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Zero-K: ZK 2v2 Tournament July 4th 2015

The most observant of you probably have noticed by now that the monthly tournament was not held in June.

It is going to be alleviated with the 2v2 tournament to be held on on July 4th, at 10:00 (10 AM) UTC. Registration is open up until 1 hour before that time – and hopefully with an 1v1 and maybe even FFA tourneys later on.

Tournament format & rules:
– 2 human players per team
– Double elimination
– Random seeding
– First map of each round is predetermined, the following maps in the winners bracket will be selected by the loser of the previous game from the featured 1v1 map pool.
– All winners bracket games will be best of 3 (including finals). All losers bracket games will be best of 1 with the exception of the losers finals (bo3).
– There’s a hard cap to amount of teams, which is 8. Any registrations over the limit will be added to waiting list to substitute for no-show teams.

It is possible to substitute for players who don’t show up. If you have signed up, make sure to show up on time. Those who fail to show up will likely be subbed out by 10:30 UTC.

The players coming first, second and third will receive special unique collectible awards to their player profile, and receive tournament points which will at the year’s end determine the year’s altogether best tournament player.

Current bracket can be seen here.

The map list for each round will be announced on Friday.

Sign up in the commments!

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Zero-K: Four small releases and engine news

The past 5 days have seen versions 1.3.4.2 to 1.3.6.5 that have gone mostly unannounced. Releases are easy when nothing big and scary is hiding unreleased in the repository. It is much harder to take screenshots and write release posts. The following sections cover all the changes for these releases.

In other new; the latest engine is almost ready for use. The engine devs have been focusing on bug fixes and performance improvements. The results from the human trials last week are promising and all known bugs have been fixed. We are likely to permanently adopt the new version, which is great because recent benchmarks say to expect quite a performance boost.

=== Balance ===

Hunter is now smarter. This is to try to make Hunter vs Scallop balance reasonable at all levels of skill and attention.
* Increased cowardliness of unit AI. Fight now reliably avoids Scallop damage (except when the scallops have a concave).
* Increased Sonar Range 390 -> 450 so it is a bit less blind.

Scallop has reduced DPS and burst to try to make it worse against things it should not beat.
* Damage 180 -> 90
* Reload time 2 -> 1.4

Blastwing is now more usable in ordinary situations and less effective with Newton.
* Acceleration and Deceleration 0.1 -> 0.25

Balance affecting fixes:
* Fixed incorrect and inconsistent BP for commander morphs. Morphs are now about 20% slower.
* Added overkill prevention to Duck and Scallop torpedoes.
* Fixed target priority for kamikaze units. They are no longer targeted as if harmless.
* Moderator is now skirmished by long ranged things (Rogue, Recluse etc..)

=== Interface ===
* Transport AI no longer automatically transports units from factories by default (so it just implements the embark command). The automatic factory behaviour is too intrusive.
* Cleaned up graphics area of ingame menu and edge extension widget.
* Spectators can now see player reserve settings.
* Queued Solars look like Solars.

The following affect the default interface. Old players will not be affected but can reset their interface to the default in order to see the changes.
* Wait hotkey changed to Ctrl+W
* Area Mex hotkey changed to W
* Left click on Quick Selection Bar now selects the unit. Right click selects and focuses.
* Disabled cloak/firestate widget. Most cloaked units tend to want to fire from cloak. The widget also tends to fail.

=== Fixes ===
* Reduced occurrence of units becoming stuck in/on Shipyards.
* Improved/fixed construction priority.
* Fixed stockpile gadget error.
* Fixed antinuke coverage widget crash for spectators.
* Fixed antinuke coverage widget crash related to mobile antinukes.
* Fixed state icons not displaying.
* Fixed Gauss damage (200 -> 200.1)
* Improve delayed commander spawn position.
* Fixed Rogue script. * Fixed Win Counter.

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Zero-K: Zero-K v1.3.6.1

Recent free time has yielded improvement to two features and a whole bunch of fixes.

=== Jumpjets ===

Jumpers can now jump onto wreckage, map features and structures. The Jumper will slam into the structure, possibility sustaining damage, and slide down the outside onto the ground. Use at your own risk because your units could slid somewhere inaccessible. On the upside they can just jump out if they are stuck. The jump UI colours have been shuffled around slightly to indicate when a jump command will hit a structure.

The purpose of this change is to fix two annoying limitations. Skuttles should be able to jump onto spire turret and it makes sense to sacrifice one Jack to kill a buried Singularity Reactor. Both of these things are now possible.

