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Zero-K v1.11.3.0 - Visible Slowdown

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11 months ago

This update introduces Zeno, the 5th missile for the Missile Silo, which homes onto a target, hits it for a massive dose of slow damage, and then leaves lingering slow in the surrounding area. Another major change is an increase in general unit visibility via a few nerfs for area cloakers. As usual, there are a few months of fixes, features and, contrary to the title, performance improvements.

New Missile


Added Zeno, a homing slow damage missile built in the Missile Silo.
  • Has significant range, equal to Quake.
  • Homes onto its target.
  • Deals 10k slow damage to a single target.
  • Interacts with shields similarly to Eos, as 10k slow damage is 3333 damage to a shield.
  • Leaves a large area of lingering slow damage for 30 seconds.

Cloak Fields


Many players felt that cloak was a bit too prevalent and that whether to use it lategame wasn't much of a choice. We address this with a few targeted nerfs to area cloak. Most notably, Cornea has a directional cloak field rather than a huge bubble, and larger armies are slower to cloak. The latter is implemented with the new cloak rate mechanic.
  • Area cloakers now apply cloak at a set rate, starting with units closest to the centre of the bubble.
  • Cloak rate is in terms of mass per second, and only spent on units that are ready to cloak.
  • For reference, Bandit has 90 mass, Lance about 300, Dante about 800, and Detriment about 2400.
  • Cloak can still be maintained on any number of units.
  • Units with personal cloak are unaffected. They don't wait to be cloaked, and don't spend cloak rate that could be used on other units. This includes units that cloak while stationary.

Cornea cloaks a much smaller area, but the area can be moved with Fire Special Weapon (D).
  • Jamming range 550 -> 600
  • Cloak field range 550 -> 400
  • Can shift the centre of its cloak bubble up to 200 elmos away
  • Has a cloak rate of 1200 mass/s

Iris has a small range reduction and cloaks at a slower rate than Cornea.
  • Cloak field range 400 -> 360
  • Jamming range 400 -> 360
  • Has a cloak rate of 800 mass/s

Commander Area Cloak loses a similar amount of cloak range and has the same cloak rate.
  • Cloak field range 350 -> 320
  • Jamming range (with cloak field module) 350 -> 320
  • Has a cloak rate of 800 mass/s

Conjurer is the most efficient cloaker in terms of cloak rate per cost.
  • Has a cloak rate of 600 mass/s

Balance


Puppy now leaves wrecks and debris when killed, but not when it hits a target. Previously it left nothing.

Imp now only barely "makes cost" against a lone Scorcher.
  • Cost 120 -> 125

Snitch costs a bit more to spam.
  • Cost 160 -> 170

Cyclops slowbeam had a bug that made it do 3x the intended damage to shields.
  • Slowbeam damage to shields 2000 -> 666

Hercules can reach the ground and lift everything.
  • Fixed a weapon bug that caused its laser to not reach ground units while cruising.
  • Can now transport Shogun and Reef.

Advanced Radar is a bit too good after its cost reduction from 500.
  • Cost 400 -> 450

Maps and Campaign


  • Added Zeno to planet Nataa (the Missile Silo mission).
  • Tweaked planet Mstaras (the Gunship Factory mission) to be a bit easier on difficulties below Brutal.
  • Added startboxes for Angel Crossing, Calamity v1.1 and Supreme Crossing V2.
  • The "Sun, Fog & Water" map tweaking tool now loads its defaults from map settings.
  • Added shadow density to "Sun, Fog & Water" map tweaking tool.
  • Added compatibility for more metal layout standards.
  • Removed map fog by default. This is the type that was visible when zoomed out.
  • Tweaked the lighting and water settings on a few maps.

Graphics and Interface


  • Reordered battles in the multiplayer lobby to put empty autohosts below running games.
  • Build spacing UI has more options, found under "Settings/Interface/Building Placement".
  • Added a contrast adaptive sharpening shader. It can be enabled under Settings/Graphics/Effects with "Sharpening".
  • Added notable death explosion to ingame unit help menu (accessed via space+click).
  • Added better support for flipping the minimap, which is useful when used with a flipped camera.
  • Added a widget that displays map info like a label on a painting. Disabled by default.
  • Fiddled with the way line of sight adds to radar. This unlocks more ways to customise radar coverage.
  • Tweaked war and peace detection to spend a bit more time playing peace music.
  • Fixed slight visual misalignment when Missile Silo launches missiles.

