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Zero-K v1.11.11.1 - Odin's Magpies

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7 months ago

This update introduces two new bombers to fill out the aircraft roster. One is a bit like a light Likho, and another is like a heavy Raven, but there is a lot more to each. Other planes have tweaks and buffs, such as an area reveal ability for Sparrow, and a heavier Phoenix. Some gunships even got in on the action, with the most notable being a sizeable buff for Krow.

Other balance changes include a bit more health for light assaults, and better spinning for Disco Rave Party. In terms of features, bombers are well-served here as well, with selection icons for whether a bomber needs ammo, as well as smoother landing paths.

There are a few extra features for modding, such as scaling and tinting, which were technically in the previous hotfix. The campaign has the new bombers, a few features, and a new Records page which displays and aggregates your best stats for each mission. How fast can the campaign be completed, and with how few units lost?

New Bombers

Magpie is a light nimble bomber armed with a pair of missiles. It deals less damage than Raven, but makes up for it with speed, precision, and the ability to shoot from the edge of AA coverage.
  • Cost 220
  • Health 900
  • Speed 252 (between Raven and Likho)
  • Rearm time 20s
  • Range 550
  • Damage 180 x 2
  • Can hit small raiders most of the time, and most aircraft.

Odin is a heavily armoured rocket zeppelin that can fire a slow moving disintegrator bomb or a cluster of temporary shields.
  • Cost 1500
  • Health 5200
  • Speed 185 (between Raptor and most gunships)
  • Rearm time 35s
  • Bomb range 200
  • Bomb damage, it's a disintegrator (5-shots Detriment)
  • The bomb is very slow, even Detriment can dodge it.
  • Special weapon fires seven shields at 550 range.
  • Each shield has 3400 charge and a radius of 200.
  • Shields decay at 40 charge/s, expire at zero charge, and do not link.

Aircraft Changes

Sparrow can now boost, and reveals and decloaks everything in an area when it dies.
  • Boosts by 5x for 3 seconds.
  • Destroys itself after boost.
  • Reveals an area of radius 400 for 12 seconds when it dies.
  • Revealed area scales up during boost, to a maximum of 640.

Phoenix is heavier and deals more damage over a longer run.
  • Cost 360 -> 460
  • Health 1060 -> 1450 (90 more than if just scaling by cost)
  • Reduced turn rate slightly
  • Rearm time 5s -> 8s
  • Drops 15 -> 18 bombs over 0.93 -> 1.7 seconds
  • Area of Effect 216 -> 320
  • Damage per bomb 25 -> 40
  • Burn time 10s -> 12s

Krow manoeuvrers a bit better and fires beam lasers with more damage.
  • Improved brake rate by 25%.
  • Pew pew lasers replaced with burst beam lasers.
  • Damage increased by 22%

Raptor is more manoeuvrable and slightly more deadly.
  • Increased turn rate while firing, to counteract the effect of slowing down.
  • Firing cone angle 90 degrees -> 100 degrees
  • Damage increased by 4.2%

Locust is a tiny bit better as raiding, as a great Locust is scary.
  • Speed 207 -> 212
  • DPS increased by 2.5%

Thunderbird is slightly healthier.
  • Health 1120 -> 1200

Balance Changes

Bolas has 4.5% more DPS and can 1-shot Flea.
  • Reload 0.366 -> 0.433
  • Damage 34 -> 42

Ravager is tankier.
  • Health 2000 -> 2200

Knight is a bit tankier.
  • Health 2400 -> 2500

Hermit is tankier and faster.
  • Health 1500 -> 1550
  • Speed 51 -> 54

Skuttle can survive a single Jack poke.
  • Health 250 -> 380

Zephyr is also tankier, and now has missiles.
  • Health 1900 -> 2200
  • Replaced its front laser turret with missiles.
  • Missile damage 72 x 2
  • Reload time 1.6 seconds
  • Range 1000 (same as lasers)
  • The missiles have 30% less DPS, but fire in a burst.

Disco Rave Party has an interpolation of its May spin rate nerfs.
  • Aim speed 4 -> 2.5 -> 3 degrees/s.
  • Spin up time 60 -> 120 -> 90 seconds.
  • Spin drop while turning is unchanged, but less spin is lost for any given turn due to the increased turn rate.


  • Magpie is unlocked on Fel Diacia (the Thunderbird mission) and Odin is unlocked on Bavhakya (the Likho mission). Anyone with these missions complete will have their units unlocked.
  • Added a Records tab to the Profile menu on the campaign screen. This screen can sort and display your victories with least units lost, in the shortest time, with bonus objectives and difficulties. Unfortunately the data is not retroactive.
  • Removed a few Lucifers from easier difficulties on Onsally (the Phoenix mission).
  • Worked around the Dominatrix build options bug for the Rover Assembly on Ganong (the Dominatrix mission).
  • Clarified Lalata main objective text (the Jugglenaut mission).


