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Zero-K v1.8.11.1 - Bulkhead, Balancing and Mod Hosting

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21 months ago

The Amphibious Factory now has a full roster with the addition of Bulkhead - a deployable fire support unit with impressive health and range. This update also includes a wide range of balance changes, from 3% more DPS for Glaive to 200% more awesomeness for Detriment. Additionally, hosting mods is now easier than ever and there are a few other fixes and features.

The balance changes focus on improving the specialist factories (as was decided by a poll on Patreon). Apart from Bulkhead solving Amph's pre-Grizzly lack of range, Venom is more reliable and a bug that makes jumpjets hard to tune was fixed. Other factories were also tweaked and Amph received a few extra changes to accommodate Bulkhead and the Archer rework.


  • Custom modes are now much easier to find. A few presets can be selected from the 'Game Type' menu while hosting a game, or under 'Select Custom Mode' in the Adv Options of a battleroom.
  • Arena Mod, Unit Level Ups and Zero Wars are available at the moment.
  • A custom mode can be a map, mod or just a set of game options.
  • Custom modes can be added and edited in Zero-K/CustomModes under steamapps. The parameters are listed here.
  • A bug that caused inconsistent mod downloads was fixed.


Added Bulkhead, a tough deployable amphibious fire support.
  • Cost 230
  • Health 1720
  • Water regen 15 hp/s
  • Speed 48
  • Armed with a 600 range, 87 DPS, Plasma Cannon.
  • Stops to fire.

Archer was a little too cheap after its rework.
  • Cost 180 -> 200
  • Water regen 25 -> 15

Scallop was somewhat replaced by Archer so needs help finding its niche.
  • Depth charge damage 52 -> 48
  • Cost 280 -> 260

Buoy is no longer as good against raiders or in skirmisher standoffs.
  • Turnrate reduced by 8.3%
  • Weapon velocity reduced by 12%
  • Skirmishes Thug and Felon from greater range, and shoots at the edge of their shields.

Conch is possibly now as wacky as other bot constructors.
  • Can morph to Djinn in 20 seconds (drains 30/s).

Scorcher has decent matchups but loses slightly on efficiency, so this might work.
  • Cost 130 -> 125

Fencer is no longer interrupted by impulse that is insufficient to move it.

Ravager had been left behind by Fencer/Ripper and other assaults.
  • Health 1850 -> 1920

Glaive being slightly bad could be holding Cloaky back.
  • DPS increased by 3%.

Ronin now drains shields from a safe range.
  • Aim speed increased by 30%.
  • Skirmishes Thug and Felon from greater range, and shoots at the edge of their shields.

Reaver AI is now wary of chasing Archer.

Outlaw is less effective at range, to make shieldballs more approachable by assaults and riots.
  • DPS reduced by 8% (slow and normal damage).
  • AoE damage falloff increased slightly.

Thug, Felon, Convict and commanders with personal shields are now fully drained by being stunned or disarmed. Not doing so was a bug.

Units now correctly lead jumping units with their weapons. Previously they would aim where the jumper was rather than of where it was going to be. This is the first step in tuning the Jumpbots, as Pyro gaining immunity to projectiles slower than gauss is undesirable and tricky to balance.

Venom by itself no longer stuns permanently, but has more damage to compensate.
  • Range 240 -> 250
  • Aim speed increased by 33%
  • Paralysis time 3s -> 1s
  • Reload 1.5 -> 1.1
  • Normal damage 40 -> 70

Wasp is heavier to dissuade air plops in 1v1, to relieve factories with expensive AA.
  • Cost 240 -> 300
  • Health 850 -> 1500
  • Speed 3.2 -> 2.4
  • Build range 160 -> 180

Claymore is more reliable.
  • No longer shoots its ground projectile at airborne units.
  • Cost 320 -> 300
  • Ground-range 220 -> 300 (matches sea range)
  • Reload 5.5 -> 2.8
  • Damage 620 -> 400
  • (DPS 112 -> 142)

Seawolf now poses more of a threat to units that cannot fire back.
  • Health 600 -> 650
  • Turn rate improved by 10%
  • Torpedos turn 40% faster.
  • Reload 3 -> 2.4

Hunter is better as a general raider and at defending against submerged units.
  • Health 310 -> 360
  • Range 230 -> 240
  • Reload 2.5 -> 2.6
  • Damage 200 -> 220
  • (DPS 80 -> 85)

Cutter needs a bit more health to keep up with Hunter.
  • Health 240 -> 260

Mistral fires rapidly enough to damage sinking amphs.
  • Cost 240 -> 220
  • Speed 2.3 -> 2.1
  • Turn rate improved by 15%
  • Aim speed doubled
  • Reload 8 -> 7.5
  • Burst rate increased by 50%
  • Projectile speed increased by 13%

Siren is now both able and required to hold its own at short range.
  • Health 4000 -> 5200
  • Turn rate reduced by 25%
  • Range 360 -> 270
  • Damage 260 -> 280
  • Reload 3 -> 1.7
  • (DPS 86 -> 164)

Zephyr is now as accurate as Razor.
  • Accuracy spread 128 -> 50

Detriment has more damage and abilities, but costs more.
  • Cost 20k -> 24k
  • Gauss reload time 2.4 -> 2
  • Face Laser damage 1800 -> 2400
  • Missile Launcher replaced with Obliteration Blaster, a manual fire weapon with 45s cooldown.
  • Obliteration Blaster fires a spread of projectiles, dealing up to 12k damage, and smooths terrain.
  • Can jump 950 elmos with 120s cooldown. The landing is not gentle.

