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Fly High Zero-K

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12 months ago
I cant lie zero k is dying and bar is thriving fly high zero k although it is the better game all players of zero-k are changing to bar due to the low player base which causes an infinite loop of zerok loses a player and bar gains one.
+0 / -1
weird BAR advertising did get me to pickup zeroK again, (and yes discover the dwindled player-base).

I know it isn't really supported by BAR/Zero-K but I preferred spring-lobby of play whatever variation you fancy felt more like one player-base, of course in reality it was hard to get a game in the flavour of your choice.

(having now read through other posts on this forum I understand why this move was made and feel it was the correct choice)
+0 / -0
12 months ago
Number of of time spent by players looks fairly constant in the last 2 years...

It would be good that everyone plays what they enjoys, it is great if some ZK players switch to BAR if that's what they like.

PS: similar ideas pop up regularly on this form in the last 10 years and yet here we are...

+5 / -0
12 months ago
I'm very possibly misinterpreting it, but in my (very subjective) opinion, that's not a healthy graph. It needs to be creeping up year after year instead of flatlining, otherwise it will eventually hit a point where it can go only downward.
+0 / -0
all players of zero-k are changing to bar

I am still here.

Sometimes I get the impression that this "zk-is-dying"-thing is the same person everytime. The problem is known and discussed to death. So, if you have new ideas, bring them in, if not, don`t waste your time.
+6 / -0
this graph is 2 years, the dying proces we speak of is 5 years at least. currently the numbers are so low you turn to player-hours to amp up the numbers, when from player perspective we speak of number of plays in 32/32 ; 16/16; 8/8; 4/4 and 32/bot and so on per week. was thinking of making zk battle history parser bot to get to the thicc skulls of develobsters this point since this flower needs water it has all else to flourisch, but no... theyre hardline..

we spoke of syndrome of city losing population because of overpass, we spoke of fork of zk, fork happened in from of future wars since zk was too entrenched in balancing to get something new. future wars need to go to BAR servers, or make own servers, unknownrankShaman was crying over map handling and other things in lobby, it wont grow with the current zk zealots player base...

this place looks at least as some fallout vault / ny / california / new jersey from the social dynamic standpoint

was talking of it in 5 years ago, theyre treatment of firepluk/moepmoep/me of hardlining of punny posts only adds nail to their coffin...

"They seek protection through distorted eyes
Cant tell the joke, cant tell the lies"
--agnostic front


cbf at this time with that graph, im doing rl than software, but the data of plays/week over 5+ years will tell you what all are saying, and develobsters have it in sql format so its easier for them to pull it. the numbers are there.

DErankkatastrophe zk is dying
+0 / -0
12 months ago
I have it in the sql format as well, do you think I do it by hand?

Data tells another story. As mentioned already, considering how constant is this idea that "omg ZK is dying" I don't expect to convince you, but hey, you have your fixed ideas, I have mine which is looking at the data.

Notes on the 5 year image:
  • before 2019 there was no steam, there were quite few players (so a longer graph will show a strong increase in players!)
  • the bump between 2020 and 2021 is the pandemic (I would joke it was a secret plan to make people play more ZK but afraid that some people would take it seriously)
  • it seems there are a lot of people playing single player (which I did not expect)
  • the number for casual teams seems stubbornly constant - I blame that on the one room culture more than anything else, but as discussed there seem to be no easy solutions

There would be some questions to ask about the image - it is not perfect - if you would really care about data, but that would mean to accept the possibility of things being more complex that they seem.

PS: I am sure though that ZK will not survive the heat death of the universe so in a sense I agree with you that "omg ZK is dying" - just on a different time scale.
+1 / -0

12 months ago

Here is daily players averaged over 28 days, for the last 10 years. Note that the measure isn't the same as FRrankmalric's graph. The underlying data of this one is the number of people who were players in a game that ended up generating a battle replay. Neither graph tracks singleplayer.

Basically, apart from the Steam bump and the bump in early 2020 where everyone stayed inside, the playerbase seems to be growing slowly. It would certainly be good for more people to step forward and put some work into growing the playerbase though. Run tournament or other events, make PR images and coordinate with streamers or other games. Stuff like that.

Zooming in to the last three months, if we assume BAR has been "a thing" that long, it is hard to claim any positive or negative trend.
+5 / -0
12 months ago
FRrankmalric if you have raw data from zk match archives of number of players playing weekly battles in team plain zk 5-7+ years back in 3v3 or more ill take it. table [gameid,playercount,date,ffa/team/bot] for vanilla zk, i will crunch it then in libreoffice calc, with proper smoothened moving average graph over week and month span since your graph carries no executive input. its more of engineering graph, not a corpo graph to show flows and trends.

