+1 / -1
@ Shadow, I want to defend [edit:] the premise of your thoughts, as they are similar to my reaction to a number of things, but for for this post, for now, maybe I'll just add my 2 cents on some other things.

Some points about Spiders, although not necessarily issues:

- No range past 600

- Venom + flea AI always seems to screw me over, with venoms wiping out my surgical flea squad via infuriating friendly fire (literally removing venom's pitiful damage would be a fucking buff because the only thing it kills are its own fleas), or what seems like multiple venoms targeting the same stun-locked enemy when they should be target-switching to an unstunned enemy within range (Can anyone else confirm that? Maybe needs testing)

- Redbacks stats on paper should be the worst riot by a significant margin (Even the pyro can nearly match the all-terrain advantage. And cloaky - while maybe not matching spiders' intel advantage - also have good scouting).

- That being said, on a map that had pure mountains (I don't think I've played a 1v1 map that extreme), spiders would be the only land choice, and I'd be happy giving spiders a disadvantage on most maps, while having mountain maps in rotation where we see spider vs. air (did that "Hide and Seek" map play out like that when it was in rotation?). If people aren't religiously against allowing air facs in 1v1, I'd like to make sure that swifts/locusts can adequately detect cloak (can they already? maybe a low-altitude toggle? I wish every aircraft had a low-altitude toggle)

- I've read that people think crab sucks. Statistically, the speed is awful and compounded by both the fact that apparently there's a move-delay (haven't had many chances to use it, yet) if it pauses at any point, and the fact that people are encouraged to use it stationary. Generally, if you don't kite with ranged unit, it dies, although perhaps that's mitigated by the fact that its AOE tends to do decent against the type of units that are fast. Also, of course its ability to camp out, protected, on mountains and terraform is huge. Right now, it's nice vs. most units but on paper, gets hard-countered by every single fac's artillery (firewalker, phantom, racketeer, emissary, badger/impaler, lance). Given flea's lack of HP for assault, and venom's lack of actual damage, I guess you have rely on widow for keeping enemy artillery stunned. (In addition, crab is pretty similar to recluse.)

So, as a start, if we don't want to fundamentally change crab, or buff its ability to camp mountains, maybe:
A) as others have previously said in the crab thread, a tiny increase in range, even just to simplify stingers, might help
B) maybe match its speed to the other three ~50 elmo/s spider units.
C) you could also consider creative approaches like changing the movement-based lockdown to a halberd-style firing-based lockdown so it could gradually advance and survive while being kited by artillery - without needing widow infiltration.
+1 / -0
19 months ago
While I haven't finalized designs for any of the other factories yet, I do have some basic ideas floating around:

- Rovers: [Spoiler]

- Spiders: [Spoiler]

- Tanks: [Spoiler]
+0 / -0
The cloakbots as a whole are hard-countered by fleas and darts, and otherwise would be very very annoying to play against.

The rebel.. Incredibly cancerous early game raider. The only way to counter it is by screening your builders/mexes with defenses, thus guaranteeing that the cloakbot player either wins, or can expand faster than the enemy(read:wins). If the enemy doesn't build defenses covering every building they make, and doesn't have units escorting every builder, that building/builder is guaranteed dead. Unlike most raiders, you can't counter it by having radar and using your own raiders to fight it.

The guerrilla is just a longer-ranged scythe. It wouldn't be that unbalanced if its damage/cost was similar to scythes now, but the longer range would make it harder to counter.. It'd have a far easier time attacking defenses on pillars, and raiders would face more attrition as they charged it.

The partisan is fundamentally not a viable riot unit, unless it's spammable and/or has an obnoxiously large area of effect. All it takes is 6 fleas to survive its first shot to kill it before the second, or a single scorcher. Riot units need to be able to deal with raiders.. Having no anti-swarm unit makes your cloakbots exceptionally weak to massed enemy raiders.

The renegade would be incredibly cancerous. You would have to have tough defenses everywhere, or a very solid defensive front line, or these would fuck you up. They can sneak behind most defensive lines, fire a volley at your reactor/factory/antinuke/commander/bertha/whatever/mex, and then walk away fine. Unless you spend money putting heavy defenses at every single moderately important structure, or have a defensive line with constant reveal+heavy defense cover encircling your entire base, nothing is secure.

The usurper is just a cloaking badger. Why?

The hooligan is not cost effective against phoenixes. It would take 8 of them to bring down a phoenix before it drops its shot - decloaking your army, probably killing all your hooligans. For this to be cost-effective, they'd have to cost 45 or less. Being burst-AA, it's also not cost effective against gunships.

The martyr could be genuinely fun to play with, but I think it takes away from the napalm-missile.