=== Antinukes ===

Antinukes have been improved with consistent behaviour as well as UI improvements to tell you exactly when your nuke will be intercepted. The switch to this engine version caused antinukes to make a poor attempt at stopping nukes which pass through their coverage. This behaviour is now fixed, antinukes make a very competent attempt to stop nukes passing through their coverage.

The important balance change here is that antinukes block every nuke which will pass over their coverage, not just nukes which will impact within their coverage.

=== Minor ===
[Spoiler]
* Widgets will be able to use the UnitStunned callin after the next engine update.
* Changed to cost icon to make it clearer that costs are in metal and energy.
* Added Stop command to pregame queue. Press the Stop button or hotkey to cancel you queue.
* Fixed Placeholder collision volume (it was too small).
* Ally selections with selection shapes are now hidden when the UI is hidden (F5)
* Increased air repair pad death clone size to match the living unit.

=== Fixes ===
[Spoiler]
* Fixed UI crash caused by starting a game after viewing a replay with replay progress hidden.
* Fixed Banisher animation using the opposite barrel and being able to restore its turret when stunned.
* Fixed the case where if the 2 best players on a team were AFK, their units would bounce between them instead of going to the 3rd player.
* Fixed lag/AFK timer being longer than intended (35 -> 30).
* Fixed resigned players’ resources not being shared away if they got any afterwards (due to the above or excess).
* Fixed resigned players receiving metal from mexes if they resigned when having 0 units.
* Fixed factory order queues missing Attack order.
* Fixed the remaining cursors which failed to draw on some hardware (Patrol, Wait and DGun).
* Fixed tacnukes not counting to stats.
* Fixed outdated Scallop description and helptext.
* Fixed a CAI2 load error.
* Fixed Ctrl+C behaviour with commanders from resigned players.
* Removed the ability to give illegal jump commands using command insert.

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Zero-K: Zero-K v1.3.6.0

The recent lack of releases has caused this release to be extra large. It is packed with a bunch of minor fixes and decently sized balance changes. The balance changes mostly act on wacky extra stuff (Sea and Jumpjets) instead of the ‘core’ game. This version (or a soon to be released hotfix) is the last version of ZK to run on 91.0.

The image from the newly released map, Incandecence.

=== Balance ===

Dagger has its nerf partially reverted because apparently the metagame needed much more time to adjust:
* Cost 90 -> 85

Sniper nerfed in a way which spares mid cost units and makes Hammer look more attractive:
* Reload 15 -> 18

Recluse has a small buff to see if it can regain usefulness:
* Cost 300 -> 280

Moderator has a larger buff because it has always had trouble usefulness. The aim is to see how Jumpbots play with a powerful Moderator:
* Cost 300 -> 240

Firewalker now sprays many small fires over a slightly large area. This causes more intense fire damage at short range and increases its damage against shields. The rediculusness of the change is to see if Firewalker can be useful.
* AoE 256 -> 128
* Projectiles 2 -> 10
* Increased spray angle on projectiles.
* Duration 20 -> 16
* Cost 1200 -> 900

Fixed and slightly buffed gravity guns to compensate for engine changes.

Aircraft non-combat regeneration now activates after a period of not taking any damage (this is consistent with land units). Previously aircraft would have to be landed to regenerate. This is important for Banshee which has Glaive-like quick regen (10 HP/s after 5s); all other aircraft have standard 5 HP/s after 60s regen.

=== Sea Balance ===

As we all know, sea balance is quite different to ordinary balance. For this set of changes the aim is to make torpedoes good to use while reducing the scalability of underwater armies poorly due to low range. This is acheived by giving most torpedoes decent damage and a lot less range.

Scallop redesigned as an effective underwater riot:
* Much more able to hit fast things
* AoE 64 -> 100
* Damage 180 -> 360
* Reload 1 -> 2
* Range 430 -> 230
* Sonar Range 300 -> 350

Hunter also redesigned as an effective riot with can outrange Scallops:
* Health 1850 -> 1200
* Damage 96 -> 186
* Impulse significantly reduced.
* Range 340 -> 350
* Reload 1.4 -> 2.2
* Improved tactical AI

Typhoon speed buff (otherwise Hunter beats it):
* Speed 2.5 -> 3.0

Reduced Snake wackiness. Less of a glass cannon and more of a normal unit:
* Health 375 -> 600
* Range 290 -> 210
* Reload 7.5 -> 5.5