The decline happened then 5-7 years ago, now its flat.
+0 / -0
yea, the steam bump saved it, but the downward trend was there till 2018 and now its kinda in stasis. there is growth in casuals for sure, but its not church that was here some time back.

lowkey i still think that making proper zk tiny installer in gtk that can be plugged with linux mint iso, or even maybe ubuntu as flagship opensource game, would be better. installer that gets all steps in installation guide and shows some animaion on what is zk before you click it and is like 500kb tops vs 300mb mono libs and other stuff required. stuff i talked with aquanim few years back in 2018 i think, tho admin decision was no, so whateves...
+0 / -0
12 months ago
if you have raw data from zk match archives of number of players playing weekly battles in team plain zk 5-7+ years back in 3v3 or more ill take it.

You have the full SQL lite database at: http://zerok-local-analysis.s3-website.eu-west-3.amazonaws.com/data_version2/zk.db.gz
For the interface there is this thread: http://zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/34840?Search=&User=&grorder=&grdesc=False&grpage=1
i will crunch it then in libreoffice calc, with proper smoothened moving average graph over week and month span since your graph carries no executive input

If by executive input means "prove zk is dying" then no, it does not have it. If you put some effort you might find some sub-group for which is less interest (can imagine: "AHA! Games of 3v3 on medium map sizes, between 3AM and 4AM are decreasing, told you so!").

I personally do not need a fancy graph to conclude the initial thread hypothesis seems incorrect.

FYI one argument against the graph would have been "maybe some players play more", hence AUrankAdminGoogleFrog's answer (for some reasons imgur does not work for me, but based on the comments the conclusion is similar to mine)

The decline happened then 5-7 years ago, now its flat.

For a 22 months old account you have interesting knowledge... Even if something was happening 5 years ago how is that relevant?! Are you into history or into the pending ZK doom?
+5 / -0
12 months ago
Yeah i think we should all just head to 38 murray road and discuss this in person
+1 / -0

12 months ago
ZK will not survive the heat death of the universe

Quite the contrary, the entire universe will become zero K.
+9 / -0
The numbers seem to contrast with feels, and i think feels are more influenced by community buzz.

I think the community is generating less buzz these days in these specific ways:

- The 1v1 scene seems much smaller.
- The tournaments no longer happen.
- Planetwars.
- Shadowfury.

The silent majority remains silent.
+0 / -0
12 months ago
The numbers seem to contrast with feels, and i think feels are more influenced by community buzz.
I feel also that starting too early a resign vote can encourage the team to just give up, and I would not want this happening to ZK as a whole... Based on what data we have (and could be incomplete) player base seems to be "rather constant" (to be conservative, I think there might be a slight increase in time).

My feeling is that community is in general active. There are new mods. Discord is rather active (although I personally don't have time to follow). There is most of the times a team game (which I personally find too large many times, but other people like).

If other people feel differently they should try to complain more specifically like "I can't find game of type X", or "there is no tournament" or "I want to see screenshots on teams". That would help others to understand how is buzz perceived...
+0 / -0
I've been trying to give BAR a try, but outside of the Chicken mode(Raptors), or alternate robots(Scavangers) there's not really much interesting for me at least to play over zero-k.
BAR at least look well polished which I've been told puts some people off of Zero-K, from BAR unit graphics being mostly similar to 0K but the default settings making them look better.
The sound design is also better balanced out between various things and they got an easy to use music selection and library, I still get itchy ears from hearing packs of scythes hit things suddenly or snitches chain exploding.

Explosion visuals are better in Zero-K though at least, I barely ever know what just exploded in BAR if it's not a nuke and I still only notice those because there's a voice warning and a slow missile to track as it goes. Sound however is better fitting in BAR than in Zero-K - there's at least to me - far greater discord/discrepancy of sounds between explosion in Zero-K than in BAR.
Which is both a plus and a minus, in BAR explosions to me sound like they're all the same audio file only toned down or up depending on the size that it should be and they don't overlap into ear-pain if someone's base ends up chain-exploding. In Zero-K the explosions are far easier to distinguish/recognize for me even though they tend to 'boom' if there's more than one.
The previous snitch mention is an example, it has a distinct and good explosion until there's a pack of them blowing up at once, meanwhile Singularity Generator also has a good explosion both in sound and visual design, and if several chain explode it doesn't become overwhelming.

Other than that I can only mention personal likes and dislikes.

BAR has rather annoying and convoluted tech-tree compared to Zero-K even without the Armada/Cortex factions being slightly asymmetrical.
Like some faction units are straight up simply BETTER than the other with no drawbacks.