Fixes


  • Improved performance of game mechanics that handle orders.
  • Fixed significant framerate drop (with certain settings) caused by many multi-weapon striders firing at once.
  • Fixed kicking a spectator sometimes causing a player to resign.
  • Fixed X-Ray shader issues on some hardware.
  • Fixed a rare bug with jumpjet behaviour.
  • Fixed a rare crash in the tab playerlist.
  • Fixed missing text on shield charge bars.
  • Blitz description no longer mentions its old EMP death explosion.
+13 / -0


11 months ago
Nice update :)

The Iris positioning mechanic is cool!


The cloaking time numbers seem pretty negligible in practice. Even large 5000k armies will cloak in a couple of seconds.



The graphics for the slow aura don't make it clear that every part of the area is affected. The blobs are too far apart.

Maybe an even sprinkling of purple glitter may work better?
+1 / -0
11 months ago
Neat update.

I already can see Zeno vs Pala rush strats.
+1 / -0

11 months ago
Nice update in general.

Looking at the stats and playing on a sandbox, Zeno missile seems....totally broken. It cannot be dodged and affects both single big units (poor morphed commander) as well as significantly slowing whole armies, even clusters of air units! Imagine getting hit by these while trying to attack under artillery fire. On the other hand, it affects allied units as well.

I think ZK developers underestimate how detrimental it is for units to get 50% movement and DPS reduction...That's like halving the cost-effectiveness of an army standing somewhere from ANYWHERE on the map (6000 range) for 500m.

Zeno's existence is a significant incentive to use area shields (especially funnelweb) and long range artillery.
+3 / -0


11 months ago
I am certainly concerned, but if I had to wait until my concerns are resolved then I'd probably never add anything. I'm not even that sure it works as a concept. But I think cost, homing speed and AoE provide enough levers within the current design for it to be worth trying to find a good spot for it. I don't really know how much it should cost so I put it at the low end to see what it can do.
+3 / -0
11 months ago
It's better to keep the game fresh and try new things than never add anything because it might be slightly OP :D
+2 / -0


11 months ago
PTrankraaar: The AoE is big enough that area shields don't really help.
+0 / -0
11 months ago
Yeah, this Zeno feels like discouraging offense, that aint good.
+0 / -0
11 months ago
A pala got zeno-ed in this game, I think that slow area effect can be kinda beneficial for the pala. It slows down the pala, yes, but it also slows all units attacking it (except for artillery). It also decloak all cloaked jacks or other units (ulti) approaching the pala. So, even though the pala is more vulnerable to artillery, it cannot get ambushed with a cloak, and that slowdown neither helps it nor hurts it when it fights normal units. The slowdown effect should maybe only affect the enemy team.
https://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/1589841
+2 / -0
SHOCKLEY > ZENO

#THANKSFORTHEPATCHGF !
+0 / -0
big thanks for your work!

quote:
Units with personal cloak are unaffected. They don't wait to be cloaked, and don't spend cloak rate that could be used on other units. This includes units that cloak while stationary.


previously, you could save cloaking energy cost for, say, skuttle, when you put it under an area cloaker. is this no lonegr the case?

(15 energy IS A LOT!)
+1 / -0

11 months ago
Interesting update, thanks!

As you said, it'll probably need some tweaks in the future, but I like the ideas, and I especially like the changes to Cornea, that will be interesting.
+1 / -0


11 months ago

Zero-K v1.11.3.1


Tweaked Zeno.
  • AoE 384 -> 320.
  • Increase visual drift and fall. To make the effect a bit jazzier.

A radius of 320 is about halfway between Inferno, at 256, and the old value. This is much more a feel thing than balance at this point, since it's so early. Basically, after seeing more Zeno my gut said "that's too big, it doesn't fit 'in the battle' (whatever that means)". In practice Zeno seemed to be covering entire "fronts", whereas Inferno tends to only cover parts of fronts. Players can choose to move out of position to avoid Inferno damage. This didn't seem to work with Zeno as out of position was too far away to still be tactically relevant to the area. Put another way, zoning tools need to leave low-value areas unaffected to give players a choice about whether to move to the low-value areas. It doesn't work if even the low-value areas are effected as well. Anyway, whatever the balance ends up being, I felt better about AoE not being so crazy huge, so it seemed best to make a change before waiting to see how the balance of the unit turns out.
+1 / -0
11 months ago
Can an Inferno reliably hit a mobile target when used after a Zeno? This would make silo stronger vs mobile units.
+1 / -0

11 months ago
Bravo et merci Mr GF !
+1 / -0