The ferret is nothing more than a cancerous apm sink. It isn't a very strong unit in terms of fight-kill-enemy, and its delayed shots prevent it from filling the same support-slowing role as an outlaw. Raiders attacking a moving army head on would be fine. Its delayed shots mean that it's fairly easy to counter, it simply takes active attention wherever it is. Without that attention, it'd be an absolutely horrendous raider-swarm eater. Drop a couple mines, send a couple of your more ordinary units in to mop up the raiders. This results in the ferret only serving to boil lobsters or take apm away from experienced players by making them manually counter it.

The informant would be useful, but I don't think it fills a needed niche. The one thing a cloak-based factory does not need is radar. They have entirely enough scouts as it is.

The officer's rockets.. " fires, say, a volley of 4 homing missiles, each with a damage-per-shot value of, say, 50, a cooldown time of, say, 4 seconds." That means it can take on a glaive, 1v1, using only its burst damage. Incredibly overpowered, unless its cost is too high to be a scout. Even then, this is a scary unit. Like a duck, but with a shieldgun.

The ranger.. This is looking like another cancerous raider/riot. Raider/riots are some of the most annoying units in the game. They're only really weak to slower-moving things like riots and statics, meaning that you have to expand slowly against them. The ranger has low enough HP that it could be a viable unit, but it's risky. Depends on movement speed and shieldgun strength. A fast-moving ranger would be able to easily deal with llts, and then escape and most of its health, as well as shredding through skirmishers, assaults, and other raiders. A slow-moving ranger would be hard countered by any raiders that outrange it, as well as riot units, making it very niche and unlikely to be used.

The deputy has literally no justification. All it is is "add a shield because the factory is SHIELDbots and so they should have a SHIELD." I'd say that not all shieldbots should have a shield, because already cancerous shieldballs would get quite a bit worse if we make every single unit contribute shield strength.

The sheriff risks being OP. Scallops are already a very powerful raider. If the sheriff has decent shield/shieldgun strength, then this would be an incredibly overpowered unit. Lots of health to get close to enemy units, backed up by a massive battery army, combined with a very strong riot platform.

The marshal sounds OP. It sounds like a fast-moving assault scalpel that also has a shield and heatray tacked on for some reason. Unlike a scalpel, it can easily survive rushing into firing range regardless of enemy defenses. Like a scalpel, it'd deal a shitton of damage in a burst. Unlike a scalpel, it can run away easily. Unlike a scalpel, it has a very strong anti-rush weapon to deal with raider charges.

The inquisitor sounds like it straddles the line between OP and useless. If it deals enough blind-damage, and if it lasts long enough, you can paint an enemy's entire army with blindness and absolutely fuck up pathfinding, intel, and targetting. If it can't practically mesh with other inquisitors to cover an entire regional force, it's just a less useful form of the Outlaw. Rather than auto-decloaking in a radius, you paint an area to decloak.. Much like you can do with a group of scouts.

The executioner.. For the love of God, no. Just no. This is an overgrown skirmisher. It is a scalpel on methamphetamines. It is ridiculous. It has shots with a 100% guaranteed hit. Those shots deal a lot of damage. They deal that damage across a lot of range. This is not a fun unit to play against. It kills your units, from a distance, and can't be effectively countered besides killing it. You can't set a screen of light units up on patrol to make it waste inattentive shots, like you can with lance+phantom, because its missiles home and you'll be forced to spend more and more metal overtime countering their 0-cost shots. This unit is just a guaranteed your-army-and-base-will-slowly-vanish-have-fun-mate.

The watchman is similar to the deputy. There is literally no justification for this change. It also is redundant when you have executioners to kill enemy planes.. However, in higher metal games, it would synergize very well(in an unfun way) with executioners. Have a ball of executioners, but pour in cheap-as-dirt shield batteries to the mix. These batteries take out enemy planes as the executioners eat the enemy's base. The increased shield strength stops enemy artillery from eroding back at the executioners.

The detective.. Well, I don't think it needs a shield or a new name, but giving the Outlaw radar would be quite useful. It'd make it a stronger, more useful support module for shieldballs.

The fundamental issue with your unit design is this: all of these units are designed to fill a nice, coherent, almost dreamy army. It might be fun to use, and would be very strong.
However, rts design should not be focused on a single aspect. These units are not designed for balance or to be fun to counter.
+1 / -1
How is the math going?
I am sure you calculated all your unit-interactions carefully and can tell us the results.
+1 / -1

19 months ago
You can actually test these units pretty easily by just modifying unitdefs.

Basic process:
1. Copy the entire game from github to your Spring/ZK folder / games / some folder name here.
2. Edit the .lua files in the units/ subfolder.
3. Use Spring or ZK to launch a custom room with your game called "some folder name".
4. Play with units. CAI should be ok with playing using any units, not sure how the default Zero-K AI will react to major unit changes.
5. You can invite others to play by sharing your modifications either as a zip or via Github link.
+3 / -0
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