BAR commander's are plain and mainly worth as victory point objectives - There is a custom setting to allow leveling or have changes but still nothing like Zero-K or Future Wars mod. Commander D-gun however does work nice as kill-anything switch.

BAR has functional unit Rank/XP system, while Zero-K has it as a mostly cosmetic thing? - Not sure about this part on Zero-K side.

BAR has wall unit, Zero-K does not. Either add the low + high walls as structures or let something like Solar Generators morph into a generic wall unit since they have a decently big footprint.

BAR has mines, yes I know wolverine exists and snitch/roach/imp cloaks when stationary but I mean build-able permanent mines, light, medium or heavy/large, which is a bit redundant if Zero-K would have them as well.

BAR has rather annoying and convoluted construction mechanics. Units cost metal AND energy to build as separate values. Construction/Build Power is half-false as a statistic because there's also a hidden build-time mechanic? - Zero-K just flat out does this better, so so so much better like damn.
This also ties into reclaim/revive, reclaiming in BAR is very fast because units have a bloated Build Power stat that only ever truly works at 100% when reclaiming, which makes battlefield salvage a pretty fast action. A pack of 5-10 reclaim units can clear out a battle-zone in seconds.
Zero-K does reclaim better as well, it's fast but not too fast and reclaimers are generally easy to punish mid-process, in BAR you either get to kill them before they get to the wrecks or as they're leaving.
BAR does revive slightly better only because it's less of a time waster, if Zero-K got a 2x or maybe even 3x BP boost to reviving it would be at a decently fast pace but not too fast as BAR is.
In BAR you can get reviving units at the 1st minute of the gameplay if you rush it, in Zero-K you either build Athena which requires Strider Hub or morph rush the Economy commander with Lazarus module which is a little bit too late if you ever had intention of reviving early-game units.
Alternatively adopt Future War's caretaker upgrade.

BAR doesn't have factory plop token's at the start of the match, Zero-K does and it skips the annoying build-up aspect of most RTS games I've played. Some games have it longer, some have it shorter but Zero-K's way is as far as I'm concerned the future of the genre.

BAR has unit counter/bonus modifiers which boggles the mind, Zero-K does it simple and better. Damage is damage.

BAR air units don't leave wrecks/corpses which is just weird. Air balance is also weird to use, like Planetary Annihilation's air, if you start with constructor and enemy with a fighter you're not going anywhere and you've lost the game.
Bombers also don't need to re-arm, Zero-K air works better either gunships or airplanes.

BAR doesn't have shields(has plasma deflectors[can be made into proper shields via lobby settings]) or proper cloak units, but it does have the Juno anti-intelligence structure which Zero-K could use something like that. Could work wonders with the supposed cloak/Cornea problem.

BAR anti-nukes have to build-up ammo as well to shut down nukes, this feels like a good difference compared to Zero-K but I don't know how the difference in BAR tac-nuke silo and Zero-K missile silo would work as BAR only has tac-nukes while Zero-K has several types of missiles for the silo.

BAR has the absolutely annoying mechanic where some units die differently if you kill them via Self-Destruction, infuriating to look at let alone try to memorize between units. Zero-K does it best like it does with damage, death is death. BUT, BAR does show count-down on the self-destruction which could be added to Zero-K, or if it has then for it to be made default setting.

BAR has too many defensive structures, and I say this as a stubborn porc player. Variety is nice, but there's just so much extra stuff that seems entirely redundant.
Compared to Zero-K the only thing BAR does better in the defense side of things is light defenses can be transported around and there's porc+ versions that Scavanger faction/AI can make that you can also enable as always buildable by everyone in the lobby settings.

BAR doesn't have terraforming, Zero-K does. That's a thing for our side as well.
There is map deformation and technically terraforming through that with only "Restore" option to un-crap the map if it's gone too much, but from what I've experienced only nukes do any significant amount of terrain deformation to matter.
+7 / -0
12 months ago
Wow, nice review, thanks for the detailed write-up! From the description I think there is a clear difference of philosophy: they just try to be different games. Of course some ideas/code/graphics are transferable, but other things are better kept different...
+0 / -0

12 months ago
I think we're seeing a small trickle of players discovering zk through bar, but indeed a bunch of higher skilled players, perhaps particularly 1v1 dudes are at least at the moment more active in bar. From what I've heard it is mainly that they can get games easily so if we run a tourney most of them will show up if they can I'm fairly confident.
+1 / -0
FRrankmalric , my prev last big acct is unknownrankrooks[vegan] , i was when zk was part of springlobby, i was there before time started... thx for links tho, in spare time ill crunch data

+0 / -0

"Quite the contrary, the entire universe will become zero K. "

for reals. zk is srs bzns, zk is lyf!
+0 / -0
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