Enforcer:
* Cost 900 -> 800

=== UI ===

Banisher now has overkill prevention

Replay control improved
* speed buttons show current speed
* there is an optional progress bar
* clicking the progress bar jumps to the selected time

=== Misc ===
[Spoiler]
* Widgets now call UnitDestroyed for enemy units that die in LoS
* Dominatrix dish now has an open-up animation when finished
* Removed “Unploppable air facs” modoption
* Stardust and Razor obey status effect when aiming
* Chicken Queen will no longer land or start flying when disarmed
* Reworked start position shuffle. There are now 3 options: off, shuffle (shuffles among the boxes that currently contain people) and all-shuffle (shuffles among all boxes).

=== Bugfixes ===
[Spoiler]
* Fixed some stupid vector handling in tactical AI
* Fixed Reef antinuke being able to miss
* Fixed Chicken Queen being prevented from flying even without full EMP
* Fixed Hovercraft Platform build area being shifted to the side
* Fixed Claymore barrels homing back to the drop point when manually dropped in water
* Fixed resigns during pause not causing game-over (making the game stuck because noone can unpause)
* Fixed inflated multi-million Share Bear award values caused by finishing shared terraform
* Fixed resign messages being filtered out by the chat
* Fixed captured constructors being unable to area-mex
* Fixed Ultimatum being able to target terraform
* Fixed Reef texture being mostly black (now has a gray deck)
* Fixed Raven dive not causing a slow-down when performed above deep water
* Fixed Eco Panel resource bars being out-of-bounds when picking commander after game start
* Fixed type map defaults not keeping speed bonuses equal (fixes eg. fast hovers on Geyser)
* Fixed overkill prevention taking armor into account twice
* Fixed units not having an aversion towards targeting disarmed targets when there are non-disarmed targets available
* Fixed Dominatrix idle animation running when under construction
* Fixed some outdated unit pictures
* Fixed Geothermal Powerplant not emitting smoke when damaged
* Fixed some units having a middle wreck level that looked like debris but had full metal value
(Stardust, Razor, Sonar, Fusion, Penetrator, Surfboard, Storage)
* Fixed bug related to destroying a plane while it is taking off

======= Version 1.3.5.1 =======

Version 1.3.5.1 was live for most of May but did not receive a release post at the time. Most of the changes were minor and making pictures is hard. The changelog is included here for completeness

=== Balance ===
* Roaches and Ticks are now visible when ejected from a transport mid-air
* Gauss footprint: 2×2 -> 3×3
* Jump cooldown obeys status effects and is preserved through morph
* Submarines taken out of water are targetable by land weapons and receive full damage from them
* Quill now has a nano-arm animation, replacing arbitrary 2s delay before building

=== UI ==
* Added Insert and Delete keybinds for building rotation. They coexist with the previous keybinds, this is to fix the German keyboard problem
* Ravager now skirmed by Slasher Tactical AI
* Added an option for mex circles to show owner colour
* Unit Marker improved: added factories to the mark list and you can now pick which units to mark
* Reorganised the help section of the F10 menu. There’s now a basic ingame wiki here alongside the unit list
* Various improvements to Central Build AI

=== Misc ===
[Spoiler]
* LLT and HLT obey status effects when aiming
* HLT will start re-aim animation after a shot faster (100ms after the beam ends, was 400-900 previously)
* Morph can be queued while jumping
* Morph will no longer finalize mid-jump (waits at 100% until landing)
* Removed OTA cursor set

=== Bugfixes ===
[spoiler]
* Fixed outdated Leviathan helptext (no longer has antinuke)
* Fixed Ferry Routes not working for captured/transferred units
* Fixed a Jumpjet GUI crash
* Fixed Slasher tactical AI being enabled by default
* Fixed Quake and Tremor causing a disproportionately large amount of dirt particles
* Fixed Commander area shield conversion module not being applied sometimes
* Fixed Wolverine water impact effect
* Fixed cursors from the default set (all from the static set and some from the animated set) not showing with hardware acceleration
* Fixed missile silo range indicator text not following camera rotation
* Fixed multiple game-over exploits
* Fixed dying jumping Recon commanders being teleported around the map
* Fixed multiple issues with Unit Selection Shapes, XRay and Outlines
* Fixed camera sometimes starting horizontally
* Fixed camera zoom speed
* Fixed HLT turning the opposite way at different turn speed when giving an attack order at [90, 180] degrees from current heading
[/spoiler]

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