Companion Drone and Battle Drone are more vulnerable to raiders.

  • Reduced weapon ranges by 28%.

Increased the minimum size of ramps so they play nice with the pathfinder. This also makes walling with ramps more expensive.
  • Min width 24 -> 48
  • Min length 40 -> 64

Other Changes and Fixes

  • Fixed non-commander morph not decloaking units (units are meant to be disabled during morph).
  • Remodelled the Airpad.
  • Rebalanced unit reply sound volumes.
  • Aircraft now have an advanced command that allows them to ignore a set of airpads. It must first be enabled in 'Settings/Interface/Commands'.
  • Jump reload flashes orange when jump is the active command. This can be toggled under 'Settings/Interface/Healthbars/Jump reload flash'
  • Fixed tactical AI not reacting well when many Attack Move commands are issued in a short period of time.
  • Gunship strafe toggle is shown in the default UI.
  • Fix alt/ctrl area mex sometimes acting as if shift is held.
  • Fixed commshare again (probably).
  • Added specialised callins for widget:PlayerResigned and widget:PlayerChangedTeam.
  • Added more arguments to widget:UnitDestroyed.
+24 / -0

21 months ago
I've also done some optimisation of a setting related to lua memory. If you have a new performance issue then try changing GC Rate under Lobby Settings/Game and, as always, give feedback.
+0 / -0
Wow, so many.

Conch > Dijin a bit weird. But Detri can now chase other units with a huge leap
+0 / -0
21 months ago
Lots of changes I've been looking forward to seeing here. Special thanks for the jump reload flash!
+0 / -0
21 months ago
Can jump 950 elmos with 120s cooldown. The landing is not gentle.

+6 / -0
Lots of good changes across the board. I particularly like units behaving more intelligently towards shields.

Scorcher and ravager buffs are rather tiny, could use being a tad larger.
+0 / -0

21 months ago

Here is the Steam header image. It is particularly relevant this time.
+3 / -0

21 months ago
It looks like jumping backward - emergency escape from focus fire of shockley!
+1 / -0

21 months ago
i suspect the outlaw-nerf is too much, but we will see...
+2 / -0

21 months ago
Great work on all of this. Can't wait to play now!
+1 / -0

21 months ago
Very keen on all the changes except the Outlaw. The Outlaw change doesn't really address the main issue (idle fire invalidating ambush units).
+0 / -0

21 months ago
Interesting changes, especially looking forward to the Unit AI improvements. Thanks very much to GBrankTechAUmNu for contributing the new Detriment, GBrankdarloth3 for the airpad and USrankShaman for their bugfixes!
+5 / -0

21 months ago
Thanks for the patch!

Personally sad that GS start is nerfed. It had been such a rare plop anyway and in the last couple of weeks with it becoming more popular, people had started to figure out how to play against it, such as spider starts now beating GS.
+3 / -0

21 months ago
Agree with Randy on the above. I had the conversation with GF yesterday about GS plop and I think it was too little too late. Bet you still find a way to make it work though somewhere.
+0 / -0

21 months ago
Gunship start in 1v1 isn't necessarily dead forever, but it had some ugly factory RPS relationships that made it hard to focus on balancing the specialist factories. It also put some tight constraints on map design, limiting how much of a travel time advantage jumpjets or spiders can gain on medium-to-large maps before the map is dominated by gunships. If/when the specialist factories are better balanced and more is known about map design, then it might be worth looking at Gunship plop again. If you like you can still experiment with the old Wasp with the Tweak Units modoption.
+1 / -0
21 months ago
So, I tested out the new Detri in the campaign mission.

I completed the mission by jumping a detriment directly on top of the last singularity reactor and killing it like that.
The new detri definitely feels more fun.
+2 / -0
21 months ago
This is what's missing from the patchnotes. There may be other things.
Regen 30HP/s -> 20 HP/s

Actually the ground weapon deals 420 damage, not 400
+0 / -0
21 months ago
just fix reef now =)

and maybe blastwing + skuttle love
+1 / -0
21 months ago
Who made the Bulkhead model? It looks great, but I thought the Zero-K community had a dearth of modelers/animators?
+2 / -0
Outlaw, Angler and Archer are on the same atlas. I made Bulkhead in upspring by combining mostly Outlaw and Angler (I forget if I used any Archer in the end). The original Outlaw model was meant to be a remodel of Thug, which is where the cannons come from.

I made Claymore out of a Halberd using the same method. All the hovercraft (besides Lance) are made of the same bits if you look closely.

If someone made a large set of consistent unit bits then we could probably make models out of them fairly rapidly. As a bonus they would all be on the same atlas.
+3 / -0
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