  • Added Units Lost to endgame graphs.
  • Unit pictures for bombers now have an icon showing whether it is ready to fire.
  • Aircraft now smoothly glide and stop when landing on airpads. This is technically a nerf as they take slightly longer to land.
  • Improved shotgun visuals, with minor balance implications.
  • Grizzly now aims smoothly and holds its gun steady as it fires.
  • Tweaked the automatic handicap mode to give lower handicaps for ratings above 2000.
  • Moved Raptor to the AA slot (D) of the Airplane Plant and Sparrow to secondary scout/raider (S).
  • Taught the opponent AI about Magpie.


  • Units can now be tinted, rescaled and made glowing via the customparams model_tint ("R G B"), model_glow ("R G B A"), and model_rescale. Colour values are from 0 to 1.
  • Free units (0 metal and energy cost) no longer need to explicitly specify a non-zero buildtime (previous release).
  • Added a function to effects/napalm for generating generic fireballs ala Inferno.
  • Air pads now call ReammoComplete, if it is a units script, when bombers are rearmed.
  • Added command AIR_MANUALFIRE for aircraft, since they cannot use the in-engine type.


  • Fixed Tremor wheels not spinning.
  • Gravity guns push and pull a bit more consistently.
  • Jack can no longer pretend to be a missile in enemy Missile Silos.
  • Slow damage makes shields charge slower again (it broke at some point)
  • Fixed bombers sometimes seeming to ignore a move command.
  • Attack Move on bombers is now is now removed after they shoot, unless the bomber is set to repeat. Previously this only worked for some bombers.
  • Bombers are now much better at landing on Reef. Much better. Horrific things could happen before.
  • Fix sun on Mercurial and Rogues River.

+19 / -0

7 months ago
Great. Someone just call me when zk is playable again. 7 years of deliberate imbalance is enough, palladium is dead, people complain about shields, lets just add shield-bombers. Idk, I was supportive for long enough. Someone else please take my role as mc-leader.
+3 / -3

7 months ago
DErankkatastrophe, that wasn't at all constructive. I can weather complaints if they're going to end up improving ZK, but yours just tend to say "everything has been terrible for some unspecified amount of time", then evaporate when I try to dig into it to find something that could be fixed. We've had useful threads, but a lot of it is complaining that I'd be better off without, and that isn't doing you any favours.

If you've got it in you to talk long enough for me to get something actionable, then make a thread. You can try to figure out what's wrong, or just list ways that you feel. I think it has to be its own thread so its the actual topic, rather than coming across as snide remarks from the sidelines. And get some information first, rather than a first impression. You come off as having seen the word "shield" and assuming that it's going to lead to the shield porc that you complain about. Maybe it will, or maybe a burst of shields will enable assaults to attack into shields and break them. We don't know.

I recall your last batch of complaints having Lance somewhere in the mix. Guess what, Lance was nerfed months ago. And Magpie started with the thought "What would a bomber tuned to kill Lance look like?" So try it, see how/if the meta shifts, and send feedback. Ideally actual replays. I keep asking for these replays of super porcy games that everyone apparently hates, but they rarely materialize.

And if you really want to be "called when zk is playable again", well, what even is the criteria? Many people play ZK just fine, about the same number as last year, and it works pretty well for me. If you have a problem specific to you, then you're going to have to put some work into solving it.
+14 / -0

7 months ago
Amazing update! Zephyr is finally able to do its job! Krow might actually be good now! Sparrow has an interesting new ability (could also be used against cloaked lances). I like the hermit buff because I feel like it was never very beneficial to build, and I always thought it would be cool if air had more roles. Pheonix always felt underwhelming to me, and even thunderbird seemed to die too quickly too often. A lot of things were fixed that I've noticed in the back of my head before but never put my finger on, some of them I had even forgotten about. Very cool!
+3 / -0
7 months ago
I generally like those new changes - for me giving Sparrow some meaning is super nice, i never understand why this unit is even there - maybe cosmetic but i like it
But that Odin shield drop seem too strong currently
While watching this game i said Odin spam will be new meta - support it with badgers or Outlaws (to counter cloak and raiders) and racketeer(to counter assaults) and u have proc that is imposible to push against. Will see if that will be the case. But that got my thinking why it has to be shields?
AUrankAdminGoogleFrog u said u like that 'Odin have something to do when not being able to attack' why not drop like idk 6 mini caretakers instead of 6 mini shields. That will allow riders an assaults quicker return after being beat up - thus support more agresive playstyle rather then proc.
Also AUrankAdminAquanim u said one imp will counter all that shields. Even assuming those shields will be unprotected (like i said badger spam will be a thing) that is still 125 metal used for nothing. Unless team will coordinate their attack it will acomplish nothing.
I guess we will see how in practice lob pots will look like. Also my personal thanks for for that drp buff :) That unit looks super cool and maybe finally will be build after those nerfs.
+1 / -0
7 months ago
Great update! Wiki still needs to be updated.
+0 / -0
wonderful update :D
BUT... why Magpie.....
Please bring back the penguin name... magpie just sounds horrible (penguin, pigeon (cuz the missiles are like its drops) are much better names).
Same fashion, while Odin is a cool name, I would rather have a more bird themed name to keep the fac thematic and save such a cool name for another unit (strider?)
+0 / -0



CLACK CLACK !!!11!!1!!!//1!
+3 / -0
Interesting update.
I just realized how prohibitively expensive Magpie rearming cost is for the early game.
It reloads for 20 seconds at 10 energy per second which is 200 energy total.
If you overdrive a +2 mex with that, it gives you 70 metal.
So if you kill Glaive, you are not even making cost early game.
+7 / -0
Mm... I guess if you factor in the energy of the making of a new Glaive, you are actually making cost.
The amount of unit value you get for 200 energy comes out to like 52 if you factor in the energy cost of actually spending the overdrive metal aswell.
+3 / -0

7 months ago
A fast heavy bomber that can snipe superweapons and silos through shields is nice. It's a bit too effective. Early on it can easily snipe enemy factories with little to no counterplay.

Dropping shields like that is game-breaking. It highlights broken interactions where units kill themselves trying to fire... even AA shots get caught by the shields.

- make the model a bit wider and flatter
- slightly nerf cost and disintegrator projectile speed
- instead of area shields the dropped units could have a weaker version of outlaw's weapon that heals allies instead of slowing enemies

+3 / -0

7 months ago
KIROV ... not reporting

There is an odd RA2 Airship vibe from Odins (though Krow probably is a closer analogy for that airship)
+1 / -0

7 months ago

Zero-K v1.11.11.2

  • Planes can now use Djinn. They didn't before because they would overshoot the Lamp before teleporting, but since then we've got the tech to deal with that pretty easily. Teleporting bombers seems more relevant with a slow one, which reminded me to add the feature. Hopefully the change doesn't warrant another hotfix.
  • Fixed a few bomber related bugs (Odin targeting hidden enemies with its special weapon, gunships landing on airpads, and an unknown issue).
+7 / -0
7 months ago
This is awesome and enhances some existing fighters.
+0 / -0

7 months ago
Anti building bomber with d-gun power? With shield fire? Interesting, exotic i would say.
Anti raider bomber for 1 vs 1 game play?
Phoenix buff seems promising. More hp for TB i like.
Ship aa and knight buff is very nice.
+0 / -0
7 months ago
First, I must say, "Kirov reporting." Obligatory because of the Odin. I really enjoy this update, particularly because of the Magpie that is a plane much needed and I never realized that kind of plane that was lacking from the roster. A better plane for attacking ground units than the Swift and targets in general than the Raven in some situations. It is like the MiG in Command and Conquer: Red Alert, a good fast attack plane. The Odin, my favorite feature about is its a "bullet sponge." It is really useful for exposing AA, a good example is the is the Gremlin. I did read the entire update and I must say, there is going to be a lot more fireworks in the sky!
+5 / -0
Thank you! Love the update!

Thanks for not forgetting about the minor tweaks to balance and campaign!

Tested out Odin... BEST UNIT EVER. LATEGAME AIR WILL BE A THING. Magpie I am a bit unclear about, but I think it will be lovely vs gunships.

Tested out Magpie... it is very meh. Raven is better vs single targets. Phoenix better vs raiders. Both are cheaper to operate and have far higher flight cadence... Lets see how meta develops but to me Magpie feels kinda meh.

PS: Suggest renaming Odin to Bustard (cuz its the heaviest flying bird) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_bustard
to keep with the bird theme.
+1 / -0
7 months ago
Odin is fun but the shield throwing doesn't seem to jive with it's role very well.

Could we give it an anti shield D gun? Like it just sneezes a bunch of plasma bolts at once and we get a similar affect as the tremor?
+1 / -0
Could we give it an anti shield D gun? Like it just sneezes a bunch of plasma bolts at once and we get a similar affect as the tremor?

Fun fact: if its shield-bombs impact sufficiently strong enemy shields before deploying, they will hit them for 3400 charge per bomb. And it drops 7 of these, totaling to more damage than a Shockley does to a Funnelweb.

This is unlikely to work with shieldballs in practice of course, because it's rare for a warring Aspis to be at over 3400 charge out of its full power of 3600 - so it will often overpenetrate.

But otherwise it's pretty close to a tremor-scale shield-buster already.
+0 / -0
This shield thing is absolutely ridiculous. We need fewer shields, not more. Free aegis airdrop? Insane. And there's a ton of them. And there's no limit to how many there can be. A weird inconsistency is that the shields have no collision and they don't damage units on landing, but the debris when they expire does deal damage.
It will be like the pre-nerf sea aegis. All the annoying stalling strategies will be so much stronger with this. And, as always, THE ONLY answer to shields is silo. We need more shield counterplay. Maybe skuttle buff helps a bit. But not when the shields it's killing are worth nothing.
+6 / -0
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